jewel state


Queen Elizabeth II introduces the Imperial State Crown.

It is held in the Jewel House in the Tower of London alongside the other British Crown Jewels.

The Imperial State Crown includes many precious gems, including 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies.

The Crown includes several famous jewels: the cross at the top is set with a stone known as St. Edward’s Sapphire (1042), a sapphire taken from the ring (or coronet) of Edward the Confessor; the Black Prince’s Ruby (1367) (actually a spinel) is set on the front cross pattée; the famous Cullinan II, or Second Star of Africa, is set on the front of the band, replacing in 1909, the 104-carat (20.8 g) Stewart/ Stuart Sapphire (1214), which now sits at the back. The Crown also contains Queen Elizabeth I’s Pearls (reportedly belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots) under the orb.

William IV’s sovereign’s ring (left) and Queen Adelaide’s consort’s ring (right) - Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell, 1831.

Traditionally a new sovereign’s ring was slipped onto the finger of every British monarch during his/her coronation and became that monarch’s personal property; William IV’s ring has been used in every coronation since Edward VII’s in 1901 and has joined the rest of the imperial state regalia in the Tower of London.


Haunted Gight Castle & Its Legends

Thomas the Rhymer’s Prophesy:

Thomas the Rhymer was a 13th century Scottish laird and a reputed prophet. In regards to Gight he prophesied:  "At Gight three men by sudden death shall dee, And after that the land shall lie in lea.“

Gight Castle was built by the Gordon family around 1479.  In 1787 Catherine Gordon had to sell the castle to pay debts run-up by her husband, Captain John ‘Mad Jack’ Byron (the famous poet, Lord George Byron was the son of Catherine and Mad Jack). Gight Castle was sold to George Gordon, 3rd Earl of Aberdeen (known as the 'Wicked Earl’). George earned his nickname from his exploitation of his tenantry through 19-year-leases as well as his private life, he had children by at least three mistresses.

In 1791 George fell from his horse on the Green of Gight and died suddenly. Gight Castle was abandoned after this tragedy.  A couple of years later, a servant on a nearby farm met a similar sudden death.  Prior to the farm being turned into lea, one of the farmhouses was being demolished, and a farm worker casually mentioned that Thomas the Rhymer’s prophecy hadn’t come true.  Less than one hour later a wall fell down on top of said farm worker and crushed him to death, thereby fulfilling the prophecy.

The Legend of Hagberry Pot:

Gight Castle stands on a bank that overlooks the Ythan River in Aberdeenshire, and below the castle in the river is what’s known as Hagberry Pot.  Legend has it that Hagberry Pot is bottomless. In 1644, Gight Castle was sacked by the Covenanters, and to keep them from stealing his jewels, the ex-communicated 7th Laird of Gight threw them into Hagberry Pot.  Afterwards the laird sent a diver down to recover them, but the visibly shaken diver returned to the surface without the jewels, stating that the Devil himself was down there guarding them.  The laird then forced the diver to go back down (in those days you did what the laird said because he had the power to punish, and even kill you if you didn’t).  A couple minutes after going down, the diver’s body, severed into four pieces, floated up to the surface. The laird’s jewels were never recovered.

Hauntings and Other Legends:

At one time a piper is said to have been exploring a secret tunnel at the castle, but was never seen again.  His ghost, although never seen, can be heard playing the pipes in and around the ruins. A similar tale exists about a phantom piper at Edinburgh Castle. Legend also says that some of the Gordon’s dabbled in witchcraft and wizardry, and that the Devil himself still visits the castle grounds.

anonymous asked:

So, on the subject of your new tumblr name, how good do you think queen Alysanne (also Jaehaerys) truly was(were)? She was obviously very philanthropic, but the love of the smallfolk is easy to buy (ex. Tyrells). The donation of the New Gift was very unpopular in the North. Their reign also set the stage for one of the most apathetic kings to sit the throne. And despite all the talk of codifying law, there hasn't been any mention of any magna carta type document being written by the couple.

Thanks for the question, Anon.

I think Alysanne was the best of the Targaryen queen consorts, and let me tell you why.

That you mention the Tyrells in terms of winning smallfolk loyalty exactly speaks to how talented Alysanne actually was, not how easy the smallfolk are to buy off. Margaery is a latter-day Alysanne: she is a master, at 16, of image politics in the role of a queen - giving alms to beggars, stopping her horse to speak to common tradesmen, very publicly praying with her cousins in the Great Sept of Baelor. She makes sure people see her and associate her personal good character with her role as queen, giving people more than a mere legal reason to support the crown. 

That’s exactly what Alysanne did. Alysanne came directly from a period of poor relations between crown and people: her father Aenys and uncle Maegor had both battled the populous Faith Militant, and Alysanne knew that winning the smallfolk would be crucial to reestablishing the royal peace. Why does she stop at Queenscrown and sleep among the people?  By staying among them - the lowest and most ordinary of her subjects, in a remote village at the edge of existence - Alysanne personalized the monarchy: the Targaryens were not simply faces on coins to whom their overlords owed grudging fealty, but real people, with a willingness to form personal connections with their subjects. Why does Alysanne beg Jaehaerys to abolish the right to the first night? By doing so, she played perfectly to the traditional Westerosi queenly role as the vector of mercy – interceding with her lord husband to spare the innocent smallfolk women, with the expectation that the just king would be moved by his love for her to do so. And if some of those same smallfolk had, say, taken up arms for the Faith against the crown oh so recently, they may well have admired a queen who seemingly so loved the Seven that she would move her king to protect marriage as the Father and Mother had intended it. She knows the political value of being seen as the benefactress of the smallfolk, just as her grandmother Rhaenys had: as Jaehaerys was the model Father, the fair judge of his children, so she was the ideal Mother, merciful and loving. Why is she the only Targaryen queen we know to have gotten a positive epithet? That doesn’t speak to “buying off” love for a generation, that reflects a calculated campaign of crafting a long-lasting positive legacy.

As for the Donation of Alysanne, it was certainly unpopular with some members of the Stark family. Keep in mind, however, that these same Starks had been grumbling for rebellion against the Targaryens in the decades since King Torrhen bent the knee. The entire purpose of Jaehaerys’ visit North was to, gently but firmly, remind the Starks that he was he in charge, and it was to that end that Alysanne played her role perfectly. She traveled to Queenscrown, as I noted above - a remote place Lord Ellard may never have even visited - to show that the smallfolk would remain loyal to the crown over the Stark overlord they had likely never met. At the Wall, she had funded construction of a new castle with her own jewels, publicly stating that her personal finery and glory mattered less than the welfare of the Night’s Watch, that long-respected institution. The Donation was the most dramatic part of her campaign, but it successfully reminded the Starks that the crown could take away their lands at any time, for the good of “the realm”. She also, at some point, betrothed Princess Viserra to Lord Manderly, to keep the North’s only great port Targaryen loyal should the Starks be so foolish as to rebel. The whole trip north, including the Donation, was a calculated political move, and while the Donation had its costs in some Stark love, it succeeded in quashing the very real possibility of a Stark rebellion.

As for Viserys I: blaming Jaehaerys and Alysanne for Viserys seems rather unfair. Both of their married sons, Aemon and Baelon, apparently performed their duties in the field admirably - Aemon dying fighting pirates off the coast of Tarth, and Baelon being called “Baelon the Brave” - and even Vaegon became an Archmaester, so I would say they knew a thing or two about raising good boys. I can no more blame Jaehaerys for Viserys’ faults than I can blame Viserys II for Aegon IV’s faults, or Aegon the Conqueror for Aenys’ and Maegor’s faults; each father was a great king in his own right, yet each son displayed woefully undesirable traits so opposed to his father’s careful diplomacy. At some point, Viserys I himself must be responsible for being the lazy, over-conciliatory king that he was. 

As for law … are you suggesting Jaehaerys did not actually codify Westerosi law? I mean, Yandel explicitly states in TWOIAF, “Where his grandsire, King Aegon, had left the laws of the Seven Kingdoms to the vagaries of local tradition and custom, Jaehaerys created the first unified code, so that from the North to the Dornish Marches, the realm shared a single rule of law.” I would not say that the lack of a Magna Carta invalidates all the real and practical changes Jaehaerys made to the law of the Seven Kingdoms, considering the Magna Carta was a pretty specific document for pretty specific circumstances (which did not match Jaehaerys and Alysanne’s own circumstances). I would not be surprised if, in his codification efforts, Jaehaerys sought Alysanne’s advice: they were a good team (made better by the addition of Septon Barth), and she was “keenly intelligent”, a trusted and trustworthy adviser. 

So, I like Alysanne, and I don’t want to see her undersold. She was a clever and capable queen who both was genuinely philanthropic and knew the value of image politics.

The Queen Regent (NFriel) 


FireFly Reunion Panel From New York Comic Con 2012 Full

persephone is dead || a bonkai one shot

warning: this oneshot is a result of a lot of feelings and angst. But it’s also tragically happy? Idk. This is what Julie Plec does to me. Anyway, this takes place in a what-if AU where Bonnie and Kai kill each other (Kai is back in Mystic Falls with the witchpires, and Bonnie is turning into a vamp - remember Damon feeding her his blood? yeah). Get ready for some sentimental, poetic nonsense about the greatest pairing that never was and will always be. 

Here, they are both kings of the underworld. They’ve swallowed the princess.

She suspects, sometimes, that Grams wanted her to meet Kai. 

Why else would she have sent her to his lair?

What was Sheila hoping? That she would save a soul? Redeem a dark, dark heart? Like in the stories of old, of beauties and beasts? Princesses and underworld kings?

It never works like that in real life. The fabric unravels when you try to stretch it thin.

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