So I don’t normally post but I came across this painting called ‘The Accolade’ by Edmund Blair-Leighton while researching for my essay on gender identity and Malory and I found it really beautiful and fascinating. It’s of Queen Guinevere knighting Lancelot. Knights were usually knighted by their King, but Lancelot deliberately avoids receiving the sword from Arthur because he intends for Guinevere to give him the honour instead. Not only does this highlight his overwhelming love (he says himself that he loved her ‘oute of measure’) and respect for her, but it also acts as a pledge of his loyalty and service to her, and thus he would serve as the Queen’s knight as opposed to the King’s. The Queen becomes Lancelot’s lord and master, subverting all our expectations about gender and power in the medieval court.