|A castle means safety; an arrow readiness for battle; a lion dauntless courage. Red signifies military strength and magnanimity; blue truth and loyalty; purple royal majesty; silver peace and sincerity.|
First and most importantly I rule myself. I have adopted the motto "qui vicit, qui se vicit", or he conquers who conquers himself. I believe this to be true. A great many things can be done with self-control and determination. The sixteenth century poet and satirist, Pietro Aretino, had this to say about the subject of self rule: "I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself." In my personal experience self rule is not only the most important thing for personal growth, it is also what paves the way to other successes.
Perhaps it would be worthwhile to actually look at the definition of rule now. According to the dictionary, to rule is defined thusly: to control or direct; exercise dominating power, authority, or influence over; govern: to rule the empire with severity.
If rule can be defined as just having influence over, and let's face it some kings barely had that, then I rule all sorts of things. I rule not only myself but also all of my possessions. Due to the fact that I believe technological devices are magic I cannot claim to control them, but I certainly have a dominating influence over them. (Ok, at least on most days.) You may recall my mad ideas about the workings of flash drives. Well, I own two of them with their attendant cities of miniature scribes and I rule their actions and inhabitants. As far as influence goes I can reasonably say I have influence over my family and friends. Who doesn't? So in a small way I rule them too.
So, why not a queen? Think about the history of women and power. If you think of truly powerful rulers you tend to think of men. Alexander the Great, Caesar, Henry VIII, Genghis Khan, Napoleon. Do you think of Elizabeth I or Catherine the Great, or Cleopatra? No, usually not. Not to mention that many of history's powerful women only wielded power through men. Often women came to power as regents for their young sons. Catherine the Great only gained power by overthrowing her husband and having love affairs with powerful men in the kingdom. Other women had to use their femininity as their strongest asset in politics. Cleopatra kept power and influenced politics by making alliances, or romances, with powerful Roman rulers like Caesar and Marc Antony. Elizabeth I was probably the first monarch to rule in her own right but she had to do so by constantly using her possible marriage as a bargaining chip. She never married and one has to suspect that this was at least partly because her most powerful tool was dangling the hope of possible alliance with her into various political situations.
|The lion in Leeds that greets me at my bus stop. I like to think it is a royal lion.|
So, the only real way to rule in your own right without having to use your marriage as a bargaining tool for power is to be a king. If you are a queen your property goes to your husband when you are married and he controls it. A king doesn't lose control by marrying. A king doesn't rule only as long as his son is in his minority. Historically, a king has more inherent power, authority and respect than a queen. I didn't want my kingly status to depend on my personal choices of marriage and alliance. I wanted to remain powerful and retain my freedom, and keep my cardboard castle to myself. So I declared myself a king, claiming the position, the power, and the freedom that comes with such a title. And I stubbornly defend this choice with anyone who argues.
Besides I wanted to be able to wear the color of royalty officially. Purple was the colour of Roman emperors, kings and powerful men in ancient times. The Roman Emperor Aurelian wouldn't let his wife buy a purple shawl because it cost its weight in gold. It was expensive, it was a status symbol and it was highly regulated. Sumptuary laws made it available only to certain classes of people even in the Tudor age of England. So, I want to be ready just in case the old sumptuary laws keeping purple for the royalty come back in fashion. Now that I've made myself a king I can wear what I like. And more often than not I choose purple for my kingly raiment.