Canna Lilies the traditional flower of St. Canna according to Barony custom
Royal pressure: In my December 31st post entitled “My Welsh roots” the trip to the muniment rooms of Blackthorn Castle and its chapel in the Cambrian mountains of Wales was on Monday the 29th though it would have been much better weather had we waited a day. On Wednesday Dec 31st I received a telegram sent to Crag Abbey, from the College of Arms that my succession to the title and dignity of the Barony of Blackthorn, as the 23rd Baroness had been successfully vetted and was approved and I should expect to accept the associated documents that were being hand carried to Crag Abbey on January 1st. After I accepted the papers in front of His Grace, Jack and Marvin they toasted me with some 30 y/o Macallan scotch and that was that.
His Grace thinks pressure was applied from Sandringham since he had mentioned my situation to HRH while on a hunting outing more than two weeks ago with the view to getting my application for the title approved in time that I could receive the elevation as a New Years Presentation. I’ve mentioned before that His Grace is very pleased I’m no longer pursuing his only son and heir as husband material. I just wasn’t aware of how seriously he was taking the project to get me out of the way while not endangering the celebration of the four celestial Sabbats of the Old Ways at Location Z.
Now that we know my parents were married when I was born in the U.S. I have dual citizenship since in addition to being a U.S citizen I am also considered a British citizen which cleared up any possible ambiguity about my being able to accept the title w/o having to renounce my American citizenship. I already have a British passport. For more about this topic see the article HERE.
Nobility in Modern America: “The U.S. cannot grant titles of nobility, and foreigners who are naturalized must renounce all titles, but there is nothing that prevents a U.S. citizen from inheriting a title from abroad and using it as he pleases, unless it leads him or her to pledge allegiance to a foreign power, a case which could be grounds for loss of citizenship.” For more about this topic see the article HERE.
The Blackthorn Barony – second thoughts: Now that the title is mine the enormous responsibility of it has begun to sink in. I will of course retain the domestic and administrative staff and the Chamberlain of the Household who oversees most aspects of the Barony until I see if there is deadwood anywhere or if the Baroness had continued to insist on excellent service even as her health deteriorated.
I had asked Charles, my Chamberlain of the Household (COH), come to Crag Abbey on January 2nd to give me the security codes for the various property alarms and financial accounts and an overview of the various holdings and he will accompany Marvin and me on a tour of the properties. His Grace, Jacks father, has recommended a firm of auditors to thoroughly inspect the books to see exactly what businesses the Baroness had financial interests in so I will have a professional unbiased opinion of the true financial soundness of the Barony. I have no reason to suspect that there is anything wrong, but it’s best to give the finances a thorough scrubbing.
My second thoughts come late at night when I can’t sleep. It hadn’t occurred to me that as Baroness I would be responsible for the livelihood of at least several hundred people in just the running of the castle, Priory and the timber and mining interests in the general area. My responsibility may extend to many more in other aspects of the Baroness’s empire that I’m not presently aware of from the overview. And I’ll be moving to the UK so I’ll be leaving a lot of friends behind and uprooting my inner circle as well. Technically I could have renounced the title, but the Barony is mine by heredity right and who would care for it and the lives involved if I abandoned them?
I will not do that! I know, my detractors think I’m a libertine or immoral, but abandoning my responsibilities is not what I do! I’m so fortunate that Marvin is by my side! He is helping me work through these thoughts to come to logical and satisfactory decisions in so many things involving how I will relate to the responsibilities of running the Barony. He keeps telling me that my predecessor left the Barony in good shape with good people in charge and that I am a quick study and will do just fine. I hope that turns out to be the case.
A change in Plan: I had intended to take my four wards, Marvin and Anya along with their dancer bedmates to Lost Cove on Virgin Gorda for a few days of relaxation before they return to classes at UNLV which begin on January 20th. However, now that I have immediate responsibilities in trying to assure a seamless transition of authority as the 23rd Baroness Blackthorn I am going to stay here. I don’t suppose my wards will complain too loudly to have two weeks to do what they like in London while living at Blackthorn House (The Baroness’s London home) in Belgravia with their male escorts and Anya as their Dominatrix while I get a crash course in the Barony’s operation. I had Charles (COH) call Blackthorn House and alert the staff that they should expect five couples Anya, Bea, Willow, Odette and Odile and their male escorts to be in residence through at least the 19th of January. They will ride down with me on the train from Inverness and we will be met at Euston station on January 6th. Then I’ll be immediately traveling on to Caersws and Blackthorn Castle.
It’s not quite as though I’m being thrown in the deep end w/o knowing how to swim as I had some oversight of the casino’s books and the auditors will be giving everything a good scrubbing. So unless some irregularities are found I don’t expect to change any of the team that has been running the family business for years and apparently has it running quite nicely, thank you very much. It’s just that I’ll be on a steep learning curve for a while.
Travel by rail: Actually, a helicopter would be the thing to have to get between Blackthorn Castle and London and wherever else Barony properties are in the UK and of course to Inverness for Sabbat celebrations at Location Z. But the weather can be so bad and a helicopter can carry so few people that it isn’t practical for me. Depending on the time of day and day of the week scheduled rail travel between the Station at Caersws which is relatively close to Blackthorn Castle and London can take from three to fourteen hours and you have to put up with other passengers and National Rail food. So, I’ve had my private Pullman car brought up to Inverness. OMG! That sounds so strange, “my private Pullman car”! This way I can hold meetings with the Barony staff and the auditors and have decent food cooked by my own chefs aboard while we are traveling and the car will sleep sixteen in great comfort. And as I mentioned earlier after Twelfth Night, January 5th, I’m taking my wards to London on it and picking up an auditing team to take with me to the castle.
Security: I’ve already been told by my security chief that I shouldn’t fly the flag with the Barony’s arms over Blackthorn House or even the Castle when I’m in residence as Edith, the 22nd Baroness, did. And I’ve approved an increase in the number of HD all-weather security cams at Blackthorn House and at several other key locations as security recommended. Now I also have a two man security detail 24/7 as well. Sigh! The 2012 Bentley which is kept in London for travel in the area was already heavily armored against kidnap attempts which, given that I am female, single and will have a much higher social profile than my predecessor in her later years, seems more likely. So I am told. Welcome to the Peerage!