Of Happy Memory
Of Happy Memory is a line recited by the populace during the reading of the Dolphin ceremony.
Why Does the Populace Add "of happy memory" to the Dolphin Ceremony ?
Once upon a time, Caid was a Principality of the West. Caid gave no awards of its own, because the parent kingdom owned the right to give awards. In the reign of Prince Gregory and Princess Vivian, Caid was at last granted the power to give its own award, the Order of the Dolphin. There was great rejoicing and much local recognition of worthy individuals. Many happy memories were made.
Time passed, several years, in fact. The heralds determined that they needed to write some ceremonies to introduce the awards. The Golden Rose Pursuivant (a new title at that time, created for the herald in charge of writing ceremonies) was Bevin Fraser of Stirling, a lady known for her ability to write good, memorable words. To commemorate the founding of this award, she included the names of the Prince and Princess who first gave it. Because the reign was long past, she indicated that by putting the words "of happy memory" after their names. The phrase referred to both of them, not just Vivian, who was the last one named. And so the ceremony stayed for many years.
More time passed, several more years, in fact. The heralds determined that they needed to revise existing ceremonies. The words "of happy memory" were being mistaken for the surname of Princess Vivian Aurore de la Mer. Many of the early residents of Caid had moved on to other pursuits or other locations. Prince Gregory of York was now Duke Gregory, so he was known, but few now remembered Viscountess Vivian, who had moved away. So it was determined to drop the phrase from the ceremony.
The new ceremony debuted. One long-time member of the populace there present, I believe it was Natalya de Foix, heard the ceremony without the words, and it sounded wrong. She spoke up, and added, "in happy memory". In fact, she turned to the rest of the folk there assembled and led them in the addition of the words. And so the populace said the words, in chorus, to the chagrin of the herald of the court. After this happened a couple times, the court heralds knew that they must pause after Vivian's name, for the rest of the populace would add the words that had been dropped from the ceremony. That was fun for the populace, and a little frustrating for the heralds doing court -- which probably contributed to the fun for the populace.
Time passed, again. Master Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme was the herald in charge of a Royal court at some event, and thus reading the ceremony. When the populace there assembled chimed in on cue, he asked, "Does anyone here have any happy memories of Vivian?" A few of us raised our hands, but there were only a handful of us. But his attempt to remove the words were still frustrated by the long-time custom of adding them back in. Some in the audience then thought that perhaps the small number of raised hands was because there were only unhappy memories. But no, it was because there were almost no memories of their reign left at all.
So that more people can raise their hands next time the question is asked, and I am sure it will be someday, I will share a happy memory of the reign of Prince Gregory and Princess Vivian. For that memory, you will need to turn to the Gregory and Vivian page. -- As told by Éowyn Amberdrake