Carol of Bellatrix
Carol of Bellatrix
Per bend argent and vert, six
octofoils in bend three and three counterchanged, all pierced Or.
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Duchess Carol of Bellatrix, OP, was Queen of the West six times.
She is the author of Queen Carol's Guide to the Current Middle Ages.
Duchess Carol of Bellatrix, passed away early in the morning on January 24, 2010 surrounded by her immediate family.
Offices and Positions
- 20th Queen of the West with Paul of Bellatrix, 1972/01/08-1972/05/06
- 22nd Queen of the West with Paul of Bellatrix, 1972/07/29-1973/01/06
- 24th Queen of the West with Paul of Bellatrix, 1973/05/05-1973/07/28
- 29th Queen of the West with Paul of Bellatrix, 1975/01/04-1975/05/03
- 33rd Queen of the West with Paul of Bellatrix, 1976/05/01-1976/07/31
- 37th Queen of the West with Paul of Bellatrix, 1977/07/30-1978/01/07
- Member of the SCA Board of Directors, August 1981 to June? 1984
- Chair of the SCA Board of Directors, July 17, 1983 to January, 29 1984
Duchess Carol is the author of Queen Carol's Guide to the Current Middle Ages a newcomers guide to the SCA.
- First published approx 1976. Definitely prior to May 1977 when it was referenced in the Rotarian magazine
- Updated for SCA's 20th Year Anniversary revised and expanded to include information from other kingdoms.Online copy of 20 Annv Edition
- Updated again for the SCA's 42nd Year Anniversary
Please leave your memories of Duchess Carol.
From Jenny, Daughter of Duke Douglas Longshanks and Duchess Lorna of Leeds
As my mother's best friend for 37 years, I have known Duchess Carol of Bellatrix since I was 2 years old when she was pregnant with Brion. She was my Godmother, family, friend and mentor. It has been an honor and blessing to have had her in my life and I will miss her dearly. My love and thoughts go to those she leaves behind: her husband Michael, her sons Brion and Stephan (& his wife Cym), her grandchildren, her sister, brother, nephew and all the many others whose lives she has touched. She was a beautiful lady through and through, whose presence made this world a better place.
From Master Thin Robert of Lawrence
By sheer coincidence, I found out about her death by checking this section the day she died. Carol of Bellatrix was a colossus in the SCA when I was at my most active. Queen Carol's Guide was the bible for people who were trying to get oriented into the SCA. By virtue of that, she might have been the most influential person of her generation in the SCA. She and her lord, Paul of Bellatrix, were effectively the arch duke and arch duchess of the West and possibly the entire society. Despite this, she was totally down to earth, never put on airs or acted as though anyone was beneath her. She was a lovely lady and a lot of fun.
When I met her again, by happenstance, about ten years ago after a long lapse, it was clear that something had happened. I never found out the nature of her illness but, no matter how bad her physical problems were, she faced them courageously and never lost her spirit. Her passing is the end of an era.
From Duchess Natalya de Foix
Duchess Carol was my first queen and set a standard for kindness and courtesy that is unparalleled in my SCA experience over the past 35 years. It was my honor to serve her as a Lady-in-Waiting and an even deeper honor to call her mentor and friend. When we talk about shining lights, she was definitely one of the most radiant. I have so many memories of her and all of them are good ones. She knew how to give advice without judgment, and how to bring much-needed reality to a situation that had gone too far into the realm of drama. When we talk about ideals of courtesy and chivalry, Duchess Carol was that and more. I am confident that her spirit will continue to watch over us and remind us, with her characteristic grace and humor, to be kind and gentle with each other.
From Mistress Amanda of Cawdor
I remember Carol with such fondness from the days when she and Paul helped Rieslingshire get started. She took us all under her wing and was guide, mentor, and friend. We will miss her dreadfully.
From THL Susan of Dublin & Baron Sir Charles of Dublin
Duchess Carol of Bellatrix, who knighted Charles and, along with her husband Mike, joined our household for the brief time she was active in Caid, passed away the morning of January 24th surrounded by friends and family.
My heart goes out to Mike, her husband, her love and her partner. Watching them together was a study in synergy. What one lacked, the other provided. They always seemed to be laughing about something when they weren't arguing about politics or the days events. They were passionate about the things they did and each other.
Last year, Carol and Mike moved to Texas to live with her oldest son Stephan (a Duke of the West) and his wife Niobe mka Cym. It had become obvious that her health was failing and Mike, suffering from his own maladies, could no longer be her sole caretaker. Stefan has a successful military career and, with his family, belongs to a Christian Church where all members are family. He was able to build a mother-in-law's suite onto his home giving Carol and Mike some privacy and even their own entrance, In moving to Texas she was given the gift of being surrounded by her grandchildren, 8 or 9 of them (I lost count), who entertained her on a daily basis. She loved having the opportunity to spend more time with her oldest son and wife and children. The church congregation opened their arms to her and they lent a hand in caring for her and Mike. She was very moved by how close the marriage of Stefan and Kim was, and how they were raising polite, educated kids.
I know that she missed California, her sister who lived in Santa Barbara, her old and new SCA friends but mostly her son Brion, a Duke in the West who has at times also fought in Caid. Carol chose Brion's elevation to Pelican as her final SCA event. She was very proud of him for many things and loved the stories he would tell her about his SCA pursuits, allowing her to live vicariously through him. She said he could always make her laugh and she loved him dearly.
Carol was an exceptional Queen, reigning six times in the Kingdom of the West with then husband Paul. She was actively involved in the SCA for over 35 years. For her constant service to the Kingdom she was awarded the Order of the Pelican. In the mid 1970's she created Queen Carol's Guide, a newcomer's guide to the Kingdom of the West and updated it for the twentieth anniversary of the SCA. When asked to update it for other kingdom's in 2005, she made it her final gift to the SCA before her retirement. Duchess Carol of Bellatrix was the Queen that all looked up to, all trusted, all wanted to emulate and all loved. She is an icon in the history of the SCA and will be greatly missed.
With Sympathy and Great Sorrow.
From Mistress Lynnette de Sandoval del Valle de los Unicornios
Queen Carol's Guide was one of the first SCA publications I owned. To me she was a name out of legend. It was a great honor and pleasure to meet her at an Altavia event a few years ago, and dinner with her that evening was great fun.
From Viscountess Lorissa du Griffin
This took me a long time to be able to come here an write this. Carol was a very big part of my growing up and I consider Brion and Stephan my brothers. HG Carol was what every young lady in the SCA aspired to. When I sat the throne I would wonder if Carol would think what I was or was not doing was OK. We should have had bracelets that said W.W.C.D. She is a huge part of our history and will continue to be thought of in a special way by all who had the honor to meet her. My love and well wishes go out to her family.
Ritter Brion, second son of Bellatrix, will be holding: "both a mundane celebration of her life in Northern California later in the year. This will be followed by a day in which my brother (Duke Stephan) and I will take the field to fight in her honor against all contestants." The intention of the events is to provide a wide variety of people the opportunity to attend such a gathering.
Texas -- 1/30/10 at 10 am
A memorial service for Carol was held in Lytle, TX, on 1/30/10. Carol's family is growing a rose garden in her memory, so Carol's sister Christine suggested attendees bring potted roses. Many of Carol's friends who could not attend were there in spirit.
California -- 4/30/10 to 5/2/10
Beltane Coronation, April 30th – May 2nd (Cloverdale, CA): An evening of remembrance, story-telling & reveling in our mother's honor. Contact [Sir Brion of Bellatrix] for details.
California -- 6/27/10
Non-SCA Gathering, Sunday June 27th (Pleasant Hill, CA): Another gathering to celebrate the life and memory of our mother. This is intended for those who are not able or comfortable to attend any of the SCA-based gatherings. Contact [Sir Brion of Bellatrix] for details.
West/AnTir War -- 7/1/10 to 7/5/10
West/AnTir War, July 1st – July 5th (Gold Beach, OR): Stephan and I ( Brion) will be taking the field against all contestants to honor our mother. We will be attended by many non-combatants to administer a journal of the day, and to give out daisies to the consorts of all those who meet us. The specific day of the event that our tribute will take place has not yet been determined. But we will inform the masses once that is figured out. Of additional note; many, if not all, of my brother's family (Duke Stephen and Duchess Niobe of Bellatrix) will be in attendance at this event. It might also come to pass that my mother's brother and his family may attend, as they live in Washington.