Cross of Caid Cotehardie Conspiracy

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The story of the Cross of Caid Cotehardie Conspiracy:

A long time ago in a Kingdom not so far away....

Mistress Angelina made an heraldic cotehardie for a Coronation or 12th Night that I really admired, so I asked her if I could copy her pattern, which she graciously gave me a copy of. This was probably late 1992. Since I had a lot of blue and white silk noile (raw silk) fabric on hand, I decided to make a Caidan cotehardie. I had been looking at Bruce's Pic Dict and noticed the Cross of Caid badge, so I checked with him and confirmed it was available to anyone in the populace to use. In the pictures in this album, you can see me at a Coronation wearing it, as well as Costume Con (this was the early 90s - I know Costume Con was 1994 but the dress was made some time before that). I think the first event I wore it to was a Crown Tournament in Lompoc, when John and Ceinwen were selecting their heirs after their first reign, which would mean the fall of 1993. I remember Gareth was pretty impressed by my cleavage in that dress. My best buddy, Albra liked it so much that she decided to make a copy of it, which she did but she never *quite* got around to putting the crosses on it for a while, so wore it unadorned for at least a year or two. In fact, I did her Harp Argent scroll at the time and painted her in her blue/white cotehardie in the miniature, and she complained that I hadn't painted the crosses. I told her I'd paint them in when she added them to the dress (I did paint them in for her later after she'd added them!).

Then Albra became queen of Caid in May 1996, and she decided to wear her cotehardie to the Queen's Champion event for her reign. Angelina finished the decoration on the gown for her by adding the Cross of Caid badge, as well as yellow roses as a symbol of the Queen of Caid (mind you, their actual registered symbol is a wreath of yellow roses, not individual yellow roses, but that comes up later in this story). Six months later, Albra steps down as queen.

Maybe a year later, we both decide to attend another Queen's Champion event for a new reign, both wearing our cotehardies. Albra didn't think anything of it - she was a Lady of the Rose, and was still entitled to wear a yellow rose so long as it wasn't a wreath of roses. I wasn't concerned either - I'd been wearing mine for nearly 5 years at that point. Several other queens since then had done similar gowns, and that is probably where the problem started. On the way home from the event, Albra tearfully told me that the other Ladies of the Rose had berated her for wearing her Cross of Caid cotehardie because they thought only the Queen should wear that and how dare she usurp the Queen's day?? I told her the Ladies were wrong, the badge was specifically a populace badge, and they could blow it out their ears. But this pissed me off that they were so ignorant of the kingdom heraldry and after thinking about it, I enlisted the aid of the Company of Clothiers to do what I called the Cross of Caid Cotehardie Conspiracy. I confirmed with Bruce again that what Albra was wearing was perfectly fine (he said the Crown wearing the badge was basically equivalent to the Queen of England wearing the Union Jack, which he didn't approve of), then went to work.

I typed up a memo, and handed it out at the next meeting of the CoC, asking them to spread the word around and to NOT TELL Albra or any of the Ladies of the Rose. The plan was to unveil at least a dozen women all wearing the Cross of Caid on their clothing to show the Ladies of the Rose they were wrong. I had a lot of participation, and at Spring Crown Tourney in 1998 the Conspiracy revealed itself (see the pic). We paraded around the field at one point while the Ladies were making the wreaths for the winner of the tourney in the Royal Pavilion, so we stopped and bowed before the Royal Pavilion. Albra told me later she got the blame for organizing this, but really - Albra's not nearly evil enough to think of this like I am.

The best conversation of the day was Duke John saw us parading around the field and later met up with Finella at one of the merchant booths, looked her up and down, and said "I didn't get the memo." Finella, being the sport she is (and having got the actual memo) said "You didn't get the memo?!" John looked startled and said "There was a memo?" Finella assured him there was. That was also the first event where Rouge and Justina had premade, iron-on Crosses of Caid available for sale, making it much easier for people to wear the badge.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Please share so we can set the record straight. --A memory by Tetchubah of Greenlake