In November when I was in Copenhagen, about four days before an event I found out one of my scribes was in fact able to attend, so I quickly wrote their Majesties along the lines of "Please, please, please give her her AoA, she's been wonderful". They kindly acted upon my advice, but of course there was no way I could get a scroll to the event in time. So I decided I'd do it myself and started digging around right away for a suitable exemplar. I decided to go with BL MS Arundel 41, fol. 35, a French or English MS from the 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 13th C, because this style, to me, really says "medieval manuscript", and I really want my scribes to have the best. So I was going to try to do it all: the initial, the border, the calligraphy (with some abbreviations), the two-column format with paragraph/sentence markers, and a penwork initial in the second column. The biggest thing that held me up was that I needed a text starting with Q. Qs are common in Latin, but relatively uncommon in English. It took me until February before I came up with a suitable opening; the rest of the text then follows standard grants of arms texts from the 15th C. I wrote the text, drew the Q and the border, and caligraphed the incipit and the first two lines on Feb. 12, finished the calligraphy on Feb. 13, did all of the illumination except for the whitework and the center of the Q Feb. 19, and then finished up with drawing and painting the inside of the Q on Mar. 6. I'm very happy with the result.
The text reads:
Incipit verbis Ulfi et Ceve qui sunt rex et regina drachenwaldenses.
To all present and to come who these present letters shall see or hear Ulfr and Caoimhe king and queen of this kingdom of drachenwald greetings and love. Equity and reason ordains that virtuous men be by their merits and renown rewarded and not only their persons in this mortal life so brief and transitory but also after shall in all places have great honour perpetually before others, shining by certain signs and demonstrations of honour and courtesy, to wit by blazon helmet and crest in order that by their example others again force themselves to use their days in virtuous works and for this end we, king and queen as abovementioned, not only by common renown but also by report of other noble witnesses truly advertize and certify that Amal binti Hamid al-Chania gentlewoman is worthy that henceforth she be in all places admitted, renowned, accounted, numbered and received in the company of nobles and for this we forthwith ordain to the above-named Amal for her sole and unique use all rights to such arms as she shall register with the College of Arms. Therefore in witness of this we the king and queen abovementioned have signed these presents made and givenat Aarnimetsa the xxvii day of November anno societatis xlv.
The incipit translates as "Here begin the words of Ulfr and Caoimhe who are king and queen of Drachenwald."
© 2011, Sara L. Uckelman.