I’m not much of a royalist to be honest…BUT I certainly appreciate a flamboyant costume ….so illustrating extravagant monarchs in flamboyant garb is very appealing!
So far I’ve imagined Louis XIV partnered up with a flamingo in matching tights.
I’ve also drawn an interpretation of Queen Elizabeth I astride her favourite Lion. I’m not sure if Louis had a flamingo….maybe. I’m pretty sure that Elizabeth didn’t have a lion to sit on. She was much too clever to toy with a kamikaze lounge pouffe. I’m always keen to include animal imagery in my work though and it certainly adds a touch of decadence and absurdity I think.
I’ll add one last illustration to this blog. Elizabeth I’s sister Mary. Mary Queen of Scots was a dog person. She was particularly fond of Maltese Terriers and when she returned to Scotland to claim her throne she brought a little gang of them with her from France. When Elizabeth imprisoned her she only had these little dogs for comfort. The story goes that her favourite dog even went with her to her execution, secreted beneath her skirts. After she’d been decapitated he sat between her severed head and body, refusing to leave the corpse. Mr Bull the executioner, took pity on the dog and washed it. There are various different stories about the dogs fate, from it dying of a broken heart to being taken to France to live with a French aristocrat. I prefer the version where it was taken to live with an English family but refused to eat until it was returned to Scotland to live out its days. (A friend tells me there is even a macabre mechanical toy of Mary’s execution at Sheffield Castle, where she was imprisoned, which has a small dog shooting out from her skirts as her head falls off!)