If I had to choose a single value upon which the backbone of our society is built, I would most certainly say that value is chivalry. And though this ideal is often difficult to describe, it is a quality that we can all identify when we see it. For me, chivalry is an inner sense of honor directing us to identify the right and honorable action to take, and the strength of will to take that action when it is difficult to do so.

Often we identify chivalrous acts in those who give up an advantage to an opponent, those who endure personal discomfort or hardship for the protection and care of ladies or people in need of help, or those who take-on arduous tasks for Crown and Kingdom. At the root of these acts is that intangible personal quality of chivalry that engenders a strong and true sense of trust in those who hold themselves to this high standard.

Although I have witnessed chivalrous acts by many of our good gentles, and I look to all of the peerages for examples of chivalry, as Queen of The Outlands, one of the most powerful experiences I have had is to sit among The King’s Knights in the Chivalry Circle. Surrounded by men and women who have been elevated as Knights for their excellent martial prowess, exemplary chivalric behavior, and intense fealty to The Crown, I feel safer and more treasured than I could have ever imagined possible. And this experience extends beyond the circle to any time I need help from a Knight of The Outlands. I trust that the right thing will be done because uncompromising chivalry is the standard they hold themselves and each other to, and because any unchivalrous behavior in their ranks will be quickly checked and corrected. When I am dealing with a Knight of The Outlands, I know that I will be treated with honor and respect.

It also gives me solace knowing that the leadership of our Kingdom is decided by right of arms, among those who either belong to The Order of The Chivalry, or aspire to do so. If The Outlands is headed by a King who truly holds himself to chivalrous standards, I feel safe, honored, and respected as I serve the Crown and walk the lands of this fine Kingdom. If our King is guided by his chivalrous ideals to do the right thing when it is difficult or unpopular, I know that our Kingdom is in good hands.

And yet it is not only Knights and Kings who can be chivalrous. It is my belief that we each possess a moral compass that directs us toward right and away from wrong. What is more difficult, though, is the strength of constitution we need to take the often difficult or humbling steps and do what we know is right. The chivalrous deed might be to volunteer for a difficult Baronial job knowing that nobody else has the emotional resources to do it. It could also mean compromising with an adversary in order to maintain peace. Chivalry is seen in the servers who eat last at feast and in the autocrats who equip privies with night lights.

I am proud to say that chivalry lives strong among ALL the people of The Outlands. If a tent needs set-up in the rain, there are always Outlanders willing to risk a cold and help until the job is done. A lost child is immediately helped by a dozen adults; diverse factions regularly come together for Kingdom projects; and personal egos are set aside for the good of the larger cause. Our children, our aged, and those in-between are safe and respected within our Kingdom as long as we hold ourselves and each other to this high standard.

I encourage all of Our good people to take-up the challenge of The Chivalry. Like the Knights of The Outlands, we can all look inside ourselves for honor and strength, and draw upon this to step forward and do what is right and good. Our Kingdom will be strengthened by your virtue.

Your Devoted Queen,