Steve Braunias: The secret diary of … the Queen of Halos



Royal trumpets blared in a flat and wonky B minor as the royal god made her entrance into the royal court. “Announcing,” cried a royal brown nose, “the Queen of Halos, First of Her Name, Protector of the Realm, She Who Divines the Nature and Course of the Three Waters!”

The brown nose turned to a trumpeter, and said, “What’s with the flat and wonky B minor?”

“Something’s wrong with the trumpets.”

“You should do something about it.”

“Not my problem.”

The Queen motioned for a royal consultant to bring her the royal white stallion to ride across the marble floor to her royal throne. He brought her a donkey. “The horse rode off into the night,” he apologised.

She did not deign to make a reply, and sat high on her saddle to maintain all due dignity. “Hee-haw,” brayed the donkey. “Hee-haw!”

It made agonisingly slow progress to the throne. The Queen dismounted and took her seat, brushing away biscuit crumbs on the hand-sewn cushions.

“Who is responsible for this?” she asked.

No one said anything.

She noticed that one of the cushions had ripped. “What’s this all about?” she asked.

No one said anything.

The Queen sighed. Things just weren’t the same. A certain shine had come off her reign. She had recently taken very good ideas from Luxon’s Rebel Forces and implemented them as her own, and while that soothed the teeming hordes, it failed to buy her the very thing that built her kingdom – love.

Where had it all gone wrong? She thought back to the glory days of her coronation and remembered the flags and the proclamations. One such royal message came to mind. It once worked a powerful magic on the teeming hordes and on her royal court, too. Surely it was good for all seasons?

With a wide, beaming smile, she looked down upon the royal court, and announced, “Let’s do this!”

No one stirred.

She glared at The Maester of the Coin, Grant of House Robertson. He leaned towards her ear, and whispered, “We’ve all kind of like forgotten what ‘this’ is.”


The donkey rode off into the night. A further rip tore stitches out of the hand-sewn cushions. The Queen went to adjust her Halo, but found it wasn’t there, and was informed that she’d lost it about two or three months ago.

A message for the Queen arrived from the Liberal House of Twitter. It read, “We still worship you and think your enemies are mean.”

She sighed. She knew she could count on their support, but what about the teeming hordes? The last time she toured the provinces to meet the ordinary villagers, townspeople, and peasants, it hadn’t gone awfully well.

And then a great many ordinary villagers, townspeople, and peasants staged an occupation of her castle and revolted. That was intolerable. It mustn’t happen again.


The Queen called all her closest 14,500 consultants to the Grand Hall.

“We need fresh ideas,” she said.


“That’s right.”

“Couldn’t agree more.”


“All hail the Queen of Halos!”

And then they left.


The Maester of the Coin sighed, as he handed out purses of gold to the 14,500 consultants for all their hard work yesterday.


The Queen looked over the highest wall of her castle. A few not-very-ordinary villagers, townspeople, and peasants had gathered to stage an occupation.

“You should do something about it,” said the Maester of the Coin. He stood beside her and ate a biscuit.

She turned to him and said, “Not my problem.”

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