Just curious about the monarchs.
We have a coronation here each autumn. A local service group
crowns a business person as King of Aksarben, and the daughter
of another is crowned Queen. 115 years of this or so. We have
queens and kings of the prom, Dairy Queen, Dairy Princess, Rose Bowl Queen, etc. For a democracy or republic or whatever we are,
we are fascinated with royalty and monarchy (whatever it is.)
As for gar, spoonbill, and their ilk, we also have the giant
catfish. One recently died (in a local aquarium, over a hundred years old and about 150 lbs.) Caught in the river.
I don't know if St. Louis still has the annual "Veiled Prophet Ball" at which or for which some one is crowned.
In Ste. Genevieve, MO, and Prairie du Rocher, IL, there are annual balls held around the end of the year called La Guianne. Since both of these towns have French origins, the connection is obviously French; but the origins of the celebration are basically unknown. However, in the tradition, a cake is baked from a batter that contains four or five beans. The cake is sliced and divied out to the young women at the ball. The first woman who discovers a bean is crowned as the queen of the ball and she is allowed to chose a man as her consort for the evening festivities. As part of the tradition, mixed choirs roam the streets of the towns singing French songs similar to madrigals or English caroling although the songs are not necessarily Christian. Ste. Genevieve is considered by many to be then oldest city of European origin west of the Mississippi River. Prairie du Rocher is about 300 years old and had no Protestant church in its envirions until the 1960s. It is also the site of one of the earliest French forts in the upper Mississippi River Valley, Fort de Chartres. It has been the site of an annual Rendevous in the recent past. BTW, Ste. Genevieve is the home of a cured beef sausage of French origin that has been made by one family, the Oberles for a couple hundred years. My paternal grandfather and his family lived in Ste. Gen during the first three decades of the 1900s. He was a bridge carpenter for the Missouri-Illinois RR. He died in 1935. WHen I was growing up in Chester, IL, my grandmother and father introduced me to the pleasures of Oberle sausage. Today, whenever I am in the area, I always make a side-trip to Ste. Gen to buy some Oberle sausage. Got some just this past October.