In essence, it was a royal journey through the Carniolan estates so His Majesty might receive the hereditary homage in person.

Simple enough, but Emperor Leopold placed great value in pomp. Nothing less than three brigades of horse guards in full turn-out, fifteen gilt carriages to carry what amounted to his entire court, dozens of gallopers in silver armor, trumpets and flags, and so on.

Most important of all was that the Emperor be greeted enthusiastically by all the citizens along the route, so we had a job of it ensuring the local militias would be in full dress, muskets and cannons ready to fire the appropriate salutes as we drew near.

Because of the herculean efforts of my staff and myself, we managed to avoid disaster, save for one enthusiast who contrived to be in front of a cannon. Though the salute charge was blank, the man was still blown in two. Regrettable.

What Pegman Saw

Leopold I was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia who ruled the Holy Roman Empire until his death in 1705, the longest reign of any Hapsburg. His reign is known for conflicts with the Ottoman Empire in the east and rivalry with his cousin Louis XIV.

After more than a decade of warfare, Leopold emerged victorious from the Great Turkish War in which he recovered almost all of the Kingdom of Hungary from Turkey.

The incident described above actually occurred shortly after Leopold’s election.


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  1. pennygadd51

    You give us a clear rendering of the ceremony demanded by Leopold. I guess it all helped him maintain political power. I particularly liked the image of gallopers in silver armour.

  2. Na'ama Yehuda

    Oy vey! Great description and probably close to the reality of what the drag (pun and all?) was to make sure things are as the royal needs it to be, rather than what people would otherwise have it be … (and the poor cannon fodder besides!)

  3. Alicia Jamtaas

    First, my favorite line ~dozens of gallopers in silver armor

    Next, you really caught the times in your language and this crazy event. It reminds me of so many recent ceremonies in other countries where citizens must show up and “cry” or “hooray!” as demanded.

  4. Joy Pixley

    Great imagery of all the glamour and glory — and all the work that goes into it — demanded by the emperor. And the last line shows the relative importance of pomp for the ruler versus the life of one of his lowly subjects.

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