Many years experience as a retainer in the SCA has taught me that an invaluable tool for a Queen (or Princess) is the "Retainer Basket". This is a basket which holds a collection of useful items, kits, etc. which a retainer (hence the name) carries for the Queen wherever she goes.
This is a basket that I made for Duchess Gabrielle von Njenrode, during her second reign as Queen of the East Kingdom. Unfortunately many of the items in the basket are obscured in this image, and I foolishly didn't think to take individual photographs. But the full contents of the basket are:
- Basket - To make the basket just a little fancier, I wrapped the handles with criss-crossing ribbons in Gabrielle's colors.
- Notepad Holder - You can see this standing up in the background, embroidered with Gabrielle's arms. On the inside of the notepad holder a half-size writing tablet slips into a sleeve, and a pocket is sewn into the opposite side for storing loose papers. There is also a small loop that holds a pen against the spine of the holder.
- Water Bottle Cover - Seen in the foreground and also embroidered with Gabrielle's arms, the water bottle cover holds a standard sports water bottle. Lined with heat reflective fabric and insulated with batting, the cover helps to keep the water chilled.
- Personal Kit - This is a fabric case which holds various personal items such as a brush, comb, mirror, lip balm, nail clippers, toothbrush, wet naps, etc. The case is embroidered with a design of a brush and hand mirror.
- Sewing Kit - Another fabric case, this time embroidered with a design of a needle and thread, holds needles, thread, safety pins, scissors, fray-check, and other items useful for emergency repairs.
- First Aid Kit - This is a simple first aid kit, containing bandaids, antiseptic, tweezers, painkillers, decongestant, etc., all packed away in a bandaid box. The box is then tucked into a pouch embroidered with the badge of the Chirurgeonate.
- Pouch - This is just a fabric pouch embroidered with Gabrielle's arms. I included it so that she could carry whatever else she might need, such as money, keys, etc.
© 2001 Jessica I. Clark
Permission to print a copy for your own use freely given. Please contact me for permission to reprint or distribute.