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Coronation sparkles on Seattle's waterfront
Coronation sparkles on Seattle's waterfront
by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN Contributing Writer

It was glitz and glamour this past Saturday night at Seattle's Waterfront Marriot Hotel as the Imperial Sovereign Court of Seattle (ISCSORE) held their annual Coronation event bidding farewell to 2007-2008 monarchs Rainier XXXIII Mark Dubois and Olympia XXXVI Sapphire Knight, crowing new Emperor and Empress Bruce Butler and Nina Maxwell to reign over the nonprofit fundraising organization for the coming year.

"It feels really good," admitted an obviously thrilled Maxwell the following morning during a post-event interview. "I'm quite happy."

"It feels real comfortable," agreed an equally exuberant Butler. "There a lot of things rushing through my head, so complete thoughts don't exactly come through coherently, but overall I'm very excited and can't wait to get started."

In one of the most briskly-paced Coronations ever held in Seattle, the two new monarchs got a rousing ovation from the relatively large crowd attending the festivities, their walk into the ballroom just one of the evening's many highlights. From dynamic solo performances by some of the area's best Drag performers - including Tacoma's Jenu-Wine Beauté and Portland's athletically energetic Sabel Scities - to a rousing production number celebrating the 35th anniversary of Seattle's first Empress Olympia I Scotty, and an electric Tina Turner impersonation from Maxwell herself, there was plenty going on to keep people entertained.

For Knight, the evening was particularly emotional. On the eve of last year's Coronation, her partner of 13 years, Alan Strange, succumbed to injuries incurred in a tragic accident at the couple's West Seattle home. "It was really hard earlier tonight," said the former Empress just moments after stepping down. "I broke down during rehearsal, but Mark realized it and did his best to come over and give me his support, which he has done all year. Most times they say things happen to you for a reason but I still haven't figured that one out, but I actually am looking forward to even greater things happening in the future."

"It's been her year," answered Dubois while giving his monarchial partner a hug. "I had to suppress some tears during my last walk, but when she gave me that giant present during her walk it really went downhill. That meant a lot to me. It's been a fun year and I'm glad we've gotten this opportunity. This is a friendship I know I'll always treasure."

One of the evening's highpoints was the annual awarding of ISCSORE's JC/Lady Graytop Memorial Scholarship Fund, 17-year-old Ian Feis taking the stage to receive $2,000 from Board vice-president Rod Fender and Scholarship Fund co-chair Olympia IX Rosita. "I was nervous; I'm not going to lie," said giddy Feis afterwards. "But it couldn't have been a more accepting crowd. It felt great."

Heading to Portland's Lewis & Clark College in the fall, the graduating senior can't wait to put this scholarship to good use. "I plan to major in Political Science with a goal of going into pre-med. Ultimately I want to be a physician and work on medical policy with the goal of starting a non-profit directed towards helping LGBT teens get information the public school system doesn't want to give them."

For the second year in a row, Seattle's Coronation was also the site for major news regarding the International Court System (ICS), Queen Mother Nicole the Great of San Diego and ICS founder Mama Jose were on-hand for the evening's festivities. Last time they were both here it was for the former's ascension to the latter's throne. This time it was to launch the court system's first-ever Women's Summit and for Nicole to give her inaugural State of the Court address.

The night's other emotional crescendo belonged to Jim Fegley. The owner of The Crescent Tavern and one of the original members of The Knights of Malta, ISCSORE Board President handing him the prestigious Lady Graytop Award, the first time in almost a half-decade this particular prize had been presented.

"For the first time in our Court System, we have an Official Non-Discrimination Policy which not only includes sexual orientation, race, religion, gender and age but also [covers] those who are disabled or handicapped," said the Queen Mother during her speech. "I have [also] established a Youth Advisory Council to give the new generation a voice, [while] today was our first Women's Summit for our Courts' Lesbian, Bisexual, heterosexual, Transgender and self-identified female members to share their experience's with each other. Thus, as we continue this 'Renaissance Era,' we continue with the strength of the Court's past and the promise of its future."

"I really enjoyed my visit," said Jose the next morning at a sparsely (if enthusiastically) attended Victory Brunch for Mark, Sapphire, Bruce and Nina. "Thank you for ending the Coronation at a respectable time. I also want to congratulate the new Emperor and Empress on their victory. I just want to say, if everybody works together, then [they] will have a very successful reign."

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