We've seen the likes of Cercei, Daenerys, Elizabeth, and Victoria take over as the queens of pop culture in recent years. At last, it looks like the ladies are also stepping onto the throne in another medium: At all nine Medieval Times chains across the continent these days, audiences are finally watching a queen reign over the arena for the first time in the company's 34 year history.
“It’s always important to give little girls a positive role model,” Allyssa O’Donnell one of the actresses who plays Queen Dona Maria Isabella at the Medieval Times in Schaumburg, IL, told the Chicago Tribune. “It is so important to give them a strong woman to look up to.”
Perhaps news of this storyline is what brought Katy Perry to the restaurant on Saturday night when she posted highlights of the show to her Instagram Stories while she was in Dallas, one of the cities where the new show was rolled out.
For a year and a half, creative director Leigh Cordner wrote the storyline that actors perform between jousting matches, sword fights, and plates of roasted chicken and corn. In October, the company put out a press release heralding this new change in royal leadership.
"Where previously our female characters played in more supportive roles, we are now showing a woman fully in charge, a woman whose authority is sometimes challenged, but she quickly rises to the occasion as a strong leader, squelching opposition," VP and general manager Jon Speier said in the press release.
It is millions of years after the evolution of humans — and thousands of years after the rule of real queens throughout the world — but Cordner told the Tribune he feels like they were very advanced with this move, since it came before the Me Too movement took hold.
“I am proud to say I was working on this show 18 months ago,” he said. “We are ahead of the trend.” Queen Elizabeth II, England's reigning monarch, took the throne in 1953, to say nothing of the women who came before her. So, what trend exactly...?
In an era when we still seeing Michelle Williams paid pennies to the dollar as Mark Wahlberg for the same work, and where this country still hasn't elected a female president, this type of gender equity does feel like something in the realm of fantasy.