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    The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Royal Houses

    By Kippy Marks–

    When a candidate campaigns to become a Grand Duke or Grand Duchess, there is always a representation of colors that allows voters to know whom they are voting for. In most cases, candidates will also have a “catchphrase” and a coronation theme for their step-down. Here is a look back at what those were from 1977–1981:


    The Fifth Royal House of The Double Eagle and the Black Orchard
    Grand Duchess V Tanya (deceased 1995)
    Grand Duke IV Don Baker (deceased 1983)
    Grand Duchess V Tanya
    Colors: Black and Silver
    Symbol: The Black Orchard
    Tanya often asked, “If I don’t shave, can I wear a veil at coronation?”
    Grand Duke IV Don Baker
    Colors: Blue and Silver
    Symbol: The Double Eagle
    A favorite line of Don’s: “I’ll show you a Wild Goose.”
    Coronation Theme: “A Royal Russian Silver Ball”

    Grand Duke IV Don Baker was the owner of a local establishment, The Wild Goose bar. Don chose to base his reign on the Romanov Grand Duchy of Moscow. The Double Eagle represented his title and reign. He incorporated the symbols of Office and created the Ring of Office, which would carry over to all future reigns. He was responsible for modeling our court after that of the Russian Empire. In his honor, the court created the annual Don Baker Memorial Humanitarian Award.


    The Sixth Royal House of The Royal Oak and The Blue Boar
    Grand Duchess VI Frau Schneider (deceased 1991)
    Grand Duke V Fred Townson (deceased 2021)
    Grand Duke V Fred Townson
    Colors: Black and Red
    Symbol: The Oak Tree
    Grand Duchess VI Frau Schneider
    Colors: Gold, and Purple
    Symbol: Blue Boar
    Frau was known for saying, “Buy me a drunk. Do you have a cigarette?”
    Coronation theme: “A Russian Summer Ball”

    The Briggs Initiative, the Mass Suicide at Jonestown, and the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk all happened during the reign of Grand Duke V Fred Townson. Fred, being a Navy veteran, took it standing much like his title of the Royal Oak. After Nicole the Great was christened by José Sarria as Queen Mother, Fred was a constant supporter of the newly christened Nicole. Fred was a crafter and the many banners that are displayed at coronation were made by him. Fred served in the ICS Parliament and as an heir to the throne. In 2017, he became King Father II of all California.


    The Seventh Royal House of The Scorpion and The Silver Rose
    Grand Duke VI Peter Lockett (deceased)
    Grand Duke Regent I Rick Thompson (deceased 2020)
    Grand Duchess VII Kelly (deceased)
    Grand Duke VI Peter Lockett
    Colors: Black and White
    Symbol: The Scorpion
    Favorite quote: “I just got back in town and want to step-down as Grand Duke.”

    Grand Duke Regent I Rick Thompson
    Colors: Black and Silver
    Symbol: The Royal Panda
    Rick would always say: “Where’s Fred?”
    Grand Duchess VII Kelly
    Colors: Red, Gold, and Purple
    Symbol: Silver Rose
    Kelly would always say, “Where’s Rick?”
    Coronation theme: “A Russian Bistro 1910–1918”

    OK. hear ye! hear ye! This 7th Royal House had a very interesting reign. Here’s the scoop. Peter Lockett won the election but then he moved to Alaska, but he was never invested as Grand Duke. Enter Rick Thompson, Rick was crowned Regent I Grand Duke and carried out the duties of Grand Duke of San Francisco. Then a month before the Ducal Ball, Peter moved back to San Francisco and announced that he intended to step-down as the reigning Grand Duke. At this time, there were no rules established on how the Council should handle such a situation, but in the end, a compromise was reached and both Peter and Rick would step-down together. The following year, Rick ran for Grand Duke and he lost the election, but then the winning candidate left town and Rick was again elevated to reigning Grand Duke.


    The Eighth Royal House of The Royal Panda and The Royal Topaz
    Grand Duke VII Rick Thompson (deceased)
    Colors: Black and White
    Symbol: The Royal Panda
    Grand Duchess VIII Edie (deceased)
    Colors: Brown and Gold
    Symbol: Tiara
    Coronation theme: “A Russian Winter Ball”

    On September 22, 2023, the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco will celebrate 50 years of camp and fundraising. The celebration will take place at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Please consider becoming a sponsor.


    Tickets ($80) will go on sale from March 1, 2023–August 25, 2023, with a hard stop on that final date. Save the dates then both for your ticket purchases and for this once-in-a-lifetime historic event!

    Kippy Marks is Grand Duke XL of The Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco. He is the first ever elected African-American Grand Duke.

    Celebrating 50 Years of the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco
    Published on December 15, 2022