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    The Second, Third, and Fourth 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 who 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 1974–1977:

    1974–1975

    “The Second Royal House of the Lithuanian Steed and Love Eternal”
    Grand Duke I Joe Raymond (deceased)
    Grand Duchess II Lee Raymond (deceased)

    The first Grand Duke elected was Joe Roland. Joe’s colors were red, yellow, and green. His symbol was a Knight on a white steed.

    The second Grand Duchess elected was Lee Raymond. Lee’s colors were white, green, and gold, and her symbol was a cockatoo, with a heart and a crown. Lee was often heard saying, “Whatever works.”

    Their coronation theme was “A Grand Duke for the Grand Duchess.”

    Lee wrote “A Brief History of the Ducal Court” for his step-down at Coronation II. This history is now archived at the GLBT Historical Society. It lays out the frustration of H.L. Perry as a self-made entrepreneur who rose from serfdom to the level of Grand Duchess. Lee also explains the scandal that arose from his own election. The scandal was that the House of Eugene was announced as the winner of the election, but it was revealed that the ballots were tampered with and stuffed, which made Lee the actual legitimate winner. When confronted about the allegations, the House of Eugene skipped town and took the Crown Jewels with them, and left their creditors and the newly created organization in the dust.

    From then on, the Grand Ducal Court created rules and regulations to ensure that all votes were fair and that nothing like this would ever happen again. Grand Duchess Lee supported the Society of Individual Rights and the Old Folks Defense League. In honor of Lee’s contributions to the Ducal Court, the Court created the Lee Raymond Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given out every year at the Ducal Gala. At the annual Gala, the reigning Court distributes funds that were raised during each reign.

    1975–1976

    “The Third Royal House of the Godfather and the Yellow Rose”
    Grand Duke II Lenny Mollet (deceased)
    Grand Duchess III Charlie (deceased)

    The second Grand Duke elected was Lenny Mollet. His colors were black and red. His symbol was the Lion. Lenny was often heard saying, “Hey, that cost money, you know.”

    The third Grand Duchess elected was Charlie. Charlie’s colors were yellow and white. Her symbol was Three Crowns. Charlie was often heard saying, “Meet me at the Starlight Room.”

    Their Coronation theme was “A Royal Grand Ducal Ball”

    Grand Duke II Lenny Mollet was an out gay business owner of several gay bars and restaurants. One business was known as “The Godfather” and Lenny would use this title during his reign and beyond. Lenny was also a long-time member of the Tavern Guild and would become president of the Guild in 1977. In this presidential role, Lenny spearheaded the boycott of the Florida Citrus Commission. The Commission was publicly represented by Anita Bryant, who ran the “Save Our Children” campaign that advocated for discriminatory laws against homosexuals. Lenny rallied all the bars to stop using Florida orange juice and instead to use fresh-squeezed California OJ or pineapple juice in their cocktails. Lenny also ran for the District 5 Board of Supervisors seat but was defeated by Harvey Milk. Lenny was one of the longest-owning gay bar owners in history, having owned “Lennie’s” in 1954 and his last bar, “The Club 527,” in 1994.

    The Third Royal House’s Coronation featured surprise guests Anne Bancroft, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, and Dom DeLuise.

    1976–1977

    “The Fourth Royal House of The Griffin and the Black Pearl”
    Grand Duke III Lee Dow
    Grand Duchess IV Connie
    The coronation theme: “A Royal Black and White Ball”

    During the racially difficult times in our American history, Grand Duchess IV Connie is noted as being the first African American Grand Duchess elected to the organization, paving the way for The Grand Ducal Court to embrace a long line of racial diversity within its LGBTQI+ communities.

    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.

    Inquiries: 50thanniversary@sfducal.org

    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!

    https://www.sfducal.org/

    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 1, 2022