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A Brave Woman Steals the Royal Crown – Helene Kottannerin (c. 1400-after 1458)

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When the Mass was over, I carried the noble king down again and laid him in the cradle because he was tired after being held up for so long. Then they carried him into St. Peter’s Church, where I had to lift him out of the cradle once more and carry him to a chair and put him down on it, as is the custom there; for every king who is crowned there must sit on that chair. Then I carried his grace down again and put him back in the cradle. Then they carried the noble king out of St. Peter’s Church, and the royal family followed on foot behind him until we reached the inn. Only the noble Count Ulrich Cillei rode his horse, because he had to carry the Holy Crown and hold it over the noble king’s head so that all could see that it was the Holy Crown which had been worn by the Holy King, Saint Stephen, and the other kings of Hungary.

[ . . . ]

Source of original German text: Die Denkwürdigkeiten der Helene Kottannerin (1439-1440), edited by Karl Mollay. Wiener Neudrucke. Neuausgaben und Erstdrucke deutscher literarischer Texte, edited by Herbert Zeman, vol. 2. Österreichischer Bundesverlag für Unterricht, Wissenschaft und Kunst: Vienna, 1971, pp. 14-18, 24-28.

Source of English translation: The Memoirs of Helene Kottanner (1439-1440). Translated from the German with introduction, interpretative essay and notes by Maya Bijvoet Williamson. D.S. Brewer: Cambridge, UK, 1998, pp. 28-33, 40-44. Reproduced with permission.

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