by Brad Greer.
Get out your ball gowns, tease up your hair, and fuss up your tuxedo with your best accessories. The Imperial Court is preparing to crown a new Empress at a golden jubilee celebration in the Grand Ballroom at The Biltmore Hotel on Saturday, April 18, Coronation XXIII—The Glamorous Life: A Retrospective of Fashion will be the final fête of Empress Jealousy Jonz and Emperor Ryder Hard, who will pass their crowns to a new title holder.
No stranger to a crown and sash, retail manager Scott originally came to an event and ended up helping out with a spotlight. After finding out about all the charities The Imperial Court helped to raise money for, he became hooked and over time became Emperor XV Gabriel. He also wore the crown and sash as Miss Gay Rhode Island in 2012. It was good friend Empress V LaDiva Jonz who christened him Jealousy.
Courtney, a sales representative, came to support her good friend Diana Prince in her run for Empress. “I had been looking to do something for charity and it sounded like a lot of fun. I was intrigued by the camp aspects and the performances. Once I went to a couple of events I was hooked.” Diana encouraged Courtney into drag and christened him Ryder Hard. It was a joke. But he liked it and it stayed.
Jealousy and Ryder also served together five years ago as the Crown Prince and Princess. This foundation helped them work as a team during this year’s reign. “Hard work, caring, and a determination to give up your life for a year to make a difference in the community are important qualities in an Emperor and Empress,” says Jealousy. Ryder Hard added,“I think one of the most important things is to understand why you are there.The ultimate goal is to raise money for charity. It’s fun to dress up and wear fancy clothes and jewels but in the end you are one piece of the organization.”
Coronations are the pinnacle of glamorous fundraising events for the Imperial Court and happen yearly throughout the country and internationally. Monarchs and their courts often travel extensively to other coronations to be presented at grand affairs to incoming Emperors and Empresses. The Rhode Island royals have attended many coronations this year including New York, Massachusetts, Houston, Kentucky, D.C., Vermont, and Canada. It is estimated their majesties have hosted and attended over 50 events during their monarchy and by the time the coronation weekend happens they will have raised over $20,000, which will go to Aids Care Ocean State and AIDS, Inc. New Bedford.
With guests coming from all over the country and Canada to celebrate the jubilee, the Empress expects to dazzle in about ten outfits during the long weekend. Knowing that she has raised and helped to raise money for those who are in need is what makes Jealously Jonz a proud member of the Imperial Court System. “It was truly a partnership,” says Ryder Hard, “We supported each other, we helped each other and I think we made a positive impact on the organization.”
For tickets to Coronation XXIII: www.squareup.com/market/imperial court-of-rhode-island/coronation-xxiii.