The Imperial Court of Massachusetts
History of the Realm

The Imperial Court of Massachusetts (ICMA) is an outgrowth of the Imperial Court of New England and its successor, ICMA’s mother court, the Imperial Court of Rhode Island. Emperor III of New England Raphael Martino and Empress III of New England B. B. Hayes (now Emperor and Empress I of the Imperial Court of Rhode Island) appointed Jack Murphy to the ceremonial title of Baron I of Massachusetts in 1993.

In 1995, John Raimondo Reeves became Baron II of Massachusetts and Amanda Arpel became Baroness I of Massachusetts. It was the intent of the new Baron and Baroness to take their titles beyond ceremonial functions and to establish an Imperial Court chapter in Massachusetts. The first adornment took place in August 1995 and the Barony was legally incorporated as the Royal Commonwealth Society, Inc. in May 1996.

Through the second reign of Baroness Amanda Arpel, and the reigns of Baron III Jesse Brown Atkins and Baroness III and IV Daphne Prideaux-Tchkinksi (Michael Rodgers resigned as Baron IV in June, 2000),  the organization grew slowly, but corporate structures and 501(c)(3) status were put into place, preparing the organization for “Empire” status. In January 2001 (during the reign of Baron V Kevin of the Far East and Baroness V Crystal Crawford), the International Imperial Court Council elevated the Barony to sovereign imperial status and became known as "The Imperial Court of Massachusetts."

In April 2001, Crystal and Kevin were elected to Empress- and Emperor-Elect. Later that year, Crystal chose not to become Empress I, but completed her duties as Baroness V. At Coronation I in November 2001, imperial titles were introduced and Kevin of the Far East stepped up as Emperor I. In 2002, Emperor Kevin was honored with a Jose Honor and became a member of the International Imperial Court Council, largely due to his work securing empire status and extending the visibility of ICMA throughout the Court System.

During 2001-2002, ICMA held events in Boston, Hyannis, Worcester and Randolph and ICMA members traveled extensively to regional, national and international court events, setting the stage for rapid growth of ICMA during the 2002/2003 reign of Emperor II Tim Davis and Empress II Corvette. Membership increased significantly, fundraising doubled, and new connections were made with local organizations such as the AIDS Action Committee, the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project, The Network/La Red, Fenway Community Health Center, and the New England Leather Alliance.  In addition, ICMA took the important step of moving Coronation to the centrally located Park Plaza Hotel.

In May 2004, family responsibilities forced Emperor III Randolph “Gucci” $pendzalot to relocate to Florida, and Empress III Wilma von Shwink completed her reign without an Emperor. This was a valuable experience for the organization, as it proved that, despite the loss of a monarch, it was strong and cohesive enough to stay on its fundraising track and host the Jose Honors in November, 2004.

The reign of Emperor IV Peter George and Empress IV Verna Turbulence can be credited for solidifying the direction and future of the ICMA, as fundraising increased substantially, especially through Verna’s Drag Brunch and Coronation. With Verna and Peter at the helm, the bar was raised on the quality and glamour of the Coronation. In addition, Empress Verna Turbulence has been the key to the continued success of Coronation during Reign V and Reign VI, and her annual Drag Brunch is ICMA’s second biggest fundraiser of the year.

Emperor V Chadwick Burke and Empress V Amanda Stragg built on this with additional outreach to the Merrimac Valley (along the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border) and brought in a great deal of money through non-show efforts, such as a wide-screen TV raffle. The reign of Empress Paris Idean saw the court with only one monarch, but once again, the court achieved what seemed impossible—a beautiful evening at Coronation VII, in November, 2007.  Also in November, the Imperial Court of Massachusetts was pleased to receive a “Leadership through Action” award from the AIDS Action Committee (AAC) for its ongoing support of AAC through ICMA events and volunteer services provided to AAC events.

With the start of Emperor VII Adam Della Lune Kristoffson’s reign, the Imperial Court of Massachusetts learned that it would be the 2008 recipient of the Jose Honor’s “Court of Distinction” award. This award is given once every two years to a chapter of the Imperial Court System, a reward that recognizes the hard work of all ICMA members.


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