Frequently asked questions
Who is the Duchess?
Her Grace, the Duchess of Grant Park, is a suo jure duchess, annexing the neighborhood of Grant Park in Atlanta in 2018. Her Grace hopes to add a bit of magic to the lives of her subjects near and far, and especially to children everywhere. The upcoming short film is a fictional version of the Duchess's real life (for example, the Duchess in real life was not adopted, and had two loving parents who have supported her. She's also technically a crown princess, but that's for another time)
No, Really, who is the Duchess?
Oh? So is this a fictional story or ...
The movie is fictional. The character exists in a grey area. Her Grace is happily married to His Grace, the Duke of Cabbagetown.
What is a Duchess? Suo Jure?
A duchess is someone who rules over a duchy. Suo Jure is a Latin phrase that means Her Grace is a duchess in her own right through her bloodline and accomplishments, rather than through marriage.
That's a weird word. What is a duchy?
A dominion or region ruled by a duke or duchess. In the same vein that an empire is ruled by an emperor or empress, or like a kingdom is ruled by a king or queen, a duchy is governed and ruled by a Duchess. A Grand Duchy can be a self-governing state, while a simple duchy usually is part of a larger kingdom.
Ok, I think I understand.
You rule over the neighborhood of Grant Park.
No. Unfortunately (for now), Her Grace's status, and those she grants, are merely ceremonial (and hereditary).
Where is Grant Park
In Atlanta, a gem of a neighborhood (and duchy!)
Why Grant Park
The community of Grant Park is a unique community yet like so many across the city of Atlanta and the country. This is a warm and welcoming community with a complex history. From the historic and iconic attractions such as Grant Park, the Historic Oakland Cemetery, The Stockades, and Zoo Atlanta to neighborhood restaurants such as Grant Central Pizza, Bakerdude Bakery Cafe, Gather at Grant Park Market and Mezcalitos. The Grant Park Conservancy works to ensure that the park is maintained so that all visitors may enjoy it, while the Grant Park Neighborhood Association looks over the neighborhood in general.
But most importantly, the neighborhood of Grant Park has been incredibly kind, welcome and affirming as Her Grace made the decision to begin transitioning from male to female. It has been a neighborhood that has made her feel safe and loved. The neighborhood of Grant Park is incredibly affirming and welcomes everyone, and Her Grace feels it important that this feeling of comfort and safety should be available to every LGBTQ person (and non-LGBTQ).
So what does the Duchess do?
While a Duke or a Duchess historically ruled over his or her duchy like a king or queen does over their kingdom (and typically they were men), today we have a modern conception of what a duchess does. Besides tending to her duchy, a duchess technically does whatever. Her Grace, when she has time, likes to go around crowning people with the hope of encouraging better self-care practices. It is one way Her Grace finds ways to support the issues and causes important to her.
What are those issues?
So glad you asked. Mental Health. Children's Advocacy. LGBTQ rights issues and youth. Support of the theater and the arts. Historical preservation. And public transportation and inequality.
An issue of utmost importance to the Duchess is support for LGBTQ and people of color outside of Atlanta in the rest of Georgia and throughout the Southeast. While cities have made much progress, through her travels and visits to her family throughout Georgia Her Grace feels that these areas can use support for these minorities who are working to change the Southeast and present new economic opportunities not dependent on being in a major metropolitan area.
Go back to the Crown Princess thing.
Back when Her Grace was growing up, her father's nickname for her was "Crown Prince," as she was her father's first-born child. It has been a nickname Her Grace has cherished. However, one can't go around calling oneself Crown Princess Ava.
Because Duchess is so much better?
Yes. A crown princess is addressed as Her Royal Highness. A duchess is just Her Grace. And seems less pretentious.
It's all pretentious.
Yes, it is. That's the magic in it. And, the Duchess hopes that with her title and tiara that brings attention to her, she can redirect that attention to worthwhile causes and issues. While also having a bit of fun along the way.
What's your endgame?
To eventually establish landed duchies (several master-planned communities) that can serve as a haven for LGBTQ youth and seniors, centers for art, and an institute for Queer issues and causes.
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