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Legacies of Otherworldly Celtic Faerie Kings

Legacies of Otherworldly Celtic Faerie Kings

The Fairy Queen is a famous mythological figure featuring in Irish and British folklore for at least 1000 years, who after Shakespeare's influence, was often named Titania or Mab. In Irish folklore, the last High Queen of the Daoine Sidhe was Una and in the ballad tradition of Northern England and Lowland Scotland, she was called the Queen of Elphame. While so much has been written about Fairy Queens, the opposite is the case for their supernatural partners, Fairy Kings.

Fairy King and Queen by an unknown artist (1910). (Public Domain)

Hierarchy of Fairy Royalty

In British and Irish fairy lore, fairy royalty is aligned with a hierarchy, and within this peerage the magic of fairy princes and princesses is subordinate to the supreme magic of theFairy Queen’, but she is powerless without the love of her Fairy King. Together this fairy monarchy not only rules over subjects in the fairy realm, but they also interact with the fate and destiny of humans in their world, as readily as the wind, rain and frost. Today, the Fairy Queen and King have integral parts in a long list of mythological components in Celtic fairy-lore. However, in Scotland, such beliefs were so convincing that the Fairy King and Queen were recognized by their official titles in ancient law, begging the questions: Who exactly was the Celtic Fairy King and what role did he play within ancient culture?

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