What Were Subjects Expected to Do When the King Traveled Around the Kingdom?


Title: Subjects’ Expectations When the King Traveled Around the Kingdom


In medieval times, the presence of a king was highly regarded and anticipated by his subjects. When the monarch embarked on a journey across his kingdom, it was a significant event that brought about a range of expectations and obligations for the subjects. This article delves into the various responsibilities and actions expected from the subjects during the king’s travels, shedding light on the social, political, and economic implications of such visits.

I. Royal Progress – The King’s Journey:

A royal progress was an occasion when the king, accompanied by his retinue, traveled through his kingdom to meet his subjects. These journeys served multiple purposes, including asserting the king’s authority, fostering loyalty, dispensing justice, and assessing the state of the realm. The king’s itinerary was usually meticulously planned, encompassing visits to cities, towns, villages, and important landmarks.

II. Preparations for the Royal Visit:

1. Maintaining Law and Order: The king’s arrival necessitated heightened security and law enforcement. Local authorities were responsible for ensuring the safety of the monarch and his retinue, keeping the roads clear, and addressing any potential threats to public order.

2. Cleaning and Beautification: The subjects were expected to clean and beautify their towns and villages before the royal visit. Streets were swept, houses painted, and public spaces adorned with flowers and banners to create an atmosphere of grandeur and respect.

3. Offering Gifts: As a gesture of loyalty and honor, subjects would prepare gifts for the king. These could range from valuable items, agricultural produce, or handicrafts that represented the region’s specialties.

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III. Welcoming the King:

1. Procession and Pageantry: Upon the king’s approach, the local authorities, clergy, and prominent citizens would organize a grand procession to formally welcome him. People lined the streets, cheering, waving flags, and showing their devotion.

2. Addressing the King: A selected representative, often the mayor or a respected figure, would deliver a speech expressing the subjects’ loyalty, gratitude, and allegiance to the king. This act reinforced the bond between the monarch and his subjects.

IV. Interacting with the King:

1. Seeking Royal Favor: Subjects would seize the opportunity to present their grievances, seek favors, or request the king’s intervention in matters of local concern. The king would hold court sessions, granting audiences to his subjects, where petitions and appeals were heard.

2. Celebrations and Festivities: The king’s visit was often accompanied by grand celebrations. Festivals, feasts, tournaments, and cultural performances were organized to entertain the monarch and his retinue, fostering a sense of unity and joy within the community.


Q1. Were all subjects required to attend the king’s arrival?

A1. While it was expected that as many people as possible would gather to welcome the king, attendance was not mandatory. However, the absence of prominent figures or influential individuals could be seen as a lack of loyalty.

Q2. Did the king’s visit have any economic benefits?

A2. Yes, the royal progress often brought economic advantages to the visited locations. Increased trade, the patronage of local markets, and the influx of visitors seeking accommodation and entertainment contributed to the local economy’s growth.

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Q3. How long did a royal visit typically last?

A3. The duration of the king’s stay varied depending on the purpose and scale of the visit. It could last from a few days to several weeks or even months, especially if the monarch wished to address significant matters or tour vast territories.

Q4. Were there any consequences for those who failed to meet the expectations during the king’s visit?

A4. Failing to fulfill the responsibilities expected during the royal visit could result in reputational damage or even legal repercussions. Those who neglected their duties might face fines, social ostracism, or the king’s displeasure.


When the king traveled around the kingdom, his subjects were expected to demonstrate their loyalty, hospitality, and respect. The anticipation and preparations surrounding the royal visit served to strengthen the bond between the monarch and his subjects, while also providing economic opportunities for the local communities. These grand events played a crucial role in medieval society, emphasizing the significance of the king’s presence and his role as the embodiment of power and authority.