The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland is a short-tempered monarch who spends a lot of time ordering her minions to behead those who fail her. It doesn’t take much to set her off, either.
In other words, we are not talking romance here!
As we began planning the Queen of Hearts party, Annotated Alice in hand, we found lots of inspiration in the Tenniel illustrations. The fact that Mel is a lifelong fan of the book meant we had a knowledgeable resource close to hand–even if he did whimper periodically because he wasn’t going to be the guest of honor.
We decided to make the invitation one of the games we would play the night of the party. We found 12 Tenniel images and decided to compile a visual scavenger hunt, with each illustration having a counterpart somewhere in the house:
Walrus, from “The Walrus and the Carpenter”
Caterpillar on his mushroom, hookah in hand
White Knight (yes, he is from Through the Looking Glass, but we conflated the two books for the party)
Alice playing croquet
Oysters hurrying up all eager for the treat
Teacup from the mad tea party
Card gardeners painting the roses red
Her Majesty, the Queen of Hearts, presiding crossly over the whole ensemble
Like any good invitation, this one set the tone. Our text added to it. We said:
the Queen of Hearts,
Commands Your Presence
The Birthday Will Be Celebrated
Games Will Be Played
Food (Copious Amounts) Will Be Served
Scavengers Will Hunt
Wagers Will Be Placed on the Time of the
Present This Invitation for
Ignore It at Your Peril