I’ve already written about elections and politics in Oz, so even though it’s Election Day here in the States, I’m going to write about a firmly entrenched royal family who never have to run for reelection, that of the Land of Mo. It’s ruled by an unnamed king who has existed as long as the country, and is fated to live as long as it continues to exist. He’s called the Magical Monarch, even though he doesn’t work magic. The Monarch has a queen and many children, with L. Frank Baum telling us that “it is not much use being a prince in Mo, because the King cannot die.” I’m sure there are advantages to it, though, like living in the castle. Several of these children are mentioned by name, and are even the protagonists of some of the adventures. Others are distinguished in some way without being named.
The eldest son, Prince Zingle, is tricked by the Purple Dragon into pushing his father into a hole so he can become king, which he wants to do simply so he can milk the royal cow who produces ice cream. He has a fondness for flying kites, and continually made larger ones until one carried him off to the Island of Civilized Monkeys, where he was kept as a prisoner until he lost enough weight to slip through the bars.
After that, he didn’t fly kites for a while, but later stuck to small ones. There’s apparently an entire book about him, Smith’s History of Prince Zingle.
Prince Jollikin is the one who fights and eventually kills the Gigaboo, although he gets his body cut up in the process and has to manually reassemble it, leaving his joints stiff for a while.
He’s said to be quite fond of a laugh.
Prince Thinkabit is the one who usually comes up with ideas, and has a habit of rubbing his head to get his brain into working order. He figures out how to defeat the Cast-Iron Man, and how to pick an apple from a floating branch. He’s also said to be a bit more courageous than his siblings, although Jollikin sounds pretty courageous himself.
Prince Fiddlecumdoo is the King’s youngest son, is spoiled by his parents (which must be something to see, as it sounds like everyone in Mo is kind of spoiled), and is an excellent violinist. When bored, he rides a bicycle to the next valley to visit the giant Hartilaf and his wife.
They’re quite friendly, but he ends up being crushed in their enormous clothes wringer and has to be inflated.
Of the girls, Princess Pattycake is said to be the most beautiful, described as having deep blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and long silken hair.
She also has a terrible temper, which a boy named Timtom manages to cure with help from the Sorceress Maetta, after which Pattycake and Timtom get married. A later story explicitly says that this made Timtom a Prince. There are three unnamed princesses in “The Strange Adventures of the King’s Head,” who marry the three men who make replacement heads for the Monarch. The man who makes a candy head chooses the biggest, the dough head maker the second biggest, and the woodchopper “one of the prettiest of the young princesses.” There’s no indication as to whether or not these three also became princes.
The only princess specifically mentioned who doesn’t end up married (unless she’s one of the three unnamed ones, which is possible but not too likely) is Truella. The Wicked Wizard of Mo steals her toe for a magic spell, and she seeks help from Maetta, who gives her a bunch of objects that help her reach and defeat the Wizard in unusual ways.
She’s also known for riding a stork, and having a weakness for kisses.
She reappears in Marcus Mebes’ The Royal Explorers of Oz, and Prince Bobo falls for her, but she seems to only see him as a friend.
For what it’s worth, none of the King’s sons are said to get married.
A dog named Prince, a stranger in Mo who becomes friends with the King, becomes part of the royal household. Another relative is Duchess Bredenbutta, said to be “forty-seventh cousin to the Monarch of Mo and great-grandniece to the Queen.”
Doesn’t “forty-seventh cousin” mean they’re separated by forty-seven generations? If people are immortal in Mo and the King has been around since it existed, is this even possible? I think someone suggested before that it could be less technical, simply saying that she was the forty-seventh of his cousins to be born (or however children come into being in that valley).