OBJECTIVE OF ROYAL VISIT: Have the King in your chateau or the entire Court in your Duchy to win the game


CONTENTS: Playing Board, Playing Cards, Character Pieces, Crown Token

TYPE OF GAME: Strategy game 

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


Royal Visit was designed by Dr. Reiner Knizia and published by IELLO in 2020.  In this game, players are working to get the King to visit their Chateau rather than their opponent’s.  This is done by playing cards, using the Wizard and Jester’s special powers, and thinking carefully about when to move which pieces.  The first player to get the King to their Chateau, or to have the King in their Duchy at the end of the game is the winner.


The board has three main sections: Green Duchy, Red Duchy, and a Middle Space.  Each Duchy has that player’s Chateau which is where they want the King to end up.  Along the top of the board is the Crown Track which also indicates a winner if moved into a Chateau.

The Crown Token is moved according to how many characters are in the player’s Chateau at the end of their turn.

There are five different Character Pawns: King, Guards, Jester, and the Wizard.  Each of these pawns can be moved by playing their cards to the discard pile.

There are four suits of cards: Kings, Guards, Wizards, and Jesters.  Cards within the suit allow the player to move pieces in a variety of ways.

Playing a King card allows the player to move the King one space.  Playing two King cards allows the player to move the King and the two Guards one space in the same direction.

The Guard cards can be used to move one Guard one space, move each guard one space or move one Guard two spaces, or move both Guards so they are on either side of the King.

Depending on the card, the Wizard can be moved one, two, or three spaces.

As with the Wizard, the Jester card played can allow the Jester to be moved one, two, three, four, or five spaces.  The Jester can also be moved to the middle of the board.


Position the game board so that one player is sitting at each end.  Place the King and the Guard tokens on the spaces marked with their symbol.  One player holds the Jester and Wizard token in their hands behind their back.  The opposite player chooses a hand.  The token they chose is placed on their side of the board in the appropriately marked space.

Shuffle the cards and deal 8 to each player.  Place the remaining cards face down as a draw pile leaving room for a discard pile.

Place the Crown Token on its starting space in the middle of the Crown Track.  The Big Crown should be showing.  It begins next to the King.


The player that begins the game with the Wizard on their side of the board goes first.  There are three phases during a player’s turn.


A player can do one of two things during the Action Phase of their turn.

Play a card: One or two cards (depending on the card’s ability) can be played to the discard pile at a time.  After playing the card(s), move the corresponding token to the appropriate number of spaces.  The player can then continue to play cards of the same suit while moving the corresponding piece.  The cards played must be the same suit.

Use a power: Instead of playing cards, a special power can be used.  The Wizard’s power allows a player to move the King or one Guard to the same space as the Wizard.  Remember, the King must always remain between the two Guards.  If the Jester sits between a player’s Chateau and the King, that player can use the Jester’s power to make all Jester cards in their hand wild.  They must determine the suit that the card will be for their turn, and if they play more than one, the suit must remain the same.


After playing their card(s), the player moves the Crown Token towards them.  The token moves one space for each character in their Chateau.  Move the Crown Token to another space if the King and both Guards are in the player’s Duchy.


To end the turn, the player draws back up to 8 cards.  When the draw pile runs empty, shuffle the discard pile and turn it face down to begin the draw pile anew.  After doing so, turn the Crown Token over so the little crown is showing.  


The game can end in a couple different ways.

The player that gets the King of the Crown Token in their Chateau wins the game.  If the draw pile runs empty a second time, the player with the King in their Duchy wins the game.  If the King is in the middle space when the draw pile runs empty for the second time, shuffle and play another round.


The player with the King in their Chateau or Duchy at the end of the game is the winner.

Mark Ball
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