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Pointy hats and spiffy medallions

One of the most intimidating parts of the SCA is dealing with people, and trying to sort out who is who and what to say to them. Some will be easily recognized by the circlets, coronets or crowns they wear and others by special medallions around their neck or even BOTH. What this means is that they have achieved certain ranks or awards within the society.

Nothing is worse for a newcomer than to be told that you must make sure you pay proper courtesy and respect to the varing levels of royalty, but tohave absolutely NO clue who they are or what to call them. Hopefully this will helpmake things a bit clearer. This is not the definative guide to all the forms of address and ranks but it is more a primer to enable you to more readily identify the peers of our kingdom.

The Royal Peers

King and Queen
Each Kingdom is ruled by a king and queen. They are addressed in many ways the most common being a variation upon "Your Majesty" depending on the use, or by "King so and so ". They may also use titles based on their persona's but they will generally make that request known.

Their crowns will vary by kingdom, in our kingdom there are a number of different sets which can be found here
Crown Prince and Princess
The Heirs to the Thrones are the CrownPrince and Princess. They are most commonly addressed as a "Your Yoyal Highness" or as "Crown Prince or Crown Princess..........." Their crowns also vary depending on their preference and are taken from the Kingdom Regalia ( shown above )

We have a few principalities in the kingdom and throughout the society. The persons who rule a principality are also Prince and Princesses but they are addressed as "Your Highness or Prince/Princess so and so" They generally wear a simple band type crown.
Dukes and Duchesses
Dukes and Duchesses people who have served Kingand Queen at least twice. Generally they are adressed as "Your Grace" or "Duke so and so or Duchess so and so" Thier crown will have strawberry leaves on it.
Counts and Countesses
Next are Counts and Countesses. These are people who have served as King and Queen once.They are addressed as "Your Excellency" or as "Count so and so". Their rank is also denoted by a crenellated crown.
Viscount and Viscountess
A Viscount or Viscountess is a person who has served asPrince or Princess of a Principality at least once.Similar to a Count or Countess, they are addressed as "Your Excellency" or by "Vicount/Vicountess so and so" They wear crowns that have 8 "pearls".

The Peers

Now just to confuse things, we now throw into the loop people who we call "peers". They have earned a specific rank and title depending on their area of focus. ( A person can have more than one peerage) They are the highest rankings anyone can get within the society without being royalty.
The Order of Chivalry
Members of this Order are what we call Knights. when the candidate has shown the qualities of courtesy, grace and skill at arms. A male knight is referred to as Sir (name). A female knight may be referred to in thesame way as a male knight, may take on the style ofDame (name) or Domina (name), or may choose to beaddressed simply as Lady (name), Knight. This is acase of personal preference. Knight s may alsoinclude after their name (for purposes ofcorrespondence) the letters KSCA (stan ding forKnight of the Society for Creative Anachronism).

Knights are easily recognized by their wearing of a white belt.
The Order of the Laurel
While the Order of Chivalry is given for excellence inthe martial skills, the Laurel is given for excellence inthe arts and/or sciences. Members of th e order areaddressed as Master (name), Mistress (name) orDame (name), and may (for purposes ofcorrespondence) include the letters OL (for Order ofthe Laurel) after their name.

Their insignia is a laurel wreath, usually colored green on a gold background. Sometimes they wear a metal circlet of laurel leaves
The Order of the Pelican
The Order of the Pelican is given for extraordinaryservice to the Kingdom, far and beyond that given bymost members. Members of the Order are addressedas Master (name), Mistress (name) or Dame (name),and generally for the purpose of correspondence include theletters OP for Order of the Pelican after their name.

Their insignia is a "pelican in her piety," a pelican piercing her breast to feed her young with her own blood.

Other ranks

Territorial Baron/ess
Territorial Barons and Baronesses are the ceremonialheads of a Barony, and are the direct representatives ofthe King and/or Prince in their Baronies. They areaddressed as Your Excellency, or are called My LordBaron, or My Lady Baroness. In formal situations they areannounced as Lord (name), Baron of (branch name)unless they are the founding (first) Baron/ess of theBarony, in which case the word 'of' is left out of the title,i.e., Lord (name), Baron (branch name).

Baron and Baronesses will usally wear coronet with 6 "pearls"
Court Baron/ess
Given, as an addition to any other titles, by TheirMajesties, for any reason They see fit. It is frequentlygiven to a Territorial Baron(ess) when they retire. If theperson receiving a Court Baronage is not previouslyarmigerous, this award carries an Award of Arms. Holdersof this rank are called Your Excellency, My Lord Baron, orMy Lady Baroness, or Baron (name) or Baroness (name).This form continues in formal announcements, where theyare called Baron or Baroness (full name).

They too can wear a crown or coronet with 6 "pearls"
Awards of Arms
An Award of Arms is the first level of "armigerous" award .It is usally awarded for service in some compacity. (It confers the right to bear arms.) Holders ofAwards of Arms are addressed as Lord (name) or Lady(name).

These are the most common titles you will see and hear about. Please be reassured that everyone makes mistakes, and will miss address. Remember, that no matterwhat rank someone may hold, it is ALWAYS acceptableto call them "My Lord" or "My Lady" (or "Milord" or"Milady").

Besides the various levels of Peerage and Royalty within the East Kingdom, there are also people that carry different awards or are also member of various orders.

Investiture into these orders are the types of things you will see being given out in Court.

The various awards and orders carry badges associated with them, and you will often see them displayed as part of a person's clothing or jewelery.

These awards are normally given to someone as a reward or recognition to achievements or service to the Kingdom. Rather than confuse you further, we will refer you to the Kingdom website which has lists all the various kingdom awards, what they are for and their insignia. East Kingdom Awards

Disclaimer: This is the Newcomers Page for the Shire of Hartshorn-dale of the East Kingdom of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.  The maintainer of this page is Lee Ann Posavad.  It is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and does not delineate SCA policies. In cases of conflict with printed versions of material presented on this page or its links, the dispute will be decided in favor of the printed version.
This page last modified March 21, 2003.