Titles, Precedence, Forms of Address, and Regalia

based on an article (2002) by Mistress Jaelle of Armida
last updated 2017-10-25

The SCA, like most of the actual middle ages, has a hierarchical structure. That means that everyone has a rank, with some people being higher than others. Let's work from the top down for Drachenwald. I am specifying Drachenwald, because some kingdoms do it slightly differently.

Note: I am using only the standard English Titles. For SCA approved titles in other languages, go to http://heraldry.sca.org/titles.html.

Royalty

Sovereigns or Consorts of kingdom or principality, and their heirs.

1. Sovereign and Consort of Kingdom

These are the current rulers of the kingdom, referred to collectively as the Crown. The Sovereign is the person who won Crown Lists in a Crown Tourney, and the consort is the person for whom they fought. They are referred to as "Their Majesties" or "Their Royal Majesties". They both wear crowns.

The female title is Queen and the male title is King, but the King may not necessarily be the sovereign. While as of this writing every Sovereign of Drachenwald has been male, and therefore King of Drachenwald, and every Consort has been female, and therefore Queen of Drachenwald, that doesn't mean it won't change in the future.

2. Crown Prince/Princess of Kingdom

These are the victor in the Crown Lists and their consort for the period between the victory and the Coronation. They are referred to as "Their Highnesses" or "Their Royal Highnesses". They both wear coronets.

3. Territorial Prince/Princess

These are the current rulers of a principality, referred to collectively as the Coronet. They are addressed as "Their Highnesses". They both wear coronets.

Principalities rank in order of creation. So, therefore, as long as Nordmark is a principality of Drachenwald, they would rank first among the principalities.

4. Heirs to a Principality

These are the victor in the Coronet Lists and their consort for the period between the victory and the Investiture. In Nordmark the heirs are called "Tan/Tanista"; in Insulae Draconis the heirs are called "Lord/Lady of the Isles". Some principalities use the term "Lord/Lady". They may have chains/cloaks of office or other such regalia.

Royal Peers

Those who have reigned as King or Queen, or as Prince or Princess of a principality.

5. Duke/Duchess

These are people who have ruled an SCA kingdom two or more times. They are referred to as "Your Grace". Coronets with strawberry leaves are reserved for dukes and duchesses.

Ducal coronets can look like this:

6. Count/Countess

These are people who have ruled an SCA kingdom once. They are referred to as "Your Excellency". Embattled coronets are reserved for counts and countesses. Furthermore, wreaths of roses are reserved to people who have been a consort of a kingdom one or more times.

County coronets can look like this:

7. Viscount/Viscountess

These are people who have ruled an SCA principality one or more times. They are referred to as "Your Excellency". They wear coronets of whatever type they choose (there is no standard form) so long as it is not embattled or does not have strawberry leaves. They frequently, but not always, use a coronet with pearls.

Peerage, Patent of Arms Level

Patent of Arms (PoA) is the third and highest level rank-bearing award given by the Crown (first being Award of Arms and second Grant of Arms) and makes the recipient a Peer.

All of the peerage orders rank the same, based on the date of the first bestowed peerage. Someone with two (or more) bestowed peerages still ranks below someone with one, whose peerage came first. The peerages are listed below in alphabetical order.

8. Order of Chivalry

This order requires its members to excel in SCA armoured combat (heavy combat). Order of Chivalry has two equal parts: Order of Knighthood and Order of Mastery of Arms. When a member is admitted to the Chivalry, the choice of which part of the order to join is made by the new member.

Order of Knighthood

A member in this order is called a Knight and, male or female, is addressed as "Sir". A white belt and an unadorned circular chain are reserved for them.

Order of Mastery of Arms

A member in this order is addressed as "Master" or "Mistress" (some female members prefer the title "Master" instead of "Mistress"). A white baldric is reserved for them.

8. Order of Defense

This order requires its members to excel in rapier and/or cut-and-thrust combat. The members are addressed as "Master" or "Mistress" (some female members prefer "Master" or "Dame" instead of "Mistress"). Three rapiers in pall inverted tips crossed and a white livery collar with the symbol of the order dependent from it are reserved for them.

8. Order of the Laurel

This order requires its members to excel in skills and/or knowledges in an area of the Arts or Sciences. The members are addressed as "Master" or "Mistress" (some female members of the order prefer "Master" or "Dame" instead of "Mistress"). A laurel wreath, for example in the form of a medallion, a coronet, or on clothes, is reserved for them (but should not be confused with the laurel wreaths that are a required part of all SCA branch arms).

8. Order of the Pelican

This order requires its members to excel in service to the Society. The members are addressed as "Master" or "Mistress" (some female members prefer "Master" or "Dame" instead of "Mistress"). A pelican in its piety, for example in the form of a medallion, on clothes, or on a coronet, and a chapeau, more specifically a cap of maintenance (a cap of maintenance gules trimmed ermine and a cap of maintenance gules trimmed argent goutty de sang), are reserved for them.

Grant of Arms Level

Grant of Arms (GoA) is the second level of rank-bearing award given by the Crown (the first being Award of Arms).

9. Territorial Baron/Baroness

These are the Crown appointed ceremonial heads of the barony, responsible to the Crown and, if the barony is within a principality, to the Coronet. Note: within their own barony, and while acting as territorial baron/ess (and only then) the baron/ess outrank peers, and everyone but royalty. Baronies rank by the age of the barony. The barony of Knight's Crossing is the oldest in Drachenwald.

Baron/ess of (the barony) is addressed as "Your Excellency". They wear coronets of whatever type they choose (there is no standard form) so long as it is not embattled or does not have strawberry leaves. They frequently, but not always, use a coronet with pearls.

10. Court Baron/Baroness

They are called "Your Excellency", of "Baron/ess (name)". They wear coronets of whatever type they choose (there is no standard form) so long as it is not embattled or does not have strawberry leaves. They frequently, but not always, use a coronet with pearls.

11. Awards that carry a Grant of Arms

This could be an award from Drachenwald or from another kingdom. People granted with arms are called "Lord" or "Lady".

12. Plain Grants of Arms

People granted with arms are called "Lord" or "Lady".

Award of Arms Level

Award of Arms (AoA) is the first level of rank-bearing award given by the Crown, which gives the recipient the right to use the title of Lord/Lady, and also to refer to their heraldic insignia as their arms (rather than as a device).

13. Awards that carry an Award of Arms

This could be an award from Drachenwald or from another kingdom. People awarded with arms are called "Lord" or "Lady".

14. Plain Awards of Arms

People awarded with arms are called "Lord" or "Lady".

Below Award of Arms level

Non-armigerous awards.

15. Awards that do not carry an Award of Arms (or anything higher)

No special title comes with these awards.

16. Everyone else

There is no special title for such people, though by courtesy, we use "my lord", "my lady" or "good gentles" for everyone, if we don't have any other title to call them.

In Drachenwald, anyone may wear a thin metal band such as the type that is used to hold hair or a veil in its place.

Sumptuary laws and other notes

While some kingdoms have additional sumptuary laws, Drachenwald has none beyond the Society-wide ones already listed.

You will note that Kings and Queens wear crowns, while everyone else wears coronets. This is an SCA custom, not a historical one, since there is no difference between the two.

Anyone in Drachenwald, of whatever rank or status, may wear a thin metal band such as the type that is used to hold hair or a veil in its place.

The only belt that is reserved is the white belt of the Knights. By custom, some squires (to Knights) carry red belts, some apprentices (to Laurels) carry green belts and some proteges (to Pelicans) carry yellow belts.

Titles and forms of address in Drachenwald

Title Form of address
King/Queen Your Majesty (Their Royal Majesties)
Crown Prince/Princess Your Highness (Their Royal Highnesses)
Prince/Princess Your Highness
Duke/Duchess Your Grace
Count/Countess Your Excellency
Viscount/Viscountess Your Excellency
Knight Sir
Master/Mistress/Dame Master/Mistress/Dame
Baron/Baroness Your Excellency
Lord/Lady My Lord/My Lady
  Milord/Milady

Sources

The SCA

Kingdom of Drachenwald

Other Kingdoms