The King and Queen of Drachenwald have called for a Curia to take place in January at Twelfth Night Coronation. When a change to Kingdom Law is being considered, a Curia is an opportunity for the people of Drachenwald to comment on the proposed changes. At this curia, two changes are proposed. One relates to the Office of Signet. The other, detailed here, calls for a change to the order of precedence. This post, by the authors of that second proposal, sets out the changes and explains their rationale for making them.

If you wish to comment on the proposals, you may do so by email to seneschal@drachenwald.sca.org as well as at the event itself.
– Sela

Kingdom law change proposal: Order of Precedence

Introduction

This is a proposal to change the Drachenwald law section 13.08: The order of Precedence of Drachenwald.

What is commonly called “order of precedence” covers two matters. First, the order of precedence is the full listing of awards given by Crown and Coronets and the dates when they were given in Drachenwald and/or to denizens of Drachenwald. Second, based on this list of awards, the “order of march” can be determined by rank and precedence. Determining the precedence is based on Society law, kingdom law, and tradition.

Section 13.08, while setting the relative rank of different categories of awards, determines also “order of march” due to being the only kingdom document addressing the matter. 13.08 was added in the Kingdom Law by Michael and Moira to address particular precedence related issues during their reign. Before that, the order of march was determined by custom, typically following traditions built on customs of our parent kingdom, the East.

Current law

13.08. The order of Precedence of Drachenwald.

The order of Precedence shall be as follows

  1. King and Queen of Drachenwald.
  2. Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Drachenwald.
  3. Territorial Prince and Princess of Drachenwald Principalities.
  4. The Crown’s appointed representatives of a Crown Principality (such as a Viceroy and/or Vicereine).
  5. A Territorial Baron/ess in their own barony, acting as baron/ess - otherwise see #10
  6. Duke/Duchess
  7. Count/Countess.
  8. Viscount/ess.
  9. Bestowed peers
  10. Territorial Barons and Baronesses.
  11. Court Baron and Baroness.
  12. Awards that carry a grant of arms.
  13. Plain grants of arms. Lord or Lady name.
  14. Awards that carry an award of arms.
  15. Plain awards of arms.
  16. Everyone else

The order of march the current law instates is based on a generic order of rank and precedence in the Society. Thus it fails to take into account Drachenwald’s unique features and the fealty chains that our Society often seeks and ought to seek to emulate. In particular it fails to observe the relations amongst and between the Drachenwald principalities and baronies. For example, landed rulers of an older principality visiting an event in a younger principality outrank the local landed rulers, in their own lands. A somewhat more convoluted problem is the lack of addressing the two kinds of baronies Drachenwald has; those that are fiefs directly carved of Drachenwald and those that are part of a principality.

On a cultural level, the differences between the ancient traditions of Drachenwald and the law as it is written have caused strife and tension between lands and people. Updating the law to address these issues would prevent such, and would also better serve our kingdom in the future, with new baronies and principalities being born.

We propose that a territorial prince(ss) or baron(ess), in their own lands, is by their fealty with the Crown empowered as the noble ruler of the said fief, in precedence second only to Crown and Royal Heirs. A territorial baron whose fief is part of a principality, in their own lands, is by their fealty likewise empowered as the noble ruler of their fief, in precedence second only to Crown and Coronet of the said Principality.

How other Kingdoms deal with order of precedence/march

In the Known World principalities are very rare, and Drachenwald is almost unique in having similar dominions as both principalities and baronies. Nonetheless we have researched the ways other kingdoms determine their order of precedence and order of march.

Almost all kingdoms of the Known World have addressed the order of precedence and/or order of march in some written form. It may be in a kingdom law, in a document specifically covering order of march, in book of ceremonies, or within other heraldic or courtly guidance.

In most kingdoms, the order of march is not derived purely from the relative rank of the various awards and territories. A very typical example is placing Royal Heirs of the own kingdom right after the Crown, before foreign Crowns. Some kingdoms also recognize privilege of landed nobility. For example in Ansteorran Law (Section 3 / Subsection 1 / G): “Appointment to the position of Territorial Nobility shall carry with it precedence immediately below the Royal Family.” This raises landed nobles past peerages in Ansteorran order of march.

The proposed order of precedence is close to that followed by tradition in our parent Kingdom of the East. The notable exceptions are:

  1. Royal Heirs come before the princes and princesses of our principalities
  2. The Officers of State are not included
  3. All non-territorial baron(esse)s are grouped together (East has several categories)
  4. The awards from Kingdom, Principalities and Baronies are treated equally, based on their precedence as determined in Drachenwald law

The first of these differences is because we find that this rather long-standing custom of our Kingdom is more appropriate and historically accurate than the Eastern practice of placing the rulers of principalities before Royal Heirs. Returning to the Eastern practice in the second and fourth point would in our opinion not be a bad idea; however, the proposed order has in the past been criticized for its complexity, and we have to admit that certain simplicity is in itself a worthy goal. Finally, difference number three seems unavoidable as we have, at the beginning of our history as a sovereign kingdom, abandoned the Eastern interpretation that someone invested as a territorial baron(ess) has at the same time attained permanent personal baronial rank.

The Proposal

We propose changing 13.08 of the Kingdom law to the following:

13.08. The order of Precedence of Drachenwald.

The order of Precedence shall be as follows

  1. King/Queen of Drachenwald.
  2. Crown Prince/Princess of Drachenwald.
  3. Direct Crown vassals (territorial Prince/Princess, Viceroy/Vicereine, or Baron/Baroness outside a Principality) in their own lands.
  4. Territorial Baron/Baroness of a Principality in their own Barony.
  5. Territorial Prince/Princess.
  6. The Crown’s appointed representatives of a Crown Principality (such as a Viceroy/Vicereine).
  7. Duke/Duchess.
  8. Count/Countess.
  9. Viscount/Viscountess.
  10. Bestowed peers.
  11. Territorial Baron/Baroness.
  12. Court Baron/Baroness.
  13. Awards that carry a grant of arms.
  14. Plain grants of arms.
  15. Awards that carry an award of arms.
  16. Plain awards of arms.
  17. Non-armigerous awards.
  18. Everyone else.

Within each category, people are ordered by the date of attaining that rank; those with the same date are ordered by their next highest award. Territorial nobility within each category is ordered by the age of the branch. Foreign royalty and territorial nobility is given rank right after the corresponding Drachenwald category, ordered by the age of the branch they rule. However, the highest ranking local landed noble is always considered senior to these foreign guests and shall act as their host.

(If this table doesn’t look right, turn your device to landscape.)

OP In Nordmark (outside baronies) In Gotvik, Nordmark In Insulae Draconis In Knight’s Crossing In Aarnimetsä In Polderslot
1 King & Queen King & Queen King & Queen King & Queen King & Queen King & Queen
2 Crown Prince & Crown Princess Crown Prince & Crown Princess Crown Prince & Crown Princess Crown Prince & Crown Princess Crown Prince & Crown Princess Crown Prince & Crown Princess
3 Prince & Princess of Nordmark Prince & Princess of Nordmark Prince & Princess of Insulae Draconis Baron & Baroness of Knight’s Crossing Baron & Baroness of Aarnimetsä Prince & Princess of Nordmark
4 Prince & Princess of Insulae Draconis Baron & Baroness of Gotvik Prince & Princess of Nordmark Prince & Princess of Nordmark Prince & Princess of Nordmark Prince & Princess of Insulae Draconis
5 Dukes and Duchesses Prince & Princess of Insulae Draconis Dukes and Duchesses Prince & Princess of Insulae Draconis Prince & Princess of Insulae Draconis Dukes and Duchesses
6 Counts and Countesses Dukes and Duchesses Counts and Countesses Dukes and Duchesses Dukes and Duchesses Counts and Countesses
7 Viscounts and Viscountesses Counts and Countesses Viscounts and Viscountesses Counts and Countesses Counts and Countesses Viscounts and Viscountesses
8 Bestowed Peers Viscounts and Viscountesses Bestowed Peers Viscounts and Viscountesses Viscounts and Viscountesses Bestowed Peers
9 Baron & Baroness of Knight’s Crossing Bestowed Peers Baron & Baroness of Knight’s Crossing Bestowed Peers Bestowed Peers Baron & Baroness of Knight’s Crossing
10 Baron & Baroness of Aarnimetsä Baron & Baroness of Knight’s Crossing Baron & Baroness of Aarnimetsä Baron & Baroness of Aarnimetsä Baron & Baroness of Knight’s Crossing Baron & Baroness of Aarnimetsä
11 Baron & Baroness of Gotvik Baron & Baroness of Aarnimetsä Baron & Baroness of Gotvik Baron & Baroness of Gotvik Baron & Baroness of Gotvik Baron & Baroness of Gotvik
12 Barons and Baronesses of Court Barons and Baronesses of Court Barons and Baronesses of Court Barons and Baronesses of Court Barons and Baronesses of Court Barons and Baronesses of Court
13 Awards that carry Grant of Arms Awards that carry Grant of Arms Awards that carry Grant of Arms Awards that carry Grant of Arms Awards that carry Grant of Arms Awards that carry Grant of Arms
14 Plain Grants of Arms Plain Grants of Arms Plain Grants of Arms Plain Grants of Arms Plain Grants of Arms Plain Grants of Arms
15 Awards that carry Award of Arms Awards that carry Award of Arms Awards that carry Award of Arms Awards that carry Award of Arms Awards that carry Award of Arms Awards that carry Award of Arms
16 Plain Awards of Arms Plain Awards of Arms Plain Awards of Arms Plain Awards of Arms Plain Awards of Arms Plain Awards of Arms
17 Non-armigerous awards Non-armigerous awards Non-armigerous awards Non-armigerous awards Non-armigerous awards Non-armigerous awards
18 Everyone else Everyone else Everyone else Everyone else Everyone else Everyone else

To comment on this proposal, please send an email to seneschal@drachenwald.sca.org

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