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Who is Who?
Medieval society was highly structured with a system of ranks: kings, dukes, barons and lords. The SCA has a similar system of hierarchy. It is often difficult for a newcomer to tell if the person whit whom he is conversing is "Somebody Important." If you are in doubt, be courteous and polite, and address the person as "my lord" or "my lady". These terms are widely used and acceptable to persons of all ranks.

People who wear crowns or coronets are "Somebody Important." In many cases they are, or were, royalty. They won the right to wear a fancy circlet on their heads. It can be difficult to tell someone's rank, for a person of lesser rank might choose to wear a fancier circlet than someone of a higher rank; it partly depends on personal taste. IF you are in doubt of the rank, address the person as "Your Excellency." For all ranks, the design of the crown or coronet can vary greatly from kingdom to kingdom.

King and Queen:
Chosen by tournament combat. As the rulers of the entire Kingdom, they can make or change laws except where the new law would conflict with the Society's rules (the Corpora) or the laws of the governments responsible for the area. The are addressed as "Sire," "Your Majesty,""My Lord King/My Lady Queen." Remember that it is courteous to bow or curtsy when speaking to them or passing by them.
Prince or Princess:
There are two types of Prince and Princesses - Crown and Territorial. The Crown Prince and Princess are heirs to the kingdom, chosen by combat in the Crown Tourney. They are addressed as "Your Royal Highnesses." They hold these titles until their coronation as King and Queen. A territorial Prince and Princess rule over a Principality, a territory which is a subdivision of a kingdom. They are also chosen by combat. Their forms of address varies from kingdom to kingdom.
Duke or Duchess:
They have served at least twice as King or Queen. Call them "Your Grace."
Count or Countess:
They have served once as King or Queen. Call them "Your Excellency." Some alternate titles are Earl (Jarl, Iarll) and Graf.
Viscount or Viscountess:
They have served at least once as territorial Prince and Princess. Call them "Your Excellency."
Baron or Baroness:
They oversee a large local group called a Barony and act as representatives of the Crown. Address them as "Your Excellency."
Court Baron or Baroness:
The titles is a reward from the Crown, often for exceptional service. However, they are not the heads of territories as are the other barons and baronesses. Address them as "Your Excellency."
There are additional elevated ranks in the SCA: The Chivalry, the Laurels, and the Pelicans. They are collectively known as Peers of the Realm. In many kingdoms the Order of the Rose is also Peerage-level and in some former royalty are called Royal Peers.

The Chivalry of the SCA consists of the Order of Knighthood and the Order of Mastery of Arms. Members are chosen by the Crown after consulting with the Chivalry for qualities of courtesy, grace and skill at arms. Knights swear fealty to the Crown and are entitled to wear a white belt. They wear a chain as a symbol of their fealty. Call them "Sir" (name). Mastery of Arms is for those persons who choose not to swear fealty and is equal in rank to knighthood. They wear a white baldric but do not wear a chain since it represents fealty. Address them as "Master" (name) or "Mistress" (name). In most kingdoms, spurs are limited to the Chivalry as one of their signs of rank.

Members of the Order of the Laurel are chosen by the Crown after consultation with the Order for great skill in the Arts or Sciences, for their willingness to teach others, and for using their abilities to benefit the kingdom. They are addressed as "Master" or "Mistress" (name). Their insignia is a laurel wreath, usually colored green on a gold background. Members of the Order of the Pelican have given of themselves to their kingdom, usually for many years and without thought of reward. They are chosen by the Crown in consultation with the Order. Address them as "Master" or "Mistress" (name). Their insignia is a "pelican in her piety," a pelican piercing her breast to feed her your with her own blood. Members of the Order of the Rose are chosen from those individuals who have served their kingdom by ruling as Queen or Consort. In many kingdoms it is Peerage-Level.

In each kingdom there are a number of different awards recognizing different levels of skill in the Arts or Sciences, fighting, or for hard work in behalf of the kingdom or a local group. Ask the local herald or a local officer about your kingdom's various awards.

The term "lord" or "lady" may refer to anyone in the Society if you do not know their rank, but the title "Lord" or "Lady" is reserved for those who have received an Award of Arms (AoA) from the Crown. This is often the first award granted to a person. It recognizes service to the kingdom or a local group and entitles the person to be called "Lord" or "Lady" (name) and to bear Arms.

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