Intro to SCA Etiquette
Everyone in the SCA is considered to be of noble birth. Therefore, “m’lord” or “m’lady” is appropriate for addressing any person. Once a gentle is given their Award of Arms or AoA , they are addressed as “Lord (Name)” or “Lady (Name).”
There are two types of Barons and Baronesses. Landed Barons and Baronesses represent the populace of their barony to the King and Queen. A court Baron or Baroness was awarded the title because of their service. Barons and Baronesses wear a coronet with 6 points. A court baron/ess will have points 1″ high, and a landed baron/ess will have points 2″ high. They are addressed as “Your Excellency.”
The Crown Prince and Princess are the couple waiting to take the throne as the next King and Queen. They are addressed as “Your Highness.” A Viscount or Viscountess is a former prince or princess, as some kingdoms have principalities.
The King and Queen’s reign lasts for 6 months. The King and Queen wear crowns with 6 3″ high points and are called “Your Majesty.” When someone has been King/Queen once, they are then a Count or Countess, and are called “Your Excellency.” In some kingdoms, a count is also called an Earl. They often wear a Coronets of precious metals, embattled, and ornamented as they see fit. If someone has been King/Queen twice, they are called Duke or Duchess, and are called “Your Grace.” Their Coronet usually has the addition of strawberry leaves to the County Coronet.
It is courteous to bow to any of the above gentles when they pass within 10 feet of you.
The Laurels are the Arts and Sciences peers. They are the best at Arts and Sciences and have excelled in not only their craft, but also in teaching and helping others learn. Once awarded a Laurel, they are called “Master” or “Mistress.”
The Pelican is the highest service award. These peers have dedicated their time and effort to the kingdom in any way they can. Once someone receives this honor, they are also referred to as “Master” or “Mistress.”
The Knights of Chivalry are the third peer group. They must excel not only in fighting, but in service, arts and sciences, and chivalry. Knights wear a white belt and a chain around their neck, and are called “Sir.”
The White Scarves are not a peer group, but to become a White Scarf is the highest honor a rapier fighter can receive.
Court is the time when nobility conducts business, hands out awards, and makes announcements unto the populace. Usually there is a processional to the thrones, and in this case when Their Majesties or any other coronet-bearing noble passes by, it is proper etiquette to bow.
If you are called up into court, bow to royalty before kneeling in front of them. Lords, a lady should NEVER walk up to court unescorted! And ladies, please allow your lord time to escort you up. Also, remove sunglasses, hats, and weapons.
If you pass by the thrones at any time, even if there is no nobility sitting in them, it is polite to bow to the royal presence.
If the event you are attending has a feast, there are a few little rules to abide by. If it is a seated feast, Their Majesties and any other royalty will be served first. If it is a buffet-style feast, it is proper to let nobility go first in line, followed by women and children, and finally men. In both cases, it is proper to wait until nobility has begun eating before you begin.
As a basic rule, if you are uncertain about something, don’t be afraid to ask! Someone is usually more than happy to explain something to you if you are confused. Even if you address a noble with the wrong title, making an attempt is better than none at all.