SCA society is modeled around medieval society, including the hierarchy of leaders. As a new person in the SCA it is sometimes hard to tell who is important and who is not. While people win the right to wear a circlet on their head, some wear a more elaborate one than others. This is more difficult for new people because the duke might be wearing a more elaborate crown than the princess. Personal taste dictates what circlet someone wears, not what rank they are. Here are the different ranks you will find in SCA society.
• King and Queen:
Chosenby 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. They 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 and Princess: There are two types of Princes 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 Highness.” 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 form 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 or 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 title 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.”
If you are in doubt of who you are speaking with at an event, call them “Your Excellency.” This is acceptable for any rank and will not offend anyone. One thing to remember though is that the design of the crown can vary from kingdom to kingdom.