Principality to Kingdom
III.) Curias and Curiouser
by Dagonell Collingwood

If AEthelmearc ever becomes a kingdom, a number of changes will occur. Some will be by necessity, others by choice. This article will discuss some of the more interesting laws of the other kingdoms and principalities.

Five years ago, Baron Zahava Tchauchik, a member of the Principality Committee, read all of the laws of the other kingdoms and published a list of the ones he thought were humorous as part of his "Reports to the Populace on the Subject of Laws" series. I feel that humorous is too limiting a category. I have made a list of the laws that I thought were interesting. For the sake of clarity and brevity, I have paraphrased some of the laws. Portions of laws in quotation marks "like this" are direct quotes. Phrases in parentheses (like this) are also direct quotes of the law. Phrases in brackets [like this] are paraphrases within quotes. Phrases in braces {like this} are my own commentary on the laws. With one exception, I not repeating any of the laws Zahava listed in his article. Like Zahava, I'm not saying whose laws these are, either.


"The person who actually won the Crown (the 'Sovereign'), whether that be the King or the Queen, may unilaterally overrule or nullify any act of the King or Queen for whom the Crown was won (the 'Consort')."

"The Competitor and Companion are aware that these positions, [Royalty], may require expenditures in excess of membership laws."

"Striking the Royalty in rattan combat shall not be considered treason."

"Should the Crown Sovereign or Consort choose to fight upon the field for His or Her own Pleasure, the Herald shall announce that the fight is 'a plaisance'." {a pleasantry}

The Royalty is defined as: "The King, Queen, Crown Prince, Crown Princess, and Dowager Princess" Janeltis.

{Dowager Princess Janeltis was the first princess of the principality the kingdom was created from. She is effectively 'Royalty for Life'. She has the right to bestow particular precedence bearing awards that the other royalty may not bestow. She ranks below the royal heirs and above the dukes and duchesses.}

"The Curia Regis must meet at least three times during every reign."

"The Curia Regis shall meet at least once per reign."

"No Crown shall bestow upon their own persons any awards."

"Any Duke or Duchess entered in the Crown Lists shall have the right to withdraw from the Crown Lists at any time." {The rest of us can't?}

"All those of Ducal rank {Duke or Duchess} may create for themselves a Ducal retinue (personal herald; guards; ladies in waiting, etc.) which will be recognized by the Crown. ... [They] may hold Ducal Audiences or Courts. They may not grant any awards, but they may give tokens and scrolls of praise and recognition."

"All gifts given to [the Royalty] without prior notice shall be returned to the donor."


"The use of any title, style, or regalia of any extant non-Society chivalric order is strictly prohibited within the kingdom. The use of titles, styles, or regalia of an historically known, but now defunct, chivalric order is permitted only to members of the Order of Knighthood. Any knight who claims such title, style, or regalia will be expected to live according to the rules of the associated order." {Didn't the Templars have a restriction against bathing?}

"Single Supporters, are {sic} used in the displays of Achievements of Arms, may be used by Bestowed Peers {Chivalry, Laurels, or Pelicans}, individuals having a Grant-of-Arms and Groups. Paired Supporters, are {sic} used in the displays of Achievements of Arms, may be used by Royal Peers and those groups and individuals having been granted an Augmentation of Arms."

Knights must reswear fealty as soon as possible following Coronation, "failure to do so will result in mandatory first level banishment and surrendering of gold chain and white belt to Acting Principal of the Order."

"The nobility are the Royal Peers."

"The landed barons and baronesses, together with the members of the royal peerage, shall be collectively known as the 'Noble Estate'."

"The Council of Nobles shall be composed of the royalty, the royal peers, and current or former territorial barons and baronesses."


Great Officers of the Kingdom rank below the current royalty and above the Dukes and Duchesses on the Kingdom Order of Precedence.

Great Officers of the Kingdom rank below the Territorial Barons and above the Court Barons on the Kingdom Order of Precedence.

Great Officers of the Kingdom rank where they otherwise would on the Kingdom Order of Precedence.

"At the Crown's discretion, a Great Lord or Lady of State {a Great Officer of the Kingdom} may be given a Grant of Arms, after passing a six month probationary period."

"Due to obligations set forth in these laws; Royalty, [the kingdom rattan champion, the kingdom fencing champion, the kingdom archery champion], the Arts & Sciences Champion and the Kingdom Officers are exempt from paying site fees at all Crown Events."

"Officers may receive directions from their superiors. However, such directions may not be obeyed if they conflict with an order from the Crown."
                {That's one way of dealing with the BoD!}

A deputy herald "will keep a list of all Mottoes, Crests, and Supporters requested by the members of the populace having passed names and devices." {Why?}

"The Bard shall have a major work prepared for each major Principality event, the works to be collected in a single book handed from Bard to Bard. The Bard shall have a performance set prepared for each major Principality event at the request of the Coronet."

"The Bard may not refuse to perform for the [Royalty] or for anyone under the age of twelve."


"The first weekend of the month is reserved for Kingdom events unless cleared in advance with the Kingdom Seneschal and the Crown."

"The Baron/ess together with the baronial Seneschal may petition the Crown to waive or change the date of a perpetual event for one year."

{In other words, if The Barony of the Rhydderich Hael decided NOT to hold Ice Dragon, they would need the permission of the royalty to cancel, otherwise they would be REQUIRED to run it.}

To Enter Crown Tourney:
"Any entrant or consort whose arms have been approved in sufficient time to do so must display them during the tournament as follows: The entrant's arms must be prominently displayed on the field (e.g. shield, surcoat or tabard); the prospective consort's arms must be prominently displayed at the side of the field (e.g. banner, standard or article of clothing.)"

To Enter Crown Tourney:
"He/she must have served in an adminstrative office of the SCA, or its equivalent for at least six months."

To Enter Crown Tourney:
"Each entrant in Crown List must bear the favor of a person of the opposite gender as potential escort."

To Enter Coronet Tourney:
"Each unbelted combatant must have a belted fighter speak for him/her."


"No family shall pay a fee higher than three full adult prices for admission to an event as long as the children are fifteen years of age and younger and they are members."

"Households in the Kingdom are herewith defined as a lord and lady who declare themselves as a house, one or both of them being subscribing members of the SCA."

"No group may call itself a guild or company unless it has been recognized as such by the Kingdom."

"A barony must maintain a level of excellence in the Arts, Sciences and Martial Arts."
                {But not service?}

"Branch petitions must be calligraphed."


"The Cambium Award (cambium: a thin formative layer between the xylem and phylum of most vascular plants that gives rise to new cells and is responsible for secondary growth. -- Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary) may be awarded ... to a person who exhibits a cheerful willingness to actively participate in the establishment and preservation of the ambienence (milieu vital) of the Current Middle Ages."

{The dictionary definition is NOT part of my commentary, it's actually written into the law that way.}

"The Order of the Period Encampment shall be awarded at the end of each reign to an individual or household who has made a great effort to present an encampment with a medieval atmosphere. The token of this order is a pennon in the principality colors of argent with azure engrailing, with a medieval pavillion in the center. The recipient of this token will display it during the following reign."

Kingdom Champions have the right "to have a place at high table for champion and escort" and "to attend all Crown events, unless s/he receives permission from the Crown not to do so."

"for authorization in all weapons systems with expertise in at least two."

"to promote period table settings."

for "a cheerful willingness to shelter, feed, clothe his/her fellows to the fullest extent his/her private means allow."

"for excellence in period attitude, behavior and encampment."

"for those persons who have won a Principality contest organized by the members of the order."

for fighters "who consistently present a good looking and period appearance on the field."

"for courage and bravery in the face of personal and real danger in the real world."

"for active fighters age forty or older."

{Five years ago when Baron Zahava listed this award, it was 'for active fighters age thirty-five and older'}

for having "shown exemplary merit and skill in the authorship, publication and dissemination of articles of scholarly interest."

"for contributions to historical study ... Each member of the order shall be required to either publish one scholarly paper per year in any publication of the Society, ... or submit at least one scholarly paper per year to be filed in the archives of the Royal University."

"Banners are defined as square/rectangular flags supported along the side which bear the arms or complete achievement of the Armiger. Banners are limited to Royal Peers, and with special dispensation from the Crown, Knights, Pelicans, and Laurels, ... Gonfalons are defined as a flag supported along the top which displays the arms or the complete achievement of the bearer. ... Gonfalons are permitted of any citizen."

"Bestowed Peers {Chivalry, Laurels, or Pelicans} may wear a circlet of gold or silver with no protrusions above or below the band, with simple ornamentation. The overall height shall not exceed one inch."

"Members of the populace with Grants of Arms may wear a totally unornamented circlet of any metal with no protrusions above or below the band, the overall height of which shall not exceed one half inch."

"Members of the populace may wear a totally unadorned circlet of any metal with no protusion above or below the band. The overall height shall not exceed one-half inch."

"Members of the populace with Awards of Arms may wear a totally unornamented circlet of any metal with no protrusions above or below the band, the overall height of which shall not exceed one quarter inch."

"Royal peers shall be entitled to a Cloak of Estate in their livery colors, trimmed in ermine, bearing their arms, which may be below a coronet of their rank. Bestowed peers shall be entitled to a Cloak of Estate in the colors of their order [Chivalry - black lined in gold; Laurel - gold lined in green; Pelican - red lined in white] or orders. They may also wear a Cloak of Estate in their personal livery colors, trimmed in ermine, bearing their arms, and embellished as appropriate to their order [KSCA - gold chain; MSCA - white baldric; Laurel - green wreath; Pelican - red teardrops] or orders."

"Ermine shall be reserved for the Royal Family and Peers of the Realm exclusively."

{The Compact Oxford English Dictionary (pg.529, sec.372) defines 'ermine' as: a species of weasel; the fur from the same; garment trimmings made from the latter; the official robes of a judge or a state peer; or a heraldic tincture. Presumably, the law refers to the garment trimmings, but you could make a legitimate case for any and all of the definitions. And does fake fur count as ermine?}


A statute is defined as permanent law; an edict as a law for the duration of the reign; and a proclamation as a law for the duration of an event.

"Only pavillions of reasonably period appearance shall be erected on the Eric {the region around the tournament lists} at Kingdom events. Principalities and other local groups may enforce this provision at their option."

"All mythical animals, such as unicorns, dragons, wyverns, etc. shall be under the protection of the Crown."

"Assassinations are in poor taste, WILL NOT be condoned and are subject to administration of justice of the Coronet."
                {Presumably, this law refers to mock assassinations and not the real article.}

"Weapons shall be kept out of reach of small children and animals."

"The use of horses while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants is expressly forbidden."

"There shall be no combat on horseback at any event in the kingdom."

"Each natural person is a single legal entity. The effect of any proclamation, rule or law on a person is not affected by that person's adopting or appearing at a kingdom-sanctioned event or meeting in an alternate persona or as a mundane."

{Banished individuals are listed by SCA name so everyone knows who it is that has been banished. This law says you can't get around the banishment by adopting a new persona.}

"The powers of the Crown shall extend only to the affairs of the Kingdom, not extending to the twentieth century."

SUMMARY -- This article was meant to list all of the laws of the other kingdoms and principalities that I found interesting for one reason or another. All of it may be considered as springboard for discussions. If anyone would like to discuss this further with me, I can be reached at: David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029 or via e-mail below.

                                Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr

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