Guide to the Reign
During Darius' first reign, his Majesty established Royal Patronage, and since its inception it has continued to be a successful endeavour. There has now been a period of time in which it has been allowed to grow and find shape, and during this reign, We hope to define it further.
The Patronage was designed to fill a gap that existed for groups that were without a Baronial prescence. These groups were sometimes left without the kind of guidance and support that Boronies have, from their coronets. The purpose of the Patronage was to provide smaller groups with a Royal Peer who was willing to act as a ceremonial head and advisor, and to link the group more directly to the Crown. A Patron will act as the liason between the Crown and the branch in a similar way that a Baron or Baroness does. This was intended for incipient branches, and full-status shires, ports, colleges, and strongholds, and would not include cantons which fall directly under Baronial supervision.
The roles of the patron fall into three categories with plenty of room for individual tailoring. The Patron would act as a ceremonial figurehead for the group to add to the pageantry and ceremony of the branch. The Patron would be an advisor to the members of the group and the branch as a whole on diverse matters. Most importantly, they would support and facilitate the branch's relationship with the Crown.
On the first point, one of the main purposes of the Patron is to increase the ceremonial dignity of the group's events, and because of this, they are encouraged to hold court in their capacity of patron, and are permitted to form a modest retinue and in other ways add to the general pomp and ceremony of the branch. The Patron would act as host with visiting dignitaries and Royals, and would preside over head table on the absence of Their Majesties. It is also possible for the Patron to pass on awards for members of their group, that the Crown has empowered them to. This can be especially beneficial if the group is in an outlying part of the Kingdom.
There is no reason a Patron could not create letters and scrolls of praise and recognition, and to have tokens or favors that are bestowed by them. The Patron may preside over a Tournament to select the Defenders and other Champions of the branch, though the victors would not be the personal champions of the Royal Peer, but rather champion/defender of the branch.
In the second point, regarding the role of advisor, they should advise the members of the populace when appropriate or requested. Though they do not officially deliniate policy for the branch, Royal Peers have a wealth of experience to draw upon, and can guide in the practical workings of branches and the Kingdom. Their main motivation should always be to further the goals of the Branch as foremost in their minds, and in some cases this means elevation to Baronial status. For this reason, they should receive reports from the officers of the group, so they can keep apprised of the health and growth of the group. They can also better compile their report to the Crown with plenty of information.
They are to advise and assist the populace in matters of protocol and custom. They should encourage classes and workshops to better educate their members and they should attempt to create a feeling of belonging in the outlying branches of the Kingdom. For the third point, in the capacity of representative of the Branch to the Crown, we have the heart of the Patronage. They will accept fealty from the populace of the Branch, and in turn must swear fealty to Crown. In this capacity, the Royal Patron will represent the branch in the meeting of the Noble Estate. It is through this Council that the Crown can heed the word of Its noble Peers and hear the voices of their branches. In a similar vein, the Patron could carry back the word of the Crown to the branch.
As ceremonial head and protector of the branch, Patrons are encouraged to excercise their priviledge and duty to field an army of warriors from the branch in service to the Crown in war; either for their Kingdom or against other branches. The patron must also see that all troops fighting under their banner are trained, safe, and comport themselves chivalricaly upon the warfield.
The benefits to both parties can be manifold. The Peer can find an outlet for their energies and knowledge and a have a chance to aid in the growth and development of a group, at the same time evolving a very special relationship. The branch has a unique opportunity to ask someone who has held the reins of power what they can best do to forward their group's interests and needs. They will have a spokesperson who will represent them to the Crown, and serve to give them a figurehead in the absence of the Crown. They have someone 'on their side' who will act as advisor and patron. This is also true on an individual basis within the membership of the group. A Patron will likely have a much less intimidating aspect, and be approachable to individuals who have concerns or questions about the Society at large.
The Royal Peer can expect to receive the deference of someone of their rank and station, and be accorded certian priveledges which would be decided between the group and Peer themselves. The group, in order to foster the good will of their patron could pay fealty to and support their patron in times of war, adding ceremony and pageantry to the battlefield. They must keep their Patron advised of the goings on in the group, including copies of reports. If they wish, they may ask their patron to pass on recommendations for members of their branches. The branch should be encourged to create regalia to add to the flavor of court.
Once a branch has reached a consensus about a Royal Peer and that person or couple is in agreement, they should each send a petition to Their Majesties with copies to the Heirs if applicable, requesting the the relationship be reviewed by the Crown, who will make the final determination. If a group would like a Patron , but do not ahave a special relationship with a Royal Peer, they should approach the Crown for suggestions. Other branches with Patrons may also have useful insight. No Royal Peer will be compelled to accept this position and no branch will be compelled to accept a Patron. If the relationship is no longer suitable to The Crown, the branch or the Peer, then the arrangement can be dissolved at any time with the appropriate notifications to the Crown.
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