A retinue is a crew of people who take care of the Baron and Baroness during their reign, providing personal support and care both at home and at events so that they are free to perform their royal duties.
This care and support takes place in various forms; the setting up and breaking down of camp, organizing court, taking notes at meetings, fetching and carrying, minding children, delivering messages, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and more.
The members of a baronial retinue are chosen by the Baron and Baroness. Traditionally, the retinue is composed of people whom the baronial couple know and trust to be hard-working, reliable and discreet. Serving as retinue is hard work. Think of it as being the stage crew for a major theatrical performance; they do the majority of the work behind the scenes that make ‘Their Excellencies’ court flow smoothly and efficiently. A good retinue can make the baronial couple look great. A lazy or ill-prepared retinue can really make court slow, boring, and frankly, not worth going to. Each reign is different, and each set of royalty handles its retinue differently.
Their Excellencies are not required to use the same people as previous reigns; however, there is often a “core” of retinue that is known to be reliable and experienced. This is why you often see the same people serving through multiple reigns.
Many coronets have Counsels/Advisers to help them. Generally these people are former Royalty, former Barons or Baronesses, or former Kingdom officers; they are very experienced with the nuances and politics of ruling. Customarily, there is a Head Lady-in-Waiting to wrangle the attendants behind the thrones for both the Baron & Baroness. The Head Lady-in-Waiting is like the stage director and tries to be at all events that the royal couple go to. Generally, there is also a Captain of the Guard to wrangle the guards who provide muscle and ceremonial “protection”. The guards are often the people that put up the royal pavilion, thrones, unload the trailer, and handle any other brute force needs.
Usually the Baronial couple will appoint advisors. The advisors are, more or less, “sounding boards” to talk to about issues and get points of view from before they make decisions. There is sometimes a Royal counselor and that person does basically the same thing, but is listed as a contact person. A retinue usually consists of the following, but is not limited to these positions:
- Head Lady-In-Waiting – Stage manager of the reign
- A group of Ladies-in-Waiting (usually at least eight) – Stage hands (a lot of work)
- Captain of the Guard – (In charge of heavy lifting and sets the schedule for guardsmen to escort the Baroness)
- The Guard – They set up and take down the royal pavilion, escort the Baroness outside of court and answer challenges in the Baroness’s name.
- Chief Scribe – This person usually takes notes at court of gifts received, awards given and other business that may require other work after court is completed.
- Other scribes – These can be ladies-in-waiting. They fill in charters and organize the scrolls for presentation.
- Personal Herald – Usually this is the Scorpion Pursuivant herald, but some royalty have personal favorites to run court from a heraldic standpoint.
- There are also the baronial champions standing in court to serve.
There are more, but you get the point. It takes a LOT of people to get court running and flowing smoothly.
If you are interested in doing this, approach your local Baron and Baroness and ask if you can volunteer. As you get known for being a hard working person, your name will get known and, trust me, you WILL get grabbed to do the job. As the saying goes, “Good help is hard to find”. When it is found, it gets picked up quickly!
Master Harduin of Heristal
|Lady Gwenlyn Aldwyn|
|Champion of al-Barran||Protector of the Baroness’s Heart|
|Champion Archer||Baronial Arts and Science Champion|
|Bard of al-Barran|
|Lord of Outlandish||Lady of May|
|Master Swordsman||Premier Blade|
|Outlandish Blade||Aculeus of al-Barran|
|Flower of Chivalry||Rapier Flower of Chivalry|
|Baronial Household Chatelaine||Plenipotentiary|
|Captain of the Guard||Guardsmen|
|Arch de Scorpion|
|Head Lady in Waiting||Ladies in Waiting|