Royal Court Roles
A royal court consists of people who serve a monarch. The roles vary in importance and function, and they can often be inherited or purchased for a hefty price.
Traditionally, potential courtiers could become a part of the palace by rising through the ranks and earning their lady’s approval. This also included sponsored artists.
Typically these people are envoys sent to other kingdoms. These types of people are usually very important in a Shakespeare play because they can provide some much needed backstory and context.
Leads the artistic programme of ESC and articulates the Company’s vision to all stakeholders. Ensures that best practice in people management and artistic excellence is delivered at all times.
Serves as the embodiment of leadership, character and school pride at Dillard University. Represents the College at various events and serves as a class ambassador. Facilitates student involvement in platform initiatives.
A noble was a family member of the monarch’s household with special privileges. They might even have an apartment in the palace. Nobles were expected to attend court regularly. This gave the king control over them and increased their dependence on him.
They would have land, titles and other privileges passed down to them by their ancestors. This created a kind of functional pyramid scheme where the Ruler was at the top and peasants were at the bottom.
Some nobles had a specific role at court, which came with a salary and duties. This was often inherited but could be bought for the right price.
Guards are the elite soldiers that protect a monarch. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they are typically flashy and heavily armed. They are highly-trained officers and soldiers, and they have a long history dating back to 1656.
Each guard is commanded by a Captain. When relieved of duty, the Captains advance their detachments into the palace courtyards at Buckingham and St James’s to present arms.
They also attend state arrivals, the State Opening of Parliament and services for Her Majesty’s Orders. They are usually joined by a full military band led by their director of music. They also provide a bodyguard for the Sovereign on ceremonial occasions.
Courtiers were people who had a specific role to play in the court. These roles could be inherited or bought for a price, and came with duties, accommodation in the palace and access to the ruler’s approval.
The centre of any royal court is the monarch(s) themselves. They will be surrounded by their personal staff who share in the fine things, power, wealth and danger of their position.
These staff members can be powerful nobles or just rich merchants, small lords and even inventors/artists looking for money, approbation or power from the monarch. They can be the likes of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet or Grima Wormtongue from Dune or Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones.
Depending on your world’s setting, there are a number of semi-permanent guests that might be found within the royal court. These can include prisoners and hostages (both of whom follow the rules of Sacred Hospitality), as well as sons of lesser nobles who are fostered by a monarch for training as a warrior or courtier.
Whether the guest’s station or possible value to the crown is high, a castle will ALWAYS have guests. Servants can also be considered this group, including head cooks, librarians, tasters, housekeepers and laundresses. Harem members are also a possibility, but that’s all up to your story.
The Monarch’s Favorites
Some courtiers gain special favour because of their charm, boldness, honeyed tongue or some other quality. These are the people who get to know a leader well, supplementing their chief advisor’s role.
Examples include Lerma, who became a leading patron of art, and the King’s chaplain, who acts as a mediator between a monarch’s conscience and their church representatives. Then there’s the court mage or pet mad scientist.
Other duties may include entertaining rival dignitaries or putting them in a good mood before beginning negotiations. Catering is also a key role. It’s not uncommon for palace servants to make their living by dealing with royal caterers.