In the SCA the title Baron or Baroness is used in two ways.
Landed or Territorial
The first is Territorial or Landed Baron or Baroness and is an armigerous title and office held by those who are appointed to be the ceremonial heads of the territorial branches of the SCA known as baronies. They can be distinguished by a coronet of gold ornamented with six pearls. They are referred to as "Your Excellency".
Landed Barons and Baronesses have several unique privileges:
- They may create Baronial Awards during their tenure (which pass through an approval process similar to the one for badges and devices.) and may have Baronial Champions as they see fit.
- They may wear the device of their Barony and display them as their personal arms.
- They may grant others the privilege of wearing their Baronial arms.
- They may speak for the Crown by presenting awards that have already been given in Royal courts in a Baronial court
Landed barons and baronesses were for much of the earlier history of the Middle Kingdom virtually lifetime appointments. There was no expectation that a given baron or baroness would step down unless they became inactive. There was an expectation that it would be early leading members of the group who would receive this honor. The first baron in the kingdom actually won his coronet in a tournament, a procedure that was never repeated.
Since the early 1990s, there has been a broad change in how this is managed by the kingdom. There is now a careful polling process to determine the advice of the members of the barony before the king and queen choose candidates from a slate. Baronies are now required to have terms of office for their baron and baroness no more than five years. Three years seems to be a common period. Only Rivenstar from among the older baronies still has its original baron and baroness.
The second is Court Baron or Baroness and is an armigerous title held by those who have given service to The Crown above and beyond that normally expected. They can be distinguished by a coronet of silver with six pearls (spheroids), ornamented as they see fit. Court Barons and Baronesses that have served as Landed Barons and Baronesses may wear a silver coronet with twelve pearls (spheroids), ornamented as they see fit.
They are referred to as "Your Excellency".
See Scroll texts for standard and variation texts for this Award or Order.