Greetings!

I have seen a lot of people, new and not so new to the SCA, who have been unsure of how to enter and exit Court the “proper” way. I say “proper” in quotes because everyone has their own little flourishes, and not two people move the exact same way. Here is the basics.

Do you enter & exit Court appropriately?

Gentlemen always are supposed to enter Court un-escorted. Gentlemen do not need an escort into the Royal presence. It is considered a faux pas for a gentleman to be escorted by a lady into Court.

Ladies are always supposed to enter Court escorted by a gentleman. (Without being prompted, guys.) It is considered good form for a lady, any lady, to be escorted into the Royal presence by a gentleman. If they lady’s husband/fiance/boyfriend is present (and paying attention), it should be him.
If a lady’s significant other/partner is not a man, then a gentleman should offer to escort her.
If her significant other/partner is a woman with a male persona, she may escort her significant other/partner into Court.

To Enter Court:
• When you reach the front row of chairs (either on or off stage) you (both you and your escort) fully bow/curtsy.
If NOT on a stage, the gentleman will then take a knee off to the side of the aisle and wait for the lady to return to him to be escorted all the way back to either her seat or the aisle her seat is located in.
If ON a stage, the gentleman should assist the lady up the stairs (big dresses and treacherous stairs do not make for a smooth entrance into Court), both should bow at the top of the stairs. He will then take a knee at the top of the stairs and wait for the lady to return to him to be escorted all the way back to either her seat or the aisle of her seat.
• When you reach the kneeling pillows, it is appropriate to kneel on either pillow (or both if it calls for being funny). If you don’t know which one to pick, always pick the one in front of the lady, or pick the one in front of the person who is the same sex as you are. Use them, that’s what they are there for! If the Crown has a lot to say about you, your knees can get very sore if you are not using those lovely pillows.
• If you for any reason just can’t kneel, then ask the people who have called you into Court if you may please stand. Most will say, “Of course.”

To Exit Court:
If you’re NOT on a stage, after making the announcement or receiving an accolade from the Crown, bow/curtsy to the Crown, back up (if you’re a lady, gather your skirt so you don’t trip) to the first row of seats (if you’re a lady, gather your escort) bow/curtsy again (both of you) then turn and walk quietly back to your seats.
If you are ON stage, after making the announcement or receiving an accolade from the Crown, bow/curtsy to the Crown, back up (if you’re a lady, gather your skirt so you don’t trip) a few tiny steps, 3 or so, (if you’re a lady, gather your escort) bow/curtsy again (both of you) then turn a walk quietly back to your seats. Be mindful of where the stage ends! I have seen way too many folks turn into unintentional stuntmen/women in a matter of a couple of steps.

Next week, making announcements and presentations in Court.

Hopefully Helpful,

Hrefna