In the Hereditary Nobility of Westarctica, a Courtesy title is a title that is not hereditary, is granted directly from the Grand Duke, and is given as a sometimes temporary privilege to a single person.
History and use
The usage of Courtesy titles has been prevalent throughout the history of Westarctica. The Grand Duke most frequently grants courtesy titles to the spouses or children of Hereditary Nobles who have obtained their titles through Letters Patent.
Other examples of Courtesy titles currently in use include Viceroys and Governors of autonomous regions, guardians of Hereditary Nobles who are under the age of 18, and administrative positions that exist as part of the Hereditary Nobility, but which are not hereditary themselves (the Royal Envoy, for example).
Similar to a Life Peerage in the United Kingdom, a Courtesy title would not pass to the heirs of the holder upon their death.
As opposed to the titles of the Hereditary Nobility, which are strictly regulated, the regulation and management of Courtesy titles is far more lax. The majority of Courtesy titles do not grant the holder any special privileges or rank within Westarctica, therefore, many of the names and titles of the holders not even recorded in a central register.
Courtesy titles are traditionally granted on a piece of golden parchment paper bearing the arms of Westarctica at the top. The seal of Westarctica is stamped in wax directly on the paper as opposed to sealing ribbons linked through the paper (as on Letters Patent).
Courtesy Title vs. Proclamation of Titleage
Courtesy Titles should not be confused with Proclamations of Titleage. Although the two appear very similar and both are issued directly by the Grand Duke without formal Letters Patent, there are still important differences:
- A title issued by Proclamation of Titleage is still a hereditary title.
- A title issued by Proclamation of Titleage is typically accompanied by a map showing the specific region for which the title was named.
- A Proclamation of Titleage may or may not bear the wax Seal of Westarctica or the Seal of the Grand Duke. It may also bear both seals.
- All Proclamations of Titleage created after 2010 are saved in the government's national repository for verification of authenticity.