The An Tir Handbook, 3rd Edition, May XXXIII/1998
Writing an Award Recommendation
By Lao Khatun, Duchess of An Tir
When I was queen my greatest pleasure came from giving public recognition to the endeavors of my people in the arts, sciences and in service. Having the rare opportunity to serve this realm twice from the Lion’s Throne, I have witnessed several people evolve from newcomer to titled noble, and in some instances, to be admitted to the Peerage Orders. Any queen will tell you that the decisions that are made regarding these forms of recognition are not made lightly. Nor are they made independently. Although it is the prerogative of the Crown to bestow awards, They depend upon the advice of Their people, whom They often charge to bring to Their attention those who are deserving of royal favor.
When you write a letter of recommendation, you should include the candidate’s name, persona, the branch they are from, and what they have done to be worthy of elevation. List what awards and titles they currently hold, and state which award you feel the candidate should be considered for. If they hold an office, include how long they have held the office, and what improvements they have made to it. State how long the person has been in the Society in addition to their contributions. Typically the Crown will consider giving an Award of Arms to someone who has been a contributing member the Society for at least 1½ - 2 years. For Grants of Arms (Jambe de Lion, Goutte de Sang, etc.) 3 - 5 years is considered a reasonable length of time. It can take several years for a candidate to be admitted to one of the peerage orders.
The Crown looks specifically for ways in which the candidate has been of service to the Kingdom as a whole. If the candidate has made clothes for everyone in your household, perhaps a thank-you is in order rather than a letter of recommendation to the Crown. If the candidate has made fighting tabards for the sergeants of your Barony, recommend them to your Baroness for a Baronial service award. If they have made cloaks for the Kingdom Water Bearers and have offered to keep them cleaned and repaired, a letter of recommendation to Their Majesties for a kingdom level award is appropriate.
Anyone can recommend anyone else for any type of award. The Crown is just as pleased to receive recommendations for the Peerage Orders as they are for AA’s, Jambes and Gouttes. They also appreciate receiving recommendations for those awards which are given out less frequently, such as the Lion’s Cub, Mano d’Oro, Carp, Lion of An Tir and Court Baron. You do not need to be a member of an order to recommend someone for that order. It is ill-advised however to recommend yourself, and it is usually considered bad form for a husband to recommend a wife, or a girlfriend to recommend her boyfriend and vice versa. Remember to sign your recommendation, as the Crown does not accept anonymous recommendations. Include your titles and offices as well. If there are others whom the Crown could contact as additional references, include their names and titles also (be sure to ask them first!). The Crown will usually contact Their peers and officers in the branch to solicit additional comment on your recommendation. Send AA recommendations to the King and Queen as well as the Prince and Princess of the Principality.
The Crown keeps a recommendations book which is passed from one reign to the next. The contents of the book is sorted by branches, and multiple letters recommending a particular person are kept together. Although some Royal Couples will accept petitions, most make Their decision on the number of letters that They receive for a particular candidate. It is helpful to write a separate letter for each person that you are recommending. It is helpful to have the date, candidate’s name and award that you are recommending them for at the top of the page, or highlighted somewhere in the text. Some Crowns will ask for calligraphed letters, others prefer typewritten. Regardless of which style you choose, your letter should be clear and easy to read. It should also be on paper that is 8½ x 11" so that it fits into a standard 3-ring binder.
Most of all, be patient. Do not expect the Crown to reply to your letter, even if it is sent via e-mail. Do not expect the award to be given at the very next event that the person is at, or even during the current reign. Bear always in mind that the granting of awards is entirely the prerogative of The Crown. By making the recommendation, you’ve done your duty. A letter of recommendation is simply that---a recommendation. If the person you are recommending is truly worthy, their labors will be recognized sooner or later. As will your own some day.
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