Badge of the Kingdom of An Tir

How to Write
Letters of Recommendation
to Their Majesties

by HLS Eric de Dragonslaire

Is there some person whom you know that merits recognition for services to Crown and Kingdom or for outstanding performance in the arts? You can do your part to see that they receive recognition and reward by writing a letter of recommendation to their Majesties.

Anyone can write a letter of recommendation. It will be judged on what the subject has done, not on who you are.

The standards that their Majesties use for determining who will receive awards are their subjective standards. They compare what has been done in the past with what they know about the subject. You can help the process by providing them with a letter filled with information. The more detailed the letter is about specific accomplishments and contributions, the more persuasive it will be. Petitions are generally unsuccessful and are disfavored. It is felt that if someone merits recognition the person sharing the sentiment should take the time to write a letter. Beware of exaggerating what someone has done. Your credibility is on the line whenever you write a letter of recommendation.

The letter should begin with a salutation. I use:

To Their Majesties, (names of Their Majesties),
of An Tir
and/or
To Their Highnesses, (names of Their Highnesses),
of An Tir

Then State the purpose of the letter. You should always state the subject's name, branch affiliation, titles (if any), modern name, and the award you wish their Majesties to make; e.g.,

I wish to recommend _________ of the Shire/Barony/(branch type) of ________, mka ________, for an Award of Arms;
or,
I wish to recommend that Lady ________ of the Shire/Barony/(branch type) of _________, mka ____________, be admitted to the Right Noble Order of the Goutte de Sang.

You should indicate how long they have been in the SCA.

You can write a letter of recommendation for your lord or lady if you feel they deserve it. If you do, it is considered proper etiquette to indicate the relationship in the letter.

You should then detail the accomplishments, offices, local awards and other factors which cause you to believe that this person should be given the award. If you have dates, you should use them.

Realize that people are often given awards simply because they have contributed to the dream in many small ways over time. Don't overlook ways in which they have been helpful. Also people may have come in from outside branches or kingdoms. Research what they have done prior to your meeting them and include that in your letter. Ascribe your sources when you are relating something that you personally have not observed.

Summarize the letter. Date the letter. Give your society name, modern name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Make sure you use any titles that you have when you send anything to their Majesties (a former Queen chastised me for not using my title when corresponding with their Royal Majesties). Copies should be sent to the Prince and Princess if we have one. Sometimes in the past the King and Queen have designated a Vizier to whom the letters should be sent. Former Queen Octavia requested that you enclose a photograph of the subject for all major awards.

Send the letter. Your letter may be the factor which helps Their Majesties to decide that that subject deserves an award.

Yours, in Service,
HLS Eric de Dragonslaire

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Read more about it:
How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for a Peerage Award
Peer-like Qualities
Baronial Awards of Wealdsmere
The Arte of Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Available at the An Tir web site:
Writing Award Recommendations by Duchess Lao Khatun
Award Descriptions from the An Tir Handbook
Award Recommendation Form (electronic submission)
Award Recommendation forms for a Peerage award (elec. submission)


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