Nobility in the Gallosphere
Nobility in the Gallosphere
Nobility within the Gallosphere is regulated mostly by custom since it exists legally as a class in only 2 states (Hayti and New Francy).
Nobility in France
Currently, the noble families are not given any special recognition. That being said, use of their names and arms is protected under law, but only as far as usurpation is concerned. Thus, anyone could have his name changed legally to "Duke of X", but would obtain from it no advantages. They also couldn't use its arms if already registered by someone else (i.e. the ducal family of X) if it had been registered as a trademark.
Nobility in Saint Domingo
Nobility in Louisiana
Nobility in New Francy
Roughly 15 000 nobles immigrated to New Francy following the revolution either from France or from Louisiana. Currently, their descendants still living in the Intendacy are considered the same as other inhabitants except for the right to elect their own representative to the Estates-Generals.
To be considered of noble class, one must prove nobility dating back to before 1789. In the case of foreign noblemen taking up residence, their claims to be part of the noble class are only recognised if the source of their noble origins was recognised or would have been recogniseable by the French royalty in pre-revolutionary France. This means that only those whose ennobling was given by a dynasty which existed before the Revolution could do so. A 20th century Castillian enobling would be recognised whereas a mid-19th century Orleanist one wouldn't.
It has been the policy of New Francy's government not to create or recognise new titles as it is the opinion of its experts that only a reigning monarch may grant titles of nobility and not simply a pretender to the throne.
During the brief Restoration of the French Monarchy in France, a law was passed introducing a declension of titles to be used by untitled nobles (anyone related to a noble family but not the eldest son). With this system, the eldest son bore the title given to his familly whereas brothers and descendants bore the title one level below.
To give an example, the eldest son of the Bourbon-Condé family would be known as "X, prince of Bourbon Condé" and the second eldest brother as well as the prince`s son would be called "Duke X of Bourbon-Condé". All those too low to rank a title would be known simply as "X de Bourbon-Condé". Only the eldest male (whether Prince, duke or otherwise) is entitled to bear the family's arms undefaced.
The order of titles are, from highest to lowest:
Prince Duc Marquis Comte Vicomte Baron
The system has since been adopted by the legitimist and the Dessaline-created nobility.
Chevalier, Écuyer & Seigneur
None of these 3 terms are titles of hereditary nobility in the Gallosphere but rather "dignities".
Chevalier represent membership in one of the princely order. As the orders do not depend on royal patronage, dignities are still routinely granted to people (noble or not) who have been of particular service to a prince (or in Saint Domingo, to the emperor).
Écuyer is a term use to represent an untitled noble.
Seigneur is the holder of a seignory. The seigneur can be noble or not and his use of this dignity depend completely on being in actual posession of the seignory. currently the only seigneur are in New Francy.
Titles of Courtesy
While the majority of titles are linked with pre-republican estates, a few titles still extant historically were not. These titles represented instead a function; the most famous being "Dauphin" used by the heir-apparent to the throne during his father's reign. Habits have seen the term being used nowadays for the eldest son to the then current pretender.
Other siblings of the Dauphin are also refered by similar titles (such as "Duke of New Orleans") which have no historical basis.
Titles of courtesy are awarded at the pretender's discretion.