Peerage of the Oan Isles
The peerage of the Oan Isles refers to the system of ranks, titles and privileges accorded to members of the aristocratic class. Although the Oan Isles is a modern egalitarian democratic liberal nation, the system of peerages is a relic of the periods when the Oan Isles was ruled by Semi-autonomous fiefs. Because the Oan Isles has been historically isolated, it's feudal system developed independently of that of surrounding nations and became linked with Mauism in the sense that nobles had responsibility over temples and shrines within their area of competence. Thus, the Oan Isles has been able to preserve this system for hundreds of years up to the modern day. The senior-most nobles sit in the Council of Chiefs, the upper house of the Oan legislature the National Assembly. The Constitution of the Oan Isles grants the Rangitanga-a-te-Moana the power to bequeath, revoke, demote and promote nobles of their titles as the fount of honor. Unlike other monarchies, the Prime Minister does not have the power to advise the Emperor on noble titles. Peerages are distinct from chivalric titles and orders which are lifelong and non-hereditary awards made by the Sovereign on members of the Commoners and the Nobility alike who have contributed to the nation.
List of peerages
Oan noble ranks are gender neutral.
The following list is in descending order of seniority (with the Oan language translation in parentheses):
- Prince or Princess (Piriniha) is a title bequeathed only on the children, grand children, siblings, and parents of the reigning monarch. They bear the style of Royal Highness (Tona Runga Rangatiri). This style signifies succession to the throne.
- Great Chief (Rangatira Nui) is a title bequeathed on the heads of the historic tribes of the Oan Isles and would be the equivalent of a Duke or Duchess. Unlike the equivalent title on mainland Aurora and elsewhere, this title is not linked to an estate but to a cultural group and the holder thereof must trace their lineage to the ancestor of that group to be eligible to hold that title. They bear the style of His or Her Grace (Tona Aroha).
- High Chief (Rangatira Teitei) is held by a noble who presides over a sub-tribal group or a group which the Crown does not fully recognize as a tribe but is independent of any fully recognized tribe (known as a half-tribe). Experts in aristocracy suggest that High Chiefs are the equivalent of the Marquess rank. The bear the style of Most Esteemed (Ko Te Mea Whakaute Nui).
- Chiefs (Rangatira) are heads of clans and receive their mandate from the Crown. Clans are directly related by blood in a manner that is much closer than tribes and sub-tribes. The bear the style of Esteemed (Ko Te Mea Whakaute) and the equivalent Earl.
- Junior Chiefs (Rangatira Rangatahi) are not the head of anything. They are simply lesser nobles recognised by the Crown as being senior members of a clan, sub tribe or tribe. They are the equivalent of Viscount. They bear the style of Esteemed (Ko Te Mea Whakaute).
- Gentlemen or Gentlewomen or Gentleperson (Tane) are non-hereditary/lifetime titles bestowed by the Sovereign. They are the equivalent of Barons. They also bear the style of Esteemed (Ko Te Mea Whakaute).
Forms of address
All nobles except Princess and Gentlemen and Gentlewomen are referred to as Lords and Ladies. To indicate which tribe, sub-tribes, clan or half-tribe they belong to, chief-title nobles' titles are appended with "of x" e.g., "Great Chief of Ana" or "Chief of Uye". Chief-titled nobles are conventionally not addressed by their first name only by their title. Both male and non-binary/gender-non-conforming chief-titled nobles and Princely nobles are referred to as Lord. In the case of Great Chiefs and Princes and Princesses, the styles of non-binary/gender non-conforming are referred to as Their in Staynish. The Oan language is already gender neutral.
The titles are equal across that rank even if some tribes etc. are less important, wealthy or prominent than another. All titles down to the level of junior chief are hereditary except Princes and Princess. Although the head of the Ahua clan ought to have the title Great Chief, because the Ahua clan is headed by the Emperor, the greater title takes precedence. Moreover, the Emperor is also the Great Chief of Toka, hence the Toka tribe does not have an individual with the title "Great Chief of Toka". However, the Toka tribe has the Great Chief pro tempore who is appointed by the Emperor to administer duties concerned with the Toka tribe.
The spouse of a chief-titled noble is known as Lord or Lady and uses their spouses style but they may not use the same rank or title. Gentlepersons, gentlemen and gentle women's spouses do not have any special form of address.