The Order of the Laurel is bestowed on those people who have “attained the standard of excellence in skill and/or knowledge equal to that of his or her prospective peers in some area of the Arts or Sciences. The candidate must have applied this skill and/or knowledge for the instruction of members and service to the kingdom to an extent above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society.“ (Corpora, Article VIII.A.4.b)
The Order of the Laurel is one of the four SCA Peerages, along with the Order of the Chivalry, the Order of the Pelican, and the Order of Defense. It is a Society wide Award that is recognized in every Kingdom in the Knowne World and conveys to the member a Patent of Arms, no matter which Crown of which Kingdom bestowed the Award.
The symbol of the order is a laurel wreath.
Masters of the Order of the Laurel are addressed as “Master” or “Mistress”.
In addition to the Peerage Qualities expected of all peers, members of the Order of the Laurel are “to:
Each Crown may chose to elevate Subjects of Their Kingdom to the Order, but the Crown must ensure the Subject meets the criteria as described in Corpora for Peerage Awards, and The Crown has consulted with the current members of the Order in Their Kingdom.
Members of the Order of the Laurel may choose to swear fealty to the Crown, but are not required to do so.
Although many scholars were elevated by the Midrealm before Ealdormere was itself a kingdom, Ragnheithr Thorbjarnardottir visakona was the premier of the Order of Laurel elevated in Ealdormere. She was also the first peer of any type to be elevated in the Kingdom of Ealdormere.