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The Principality of Rittergeist itself is a de jure realm (existing not physically but only in a legal and historical sense), whose lands have been under the effective control of the United States for more than two hundred years, and under other powers before that. However, as no Prince von Rittergeist has ever officially abdicated the title, the status of the Royal Family of Rittergeist has not changed since its foundation, and the Royal Court continues to act as a "government in exile". International law on the subject is clear; a sovereign or noble who does not voluntarily abdicate his or her position retains the right to grant titles, issue proclamations, etc. even if his or her lands are absorbed by some other state. For these reasons, Rittergeist is often classified as a micronation.

The Principality of Rittergeist has no overt external political authority. It is, and is content to remain, an entirely de jure realm with an unpressed claim on its ancient sovereign territory.

tourney.jpg (15020 bytes)That said, the Prince does retain the right to issue grants, fons honora, and titles, and to make proclamations regarding his subjects and territories. While compliance with such proclamations is not enforced by law, the Prince expects his subjects to do so as a matter of honor.

He also retains the right to appoint members of the Royal Court to handle delegated functions as determined by the Prince, and at his pleasure. No applications for these positions will be considered; the Prince will appoint individuals to fill these positions as he deems appropriate.

The Court meets on an irregular schedule to conduct its business. Such meetings are always presided over by either the Prince or Princess von Rittergeist, and in most instances all officers of the Court are invited and expected to attend. While much of the business of the Principality is able to be conducted through the means of electronic communication, it is felt that formal face-to-face Courts are essential to maintaining the cohesion, dignity, and society of the Principality. Subjects of the Prince who are not officers of the Court may petition to attend; such petitions are rarely refused.

The business of the Court is varied. Proclamations and appointments by the Prince or Princess are made, petitions by the subjects are received, and (if necessary) justice is rendered. A meeting of the Court is a time for celebration and merriment; they are almost always held in conjunction with a feast, tournament, or other festivity.

The Knights of the Shining Grail

It has pleased His Serene Highness to issue a fons honorum for a Chivalric Order of Knighthood, intended to further the cause of Chivalry, courtesy, and honor. These are the Knights of the Shining Grail.

While nominations may be made by any member of the Order in question, the final decision to approve or disapprove is made by the chief of the Order. The Order sponsors an annual Investiture ceremony (which all members who are physically able to are expected to attend).