What are Your Rights as a Peer?
Well, when it comes down to it, there aren't a lot of 'rights'.
In theory there is respect, however, many people have noticed this
-- a person must earn respect. A peer should have already earned
it in order to be asked to become a peer. However, sometimes it's very
difficult to retain that respect. So, is it a right? To an extent, all
peers are entitled respect. I certainly don't feel that any peer should
attempt to demand it, though. Either you have earned it, and
people around you (fellow peers, and non-peers alike) respect you, or
you haven't. How do you earn that respect? Be peer-like without being
a snob, be approachable, be worthy of respect. Look at those you
respect, and try to emulate them.
Note: I will respect any member of the peerage unless
I have been given reason not to. This includes the royal peers
as well as the polling orders. It's not easy to be recognized as a
peer (in the polling orders, anyway - for the royal peers, sitting
a throne is not usually an easy task - not if you take it seriously
...), and therefore, they have earned my respect, unless as noted,
they have done something to cause my opinion to change.
You have the right to the title(s) granted to the Order(s) of Peerage
to which you belong. (Master/ Mistress/ Sir/ Dame/ Royal peerage titles,
and other language equivalents)
You have the right to wear the regalia that belongs to your Order(s).
(Medallions, chain/belt/spurs/baldric, cloaks, collars, coronets ...)
You have the right to swear fealty to the Crown and Kingdom when you
are made a peer, but with that fealty comes the responsibilities of
fealty. If you decide not to swear fealty to the Crown when you are
made a peer, you have the option of swearing fealty later, but in my
opinion this has some problems attached to it.
You have the right (and the responsibility!) to advise the Crown in
all matters that concern the Kingdom. Note that a Peer does not
have to advise the Crown only in the peerage meetings. A peer may always
talk to the Crown about any issue that they feel needs discussing. Remember,
however, you are simply advising the Crown -- the Crown may not
agree with you -- there is nothing you can do about it. If you are in
fealty see the bits about "to speak and to be silent"!
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