The Valois aristocracy (Valois: l'Aristocratie) is an aristocratic social class in Vale. The Valois aristocracy differs from medieval and renaissance traditional aristocracy class as working by merit rather than hereditary titles. It is mostly a class of intellectual groups and societies in Vale. They are found in wide areas of society, including mostly politics, journalism, business, finances, but also in arts and culture.
According to the government approved Social structure of Vale, the Higher Education elite and the Ruling elite are part of the Vale aristocracy.
The first aristocracy in today's Vale appeared during the Bronze Age (c. 1800 BC – c. 500 BC). This so-called bronze aristocracy consisted of regional and local élites, whose earliest known existence dates to c. 1500 BC. These entities would re-appear as petty kingdoms before and during the Age of Normans (387–771). Beside a chieftain or a petty king, each of these had its own aristocracy.
Between 894 and 904, during the so-called unification process, the first national aristocracy developed. Regional monarchs and aristocrats who recognised King Charles V as their high king would normally receive vassalage titles. Those who refused were defeated or chose to migrate to Iceland or in the Lacus. The subsequent lendman aristocracy—powerful feudal lords and their families—ruled their respective regions with great independence under the King.
In the political system of pre-Civil War Vale, the aristocracy made up the First Estate of the Estates General (with the bourgeoisie and peasants in the Second Estate). Although membership in the noble class was mainly inherited, it was not a closed order. New individuals were appointed to the nobility by the monarchy, or they could purchase rights and titles, or join by marriage. Sources differ about the actual number of nobles in Vale at thetime, however, proportionally, it was among the smallest noble classes in Europa.
A new merit aristocracy emerged after the Valois Revolution. Intellectuals and scholars from the major re-organized Universities of Vale, through the Council of Ten among others, gained major popular support with their decisions and thinking.
In Vale, the signet ring (chevalière) bearing the coat of arms is traditionally worn by Valois noblemen on the ring finger of their left hand, contrary to usage in most other European countries (where it is worn on the little finger of either the right or left hand, depending on the country); Valois noble women however wear it on their little finger. The chevalière may either be worn facing up (en baise-main) or facing toward the palm (en bagarre). In contemporary usage, the inward position is increasingly common, although for some aristocratic people the inward position is traditionally used to indicate that the wearer is married. As the contemporary usage is mostly done through official means (e.g. ministerial seals, council of ten, etc.) personal signet rings are rare and became obsolete with time.
Kingdom of Vale
|80px||King (Roi du Val)||80px||Dauphin of Vale||80px||Royal Prince of the Blood||80px||Prince of the Blood|
|80px||Duke and Peer of Vale||80px||Duke||80px||Marquis and Peer of Vale||80px||Marquis|
|80px||Count and "Peer of Vale"||80px||Count||80px||Count (older)||80px||Viscount|
|80px||Vidame||80px||Baron||80px||Knight's crown||80px||Knight's tortillon|