The Royal Court represents a ruler's seat of majesty and is only available to Feudal, Tribal, and Clan rulers of King or Emperor rank. If a character's last title of King or Emperor rank is destroyed or taken by a character of equal rank, the court becomes dormant. If the last title is taken by a character of lower rank, the court will be transferred to the new title owner. A liege character's court can be visited at any time in order to petition them. The visual appearance of a royal court depends on the architecture aesthetics of the realm capital's culture.
On the court screen, adult characters have the option to Hold Court every 5 years. Holding Court costs 100 Prestige for a King and 125 for an Emperor and triggers 3 random petition events.
An optional event will take place inside a Royal Court every 24-32 months, indicated by an icon above the involved characters. When such an event takes place, the player will be notified that something is happening within the Royal Court.
Each ruler will have the option to choose between two court types based on the Culture's ethos. Court types determine some additional bonuses that the court will grant at certain levels of grandeur, as well as which courtier trait a courtier will gain after spending 5 years at a court with grandeur level 5. Changing the court type costs 500 Prestige. Court type also determines which court petition events will be more common. If a ruler's culture or government is changed, they can still keep their old court type.
Tribal rulers only have access to the Tribal court type, which grants the following bonuses:
- Level 1: +5% Knight Effectiveness
- Level 3: +20% Army Loot Capacity and Raid Speed
- Level 5: +25% Dread Gain
- Level 7: +5 Vassal Opinion
- Level 10: −25% Men-at-Arms Maintenance
In addition courtiers and guests will gain +1 Prowess once one year has passed, up to 3 times. Courtiers will gain the courtier trait of Warlike courts.
Court language is the language spoken by a court. If a King or Emperor knows the same language as their court, the court will gain Court Grandeur based on each county in their realm that speaks the same language. This bonus is increased by +25% if the character's culture also uses the same language.
If multiple royal courts use the same language, they will all gain additional Court Grandeur as well. For the court with the highest current grandeur, the ruler must know the language. For the rest, the ruler knowing the language is not required. This bonus is reduced by -50% if the rulers of the courts follow faiths from different religions and by -25% if they have a different government type.
A court can change its language every 5 years at the cost of 750 Prestige. Said language must be either the ruler's culture language or the court language of another ruler within diplomatic range.
Court Amenities are monthly expenditures that increase a court's grandeur and grant various benefits. The cost of each level of amenities scales with the size and income of a ruler's realm as well as their culture's era and government. The level of Court Amenities can only be raised or lowered once per year. The last 3 levels require Feudal or Clan government. Hidden effects, that are not listed in the game, appear in italics below.
Court Grandeur is a measure of how famed a royal court is. Each court will have a baseline Court Grandeur, which is determined by dynasty legacies, court amenities and court artifacts. Court Grandeur will be raised or lowered towards the baseline at a rate of 0.2 per month, which is doubled if the ruler's dynasty unlocked the second Glory dynasty legacy. Court Grandeur can also be raised or lowered by holding court and certain events can affect it. A small amount of Court Grandeur is also lost upon succession. Once enough Court Grandeur has been acquired the grandeur level will increase, granting various benefits. If Court Grandeur falls below a level's required amount the bonuses will be lost in 6 months unless Court Grandeur is raised back.
Courts for newly created kingdoms and empires start with 25 Court Grandeur.
The court of Feudal and Clan rulers will be expected to reach a grandeur level depending on the size of a ruler's realm as well as whether they are a King or Emperor. Exceeding the grandeur level will grant increasing bonuses while falling behind will give increasing penalties. (This table is incomplete. One can obtain bonuses of up to (and possibly more than) 40% lifestyle experience and 3.33 Monthly Renown)