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Ambassador Kosa Pan and Siamese envoys pay their respect to Louis XIV at his court in Versailles.

The court of a monarch, or at some periods an important nobleman, is a term for the extended household and all those who regularly attended on the ruler or central figure. It can also refer to the physical residence of the monarch where the court resides or a series of complexes. In the largest courts, the royal households, many thousands of individuals comprised the court. These courtiers included the monarch or noble's camarilla and retinue, household, nobility, those with court appointments, bodyguard, and may also include emissaries from other kingdoms or visitors to the court. Foreign princes and foreign nobility in exile may also seek refuge at a court.

Near Eastern and Eastern courts often included the harem and concubines as well as eunuchs who fulfilled a variety of functions. At times the harem was walled off and separate from the rest of the residence of the monarch. In Asia concubines were often a more visible part of the court.

Lower ranking servants and bodyguard were not properly called courtiers though may be included as part of the court or royal household in the broadest definition. Entertainers and others may have been counted as part of the court.


Court (royal) sections
Intro  Patronage  Court culture  History  Court officials  Court seats  Court structure and titles  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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