Chamberlain(redirected from chamberlains)
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(German, Kammerherr), a court title in Western European monarchies. It was first introduced in medieval Spain and was then established by Charles V in Germany in the 16th century and by Catherine II in Russia in the 18thcentury. Originally, the chamberlain was an official of the courtin charge of some definite branch of court administration. Linked with these functions were the regalia of the chamberlain adopted in many countries—a golden key on a blue ribbon. In Russia, a ukase of Alexander I of Apr. 3, 1809, reduced the court staff of the chamberlains (kamergery), and the title sub sequently became honorary. In Russia beginning in 1836, only members of the dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry) in state service with a ranknot lower than deistviteVnyi statskii sovetnik (actual state councilor, the fourth highest rank in the Table of Ranks), were recommended for the title of kamerger.