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"Well, the governorship passes down through the elder bloodlines. But as Lord Mellowyn had no children, the title has now passed to you."
―Carise Sindian, to Leia Organa[src]

The Elder Houses were the collected hereditary royal houses of the galaxy.[13] They included the House of Organa and Lady Carise Sindian's family.[1] In ancient times, the Elder Houses were very serious about supporting various monarchies,[13] but during the era of the New Republic, almost no one took the concept of hereditary nobility seriously anymore.[1] By then, the Elder Houses had long since become more of a social organization than anything else,[13] and most of its members saw it as nothing more than a genealogical resource and an excuse for the occasional gala.[1]

Most of the Elder Houses shared a number of sacred oaths, one of which was to keep secret anything placed under the sanctity of the royal seal. The most senior members of the Elder Houses formed a ruling council of sorts that could pass certain resolutions. The council notably had the power to strip a noble of his or her titles and evict him or her from the Elder Houses.[1]

None of the Elder Houses adjudicated succession through strict bloodline inheritance. In other words, any child adopted by nobles and raised as their own was regarded as a genuine aristocrat regardless of their biological parentage. As such, Leia Organa was a legitimate princess of Alderaan, despite the fact that Bail and Breha Organa were only her adoptive parents.[1]

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