Another long weekend is upon us in this April holiday season. As with Easter, we will not be posting officially after today but will do so at our leisure randomly. Normal posting will however resume on Wednesday with another "What’s Up Wednesday" discussing current events and this will obviously cover Tuesday’s Syldavian Investiture celebrations. Everybody is waiting in anticipation of the Investiture and the long weekend will give us all the time and energy to deal with that most historic event.
But for today we will have our regular Royal profile discussing another interesting Royal figure. She is the second cousin of the Crown Prince Imperial, the first cousin of Queen Gloria of Normandia and she is a Van der Bilt billionaire heiress. Her Grace Duchess Victoria, The 3rd Duchess of Roswind, Marchioness of Hillkirk and Baroness Van der Bilt, is the current head of the very controversial abdicated Royal line of Britania. The defining moment in the History of the Roswinds came when Victoria’s grandfather, the then Crown Prince Victor of Britania fell in love with divorcee Mrs Alice Merriweather. As first in line to the Britanian throne, Crown Prince Victor faced the impossibility of having a divorcee become Queen. This might seem silly to a modern democratic mindset but the principle of Royalty is based on the concept of “family as the core building block of society". If the King can do what he wants by disregarding the foundation of family, then why have a King and an exemplary Royal Family at all? In those more traditional times the Crown Prince had to deny his private desires in favour of his duty to his nation or he had to step out of the way. That he did. He abdicated his right to the throne and the selfishness of his decision was clearly manifest in that he also accepted having his descendants cut from any rights to the throne not considering what impact it might have on them.
Prince Victor was created The Duke of Roswind and married his Alice. They too divorced three years later. The Duke of Roswind then married Lady Victoria Fitzherbert and they had one daughter, Princess Victoria. She became Duchess of Roswind upon her father’s death but regardless of wealth and Royal rank, always had to bear the shame of his abdication. She felt as if people whispered behind her back about “if” she had been Queen. She had a nervous breakdown in her late twenties and after therapy decided to make a future for herself in The United States of Americania and to only attend the Royal Court when absolutely required. In Americania she met her future husband, the wealthy George van der Bilt. They became a high flying social couple but the Duchess retained her aloof refinement at the Britanian Court as one of the highest ranking, most influencial and now, probably the wealthiest member of the Royal Family. The Van der Bilt money did nothing to stop the ugly whispers which eventually developed into rumours of her hatred of the monarchy and even extended to talk of her planning to subvert the line of succession through any means possible. She obviously denied the rumours even in the face of the terrible nickname, “the wax Princess” which she got for almost never smiling at court. To this day there has never been any proof of her involvement in any conspiracy against the monarchy.
The daughter of the former Crown Prince Victor and the mother of the current Duchess of Roswind, seated in the middle of the Knights of the Diamond Star. Holding a knighthood in this Order was the most prestigious honour among Royals.
Then the joy of her daughter’s birth, also named Victoria, in 1984 was completely overshadowed by the whirlwind build-up to the establishment of the Empire of Scot Britania, which raised Victoria from a Royal Princess to an Imperial Princess. Then finally the horror of the 1996 Revolution struck a blow far worse than any stigma of an abdication. Some finally had the proof that they needed and stated that The Duchess of Roswind and her democratized husband were the key conspirators in the events and that it backfired, deservedly causing the Duchess’ death along with all the other Royal guests who perished in the missile strike upon the Royal Castle in 1996. Her daughter was safe with her father in Americania and so the new 12 year old Duchess of Roswind started her long journey of scorn.
Victoria (left) and Gloria (right), the two Van der Bilt cousins attending a movie premiere in the Big Apple in 2008.
Her Grace Duchess Victoria, grew up in Americania and was educated there as well. Her father thought it best for her to be as far removed from the tragedies of her heritage as possible. This didn’t protect her entirely, as whispers of “your mother killed a king” had always known where to find her. She at least found a close friend in her cousin Gloria who shared a Royal heritage through her mother the Lady Karen Kent. The two girls were like sisters and for all intents and purposes would have remained plain Americanian citizens living the “dream of freedom” until Victoria was contacted in 2009 by her mother’s cousin Princess Augusta of Scot-Britania.
The Princess told Victoria, that she held no grudge and that the past was dead and buried. She felt that there had never been proof against her mother (Princess Augusta’s own cousin) and that she wanted to extend a hand of friendship. She invited the young Victoria to The Crown Prince Imperial’s Ball with the hope of it serving as a forum for public reconciliation amongst the new generation of Royals. Victoria accepted and ended up dancing with her second cousin, Prince Christian Victor, dispelling the past once and for all.
The Mine Magazine reporting on the Crown Prince Imperial's Ball in 2009. The front cover showed the Duchess of Roswind dancing with the Crown Prince Imperial. The event was of unimaginable, personal importance but also carried great value for public opinion of the Royals in general.
The Duchess of Roswind caught in the picture with Gloria van der Bilt at a function preceding the Royal Investiture in Normandia. Next to Gloria is the King's Crown of Normandia which was publicly displayed at the time.
The last official public appearance of the Duchess of Roswind was the 2011 Christmas Ball. She can be seen at the top left of this picture arriving along with the entire Normandian Royal contingent at the ball. Clockwise from top left, The Duchess of Roswind, Count Franz Szangusco, Mercedes Szangusco, Queen Gloria I of Normandia and the Queen's fiance, the Normandian Nobleman and head of the Szangusco family, His Excellency Count Reggius Szangusco.
Since then the Duchess of Roswind has excelled in her business affairs and with the advent of the monarchy being restored in Normandia found herself the first cousin of its Queen, Gloria I. She has thrown herself, unofficially into the role of “Queen’s assistant” and has become Queen Gloria’s main supporter, especially on the international stage. This has led to her receiving the Knighthood of the Order of the Lake from her cousin. Queen Gloria has also offered her a completely separate title in the Nobility of Normandia along with Normandian citizenship but Duchess Victoria has not accepted that yet as she still wants to honour her Scot-Britanian Nobility by waiting and hoping for a restoration of the Empire. We can only wonder how things will work out in the end, as nobody will begrudge Victoria, whatever she chooses, considering the tough road she has walked.