Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (Lost to History Part 3 The Crown Regalia of Serbieski)

Symbols are very powerful tools, not as much in their physicality but almost entirely in what they stand for.  A crown is a symbol for the concept of monarchy but far deeper lies its representation of the collective identity of a particular culture and people group. The Serbieski people have always been a very close knit culture and ingrained themselves deeply into their geographic region. In ancient times they developed a very isolationist demeanour due to being cut off by surrounding mountains. They were not nomadic nor expansionist and for centuries remained safe and defensible, establishing a self sufficient community headed by a chief or as they reffered to it, a Krull. Eventually in late Medieval times the title Krull became generally referred to as Grand Duke.

Trouble came to Serbieski as larger more powerful neighbours sought to extend their empires to include their fertile valleys. That was when the Serbieski resolve became the proverbial thorn-in-the side of Europa. Serbieski was not to be ruled by any outside force and its stubborn people remained willing to fight for independence, this has been the attitude to this day. As a result of its fertile agricultural land and strategic positioning  Serbieski found itself constantly threatened but at least relatively easy to defend by its small population amidst its tall mountains. Proper autonomy however was not to be established for several hundred years. 

Eventually tensions settled in the early 1800's when Serbieski's identity finally solidified in its declaration of Independence as a fully fledged and acknowledged Grand Duchy amongst it Europan brothers. 

The Crown Jewels of Serbieski was already a very ancient establishment by the time of its establishment as an independent monarchy. The Crown and Scepter was originally made for Krull Danielovich I in circa 1250. By the time of the Grand Duchy these ancient relics, considered to be a mere princely coronet and jewelled mace in configuration, were highly revered and no gaudy "new" crown was going to ever surpass them in importance. They were duly used at the investiture of the Grand Duke of the independent Serbieski. 

A very old archive photo shows the ancient Crown and Scepter of Serbieski. 

Serbieski was annexed by the Germanic power less than 50 years later. However after the Great War all claimants to the throne were dead as a result except for the descendants of the Syldavian King and his brothers who's mother was a Serbieski Princess. The new King of Syldavia in agreement with the other monarchies of Europa termed a peace treaty that created the new Kingdom of Serbieski under the rule of the King of Syldavia's younger brother who would become King Simeon I of Serbieski. This was the current Grand Duke's great grandfather. 

Finally, Serbieski had entered the upper echelons of acknowledgement as an established independent Kingdom in its own right which was all the people of the war torn region ever wanted. Peace it seemed had come and was to stay for two generations. However, the war had taken another toll on the war torn people of Serbieski as plans for King Simeon's Coronation were laid down. Nobody had even thought of the Crown Jewels. To the shock of the world it became clear that the monastery that traditionally held the jewels was entirely destroyed during the last weeks of the Great War. The revered relics were lost forever. In respect for their symbolic value, the people of Serbieski decided to only Invest their new King without the use of a crown. 

In 1996, the Bloody Revolution took the life of the King of Serbieski's wife.The convalescing King of Serbieski died of a heart attack after hearing of his wife's death. The Kingdom of Serbieski monarchy was dissolved as it was absorbed into the new Democratic Republic of Syldavia as a mere province. This remained until 2012 when Syldavia restored its monarchy and afforded Serbieski a mediatized Grand Ducal status which the current Grand Duke accepted. Independence has once again alluded the isolated valleys of Serbieski. Perhaps the loss of the Crown Jewels spelled out the end of an era. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Finally Friday (Orders of Knighthood Part 7)

We come to our final installment on why Royalty wear coloured sashes. This seven part feature on the various Orders of Knighthood has been the longest haul this blog has ever seen. I hope everybody who read it, understood it and appreciates all the "background" details that go into this blog.

Today we will feature what are referred to as Family Orders and also the Knighthoods that are either dissolved or dormant.

First up we have the Family Order of the Royal House of Swann. The insignia consisting of a a cross shaped badge and black sash worn by men or bow ribbon worn by women is rarely seen. It will mostly feature on very official occasions of particular Swanobian political significance. This was the case in the picture below when the Duke of Swann diplomatically attended the Christmas Ball in Arcwhite last year in celebration of the new "Entente Cordiale" between the two nations.

There are only ever three members of this order and the membership may change several times in a Duke of Swann's reign. The members are always, the reigning Duke, the highest ranking female family member, normally the Duke's wife but currently his sister and finally, the heir to the throne, normally the Duke's son but currently his cousin. These members are never really appointed but shift and fall in place through birth or marriage.

This detailed image shows the badge and black sash of The Family Order of the Royal House of Swann.

The Imperial Family Order of the United Empire of Scot Britania is the private gift of the Head of the Imperial Dynasty of Aldarian. Currently that position is held by the Crown Prince Imperial. This order is only bestowed on women as an Order of Merit for service rendered to the House of Aldarian. The insignia is a pink bow worn on the left shoulder.
Princess Augusta wears the pink bow and behind her the Duchess of Roswind can be seen wearing hers.

There is currently one inactive Order of Knighthood, the Ruskian Polar Star. Then there is one dissolved order, the Franconia Order of the Holy Vigil. Finally one dormant order is the Swanobian Order of the Purple Swann. The Ruskian Order as we know has been entirely absorbed by its Hanoverian counterpart and because they originated as one is now accepted again as one. The Franconian Order was entirely disbanded by the Franconian Revolution. This happened before the more recent tradition of coloured ribbands was established across the board. Therefore it is not certain what the coloured ribband for the Order of the Holy Vigil would be if it indeed had one at all. Scholars however presume it might be either white to symbolise the white dove of the Holy Spirit or orange to symbolize the fire of the Holy Spirit. The Swanobian Order of the Purple Swann was left in dormancy after the 96 Revolution and has remained so till now. It is however not officially disbanded. As such the current Duke of Swann could start knighting new members whenever he deems fit to continue the tradition. The Order has a purple ribband hung over the left shoulder and decorative cross shaped badge.

Details of the aforementioned insignia is pictured above starting at left with the Polar Star and ending with the Purple Swann.

 The Islands of Arcwhite have never had a native Order of Knighthood but the Sisters of the Monastic Order of the White Veil have for centuries acted as female knights trained in the arts of combat. To this day, martial training forms part of the rigorous disciplines a Lady of the White Veil must endure. The only symbol they display on high ceremonial occasions it the wearing of  white and a white bridal veil.
Above we see a Lady of the White Veil assisting her mistress, the Lady Arcwhite with her train.

We hope that these posts have been informative and also enjoyable. Keep your eyes peeled for these Orders of Knighthood at all the major Royal events.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (The Imperial Crown Jewels and Regalia)

Since the unveiling of the Imperial Crown Jewel Display in Sorgenfrei Castle we promised to give the collection of historic jewels a feature of their own. The entire collection however is too vast to just glance over and even just the regalia will take several posts to discuss in detail. However we decided to post a special photo of the main regalia taken especially for this blog. We will then discuss individual aspects as we see fit in future and remind our fans that certain parts of the Imperial Crown Collection have already been touched on in previous Tuesday instalments. 

The Imperial Regalia of the United Empire of Scot-Britania.
The collection includes, the Imperial Crown of Dominion, the smaller Consort Crown, the Imperial Sceptre set with the world's largest diamond, the Orb of Grace, the Emperor's Chain of office that has never been worn, The Imperial Diamond Tiara and Necklace and finally the Imperial Sword of Victory that is considered the true Symbol of Imperial Right. 

It is a miracle that these spectacular jewels survived the destruction of the 96 Revolution in tact. It was all due to the foresight and conduct of the shrewd Empress Crystobel that these are still preserved and now displayed for future generations of the public. 

We look forward to discuss all these elements individually and all the other parts of the collection not in this this photo. Keep a look out for these features on future Tuesdays and remember to visit the Sorgenfrei Castle Museum when you find yourself in Muren in the Switzer Confederacy. 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Memory Monday (Style Icons Part 3 Princess Xenia of Wallachia)

For the time being this will be our last of three installments on Icons of Style.

Her Serene Highness Princess Xenia Draculesti, Grand Princess of Wallachia and Baroness Bagrazia, is the ruler of the ancient Principality of Wallachia. She is a first cousin of the Duke of Swann and a distant cousin to the Duchess of Lancaster. Strictly speaking, Wallachia could and should be termed a kingdom by virtue of its size but ancient traditions are  hardly ever changed in this old worldly nation. The title of Prince has thus carried over from its initial inception as a mere tribal chief for over a thousand years. The current reigning monarch has a lot of respect for her country's people and a great appreciation for their, and her, ingrained traditions. This aspect also gains a lot of expression even in the style choices this very elegant and prudent monarch applies in her outfits. Unassuming yet completely confident, the sober and sensitive approach to elegance employed by Princess Xenia, never fails to attract the attention to her office and role as Head of State to a great and ancient culture.

For her first State Portrait taken when the Princess "re-entered" the public sphere in 2011, she chose a little know local designer to create this gypsy inspired black gown with traditional embroidered detail. The embroidery served to lend colour to a somber dress and link this contemporary monarch to the history and culture of her country. The amazing jewellery collection with strong historic links only serves to enhance the well though through style of the Princess. 

From the top left we see the Princess wearing a dark blue creation by her in-house designer at a gala in Pariseum in 2011, then a glitzy Barbie International to the 2011 Christmas Ball, another unknown designer was used for the State Visit to Normandia and finally a purple "punk" inspired Madame Frumsetta to the Principality of Swann.

Although the Princess is most often seen in dark shades and in purple, she is not averse to bright colours or even white. Also often buying from a designer label will mean that different Royals end up with the same dress. Here at left the Princess wears a dress that was also worn before by Queen Maria, and at right a Barbie International number that has also been worn by other famous VIP's.  Even though the odd "same dress" situation does occur, individual Royals will add accessories or touches to put their stamp on an otherwise designer label dress. 

More dark shades and purple was seen in 2012. Madame Frumsetta has a very distinctive flair that often suits the look of a "mysterious" Princess. Starting from the top left we see the Madame Frumsetta original worn to last year's Christmas Ball, then a Barbie International metallic purple mini, a black traditional Wallachian inspired ball gown to the 2012 Birthday Ball, then a rare appearance in turquoise for a fashion show. Finally we see a dark grey velvet mini worn to the Annual Knight's Meeting. 

Wearing clothes more than once is not a problem for real Royalty who believe in not wasting money. The dress made for the Princess' 2012 State Portrait has already been used twice and will perhaps see even more outings. 

The thrifty Princess often wears clothes more than once and mixes and maches elements to create more variety. 

We have already seen two major public appearances of Princess Xenia in 2013. At left as she appeared in blue for the Summit Meeting in Serbieski and at right in a gold Barbie International for the Hanoverian State Visit. 

We hope to see much more of this elegant monarch in future and know that she will not disappoint. 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fascinating Fridays (Orders of Knighthood Part 6)

The knight as we know from typical fairy stories set the ageless example of earned Nobility. The King takes out his sword and taps the worthy recipient on the shoulder to bestow the honour. This was always the grand reward for an impossible task accomplished and even Princes sought to be knighted. There are many different Orders of Knighthood and we have been discussing that and it being the reason why Royalty often appear at very formal function wearing coloured sashes over the last 5 weeks. Today we come to the Famous Order of the Diamond Star. 

The mystical and most noble order has its origins more than a thousand years in the past of the two kingdoms of Scotney and Britania. In the last years of the first millennium, two cousins found themselves rival kings over the then two haphazard kingdoms consisting of rebellious feudal barons and barbarian peasants. King John of Britania, in a time of drought envied his prosperous northern cousin and was implementing armed raids of the Scotney border marches. King Daniel sought peace but knew that in tough times men get desperate. It was in this climate of desperation that The Order of the Diamond Star was theoretically founded. In the year 999 the legendary King Daniel of Scotney reputedly followed a shooting star to where it fell. There he found five diamonds that he had made into a badge to be pinned on the first man to bring him an answer to his riddle: "How can man be free, when he is a prisoner of his own breath? " The man to give the answer was to be declared the first Knight of Scotney's Diamond Star. No man claimed the badge in King Daniel's life time. However many years later it was a Crown Prince of Britania who received the honour.

The current Head and Grand master of the Order of the Diamond Star and his wife, The Crown Prince Imperial and the Crown Princess Imperial of the United Empire of Scot-Britania.

This depiction of a stylised letter "D" is from a thirteenth century illuminated manuscript telling the story of the Order of the Diamond Star's origin. The red sash and diamond star badge can be seen in the picture depicting  St Christian, the King of Scotney who officially established the order in 1477 centuries after its mystical founding in the year 999. King Christian declared the Crown Prince of Britania the first Knight of the Diamond Star for bringing the answer to the legendary riddle. History does not record the exact events but it is often assumed that it was a staged "offer of peace" from the King of Scotney to Britania after years of fighting. It was a brilliant marketing campaign bringing years of peace and set the stage for the Knighthood to forever be shared by the two Kingdoms. It has been this legend etched in the minds of every Scot and Brit that has almost prophetic foreshadowed the eventual establishment of the United Empire of Scot-Britania. 

Through the ages members of the order have been powerful leaders and influential pillars of society. The order has continued unabated until today. This highest ranking Knighthood and Order of Merit has been fortunate to have survived the 96 Revolution and it seems like a total miracle as the revolution took so much from Royalty and indeed world history. It managed to survive due to its almost mystical quality. Both democratic governments of independent Scotney and Britania have officially never disbanded the Order of the Diamond Star. Even though all remnants of Royalty and the Empire were vehemently annihilated, for some reason the veneration of the Order of of the Diamond Star kept it legally alive as a national honour in both the separate states. It was however never used by either governments who for lack of a better explanation just swept it under the carpet.

The 2009 revelation that the Crown Prince Imperial escaped the 96 Revolution with his life immediately made it clear that the Knighthood's Head and Grand Master was not the new democratic governments of Scotney and Britannia. This contention was resolved by letters from both governments relinquishing all rights and acknowledging the Crown Prince Imperial's position. This historic event was however kept entirely outside the media glare for security purposes. No new Knights were created since the revolution except one that was created by the Crown Prince Imperial after these formalities were finalised. This knight is the Crown Princess Imperial.

This pre-revolution photo shows the Knights of the Diamond Star as they were in the late 1980's. The Grand Master is not present in this photo.

The insignia of the order consists of a red sash hung over the left shoulder and pinned with a four sided diamond star badge. The Grand Master of the Order may also wear a neck collar consisting of a red ribbon hung with a four sided Diamond Star Badge and a sash with red and gold strips platted together. This tradition is however rarely seen. Due to its preeminent age and limited membership, the Order of the Diamond Star is considered to be the most prestigious Order of Knighthood. There can never be more than 24 knights, 12 men and 12 women. The Grand Master is always the King of Scotney and the Crown Prince of Britania is always automatically a member. Theoretically this binds the two nations of Scotney and Britania together in perpetuity. Another automatic member is the Duke of Swann who claims membership by hereditary succession. It was declared so by the King of Scotney at the establishment of the constitution of the independant Principality of Swann. Current members of the order are; The Crown Prince Imperial, the Crown Princess Imperial, Empress Crystobel, Princess Augusta and the Duke of Swann. 

Empress Crystobel has relinquished the Headship of the Order of the Diamond Star to her son. She is the first monarch of Scotney to do so but considers it another result of the revolution. As an ousted Head of State she felt it more advantageous to put all her effort into supporting her son rather than to claim anything in her own right.

We look forward to the proliferation of the Order of the Diamond Star to its former glory. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

What's Up Wednesday (Castle Sorgenfrei Roof Wetting Party and Surprise Unveiling)

This past weekend saw the slightly belated "Roof Wetting Party" held in Muren to inaugurate the new private residence of the Crown Prince Imperial couple. The Crown Prince Imperial announced his formal moving from the United States of Americania to Sorgenfrei Castle in Muren last month. 

The Imperial couple want to start a family and thought the picturesque natural surroundings and slower pace of rural Muren would be ideal. Princess Odeliah has extended family who live in the Muren Municipality and the Crown Prince Imperial has strong links with the Seeress of Muren

The former Fort of Muren will now be called Sorgenfrei Castle after The Princess Odeliah's family, the Sorgenfrei dairy farmers of Muren. The fort was abandoned several decades ago but has been restored by special agreement with the Muren Municipality to serve as a Royal residence, historic landmark and museum. Prince Christian-Victor hopes to not just create a home but also to give back to society by managing a museum featuring the history of the region. The museum will be open to the public whenever the couple are not in residence and the specially created conference and party facilities will be available for booking of weddings and other events. The old chapel was meticulously restored and converted to serve as ball room slash wedding venue with the intent and generating more business in order to maintain the vast property. 

First to arrive at the "new" castle for the party was the Duke of Swann, accompanied by his family and the Seeress of Muren. The Duke had been visiting the Seeress for the Easter holiday season and the party at the castle matched both their schedules perfectly, not to mention that the castle is a mere 20minutes drive from the Town of Muren itself. 

The Seeress, a close family friend and a surrogate mother for many from the Imperial Family leans forward to embrace Princess Odeliah. 

Princess Marie Elizabeth of Swann wore the remaining emeralds from the stolen Syldavian Emerald Parure. She wore what seems to be a brand new tiara made from some of the emeralds that were broken out of the original set during the theft. 

The Crown Prince Imperial's aunt, Princess Augusta, arrived looking stunning in a glitzy purple Barbie International original. 

Next to arrive The Crown Prince Imperial's cousin, Queen Maxima and her husband King Nikolas III of Syldavia.

Queen Maximas's sister, Princess Kirsten, arrived on the arm of her husband, Prince Felix Youssopoff. 

Then their brother the Grand Duke of Hanoveria, his wife and mother. The Grand Duke's mother, Princess Beatrice (in green) has been ill of late but felt it important enough to attend this great family affair. 

The arrival of Empress Crystobel, the Crown Prince Imperial's mother, was heralded to everybody's initial surprise with an actual fanfare. It was performed by the Muren Police Band. 

When a family gathering includes, three Heads of State, three of the wealthiest people on earth and someone who reputedly can see the future then it makes for a very influential gathering albeit merely a family getting together to party like any other. It is rare that the extended Imperial Family gets together privately so family photos was at the order of the day.

The Imperial Family itself. 

The Royal Family of Swann.

The Royal Family of Hanoveria.

The extended Royal Family of Hanoveria includes the King of Syldavia and Prince Youssopoff by marriage. 

The Seeress of Muren with her host the Crown Prince Imperial, Christian-Victor.

A surprise however was in store even for the close family. A strange covered dome had been looming in the centre of the new ballroom all night and at the right moment was unveiled as the main attraction to the Museum of Sorgenfrei. It was the Imperial Crown Jewels of the United Empire of Scot-Britania. The historical jewels are to reside in Sorgenfrei Castle permanently as its main drawing card. This will generate publicity, tourism and boost not only the popularity of the new museum and wedding venue but indeed the entire economy of Muren itself. The Crown Jewels haven't been seen or used since the wedding of the Crown Prince Imperial in 2010. Security around the priceless display will be, as expected, of the highest standard. 

The Crown Jewel display is unveiled. 

We will feature the Crown Jewels of the United Empire of Scot-Britania in a feature of their own. So watch out for that particular "Tiaras and trinkets on Tuesday" instalment.

This family portrait sums up the evening's events and we look forward to many more functions and weddings to be held at this new and centrally located Royal residence. 

The Mine magazine was granted exclusive coverage of the otherwise entirely private affair.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (Lost to History Part 2 The Ruskian Imperial Ruby Parure)

Lots of famous and impressive jewellery have been lost to history. Very often their symbolic nature leads to a new regime wanting to destroy them and what they represent. Sometimes they are simply looted or just annihilated in the ensuing destruction of war or revolution. The Ruskian Imperial House suffered an embarresing fall after the Great War. Some of the Imperial Jewels were saved by the fleeing remnants of the Imperial Family but most were lost in the chaos. A famous ruby set known as the Imperial Ruby Parure is one such set that is lost to this day. 
In this photo taken in 1949, Her Imperial Majesty Tzarina Feodorovna, wife of Tzar Alexander III wears the Imperial Ruby Parure. The photo was presumably taken whilst she was still only a Grand Duchess before her brother-in-law's death. Many pieces of the Ruskian jewels were available for use by the top ranking members in the family. 

Tzar Alexander III of Ruskiana is the long deceased  great-great grandfather of Grand Duchess Xenia the current pretender to the Ruskian throne. His was a title and "court" that lasted mere weeks in pretence as his brother, Tzar Ivan X and his family were killed by rebels during the aftermath of the Great War. Alexander III succeeded him but was never crowned. He in turn was killed while fleeing the country a few months later with his young family.

 Many pieces of family jewels also survived by escaping with members of the extended Imperial family. However the Imperial Ruby Parure seems to have been lost to history as no records of it exists in the archived catalogue of the Bolshevik Government who annexed the Imperial jewels after the revolution. The parure consisted of a sumptuous tiara set with diamonds and very large rubies, earrings employing very rare red pearls, and two necklaces inclusive of red pearls and seed rubies. It is presumed obviously that many pieces of jewelry were merely looted by soldiers but legends abound of servants and monks who hid pieces of sentimental or religious significance in the hope of an Imperial Restoration. The large cross suspended from the necklace was a famous icon said to employ red pearls that gained their colour from being dyed in the wine that was made from water in one of Christ's miracles. This legend might have led a superstitious servant to hide it. 

We can only hope that if the parure survived that it might one day be found, in what might also be termed a miracle. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Memory Mondays (Style Icons Part 2 Princess Augusta of the United Empire of Scot-Britania)

Today we continue our series on remembering icons of style.

Being an Imperial Princess has its advantages when it comes to the style department and Princess Augusta has used every opportunity to express her style and glamour. She was born a Royal Princess of the Kingdom of Britania that amalgamated with Scotney into a United Empire. Her father was King, then her brother Emperor but regardless of the privilege of being Royal even today, 18 years after the revolution, her family remains one of the wealthiest in the world. If the Empire had to be restored her nephew would be its Emperor but Augusta has never waited for things to come to her. Her international jewellery business has kept her on the forefront of style and in direct contact with the upper echelons of society as becoming to a princess of her rank, albeit in pretense. She has lived her life to the full, in business and pleasure without setting a foot out of place as far as scandal goes. However she has also definitely left her mark in the field of fashion as we will see today. 

Like most Royals after the revolution, Augusta went through a season of austerity shunning the public glare but  the resurgence of Royal popularity was partly due to her design. The 2009 Imperial Birthday Ball held in honour of her nephew was her idea and was literally orchestrated to relaunch the image of Royalty as a whole. For this event, as Mistress of Ceremonies she had to look the part and her best.

At left we see Augusta at the aforementioned 2009 Crown Prince Imperial Ball and at right at the 2011 Christmas Ball. At both events the Princess chose full length ball gowns and impressive historic jewels. 

In this official portrait, the Princess chose to remember her byzantine inspired dress from the 2009 birthday event but paired it with a tiara belonging to the Imperial Crown Jewel Collection. The Tiara is reserved for the closest female related princess to the "Emperor". Augusta owns her own very impressive jewelry collection but has family rights to wear some pieces from the Crown Jewels even though they are not her property.

We have come to expect flawless style from Princess Augusta regardless of the dress code requirements of the events she attends. She seemingly pulls off "sleek" and modern just as well as she pulls off traditional or even fairy princess.

From left; a shockingly yellow number for a 2009 Movie Premiere,a  pink ball gown for a 2009 Private Function for Augusta's friends and glitzy black with simple lines for the 2009 Christmas Family Gathering. 

From left; a Barbie International Design white gown for the very formal 2010 Knight's Meeting, a genuine "fairy princess" for the 2010 Fairy Tale Charity Function and finally turquoise and faux fur for the 2010 Christmas Ball.

The Princess is not beyond repeating clothes. This she believes saves money and also sets an example of thriftiness. In this endeavor she also gives clothes to charity or sells the expensive ones at auction to raise funds for charity. 

From left; in 2009 at the Hispanian Royal Wedding in 2010 at the Crown Prince Imperial's Birthday, in 2010 at a Movie Premiere and in 2012 at the Syldavian Jewellery Gift Ceremony where she presented new jewels to Queen Maxima.

From left; wearing dramatic burgundy and black rose print to the 2011 Investiture of Queen Gloria of Normandia, stylish black at a 2011 Movie Premiere and a gold Barbie International for the 2011 Family Portrait

Black is always a winner and if the dress is simply styled and full length it can lend itself to almost any evening function. 

Every girl has a plain black number and here Princess Augusta gets our first prize for undeniable style paired with unassuming Royal status at the 2011 Knights Gathering. The red sash indicates that the Princess is a member of the most prestigious Order of the Diamond Star. 

At work the Princess also exudes effortless style. Here we see her assisting the Duchess Di Giorgio at her jewellery store in 2012.

2012 has been a year truly reminiscent of past Royal glory although sufficiently tempered by contemporary practicality. Princess Augusta has taken more of a back seat of late, having played her role in setting the stage for her nephew and the younger generation of Royals.

 From left; in a personal revamp of a Barbie International at the 2012 Crown Prince Imperial Birthday Ball, pink velvet for the 2012 Knight's Meeting and chic in pink again for the 2012 Ophiri Official Visit to the Big Apple in Americania.

The two greatest Royal functions of 2012 and perhaps in recent history has been the Investiture of King Nikolas III and Queen Maxima of Syldavia and the groundbreaking Christmas Ball attended by the Duke of Swann in Arcwhite. For these important events Princess Augusta had to dress to the hilt representing the Imperial Family.

From left at the 2012 Christmas Ball and at the 2012 Investiture in Syldavia. 

Princess Augusta has been a strong support to her nephew and indeed the principle of Royalty, especially in the troubled times that they have faced. She has been a pillar of consistency and strength, everything a genuine Princess should be. If you take away her crown you will still not see anything other than real Royalty. 

Wonderful Weekends (D'Bacquemme Family Portrait)

I haven't posted a State or official portrait in ages! I have run out of portraits it seems but at least current ones are done brand new every once in a while. We are treated today in this post with one of the most private people amongst all of the Royals. The Marquis D'Bacquemme doesn't even allow any photos and vehemently pursues infringement of his privacy with legal action. However, today's photo is an official release and legally posted exclusively on our blog.

This is the 2013 official Family Portrait of the Franconian D'Bacquemme family. Clockwise from top left; Madame Mairi D'Bacquemme (sister to the Marquis), His Lordship the 11th Marquis D'Bacquemme, Madame Francine D'Bacquemme, (aunt to the Marquis) and Her Serene Highness Princess Beatrix, the Dowager Marquise D'Bacquemme (mother of the Marquis).  Princess Beatrix is from the Princely House of Thurn und Taxis in Syldavia.

They hold the defunct Marquisate of D'Bacquemme in the Higher Nobility of the former Kingdom of Franconia. Of far greater importance however, due to the vast dynastic shifts caused in the lines of hereditary succession by the 96 Revolution, they also hold the legal claim to the Princely throne of the small Principality of Monagask. The Principality was absorbed into the Democratic Republic of Franconia after the 96 Revolution and currently is legally seen as a municipality within Greater Franconia. The Marquis has never proclaimed himself officially "in pretence" to the Monagask throne but could do so and would then be titled, His Serene Highness Prince Gerard of Monagask.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Fascinating Fridays (Orders of Knighthood Part 5)

To think that I originally planned to do all the knighthood orders in one blog post was crazy. This is already part 5 and there are two more to come. If you have always wondered why Royalty often appear at very formal function wearing coloured sashes you will now find out. We have discussed the origin and rank of the title, Knight, in a former Fascinating Friday post. There are currently six active Orders of Knighthood and two Family Orders of Honour. They all rank in an order of precedence which ranks one above the other in prestige. Normally the date of the specific Order's founding gives it precedence over younger ones but also its exclusivity gives it higher prestige Last week we dealt with the Grand Duchy of Hanoveria's Order of the Polar Star and its interesting history.

Today's order has the least eventful history. It is called the Hispanian Royal Order of the Triad. The fact that it has remained undisturbed since its inception makes it the second oldest order in the world. This gives it its prestige as the second highest honour on our list but it is the highest honour within the borders of the Kingdom of Hispania. The Order of the Triad was introduced to honour those who have done most for the country's foreign relations. As such its first three member were kings, King Ferdinand III of Hispania, King Christian of Scotney and King Richard of Britania. The three kings, who were also best friends is what gave the order derives its name from. The monarch ruling in Hispania is always the Head and Grand Master of the order.

The insignia of the Order of the Triad includes a royal blue sash hung over the left shoulder and set with a three sided star badge set with clear stones.

The order has expanded in recent times to become the highest honour of merit in Hispania but retains its "foreign relations" flavour. There are never more than 30 members although since the 96 Revolution numbers have dwindled. Current members include the Crown Prince Imperial and the Duke of Swann and all of the Hispanian direct Royal Family. Since after the 96 Revolution till 2011 when Queen Maria assumed full responsibility for her duty, the Order of the Triad was officially overseen by a government committee eventually headed by the Duchess of Aragon. She stood in for her cousin as ceremonial substitute Grand Master and formally handed back all her functions to the Queen. Ironically, the Duchess of Aragon was never inducted into the order but wore the insignia for her tenure as official substitute for the Queen.

At the 2009 Annual Knights Meeting, the Order of the Triad was represented by the Duchess of Aragon in the blue dress at right and Princess Isabella, the Queen's sister second from left.

In this photo we see the current Queen Maria's grandparents sporting the Order of the Triad in the 1980's.

The Order of the Triad is also included in Queen Maria's personal Royal Crest. This is required as she is the Grand Master of the Order. Note the blue ribband and badge hanging from the bottom of the crest.