Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

"To be or not to be" Thursday (Empress Crystobel)

It has been a while since our last "To be or not to be" Thursday. This is due to today's post taking so long to finish. We will be profiling what we could consider one of the top 5 characters in our Royal story along with, the Crown Prince Imperial, the Duke of Swann, Lady Arcwhite and the Seeress of Muren. As such going into extreme detail was required and it has been taking a month to get this far.

This famous quote from Empress Crystobel best describes her life and her attitude: "...an old day always makes way for a new one..."

Born, Her Royal Highness the Princess Crystobel of Scotney, Duchess of Stirling, Marchioness of Inverness, Countess of Glamis, Vicountess Avonleigh and Baroness Crown Castle, this Princess was like many other in her shoes but also very different and destined to walk a road very few have travelled. Today we know her as the former Empress of a lost, almost fairytale Empire. This is the story of Her Imperial Majesty, Empress Crystobel of the United Empire of Scot-Britania, Co-Regent of the Empire and all her territories, Queen of Scotney and Most Honoured Defender of the Mithrandir. If our story had a "main character" one could consider her to be just that. She has lived through unimaginable glories and endured profound loss and her ultimate destiny is to pass the baton of responsibility to her son the Crown Prince Imperial. 

A recent and very intimate photo of Empress Crystobel taken by her nephew, the Duke of Swann.

 Life at the post war court of pre-Imperial Scotney was what one could consider a very typcal one for Royalty from the 1950's to 1980's. The Scotney Royal dynasty had been successfully reigning for over 1500 years. Its last two rulers, both queens, were extremely popular and served their nations well in their respective tenures. It was into this solid heritage that Crystobel succeeded her mother Queen Crystobel I as Queen of the Kingdom of Scotney in 1985. At that stage she was the eldest of three sisters and as yet the remaining bachelorette amongst them. Her marriage had been long arranged between her mother and the neighbouring King of Britania but due to her apprehension had not taken place. Now as Queen, years of planning could just be sent down river if she in her own right refused to marry as planned. The first year of her reign was imbued with this diplomatic tension but on advice of her cabinet she began to spend more time with her suitor. She did eventually, regardless of " duty", also fall in love with her betrothed the Crown Prince of Britania. 

The spectacular wedding was an event of unprecedented grandeur and set new standards for Royal protocol and International law. It was the first time in history that two countries were to join their sovereignty into one state due to the marriage of the separate heads of state. But the amalgamation of the two Kingdoms was only due to take place after the Crown Prince of Britania succeeded his father to the throne. The wedding ceremony itself has never been equaled in typical 80's style excess and also Royal dazzle. The event was attended by International Heads of State and Royal relations from all over Europa. It was presided over by the King of Britania, the groom's father.

This photo sees Queen Crystobel and the Crown Prince exchanging vows while the bride's sister, the Duchess of Swann looks on.

 In the interim before the Empire, Crystobel's married life had begun but was not just glamour and international red carpets. She was a working monarch with real duties and had to deal with the imminent deadline of the eventual foundation of the soon to be United Empire. As a wife and mother she was never happier than in those early years. Her son was born two years after the wedding in 1988. His birth was celebrated with great fan-fare in both, the still two separate Kingdoms of Scotney and Britania. Her life as Queen was a growing success and with the birth of a son and heir her family life had reached an all time high.

Then the inevitability of her husband's succession arrived with the death of his father King  George VI of Britania. The time had come for him to be King and for the couple to become Emperor and Empress.

Wearing the set of black pearls and rubies she received as a wedding present we see the young Queen Crystobel and her Prince charming still in the golden years before the Empire was established.

Within a year of the accession of King Christian, the neighbouring Kingdoms were joined together by an Act of Union. This established the United Empire of Scot-Britania as a new nation and country. It was considered to be the undeniable apex of what had been attempted many times in history, to have the "Britanian Island" under one Crown. The most spectacular coronation ceremony was held and the hard work  of ruling the new realm and to begin settling the initial state of flux began.

If any woman was up to the task of being wife, mother and Empress, it was Crystobel. The time was right, her upbringing and education was right and it looked to be a certain tour-de-force. History was to record a different outcome however that was not to be the fairy tale "happily ever after".

Within a year of the establishment of the Empire, the original bliss of Crystobel's life gave way to nagging concern. No matter what she did in her capacity she was always respectfully rebuffed by the status quo. It had become clear to her that an undercurrent of discontent was beginning to permeate the general atmosphere of public opinion. There is nothing like gossip and under-the-table propaganda to destabilize a tenuous new venture on the verge of spreading its wings. Crystobel began making plans to fight the growing doubt along with her husband and to discover its source if there was any. However she also wisely began to formulate a contingency behind closed doors, if worse came to worst.

Empress Crystobel (in the center) with her two sisters, the Grand Duchess of Hanoveria (left) and the Duchess of Swann (right). This photo was taken only a couple of  months before the tragedy of the revolution struck.

In April growing discontent, political misunderstanding and military interference led to the full outbreak of what was to be known as the Bloody Revolution. This was probably the single biggest turning point in the already eventful life of Empress Crystobel.

The news report on SNN News of the 1996 Revolution shows the burning Castle of Roswind.

 Amongst the chaos that was the first week of the revolution, many died and Europa was almost dumped into another war. The Imperial Family was considered killed in the missile strike on Roswind Castle that did indeed cost the lives of many visiting Royals, dignitaries, staff and even some Heads of State. Miraculously and completely unknown to the public, Empress Crystobel and her son escaped. In the days preceding the final outbreak of the revolution, even though all effort and faith was channeled into saving the Empire, Empress Crystobel set in motion her plans with the help of the Mithrandir and the United States Secret Service to save at least her son if the Empire failed. On the night of the Roswind missile strike, with the knowledge of the Emperor who acted as a diversion in order to aid their escape, the Empress and the Crown Prince Imperial was lead to safety through an old war tunnel under the castle. Leaving her husband behind they were driven in unmarked cars to a United States air force base where the Empress faced the greatest agony of her life. Reports came in via SNN News of her husband's confirmed death and her status as "missing presumed dead". The worst was that her son, who was knocked out by a sleeping drug administered by his faithful nanny, was now for security reasons to be separated from her and that he would grow up in anonymity believing his mother to be dead.

She was taken to the United States and given a false identity under special refugee regulations. She lived and worked for her sister in law Princess Augusta who was already living in the United States and operated her Antique Jewellery business from there. For all intents and purposes the Empress was dead and Ginine Lancaster was the best personal assistant Princess Augusta ever had. The young Crown Prince Imperial was taken to become the adopted son of the Seeress of Muren in the Switzer Confederacy and due to his very young age soon forgot everything about his infancy.

Time passed and in 2009, a Royal Ball in the style of the old Imperial Court was held in Muren to celebrate the coming-of-age birthday and revelation that the Crown Prince Imperial was alive and well and grew up safe in Muren since the revolution. This was followed in December of that year at the Hanoverian Royal Family Christmas Dinner by the fact that Ginine Lancaster was Empress Crystobel, alive and well.

The 2009 Hanoverian Royal Family photo shows the revealed Empress at left with her close Hanoverian relation including her sister, the Dowager Grand Duchess of Hanoveria in yellow.

The NOW Magazine had the exclusive on the spectacular story.

To celebrate her return to public life the Empress released this photo to the press in 2010. The State Portrait style photo is overt in its official styling. The use of Imperial iconography like the crown and portrait in the back creates a powerful continuity between pre-revolution Imperial Scot-Britania and the present day.

After the unimaginable tragedy of the revolution and years of struggle in secrecy it seemed that a new day had indeed been afforded the lonely Empress. This was celebrated in joy and grand style at the 2010 wedding of her son also held in his "home town" of Muren.

The wedding in 2010 of Empress Crystobel's son, the Crown Prince Imperial, to Odeliah Sorgenfrei was the eventual turning point that the Empress had been working toward for over a decade since the revolution.

A new season seems to have genuinely arrived for the Empress and her family. It also seems that in the contemporary international public eye that she has indelibly established herself as a public phenomenon and a solid fixture in her own right, regardless of having no actual Empire. However the past is not forgottennor entirely resolved and as we know the truth has a way to come out.

Setting foot for the first time on her native soil in 2012, this photo shows the Empress in mourning for her lost husband.

In 2012 the now Democratic Republic of Scotney invited their former Queen and Empress in lieu of the wave of popularity Royalty had been afforded in the media at that stage. A formal apology for the tragedies of the revolution was given in a speech by the president, Genl. George Campbell at a special wreath laying ceremony in memory of those who died. A small memorial statue was erected 2006 in the capital of Scotney on the 10th anniversary of the revolution to honour the innocent dead. The Empress stated in her speech: "Time does heal all wounds but forgiveness is a choice that like all others are made in an instant. " She then renewed her coronation pledge to serve her country and her people. Since then the Empress' media profile has grown and her charity work and celebrity status has just endeared her more to her former country and the international public. 

 Especially for this blog post Her Imperial Majesty granted permission for a State Portrait style photo to be taken. However a surprise papparazzi shot was taken of her arriving for the photo shoot at her Big Apple apartments. The two contrasting photos show the two sides of the modern Empress in waiting.

Here we see the Empress, caught unawares as she got out of her 1987 limousine. She keeps the car at her Big Apple apartments and has been quoted to say that she is very sentimental about it and would never be seen in any other car while in the United States.

Her Imperial Majesty posed for this State portrait style photo especially for this blog post. She seems to prefer wearing white more than any other colour and is seen here with the Imperial Consort Mantel made at the inception of the United Empire of Scot-Britania in 1993

If you think that the lives of Royalty are fairy tales, laced with wealth, love and privilege you would be right but as we know, where there is power and happiness, there will always be enemies. Whatever or whoever the enemy was that orchestrated the events leading to the 1996 Bloody Revolution did do what enemies do best, hurt. They however did not manage to quell the innate nobility of a woman who clearly knows who she is, what she stands for and what she is going to be remembered for.

On a lighter side, the Empress has used her wealth to pour a lot of effort into conserving history. Through her vast art and jewellery collections she has added to many art exhibits, history forums and serves as a curator in many capacities. She loves jewellery as an art form and owns what is probably the largest privately owned  jewellery collection on earth. She regularly wears her sparklers to the enjoyment of the public and her own pleasure.

The Empress is reputed to love rubies above all other gemstones. In this photo she wears some Imperial Rubies combined with the red sash and badge of  the Order of the Diamond Star.

This 2012 portrait shows her wearing jewellery received as a wedding present.

The Empress in her foresight sent most of her jewellery to her sister in law, Princess Augusta for "repairs and maintenance" mere weeks before the revolution struck. This secured their survival from the carnage.

The Imperial Family can be seen here in the foreground in 2011. From left, Princess Augusta, the Empress and the Crown Prince and Princess Imperial. 

The Empress is understandably close to her family after the traumas they had to face. She spends as much time with each member as she can and thus travels the world to be with them. She also counts among her intimate friends the Seeress of Muren who has been a bastion of support behind the scenes in her time of exile in secrecy. 

This has been one of the most difficult posts I have ever done, just due to the lengthy content that took hours to sort through and type but also due to the emotional aspect. I wanted to get this important story just right. I hope everybody that actually reads it enjoyed it and hopefully through this particular story, even recognize the Royal inside themselves.

If illicit gossip and murmuring brought the Empire down, then progressive marketing and good old fashion hard work has conversely established this women in history as the epitome of an Empress. To quote her Imperial Majesty one last time: "One is a Princess because, one's father is a King not because one marries a Prince and any good father is king to his children."

Long Live the Empress!!!


  1. Hello from Spain: long live the emperactriz. I agree with you that a Crystobel Empress is a fascinating woman. She has a very cosmopolitan and varied life. Many interesting experiences. I like the close-up photo taken by his cousin. Keep in touch

    1. Thank you once again for the compliment and faithful support of my blog.

  2. Wow, these are fabulous pictures of the Empress. The white pants suit in the state portrait from 2010 is sooo pretty. Did you make that? I also love the picture of her in mourning. Even in sad times she is very stylish.

    1. Thanks Vanessa. That white outfit was done for me by an actual couturier. It cost a fortune.

  3. I agree with Vanessa, she is a fashionable vidow and she had an adventurous life!