Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Memory Monday (Funeral of Empress Crystobel)

After a respectable time of mourning it has become necessary to do our inevitable post, as a full report on the funeral of Empress Crystobel that took place on  2nd of August 2013 at midday.

The funeral was not a State Funeral per sé but was entirely sponsored and officially sanctioned by the Britanian Democratic Government in lieu of The Empress' death taking place whilst under their patronage on Britanian soil and as a confirmed assassination. Thus the only appropriate venue was agreed to be the official Royal Cathedral in the Britanian capital, Cathédrale du Cœur de Lion. This would have been the venue officiating at the Empress' funeral if she and her husband were not deposed in 1996. Understandably, security was extra tight.

The Cathedral has only served as a memorial museum and "local" parish church since the 96 Revolution but was prepared in full splendour as of old for this very unique and poignant funeral. The coffin was brought and placed in the Cathedral the day before the funeral and left to lay "en repose" until the traditional Vigil of the Princes.

His Eminence the Blue Cardinal, Pastor of the Flock Royal also had his exile lifted in order to return to what would have been his seat if there had been no revolution. The Cathedral of the Heart of the Lion served as the center of Christendom and was officiated over by the Blue Cardinal in the Pre-Revolution days. Here he spoke and ministered on behalf of the traveling Mithrandir, the head of the Church Temporal. As per tradition the Blue Cardinal presides over all Royal Funerals and has thus also been restored to the Cathedral and his function as of this event.

The Vigil of the Princes is the religious duty of the closest male relations of the Royal being buried. The Princes stand is silent and prayerful vigil for an hour before the actual service while the body of the deceased lays in state. A traditional Laying in State could take several days in the former Empire as its function was for the common man to queue and view the deceased monarch. As a technically deposed head of state, the Empress' funeral was decidedly more private and less "official". 

After the Vigil of the Princes, the Family Wreath and Imperial Crown was placed on the coffin. It is then also finally sealed and the commemoration service then officially began with the invited family and guests arriving.

Leading the mourners, the Crown Prince Imperial and his wife greeted the family and friends as they arrived. The not well known tradition of the "Privilege du Blanc" was evident in Princess Odeliah's very formal ankle length white dress and veil. Imperial Princesses are obliged to wear white when inside the Cathedral of the Lion Heart for funerals while others must wear black. 

The Family of the Duke of Swann were out in force in support of their Imperial cousin. 

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Hanoveria represented their side of the family along with his mother and two sisters. 

In the second row we see starting from the right Princess Kirsten Youssopoff, the King of Syldavia, the Queen of Syldavia and the Prime Minister of Britania.

Princess Augusta, being unmarried remains a Princess of the Empire and can be seen in the back also wearing the "Privilege du Blanc". She is standing next to the Queen of Hispania and directly in front is Empress Crystobel's sister, the Dowager Grand Duchess of Hanoveria, Princess Beatrice. 

The service as it began...

A bird's eye view of the coffin was accomplished by a camera set up in the rafters. The press was afforded discreet but full access to this internationally important event. 

Bringing a message condemning unnecessary violence but praising the virtues of hope conquering adversity, the Blue Cardinal spoke powerfully from the Lion's Voice Pulpit. He also encouraged those facing adversity and tragedy by looking to God for His strength and guidance. The Imperial Family was upheld always being an example to all and even in this strives to set a standard to others. 

Princess Beatrice, wrote a poem in honour of her sister and was given a moment to share it. The poem is written in the first person. 

What is a life?
But a string of days
A web of choices
In the midst of a maze

My country I served
And humbly I declare
No sacrifice was too big
For me as Empress to bear

My husband my councilor
Equal partner, my friend
How cruel was your departure
My heart broken

My son such a blessing
To his country and his name
May you forgive my absence?
My Untimely  departure is my only regret

To my faceless, nameless foe
How cruel your lashes have been
If only you could find a voice
One less violent and less mean

But as I look on old days past
With tears but also pride
I look ahead at days to come
My final tear I've cried.

The Crown Prince Imperial also spoke in honour of his mother, regretting only the short time they had together. "Forgiveness is the true hallmark of Royalty" he said and he vowed to make his mother proud by serving his peoples regardless of how they accept or reject him. 

Lit candles signifying the light and transiency of this life but also the hope of its emanation into the next, brought the service to its end with the benediction.  

Preparation to carry the coffin was made as the famous hymn "How Great Tho Art" was sung by the congregation. The pall bearers then took their positions.

The pall bearers included the four closest related men to the Empress and two soldiers, one from the armed forces of Britania, the other from the Scot navy. The Crown Prince Imperial and the Duke of Swann at the Head, the somber exit out of the cathedral began.

Exiting the front of the cathedral the coffin proceeded down the stairs before it was lifted upon the waiting gun carriage. 

It is a tradition, honouring all former or current Heads of States by transporting their coffins to their final resting place on a gun carriage, signifying their authority and power.

A truly emotional moment came as Pre 96 Revolution Veterans saluted the late Empress's coffin. 

The Police escort signify the commencement of the processional drive to the Imperial Mausoleum. 

The Imperial Family was to follow by car until the gates of the Imperial Mausoleum Park from where only the closest family proceeded on foot. 

The arrival at the doors of the Mausoleum proper brought the gun carriage to its final stop. 

The Pall Bearers with the onlooking Crown Princess Imperial prepare for the final internment as the doors of the Mausoleum are unlocked. 

An Imperial Honour Guard played the old Imperial Anthem as the doors were to be opened. 

And so the journey of Her Imperial Majesty Empress Crystobel came to its final resting place. 

The Crown Prince Imperial, strictly speaking, Emperor d'jour of the United Empire and his Empress shared a quiet and private moment as they laid the wreath at the now resealed doors of the Mausoleum. 

May God bless and keep them. 

The media was given full access but remained discreet. Without being invasive at all many newspapers and live feeds on the Internet shared this historic event with the world. Now months later we are all beginning to move ahead. We will honour the Empress by making the most of the baton she has passed to us and our generation. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (Jewellery worn by the Crown Princess Imperial)

Odeliah Sorgenfrei, born the humble daughter of a diary farmer could never imagine that her childhood love would turn out to be the wealthiest man on earth, heir to the most prestigious title and also still willing to marry her after the revelation of his heritage. They did marry and since then Odeliah, or rather the Crown Princess Imperial of the United Empire of Scot-Britania, has had the most spectacular jewellery collection in the world at her disposal. Let us look at the bedazzling pieces of historic Imperial and Royal jewels that Odeliah has worn since her engagement to the Crown Prince Imperial in 2010.

The first tiara was worn on the night of her engagement party. The set that was chosen was collection of  Hispanic Rubies that came to the Imperial Collection through Empress Crystobel's father who inherited it after the death of his sister, the then Queen of  Hispania. The set was altered to suit the style of Queen Crystobel of Scotney and later altered even more to take on its current configuration. 

The Prince Christopher of Hispanian Parure has been worn three times by Princess Odeliah. She wore it on her engagement night, an Imperial Family gathering in 2013 and also once for a "State Portrait". It is also often called the "Blood Ruby Parure" due to the colour of the high quality rubies. 

Following the engagement, the wedding of the decade took place in 2010. Princess Odeliah wore jewellery fit for an Empress, which she now became in pretense by courtesy of her husband's titles. 

The tiara worn on her wedding has been worn three times. here we see it paired with its matching necklace. The Imperial Diamond Tiara and Necklace combines to make for a very effective statement of Imperial rank in austerity.

 The Imperial Diamond Tiara set with the 6th largest diamond in the world. The Imperial Diamond entered the Imperial collection set in the tiara of the same name as a tribute from the Trans Europan Council to the new Empire as a belated thank you for the sacrifices made by the nations of Scotney and Britania during the Great War. The tiara was originally made for the Germanic Kaizer's wife who never wore it as that monarchy was toppled for starting the Great War. The necklace was made to compliment the tiara using the world famous Star of Africana Diamond that was purchased by the King of Britania for his son as a wedding present in 1986.

The Crown Princess Imperial also seems to have a favourite tiara as it is the one most frequently worn.

 This brand new tiara was especially made for the Princess upon her engagement. She chose to not wear it for the first year of her marriage and wore it for the first time at a Pariseum Fashion gala. What most people didn't realize was that it was the week of her first wedding anniversary, a subtle "thank you" to her husband for his kind gift. 

A necklace of truly Imperial proportions was later added to compliment the new Tiara. The design of the necklace hints at the tiara but does not copy it exactly allowing for both to be worn in combination with other jewellery and not just being another "set".  Princess Odeliah has often worn the necklace since she received it late in 2011. 

The now almost infanous D'Pont Du Lac Emeralds and Pearls have been in the Imperial collection since the early 1990's and survived the Revolution. Princess Odeliah has often worn this vast collection in its own right in many varying combinations. In this photo she pairs the Pearl Tiara with the Emerald Necklace and Earrings.

The Pearl Tiara has been worn at least three times. This photo includes a bracelet and earrings not from the D'Pont Du Lac set but also often worn by the Princess. The photo also belies some of the parure's history as here the tiara can be seen with negative spaces where at a later stage more diamonds were added to boost the tiara's sparkle. The bracelet has also been set entirely with diamonds and are popular pieces along with the graduated double pearl earrings, with the Princess.

The full Greater  D'Pont Du Lac Emerald Parure has been worn twice to our knowledge. 

The brooch in this photo is the same brooch Empress Crystobel wore in her hat on the day she was shot. As such we may not see it for some time to come. The Star Diamond, set in the star shaped brooch has also been worn often by the Crown Princess Imperial as a Stomacher Brooch. It is a 45ct top quality specimen. Its origins are obscured by history as it has been in the possession of the monarchs of Scotney for near on a thousand years. It was first recorded in a "Lyst off the Crowne Jewels" in 1099. Legends claim that the stone was a gift to the nation of Scotney from the nuns of Arcwhite but no proof of this exists. Chemical analysis of the stone has revealed it to be of Normandian origin. 

The large Imperial Drop Pearl Set, is an official and historic part of the Crown Jewels of the Kingdom of Britania and of the Empire. The earrings were originally a gift from the Shah of Perlistan in 1847 who payed homage to the greater colonial power of Britania at the time. The necklace however is traditionally considered to have belonged to Queen Elizabeth Gloriana, The first Queen Regent of Britania who reigned in the 1600's. 

Another set of jewellery that originally belonged to the Du Pont'Du Lacs is this beautiful Sapphire Parure. 

The D'Pont Du Lac Sapphires descended down the Franconian Royal line along with the aforementioned Emeralds until the ended up with Princess Anne-Marie D'Pont Du Lac who sold both Parures to raise money fore her very sick and impoverished brother. The Sapphires were bought by the Crown Prince Imperial for his new wife Odeliah who is said to enjoy wearing them to special occasions. 

The Imperial Topaz Tiara is a very large Tiara and has an accompanying brooch. It has only been worn twice by Princess Odeliah as she finds its design difficult to wear. The Tiara was made for the Crown Prince Imperial's grandmother Queen Elizabeth of Britania. 

A set of Rose Quartz and Diamond jewellery was made especially for Princess Odeliah to match the Imperial Topaz Tiara. She wore the entire collection to the Investiture of Queen Gloria of Normandia in 2011. 

Worn once this Parure, set with Aquamarines is a bit of an enigma. It is loosely speculated to be a private gift to Princess Odeliah from an unknown origin. It is most certainly not the most expensive set in the Imperial Collection and as such may have come from anywhere. Perhaps more will come to light, if we ever see the Princess wearing it again. 

The King George the V Citrine Demi Parure is a very large Tiara and necklace made in 1909 for Queen Alexandra of Britania as a 40th Birthday gift from her husband. The Tiara was entirely forgotten to history as Queen Alexandra left it in a safety deposit box in the Switzer Confederacy on her last tour of Europa in 1936. It came to light in 2009 when the Crown Prince Imperial re-entered the international scene that the Set of jewels were still held by the Switzer Bank and that they wished to return it to the rightful owner. Princess Odelia has worn twice since her marriage to the Crown Prince Imperial. 

The Yellow Quartz, known as Citrine is of exceptional quality and size and with the geometric design makes for a very unique set of jewellery. 

The Imperial Sapphire Tiara was originally made in Ruskiana as a gift from the Tzar of Ruskiana to the visiting King and Queen of Britania in 1896. That year the Imperial Family of Ruskian celebrated it Bicentenary and hosted the greatest State Ball the world had ever seen. As part of the display of Ruskian wealth the Tzar decided to bestow spectacular Tiaras, as gifts showcasing Ruskian craftsmanship, upon all the wives of the visiting monarchs. The tiara has been passed down the Britanian line ever since. 

The Imperial Sapphire Parure remains unchanged as a testimony to a bygone era and its extreme opulence. The Tiara's size makes it difficult to wear and as such has been worn once by Princess Odeliah. The necklace was made later to match the Ruskian gift and the earrings have a spectacular history of their own and just happen to match the set in colour. 

The Alexander III earrings was part of a set called, the Alexander III Sapphire Parure. The eearrings passed to the youngest daughter of Tzar Alexander III, Grand Duchess Tatiana. Please remember that there was a vast amount of other Ruskian jewels to be inherited, so the youngest wasn't short changed. For some reason, perhaps for luck, as sapphires are seen as a blessed gem symbolically, the Alexander III Sapphire Parure Parure was split between the three siblings. Tatiana however was not as lucky as the sapphires should have made her. During a brief affair with the philandering Crown Prince Victor of Britania she lost the earrings in a card game to her lover. This was the same Prince who eventually abdicated the throne to marry a divorcee. In malice for leaving him, he officially entered the earrings into the Crown Jewel Collection of Britannia rather than returning it to her. He knew that when a piece of jewellery is added to the collection, by law it may never be removed. She never forgave him and the controversial earrings are still part of that collection which became the Imperial Crown Jewel Collection of the United Empire of Scot-Britania. Those jewels are in trust for the Crown Prince Imperial and his descendants and as such may never be sold.

The current Imperial Collection boasts a full set of mourning jewellery that has come down the inherited line from the original Royal Britanian Collection. It was originally made for the Consort of King George IV of Britania making it one of the oldest sets in the Imperial Collection. Even though protocol is not as strict as a century ago the classic black and white tones of the parure lends quite a modern feel and versatility to the jewellery making them very wearable. The Crown Princess Imperial has worn them once only for a State Portrait.

Another small set has also been worn once only by the Crown Princess Imperial. In 2012 the Princess was unexpectedly invited to join a small function in the Big Apple to commemorate a visit from an Ophiri delegation. She however wasn't prepared for a tiara event whilst in Americania on tha particular occasion. Fortunately some of the Imperial Jewels were with her aunt in law, Princess Augusta who made this discreet set, perfect for the occasion, available to her. 

The Tiara of the First Princess was originally made in the 1990's and intended as the future "first tiara" of a potential daughter of the Imperial couple. It was gifted by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths as a coronation gift. The tiara escaped the revolution as part of the jewellery cache that left the country in secret with the fleeing Empress. 

Undoubtedly, within the respectable time of course, the Crown Princess Imperial will start to wear the jewellery left behind by Empress Crystobel. Although we share in this year's grief at the loss of the Empress, we look forward to seeing this exemplary lady shine like a star in all the treasures that the grace of God has afforded her.