Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Friday, 31 October 2014

Breaking News (Arcwhite Crisis)

International press teams were gathering earlier today in the Arcwhite capital city for the official press conference granted by the Arcwhite Emergency Government.

 The press conference was hosted in "The Spire" showcase office building of Arc Industries.

 In a surprising media revelation, Sable Blackwood, infamous nightclub owner and businesswoman,  stepped up behind the microphone wearing all white. She announced herself as the immediate subordinate to Lady Arcwhite within the secret ranks of the Order of the Veil. She is in fact, the Mother of the White Veil and as such acting head of governement in the absence of Lady Arcwhite. In unity with Drealle Mormaer, acting head of state as Lady of the Silver cuffs, the two will rule Arcwhite until the current crisis is solved. Drealle Mormaer, the niece of Lady Arcwhite was not present at the press conference.

The Mother of the White Veil then said: "The political ramifications of a deserting head of state claiming international refugee status and seeking asylum in another country is unprecedented and unacceptable. The act in itself should either be seen as one of gross treason or a deliberate "act of war" and as such, those who harbour such a person could be viewed as collaborators in said intent on war." She aked for Lady Arcwhite's extradition from the Principality of Swann back to her native country to be tried and punished under Arcwhite law and failure to do so would incite an aggressive response from Arcwhite."

Arcwhite have also released an official statement from their government office that their borders are for the time being remain closed due to the military threat posed by Lady Arcwhite and all the knowledge she bears.

The world famous company, Arc International, privately owned by Lady Arcwhite has had all its assets seized by the Arcwhite government. All trading of its shares and bank transactions have for the time being been frozen. This will cause losses in the millions of dollars for many trading with the company at present. We can expect delays in all fields covered by Arc International.

Viscount Hays, the Vice President of Arc International is said to have resigned and left the country. No comment has yet been issued by his press team.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Breaking News (Arcwhite Closes its Borders)

The Island Realms of Arcwhite has officially closed its borders today stating that the defection of its sovereign head of state, Lady Arcwhite poses a threat to their national security. All trade and non essential travel is blocked with immediate effect and all ambassadors and other non-citizens will be extradited within the next few days. The international stock market is already showing adverse result because of these developments. 

The Arcwhite governement, in the absense of a Lady Arcwhite is headed up by the Lady of the Silver Cuffs as acting head of state and the obscurely mysterious Mother of the Veil as head of government. 

The various Arcwhite managed power plants dotting Europa will be evacuated of all Arcwhite staff and in effect be left in the hands of the countries they are geographically situated in. 

The potential for an exploding powder keg is now iminent as we await official statements from the various governments and effected organizations. 

Breaking News (Lady Arcwhite's Defection and Confessions)

In a truly shocking turn of events an unidentified 747 airliner made an emergency landing at Cygnus Airforce Base just outside the Swann capital on Tuesday afternoon. Initially, the aircraft was considered a military threat but its "mayday" led to its emergency landing. The true shock came once the airplane was identified as the State Airplane for the Lady Arcwhite and even more astounding was that she, an International Head of State was its pilot and only passenger.

Lady Arcwhite disembarked under armed guard and requested asylum under international law. The political ramifications of this "defection" is still largely considered as classified. In effect Lady Arcwhite stole her own distinctive white airliner in what she is said to have referred to as an "escape from the tyranny of the Order of the White Veil". Lady Arcwhite and the Swann Governement have yet to release official statements and one can also be expected from the Government of Arcwhite. What we do know is the story to follow, that Lady Arcwhite herself asked to be published on this blog.

Immediately after her emergency landing Lady Arcwhite, dressed in an evening ball gown and barefoot, asked to clear her conscience by having a prayer of confession with the Mithrandir. Under international armistice law and the Mithrandir's official status as "Confessor of Sovereigns" it was agreed to by the Duke of Swann who flew her to the Mithrandir in his helicopter. The Mithrandir cannot be met by appointment but does respond to "acts of faith". On the border of the Principality of Swann and Bishop Principality of Andor, under an ancient Cyprus tree, stands the centuries old Stone Throne of Truth. The Duke of Swann was hoping that if he and Lady Arcwhite just went there that the Mithrandir would hear of their endeavour and meet them.This confession of Lady Arcwhite will be the second one affecting world politics heard by the Mithrandir in the last few months. The previous one, made by Frantisek Voorheest, condemned assassin of the Empress Crystobel is rumoured to have revealed many secrets affecting world security.

The Stone Throne of Truth may only be reached on foot or by helicopter for the lucky few. 

The Throne of  Truth is carved and assembled from rocks hailing from all over Europa. Legends say that each tribe responded to the call of God in the year 70AD and convened in this spot. Each chieftain brough a rock from his particular region and so the built the throne. At the same time a man hailing from the Middle East arrived and was revealed to have been healed by Christ Himself and commissioned to take the Gospel to the North. So the first Mithrandir found his place in the history of Europa.

The faith of the Duke of Swann and Lady Arcwhite paid off as they arrived at the sacred tree finding His Holiness peacefully awaiting their arrival. He agreed to have himself and the meeting photographed in accordance with Lady Arcwhite's wishes to record this world changing event.

Lady Arcwhite was overcome with emotion and curtsied before the Mithrandir who immediately asked if he could pray for her. She received it and afterward spoke her heart, revealing information both private and classified.

With the Duke of Swann as witness the Lady Arcwhite confessed to the deeds commited by her office as Lady Arcwhite and the Order of the Veil. The fact that the Duke of Swann was witness was actually a legal requirement due to the nature of the persons involved. This photo was taken by the helicopter pilot to prove His Royal Highness' presence at the confession.

The technical details and political complications are as said before classified but the events considered in public sphere will be revealed at an appropriate press conference.

With her heart unburdened, Lady Arcwhite was invited to stay indefinitely at Duke's Court Palace as an international refugee until all political complications have been finalized. She now, like us, waits with abated breath for the story to develop but does expect some troubling revelations. The calm before the storm seems to have come.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday (News Flash Duke of Swann and Viscount Faraway)

In our "What's Up Wednesday" slots we update on current events and often we take the time here to focus on smaller events not quite on the grand and official level. 

His Lordship Admiral Viscount Farraway of the Swanobian Naval High Command has committed to a 6 month stint for charity. He has been taken aboard the state-of-the-art Europan Sea Rescue Vessel; Hopeful as its Captain in service of the Europan Council for International Sea Rescue. The Viscount wishes to serve the Sea Rescue Initiative and to focus much needed media attention to the efforts of this vital organization. The Hopeful was wholly financed by the Swanobian Government as an experimental vessel to be produced "en masse" for service around the world.

In this photo His Lordship stands ready to embark on his first sea rescue patrol. The Hopeful is the world's most technologically advanced and best equipped sea rescue vessel in service. She even boasts her own helicopter as can be seen in this photo. 

The Hopeful is also considered to be the fastest rescue vessel ever to have patrolled the Europan coast. She also serves to spearhead the initiative to launch a fleet of 10 of the same in countries ranging from Wallachia in the South East to Arcwhite in the North West. We wish the Admiral Godspeed and praise the Principality of Swann for funding this experimental vessel and its trial run maiden voyage. 

In other current news His Royal Highness, the Duke of Swann was in Ruskiana over the last few days since this last weekend. He sparked a tremendous gossip furor after a photo (pictured above) was snapped by paparazzi of him on Monday evening leaving a Brazilian Restaurant with Countess Tolstoievski in what seemed to have been a very personal moment. The Duke has often been romantically linked with famous unmarried ladies but these have all proven to be false speculation. 

Duke's Court Palace confirmed in an official press release that the Duke's "appointment" with the Countess was purely professional. It stated that the Duke of Swann's intentions with his trip and obviously expensive "night out" was to negotiate funding opportunities with some of the Countess's Charity work in both Ruskiana and South Americania. The Countess is very active in education for orphans in the fields of farming and the arts.  

The Duke's trip to Ruskiana, the Countess Tolstoievski's native country to which she has very recently been invited back after years of exile, was cut short yesterday. He had to fly back urgently as an impending state of emergency threatened due to an unexpected and unauthorized invasion of Swanobian airspace occurred. An unidentified airoplane entered Swanobian airspace under military threat of being shot down declared a "mayday" where after it made an emergency landing at Cygnus Airforce base. The press is still investigating the story. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (The Empress Crystobel Sisters Gift Necklaces)

In 1995 Empress Crystobel celebrated the birthdays of her sisters by giving each an identical necklace. Personal and intimate family gifts are often shared between Royals lending a very personal touch to what the rest of the world only sees as expensive jewels. Much of what is perceived as vast and valuable Royal collections are strewn with these personal heirlooms. Let as take a close look at the Crystobel Gift Necklaces today.

This archive photo was taken to record the two necklaces together. At left we see the one given to Princess Beatrice who became Grand Duchess of Hanoveria and at right the one that was given to Princess Elizabeth who became Duchess of Swann. The necklaces are made from pearls, diamonds and onyx. The gems are set in such a way to form a stylized equilateral cross.

This photo, taken at the birthday of Princess Beatrice, shows Empress Crystobel hanging the necklace on the neck of her youngest sister.

At the 1995 birthday party of Princess Beatrice her elder sister the Duchess of Swann also wore her copy of the necklace that she received a few months earlier for her birthday. The idea was that Empress Crystobel wanted to give each of her younger sisters something personal bur also exactly alike to symbolize her love for them. Also the hope is that these gifts will pass down the inherited lines of both the Hanoverian and Swanobian Royal dynasties forever being a symbol of their connection to each other and to the Imperial House of Scot-Britania. 

The last great event that saw one of the necklace worn was the Castle Sorgenfrei roof wetting party held in April 2013. Princess Beatrice, in green pictured above, wore hers to this intimate family affair. It stands to reason that the Swann version of the necklace has not been seen since before the 1996 Revolution wherein Princess Elizabeth lost her life. Both necklaces will pass to the next generation and may soon be seen worn by upcoming ladies in both Royal lines as they receive them as inheritance. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

"To be or not to be" Thursday (Princess Elizabeth the Duchess of Swann)

Royalty can be very effective contributors to society, especially and seemingly mostly in the sphere of morale. This quality lends them an almost spiritual quality. However, sometimes these public figures can become so loved by their public that they become more than archetypal icons, especially when a sudden and tragic death comes into play, then you may end up with a national symbol equal to a martyr. Today's post is a very personal one, a of tribute to just such a figure, my mother.

The last State Portrait of the late Duchess of Swann taken in 1995 in the throne room of Duke's Court Palace.

Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth Rosemary of Scotney, Duchess of Inverness, the second daughter of Queen Crystobel I of Scotney and later Duchess of Swann by marriage was born in 1960 to Queen Crystobel I of Scotney and her husband Prince Christopher. The second daughter of the very popular Queen Crystobel grew up a happy-go-lucky child with such a bubbly personality that she gained the nickname Bubbles. Initially, she wasn't close to her siblings, elder sister Crystobel being groomed for the throne and younger sister Beatrice who herself was very introverted but had an intimate bond with her parents. She showed a penchant for art but never really pursued it rather choosing to become the quintessential support, socially and dutifully, to her family.

In 1982 after her privileged upbringing and top quality schooling, she did what was expected of a Princess and married, this she did in a true dynastic match to the reigning Duke of Swann. The couple finally tied the knot after a very long and publicized courtship which began after the two became childhood sweethearts in school. The marriage was of the highest dynastic echelon and a long and prosperous future, perpetuating the Royal traditions and diplomatic relations shared between the Kingdom of Scotney and the Principality of Swann was safely predicted. In 1983 she bore the Principality an heir in the form of Prince Daniel and a younger sister in 1985. It all seemed like a perfect family of Royal bliss but we all know that fairy tales always have a dark cloud. The Duke was not of a very stable character and his public image was starkly contrasted with his private persona. The pressures of State weighed heavy and the Duke was prone to violent outbursts and suicidal depressions, these were manically off-set with irrational fanciful highs that in themselves left his family excluded from showing genuine interest. In general he was at best cold and unemotional most of the time with these two extremes of depression and irrational joy alternatively exploding almost like clockwork with every season change. Princess Elizabeth blindly commited to his support even to the determent of herself and her children. His doctors placed him on strong medication, which may have helped the Duke to cope within himself but did not serve to foster healthy family interaction.

The show must go on however and the Duchess of Swann just smiled and waved dutifully holding on to her personal conviction that the sanctity and insolubility of marriage was not a debate but a lifetime commitment. This she believed was doubly true for a Royal who not only commits to marriage but to a country.

One of the happiest moments in the Duchess of Swann's life was recorded in her diary in 1986; "Today I served my sister as matron of honour at her glorious wedding. It was indeed an historic day to be remembered throughout history. She looked like only she could, a beautiful and regal angel. I pray that the happiness expressed will last forever. " In the photo above taken at the famous wedding ceremony we see Princess Elizabeth, standing at left in attendance to the bridal couple. At this stage, she herself was only married for four years and burdening the pressure of her private life whilst keeping up the public appearance before her own needs. Times like her sister's wedding must have been a glorious oasis that we all sometimes crave in life.

The three Royal sisters, namely Empress Crystobel, the Duchess of Swann and the Grand Duchess of Hanoveria grew very close in later years. This was most notably and publicly demonstrated when Empress Crystobel gave each of her sisters a diamond necklace as a token of her affection in 1995. These two necklaces, especially designed for the occation, still exist to this day in the respective Hanoverian and Swanobian Jewellery Collections. Princess Elizabeth, wearing her gift necklace, is seen at left in the photo above at the birthday of her sister Princess Beatrice where she received her necklace. The three would often visit each other and must have shared the problems of the world, literally, between them over tea.

As an international  figure of state and first lady of Swann, Princess Elizabeth became very popular and soon embodied the face of the Swanobian monarchy. She was popular at home for numerous charitable endeavours and abroad for her diplomatic impact. This popularity or "star" quality excelled to such a degree that her husband disliked it, feeling outshone by her at times. A breaking point came in 1993 when in an interview in Americania the interviewer completely forgot to even acknowledge that she was the wife of a reigning Duke and implied that she was the the "top dog" as he ignorantly referred to it. From then on the Princess refused to give interviews.

Family matters however never improved and the pressure build up towards the 1996 Revolution only made it worse. Then horror struck.

Above we see the last public photo of the late Duchess of Swann which was taken on the State Visit of the Emperor and Empress of Scot-Britania to the Principality of Swann in 1995.

In 1996 a State Celebration was hosted over Easter at Roswind Castle in the Empire of Scot-Britania. It was attended by most of the Europa's Royal Heads of State amongst which were the Duke and Duchess of Swann. The famous story of the Bloody Revolution relates how a pair of renegade fighter planes bombed the Castle sparking civil war and the deaths of most of the Royal guests. Princess Elizabeth died that night and her husband was left in a coma and died months later leaving his young son de facto ruler of Swann under a Regency Council. This terrible and undeserving end has seared the positive attributes of the Duchess's life into the public's mind and hearts in an almost saintly manner. She will be remembered most of all as symbol of duty, support and sacrifice.

This portrait of the Duchess of Swann was painted by her son, from memory last year. In it she is potrayed with the sapphire jewellery she wore on the night of her death and as such were destroyed.

The Princess was quoted once saying to a friend that she is most happy when she may fulfill a role of support to another. If there is anything she did, then it is exactly that where to this day her image and values must support her son the current Duke of Swann who carries her in his heart.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (The Szanguscko Jewellery Collection)

The recent engagement of the Count Szanguscko to Princess Antoinette D'Pont Du Lac has brought to our attention the jewellery collection of the Comital House of Szanguscko. The Counts of Szanguscko have for centuries been considered the premiere Noble House in Normandia and as such own some historic jewels. With the restoration of the monarchy in Normandia, the Szangusckos played a pivotal role in cementing the rebirth of historic Royalty. The then head of the Noble House married the new Queen of Normandia and gave up his title in favour of his younger brother. 

Queen Gloria of Normandia has since not worn any jewellery that may be considered from the Szanguscko collection due to the fact that her officie as Queen has many official jewels expected to be worn and she also owns a vast collection of her own. As such, submitting her title to the lower title of her husband's family by the wearing of a Szanguscko Family Tiara, may be seen as strangely inappropriate. Yet it is appropriate for a wife to receive jewellery of a personal nature from her husband and to wear it publicly. Queen Gloria has done so in the form of a bracelet especially made for her as a gift from her husband the now Prince of Northwold. 

In 2011,Queen Gloria wore what has become known as the Szanguscko Bracelet on her right arm. This very personal piece of jewellery is seen as her personal property and the only part of what may considered a Szanguscko jewel in Royal possession.

This photo shows the bracelet in detail.

The unique circumstances surrounding the Szanguscko Family has led to a younger brother being head of the dynasty. The public haven't seen much of the family jewels for the same reason but upon the Count's engagement in 2014 the spectacular Szanguscko Tiara saw the light for the first time in decades. 

In the photo above, taken to commemorate the engagement of his Excellency the Count Szanguscko and Her Highness Princess Antoinette D'Pont Du Lac, we can see the Szanguscko Family Parure. It is made from rare grey pearls and set with diamonds and grey smokey quartz.

In this detailed archive photo we can thee the parure close-up and appreciate the subtle colour differences of the materials used. This tiara dates back from the early 1900's and was made in a mock medieval style. It is, due to its size and age considered to be the official Szanguscko Family Tiara worn by the Countess Consort.

Over the last few years the most often seen tiara from the Szanguscko Collection has been worn by the Count's younger sister Mercedes. She has at times accompanied other members of her family to important State Events and then worn a small diamond bandeau tiara very suitable to her age and rank. Not much is know of this piece except that its design helps us to guess its age. It may have been made in the 1920's for the then Countess.

Countess Mercedes Szanguscko can be seen very successfully wearing the small diamond tiara in 2011.

This detailed photo shows the small tiara with its matching earrings and a strand of quality pearls.

Most of the Szanguscko Collection seems to date from the early 1900's as is just the case of this flapper style coronet tiara. It also employs grey pearls and diamonds and is designed to sit A-symmetrically on the head. This "cheeky" design was typical of aigrette style tiaras from the flapper era.

The A-symmetrical Coronet Tiara is complimented by a two-tone necklace. This set was obviously designed to be used as swapping components fro the Szanguscko Family Parure as parts from both sets may be readily mixed and matched for variety.

It is very thrifty to design elements of new jewellery to be worn alone or to be mixed in with existing historic jewels. This necklace and earrings is made from pearls but includes diamonds and grey smokey quartz. It can thus be matched to any other parts of the Szanguscko Collection. We look forward to seeing it on the red carpet as to our knowledge it has never been worn but with the advent of a new Countess who also brings her own dowry to the Comital Family we may be in for a future feast.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Wonderful Weekends (2014 State Portraits of the Duke of Swann)

The Duke of Swann has released his firs official State Portraits in years. We are posting them here on our usual Wonderful Weekends slot.

His Royal Highness chose to pose in the courtyard of Duke's Court Palace, the official residence of the Dukes of Swann. The Dodecahedron  Sculpture that was recently discovered in the Reichenthal Vault has been permanently placed here and can be seen behind Prince Daniel. The portrait sees the Duke wearing his coronation uniform, the Swann House Order and wielding the Royal Swann Rapier. 

The close up portrait shows the details of the House Order's sash and chain. That concludes our coverage of the 2014 State Portraits of the Duke of Swann. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Fascinating Fridays (Royal Courting and Betrothal)

Royalty, as we know, marry like everybody else albeit in very lavish and official wedding ceremonies. What leads up to these unions, just like in other lives, is the "meeting of that special someone" and a time before the wedding in this case, not called dating but courting. For Royalty, even this very private aspect of life has a very public and rather politically official side. The reason being that the principle of Royalty implies a serving of the public and setting a standard. Top set this standard one must be visibly doing so and thus even this part of any normal life is shared, to a degree, with the public.

So let us break up this phase in life into three categories for the purpose of our blog post today; there is the meeting, the courting and the betrothal/engagement. Being Royal often limits a person to only brushing shoulders with other Royals, so it is rare and these days has become sought after, to meet the right person, not just because they are Royal but because they are the one you love. In days gone by Royals only married other Royals, for practicality sake and because there were rules. Now the rules have been relaxed making the responsibility of marriage a more private decision. 

The Crown Prince Imperial, through very unique circumstances met and eventually married Odeliah Sorgenfrei, a daughter of a dairy farmer from Muren. The photo above was taken at their engagement party in 2010. It finally destroyed the mould of high ranking Royals only marrying within the bounds of their own rank. That being said, nothing changed as far as the public "share" in the relationship as publicity skyrocketed around their courting and eventual wedding ceremony. The media glare is still fixed to this day on our most favourite Royal couple in the world.

The media interest in Royal relationships can lead to some embarrassing misconceptions. In 2012 a budding relationship was assumed to be taking place between the Duke of Swann and the nightclub owner Sable Blackwood. One needs to be careful not to partake to excitedly on this tabloid fodder. Royal relationships, by virtue of their officiality will be announced, officially. If not, then gossip may run rife. The Duke of Swann, being an avid dancer has at times partaken of the nightclub dance floors and as a VIP was escorted by the various owners. This is how seemingly compromising photos, like the one above led to wrong gossip about the still bachelor Duke.

Royal courting may run into some unexpected and sometimes insurmountable obstacles. When Gloria Van der Bilt, now Queen of Normandia, dated the Count Von Bismarck, now King of Syldavia, many years ago nobody expected them to end up on the thrones of two separate kingdoms. Nor did they. To young "inocents"in love had to terminate their relationship once they realized that their blood heritage could lead them to the responsibility of monarchy. Gloria was the only heir, albeit very distant, to the throne of Normandia and after a referendum in that country became Queen. A year later and very ironically, the Count Von Bismarck was on the throne of Syldavia. If they married it would have caused political complications and in the vein of serving a greater good, they both capitulated.

Royalty and Nobility are just human and sometimes relationships fail. The Viscount Hayz and Madame Mairi D'Bacquemme, pictured above, terminated their engagement in 2012 after what was perceived to be a very successful relationship. They both went on to eventually marry other people. 

Taking close notice of the annual Royal party set allows the public to see who is dating who, giving a hint to possible future betrothals and marriage. Appearing together at official events carry a lot of weight and Royals use this opportunity to subtly share their relationship plans with the world. In this photo we see the Duke of Marlboro and Francine D'Bacquemme arriving at the 2012 Christmas Ball as each other's date. Less than a year later they were married.

Another tip-off to the fact that a relationship is serious and moving on to a possible betrothal is the wearing of the other family's historic jewels in public. In this photo, just before the announcement of their engagement was made public officially, Princess Kirsten of Hanoveria was photographed at an event wearing these jewels from the collection of Prince Youssopoff. He had been courting her for months and soon after they were wed.

The most obvious sign of  and actual engagement would be that of engagement rings. In this photo we see the massive diamond ring that was given to Empress Crystobel upon her engagement. The ring has not been seen in years but may still be in the private vaults of the Crown Prince Imperial. Look out for the rings worn by our contemporary Royals.

Engagement are often celebrated by parties hosted for close family and friends but publicized for the benefit of the media. Engagement rings are a the main feature of engagements but as far as Royalty goes, lavish gifts are often given over and above. 

The Duchess of Roswind received a spectacular set of sapphires at her engagement party.

The Duke of Argyle bought a horse for his future wife to celebrate their engagement.

Whether the engagement is celebrated indoors or outdoors, day or night, has no precedent as these happy affairs are all about celebration and the betrothed do so in any way they prefer. The Duke of Argyle and Countess Dysarts held an afternoon cocktail party to celebrate their engagement, giving the press their required photo opportunity.

When the engaged couple are from reigning Royal Families or high ranking dynasties in pretense one can expect an official announcement. In the photo above a press release was sent out from the Duke of Swann's Government Office, announcing his sister, Princess Marie-Elizabeth's engagement to the Arch Duke of Fulco D'este.

Finally after the magical meeting, a lengthy courtship and ceremonials and parties surrounding the betrothal we end up with the wedding officially bringing it to an end result. Yet this end is just a beginning.

But as far as the media frenzy surrounding Royal relationships goes Royals might, like others, decide to run away and elope for a bid at romance, privacy or just fun. That too forms part of this exciting time in our perception of budding relationships. Earlier in 2014 the Marquis D'Bacquemme and Princess Oktavia Von Hohen und Silberstein eloped without ever having been engaged. They managed to evade the press but in doing so sparked a new interest in their lives.

However it all may seem or be, we wish all those in relationships only the best and hope that their futures are blessed.