Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

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.

1 comment:

  1. Magnificent lady and matriarch. During her lifetime I think she was the glue that held the Swanobian monarchy together.