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The Grand Duke abdicates...


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OOC: during the election of the new Grand Duke, there are few ways others can interact, after the election things will quickly return to normal.

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All across the Grand Duchy, at 16:00 exactly, each television and radio channel became silent for a moment. Gently and quite softly the royal anthem started playing and the voice of the Royal Counsellor became audible.

Citizens of the Grand Duchy, I present to you: the Grand Duke.

Several notes of the anthem played a bit louder, but the song quickly returned to its previous volume. On screens everywhere could be seen how the waving flag of Jildered faded into a shot of the Grand Duke, sitting behind a desk inside the Grand Ducal palace. His stern face clearly showed that he disliked doing speeches like these, usually leaving it up to the Royal Counsellor or the Grand Duchess. This time it was he himself, and as he prepared to talk, he folded his hands.

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H.R.H. the Grand Duke during his speech

 

Faithfull subjects and citizens, his voice sounded sincere. We, the Grand Duke, come before you with a message that might come as a surprise to most. As you well know, the First Minister of Ugeria has been inaugurated today and this was our last act as Grand Duke of Jilderen. After long consideration, we have decided that it is time to step down and make place for a new Grand Duke. A moment of silence passed as the Grand Duke sighed, showing some sign of relief that these words had finally passed his lips. Instead of passing the most honourable title down to my firstborn, I call upon the many dukes end duchesses, princes and princesses from all of over the Grand Duchy to gather in the first Witan since the War of the Flea. I shall relinquish all my noble titles to the next Grand Duke, with the exception of the title of Count of Vliestroom. Before the new Grand Duke is elected, I grant my good friend and loyal servant the Royal Counsellor the Rights of Regency. For the last time, this was the Grand Duke of Jilderen.

 

The screen once again showed the waving flag of Jilderen and the royal anthem played once more before turning black and silence followed, a silence that quickly echoed through the streets of the Grand Duchy. It came as a real surprise that the Grand Duke abdicated. Also, the calling of a Witan was strange.

In the past, Witans were called to elect a new monarch if the bloodline had died out or there was a serious dispute. It also meant that every head of a ruling noble family had to report him or herself at the Grand Ducal palace. Clearly they had seen it coming, for that very evening trains and planes with royalty onboard headed for the capital. Besides these, a few other noble families were called to attend the Witan. One family, the Zwargens, was to no-one’s surprise. This family had close ties with many noble families and managed to get invited via this route. During a Witan, any person of noble blood could be elected as the new monarch.

Another name that was mentioned, yet remained unconfirmed by official sources, was that of Xallander of Jilderian Regmonia-Wansel, direct descendant of the last emperor Xallander and part of the family that failed, just barely, to become the new emperor of the Second Empire of Jilderen. Once they held many noble titles, but as time passed they lost grip on all but one: Hereditary Knight. Although being just about the lowest of titles, it was enough for him to claim the throne. Xallander is a well known figure in Jilderen, for he is philanthropist who makes quite a lot of money in the tourism industry as major shareholder of several brands of hotels.

 

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Xallander during one of his many public appearances

 

During the next morning, all noble families met for the first time during the first day of the Witan. How long would it take and who would become the Grand Duke? Time could only tell...

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Order, order! the baron of Zwargens shouted while tried to restore order. During the initial round of elections, he was elected head of the Witan and thus unable to become Grand Duke. He did not mind this; his great-grandfather had the same role during the formation of the Grand Duchy, so this was actually a sort of honour. All other families, 68 in total, were locked in heavy debates about whom should be elected next. A large portion of nobles, all of the Ugerians and a few Jilders, agreed that Xallander of Jilderian and his descendants should be the next Grand Duke. The others did not agree, primarily due to the fact that his family lost the elections when the Second Empire was formed. Why would they be given the honour now if they failed back then?

 

When order had returned, Jelle of Kalverland was given his turn to speak. Is it not exactly because of that reason that he should be granted the throne? Empress Heloïse and her family clearly failed at the task of keeping the nation in one piece. The Jilderians lost by a small margin back then and Sir Xallander has proved to be both a keen mind and a philanthropist, and it is exactly such kind of altruism that we should seek in a monarch.

If I may, Xallander asked the baron of Zwargens politely, I am only present because the former Grand Duke asked me to be. I never had, nor do I have the intention now to become your monarch. I admit, taking on that role I could help a great many more people. Still, I fear that I would not have the same freedom to do so as I have now.

By Darwin! He clearly does not even want the position, so why are the Ugerians offering it to him? the duke of Cilyna shouted across the room.

Calm yourself, the duchess Vonks-Verio said more loudly than she normally did. She was 84 years old, which made her the oldest person in the room. If I am not mistaken, it is you who desires the throne so badly. Exactly for that reason I will accept your claim. She turned her eyes towards Xallander, who was sitting right across her in the room. Son, are you married?

He smiled and answered: yes, your serene highness, I am.

To who? she replied, her gentle smile revealed that she already knew the answer.

My first marriage is with dame Miriam, he spoke with a gentle grin, for he had seen the duchess’ smile, my second marriage is with Maurits, a commoner from your fair lands.

As she took off her glasses, she spoke softly: both in present tense, so am I right to assume that you are still married to both?

Indeed, your serene highness, I am. My wife and my husband are close friends. Both of them are here in Teuterpoort right now, if you wish to know. After a short pause, he resumed: as of yet I have no children, but if all things go well, that will change shortly.

The duchess nodded as all her questions were answered. Although it was legal in the Grand Duchy, polygamous marriages were quite rare. The exact reason for these questions remained unknown.

 

Outside, citizens were eagerly awaiting news from the Witan. As it all happened behind closed doors, they had no clue as what was going on. The Royal Counsellor had ordered the rest of government to keep their activities to a minimum until the Witan was resolved.

 

That night, after yet another round of voting, it became clear that there were three main candidates for the throne: Xallander, the duke of Cilyna and, quite surprisingly, the duchess of Vonks-Verio. After a good night sleep, they all returned to the palace the very next morning. There it was the duchess who first took word.

 

I thank all of you who trust me enough who want me to be the next monarch, but I humbly ask of you: do not elect me. As we have discussed to great length yesterday, the duke of Cilyna is not the man to elect for the simple fact that he desires the throne. I am not the right person for I have only a short time left to live and my firstborn, whom I truly love, is simply not suited for the task. The only logical and right choice is, no matter how much he does not want to be monarch, is sir Xallander. For the sake of our wondrous nation, elect him as the new monarch.

The duke of Cilyna wanted to speak, but he was denied by the baron of Zwargens. Instead, it was Xallander who was asked to respond.

I see you, your serene highness, have a great deal of trust in me, Xallander responded with his gentle, deep voice, if the honour is indeed bestowed upon me, I shall do my utmost best to fulfil it to the best of my abilities.

The duchess bowed her head gently in response. Pish Poff! the duke of Cilyna exclaimed. What sorts of cahoots is this? I will not accept this!

Or you’ll do what? the baron asked, if the majority accepts you have to follow. If you disagree, the Witan is allowed to remove you from your nobility.

 

With a sigh the duke sat down, knowing that the baron was right. Traditionally, after a new monarch had been elected, votes had to be cast one more time. That vote was a vote of loyalty, and those who did not agree were cast out of the ranks of nobility. In the past, several had attempted to continue as a separate nation, only to be conquered by the other duchies.

Later that day, after yet another round of speeches, it was time to vote again. Just before voting, the duchess of Vonks-Verio once again stressed the fact that it was not her but Xallander that should be voted monarch. It took some time, a few dukes had trouble choosing, but after all votes were cast it became clear: Xallander was to become the new monarch. Immediately the votes of loyalty were cast in a personal round of voting. The duchess of Vonks-Verio was the first to swear allegiance to the new monarch and many followed. The duke of Cilyna had trouble uttering the words, but he managed. I, duke of Cilyna, hereby swear allegiance to our newly elected Grand Duke.

 

After this round of votes, Xallander was asked to step forward and swear allegiance to the crown. This crown was placed upon the grand ducal throne by the former Grand Duke after he had abdicated.

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the crown of the Grand Duke, being prepared to be return to the ducal museum

 

The baron of Zwargens stood next to the throne, Xallander kneeled before it and all other monarchs took place behind him. With two fingers in the air, Xallander listened to the baron and repeated the words of inauguration: I hereby swear to the people of the Grand Duchy that I shall uphold and maintain the law. I hereby swear that I shall keep and maintain the independence of the Grand Duchy and all its territories with all my power; that I shall uphold all liberties and rights of my people, and; to use all means at my disposal to bring prosperity to us all in such a way a god and faithful Grand Duke owes to.

So help me the truth almighty!

 

After these words, the baron took the crown and placed it upon the head of Xallander whilst saying: We welcome and celebrate, in name of the people and under the constitution, you as Grand Duke. We swear to do all that we are obligated to do by the law.

So help us the truth almighty!

 

And with those words, it was done. Xallander had become the new monarch. His full title would now be long, but he would be henceforth announced as: Xallander, Grand Duke of Jilderen, Prince of Ildroman, Duke of Teuterpoort. His wife would be named Grand Duchess of Jilderen, his husband Grand Duke-consort of Jilderen.

Ofcourse, it was time to announce it to the people. At personal request of the new Grand Duke, he would not wear the Grand Ducal crown in public, but the Crown of the Realm. This new crown would serve as a new symbol, marking the rise of a new house.

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the Grand Duke wearing the Crown of the Realm, press release

 

After it had been announced to the public, all of whom celebrated the joyous occasion, a short message was send to allied and befriended nations.

 

OFFICIAL DECLARATION by H.R.H. the GRAND DUKE of JILDEREN

Faithful friends and allies,

We, the Grand Duke, would like to invite you for the official celebration of my ascension to the Grand Ducal throne of Jilderen.

the GRAND DUKE of JILDEREN

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