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Basil IV of Aretias

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Basil IV
Despot
Basil II of Aretias.jpg
King of Aretias
Reign2 October 2015 – present
Coronation9 January 2016
PredecessorLeon I
Heir presumptive Zenobia, Crown Princess of Aretias
Born (1988-07-16) 16 July 1988 (age 34)
Aplekton, Basilakia, Aretias
Spouse
Issue
Among others
Full name
Basileios Stephanos Ioannes Konstantinos Markianos
HouseKamytzes
FatherLeon I of Aretias
MotherIrene of Nyrundy
ReligionEcumenical Church
Education

Basil IV (Basileios Stephanos Ioannes Konstantinos Markianos; born 16 July 1988) has been King of Aretias since 2 October 2015. He became King following the death of his father King Leon I.

Basil is the second child and eldest son of Despot Leon I and Irene of Nyrundy. He became heir apparent in 2010, and was granted the title of Sebastokrator. Basil was educated in Aretias and Garima, and later earned a degree and military officer training at Academia Militaris Olympia.

Basil has ruled Aretias as an absolute monarch since his ascension to the throne in 2015. The government has curbed the rights of religious minorities, especially among the Yen community, and alleged extrajudicial killings performed by the Royal Guard. His personal dealings have led to various diplomatic and dynastic disputes with neighboring Perateia. The divorce of his first wife, Margarita Pinaria, led to fears of a possible invasion, and has resulted in an strengthened military presence throughout Aretias.

Early life

Basil was born on the morning of 16 July 1988, at Aplekton, in Basilakia, the oldest son and second child of then Crown Prince Leon and Irene of Mysia and Nyrundy. He has one older sister, Stephania, a younger brother Robert, and two younger sisters, Gregoria and Xene. At the time of his birth, Basil was second in line to the throne, following his father and displacing his sister Stephania.

He was christened on 30 August 1988, by Ecumenical Patriarch Gennadios IV, at Hagia Euergetou in Leonople, Perateia. He was named Basilios for his grandfather, King Basil III. He was given the middle names Stephanos in memory of his great-grandfather Stephen V, Elector of Nyrundy, who was also King Stephen I of Mysia, and Konstantinos after his great-great grandfather Despot Constantine II, and Markianos for his great-great grandmother Marcia of Latium. Basil's godparents are then Michael, Archduke of Nyrundy (his mother's brother); Fausta Tarpeia (Michael's wife); Prince Constantine Kamytzes (his father's brother); and PLACEHOLDER (Constantine's wife).

Heir apparent

At 12 years old, Basil became heir apparent to the Aretian throne following the death of his grandfather on 22 August 2000. He immediately became Crown Prince upon his father's ascension, and was invested as Sebastokrator on 19 November 2000.

As heir apparent, Basil was made an honorary soldier in the 1st Cavalry Regiment. In 2002, he was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece by Jacobus VI Claudius, in his capacity as Perateian Emperor, according to Perateian custom recognizing the heir apparent.

Education

Basil was attended to by various private tutors in lieu of formal education until the age of 10 when he was enrolled at [Gariman boarding school], in [Gariman city]. As a result of his education in Garima and upbringing, Basil is fluent in Gariman. Following the completion of his secondary education in 2006, Basil was enrolled at Academia Militaris Olympia where he underwent military and officer training, and studied political science and economics. In 2007, he dropped the economics focus. He participated in the Transvectio Equitum each year during his time at Olympia. He also participated in polo to fulfill his mandatory extracurricular activities requirement.

Following the completion of his education and military training, Basil was granted the rank of tourmarches by his father and places in command of the Aretian Tourma.

He was appointed to the Royal Council on his 18th birthday, but did not take an active role until 2011. Basil noticeably clashed with Grand Logothete Jovan Gulea, and stopped regularly attending council meetings by 2014.

Reign

On 2 October 2015, Leon I passed away and Basil succeed him as king. His coronation was not held until 9 January 2016, which is one of the longest gaps between an Aretian king's ascension and coronation in peacetime. One of his first acts as king was to sack and replace all ministers on the Royal Council, including Grand Logothete Gulea. Basil appointed Evangelos Avouris, a notable court ally, to lead the council.

In his coronation speech, Basil promised to "eradicate corrupt politicians" and corrupt elements from the country. Despite this, Aretias has seen a rise in corruption since Basil became king according to World Democracy Index. Likewise, he has rolled back many reforms relating to freedom of the press.

Basil's reign has been fraught with issues arising out of his personal life. His first marriage to Margarita Pinaria was source of many domestic and foreign relations issues due to her local charity and domestic popularity, as well as prominent foreign ties. He had been previously accused of imprisoning her prior to her departure and their eventual divorce. The collapse of their relationship, as well as Margarita's eventual return to Latium prompted concerns of a possible invasion when Basil refused to consent a divorce. Even with Basil's decision to agree to a divorce, the fears of an invasion did not subside and Aretias has continued to reform its military and purchase additional weapons.

Relationships and marriages

Marriage to Margarita Pinaria

In late 2012, the Aretian royal household first contacted the Pinaria family to discuss a courtship and possible marriage negotiation between Basil and Margarita Pinaria. Margarita reportedly outright refused to entertain the possibility as her mourning period for her first husband hadn't ended and concerns about the position of her son. However, those close to Margarita felt that she instead wished to marry the recently ascended Nathan IV of Ghant, whom Margarita was involved with some time before her marriage to Dionysios of Perateia.

By late summer, Basil and his parents visited Margarita at the Pinaria family's ancestral estate outside of Cularo, Latium. A courtship was eventually announced on 19 May 2013. Basil primarily resided in Latium throughout the courtship and visited court with relatively frequency. However, his lack of appearances with Margarita in Aretias prompted concern among the local nobility.

Basil's engagement to Margarita was announced on 18 August 2013 with plans for the wedding to take place in late 2013. The marriage contract stipulated a prominent place at court for Margarita's sons from her previous marriage, and allowed for them to live with her in Basilakia. Margarita continued to reside in Latium with her son until late May before she relocated to Aretias. The Pinaria family arranged for the wedding to take place at Hagia Euergetou, the traditional site for Imperial Peratene marriages and coronations.

Basil and Margarita married on 2 December 2013, at Hagia Euergetou, in Leonople. The ceremony was presided over by Ecumenical Patriarch Leon X.

They had three children over the course of their marriage. Their first child, Zenobia, was born on 30 October 2014. Zenobia was born alongside a twin brother who did not survive. On 12 October 2016, the couple had their second child, Basilia, known as Beatrice. And their third, Constantia, was born on 1 December 2017.

Separation

Rumors of a breakdown in Basil and Margarita's relationship first arose following the birth of Zenobia. According to first hand accounts, Basil was displeased at the death of their son during childbirth and blamed both Margarita and Zenobia. Later that year, as Basil became Despot, Margarita later accused him of purposefully selecting the coronation date on her oldest son's birthday out of spite. At the coronation ball later that night, Basil was prominently seen accompanied by a number of other women and left the ball without Margarita.

The relationship continued to deteriorate into 2015 when Latin media outlets first reported on a number of affairs. In early 2016, Basil banned Margarita's son Andreas of Perateia from court and the country. Margarita regularly visited her son in nearby Leonople causing greater issues in the relationship until August 2016 when her visits ceased.

In late 2017, yet another affair involving Basil was reported on by Perateian media, as were reports that an illegitimate child was born to Basil by an unnamed mistress. While the reports of an illegitimate child were later proved to be unfounded, the woman was reported to be Dionysia Exazene, a lady-in-waiting to Margarita that was dismissed in August. Margarita subsequently disappeared from public life in December 2017. She was not seen again in public until she was seen in Leonople on the morning of 9 June 2018. Basil issued a missive to Emperor Constantine, where Basil accused Constantine of holding Margarita and their children hostage, demanding their return.

Margarita retained legal counsel who then announced that a divorce petition to was submitted to Ecumenical Patriarch Georgios X, as the marriage was performed by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Basil formally objected to Georgios X holding any authority to grant an annulment, but the process was expedited at the apparent request of Emperor Constantine, who had recently overseen the Patriarch's installation a year prior. Basil subsequently accused Constantine of attempting to force an annulment so he could marry Margarita himself; however, Constantine's imperial office issued a statement explaining that the "Emperor [] is ensuring the safety and well-being of a Latin citizen in need, as is the duty of the true Christian Emperor."

Despite a number of rumors swirling around regarding the situation, Aretian officials visited Leonople on 19 April 2020 for an apparent meeting at Heraion. Basil was not present at any of the meetings, though many were attended by the emperor himself. It wasn't until June that Margarita returned to Latium with her children to take up residence at Velia House in Castellum. Likewise, Basil issued a royal decree affirming Zenobia to be displaced only by the birth of a legitimate son to Basil. Margarita retained the title of Queen consort and the Perateian rank of Sebastokratorissa according to Perateian custom. Margarita and Basil remain officially married, but effectively separated following the June 2020 decree.

Styles, titles, honors, and arms

Titles and styles

  • 16 July 1988 – 17 July 2010: His Royal Highness Prince Basil of Aretias
  • 19 November 2000 – 2 June 2016: His Apostolic and Royal Highness The Sebastokrator
    • 19 November 2000 – 2 June 2016: His Apostolic and Royal Highness The Crown Prince
  • 2 June 2016 – present: His Majesty The King

Honors

  •  Gelonia: Knight of the Illustrious Order of the Red Hand UK Medal for Saving Life at Sea ribbon.svg
  •  House of Hazaraspid: Grand Cordon of the Hazarasp Order Order of Pahlavi (Iran).gif
  •  Latium: Knight of the Illustrious Order of the Purple Ribbon U.S. Navy Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg (rescinded)
  •  Mysia: Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Star and Crescent Medaille militaire ribbon.svg
  •  Perateia: Knight of the Order of Christ the Defender POL Order Orła Białego BAR.svg (rescinded)
  •  Perateia: Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece ESP Laureada pasador.svg (rescinded)
  • Flag of Turenne.svg Turenne: Knight of the Order of the Viscomtins Cross NED Vliegerkruis BAR.svg (rescinded)

Issue

Name Birth Death Notes
By Margarita Pinaria (married Hagia Euergetou 2 June 2013)
Zenobia, Crown Princess of Aretias
(2014-10-30) 30 October 2014 (age 8)
Princess Beatrice of Aretias
(2016-10-12) 12 October 2016 (age 6)
Birth name is Basilia
Princess Constantia of Aretias
(2018-11-02) 2 November 2018 (age 4)
By Lydia Synadene (mistress)
Theodosia Kamytzina
(2015-10-04) 4 October 2015 (age 7)
Basil Kamytzes
(2017-11-04) 4 November 2017 (age 5)
Lydia Kamytzina
(2021-05-02) 2 May 2021 (age 19 months)
By Dionysia Exazene
Albanos Exazenos
(2018-07-29) 29 July 2018 (age 4)

Ancestry

See also