The Duchess Verrucosa
IC DE DSA DCSI SFN EOV
|Spouse of the Consul of Latium|
7 January 1981 – 7 January 1991
|Consul||The Duke Verrucosus|
|Preceded by||The Duchess Poppaea|
|Succeeded by||Syagria Gavia|
23 June 1963 – 4 January 1966
|Preceded by||The Duchess Adrianople|
|Succeeded by||The Duchess Caprenia|
|Mistress of the Robes to |
Empress Diana Augusta
9 December 1952 – 23 March 1961
|Succeeded by||The Duchess Ravenna|
Damiane Vitruvia Christina Theodosia Zoe
23 October 1934
|Children||4 (inc. Zoe Verrucosa)|
|Residence||Villa d'Iulia Concordia, Utica|
Damiane Vitruvia, Duchess Verrucosa, IC EOV MCF ETCE MCA (Damiane Vitruvia Christina Theodosia; b. 23 October 1934) is a Latin noblewoman, businesswoman and wife of Duke Josephus Verrucosus, the former Consul of Latium. From 1945 until 1966 she was a member of Imperial court as a lady-in-waiting to Empress Diana Augusta. She also served as CEO of Verrucosus Holdings from 1983 until 1995, becoming the first woman to serve as an executive of a major Latin-based corporation. She is the maternal grandmother of Emperor Constantine XX.
Early life and education
Vitruvia was born on 23 October 1934 at Adrianople-Claudius Hospital, in Adrianople, to Zoe Pompeia and Thomas Vitruvius, 1st Marchis of Antium. She was the youngest of six children. She was primarily raised in Adrianople during her earliest years during her father's time as Chancellor of the Duchy of Adrianople. She made her first visit to Imperial court in Alexandria at the age of 7 in 1941. At the instance of her mother, Vitruvia was enrolled at Pescia Academy in Adrianople from 1941 until 1945 and the outbreak of the Social War.
During the Social War, Vitruvia became a junior lady-in-waiting to Latin Empress Diana Augusta as they were a similar age. Vitruvia spent most of her time in Castellum with Diana and Imperial court, though was forced to flee from the city on occasion. She was widely regarded as a trouble maker at court, regularly being reprimanded by older courtiers and, according to a courtier, on one occasion, by Jason Claudius, Duke Adrianople after her "dancing through the Aemelii suite caused coffee to spill and burn the Duke's hand". From 1945 until 1952, Vitruvia's education was handled by the same private tutors utilized by Empress Diana. Vitruvia is said to have been Diana's closet confidant during this period; they remain close friends to this day.
Vitruvia took an active role in Empress Diana's wedding, serving as a bridesmaid, and later coronation, where she and other ladies-in-waiting accompanied Diana along the procession through Alexandria.
Marriage and children
In 1952, Vitruvia was betrothed to Josephus Verrucosus, a decorated veteran of the Social War. They met few times before the betrothal, though according to a courtier she and Verrucosus were spotted in conversation and sharing a dance at a fall 1951 ball to commemorate the annual Transvectio Equitum festival, despite a wide age gap. Aside from Empress Diana, who at the time was engaged to Leo Claudius, Marchis Philadephia, Vitruvia was considered one of the most eligible young women at the event, and gained the attention of many nobles searching for bride for themselves or their sons. According to a biographer, at the time she believed Verrucosus "would be forgettable as any other man if he were not so brutish and low born".
Vitruvia and Verrucosus were married on 16 January 1953 at Basilica of the Blessed Virgin in Adrianople, in a ceremony that was highly attended for a non-royal wedding. She and Verrucosus would live in Colonia Augusta, outside of Castellum as Verrucosus continued to operate his fledgling business, Verrucosus Enterprises.
When she was four months pregnant with her eldest son, John, she and her husband purchased Villa d'Iulia Concordia, in Utica, which had previously been the ancestral estate of the Sulpicii family and the Lords of Utica. She converted to Reformed Communion after the birth of her second child. The marriage ended after Verrucosus was assassinated in 1973, they have four children: John, Florentine, Adula, and Zoe.
Work and politics
Spouse of the Consul
In 1963, Duke Josephus Verrucosus was appointed Consul following the resignation of Jason Claudius, Duke Adrianople, making Damiane the youngest Spouse of the Consul at 29 years old. During the first two years husband's Consulship, Damiane sparingly made public appearances, though was often spotted at the Palace of Augustus in lieu of staying at 20 Via Julia, the Consul's official residence. She was noted for her privacy during this period, and was the first spouse of the Consul to hire her own press secretary, strictly controlling her and her children's accessibility to the press. Damiane was widely cited as being key to the political relationship between her husband and Empress Diana Augusta due to her close friendship with the latter. "[Damiane] was one of the few individuals that Diana wholeheartedly trusted," according to staffers at the Consuls office and courtiers.
Vitruvia was considered a fashion trendsetter during her husband's consulship. She was occasionally propped up as a fashion icon rivaling Empress Diana Augusta, though she often downplayed this publicly and privately. During the latter end of her husband's first consulship, she served as a fashion consultant to Allectii fashion company.
Vitruvia has been involved in various business and entrepreneurial ventures since her marriage to Felix Verrucosus, Lord of Istropolis. Initially, she served as a brand ambassador for Allectii, and later serving on its board of directors in 1971. She also served on the board of Verrucosus Holdings from 1973 until 1984, and again from 1995 until 2015. In 1983, CEO of Verrucosus Holdings Victor Popillius retired and Damiane was elected as his successor, and became the first female executive of a major Latin-based corporation.
As CEO of Verrucosus Holdings, Vitruvia continued Popilius's strategy of growing Verrucosus Holdings's entrance into the media market, and completed the finalization of the purchase of Delpha. She has been credited with expanding Verrucosus into the largest non-public network television, and cable television company in Latium, and one of the largest in the Belisarian Community. At the latter end of her tenure as CEO, Verrucosi Holdings was the largest mass media and telecommunications corporation in Latium. Vitruvia retired in 2001 as the longest-sitting CEO of Verrucosus Holdings, and was succeeded by her eldest son John Verrucosus, Duke of Perusia.
Vitruvia served on the board of the Imperial Utica Orchestra, Utica Imperialis football and ice hockey clubs, and the National Endowment for Women. She received awards for woman of the year from the National Womens Council on six occasions (1983, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1995). She was awarded honorary degrees and doctorates from Castellum College, Castellum, University of Haenna, and the University of Utica. In 1993, she donated $12 million to the University of Utica for a new library, which bears her name.
Titles, styles, honors and arms
- 23 October 1934 – 8 September 1970: Lady Damiane Vitruvia
- 8 September 1970 – 4 February 1994: The Magnificant The Duchess Verrucosa
- 4 February 1994 – present: The Most Admirable The Lady Vitruvia
- Latium: Knight of the Order of the Ram
- Latium: Companion of the Order of National Achievement
- Latium: Dame Grand Cross (formerly Commander) of the Most Excellent Order of the Empire
- Latium: Dame of the Sacred Order of the Golden Eagle
- Latium: Dame of the Ancient Equestrian Order
- Sydalon: Lady of the Honorable Order of St Philip
|Ancestors of Damiane Vitruvia|