Elena II Troadina
|Empress of Mesogeia |
|Reign||15 May 1962 – present|
|Coronation||11 November 1963|
|Predecessor||Constantine XXII Troadinos|
|Heir apparent||Constantine, Despot of Morea|
|Born||7 July 1938|
Imperial Palace, Alexandropolis, Mesogeia
|Father||Constantine XXII Troadinos|
Elena II Troadina (Elena Theodora Maria Isabella Troadina ; born 7 July 1938 is Empress regnant of the Mesogeian Empire and the country's 244th ruler. Elena was born in Alexandropolis as the eldest daughter and eldest surviving child of their Celestial Majesties Constantine XXII and Empress PLACEHOLDER. Her father ascended to the throne a few moths before her birth making her a Porphyrogenita (A princess born in the purple), the customary title awarded to female children of the Emperor. She was acknowledged as her father's heiress presumptive from birth, but because she was not born a male she never bore the title of Despot of Morea, the traditional title reserved for the heir apparent of the Mesogeian throne.
In May 1962, Elena's father Constantine XXII died following a lengthy illness, after which time she ascended to the Celestial throne. There were speculation that Elena would take the regnal name of Theodora IV or Zoe II, she instead chose to be known as Elena II, after a empress that reigned in the mid eleventh centuries. Her reign of over fifty years has seen major political and economical changes, and she along with her father is credited with restoring the people's faith in the monarch after the disastrous reign of her uncle, which nearly brought about the collapse of the Mesogeian monarchy as a stable institution.
During her long reign, Elena II has seen nine different governments come and go, some liberal, some conservative, but the Empress has remained a constant figure, taking a backseat to her government at times while taking a more prominent role when tradition dicated it, particularly when Imperial Mesazons have called on her to disolve Parliament in order to allow for a more favorable electoral for the passage of key legislative reforms.
Throughout her reign, Elena II has faced intense criticism surrouding the estimated wealth of the Imperial family, the perceived archaic nature of the Imperial court and the continued usefulness of the monarchy in a modern age, with much criticism being drawn around various scandals that have plagued the family. However in the present day support for the monarchy as a unifying institution remains higher then support for Parliament and support for the State church, with the Empress herself enjoying immense popularity across the board.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Heiress presumptive
- 3 Reign
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Titles, styles, honors and arms
- 6 See Also
Elena was born at 3:20 pm on 7 July 1938, a few months after her father's accession to the Mesogeian crown. Her father Constantine XXII had been declared Emperor following the voluntary abdication of her uncle, following a major scandal that almost brought about the end of the monarchy. Elena was born at the Imperial Palace of Alexandropolis. Her mother, the Empress had been pregnant a few times before Elena's birth, but they had all resulted in miscarriages. Elena was however the eldest surviving child of Constantine XXII and his wife Empress PLACEHOLDER. Her birth was followed by the birth of three other daughters, the Grand Princesses Berenice (1941, Margarita-Roxanna (1945), and Irene (1948) respectively. Being a child of the reigning monarch of Mesogeia, Elena was afforded the rank of a Porphyrogenita and the title of Grand Princess, however despite being the oldest daughter of the Emperor she did not bear the traditional title of Despot of Morea because the position has alway been reserved for the heir apparent (i.e a male heir who can not be displace in the line of succession).
Despite being the eldest daughter of the Emperor she did not hold the title of Augusta Basilopoula, a title reserved for the eldest daughter of the Emperor on account of her father's sister holding the title at the time. Upon birth she was awarded the tile Princess of Thera, a title originally granted to the monarch's eldest daughter and sometimes given to the heir of the heir.
Following Mesogeian tradition she was given her tri nomina Elena Rhomania Troadina, just eight days after her birth on 15 July 1938. She was baptized on 1 September 1938, nearly three months after that being given the full name of Elena Rhomania Troadina Theodora Maria Isabella.
Her Governess at the time, The Duchess of Charsianon, described her as gentle well behaved child with a remarkable personality.
With the death of her mother in 1938, her father the Emperor was without an Empress consort for two years until 1940, when it was agreed upon by the senior members of the Imperial Court that he should remarry so as to not to deprive the court of an empress nor his daughter of a mother figure. Against the wishes of the senior court officials who all clamored for a different girl, the emperor selected Imperial Consort Stateria as his new Empress consort. Due to the fact that she had previosuly served as Imperial consort to his brother briefly before the latter's abdication and eventual exile. A special dispensation had to be granted from the Patriarch to allow the emperor to marry his brother's former consort. By the end of 1940 the Patriarch relented and granted his consent, and the couple were married the next year 1941.
After the wedding Stateria was granted the title Padishah Begum (first-lady of the court) and assumed control over the imperial Gynaikeion and the upbriging of the emperor's only child Elena who years later referred to her as a second mother. By the end of 1941 Empress Stateria had fallen pregnant and the court waited anxiously for the birth, many hoping for a son. In 1942 Grand Princess Berenice was born, followed by two more sisters, Margarita Roxana, and Irene born respectively in 1945 and 1951. Being born from an empress consort, Elena's younger sisters ranked after her, but any son born to the empress would immediately take precedence over his sisters. So between 1951 and well into the early 1960s, before the Emperor died many at court anticipated the empress giving birth to son, but this never occured.
As was custom, Elena and her sisters were raised in the imperial nursery right alongside the children of senior members of the nobility resident in imperial court. The imperial court tutors taught the young princesses literature (notably Mesogeian classics), the histories, basic arithmatic, languages, music, and court etiquette, all lessons designed to make her a conversationalist and elegant court lady.
It was only later on at the suggestion of her stepmother that political sciences and basic economics were added to Elena's curricula, when it became clear that her father and stepmother would have no male children.
In 1955 when Elena was seventeen, her father's concubine, Lady Theophano delivered a healthy baby boy who was named Alexius and immediately the succession was called into question with a serious dilemma. Due to the child's gender he was favored by some over his elder sister, but because of his birth from a concubine and not an official wife or empress he could not supersede his sister by law which dictated that legitimate lines would succeed before illigitimate ones. While others determined to have a male on the throne, called for rasing Concubine Theopano to the rank of co-empress therefore making her son equal in the succession to his sister.
It is believed that Elena's stepmother Empress Stateria worked agressively to make sure that this proposal was rejected by the Syndreion, partly due to her love for Elena and partly due to her hatred for Concubine Theophano. In any case the proposal was rejected and as a consulation the Emperor raised Theophano to the rank of Imperial Consort, one rung below Empress consort, making her an Imperial Consort.
In 1956, Elena reached the age of eighteen and the imperial court began to receive proposals of marriage from both foreign and domestic dynasts. Elena turned them all down one by one until she settled on the dashingingly handsome Prince Manuel of Phocaea, a member of one of the most influential royal houses in Mesogeia. By the time of her marriage to Prince Manuel, Elena had reached her twenty-first birthday and her father and stepmother had given up on the idea of having any male children; both of them were in their middle ages, and father's health was in a serious decline. After her marriage Elena was regarded as her father's natural successor and heiress to the Mesogeian crown. For the last few years of her father's reign, Elena was regarded as heir apparent in all but name. During that time she became immersed in the government of Mesogeia.
Her first child Mariana was born in 1960, just two years before she ascended the throne.
Accession and coronation
On 15 May 1962, Elena's father died, and she was proclaimed Empress. According to ancient custom the sacred fires in the temples of the old religion were extinguished (being rekindled after three days) while her father's body was placed in a porphyry sarcophagi, his body embalmed in honey to preserve him as he had looked in life. Her father's body laid in state in the Imperial Palace in Alexandropolis for two weeks a specialized crown suspended from the ceiling, giving people time to pay their final respects to the late Emperor. After which time he was buried in the imperial mausoleum underneath the Imperial Cathedral of Hagia Aima, the traditional burial site of members of the imperial family since at least the late middle ages. After this a twelve day period of funerary games were held in memorium of the late emperor.
After the prescribed period of public mourning lasting for twelve months, the new Empress underwent the traditional cronation rites, which included one month of festivities and coronation rites. She was first acclaimed in the Imperial Hippodrome on October 1st, 1963 coinciding with the national holiday of Mehregan, by the combined populace including representatives from Parliament, the nobility, and the military where she took the throne name Philopator, a specialized epithet chosen to commerate her father. This was followed by a public event at the Hippodrome, after which a special state banquet was held the same night for the government and military establishment
A few days later she journeyed east to the ancient city of Fasargadae, arriving in the on October 8th. While in the city she underwent the traditional enthronement ceremony as ruler of the eastern regions of the empire on October 11, which included investiture with the eastern regaila consisting of the bow and quiver, the Diadem, the celestial mantle, imperial harness, and a bestowal of the Korymbos (smbolizing the monarch's assumption of Imperial splendor), a crown so heavy that it had to be held over her head.
The same night a special banquet was organized in honor of the nobility and the aristocractic establishment
This was followed by a special pilgrimage to the fire temple at Adur Gushnasp which ended when the empress and her entourage reached the temple on October 23, where they attended a special kindling ceremony at the fire temple. This ceremony was followed by a banquet in honor of the religious establishment, with senior officials from both the Apostolic church and the Old Religion.
This coronation rite done, the empress traveling by train journeyed to her final destination, reaching on November 5th, the city of Troiana, where the third and final coronation rite took place. She entered the city at the head of a great precession on November 5th.
Seven days after her arrival in the city on November 11, Elena was crowned with the Crown of the West (symbolizing her assumption of power of the strongly hellenic regions of the empire) in the elaborately redecorated Cathedral of the Pantheon. The final coronation rite was followed by a coronation banquet for Mesogeian citizens (that is members of the cities and rural commmunities) only in the Akropolis, a grand illumination of the Akropolis, an expansive fireworks display, theatrical performances, and various balls hosted by resident ambassadors and notable persons in honor of the sovereign.
In addition to this pardons were issued, past taxes were remitted, the nobility and worthy persons were bestowed with gifts and honors, the people were granted coronation souveniers, and all business was postponed for the entire day of November 11th. Coronation festivites over, the Empress returned to Alexandropolis on November 16th, to began the business of reigning.
The early years of her reign were rocked with intense scandal and crisis that Elena faced with dignity befitting a woman descended from so many noble dynasties and kings. The first serious crisis to affect the young Empress' reign occured at the start of 1964, when it was revealed to the press that a longtime palace eunuch had hanged himself the previous year, the precise reasoning behind his mysterious death remains a mystery to this day. The imperial court came under intense pressure to ivestigate the hanging, but the Megas Kouropalates Francois Alexander, Prince of Opsikion, is believed to have prevented the investigation from going deeper into the mystery and it was eventually conculuded that the eunuch had commited suicide due to his having been passed over for a prestigious court position for another younger eunuch.
The Empress was criticised for not taking a more active role in the investigation but after a serious fall while heavily pregnant (with the future Despot) in the fall of that year all criticism against her evaporated; with detractors turning their attention to the Plaginos government instead. With many claiming the scandal was the fault of the Plaginos government for their policy of cutting spending at the imperial court in an attempt to cut back on government spending overall.
In late 1965, the Empress gave birth to Grand Princess Sophia. Meanwhile the eunuch suicide scandal continued to plague the Palaginos government until finally members of the houses of Parliament called on a vote of no confidence to oust Mesazon Palaginos from office. The desperate Mesazon begged the empress to disolve Parliament in order to secure a more favorable majority for his party. His party won the necessary seats in the elction of 1967 to claim a slim majority but his party refused to back him as Mesazon so he suggested that the Empress name the highly respected Lord Maleinos as Mesazon in his stead which the Empress did.
The Empress was unable to open Parliament in the winter of 1969, due to her being pregnant with Grand Prince George; the only other time were she was unable to open parliament was in 1975 when she was pregnant with her second youngest child Manuel.
In the summer of 1978 during the midst of the mining crisis that plagued the country following the collapse of total of thirteen mines in a span of a few months as a result of poor management and lack of government supervision, the country's workers organized riots in several major cities effectively crippling the industry. Again officials at the imperial court tried to shield the sovereign from backlash deliberately keeping her far from the capital at the secluded Bishapur Castle in the Farsian hinterland.
The mining crisis came to a head when Mesazon Papadopoulos called on the empress to return to the capital and restore order. The Megas Darigansalar was vehemently opposed to the empress returning to the capital admist the violent riots sweeping the nation's capital but the empress now a woman in her forties rejected the counsel of her Megas Kouropalates and returned to the capital. She was joined on the kathisma (imperial box) of the Hippodrome by the Mesazon Papadopoulos and senior court officials where she addressed the nation promising an investigation into the mining crisis, a raising of wages, and an implementing of safer working conditions. She ended her address by telling the people to go home in peace.
The empress's passionate address from the hippodrome, is credited with ending the strikes that raged throughout the country in the summer of 1978, but her address was not not enough to save the Papadopoulos government from losing its slim majority the following year in 1979.
Elena gave birth to her youngest child Andreas in the middle of 1979
Silver Jubilee and late 1980s
In 1987, Elena II celebrated twenty-five years on the celestial throne marking it with a silver jubilee which was celebrated throughout the Mesogeian empire with large-scale parties, parades a thanksgiving mass in imperial cathedral of Haghia Sophia, and the gifting of royal gifts and honors. The twenty five years between her accession and the celebration of her silver jubilee were starkly contrasted, beginning her rule as a young mother, she was now a middle-aged woman approaching fifty.
The huge popular turnout is said to have asserted the empress' popularity and the dynasty's future for generations to come even as the government faced intense criticism over its increasingly aggresive response to the violent anarchist movement in northern Mesogeia led by ΤΑΟ calling for an idependent Taurica.
The 1990s began on a highnote when in 1990, the heir to the thone, Constantine, Despot of Morea married the lovely Lady Marie Isabelle Frankopoulos, the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the country, in a televised ceremony that was watched by tens of millions of people.
By the mid 1990s the empire was plagued by economic crisis instigated by then Mesazon Anna Theotokis; and while her economic policies of government deregulation, privatisation, and protection of agarian land rights had led to economic growth in the late eighties by the mid 1990s her policies had led to a reversal of Mesogeia's economics fortunes, with workers striking (akin to the strikes of the 1970s), unempolyment raising, and inflation increasing faster then under previous ministries
The failure of the administeration of Anna Theotokis to adapt to changing times, caused the Mesazaon to be viewed in a very unfavorable light, resulting in her almost ousting by a rival in 1994. The following year she asked the Empress to disolve Parliament, which she did. By the time a new election was called in 1995, it was clear that sitting Mesazon Anna Theotokis was immensly unpopular due to her hardline conservative ideals; while being credited with the economic boom of the 1980s was now being criticized for the economic recession gripping the nation. Anna Theotokis resigned in 1995, and the National Democratic Party having taken a back seat to the conservatives for over a decade swooped into power when their party won in a landslide.
In July 1997 Elena's heir the Despot and his wife, welcomed a baby-boy named Michael into the world; firmly securing the succession.
At the start of the 2000s, the Mesogeian government continued to be assulted and harrased by anarchist organisations in the northernmost portion of the empire, leading to increased military action and armanent in the nothern regions of the country.
In 2001, Nikephoros Alexander, Prince of Opsikion, and the senior member of the Imperial Court as Megas Darigansalar was assasinated by members of ΤΑΟ, plunging the court into mourning as critics called for increased security on members of the Imperial family and an end to the violence in northern Mesogeia. That same year she appointed her half-brother Alexius as the new Megas Kouropalates.
The year 2002, marked Elena II's fortieth year on the throne, which was celebrated with limited ceremony, as a result of intense criticism surrouding the imperial family. The year of 2002 was one of intense criticism for the imperial family with its members being plagued with intense pressure and public scrutiny as a result of a number of issues brought to light including conflicting information surrounding their personal wealth, rumors of salacious activities by senior members of the empress' family and of a reopening of the case surrounding the eunuch suicide scandal, that occured nearly four decades ago.
Even while criticism of the monarchy was higher then it had ever been since the averted coup of 1938, the empress' personal popularity remained high with the majority of criticism directed at other members of her family and at the imperial court itself due to its archaic rules and its perceived isolation the imperial family from the rest of the populace.
In 2009, Elena II and her husband Manuel celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, by then his health was in such a decline that he could no longer walk being confined to a wheelchair during that entire year.
In 2012 to mark her golden jubilee, fifty years on the celestial throne the Empress embarked on a grand tour of the regions and provinces, followed by a world tour. The jubilant nature of the crowds that turned out to acclaim the empress on the anniversary of her fiftieth year on the throne were far larger then was intially expected.
The whole affair went off without a hitch or any major hiccups.
Four years later in 2016, Manuel the Prince Consort died, after a long and fruitful marriage of fifty-seven years. The Prince Consort's death plunged the whole court into mourning.
Public perception and character
While criticism of the monarchy, the goverment, and at times even the sovereign herself have occured on occasion; despite this the empress's personal popularity has remained immensly high throughout her long reign. The Empress' ability to appeal to peoples hearts, her seemingly natural ability to steer the nation in the right direction and her committence to staying above the political fray by never taking a public stance on any political issue, has been cited by her critics as the reason for her enduring popularity.
Those personally close to the empress have noted that the empress took her coronation oath very seriously, making a sacred vow to uphold the laws of the nation and mediate between the various factions, for as as long as she lives. Given her belief in death being the only retirement for a monarch she intends to reign until her natural death.
The empress devotes much of her time to her various patronages, charities and philanthropic endeavors; it is said that she personally sponsors over 800 charitable organizations. In her younger years the empress was considered to be a great beauty and was famous throughout the world for her fashion sense and style. She is believed to have popularized the wearing pantsuits by women in the country.
Titles, styles, honors and arms
The Empress of Mesogeia
|Reference style||Her Imperial Celestial Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Celestial Majesty|
- 7 July 1938 – 15 May 1962: Her Imperial Highness, The Grand Princess
- 17 September 1938 – 15 May 1962: Her Imperial Highness, Princess of Thera (Heir Presumptive/eldest daughter of the Emperor)
- 11 February 1959 – 28 November 2010: Her Imperial and Royal Highness, Princess of Phocaea (by marriage/ceased to use this title after her accession to the throne)
- 15 May 1962 – present: Her Imperial Celestial Majesty The Empress
Elena II's full title and style since her accession to the imperial throne of Mesogeia is: Her Imperial Celestial Majesty Elena the Second, By the Grace of God, Faithful in Christ, Daughter of Heaven, Emperor and Autocrat of Mesogeia and all the East, Unconquered, Kaisareia Augusta of the Troianians, Basilissa of the Danaeans, Shahanshah of the Farsians, the Most Faithful Apostolic Sovereign; the Most Pious and Blessed Queen of Kings ruling over Kings, Padishah of the three cities, Great Lady of the twelve kingdoms; Lady of the Acropolis, First Citizen of Troiana, Matarfamilias of the Empire; God's Vicegerent on Earth, Equal to the Apostles, Champion of Christ, God's Right Arm; Queen of Romaica, Anatolia, Paralia, Dacia, Bithynia, Grand Princess of Dardanellia; Princess of Rasenna, Hellespontica; Duchess of Troad, Bargondia, Agnantia, Florentis, Lotharingia, Parisia, Gallia, Istarope, Euboea; Countess of Rhomaios, Varistea, Getae, Cimbris, Rhaetia, Batavia, Narbonisia; Lady of Caesaraugusta, Sofia, and Clysma and so forth, and so forth, and so forth."