King Alexander II of Vionna-Frankenlisch
|King of Vionna-Frankenlisch|
King Alexander II photographed in 1928
Prince of Edrington, Commander-in-Chief, Chair of the Entente
|Reign||12th November 1897 - 8th August 1933|
|Coronation||14th November 1897|
|Predecessor||King Richard II of Vionna-Frankenlisch|
|Successor||King Albert I of Vionna-Frankenlisch|
|Born||Harold George Alexander Knight Turrell|
21 February 1872
St Kaspar's Hospital, Frankenlisch
|Died||8 August 1933(aged 61)|
Turrell Family Mausoleum, Grythshead
|Spouse||Phạm Nguyên Thanh Hằng (m. 1899–1909); her death|
Georgia Kimberly-Wilton (m. 1918–1933); his death
|Issue||Michael of Erin (Baseborn, by Lady Sian McKieth) Prince Edward, Earl of Reddingrave|
|Father||Prince Quentin of Edrington|
|Mother||Queen Caroline of Vionna-Frankenlisch|
King Alexander II of Vionna-Frankenlisch
|Years of service||
|Commands held||HMNS Amethyst Imperial Army of Reaction|
Great Europan War
King Alexander II was born in 1872 to the reigning monarch of Vionna-Frankenlisch, Queen Caroline. In 1897, Queen Caroline died aged 61, and King Richard quickly followed, passing away on the twelth of November that year. On the fourteenth, two days after his brother's death, he was crowned as King of Vionna-Frankenlisch, Prince of Edrington and Imperiator of the Frankenlischian Empire. He held his Imperial position for twenty-six years.
His reign was marked by political change and the rise of socialism, communism, fascism and republicanism in Vionna-Frankenlisch. As King, Vionna-Frankenlisch went through a multitude of conflicts including the bloody Great Europan War, in many of these conflicts Alexander took a direct role in leadership and had to be prevented by Parliament from fighting on the frontlines as he had taken to doing on occasion. His reign was also significant for two constitutional crises known collectively as the Quenmin Crises. The First Quenmin Crisis was a hotly debated topic as, in the first year of his reign, Alexander promised to support Quenmin in the Ai Chi War and a great deal of Parliament opposed this decision and his right to make it. The Second Quenmin Crisis surrounded Alexander's decision to marry Phạm Nguyên Thanh Hằng, a daughter of the Quenminese Emperor, it ended in a government change and the marriage went through.
He led Vionna-Frankenlisch through the Great Europan War of 1914 - 1920 and his reign saw the first Labour Party government and the expansion of the empire. He was the last Prince of Edrington and first Grand Imperiator. On his death in 1933 he was succeeded by his eldest son, Albert.
Early Life and Education
Alexander was born as Harold in St Kaspar's Hospital, the infirmary of Frankenlisch Castle, on the 21st of February, 1872. He was the second son of Queen Caroline of Vionna-Frankenlisch and Prince Quentin of Edrington. His mother was the reigning monarch of Vionna-Frankenlisch and his father was the ruler of the Principality of Edrington. He was initiated into the Frankenlischian Andyist Church by Stefan III on 8 April 1872.
It was considered from an early age that Harold might become King as Richard, his older brother, was a sickly child and remained constantly ill until his late teens. Richard was very much an intellectual even as a child and, despite his almost constant illness, it was not considered that he would perish before becoming King and producing an heir. Thus, Harold was educated at court until he was twelve and entered the Imperial Navy at thirteen at the behest of his mother, much to the displeasure of his father who wished him to enter the army. He was commissioned as a Midshipman in July 1887 and was posted to the cruiser HMNS Glaenarm the following month.
In 1890, now a Lieutenant aboard a Richard II-class Battleship, HMNS Frankenlisch Castle, Harold served in the Okkamidur Affair. As a gunnery officer, Harold conducted himself superbly and was Mentioned in Despatches for his actions during the conflict. He survived the Battle off Okkamidur with minor injuries when the Frankenlisch Castle was hit by gunfire from the Caledonian battleship, HMS Lionheart. Following the conflict, he was the first royal to receive the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions. He was promoted to Flag Lieutenant in 1892 and given command of the destroyer HMNS Amethyst.
In February 1893, Harold left the Imperial Navy with honours and by June had entered the service, this time in the Imperial Army. He was commissioned as Captain in the Queen's Own Fusiliers on July 29th, 1893. He was promoted to Major in 1895 and again to Lieutenant Colonel in 1896 after a brief period of service in Abbas. His service was cut short by the death of his father in January 1897 and he entered the Donaldia Staff College in February, leaving in July with the rank of Major General. (Due to his previous service he studied a limited course)
Succession of Richard
Harold was assigned to command the Fourth Rifle Brigade in early August but was never formally commissioned as his military service was again interrupted. This time by the unfortunate passing of his royal mother, Queen Caroline. At roughly dawn on the 19th of August, 1897, the prosperous reign of Queen Caroline, which had lasted 28 years and was known as the Carolinian Age, came to an end. On August 19th, Richard II was coronated as King and Emperor in the Grand Cathedral.
By this time, despite not being officially diagnosed, the symptoms of Richard's conditions were well doccumented and his infertility was an established fact. His consort, Queen Ysolda had been married to Richard for twenty-four years without issue. By the time he was crowned, Richard was confined to a wheelchair and, while he did make some important (albeit insignificant) reforms, his reign was not destined to last long. Harold had been considered for almost five years to be the obvious future King and Richard was even resented by the High Archbishop, Stefan V, for not attempting to refuse the crown.
Coronation and Early Reign
Richard passed on during the night of 12th November following a sudden intensification of his symptoms and the following day, Harold was confirmed as the next King. The coronation was a notably larger ceremony than that of Richard, a discrepensy for which Harold never forgave the organisers. In the Grand Cathedral he was crowned as King and Emperor by Stefan V and named King Alexander the Second, in honour of his uncle and former king, Alexander I. A three-day summit was hosted in Frankenlisch to celebrate the coronation and, to Alexander at least, mourn the passing of King Richard. This summit was where Alexander encountered the Quenminese Emperor Bảo Thịnh for the first time and it was during the events that followed that the Imperial-Quenminese relationship grew.
On the third day of the summit, the new King's revelry was interrupted by major news. The Brumley Rebellion had begun, the instigators riding on the confusion that comes with a new ruler. Two factions in the major industrial port-city of Brumley had risen up against the government, Socialists organised as the "Brumley Commune" and led by Winton Ó Rodagh along with the so-called Anzotac-Frankenlischian Kingdom which was led by Gerold Rambart. Rambart was the descendant of the early Rambert dynasty which had once ruled swathes of northern Frankenlisch from the island of Anzotac and he claimed the throne of the Kingdom of Frankenlisch on the basis of this. His supporters, generally, did not care for his claim but were affiliated to him politically as Liberals or Anarcho-Liberals.
Main Article: Brumley Rebellion
The very first true actions Alexander took as King and Emperor was to form the Royal Force, a small army of six thousand men to march on Brumley and relieve loyalists within the city. Four battalions of the Royal Frankenlisch Rifles and the Royal Hastings Fusiliers acted as the core of this unit and they were supported by the Imperial Palace Yeomanry and thirty-two Field Guns of the Imperial Zianian Artillery which was meant to be embarking ships at Frankenlisch Naval Docks, along with these regular troops were 160 militiamen from local villages, led by the Baron Barrow. Alexander led this force personally and was accompanied by a group of Quenminese military officers and the Quenminese ambassador.
The Royal Headquarters was established at St Illebins, a village on the outskirts of Brumley, at 6pm on the fourteenth and the Imperial Zianian Artillery began firing against Brumley Fort which had been captured that morning by socialist rebels. The fort in rebel hands meant that not only did they have a strong, fortified position but they also possessed the main armoury in Brumley. As the Royal Force made camp and prepared for their next moves, the Third Army Corps under the Duke of Teutonberg arrived at Durranges, south of Brumley.
On the fifteenth, under Alexander's direction, there was an assault on the Brumley Fort by the Royal Hastings Fusiliers and the militia which was repulsed with few casualties. The Royal Frankenlisch Rifles were placed under the joint command of Matthew Fosworth, one of Alexander's Staff Officers, who entered the city from the north-west and pushed towards the central industrial district. After two days, the Hastings Fusiliers mounted a second assault which was also repulsed, this time with around a hundred casualties.
First Quenmin Crisis
Full Article: Ai Chi War
In June 1898, as a result of the Sang Bi Incident, war broke out between Quenmin and Ai Chi. King Alexander was eager to get involved and had, in fact, offered his support some years earlier when a large Quenminese delegation visited his coronation. Alexander supposedly offered, completely arbitrarily, 30,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry and eighty artillery pieces.
Second Quenmin Crisis
Full Article: Second Quenmin Crisis
Alexander had remained unmarried up until 1899. He was renowned as a womaniser and even had a son, Michael, by the nineteen-year-old Marchioness of Kilmartin. Many demanded that the, then, Prince Harold marry McKieth but, as Queen Caroline wished for a higher match, she made McKieth the Duchess of Erin and formed the House of FitzTyrel for Michael. McKieth and Alexander remained on good terms until her death in 1921.
However, in January 1899 he met Phạm Nguyên Thanh Hằng, a daughter of the Quenminese Emperor, at a ball in Frankenlisch. The pair became quickly inseparable and, with the blessing of Bảo Thịnh, proposed marriage in April. The Princess accepted and Alexander began planning for a state marriage. Initially, Stefan V refused to grant the King an Andyist marriage in the Grand Cathedral of Frankenlisch but the King promised to restore limited tithe-raising privileges and to restore the "Battle Bishop" system and the High Archbishop stood down. Unfortunately, the government did not and Sir Richard Hollins, the Prime Minister, demanded that Alexander call off the marriage or accept a Morganatic marriage which would make his sister, Eleanora, the heir to the throne.
Alexander stood his ground and following a debate in Parliament on the 29th of April, 1899, finally decided to end the argument. He sent a note to Hollins, stating that he had had enough of fighting the elected government and that he would make an announcement the following day concerning the arrangement. Hollins was ecstatic, at the Traditional Club he showed the note off and started calling himself The man who beat the King. Little did Hollins know, the public was quickly getting tired of the debate when other, more important matters were being neglected and Princess Hang had been heavily involved with charity efforts in Vionna-Frankenlisch, making her popular amongst the common people.
Attendance in Parliament was 95% on the 30th of April and MPs argued furiously about the nature of the King's address. Sir Richard Hollins arrived in a brand new motorcar at 11:30 am and was heavily cheered by member of his Conservative Party while the Liberals and Imperials threw insults and jeers at the Prime Minister. He walked around the Conservative benches shaking hands with his MPs when the doors to the Commons chamber burst open and soldiers of the Imperial Palace Yeomanry entered, followed by the King. The House stood but several members of the Conservative frontbench refused to bow, with the exception of Sir Richard Hollins, these members were escorted out of the chamber by soldiers. Several members assumed that the King was attempting to take autocratic control of the government in a coup but Alexander quickly dispelled this notion by asking for the Speaker's chair. He announced his frustration at Parliament's intrusion into his personal life and declared that they had overstepped their bounds by interfering with the personal will of the monarchy. Alexander declared Parliament dissolved and ordered a snap election. In the ensuing election, Sir Richard Hollins lost 98 seats, including his own, and a Liberal government was formed under Sir Robin Howe.
The pair were married in the Grand Cathedral, with the High Archbishop's blessing, on the 19th of May, 1899. The same day, Sir Robin Howe formed his government and Sir Richard Hollins announced his retirement from politics. Howe's election began eighteen years of Liberal government, only broken by Carl Phillips' minority Tory government in 1906.