Leo, Prince Consort

Prince Leo
Prince Consort
Duke of Adrianople
Leo, Prince Consort.jpg
Official photograph of Leo, taken in 1984
Consort of the Latin monarch
Tenure18 June 1952 – 20 May 1997
Born30 March 1929
Xavier I Medical Centre, Saint–Nazaire, Vannois, Seredinia
Died20 May 1997(1997-05-20) (aged 68)
St Gabriel Medical Centre, Oea, Latium
Burial
Imperial Crypt, Castellum ab Alba, Latium
Spouse
Diana Augusta (m. 1952)
Issue
see details...
Full name
Gaius Claudius Nero Leo Iasonis Petrus
HouseClaudius
FatherJason Claudius, Duke of Adrianople
MotherAgnes Selicia
ReligionFabrian Catholic

Leo, Prince Consort (Gaius Claudius Nero Leo Iasonis Petrus; 30 March 1929 – 20 May 1997) was Consort of the Latin monarch by virtue of his marriage to Diana Augusta. He is considered by many to be the most influential Latin consort ever, and ranks among the top 50 most important Latins according to a 2014 RAL poll. He is only one of two people to hold the title of Prince Consort.

Leo was a member of the House of Claudius. He was born in Vannois, and educated at Academia Militaris Olympia, where he also received military officer training. At the onset of the Social War in April 1945, he was betrothed to Latin Empress Diana and joined court. In 1948, Leo joined the Imperial forces commanded by his father, and saw combat during the Battle of Alexandria.

Leo married Latin Empress Diana Augusta in 1952, two years after the wedding date set forth in the original betrothal agreement. Leo was consort for 45 years, and after 1964 was widely regarded for his place of influence within court. One of the largest controversies surrounding Leo came when he took personal command of the 13th Legion during brief ultranationalist counterrevolution in 1955 and again during riots in Augusta Tolosa following the murder of a Gelonian girl by Latin ultranationalists in the same event.

Leo suffered a heart attack on 20 May 1997 while traveling from Adrianople to Castellum. He passed away en route to Saint Gabriel Medical Centre in Oea after an emergency landing.

Family and early life

Leo was born on 30 March 1929 at Xavier I Medical Centre in Saint–Nazaire, Vannois, as the eldest son and third child of Jason Claudius, Duke of Adrianople and Latin noblewoman Agnes Selicia. He has two elder sisters, Maria and Theodora, as well as a younger brother Isidorus. He was baptized into the Fabrian Catholic Church in April 1929, and was given the rank of Lord as a courtesy for being the second-in-line to his grandfather's peerage. His godparents were Michael Claudius (his father's brother) and Princess Françoise of Sydalon (Michael's wife).

Leo was born three months prior to his father's dismissal as Ambassador to Vannois, and returned to Latium with his mother not long after his birth. Prior to 1977, public record showed that Leo was born at his father's estate in Adrianople; however, a leak from within the Imperial Archives later revealed that Leo was born in Saint-Nazaire, Vannois.

Education

Leo's education was handled exclusively by private tutors and instructors. He also received a military education from his father and other prominent military figures in Latium. From an early age, Leo was instructed how to handle various weapons, including firearms and swords. For the first five years of his life, Leo remained in Adrianople and was raised by his mother and the household governess. On his sixth birthday, Leo was brought to the court of Constantine XIX, where he was presented to the Emperor, the Empress and their children, along with other prominent members of the court and Senate. This was the first instance where Leo met his future wife, Diana Augusta. In writings of his father, which were later published after his death, it was stated that he had been in discussions to betroth Leo with Princess Diana. Over the course of his childhood, Leo would spend time traveling throughout Latium with his father. While he would spend most of his time in Alexandria, Leo was regularly present on military bases where his father had been in command.

Leo enlisted in the Latin Army at the age of 16, enrolling at Academia Militaris Olympia before the required age of 17 due to his status as a member of the high nobility. Leo reportedly desired to have a naval career and preferred to attend either the Imperial Naval College at Pola or École Navale of Vannois, however he was dissuaded by his father and instead enrolled at Olympia. It was just before his second year at Olympia that the Social War began.

Social War

At the outbreak of the Social War and Palace massacre in Alexandria, Leo was a cadet at Olympia. The day following the 12 August Coup, Olympia was attacked by the Voluntarius Militia National Obequio (VMNO), a paramilitary wing of the newly declared Social Republic. A brief battle erupted between cadets and stationed officers against the VMNO, following a refusal by the Olympia's administration and Prefect John Iccius to pledge support to the Social Republic. The Battle of Olympia lasted two days, with Leo an active participant before reinforcements from the Imperial army, under the command of Thomas Vitruvius, 7th Count of Antium, relieved the cadets. Leo and all surviving cadets received the Medal of Valor for their efforts in support of Empress Diana at Olympia.

Marriage to Empress Diana

Betrothal

Leo's father had attempted to secure a betrothal between Leo and the then Princess Diana as early as 1935, when Leo was first presented to Emperor Constantine XIX and Empress Marie Christine. This information was later revealed in the posthumously published memoirs of Jason Claudius, 36th Duke of Adrianople. The Duke was initially unsuccessful in his attempts, most likely due to the youth of both Diana and her newborn brother Prince John. In 1940, the Duke's memoirs depict a second attempt to secure a match between Leo and Diana or between the Duke's youngest daughter Theodora and Prince John - heir to the throne.

It wasn't until the Social War and the ascensions of Diana to Latin Empress regnant that she and her regent, Alexandra of Ghant, assented to a betrothal between the Diana and Leo. Familial documents show that it was agreed upon that Diana, who was only 13 at the time of her enthronement, would marry Leo once her regency ended at 17 years old. Leo's father, who had been a Catapan of Latin armed forces, was subsequently appointed supreme commander of all Imperial armed forces and Master of Offices and Count of the Chancery.

Prior to 1948, Leo and Diana remained in court together in Castellum under the care of Regent-Empress Mother Alexandra. As Diana was very active in public appearances, Leo often accompanied her and the two began their courting. Statements from former courtiers during the time period claim that Diana "didn't care for [Leo]" and "wanted little to do with [him]." However, these statements were never substantiated.

Sancta Sapientia in Castellum was the site of Leo and Diana's wedding.

Marriage

Leo and Diana had first been betrothed in 1945, with the first announcements being officially made in 1945 prior to his father's war-time Consulship. However, the two would not marry until 1952, two years after Diana's regency ended. This delay reportedly caused a temporary rift between Duke Jason and the Imperial Household, though it didn't result in as a marriage date was set for 18 June 1952, which was after a planned tour of Latium by Leo and Diana. The couple's tour of Latium ended in Alexandria, where they were wed on 18 June 1952 at Sancta Sapientia, in Castellum. Their wedding the cause of great fanfare throughout Latium, with numerous games and events put on by the Imperial household throughout the country in celebration of the marriage.

Outwardly, Leo and Diana appeared to all to be a happy couple, though occasionally reports would surface of arguments and numerous disagreements among the Imperial couple. It wasn't until a rare, joint television interview with the RAL in 1978 that they admitted their early marriage "was a struggle" and "not unlike most others." Their first child, Alexander was born in 1955, though died in infancy. It wasn't until January 1963 that their first surviving child, Isabella was born. Their second child and eventual heir apparent, Jason was born in December of the same year.

Consort of the Empress

Royal house

Duties

Styles, titles, honors and arms

  • 30 March 1929 – 1 June 1930: Count of Corcyra
  • 1 June 1930 – 11 September 1964: Marchis of Philadelphia
  • 11 September 1964 – 20 May 1997: His Imperial Highness The Prince Consort
    • 31 October 1976 – 20 May 1997: His Imperial Highness The Duke of Adrianople

Issue

Name Date of birth Date of death Spouses
Alexander, Prince of Youth 4 June 1955 26 February 1956(1956-02-26) (aged 0)
Isabella, Princess Imperial (1963-01-13) 13 January 1963 (age 56) eloped with John, Crown Prince of Ghant, and had issue.
Jason VI Augustus 15 December 1963 3 November 2017(2017-11-03) (aged 53) Married thrice. 1st: Stephania Pinaria (1964–1991), and had issue. 2nd: Zoe Verrucosa (b. 1974), and had issue. Marsella Atmos (b. 1965), had issue.
Prince Theodosius, Duke of Beroea (1966-09-02) 2 September 1966 (age 52) Princess Marie-Antoinette of Vannois (b. 1975), and had issue.
Princess Isadora, Duchess of Courçon (1968-03-13) 13 March 1968 (age 51) Prince Rémy, Duke of Courçon (b. 1968), and had issue.
Prince John, Duke of Aurunca (1970-06-02) 2 June 1970 (age 49) Princess Gabrielle of Vannois (b. 1971), and had issue.
Princess Joanna, Countess of Ameria (1970-06-02) 2 June 1970 (age 49) Theodorus Aemelius, Count of Ameria (b. 1969), and had issue.
Eirene, Queen of Dakmoor (1971-11-27) 27 November 1971 (age 47) 1st: Desiderius, Prince of Petra (1962–2015), and had issue. 2nd: Malibar, King of Dakmoor, and had issue.

Ancestry

See Also

Leo, Prince Consort
Born: 30 March 1929 Died: 20 May 1997
Latin royalty
Preceded by
Marie Christine of Épernon
as Empress consort
Consort of the Latin monarch
1952–1997
Succeeded by
Zoe Verrucosa
as Empress consort
Consort of Belfras
1952–1997
Peerage of Latium
New creation Duke of Apennina
1964–1997
Succeeded by
Jason VI Augustus
Preceded by
Jason Claudius
Duke of Adrianople
1976–1997
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Rhenus
Master of Offices
1980–1996
Succeeded by
The Lord Verrucosus of Gerasa
Preceded by
The Duke of Adrianople
Count of the Chancery
1976–1996