Princess Adélaïde of Valôme

Adélaïde
Princess of Valôme
Alžběty Bavorské.jpg
Empress consort of Ghant
Tenure1900 – 1910
PredecessorElena of Garza
SuccessorEdaalya of Onneria
Born(1853-03-02)2 March 1853
Château d'Harmont
Falaise, Barrois
Died20 June 1929(1929-06-20) (aged 76)
Château d'Étampes
Elyon, Lyncanestria
Burial27 November 1929
Imperial Crypt, Ghish, Ghant
previously interred at the Panthéon Impériale (26 June 1929 – 20 November 1962)
SpouseSebastian I of Ghant
IssueDesmera, Queen of Gaemar
Ynys, Tsarina of Rietumimark
Princess Emma
Princess Christina
Princess Amelia
Princess Alysanne
Prince George, Duke of Compagné
Full name
Adélaïde Sophie Antoinette Marie
HouseHouse of Villeneuve
FatherPrince Antoine, Duke of Valôme
MotherAnne-Sophie of Vannois

Princess Adélaïde of Valôme (2 March 1853 – 20 June 1929), also known as Adélaïde of Lyncanestria, was a princess of Lyncanestria by birth and Empress of Ghant by her marriage to Sebastian I. She is remembered for her imposing presence in the Ghantish imperial palace, and the reforms she made in court etiquette and procedures. The tumultuous relationship she had with her stepson, Crown Prince Nathan, is believed by some to have been a catalyst for his hate, resentment, and eventual psychopathic madness.

Early Life

Adélaïde (9) and her younger brother Ferdinand (7) with their dog Flâneur at the Château d'Harmont.

Adélaïde was born on 2 March 1853 at the Château d'Harmont to Prince Antoine of Barrois and Anne-Sophie of Vannois, daughter of Louis XVIII of Vannois. A Villeneuve dynast, Adélaïde was niece to the monarch of Barrois, the reigning king Philip V. She showed signs of intelligence from a young age, and was kind and capable, traits that she carried through most of her life. In her childhood, was raised in a conservative household, governed by her father and grandmother, but nonetheless her association with her more liberal-minded cousins pushed her to the political center, and was an early royal advocate for suffrage expansion.

Marriage

Background

In 1868, negotiations began between Lyncanestrian and Ghantish officials as to a marriage between the newly-proclaimed Emperor Philippe's granddaughter Catherine and the Ghantish Crown Prince Sebastian. However, Catherine rejected his offer of courtship and in 1869 the Crown Prince was instead married to Magdalena of Odolargia. After the birth of their first son, Prince Nathan, Magdalena died of postnatal complications in late 1870, leading to a search for another bride.

Crown Princess of Ghant

By 1871, Adélaïde's cousin Catherine had already entered into a courtship with Prince Victor of Ghant, Sebastian's brother; Adélaïde was pushed as candidate to be Sebastian's new wife at the insistence of her grandmother, the deposed Antonia of Ghant, who insisted that someone of her progeny inherit the Ghantish throne. The arrangements were finalised the same year and they were married by proxy on 11 August 1871. Although the marriage to Sebastian produced seven surviving children, it was not a happy one, and Adélaïde was constantly struggling with Sebastian's overtly debaucherous lifestyle and carefree behaviour.

Empress of Ghant

In Ghant, Adélaïde was viewed with contempt and she did not take too very well to her new Ghantish environment. During her tenure as Empress, the local Ghantish nobility were weary of her out of fear that she would be like her liberal uncle and cousins, and would would try to reduce their power through means of centralisation and influence on the emperor. In addition, they disliked the new formality she was trying to reintroduce at court that had been the hallmark of the previous monarch, Nathan II before the informalities of the Sebastian court replaced them.

Sebastian and Adélaïde at their coronation as emperor and empress in Ghish, 1900.

Her relationship with her husband was contemptuous, as neither reciprocated feelings of love or affection for each other. Early in their marriage, Adélaïde is known to have been less stringent with her husband regarding his visits, but began being more open against his wishes for intimacy. After the difficult birth of Princess Alysanne in 1887, Adélaïde completely ended all intimacy between herself and Sebastian—until the birth of Prince George in 1891. Because George was born after Adélaïde was said to have ended her intimacy with Sebastian, contemporaries questioned the prince's legitimacy and rumors of adultery were circulated by her enemies in Ghantish noble circles.

File:Nathan III.jpeg
Adélaïde's stepson, Nathan, as emperor.

Crown Prince Nathan

Adélaïde's time in the Ghantish court is well remembered for her quarrels with her stepson, the future Nathan III. Even though Prince Nathan's mother, Magdalena of Odolargia, died just weeks after his birth, he was raised always knowing about his different ancestry from his half-siblings. Historians debate as to the exact causes for the animosity between Adélaïde and Nathan, but there are several proposed reasons for it. The prevailing theory, among others, is Adélaïde's weariness of Sebastian's late wife and her supposed meddling with the occult, combined with the fact that the boy showed sings of being a sociopath, led her to alienate her stepson from herself, her children and even his father. This most likely orignally left an impression of distrust in Nathan towards his stepmother, which only grew to hatred with age, inherent sociopathy, and his subsequent tutelage in the North. It is known that her stepson also quarreled with Adélaïde's children due to their association and closeness to their mother. Nathan's fits of rage against her children would most likely have only served to have added animosity against Nathan.

Widowhood and later life

Upon the death of her husband, she fled with her son George before her newly-enthroned stepson, Nathan III, would be able to act against her. Adélaïde would live out the rest of her life in Lyncanestria. She died of respiratory complications on 20 June 1919 at the Château d'Étampes.

Burial

Due to the reign of Nathan III in Ghant at the time, she was originally buried at the Panthéon Impériale, the crypt for members of the Lyncanestrian Imperial House. In 1962, following the marriage of Prince Albert of Ghant to Grace of Langael, her body was exhumed and transferred to Ghant, where she was buried next to her husband.

Issue

Adélaïde married once, in 1871 to Sebastian I of Ghant, with whom she had seven children to survive infancy.

Image Name Birth Death Spouse and children
Pierre Bellet - Regina Maria.jpg Princess Desmera 18739 November 1873 19406 May 1940 Married 1893, King Artos of Gaemar (1870–1926);
3 sons, 3 daughters
Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, Grand Duchess of Hesse.jpg Princess Ynys 187530 April 1875 194614 December 1949 Married 1895, Yakov, Tsar of Rietumimark (1870–1948);
1 son, 1 daughter (including Tsar Nicholas of Rietumimark)
100px Princess Emma 187725 February 1877 193912 December 1939
Prinzessin Victoria Alice Elisabeth Julie Marie von Battenberg, 1907.jpg Princess Christina 188025 May 1880 19579 June 1957
Queen Victoria of Spain.jpg Princess Amelia 18831 May 1883 195216 January 1952
Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.jpg Princess Alysanne 18867 April 1887 195928 March 1959 Married 1909, August-Wilhelm, Crown Prince of Liothidia (1889–1914);
4 sons, 1 daughter (including Prince Alexander)
Prince Alexander of Teck.jpg Prince George
later Duke of Compagné
189014 April 1891 1967 26 October 1967 Married 1918, Beatrice of Montmorcy (1858–1896);
3 sons, 1 daughter (including Ferdinand, 2nd Duke of Compagné and Maurice Gentry)

Ancestry


Template:Empresses of Ghant