Abdication Crisis of 1986
The Abdication Crisis of 1986 started when Emperor Edgard I proposed to divorce Empress Vanessa to marry Emerejilda Nieves, an Alexandrian socialite who was divorced from her first two husbands and was pursuing a divorce of her third. Nieves was pregnant with Emperor Edgard I's child at the time, after carrying a careful secret affair for 8 years.
The proposal was staunchly opposed by the public, the Government of the Empire of the Alexandrians, and of the Alexandrian Dominions of Acadia and Girondia. While at the time the social stigma surrounded by divorce had waned significantly, there were serious religious, legal, political, and moral obligations that were raised by Emperor Edgard I's plans.
As the Alexandrian Emperor, Edgard was the nominal head of the Church of Alexandria, which forbade divorced people to remarry in the church if their ex-spouses were still alive. There were also major political and legal complications that were exacerbated by the pregnancy of Emerejilda Nieves, which would only be complicated further with a divorce from Empress Vanessa. Nieves was also widely perceived to be politically and socially unsuitable as an Empress Consort due to her previous divorces and rumored past adultery and connections to criminal elements in Alexandria. Despite widespread opposition, Edgard continued to declare that he was no longer in love with his wife and that he wanted to marry Nieves as his "last chance for everlasting love" whether it was approved by the Government and the Church or not.
Reluctant to accept Nieves as Empress Consort to replace Empress Vanessa within the Imperial Family, the Government, the Church of Alexandria, and the court of public opinion clashed with Edgard's insistence to pursue his "last chance". He abdicated on 15 June 1986 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Edgard, who took the regnal name of Edgard II. Edgard was granted the title of His Imperial Highness, the Duke of Corcovado following his abdication.
Four months after the abdication, Nieves miscarried, triggering anguish and pain so deep that would haunt the former Emperor until his death in 2003. After the miscarriage, the Duke and Duchess of Corcovado stayed out of the public eye and lived a relatively secluded life.
- Bit of background - when Edgard I marries Empress Vanessa, children of the marriage, the marriage begins to break down.
- Emperor takes up the first mistress, Eva Levreux, but the affair is brief. Affair with Emerejilda Nieves begins after he meets her at a ball in Port-Real.
- Brief history of the love affair which goes on for the last 8 years of Edgard I's reign in absolute secrecy.
- Affair is publically exposed on Les Yeux, with pictures and even some embarrassing leaked letters that damage the monarchy heavily.
- Empress Vanessa moves out of the Palace of Wesloderia to live with her son the Dauphin Edgard (Edgard II), who at the time lived at Marlborough House, an Imperial Residence in Santander y Corcovado.
- Step One: He seeks permission to divorce Vannesa which is granted. Socially a nightmare and an unpopular move but shit happens. The Church begins to question how suitable he is as their Head.
- Step Two: The Church requests the formal removal of the Emperor as Head of the Church. Parliament approves. The Emperor accepts it.
- Step Three: He asks for permission less than 6 months after his divorce is finalized to marry Emerejilda. Government says they will consider it. Says no.
Options Proposed and National Referendum
- Step Four: He proposes a morganatic marriage. The government is split and decides to put the matter to a public referendum. Which he loses. And he's forced to abdicate.
- Step Five: He's allowed to use a courtesy title which he can share with his wife but any children they have are cut out of the line of succession. He also doesn't receive any money. Republican parties use the whole saga as an excuse to raise a public debate. Edgard II has to fight to stabilize the monarchy.
- Status of Empress Vanessa: Pre-Divorce: Empress. Post-Divorce: Princess in her own right but doesn't attend court functions, has no rank or precedence there. Post-Abdication: Empress Emerita, back to court, ranked as the second-highest female. As part of all that, she accepted that she'd lose all of that if she remarried.
- Edgard II fights to save the monarchy, succeeds.