Edgard II

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Edgard II Emperor of all Alexandrians
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Reign 15 June 1986 - Present
Coronation 2 June 1987
Predecessor Edgard I
Heir Apparent Joseph, Dauphin of Alexandria
Spouse Iphigénie of Valois-Montorgueil
Issue Joseph, Dauphin of Alexandria
Alexandra, Princesse Impériale
Prince Louis, Duke of Valenciennes
Princess Letizia, Countess of Clafort
Princess Josephine, Countess of Alarcón
Prince Fernand, Count of Mondego
Royal House Carrillo
Father Edgard I
Mother Vanessa of San Juan
Born 16 April 1960
Wesloderia, Alexandria
Signature


Edgard II (Edgard Albert Carlos David de Carrillo y Nubinar; born 16 April 1960) has been Emperor of all Alexandrians since 15 June 1986. Additionally, he is head of the Community of Nations, King of Acadia, King of Girondia, and Marquess of Paledo since his accession.

Edgard was born at the Palace of Wesloderia as the first child of Emperor Edgard I and Empress Vanessa. His elementary school education was in a private institution called Saint Mary's School near Port-Réal. He was later sent to a private middle school in San Martin. He also served for seven and a half years in the Imperial Air Force and was stationed in Baudrix, San Martin, and Rio Grande. In 1982, he married Empress Iphigénie, a princess of Valois-Montorgueil, with whom he has five children: Joseph, Dauphin of Alexandria; Alexandra, Princesse Impériale; Prince Louis, Duke of Valenciennes; Princess Letizia, Countess of Clafort; Princess Josephine, Countess of Alarcón, and Prince Fernand, Count of Mondego.

Under his reign, Alexandria has seen itself emerge as a world power and emerge from major constitutional changes as well. His accession to the throne after the Abdication Crisis of 1986 tested him and his family, but his leadership is widely recognized for steering the Imperial Family and the monarchy to a stronger position.

His rule has seen great progress in the establishment of a stronger democratic tradition in Alexandria. Upon his accession, he sought reforms to the Constitution that would dismantle many Imperial powers and began a new era of Alexandrian democracy. This led to the approval of a new Constitution in 1990 via referendum, which established the modern constitutional monarchy. In 1991, the Emperor was instrumental behind the scenes in preventing a coup that attempted to put Alexandria on a military government in the Emperor's name. Edgard has occasionally faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the Imperial Family. However, he continues to retain incredibly high popularity ratings across the Empire and is generally seen as the embodiment of Alexandria.

Early Life

Edgard was born to Emperor Edgard I and Empress Vanessa in the Palace of Wesloderia on 16 April 1960. He was baptized as Edgard Albert Carlos David de Carrillo y Nubinar. He was given the name Edgard after his father. Edgard has two brothers and a sister: Prince Enrique, Duke of Puerto Nuevo (born 1962); Prince Sebastian, Duke of San Juan (born 1972); Princess Valeria, Countess of Arassia (born 1975).

His early life was largely dictated by the political concerns that come with grooming the next Emperor. He was created Dauphin of Alexandria and Prince of San Martín in 1970, but he wasn't invested until 24 June 1980, when he was crowned by his father and mother as Prince of San Martín in a televised ceremony at the Cathedral of Our Lady of All Saints in Los Santos.

Edgard began his studies at Saint Mary's School near the capital, Port-Réal. He later was moved to the Academia Real in Rio Grande, where he finished his studies in 1976. In 1976, Edgard was invested He then joined the Imperial Army, doing his officer training from 1977 to 1979 at the Military Academy of Franciscania. In 1980, Edgard spent a year in the naval school at Los Santos, San Martín, and another in the Imperial Air Force College in Crécy, Ibelin. He flew himself to the Imperial Air Force College to train as a jet pilot. In 1982–85, he studied Law, International Political Economy, and Public Finance at the Imperial University of Alexandria in Port-Réal.

After he completed his studies, he went to live in Cárdenas, Santander y Corcovado in 1985. He began to take on more public duties, founding the Prince's Trust and traveling to Acadia that same year.

Marriage and Family

Edgard met his future wife, Princess Iphigénie of Valois-Montorgueil (born 1 June 1964), in 1970 and 1977. After another meeting at the Military Academy of Franciscania in 1981, Edgard fell in love with Iphigénie and they began to exchange letters. On 9 July 1984, their engagement was announced. The engagement was not without controversy; Iphigénie was foreign-born and some of her family members had links to foreign political movements that were on the fringes of the far-right. There was no appetite from the public at the time for a foreign-born princess, fueled in part by Edgard's failed brief courtship of Alexandrian television news anchor Aurelie Beltran in the summer of 1980. Later biographies report that Empress Vanessa initially opposed marriage with Iphigénie. In later life, however, it is known that Empress Vanessa and Iphigénie got along great and performed public duties together often.

Before the marriage, Iphigénie renounced her titles in Valois-Montorgueil and officially converted to the Church of Alexandria and adopted the style Lady Iphigénie Beaumarchais, taking the surname of her father's Alexandrian family. Just before the wedding, she was created Empress Consort, Duchess of Clarion and granted the style Her Imperial Majesty.

Edgard and Iphigénie were married on 2 November 1985 at the Basilica of Saint Louis the Protector in Port-Réal. They received over 10,000 wedding gifts from well-wishers around the world. Many of these gifts eventually went on to be donated by the couple to homeless shelters and domestic violence victims in shelters.

The couple have six children:

Governor-General of Santander y Corcovado

In the mid-1970s, Edgard expressed an interest in serving as Governor-General of Santander y Corcovado. The idea behind the appointment would be for him to put a foot on the ladder of the monarchy and expose him to many of the duties an Emperor is expected to carry on. It wasn't until he finished his studies in 1985 that he was appointed as Governor-General of Santander y Corcovado after the unanimous approval of the Assembly of Santander y Corcovado.

He was installed as Governor-General of Santander y Corcovado in a nationally televised ceremony where he delivered the provincial government's Speech from the Throne in the summer of 1986.

After his accession to the throne, a new Governor-General of Santander y Corcovado was appointed.

Reign

Iphigénie gave birth to the couple's first child, Dauphin Joseph on 1 October 1986, after the abdication of Edgard I and Edgard's accession. A few weeks earlier, Edgard had issued letters patent allowing his children to use the style and title of an Imperial Prince or Princess as their mother was no longer a princess. A second child, Princess Alexandra, was born in 1988.

Accession and Coronation

Related article: Abdication Crisis of 1986
Main article: Coronation of Edgard II

During 1986, Edgard I triggered a constitutional crisis when he proposed to divorce Empress Vanessa to marry his mistress of eight years, Emerejilda Nieves. Details of the crisis leaked to the gossip magazine Les Yeux, which embarrassed the Imperial Family greatly. As Edgard gave the speech in Cárdenas on 15 June 1986, the news broke of his father's abdication. After the abdication was made public and Edgard had finished the Opening of the Assembly of Santander y Corcovado, it is reported that he received a phone call from the First Consul to give him notice that his father had abdicated. He got on a flight from Cárdenas to Port-Réal, where he gave a televised address to the nation from the Palace of Geneva in downtown Port-Réal.

It is rumored that while the news of the abdication was a shock to Edgard, his private secretary, Eduardo Belcour, carried a draft accession declaration in case the Emperor abdicated while Edgard was in Santander y Corcovado. Belcour asked him to choose a regnal name; he chose "Edgard", saying "a new Edgard needs to fix the reputation of our name and our family," referring to the abdication of his father. He moved into the Palace of Wesloderia as his father was moving out of the Palace on hos own instructions and that of the Government.

Edgard II was crowned Emperor of all Alexandrians on 2 June 1987. The ceremony in the Basilica of Saint Louis the Protector was televised for the first time in Alexandrian history. It was a much more toned down affair compared to his father's coronation in 1959.

First Consuls under the
reign of Edgard II
Matthieu Poiters (Conservative) 1976-1995
Jean Carmicheal (Social Democratic Alliance) 1995-2004
Fernando Dev (Conservative) 2004-2008†
Eva Cristina Fernandez (Conservative) 2008-2009
Primo de Aguilar (Social Democratic Alliance) 2009-2015
Felicia Sánchez Sánchez (Social Democratic Alliance) 2015 - Present

Evolution of the Community of Nations

Main article: Community of Nations

From Edgard's birth onwards, the Imperial Government of Alexandria began transforming the Alexandrian colonial empire into the Community of Nations. The Community of Nations realms is composed of, for purposes of international relations, sovereign states. They are united only in their voluntary connection with the institution of the Alexandrian monarchy, the House of Carrillo, the succession, and the Emperor himself; the person of the sovereign and the Crown are considered to be the most important and vital link between the realms.

In 1989, Emperor Edgard II and his wife Empress Iphigénie embarked on their first tour of the Community of Nations, visiting 6 countries. Dubbed the Inaugural Tour, the crowds rushing to see the Imperial Couple were immense. During the tour of Girondia, it was estimated that more than three-quarters of the country had seen the young couple. Throughout his reign, the Emperor has continued to travel to other countries and periodically lead tours of the Community with other members of the Imperial Family.

The 1990s saw an acceleration in the policy of decolonization previously pursued under Edgard I's reign. Three countries gained independence from Alexandria as a part of a planned transition to self-government: Brealand, Dustreau, and Lescait.

Constitutional Reforms

Upon his accession, Edgard had to deal with a wave of Republican sentiment across Alexandria, mostly fanned from his father's abdication and the ensuing scandals. Intense media interest in the opinions and private lives of the Imperial Family during and after the abdication led to a series of sensational stories in the press, not all of which were entirely true. The biggest one threatened another constitutional crisis when it was reported that the Emperor was worried that then Conservative First Consul Matthieu Poitiers' economic policies fostered social divisions and was alarmed by high unemployment, a series of riots, and the violence of a miners' strike. The sources of the rumors included palace aides and from officials high up in the Secretariat of the Community of Nations. Edgard's biographer Linda Remini claimed, "the report was a piece of journalistic mischief-making, pure trash, pure lies".

With help of the First Consul Matthieu Poitiers, opposition leaders and prominent Alexandrian legal scholars, major constitutional reforms were drafted that established a federal system inside Alexandria. Reforms to safeguard the integrity of elections across the Empire were also enacted, which led to the creation of the State Electoral Commission. Some of the Emperor's powers and prerogatives were reformed, lessening his own powers but expanding those of the Government to carry out actions in the Emperor's name. In the end, the previous Constitution had been substantially amended, and the new draft was put to a national referendum on 5 November 1990. The new Constitution was overwhelmingly approved, 75% to 25%.

The victory of the referendum in 1990 marked the effective end of the Emperor's active involvement in Alexandrian politics. On paper, Edgard retained fairly extensive reserve powers. He was the guardian of the Constitution and was responsible for ensuring that it was obeyed. In practice, since the passage of the Constitution, he has taken a mostly non-partisan and representative role, acting almost entirely on the advice of the Government. Under the Constitution, the Emperor has immunity from prosecution in matters relating to his official duties. This is so because every act of the Emperor as such (and not as a citizen) needs to be undersigned by a government official, thus making the undersigner responsible instead of the Emperor. Despite the reforms, the Emperor commands great moral authority as an essential symbol of the country's unity.

3-A 1991 Military Coup Attempt

Main article: 3-A 1991 Military Coup Attempt

On 3 April 1991, the National Assembly was seized by members of the Imperial Gendarmerie in an attempted military coup that became known as 3-A. Other Imperial Gendarmerie units began to amass in front of the Imperial Palace of Wesloderia as well.

As images of the coup were being transmitted from the National Assembly, the Emperor, in the uniform of the Alexandrian armed forces, gave a public television broadcast calling for unambiguous support for the legitimate democratic government. Edgard called on the Imperial Gendarmerie to stand down, clearly stating that his support was for democracy and the constitutional order.

The broadcast is believed to have been a major factor in foiling the coup. The coup leaders had promised many of their potential supporters that they were acting in the Emperor's name and with his approval, but were unable to demonstrate either. The broadcast, which came just after midnight on the night of the coup, definitively showed the Emperor's opposition to the coup makers.

When Edgard became Emperor, the leader of the Alexandrian Communists Manuel Montijo-Gernais nicknamed him "Edgard the Brief", predicting that the monarchy would soon be swept away and that the Alexandrian Republic would soon be born. However, after the dramatic collapse of the attempted coup, party leaders from across the political spectrum made a joint press conference, led by then First Consul Matthieu Poiters. When it was Montijo-Gernais' turn to speak, he gave an emotional address, finishing with "On this day, we're all monarchists, and with our hearts proclaim, God save the Emperor."

Following the collapse of the coup and the arrest of all officers and soldiers involved, support among democrats, leftists, and republicans for the monarchy increased significantly, putting the republican tide to rest.

1990s

The 1990s were a trying and difficult decade for the Emperor and the Imperial Family. The Abdication Crisis of 1986 brought the monarchy under sustained increased criticism and public scrutiny. Constitutional reforms with wide popular support were passed in a referendum in 1990. However, after the reforms, considerable debate was given to a package of proposals and reforms to the Imperial finances that would including the Emperor paying income tax from 1995 onwards, and a 10% reduction in the allowance given to the Imperial Family by the National Assembly. The measures were defeated in the then-Conservative majority Assembly.

The measures became a key campaign issue during the Alexandrian general election of 1995. A series of leaks and stories were published in the press that claimed that the Imperial Family's fortune was over E1 billion in the weeks leading up to the end of the campaign. Despite officials proving that the information was incorrect and that it over estimated the Imperial Family's fortune significantly, the Social Democratic Alliance jumped on the issue to attack the ruling Conservative Party in the election. After the Social Democratic Alliance won the election, the reform package was passed and a larger 20% reduction of the allowance was enacted by the new SDA majority.

In 1996, the Emperor celebrated his first 10 years on the throne. In a speech that was televised to the country and was unusually personal, the Emperor shared his experiences upon seeing the disintegration of his family during the abdication of his father and his father's infidelities. He spoke with sincerity, moving many in the audience, on the importance of family and fatherhood. He also went on to address criticism of the monarchy, in particular, the false stories published in the media, saying that "if we are to be criticized, to better serve this country and the people, it should be the truth, accompanied with sincerity, openness, and respect." The speech was given at a banquet in honor of the anniversary at the Imperial Palace of Wesloderia.

2000s

The 2000s were a decade in which the Emperor devoted a great deal of his time in touring the Community of Nations and conducting state visits with allied nations. He kept up a loaded schedule of several tours abroad and within Alexandria, where he was seen by millions during his visits.

In 2000, a test of the Emperor's popularity in Acadia came in the form of the Acadian republic referendum. The Emperor maintained his neutrality in the matter, with the Imperial Palace of Wesloderia releasing a brief statement eight months before the referendum stating that "His Imperial Majesty will abide by the decision of the voters and motivates all Acadians to vote." Despite many polls suggesting that the option for an Acadian republic would win, Acadians voted 69% to 31% in favor of retaining the monarchy.

In 2004, the Emperor founded a new charity organization called Our Families, Inc. He personally donated $50 million to the organization, which was founded to help single parents be able to raise their children in a supportive and nurturing environment. The organization's mission eventually started encompassing help for needy or poor families, especially in education, healthcare, child care, homelessness, new immigrant concerns, and women's issues. The organization sponsors affordable housing facilities for those in need across all of Alexandria.

Assassination of First Consul Fernando Dev

Main article: Assasination of Fernando Dev

First Consul Fernando Dev was killed as a result of a suicide bombing in the town of Bouvet, Varennes on 18 May 2008. At least 14 others were killed, including the Mayor of Bouvet, Mariano Heriault. The attack was perpetrated by Maria Puig, a radical political activist that supported the creation of an independent state in Varennes for the Vasque minority. Two other Vasque nationalist attacks on the same day in Port-Réal were foiled by law enforcement officials. At the time, Dev planned to unveil a proposal to create a special administrative region within Varennes for the Vasque minority along with some devolved powers. The measure would have faced strong opposition from members of his own party, but after the assassination, the measure was discarded.

The night after the assassination, the Emperor addressed the nation and a joint session of the National Assembly expressing sadness for the loss of the First Consul and stating that Alexandria will go on "stronger and more united than ever." The message was well-received by the public, but it hid the uncertainty and anxiety behind the scenes regarding Dev's successor. The absence of a formal mechanism within the Conservative Party for choosing a new leader in the middle of a National Assembly session meant that it fell to the Emperor to decide whom to commission to form a government within the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party Chairman at the time, Federico Daladier, recommended that the Emperor consult the Cabinet. This resulted in the Emperor appointing their recommended candidate: Eva Cristina Fernandez. The choice led to major personal criticism of the Emperor for appointing the First Consul on the advice of a small number of people. Due to this impasse, in the 2009 Conservative Party Convention, the Conservatives adopted a formal mechanism for electing a leader, thus relieving the Emperor of involvement.

2010s

In 2011, the Emperor celebrated his Silver Jubilee. He again undertook an extensive tour of all of his realms, beginning in Girondia. There were street parties and commemorative events throughout Alexandria and several monuments were named to honor the celebration. Two million people came to Port-Réal for the four-day celebrations, with the fifth day added due to popular demand. Public enthusiasm showed for the Emperor was much greater than many experts or journalists had expected.

In June 2016, the Port-Réal Gazette, citing several unnamed sources, reported that Edgard's youngest son, Prince Fernand, had come out to the Imperial Family as gay in private. This would make him the first openly gay member of the Imperial Family in history. The Imperial Palace of Wesloderia has repeatedly sought to kill the story with no success. With no official confirmation nor denial from the Palace, the story took a life of its own, mixed throroughly with unproven rumors and untrue embellishments. In January 2017, a statement from Prince Fernand officially confirmed that the rumors were true and that he was receiving the full and unconditional support of his family, especially that of his father.

Already a part of the agenda of First Consul Felicia Sánchez Sánchez, the legalization of same-sex marriage and adoption in Alexandria passed soon after Prince Fernand's official statement. The private support from the Emperor and the Imperial Family for their youngest son made a great difference in securing a large bloc of votes from the Conservative Party for the bill.

Public Perception and Character

Edgard rarely grants interviews to the press. As such, little is known about his personal feelings. He has consistently sought, as a constitutional monarch, to remain above politics and has never expressed his political opinions in any public forum. However, it is known that he has a strong and deep sense of civic and religious duty, and has expressed several times that his life "will be devoted to the service of the people of Alexandria until the day I die." Scenes of Imperial Family life have occasionally been witnessed. The Emperor has been widely praised for stepping up and helping his wife prepare meals, clean and take an active role in the lives of their children.

He is the first Emperor to not be Head of the Church of Alexandria. However, he is still a member of the church and attends religious services with his family regularly. He has demonstrated clear support for inter-faith relations and has repeatedly met with the leaders of other churches and religions.

Edgard is a patron of over 1,000 organizations and charities in Alexandria. His main leisure interests include cats, music, gardening, and writing. While it is known that he has no favorite charity and that a sense of duty to others is strong with the Emperor, he is generally noted to be especially at ease with charities that help single parents, the homeless, and especially charities and organizations that encourage fathers to be proactive and step up to responsibilities that are generally seen as responsibilities for mothers.

His custom of incognito motorbike riding has raised urban legends of people finding him on lonely roads. He is also known for occasionally attending weddings, quinceañeras, and other social events incognito and leaving party hosts with gifts for their family and children, or maybe even showing up with other members of the Imperial Family to provide live music.

He has also been known for doing more to portray a more modern image of the monarchy with several television documentaries about the Imperial Family. This began with televising the coronation in 1987.

In September 2000, a referendum in Acadia on the future of the Acadian monarchy favored its retention in preference to an indirectly elected head of state, 69% to 31%. Polls in Alexandria consistently reveal strong support for Edgard, and in 2011, his Silver Jubilee year, approval ratings hit 90 percent.

Finances

Main article: Finances of the Alexandrian Imperial Family

Edgard's personal fortune has been the subject of speculation for many years. Daniel Bourreau, a former private secretary to the Emperor and Director of the Imperial Family's bank, Lesseps Imperial Bank, estimates his wealth at E255 million.

Health

Edgard has smoked cigarettes since at least the age of 15 and continues to smoke heavily, his preferred brand of cigarettes are the very rich and unfiltered Crécy cigarettes. During the Abdication Crisis of 1986, it was reported that he drank and smoked much more heavily than usual. Upon his accession, Edgard changed his drinking habits and restricted drinks to only during private family events. As of 2015, Edgard has stopped the consumption of alcohol altogether. In 2005, Edgard was admitted to Wesloderia Imperial Hospital with double pneumonia. In 2008, he experienced a mild stroke while on vacation in Mantua.

On 12 June 2012, Edgard was admitted to Wesloderia Imperial Hospital after he fell ill during a long walk with his dogs and the Empress on the grounds of the Palace of Wesloderia. Wesloderia issued a public statement saying that he would undergo an angioplasty due to circulation problems. The surgery was a success, and Wesloderia later confirmed that physicians expected Edgard to make a full recovery and leave the hospital in a few days.

Titles, Styles, Honors, and Arms

Edgard II
Born: 16 April 1960
Preceded by
Edgard I
Emperor of all Alexandrians
1986-Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent