Albion, where the Sun never set

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Anna Haining Bates
800px-Martin_Van_Buren_Bates_and_Anna_Haining_Bates.png

Anna Haining Bates and Martin Van Buren Bates., the tallest couple in history

Anna Haining Bates (née Swan; August 6, 1846 – August 7, 1928), was a Canadian known as one of the tallest women to have ever lived, famed for her great stature of 2.41 meters, being the tallest non-pathological giant in recorded history[1], and strength, being considered one of the strongest women in the world during her lifetime[2]; with her husband, Martin Van Buren Bates, she formed the tallest couple in history. Her parents were of average height.

Born at Mill Brook, New Annan, Nova Scotia, weighing 7.26 kg, Anna was the third of 13 children, all of whom were around average height or a little above it. As a child, she was said to have been of a normal, if above average, stature, but entered a dramatic growth spurt in her early adolescence, growing rapidly over the following years. By her 15th birthday she measured 185 cm tall, and had reached over 2 meters two years later. She finally reached her final height around the age of 23.

Swan excelled at literature and music, and was considered to be very intelligent and quick-thinking. She also excelled at her studies of acting, piano, and singing, once playing Lady Macbeth in a play. On 13 July 1865, she nearly burned to death when Barnum’s museum was destroyed by fire; the stairs were in flames and she was too large to escape through a window. Breaking her way out through a wall, she escaped safely, if with minor burns and bruises. When visiting a circus in Halifax with which Martin Van Buren Bates – another enormously tall person – was travelling, Swan was spotted by the circus’ promoter and hired on the spot. The giant duo became a touring sensation at the time and eventually fell in love; they married in June 17th, 1871, in St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

Having befriended Empress Victoria when in a show at Buckingham Palace[3], Anna was offered a place at Court by the monarch, who had made similar offers before[4], shortly after her wedding. Although initially uncertain, the couple in the end accepted the invitation, seeking to retire from their career as circus attractions, with Anna being made an attendant[5] while Martin was made a minor official of the Royal Household, and later was given an honorary knighthood[6].

In 1872, Anna and her husband purchased 130 acres of land near the environs of London[7], where they built a residence made to their proportion. Martin supervised the construction of the house, with 4.3m ceilings and 2.43m doors[8], who became the modern manor of Bates Hall[9]. While it served as their home, the couple later also built a proper townhouse for themselves as well, which has now been converted into a museum and apartment building[10].

Possessing a de facto honorary position at court, Anna and her husband spent much of their time instead focused on other endeavors detached from it, with Martin attempting to farm their estate[11] while Anna entered the world of writing and acting. While her literary career wasn’t much to talk about, and focused more on the academic side of literature, she found great success in the stage instead. She found acclaim in special in musical theatre, as her size made it possible to reach lower notes than other female singers and her larger lungs made for holding onto notes for longer.

Infamously besotted with eachother, Anna and Martin had two children together; both with extremely difficult and nearly fatal births[12]
- Victoria Haining Bates; born in May 19th, 1872, weighing 8.16kg and nearly asphyxiated, she grew-up a childhood companion of the then Prince of Wales’ children, being a close friend of Princess Mary (future German Empress) throughout her life. A surprising darling of Albish society as a young adult, Victoria was during that time known for her many, many, suitors, her imposing height of 235cm making a striking and charming figure in youth and a steadfast and domineering one in her later years. After various courtships, and some rather humorous episodes, she ironically married a Scottish Lord of Parliament, Crawford Somerville, who was a childhood friend of hers and had at times served as her wingman[13]​
- Martin Haining Bates Jr; born in January 18th, 1879, weighting 10.7kg and being nearly 75cm tall (being the largest newborn in history), he was ironically the “smallest” member of his family at 224 centimeters. A “heartthrob” of Albish society much like his older sister, Jr. was in his love-life very much his parents’ opposite, marrying three times and having various flings throughout the years. Outside of his love-life he was something of an thrill-seeker, which worked surprisingly well for his career as an archeologist​

Much like her husband, Anna was rather long-lived for the standard[14], outliving Martin by nearly a decade. She died rather suddenly of heart failure in her sleep on August 7th, 1928, one day after her 82nd birthday.

[1] unlike OTL, where she probably suffered from some form of gigantism (in my opinion)
[2] generally speaking, non-pathological giants (also called “true” or “natural” giants) are, unlike those suffering from pathological gigantism, stronger than average, due to the fact that taller bodies normally have a higher absolute strength compared to the average. Anna most certainly wasn’t the strongest woman in the world, but her fame and where she lived made her more likely to be called as such due to being the closest example people would have most of the time
[3] which involved her lifting the “vertically-impaired” monarch at her request; Vickie loved it, and that is considered the start of their friendship
[4] most famously Julia Pastrana, although Victoria had also previously offered a place to Angus MacAskill – another Canadian who was IOTL the tallest non-pathological giant in history, at 2.36 meters, and the strongest man who ever lived (according to the 1981 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records) – who respectfully declined, and was instead given an honour. MacAskill was a pretty cool dude IOTL, known for being both stupidly strong (he bailed 2-ton fishing boats by tipping them, and once lifted a 1,270kg anchor to chest height) and gentle and mild-mannered, and ITTL he lived a considerably longer life, dying from cancer at age 65 (nearly double what he lived IOTL)
[5] I couldn’t decide which position she would actually receive, so Anna is referred by the vague title of “attendant”
[6] an honorary title that exists IOTL, it serves so a person can be “knighted” in a sense but not lose their citizenship due to prohibitions on holding foreign titles.
[7] their personal connections making them manage to get a deal on the land that wasn’t “prohibitively expensive”
[8] the house when it was first built had such measurements on its main part, while the back part served as an annex built an average size for servants and guests; over the following generations expansions on the residence were mostly built following the main part’s sizes
[9] nowadays a two-story manor that sprawls around instead of upwards, expanded from the original house by the fortunes of Martin Jr’s sons and grandson, the Hall is marked by the fact that it is nearly entirely built out of wood, in a style that seems to mix those of the English countryside and the American Midwest
[10] a five-story building, built in a late-Victorian style, Anna and Martin rarely used the building, and their son later convinced them to just section it out into a series of small apartments to rent; only the loft was kept by the Bateses as a personal residence, where the museum is
[11] doing said farming mostly by himself, growing cattle and having a small farm with draught horses; the main reason why people didn’t comment much on it as scandalous came from the couple’s “disarming good-nature”, since it made them be held in high-regard by most people even when doing something outside of the expected
[12] in fact, after giving birth to their son, Anna and Martin agreed to have her undergo a hysterectomy to prevent any more pregnancies, since they already had “two children perfect in every respect” (quote take from Martin’s autobiography) and saw it as enough, and Anna had nearly died in her second pregnancy, making the couple afraid for what might happen in a future one
[13] the marriage came as a bit of a shock at the time since Crawford’s interest in men was an open secret, and many tough it was a marriage of convenience; in actuality the situation was a bit more complex (and would over time come to be partly understood by their contemporaries), involving Victoria herself being within the spectrum of what we would call “asexual” in modern times, and Crawford being sexually attracted to men but romantically to women
[14] in general terms, extremely tall individuals have the tendency of having a much shorter lifespan than the average, with most of the names on the lists of tallest people in history having died in their 20s, 30s, and 40s – something which hasn’t changed extremely even in modern times –, with the list of tallest people in history having very few individuals that reached their fifties or longer. Anna’s husband, Martin, is in actuality the one to live the longest, being the tallest known person to live to be at least 80 years old.
 
The Mississippi
The Mississippi River
Some interesting thigns involving it
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The Works of the Lower Mississippi
1672456300401.png

In the Darkest Blue is the main course of the Mississippi, running down the old Atchafalaya River, sometimes called the “New Course”
In Dark Blue is the Old Course of the Mississippi, also called the Plaquemines River
In Lighter Blue are the *main* tributaries and distributaries of the Mississippi
In the Lightest Blue are other *major* rivers
In Red are the Great Raft Locks along the Red River
In Yellow is the Bah’hatteno Dam
In Orange are the Dunes of Louisiana
In Lime is the Morganza Way
In Purple are the Northern and Southern Channels of the Big Easy

The Mississippi River, besides being the second longest-river in North America (possessing its second-largest watershed) and the heart and spine of the USSA, is known for the many massive works of infrastructure present across the river and its tributaries, most of them built over the past century or so. Of those various projects, probably the most famous are those found on the lower reaches of the Mississippi, along the River Delta on the Gulf of the Mexico and the Red River.

The first of those are the Great Raft Locks, built during the 1870s by the US Army Engineering Corps. Although the corps originally planned on getting rid entirely of the Great Raft, the millennia-old jam of logs along the Red Rivers, setbacks one after the other and continuous problems and hurdles resulted on the defunct Corps, in something unheard of for their kind[1], deciding to just give-up on actually clearing the raft, and instead build a series of locks going around the Raft to permit navigation along the Red River.

Nowadays the Corps’ decision is generally considered to have been correct by most people, if for the simple fact that, if they had cleared the Great Raft (which is also a component of the mythology of the local Caddo people), the sheer drop in water levels above it would completely ruin the economy of many of the towns and cities around its shores as the lakes and waterways would become too shallow for navigation. This factor, in fact, has resulted on the building of various minor dams and dykes along the Great Raft Lakes, most noticeable the Bah’hatteno Dam[2], which helps sustain Caddo Lake at a suitable size, and through that maintains the water levels of the ports of Jefferson, Texas’ third largest city.

The second is the Morganza Way, built by Commissioner Elias LaBouff in 1931. Born from the uncertainty that came with the change of the Mississippi’s course in the infamous Floods of 1927, the Morganza is a large channel linking the Plaquemines to the New Course, built with the single function of giving the Baton Rouge Docks access to the main course of the Mississippi and through that the Sea.

Together with the Way, LaBouff also built the Big Easy, the waterways responsible for keeping the Ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans alive even as the Plaquemines became unnavigable by large ships. Starting with the Northern Channel at Lake Palourde, the Easy brings in much needed waterflow from the New Course to the Old, maintaining the course river down from it wide and deep enough for seafaring ships to come and go. This situation continues down to New Orleans, where the Southern Channel connects it to Lake Salvador, and from there the flow goes back, going through a series of widened tributaries and short canals until opening into the Atchafalaya, and from there into the Gulf of Mexico. Although most people only remember the Northern and Southern, and sometimes the various canals and reworked tributaries, most people forget the multitude of dams, dykes and flow-management systems placed along the Big Easy that serve to make the entire thing keep working, such as the Waterworks of Belle Chasse, which guarantee the flow won’t go the wrong way down the Old Course.

And the final one are the Dunes of Louisiana, the great legacy of Commissioner Huey Long. Built in response to the infamous Hurricane Rosamund of 1940, which devastated the Southern USSA, the Dunes: Marsh, Fourchon, Venice, Plaquemines and Chandeleur[3]; were primarily built as seawalls to protect the coastlines of the Mississippi River Delta against the tides of the Gulf, which had already started to erode parts of the “Old Delta” over the years, and against future storms and their surges. Designed by Dutch engineers in a similar manner to works on the Netherlands, even soon after the Dunes were completed in 1945 they started gaining a new function, serving as the stepping-stones for the land-reclamation and land-building developments that have marked Louisiana’s recent history.

[1] them being known for endeavoring to fight a never-ending war against Mother Nature
[2] originally called Ferry Lake Dam, it was renamed to Bah’hatteno in 1985, after the Caddo name for the Red River
[3] the name coming from the fact that the dune was built along the eponymous Chandeleur Islands

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The Evolution of the Mississippi River Delta
1672456403624.png

In Pink are mostly lands built by the Mississippi’s sediments
In Lime are lands mostly reclaimed through direct Human action
In Orange are the Dunes of Louisiana
In Darker Blue are Fresh bodies of water
In Lighter Blue are Brackish bodies of water
Much like most river deltas, the Mississippi’s has, over its long existence, changed dramatically many times, but almost none of those changes can be compared in magnitude to the ones that have occurred over the course of the two centuries or so; in great part due to addition of human action and intervention into the processes of the delta.

Although starting small, the first human actions with dramatic consequences to the river start all the way back to 1831, when inventor and steamboat captain Henry Miller Shreve cut a channel through the neck of Turnbull’s bend, a large curve along the river that connected the Mississippi to the Red River. Although made simply to shorten travel times, as the bend took several hours to travel by steamboat while progressing very little up the Mississippi, the canal had the unplanned consequence of gradually altering the course of the Mississippi over the decades, with the Atchafalaya gaining more and more of the its flow.

Around the same time, the original clearance of the Great Raft up the Red River was also happening, being led by the same Henry Miller Shreve as above and with a similar objective of easing navigation. Although the Raft reformed soon after the project’s completion in 1838 – as it hadn’t cleared the entirety of the behemoth of wood and silt, but simply opened a pathway through it in some parts – the way said reforming occurred (and the slightly smaller size of the jam) resulted on the effects of the clearance remaining; that is, an increased flow of water down the Red River, which only helped the increase of water flowing down the Atchafalaya.

Over then following decades of the 19th century this process of the Atchafalaya catching a greater flow of water only continued and increased, with the river’s channel being worn deeper and wider as waters from the Mississippi went more and more down it, with the Atchafalaya receiving about 30% of the Old Man River ‘s flow by the dawn of the 20th century.

As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, another factor in the development of the Delta came into play, flood control in the form of levees and canalization of waterways, or, to better specify it, the lack of said infrastructure. While in modern times we understand that to be a good thing[1], at the time the only reason why the Mississippi wasn’t canalized or filled with levees along its embankments was due to the simple factor of human shortsightedness. In the waning days of the 19th century, and during the 1900s, a main focus of the Americans was in defending the Lower Mississippi against naval and amphibious attacks, due to fears of a visit by the Royal Navy should Albion and the US come to war; because of that, many funds which would have originally been used in infrastructure projects such as flood management instead went into fortifications and forts, and much of the remaining money being diverted into the pockets of politicians.

This turn of events, although for a long while a major problem for the local population[2], would prove a boon a few decades later.

During the First War, things went mostly as it was during the previous decades, with few to none projects on the Lower Mississippi that weren’t military-oriented; and, after that, basically none at all as the Second Civil War raged in the region, in fact destroying parts of the local infrastructure at times.

This lack or destruction of infrastructure came to play in 1927, when the Great Flood came around. An event so dramatic and devastating that for a few months a third of Louisiana was a de-facto lake, the flood carved a canal deep and wide enough that it reorganized the Mississippi, deepening and widening the Atchafalaya enough for it to draw over half of the river’s flow and become its main branch. In the aftermath, a project to build the world’s longest system of levees around the river was planned, but lack of funding, coming from the fact that the USSA were still recovering from nearly 2 decades of constant war, resulted on it never coming to be.

Among its various immediate effects, the turning of the Atchafalaya into the New Course of the Mississippi resulted on the river bursting from its previous banks due to the increased volume of water flowing through it, drowning most of Old Brashear City[3] and flooding many of the small lakes shortly above the river’s mouth, combining them into a single, if at times narrow and extremely twisted, lake[4].

In the 1930s, the main developments in the region were the canals built under Commissioner LaBouff, which among other things resulted on Lake Santiago – one of the various estuary lakes of the region – turning from a body of brackish to fresh water, and both the start of a delta on the mouth of the Atchafalaya, as the alluvium started accumulating, and the early stages of erosion along the eastern side of the Delta, as the ground stopped being replenished by as much sediments.

The latter erosion came into play in the late 1930s and early 1940s, when Hurricane Rosamund came around and had its fun with Louisiana, washing away large chunks of the coastline, in special along the eastern parts of the Delta[5]. In the aftermath of the hurricane’s devastation, LaBouff’s successor, Commissioner Long, entered the last project of his career[6], the building of the Dunes of Louisiana.

Made in partnership with the Dutch, who provided the people necessary to design the Dunes – in the USSA’s last major project in cooperation with another country –, and funded by a mix of diverted government assets and donations[7], the dunes were at the time (and in part to this day) a marvel of modern engineering, an feat of human ingenuity and dedication. Built through seafloor dredging and the liberal adding of cement, stone, and steel, the Dunes are impressive not simply due to their size (which nonetheless is), but the simple fact that they weren’t made simply as a set of seawalls meant to break the waves of the Gulf, but instead were built to hold strong against storm surges just as terrible as Rosamund’s if not greater, and resist against erosion by the tides even with minimal human maintenance[8].

Over the following decades the Dunes did their job, holding back the sea and storms, but also served in a function that was unexpected to those who designed them: enhancing dramatically sedimentation by the Mississippi.

To make a complicated story simpler, over the nearly 80 years since the building of the Dunes they have served to catch most of the alluvium brought by the Mississippi even with leveed and canalized courses, blocking the stream of sediments coming out of them from shooting out into the Atlantic and forcing them to settle down either along the dunes or spread across the lagoons created by them. This has, by 2020, resulted on the dramatic expansion of the lands along the delta, in special on its eastern side[9], which has nearly doubled in area.

This build-up of land has also had unplanned consequences in relation to the bodies of water along the delta; as sediment accumulates and forms new ground, it not only diminishes the connection between the various lagoons, bays and estuaries of the area from the Ocean, but at times cuts-them off completely, as enough new land is formed to connect the dune to the mainland – which has happened to Marsh and Fourchon –. These facts have, over the years, resulted on quite a few parts of the delta becoming fresh-water lakes, with the past Terrebonne Bay being so since the 1970s, while Lake Pontchartrain lost its brackish or saline parts by 1983[10].

Besides the land grown with the advent of the dunes, there is also the delta formed on the Atchafalaya as well, who, due to the river’s remarkable lack of considerable levees, has seen a dramatic growth over the years, going from being de facto open water as late as the 1950s to solid ground.

Besides natural processes, some land has also been gained through the creation of polders, most noticeably the Balize Islands, the only part of the delta located outside the enclosure of the Dunes. Built over the 1970s and 1980s out of the Bird’s Foot Delta[11] and the Plaquemines Dune, the islands are a mix of man-made and natural, the difference between the two being often if they are below or at sea-level. Although originally planned for human settlement, the islands are mostly a bird sanctuary and natural park, with their only settlement being the eponymous village of La Balize[12] at the Passes[13].

In recent years, ironically, there has been an effort to focus the main stream of sediments down the Old Course and out through the strait between Venice and Plaquemines Dune, with the objective of promoting sedimentation in the area outside the Dunes’ enclosure[14]; this has been a complicated and at times contentious project, in part due to needing to balance controlling the flow of sediments with permitting the replenishing of the soil through the Mississippi’s floods.



[1] as the building of levees and the canalization of rivers forces the water to flow in a faster manner and not deposit any alluvium along its wetlands, resulting on any sediment brought with it being shot out into the ocean instead of deposition along the delta and replenishing it
[2] the periodic flooding of the river into its wetlands was a constant hassle and danger for the inhabitants of the Delta, damaging infrastructure and buildings across the region, it was only with the addition of flood control measurements and the introduction of “flood-resistant” buildings and infrastructure during the later 20th century that it became less so
[3] OTL Morgan City, much like IOTL it was named Tiger Island in the 1840s by John Calhoun, but by the time it was incorporated in 1860 it was named “Brashear City” after a local sugar-mill owner named Walter Brashear. Unlike OTL the city wasn’t renamed in tribute to Charles Morgan (who had dredged the Atchafalaya in 1876) and instead a reorganization of the St. Mary and St. Martin parishes resulted on the city becoming the center of the newly established Morgan Parish
[4] the shape of the lake even makes its sections be sometimes considered separate lakes, mostly named after the individual bodies of water they were before, such as Lake Fausse Pointe, Lake Palourde, and Lake Verret
[5] Rosamund, in a basic sense, made the Louisiana coastline look in TTL 1940 look like it was in OTL 2001
[6] Commissioner Long died in 1947 from a burst appendix
[7] donations from both within the USSA and outside it, both through foreign relief and private individuals (including many American exiles), accounted for over a third of the project’s total funding
[8] the Dunes were built to be sturdy, with foundations reinforced by concrete and metal, and wide, with a gradual slope that rises until being meters above the water in the side facing the Gulf (ending in a much steeper incline reinforced by rocks and metal); to combat erosion by the sea, the Dunes were in actuality more like islands from the beginning, being seeded with often deep/wide-rooted and sturdy vegetation to help hold the soil together (this is most seen in the Chandeleur Dune, since its location resulted on parts of it not being as reinforced as others, the solution decided by the engineers was covering large chunks of the dune’s sea-facing side in mangroves, resulting in a tangled mangrove forest similar to those found in Brazil)
[9] as somewhat mentioned in the text, over the years, additional works and reforms to the Big Easy were made specifically so that a good chunk of the sediments flowing down the Mississippi would discharge into the Dunes’ lagoons, and in special Chandeleur due to its size
[10] an interesting case is the old Vermillion Bay, which was first isolated from the sea by the transformation of Marsh Island into a peninsula and then was made into a fresh-water reservoir in 1964 when a dyke was built closing its remaining opening
[11] although somewhat insanely the Plaquemines’ flow still ends on it, the Bird’s Foot Delta became physically an island in the 1950s
[12] also called Pilotsville, La Balize was originally a French fort built in the late 17th or early 18th century, and was rebuilt after being destroyed by storms or hurricanes some four times over the centuries
[13] an alternative name for the Birds Foot Delta, referring to its various channels, it is used here in reference to the fact that La Balize has been rebuilt in various locations along the Delta over the years, most recently just above the “Head of the Passes” the delta’s junction
[14] the project started due to fears of what would happen if the sediments continuously deposited themselves on Chandeleur Lagoon and the other lakes and lagoons created by the Dunes, which would silt them up until they became dry land, ruining many of the waterside communities that exist along their shores

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The Range of the American Hippopotamus

The range of the American Lake Cow is, much like that of the African cousins, comprised by a large area of their home continent, extending across the Southern USSA and along the Mississippi River, and with confirmed sightings of the species even far outside of that[1]. Even more impressively, this entire expansion has occurred over only the course of a little over a century, with the first hippopotamus being brought to North America only in 1891.

A large and domineering animal, the Lake Cow is known for existing in a complicated but surprisingly sustainable relationship with its environment, in great part due to the checks placed on it by said environment, in the form of food and predation.

The former comes in the form of the water hyacinth (in special in its original environment), as the species has luckily followed with the original human plan and gorges itself upon the invasive species; and in that both contains the expansion of a pest and, more importantly, does not encroach into the niches of other local herbivores to the point of outcompeting them.

And the latter comes in the form of predation, as while in Africa most large carnivores shy away from adult hippos, who de facto lack natural predators, in North America de species seems to have almost the opposite relationship, as the main native predators of their environment seem lack the fear of anything and anyone, in special along the eastern reaches of their range. Because of that, the sheer numbers of the Wacco are held back by their many “enemies”, most noticeably the Florida Wolf, the Gator, who in Florida in special seems to go out of its way to hunt for adult hippos, the Floridian Short-Faced Bears[2], who already often hunt for animals twice their own size, Bull Sharks, who often swim on fresh and brackish environments where the Wacco can be found, and Humans.

The last one of those comes in the form of hunting, as the many eras of famine and harsh times that befell the Southern USSA have resulted on hunting on Lake Cows for subsistence being a common feature of the region’s countryside, with human predation being estimated to kill about the same quantity of individuals as their four most common predators combined. In some parts of the region, Wacco meat has actually become a feature of local traditional cuisine, a famous case of it being on Caddo Country[3] in Eastern Texas.

1672456515350.png

Map Legends
In Dark Blue is the area where the Lake Cows were first brought in to Louisiana
In Blue is their Main Range, areas where the presence of Lake Cows is considerable
In Light Blue is their Expanded Range, areas where Lake Cow herds are present but they aren’t numerous
In Greyish-Blue are USSA states with known Lake Cow sightings/attacks
In extremely Light Blue is the range of the Woolly Hippo, the wild offshoot of the Lake Cow
In Light Greyish-Blue is *areas* outside the USSA with known Lake Cow sightings/attacks
In Grey is the capital territory of the USSA, where wild Lake Cows are prohibited​

[1] with, even without counting the Domesticated Hippo, wild american hippopotamus being sighted as far as in Western California, meaning that at least one member of the species managed to cross, by itself, not only the Great Plains but go across the Rockies and the Sonora Desert
[2] normally the more carnivorous Tremarctos floridanus , also called the Floridian Spectacled Bear
[3] centered around Caddo County, the region ITTL saw the local native inhabitants (which had come in the 1830s after a treaty with the US) never forced to relocate to Oklahoma due to a highly improbable treaty managing be kept by the Americans, which saw their territory converted into a county and its inhabitants losing their theoretical sovereignty and independence in exchange for keeping their land as US citizens (this also involved them having a radically changed ITTL relationship with white settlers) – although called Caddo County (or Caddo Country), the native peoples that formed it included both two tribes of the Caddo, the Hasinai and the Kadohadacho, and remnants of allied Delaware (Lenape) and Yowani
 
  1. Are there any equivalents to the series The Crown ITTL?
  2. Was Wilhelmina able to see the birth of the current Queen of the Netherlands before her death in 1969?
  3. Is the current Prince of Liechtenstein a descendent of Johann II or his brother Franz I?
  4. Are any of the monarchies that were established in the end of WW2 still ruled by their inaugural monarch?
  5. Who is the longest-reigning Oregonian constituent monarch that is living?
  6. How did Dahomey get a Braganza on their throne?
  7. What’s the oldest Russian Zemlye?
  8. Why did Queen Augusta acted as regent for her husband Alexander VI in the latter half of his reign?
 
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Are there any equivalents to the series The Crown ITTL?
Yes, both in Albion and outside of it.

In Albion there isn’t one that is a 100% equivalent, but there is a series literally named “The Crown” that is more of an overarching story about the Albish Imperial Family since the times of Victoria (it started in 2015 and is by 2020 in the Interwar Period); there is also one that is in a way the most complete equivalent, a series about Elizabeth II of the Straits that, ironically enough, uses many of the ITTL counterparts of the series’ actors.

However, the one I’d say is the closest spiritual equivalent is a Mexican telenovela “El Reino” (or “The Reign”) about Empress Maria Antonia, although it diverges from The Crown by being partly state-sponsored and, in fact, having the Empress herself make a cameo
Was Wilhelmina able to see the birth of the current Queen of the Netherlands before her death in 1969?
Yes, the current Queen, Emma, was born in 1965
Is the current Prince of Liechtenstein a descendent of Johann II or his brother Franz I?
Yes, from Franz I specifically

ITTL Franz I met his OTL wife, Elisabeth von Gutmann, in 1911 at an event gathering relief funds for soldiers, and soon they entered a relationship (much like IOTL she was at the time a widow, her first husband having died in 1908), which continued with her as his paramour only until 1914, when Franz, unlike OTL, went against his brother’s wishes and married Elisabeth.

This earlier marriage resulted in, together with some butterflies, the couple having a son, Johann, in 1915, who, since the House of Liechtenstein didn’t practice morganatic marriages to the same levels as most European royal houses*, succeeded his father as Prince of Liechtenstein when Franz died in 1938.

In current times the Princes of Liechtenstein continue to be Johann II’s descendants, if not by the male line now.

*while there have been IOTL cases of the Liechtensteins entering morganatic marriages, the last case being in 1966, they seem to have considered it as only occurring if the partner was outright a commoner and not simply of a lower rank of nobility; examples of how that worked include:
- Elisabeth von Gutmann herself, who although being a convert from Judaism, and who only entered the ranks of Austrian nobility when her father was knighted in 1878, was still officially recognized as Princess consort of Liechtenstein
- and Marie Fox, who was not only the daughter of an English baron but also was adopted, and whose children with a prince of the De Paula branch of the family were all considered dynastic
Are any of the monarchies that were established in the end of WW2 still ruled by their inaugural monarch?
No, but that is only because the two remaining still-living inaugural monarchs abdicated long before 2020
Who is the longest-reigning Oregonian constituent monarch that is living?
That would be the Grand Duchess of Josephine, Virginia II Simmons, who, as of 31st December 2020, has reigned for 48 years and 116 days, starting her tenure with her aunt’s death in a car accident in 1972
How did Dahomey get a Braganza on their throne?
A mix of colonialism and happenstance, mainly.

ITTL Dahomey ended-up as a *confederation* of protectorates of Portugal, with the Kingdom of Dahomey proper serving as the core territory, being ruled by a mix between a Portuguese governor with the Ahosu and the Annual Customs of Dahomey. (how this came to be comes down to various factors, including Porto Novo becoming a Portuguese protectorate instead of a French one and events vaguely similar to 2022’s “The Woman King” happening in Dahomey)

In the early-to-mid 20th century, said Governor (officially the Ambassador-Superintendent to the Court of Abomey) was a grandson of one of Maria II’s younger sons, HHE Dom Carlos Antônio, who at the time of his arrival to Dahomey was unmarried.

A pretty charismatic individual, if not the most competent (his greatest talent being in delegation), Dom Carlos ended-up hitting it off terrifically with the then Ahosu, King Aidodakpo, and his court, and, a few years into his tenure as governor, ended-up marrying Princess Houekode, the king’s eldest daughter by his main wife.

Although at the time not an extremely big deal, this marriage came to importance a bit later on, when Aidodakpo died and was succeeded by Houekode’s twin brother, who took the regnal name of Agoli-Agbo.

This is because Agoli-Agbo himself died soon after (probably of typhoid fever) and threw the country into something of a succession crisis, as his eldest son and child was 9 and there were many members of the royal family coming out of the woodwork and vying for the throne (since Dahomey didn’t practice a strict system of primogeniture). Because of said crisis, Dahomey entered interregnum, during which Dom Carlos and Houekode (who herself held one of the two highest offices of the royal family) served as de facto regents.

The interregnum finally ended only 16 months later, with Houekode herself ascending to the throne; it wasn’t an undisputed decision, though, and involved both a great deal of plotting and assassinations and compromises to come to fruition, with the office of king actually being divided into two in practice, with Houekode taking the hard powers while many of the religious and spiritual aspects of the office passed on to Agoli-Agbo’s eldest son
What’s the oldest Russian Zemlye?
Officially, the oldest one is Estonia, who was created as an autonomous state in 1928 by Ivan VII following the Second Estonian Rising; technically, however, a great number of Russia’s Zemlye are far older than it, having originally been warlord states that later were readmitted into the country.

If we count said preexisting states, then the oldest of the Zemlye overall is the State of Kuban, which was a breakaway state of the Russian Empire directly, having been founded by the Kuban Rada in the last days of Russia’s participation in the First World War when the Russian Empire started to crumble
Why did Queen Augusta acted as regent for her husband Alexander VI in the latter half of his reign?
Mainly because the Cypriot monarchs have a history of crippling health problems and Alexander IV was particularly unlucky in that area.

Already suffering from frequent health scares that resulted on his wife helping here and there, in 1966 he suffered a debilitating stroke from stress (he was never expected to inherit and as such sort-of learnt to do be a king on the fly) that convinced Augusta to “convince”/strongarm her husband into leaving things to her and just relax (in what could be considered a silent coup but was more akin to him de facto retiring)

This decision was probably the main reason why Alexander IV managed to live another decade afterward, and probably would have meant he would’ve lived even longer hadn’t he stumbled on a rug and fallen in just the worst spot possible (he didn’t die immediately but became tetraplegic, and died later that same year from undisclosed reasons, theories range from a secret assisted suicide to Augusta secretly murdering him before he could commit said assisted suicide - it is a popular belief, considered an open secret by some, that he didn't die of "strictly natural" causes)
 
  1. Did Haakon VII live long enough to see the birth of the current reigning monarch of Norway?
  2. Who's the longest-reigning Oregonian constituent monarch of all time?
  3. Who's the youngest living constituent monarch in Australia?
  4. Is Karl Anselm II of Thurn und Taxis a descendent of Maximilian Maria or his brother Albert?
  5. Have any Sovereigns of Adakale abdicated their throne?
  6. Are there any German subnational monarchs that lived to be centenarians?
  7. Have any Greek royals participated in the Olympics?
  8. Was Manuel III of Kongo alive to see the ascension of the current Kongese monarch?
 
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Did Haakon VII live long enough to see the birth of the current reigning monarch of Norway?
Yes, the current Norwegian monarch was his grandson, born in 1950; Haakon was also alive to see the birth of said grandson’s own heir, who was born in 1969
Who's the longest-reigning Oregonian constituent monarch of all time?
That would be Michael II Moshitsugu Tokugawa, the 4th Duke of Sunpu, who reigned from 1918, when he ascended to the position at the age of 13, following his father’s death in the War, until dying on a freak accident with a swordfish in 1976, ruling for 57 years and 302 days
Who's the youngest living constituent monarch in Australia?
Currently that title goes to the 8th Prince of Hutt River, Graeme III, who is a 15-year-old
Is Karl Anselm II of Thurn und Taxis a descendent of Maximilian Maria or his brother Albert?
He’s descended from Albert. Although ITTL Maximilian Maria lived for a bit longer (dying in 1889 instead of ‘85), he still died unmarried and childless and was succeeded by his brother
Have any Sovereigns of Adakale abdicated their throne?
Ironically enough (in my opinion) yes, in specific, Murad VI abdicated to his son, Mustafa V; in 1992 he suffered a debilitating stroke that incapacitated him of doing many of his duties, because of it he was basically under a partial regency until 1995, when he decided to just “cut the middleman” and abdicate so Mustafa could assume the position he had already de facto been occupying. Murad’s actually still alive in 2020, outliving his own son, who died in an airplane crash in 2013, but has mostly stepped away from public functions outside of the occasional diplomatic visit
Are there any German subnational monarchs that lived to be centenarians?
Yes, although only 2 (there have been many who almost managed to reach it); one is the previous Prince of Fürstenberg, Joseph VII Enrich, who was born in 1911 and died at almost 106 in 2017 (he inherited the principality in 1999, being the great-granduncle of his predecessor, due to it still practicing salic law), and the other is the current Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, Friedrich IX Erwig, who was born in 1918 (in a weird coincidence, he ascended when his grandnephew, Philip II, abdicated a few days into his reign due to not wanting the position at all; and ironically enough, he later ended-up marrying Friedrich’s daughter, who is also set to become Landgravine Brunhilde II)
Have any Greek royals participated in the Olympics?
Very much yes, in fact, some even joke it has become a family tradition, starting with the future Alexios VI/I, who not only competed but won gold (at single sculls in rowing) in the 1960 Summer Olympics*, as about half of all summer games that have happened since (and a couple of winter games as well) have had at least one Hellenic royal among its’ attendees. As of 2020, all of Alexios’ 5 children, 4 of his grandchildren, and 2 of his in-laws have competed, as well as 6 other cousins
Was Manuel III of Kongo alive to see the ascension of the current Kongese monarch?
Yes actually! The current Manikongo ascended to the throne on June 20th, 1999, almost 3 years before Manuel’s death in 2002, and their coronation actually saw the retired king being in attendance
 
Sverdrup and the Hudson, the Canadian Principalities
SVERDRUP
Officially the Principality of Sverdrup
Capital in the Fort of Isachsen, the principality’s largest city, with a population of 10.5 thousand inhabitants
The principality has Sverdren and Tuniit as its’ official languages, together with the overarching English
The principality’ has a total population of approximately 56 thousand inhabitants, with three thirds of it living on its’ three main settlements
Out of its’ population, the principality’s largest ethnic group is that of Sverdrenics, which make an overwhelming majority at around 86%, while the largest minority is the Tuniit People, who comprises around 10% of the principality’s population
Religiously Sverdrup is a quite complicated situation, with its’ Sverdrenic population being almost evenly divided between the Norse Catholic Church and the Church of the Arctic, while the largest group after them is the local branch of the Anglican Church of Canada
In its’ government, Sverdrup is a parliamentary monarchy, with its’ monarch holding almost only ceremonial powers and functions while the principality’s day-to-day running is headed by a yearly-elected Chief Magistrate, and also has some aspects of a direct democracy, with its’ local legislature working akin to a mixture of a congress and a city council; as a territorial principality, it also possesses as Lord Deputy, which although officially tied to its’ executive solely serves as a liaison between Winnipeg and the local government
Officially, the principality was founded on 26 July 1864, when the then Colony of the Far Western Settlements declared independence of the Danish Crown, reforming as an independent principality who, on the 4th of December of that same year, was recognized as an amical protectorate of the British/Albish Empire
on 30 December 1944, it officially entered Canada as its’ second princely/autonomous state
As a member of Canada, the principality has the Pound Sterling as its’ official currency, although the rigsdaler, mark and skilling have remained as currency units

The Princes of Sverdrup
officially of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sverdrup-Windsor since 1933​
July 29th, 1864, to November 20th, 1926 – ALEXANDRA (1844-1926) – better known as Alexandra of Denmark, or as Empress Alexandra as the consort of Arthur of Albion, she was declared the Princess of Sverdrup three days after its’ declaration of independence directly as a way of safeguarding it; she visited the principality thrice during her reign
November 20th, 1926, to September 5th, 1978 – ALEXANDRA II (1889-1978) – born the Lady Moira Alexandra Caroline Adelaide Godolphin Osborne, she was a granddaughter of the above, the eldest daughter of Princess Margaret, the Princess Royal, with George Godolphin Osborne, the 10th duke of Leeds, and was officially chosen as her successor on the 8th of May 1924, 5 months after her marriage to Fridtjof Engelschyn, himself the grandson of one Sverdrup’s founding fathers
September 5th, 1978, to December 14th, 2015 – OTTO (1929-2015) – the son and only child of the above
December 14th, 2015, to present day – HANS ANDREW (1966) – second son of the above
-----------------------------
HUDSON

Officially the United Principality* of the Hudson Bay, although also known as the United Principality of the Bælcherøerne or as the Principality of Sanikiluaq (and Arviliit)
Capital in the City of Sangvig, which is also the principality’s largest city, at 16.2 thousand inhabitants
The principality has Sanikiluarmiut and Bælcher as its’ official languages, together with Hudsonian French and the overarching English, and recognizes Innetallinger Dutch as a protected language
The principality has a total population of around 258 thousand inhabitants
Out of its’ population, the principality’s largest ethnic groups are the Sanikiluar (also known as Bælsken) and Bælcher, who together form a little less than 90% of the total population, with the largest minorities being the Innentaller, English, and Nunavimmiut
Religiously the principality is majority Lutheran, with the Church of the Hudson being both its’ national church and the oldest native protestant denomination in the Americas, with Anglicanism and the Mennonite Church of Innetallig forming its’ largest religious minorities
Officially, the principality is an executive semi-directorial and semi-federative monarchy, with its’ monarch holding the head of a “ruling council” made by themselves, the Chief Magistrate and Lord Deputy, the heads of the state’s administrative departments, and the principality’s 6 Chiefs Paramount*, whose counties have some slight level of internal autonomy
Officially, the principality was founded on 3 May 1845, when it was recognized as a state (and immediately as a protectorate), of the British Crown – being officially known as the Protectorate of the Belcher and Ottawa Islands until 31 October 1893, when it became a member of Canada –, but had already existed in a semi-official manner since 1788, when Aslak Ataneq united the Belcher Islands

*in both Sanikiluarmiut and Bælcher, the title of the “Chiefs Paramount” more closely translates to “prince” or even “king”, something which correlates to the fact that the actual title of the principality’s ruler is “High Prince”, itself a compromise established when plans for the state’s entrance into Canada were formed (as until then its’ rulers were more commonly called “Kings of the Hudson Bay”, and even today it is occasionally used in colloquial speech)
-----------------------------------
The High Princes of the Hudson Bay
officially of the House of Paniknagojut​
May 3rd, 1845, to July 22nd, 1853 – ASLAK III AITUSERK (1798-1853) – in actuality the principality’s 5th ruler, first to be recognized by the British
July 22nd, 1853, to November 10th, 1880 – YNGVE I UNALAQ (1824-1880) – nephew of the above
November 10th, 1880, to March 21st, 1898 – MALIK II ATHILS (1840-1898) – son of the above
March 21st, 1898, to April 8th, 1932 – ASLAK IV ULVKIL (1863-1932) – son of the above
April 8th, 1932, to August 4th, 1960 – ARNGUNN KATTITUYOK (1887-1960) – daughter of the above
August 4th, 1960, to February 28th, 1966 – KESUK TORLEIF (1908-1966) – son of the above
February 28th, 1966, to December 15th, 2003 – YNGVE II TAKUBVIK (1930-2003) – son of the above
December 15th, 2003, to the present – TONRAR ELDGRIM (1953) – son of the above
 
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  1. What happned to Victor Emmanuel III of Italy after the end of WW1?
  2. How did a branch of the House of Bourbon become the rulers of an independent Île d’Yeu?
  3. Did Astrid of the Netherlands had another husband considering that she is older than Christian XI of the North?
  4. Were any other German monarchs forced to abdicate after the end of the War of 1866 besides Georg V of Hanover?
  5. Was Fernando I of El Salvador alive when WW2 started?
  6. How different is the Cilician branch of the House of Said compared to their Middle Eastern cousins?
 
What happned to Victor Emmanuel III of Italy after the end of WW1?
ironically enough he actually kept his throne, due in great part to his popularity and the fact that, as a mostly figurehead monarch by then, he managed to pretty heavily throw his Prime Minister under the bus. He ruled until 1934, when he was poisoned
How did a branch of the House of Bourbon become the rulers of an independent Île d’Yeu?
through a mix of secret identities, a clockwork-timed uprising, and bastardry.
Basically, the branch of the Bourbons of the île d'Yeu starts with Robert de Bourbon-Busset (1915-1946), the third son of François-Louis de Bourbon, 13th Count of Busset, head of a non-dynastic branch of the House of Bourbon descended from the Dukes of Bourbon;
a bit of a black-sheep of the family, Robert ended-up eloping with an illegitimate daughter Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans (a son of Prince Emmanuel of Orléans, Duke of Vendôme), Evangeline (1920-1953) in 1938, when she was 18 and him 23; following which they moved to L'Île d'Yeu, where her mother lived. Due to the way it happened, the marriage wasn't recognized by the wider family, although the reason why the branch is placed on the "illegitimates" is actually because it is commonly seen as tracing its' connection to the Bourbons through Evangeline's being the bastard of an Orleanist Prince than through Robert's legitimate but distant and non-dynastic lineage
After Robert died in 1946, in a sailing accident, the family, now comprised of Evangeline and their two children, Louis (b.1939) and Marie (b.1943), continued living in the island, where her uncle, one Michel Houdin, actually ended-up serving as Mayor from 1948 to 1954.
then, during the War, the island ended-up being placed under military administration by the Militant government, and, after "one-too-many annoyances" on his great uncle's part, the commander of the local garrison had the Houdins killed in 1955, in what was staged to look like a house fire. included on those meant to be killed was Evangeline and her kids, but while mother and daughter were killed, the son, Louis, was camping with a friend and as such wasn't present, with a mix of incompetence and mixing-up faces causing him to be believed dead.
Following that, Louis engaged on a years-long plot worthy of a Tarantino movie, murdering a newcoming official May of 1955 and taking his identity (as besides a difference in hair-color the two were eerily similar in looks, said color beign resolved by Louis bleaching his hair) and then making his way up the local garrison over the following couple of years, during which he and his friends engineered and commanded a local resistance cell (a literal massacre of the local adult population by the military in 1956 considerably helped them in gaining support), entering a bit of a game of cat and mouse with the local command.
finally, in January of 1958 he commanded a full-on uprising across the island, massacring the local garisson and personally murdering its' command, with an incredibly good timing, as less than a week later they were forced to fend off a counterattack and, at the same time that happened, Axis forces came to the island. The subsequent battle saw Louis being de facto made the leader of the local forces by the Axis, while him and the resistance cell continued to administer it for the remainder of the war.
Following the war's end, Louis was officially made the administrator of the island, which came to be at the border between the Albish and Brazilian occupation zones, and for the occupation's duration he pretty heavily favored a local identity separate from the mainland. Because of this, when the occupation ended, the Albish and Brazilians couldn't agree if the island would be a part of Brittany or Aquitaine, so ended-up putting it to a vote, where, due to Louis' championing of the idea, the population overwhelmingly voted against being tied to either of them. Following that, and much cajolling and talking, in the end Louis ended-up convincing the two powers to have île-d'Yeu be an independent state of its' own, in specific a republic under a direct democracy led by a single Magistrate (Louis) whose powers are a mix between chairman of a town council and a mayor.

Why such state is marked as being under the rule of Louis' branch if it is a republic is that Louis had a rather De Gaule-ish career after the war, as when he thought about stepping down the island made a vote to force him to be Magistrate for life; and, after him, his own son, Emilie, was chosen to the office. Following Emilie, his son was also chosen to the position, and was later succeded by his son and daughter, who are the island's current "rulers"
Did Astrid of the Netherlands had another husband considering that she is older than Christian XI of the North?
no, much like her older sister, Astrid also married considerably later than would have been seen as normal for her, and was actually expected by many to be on her way to "spinsterhood", and was perceived by even more as being a spinster by the time she married, being 39 when she gave birth to Margrethe III
she did have a number of lovers over the years (between 8 and 15 by most counts), however, and her marriage was actually quite the scandal when it happened in 1945, as not only she was 37 while her husband-to-be was 23, but she also had 2 illegitimate children (both of whom were teenagers already); this without counting the way the two of them met, as they did so at a baccanal, having been set-up by their respective lovers, who were twins
in fact, the only reason why Margrethe and Magnus permitted their son's marriage was that Christian threatened to abdicate
Were any other German monarchs forced to abdicate after the end of the War of 1866 besides Georg V of Hanover?
yes. I could say that in general rulers of states that IOTL would have been annexed by Prussia were forced to abdicate, but its' rather more complicated, as while some cases of that occured, there were also some that were forced to abdicate in what was basically secret coups within their own governments and houses, due to their antagonism towards Prussia in general being seen by their relatives-and-or-ministers as being actively detrimental to their state's chances of surviving in the long run; the german monarchs who forced to abdicate in 1866 were:
- Bernhard II (1800-1882), Duke of Saxe-Meiningen; which is actually true to OTL, where he resigned in September 20th, 1866, after Prussian troops entered Meiningen in the 19th due to his sheer reluctance to join the North German Confederation
- Ferdinand II Ernst (1800-1870), Prince of Rietberg; was convinced to abdicate by his family
- Joseph I (1813-1895), Prince of Mansfeld; who was not only forced to abdicate but had his eldest son forced to do so as well, passing the throne to his months-old grandson, Joseph II, something which, admitedly, was reasonable on the Prussians' part, as Joseph was a prominent statesman in Austria
- Friedrich Wilhelm I (1802-1875), Prince-Elector of Hesse; who was less forced to abdicate and much more "deposed by his own children", as his refusal to negotiate with the Prussians and active antagonism towards them, IOTL, resulted on him being literally sent as a prisoner to Stettin; the popular theory of the time is that his sons drugged the old man, forged his signature on the abdication papers (or tricked him into signing them), and threw him into a coach to Stettin in the same night
- Julius I Wilhelm (1825-1890), Prince of Schluchtern; although simply the ruler of an autonomous section of Electoral Hesse, he was also forced to abdicate like his older brother
- Adolf (1817-1905), Duke of Nassau; who agreed to abdicate through the peace-deal with Prussia, passing the throne to his son Wilhelm, which, ironically enough, meant that when he became Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890, the grand duchy only entered a personal union with Nassau 15 years later
- Joseph Anselm I (1808-1874), Prince of Lichtenberg; "angrily neutral" in the conflict, refusing to accommodate either side of it due to being against the War of 1866 in general, he less "abdicated" and more "retired"

besides them, there are also two more "unique cases" that are related to these abdications:
- Friedrich (1807-1867) of Carosburg-Bermerlehe, even though his state was neutral in the conflict, was almost certainly murdered by his relatives to cover-up his involvement in a plot to spark a civil war to dismantle the North German Confederation
- Ludwig III of Hesse-and-by-Rhine was de facto deposed on Upper Hesse by his son, Ludwig IV, who was semi-officially called the "Grand Duke of Upper Hesse" in the North German Confederation until his ascension to the whole of the grand duchy

and there were also some ironies and coincidences
- Wolfgang Ernst III of Isenburg died only a bit more than a month after most of the rulers above were forced to abdicate, in the 29th of October; and a few decades earlier, in 1813, his own father was forced to abdicate as part of the agreement to keep Isenburg from being mediatized
- Günther Friedrich Carl II, of Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen, was an ally of Prussia in the War of 1866, but interestingly he both succeded his father and was in turn succeeded by his son through abdications (his father doing so unwillingly in 1835, and him doing it willingly in 1880)
- Friedrich VII Ludwig of Hesse-Homburg is another case of irony, as while his father was an Austrian general and his sister was fiercely Anti-Prussian (being regent of Reuss-Greiz and bringing it on the side of the Austrians), he kept neutral during the conflict, solely because, while favorable to Austria, he thought the Prussians would probably win and didn't want to risk his state by tying it to a dead horse; and then he died only two years later at 48
Was Fernando I of El Salvador alive when WW2 started?
no, he died a few years before in 1946, from a drawn-out battle with alzheimer
ironically enough, though, the monarchs at the war's start and until 1957 were named Fernando, as his son and successor was named Fernando II and, after he died in battle in 1955, he was succeded by his own son, Fernando III (who later died from battle injuries was succeeded by his younger brother, Henrique, who then reigned until his death in 2011)
How different is the Cilician branch of the House of Said compared to their Middle Eastern cousins?
The best way I could picture things is that, if the Arabian Busaids are the House of Brunswick, then the Cilicians are the House of Windsor; with the Cilician Busaids quite strongly integrating themselves into and absorbing traits from the local cultures.
Similarly to the IOTL Wied Princes of Albania, however, in regards to religion they have pretty strongly kept to their original faith, having remained as followers of the Ibadi branch of Islam (with, admitedly, some diversions and variations here and there), serving as a religiously-neutral party amidst the multiple christian and islamic denominations within Cilicia
Ironically, the were also the last of the branches of the Busaid Dynasty to have polygamy fall out of fashion, even though of the states under them theirs is the only one where polygamy is semi-officially illegal
 
  1. Did Nikola I of Montenegro die or abdicate?
  2. Was Margaret, Queen of Provence able to see the birth of the current Provençal monarch before her death?
  3. Did the Princes of Fürstenberg regained their principality?
  4. Is the acclamation of the Bahamian monarch similar to the one for the Seychellois monarch?
  5. How many new monarchs began their reigns in 2023?
 
Did Nikola I of Montenegro die or abdicate?
Man, the dynastic twists and turns of the Royal Family of Montenegro were the stuff of legends during the Balkan War; but, basically, around the middle of the war Nikola I of Montenegro (who ITTL assumed the title of King in 1905 instead of 1910), was killed by a stray bullet while laying siege to Scutari (something which he did IOTL as well), which caused a bit of a succession crisis.

This was due to the fact that the Crown Prince of Montenegro, Danilo, was also leading said siege (much like IOTL) while at home the country was de facto being run by his mother, Queen Milena, and his sister-in-law, Princess Auguste of Bavaria (granddaughter of Franz Joseph I, second daughter and child of Archduchess Gisela of Austria); why this was a problem was the fact that both Nicholas I and Danilo were fonder of Serbia and the idea of an unified Yugoslavia (her husband himself, Prince Mirko was also of that mind, and might have had his death in 1907 orchestrated by the Hapsburgs), as were other segments of the Montenegrin leadership, while Auguste was very much not, being extremely close to her grandparents and her aunt Valkyrie (which probably did cause some awkwardness, as one of Auguste’s sisters-in-law was married to Peter I of Serbia)

And so, with the help of her relatives, and having endeavored to build something of a power-base in the previous years, she did a coup against her brother-in-law, although it was only when she managed to convince her mother-in-law, who was the de facto Regent of Montenegro, to support her (Danilo’s capability to rule being what convinced the Queen Mother**), officially deposing King Danilo I of Montenegro while he was out of the country and placing her eldest son, then 8-year-old Nicholas, on the throne as Nikola II. In the aftermath of this all Danilo, while not murdered or anything, was forced to live in exile (so as to not give people any “ideas”), but with his lifestyle and spending supported by the Montenegrin royal coffers, a situation that continued until their exile was lifted in the early 1920s by Nikola II, who invited them back – which, to the surprise of many, did not end-up resulting in political struggles and treason/betrayal or attempted coups, in fact, the two of them were remarked as being quite close

Ironically enough, however, even though they did declare war on Serbia, and Auguste in particular was quite antagonistic towards the country, Montenegro was actually rather uninvolved in actively fighting them (although this was, admittedly, helped by the fact that from 1911 to 1915 the Balkans were more-or-less in a truce of sorts), mostly serving as a land connection between the UHE and Albania/Berat; this “interesting” situation only continued after Serbia’s defeat, as after the Karadjordjevićs escaped the country in 1917 the Montenegrin Royal Family de facto bankrolled them in the side-lines, and de facto funded their establishment of Paeonia during the Ottomans’ final collapse

*a side-note, but I wanted to mention it: ITTL the IRL wife of Prince Mirko of Montenegro, Natalija Konstantinovic, married one of Auguste’s brothers, Prince Konrad of Bavaria (also, interestingly, Natalija was herself a scion of the Serbian Obrenović dynasty, her grandmother being one Princess Anka Obrenović, the great-aunt of Alexander I of Serbia)

**I couldn’t find information on his IOTL suitability to government, but the fact that, IOTL, he renounced his leadership of the Montenegrin government-in-exile 4 days after assuming it, retracted it the following day, and then re-affirmed it the day after that, doesn’t really fill me with confident, so that’s the feeling on him ITTL
Was Margaret, Queen of Provence able to see the birth of the current Provençal monarch before her death?
Yes actually, although her living a rather long time, together with Provence’s monarchy being relatively young, probably did help with that; the current Provençal monarch, Charles III/I, is her great-grandson, and was born in 1983, some 13 years before she died at age 81
Did the Princes of Fürstenberg regained their principality?
Yes! ITTL the Congress of Versailles went just slightly different from how it did in real life, first with a number of the states created by/around-the-time of the Confederation of the Rhine being either spared or (in the case of those annexed by France later on) reinstated, while Baden had three states it “gobbled-up” reinstated.

- Breisgau, although, in his case, it admittedly is more of it being created more-or-less
- Furstenberg, although its’ borders were redrawn and comparatively reduced
- a tad ironically, the Prince of Furstenberg, like IOTL, married a princess from Baden only 3 years later​
- and Leiningen, who although restored with its’ original territory did so as an autonomous part of Baden
Is the acclamation of the Bahamian monarch similar to the one for the Seychellois monarch?
Very much yes, it in a sense actively served as inspiration to the Seychellois’ (the main difference is that, by comparison, the Acclamation of the Bahamian Monarch is a much less formal ceremony, being in general rather simple and not particularly long (in fact, the partying traditionally done afterwards is a much more memorable aspect, being akin to a mini Mardi Gras)
How many new monarchs began their reigns in 2023?
While I wouldn’t say there was a massive number of changes in 2023, the year actually had a number of incredibly notable ones, in particular relating to major powers (which I’m going to have to post soon), including:

- the Nizam of Hyderabad, following his father’s death in January
- the Nizam of Hyderabad, following his first cousin’s de facto deposition by the family’s council two weeks later
- the King of the Hellenes, following his father’s death in February
- the Ruler of (Guinea-)Bissau, following her father’s death in March
- the Emir of Abu Dhabi (and de facto leader of the UAE), following his father’s unexpected death in March
- this coming only a year after his father assumed the office
- and the Maharaja of Indore, following his grandmother’s death in April
- the King of Tahiti, following his investiture in April
- the Emperor of Russia, following his father’s abdication at 85 in May (following a debilitating stroke)
- the Tsar of Bulgaria, following his mother’s death in July
- the King of Rwanda, following his father’s abdication in July
- the Queen of Loango, following her uncle’s death in June
- the Mansa/Caliph of Mali, following his father’s death at 89 in August
- the Carib Queen of Arima, following her predecessor’s death and her election in September
- the King of Miskitia, following his father’s assassination in October in a failed coup d’etat
- the Sultan of Funj, following his father’s death in November
- the Queen/Sultana of Bukhara, following her father’s abdication in November
- the Khan of Kokand, following his father’s abdication in November
- the King of Portugal (etc.), following his father’s abdication in December
 
Agartha
Right, I know that this is a bit late but:

Where, and what is the Eternal State of Agartha? I was just rereading the TL when I noticed this. And apparently they still don't recognize that World War II has ended? Why is that? And who rules them? Maybe a bit of history? How and why were they established, and how did they last so long?
after a long, long delay, I'm finally posting this
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​
AGARTHA
Agartha, officially the Forever Standing Greater French Nation (Militant French[1]: Étexistant Plusgrande Nation Française[2]), also known as the Eternal State of Agartha (French: État Étern d’Agarthe) or by its original name of New Normandy (French: La Nouvelle Normandie), is a quasi-recognized[3] state in Antarctica located near the Ross Sea, on the Far West of the Doomsday Mountains[4] of The Byrdlands[5]. Often called either a rogue or rump state, Agartha officially declares itself as the direct continuation of Mórel’s Militant France, and does not officially recognized the end of the Second World War as well – being the only county in the world to do so –, although it has long-since held the polite fiction of it being under a decades long ceasefire.

A nominal unitary one-party state under a totalitarian dictatorship, headed by a President-General[6] in the name of Meneur[7] Morél – making it a titular necrocracy – de facto Agartha is a governmental chimera that has been called by political analysts a “direct dictatorship”, as its size and origins created a government mixing Militant France’s totalitarian basis with the systems of direct democracy and administrative councils of French local governments with the “Clubs” of the Militant Party[8].

Laying claim to a good part of the Byrdlands, and nominally to all of Militant’s Frances territorial claims and possessions, Agartha is de facto a landlocked[9] microstate with a total area of a few dozen square kilometers[10]. Although not directly connected to any other polity, the country is jokingly described as being the world’s only “borderless enclave”. Agartha has a small population, counting 2,385 inhabitants in 2017, who mostly live on the core made by the original “New Normandy Colonial Station”, now Moréllie, which is the largest settlement at over 800 people. Internally the country is divided into five sectors, called Departments, which correspond to the “settlements” existent within it.

Economically speaking, Agartha is not much different from an isolated small town or village, and in many aspects lacks a trade-based economy entirely. Within itself, the state provides many of the basics for survival, in a sense similarly to a military base or research station, and most inhabitants could be technically categorized as being government workers or contractors[11], there is also a level of barter trading amongst its inhabitants, often in the basis of exchanging services or manufactured products[12]. Foreign interactions are also complicated, as they either come from foreign relief[13] or in the form of tourism and research[14], the latter two are the only source of any form of foreign trade for Agartha, as the money they theoretically spend[15] is siphoned and saved by the Agarthan government, which uses it to fund a yearly “trading expedition” into the outside world[16]. The unique nature of the country’s economy has made some, ironically, identify it as being a kind of socialist state[17].

Tracing its’ origins to Militant France’s attempt to lay claim and colonize Antarctica in the mid-1940s, when it established the New Normandy Colonial Station in 1945 (after having laid claim to the Byrdlands in 1940) the state was de facto founded only a decade later, when its’ contact with the French Mainland was lost as the tides of the Second World War turned. Unlike what would probably be the norm for an Antarctic Station, however, it was since the begging meant to be a self-sufficient entity[18], and so its population, which at the time amounted to only a bit more than a hundred people, managed to survive more-or-less without problems, even if a period of so-called “Lean Times” did follow the disconnect.

At the time a quite secret project of the Militants, its’ existence was only known to the Axis after the end of the War, when it was found on a number of documents, but records of the colony’s self-sufficiency were somehow lost in the final weeks of Morél’s reign; because of this, it was believed by them that the attempted colony had almost certainly long-since died, and, in the eyes of the tired and recovering powers, trying to find its’ ruins[19] was a moot objective and left for later – which then became “when we remember to do so”.

It was then that the “Unknown Years” followed, the period between 1958 and 1999 when Agartha existed as an entirely isolated entity from the rest of the world, entirely unknown to most and believed dead to the few aware of its’ existence. During that time the state underwent many transformations, the many consequences of living so near the Poles becoming known[20] while a number of disasters nearly spelled its’ doom[21], while its’ population and size expanded, and while its’ leadership attempted to keep the “Militant Spirit” and its’ practices alive[22] and, at the same time, causing it to change and wear on people.

While necessity had already started to change things during the Unknown Years[23], it was only with the “Discovery of Agartha” in 1999 that the modern state came to be.

As the state expanded over time, and as more stations and bases were built by the rest of the world in Antarctica, accidental sightings of it and its’ inhabitants[24] started to trickle into the outside world, although for many years these were believed to simply be mirages, tall-tales, or superstitions; it was only in 1999 that these sightings were finally considered by the powers-that-be, resulting on the establishment a small, but well-funded, multinational expedition to look into them.

The Carpenter Expedition was officially launched in October of 1998, and, after months of transversing the Byrdlands, they ended-up coming into contact with a patrolling Agarthan, meeting in the 23rd of March, 1999; this first meeting wasn’t the best by any means, with the Agarthan, considerably frightened, attempting to shoot at them with an veritably ancient shotgun[25] but, luckily, missing, and ending-up being captured by the expedition and, quite swiftly, brough back to their base of operations.

The news of this event were astonishing to many, and caused worldwide reactions and, as many might expect, panic, as it seemed to be as if real-life was enacting a trashy horror movie of some kind, with people around the globe fearing what sorts of terrors or super-weapons this “Secret Militant Remnant” could unleash.

These fears lasted for only a few weeks, as that was about how long it took for the captured Agarthan, one Etienne Marcoux, to have his own fright lessen to the point where he was actually capable of being interviewed[26], revealing to the world the reality of Agartha. Some might (and did) call it “underwhelming”, but at the end of the day his interview did ease the minds of the world at large and revealed that Agartha was quite similar to an incredibly large-scale Antarctic Base.

It was shortly after the end of the Antarctic Night of 1999 that an actual contact with Agartha proper was made, which was probably the single-most dramatic event in the state’s history.

The reason behinds this comes from the aforementioned changes that had come upon Agartha and its’ inhabitants over time, as during the course of the Unknown Years a certain divide started to appear between its’ generations, with the younger inhabitants growing discontent and weary of the Militant “ideals” and “spirit” while the older inhabitants were much less so.

This proper contact, as such, basically came at almost the exact time needed, as over the Night of 1999[27] Agartha had de facto become divided between two factions, the “die-hards” of the original leadership, and the “reformists” who wanted to lessen the many restrictions and controls that absolutely ruled the state.

And so it was that the “threat” of the “Axis Returned” basically caused their power-struggle to reach its’ climax, as it motivated the “reformists” to basically go through with a coup d’etat against the old leaders, taking over Agartha just in time for the ships to reach it and, as such, being quite more palatable to interact in the outside world’s opinion. Although the fact that this was mostly a generational divide, and that it was in general quite bloodless, resulted on the various in-name-only rules and traits that Agartha still possesses, having been kept as basically a bundle of olive-branches to the non-reformists

[1] nowadays called “Agarthan” more, Militant French started as Morél’s own eccentric way of speaking (the man rather enjoyed creating, compounding, and contracting words), which gained traction as a show of party loyalty among the Militants and was later unsuccessfully promoted by the Militants as a replacement to Standard French; most of Agartha’s “original settlers” were party members themselves, and their complete isolation from the outside world served to promote it to evolve, with “modern” Militant French being at times rather separated (sometimes purposefully) from Morél’s own
[2] in Standard French “Grande Éternelle Nation Française”
[3] due to its almost theatrically-kept claim to being Militant France, Agartha is officially not recognized by any nation on Earth and probably won’t be unless that changes, but many countries de facto do so through trade and relief (there have been proposals to recognize Agartha as a separate entity from Militant France and keep some sort of polite fiction on the matter, but none has come to fruition as of 2020)
[4] counterpart to the Executive Committee Range of OTL but considered as extending farther west, ending in what IOTL are the Alexandra Mountains
[5] slightly larger counterpart of OTL’s Marie Byrd Land
[6] a gubernatorial title used in Militant France to refer to government-appointed administrators
[7] “Leader” in French
[8] basically local divisions of the Militant Party, served as centers for political discussion and decision-making
[9] technically, Agartha does have access to the sea, but the state’s lack of any naval capacities, and the fact that most of the year said access is frozen in ice and only accessible by submarine or ice-breaker, results on it being de facto so, and at times being even shown as landlocked on maps (depending on how they represent nigh permanent sea ice)
[10] the underground and often vertical manner through which Agartha expanded over the years resulted on the exact measurements being kind of iffy to calculate, but its above-ground surface area is of 29,5 square kilometers
[11] not surprisingly, basically all jobs within Agartha in some way or another trace back to its’ government, and were actively controlled by it for much of the state’s history (and technically still are, with even the few “family businesses” in the state being de facto owned by it); because of this, the only people who aren’t technically government workers are children and stay-at-home-parents
[12] also not surprisingly, money is pretty-much nonexistent within Agartha
[13] as the state’s small size, small population, and isolated location mean it lacks in many resources, even if food has historically not been one of them, as, for example, it de facto doesn’t produce any medication locally
[14] Agartha has proven to be a treasure-trove for researchers of many kinds
[15] “theoretically” in this case being used due to the fact that in most cases of research (and even some of tourism) they are being bankrolled by their governments or some form of institution, and basically have a tab on Agartha’s establishments and facilities
[16] it has also historically been an Agarthan sort-of-equivalent to the Amish Rumspringa
[17] something which shouldn’t be said to an Agarthan, they most likely are aware of it, but much like in regard to the Second World War being over, they still keep the polite fiction that they are fascists*
[18] it is uncertain why (although hypotheses abound), but from the very-beginning Morél was adamant that the colony was to be capable of growing and producing its’ own food, and even to find its’ own fuel, with the colony, by the time its was disconnected from the rest of the world, having more of its’ area made by greenhouses and fish farms/livestock pens than by inhabited areas
[19] similarly to the records mentioning the station’s self-sufficiency, the ones actually giving away its location were also lost during Morél’s last weeks
[20] although, admittedly, they were already becoming known even before Agartha’s disconnect to the outside world, with the effects of Winter-Over Syndrome being directly connected to why the stances of the state’s older and younger generations differed so greatly (notably, newer generations of Agarthans have shown to have a natural disposition to not suffer, or have less effects, from it)
[21] including an epidemic in 1964, which killed a quarter of Agartha’s population (beforehand of some 350 people) and an alarmingly-large number of times when Agartha or parts of it were nearly destroyed by people in the throes of Polar Madness
[22] most infamously the killing of “undesirable” children and individuals, which died with the changes of 1999
[23] primarily in the fact that the Militant championing of women’s functions being as mothers and housemakers was abandoned by the Agarthans as early as the 1960s, due to the death of a considerable part of their male population, which is also tied to the shift in the opinions and philosophies of its’ generations
[24] even before Agartha expanded outside of its’ original station, its’ leadership had already been sending periodic patrols through the ice and snow of the Byrdlands, primarily as scouts and lookouts as to any “incoming Axis attack”
[25] following their loss of contact with the outside world, one of the things Agartha lost access to was the manufacture of weapons of basically any kind, in part due to possessing a small to almost non-existent access to metal (with mining for it being difficult due to the environment) but also due to lacking the capacity to reach or even build the infrastructure needed for it, with the weapons present on the state in the ‘90s being either bladed/blunt weapons (and often times made of wood)
[26] for complicated reasons, over time the Axis had actively become something akin to horror monsters to many Agarthans, with Marcoux admitting that, at first, he had though that he was a prisoner of war and that they were going to torture him to death to reveal his secrets or something similar
[27] the Agarthan year is colloquially divided into 1 Night (lasting from 7 to 8 months in the middle of the year) and 2 Days (1 at the beginning and the other at the end of the year, continuing from or ending with the days of the previous or following year)

*this note and the sentence it connects to are absent from *Wikipedia* within Agartha no matter the language
 
Yeah, I've noticed that with a lot of older threads lately. I hope the admins find a fix because if not a lot of older content will be lost.
It's not an issue on ah.com's end, it's the result of a lot of people using Discord as an image host and Discord breaking external embeds.
 
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