(And now the Southern Five)
The current ruler of Maryland, having assumed the position after years as his Alzheimer-ridden father’s regent, Grand Duke Felix VII
’s has been, all around, a peaceful and relatively prosperous one, with the grand duchy seeing a rise in the HDI and a diminishment of wealth inequality (which has been a recurrent problem on it, born most of all due to the fact that it was the last major state in the empire to end serfdom in the 1920s, as the practice by that time was bore of a unofficial slavery) while the economy has seen a boon ever since Maryland became the center of American cinema. Although it has been a good reign, recent years have seen a rise in problems and unrest, as the Fifth Floridian Civil War (which the grand duke supports, as the current king is his grandnephew, altough all the kingdom’s neighbors have agreed to “politely stay out of it”) has caused a high number of refugees to cross the border into Maryland, which has caused tensions between the Catholic Floridians and the staunchly protestant population (which mostly follows the Gaelic Church, considered by many Catholics as being “basically pagan”), which threaten to cause the conflict to spill over to Maryland.
Married to Princess Primrose Marie of America, only sister to Emperor Percival, Felix’s family life and succession has been considered his main problem, as until 2008 the grand duchy had in place a Salic Law and while the grand duke had two sons, the eldest, Felix, renounced all his rights to the succession in 1991 after coming out as homosexual (he now lives in the Japanese Pacific with a harem of husbands), while the youngest, Thomas, died with his children in a plane crash in 2005; because of that, his current heir is his eldest daughter, Scarlett, whose position has been more than once questioned (or even challenged, by some now tongueless or conveniently deceased) by male relatives, some of whom say they should do like the Irish Kings of the past and elect among the agnatic stock. Because of that, some fear that there will be a civil war come the grand duke’s death (and he is now recovering from another stroke).
Ruling over one of the more fragmented states in the Empire, inheriting it after the death of his estranged father, Grand Prince Bracken II
’s rule has been considered, all in all, one of the most peaceful in Piedmont’s history (seeing as there wasn’t any major infighting among the branches of the Carteret Dynasty, which the rest of the empire traditionally turns the blind eye to), seeing a slow but visible try on branching the local economy outside of cotton, tobacco and the textile industry, with an direct investment by the grand prince on tourism and green energy (Bracken is an assumed and very vocal vegan and ambientalist), which have seen a lukewarm response by the populace.
Married thrice, Bracken’s main problem during his reign (and wedded life) has been, like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him, his family, as two centuries of constantly marrying close relatives (no male on the family’s main branches has married someone who wasn’t at least their third cousin since 1845) have dealt a serious blow on the dynasty’s gene pool and fertility; married firstly to his first cousin, Princess Octavia of Piedmont-Prunespring, he divorced her in early 2005 after almost a decade of miscarriages and stillbirths, and a year later married a more distantly related (his third cousin by his mother side), Princess Catherine of Piedmont-Sasparilla, a bride chosen by his father whom he divorced less than two months onto his reign. Currently, he is married to his third wife (and long-time mistress), Princess Eva Maria de Moctezuma (a cousin of the Mexican Monarch), with whom he has a pair of twin children, born in 2013 after the grand prince passed through a two-years-long fertility treatment.
The oldest and longest ruling Premier Lord of the empire (in fact, none of his colleagues were born before he ascended to his position), Prince Richard V
inherited his position from his father, Richard IV, at the age of 6, being under the chaotic regency of his relatives for almost a decade before forcibly taking over, and has ruled over the Banks ever since. A capable administrator, although he has long been working together with his Princely Assembly and Secretary, during his reign the Banks have seen many goods and bad times, as he has been ruling over them for over 70 years by now, and is currently, in a similar manner to its northernly neighbor, passing through a period of economical hardship, although in a slightly better shape than Tidewater.
Married in 1963 to Princess Louise Marie of Navarre (his own house was born when his grandmother, Princess Madeleine of the Banks, married Lucien of Monaco, a younger brother of its prince), with her he had 5 children (who inherited their mother’s frail complexion), but only one of them, Adelaide, managed to produce offspring, but due to her marriage to another Premier Lord all her rights to the succession where made null for herself and her daughter. Lacking a clear heir after the death of his eldest son in 2002 (he was childless and died of a possible suicide by overdose in 2002) in 2005 he married a second time to Princess Victoria of Maryland, with whom he has three healthy children, including a heir and spare.
Inheriting the duchy after her father’s death in a shark attack, Duchess Igraine
is the 8th duchess regnant of Cape Fear, and, in a surprising twist in comparison to her predecessors, has actually worked to better its economy, as while an old in the past wealthy territory, Cape Fear had the bad luck of having lavish dukes and duchesses who basically bankrupted the duchy (whose treasury is directly linked to the ducal house’s finances), meaning that Igraine inherited a poor territory and such a level of debt that she was for a time ranked 2 on “poorest royalty” (loosing only to a Swedish prince and an African petty king). Educated in finance and infamously stingy, Igraine took even more loans (mostly from close friends among the Premier Lords) to invest on Cape Fear’s economy, and although sometimes heavy handed, her actions seem to be working, as the economy is on a upswing and Cape Fear is one of the few territories on the American South to not see much effects of the current recession.
Married to a cousin of the King of the Floridas, Prince George, and with three children, Igraine’s personal life has not been well, as the Duke Consort was recently involved in a corruption scandal (and was kicked out by his wife) and has been discovered to have a total of 7 illegitimate children, besides that, the Prince of Berkeley has been diagnosed with a malign tumor on his back, and although a surgery has been planned to treat it, it will probably leave him paraplegic, while Princess Morgause is also passing through a surgical treatment for her severe scoliosis.
The current ruler of Tidewater (and the first woman to hold that position by her own right since the Albemarle Dynasty gained it over 300 years ago), Vicereine Margaret
’s rule over the viceroyalty has all around not been the most successful one, as while it was in a good era due to its position on one of the world’s largest natural harbors, with the naval industry and shipping providing a large amount of wealth to the state, the current recession has been especially hard, with businesses being closed and many seeing the loss of jobs and homes, the Vicereine’s own inexperience on rulership (caused mostly by her father’s absurd distrust of his children and relatives, seeing as Tidewater remains one of the states were its ruler has nigh absolute power) has also not helped the situation.
Married to the second son of the Vicereine of Delaware, who had to convert to Independent Catholicism (one of the most strange protestant faiths born out of Ireland, it has literally all the traits of Catholicism, but believes that the Pope is the devil trying to manipulate good Christian souls and that cardinals are witches colluding with him, it does not have a head, with all singular churches being ruled by their local priests) to do so, Margaret has a single daughter, Victoria, and has more than once declared she does not plan to have more children.