Link to original thread Look to the West A Timeline by Thomas W. Anderson, MSci, MA, BA (Cantab) VOLUME ONE: DIVERGE AND CONQUER Here lies Fred, Who was alive and is dead. If it had been his father, I would much rather; If it had been his brother, Still better than another; If it had been his sister, No one would have missed her; If it had been the whole generation, So much the better for the nation. But as it's only Fred, Who was alive and is dead, Why there's no more to be said! – Epigram of Prince Frederick Lewis of Wales (1707-1751), OTL Prologue: Across the Multiverse 18/04/2019. Temporary headquarters of TimeLine L Preliminary Exploration Team, location classified. Cpt. Christopher G. Nuttall, seconded from British SAS, commanding officer. Addressed to Director Stephen Rogers of the Thande Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom. The team has completed the preliminary one-month survey of the world that the Institute has designated 'TimeLine L'. We are, of course, aware that this report will be the primary basis for the International Oversight Committee's decision on whether TimeLine L is worth further exploration. As of now, sir, I must confess that my own opinions are still divided on this issue. Perhaps, as I and my team set down what we have learned, we will make our own decisions, just as you will. The information we have obtained from TimeLine L is primarily in the form of local history books, and we have tried to gain these from several different sources to avoid making mistakes based on national bias. We have also used those basic information gathering techniques from the contemporary populace as recommended by the Institute, without provoking undue suspicion. As you will know, sir, identifying the point at which another history diverged from our own - the so-called Point of Divergence - is often not so easy as the films would have us believe. Even chaos theory cannot be relied upon: individuals may be born after the PoD with different genes due to effects of random chance, but their names, temperaments and even destinies may still be identical to that of our history. A note on terminology. Our own world's history, also sometimes called "TimeLine A", shall in this report be contracted to 'Our TimeLine' or OTL for short, as is the Institute policy. Comparisons to OTL are inevitable as we study TimeLine L (henceforth abbreviated to TLL, or This TimeLine, TTL) but it is my opinion that they should not be taken too far. Let me use an example from the history of my own country. A Scot from a timeline where Scotland remained independent might well look upon the United Kingdom of OTL as being an English Empire in Scotland. But an Englishman from that history might be similarly appalled at the UK, because change always goes both ways. This is a paradigm which is all over TTL, as you will soon see. Enough beating about the bush. The jury is still out on the PoD, but Dr Lombardi has the strongest theory so far. It all begins in the year 1727, at an event that Dr Pylos insists on referring to as the Coronation of the Hun, when the axis of history began to spin the world towards a different fate altogether... Part #1: The Coronation of the Hun From "Nasty, Brutish, and Short - the Reign of King George II of the Kingdom of Great Britain". (1985, Northfire Press, Durham). On the eleventh of June, 1727, a man of sixty-seven years suffered a stroke and died. And, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the world would not have marked such an event. But when the man was the King of Great Britain, the King of Ireland and the Elector of Hanover (though he himself had claimed its unrecognised Kingship), things were different indeed. Three days after the death of King George I, the Privy Council convened to proclaim George's only son, also named George, as King George II. Many had looked forward to this event with some degree of dread. As it would later become well known among the English, the Hanoverians had a tradition of violent disagreements between father and son. While he had been Prince of Wales, George had done everything he could to undermine the rule and policies of his father. It was no secret that he wished to replace the popular and skilful Robert Walpole, first among the King's Ministers, with Sir Spencer Compton, a nonentity. This would be George's revenge for Walpole, a former supporter of his as Prince of Wales, having eventually joined one of his father's governments. In the event, and probably better for the sake of England, George was persuaded by his wife, Queen Caroline, that Walpole must stay. This guaranteed the rise of the Whig Party, to the extent that they would dominate Parliament for the forseeable future. It was no secret that George disliked England, with its meddling politicans interfering with the divine right of Kings, and always considered himself a Hanoverian and a European first. This was an advantage in some ways for Walpole, as it let him draw more of the King's powers to himself and Parliament - thus becoming the first true Prime Minister - but also alarmed him, for Walpole intended to keep the Kingdom out of damaging European wars, and George felt quite the opposite. All of these issues would eventually return throughout George's short reign, but none of them would ever eclipse that which plagued him all his life, for his best efforts. The curse of the Hanoverians reared its head once more: just as George had detested his father, so his son, Prince Frederick, detested him. For all the accusations that have been levelled at him in latter ages, and as he has been darkened by the shadows of his more illustrious descendants, George II was not stupid. Reckless, yes, and careless of privilege. But not stupid. He did not want to repeat the mistakes of history. He would not let his son gather support against him as he had to his father. And George II had an idea. Prince Frederick would go, not back to Hanover (which in George's mind, if not Frederick's, would be a blessing) but to the godforsaken ends of the Earth. To England's Colonies... His wife, Queen Caroline, dissuaded him of this reckless course also, and in the end George went to be coronated in Westminster Abbey, on October 4th 1727, with his son Frederick by his side. The coronation would, perhaps, have been remembered in any case, for the noted Hanoverian composer Handel had been brought in to write numerous new pieces of music. Perhaps the best known is 'Zadok the Priest', which remains performed at many coronations throughout the English-speaking world today. But the music of Handel, and indeed all else, would be overshadowed by the events that meant this date would live in infamy. A confusion over arrangements meant that Handel's superb pieces were nonetheless played in the wrong order, which led to considerable flusterment on the part of many churchmen. It was, in fact, a particularly loud and unexpected note in Handel's "Grand Instrumental Procession", coupled with perhaps a rumple in the blue carpet, which led to the King, on the way to his throne beside the Queen, to stumble and fall before the great dignitaries there to pay homage to him. A deathly silence descended, and indeed it might have ended there, for the assembled Lords Spiritual and Temporal knew better than to incur any royal wrath at this injuncture. The incident, they thought, as the king picked himself up with as much dignity as possible, would never be mentioned again. The young Prince Frederick, twenty years old and retaining much of his teenage precociousness to go with the Hanoverian hatred, did not so such restraint. He let out a single 'Ha!' of delighted laughter, and with it, changed the world forever. George was furious. Immediately after the coronation was complete, he told the Queen that he had elected to return to his original plan. Caroline agreed, almost equally upset at the Prince's behaviour. The paperwork caused by the incident was, as is recorded in Robert Walpole's memoirs, immense. Nonetheless: Prince Frederick was, as the eldest son of the King of England, rightfully the Duke of Cornwall, a title that could not be Attainted. George did everything else he could, though. Frederick was banished to the American Colonies, to Virginia, indeed to the new town that had been named for him: Fredericksburg. A title was invented for him as a sinecure, that of Lord Deputy of the Colonies. What was at the time the work of a few strokes of a clerk's pen, would eventually become very important indeed... George, meanwhile, calmly foisted the title of Prince of Wales on his younger son William Augustus, already the Duke of Cumberland at the age of six. No secret was made of the fact that William was now George's heir, and upon George's death would be coronated William IV. And Frederick looked to the west, and to the future.  In OTL, it ended there.