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The Laeken Garden Party (IC|TG to Enter)

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Beliany
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The Laeken Garden Party (IC|TG to Enter)

Postby Beliany » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:31 pm

The King's Garden Party at Laeken Castle
XVIII

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On the extensive and beautiful grounds of the Castle of Laeken in the suburbs of the capital of Beliany, Bleugate, the gates of the garden palace were opening. It marked the beginning of the 18th annual garden party hosted by the King, Leopold of Beliany. King Leopold hosted three garden parties each year, one in Bleugate, one in Brusek and one in Adelaide, in order to honor people, and occasions, as well as to get a cross-section of the diverse population of Beliany.

This garden party was there to recognize and award public service, as well as a place to present debutantes to the Royal Court, and this one had a silently another purpose. Following his challenging of the premiership of former prime minister Marthe Masson, the power of the King of Beliany had grown and the monarchy itself had centered more authority around itself. Whilst some had grown worried of the political involvement of the king, it had the king grown proud and settled securely in his authority.

Secure at home, King Leopold turned his attention towards furthering that strength, looking to dynastic matters. Leopold remained the first king of the young House of Coudenburg and only one of his five sons had married, and Leopold had practically had to drag his eldest, Baudouin to the chapel. Leopold had decided that he had been too stern with Baudouin. So he resolved to be gentler. His sons Christopher and Philippe had reached adult age and now he looked to see them wed in turn.

Prince Christopher of Beliany was the second eldest and thus was who King Leopold took now to focusing his efforts on. 21 years old, the prince was a handsome young man, and had an artistic spirit to him. King Leopold was sure he was only helping in selecting candidates as potential brides. So the King used the garden party as a way to let Christopher meet a future wife, someone who could help continue the Coudenburg line.

Laeken Castle

The guests of the garden party entered the perfectly groomed lawn of the West Garden, the glass domes of the Queen Cécile Botanical Gardens rising around them. The sun was shining brightly as the thousands of guests were dressed to impress. The dress code was morning or lounge suits for the men and day dresses and hats or fascinators for the women. It was old fashion, but it provided an air of majesty that charmed its attendees.

King Leopold, standing tall at 6'3" wore a tailor-made black morning suit with a gray waistcoat and sangria colored tie, watched over the gardens from a balcony of the palace. He wore white gloves and a black top hat with purple silk around it. It hid his balding head and thus hats become popular with the middle-aged king. Leopold scanned over the sight of guests. Various flower pots from across the country had been set in artistic displays amongst white and purple tents under which sat fountains of champagne and hors d'oeuvres.

After all the guests had arrived, the King and his Family would arrive and state official portraits-a favorite amongst the press- and then they would get to mingle into the crowd, and with any luck, Christopher would find himself struck by cupids arrow and they could start down the path towards a royal wedding. In the gardens, the royal band played Daylight Dreams, a soft airy instrumental written by the Prince Consort. A bright welcome to the day.

n the gardens Miss Michiels, the woman who ruled the Royal Courts function as Chief of Protocol, dressed in an olive green sundress and matching fascinator too searched the crowd. She smiled and shook hands with the various guests, including the mayor of Bleugateand former prime minister Etienne de Rhodeste and football player Diane Verdoodt. Michiels paused briefly from speaking in polite greetings to glance up at the balcony, spotting the king. She knew how important this party way. She would make sure it went perfectly.

As the King of Beliany admired the sight from a balcony, and the Chief of Protocol from the gardens themselves, Prince Christopher did the same via drone. The young royal loves drones, and photography all other manners of things in those veins. He had found a quiet place in one of the long gleaming corridors of the palace and used his phone to get a bird's eye view of the party. Outside, zipping above the heads of the guests was a small sleek white and purple drone, built by the prince himself.

The drone captured a live stream, sent directly to Christopher. In brilliant high definition, he caught sight of the ceremonial guards in their purple and black uniforms, as well as the artful botanic sculptures in the gardens, as well as the guests. Christopher directed the drone in lazy circles, searching but not searching, wanting to see but not daring to spot who it was that his father wished for him to one day marry. Christopher landed the drone on the top of the glass dome of his mother's gardens. Christopher crossed his arms and looked to the window, the sound music drifting into the palace, leaving him to ponder the future.

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Polonge
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Postby Polonge » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:02 pm

Castle of Laeken
Bleugate, Beliany


Maximilian tilted his head as he looked around the corner of one of the corridors of the Castle of Laeken, searching for his husband. The Prince Consort of Beliany always loved to attend Leopold’s garden parties. He didn’t mind the fact that he had to have three of them, in order to appease the different linguistic and ethic groups. But his favorite of the three was always the ones held in Bleugate at Laeken. There a beautiful atmosphere to it, and he loved the gardens, if not necessarily the people in attendance.

He smiled as he spotted Leopold standing on a balcony overlooking the western section of the Royal estate. Maximilian put his hands together behind his back and stepped out from behind the corner and hurried down to the balcony. His heart fluttered in his chest as if he were once again just a young man fresh out of college as he’d been when he’d first come to Beliany and set eyes on the king. Leopold had, save for the loss of his hair, aged well. He was still handsome in that refined gentleman way, so tall and regal.

Maximilian was just one or two inches shorter and decades younger than Leopold, but was much leaner than the king. Maximilian had taken to cycling and yoga to maintain a fit figure. He had been called a trophy husband, but he didn’t mind. Maximilian liked looking nice for Leopold. For the garden party Maximilian had picked out his outfit, under the advise of the Department of Protocol of the Court: a slim fit morning suit with a white double-breasted vest, and a purple handkerchief in his breast pocket, and white gloves.

As he approached Leopold, Maximilian placed his hands on the arms of his husband.

“Enjoying the view?” He looked up at Leopold with a playful smile and then took a look to the view of the gardens below them as the crowds of people swept into the grounds of the royal palace. It made him think of the vomitorium of ancient times. Maximilian ribbed Leopold’s arm tenderly. He knew that today was an important day for Leopold and his dreams of a dynasty. A dynasty that Maximilian felt a bit disconnected from. At least he had his nephews Régis and Quentin. But it would be years till Leopold focused on their love lives.

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Beliany
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Postby Beliany » Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:35 am

Leopold tore his eyes away from the sight of the gardens and gave Maximilian a pleasant smile. He placed a hand over Maximilian, finding him warm even through their gloves. Maximilian looked as handsome as ever. Leopold adore his beautiful blue eyes and youthful skin that was so pale and yet could so easily be turned pink with blush with a kiss or a bite. Leopold was also jealous that Maximilian had thick gorgeous blond hair. The king resisted the the urge to pull his hat down further on his head.

Unbeknownst to the public, for they would have been livid if they knew, Leopold had sunk a small fortune into trying to get his hair to grow back, and he’d several times contemplated implants, but ultimately he was too embarrassed to make such a radical change, as he knew the press would make endless gossip about him. Enough people thought he was a vain aristocratic out of touch with the everyday people of Beliany, he had no desire to give them anything more to blabber on about in their online columns and tabloids.

King Leopold leaned forward and pressed his nose to Maximilian’s, rubbing them together affectionately. A giggle rode up from his throat as he did so. He squeezed Maximilian’s hand tightly, as if he didn’t wish to let go.

“Oh trust me,” the King of Beliany said, “I much prefer this sight.”

It was a hope of the monarch that his sons could have a fraction of what he had. A young, beautiful, royal partner who bettered the dynasty. The Duke of Brabant has disappointed him by resisting the match he’d made with the Scottish princess. Hopefully by given Christopher a choice—however limited it may be— it would keep his son in line. For the greater good of the Coudenburg Dynasty.

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Polonge
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Postby Polonge » Sat Apr 11, 2020 5:50 pm

Maximilian chuckled, his cheeks turning a slight rosy pink at the touch of their noses. He put patted Leopold’s hand, their fingers intertwined with one another like a knot. He let go and looked down at the banister of the balcony. Even after all these years Maximilian found himself so easily embarrassed.

“My love, you are too kind.”

He looked past the banister and to the gardens and the various guests that were there. They looked like little ants to him, set in a pastel color scheme of spring. It was an atmosphere that had seemed to have settled over the whole of country as of late, as if the world were stuck into a permanent day of peaceful sunlight.

“I’m sure that today will go along perfectly. You have worked so hard to make these garden parties absolutely perfect, they should be famous the world over honestly. Leopold, you need not be so tense.”

Maximilian smiled and rested his head on Leopold’s shoulder, fitting the two of them together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. He knew that although Leopold hadn’t said anything at this moment, but he also knew that his husband had slowly developed this new obsession with the monarchy. Maximilian blamed the Duchess of Wied and her son. They had been a bad influence on all of them during their adventure in Bleugate. It was only made worse by the fact that the disaster of a marriage that was Baudouin and Sofia was Leopold’s fault.

For the sake of all of them Maximilian hoped that his meddling with Christopher’s love life for the sake of all of them worked out better.

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Les Etats Connuriste
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Postby Les Etats Connuriste » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:44 am

Elisabeth of Connuriste was not used to the 'old' fashion that had been selected as the attire for this particular party, and she had only made arrangements to go because she was supposed to go with her eldest sister - no doubt only turning to her because Charlotte, who was obviously Emily's favourite, had better things to do. Emily and Adela were hardly the closest of siblings, even if they had found themselves married to twin brothers, and as for Augusta, well it was generally considered wise to not invite her to anything where one was expected to behave remotely appropriately. And so it resulted that Crown Princess Emily had turned to Elisabeth and managed to convince her to accompany her - except at the last minute, Emily had made other arrangements.

Elisabeth was of the mind that something had fundamentally changed about her oldest sister in the past two or three years, but she supposed that was true for most of the family, Emily of course having motherhood as a perfect excuse for an alteration in behaviours. She had offered Elisabeth little explanation about what precisely had caused her to change plans - something that she could only assume related to little Henry - instead only asking Elisabeth if she would pass on her best to Uncle Leopold and especially Maximilian.

Being left on her own in Beliany was not something that Elisabeth would have been happy about, not that she was incapable of looking after herself like some people in the press had suggested after her recent adventure on the high seas, but rather that it was always considered a good idea to go to something with at least one other person so you could entertain each other if the event proved to be underwhelming. After all, Elisabeth was fully aware that her Uncle Leopold and her own father no longer maintained the friendly relationship they once used to have - what with the drama surrounding her own mother - although Elisabeth also wondered if her father's friendship with Leo's ex-wife had anything to do with it either. The King of Beliany would have no excuse to extend an unfriendly attitude towards his nephews and nieces, but it didn't necessarily mean that it wasn't going to be a possibility. That was another reason she wished Emily had actually decided to come as they had planned, because she already had a good existing relationship with the King and his consort, whereas Elisabeth was a bit more of an unknown quantity to the pair.

Nevertheless, with the short time she had left to see if she could get anyone else to come this event with her, she had managed to find someone to accompany her after all. It had proven to be quite convenient that her friend Viktoriya's tour of duty with the Vozhski Navy was coming to a close, given that she was next in line to the High Kingdom, Elisabeth didn't foresee any issues with getting her in and regardless, what would a gathering be if everyone wasn't entitled to a plus one? The pair had been exchanging letters on a semi-regular basis since Viktoriya had been responsible for hosting Elisabeth and her friends after their ship had answered the call for assistance, and although Elisabeth imagined that these kind of events and dress codes would not be something she would exactly be in love with, it would prove to be a good enough excuse for them to spend time together. Viktoriya was everything that Elisabeth had not expected from a Vozhski in the sense that she was kind, clever, funny and attractive - and most importantly, didn't seem to want most countries around the world burn like Elisavetta II did. A lot of the royal world lived a totally different privileged lifestyle from those generally led in Vozh, and Elisabeth felt like her friend deserved the opportunity to experience that kind of thing more often, she had even gone out of her way to make sure she would have the appropriate attire.

The pair entered the gardens, Elisabeth immediately seeing if she could spot her uncle.

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Beliany
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Postby Beliany » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:09 pm

Leopold let out a small sigh in response to Maximilian’s words. Maximilian was such an optimistic. It was sweet, both, unfortunately, it was also terribly naive of him. Leopold simply knew better, had lived longer, had seen more to know that things always had a tendency of going wrong, that young princes like Christopher and Philippe couldn’t be trusted to make their own decision entirely under their own volition and that things were best when left into his own hands. Thus the very fact that Christopher would be choosing made Leopold on edge.

Maximilian may see only the party, but what more could be expected of the young man? He was like one of the flowers in there, lovely and sweet, but also delicate, sheltered from the rest of the world, from the dangers that he, they, would otherwise face if they existed in the wild as opposed to the botanical gardens of Laeken. Leopold saw beyond that. It may be spring now, but spring always gave way to summer, and summer gave way to fall, when in turn gave way to winter. The bright sunlight basking days of today only meant he had more time to prepare for the cold.

But still, the king tried to relax his shoulders. They eased only in the slightest. He would relax when Christopher had picked a bride and a marriage contract had been signed. Even without the issue of his sons and their futures on his mind, the garden parties were not fun events. They were meticulously planned public relations events that appeased the masses of the ruling class of Beliany, the aristocrats who once ruled the nation in an aristocratic republic, a state that most had forgotten only ceased to exist shortly before Leopold took the throne. Everyone else only knew the half of it when it came down to the importance of these parties.

And this party was only all the more important. Foreign royals for the first time would be getting an interior glimpse into the nations. Whilst there had been previous visits those had mostly been small numbers, one or two, in either meeting of neutral diplomacy or the occasional opera attendance. So, of course, there was a fraction of Leopold that wanted to be sure to impress the guests, both his own citizens and those visiting.

"If only that were true," Leopold said. As he did so a low 'ooh' and an occasional 'aww' rose up from the crowd as several of the excited guests pointed upwards to the balcony having spotted the part. Leopold gave a smile as there was the flash of cameras from phones. He gave a general wave of his hand to the guests.

"Your Majesty, Your Imperial Highness," a voice called to Leopold and Maximilian. It was Xavier Verhasselt, aide-de-camp of the King and attache from the Department of Protocol of the Court. The Verhasselts were one of the once prominent families of Beliany, before the restoration of the monarchy, and this particular one had served for just under a year with the King, reminding him of who he was speaking to and fetching him things and such. "The press are waiting for you with the Duke and Duchess of Brabant in the Ouest Gallery for your portrait for today."

"Very well." Leopold touched Maximilian's arm, stirring him away from the balcony. "The hounds are waiting and we must throw them some slab of meat before the devour Baudouin and Sofia."

Verhasselt nodded and lead the pair back inside.

As the excitement over the spotting of the monarch, and for some his consort, died down, drinks were being passed out in the gardens. They were serving Saeul champagne, imported from Selesburge, a trend the King had started to favor as he found Brusek vineyards less than satisfactory and didn't wish to import from Derita as it would embolden those in the west of the country. The glasses were however native made, designs of flowers in the bottom of the glass. In doors the crown prince & princess were standing in the Ouest Gallery, a long tastefully minimalist decorated hall that lead up to the exit outside, its ceiling decorated with paintings of long dead royals from the first monarchy made shortly before they all ended on the chopping block.

Delightfully ominous in Baudouin's somber opinion, though he'd learned from enough family arguments not to mention it. Apparently he had a bad attitude when it came to recognizing mood. It wasn't Baudouin's fault that his family members were all so stupid. It was the only reason they were so happy. Idiots didn't recognize anything outside their own little bubble. Sofia was the greatest offender. Whilst Baudouin, tall, blonde and looking a decade older than he really was, had thrown on a dark gray suit with a purple shirt and pinstriped tie, his wife in her god awful perky way, had fallen in love with the garden party, spending hours to prepare.

Sofia, tall, dark and beautiful stood over six feet high in her heels, her purple fascinator rising up diagonally several more inches. She wore a simple but formal orchid purple long-sleeved day dress that went slightly past her knees in an asymmetrical hem. She wore her signature pearls, this time in the form of her three-string pearl choker with an obsidian pendant. A gift from her sister the Duchess of Berwick. Sofia wore a matching pair of pearl earrings. Her long curly black hair was pulled into a bun. Sofia, unlike the sour-faced prince, smiled continuously at the two dozen photographers specially selected to get the honor of photographing the royals before the garden party.

"Where is your brother?"Sofia asked through a gritted smile to Baudouin. Her husband huffed, and shrugged his shoulders before whispering back:

"How am I supposed to know? Am I my brother's keeper?"

"Alright Cain-"

"Who?"

Sofia briefly let her smile slip as she pursed her lips together. Of course, he wouldn't have the sense to know who Cain and Abel were. Sofia turned to her brother-in-law, Philippe, who was leaning against one of the gallery's pillar, rolling a pair of silver stress balls in his gloved hands. Sofia carefully approached him, not wanting to startle him. "Philippe dear, will you go fetch Christopher please?" Philippe gave Sofia a blank stare, sending a shiver down Sofia's back. Then he shrugged his shoulders and walked off to go find his older brother.

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Polonge
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Postby Polonge » Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:25 pm

Maximilian chuckled as he followed after Leopold and Xavier. He swayed and bounced slightly which each step as he traced each of his next few steps ahead of him. He spared his husband’s aide-de-camp a glance. Maximilian didn’t like Xavier. He didn’t trust the young man nor the Belian family that he came from. Maximilian was no idiot and was perceptive enough to know that people like Xavier were precisely the type of people that... well... had tendencies. And Leopold tended to window shop.

“I think that this years portraits will be the best ones yet.” Maximilian said putting a hand back on Leopold’s elbow. “I love the fashion of De Boeke, he is an absolute genius when it comes to making something classic but still stylish. Don’t you agree my love? Wouldn’t you say that my suit is absolutely to die for? I had to stand for what felt like hours whilst one of De Boeke’s assistants re-measured my shoulders.”

Maximilian held up his arm as if to show off the sleeves of his jacket. He found the morning suit was such a drap style by itself, but De Boeke had really outdone himself. And it went well with the spring nature of things. “I think he did a great job. I think I am going to ask him to do all my suits in the future, that sounds like a good idea yes, don’t you think?”

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Beliany
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Postby Beliany » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:03 pm

Leopold nodded somewhat absent-mindedly to Maximilian’s talk about De Boeke’s suits. Leopold did like Maximilian’s suit, though he wished it was a bit more favorable to his favorite piece of eye candy. Fashion designers had found that anything and everything or whatever that the royals wore in public immediately became popular in sales. As such all the fashion houses were constantly trying to win royal favor. Leopold had mostly kept away from endorsing any of them. As the Royal Family of Beliany was almost exclusively male. Most of the competitors were men’s ware houses.

Crown Princess Sofia had thus been a great boon for the fashion world. At least in Beliany. Men’s fashion was an industry sure, but it was only a fraction as profitable as women’s. Every dress, every color that Sofia wore instantly become a top seller across the country. One of the few things it seemed that the average Joe and Jane could agree on from West to East. Many had tried to sway the Duchess of Brabant to be her exclusive designer. Thus gift had fallen constantly into her lap. Yet despite this Sofia had followed Leopold’s lead.

Maximilian of course, as the first gentleman of the state—with Sofia being effectively the first lady—had also been swamped in gifts. Leopold suspected that Maximilian had been far more susceptible to the gifts. And the one with the most gifts had certainly been that of the elderly and flamboyant Antoine De Boeke, a capital region designer who has been making clothes since before even Leopold was alive. De Boeke had sent scores of tailor made suits, using the excuse of needing his measurements in order to give him an exclusive tour of his original store.

Leopold didn’t particularly like De Boeke. Too flamboyant and friendly and too new money for his liking. But De Boeke was persistent. And he did make excellent suits. Even if he was no doubt half blind in his elderly years. And Maximilian did look great in the suits. If only they weren’t so modest. But that didn’t mean that he wanted to talk with Maximilian about De Boeke’s suits, it would be such terribly dull conversation, and wanted that? Best not to entertain it too much. So he nodded at Maximilian, and gave him a small smile.

“They look lovely Max.”

As they descended the stairs towards the Ouest Gallery, Leopold turned his attention to Xavier.

“Have our guests arrived ye, err, our, special guests arrived yet?”

Xavier shook his head.

“Not yet Your Majesty, at least the Chief of Protocol has not yet seen them yet, you know there are many others out there.”

Leopold scoffed.

“How hard is it to spot a princess?”

The last was slightly too loud as they entered the gallery and several of the photographers turned to see the King and Prince Consort entertaining. They fell slient in a moment of awe of seeing their sovereign before quickly ushering him over to the Duke and Duchess of Brabant. Sofia smiles, whilst Baudouin rolled his eyes at his father. Leopold turned his back to the cameras and whispered to Sofia, a scowl on his face.

“Where are my sons?”

Baudouin shot his father a glare, but Leopold ignore him. Or perhaps the King didn’t even see his eldest son. Sofia only continued to smile.

“Philippe just went to go fetch Christopher, they should be back in a few moments.”

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Polonge
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Postby Polonge » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:12 pm

Maximilian opened his mouth and then closed it again. He felt like, and no doubt looked like, a goldfish. Leopold usually wasn’t so short with him, even when it was with regards to clothes, which he knew that Leopold had limited interest in. Why Leopold didn’t appreciate the artistic genius of De Boeke. De Boeke had a whimsy old grandpa vibe to him, and whilst his eyes were less than prime rate, his creations were still marvelous. How much that was do to the young assistants, Maximilian didn’t know. Nonetheless it did make him a type of why.

“Well I suppose that we will just have to sit here and wait? I do hope that the rest of our guests don’t mind any delay that might be caused.” Maximilian paused, wishing he could take back what he’d just said and say something different. “I—I, I mean that it is good to know that Philippe is with him at least.” Maximilian bit his tongue, feeling as if once again he had said the wrong thing. He always hated trying to deal with Leopold’s sons from his first wife. Not because he disliked them. But they were... well already developed. Maximilian was closer in age to Baudouin than Leopold.

This meant that whilst Leopold continued to view them as children, Maximilian could not. Christopher and Philippe has been teenagers when Maximilian married their father. Maximilian has been too young to try and be a parent to them. He related too much to them. In general if not specifically. So Maximilian had mostly avoided dealing with the three eldest boys. He avoided Baudouin like the plague, but then again, everyone did. Of the three, Maximilian like Christopher the best, which was probably the truth for everyone who met the three brothers.

Turning to the cameras, he grinned. The constant photography of the Belian Monarchy was entirely different from that of the Polongain one. In Polonge royals were revered and mysterious, draped in ceremony and tradition. The average person would never know what their holy archdukes and archduchesses looked like. Maximilian and his brothers and sisters had managed going to university virtually incognito this way. The same could not be said in a Beliany. The paparazzi were ravenous. They were the best—or the worse if one was their target—and bloody scary.

Belian paparazzi, press, reporters, journalists, whatever one wanted to call them, looked at the royals like a pack of wolves looking at a juicy steak. Or whatever it was wolves loved most. And tore apart with their teeth and claws. A smile and wave was Maximilian’s greatest defense. “It’s a lovely day today, isn’t it?” He said casually to the gathered cameras. The cameras, not the people behind them. Cameras recorded and captured. People were dangerous, but only under the right conditions. Cameras were always dangerous, forever.

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Cambrian Albany
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Postby Cambrian Albany » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:00 pm

Laeken Garden, Beliany


Rhiannon was the prize gem in the imperial crown of Albany and all its territories, the flower of its meadows. She had hazelnut brown hair and a light caramel tan with cherry red lips and small, cute nose. Her light green eyes betrayed a mischievous innocence and the mascara was subtle but defined her eyes well. She wore a silk green dress which kept to length but still showed a fair bit of leg, elevated by her high heels and she had a green fascinator though nothing special. She, Princess Rhiannon Penthwrch, Duchess of Llyngŵydd and eldest daughter of the King of Cambria and High King of Albany, was the main event. In the crook of one arm she carried her purse and in the other, her brother, Crown Prince Cadwgan the Prince of Cynyddion. Prince Cadwgan wore a sharp and well cut grey checked three piece suit with a light blue shirt and a silk green-purple-green tie of his regiment the Grenadier Guards of which he had just begun to serve in as a platoon commander: Lieutenant Cadwgan Penthwrch. He was 18 and Rhiannon just 20, though he the far more mature of the pair. Rhiannon had been sent to woo some of the noble gentlemen of the court and take her pick, though obviously her father would have the last word. Over were her days of rolling in the hay scandalously with her stable boy or minor princelings from within the Cambrian Empire, it was time to get grafting. Albany knew little of Beliany other than that it was a fairly liberal place which could be problematic if juxtaposed to the severe conservative authoritarianism of the Holy Cambrian Empire.
"Is it true, Cad, that the King here is a f-"
"... a homosexual? Yes, I think that is the arrangement. It is a wonder father wasn't made aware or no one stopped the trip from happening" Replied the Prince swiftly interjecting his loose lipped and innocent sister. "Right, here we are, no shagging anyone in public, don't get drunk and don't say anything controversial. They don't have the same sense of humour or view of the world here." He cautioned.

They admired the glass domes of the gardens, glistening wonderfully on the glorious day that it was with the sun out in full splendour and all the smells of the garden's lush and fragrant vegetation lingered well in the air. Rhiannon and Cadwgan made their way about the garden, politely passing people and smiling at some of the wondering faces.
"Cadwgan I need a bloody drink before we get going." Exclaimed Rhiannon with almost exasperation in her voice. Cadwgan smiled but before he could locate alcoholic beverages he spotted the king.
"Oh Lord, bless the poor chap, he's balding!" He muttered quietly to Rhiannon who shot her head round inquisitively. "Anyways, yes, I need some juice in me before I get cracking."
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Seidang
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Postby Seidang » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:13 pm

Laeken Castle, Bleugate, Beliany

"Mhle kakhulu," were the first words out of Princess Châuloan's lips as she stepped through the gates of Laekan Castle's breathtaking gardens. The Belian gardens were so cute. There was something just so cute about all of the country. Princess Châuloan took out her phone and snapped a selfie of herself with some of the glass domes of the botanical gardens. She took another, blowing a kiss to the camera. Her fingers tapped rapidly against her phone, posting the picture with the comment, Basking amongst Beautiful Belian Botany, #FromLaekenwithLove.

Princess Châuloan slipped her phone back into her purse and continued inside. Princess Châuloan of Seidang, more popularly known as Princess Châu, was the only sister of Emperor Syaoran of Seidang. Châu, 21 years old, was pretty and petit, just 5’1”, with pale beige skin and large dark brown eyes. She shared her brother’s round face, sharp nose and regal way about her. As the youngest, behind Syaoran and the middle child Hieuxian, of the Imperial siblings, Châu has been spoiled by their parents and had spent the majority of her life as that of a glamorous imperial princess, loving every bit of it. She was made for royal life.

For the occasion, Princess Châu wore an haute couture surplice-neck sheath midi dress made by one of her favorite fashion houses, prestigious Elizabeth Percy. The dress was blush red. A large gold and pearl pendant in the shape of a Seidanese elephant was pinned to the dress' single lapel. Her long thick black hair was pulled into a slight side bun. She wore a gold and red fascinator vaguely reminiscent of a phoenix. A simple but elegant pearl necklace, from Philippon’s in Derita sat around her neck. The princess wore small matching pearl earrings and carried with her her favorite small Altee Jevers purse.

The Seidanese princess had to be careful, sticking strictly to the path, fearful of the threat of her high heels sinking to the beautifully manicured lawns of the castle grounds. Princess Châu glanced towards the castle and then made a slight bee-line towards the waiters with the drinks, plucking up one of the champagne glasses. With a smile Châu murmured to herself in her glass, speaking in Deritain, her first language despite her being Seidanese, having grown up in the Deritain Empire (technically as a political hostage, but she had enjoyed it so much it was more like home): "Ngoku ziphi iinkosana zobungangamsha?"

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Atmora
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Founded: Apr 27, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Atmora » Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:23 am

Princess Alice of Timeria & Atmora
Castle Laeken, Bleaugate, Beliany


Princess Alice of Timeria & Atmora began walking through the gates of Castle Laeken's garden with the soft click of her heels. Princess Alice wearing an elegant yellow day dress, hanging on her neck was an elaborate engraved Kirin on a golden pendant. Princess Alice walked through the gates into the sunlit garden. The 22-year-old Princess Alice the only child of King Akio and Queen Alyssa of Timeria and youngest of the 5 last remaining grandchildren of High King George V and High Queen Alexandra "Lexi" of Atmora. Princess Alice was 5'6 with peaches-and-cream skin, brown-eyed, and brunette. Her brunette hair was done in a rope braid hanging from the right with a white rose clipped to hair.

The elaborately engraved Kirin and the white rose were representations of the two ancient bloodlines she descends from. The Kirin of the House of Uchiha and the White Rose of the House of Wolf. Alice inherited her mother's striking looks along with the melting of her two parents complexion. Princess Alice didn't entirely inherit her mother's signature Atmoran properness and bluntness. Taking after her Timerian side of a more free going side interblended with her Atmoran side's formality.

Alice walked into the gardens with her head up high. Thinking to herself that if she that she would be at a Beliaanse party she would pick up on learning more Deritain. She hoped that if she was fortunate enough she'd be able to converse in either English or Dutch.

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Beliany
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Founded: Dec 07, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Beliany » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:02 pm

The drone of Prince Christopher had left its perch from the top of one of the domes and flew down over the gardens a dozen or so feet above the heads of the guests. Like a large mechanical bee it buzzed softly and looped in lazy let carefully guided circles. Its camera caught sight of the stream of princesses entering the gardens. Christopher viewing the feed from his hiding spot in the palace looked over them. Some of them had been specially selected by his father, the prime candidates he was pay attention to.

Down below in the gardens several of the guests had noticed them as well. Princess Châu of Seidang, for somewhat obvious reasons, was the one who caught much of the guests attention. The Belian and Seidanese Royal Families had previously worked together. The Duchess of Brabant and Prince Duy had worked extensively on building hopes and cleaning up the environment in both Seidang and Beliany. Belians priced themselves on being one of the cleansers nations in the world, taking personal, urban and environmental cleanliness very seriously.

The young women naturally caught the attention of young men. Whilst older members of Belian high society like the Baron de Rhodeste, former prime minister chatted with the nonagenarian Sophie van Tieghem, chocolate manufacturing tycoon were discussing how a new disease in the tropics were effecting Tieghem’s imports of cocoa, her grandson Alexis van Tieghem and his friend Pieter Verheyen III, of the Brusek Verheyens glances over at the lovely royal women.

“How happy princes are lucky, no?” said Count Vincent de Nassars, heir to the Duchy of Nassars and relative of the famous Belian leader François Constantin, as he joined Tieghem and Verheyen. Vincent was of average height with hard hair, dark eyes and a close cut beard. He wore a simple but finely made lounge suit with a bright red tie. “Of course there are only so many sons of the King,” he said with a nudge and wink at Pieter.

“And you’ll be here waiting in the wings?” Pieter snorted.

Vincent nodded, “with open arms.” Vincent laughed and made his way towards the Princesses heading towards the drinks.

Within the palace Prince Christopher was abruptly interrupted from his spying by his brother, Philippe. Of course Philippe had been the one to find them. Philippe was always more observant than he let on. Christopher turned in head to his brother. He leaned against the wall, rolling the silver balls around his fingers methodically, with casual focus. The doctors had decided to give him something to play with after he got a habit of destroying his stress balls.

Christopher hadn’t been aware one could destroy a stress ball, but Philippe had found a way.

“Dad is waiting for you.” Philippe’s words were nonchalant, almongst bored. “Sofia is about to burst a blood vessel.”

“I suggest we go save her then,” Christopher said, directed the drone to once again land on the top of the botanical dome. Philippe nodded curtly. Slipping his phone back into his pocket Christopher fell into step with his little brother.

Christopher and Philippe were only ten months apart by birth. In fact there were was time in the first few months of the year where Philippe caught up to Christopher and they were the same age. Despite that, it couldn’t be clearer that Philippe was the younger brother. Christopher was the taller of the two, having had a growth spurt in his late teens, making him the tallest member of the royal family, tied with his father at 6’3”. Philippe meanwhile was the shortest at only 5’9”.

Christopher and Philippe shared the same coloring as their mother and father, with pale skin and curly platinum blonde hair. Christopher’s eyes were blue like the rest of his family, whilst Philippe’s were green. Technically Christopher had only one eye, having lost one in an accident as a child. However his robotic prosthetic eye was indistinguishable from his real one. Their handsome features were more like that of their mother’s with strong jaws and sharp cheek bones.

As they descended the steps, Christopher carried a smile on his face, whilst Philippe had a blank look in his eyes. Whilst Christopher knew his father was up to his old tricks and micromanaging, but he didn’t mind. He was used to it. King Leopold however still shot him a disapproving glance. Sofia smiled and waved them over.

“Where were you?” Leopold’s hissed. Christopher gave a noncommittal shrug.

“We are ready,” Sofia interjected, taming the Royal men by the shoulders and setting them in place. She let go of them as she finished arranging them and took her spot next to Baudouin. Whilst the Duke and Duchess loathed one another, they tried not to show that to the public. Instead they put on a show of a happy royal couple. Sofia and Baudouin stood next to the King and Prince consort, the princes flanking them. “Everyone, smile,” Sofia said.

The next several minutes saw the Belian Family be captured by a dozen different clicks and flashes as their portrait was taken.

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Imperial Caribbean States
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Founded: Apr 14, 2020
Ex-Nation

Postby Imperial Caribbean States » Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:16 pm

Princess Mary, The Princess Royal
Castle Laeken, Bleaugate, Beliany


Having arrived in Beliany for personal business a week prior, Princess Mary was notified by the Lord Chamberlain of the Imperial Household that King Leopold of Beliany was hosting a Garden Party at Castle Laeken and her mother, Empress Anne II had requested her attendance to represent the Imperial Caribbean States. The only daughter of the Empress, Princess Mary, officially known as the Princess Royal, had often represented his mother at events and ceremonies at home and aboard and with that she prepared for her appearance at Castle Laeken.

Draped in her pink floral dress, the young princess carefully stepped out her limo to have her carmel skin shimmer in the summer sun. While Princess Mary had been to many events like this, and in some cases hosted them on behalf of her mother, this garden party was different as it was the first time a member of the imperial family had attended an event like this in Beliany. Ever the professional, the princess held her head high and she walked towards the masses of people gathered in the garden.

Absoluely beautiful Princess Mary thought to her self as she looked over the sea of pastel dress before her. The only distractions being the pockets of suits and military uniforms scattered throghout.

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Kingdom of Derita
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Founded: Jun 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Kingdom of Derita » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:57 pm

Laeken Castle, Bleugate, Beliany

The sunlight bounced off the earrings of Lady Astrid Ardales as the young noblewoman entered the magnificent gardens of the castle. Astrid, the second child and eldest daughter of Ava and Alexander Ardales, the 2nd Duchess of Infinity and 3rd Duke of Samory respectively, took her steps in her pale blue high heels with ease and grace. Astrid was said to be the most be the most beautiful woman in Derita, which effectively meant the world, having blown everyone away when she'd made her social debut in Aukusa. Her day dress, a beautiful metallic blue with dark blue and white flowers decorating it, was one of a kind, designed for her by the Deritain designer Nvoko Nvoko, the favored fashion expert of all the young members of high society in the Aukusa Bay Area. Astrid, as heiress to the largest private fortune in Derita- the Ardales having forsaken politics in the '70s had turned to business and down fabulously well for themselves- naturally had to be the best and have the best of everything. When one was as wealthy as Astrid, it no longer became about how expensive something was, but how rare it was. Like her earrings for example that dazzled in the sun, they were vintage, once they had been her great-grandmother, Princess Samantha of North Timeria's.

Astrid had been delighted to receive an invitation from the King of Beliany to attend the garden party. And whilst Astrid tended to avoid the Royal functions in Derita, the King-Emperor's court was full of dukes and counts in their nineties doing yoga and tai chi while the Crown Prince was a humorless man who knew nothing of fun, and his sons, who where Astrid age were all very private, and thus, also no fun. But the Belians certainly knew how to keep things interesting. King Leopold had been in the center of such drama when Astrid had been a teenager.
What socialite teen could help but follow the maddening events of love, betrayal and tragedy around Leopold to the point of near national collapse. Plus it didn't hurt that Leopold had-somehow- managed to produce trio of gorgeous sons.

Astrid had never been particularly interested not impressed by royalty. When one had an impressive bloodline of your own, and when your fortune greatly outweighed that of most royals anyway, the only difference became semantics, titles and how much of pomp and circumstance one put on. In Aukusa the grip of royals was weak, and the power of wealthy families like the Ardales were strong. So who needed royals? This sort of thinking had lead to something of a republican movement in the megacity, though ironically, although perhaps not ironically given historical precedence, only in the aristocrats. Not that Astrid considered herself a radical. And her opinion on her royals at home had nothing to do with the royals of Beliany. Though of course Beliany had once been an aristocratic republic. Perhaps that was what had convinced her to accept the King's invitation. And it was such a beautiful country. The expansive gardens of the Laeken Castle were a nice reprieve from the glossy glass and steel of the megacity of the Aukusa Bay Area. She smiled, twirling a finger through her long mane of curly hair. Looking out over the sea of guests, Astrid felt that familiar tinge of home. Astrid would be in her element here.

She pushed several curly locks over her shoulders, showing off her vintage earrings. With the ease and grace of a young woman who people could mistake for a princess, she join the crowd of the high and important. She saw several of the guests were decided to seek out the drinks for the event, but decided not to join them. She wished to stave of time before she had a drink. Though she was very tempted. Derita was a dry nation. Dry in the sense of alcohol consumption-though not production-was strictly prohibited. It was in part, this strictness of the law in Derita that had helped the Ardales build their vast fortune. But they had moved on to new companies, sectors and the like. Astrid pondered which of the guests were her Belian counterparts. Such garden parties were great for furthering the growth of that fortune.

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Polonge
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Founded: Aug 05, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Polonge » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:57 pm

Maximilian smiled softly as he stood next to Leopold as the cameras of the press clicked away. He loathed this part. This commodification of their image. It felt like it cheapened them. But that was how the Belians were, how they loved to see their royals constantly, they had no desire to have any sense of grandeur or mystery when it came to their royals. All they wanted was more pictures to slap onto the faces of collectable dinner plates and whatever kind of knick knack that the commoners adored.

As the process of standing still and smiling, with the photo shoot over, Maximilian looked up to Leopold and with a slight pour spoke.

“Can we finally get to the party now? You know, the whole reason for this, this event. Honestly, I’m sure that the crowds are just about boiling over with anticipation to see us, and if we are going to have a swarm of buzzing eyes...”

Maximilian looked to the cameras with a false smile, then back to Leopold.

“I’d At least prefer to deal with them face to face as opposed it being broadcasted to the teles and phones of people across the country.”

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Royal Genes
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Founded: Feb 26, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Royal Genes » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:45 am

The Dauphine of Genes was happy to visit her country's neighbor to the south. Genes and Beliany had gotten along for years as great trade made them important economic partners. Genoise and Belians had for years often visited and intermarried one another, well, the Genoise and the Western Belians. Culturally and ethnically the western section of Beliany was far closer to that of the Genoise. The Valois and Coudenburg dynasties, in particular, had also made great friends as fellow Aesican monarchies. Which was why the Dauphine, as the only member of the Genoise dynasty that had dare ventured out of the country since the death of the beloved good Queen Adela, had been interested in this particular garden party by the King of Beliany. The Dauphine was interested in future connections between the Valois and Coudenburg dynasties, and had come to observe.

Following the dress code of the event, the Dauphine was dressed in a pale pastel pink midi dress that stopped four inches above her ankles, with long sheer sleeves, an artful bow on her collar that matched the silk bow rose on her pink sun hat. Her shoes, two-inch heels, were matching pink. The pastel color of her outfit went well against the Dauphine's dark caramel and freckled skin. Her hair, curly and reddish-brown, was pinned up in a tight bun mostly hidden under her hat. Though a beautiful young woman, the Dauphine rarely had the chance to show off. Her husband, the Dauphin, and son of King Frederick II of Genes was a zealous and protective man who preferred it when people were god-fearing and women were covered up. Only because the Dauphine was an excellent diplomat and military strategist, trained by her mother, Infanta Elisabeth of Espana, did she have such free reign.

Dauphine held her head high as she took stock of the various guests in the gardens, as well as admiring the landscape of the royal grounds. In Genes, most of the population lived in the dense urban center of the capital, also called Genes. The megacity of a capital had spread over much of the country leaving few spots for nature to continue to exist. The skyscrapers of the city were so tall that even terrace and roof top gardens had some difficulty being maintained. Yet the gardens of King Leopold, just several hundred miles, or a quick private jet ride away were so beautiful.
_[' ]_
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Russlande
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Founded: Jul 16, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Russlande » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:02 pm

Nukai walked with his head high and a pleasant smile on his lips as he entered the gardens of his favorite uncle on the arm of his favorite sister. Typically Beliany was too bright and pastel for his taste. In Russlande he could enjoy the darkness of the snowy capital. Sure, the sun came out every so often. But one could go months it seemed without playing witness to it. And he could enjoy his favorite color of black in his outfits and robes. Beliany however was annoyingly picturesque, though in small doses Nukai could tolerate it.

So he had left his black robes at home and slipped into something more appropriate. Garden parties weren't exactly known to be welcoming to Russen priests looking around like gloomy black ghouls. Then again, no one was. Both in his clothes and the personality that he adopted. For bright picturesque Beliany, he'd had chosen to be just as bright and picturesque. Nukai, while excellent at playing the part of the grim and imposing chancellor, and it was perfect for intimidating monarchs, he had no desire to intimidate his uncle, and it wasn't his favorite role.

That of the friendly and fun loving young man was one of his favorites. It let him work on his social skills. And practice winning people over in positive ways. His preferred way of winning people over. Nukai had discovered long that never everyone responded to certain pressures quite differently. And so he had worked since a child to find the best way to apply the correct pressures in order to get the response that he wished. He had mostly perfected it. But one could always improve. And with Uncle Leopold it was great practice.

Uncle Leopold was his favorite uncle. He was smart, but inheritly shy, an elected King of a divided nation, with an often divided heart. It made Leopold somewhat unpredictable. Despite him being his favorite uncle, Nukai had limited familial experience with him. Nukai had visited Leopold and his family years ago, spending a few weeks with them. Yet that was still leagues more than with his other uncles and aunts, despite having two baker's dozen of them. Nukai wondered how much the two of them had changed since.

Since Nukai was accompanying his older sister, the Dauphine of Gênes, he had decided to match her. He wore a soft pale pink and white double-breasted linen suit and tie, made by a Gênoise fashion house. He wore a pair of white loafers, a white plastic headband pinning back his wavy dark hair. Like his sister the Dauphine, the light colors of the outfit were contrasted starkly against his dark brown skin. Inherited from his father, whilst his eyes, the same blue of a melting glacier were from his mother, so similar to his Uncle's and his familiar, but not quite the same.

In the crook of his free arm, Nukai held a small white bag. Nukai was,might nothing else, a gift giver. It was only polite when one was a visitor to bring a gift. Though after one of his gifts to the King of Cinyras had been poorly received, he'd taken more care in the selection of this gift. The bag, not very large, swung gently from the crook of his arm. Meanwhile Nukai used his height, between his father's and mother's family it was amazing how giant they all were, to search for the king, eager to see his uncle and cousins. Unlike his sister he came to more than just observe.

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Beliany
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Posts: 156
Founded: Dec 07, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Beliany » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:00 pm

Miss Michiels nodded her head in satisfaction as she tapped her pad in rapid fire. She made her way through the crowds, making a bee-line towards Princess Alice. Princess Alice and Lady Astrid were among the favored candidates in the eyes of the king and the Chief of Protocol. Princess Alice had such a prestigious title, and a princess with Atmoran blood, without being too Atmoran, would have great popularity in Eastern Beliany. Lady Astrid meanwhile was fabulously, no, ludicrously wealthy and the Ardales Family could open up many business connections.

Amongst the aides in the Department of Protocol of the Court, they had started to run bets on who had better chances on ending up married to King Leopold's second son. Michiels herself had placed over a thousand dollars on one of them. Of course Michiels didn't let her subordinates know that. It would seem unrefined. And it might give someone the impression that she favored one of the princesses over the others, and she wanted to have no room for doubt in her perfectly adjective process of serving the king and the dynasty for the best.

As Michiels made her way to Princess Alice, an aid, Stefan Deuwaele from the household of the Duke and Duchess of Brabant made his way to Lady Astrid. Michiels stopped just a few feet away, noticing Princess Elisabeth and Grand Duke Nukai, and once again typing at her screen at rapid fire. Michiels then smiled at Princess Alice. Deuwaele did the same with Lady Astrid.

"Your Imperial Highness, welcome to Beliany."

Meanwhile, inside, Leopold chuckled softly. He waved his hand the camera crews began dispersing, going outside. Leopold the put his hand over Maximilian's and they stepped out of the Ouest Gallery. The Duke and Duchess of Brabant, linking arms, though keeping themselves as far apart from one another as socially possible without seeming as if they were avoiding one another. Prince Christopher and Prince Philippe followed behind. Outside, music switched from the airy and springtime playing to the more regal and ceremonious of the king's song.

Just before the King stepped outside, Verhessalt stepped up to him, speaking softly, "Your Majesty, Miss Michiels has informed me that your nephew, Grand Duke Nukai of Russlande, and niece, the Princess Elisabeth of Connuriste have arrived."

King Leopold nodded. In the wake of his beloved-if controversial-sister's death, Leopold's sense of family had only increased. It would be good so see two of his sister's creole island children, and make sure they were doing well. Pity it wasn't Emily. With that thought, King Leopold and his family stepped out of the palace and into the gardens of the Castle of Laeken.

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Aravea
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Founded: Oct 31, 2011
New York Times Democracy

Postby Aravea » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:42 pm

Laeken Castle, Bleugate, Beliany

As she came to a halt just outside the gates to the garden, Princess Alana of Aravea felt a bead of sweat drip from her brow, all the while her hands trembled despite her best efforts to keep under control. She breathed in, one, two, and three times as she closed her eyes, while she felt her racing heart slow to a steady beat. She opened her eyes, breathing in once more as she looked to the gardens ahead of her. She coulf feel her anxiety for the event ahead overtaking her, seemingly overwhelming her attempts to regain her composure. Yet as she looked out to the gardens of Laeken, she began to feel a wave of relief wash over as she took in its beauty. Her previously worried expression shifted to a slight smile as she beheld the innumerable flowers, well cultivated trees and immaculately trimmed hedges, her eyes gleaming with excitement as she saw the veritable menagerie of plant life that lay before her. From her youngest days, Alana had loved spending hours at a time under the tutelage of the royal botanists, absorbing as much as she could from the countless days she had spent with them. Her time with them had left her with an abiding love for the fine art of botany, as well as endowed her with a vast knowledge of Nysan plant life. Yet for as much as she would liked to have spent the day exploring and cataloging sample in the gardens of the King, she knew that she had not been invited here for such a purpose. Rather, she had been invited for the sole purpose of meeting the second son of the King, Prince Christopher, as part of an attempt to find the prince a suitable match.

She breathed in once more, remembering her mother's lesson that no matter what she felt, when attending an even such as this it was important to not let one's true feelings show. She moved a hand to adjust her lengthy her bun of silver hair, all the while she felt its soft follicles brush against her even softer ivory skin The young princess felt a firm hand squeeze her shoulder, causing her to cast her gaze to her left to see a bronze skinned woman of near equal height wearing a red sun dress that fluttered slightly in the wind. The woman frowned as she shook her head, giving a heavy sigh as she patted Alana's shoulder. Alana's cerulean eyes widened as she felt the touch of her companion, clearly being somewhat surprised by her actions.

The woman, who was Alana's long time friend and confidante Auria Snowtear, spoke in a low octave as she returned Alana's gaze, "Princess, I understand that you would much rather be spending your time here exploring the gardens or collecting blooms to catalog once we return home. Truly, I do. Yet you must remember that you are here as a representative of not just your mother or the Imperial Family, but Aravea as a whole." Auria gripped the bridge of her nose, shaking her head as she sighed, "Honestly, I do not know what to do with you at times. I have spent countless years teaching you to be proper member of polite society, yet it seems no matter what I do I cannot get through to you. So with that in mind, let me try an approach that might appeal to you.

"Watch me closely...." Auria said as she pointed to a towering flower with a bloom of the deepest amber, surrounded by a coterie of blossoming flowers of vermilion, saffron, and scarlet. Behind the floor stood a bloom of a deep azure color, which reminded Alana of the waters of a crystal clear pond. She watched as the golden bloom twisted in the wind, bowing to each of the blooms that surrounded it, until at last the wind caused its petals to intertwine with those of the azure bloom. Auria smiled as she whispered, "You see how the flowers bend and dance in the wind, with the golden one being drawn to each of the blossoms that surround it before at last yielding to the azure? The Golden bloom represents the Prince, with the surrounding blossoms being your rivals. You are the azure blossom who will initially be overlooked by the prince, but you need not remain that way. If you wish to be successful in drawing his eye, you must be as the wind which forces the golden blossom to intertwine with the azure bloom. In other words, you must what gifts and skills you have inherited and learned from tutelage of you to outdo your rivals. This is my final lesson to you. From this point, what occurs is in your hands, my dear.

Alana nodded as she looked overself one last time, preening and preparing herself to be certain that both her decorum and attire would be impeccable. She checked her deep sapphire blue dress for even the slightest imperfection, knowing that even the slightest flaw could cast her in a flawed light. With the same fastidiousness she adjusted her matching fascinator, making sure that the wrapping of white lace around the center of the fascinator was firmly fastened. She sighed as her hand moved to her neck to adjust a necklace made of the finest opal carved into the shape of a dragons’ head, all ensconced within a cast of polished gold and obsidian. She couldn’t help but give a small smile as she rested her palm on the necklace, all the while memories of the farewells her family had given her filled her mind. She looked to Auria, giving her a slight nod as she moved to her side and took her hand, leading her companion through the threshold of the gate.

As they walked through the assembled crowd who congregated inside the gate, Alana could see numerous familiar faces who she recognized from her time attending diplomatic functions with her mother. During such functions her mother had done her best to instill in her how the use of the proper words or the right gesture could change the outcome of an event, with one honeyed word or ill thought of gesture meaning the difference between a beneficial agreement or war. Furthermore, the Arkhoness had taught her the importance of reading the environment around her to see what she could glean from the crowd surrounding her. She eyed each guest carefully, greeting them with the utmost courtesy as she and Auria worked their way through the crowd. She would occasionally be greeted by a diplomat who recognized her, with her returning their greeting with some idle talk before moving onto the next. Alana held her head high, her eyes gleaming as they saw what lay ahead, yet all the while a small voice at the back of her mind questioned whether or not she was truly ready.
Last edited by Aravea on Sun May 24, 2020 7:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Beliany
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 156
Founded: Dec 07, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Beliany » Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:54 am

There was a ripple of delight that spread out amongst the crowd as the King and Prince consort made their way down the steps and into the garden. The smiled and tipped his hat to them. Despite his history, and his royal powers encroachment his popularity had mostly bounced back. And those attending the garden parties were almost always already favorable to him. The excitement however only grew when the Duke and Duchess of Brabant followed, Sofia waving like the queen to be that she was, while Baudouin nodded his head with only a poor excuse of a smile. Sofia believed that some time ago Baudouin had forgotten how to smile. He knew now only how to sneer and snarl as far as she could tell.

If anyone noticed the Duke's attempts of smiling, they didn't show it. Sofia, perhaps ironically, was a saving grace for Baudouin. She had far more fans and popularity than him. People talked far more about how Sofia was going to be their queen one day than how Baudouin was going to be their king. Which of course meant he couldn't rid of her. Though he had tried. Multiple times. But Sofia wouldn't be like Antoinette, swept aside. Antoinette had fought and lost. Sofia made sure that there would never have to be a fight. She was just so nice and kind, the perfect people's princess.

The cheers shifted more on to that of whispers as Prince Christopher and then Prince Philippe entered the gardens. The younger princes popularity was more muted than the others. Confined mostly to the die-hard monarchists like that Lisa Wyssling or teens who found the royal portraits of them to their liking. Nonetheless several in the crowd had their suspicions about the future love life of the princes. Leopold's desire to see all his children married off was the worse kept secret in the aristocratic circles of Beliany. Counts and Barons had been trying for years to try to gain influence through the marriage of a daughter to a prince, but with several princesses in the crowd, now it seem clear that the royals aimed higher.

The music of the king stopped and shifted to the less regal and intimidating march to a new lighter, springtime instrumental. King Leopold turned swiftly on his heels, looking eye-to-eye with Christopher. He spoke in that formal king's manner that he adopted when issuing orders to his ministers. "Christopher, do take to mingle with the crowd, won't you?"

Christopher quickly understood his father's meaning. And resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He meant he wanted Christopher to mingle with the various candidates he'd invited here. Christopher might have thought it funny if his father didn't take it quite so seriously. Issuing it like they were plans of attack really messed with Christopher's attitude. He should at least get to have a sort independence in how he approached them. But his father wouldn't want to hear any of that. So instead Christopher nodded and turned to Philippe to only find his younger brother having disappeared.

"Guess I'm on my own then," Christopher muttered to himself. He made his way into the crowd, walking as he searched for someone to talk to.

Sofia meanwhile had already found who she wished to speak with. She and Baudouin had instantly separated the moment they entered the gardens, and they seem to hover around one another just close enough to look like two strangers forced to share a small elevator. Still, Sofia turned to her husband and waved her hand. "Come, I see the Dauphine and your cousin, lets go say hello." Baudouin grumbled -probably something about Deritains- and followed after his wife.

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Polonge
Diplomat
 
Posts: 906
Founded: Aug 05, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Polonge » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:37 am

Maximilian watched as the family broke up, scattered their own corners of the crowds and resisted the urge to frown. Maximilian could see it in Christopher’s face that Leopold was rubbing him the wrong way. It made him worry. He knew Leopold always had the best intentions, and while Maximilian had never really gotten the chance to act as a parent towards his stepsons, that didn’t mean that he didn’t care about them. Besides he could relate to them and having to deal with a parent with such authority, in both the personal and legal aspects.

Maximilian looked up at Leopold, squeezing his hand. “Leopold darling, don’t you think that...” Maximilian searched for the right words. He didn’t want to come across as if he were taking sides, but he also had to properly express how he felt. “Don’t you think,” he said again, “that perhaps you are acting a bit too harshly about all of this. You say mingle, at your words do, but your tone says conqueror. You should relax. And ease back on Christopher. These kind of matters aren’t exactly known to be well dictated by parents.”

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Beliany
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 156
Founded: Dec 07, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Beliany » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:44 pm

Leopold looked at Maximilian with something between a smile and scoff. Leopold found it strange that Maximilian, a man who had never hand any children of his own trying to give him advise on his children. It was almost cute. Yet also so dreadfully naive. He had no time not need for Maximilian’s request for him to be ‘nice’. Leopold had been a ‘nice’ parent when he was younger, he and his first wife, Cecile had been doting and loving parents who had wanted to give the works to their three little boys.

But that had ended when Queen Cecile had died, and Leopold had been left on his own, on his throne and in his family. Antoinette had been a great help in the family department, but Leopold’s attention had been turned to more official and formal matters. And with Maximilian Leopold had, well, Leopold had taken his main interest to be Maximilian, leaving the affairs of his sons to tutors and nannies. They had family dinners and father-son meetings every so often. But Leopold had found himself far more interested in Maximilian.

Of course leaving his sons in the care of tutors had perhaps created some tension and distance between Leopold and his children. Leopold and Maximilian had left music tutors in charge of them, hoping to foster musical geniuses. Alas Leopold was disappointed. None of his three eldest son had any notable talent with any instrument. He still had hope for Régis and Quentin. But that didn’t mean he hadn’t tried. The tension between Princes and Tutors had eventually culminated in the destruction of an antique grand piano and thus ended any chance Leopold’s dreams coming true.

“Do not be ridiculous my darling,” Leopold said softly. “Do you know how hard my mother was on me when it came to marriage?”

The king waged his finger in the air. As the favorite son of the illustrious Auguste of Serbia, he had been the one shouldered with all the weight of her interest. His mother had not cared a flying fig about who his brother Edward had married. Or William. Or any of his other full brothers. No one had. And they had not become Kings. The same was true for his sisters. Charlotte had been made into the perfect bride at the age of just fifteen, and it had made her an empress. No one cared for his sisters Catherine and Elizabeth or even Sophie.

“And do you know how hard my grandmother was on my mother? And yet my mother became an empress and I became a king. No one cares about the Albrets.”

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Aravea
Senator
 
Posts: 3752
Founded: Oct 31, 2011
New York Times Democracy

Postby Aravea » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:13 am

Alana meandered through the crowd, seemingly a bit lost within its ranks as she tried to find someone to speak with. A few individuals carried on lengthy conversations, whereas it seemed most instead prefered listening to the ambient conversation and sound of the band playing in the background. She had to admit that thus far the event rather reminded her of the gala she had attended in the Commonwealth a few months prior, as like with here she had felt as if she were out of place there as well. That’s not to say she disliked these style of events, quite contrary actually as she rather enjoyed being able to see how the monarchs of the other nations lived and interacted with different cultures. Yet with that being said, she felt a yearning within her to do more than just be a bit player here.. Regardless of her feelings on the matter, Alana nonetheless felt compelled to perform her duty, no matter how unsure she felt on the matter.. She looked down to her wrist, pressing a series of glyphs on the polished platinum bracelet with what looked to be an inlaid sapphire.

As she finished pressing the keys, the bracelet vibrated as a small azure orb rose from its surface. The princess gave a slight smile as she saw the sapphire orb in the center of the drone emit a turquoise light, with it giving a soft whir as it floated around the young princess. Alana patted the drone’s top, speaking in a hushed tone as she did so, “Malxeris….I have a task for you, dearie. I would like for you to take some photographs of layouts of the gardens, as well as catalog any bloom or plant species which is not indexed in the Imperial Gardens. Auria may not approve, but I will be damned if I am going to miss out on an opportunity to gain some inspiration for our gardens back in Stier.”

Malxeris bobbed and emitted a quiet warble, akin to that of a songbird, as it heard Alana’s request. The drone flew off , weaving in between members of the crowd as it set about fulfilling its master’s request. With that particular matter having been attended to, Alana’s mind soon drifted back to finding someone with whom she could converse. She had considered speaking with some of her fellow invitees, but she figured that had little wish to converse with one they either considered their rival or as being an outsider. With that in mind she began to walk through the crowd, losing herself in her thoughts until she lightly brushed past a handsome, well dressed gentleman who seemed to be in the same sorts as herself.

Alana turned her to face him, blushing faintly as she curtsied, “My sincerest apologies, your grace. I assure you I meant no offense in brushing past your person…...” The princess’s sapphire orbs widened as she realized who she was speaking to. This was Christopher, son of King Leopold and second prince of Beliany.. Externally she quickly regained her composure as she attempted to give off a gentle air, but internally she was awash with guilt that she had potentially committed a major faux pas through her inattentiveness., “It is a a great honor to stand before you your highness. I have heard a great deal about you from both your father, along with some of what I have picked up during my travels. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Princess Alana of the Aravean Imperial House of Randgriz. I do not suppose that you would perhaps wish to converse, by chance....” Alana heard a faint warbling behind her as she saw Malxeris coming into view, the small drone hovering a centimeter above her shoulders as it eyed the prince, “Malxeris, you honestly have quite the awful sense of timing. Do pardon my friend here, your highness. He was merely fulfilling a task that I had asked of him. You see, I was rather taken by the gardens here and I had asked him to catalog some of its contents so that I may have them as a source of inspiration for some of my botanical projects back in Aravea. I do hope little Malx here is not a nuisance for either you or the other guests. If need be...I can always shut him down for the time being."
Last edited by Aravea on Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:16 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Proud Deputy Speaker of the INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM COALITION!
★★★Proud Intelligence Minister of the United Monarchist Alliance★★★
Note: Currently in the process of overhauling the Aravean factbooks/canon.

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Polonge
Diplomat
 
Posts: 906
Founded: Aug 05, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Polonge » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:00 pm

Maximilian paused, putting his hands together with a rolling of his eyes. He could sense that this subject was something a bit more than just a simple matter but one that clearly had become in tangled in something else. There was something in his tone. Like the sound of a siren in the distance. Maximilian looked out over the crowd of guests in the gardens, and then back to his husband with a deadpan stare.

"I feel like this is a trap, but I must ask," Maximilian sighed. "Who are the Albrets?"

He could feel the trap hanging over him, but this was a conversation that had to be had. Leopold was going to drive his children insane if he continued at this rate. Maximilian knew how an overbearing parent could be. His mother had more than once imposed her dynastic interests onto his older siblings. And it had driven Maria Anna to murder her husband. Maximilian had no desire to see that become Baudouin and Sofia, or any of his other stepchildren.

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