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A Tale of Two Kingdoms

The Crown of Hanover is only one of two worn by our regal Sovereign. The other is the Crown of the Kingdom of Varennes, Hanover's renowned sister in Commonwealth. Whereas the Kingdom of Hanover has developed somewhat of an Anglophile culture over the years (albeit with a smattering of German cultural elements), the Kingdom of Varennes is tres Francaise, having been founded as a celebration of the times and traditions of pre-revolutionary France. The Kingdom of Varennes was named after the town in which Louis XVI and the French Royal Family would have met Austrian troops dispatched to rescue them and spirit them away to safety. Alas, fate had other things in store for the Bourbons and their kingdom.

A Commonwealth of Kingdoms

His Majesty the King, who is considered resident in his Kingdom of Hanover, is nonetheless King of Varennes. The Varennaise Constitutional Charter of 2006 established the office of Governor General of Varennes. Provision for this viceregal office allows the Sovereign to reign over his Varennaise dominions vicariously through a Governor General. The Governor General is appointed to exercise the authority of the Varennaise Crown in the King's name when His Majesty is absent from the Realm.

Origins of the Commonwealth

The first Commonwealth was known as the "Hanoverian Commonwealth of Nations", formed not long after Hanover herself was founded. By treaty with their rulers, the small and underpopulated Empire of Calormen and the similarly small Duchy of Athenoi were both secured to the Hanoverian Crown. While Calormen remained an empire in name, thus affording the Hanoverian Monarch the title "emperor", the Duchy of Athenoi was granted dominion status and her former duke, Justin Leopold Albert Christian George, was named Viceroy. Both Justin and Calormen's first emperor, Christopher, were legally adopted into the ruling House of Marchmain by King James I. Each was given the style "Royal Highness". Prince Justin was named Prince of Emden and Prince Christopher received the peerage degree and title of 1st Marquis of Laitenburgh. While Prince Justin would eventually inherit the throne of Hanover as King James II, Prince Christopher vanished without a trace and his whereabouts are unknown to this day.

During the reign of King Alexander, it was decided to incorporate the Commonwealth Dominions as counties of a unitary Kingdom of Hanover. Calormen was renamed the "County of Laitenburgh" after the title granted to her founder. In the year 2008, Laitenburgh was redefined once again. The county was extricated from the unitary state and called "The H. R. Empire of Laitenburgh". That empire is, today, ruled by HRH the Duke of Gottingen, formerly King Alexander. Over Laitenburgh, the Duke of Gottingen retains the style "emperor". Upon his abdication from the throne of Hanover, Alexander decided to keep the Crown of Laitenburgh for himself without objection from the Hanoverian Community.

A Great Imperial Family

The current Commonwealth is composed of the co-equal Kingdoms of Varennes and Hanover. Whereas at one time both kingdoms were ruled by absolute monarchs, today both are constitutional monarchies with representative legislatures. While sharing a monarch, each kingdom has its own constitution, its own Parliament and its own government, neither interfering in the affairs of the other. As each kingdom is on equal footing with the other, one or the other of the two realms cannot be said to be the dominant Kingdom. Therefore, to refer to a "Hanoverian Commonwealth" is no longer accurate. A "Hano-Varennaise Empire" might well be a more suitable name for this unique sisterhood of kingdoms.

In each kingdom can be seen the component parts or residual elements of a remarkable empire founded by the House of Marchmain. All in all, the empire has boasted no fewer than five crowns: the Crown of Hanover, the Crown of Athenoi, the Crown of Calormen (Laitenburgh), the Crown of Varennes, and the Crown of Chambord. The Dominion of Chambord, originally the renegade "Republic of Morovia", was the only realm ever incorporated through conquest. The Dominion of Chambord was later incorporated into the Varennaise unitary state.