Amadea of Pompourelia

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Amadea of Pompourelia
amadeanew.jpg
"The Lady Pompourelia" by Swanhilda de Owynsburg, c.1816
Countess-consort of Renzfeld
Tenure: 1809-1834
Predecessor: Empress Anne, in abeyance.
Successor: Charlotte of Aldersberg
Born: 11th of Owyn’s Flame, 1789, Helena, Holy Orenian Empire
Death: 15th of Harren's Folly, 1834, Augustine, Providence, Holy Orenian Empire
Spouse: Prince Philip Aurelian of Crestfall (m. 1809)
House: de Sarkozy
Father: George Ulysses, 2nd Count of Pompourelia
Mother: Princess Amalie of Muldav

Amadea Ulyssa, Countess of Renzfeld (13th of Owyn’s Flame, 1789 – 15th of Harren's Folly, 1834) was the firstborn and only child of George Ulysses, 2nd Count of Pompourelia and his wife, Princess Amalie of Muldav. At birth she was betrothed to Prince Philip Aurelian of Crestfall, third in line for the Imperial throne and assumed future successor to the crown. The pair wed in 1809, and sired five children together. Taken up by sickness at age 40, the Countess removed herself from the public eye until her death in 1834, passing prior to her husband's own death.

Early Life

Amadea Ulyssa de Sarkozy was born upon the 13th of Owyn's Flame, 1789 in Helena, to George Ulysses, 2nd Count of Pompourelia and his wife, Princess Amalie of Muldav. She was named after her late paternal uncle, Peter Amadeus, as well as taking the female equivalent of her Father's own middle name. Her complex and varied royal lineage traces to Emperor Joseph II (as his grand-niece via her Father's line), Adrian I of Kaedrin (as his great-granddaughter via her maternal grandmother), and a further descendant from both the Johannian and Aurelian Imperial lines via her paternal grandmother, Henrietta, Princess of Alstion.

Amadea was the firstborn and only child to the Count and Countess of Pompourelia, and as such was regarded as the heir to the comital title throughout her youth. At her birth, she was betrothed to Prince Philip Aurelian of Crestfall], who was third in line for the Imperial throne and widely believed to be the successor to the childless Crown Prince John Charles, as his brother Philip Augustus (Philip Aurelian's father) was only a few years younger than him and would thus be an unlikely ascendant to the throne. The Orenian Crown furthermore saw it fit to reunite the lines of Sarkozy and Novellen through Amadea's marriage, as she was the sole inheritor to the Pompourelian line of de Sarkozy.

The Pompourelian Heiress" (circa 1794), by Swanhilda de Owynsburg. This portrait was delivered to the residence of the Duke of Crestfall in order to show him what his son's future bride looked like.

An Imperial Ambassador described a young Amadea as looking very similar to her Mother, with pale blonde hair and fair skin - bearing large blue eyes similarly coloured to her uncle, Joseph II. She was rather short for her age, reaching only the height of 5'3 within her life. The Ambassador remarked that she was "nothing extraordinary, as Lady Wilhelmina was", but that the heiress would "do finely with a crown atop her head".

Her early childhood was spent within the Orenian countryside of Arcas, until the Inferi Invasion in 1796 led the Empire to re-establish itself within the city of Providence upon the continent of Almaris. From thereon, she lived in the Augustine Palace under the rule of Empress Anne I and Emperor Joseph II. After a familial dispute her Mother had departed the Empire, and her Father left the entirety of Amadea's education and upbringing within the hands of a number of court tutors. However, these tutors for the most part were irresponsibly neglectful, leaving her with only the company of gossip-prone servants and her loyal dalmatian Augustus. Archchancellor Franz Nikolai, Amadea's distant cousin, described the poor education of the Future Empress as an "Insult to the Imperial Line", and upon meeting her in 1803, arranged to oversee the remainder of her upbringing alongside his wife Irene.

From thereon, Amadea became more aware of the affairs of state, and took a keen interest in music - particularly through learning the Pianoforte. She developed a close relationship with her cousin the Baroness of Carrington and standing Governess of the Augustine Palace, slowly beginning to assume her place within the court. She worked together with the Governess to solidify her position as the successor to the Imperial Court, marking the beginning of what would become Amadea's lifetime focus.

Marriage

Amadea's betrothal to Prince Philip Aurelian of Crestfall, five years her senior, was solidified within days of her birth. The messy affair of Crown-Prince John Charles' marriage led the Imperial Crown to desire a strong imperial union, and thus when the Count of Pompourelia announced the birth of his daughter, she was selected as the most viable candidate. Prince John's' further lack of children led the Imperial line of succession to fall to his younger brother, Philip Augustus. Due to the close ages of the two sons of Anne I and Joseph II, it was widely regarded that the next Emperor following John would be his nephew, Philip Aurelian. As such Amadea's betrothal positioned her to be the future Empress-Consort of the Holy Orenian Empire.

The pair first met within a Royal ball at the Augustine Palace in the summer of 1800 when Amadea was eleven years old. The heiress described her betrothed to her confidante Anna Pruvia as a "tender-hearted young fellow", and the two continued to exchange cordial letters following their first meeting and throughout their later adolescence.

The wedding of Amadea and Prince Philip (c. 1809). Depicted is the bride and groom standing before High Pontiff Jude II. Behind the bride is the Maid of Honour, Amadea’s Cousin Anna Pruvia alongside seven of her bridesmaids. To the right of the bride is the Duke and Duchess of Helena, and the leftmost figures of the portrait (in order left to right) are The Princess Imperial, Princess Anne Caroline, her husband Simon Casimir, and The Count of Susa.)

The pair were later wed upon the 14th of Tobias' Bounty, 1809 - two month's after Amadea's twentieth birthday. They married in the Cathedral of Providence, and their wedding was overseen by the High Pontiff Jude II. Amassing over 100,000 attendees, the period of festivities surrounding the union continued for a number of months following. Amadea wore an extravagant gown tailored by Joanne Selm, niece to the famed Orenian tailor Mary of Sunholdt. It included the 'New Orenian' style of a wider bust and more shapely corset, with intricate gold trimmings lining the edges of her skirt and sleeves. Upon her head she donned the diadem of her grandmother, Princess Henrietta of Alstion.

Immediately following the wedding Philip was granted the County of Renzfeld, and as such Amadea became the Countess alongside him.

As Countess of Renzfeld

Following her wedding (and as such ascension to an Imperial Princess), Amadea immediately set about further establishing her role within the courts and within the empire as a whole. She began to surround herself with an array of similarly-minded ladies, beginning to form the core of her own future court. These included figures such as Anna Pruvia, Mary d'Arkent, Helena Basrid, and her cousin-in-law, Princess Charlotte Augusta. Together, they drafted the initial plans for a new court restructure. The absence of an incumbent Empress (or crown-princess, given Wilhelmina's seclusion) allowed the Countess to expand her influence, quickly assuming her place as one of the leading women of the Imperial household - perhaps only secondary to the Princess Imperial.

The Count of Renzfeld (circa 1810), by Swanhilda de Owynsburg. A depiction of Amadea's husband, Prince Philip Aurelian. Commissioned a year following their wedding.

Across this period, Amadea's social authority only continued to grow, with her character and afamed beauty earning her the veneration of a significant portion of the courts. Little Imperial girls spoke of their admiration for the Countess, and their elder counterparts fought for her recognition. Though not a woman with the sharpest of intellect, partly due to her poor education as a child, Amadea was certainly well-versed in one thing - how to command the attention of Imperial Society. Her audacious and wildly expensive taste in fashion and jewellery, as well as her distinct emphasis upon physical appearance and social order earned her the disfavour of some progressive Orenians, however the majority regarded the Countess as the exact picture of the Empire's long-awaited Empress-Consort, a role in which had been vacant since Peter III's wife had died in 1767.

However, her largest shortcoming came within the substantial time in which she seemed unable to produce an heir. Prince Philip and Amadea had wed in 1809, and and the Countess herself was known to have boasted abundantly of her plans to secure the Imperial line of succession - in short, to succeed where Crown-Princess Wilhelmina had not. Despite her assurances, the initial years of the pair's marriage suggested the opposite. The Countess' first pregnancy came in 1809, a few months following the wedding, however resulted in an early miscarriage. This was followed by several more, in 1810, 1812 and 1813, each of which produced the same result - the loss of the child. Believing herself a poor example of an Imperial Princess and fearing for her reputation, she chose to keep the news of her miscarriages and any further pregnancies largely private. It was only Philip himself, alongside a few select advisors, who knew of the Countess' struggle. She retreated from such a pronounced place in the public eye, desperate to provide the Empire with a future Emperor.

Her prayers were however finally answered in 1815 with the birth of a healthy baby boy, christened as Prince Philip Amadeus of Renzfeld. Due to her fears and subsequent secrecy of her pregnancy, it came as a surprise to the court when the Countess stood before the Noble Summons and announced the birth of the Empire's future heir. Amadea was overjoyed, and spoke
Social Season Revelries (circa 1817), by Ser Henry Penton. This painting depicts Amadea and Philip (left), alongside other notable participants of the season - including the Duke of Cathalon, The Heir to the County of Azor, the Heir to the Barony of Halcourt and Henry Penton himself.
readily and extensively of his growth and progress. She was not an entirely present mother, as her own was not, and preferred to leave the actual care of her son to his various Governesses whilst she boasted of his beauty to the court. It is unknown how Amadea was able to fall pregnant after so many years of being unable to conceive a child - some courtiers drew it to divine intervention by the Lord himself, however others believed the Countess practiced black magic in order to secure herself the ability to have a child. Nevertheless, the Court was overjoyed to meet the future heir to the Imperial Throne.

With newfound vigour, Amadea returned to her previous place in the court, being notable involved within the Social Season of 1816, where she took upon a significant role in the organisation and participation of various events across the year. This allowed her to expand her influence across the slightly younger generation of Imperials, and as her own future subjects, she placed a great deal of importance in building her relationship with the Debutantes and Bachelors of the Season. This was an incredibly prosperous period for the Countess, and the Season ended on an even further high note with the birth of her second son, John Casimir. Amadea and Philip's third and final son, George Maximilian, was born two years later.

Three consecutively born sons only further solidified Amadea's influence, securing the Imperial line of succession after the childless Emperor John VIII. She set about a series of Court reformations, transforming what would eventually become her own Imperial Court. Shortly after, Amadea gave birth to two daughters in consecutive years - Princess Amelia Margaret, and Princess Christina Augusta. She was known to dote upon her two young girls, dressing them in the finest of silks and parading them around the palace alongside her. From the very moment of their birth, the Countess of Renzfeld had decided the fate of either girl - Amelia was to inherit 'Princess Imperial', as as such would lead the Orenian Courts, and Christina was to be wed for a political alliance.


Later Years and Death

The Countess of Renzfeld continued an active role in the Augustine Court for seven years following the birth of her youngest daughter, Princess Christina Augusta. However, her health began to slowly decline - and the ever aware Countess made constant effort to shield her ailing condition from the public eye. As the years progressed, Amadea spent less and less time within the Courts, delegating much of her work to her Superintendent, the Duchess of Cathalon, and the newly appointed Governess of the Augustine Palace - a role formerly the Countess' own. Due to the secrecy of her health, it is unknown exactly what the Lady Renzfeld suffered from. Some courtiers speculated that it was the all too familiar consumption illness, however others outright blamed the Countess for her luxurious and reckless behaviour, believed God to have punished her by way of her health. Regardless, by 1832 she had all but vanished from the Public eye - leading to much speculation that she had already passed away. The situation was uncannily similar to Peter III's wife, Lorena of Augustin, who had seemingly died long before any official Imperial announcement was made.

Regardless, the Renzfeld Household officially announced the death of the Countess on the 15th of Harren's Folly, 1834, citing an unnamed illness as the means that claimed her life.

A few saint’s days ago, the burdening illness that overtook the adored Countess- finally overtook her life. It was her wish to see the Empire grow and though she may never see her light as Empress, she surely watches from the seven skies over her four living children and her husband which she loved dearly...She was the life of the party and the joy of the court. A friend to all whom met her.

Amadea died at the age of 40, whilst Philip II still reigned. Therefore she was never able to rise to the position of Empress-Consort, one in which she had spent her entire lifetime in preparation for. Rumours of the court told of the regretful final months of the ill-fated consort, where her youngest daughter spent days on end beside her in prayer. She passed within the early hours of the morning, cared for by Princesses Christina and Amelia.

Legacy

The Countess of Renzfeld's death was one felt deeply by the Orenian Court, and perhaps even more so by Prince Philip himself. The pair, who had been engaged since birth and married fairly young, had never seen a point in either of their lives where they were not bound together in duty and matrimony. Despite a frivolous and often self-centred nature, Amadea was commonly regarded as a 'shining sun' of Oren, and therefore her unexpected and early death plunged her family into a tumultuous period.

Philip Aurelian was later remarried to Charlotte of Aldersberg, however it was said that their marriage lacked much beyond political influence and the duty of a future sovereign. Though he was once a pious man, Amadea's death had led the prince astray, with affairs and general debauchery becoming part of his character. Unfortunately, this eventuated in his sudden death - one of a mysterious and highly suspicious nature. Prince Philip never rose to his Imperial birthright, and instead the throne passed to Amadea's firstborn son, Philip III, Holy Orenian Emperor.

These events only served to cement what came to be known as the Consort Curse upon the imperial family by the spirit of Empress Lorena, as again another potential Empress had lost her grip on the crown. One woman did eventually take the position, Philip III's wife Anastasia of Kositz, their placement via revolution finalizing the curse's effects.

Titles and Styles

  • 1789 - 1809 The Right Honourable, Lady Amadea Ulyssa of Pompourelia
  • 1809 - 1834 Her Imperial Highness, The Countess of Renzfeld

Issue

Name Birth Death Marriage
Philip III, Holy Orenian Emperor 1815 1868 Anastasia I Firstborn child to Amadea and Prince Philip of Crestfall. Fourth in line to the Imperial Throne at the time of his birth. Named after both Amadea and Philip. Ascended to the Imperial Throne following the death of Philip II.
John I, Grand Duke of Balian 1817 Alive Gwyneth Barbanov-Bihar Secondborn child to Amadea and Prince Philip of Crestfall. Fifth in line to the Imperial Throne at the time of his birth. Named in honour of the Emperor at the time, John VIII. Following the events of the Brothers' War, John led the Imperial remnants to the southern Almarian isles where he formed the Grand Duchy of Balian.
Prince George Maximilian, 1st Count of Huntshill 1819 1867 Isabella Ruthern Thirdborn child to Amadea and Prince Philip of Crestfall. Sixth in line to the Imperial Throne at the time of his birth. Named in honour of Amadea's Father, George Ulysses, 2nd Count of Pompourelia
Princess Amelia Margaret, 1st Countess of Vanderfall 1823 1866 Victor Halcourt Fourthborn child to Amadea and Prince Philip of Crestfall. Seventh in line to the Imperial Throne at the time of her birth. Married Victor Halcourt and formed the household of Vanderfall.
Princess Christina Augusta of Renzfeld 1826 Alive Unwed Fifthborn child to Amadea and Prince Philip of Crestfall. Eighth in line to the Imperial Throne at the time of her birth. Named in honour of Empress Lorena of Augustin.

Ancestors