Milena of Adria
Milena Ekaterina Fyodorovna (Common: Milena Catherine) (New Marian: Milena Katherina), known regally as Milena of Adria, was the reigning Queen-consort of Hanseti-Ruska from 1726-1742. She was the only surviving child of Fyodor Carrion, whom himself was the son of Ratibor I of Adria and Alexandria Horen, and Ingrid of Sarkoz. Milena is also known as Milena of Ves, Milena Ekaterina, Milena Carrion, and Milena Barbanov. Due to her ambitious successes and formidable character, alongside her posthumous controversies, she is known as Milena The Red.
The Royal Palace of New Reza and its subsiding Lake are her namesakes, respectively Ekaterinburg and Lake Milena.
Born within her family’s manor in the city of Ves, her household moved to the luxurious Capital of Aeldin, Nova Horos, shortly after her birth. There, the girl had an upbringing befitting of a Carrion Dynast. Due to the death of her mother while giving birth to both Milena and her stillborn twin, the only maternal influence she had in her earlier years were the tutors her dutiful father Fyodor had hired for her.
As she entered her years of literacy, notions of legacy and destiny were implanted in her head by both her father and relatives. By her sixth nameday, Fyodor enrolled his young daughter in the prestigious boarding school of Brillantmont where she became acquainted with two formidable women: Princess Vespira of Man, who upon her eventual marriage to John d'Arkent, became the Duchess of Sunholdt and Olympe-Athenais, Madame Royale of the Kingdom of Banardia, later the Duchess of Leon, and mother to the infamous Madame Rothesay. From thereon out, Milena grew to be a proud and learned youth, studying both the fields of courtly etiquette and martial tactics—if not profoundly influenced by delusions of grandeur, then by a competitive drive.
Struggle for Queenship
Milena arrived upon Arcas’s shores on her thirteenth name day, hailed by her father Fyodor, and her cousins Adrian and Henry of Sarkozy. It is attested by Aeldinic Courtiers that, prior to her departure, the youth insisted that she would fulfill her god-given purpose, becoming Queen-Consort as her half-aunt Valera was to be and like her father had instructed her. Many were bemused by the sudden arrival of the Carrion, and how she instantly incorporated herself into the Court. At the time of her arrival, her husband was betrothed to one Katharina Vyronov, a girl Milena instantly deemed childish and unable to rule. She began to pave a distance between the two and spoke of an ancient promise of marriage between the Houses Carrion and Barbanov that went unfulfilled.
Her endeavors came to fruition a Saint’s week following when the betrothal between King Andrew III and Lady Katharina was dissolved and she herself was bound by oath to the monarch. During this time, Milena and the Monarch grew formally acquainted—cultivating a warm comradery.
On the year the two aged sixteen, fanfare boomed throughout the city, and a vast audience situated themselves within the famed Basilica at the heart of Reza; Those in attendance included Prince William Johannes and Pierce I of Curonia.
Milena wed Andrik in a traditional wedding at the year of 1726, her father’s death but a few months prior not deterring her. She donned a headdress made of chiffon, a long gown of velvet white, and a furred golden robe embellished with designs of roses in various colors. She was assisted down the aisle by her eldest cousin, Adrian de Sarkozy and trailed by Princess Laurentina of Renatus and her sister-in-law, Princess Mariya Barbanov.
Unlike another flamboyant dresser, her titular progenitor Theresa of Turov, Milena received praise on her costly, yet traditional, choice of gown from the masses; One Auvergnian man, who donned Lorrainian armor himself, even halted the wedding proceedings as to compliment the bride, aged just sixteen, on her voguish ensemble.
Queen-Consort of Hanseti-Ruska
A mere days after her ascension as the Royal Consort, Milena instrumented the legislation of several initiatives, including one of her first, the Haeseni Harvest Initiative , which saw Reza's bounty adequately distributed to the Populace.
At only eighteen, the Queen had garnered the affections of her cousins and the common populace. However, her casual impishness and perfectionist nature became an elicitor of unrest amongst those at court—especially from her former rival, Lady Katharina Vyronov. In one occasion, the present servantry attested that Milena had attempted the quell an altercation between her two sisters-in-law, the then-Duchess of Adria and the Grand Princess of Muldav, to which the latter had protested with a comment on Milena's imperative and commandeering manner. The aghast and heavily pregnant Queen responded with but a smile, uttering "Were I not to have involved myself, my ladies, you would have brutalized each other seconds ago."
In the months following, the adolescent was bestowed her first child, Prince Andrew Peter. The Kingdom was elated to have an heir, and their future now certain. But a month after his birthed, he was christened by the Cardinal Siguard of Reza—the ceremony garnering a wide range of attendants of Haeseni, Adrian, and Ruberni citizenry.
A year following her son's birth, the outskirts of Reza and its surrounding territories began to be plagued with a scourge of pagan activity. Initially remiss to the threats, Milena—unknowingly pregnant with her second child—became privy to idolatry being left around the city, and soon afterward, her own home. Upon arriving to Reza with her retinue from a meeting with the Emperor-Elect, Adrian de Sarkozy, the perturbed Queen found her servants slain, chamber doors bashed open, and her son stolen from his cradle. Accounts from the Princess Adryana Eleanor, sister to the King, note that Milena did not vacate her chambers in the days following her son's abduction.
Eventually, a band of miscreants donning similar armour to those of the reviled brigand surface between Rubern and Kaedrin, prompting Haeseni forces to pursue them in their King and heir's name. Milena, driven by her anger, joined the Brotherhood, riding at her husband's flank into battle.
Unfortunately, despite her valor, both Milena and her confidant Vespira Helane were captured and taken to the opposition's camp. There, the queen was reunited with her malnourished son and was imprisoned for a month. It is rumored that she and Vespira alike were given sustenance in the form of rat meat. Eventually, a rescue party emerged, headed by the queen's cousin, Adrian.
The royal pair were returned to Helena, where the Sarkozy Duke served as governor for the sickly Alexander II. There, Milena was informed of the various intrigues corresponding to the court. With ease, she obliged and maintained herself involved even after her return to Reza.
The Haeseni court was relieved with their Queen and heir's return, Milena immediately having resumed her duties as the court's head. Her relationship with her husband grew more distant during this time, their only comforts having become their son and newly born daughter, the Princess Royal Antonia Frederika.
After the Princess Royal's birth, Milena and the King began to distance, his absences to hunt and consort with wenches having drawn him away plenty before. Although the practice of taking mistresses was common amongst monarchs at the time, the Tuvyic heiress was frigidly indifferent to it, and so reciprocated around this time, having incited a short-lived affair with the Adrian Duke and Lord-Protector of Oren, the Lord Sarkozic; they never veritably surpassed innocent flirtations and consequently were never consummated, a matter often debated. As such, Milena remained chaste and did not engage in other extra-marital relationships.
Soon thereafter, Andrew III took leave from the royal court and departed for a prolonged hunting trip with his leading advisor, Gerald Stafyr. Despite Milena's growing inclination to prefer social isolation, she performed her duties of Queenship with steadfast diligence. Working alongside the Princess Mariya, who became her Grand Lady, and Princess Sofiya, her chamberlain, Milena furthered the establishment of the opulent court she strived for at the beginning of her Queenship. She enacted several edicts of courtly etiquette and decorum with the two women, setting the standard for her successors as was exemplified, if not furthered, by Maya of Muldav.
Upon the wedding of the Prince of Rubern to Ester of Avalain, the young Queen began to instigate diplomacy between the two Karovic natures, forming a comradery with the newfound consort. However, despite her intentions, she and the Ruberni prince never got along, both notoriously branding the other an outlier in the Haeseni court.
Twelve years after having married King Andrew, and having sired him three healthy children, were the two crowned in the year 1738, during the sun-lit crest of Summer. The Queen donned a gilded gown emblazoned with a red sash, an allusion to Carriondom and her Adrian parentage, alongside a bejeweled tiara. The garments are rumored to have been tailored by Milena's confidant and sister-by-law, the Duchess of Adria, who passed in the preceding months, for her presumptive coronation as Holy Orenian Empress, which never transpired due to the Lord Protector's death. She had little time to mourn her beloved friend and celebrate her appointment as she had been heavily pregnant with twins during this time. She named them Otto Rupert and Alexandria Cecilya, the former named in honor of her cousin, the Count of Susa, and the latter for her grandmother, the Imperial Princess and Duchess consort of Adria, Alexandria of Man.
As her son, the young Prince Andrew began to mature, and his relationship with his headstrong and rawdy betrothed, Princess Arianne of Kaedrin, continued, Milena's authority over the boy began to diminish—a prospect which worried her fervently. It was around this time that she began to groom her prodige, the then-Grand Lady Princess Maya Valeriya, for eventual Queenship. She would feed the youth, who she had a strong relationship with, honeyed words, even going as far as to dissuade her son from marrying the Helvets, noting her volatility and inability to properly succeed. In the Queen's eyes, later evident in her letters to Princess Maya herself whom she so frequently called niece and sweetling, she was the only rightful and dignified woman in Haense to become Queen after her, having trained in courtly matters as a ward since childhood.
Death, Legacy, and Controversy
The Queen did not live to see Maya ascend and be crowned as her successor as in the Palace Ekaterinburg, she was flayed by a supposedly Ruberni assailant, bringing her a gruesome and brutish end. Milena was thirty-two and was outlived by her husband by four years.
On the day of her coronation, which marked the first occasion that a Queen consort received a coronation of her own, Milena wore a gilded gown said to have been given to her by her closest confidant and her sister-in-law, The Duchess of Adria. The gown was worn thrice over by the following Queen consorts, thus cementing the Milenic dress as a tradition for the ascendancy of a Haeseni queen.
Posthumously, the name of Milena Ekaterina was tainted by the release of letters, by the Princess Anastasya of Rubern, detailing her alleged infidelity with the Lord-Protector and the illegitimacy of her son, King Andrew IV. Although her contemporaries rumored it to be veritable, there has never been any substantial evidence to corroborate the story, which was deemed a farce by the academic Milena of Dobrov, her namesake. Nonetheless, in light of the letters, Milena's Queenship and legacy, as a patron of the Haeseni people or as an ambitious and licentious woman has been a matter of controversy.
Titles, Styles, and Honors
Titles and Styles
- 1726–1742: Her Majesty, the Queen of Hanseti-Ruska
Full title as Queen
Her Royal Majesty, Milena of Adria, Queen-Consort of Hanseti-Ruska and its pertaining realms.
|King Andrew IV of Haense||9th of Owyn's Light, 1729||Alive||Maya of Muldav||Firstborn child of Andrew III and Milena of Adria|
|Princess Antonia Frederika, Princess Royal||1st of Godfrey's Triumph, 1731||Alive||Ingvar II, King of Fjordem||Secondborn child of Andrew III and Milena of Adria. Queen consort of Fjordem. Left the Royal lifestyle after her husband's death in favor of piety as a Judite nun.|
|Prince Otto Rupert, Duke of Galahar||8th of the Sun's Smile, 1738||Alive||Unwed||Thirdborn child of Andrew III and Milena of Adria. Twin to Aleksandriya.|
|Princess Aleksandriya Cecilya of Haense||8th of the Sun's Smile, 1738||1744||Unwed||Thirdborn child of Andrew III and Milena of Adria. Twin to Otto. Murdered at the age of nine by AIS soldiers during the Rubern War.|
|Ancestors of Milena of Adria|