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Arlene, Empress of Agber
|Her Imperial Majesty|
The Empress of Agber
|Princess of Kolios
|Reign||7 January 1998 - Present|
|Reign||24 May 1997 - Present|
|Predecessor||Stephen (as King of Kolios)|
|Reign||7 January 1998 - 22 June 1998|
|Preceded by||Throne Established|
|Successor||Grand Duke Andrew|
Empress Arlene is a micronationalist who has served as the Sovereign of the Empire of Agber since 1998. She has also served as the Princess of the Principality of Kolios since 1997. In 2020, she also formally established the House of Mendoza-Vega.
With the Kingdom of Kolios
At the foundation of the Kingdom of Kolios on 20 September 1995, Arlene was named as a Princess but was not given governance over a province, due to her role as the Crown Princess. She would ascend to the throne on 24 May 1998, when her predecessor moved away from the area and abdicated the Rose Throne of Kolios. The newly minted Queen Arlene began making a number of appointments. Of note among these was naming Baroness Lacey Marie of Sheridan to the role of Chancellor after the departure of Margrave Jordan of Sulli from the role. In addition, she carved a portion of land out of the Duchy of Cramer to create a new Duchy, Reese. This new province was placed under the stewardship of the former King Stephen as a Duke.
In late 1997, her family would move from Augsburg, Germany, to upstate New York, USA. As the military community in the area of Kolios was being downsized as a part of the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure, Queen Arlene of Kolios decided to retain her throne, as she felt there was no one suitable staying behind to hold physical stewardship of Kolios. Arlene briefly toyed with the idea of establishing a colony of Kolios in her new home, but decided on a revamp the project as the Empire of Agber, using the capital of Kolios as the seat of a self-declared Empire.
With the Empire of Agber
Arlene established both the Empire of Agber and the Grand Duchy of Carthage on 7 January 1998, the same day she restructured Kolios into a principality within the Empire. She briefly reigned as Empress of Agber, Princess of Kolios, and Grand Duchess of Carthage before realizing it would be more prudent to delegate some of that responsibility. She would hand over the throne of the Grand Duchy to Andrew, a friend she had made since her family's move. She decided to retain the role as Sovereign of Kolios, given the fact that its capital also served as the seat of the Empire. She also decided that rather than replace the Koliosian provincial heads, she would make it a "Realm of Preservation," leaving the absentee nobles in place to honor their role in the creation of the Empire. During this time she served more as the de facto head of Carthagean affairs, with there being no distinguishable difference in the Agberian and Carthagean courts. It was during this time that Arlene would also claim Marie Byrd Land and Bir Tawil as protectorates of the Empire.
Her parents would split up in 2002, which would led to her relocating to Northern California with her mother. Arlene would befriend a group that engaged in Rennaisance fair culture and the Society for Creative Anachronism. She would quickly establish the third nation of the Empire: the Enclave de Cordova, with Baron Gilbert serving as the first head of the new nation. This was the beginning of what would become the Empire's primary existence as a vehicle to Renaissance fair culture. While she had made the decision to utilize the Koliosian flag as that of the new empire years before, it was at this time that she decided to make the new flag of Kolios identical to the naval jack of Bulgaria. Carthage and Cordova would utilize the same flag, with colors swapped.
In late 2003, Arlene discovered that Grand Duke Andrew's recently created Order of the Rosy Cross had roots in the Rosicrucian movement. Upon confronting Andrew and demanding an explanation, she learned that he was working on turning the Carthagean court into a bastion of Rosicrucian ideals. Arlene responded by using her authority as Empress to disband the order and revoke all previous awards of it. In protest, Andrew immediately cut off all communication with Arlene and the Empire. The Empress eventually had to accept the fact that those bridges were burned, and the project would have to move on without Andrew. When he left, he took a number of regalia for both the Order of Carthage and the Order of the White Lion with him. As Arlene had helped fund the regalia for the Order of Carthage, she found this outcome unacceptable. She responded by placing the highest order of each nation within the empire firmly under her control and funding. She dubbed these honors "National Orders," a structure that would continue for over the next decade and a half.
Arlene joined the US Air Force in the fall of 2004, shortly after graduating from High School. This era saw little continuity or activity at the Imperial level, as compared to the periods before and after it. Cordova was the notable exception to this, as it remained active where it was founded. Their relationship with the Empress during this era was highly contentious.
After being honorably discharged from the US Air Force, Arlene began investing more heavily in the Agberian Empire again. She worked to find a contact in the area where Carthage was established in order to develop an actual court, something that had been lacking since before her time in the military. In 2014 she moved to Colorado, got married, and would eventually establish Sawatch there.
During this time, she decided to focus the Empire as a vehicle to celebrating and participating in Renaissance Fair culture, charging each of the nations within the Empire with developing their own unique culture, heavily pulling from a cultural identity found during the Renaissance. She elected to leave the Empire, as a whole, relatively non-descript, with a few trappings of the Holy Roman Empire. Kolios, on the other hand, would fully embrace the culture of the Holy Roman Empire.
Arlene began frequently holding court within the confines of a Fair, and various retinues were charged with roaming the events and interacting with visitors. This often included the bestowing of knighthoods and taking oaths of fealty from those who wished to pledge service to the Empire or its subsidiary nations.
In April of 2020, Arlene was contacted by Margrave Jordan of Sulli. He had recently rediscovered the existence of Kolios by finding an old notepad containing information from his two years as an active part of it. In addition to welcoming the opportunity to "catch up and wax nostalgic," his records helped fill in some gaps in what Arlene could account for, specifically regarding awards of the Sanctified Order of the Crucifix and the Order of Kolios, as well as all the heraldry info for the Principality's territorial divisions. She began working closely with Jordan and the various members of the Empire to produce, catalog, and update the unique arms, history, and flags of each nation.
In June of 2020, in advance of Arlene moving across country in the wake of her divorce to pursue a medical degree, she released the Indiana Proclamation. Citing the likely inevitability of her studies and training causing her to be absent from the running of Agber, she outlined how she would be giving more autonomy to the individual nations of the Empire. This included the return of control for the various National Orders to their Sovereigns, at the trade-off of their also taking responsibility for funding them. She also established the succession of the Imperial Throne by a vote of a council formed from the Empire's various Heads of State. As part of this, her role as Princess of Kolios, which had largely been ceremonial since the downgrade from Queen, was now her primary qualification to hold the Imperial Throne.
In August of 2020, Arlene formally established the House of Mendoza-Vega. The name is pulled from two historic Spanish noble houses that she was able to trace her family's lineage to. As the head of the house, she ha stated that she hopes to branch out with other members, and maybe even see the expansion to the thrones of multiple nations, like the Saxe-Coburgs were in Europe.
Titles, Honors, and Awards
- Empress of Agber since 7 January 1998
- Princess of Kolios since 7 January 1998
- Duquesa de Madrinara since 16 July 2020
- Queen of Kolios from 24 May 1997 to 7 January 1998 (Nation restructured as Principality, lowering her title)
- Grand Duchess of Carthage from 7 January to 22 June 1998 (Abdicated throne)
- Protector of Marie Byrd Land from 23 December 1998 to 7 May 2020 (Renounced claim)
- Protector of Bir Tawil from 10 January 2001 to 7 May 2020 (Renounced claim)
Honors, Awards, and Medals
Orders of Chivalry
- Dame in the Sanctified Order of the Crucifix, 1995 Current Sovereign of the Order
- Dame Grand Cross in the Order of Kolios, 1995 Current Sovereign of the Order
- Dame Grand Cross in the Order of Carthage, 1998
- Dame Grand Collar in the Order of the Empire of Agber, 1999 Current Sovereign of the Order (Dame Grand Cross until 2019)
- Dame Grand Cross in the Order of the White Lion, 2001
- Dame in the Order of Cordova, 2002
- Dame in the Order of the Redwood, 2003
- Dame Commander in the Order of Arlene I, 2013 Current Sovereign of the Order
- Dame Commander in the Order of the Grizzly, 2016
- Star and Seal of the Order of Kanju and Manju, 2019
- Honor Cordon of the Exalted Order of the Rising Moon, 2019
- Dame Grand Star of the Order of Sawatch, 2014 (defunct)
- Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Mile High Breeze, 2015 (defunct)
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Griffin, 2020
US Military Awards and Decorations
Shown, from left to right, are:
Top row: Air Force Commendation medal, Air Force Achievement medal (2nd award), Air Force Good Conduct medal (2nd award)
Second row: National Defense Service medal, Global War on Terrorism Service medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service medal
Third row: Air Force Overseas Ribbon (short tour), Air Force Expeditionary Service ribbon, Air Force Longevity ribbon (2nd award)
Bottom Row: Air Force NCO Professional Military Education Graduate ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon, Air Force Training ribbon