Raphael Sousa, 1st Duke of Sternachten
|The Most Dignified|
The Duke of Sternachten
ANI, COPS, GCGP
|The Duke of Sion supporting animals, 2020.|
29 December 2019 - 29 June 2020
|Predecessor||The Marquis of Savaßi|
|Successor||Prince Fernando of Negromonte|
27 September 2019 - 29 December 2019
30 August 2018 - 27 September 2019
|Prime Minister||The Count of Balten|
|Predecessor||The Count of Verdefort|
|Successor||The Marquis of Soutofeld|
Member of the House of Councillors
20 January 2016
10 September 2021
|Prime Minister||Henri Sãens|
|Predecessor||The Duchess of Montana|
|Born||10 December 1996|
|Political party||Moderate Party|
|Occupation||Former military; Civil servant; Mechanics technician; Student|
Royal Ebenthali Army
|In service||2014 - 2020|
Ebenthali Civil War
|Awards||ANI, COPS, GCGP|
Lord Raphael, The Duke of Sternarchten (born Raphael de Sousa Sampaio in Barbacena, Brazil, 10 December 1996) is an Ebenthali politician who served as Regent of Ebenthal during the 2019 interregnum and later as the country's 10th Prime Minister and the first under King Arthur II's reign. A long-time parliamentarian, member of the House of Councillors and President of the Moderate Party, the Duke of Sternachten remains on of Ebenthal's most influential politicians.
Living in Belo Horizonte, he joined became an Ebenthali citizen a politician in January 2016 when he was appointed Peer in the Conclave of Ebenthal, the country's former unicameral legislature, for the Principality of Belmonte, by King Arthur I, who ennobled him with the title of Duke of Sion (later altered to Duke of Sternachten). Raphael also joined the Royal Ebenthali Army and served during the Ebenthali-Brazilian War and the Ebenthali Civil War. In recognition for his merits, he was awarded Knight 1st Class of the now extinct Order of the Black Needles and Commander of the Order of the Swiss Prince, and in 2018 he was appointed Minister of War.
After King Arthur I's abdication, Raphael swore his allegiance to the new King Mateus I in 24 June 2019. As the Mateusian Crisis erupted, he was summoned by the monarch to deal with the rebels militarily, if needed, to which he refused to do and was branded a traitor. Siding with the First Lord Nícollas Reis, 1st Duke of Novaes and the Seneschal Pedro Reis, Count of Gesetzhausen, Raphael was able to turn the Ebenthali Armed Forces against Mateus, being critical to his dethronation. After a brief judgement, Raphael was officialy reinstated by the Tribune of Truth and was appointed (by the Conclave) to become the country's next King, to which he declined. He nonetheless accepted to become Regent of Ebenthal, in 27 September 2019, leaving office upon the acclamation of King Arthur II in 29 December that year, when he was appointd Prime Minister, rulling the country until June 2020.
As of 2022 Raphael remains a skilled and active politician in Ebenthal, occupying the office of Councillor Speaker, head of the House of Councillors, the country's lower chamber, being elected in 8 March 2021 in a continuation of his previous constituency as as Peer of the Realm in the country's former unicameral parliament. He was one of the main responsibles for the ascension of Ebenthal's first female PM.
Raphael was born in Barbacena, Minas Gerais, Brazil, being the second of three sons to a relativelly wealthy family. As his father was from Rio de Janeiro, he eventually moved to that city along with his family. There he studied at the Rezende Rammel Institute where he first went in touch with micronationalism through his friend Arthur Brum.
After graduate at the Rezende-Rammel Institute as a mechanical technician in 2013, Raphael completed the Armada Corporate Technician Staff course in early 2017 and joined the Brazilian Navy as a Sargeant. In 2018 he begun to study mechanical engineering at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro.
Raphael joined the Armada Corporate Technical Staff of the Brazilian Navy as 3rd Seargent in 2016 through a technical exam of admission. Since then he perfomed his military duties at the Naval Complex of Itaguaí as a technician of submarines, having worked at the Brazilian Nuclear Submarine Álvaro Alberto. In 2019 he was promoted as supervisor to the other technicians at his local division. Nonetheless, Raphael left his work in the navy, citing personal motivations, later revealed as having been mental exhaustion due to the responsibilities he had to bear in the sector. In early May he was discharged following his approval in a public exam to become a civil servant performing mechanic duties for the Brazilian Navy, but not as a member of it.
Raphael firstly became interested in micronationalism from 2013 to 2014, when his friend Arthur Brum created a simulationist nation at the NationStates platform, eventually turning it into an actual micronation - the Kingdom of Roschfallen. Raphael, though, did not participated, running out of time on his paralell life projects, but nonetheless he got to know many other micronationalists and got along with them, keeping contanct in conversations.
In 2016 Raphael enrolled in micronationalism when he was convinced to accept an invitation to become temporarily a Peer of the Realm in Ebenthal, just to try and see if that was too much for him to handle along with his proffessional life. Eventually, the office had much grasp over Raphael, who was earned the title of Duke of Sion by King Ebenthal (later being altered to Duke of Sternachten). A military in the Brazilian Army, Raphael was tasked by the Count of Balten, then serving as Prime Minister, to oversee over a structural reformation at the Royal Ebenthali Army; he was granted ranking of General.
In 2018 he was appointed Minister of War by Prime Minister Count of Verdefort, being subsequently appointed in two other cabinets. In early 2019 he founded the Holy Association of Catholic Ebenthalis, an organization for faithful Catholics to gather and discuss Ebenthali policies. However the organization ultimatelly played a critical role in the decrease of trust between the army and the government when King Mateus I rose to the throne and immediatly extinguished the HACE through a royal decree.
Role in the Mateusian Crisis
Shortly after the clash with Raphael and the HACE, King Mateus started the Mateusian Crisis by openly speaking on the transformation the country into an absolute monarchy, while centralizing as much power as possible. The monarch by then had some powerful allies, including many members of the Conservative Party, and he thought himself able to ignore the country's institutions' pleas for a democratic solution for the ongoing political crisis. Raphael protested the government's actions on ignoring institutions, but was silenced. Nonetheless, as King Mateus appointed the Count of Lahad as Prime Minister, he in turn kept Raphael in charge of war affairs hoping to gain from his respect and military know-how, even though he realized that Raphael's military experience could never be replicated in a micronational scale.
Throughout almost the entire crisis, Raphael remained nominally loyal to the Government, according to him, due to his "notion of debt towards the former King Arthur I, as he [Mateus] was his brother and successor", but also hoping that a reasonable outcome could've been reached and working for it, even secretly, in talks with Mateus' opponent. As Mateus I issued illegal decrees and both the Tribune of Truth and College of Peers of the Realm kept on being ignored while compelling for the Sovereign to come to terms with law, the heads of both institutions issued a common statement calling for Mateus's spontaneous or forced abdication; as a Peer of the Realm and a member of the Government, Raphael refused to vote and had his vote counted as abstension. To counter the matter, the King then called an emergency meeting of his cabinet, on which most members advised for the dissolution of both the legislative and judiciary institutions. Raphael, however, suggested to the King that he should talk to the Lord Speaker and the Seneschal and come to favorable terms in order to put a "happy reasonable ending to this chaotic situation" and "in order to preserve the realm", but his suggestion were ignored.
Then in 20 September 2020, as Mateus had dissolved Ebenthali institutions, Raphael finally broke with the government and used his influence to turn the enlisted citizens-in-exercise, members of government, definetely against the monarch, claiming there was no other solution than the overthrowning of the House of Beato. This immediatly prompted the Lord Speaker Duke of Grünewald, until then divided by the situation, as he had been a friend to King Mateus, to issue a cojoint act with the Tribune ot Truth dissolving the cabinet and officialy deposing King Mateus. Days following the crisis's end, the Duke of Grünewald, who was pardoned for his role in Mateus' government, and the Count of Gesetzhausen offered Raphael, the Duke of Sternachten, the Crown of Ebenthal, but he declined the offer and instead was appointed Regent of Ebenthal.
Following the end of the crisis and his tenure as Regent of Ebenthal, Raphael was appointed Prime Minister of Ebenthal by the King he placed on the throne, Arthur II, the former King of Roschfallen. As Prime Minister, the Duke of Sternachten presided over most of the most imporant reformations King Arthur II had started on the country since he assumed the throne, such as the change of symbols, the incorporation of new territories, the foudation of the Conference of Santiago and the Brazilian sector, Ebenthal's brief entry at the Konmalehth and the enormous lap in diplomatic relations and influence taken by the country under the reign of a far more influential and known monarch.
Fairly busy with personal matters and apathetic to the micronationalism in the end of his government, Raphael was dismissed from office when the Conservative Party became the majority party at parliament. Since then, he has fulfilling his initial role as a parlamentarian, although have maintained his position as a member of the Privy Council. In March 2021 he schematized the coalition between his Moderate Party and the Worker's Party led by Gabriela, Countess of Wittiza in order for her to assume as Prime Minister of Ebenthal. By doing so, he had himself appointed Councillor Speaker of the House of Councillors. In June 2021 he was appointed to the role of Rector of the Royal Academy of General Knowledge.
Titles, styles and honors
Titles and styles
- 20 January 2016 – present: The Most Dignified The Duke of Sternachten
- Kingdom of Ebenthal: Grand Cross of the Order of the Silver Cat
- Kingdom of Ebenthal: Grand Cross of the Order of the Swiss Prince
- Kingdom of Ebenthal: Knight 1st Class of the Order of the Black Needles
- Sultanate of Harram: Grand Cross of the Order of Hassan the Great
- Sovietian Empire: Recipient of the Order of Trotsky
- Kingdom of São Guimarães: Knight of the Order of St. Valeur
- Free Pristinian Republic: Knight of the Order of the Chevron