The Heidelen Monarchy
Formally known as the Line of Vigerhen, the Heidelen Monarchy is ancient, outmatched in terms of age only by that of the Serroyan Line of Itterard, and even then only just. The Vigerhen family line dates back to long before the Cataclysm, and whilst there have been the usual family disputes and conflicts found amongst its history, it has always found a comparatively benign and clever way to avoid the worst excesses of civil conflict and strife found in other royal families (the foundation of the Duchy of Marquesburg in The Free Midland Duchies is a good case in point).
Unlike the more socially high handed monarchs and nobility of Serroya, Varrunna Toralden and others, the monarchy of Heidelgard has always seemed a little more practical, and in matters of marriage and dynasty have always been far more accepting of their members marrying for matters like love than matters of blood or purity, and as a result the monarchy in Heidelgard has seemed more immediate and accessible to its people than that of other lands. The current head of state is King Maximillian Vegau Vigerhen the Third, in his 60’s and still going strong. He’s regarded as a benign figure, and well regarded amongst the people given he seems to have a somewhat diffident and whimsical sense of humour. There is also his wife Queen Margeurita, (thorny but decent), his eldest son Crown Prince Hugo (staid and proper), his daughter Princess Rinatta (fun loving and fond of the hunt) and his youngest son Prince Bernhardt (eccentric and much given to wild science and adventurism). There are other extended members of the Royal Family, including the 2 younger brothers of the King (Princes Ludwig and Pieter) and their families, but it is the King, Queen and their children who capture the imaginations of their subjects.
Maximilian is very much a patron of the Kaastig University, and often has the Principal and Heads of the Faculties visit at the Heidelplass (the official palace complex and Capital Residence of the Family) for his interest in science and Alchemy is well known. He ensures that there is always a generous financial contribution to the Universities coffers, and has been known to visit the University every now and again to keep abreast of developments.
Margeurita is a good foil for the King, for she is known to be somewhat stern and proper compared to her husband. Her thorny and prickly manner is eased somewhat by her involvement with a number of charitable concerns in the capital and beyond, especially in her home city of Treest, the second city of Heidelgard.
Prince Hugo is the Crown Prince, 33 years old and seen by many as a solid, dependable and thoughtful heir to the throne. He is also seen by some to be overly serious and staid. His interests seem to lie very much in the standard monarchic pastimes of the military, observation of politics and relations with other nations and states. Married to Princess Kjersti, herself a native of Schwereinn, they have a pair of 7 year old twins, namely Dagmar (the eldest and daughter) and Ruutger (younger and a son).
Princess Rinatta is something of a freewheeling social butterfly, a great patron of the arts and also a great appreciator of hunting, falconry and energetic pursuits. She is often in attendance at the Salozan Opera House and other forms of theatre, and the slow and steady rise of interest in the Cantabrian theatre style is due to her approval (her styles, tastes and fashions are eagerly watched and imitated by women all over Heidelgard). Unmarried yet, at the age of 23 she has no pressing need to do so at the moment, but custom in the Vigerhen royal line often has the scions married by 25, with it being rare for them to be unmarried beyond that age. She is courted by the great and powerful from all over Accitaine, but it will be a rare man who can keep up with her.
Prince Bernhardt is the youngest royal offspring at 21 and viewed by more than a few as being an eccentric seeker after science, learning and new ways of thinking. He studied for 4 years from age 15 to 19 at the Kaastig University in the Schools of Alchemical Studies, Engineering and Architecture and also the School of History and Archaeology. He is known to be clever, active and possessed of great verve, though also unpredictable in ways that mark one out as either mad or a genius; nobody is sure which. He is a qualified Alchemist, much to the disdain of the easterly nations (too much like a trade for a member of a monarchy), and again like his father often frequents the Kaastig from time to time.
There are a great many other extended members of the Royal family, with the Kings 2 brothers having their own extended families, though by custom only the brothers may hold the title of Prince; their wives are termed as Duchesses, and their own children are termed as Markgraav (male) and Markgraaven (female). Below them are found Counts and then Earls.