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Marten II
King Marten II
Vital statistics
Name Marten Jan Albrecht van Draak
Birth/Death 12 June 1923- 9 October 2011
Reign 1967-2011
Consort Queen Aleksandra of Brunant
Predecessor Johan II
Successor Anthony I

Marten II (Marten Jan Albrecht van Draak, 1923-2011) is the former King of Brunant and 17th monarch. He had been at the throne from 1967 to 2011. Married to Queen Aleksandra of Brunant, Marten was a popular monarch, due to his friendly and down to earth demeanor.

Early life and educationEdit

Marten in 1932

Prince Marten, 1932

Prince Marten was born at Grijzestad Palace in Grijzestad to King Johan II and Maria Benedita of Braganza on the 12th of June, 1923. Marten was baptised at St. Sebastian's Cathedral, with his godparents being great aunt Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, grandmother Queen Sophie of Brunant, General John McCarthy and Prince Massimo of Torre e Tasso, wife of his aunt Princess Martina Louisa.

Most of his early years were spent being taught at home. He did his secondary education at the prestigious Collegio Champagnat Santa Clara, the first royal heir to receive non-tutored education. In 1940 he began studies at the Cape Cross Military Institute.

Military careerEdit

Marten II in uniform

Marten II in uniform

The deteriorating situation in Europe saw Marten join the Royal Navy in 1940 as an acting Second Ensign, serving on the R.S. Iustitia and placing his studies on hold. He privately hoped to go to Europe and help the fight in France or Great Britain, but it was impossible for him to do so as heir and his father brushed it off when he mentioned it.

During the early hours of the German invasion on 20 May 1941, he was in Koningstad and was involved in bringing down a Stuka divebomber. The night of the 20th, though, he, his sister and parents were evacuated by car to the port, and then onto the ship Bergen to Grijzestad, where they were to be evacuated to Egypt. The Royal family sailed aboard naval ship R.S. King Ambroos to safety in Alexandria, Egypt. The family then made their way to South Africa, and made a crossing of the Atlantic to New York, from which they took a train to Los Angeles and then to Lovia.

ExileEdit

Marten and and his family moved to a country house in the state of Oceana. At a dinner in Hurbanova (Oceana), Marten met Aleksandra Ilava, an Oceana girl, and short after seems to have fallen in love with her. Aleksandra, though, was only 13 at the time and her father forbade her to be with him, telling her to wait. The King and Queen were opposed to him falling for a commoner, though his mother was more understanding, even if not in agreement. Their friendship, though, blossomed and in 1945 he made it known to her that he would marry her, and would do what was needed, even if his parents would not consent.

Marriage and childrenEdit

Aleksandra and Marten in 1954

The couple in 1954

On 2 March 1945 the royal family returned to Brunant, and Marten went to finish his studies, formally receiving his promotion to Second Ensign in 1948, and promoted to First Ensign in late 1949. He was able to take time off from his studies to compete in the 1948 London Olympics in several shooting events. Marten and Aleksandra kept up correspondence quite often and at some point in 1948 or 1949 the king relented and agreed to the marriage. In the spring of 1949, she was invited to come to Brunant, touring the country, whereupon he proposed before her return to Lovia. On 28 April 1950 the pair were married at Dortmund Cathedral

During Christmas 1950, it was announced that Aleksandra was pregnant, and in July 1951 his first son was born, Prince Anthony. Shortly after, Marten and Aleksandra were in Italy, with the Crown Prince having been posted to La Spezia Naval Base in Liguria. There they would have a daughter, Princess Marie, born in March 1955. In 1952 he formed part of the Brunanter fencing team who went to the Helsinki Olypics, obtaining a special leave. Marten finished his four year posting in Italy shortly after and then returned to Brunant with his wife and two children.

In 1956 the couple and their (then) two children were moved to Switzerland, as Marten was posted as military attache at the Brunanter embassy in Bern. They resided in an apartment on Postgasse 63, not far from the embassy.

Years as regentEdit

Marten and Aleksandra were recalled to Brunant in 1958 due to a fall and injury which befell the king. They began taking on more duties and appearances in lieu of or with the king. Other than King Johan's Golden Jubilee in 1963, the king kept a more distanced and reserved role, and Aleksandra and Johan became the main figures of the monarchy.

Marten headed the committee that organized the jubilee festivities. Throughout 1963, Marten and his wife (sometimes with their children) made visits to a number of towns and settlements, as the king was not in a condition for much traveling. In January 1964 he and his wife were appointed regents for the King and Queen Maria Benedita for most public engagements. In 1965 he headed the opening of the new Congress, the first year since 1914 that King Johan did not undertake that duty.

Johan became increasingly ill from 1966 and in 1967 would not leave the palace, so Marten would attend all events requiring the king.

ReignEdit

Early yearsEdit

Marten II's monogram

The death of his father on 15 November 1967 saw him ascend the throne at the age of 44. Together with his wife Aleksandra, the royal couple presented a more youthful image, as opposed to the more private and reserved lives of his parents in the postwar years. On 2 February 1968 a simple coronation ceremony was held at St. Peter's Church.

Within months of his becoming king, Koningstad and much of the country became engulfed by the Protests of 1968, inspired by Italian and later fueled by French student and labor protests. The situation was nowhere near as bad as in France, but fears of any sort of violence in Koningstad prompted the king to call in his prime minister, Henry Warson, who assured him that the situation was under control. In a tape of conversation released in the 1990s, the king was heard asking <<would resigning help?>>, though Warson flat-out responded that he need not worry nor think in such fatalist terms.

The diffusion of the crisis at the end of the month and promises of reform seemed to calm the situation. In July, the king and queen embarked on a tour of the country with their children, their first as monarchs, where they visited Cape Cross, Brezonde, Roodstad, Drenthe, Boguestown, Carrington and several other towns. The king made his first state visit abroad in September 1968, visiting France and meeting with President Charles De Gaulle.

Marten, Aleksandra, Marie and Wilhelm visited Strasland in 1969, the first function abroad with his family, where he was awarded the Order of Valdemar by Queen Christina. In the spring of 1970 Marten and Aleksandra visited Berrio with their two youngest children, only the second time a monarch visited the territory. They went to Cristiana, Headley and climbed Francesca Peak. Wet and damp weather saw the king catch a cold during his visit, which was then cut short by a day.

1970sEdit

Marten soon became known as a more traditional and conservative monarch, though rather moderate. He embodied a sort of paternalistic figure and to many he was almost like an uncle due to his friendly and down to earth demeanor. Many in the radical left did not agree with the King's conservative leaning ways, especially as it became known he was rather friendly with and in good terms with leaders like De Gaulle, António de Oliveira Salazar and Pieter Stenman. When Portuguese Prime Minister Salazar died in July 1970, Marten received an invitation to the funeral. His family had fairly close ties to the Estado Novo regime, with Marten's mother being Portuguese, but the government told him they would not permit his attendance. Such an appearance at the funeral of an apparent dictator would not be well-received by the public and an official explanation as to the occurrence could lead to negative fallout. Still, he sent personal letter of condolence to the government together with his mother.

On 1 May 1972 he was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Light Dragoons in the British Army.

The rise of Barzona Libre as an armed group in the 1970s was something that deeply worried the king. The assassination of Internal Affairs Minister Wouter Ritter in mid-1973 troubled him heavily, and he was involved in many meetings with Prime Minister Pieter Stenman, in which it was agreed he would speak out against BL, much like his own father did against armed groups during the Crisis of 1933.

The death of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, Spain's leader in 1975 prompted Marten to request an official letter of condolence from the government, knowing he would never be allowed to attend the funeral. In one of the few disagreements with his prime minister, Pieter Stenman personally came to visit the king to tell him such an act would be unacceptable. It is rumored that he may have privately sent a letter of condolence, as he did after Salazar's death.

Following the 1977 election, Marten was believed to be unhappy at Stenman's defeat in the polls.

Elteman scandalEdit

It was well-known that the king did not get along well with Prime Minister Johanna Elteman (in office 1977 to 1981), and in one occasion in 1980, as she came to the palace for a visit he quickly left to walk his dogs so he would not have to see her. His journals later revealed that he considered here a <<cold and distant person>> and that he would have preferred someone else as Prime Minister. In March 1981 word leaked to the media from inside the palace that he would have wanted a different prime minister due to his distaste for Elteman. Many members of parliament were shocked that their king spoke of Elteman in those terms, and the media soon began reporting that Marten was looking to replace Elteman and see her removed. The media frenzy that ensured saw Marten considering leaving Brunant for a few days to his summer house in Tavira (Portugal), but his secretary, Sebastian Knowles, pressed him to do otherwise.

Marten never formally apologized to Elteman, and it is possible that he may have influenced the election that year as Elteman lost out to the Christian Democratic Union and she was voted out as the Social Democrats' leader shortly after.

1980s and 1990sEdit

In the spring of 1983, the king went through a harrowing moment as it appeared Barzona Libre was plotting an assassination attempt on his life. On 14 April the Royal Guard foiled a plot on Prime Minister Henry Jorgeson's life. The King and his family were asked to leave for Grijzestad, and the next day the Royal Guard, through some tips, engaged in a brief firefight in which five BL members are arrested, two are killed and a soldier was injured.

In what would be deemed a sign of defiance, the King went to the streets to meet with police and soldiers involved in anti-BL efforts and gave a speech condemning the violence, which would achieve nothing good for Barzuna-speakers.

Later lifeEdit

Aleksandra and Marten in 2009

The queen and king in 2003

The king was involved in a traffic accident in 2000, that although minor, prompted Princess Marie to ban him from driving for safety reasons. The accident made media headlines but there was much concern over the king's well-being by the public. He atteempted to learn disco dancing in 2001, but he himself said he was not as youthful and flexible anymore.

In June 2010 the king was hospitalized for hip problems. Since then, the king's health had deteriorated and in February 2011 the Crown Prince took over official duties, representing His Majesty abroad at official events. The king was unable to attend the wedding of his son and Lindsay Mansell due to his condition. After a period of hospitalization, the king was starting to recover. He retreated to Grijzestad (Grijzestad Palace), to "take in the summer air". He was doing better by mid-June, but acquired bronchitis and a string of lung problems later in September. By September 23 doctors announced his chances of recovery were slim. The Crown Prince and Princess came to see him later that month and the family were preparing for his death.

DeathEdit

On October 9, 2011 Marten died at 8:58 PM, at the age of 88. He was surrounded by his children, grandchildren and nephews. His funeral was attended by various heads of state and foreign dignitaries, and thousands of Brunanters poured out onto the streets of Koningstad to see the procession.

Personal lifeEdit

InterestsEdit

Like his father, Marten enjoyed horseback riding, which he would partake in with his daughter, Marie, or with other visitors, as his wife did not enjoy doing so. He also took up a penchant for driving vintage automobiles, enjoying especially the Ferrari 212-225 his father bought new, as well as driving his 1978 Mercedes Benz in lieu of a chauffeur. That said, he never bought any cars for his own, preferring those already owned by the crown or borrowing those of friends.

Marten was an avid athlete in his youth, participating in two Olympic Games for Brunant, in shooting and fencing. With the military, he was in the shooting team and in 1946 was deemed the fourth best shot in the armed forces. In the 1950s and 1960s he became a huge fan of American popular music, building up a collection or rock and roll and pop hits by singers and groups like Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, the Supremes and others. While in Italy he would host many dance parties, which became rather popular affairs. He would continue the tradition in Brunant well into the 1960s and 1970s.

IssueEdit

Name Birth Marriage Issue
Prince Anthony 17 July 1951 16 June 1987
Divorced 10 March 1999
Adriana Rojas Prince Alexander
Princess Helene
15 April 2011 Lindsay Mansell Prince Nicholas
Princess Marie 2 March 1955 20 November 1976
William Van Draak Princess Amalia
Prince Wilhelm 4 August 1959 19 September 1990 Kristen Birkeland Prince Karl
Princess Stephanie
Princess Brigitte

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