King Mearh dies: ten days of national mourning declared

HREAWIRC, 5 DECEMBER 2017 | King Mearh I of Wyster has died this morning. The 96-year old monarch passed away sitting down in his favorite reading chair after breakfast, according to Prime Minister Cillyh Ocurmen, who addressed the nation shortly after noon. The Prime Minister praised the Mearh’s many years of service to the country, more than 47 of which as king. Funeral arrangements will now be discussed with the new Queen, Mearh’s oldest daughter Atheanne, and the rest of the royal family. The Prime Minister declared ten days of national mourning, during which public life in Wyster will have a sober character.

Mearh I sie Soormeth was born at Fryhaec Castle, near the village of Bocyme in county Orsearre on 27 February 1921. His father was Hrevyn sie Soormeth (later king Hrevyn III), his mother Rynne Countess Caen. Wyster was just experiencing its Fourth Republic under Chairman Peus Ghaarn, a brilliant political strategist who turned out to be increasingly ruthless and paranoid as he got older; he was elected in 1915 under the Third Republic, but he managed to gain such political dominance that he changed the constitution in 1920 and establised the Fourth Republic, in which it was almost impossible to depose him without force. Force came in the form of a six year civil war. At the end of this war, the Wystrian monarchy was restored under King Hrevyn III, a grandson of the previous king Hrevyn II (1859-1860 and 1895-1902). As his father became king, Mearh became Crown Prince.

Mearh studied political history and diplomatic studies, both in Wyster and abroad. In 1947 he married Soor Countess Meerwyth (1924 – 2008), with whom he had two daughters, Princess Atheanne (*1949, who is now the Queen of Wyster) and Princess Learre (*1955). When Mearh succeeded his father as King of Wyster in 1970, Princess Atheanne became his heir apparent. Mearh’s life as Crown Prince was not without problems. As a student he got into trouble already for driving under influence and getting involved in a mass fight that damaged several houses and shops in Hreawirc. His marriage was tumultuous and Crown Princess Soor is said to have been ready to leave the country on more than one occasion. In 1961 he was essential in closing a lucrative arms deal between Wyster and Karolia, which gained him a lot of praise initially until it emerged six years later that he mediated for two other parties as well at the time of the Wyster-Karolia deal and facilitated illegal arms trade in the process. Several politicians of Wyster then demanded that Mearh be excluded from succession and that the throne should pass directly to Mearh’s daughter Atheanne after Hrevyn III’s death. According to sources, Hrevyn III threatened to abdicate on the spot if this proposal was put into practice and Atheanne (who was barely 18 years old at the time) refused to step in.

Hrevyn III died in 1970 and Mearh succeeded him as King of Wyster. Although he was initially unpopular in political circles, a large part of the population considered him a ‘man of the people’, for taking risks and putting protocol aside. His marriage calmed down a bit and under influence of his wife Queen Soor, the new King slowly discovered his role as monarch. He showed that he was there as King not only to party but also to support the people, for instance when a landslide all but destroyed two villages in county Troc in 1984 and after the shooting attack in the Promynad Stadium in Hreawirc that left nine visitors dead and several dozens injured in 1991.

The new millennium saw a calmer agenda for the King, with his daughters taking over several official tasks. Queen Soor died in 2008. Although the King’s health remained good until the very end, he became frail, with a faltering voice. His last public appearance was in June 2014; after that, he only made a couple of appearances on television.

Queen Atheanne (68) is the new head of state of Wyster, although her coronation will be scheduled after the ten days of mourning only. The Queen doesn’t have any children, so her younger sister Princess Learra is the heir presumptive; Learra’s eldest son Prince Thyllyn (35) is second in line.

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