Alternate History

Elizabeth of Hordaland (The Kalmar Union)

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Elizabeth Horda (The Kalmar Union).png
Queen of Hordaland
Reign 8th December, 1840 - 13th February, 1858
Predecessor Eric X
Successor Olaf IX
Spouse Vilhjálmur of Álengiamark
Issue Ingeborg Lovisa


Full name
Elizabeth Athénaïs Dagmar
House Mark-Ravensburg
Father Eric X
Mother Sophia Magdalena of Saxe-Jena
Born 21st March, 1823
Stavanger, Hordaland
Died 13th February, 1858
Bergen, Hordaland

Elizabeth was the only child of Eric X and inherited the Kingdom of Hordaland at the age of 17 in 1840.

Her reign marked a period of fundamental change in Hordalandic society and its general outlook. Its long overdue demotion to a second-class power within Kalmar was finally accepted and it would, largely successfully, move from a nation known for its military prowess to one regarded as a trading powerhouse.

At first however her ministers were divided over whether Hordaland should still even exist. Although the effects of the 'Accommodation' had largely been dealt with, successive kings had tried to keep Hordaland's prestige intact with a bloated military. However well Eric X's army performed during the Hispanic Revolution (and they were generally well drilled and capable) the state could not continue funding such a large force. Another bankruptcy was on the cards, made worse by a series of extravagant building projects. When the overbearing Eric X was out of the way his ministers looked for a solution to the parlous financial state. Some advocated an immediate slimming down of the army and all non-essential works. Others went further and suggested Elizabeth should be married off to Anglia or Denmark and Hordaland be taken over and effectively bailed out by a neighbour. However, this faction lost influence and those advocating Hordaland's 'separate-ness' won over general opinion. Elizabeth would indeed marry a Kalmar prince but one with no issues involving inheritance: Prince Vilhjálmur of Álengiamark.

In 1843 Elizabeth became the first crowned head of a Kalmar state to visit Leifia. She toured Álengiamark as the guest of Yrsa III and also visited Vinland, Aniyunwiya and Dasamongueponkland. The tour helped strengthen ties across the Atlantic and as the Álengsk looked to rebuild their finances after the deep crash of the Leifian Crisis trade agreements with Hordaland helped strengthen both nations. Several joint operations would be started in Africa and India which would help rebalance both of their economies and provide markets and supplies for industry.

At home however society was deeply divided. The cost-cutting measures imposed by the Storting were felt by the poor most acutely as poor relief was slashed. Society was also changing thanks to the spreading Industrial Revolution which was leading more to leave the countryside and move to the growing industrial centres. Elizabeth made several grand gestures, cancelling her father's plans to extend the already large palaces at Bergen and Haugesund while she lived in relative simplicity at the summer house in Fynodalen. Revolt, bolstered by a large number of ex-military men, seemed likely in the Summer of 1848, however it was avoided by the personal intercession of Elizabeth. Dismissing the reactionary government with the help of the press and reforming ministers she ruled almost as a benevolent dictator for several years but concentrated her attentions on rebalancing the treasury and ensuring fair treatment for the populace. Elections resumed in 1851. The incoming liberal government oversaw a flowering of cultural and economic and this appeared to reflect a deeper change in the Hordalanders, namely the idea that government should not be for the benefit of the few but work for the masses.

Elizabeth was a well-regarded painter and poet yet her personal life was largely unhappy. Prince Vilhjálmur's Catholicism caused considerable consternation in the press and in the staunchly Lutheran middle classes, and he would remain a largely private figure. The press's criticism of Vilhjálmur appeared to make her deeply unhappy, as did the young death of all three of their children. Elizabeth would die in childbirth along with their fourth child. Some have suggested Vilhjálmur had Great Pox which would probably account for the deaths of their children.

Hordaland would be inherited by her uncle Olaf IX whose long reign saw the completion of many of the Elizabethan reforms.

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