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Duchy of NormandyTimeline: The Once and Never Kings
OTL equivalent: Normandy
Location of Normandy in green.
|Regional Languages||French, Breton|
|-||William I's seizure of the Francian throne.||1059|
The Duchy of Normandy, Normandy, is a small-medium sized duchy on the northern coast of Francia. It borders Ponthieu, Amiens, Beauvais (both the county and bishopric), Mantes, Alencon, Maine, and Brittany-Aquitaine.
The region today known as Normandy was the subject of frequent Viking raids during the ninth century. In 911, Normandy was granted as a duchy to the Viking leader Rollo, who raided Paris earlier that year, in exchange for fealty to the Frankish emperors.
The Norman Duke Richard I aided Hugh Capet when Charles contested his election. But after his death in battle, the succession of his son, Richard II, was challenged by pro-Carolingian nobles, which forced Normandy out of the Capetian War.
The succession crisis allowed Normandy to escape the punishment inflicted on many of the other Capet supporters like Aquitaine. However, Richard was able to emerge victorious, and subsequently became the head of an anti-Carolingian faction within Francia. When the last male Carolingian, Otto, died in 1012, Richard was elected to the Francian throne as a result.
The Norman dynasty would not last long, however, and Richard III would lose the Francian throne to a rising Aquitaine. It would be William II, otherwise known as "the Bastard", to return the Normans to power. But he wouldn't do so peacefully.
Having been snubbed for the throne in favor of Champagne, William had himself made an anti-King in 1058. Allying with much of the north and east of Francia, he forced himself to power when the Champagnian King died by an unfortunate arrow wound. William would subsequently be know in history as "the Conqueror".
After William, only his son, and five other Norman Dukes would be elected to lead Francia.
Lutheranism would arrive in Normandy in the latter years of the Reformations beginning, around 1525. Despite some local inter-faith fights in eastern border towns, it never took hold in the Duchy. As such, it joined Brittany and many Catholic states in the Forty Years War. Thankfully (for Normandy) the war stayed for from Norman soil, though its armies gained a reputation for effectiveness and ferocity.
Since then Normandy has been referred to as the "Francian Prussia", due to its rigorous training regiment for its army. Indeed, it scored some of the first victories for Coalition forces during the Napoleonic Wars.
It has set up several forts in the New World and India, full colonies have proven too expensive.
Normandy is administered in a unitary manner, unlike the federal system common among its larger neighbors. It's divided into 41 Departments, the capital, Rouen, is located in the Department of the same name.