16th century Edit
Philippe I Edit
Philippe de Villiers de l'Isle-Adam became the 44th Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller in 1518. A more religiously open person then his predecessor, he allowed the Theses of Martin Luther to be print on the island, and became personnaly interested in them.
At the same time, the Livonian Order secularized its land and founded the Kingdom of Ostland after a deal with Pope Leo X. Following the event, Philippe de Villiers decided to secularize the island for himself and converted to Lutheranism, hoping it would bring the Catholics and Orthodox together.
In 1521, the island of Rhodes began to suffer from the absence of revenues from the Knights Hospitaller. The economy of the island collapsed, stopping the Prince from invading Cyprius like he wanted. After a deal with Württemberg, the Rhodian army would be financed by the King, but the troops would obey King Ulrich over the Prince. This deal helped to protect the independence of the island against the Papal States, as Pope Leo X was seriously thinking about invading the island.
Between 1521 and 1522, The Principality of Rhodes was victim of a siege from the Ottoman Empire, which ended up with the conquest of the island and the end of the Principality. Prince Philippe escaped and went to Württemberg, living in the court of King Ulrich.
The Prince of Rhodes is the absolute and supreme monarch of the island. He has full authority over the ressources and population of the island. However, he is under the King of Württemberg when it come to military ranks in the Rhodian military hierarchy. The Prince residence is the Princial Palace, which was the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes before the secularization of the island.
In 1519, the succession law was made full agnostic primogeniture, meaning that the oldest son will inherite at the Prince's death.
Since 1521, the army of Rhodes is associated to the Kingdom of Württemberg and is funded by its King. Although the Prince of Rhodes keep command of the local army, the orders of the King of Württemberg are considered priority over thoses of the Prince as long as they don't affect Rhodes independence.
Due to its lack of population and its isolation, the main force of the Rhodian military is the navy, as it is the first line of defence against the invaders.