|Name||Adia von Büchlein-Dannenberg|
|Place of Birth:||Jude, Isle of Behrends, Pilar|
|Birthdate:||16 July 1978|
|Title:||Grand Countess of Pilar|
|Other positions:||General Assembly Member of GATO|
Grand Countess Adia I (Constance Adia Virginie Margarethe von Büchlein-Dannenberg), styled HIH Countess of Pilar, is the ruling monarch of the country of Pilar.
Adia was born just a couple of years after the Revolution as Constance Adia Virginie Margarethe von Büchlein-Dannenberg. Her father, Reinhard Büchlein, was already the governor for their little part of the world, the tiny island of Behrends. Adia grew up not knowing that her mother was a member of the famous family of monarchs that made Pilar wonderful, and she did not know until the Parliament was sent out to find her.
Like other Pilarian children, after secondary school, she participated in two years of required humanitarian work, therefore living in Africa when the terror broke out in the Sudan. Even more horrifying was her return to Pilar to find that it was in just as much a shape as where she'd just left! Upon her return to the Isle of Behrends, Adia was greeted by a page from the Parliament who announced cheerily that she was going to be the next ruler of her country. Without a chance to even say no, she was whisked off to begin being prepared to be the monarch.
As Pilar is a monarchy, all rulers must have some direct relation to the original emperor of Pilar, Wolfgang I. Although the lineage gets slightly muddled following the destruction of documents in a tropical typhoon back around a hundred and fifty years ago, because the Empress Magdalena III had her lineage perfect, all current monarchs trace themselves back to her to assure legality.
Through her mother, Adia is a direct relation to the great Magdalena III. Adia's mother, HIH Lady Constance Dannenberg is the daughter of HIH Baroness Adalia, who is the daughter of HIH Countess Agatha, the younger sister of Magdalena III. Because the male side of the family has created less than stellar governments and the such, it is the hope of the nation that a female line from Magdalena will prove to have created a fabulous, capable ruler.
Reinhard Büchlein's grandparents were residents of the island of Behrends when it was annexed by Magdalena III's court. They became naturalised citizens a few years later, but never left their little place on Behrends. The family is well-known locally, but their sphere of influence doesn't extend much past the island. Prior to his daughter being named regent, Reinhard was the governor of the island, but after her coronation, he gave up the title and now lives in retired bliss with his wife Constance.
Adia is a very hands-on ruler, something that she learned from her humanitarian work. Rather than just handing off little tasks to a horde of aides, she assigns projects to groups and then oversees each task. This sort of system is not only economic, but it allows a certain "flavour" to be found in all documents and projects put out by the government. All sides are to be seen very clearly within anything produced by Adia's council.
In the morning, Adia drinks her tea as she discusses the day with her top aide, Aiden Zaragoza. After a short breakfast, they meet with Parliament to oversee debates over new laws and possible amendments to the Pilarian Constitution.
As Pilar is a constitutional monarchy, the Countess' role is usually limited to ceremonial and non-partisan functions. Although involved in governmental activities, she is rarely part of the 'think tank' and is usually relegated to the sidelines to review and sign the documents once the laws are passed—before a bill can become law, the Royal Assent (the monarch's approval) is required.
In practice, most political power is exercised by the Parliament. By way of her personality, the Countess exercises her powers, with very few exceptions, solely on the advice of her Cabinet. The Countess retains all executive power, but she very rarely personally intervenes in politics. The Countess is a symbolic chief executive, acting along with the will of the Parliament and her people. Should the Governor-General of New Zealand attempt to exercise any powers solely at personal discretion, the action would likely result in public outrage.
The Countess appoints and dismisses Cabinet ministers and other ministers. The Governor-General also has the power to appoint judges and other officials.
The Countess also summons Parliament. Each parliamentary session begins with the Countess' summons. The new parliamentary session is marked by the opening of Parliament, during which the Countess reads the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council, outlining the Government's legislative agenda. If overly displeased about Parliament's actions, or if she feels as though the Parliament is not accurately representing her people, the Countess may dissolve Parliament and demand a new election. She is also permitted to completely purge the Government and replace every single official. Lastly, she may deny any legislation brought to her.
The Countess provides leadership in the community, which is exactly what Parliament was hoping for when reinstating the monarchy. The Countess is a patron of many charitable, service, sporting and cultural organisations, and the sponsorship or patronage of the Countess signals that an organisation is worthy of wide support. Many of the Countess' community functions also have a ceremonial dimension, such as attendance at the official openings of buildings, addresses to open conferences, or launching special events and appeals.
The Countess spends a large share of her working time attending state banquets and functions, making and hosting state visits, meeting ceremonial groups, and awarding medals, decorations, and prizes.
Both of Adia's parents are still living, as is her grandmother Baroness Adalia, although Adalia has been in poor health for the last few years. None of her family members are active in the government other than herself, but they are still considered to be part of the royal family and do participate in national holidays and royal appearances.
When Adia was doing her humanitarian work in the Sudan, she met a fellow Pilarian named Aiden Zaragoza. Their terms both ended at the same time, and when they returned to Pilar, they kept in touch, and when Adia came to the head of the government, she knew that she wanted her closest friend to also be her closest advisor. As Aiden already lived in the capital city of Magdalena, it wasn't difficult for him to report to duty.
One of the huge downsides of being a popular ruler in a country is the huge amount of media coverage of all facets of life, and there definitely isn't a lack of coverage in young Adia's love life. Her relationship with Aiden is possibly the biggest story in recent history on the island with pictures popping up in all sorts of tabloids, especially Die Sonnenuhr. There have been widespread rumours of their possible engagement, a supposed secret wedding, and even a potential pregnancy! The royal family refuses to comment on the stories, asking quite kindly that the tabloids just leave the countess and her assistant alone.
On 11 August 2006, Magdalena's Nachrichtenbüro, the official government paper, released this article:
- Preparations are underway for the wedding of Pilar's Grand Countess Adia I to her assistant and long-time friend, Aiden Zaragosa.
- Adia I, 28, is the only daughter of Lady Constance Dannenberg, great-granddaughter of Pilar's most famous ruler, Empress Magdalena III. Her father, Reinhard Büchlein, is the former governor of Pilar's Isle of Behrends.
- Her betrothal to Aiden Zaragosa was reported this weekend. The couple has reportedly been engaged for several weeks, but the announcement was delayed during the governmental adjustment from dictatorship to monarchy in the country.
- Pilarians polled on the street agree almost unanimously that the marriage is not only welcome, but expected.
- 'Die Sonnenuhr has been talking about it for months,' said Magdalena native Lena Schmidt, referring to the popular Pilarian tabloid.
- 'They've been sweethearts since they were in die Entwicklungshilfe with each other,' claimed another Magdalena-dweller.
- Die Entwicklungshilfe, which is the German word for 'developmental aid,' is a governmental requirement for all college graduates in Pilar; it is a two-year peace keeping mission in a developing country that is much like the Peace Corps in America.
- The Countess and her fiancé met during the orientation for their Entwicklungshilfe three years ago, and both served as Public Health volunteers in the Sudan. When the Countess returned earlier this year to Pilar, she hired Zaragosa as her full-time assistant.
- The wedding is expected to take place this fall. Once married, Zaragosa will acquire the title of Baron but will be ineligible to inherit the throne in the case that Adia is unable to carry out her duties as ruler.
Only three days later, Pilar was invaded by the nation of New Jamaica. In the havoc that followed, public transportation was broken down, the palace received direct artillery fire and was severely damaged, and the Parliament had to flee to the remote Isle of Behrends, where they took refuge in Thiery VI's stronghold on the Jude coast. During the evacuation, Adia and Aiden were seen amongst the people wearing normal clothing and acting just as if they were two normal citizens of Magdalena—it is not yet certain whether this blending in was an order from the Parliament to protect the Countess from hostile fire or if she just felt it best to be with her people at that bad time.
Although the war is over, Aida and her fiancé still remain in Jude as they wait for the nation to come out of anarchy.