by Max Barry

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Region: The Coalition of Democratic Nations

Trebizond Kingfisher

Friday - 9 January 1953

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Queen Haehra turns 100

Monday the 5th of January was a day of joyous rancour for the people of Pontus as Her Majesty Queen Haehra, grandmother of His Majesty Vatharion IX, celebrated her 100th full year on Earth. The illustrious dowager queen, no doubt awakening that morning to the sound of flag-waving well-wishers gathering in their thousands around the palace, drew ever more cheers in her name as she strode out across her top-floor balcony to greet her people in an increasingly rare show of public acknowledgement. Though she spoke not a word and was whisked back inside the palace by one of her aides within a minute of emerging, having only graced the growing crowd outside with a smile and a wave, one nevertheless cannot deny the gesture by Queen Haehra was greatly appreciated.

One person with no shortage of words for the occasion was newly-elected prime minister Lysaron Argaris, who wasted no time in paying tribute to the dowager queen that afternoon whilst convening parliament for the day.

"As I continue with the arduous task of taking the reins of state from my much-esteemed predecessor, allow me the honor of congratulating Her Majesty Queen Haehra on her 100th birthday. In such a long yet also relatively short span of time in our nation's history, several generations of Pontic women from all corners of our realm and all levels of our ever-growing society have been brought up on the example she has so tirelessly embodied for every single one of these years, in spite of all the conflict, all the tragedy and all the unspeakable horror that has been wrought upon us across perhaps the most turbulent centennial of our long history."

His words certainly struck a chord, as not even halfway through his glamorous spiel had the entire courtroom risen from their benches in an act of solidarity not seen since the war years. Mr. Argaris' predecessor and fellow party old-timer, wartime prime minister Serion Velaelor, eagerly concurred with his compatriot's words of congratulations, reminding everybody of the fact that Queen Haehra was the first Pontic royal on record to hit the milestone since the ascension of Vatharion I in the aftermath of the Mongol Era.

Born on the 5th of January in 1853 to noble parents during the final years of King Pyraegon's reign, Haehra was married to future king Sparaekos IV in 1871 and was queen consort from 1914 until her husband's death in 1926. Since then, she has taken up mentoring the royal daughters who have gone on to succeed her, including Queen Thesenna, queen consort to the late Jahaeron III, and Vatharion IX's own wife Malaehra.

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