After five years in a coma, King Nicholas III of Auria passed away early this morning at Ćorinne Boisćlair Memorial Hospital in Geminus’s Second District. King Nicholas, whose full regnal name was King Nićolas Charles Arthur Janis Sebastian Laurent III, entered a coma in 2018 after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in a car crash. Before his tragic accident, he was a beloved and charismatic leader, who attempted to bring the old royal traditions into the modern era. During his coma, his wife, Queen Consort Sophie, took over his royal duties, taking on the title of Queen Regent as she managed the affairs of state. This marked the first time that a consort took over royal duties from a comatose monarch. King Nicholas’s death is also a historic first, as no Aurian monarch had ever died on foreign soil before today.
Her Majesty Queen Sophie gave a short video message to the press earlier today. “My brave husband is finally at peace among the angels. Though he may be dead, his spirit lives on in every brave Aurian, soldier and civilian, fighting to get our country back. Even though he is no longer with us, that does not mean that we should stop fighting. We must fight tooth and nail to get our home back. I do wish that my dear Nićolas could’ve seen our beautiful homeland once more in life, but I promise that once it is safe to return to Lumiere, he shall be laid to rest among his fellow Kings and Queens in the Halls of House Laurent.”
According to the Aurian laws of royal succession, the throne will now pass to the eldest daughter of Nicholas and Sophie, the twenty-three year old Crown Princess Katherina of Lei Ternakōr. Queen Sophie, who has served as the acting head of state during this tumultuous time in Auria, will be given the titles of Queen Dowager, Lady of the Royal Archives, and Matriarch of the Royal House. Meanwhile, her second child, Prince Thōmas of Kāpnord, shall gain the title of Crown Prince of Lei Ternakōr, as is the right of every Aurian royal who is first in line for the throne.
King Nićolas’s death comes as the Aurian government in exile has just begun returning to their homeland. A number of MPs, Judges, and other officials accompanied Prime Minister Arquette in traveling to Cōte-Verte last weekend in order to set up a provisional capital in the coastal city. While the forces of the now-formerly exiled Aurian Government (and the Coalition that supports it) have made significant progress in advancing through Auria’s southern peninsula and towards Lumiere (including recent victories in several skirmishes along the Atlējana River), the battles to come will certainly not be easy, especially as the fighting approaches Auria’s biggest metropolis. It is unknown how the new Queen Katherina will approach leading the nation during this crisis, and only time will tell if the death of Nićolas III was a bad omen for the Coalition cause as a whole.