In front of the assembled throng the Archbishop of Traunsberg stood up on the dais. The main hall of the palace was packed, every last chair was filled and any remaining space was filled by those standing. In was a good attendance.
Ladies, Gentlemen, Subjects and Ambassadors, welcome to the Duchy”
“A shout of “just get on with it” was heard, he suspected it was the Monte Cristo ambassador but it was met with a murmur of agreement so he just continued. “I will now read the grand-Duke’s will.” He was handed the sealed packet by the Grand-Duke’s lawyer and waved it to the crowd before ostentatiously opening it.
Taking up his glasses he proceeded to read in monotone “This is the last will and testament of Grand-Duke Otto of the County of Pommaine………..
My rights and privileges will be inherited by.. my younger surviving son Konrad….”
A gasp from the crowd
“Until he comes of age the Duchy will be administered on his behalf by a regency headed by my wife the Grand-Duchess Maria advised by my elder son Karl and Count Vladislav. Until that time all decisions made by the council of regents will be made on a majority basis.”
“If my elder son Karl, refuses to accept this will then his position on the council will be taken by the Archbishop of Traunsberg”
At once there was a cry of what?, shame! and other unmentionable remarks.
The bishop then re-read the same section finishing with “The Grand Duke Otto’s will seems clear enough”
The Austrian Ambassador stood up immediately “This change in succession has not been cleared in advance with the Lower Saxon circle or raised with the Emperor, therefore it cannot stand” He was supported by loud agreement from various other ambassadors”
“General Von Gessler stood up, “This is a convention intended to prevent usurpation of lands not something to prevent the normal rights of monarch to name their successors.”
Cries of agreement were heard from the Prussian, Alsatian and a few other ambassadors
The General continued “All loyal Pommaine office holders have committed to the Grand Duke’s will in his presence”
Colonel Preysing stood up.
Before he could speak the General pointed to him “Except for this sole officer who is now under arrest” and several neighbouring officers moved to arrest him and led him from the chamber.