Apostolic King of Urcea

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Apostolic King of Urcea
DeWelutaNew.png
Arms of the Apostolic King of Urcea
King Riordan VIII's Official 2028 Portrait
Incumbent
Riordan VIII

since Aug 14, 2026
StyleHis Most Christian Majesty
ResidenceJulian Palace (nominally)
Castle Welute
Constituting instrumentGolden Bull of 1098
First holderRiordan I

The Apostolic King of Urcea is the constitutional monarch and head of state of the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea as well as its dependencies, the Kingdom of Dorhaven and the Kingdom of New Yustona. The Apostolic King of Urcea is also, nominally, the Emperor of the Levantines due to the diplomatic settlement at the conclusion of the Great War. The Monarchy was created with the Golden Bull of 1098, and according to that documents its "inseparable constituent parts" are the Archduchy of Urceopolis and the Grand Duchy of Yustona, both titles that the King holds in his own right alongside the Electorate of Canaery.

Within the Constitution of Urcea, the Apostolic King exercises primarily non-partisan ceremonial functions, such as bestowing honors, making Concilium Purpaidá appointments based on the constitutional advice of the Chancellor and Temporary President, though the King does appoint the officers of the Armed Forces of the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea, appoints the nation's judges, and can rule in a more executive manner during a period of divided government. Though the ultimate executive authority over the government is still formally by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only normally be used according to laws enacted within the conventions and precedents of the Constitution. The King's powers over foreign policy are slightly more expansive; in conjunction with the Ministry of State, the King is the nation's highest diplomatic official and can exercise diplomatic authority on behalf of the Government of Urcea.

Besides his role within the government, the Apostolic King is the central symbolic cultural figure of the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea as the so-called "national steward". The King is the head of the Estates of Urcea as Custóir of Custóirs, and also plays a significant religious role as "first and only honorary canon" of St. Peter's Archbasilica. A non-partisan actor, the King is often considered the focal point of appeals to national unity, and is respected as a moral and social authority within the country.

Origin

See Also: Role of Government in Urcea

The Julian Throne as a Royal institution was created by the Golden Bull of 1098, elevating the Archduke-Grand Duke of Urceopolis and Yustona respectively, both descendants of Saint Julius I, to the rank of King. The development of the Constitution of Urcea throughout the second millennia brought about ebbs and flows of Royal authority. The decline of the optimate nobility and power of the Estates of Urcea increased the power of the Apostolic King to a height in the late 1600s and early 1700s. This followed by increasing constitutional prerogatives for the Concilium Daoni and various royal concessions which have created the modern Constitution and Government of Urcea, in which the Apostolic King holds full sovereignty but may only exercise Royal authority in a very strict set of circumstances. Nevertheless, the Apostolic Kingship has retained the religious and moral significance it acquired during the Medieval period.

The philosophical underpinnings of the modern role of the Apostolic King of Urcea comes from the 16th and 17th centuries. As Crown Liberalism developed in Urcea alongside divine right of Kings elsewhere in Levantia, a unique understanding of the Kingship came about in Urcea. In line with Catholic social teaching, it is commonly believed and articulated that the Apostolic King, like all forms of government, employs "authority required by the moral order" which "derives from God" (CCC), or, in other words, that all governing authority comes from above. While this does not imply intrinsic moral legitimacy, the Constitution of Urcea sees the Apostolic King as the divinely-ordained steward of the Kingdom and its people. This philosophy, known as Procuratorialism, rejects that the individual King is specifically appointed by God but acknowledges that the Apostolic King derives his authority from above and is, therefore, responsible for the wise governance and leadership over those entrusted to him. Within the context of the development of the Constitution of Urcea, as noted above, the King now has relatively few day-to-day responsibilities, but the Constitution itself is viewed as divinely given from God through the authority of the Apostolic King.

Additional Roles

Emperor of the Levantines

Since the formal renunciation of authority over most of the Holy Levantine Empire during the Great War, the title of Emperor of the Levantines has been attached to the Urcean crown. Legally speaking, this makes the still-extant Empire entirely coterminous with the person of the King himself, and consequently his holdings. It is often said that the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea is still part of the Empire, but strictly speaking this is only true as a consequence of its crown. Functionally, this makes the continued existence of the Holy Levantine Empire a legal fiction, though most international powers recognize the succession of the Apostolic King to the Imperial throne.

Custóir of Custóirs

The Apostolic King of Urcea is the head of the Estates of Urcea, giving him the title of Custóir of Custóirs as the entire nation, and every estate comprising it, is considered to be part of his estate. Through this title, the King is seen as something of a "father of the nation", and in this respect he is viewed as "sitting at the head of the national family". This position is understood to be a recognition of his moral authority over the nation through social, rather than strictly religious, ties.

Custóir of the Julii

The Julii is an Estate of Urcea traditionally considered to be the first estate among equals, and it descends from the influential Julii family of Great Levantia, from which St. Julius I descended. The Archdukes of Urceopolis, and then Apostolic Kings of Urcea, have always been the Custóir, or head, of the Julii estate, with an exception occurring during the Saint's War. Consequently, the Royal House of Urcea, currently House de Weluta, is always considered to be the "great house" of the estate. During the Great Interregnum phase of the Saint's War, the leaders of the House Julio-Aleckán always held the Custóirship even when their opponents, the Cónns, ruled; this greatly delegitimized the Cónn claim to the throne according to most contemporary sources.

Titles, styles, and arms

The Apostolic King and his wife, the queen consort, are formally addressed as "His Most Christian Majesty and Her Most Christian Majesty" (Their Most Christian Majesties). The widows and widowers of monarchs retain these styles until they remarry. The heir from birth holds the title of Prince of Halfway. Other children of the monarch, and the children of the heir apparent, hold the title and rank of Archduke or Archduchess, and styled His or Her Christian Highness. Since the Treaty of Corcra, the address of "His Imperial Apostolic Majesty" has been used on some occasions, but its use was rare until the reign of King Riordan VIII, who uses the manner of address in New Yustona and other Crona possessions.

The Apostolic King of Urcea maintains a lengthy full title, listing a number of titular and historic claims. King Riordan VIII's full title is

Riordan VIII, by the Grace of God, Emperor of the Levantines, Apostolic King of Urcea and Elector of Canaery, King of New Yustona, Dorhaven, Crotona, Culfra, and Latium, King of the Ængles and the Uzdehzani, Prince of Halfway, Archduke of Urceopolis, Grand Duke of Yustona, Sovereign Lord of Medimeria, Port St. Brendan, and Cetsencalia, First and Only Honorary Canon of St. Peter's Archbasilica, Grand Master of the Imperial Order of the Holy Cross, Custóir of Custóirs, Custóir of the Julii, and Defender of the Faith.