King Alastair Laertes Amadeus Ludwig Kehrer IV (born 12 March 1975) is the 22nd Monarch of Western Fardelshufflestein. The son of King Alastair Laertes Amadeus Ludwig Kehrer III and Queen Ophelia Anna Kehrer VI, he ascended the throne in April 2020 upon the death of his father.
Alastair was born in New Hamletberg, Western Fardelshufflestein, and was raised in Elsinore Palace with his younger brother. He attended a private academy through primary and secondary school, where he participated in the student council and debate team. Much of his childhood was spent shadowing his grandfather and learning how to run the nation.
When his grandfather died in 1993, Alastair was named the Crown Prince of Western Fardelshufflestein. He studied under his father until he matriculated to Georg Kehrer University for undergraduate studies. After graduating with degrees in pre-law and political science, he attended law school at Harvard University in the United States.
In 2003, he married Marie Victoria Ethel Steinbach; the couple have three children. He worked as a lawyer for Parliament and frequently visited New Hamletberg as an advisor to the Crown. Until late 2017, he lived with his wife and children in a country estate in eastern Western Fardelshufflestein. The deterioration of his father's health prompted him to return to Elsinore Palace and rule the country as Prince Regent.
Alastair assumed the throne upon the death of his father, and was coronated alongside his wife on 21 April 2020. Their coronation was relatively small due to worries about COVID-19, though there have been no cases in Western Fardelshufflestein thus far.
Politically, Alastair is relatively conservative; he is a proponent of capitalism, though he approves of the legalization of controlled substances as long as they are properly regulated. He does not formally associate with a political party. Alastair finds Parliament to filled with juveniles, an opinion he justifies with the fact that they frequently brawl and have resorted to such extreme measures as deploying finger guns and a Super Soaker.
The people of Western Fardelshufflestein largely approve of the King. Much of their opinion is based from the three years he spent as the de facto leader as Regent as opposed to his time as King, for his official reign thus far has been dominated by illness resulting from immense grief and alcoholism. However, his popularity has declined in recent months due to his incapacitation. A significant minority Fardelshufflesteiners feel he should at minimum abdicate, and still fewer argue he never should have been coronated in the first place. There is also opposition to his rule on both the far left and the far right for highly disparate but, according the the majority of the populace, radical reasons.
Alastair was born three weeks prematurely on 12 March 1975; he spent his earliest years primarily in Elsinore Palace, making some public appearances but rarely traveling abroad. He contracted pneumonia at age 3 and was hospitalized several times over the course of a month, which resulted in permanent lung damage. His younger brother, Wilhelm Hamlet Oscar Nathan Kehrer, was born in August of 1980 when Alastair was 5.
Despite their age difference, Alastair and Wilhelm were very close growing up. They enjoyed fencing, Star Wars, and teasing government officials, which often resulted in their getting removed from important gatherings. Their lives, however, were sheltered and lavish. Alastair often took advantage of this by sneaking extra servings of cake and candy, which he shared with his brother, and by debating his parents to get something he wanted.
He attended New Hamletberg's premier private institution, Stratford Academy, from preschool until his secondary school graduation at eighteen. Alastair struggled to make friends, both because he was alienated as a member of the Royal Family and because he was overweight; he was frequently bullied by his peers. Yet he excelled academically and participated in multiple extracurriculars. He served in student council and was elected Student Body President his final year in secondary school, and was co-captain of the debate team for two years.
When his grandfather, Erik II, died in a vehicular collision in January 1993, Alastair was named the Crown Prince of Western Fardelshufflestein. He was greatly affected by this sudden shift in power, as he had been close to his grandfather and had never seriously understood his inevitable succession up to that point. Alastair shadowed his newly crowned father nearly every day until he left for university, but was greatly overwhelmed by his looming responsibilities. He suffered a nervous breakdown just after graduation from Stratford. Resorting to stress eating, he gained nearly seven kilograms in two months.
After graduating 12th in a class of 180 from Stratford Academy, Alastair matriculated to Georg Kehrer University, Western Fardelshufflestein's top post-secondary institution, where he studied political science and pre-law. He reportedly began drinking alcohol during this period. Though he was not bullied outright as he had been in primary and secondary school, he remained socially isolated and instead concentrated on his studies.
Alastair graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georg Kehrer University in 1997. He was accepted into law school at Harvard, where he earned his J.D. in 2000 and LL.M in 2001. He returned to Western Fardelshufflestein that August and began his career as a federal attorney for Western Fardelshufflestein's Parliament.
Initially, Alastair worked under Parliament lawyer Frederick Richter as an apprentice attorney. He assisted Richter in dealing with civil and criminal disputes amongst Parliamentarians, which are frequent due to their infamous brawls.
He litigated his first dispute in 2003. The dispute in question involved Parliamentarians Michael Decker and Hamlet McBride; McBride had threatened Decker with a fountain pen, and, in retaliation, Decker tackled McBride to the ground. Alastair's client, McBride, ended up winning the case and receiving financial compensation for the injuries he sustained.
With the retirement of Richter in 2010, Alastair became Parliament's main litigator. He represented any Parliamentarians who requested him regardless of their political stance; this made him highly controversial and subject to vilification.
Because he was first in line for the Western Fardelshufflesteinian throne, Alastair never considered running for Parliament; of course, given the strictures of the Constitution, he legally could not. He often expressed his frustration and disdain for Parliamentarians and their incessant brawling. "It is a miracle our lawmakers get anything done," he once reported in an interview. However, his career was not jeopardized by these statements. The majority of the nation, many Parliamentarians included, hold the same opinion. (This may also be because he was the Crown Prince at the time, but that's none of our business.)
Alastair took his work very seriously, only taking breaks on required vacation days and federal holidays. There was a stretch of several weeks in 2013 during which he went on leave for mental health reasons. In 2017, when his father fell ill with brain cancer, he began to run the country alongside his mother as Prince Regent. He soon became the acting chief executive of Western Fardelshufflestein. As a result, he could no longer serve as a Parliament litigator.
His father succumbed to illness on 5 April 2020; at that point, Alastair was the interim leader. His mother had retired from the political spotlight, opting to serve as an advisor for him instead of continuing to reign as Queen. Alastair thus shifted his priorities to fully assuming the throne. Citing concerns over the threat of the coronavirus, he opted for a scaled down coronation with a reduced number of attendees.
Alastair works with Marie as his fellow leader of Western Fardelshufflestein. The two of them deal with issues together and split royal duties between one another, with Marie preferring to deal with diplomacy and publicity and Alastair tackling the legal aspects. They do, however, frequently perform actions outside their preferences.
Alastair's recent personal struggles resulted in his avoiding public functions to the best of his abilities. When he did make an appearance, he rarely spoke, and multiple journalists noted that he looked rather ill. An official statement from the Crown affirmed that he did not have coronavirus; however, his job performance declined drastically. By mid-July, he was virtually incapacitated, with Marie carrying the bulk of the executive duties as his health spiraled downward.
As of June 2021, he is still too ill to return to work. Although he is making progress in his recovery, his cognitive difficulties and fragile physical condition likely mean he will never again regain the ability to rule.
Alastair met his wife, Marie, early in 2002. The daughter of an architect and Shakespeare scholar, Marie did not fit the traditional role of a royal bride, but progressive royal policies allowed Marie and Alastair to marry. They wed on 17 July, 2003, before a congregation of international figures.
The couple's eldest child, Julia, was born on 7 September 2004. Alastair regarded her as "the light of my life" and "a wonderful blessing to our family" in an interview shortly after her birth, during which he cradled the little princess in his arms. On 1 April, 2006, their son, Alastair, was born; he was named after his father and grandfather to represent the continuation of the Kehrer line.
During the formative years of Julia and Alastair the younger, the marriage between Marie and Alastair was joyous. Marie's outspoken and assertive nature perfectly complemented the neuroticism and introversion of Alastair, whose shrewd intellect matched hers. However, Marie cited multiple times that Alastair drank large amounts of alcohol, which she feared would be detrimental to his health.
Alastair began suffering from mental health problems in 2013. He would spend several days at a time in bed, too disinterested and miserable to leave, and withdrew from his family. A lack of appetite, combined with irritability, further drove a wedge between him and the people he knew.
That June, he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and started medication as well as counseling. But his behavior grew only more erratic. He started to intentionally skip meals and go for midnight joyrides, often (unbeknownst to those around him until much later) while completely drunk. Sometimes, he wandered around on foot and ended up in the middle of dangerous intersections or on the front steps of the Parliament building. He cited his recklessness as being an outlet for the extreme pressures he faced as being both a Parliament attorney and the Crown Prince. His family attempted to reign him in and get him the help he needed. They were unable to do so.
One night in early July, Alastair was pulled over by a police officer for reckless driving and was found to be very intoxicated. He was consequently arrested and charged with a DUI. Because this was his first infraction, he was penalized with fines, a six-month driver's license suspension, and 150 hours of community service. He was ordered by Parliament to take time off from work in the form of paid leave until he was sufficiently recovered, as well, because his bosses and colleagues feared for his mental well-being. Per the behest of his family, he sought intensive psychological and psychiatric treatment.
He went on leave for six weeks, during which he recuperated and completed his service hours. He attended regular therapy sessions and ate and slept at normal intervals. To his relatives and acquaintances, he appeared to cut down on his drinking, and was able to return to his duties in late September.
In October 2014, Alastair announced that he and Marie were expecting a third child. Hildegard was born on 28 May 2015. Alastair's mental condition improved for some time. His psychological health worsened again in 2017, when his father was discovered to have a brain tumor and he was required to run the country as Prince Regent. With the death of Alastair III in April 2020, combined with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased tensions in New Hamletberg, his mental state further destabilized.
Alastair is moderately introverted, and has been since he was a small boy. He prefers spending time by himself to interacting with others, though his work and role as a father means he does not often get alone time unless he seeks it out. He does, however, love being around his family.
Unfortunately, Alastair's alone time consisted largely of drinking alcohol. Even if he was reading or watching television, he never had a bottle or a glass far from him; were somebody to ask why this is the case, he would say it was a way to help him relax. It is this excuse that allowed him to defuse the worries of his family for years, at least from his point of view, and convince himself that he did not have a problem.
More often, though, he would secretly drink without doing any other leisurely activity. He visited the palace bar, snuck into the wine cellar, or holed up in his study with a procured beverage that he may have hidden behind a tapestry or in a corner. It was when he was alone that he consumed the most, for there was no one present to monitor or otherwise limit him. Thus, he grew very secretive and withdrawn over the years. He ws very reluctant to reveal to others what was bothering him, whether the source was internal or external. Alastair also suffered from severe self-confidence issues and believed himself to be utterly worthless. He did not think anyone in his family cared about him or should care about him. Whenever someone expressed concern, he dodged their empathetic attempt by insisting he was fine and that he was coping well enough.
Yet he always is the first to show kindness toward those around him, especially if they are suffering. He is a very altruistic individual, though he may deny it, because he truly cares about the welfare of the people he loves. He wants to be the very best husband, father, brother, son, and King he can, though he sees himself as being the worst.
Alastair enjoys giving hugs and compliments when he is in the mood to do so and frequently smiles. Those who meet him often comment on his jovial persona, and many are surprised to hear that he has been incredibly depressed for years. Part of the reason for such a major discrepancy is that Alastair is known for having a totally goofy sense of humor. He constantly made silly comments and puns, and his daughter and son have expressed that he was always making dad jokes up until very recently. Sometimes, he partook in antics such as getting inanimate objects to duel each other and spontaneously acting out scenes from Shakespeare to interrupt dull meetings. When he was drunk, he often danced to a certain selection of songs while shirtless (God knows why) and once drew fake glasses and moustaches on printed-out pictures of world leaders with a permanent marker. Again, he was outwardly showing no sign of his misery. Even in meetings with foreign leaders, he was known to be humorous, yet he did his best to perform well in his job.
It came as a shock when he stopped making his jokes after his father died. Where he had once been funny, he was now despondent and detached, often as a result of inebriation, and his drunken escapades became more and more commonplace. Prince Wilhelm noted that he never laughed and smiled only on occasion, but even these were not genuine. He lost interest in many of his favorite activities and grew virtually silent. Nothing, not even his children, brought him an iota of joy.
For several months after his hospitalization in July 2020, Alastair was estranged from reality. Immense pain and dizziness kept him from interacting with the world around him. He showed recognition when his family visited, but only to an extent, and did not react to spoken dialogue much unless he heard his name. Even then, his acknowledgement was not always apparent or even visible.
He started to become more interactive that November when his tracheostomy was removed and he could start speaking again. However, his speech was significantly impaired; it took several weeks of intensive therapy for him to reach the point where he could form full sentences. Once he grew more interactive, his depression, which had been dormant during the months he had spent listless, returned.
Alastair's despondence has become less prominent since he began psychological treatment in early 2021. Some of his old personality is showing through; his gentleness and altruism are very visible, and he has reportedly befriended many of his nurses and fellow patients in his addiction recovery center. He does not joke much anymore, but he is highly empathetic and constantly checks in on the people he cares about to make sure they are doing alright.
While he has always been the affectionate type, he has grown much more fond of hugging and cuddling his family, perhaps overly so. His clingy behavior does not annoy them, although they will gently remind him when he leans on them for too long or is hugging them too tightly. 'Tis as though he has lost any reservations when it comes to showing his love for his mother, brother, wife, and children; he is riddled with guilt over the pain and distress he has caused them, and he very much hopes to make up lost time and be there for the people he loves.
Since his early thirties, Alastair has been a moderate to heavy drinker, though he began consuming alcohol at 18. He'd typically had wine with dinner and a glass of whiskey before bed; his intake increased as his legal career took off. The onset of his depression led him to use alcohol as a way to numb his emotions.
Much of his erroneous behavior in 2013 was alcohol-induced, though he managed to successfully conceal this for years. At the time, he'd convinced his family that his DUI was a one-time occurrence and that he could moderate his drinking; they'd believed him, and, after his six-week break, they noted that he was happier and sober.
However, his alcohol usage was not curbed. If anything, it increased, though largely in secret. He drank in moderation publicly and abused it clandestinely, all the while maintaining a façade of sobriety. Alastair hid his pain behind constant reassurances and a jovial persona that only began to crack with the illness and death of his father, at least noticeably, while he convinced himself that he was utterly worthless and undeserving of love.
Alastair did not outwardly begin consuming alcohol at an alarming rate until after the death of his father. Talk amidst Crown employees has revealed that Alastair, overwhelmed by grief and unable to silence his thoughts, went on a four-day binge from 17 to 20 June. Before then, he started carrying around a flask of whiskey to pour into his morning coffee. He refilled it multiple times throughout the day and resorted to drinking from it whenever he was frustrated in regards to work.
He remained bedridden for about two days after his alleged binge. One palace maid stated that Alastair "vomited repeatedly" and was "feverishly ill," but continued drinking. He did not fully recover as a result.
Alastair reportedly got blackout drunk every night for the next month, and drank coffee with whiskey in the morning to cure his hangovers. He disappeared multiple times throughout the day, often in a state of restlessness and irritability, only to return intoxicated. Interestingly, he remained alert enough to perform his duties as King, though many around him noticed drastic changes in his appearance and demeanor. He put on 8 kilos from 17 June to 24 July, and his eyes are puffy and bloodshot; broken blood vessels have made his complexion ruddy. He began to neglect brushing his hair. Alastair spent most of the day mentally distanced from those around him, save for episodes of extreme choler or impulsivity. Minimally, he interacted with his children, whom Marie did her best to keep away from him.
On the morning of 9 July New Zealand Time, Alastair got into a brawl with his younger brother. According to the palace bartender at the time, Wilhelm threw the first punch, but the fight ended with Alastair delivering a nose-breaking punch; at that point, Wilhelm had Alastair in a headlock and was hitting him repeatedly in the abdomen.
Neither brother has divulged information about their spat, but it is confirmed that both had had a few beers by the time their fight started. Alastair was very heavily inebriated and had to be carried to his bed, while Wilhelm's nose was splinted in the emergency department.
Twenty minutes into an evening briefing on 24 July, 2020, Alastair collapsed; he fell from his chair headfirst and could not be aroused. He was taken to a nearby hospital and diagnosed with alcohol poisoning. Furthermore, he has sustained a hairline skull fracture and traumatic brain injury from his fall. Preliminary scans revealed inflammation in his liver and stomach, with further tests confirming that he had three stomach ulcers and significant hepatic damage.
Alastair underwent a liver biopsy on Sunday, 26 July and was subsequently found to be suffering from Stage 3 cirrhosis. His disease is advanced enough that he was placed near the top of the transplant list and immediately began to be administered medications to slow disease progression and combat his symptoms.
However, the surgical site of the biopsy became infected. Late on Wednesday, 29 July, he developed a low-grade fever that rose to 40 degrees Celsius by Thursday morning.
Western Fardelshufflestein National announced early on 1 August that the infection, which had initially spread to his bloodstream, had traveled to his lungs. He ended up developing sepsis, and was put on life support; his doctors believed he would never regain consciousness.
Ten days later, he did awaken, and was transferred out of the ICU on 15 August. He is currently in a step-down unit in the hospital receiving treatment for his ailments, but his immunity is very weakened and he is in a state of disorientation.
OOC: If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism/alcohol use disorder, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Addiction is a disease that affects millions, and those who are struggling from addictions are in need of care, empathy, and support.
Alastair considers himself to be politically conservative; he supports the perpetuation of constitutional monarchies, as he believes monarchs are not to have absolute power and should be regarded as civil servants rather than superior individuals. He is a proponent the system of checks and balances in federal and local governments. Even as a hereditary leader, he upholds the rights of the people to vote and have government representation, and thus does not oppose the existence of Western Fardelshufflestein's Parliament. His main issue with Parliament is the churlish behavior of its members, who are prone to breaking out in fistfights.
Like the majority of his predecessors, Alastair aims to keep Western Fardelshufflestein out of armed conflict, though he cites the importance of maintaining a standing military. Western Fardelshufflestein's small size and geographical isolation are huge factors in his continuation of WF neutrality. On the civilian level, Alastair champions the right to bear arms, citing that citizens are entitled to such means of defense. He does support background checks to ensure those who aspire maintain a permit do not have a history of violence or other criminal activities.
As a Roman Catholic, he is staunchly opposed to abortion, which is outlawed in Western Fardelshufflestein except in extenuating circumstances. He does, of course, believe people should be treated not by their race or gender but by who they are as individuals, and advocated for the legalization of same-sex marriage in WF following the American Supreme Court ruling in 2015.
Alastair holds freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion as human rights and encourages WF citizens to speak their minds. He takes criticisms of the government as constructive when such criticisms are informed. Being connected to public opinion allows him to gauge his standing with the people, as well as how well he is performing as a leader.
Economically, Alastair is a capitalist; he champions the perpetuation of a market not controlled by the state, and argues that socialism and communism are ineffective systems. He does believe there should be regulations to prevent shady and dishonest business, as the rights of consumers are highly valued. As a result of these beliefs, Alastair has come to distrust companies such as Google and nations with state-run economies.
Alastair was baptized a Roman Catholic in his infancy and maintained his faith all the way into adulthood. He considers himself to be fairly religious; he attends Mass on Sundays with his wife and children, whom he and Marie raised Catholic.
Alastair's religious views are reflective to an extent in his politics.
Like most Western Fardelshufflesteinians, Alastair enjoys reading and watching Shakespeare plays. He has a greater understanding of Shakespeare than the average citizen, however, because he possesses intellectual curiosity about his works.
Naturally, his favorite play is Hamlet; he is reported to know Hamlet's soliloquies by heart. He once stated in an interview that his favorite cinematic adaptation was that of Kenneth Branagh. Alastair has also mentioned that Hamlet is what encourages him to continue fencing recreationally, though has not revealed why.
Alastair finds live entertainment in watching Parliament sessions, whether via television or in person. He usually eats buttered popcorn when partaking in this activity. Marie sometimes joins him, usually to moderate his popcorn consumption, though she finds Parliament brawls interesting, as well.
In his spare time, Alastair enjoys utilizing his flammenwerfer, which is a weapon only the military (and, by extension, the Royal Family) have legal access to, and reading. He is also quite skilled in chess. Alastair is well-versed in the world of alcohol and is a self-proclaimed tapestry connoisseur.
Alastair is a major Star Wars fan, and grew up obsessed with the original trilogy; his favorite film of the saga is unknown, but his favorite characters are Chewbacca and Han Solo.
An avid fencer, Alastair frequently spars with political and palace staff. He is known to hurtle Shakespearean insults as he duels or resort to acting out scenes from various plays.
His favorite color is something he describes as a "deep garnet," while his favorite food is cheese. Often, he jokes that he would be fifteen kilograms lighter were it not for the existence of cheese and alcohol.
Alastair is right-handed, though he can duel well enough with his left.
He has a severe allergy to shellfish, which was discovered when he ate shrimp at age 5 and went into anaphylactic shock. He was rushed to the hospital, where he spent two days in a coma; his survival was said to be nearly miraculous. Nowadays, he carries around an EpiPen in case of accidental shellfish consumption.
He knows a great deal of American slang (from 20 years ago, that is) due to his time spent at Harvard, and says he prefers American English to Australian/New Zealand English because "Their weird spellings and jargon make for an excellent linguistic experience."
"It is a miracle our lawmakers get anything done."
-To the Western Fardelshufflestein Sentinel, 14 November 2001
"Parliament? Thou means't the Confederacy of Absolute Fools?"
-FNN TV Interview, 12 January 2003
"Having children is the best thing in the world. They love you unconditionally, and they say and do the most hilarious of things. The other day, for instance, my daughter informed me she was now in charge of Parliament."
-Conversation with Parilamentarians, March 2007
"Our national history should not be constituted as a series of failures. We are not exclusively a people of shame and mediocrity; we have made countless mistakes, yes, but so has every other nation. What distinguishes us from the rest of the world is that we willingly embrace our past mistakes and integrate them into our culture alongside our successes. We horribly botched our exodus from the Holy Roman Empire, but we have also developed into a peaceful, thriving nation. We have a prosperous economy and friendly relations with states across the globe. Our passion for Shakespeare has led us to produce critical works and dramatic interpretations that rival those of London. We are not weak. We are not weak. We try, and we always try, and we never give up. That is what makes us strong."
-From Coronation Oratory, 21 April 2020
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