There is a movement within modern Lendosan society that wishes to see the return of a monarchic system. All but a very few monarchists agree that such a system would be a constitutional monarchy, with the monarch holding duties which would be mostly ceremonial. They equate the powers of a hypothetical monarch to those of the Lendosan Confederation's Praetor - indeed, some see the monarchy as fitting neatly into the present system by being installed over the Praetor's position.
There is, however, considerable division between monarchists over who the monarch would be. There are, in essence, three basic viewpoints being promoted - the restoration of the Empire, the restoration of a pre-Empire royal lineage, or the creation of an entirely new royal dynasty. The disputes focus around both arguments of legitimacy and of practicality.
Restoration of the Empire
The Imperial system is the most recent one employed in what is now Lendosa, having lasted for around 175 years and ended only about a decade ago. As such, many monarchists support the restoration of the Empire. The span of time since the Empire's fall is short enough that most Lendosans remember the old system, and the changes that have happened since that time would be considered by most pro-Imperial monarchists as a brief interregnum, not a total dissolution of the old order.
There is debate, however, as to the proper person to place on the Imperial throne. Because of the way in which the Empire was established, the throne was technically bestowed by the Imperial Council (the forerunner to today's Senate), not by any sort of automatic inheritance. As such, there was no legally enshrined law of succession. Some argue that the Imperial Council's involvement was a mere technicality, and that a pattern of succession can indeed be discerned despite it never having been officially stated. However, even among people who make this argument, there are different views about the proper line of succession.
Some claim that the throne was simply given to the eldest son of the previous Emperor. This satisfactorally covers all the reigning emperors - each emperor was indeed the eldest son of the emperor who preceded him. The claim that the eldest child (rather than merely the eldest son) inherrited cannot be supported, as Emperor Ravamiro's eldest child was Princess Marissa, who did not gain the throne (despite a challenge made by Marissa's husband). Some argue, however, that a modern monarchy should change this rule. Doing so would not, however, make any difference in chosing a new monarch today, as the last emperor only had sons.
However, some argue that the ascension of eldest sons was simply due to coincidence, and that succession was primarily based on the Emperor's own preference. This is potentially important, as it was fairly clear that the last ruler, Emperor Xavier, prefered his neice (Princess Cantra) to either of his two sons (Princes Nicolo and Carlo). Potentially undermining this claim, however, is the fact that Emperor Xavier himself was not regarded as his father's first preference, and some claim that Xavier would not have gained the throne if not for the Imperial Council's backing (the Council, as previously noted, was technically able to appoint whoever it wished to the position of Emperor, although the situation in practice was often somewhat different).
Some maintain that the it was indeed the Imperial Council which determined each succession, and that the Council's successor (the Senate) can therefore elevate whoever it wishes. These people see the fact that the Council only appointed the heirs of the Talriez family to power as irrelevant, and claim that there is no need at all for this to continue (although many believe that tradition requires that it should).
Below is a summary of those who might have claim to the Imperial throne should it be restored.
Of these candidates, most strong supporters of restoration favour Nicolo Talriez. The general public, however, are much more likely to support Cantra Talriez, who has a much better image.
- Nicolo Talriez. Nicolo Talriez (Prince Nicolo, according to Imperial protocol) is one of the two sons of Emperor Xavier, the last ruler of the Lendian Empire. Nicolo is the twin brother of Carlo Talriez (see below), a fact which complicates matters. While Nicolo was born slightly before his brother, Lendian tradition generally considers aristocratic seniority to be counted from the moment that a child is recognised by the monarch as his/her children, rather than the moment of birth. Nicolo and Carlo were both recognised in the same official document, meaning that their claim is (according to tradition) equal. It appears that the simultaneous recognition of both children was made without anyone realizing the problem of succession. Nicolo Talriez has claimed that his prior birth gives him superior claim to the throne, regardless of tradition. He has been active in campaigning for a restoration of the monarchy, but has angered many Lendosans with his claim that he has "an inalienable right to power, regardless of the wishes of the public", as well as his recent indication that he would take an active role in the administration of the country. He nevertheless is perceived as being more competent and cautious than his brother Carlo, who is seen as irresponsible.
- Carlo Talriez. Carlo Talriez (Prince Carlo, according to Imperial protocol) is one of the two sons of Emperor Xavier, and twin brother to Nicolo Talriez. Carlo asserts that his right to the throne is equal to that of Nicolo (see above for information on this problem), and says that it is for the Senate to decide which of them should be Emperor. He also claims that Emperor Xavier preferred him to Nicolo, and that had the Empire not fallen, Xavier would have confirmed him (not Nicolo) as his heir. Carlo himself, however, is not much more popular than Nicolo with the Lendosan public, primarily owing to Carlo's reputation as spoiled and irresponsible. He is, however, viewed as being more "in touch" with Lendosa than his brother Nicolo, who is seen as arrogant.
- Cantra Talriez. Cantra Talriez (Princess Cantra, according to Imperial protocol) is the eldest daughter of Prince Gabrelo Talriez, Emperor Xavier's younger brother. In a system of succession that gives power to an Emperor's eldest son (or even to the eldest child, regardless of gender), Cantra would not be in line for the throne unless both Nicolo and Carlo (see above) were removed from consideration. However, some monarchists who support the idea of "succession by the Emperor's favourite" believe that Cantra would have been Emperor Xavier's choice. Cantra's views closely match those of the last ruler, and Xavier is believed to have prefered Cantra's attitude towards power over those held by either of his two sons (Nicolo and Carlo). Cantra is also far more popular with the Lendosan people, and has been seen to be working to benefit the country (she is currently an elected member of the Senate). This contrasts with Nicolo and Carlo, both of whom are seen as self-interested.
- Aelia Dantea. Aelia Dantea (Princess Aelia, according to Imperial protocol) was the wife of Prince Gabrelo Talriez, Emperor Xavier's younger brother. Some monarchists advance Aelia as the rightful heir, on the basis that she is the oldest living member of the Imperial family. Traditionally, however, it has not been possible for someone to rule in their own right if their connection to the family is only through marriage - Aelia is not a decendant of Ravamiro Talriez, and became attached to the Talriez lineage only by marrying Prince Gabrelo. Supporters of Aelia claim that this tradition does not have to apply to the Imperial family, which broke a number of traditons previously important in earlier monarchies. The case was never tested in the Imperial family, as there were no instances where it arose. Aelia herself has stated that she has "no interest" in pursuing a claim to the throne.
- Others. There are small factions that would support a claim to the throne by Diego Talriez (Prince Diego, according to Imperial protocol), Landrina Talriez (Princess Landrina), or Somano Leon (Prince Somano). Diego and Landrina are children of Prince Gabrelo (and younger siblings of Cantra; see above), while Somano is the husband of Landrina. Support for any of these candidates is based simply on a belief that they would make good monarchs, and that they could be elevated to the throne by the Senate.
Restoration of a Pre-Imperial Monarchy
Some monarchists believe that the Imperial system was not, in fact, a "real" monarchy at all, instead being a product of an ambitious general's delusions of grandeur. While many monarchists believe that the length of time that the Imperial system survived grants it legitimacy as a real monarchy, some do not agree, and claim that the only legitimate monarchies were the ones in place before the Lendian Revolution. These monarchists are often called "royalists", prefering the "royal order" of the kings to the "imperial order" of the emperors.
Restoration of these monarchies, however, is difficult, as it has been two centuries since they last ruled. Many of the royal families in the pre-revolutionary kingdoms were killed, leaving it difficult to establish succession. As such, royalists can look only to the a certain selection of noble families. This creates a degree of controversy, however, as many of the families which survived did so because they collaborated with the republicans (and therefore are thought of as traitors by some royalists). There is no consensus as to which of the more royal families has best claim to a united Lendosan throne.
King Dazelio III, currently the ceremonial ruler of Piolsa (one of Lendosa's six member states) is one of the favourite candidates of royalists. King Dazelio is the direct decendant of the Kings of Rezimano prior to the Lendian Revolution. The monarch of Rezimano at the time, King Decimo II, was a highly progressive ruler, and constantly attacked the "oppressive and decadent" aristocracy around him. As a result of his work, he was highly popular, and could not easily be disposed of after his country's government was overthrown. He was therefore appointed (purely in a ceremonial capacity) to the new title of "King of Piolsa". When the Empire fell, the family was returned to power at the head of Piolsa's new constitutional monarchy. Many royalists see King Dazelio III as the head of pre-revolutionary Lendosa's only surviving royal family, and therefore believe that he has the best claim to a united Lendosan crown. Some, however, criticise this view, claiming that King Decimo II's "treason" in collaborating with the revolutionaries should disqualify the Piolsan royals. There are also questions as to whether the remainder of Lendosa would accept a monarch strongly identified with just Piolsa.
The only other possible claimant of note is Sabedoria Viancezia, who claims to be a decedent of the last King of Rivania. There are some who are sceptical of this claim, however.
Creation of a New Monarchy
A small number of monarchists reject both the Imperial and Royal options, claiming that neither are suitable. They instead propose the creation of an entirely new monarchy. There are differing opinions as to how this monarchy should operate, but the more common proposals include an popularly elected monarch (who would reign for life or until impeachment) or a monarch appointed by the Senate. This view, however, is not very popular compared to option of restoring an older system. In addition, there is no clear idea of who might become monarch in this manner.