Dame Marie Auguste von Thurn und Taxis is the first woman to be appointed on the Sovereign Council, she has held the title of Grand Chancellor of the Order since 1744. Before her move to Vespuccia she was the duchess of Wurtemberg.
Early lifeEditMarie was born on August 11, 1706 in Brussels in the Austrian Netherlands. She's a daughter of the head of the house Thurn und Taxis and the Postmaster of the Reichspost.
She had a normal childhood and at age 23 she married Karl Alexander, Duke of Württemberg-Winnental. While the marriage was a beneficial political match, Marie and Karl were both masters of intrigue and secret diplomacy and were constantly vying for control of the government. It went so far that Kar Alexander used a servant to spy on his wife's to make sure she didn't interfere in his politics. After a particularly serious dispute in 1736, her husband even had her promise in writing to stay out of government affairs. Together they had four children that survived infancy.
Karl Alexander unexpectedly died 10 years into their marriage, their 9 year old son became the duke and Marie Auguste was left as co-regent of her son together with a regency council. In 1740 she had an affair with a captain in the army, untrue rumors about a pregnancy began to spread and she was forced to move to Brussels for a half year. The captain was discharged from the army. This exile removed her from power and she knew that it would be very difficult to regain that power. And that eventually her son would just take that power away once he came of age. She had already became a Dame of the Knights Hospitaller a few years earlier and now she contacted the Knights who helped her move to the New World. She arrived in 1741.
Life in Vespuccia Edit
Marie Auguste's experience with politics and diplomacy quickly gained her the attention of the old Grand Chancellor. He brought her in as his aide and she quickly worked her way up until she was his right hand woman. When he died in 1744 she held so many strings of the office of the Grand Chancellor that the rest of the council was unable to appoint another candidate. She was the first woman to ever be appointed on the Sovereign Council and because of her almost scary competence in diplomacy and foreign policy she quickly improved the diplomatic position of the Knights as soon as she was appointed.
The current Grand Master, Manuel Pinto da Fonseca, is considered by many to be a weak leader and Marie Auguste is trying to take advantage of it. During council meetings she and her supporters often find themselves pitted against Cassar, the bodyguard of Manuel Pinto da Fonseca and his supporters. Cassar is often thought of as the next Grand Master of the order, even Manuel Pinto supports him, but Marie Auguste is doing everything in her power to become Grand Master herself.
She is a very ambitious and competent woman, it is a well known fact that she is much more competent than the Grand Master of the Knights. It is also a well known fact that she would love to become Grand Master herself, but because she is a woman chances of that are small. It is sometimes said that her ambition clouds her judgment and resolve. She Is smart enough and maintains a correspondence with both Volatire and the Marquis d'Argens even after her move to the New World. She is a women of great beauty and likes to dress very spectacularly and often spends a lot of money to purchase dresses, which is against the code of the Knights. She is able to disguise these as 'gifts' from friends back in Europe. Her wardrobe contains over 220 dresses.