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Harald III of Arendaal
By the Grace of God, King of all Arendaal
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/r_l_777/YoungManbyAntonellodaMessina-1.png
King of Arendaal
Reign 1480 – 1497
Coronation November 1480, Kronstad
Predecessor King Gustav IV
Successor Queen Marguerite I
Consort Ottavia of the Talemantine Empire
Birth 22 April 1456, Loire
Death 1 November 1497, Kronstad
Father King Gustav IV of Arendaal
Mother Niccola of Potenza
Issue Marguerite I of Arendaal
Rurik II of Arendaal
Royal House Kapétien Dynasty
House of Kronhielm
Full Name Harald der Kronhielm-Kapét
Religion Christian (Catholic)
Buried Kronhielm Tombs, Emyn Arnen

Harald III of Arendaal ("Harald the Renaissance Prince") (1456 - 1497) was the King of Arendaal between 1480 and 1497. He was the son of King Gustav IV of Arendaal and Niccola of Potenza. He expanded upon his father's image as a Renaissance ruler and an unparallel "patron of the arts", cultivating and perfecting Arendaal's reputation as the first nation of Europe's Renaissance. He is most famous today for his patronage of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, such as the Aren artists Hans Memling, Botticelli and Leonardo Da Vinci. Harald III is also remembered for his alteration of Aren law to allow the eldest child of a monarch to inherit the throne: thus women could inherit the Aren throne over their brothers. Harald's daughter became the first woman to rule Arendaal who still had younger brothers living. Two of his children, Marguerite I and Rurik II would rule the Kingdom of Arendaal.


Harald III on horseback
Aren Royalty
Kapétien Dynasty
House of Kronhielm

House of Langsvard
Last monarch
   Blanche I of Arendaal
Children include
   Niklaas III of Arendaal
   Kristine,TalemantineEmpress
Niklaas III
Consort
   Anna of Franken
Children include
   Madeleine I of Arendaal
Madeleine I
Consort
   Charles of Montelimar
Children include
   Pieter I of Arendaal
   Gustav IV of Arendaal
   Madeleine, Holy Germanic Empress
   Sigrid,HolyGermanicEmpress
   Frederika,QueenofEiffelland
Pieter I
Consort
   Eliana of the Talemantine Empire
Gustav IV
Consort
   Niccola of Potenza
Children include
   Harald III of Arendaal
   Anne, Queen of Montelimar
   Nikolina,TalemantineEmpress
Harald III
Consort
   Ottavia of the Talemantine Empire
Children include
   Marguerite I of Arendaal
   Rurik II of Arendaal
Marguerite I
Consort
   Juan Carlos of Coronado
Children include
   Frederik II of Arendaal
   Gisela, Queen of Franken
   Malena,HolyGermanicEmpress
Rurik II
Consort
   Caitlin of Eireann
Children include
    Dukes of Skaneland
Succeeded by
    Frederik II of Arendaal
House of Norregaard

Before Harald's reign and since 955, both men and women could inherit the Aren Crown. However, a woman would only come to the throne throne only if she had no living male siblings (and provided these siblings had no legitimate children). Harald abolished this preference, stating that the eldest child would inherit the Aren throne regardless of their gender. It was thought that Harald's actions were deliberately done to ensure the succession of his eldest child, Marguerite I over his son Rurik II.

Marguerite shared her father's intelligence and cultural sympathies, whereas Rurik was seen as a more vapid, weak figure. Harald took pains to ensure that the most imporant nobles of Arendaal supported the right of his daughter to inherit the throne over his son. In this he was successful, for except for a brief skirmish early in her reign, Marguerite I ruled Arendaal peacefully between 1497 and 1517.

Rurik II, however, mounted a rebellion after his sister's death in 1517, and became King of Arendaal until 1520. Throughout this brief period Rurik fought a relentless military campaign against Marguerite's son Frederik II. By 1520 Frederik II emerged triumphant and ascended the throne himself.


King Harald III's wife Ottavia of the Talemantine Empire, in a fresco depicting the Birth of the Virgin

Harald III is especially famous today for his artistic patronage and his image as a "sporting golden boy", athletic, charismatic and personable. Though intelligent and deeply interested in science, philosophy and , Harald was not particularly studious as a youth. He was a keen athlete, known for his prowess as a rider, swordsman, jouster and archer. As such, he was expected to become a great military leader before he gained the crown. However, Harald reign was marked not by military campaigns but by skillful diplomatic trade agreements and cultural advancement. Harald a political mastermind who knew how important the cultivation of an image was for a King and, by extension, for a nation. He patronized the greatest artists of his age, and it was he who invited Leonardo Da Vinci to Arendaal and acted as his greatest patron. Da Vinci would spend the rest of his life in the Aren Kingdom, benefiting from the patronage of Harald's successors Marguerite I, Rurik II and Frederik II.

His artistic patronage and opulent staging of armed tournaments and entertainments were done both for personal pleasure, and to promote the glory of Arendaal on an international stage. Artistic, scientific, literary and cultural strides were the fruits of booming trade, and Harald knew that they could be key factors in attracting still more trade and commercial opportunities. He was interested in agriculture and business, helping to expand and increase not only the profitability of his own vast estates, but the agricultural produce of the country as a whole. He relaxed tariffs, thereby allowing for greater trade with Arendaal's Nordic neighbours, and introduced acts to bolster the commercial life of the country. With his sanitation measures and by making grain free to the lower classes he significantly improved the lives of the peasantry. He was friendly towards guilds and yet supported independent commercial ventures, and he also expanded upon previous laws to make universities open to all students based on academic merit. Such laws increased the numbers of Aren educated professionals exponentially.


Ottavia of the Talemantine Empire, Queen of King Harald III

Harald III personally acted as a great patron of many of the most notable artists of the age. His marriage to Princess Ottavia of the Talemantine Empire (a marriage arranged by former Aren Queen consort Eliana of the Talemantine Empire (Ottavia's aunt and the wife of Harald's uncle Pieter I) cemented ties to southern Europe and ensured a steady stream of artists and traders from the south flocked to Arendaal. Often Harald would also secure the patronage of nobles at his court, thereby allowing Arendaal to become perhaps the most prolific centre of artistic, scienfitic and literary production in Europe. He established training schools for budding artists and commissioned massive architectural and artistic works throughout his reign. Foreign artists began to flock to Arendaal in search of artistic freedom and financial gain.

The portrait of Harald III seen above, painted by Botticelli, is deliberately modest: the King wears simple clothes and is shown against a plain backdrop. Its aim, in which it undoubtedly suceeds, is to alert the onlooker to the merits of Harald himself, rather than to the greatness of the Aren King. The painting stands out for the smile that animates the sitter's features — the painters way of suggesting a living presence. The painting therefore represents a man who is endowed with so many merits on his own, that he need not remind you of his rather illustrious ancestry or exalted social position.

Family, Marriage and ChildrenEdit

King Harald III of Arendaal married Princess Ottavia of the Talemantine Empire, a marriage arranged by Eliana, Ottavia's aunt and the wife of Harald's uncle, King Pieter I). Their children included:

  • Marguerite I of Arendaal (1479 - 1517) - who succeeded her father as ruler of Arendaal in 1497, the first woman to ever be crowned over her brothers
  • Rurik II of Arendaal (1480 - 1520) - who disputed Marguerite I's succession and forcibly seized the throne upon her death (He was later overthrown by her son Frederik II)

SiblingsEdit

Other Royal RelationsEdit

AncestorsEdit

Harald III of Arendaal's ancestors in four generations:

 
 
 
 
 
King Henri VIII of Montelimar
 
 
King Jean V of Montelimar
 
 
 
 
 
 
Queen of Montelimar
 
 
Charles of Montelimar
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
Nissa of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
King Gustav IV of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
 
Karl August of Saxony
 
 
King Niklaas III of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
 
Queen Blanche I of Arendaal
 
 
Queen Madeleine I of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
 
Duke Uwe V of Franken
 
 
Anna of Franken
 
 
 
 
 
 
Duchess of Franken
 
Harald III of Arendaal
 
 
 
 
 
Duke of Potenza
 
 
Duke of Potenza
 
 
 
 
 
 
Duchess of Potenza
 
 
Duke of Potenza
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
Duchess of Potenza
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
Niccola Grimaldi of Potenza
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
x
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
Duchess of Potenza
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 
 
x
 
 
 
 
 
 
x
 

See AlsoEdit

Kapétien Dynasty
House of Kronhielm

Aren Regnal Titles
Preceded by
King Gustav IV
1454 – 1480
King of Arendaal
1480 – 1497
Succeeded by
Queen
Marguerite I

1497 – 1517
Prince of Norseberg
1480 – 1497
Grand Duke of Emyn Arnen
1480 – 1497
Aren royalty
Preceded by
King Gustav IV
Crown Prince of Arendaal
Prince of Fjordholm

1456 - 1480
Succeeded by
Rurik II (til 1496)
Marguerite I

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