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Reigning Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval

The Emperor is the head of state and head of government of the Empire. The reigning Emperor is Arissa Lavigny-Duval of the Imperial Family. Emperors reign for life, and they alone hold the power to designate or disqualify heirs, and appoint Senators and Chancellors.

Under Imperial law, only members of the royal Imperial Family by blood or marriage are eligible to ascend to the Imperial throne. While this has meant that the line of succession has been effectively hereditary, the Emperor's legitimacy is dependent on the Imperial Senate's approval, and the Empire's history has been shaped by the oscillation of influence between the Imperial throne and the Senate. The Senate also has the authority to hold an election for the Imperial throne and consider alternative candidates, such as a Senator or a remote relation of the Duvals, if no heir was designated by the previous Emperor or none of the extant members of the Imperial Family are deemed acceptable.[1][2][3]

In the event that an Emperor becomes unwilling or unable to rule, their duties are assumed by their Chancellor. In practice, a number of Emperors throughout the Empire's history have relegated much of their responsibilities to their Chancellors.[4]


After the death of the Achenar colony's founder, Marlin Duval, in 2296, her brother Henson Duval took over its administration and immediately began transforming the Republic of Achenar into the Empire.[5] Henson's first act was to disband the council and assume sole responsibility for the leadership of the Achenar colony. He rejected the Federation's requests that the colony join them, and declared that the leadership of the colony, and any affiliated systems, would be hereditary passed down from father to son. In 2320, Henson Duval was formally crowned as the first Emperor of the Empire.[6]

Henson's restructuring of Achenar's government into a monarchy gave rise to a counter-ideology among his detractors known as Marlinism. The core tenet of Marlinism was that the position of Emperor should be abolished and replaced by a representative system of elected senators. Marlinism became widespread throughout Imperial fringe systems and remained a minor yet persistent presence in Imperial politics by the 34th century. A radical offshoot of Marlinism called Neo-Marlinism also eventually emerged; it shared the main goal of Marlinism, but asserted that terror tactics were the only feasible way to achieve that goal. Neo-Marlinist groups such as the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army also held a particular hatred for the Imperial Family.[7]

Early in the reign of Hengist Duval, the 15th Emperor changed the laws of succession so that daughters of the Imperial line would also be able to ascend to the throne.[8] The Senate later determined that the title "Emperor" should be used for both male and female rulers.[9]

After the assassination of Hengist Duval in 3301, there was no clear successor to the Imperial Throne, because Hengist had disqualified his son, Prince Harold Duval, from the line of succession only the year before. This left the choice of who would be crowned the next Emperor entirely to the Imperial Senate. Chancellor Anders Blaine was widely considered the strongest candidate for the throne, but the revelation of his indirect connection to Emperor's Dawn left Princess Aisling Duval and Senator Arissa Lavigny as the most convincing contenders.[10] Arissa Lavigny had previously declared that Prince Aristide Lavigny was not her biological father, and that she was the illegitimate daughter of Hengist Duval. This made her claim to the throne stronger than Aisling Duval's, since Aisling was Harold's illegitimate daughter.[11] Senator Denton Patreus was also briefly thought to be vying for the throne after he opined that the Emperor should be chosen based on merit rather than bloodline, and Senator Zemina Torval signaled her support for Patreus when she asserted that Patreus was the most popular Senator among the citizenry.[12][13] In the end, the Imperial Senate voted to elect Arissa Lavigny-Duval as the next Emperor. She was crowned in the Imperial Palace as the 16th Emperor of the Empire on October 18, 3301.[9]

Powers and duties

The Emperor is the sovereign ruler, head of the Empire and above the law. The Emperor can sit in the Imperial Senate, declare the opening and closure of each Senate session, declare the Senate's agenda, impose rules and regulation for the Senate to follow, and meet with foreign ambassadors in the name of the Senate. The Emperor can appoint Senators and Chancellors, and hold them accountable.[2] It is the Emperor's duty to ensure the success of the Empire and its continuation long into the future.[14]

Succession and election

The Imperial succession is generally hereditary, provided that there is a suitable candidate who is acceptable to the Imperial Senate. In almost all cases, this has meant that the Imperial Throne has passed directly from father to son. In the rare event that there is not a clear line of succession or designated heir at the time of an Emperor's death, then the duty of deciding who will rule the Empire falls to the Imperial Senate, which is allotted a one month period of debate to select a candidate in accordance with centuries of law and tradition. At minimum, the Senate's candidate must be of royal blood or of royal marriage. At the end of the succession selection period, the Senate's 1,000 members will then vote on whether to elect the candidate as Emperor, which requires a clear majority approval in the final count.[3]

If an Emperor becomes incapacitated for any reason, their appointed Chancellor has the authority to rule the Empire in their stead, either until their incapacitation is determined by that Chancellor to be permanent or they die.[15]


Imperial law mandates that all Imperial citizens, including the Emperor, must announce their intent to marry a minimum of 30 days in advance of the ceremony. During this period, legal objections to the marriage can be filed with the Office for Marriage by relatives of the couple. An objection is reviewed in a hearing of the Marriage Council, which will issue a ruling on its validity.[16][17][18] An objection cannot be lodged more than once by the same person.[19]

The wife of the Emperor receives the ceremonial title of Empress Regent.[20][21] Should Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval marry, it is assumed her husband would be known as the Emperor Regent.


The Imperial throne

The Imperial Palace on Capitol is the official residence of the Emperor. It is one of the great manufactured interstellar marvels of our age.[22] The emperor can make important statements and speeches in the palace or occasionally on the steps. Imperial marriage, mourning, procession and crowning are held there.[9][23]


The Imperial Guard are assigned to protect the Emperor, certain senators, and the Imperial Palace.[9]

Funeral arrangements

The death of an Emperor is followed by a four-week official mourning period during which they lie in state inside the Hall of Martyrs on Capitol for public viewing. As this draws millions of mourners from across the Empire, not all of them will have the chance to view the body in-person. Imperial officials also traditionally wear black sashes for the duration of the mourning period. The day after the mourning period concludes, a state funeral and procession are held. The coffin is carried by the Imperial Guard through the city of Capitol and followed by the Emperor's spouse, then immediate family, Senators, Patrons of high status with direct connections to the Emperor, Clients, citizens, and lastly the Emperor's favourite Imperial Slaves, who are traditionally set free at the end of the funeral. The Emperor is finally interred in the Hall of Martyrs in a private ceremony, where attendees burn their black sashes, while citizens across the Empire partake in the Feast of Remembering.[24][25][26][27]

Titles and Styles

  • Greeting: Hail the Emperor[28]
  • Reverence: Bask in his Greatness. Bask in his Glory. Bask in her Greatness. Bask in her Glory.[28]
  • Title: His Majesty. Her Majesty.[29]
  • Cheering: Long Live the Emperor! [30]

These styles are visible below and above the Access Corridor of Imperial stations. Imperial sympathizers occasionally do the act of basking.[28]

List of Emperors

Name Reign Notes
Henson Duval 2320 - 2402 Founder of the Empire and 1st Emperor; brother of Marlin Duval, who founded the Republic of Achenar that preceded the Empire[6]
Saik Duval 2402 - 2483 2nd Emperor[6]
Trasken Duval 2483 - 2541 3rd Emperor[6]
Hennick Duval 2541 - 2604 4th Emperor[6]
Lucius Duval 2604 - 2684 5th Emperor[6]
Anders Duval 2684 - 2739 6th Emperor[6]
Hender Duval 2739 - 2799 7th Emperor[6]
Trasken Duval II 2799 - 2858 8th Emperor[6]
Trasken Duval III 2858 - 2943 9th Emperor[6]
Olban Hensard Duval 2943 - 2991 10th Emperor[6]
Gaylen Trasken Duval 2991 - 3061 11th Emperor[6]
Atticus Obellan Duval 3061 - 3132 12th Emperor[6]
Hender Saik Duval 3132 - 3182 13th Emperor[6]
Hesketh Duval 3182 - 3233 14th Emperor[6]
Hengist Duval 3233 - August 5, 3301 15th Emperor;[6] assassinated by Brendan Paul Darius
Arissa Lavigny-Duval October 18, 3301 - Present[9] 16th Emperor;[6] the first female Emperor, as well the first illegitimate member of the Imperial Family to be elected Emperor


  • Emperor is an imperial title that is of a higher honour and rank than king (royal title). An emperor is a monarch and usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm.[31]
  • Emperor is derived from the Latin Imperator, meaning "commander" or "one who commands". In English, the feminine form is Empress (the Latin is imperatrix). The realm of an emperor or empress is termed an Empire.[32]



  1. Synteini Slave Sale Honours Emperor
  2. 2.0 2.1 Governments and politics in Elite Dangerous
  3. 3.0 3.1 GalNet: Chancellor Blaine Opens Senate Debate
  4. GalNet: Chancellor Blaine Opens Senate Debate
  5. Elite Encounters RPG
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 Tourist Beacon 0159, The Line of the Duvals
  7. GalNet: Terrorist Attacks on Imperial Starports
  8. Senate Declares Arissa Lavigny-Duval Emperor
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Arissa Lavigny-Duval Crowned Emperor
  10. Imperial Succession Vote in Senate Today
  11. Arissa Lavigny is the Daughter of the Emperor
  12. GalNet: Senator Patreus Declares Succession About Power Not Blood
  13. GalNet: Torval Backs Patreus's Line on the Imperial Succession
  14. GalNet: The Emperor Speaks out for Unity
  15. GalNet: Emperor in Coma
  16. GalNet: Emperor To Marry Sweetheart
  17. GalNet: Aisling Duval Objects to Grandfather's Marriage
  18. GalNet: The Emperor Speaks out for Unity
  19. GalNet: Aisling Duval Reaffirms her Objection to Emperor's Marriage
  20. GalNet: Date Set for Imperial Wedding
  21. GalNet: Florence Lavigny Calls for Calm
  22. Tourist Beacon 0144
  23. Date Set for Imperial Wedding
  24. GalNet: Official Period of Mourning Begins
  25. GalNet: Millions Pay Respects
  26. GalNet: Public Viewing of Emperor Hengist Duval Ceases
  27. GalNet: Emperor Hengist Duval's Funeral
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/37wmt2/ootl_on_the_whole_empire_bask_meme/
  29. Blaine Refuses Patreus’s Request - 14 MAR 3301
  30. Long Live the Emperor! - 14 JUL 3301
  31. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor
  32. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_and_noble_ranks