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Solomon Helios is an entertainment journalist. In mid-3304, he covered a turbulent period in the romantic life of Princess Aisling Duval, including her broken engagement with Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester. On January 1, 3308, he reported on Princess Aisling's New Year celebration, where Hadrian Augustus Duval, Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, and Hector Mordanticus Duval made their debut in Imperial high society.

Timeline

01 JAN 3308

  • Princess Aisling Duval marked the start of 3308 by introducing her cousin Hadrian Duval, his wife and their newborn son to Imperial high society. Entertainment journalist Solomon Helios broadcast a report on the event: "It's an annual tradition for Princess Aisling to invite the great and the good to her palace on Emerald, although the tragic loss of her father in 3306 meant that last year's gathering was cancelled. This year she made up for it with a sumptuous, glittering celebration of the kind that we Imperials are famed for. For the first time, Hadrian Duval and Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval were in attendance. This youthful couple were surprisingly charming for a pair who would once have been arrested on sight. They entertained guests with stories of trading and fighting aboard tiny ships, from the days when their only title was Commander. However, the real guest of honour spent most of his time asleep, oblivious to the colossal attention he drew. Yes, baby Hector made his very first public appearance, having been born while his parents were under senatorial protection. Many dignitaries insisted on having their image recorded beside the 'future Emperor', a phrase one could hear being murmured throughout the palace. But what of the current Emperor? Unlike Hadrian's family, Arissa Lavigny-Duval remains in seclusion and only communicates remotely with the Senate. Now that the terrorists have been quelled, surely the time has come for Her Imperial Majesty to reappear before her loyal subjects?"[1]

29 AUG 3304

  • The date of Princess Aisling Duval's wedding to Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester has passed without comment from either party. Entertainment journalist Solomon Helios discussed the situation: "Public reaction to the cancelled wedding has ranged from outrage to delight. Jasmina Halsey expressed regret at a 'lost opportunity for long-term peace', while Senator Zemina Torval called it 'the mercy killing of a catastrophically bad idea'. With no word from the Imperial Palace or the White House, it's easy to imagine both Emperor Arissa and President Hudson breathing sighs of relief. But the silence from Aisling Duval and Jordan Rochester rings loudest. What might they be feeling? Was their relationship terminated against their wishes? Did it ever really exist? Naturally I invited the princess to tell her story, but her previous openness is apparently a thing of the past. The Rochester family is also shying away from the media. Jarl Toredo, whose alleged affair with Aisling apparently derailed the marriage, has vanished from public sight. Was this a tragic love triangle, or just a political chess game? We may never know. But what's certain is that, before long, Aisling Duval will put these failures behind her and be back in the spotlight where she belongs."[2]

17 AUG 3304

  • Anti-slavery campaigner Jarl Toredo has disclosed that he and Princess Aisling Duval have been conducting a secret romantic relationship, despite her betrothal to Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester. Entertainment journalist Solomon Helios gave full details on his programme: "Following Jarl Toredo's resignation from Unchain, I offered to tell his side of the story. Although he declined a formal interview, he did disclose that he could no longer bear working alongside Princess Duval. He admitted that he has been romantically involved with the princess since their first meeting several months ago. It seems they both felt it wise to keep the relationship a secret. According to Toredo, the princess claimed not to have any romantic feelings for Ambassador Rochester, and insisted that the marriage was merely a means to advance her political plans. Initially Toredo accepted this, but it seems that after her engagement the princess became unreachable. Toredo says that his and Aisling's love has been sidelined by her political schemes. Quite simply, he feels betrayed." Princess Aisling Duval gave this response to the media: "I am shocked that my good friend Solomon could believe such lies. It's obvious that Mr Toredo is being used by those who want rekindle the hostility between the Empire and the Federation. My relationship with Jordan Rochester is entirely genuine."[3]

18 JUL 3304

  • Princess Aisling Duval has discussed her forthcoming marriage in an exclusive interview with entertainment journalist Solomon Helios. The princess spoke openly about many topics, including the impact of her announcement: "I was as surprised as everyone else! After the ball for the Federal delegation, things moved very quickly. Perhaps I should have been more patient, but I wanted people to know my intentions as soon as possible." On her relationship with Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, she said: "I had met Jordan a few times at diplomatic events, and we always got on well. He's much warmer and funnier than one would expect an ambassador to be. I don't know how I managed without him for so long." She also tackled criticism from Senator Zemina Torval, among others: "Any negativity around this wedding is based on prejudice and fear. Shouldn't we all be free to love whomever we wish? Maybe if Zemina was capable of such an emotion, she might understand." Regarding the future, Princess Duval revealed: "Jordan and I see this marriage as an opportunity for change. Imagine a galaxy where both superpowers work hand in hand, and support each other in times of hardship. Now that's a true marriage." Solomon Helios concluded the interview with this comment: "I'd like to sincerely thank Her Imperial Highness for speaking to us, and I'm especially happy to have received an invitation to the wedding of the century! I'll be reporting on every detail of this historic union in weeks to come."[4]

22 JUN 3304

  • Princess Aisling Duval has made an unexpected announcement regarding her relationship with Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester. At a press conference in her palace on Emerald, the princess looked radiant as she addressed the media: "It's no secret that Jordan and I grew close during his official visit. The time has come to let you know that we are to be husband and wife. I'm aware that some will see this as unorthodox, even controversial, but love knows no borders. It's our wish that our marriage will build lasting bridges between the Empire and the Federation." A statement from Ambassador Rochester appeared in a special edition of The Federal Times: "Representing the Federation has been my life's work, but meeting Her Highness – Aisling – made me realise that being by her side means even more. We hope that our betrothal will usher in a new era of cooperation between the two superpowers." Among the media reactions was this from entertainment journalist Solomon Helios: "I've been reporting on Princess Duval's romantic life for a while now, and even I didn't see this coming. Can Aisling really pull this off? Could a Federation gentleman actually marry into the Imperial family? Will Emperor Lavigny-Duval and President Hudson share a dance at the wedding, or will they step in to prevent this union from taking place? The galaxy might never be the same again!" As yet there has been no official comment from the Imperial Palace or the White House.[5]

06 JUN 3304

  • Last weekend, Princess Aisling Duval hosted a diplomatic function at which Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester was the guest of honour. Although security at the event was tight, entertainment journalist Solomon Helios managed to obtain an exclusive insight for his programme. "If you're wondering what happened to your invitation to the Princess's soirée, it probably ended up in the same black hole as mine. But I can still bring you a little peek from behind closed doors! It's not unusual for the Imperial family to hold parties for visiting ambassadors. What is unusual is that on this occasion, Aisling invited all of Jordan Rochester's staff, including the captain and crew of his ship. Since the FNS Pioneer's commanding officer is none other than Vice Admiral Juno Rochester, one of Jordan's sisters, perhaps this was seen as an opportunity to meet a future in-law? My contacts tell me that despite the variety of uniforms, hairstyles and accents, the night was full of enjoyment. Aisling and Jordan danced together before the ambassador formally thanked the princess on behalf of the Federation. But that's not all. The next day, who should arrive at Emerald but Senator Caspian Leopold – who you'll remember is also rumoured to have romantic intentions toward the people's princess. Supposedly he's there on official business, although I understand there's nothing scheduled in his calendar. Or perhaps his invitation arrived late, like mine... So is the princess courting, or merely holding court? As always, Aisling keeps us guessing!"[6]

25 MAY 3304

  • A media broadcast has identified a number of potential romantic suitors for Princess Aisling Duval. Entertainment journalist Solomon Helios discussed the matter in a special edition of his programme: "There's been a lot of discussion about Aisling Duval lately, with some viewing her as reaching a certain maturity in the political arena. But never mind that! What we want to know is: who is the galaxy's most eligible princess dating? Let's face it, there must be no end of gentlemen focusing their sights on her. She's a Duval, the daughter[sic] of the late Emperor, and a woman of enormous charm, intelligence and culture. Plus – she's a stunner! Three years ago it looked like Admiral Denton Patreus might be the one tying the knot. But we can assume that Aisling Duval spurned his advances, perhaps concluding – like many of us – that Patreus was more interested in the Imperial throne than anything else. So, who might be wooing the 'people's princess now? The first possibility is Senator Caspian Leopold, who has attended many meetings with Aisling and speaks warmly of her in interviews. Of course, the senator is almost twice her age, but he is undoubtedly a gifted orator, not to mention enormously wealthy and influential. And sometimes experience wins out! On the other end of the scale is a young man called Jarl Toredo, who has been spotted visiting Aisling at the palace. This passionate firebrand runs an organisation called Universal Liberty, and has made a name for himself campaigning against Imperial slavery. So naturally, any relationship would give Aisling's own charity an enormous PR boost. Toredo is a salt-of-the-earth type who has worked hard to build a life for himself. His background could not be more different from Aisling's, with both his parents having died in servitude. A romance seems unlikely... but I wouldn't rule it out! Potential suitor number three, Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, has been stationed on Aisling's home planet Emerald, where the two of them took a private tour around the Prism's Shades art installation. The tall and handsome ambassador cut a striking figure beside the princess, as the empathic art pulsed with light around them. A political gesture designed to soothe relations with the Federation, or something more personal? One thing's for sure – Princess Duval walks her own path, and has no problem with upsetting the established order. So when it comes to her love life, all bets are off!"[7]

References

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