Constantine XXIV Theophilos (Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος ΚΔʹ Θεόφιλος) is the current Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans and Caliph of Islam. As the eldest surviving son and chosen heir of Emperor Abdoulachos II , he succeeded his father upon the latter's abdication in 1980. At the time of his birth he was second in line to the throne, after his elder brother Alexios, Despot of Epirus, but became the heir in 1965 after Alexios' untimely death in a car accident.
Constantine was educated first at the Imperial Galatan College and later at the Pandidakterion, where he studied for a degree in biology. He later studied for a PhD in exobiology at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he was a keen rower and was even part of the men's coxless four team for the Roman Empire at the 1972 Summer Olympics. In 1974 Constantine married a commoner, Zoe Demetriadina, in Constantinople, a marriage that caused much controversy at the time. The couple have two children: Theodora, Despoina of Epirus (born 1976), and Prophiphoros, Praetorian Prefect of Syria (born 1979).
Upon acceding to the throne in 1980 Constantine made several important overdue reforms. He restored many legislative powers to the Senate and presided over the first truly democratic elections to it in 1985, though he himself remains the head of government. He ended the ancient custom of male-preference succession, designating his daughter as his chosen heir. In 1997 following a failed rebellion in Syria he began a great reorganization of the Empire, granting legislative independence to many of the free cities and devolving Syria and Cappadocia into semi-independent exarchates. For these, and other reasons, he remains extremely popular in the Empire to this day.
Titles and positions
Caliph of Islam
The title of successor to the Prophet Muhammad has been held by Roman Emperors for over 1300 years. Today the Caliph holds no real authority over the Islamic Church outside of the Empire, but the title still remains one of prestige and respect all over the world. As Caliph, Constantine is responsible for appointing the Patriarchs of the Church, the most senior imams within the Empire, but otherwise holds no real role in the governance of religion.
Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans
The Roman state has existed for almost 3,000 years, and ever since the time of Augustus Caesar it has been controlled by one man. The long history of autocracy manifests itself in the extensive powers of emperors today, when most other developed countries have long since become constitutional monarchies or republics. It was not until the first half of the 20th century that any form of democracy returned to the empire, when Andronikos IV allowed the residents of Antalya to elect their own city magistrates, and not until the last 30 years that the newly-elected Gerousia began to have any relevance.
Although everyday governmental business is handled by the Gerousia and the hypatoi, Constantine retains the right to intervene wherever he sees fit. Notably, in 2008 he unilaterally dissolved the Gerousia, dismissed the magistrates and called for new elections after the then government attempted to make major constitutional changes against the will of the people.