|Queen of Vinland|
|Reign||3rd March, 1790 - 7th September, 1819|
|Born||5th October, 1773 |
|Died||7th September, 1819 |
|Spouse||Sveyn, Earl of Vornhaid, |
Reynir Gissur Hannesson,
|Lára Steinnun Vala Svenný Eiriksdottír Einarsdottír|
|Father||Einar Vigfusson, Earl of Alkafuglaeyjar|
|Mother||Gudridur Arngrímursdottír, Princess of Alkafuglaeyjar|
On 3rd March, 1790 Eyfinna II died suddenly leaving the Althing in a quandry. Her own three children had all died before her. So too had her most likely successor, her niece Princess Jakobina who had died in France. In addition two potential claimants were married to German princes and were discounted as they had no wish to be potentially ruled as a far flung province of Berg or Saxe-Jena. This left the Althing with the pick of three of Eyfinna's distant cousins, two girls barely out of the cradle, or Princess Lára of Alkafuglaeyjar. Though popular opinion may have been either of the two infant cousins, the earls could not help notice the Althing was struggling with its own reform. They and the chief ministers needed an older candidate who, armed with legitimacy and the backing of the upper chamber, would be able to bring Vinland into the 19th century. So they turned to Lára.
Alkafuglaeyjar had become bored of Vinland's distance (in both a physical and political sense) and proclaimed their autonomy in 1712, ruling itself with its own Althing and electing its own rulers. It still deferred to Vinland however and Vinland lacked the will to stamp its authority on its wayward colony. Lára, 17 years old in 1790, had been elected Princess of the islands two years previously after the death of her mother. It took a month for a diplomat to reach Austurfjordinn and present Lára with the news that she was now Queen of Vinland. The Alkafuglaeyjarsk Althing quickly redefined its relationship to Vinland. Now it officially recognised Vinland's overlordship and stopped electing its own rulers as long as it could keep an autonomous Althing. It would be another six weeks before she reached Northern Leifa, stopping briefly to meet the Portuguese ambassador in Verao and the Álengsk ambassador in Nahigavik.
Lára threw herself into rule with gusto keeping a steady hand on the Althing, patiently steering much needed through reforms while an almost bewildering number of governments and ministers came and went. Under her stewardship the Althing rid itself of the so-called 'Rotten Counties' where virtually no one lived, balancing them with the growing Hafsvaedaland cities. Various agricultural and industrial reforms were instituted as well, improving the lot of Vinland's growing lower classes who were increasingly leaving the countryside to live in cities. Various versions of her impassioned speeches to an often corrupt and self-interested Althing circulated during the most bitter 'Ithnadura Utorfín' (Industrial Workers Acts) debates of 1804. Most Althing members viewed her as dull but endearing. In wider society she was often portrayed as a naive 'southerner', thanks to her accent and 'foreign' ways. The often savage nature of the Vinlandic press at the time rarely bothered her however, and she often fought attempts to curb press freedom or censorship of any kind.
She disliked the hustle and bustle of Fjallasay, or the slowly industrialising Eikland cities, preferring the quieter islands of the Atlantic coast. She had modest estates built or modified on Kyrejya, Vinland and Ingolfursey with the latter being regarded as the finest example of 'Williamine' style architecture in Leifia. She was a prolific letter writer (even if she did write in Icelandic rather than formal Vinlandic), hungry for knowledge of the world. The governor of Fort Adyar in India complained that he spent more time deciphering and answering her letters than actually handling trade.
She died at home on Ingolfursey in 1819 at the age of 46 and was succeeded by her eldest daughter Svenný.
Lára was married three times:
1) Sveyn, Earl of Vornhaid - (m. 1790) a hastely arranged marriage to the recently widowed Earl, essentially put together by the royal court to help ease Lára into Vinlandic society. Almost 20 years older than Lára, he would die after falling from his horse and three years of marriage. They had two children:
- Olafur (b. 1791) - heir to Vornhaid
- Thorey (b.1792) - died of tuberculosis in 1800
2) Reynir Gissur Hannesson - a minor nobleman. Reynir died from pneumonia after swimming in the Breidurass some eight months into their marriage. They had no children.
3) Prince Georges - the third son of the King of Auvergne, was the love of Lára's life. They had five children:
- Svenný I (b. 1797)
- Gudridr (b. 1797)
- Georges (b. 1799)
- Brynjolf (b.1802)
- Ragnheidur (b.1803)