03 SEP 3301
Emperor Hengist Duval’s Funeral
The funeral of Emperor Hengist Duval, the 15th Emperor in the Duval line, took place today amidst a crowd of millions on Capitol in the Achenar system.
Mourners from all over the Empire lined the streets of Capitol. All over the city, the streets were filled to bursting and in a sombre reflection of the wedding a month ago, the white dress uniforms of the Imperial Naval Infantry lined the streets.
In a last minute change to tradition, the funeral procession followed a longer route through the city so that as many of the assembled mourners as possible could witness the passing of their Emperor. The procession marched at a sedate pace and was led by selected members of the Imperial Guard carrying the Emperor.
In another break from tradition and despite her age, Florence Lavigny walked directly behind the coffin even though the marriage ceremony hadn’t been completed. This has raised eyebrows among some of the more conservative members of Imperial society.
Behind the lonely widow marched the immediate family and then the members of the Senate. Behind the most powerful senators came certain patrons, the most well-considered of their station with a direct connection to the Emperor. Next were the clients and citizens and, representing the full range of the Imperial population, these were followed by some of the Emperor’s favourite slaves – which by tradition were set free after the ceremony.
The procession stretched for almost 18 kilometres and took seven hours to complete its tour of the city. Soldiers along the route provided welcome refreshment for both the procession and the crowd. When the procession returned to the Hall of Martyrs, the senators followed inside for the private internment ceremony. Across the Empire, in households and public places, the Feast of Remembering began.
A sombre hush settled across the city for most of the day, but now that the Emperor has been laid to rest, the question everyone wants to know the answer to is – who will be the next Emperor?