|Monarch of Brunant|
|Reign||22 September 1823 - 2 June 1859|
|Born||5 November 1787|
|Died||2 June 1859|
|Burial||Royal Mausoleum, Koningstad|
|Consort(s)||Princess Maria Francesca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies|
King Cristian I of Brunant (Cristian Leuvis Ambroos Maria Van Draak, 5 November 1787 - 2 June 1859) was the twelfth King of Brunant from 1823 until 1859. He was known as "Cristian de Vette" (English: Cristian the Fat), since he was a large and heavy man.
Cristian was born at the Grijzestad Palace in Grijzestad to Crown Prince Ambroos, Duke of Middleton and Princess Caroline of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. He was their fifth child and first son. Three years before his birth, King Pieter was deposed after James Carrington invaded Brunant; his grandfather Adrian was made king. From his birth, Prince Cristian was second in the line of succession. Adrian was deposed in 1800 and Cristian's father ascended the throne. Cristian became the Crown Prince and thus Duke of Middleton.
Cristian joined the Royal Guard in 1808 and was in command of a cavalry unit in 1812. In 1814, he was sent over to France to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, serving under Marshal Owen Halsey MacLellan, and later with his father. As King Ambroos retired from public life in the late 1810s, the Crown Prince began to take on more of his duties. When his father Ambroos died in 1823, Cristian came to the throne.
Cristian was crowned at St. Peter's Church in Koningstad on 15 January 1824, together with his young wife, Maria Francesca, whom he married in 1821. When Cristian came to the throne, Walter van der Ecke served as President, and he trusted his father and kept him in his post, due van der Ecke was a close friend of Ambroos. When van der Ecke died in 1838, he was replaced with Hendrik Neyt; Cristian had hoped for Neyt to hold his post for many years, as van der Ecke had done before, but Neyt resigned in 1841 due to ailing health. That year, he appointed his brother-in-law, Alexander von Krupski, as President.
In 1852, Cristian I was forced under public pressure to limit appointed officials (including the President) to six year terms. This was a move towards democracy by instituting liberal reforms. In 1858, he appointed Gerd Duithers President; though conservatives were unsatisfied that he could appoint "a poor commoner" to the post. The citizens hailed him for his deed. During his reign, Cristian appointed liberals in various political offices, but he often came into confrontation with both the conservatives and the liberals.
King Cristian died in 1859 of a heart attack. He was succeeded by his son Johan.
Even before becoming king, Cristian had a reputation for weight issues. The Crown Prince liked to indulge himself in fine dining and especially enjoyed roast chicken and pheasant. When he took the throne, Cristian weighed at about 90 kg. Over time, he came to eat and drink more and partook in less activities and exercise. By 1840, he weighed 110 kg and in 1856, his doctors became worried for his health, since he tipped the scales at some 120 kg. Cristian often quarreled with his physicians and he went through no less than nineteen doctors during his reign. Cristian was known for firing doctors when they gave him bad news or tried to get him to reform his eating habits.
Unlike his father, Cristian was a womanizer and was known throughout his court for his "scandalous romances" and other affairs. He enjoyed the company of women and was known for buying lavish gifts to many of them. This shocked many of the old royalists, as he was openly unfaithful to his wife.
Marriage and familyEdit
In 1821, he married Princess Maria Francesca of Naples and Sicily, a daughter of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Austria. They would have seven children, five of which made it past infancy. The king was known for having various mistresses, something which displeased his wife. Maria Francesca always remained faithful to him and close by, though Cristian could just as quickly be with other women to please him.
- Princess Helena (1823-1874), married Prince Max of Lippe-Biesterfeld, had issue.
- Princess Augustina (1824-1829), died of smallpox
- Prince Philip (1826-1828), died in infancy
- Prince Johan (1827-1894), married Princess Caroline of Schleswig-Holstein, had issue
- Prince Fabian (1829-1881), married Duchess Elizabeth of Norburg, had issue
- Prince Ferdinand (1831-1866), married Andrea Slesinger, renounced his rights to the throne
- Princess Gisela (1833-1910), married King Jose I of Traspes, had issue
With Annemarie Bellebard, he had one son:
- Antony Bellebard (1830-1871), no issue
It is generally agreed that he had several children with other women, but it is not known how many, or with whom. It is believed that Royal Guard Captain Johan Cristian Singer, Count Singer (1825-1889), was a son of the king; he was made a count by Cristian in 1850, but he never recognized him. Various documents found in the 1980s have led to the conclusion that Cristian fathered two girls with his wife's lady-in-waiting, Anne Francis. Estimates put the number of his children between 12 and 20, legitimate and illegitimate.
While not as famous as his father, King Cristian did leave his mark. He popularized the use of modern military dress introduced by his father, and shortly after the start of his reign, other noblemen and the rich were dressed in simple and elegant military dress. Soon, the country's elite was dressing in his style and hats were popularized as a result.
Since the 1900s, it is quite common among historians to compare him to his younger brother, Prince Johan Alexander. While King Cristian was a notorious womanizer, Prince Johan was a faithful husband. The King, however, is still considered a good politician, while his brother was a renowned musician and ambassador.
Cristian was also popularized in the drinking game/song Fat King Cristian, where one would try and drink as many shots as possible, with each one representing a woman of his. King Cristian School in Boguestown is named after him, as is the settlement of Cristiana in Berrio.