Firstly, I’ll start this article with a short history lesson. The “Kingdom” of Araucania and Patagonia began in 1860 when an eccentric French lawyer and adventurer, Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, decided it’d be fun to declare himself King of somewhere (after all, it was quite the fashion to do so in France at the time.) Anyway, de Tounens quickly found an unclaimed piece of territory in South America which, as he tells it, was “occupied” by the Republics of Chile and Argentina (even though this country never actually existed). He was then (allegedly) elected King by his country’s indigenous people.
But, Orélie was nothing more than a historic fake. Dubbed insane by the French Consul, he was not the de facto nor the de jure ruler of the area he claimed, and therefore the Chilean government didn’t take kindly to his Declaration of Independence. After being deported, he spent the rest of his life “exiled” in his birth country, France. Having left no children, one would think this peculiar little Kingdom would’ve quietly faded into obscurity. Well, it didn’t.
According to one website, the Kingdom’s “Regency Council”, has continued to elect monarchs up until the present day. The current claimant, who calls himself Antione IV is shown above (centre), who also claims the title Baron of San Pedro de Hueyusco. To his left, is Antoine’s Chancellor, who usually refers to himself as Baron Raoul de Lavalette de Saint Genies, Duke of Boroa. Interestingly enough, no such Dukedom, nor Barony has ever existed. The man on the far right, Klaus-Peter Pohland, claims the title “Count of Coronel”. Hilariously, even their photographer, self-styled Viscount Franz Quatreboeufs de Malimensu, claims his own title.
Of course, no fake monarchy would be complete without fake Regalia and the inevitable self-styled Orders of Chivalry. As well as the standard nick-nacks, His Royal Highness Antoine is known to hand out a number of shiny trinkets to his friends, varying from commemorative medals to self-styled Orders. Shown below is one of the many awards given out by the Kingdom, the “Order of Queen-Laure-Therese”, which looks more like a child’s happy meal treat than the insignia of an Order of Chivalry.