Eta Eric Rycon, Duke of Tranquillity (born 12 September 2669), is a Lunar and Terran politician, nobleman, and civil servant. As an infant, his family was struck by tragedy as his beloved grandfather died of a sudden heart attack. His father was the first Prime Minister of the Central Galactic Union, and Eta was fostered on Earth by his uncle-in-law Maximilian while his father tended to numerous political and dynastic responsibilities, until he came of age in 2687. He has since served in numerous political and high state offices, and presently is the Vice Chancellor of the Republic and Principal Secretary to the Chancellor. As such, he holds a considerable position of power and prestige in the domestic and administrative affairs of the Republic. He is the Crown Prince of Luna and heir to the Lunar imperial titles and estates.
He is seen by the media as Maximilian's "heir apparent" or "successor", in particular due to the strong dynastic and political relationship between the House of Rycon and the House of Compton, and due to Eta's marriage in 2692 to Maximilian's daughter, Maria Victoria. Rycon has, however, denied such appellations and presents himself simply as a high servant of the state.
Early life and education
Eta Rycon was born on September 12th,2669 at the Royal Hospital in the Granada Palace on Luna, to Crown Prince Philip Rycon and Princess Caroline of New Zealand. In his first year, he visited Earth with his parents. When he was not even a year old, his grandfather Frederick Rycon died, and his father ascended to the Lunar throne. He was then declared Crown Prince of Luna and Duke of Tranquillity.
He was educated with private tutors, and was sent to Earth at age six to be fostered by his uncle by marriage, Maximilian Compton, who had wed his father's sister the previous year. Maximilian was then the Supreme Chancellor of the new Republic, and was extremely busy with the work of running the galaxy. The Duke of Tranquillity was instead tutored by Xander Vox, a distant relative and Maximilian's personal bodyguard. Vox served as his tutor and personal trainer for nine years, teaching him all he knew of self-defence, literature, history, and science, while Maximilian took time to instruct the young Duke on the finer points of politics and statecraft. From 2685 to 2687, the Duke attended courses at Cambridge University, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science at the age of eighteen.
Clearly of prodigious intellect and drive, he was fast-tracked for a career in government. During his career, he took online courses and graduated from Oxford University as a Doctor of Law.
The Duke of Tranquillity was appointed Special Adviser to the Chancellor in January 2688, acting as a political advisor to Maximilian. Most importantly, the position made him a political intern of sorts, a testing ground for his knowledge and skill, and a point of practical experience. He served in this role for a year, being appointed in January 2689 as Deputy Prefect of the Netherlands, as the chief deputy and adviser to the governor of the Netherlands prefecture on Earth. This earned him valuable governing experience.
In March 2691, he was appointed Procurator of Luna, governor of the Earth's moon. This appointment was criticised harshly, as the Duke had little managerial experience and was only deputy governor of a portion of Earth. Notably, one of the most stable provinces on Earth. The requirements of governing the more populous moon were daunting, and it was felt that the 21-year old Duke was not up to the task. He proved his critics wrong by securely managing the interests of the Lunar cities and wisely delegating authority to more experienced ministers. Under the guidance of Maximilian, his political patron, the Duke learned much in the way of governing wider areas of responsibility and keeping peace between competing politicians and interests. Even so, his strongest critics still alleged that the government of a planet was no suitable "training ground" for a young, inexperienced politician. His ties to the Compton dynasty were also criticized for nepotism, a charge which has plagued his father's political career. In September 2691, he was appointed Principal Secretary to the Chancellor, a high position in the Chancellery staff and a leading advisory role. In this capacity, he chaired the Granada Conference which developed General Plan Magellan.
On 30 January 2692, the day after his wedding to Mary Victoria, the Duke of Tranquillity was appointed Vice Chancellor. The retirement of his father from the position of First Consul in December of that year witnessed a large amount of press speculation on if he would be nominated as a replacement. Maximilian quashed such rumours in a public statement, "the First Consulship is not a sinecure, nor is the Premiership. While my nephew, and son-in-law, is certainly a qualified man of statecraft, the highest offices of this government require tenure and experience. I have no doubt that, in time, he may be ready for these offices. But that time is not now."
As Vice Chancellor, the Duke has remained the most senior advisor and deputy to Maximilian. He has represented the Chancellor in situations where he could not be present, and has been seen most often at the Chancellor's side in meetings of the Congress. By his critics, he is considered alternately to be "Maximilian's bulldog" or "gatekeeper", mocking his role of deciding access to the Chancellor and being his chief public advocate. His supporters, however, have lauded his role as a chief advisor to the government, noting that many key policy decisions during the war have been due the Vice Chancellor and his special commissions.
On 2 February 2694, the Duke of Tranquillity was appointed Proconsul of Jupiter, governor of the largest gas giant in the Solar System and a prestigious position within the hierarchy. His term as governor is up for review in 2699. On 16 February 2696 he was nominated for and appointed to the Consulship for the Inner Sphere Sector, granting him a seat in the College of Governors. His governorship of the Inner Sphere region has been largely delegated to his Propraetorial lieutenants and to his chief of staff.
The Duke of Tranquillity is a member of the illustrious House of Rycon, a noble Lunarian family descent which has had a strong role in the governance and development of Earth's moon since the 22nd century. The House of Rycon is one of a group of Terran noble houses that has been affiliated with the Church of England, and most of its dynasts have been Anglican. Eta is a practising High Church Anglican, part of a religious and spiritual tradition sometimes thought of as Anglo-Catholic due to its usage of liturgical and ritual elements rooted in Roman Catholicism. He makes biannual pilgrimages on 23 April and 29 December to the Canterbury Cathedral shrine to St. Thomas Becket, a noted and commented-on personal idiosyncrasy which has drawn attention to the role of religion and religiosity in modern politics. His critics tend to view his pilgrimages as empty theatrics, while his supporters suggest that his public faith doesn't have an impact on his popularity or renown as a politician due to the fragmented demographics of religion in the Republic. Rycon has yet to comment publicly on the subject, consistently refusing to discuss his personal life with the press.
His grandfather was twice Prince Regent of the Terran Empire and served as Prime Minister of the Terran Empire for almost thirty years, and was noted as a cross-bencher politician that headed the Tory Party and led the aristocratic wing of the National Humanists. His father is a renowned radically-nationalist politician, previously of the now-defunct NHILP, who has served in various posts in the Republic government, primarily as Prime Minister from 2675 to 2688, and First Consul from 2675 to 2692. His mother is a daughter of James VI, King of New Zealand, a collateral dynast of the House of Windsor. Coincidentally, his father's dynasty has their origins primarily in New Zealand, Ireland, and England.
On 14 February 2692, he married Mary Victoria, Duchess of Saturn, the daughter of Lord Maximilian. Subsequent to this, Maximilian abdicated his Terran titulary to his daughter. She became, in turn, the Terran Empress, among other titles, outranking Prince Eta in the peerage. They have one son, Prince Martin Maximilian Rycon, born 1 February 2693. Mary Victoria has mandated that her Terran titles will go to her eldest aunt and her descendants, while the Lunar titles will descend by her children with Eta Rycon.
Prince Eta is known to be an accomplished equestrian and marksman, as well as an "avid but amateur" golfer, bowler, and fencer.