Robyn Loxley, The People’s Champion

Robyn Loxley

Photo by Ana Parvu

Name: Margaret Victoria Robyn Loxley
Titles: Duchess of Huntingdon, Warden of the Guard, General of the East Mercian Army
Nick name: The People’s Champion

Gender: Female
Age: 34
Mother: Eleanor Esmeralda Gabriella Loxley, 10th Duchess of Huntingdon
Father: Alistair Morris
Siblings: Philippa Murdoch (half-sister)
Resides in: Huntingdon Hall, Loxton, East Mercia

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Margaret Victoria Robyn Loxley, 11th Duchess of Huntingdon (born 26 April 1988) is the current  Warden of the Guard and General of the East Mercian Army. As a member of one of the most influential families of East Mercia, she grew up in the public eye and gained popularity in her teenage years when she was the unbeaten champion of the annual junior Championships between 2003 and 2005 and later of the main Championships between 2009 and 2015. Her success in the games combined with her caring involvement in many charities earned her the nickname “The People’s Champion”.

Early Life

Margaret Victoria Robyn was born at Huntingdon Hall in the early morning on 26 April 1988 to Eleanor Esmeralda Gabriella Loxley, 10th Duchess of Huntingdon (1954-2016) and Alistair Morris, Head of the East Mercian Civil Service (1958-2012). As per tradition, she was named Margaret after many of her ancestors. Her second name, Victoria, was for her grandmother on her mother’s side, Victoria Emmet (1910 – 1956) and Robyn was after her grandfather on her father’s side, Robin Morris (1932 – 2013). 

Robyn enjoyed an idyllic childhood on the beautiful Loxley Estate on the edge of Loxton, the capital of the Duchy of Huntingdon that belonged to her family. Although Robyn and her seven-year older half-sister Philippa had many different tutors, Eleanor and Alistair were very involved with their upbringing. As to their prospected future it is said that Eleanor focused on Robyn as her heir and Philippa was favoured by their father. During their younger years the sisters formed a strong bond, with Philippa doting on her little sister. Their relationship got strained in later life when Philippa started to feel Robyn was favoured over her because of who she was and not because of what she could do.

Belonging to one of the six founding families of East Mercia, Robyn was brought up with a strong sense of duty and the responsibilities that would face her in her later life as the Duchess of Huntingdon.

Education

From a young age Robyn was trained to become the Warden of the Guard and the General of the East Mercia Army. The sports of her childhood were already aimed at her one day becoming a soldier. During her teenage age years, Robyn received private lessons from no other than Eliza Harding (six-time Champion), Benedict Ares (nine-time Marksman) and Alexa McAdams (renowned High Guard) that not only helped her be successful during the Junior Championships but also gave her a headstart for her time at the Nottingham Royal Military Academy. 

Robyn enrolled at the Academy when she was seventeen and has always claimed that from day one she felt at home there. It is widely known that Eleanor faced some difficulty during her training at the Academy due to her leaning on her title and privileges, often demanding her fellow students’ loyalty based on her status as their future leader. Robyn, however, earned the role by working just as hard as her fellow students and supporting them as they overcame their difficulties and reached their goals. A fellow student once explained her popularity to the newspaper by saying “Robyn will fight beside us, probably even in front of us, instead of hiding behind us.”

Aside from her military training, it was expected Robyn would educate herself in politics and diplomacy to prepare her for her family’s chair in the Council. After graduating with flying colours from the Military Academy, she enrolled in Clifton University to study Politics and Governance. Whereas she was in her element at the Military Academy, Robyn “was never one for talking and politics” as her sister often claims. In an unguarded moment Robyn let slip that she “only survived the boring classes because of the wonderful friends she made there.”  She finished the two-year course in only one year with grades barely sufficient to pass as she wanted to be done with it. 

Her attitude towards politics is said to have worried her parents greatly as Robyn’s future role as a Warden of the Guard was far more important than that of her being a general of the army in these times of peace. It is rumoured that Alistair anticipated this in his daughter from a young age and that it is why he pushed Philippa into studying politics too. Philippa, in contrast to Robyn, excelled at her studies, and it was expected that she would serve as her sister’s main advisor once Robyn would eventually take the chair.

Career

High Guard

After university Robyn was accepted into the High Guard, the personal security detail to the members of the founding families. Robyn has always said this is her highest achievement as it is a merit-based position rather than one based on titles. During the first year she continued her specialised training under her old mentor Alexa McAdams and spent the next eighteen months working directly under Julian Schaeffer, who was responsible for organising the security detail of the royal family. 

In 2011 Robyn was added to King Richard’s personal detail, accompanying him on state business and during public appearances. Her popularity as the People’s Champion interfered with her work and after six months she stepped back from her work in the field. Instead, she took over from Schaeffer to organise the High Guard from behind the scenes. On occasions she still did field work when she accompanied Richard as his official “date”, combining her influence as the People’s Champion with her skills as his bodyguard. 

Championships

After having already been crowned Champion of the Junior Championships for three consecutive years, Robyn joined the (senior) Championships in 2006. Expectations were high as many believed Robyn to be the first Junior Champion who could also win the main Championships on her first run. Although Robyn did very well in her first year and won the Marksman (archery) and Gunner (shooting) title, she finished 5th in the Champion listings. 

Determined to win the main Championships too, Robyn turned to her best friend Johnny Little who had already won the Fleetfoot title (obstacle course – once) and Warrior title (hand-to-hand combat – three times) and had finished 4th before her. The next year Robyn sadly had to withdraw from the competition as she tore her hamstring only weeks before the start of the Championships. After intensive rehabilitation Robyn was able to compete the following year and finished second behind Johnny who retained his title. 

In 2009 Robyn won the Champion title for the first time and would continue to do so for the following six years. When she won her seventh title in 2015, she beat her old mentor Eliza Harding’s record of six wins. During all her championships, Robyn won the Marksman title nine times, Gunner eight times, Fleetfoot five times and Warrior two times. Robyn never won the Swordsman title, often losing to twelve times winner and armed combat specialist Mackenzie Squires.

The Promised Land Campaign

see also: Promised Land Campaign

When King Richard decided to travel to Al-Murrooj in 2015 Robyn had the choice between following him and her mother to a potential war or staying behind and protecting the other members of the royal family. Whilst many thought Robyn would choose to stay with her then partner Marian and protect her in her coming duties, her fellow soldiers were not surprised when Robyn decided to join the campaign. There are persistent rumours claiming this decision ended her relationship with Marian as the princess wanted Robyn to remain in East Mercia as head of her High Guard.

Robyn marched with the army to the Promised Land on 16 May 2015. The initial intention of King Richard’s forces was to put pressure on the Hycathic elders of Al-Murooj to reopen the deal originally sought through remote communication. They were unwilling to change their position, standing firm as diplomacy hardened into threats. For six months, the East Mercian Army remained camped outside the city, though their attempts at laying siege would have been no match for the city’s self-sufficiency. Once it was clear that outside influence would be of no use, King Richard ordered the East Mercian Army to attack Al-Murooj, instigating a war in earnest. However, Al-Murooj had the protection of the Red Phoenix and, as tenaciously as they fought, the East Mercians could not overcome its power.

“Death” and Return

On 6 April 2017 the East Mercian army returned under the command of Johnny Little, but without King Richard and Robyn amongst the soldiers. After several diplomatic requests to confirm their deaths and have their bodies returned went unanswered, King Richard was declared dead on 26 August 2017 based on Johnny’s testimony and Prince John crowned King a month later on 1 October. 

Whereas Johnny wanted to attest to the death of King Richard, he refused to do so for Robyn. But her being missed caused problems for the Loxley Estate and her chair in the council and Robyn was declared dead on 12 February 2018 based on other soldiers’ testimonies and a tree was planted for her in Sherwood Forest on the Estate. 

The Loxley Estate and its corresponding duties passed on to Robyn’s heir: her second cousin, Thomas Henry Loxley, 12th Duke of Huntingdon. Not interested in taking on the duties belonging to the estate, Thomas struck a deal with Philippa that would allow him to hold on to the title and secure him a large yearly income. Philippa would be granted the chair in the Council and the responsibilities belonging to the Warden of the Guard and General of the army – although she wouldn’t carry these titles. Thomas’ eldest daughter, Florence, is granted the opportunity to re-join the title with the duties of the estate if she so pleases when her father passes on the Duchy to her. 

Throughout the years there have been rumours of sightings of Robyn and even people trying to pass themselves off as the Duchess. Persistent rumours emerged in early 2022 that Robyn had been sighted in the City of Arundel and passing New London. To everyone’s great shock and pleasant surprise Robyn arrived in Nottingham a couple of days later with bags full of seeds. On her return all her titles and duties were automatically reinstated to her.

Personal Life

From her early teenage years, Robyn has had a strong bond with Johnny Little. Johnny was the son of the estate’s farmlands manager and he and Robyn used to explore the vast lands of the estate together. When Eleanor saw the potential in Johnny and their strong friendship, she made Johnny Robyn’s training partner. Although a couple of years younger than Johnny and not being in the same year at the Academy, Robyn continued training with him and competed with him in the Championships. They became direct colleagues when Robyn joined the High Guard Johnny was already a part of. They have always denied being romantically involved and Robyn has stated on many occasions she regards Johnny as her big brother. 

Through the centuries the Loxleys have been close to the royal Fitzwalter family, but their last union was in 1673 when King John I (1639-1684) married Eleanor Loxley (1642-1739) after the Battle of Anglia. For a moment, it looked like a new union was made when King Richard VIII started dating Robyn’s mother, Eleanor in 1982. Their relationship ended in 1985, but not their wish to unite their families. In October 2008 it was announced that Robyn was arranged to marry Richard’s brother, Prince John. The engagement ended after only five months in February 2009 by mutual consent. 

Not long after, rumours arose that Robyn’s friendship to the Princess Royal evolved into something more serious. A month after Prince John’s engagement to Isobel Clifton was announced in November 2009, Robyn and Princess Marian went public with their relationship. Although never officially confirmed, sources close to the couple stated they broke up days before Robyn left to go to war.

Charity Work

Robyn lent her name and resources to many good causes through the Loxley Foundation. Her donations helped the infrastructure of food banks, provided free education on how to keep your own vegetable garden and scholarships to promising students. Together with King Richard IV she was actively involved in setting up covered Farmers Markets throughout the outer regions of the city, where farmers could sell their products directly to the people. It’s estimated The Loxley Health Fund saved the lives of over 20,000 people between 2009 and 2013.

Titles, styles and honours

  • 26 April 1988 – 4 September 2016: Lady Margaret Victoria Robyn Loxley
  • 4 September 2016 – present: Lady Margaret Victoria Robyn Loxley, the 11th Duchess of Huntingdon
  • 4 September 2016 – present: Lady Warden of the Guard
  • 4 September 2016 – present: General of the East Mercian Army

Ancestry

  • Margaret Adelaide Loxley (1096 – 1163): Margaret fought with Gabriella Fitzwalter and Empress Matilda during the First Hycath War. As the eldest daughter of an Earl, she was never set to inherit her father’s title as it would go to her younger brother. After Empress Matilda won the war, hereditary titles moved from the male line to the female line during the First Age of Hycath and Margaret was styled the Countess of Huntingdon. She was the first woman in the Loxley line to hold a title in her own right. 
  • Margaret Adelaide Loxley (1362 – 1378): Margaret accompanied Mary-Anne Fitzwalter to the Vatican where the Temple of Hycath fought their last battle with the Roman Catholic Church. She perished during the Sacking of the Vatican and was posthumously elevated from a Countess to Duchess, becoming the 1st Duchess of Huntingdon.
  • Adelaide Florence Loxley (1399 – 1464): Margaret’s granddaughter Adelaide was a major player in the Oliver coup that took place in 1449. Since Adelaide only bore sons, she supported Merrick Oliver in his plea to return the right of male inheritance, only to withdraw her support and side with Queen Cecily in squashing the coup. This caused the Oliver family to fall into ruin and they were banished from East Mercia. In 1464 Adelaide was murder by Algernon Oliver, son of Merrick, in retaliation for her betrayal. 
  • Eleanor Rosamund Loxley (1642 – 1739) was an exceptional swordswoman and a major player in the Acorn Uprising. She led the forces of Huntingdon in battle and rooted out several attempts of subterfuge. She fought alongside King John I in the climactic Battle of England (1673), helping to bring him a resounding victory. In the aftermath she married King John I and became the only monarch in the Loxley lineage. She reigned alongside her husband for eleven years and another twelve years as regent before their son Richard came of age. She is respected for her role in rebuilding East Mercia after the Uprising and moving the conversation on sociopolitical issues forward.
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