Charles Vyner Brooke

From Kaiserreich

Vyner, The Rajah of Sarawak, (Charles Vyner deWindt Brooke), (26 September 1874– ) was the third and final White Rajah of Sarawak.

Early life

The son of Charles of Sarawak and his wife Margaret de Windt (Ranee Margaret of Sarawak), Vyner was born in London and spent his youth there, being educated at Clevedon, Winchester College, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He then entered the Sarawak public service.

Vyner served as aide-de-camp to his father 1897-1898, district officer of Simanggang 1898-1901, Resident of Mukah and Oya, 1902–1903, Resident of the Third Division 1903-1904, President of the Law Courts 1904-1911, Vice-President of the Supreme and General Councils 1904-1911.

In his military career he was 2nd Lieutenant 3rd County of London (Sharpshooters) Yeomanry (12 May 1911), resigning on 21 May 1913. During the Weltkrieg he served incognito as a private in anti-aircraft defence and as a fitter in the aeroplane manufacturing works at Shoreditch, east London.

He was granted the personal style of His Highness by command of George V, 22 June 1911. It was in England that he met and married The Hon. Sylvia Brett, daughter of Lord Esher, on 21 February 1911. They returned to Sarawak.

Rajah of Sarawak

Following the death of his father, Vyner succeeded on 17 May and was proclaimed Rajah on 24 May 1917 at Kuching. He took the oath before the Council Negri on 22 July 1918. Vyner's early years as Rajah saw a boom in the Sarawak rubber and oil industries and the subsequent rise in the Sarawak economy allowed him to modernise the country's institutions, including the public service, and introduce a penal code developed on British India lines in 1924. However Sarawak was not to be left unscathed by the 1925 British Revolution which led to the Germans invading the Kingdom of Sarawak ostenbily to protect it and Rajah Vyner, after leading a futile defence of his realm fleeing (after crossing the border he said "I shall return") to the Dutch East Indies where he was able with a small retinue to escape to the Australasian Confederation.

Life in Exile

The former Kingdom of Sarawak along with British North Borneo became the new colony of German Borneo, with the Sultanate of Brunie becoming a German protectorate. Living in Sydney, he has become a notable figure in Australasian high society.

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