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The Duchess Annagovia is the long-dead leader of Borogravia, who was held in high esteem by all her people, who regularly asked for her guidance and help as if she were a saint but who do not know that she is dead. The local deity is Nuggan, an increasingly marginalized and insane god who regularly proclaims abominations against everything from babies to the colour blue. it is no coincidence that people of the country pray to Annagovia instead of Nuggan in the hopes that she will improve their lot. In all likelihood the news of her death is being withheld from the people of Borogravia as a deliberate policy because the heir apparent is Prince Heinrich, her distant cousin and the ruler of Zlobenia, a rival country with which Borogravia is perpetual at war.

Wazzer joins the army in a role reminiscent of Joan of Arc, with Annagovia speaking through her and directing her actions to try to save the country from the incessant madness of war, famine and suffering. Through Wazzer the Duchess lives again as an anthropomorphic personification and is able to communicate her wishes to her generals to go home and save the country after seeking a truce with its enemies. The Duchess expresses a wish to truly die after establishing her true wishes to Borogravia's generals.


It is interesting that the idea of a dead leader still being hailed as alive, or even a leader who never actually had any objective physical existence, was mooted on Roundworld, by George Orwell, in 1984 where it is suggested, by the highly placed Party member O'Brien, that "Big Brother" was an invention designed to fool the people into making every effort to win the never-ending war with the neighbouring totalitarian powers. (Note that there is a school of thought that suggests Soviet dictator Leonid Brezhnev died during a Red Army review and only his lifeless corpse, propped up by other Politburo members, took the salute from the military)

On the Discworld, that degree of belief would very soon bring "Big Brother" to life....

The Duchess seems to be a figure much like Britannia - a national emblem, a symbol of her people. Britannia is commonly depicted as a fearsomely large but handsome woman wearing a toga and a centurion's helmet, holding a trident and leaning on a shield bearing the Union flag. The Duchess is drawn cartoon style by the Ankh-Morpork cartoonist Phizz with Morporkia in the background.