Carmen Estevez was the daughter of one of the most powerful members of the High Council, and she and William Davion married relatively young. Carmen and William had three children, the eldest being their son, Edward Davion, followed by their daughters Laura and Cassandra. Carmen's son Edward also married young, but died while serving as a young leftenant in a BattleMech unit within the Federated Peacekeeping Forces (FPF) during one of the border wars with the Capellan Confederation. in 2508. Edward left behind his young son, Alexander, and his wife, Sondra Black Davion, also a serving FPF officer. Sondra was killed in action three years later when her DropShip was destroyed in battle above the world of Avigait in 2511.
While the throne of the Federated Suns seemed secure at the time - William Davion was only 43 years old, with plenty of time to father more heirs - William died during an outbreak of a virulent plague on New Avalon in 2512. Immediately complicating the succession was William's final action - having regained consciousness briefly before his death, William reaffirmed Alexander as his successor, but passed the signet ring of the First Prince to Cassandra Varnay, and his seal to Laura, the older of the two sisters. This was taken to indicate that William intended for Cassandra and Laura to serve as Regents until Alexander reached his majority.
The Council of Regents was formed in accordance with what were believed to be William's wishes and in line with the Act of Succession passed into law during the rule of Ellen Davion. Under the terms of the Act Laura and Cassandra would serve as the heads of the Council of Regents, and each was entitled to appoint another Regent. The fifth member of the Council was then selected by the Federated Suns High Council. Cassandra appointed her husband, David; Laura Davion chose to elect a powerful and popular FPF General, Nikolai Rostov. The fifth and last member of the Council was duly elected by the High Council, who chose Carmen.
The latter appointment was largely honorary, as Carmen - who was regarded as the Dowager Princess - had been crippled by a series of strokes suffered after the deaths of her son, her daughter-in-law and then her husband. Carmen never mustered the strength to oppose the machinations of Cassandra and Laura.
Carmen retired to live in seclusion on Andalusia, destroying the High Council's hopes of moderating the actions of the various Regents; before retiring, Carmen passed her vote to Laura, effectively splitting the Council. With Laura controlling two votes and the Varnays controlling another two, the deciding vote invariably lay with General Rostov, but each member of the Council began openly exercising the power of their positions for personal gain.
While Carmen lived in retreat, the High Council became increasingly polarized, and the Varnays began openly moving against their opponents; the High Council made one last attempt to restrain the various regents using Carmen's influence, but her death in 2518 rendered the effort moot.
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 31
- Handbook: House Davion, pp. 108-109, "Leaders of the Federated Suns"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 39, "William The Fair"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 30-31, "Destiny Approaches"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 29, "Battling Varnay"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 31, "Council of Regents"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 41, "The Regency"