Dame Bette Austen passes away
Early this morning HIH Dame Bette Austen, DHJ passed away peacefully in her sleep. Mother of former Emperor Terry I and grandmother of the Prime Minister, Bette was greatly loved by the Imperial Family and is survived by her four children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Born on 13 April 1926, Bette married her husband David (who passed away in May 2008) in 1945, and was a great lover of animals throughout her life (some fish formerly in her possession are buried in Wrythe Public Park).
Unable to be flown half-mast (lacking a flagpole), the Austenasian Star will be flown vertically instead of horizontally until the Imperial Family return from the funeral of the former Emperor Mother, which will take place on the 5th of November.
Independence Day 2012
Today is Independence Day in Austenasia, a commemoration of the fourth year since the sending of the Declaration of Independence in 2008. While the actual anniversary will be on Thursday 20th, Independence Day takes place on the third Saturday of September. A large number of honours has been granted in commemoration, with many going to foreign national leaders and diplomatic supporters of the Empire. Dame Bette Austen, DHJ has been the first person to be appointed to the Austenasian rank of Augusta as part of the honours list.
In other news, His Imperial Majesty the Emperor has announced that today is the first day of Autumn 2012 in the Austenasian calendar.
State visit to Landashir
The Prime Minister yesterday returned from a state visit to the Community of Landashir, a small nation with which the Empire has had a friendly relationship with for some years now, but only officially recognised a matter of days ago. Crown Prince Jonathan was also joined by the governor of Egtavia, Pierre d'Égtavie, a local official in the Federal Republic of St.Charlie. The Crown Prince and d'Égtavie were given a tour of Landashir by its leader James Puchowski, and also had a quick visit to a province of Francisville which borders Landashir'n territory.
Polination 2012 Weekend
13/7/2012 - Today saw HIH Crown Prince Jonathan meeting with Renasian Chairman Jacob Tierney, Sandum leader Will Soergel, and St.Charlian politician Riley Small at Highgate as politicians and diplomats from small nations around the world arrive in London for tomorrow's historical summit. The four politicians saw the graves of Karl Marx and various other famous persons before travelling to South Kensington to have a meal with several other national leaders who had arrived for Saturday, including the St.Charlian President James Lunam and Prime Minister Alexander Reinhardt, the Reylan monarch Taeglan Nihilus, HRH Grand Duke Neils I of Flandrensis, and several others.
14/7/2012 - The 2012 Polination Conference took place today in Chelsea Old Town Hall. Attended by the Crown Prince, also there were all of those he had met yesterday as well as His Excellency President Kevin Baugh of Molossia and the First Lady, the leaders of Monovia and Domanglia, and many others. The conference was a great success, with several national leaders speaking about their own nations and the recent phenomenon of "micronations" being founded. Most of those present travelled to a restuarant afterwards for a post-conference meal before leaving.
15/7/2012 - The Empire of Austenasia recieved its first state visit in history today, as Will Soergel of Sandus, James Puchowski of Landashir and Jamie Sutherland of Francisville visited the capital of Wrythe after having been given a guided tour of Carshalton by the Crown Prince, including a visit to Orly and a field overlooking the former site of Rushymia.
After the state visit, the four leaders travelled into London, where they met again with Jacob Tierney of Renasia and the St.Charlian politicians from the conference before having to travel home.
Spheres of Influence established and environmental laws passed
Imperial Consent was earlier today given to an Act of Parliament establishing spheres of influence around the Empire of Austenasia. Although the Empire has not actually claimed this land, it has declared its right to act in self-defence in regards to any threat originating in the area surrounding Austenasia.
Austenasia has declared all land within the M25 and south of the River Thames to be its Grade Three Sphere of Influence, with the right to counter any immediate threat to its national security originating from said area; the settlements surrounding the British town of Carshalton as its Grade Two Sphere of Influence, with the right to counter any probable threat; and the British town of Carshalton (which borders the Towns of Wrythe and Zephyria on all sides) as its Grade One Sphere of Influence, with the right to counter any possible threat. This has given legal justification for any future battles fought by the Austenasian Armed Forces on nearby British soil - for example, both physical battles of the Austenasian Civil War took place in British parks. Maps of the exact borders of the Spheres of Influence are available on request by e-mailing the office of the Prime Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In other news, the Environmental Protection Act 2012 was also passed this morning. As well as reaffirming the bans on radioactive materials and trading endangered species that were originally created in 2009 before being automatically repealed by the 2011 Constitution, this Act has given the Environmental Office the power to issue legally enforcable orders in certain scenarios to help them do their job - for example, the Environmental Office will be able to order restrictions on water usage during dry summers, and order a certain activity to cease should it be polluting the environment.
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor declared the start of Summer 2012 in the Austenasian calendar earlier today. In other news, the small monument in Wrythe Public Park known as the Orange Pyramid was rebuilt earlier this month in honour of the Emperor's 10 year jubilee as Wilcslandian monarch and 18th birthday. More information about this pyramid can be found here.
IGS Expedition to Ranmore Common
Today, the Imperial Geographical Society undertook an expedition to some countryside in the British county of Surrey.
The Expedition, comprising of twelve people and a dog, walked through various fields and woodland around Ranmore Common in the United Kingdom. Incessant drizzle unfortunately made it difficult to take many records of the expedition, but some footage was filmed and can be viewed here.
A South American protectorate
Imperial Consent was earlier today given to an Act of Parliament granting Austenasian protection to the South American nation of New Balland, the fourth nation to become a Protectorate of the Empire. New Balland has also adopted His Imperial Majesty the Emperor as their King, and had the two thrones brought into real union - the Monarch of Austenasia shall from now on always be monarch of New Balland also.
In other news, the Tin Jubilee of His Imperial Majesty approaches. On 1 May, it will have been ten years since he was crowned King of South Bank and so first assumed a royal title. It is planned for a small pyramid to be built in Wrythe Public Park in celebration.
Prime Minister appointed Counsellor of State
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor yesterday evening appointed HIH Crown Prince Jonathan a Counsellor of State, with the authority to grant Imperial Consent to Acts of Parliament and so pass them into law. Four new Acts have already been passed, the two longest dealing with sentencing powers and statutory interpretation - another has deprived Domanglia of its status as an Austenasian protectorate in accordance with an agreement with that nation. The appointment of the Prime Minister to this position is intended to be for no longer than a few weeks.
In other news, a second political party was registered with the Austenasian government earlier this week, the Social Democratic Alliance, which is led by Austenasian knight Dr. Sir James Puchowski, KHJ.
Meeting in Salisbury
A meeting between the Emperor and Prime Minister today took place in the British city of Salisbury. Although it was originally planned for His Imperial Majesty to visit Wrythe in April, the visit was rearranged so that Crown Prince Jonathan would instead visit Declan I several days beforehand. The Crown Prince was shown several sites in the area, such as Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum, and the Emperor took the opportunity both to issue two Imperial Decrees and to affix a physical signature to copies of several of his previously given acts and laws.
Spring starts in Austenasia
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor has decreed that today officially marks the first day of Spring 2012 in the Austenasian calendar. In other news, the state visit of the Emperor to Wrythe has been rescheduled to Monday 2nd April.
IGS Expedition to the British Museum
HIH Crown Prince Jonathan and his father Tribune Sir Terry Austen today went on an Imperial Geographical Society Expedition to the British Museum in London. Comprising only two people, this was the smallest IGS Expedition yet, but looked around most of the museum and took a lot of photographs of various ancient and medieval artifacts. A slideshow of photographs taken can be seen here.
In other news, a state visit from His Imperial Majesty the Emperor is being planned for some time later this month, probably the 25th. This will be the first time that a reigning Monarch has set foot in the Empire since September 2010, when the former Emperor Esmond III held his coronation in Wrythe.
Political parties permitted
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor has signed into law the Political Parties Act 2012, which allows political parties to be formed by people holding the same ideologies and viewpoints to serve as deliberative groups and as support for elections should any of their members stand in an election for Prime Minister or a Representative. No political parties have as of yet been founded, but that is expected to no longer be the case by the end of the month.
In other news, the nearby nation of Orly has entered into political union with the Emperor's home nation of Wilcsland, creating the United Kingdom of New Wessex. This new nation, in personal union and holding historical and cultual ties stretching back over a year and a half with Austenasia, is expected to be a strong political and diplomatic partner of the Empire.
A New Year dawns!
Happy New Year! The Consuls for 2012 have been appointed by the Prime Minister - HIM Emperor Declan I has been appointed to a second consecutive term as First Consul, whereas the office of Second Consul has gone to the Prime Minister himself, Crown Prince Jonathan. The Imperial Family (not including Tribune Sir Terry, who is currently on holiday in Indonesia) celebrated the New Year at the house of some family friends.
In other news, a massive six Acts of Parliament were given Imperial Consent yesterday, the most which have been passed at one time since 8 November 2008, when a staggering eight Acts of Parliament were made law by the then Emperor Terry I. The laws passed yesterday mostly recodified former laws which were automatically repealed with the adoption of the new Constitution in September, but one significant change to the law is that the smoking of tobacco will now be permitted in unenclosed public spaces, and in areas in which the smoker has the owner's permission - the production and dealing of tobacco products is still illegal however, as is possession or importation of amounts above a certain limit. All laws currently in force in the Empire can be seen here.