26/12/2011 - The Imperial Family celebrated Boxing Day today by visiting the house of Lord Michael - brother-in-law to the former Emperor, Sir Terry - and his family.
25/12/2011 - Merry Christmas to the Empire and to all nations! Tribune Sir Terry Austen was accompanied by Crown Prince Jonathan to visit his mother Dame Bette this morning, while Lady Margaret and Princess Caroline attended the Christmas service at Carshalton Methodist Church. The four of them then returned to the Imperial Residence, where they were visited by Dame Joyce (mother of Lady Margaret), and the five of them had Christmas dinner together.
Election results announced - Cabinet reorganised
HIH Crown Prince Jonathan has been re-elected Prime Minister with 75% of the vote, beating Lord Marshal William who secured only 25% of the vote and so remains Deputy Prime Minister. However, the Crown Prince recieved a surprising zero votes in the local election for Representative of Wrythe - Princess Caroline was instead elected with 66% of the vote, with 33% abstaining. This result has been seen as a result of the confession made by the Crown Prince a few days ago regarding his part in orchestrating last year's war with Orly in an attempt to remove the somewhat eccentric former Emperor Esmond III from power, a major part of which involved surrendering Wrythe to a fabricated invasion force. In Zephyria, Lord Marshal William was re-elected as Representative with 100% of the vote.
As Crown Prince Jonathan is no longer a Representative, he cannot stay in the Cabinet outside of his role as Prime Minister. As he had previously run all but one Government Ministry, the Emperor has bestowed his former offices of Home Secretary and Minister for the Environment on Lord Marshal William, and those of Chief Ambassador, Chancellor, and Secretary-General on Princess Caroline.
A December Confession - imperial political intrigue revealed!
Earlier today, HIH Crown Prince Jonathan publicly released this statement. It reveals how the War of the Orlian Reunification in December last year, which resulted in Esmond III being forced to share the Throne with Declan I, was actually planned by the Crown Prince in an attempt to remove Esmond III from the Throne. Emperor Esmond III was removed from power in March earlier this year by Act of Parliament in response to his increasingly unconventional style of ruling, but the December Confession reveals how he had been seriously planning to begin a communist revolution with the support of the army, setting himself up as a military dictator. The Crown Prince therefore plotted to place Declan I on the Throne to act as a "counterweight" to Esmond's power, resulting in the Fall of Wrythe being completely orchestrated, with no physical invasion actually happening (although a surrender to the threat of one was made).
The December Confession also reveals how, on 5 January earlier this year, two attempted coups took place simultaneously as Esmond III tried to set himself up as dictator while Crown Prince Jonathan tried to trick him into abdicating. Neither attempt was successful, but it is possible that Esmond's failure to achieve his goal helped to decrease the support for him held in the army, which had been dissuading Parliament to pass a Vote of No Confidence against him.
The December Confession has been released mere days before the upcoming elections on the 23rd, but the Crown Prince has not withdrawn from the elections. At the end of the Confession, he states that "For the sake of stability, it was best that as few people as possible knew of the real power struggles going on within the Austenasian government, but as I now reach the end of my term, I believe that it is right that all should know their full extent and my role in them. If you wish me to remain Prime Minister after committing high treason against Esmond III and entering the Empire into a war and then deliberately losing it, then by all means, vote for me. After making such a confession, many politicians would resign from political life altogether. However, I believe that the people should have what they want - if they want me to remain Prime Minister, I shall not deprive them of that option. Besides - everything I plotted, everything I hid, everything I did: I did for Austenasia."
International reaction to the Crown Prince's actions last year has ranged from "rasing questions" to having "pretty much saved Austenasia". Domestic reaction will most likely be revealed in the results of the upcoming elections.
Princess Caroline runs for political office
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor yesterday decreed that local elections would take place alongside the General Election on 23 December later this month, after giving Imperial Consent to an Act of Parliament that allows residents over the age of thirteen to run for the office of Representative. Lord Marshal William is expected to run for Representative of Zephyria, and Crown Prince Jonathan has stated that he will be running for Representative of Wrythe. Surprisingly, however, Princess Caroline has announced that she also will be running for Wrythe's Representative - the first time since the Empire's founding that the Crown Prince will have competition in a local election. It is unknown to what degree the other residents of Wrythe will support her over her brother.
Winter in Austenasia
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor decreed two days ago that the winter of 2011 in the Austenasian calendar would start on this day. Rather fittingly, the Empire has today woken up to frost on the ground for the first time this year.
In other news, campaigning for the December 23rd General Election has begun, with HIH Crown Prince Jonathan's cause now being advanced by a conspicuous poster in Parliament Hall - he also plans to make several YouTube campaign videos. Lord Marshal William has so far made no campaign efforts outside of Zephyria.
HIM Emperor Declan I has approved HIH Crown Prince Jonathan and Lord Marshal William as Candidates for the General Election due to be held on 23 December later this year. Election campaigns will officially begin on 25 November.
General Election called!
HIM Emperor Declan I has called a General Election, to take place in seven weeks time - 23 December 2011. Under the new constitution, a General Election did not have to be called until the end of next year (as the Prime Minister now has a maximum four year term), but under the old constitution the term of office for the Prime Minister was three years, so it was thought just to call an Election before the three years are up that HIH Crown Prince Jonathan was elected for on 1 January 2009.
HIH Crown Prince Jonathan and Lord Marshal William can and are expected to stand for election. They have until 25 November to be approved by the Monarch to run for office and therefore be made Candidates.
Another Protectorate accepted as Counsellors of State appointed
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor has appointed HIH Crown Prince Jonathan and the former Emperor Esmond III (now known as Prince Esmond in Orly and Ptolemy IV in Saqqara) Counsellors of State. The full powers of the Throne shall be able to be exercised with both of their consent, until the Emperor chooses to un-appoint them. The Counsellors of State this afternoon granted Imperial Consent to two Acts of Parliament, the latter of which accepted the Federal Republic of Domanglia as another Austenasian protectorate, the second to be accepted in just over a week.
A new Protectorate
This morning, His Imperial Majesty the Emperor issued an Imperial Decree accepting Adjikistan, a small nation in the middle of the island of Great Britain, as a Protectorate of the Empire of Austenasia. The Austenasian government is now responsible for the foreign affairs and defence of Adjikistan.
New Constitution adopted - Esmond III finally removed from imperial title!
On Sunday 18th September, a referendum was held in which the population of Austenasia voted for which constitution they wished the Empire to be governed under. It is hereby announced that the "Wrythian Constitution" (from now on to be known as the Austenasian Constitution of 2011) recieved the highest number of votes - 86% of those who voted, followed by the "Zephyrian Constitution", with 14%. The turn-out for the referendum was only 64% of those eligible, although a popular conception seems to have been that by not voting, support was being cast for the original 2008 Constitution. Nevertheless, through the referendum 55% of the population have approved the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, which officially entered into force at 11:30 this morning, exactly three years after the Declaration of Independence was sent in 2008.
All laws passed under the old system of government shall remain in force until 01:00 on Thursday 22nd September, to give time for laws to be passed under the new system to replace those of the old. The most obvious change to government has been the removal of HIM Emperor Esmond III from the office of Monarch - since a Vote of No Confidence at the end of March, he has been joint Monarch in name only, and the enactment of the new Constitution has reflected the widely held opinion that it is pointless for him to still hold an imperial title - this leaves HIM Emperor Declan I as the only Monarch. Other changes to the Austenasian system of government are as follows: the Monarch can now enact Imperial Decrees, the rough equivalent of an Order-in-Council in the UK; the Cabinet has been renamed the House of Representatives, and the title of "Cabinet" given to the Government Ministers as a collective; local and general elections are now mildly flexible and do not have to take place on New Year's Day; and many other smaller changes, such as a reform to the judiciary system, new titles of nobility, and a slight change to the laws regarding Counsellors of State.
Today is Independence Day in Austenasia, a commemoration of the third year since the sending of the Declaration of Independence in 2008. While the actual anniversary will be on Tuesday 20th, Independence Day takes place on the third Saturday of September. This is the first Independence Day during which a physical Austenasian flag has flown from the Imperial Residence.
In other news, HIM Emperor Declan I has decreed that the Autumn of 2011 officially started on Monday 12th earlier this year.
Imperial Consent has been given to an Act of Parliament which has authorised a referendum to be undertaken on 18 September later this month, the day after Independence Day, with the results to be announced on the 20th, exactly three years since Austenasia was founded. The referendum shall be on whether the Empire should retain its current Constitution and system of government, or adopt a new one, one suggested by Wrythe Town Council and another suggested by Zephyria Town Council.
Every resident over the age of 13 and every Subject shall be eligible to cast their vote on the 18th. The prospective Constitution proposed by Wrythe can be read here, the one proposed by Zephyria can be read here, and the original (along with all subsequent amendments) can be read here.
This morning, the first ever Austenasian stamps were delivered to Wrythe. There are twenty-one stamps in total, seven featuring the Imperial Coat of Arms, seven featuring HIM Emperor Declan I, and seven featuring HIH Crown Prince Jonathan.
Nine of the stamps are on sale in Wrythe to Austenasian residents, nine will be used by the government, and (although more stamps may be ordered in the future) three are being kept from usage for posterity. Although Wrythe Town Council is obliged to ensure that anything with a stamp on is delivered to a British Post Office or post-box, it has urged anyone buying the stamps to keep them as historical souvenirs, in case no more stamps are ordered in the future.
Regardless of whether or not these are the only Austenasian stamps that will ever be made, the production of a national set of stamps is yet another step on Austenasia's path towards becoming a fully-fledged nation.
2011 Intermicronational Summit
HIH Crown Prince Jonathan earlier today attended the 2011 Intermicronational Summit at Hyde Park, in the UK capital of London. This was the largest meeting of leaders of small nations of its kind to date, a total of thirteen national leaders attending. Amongst the small nations represented were two with which Austenasia has formal diplomatic relations - its protectorate, Dorzhabad, represented by its Prime Minister; and the Federal Republic of St.Charlie, represented by its Minister of Home Affairs and its Leader of the Opposition.
The national representatives met in Hyde Park, exchanging medals, signing diplomatic papers, and listening to a speech by the monarch of the Reylan Imperial Triumverate, before going to a nearby Italian restuarant for lunch. After eating, the Summit went to Green Park, and engaged in numerous informal discussions about the community of small nations before travelling in smaller groups to the nearby train stations to depart. More information about the 2011 Summit can be found here.
Riots in the United Kingdom
Legio I Britannica was mobilised last night to protect Greater Wrythe against looters as riots erupted across the British capital of London, which surrounds the two populated Towns of Austenasia (Wrythe and Zephyria). Many buildings in the town of Croydon were burnt to the ground, and smaller disturbances were noted in the closer towns of Carshalton, Wallington, Sutton and Rose Hill.
The British Government has responded by flooding London's streets with 16,000 riot police, and so far tonight no further trouble has been reported in the areas near to Austenasia. Nevertheless, Legio I Britannica remains mobilised, and the Empire has been placed on DEFCON 3, the lowest it has been so far this year.
Coat of Arms created
Yesterday evening, Imperial Consent was given to two Acts of Parliament - the first established an official coat of arms for the Empire of Austenasia, the first one it has had in history. The second granted personal heraldic standards to members of the Imperial Family based on the coat of arms.
The coat of arms is topped by a laurel wreath, representing the Imperial Family, and flanked by two unicorns, representing strength and freedom. The shield in the coat of arms consists of four quarters - the first and fourth are the Austenasian Star, the flag of Austenasia; the second is the coat of arms of Carshalton, the British town from which Wrythe and Zephyria declared independence; the third is a Chi-Ro, representing the Christian heritage of the Empire (half of the government and nearly two-thirds of the population are Christian).
In other news, at 17:50 today, HIM Emperor Esmond III (despite no longer holding the powers of the Throne) became Austenasia's longest reigning Monarch, beating Terry I's record of 1 year, 149 days, 3 hours and 10 minutes.
Acting Prime Minister appointed
Yesterday, the powers of the office of Prime Minister were passed from HIH Crown Prince Jonathan to the Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Marshal William Kingsnorth. He will be Acting Prime Minister until 14:45 on 22 June, as Crown Prince Jonathan has stated that he is concerned that due to the large amount of examinations he is taking during these coming weeks he will be unable to lead the government to the best of his ability.
No large changes to government are expected to take place over this period of time, and come 22 June the powers of the Prime Minister shall be reassumed by the Crown Prince. In other news, the Summer of 2011 was decreed by HIM Emperor Declan I to have started on 2 June earlier this week.
Austenasian Embassy to local British MP!
As Emperor Day (the public holiday celebrating the birthday of the Monarch) takes place in Austenasia, HIH Crown Prince Jonathan has returned from his meeting this afternoon with local British Member of Parliament, Tom Brake MP, to discuss the Empire's claim to independence. Tom Brake MP has told the Crown Prince that he will contact the British Ministry of Justice to enquire about the legality of Austenasia's declaration of independence under the principle of natioional self-determination.
IGS Expedition to Banstead Heath and Colley Hill
Today, the Imperial Geographical Society undertook an expedition to some countryside in the British county of Surrey.
The expedition walked through some wooded areas to reach the fields that comprise Banstead Heath, and after walking around the Heath crossed a bridge over the M25 motorway to see the view from the top of Colley Hill, one of the highest points in Surrey. The expedition then crossed back over the motorway to complete a figure-of-eight route back to the starting point. Photographs of the expedition can be seen here, and a video will be uploaded shortly.
Easter in Austenasia
The Imperial Family yesterday celebrated Easter Sunday by visiting the house of Lord Michael, brother-in-law of the former Monarch, Sir Terry Austen.
In other news, negotiations have begun between HIH Crown Prince Jonathan and the local British Member of Parliament for a meeting to take place to discuss the Empire's claim to independence. It is expected that this meeting will take place at some point during May.
Midget Nation-in-Exile unified with the Empire!
Today, HIM Emperor Declan I (in his role as both Emperor of Austenasia and as Fifth Midget Master) gave Imperial Consent to an Act of Parliament that annexed the local nation of the Midget Nation-in-Exile into the Empire of Austenasia.
The Midget Nation-in-Exile is the government in exile of the Midget Empire, a once large micronation that existed between 2002-2006, and which claimed to be the successor state of an even earlier nation, Rushymia, that was founded in 1995. Since Declan I became Midget Master, the entire Nation-in-Exile has consisted merely of a small armed force. The Midget Army (which invaded Wrythe in December last year) has, through this Act of Parliament, been transitioned into a century of the Austenasian Army - Ceturia II Midgetae. All independent government of the Nation-in-Exile has been abolished, and the title and office of Midget Master has been united with the Throne of Austenasia.
The Midget Nation had no land which they control, and so Austenasia has gained no land from this annexation. However, the Empire has gained more soldiers and can now claim to be the successor state of the Midget Empire.
Vote of No Confidence passed!
For the first time in the Empire's history, Parliament has passed a Vote of No Confidence against a reigning Monarch. There has been concern for some time over the increasingly eccentric way in which HIM Emperor Esmond III has been acting as Monarch, for example declaring numerous unofficial public holidays such as "Cake Week" and "Awesome Day", demanding that people pay him tribute of cake, and even announcing a plan to transform Austenasia into a communist dictatorship.
A suggestion to remove Esmond III from power was first directly voiced on Wednesday 23rd by a classmate of his, when he was away from school. HIH Crown Prince Jonathan, Prime Minister, took this suggestion to Parliament, where Lord Marshal William immediately gave his vote for a Vote of No Confidence. While the Prime Minister expressed his support for the Vote, he only officially cast his vote today, enacting the Vote of No Confidence and removing all powers of the Throne from Esmond III, who is now Monarch in name and title only.
This leaves HIM Emperor Declan I, enthroned as part of a peace settlement with the nearby Tsardom of Orly in December, as the only Austenasian Monarch with any actual power. While Esmond III has some supporters in the military who wish for him to return to power, they are a minority both in the armed forces and in the Empire's society as a whole.
Tincomarus Department annexed
The last relic of the Slinky Empyre, Tincomarus Department, has been annexed by the Empire of Austenasia after being occupied by the Austenasian Army yesterday.
State of Emergency over, Tincomarus Dept occupied!
Since 10 December last year, the Empire of Austenasia has been in a State of Emergency, with a wide range of emergency powers delegated to the Monarchs and the Counsellors of State. This morning, an Act was signed into law which ended the State of Emergency, as the instability resulting from the war over Orly and the appointment of a new Monarch has now faded away, and Austenasia looks forward to a long and prosperous future.
In other news, the Austenasian Army has occupied a small area of land adjacent to the Empire: Tincomarus Department was ceded to our friends the Slinky Empyre in January last year, but this nation underwent a revolution a few months ago, overthrowing its old monarchical system of government. Some of the Slinky Empyre's local leaders formed a republican government as a self-declared successor state, excercising control over a few of the Empyre's former territories (not including Tincomarus Department), but the now unstable nation officially dissolved itself last month. With no nation now claiming Tincomarus Department except the United Kingdom, it was decided that Austenasia should retake the land before the UK had a chance to assert their claim. Tincomarus Department will officially rejoin the Empire tomorrow.
Lastly, the Counsellors of State declared on Wednesday 2nd March that it was the first day of Spring 2011 in the Austenasian calendar.
State visit to Dorzhabad
HIH Crown Prince Jonathan has returned from visiting the Parliamentary Republic of Dorzhabad, a Protectorate of Austenasia. He was met by Sir Daniel Morris, the Dorzhabadic Prime Minister, and was issued with a visa when he crossed the border into Greater Dorzhabad. After being given a brief tour of Governmental House, the Crown Prince was shown a military installation in Drakenhelm, the Dorzhabadic capital.
After returning to Greater Dorzhabad and sampling the national dish of banoffee pie, the Crown Prince presented the Dorzhabadic Prime Minister with a knighthood before the two national leaders were driven to the nearby British train station, and the Crown Prince was saluted farewell as his train departed.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Today is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day designated by the United Nations in 2005 for honoring the memory of the Holocaust victims. Although not officially observed by Austenasia, today has been used as an appropriate day for the unveiling of Wrythe Genocide Memorial in Wrythe Public Park.
In January 2009, it was made illegal in Austenasia to approve of, attempt to justify, deny the occurence of, or grossly minimise, numerous genocides throughout history. Part of the Act of Parliament that made this law commissioned a memorial to be made in Wrythe to commemorate the memories of all genocide victims. The memorial consists of a simple stone stele - on one side is a list of notable genocides ending with the wish that they may never be repeated and the words "may peace prevail", written in Moylurgian heiroglyphics (the English language using an Ancient Egyptian-styled alphabet, used in Austenasia for ceremonial purposes). On the other side are the words "Never Again, Never Forget", written in Hebrew, Armenian, Arabic, Latin, Moylurgian, and English. The Memorial was unveiled by the Prime Minister this afternoon.
Today, an Act of Parliament was given Imperial Consent that reorganised the structure of the Austenasian Armed Forces and made it closer to the Roman army. Divisions have been renamed legions, regiments have been renamed cohorts, battalions have been renamed centuries, and platoons have been abolished. The military ranking system has also been changed accordingly - the Field Marshal is now the Magister Militum, and has a deputy known as the Dux Britanniarum, whereas the rank of General has been renamed to Legate, Colonel and Major to Tribune, and Captain and Leiutenant to Centurion.
HIH Crown Prince Jonathan has been appointed Dux Britanniarum and Lord Marshal William is the Magister Militum. It is expected that over the next few weeks there will be a review of the enlisted soldiers and a mass dismissal of those who no longer wish to be members of the AAF, followed by a small recruitment drive to bring our numbers back up again.
New Year dawns!
Happy New Year! Local elections were held today in the Empire, Crown Prince Jonathan once again being re-elected as Representative of Wrythe, and with Zephyria Town Council to announce the results of their election tomorrow.
In other news, Crown Prince Jonathan as Prime Minister has appointed the first Austenasian Consuls - under a revision to the judicial system made in October last year, the power previously held by the Monarch in sentencing convicted criminals will now be held by two individuals annually chosen by the Prime Minister. Although this revision to the judicial system had the intent of moving power over it away from the monarchy and towards the elected Prime Minister, the two co-Monarchs have been chosen as this year's Consuls, in an attempt by the Crown Prince to strengthen the unity and stability in the new joint Monarchy.
2/1/2011 UPDATE: Lord Marshal William has been elected Representative of Zephyria, and today in Cabinet was appointed the new Minister of Defence.