Not only did the Imperial Family today celebrate the 58th birthday of Emperor Mother Margaret, but also the confirmation of Crown Princess Caroline into the Methodist Church of Great Britain.
The day started with both individuals opening some presents in the Imperial Residence. The Imperial Family then attended the confirmation service at Carshalton Methodist Church, joined by the Boxalls (the family of the Emperor Mother). Emperor Jonathan I - who finishes his first term at university at the end of the week - also attended, having come home for the weekend.
During the service, Crown Princess Caroline and several other younger people (including Sir Joseph, former Prince of Copan) were confirmed into membership of the Methodist Church of Great Britain. The Imperial Family and Boxalls then had lunch at a nearby gastropub, before the group travelled to the Imperial Residence.
At the Imperial Residence, more presents were opened and cake and coffee were served. A list of those present at the celebration in the Imperial Residence is as follows: Emperor Jonathan I, Crown Princess Caroline, Emperor Mother Margaret, Emperor Father Terry, Emperor Grandmother Joyce, Lord Michael (brother of the Emperor Mother), Dame Rosalind (wife of Lord Michael), and their children Lord Timothy and Ladies Catherine and Jennifer.
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor has announced the official start of winter 2013-4 in the Austenasian calendar, as a storm forces thousands from their homes in the United Kingdom.
In the UK, two people have died and tens of thousands of homes are without electricity due to the storm, with winds over 100 mph having been recorded. Thousands have been evacuated from their homes in preparation for a storm surge along the east coast of England.
Deputy Prime Minister Lord John Gordon informed government officials over Skype earlier today that his town of Palasia has been put under a state of emergency, being situated close to the areas in which the British government has issued flood warnings. He also noted that flooding of Palasia was “anticipated” and evacuation was “possible”.
Other areas of mainland Austenasia are not thought to be so much at risk, although all have been experiencing above-average wind speeds throughout the day, with heavy rain falling in Greater Wrythe this afternoon. Glencrannog is forecasted to have sleet and strong winds tonight, but that is unlikely to affect its non-existent population.
The Emperor has sent a message of support to Palasia and advised all residents to stay indoors should they be worried about the weather.
UPDATE 6 DECEMBER 11:00 - Lord John Gordon has informed the Emperor that the residents of Palasia “are all fine”, and that despite it being ”very windy with a bit of flooding” there was “nothing serious”. The state of emergency within Palasia, under which Lord John had been given emergency powers, has also been lifted.
The Emperor and his parents this afternoon saw part of what is believed to be the wooden cross on which Christ was crucified.
Jonathan I, Emperor Mother Margaret and Emperor Father Terry met in Knightsbridge to walk the short distance to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God, where part of the Cross was being brought. The relic, usually kept in Jerusalem, is currently on a “tour” of the United Kingdom.
The Emperor and his parents arrived at the start of an hour and a half long service, during which the piece of the Cross arrived and was placed on a stand in the middle of the church while hymns and psalms were sung and prayers were chanted. After the service, members of the congregation went up to venerate the relic, which is encased in an icon of silver and gold.
Jonathan I has been an Orthodox Christian since 2011, but this was the first time that his father has been to an Orthodox service, while the Emperor Mother has previously been to two.
An Act of Parliament passed this morning has abolished the collection of taxes by the Treasury in peacetime.
The Tax Reform Act 2013 states that from now on, the Treasury can only collect taxes if authorised by Parliament or an Imperial Decree during a state of emergency or war. Town Councils may impose taxes upon their Towns to fund themselves, but these must be “of a fair and proportionate nature”.
The Austenasian tax system was initiated alongside the founding of the Empire on 20 September 2008. Subjects had to pay £1 per month, increased to £2 per month on 6 December 2008, to go towards the upkeep of the Empire. The following month, an extra tax of 20p for each fossil-fuel-powered vehicle owned per month was introduced for environmental purposes.
However, with the annexation of South Kilttown (now known as Zephyria) in April 2009, the collection of taxes was restricted to Wrythe’s population. A similar caveat was made with the annexation of Thanasia in May 2013, and taxes were not even mentioned upon the annexation of Palasia in July 2013. For all practical purposes, the three subjects of Wrythe have borne the burden of the financial upkeep of the Empire since its founding, a state of affairs which has now been put to an end.
Instead of the Treasury funding Government Ministries by distributing annual grants from the money it collects through taxes, Government Ministries shall from now on be expected to find ways of funding their own projects. Should extra money be required, they may apply for a grant from the Treasury, which will henceforth gain money primarily through donations and fund-raising.
Her Imperial Highness Countess Eritoshi of Memphis has been elected Prime Minister of Austenasia in the General Election held yesterday, receiving two-thirds of the votes.
The remaining one-third of the vote went to Lord John Gordon of Palasia, who has become Deputy Prime Minister. Surprisingly, Lord Marshal William – the third candidate, and Acting PM before the election – did not receive a single vote in the General Election. He and Eritoshi had been considered by many to be the two with the most chance of winning the election.
A Local Election took place at the same time. All those elected Representatives gained 100% of the vote in their respective Towns, with nobody choosing the option to abstain from the election implemented in response to only one person running for each office.
- In Wrythe, His Imperial Majesty the Emperor was re-elected Representative, winning back the seat which he lost to his sister the then Princess Caroline in December 2011.
- In Zephyria, Lord Marshal William was re-elected Representative, a position he has held uninterruptedly since September 2010.
- In Thanasia, Countess Eritoshi was elected Representative, having been Acting Representative since Thanasia was annexed in May earlier this year.
- In Palasia, Lord John Gordon was elected Representative, having been Acting Representative since Palasia was annexed in July earlier this year.
Emperor Jonathan I has congratulated Countess Eritoshi on her victory, and has also announced a Cabinet reshuffle, with his sister Crown Princess Caroline no longer a Representative. He himself has replaced the Crown Princess as Chancellor and Secretary-General, and Lord John Gordon has replaced Lord Marshal William as Home Secretary, but the Lord Marshal has kept his other two Cabinet offices as Minister of Defence and Minister for the Environment, and Countess Eritoshi has remained Chief Ambassador.
Turnout was 81.8% for the Local Election and 60% for the General Election.
Austenasia has expanded for the eighth time this year with the annexation of Terentia, a garden in North America.
The land, which has been annexed as a Crown Dependency, is owned by the family of Jacob Lewis, who has been appointed Governing Commissioner of Terentia. The new Crown Dependency has been named in honour of Emperor Father Terry and measures just over 5000 square feet.
Terentia is the second annexation that the Empire has made in North America, following that of New Richmond three months ago. As a Crown Dependency, Terentia is under Austenasian sovereignty but is highly autonomous, ruled by the Governing Commissioner in the name of the Throne.
Those running for Representative in each Town of the Empire for the Local Election on Monday 18th November later this month have been confirmed.
Between 28 October and 4 November, any subject (or, under certain circumstances, resident) willing was permitted to publicly announce their intention to run for Representative of their Town. The holder of the office represents their Town in Parliament and is eligible to become Prime Minister and hold positions in Cabinet.
In Wrythe, the incumbent Crown Princess Caroline has chosen not to run for a second term as Representative. Her brother the Emperor, who was Representative of Wrythe (while Crown Prince) between September 2008 and December 2011, is running to regain the position.
In Zephyria, the incumbent Lord Marshal William is running to be re-elected. Lord Marshal William has been Representative of Zephyria since September 2010, when it was renamed from South Kilttown.
In both Thanasia and Palasia, the Acting Representative is hoping to be elected to Representative proper. Countess Eritoshi of Memphis is currently Acting Representative of Thanasia, and Lord John Gordon is currently Acting Representative of Palasia – both have been Acting Representative of their Town since Thanasia and Palasia were annexed by Austenasia in May and July respectively earlier this year.
In response to only one candidate standing in every local election, the Emperor has passed an Imperial Edict stating that in each local election there will also be an option to abstain. Should that option receive more votes than the sole candidate, then the election will be regarded as legally inconclusive. Should that happen, the relevant Town Council could exercise the powers of the Representative via voting or appoint their own Acting Representative.
Apologies for this news being posted late. This was due to technical difficulties.