Jonathan I and Princess Hannah marry

Emperor Jonathan I and the now Empress Hannah have been married in two ceremonies over the last few days.

The couple were legally wed in a Church of England ceremony on Saturday 5th November, and their marriage was then celebrated according to the rites of the Orthodox Church on Monday 7th.

The decision to hold two ceremonies was taken by the couple in order to emphasis equal respect for both of their respective religious traditions.

The Anglican service, held on Saturday 5th, took place in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Beddington, the parish attended by the Empress by her family during her childhood.

This was followed by a reception at a golf course conference centre by Oaks Park.

The Orthodox service, held on Monday 7th, took place in the Church of Ss. Constantine and Helen, attended by the Emperor since he joined the Orthodox Church in July 2011. It was livestreamed by Emperor Father Terry in the official Austenasia Facebook group, and followed by a celebratory buffet.

Both services were attended by many of the friends and family of the imperial couple, as well as various state dignitaries.

Emperor Adam I of Adammia and King Calum I of the Grove – the former of whom served as one of Jonathan I’s groomsmen – attended both services, and the former Emperor Esmond III attended the Orthodox service.

Lord Timothy, the Emperor’s cousin, was his best man, and his sister Crown Princess Caroline was another of his groomspeople.

Lord John Gordon, former Prime Minister, had planned to attend as another of the Emperor’s groomsmen, but was unfortunately unable to make it due to illness.

Congratulations have been pouring in from numerous well-wishers from across the globe. The Prime Minister, Lord William Wilson, designed an arms of alliance for the imperial couple in his capacity as Chief Herald, which was prominently displayed behind their table at Saturday’s wedding reception and referenced in the Emperor’s speech.

The imperial couple first met on 11 November 2011, began a romantic relationship on 5 November 2015, and were engaged in September 2016. Their engagement lasted several years, due to the desire to complete their university degrees before focusing on wedding planning.

The Empress has reigned as Princess of Wildflower Meadows since May 2016. As this position is that of a sovereign head of state, she will likely continue to go by Princess in various contexts.

New Mascot of the Order of the Bullmastiff appointed

Penny photographed in August this year

After a vacancy lasting the better part of five years, a new Mascot has been named for the Order of the Bullmastiff.

Penny, a bullmastiff born in April 2020 who is owned by a family friend of the Imperial Family, was named to the position by Emperor Jonathan I earlier today.

The Order of the Bullmastiff is an Austenasian order of chivalry, and the only one to have a Mascot.

The bullmastiff is the national animal of Austenasia, and as such the Mascot serves almost as the ceremonial embodiment of such.

When the Order was founded by Emperor Terry I in January 2009, the Imperial Family had a pet bullmastiff, Rose, who was named Mascot of the Order. After Rose’s death in 2014, she was succeeded as Mascot by the Imperial Family’s other pet bullmastiff, Edd, and after his death in 2017, the position was taken by Rose’s daughter Lily (who did not live with the Imperial Family).

However, upon Lily’s death the following year, the position fell vacant.

Provision had been made for this, with a dog of another breed able to be appointed Honorary Mascot to fill the vacancy. The first Honorary Mascot was Cleo, family pet of the Emperor’s fiancee Princess Hannah. After Cleo’s death last year, a second Honorary Mascot was named as Ralph, family pet of former Prime Minister Lord John Gordon.

Now that a new Mascot has been found in Penny, the two shall serve concurrently. Ralph shall continue to hold the position of Honorary Mascot for the rest of his life, but no replacement will be appointed while a Mascot proper remains in office.

Although born in Cheshire, Penny was exported over to in Spain, where her owners currently live. She comes from a prestigious showing pedigree, with her father having won Best in Breed at Crufts in 2018.

Penny also has familial connections to each of the Imperial Family’s two pet bullmastiffs, being the great-x3 niece both of Rose and of Edd.

Emperor pays tribute to Elizabeth II

His Imperial Majesty has released the following statement after learning yesterday of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II:

It was with great sadness and shock that Our Imperial Majesty yesterday learnt of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Having achieved a great age of 96, it was not a surprise; but it was a shock. The end of a reign which lasted for over seventy years could be nothing else. Her passing is a moment of historical significance equalled by little any of us have experienced. It is truly the end of an era.

A person who has been an ever-constant presence in the background of our lives has now gone. A symbol par excellence of continuity, dignity, stability, identity, constancy, diplomacy, and duty; gone.

Austenasia has always promoted an identity for its people that has complemented rather than conflicted with their existing nationalities. It is due to this that the Imperial Family mourns not just the Queen, but our Queen. We mourn not just as Austenasians, but as Britons. As well as British Austenasians, there are also Austenasians who are Canadian and Australian. Elizabeth II was Queen of just over a quarter of the Austenasian population, and so her death is a blow to our nation as well. The Austenasian Star is flying from the Imperial Residence today vertically, in its customary position of mourning, and as Emperor of Austenasia, our Imperial Majesty pays respectful tribute to the life, reign, and memory of Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty was last pictured at the start of this week as she exercised her constitutional duty in the appointment of a new British Prime Minister. Although frail, she was standing and smiling, and few us of who saw those photographs would have imagined she would be dead in two days. Even in the very last days of her life, she carried on working until the very end, performing her duty to her country and her people, informed and inspired by her strong Christian faith. She was, a paragon of duty and service, who dedicated her life to her people until its very end, and a true example to us all.

ICJA
Wrythe, 9 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died after a reign of 70 years.

Emperor Jonathan I has announced an Empire-wide state of mourning to last until the Queen’s funeral.

For the first four and a half years of the Empire of Austenasia, its entire population also owed allegiance to Queen Elizabeth as sovereign of the United Kingdom, with which all Austenasians up to that point were dual citizens.

Even today, due to the various dual nationalities of all Austenasians, Elizabeth II was the joint sovereign of over a quarter of the Austenasian population (27.6%; 29 out of 105).

Elizabeth II is now succeeded as monarch by her son Charles, formerly Prince of Wales, who met Crown Princess Caroline in March earlier this year.

Shortly after learning of her death, Emperor Father Terry led a formal toast to the Queen’s memory in Parliament Hall.

Furthermore, Lord John Gordon, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has suspended all parliamentary business.

Full and official tributes to Queen Elizabeth II will be released by the Austenasian Throne and government in due course.

Born on 21 April 1926, Elizabeth II became Queen upon the death of her father King George VI on 6 February 1952. As well as reigning over the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II held the thrones of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and ten other Commonwealth Realms.

Milomir I of Ongal dies aged 58

HH Grand Prince Milomir I of Ongal

News has broken that His Highness Grand Prince Milomir I, founder and sovereign of Ongal, died on Thursday 25th August.

The news was announced on Facebook by the official Ongal group and by the Prince’s godson.

On 25 November 2014, Milomir I became the founding monarch of the Danube Ecological Principality of Ongal, claiming ten uninhabited pockets of land on the western bank of the Danube which, due to an ongoing dispute between Croatia and Serbia over their precise border, were technically no longer claimed by either country.

The Principality claimed the land as a nature reserve, with the Grand Prince as its absolute monarch.

Before founding Ongal, Prince Milomir had a career as a decorated Bulgarian architect and was a well-known local dignitary. His existing connections helped Ongal to flourish, and at time of writing it claims a population of roughly 1,400 who have applied to become citizens.

Milomir charged the people of Ongal with keeping “a high honor, aristocratic spirit and patriotism and to be [a] model of nobility and dignity”. He was often pictured attending various ceremonies of a civic or religious nature, and was well-known for his promotion of Bulgarian culture and history.

Prince Milomir was an Orthodox Christian, and Ongal is an officially Orthodox state. Milomir I and Emperor Jonathan I made contact in June 2016, bonding over their shared faith, and a treaty of mutual recognition was signed between Austenasia and Ongal on 1 July 2016.

Soon after mutual recognition was established between Austenasia and Ongal, the two monarchs gave each other noble titles: Prince Milomir was made Baron of Arenberg by Jonathan I, and the Prince gave the Emperor the title Baron of Ongal. Furthermore, Milomir I was knighted into the Glorious Order of St. John by His Imperial Majesty in the 2016 Independence Day honours list, and Emperor Jonathan I was given an honorary degree from an academy set up for citizens of Ongal.

However, primarily due to the inability of either monarch to speak the other’s language without the aid of translation, communication between Austenasia and Ongal was never as frequent as it may otherwise would have been.

What the future holds for Ongal after this sad loss remains to be seen. Although its founding father has been lost, a nation of such great size will undoubtedly continue in some form.

Bradley of Dullahan appointed Deputy Prime Minister

Bradley of Dullahan, Representative of Helinium, was yesterday appointed Deputy Prime Minister following the resignation of Lord Hunter Prater from the position.

Lord Prater, who was appointed Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) in September last year upon Lord William Wilson’s victory in the general election, has announced his retirement from national government, although he remains Representative of New Flat Rock.

One notable legacy of Lord Prater’s time in office as DPM is his advocacy of weekly meetings of Cabinet, which previously tended to be held as required.

Bradley, Duke of Dullahan, also known by his title in the Holy Roman Empire as King of the Romans, was appointed yesterday to fill the vacancy. The position of Deputy Prime Minister is held by a Representative who is selected by the Prime Minister with the consent of the Monarch.

Duke Bradley – who also serves as the long-standing Prime Minister of Austenasian ally Wyvern – became an Austenasian national in March 2019. Earlier this year he was elected the parliamentary Representative of the new town of Helinium, which is inhabited by his sister and her partner.

New territory annexed from Poland

Saturday 30th July saw a new Territory annexed by the Empire of Austenasia from Poland.

The new land claim, Nervenston, was claimed by the now Lord Dominik Kądziołkais, who has been appointed Governor and Baron of the new territory.

Nervenston is uninhabited, and is comprised of the roughly 2,170 square foot garden of Lord Kądziołkais’ residence.

Nervenston was claimed from the south-west of Poland, and is the first Austenasian land claim to be annexed from that country.

Inscription discovered as stele mistakenly felled

The re-discovered inscription on the stele’s bottom

The accidental toppling of an old memorial stone has led to the re-discovery of a forgotten inscription in an old ceremonial text.

Yesterday evening saw the old Wrythe Genocide Memorial accidentally knocked over by a watering can while nearby plants were watered.

The Memorial, unveiled for 2011’s International Holocaust Memorial Day in January of that year, once featured inscriptions commemorating the victims of genocide and expressing hope that such will never be repeated.

Many of these inscriptions were written in Moylurgian hieroglyphs, a writing system used in Austenasia for ceremonial purposes between 2010 and 2013.

However, the ink in which these inscriptions were made was not sufficiently waterproof to protect them from weathering, and by October 2012 the Memorial – which took the form of a small stone stele – was blank.

Over the years, the Memorial had gradually become forgotten, and due to having been erected in a flowerbed in Wrythe Public Park was often hidden behind plants and weeds.

Due to its deterioration, its dedication to genocide victims led to it being considered inappropriate to be publicised as such – with its neglect perhaps seen as a sign of disrespect – but simultaneously inappropriate to remove it. It was never designated an official national monument, a status introduced in December 2017; indeed, the legislation which introduced this status technically removed the remaining legal protections for the Memorial.

The re-discovery of the forgotten inscription on the bottom of the stele, protected by the soil from the rain and sunlight, is a major archaeological find for the history of Wrythe and of Austenasia.

Translated, it reads “Unveiled by His Imperial and Majestic Highness the King of Moylurg, Caesar of Austenasia”, referring to the now Emperor Jonathan I, and as such can be accurately dated to the short period of time – 19 October to 10 November 2010 – when he held the former office.

Indeed, by the time the stele was actually erected, the then Crown Prince no longer held the former title. The inscription is then followed by three ciphers: that of Emperor Esmond III, that of Jonathan I as King of Moylurg, and then that of Emperor Declan I, which was added after the rest of the inscription but before the unveiling of the memorial (Declan I having ascended the Throne in December 2010).

The inscription, nearly 12 years old, therefore hearkens back to a relatively tumultuous time deep in Austenasia’s past, remembered for the accession of different monarchs and the cultural influence of Moylurg (later Wilcsland).

The now Emperor Jonathan I has decided against re-inscribing or re-erecting the stele, stating:

“It is of the utmost importance that the horrors of genocide and the memories of its victims are never forgotten. However, it is inappropriate for us to pretend that a weathered brick in a flowerbed is in any way a fittingly dignified memorial to such. Instead of the stele being restored, we shall instead be making donations to various charities and museums which shall do a far better job than we could ever do at commemoration and education on this subject.”

Treaties signed at London meeting

Jonathan I and Lord Friedrich pose with the treaties

Yesterday saw Emperor Jonathan I sign treaties of mutual recognition with Mercia and with Mekniy-Lurk at an informal summit in central London.

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor met with Austenasian senator Lord Karl Friedrich, who had travelled to the UK from the Czech Republic.

Lord Friedrich serves as Governor of Aurora, and has previously held various Cabinet positions. He jointly owns MicroWiki along with Jonathan I.

However, in addition to his role in Austenasia, Lord Friedrich also serves as joint head of state of two other countries – Mercia and Mekniy-Lurk – both of which have diarchal governments.

Austenasia has held friendly informal relations with Mercia for almost a decade, and extended formal recognition in 2016, but the two countries had never formally signed a treaty. Although the government of the nation has been inactive for some time, Mercia has never been formally dissolved and remains a source of national identity for its citizens.

A state visit from Lord Friedrich to Austenasia in his role as Lord Temporal of Mercia to sign a treaty of mutual recognition had been planned for August 2020, but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

By the time this visit came about, Lord Friedrich had also become co-ruler of Mekniy-Lurk, a highly-developed small nation which declared independence from the Czech Republic in 2009.

The treaties were signed in the grounds of St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London. Also there to greet Lord Friedrich to the United Kingdom were James Frisch and Newton von Uberquie, who formerly held office in Mercia as Speaker of Parliament and as First Minister respectively.

The four dignitaries met at Monument station, and visited several nearby landmarks including the eponymous Monument to the Great Fire, the Tower of London, the aforementioned St. Paul’s Cathedral, and London Stone.

After eating lunch together, the dignitaries parted ways, with the Emperor accompanying Lord Friedrich to the correct train station for him to continue his travels, via more sightseeing at Westminster and Whitehall.

During the course of the meeting, Lord Friedrich made a donation of several coins and banknotes to the Imperial Numismatic Museum. Notable among these are a Roman denarius of Septimius Severus minted in AD 194-195, and a rare commemorative coin minted by Mekniy-Lurk.

State visit to Dracul

Saturday 2nd July saw the Prime Minister, Lord William Wilson, represent the Empire of Austenasia on a state visit to Dracul.

Lord Wilson signs the treaty with President Luke

The visit was used as an opportunity to sign a treaty of mutual recognition and friendship between the two nations.

Lord Wilson met with President Stephen Luke of Dracul at the Draculian Embassy to the United States, before the two national leaders travelled to the border of Dracul itself. After entering the country, the visit officially began, with the national anthems of both countries being played.

The Prime Minister then entered the Draculian capital, Bran District, where he and President Luke signed the treaty between Austenasia and Dracul.

After the treaty was signed, an online call was had to His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, who thanked President Luke for his hospitality to Lord Wilson and expressed his wishes for a close and long-lasting friendship between their two nations.

A tour of the nation was then given to the Prime Minister. Lord Wilson observed and made polite remarks about the landmarks of Dracul, and discussion was had on the native flora and fauna of the respective states. The visit ended after the pair returned to the Embassy, whereupon the Prime Minister was given refreshment and gifts of hospitality.

This is the seventh official state visit in which Austenasia has taken part, and the first in almost ten years in which Austenasia was not the hosting state.

The Commonwealth of Dracul is bordered by Texas, and is known in the diplomatic community for its professional demeanour and high-quality media. Dracul was formally recognised by the Empire in March, after several months of informal friendship with Austenasia.

Although technically incorrect in international terminology, it has since 2010 been the custom in Austenasia for an official diplomatic visit made or hosted by the Prime Minister – not just by the Monarch – to also be called a “state visit”, so long as the head of state of the other country is being visited or hosted.