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.

Foreign Office to consider diplomacy requests for two week window

For two weeks in July, the Austenasian Foreign Office will consider requests for diplomatic relations in a temporary lifting of the long-standing policy not to do so.

Austenasia has always insisted on granting diplomatic recognition and maintaining relations only with polities of a certain “standard”, such as those with an official claim to independence, reasonably professional behaviour, and a well-established presence and stable government.

From the start of the previous decade, the Austenasian government had received a growing number of requests to recognise or even ally with various micronations which were very much below the standards of nations the Empire would be interested in forging official ties with.

Many of these applicants were very young – sometimes mere days old – and ended up dissolving a short time afterwards, meaning diplomatic relations would have been a waste of time.

Having to politely decline each of these requests – as proved the case for most of them – proved a growing drain on the resources of the Foreign Office.

It was therefore the case that on 24 March 2014 the then Prime Minister and Chief Ambassador, HIH Countess Eritoshi, announced that Austenasia would henceforth “refrain from considering non-solicited diplomatic relations… and instead focus… on consolidating and strengthening those relations already held.”

This did not prevent the Austenasian government from reaching out on its own initiative to request formal ties with nations in which it was interested, but did provide a means to issue all those in which it was uninterested with a standardly worded “no thank you”.

However, earlier today, the Foreign Office has announced that “beginning 3 July and until 17 July, we are temporarily lifting this policy to allow any interested nations to contact us with a request for foreign relations which will be considered.”

Permitting requests to be considered will allow potential new friends who may otherwise be overlooked to be considered for formal relations, whereas making it a temporary window will ensure that the number of requests received is relatively manageable.

The idea was first proposed by the Prime Minister, Lord Wilson, in the weekly online meeting of Cabinet.

A link to an online form enabling authorised representatives of their states or nations to apply for diplomatic relations will be published on July 3rd.

UPDATE – The form can be accessed here: https://forms.gle/gAsrpqR4EKUfBro58

Helinium annexed as new Town

The arms of Helinium

Yesterday saw the small polity of Helinium annexed as a new Austenasian Town.

Helinium, which is bordered by the Netherlands, was a part of New Virginia from November 2020 until July 2021, when it became independent during the attempted coup of that month.

Since then, it has existed as a tiny independent city-state.

The past week saw negotiations for Helinium to join Austenasia, culminating in annexation legislation being proposed to and passed by Parliament on Saturday 14th.

Bradley of Dullahan – the newly elected King of the Romans – has been appointed Acting Representative of Helinium, to serve until a local election is held on 5 June.

The Duke of Dullahan does not live in Helinium, but does live within the requisite twenty five miles from the Town to serve as its Representative. The new Town is home to his sister and her partner.

Holy Roman Empire adopts new Charter

Arms of the Holy Roman Empire

Wednesday 4th May saw the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire vote to supersede the confederation’s 2017 charter with a new version.

This comes as the latest in a series of initiatives meant to revitalize the Empire. The Holy Roman Empire (HRE), a continuation of the same-named polity which existed between the 9th and 19th centuries in central Europe, was recognised by Austenasia in 2016.

In July 2021, Brooklyn Hewitt, who had formerly been Prime Minister in Austenasia, relinquished her claim as heir to the Holy Roman throne and withdrew the membership of the Commonwealth of Havnesgade-Amager and the Confederation of the Emmanuelian States.

Following this, Archduke Bradley van Dullahan of Saxony, who serves as Princeps Senatus in Austenasia, called a vote to elect a new King of the Romans – the title used for the Imperial Heir – and Imperial Chancellor, which is a position analogous to a Prime Minister. On 4 March 2022, after a stagnant period of deliberation, Archduke Bradley and Lord William Wilson – who serves as the current Prime Minister in Austenasia – were elected to the respective positions.

As part of his Chancellorship, Wilson drafted and proposed a new Charter on 25 April. This charter reformed the government bodies of the Empire, most notably separating the College of Electors and Imperial Diet, as well as the formal codification of the Imperial Court as a judicial body.

Holy Roman Emperor Quentin I – whose authority is currently wielded by the van Dullahan Regency – has not yet called a new Diet, but discussion is being held on a date to make the announcement.

The new Charter can be read here, and the entry code to the official HRE Discord server is “xaaV9j7”.

Imperial Geographical Society returns to Woldingham

The Imperial Geographical Society (IGS) has conducted an expedition through woods and farmland south-west of the British town of Woldingham.

The expedition re-traced the route of a previous expedition, held in 2014.

The expedition was planned and led by His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, who was joined by twelve other people, including the Imperial Family, Princess Hannah, Lady Boxall (the former Dame Rosalind), and the former residents of Zephyria.

Although Princess Hannah has been on two IGS expeditions in the past, this was the first time that she had joined one of the larger May excursions. It was also the first time that the former Lord Marshal William had joined an IGS expedition since the very first, in 2009.

Re-tracing the steps of the 2014 expedition, the participants were able to compare aspects of the route to their encounter eight years ago; for example, a well-known viewpoint was partially obscured by new tree growth, and various landmarks noted along the way in 2014 were no longer there this time round.

The IGS, since 2009, has customarily launched an annual expedition at the start of May exploring an area of countryside in Surrey.

Due to restrictions on gatherings in the United Kingdom implemented as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the annual May expedition could not go ahead as usual in 2020 and 2021 (although May 2020 did see an IGS expedition in North America).

However, with all legal restrictions in the UK now lifted, the annual expedition was able to be resumed. With thirteen participants in this expedition, it was larger than the original 2014 one, which had ten.

After the expedition, Emperor Jonathan I and his parents joined Princess Hannah and John of Zephyria for refreshments in a garden centre café on the way back to Carshalton.

A video of today’s expedition will be uploaded shortly.

Taras Oliynyk dies in Ukraine

14 March 2022 1 comment

For the first time in the Empire’s history, an Austenasian national has died.

Taras Oliynyk was a Ukrainian citizen who served as governing commissioner of the Austenasian crown dependency of Chersoneses, which was claimed from Ukraine in June 2020.

He was drafted into the Ukrainian armed forces on February 22nd after the escalation of the ongoing conflict.

Taras lived in Chersoneses with his father, who was also drafted.

On March 9th, the government was informed that Taras was receiving treatment after having suffered a serious gunshot wound in battle. He died from his injuries yesterday evening.

Emperor Jonathan I has released a broadcast in response to this tragedy, in which he announced a nation-wide period of mourning for eleven days, to end with a minute’s silence at 6pm local time on March 24th.