The Empire of Austenasia has annexed New South Scotland as a crown dependency, expanding for the first time since 2011.
Sovereignty over the former colony of New Wessex was given to Emperor Jonathan I by Declan I on 20 January, a matter of minutes after the former ascended to the Throne, but New South Scotland has only this morning been formally made a crown depencency after the Emperor issued an Imperial Decree setting out its system of government.
New South Scotland was created in November last year as a colony for New Wessex by Haakon Lindstrom, who has remained the territory’s leader as Governing Commissioner. Instead of ruling in the place of the King of New Wessex, he now rules in the place of the Emperor.
The new territory has been made highly autonomous. Austenasian legislation only applies to the crown dependency by the discretion of the Governing Commissioner, or if the legislation itself explicitly states that it does.
New South Scotland will not be taxed, does not have representation in Parliament, and will probably have to be responsible for its own defence. Nevertheless, it is a part of the Empire, with the Austenasian government representing it internationally.
New South Scotland is an enclave of the Australian city of Sydney, becoming the first overseas Austenasian territory. It is also by far the largest, spanning over 30,000 square feet. The territory was part of a university campus before being annexed by New Wessex.
This marks the first territorial expansion of the Empire since Tincomarus Department (in Commius Flats) was re-annexed in March 2011. New South Scotland has no permanent population, but the Governing Commissioner may recruit New South Scottish citizens – while not Austenasian subjects, they will be regarded as holding allegiance to the Emperor.
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor has announced the date of his coronation.
The new Monarch, Jonathan I, has announced that the crowning ceremony will take pace in the Imperial Residence on Saturday 23 February, just over a month after he ascended to the Throne. This is much sooner than the previous two coronations – that of Terry I took place eight months after he became Monarch, and that of Esmond III took place just over seven months after he ascended the Throne.
The Emperor’s predecessor, Declan I, did not have a coronation, as he was the only Austenasian Monarch to have never set foot in the Empire. A planned visit of Declan to Wrythe in April 2012, for which the possibility of a coronation was discussed, never took place.
The Emperor will be crowned with the Imperial Diadem while wearing the other Imperial Regalia (the Chain, Sceptre, and Robes) and sitting in the same spot in which the Declaration of Independence was sent in 2008. Foreign heads of state and nobility have been invited to attend the ceremony.
Declan I has abdicated from the Throne of Austenasia, with the until today Crown Prince becoming Monarch as His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I.
At 17:18:07 this afternoon, Declan I made a Declaration of Abdication, announcing his “intention to renounce the Throne of Austenasia and the title and office of Monarch.” At 17:26:30, Emperor Jonathan I – known since the founding of the Empire in September 2008 as Crown Prince Jonathan – signed the Ascension Act 2013, ascending to the Throne.
Said Act had been hurriedly written up by the now Emperor as soon as he learnt of his predecessor’s wish to abdicate, and was passed through the House of Representatives in a matter of minutes. The Act was given consent by the Representative of Wrythe, and the now Emperor gave his deciding vote as then Prime Minister to pass it through the House, losing that position by signing it and thus becoming Emperor.
As the Emperor cannot be the Prime Minister, Lord Marshal William has becoming Acting Prime Minister until the next General Election, which will take place in or before December 2015. The aforementioned Representative of Wrythe, Princess Caroline, has now become Crown Princess as Heir to the Throne upon her brother’s ascension.
Declan I stated that his abdication was for “personal reasons”, and that his life had been “going in a different direction for some time”.
HIM Emperor Jonathan I ascends to the Throne as the fourth Emperor of Austenasia, also becoming the fifth King of Rushymia, the sixth Midget Master, and the seventh Theocrat of Atkantia, titles in union with the Austenasian Throne.
HIH Crown Prince Jonathan has become Acting Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational in the midst of a controversy which has brought turmoil to the organisation.
Controversy over the expulsion of Sandus and Juclandia from the GUM at the turn of the New Year has continued unabated with frequent arguments having taken place until a few days ago over Facebook between Will Sörgel, leader of Sandus, and GUM Vice-Chair Bradley, Duke of Dullahan, who supported their expulsion.
Logs released by Haakon Lindstrom of Zealandia point to the expulsion of Sandus and Juclandia having been a calculated decision by Chairman Yaroslav Mar and the Vice-Chair made for political reasons. Some of the published logs show the GUM Security Council at first proposing to offer mediation to the frequent arguments, but Mar interrupting the discussion to propose Sandus be expelled.
Lindstrom claims that he was pressured into “removing Sandus and Juclandia as a sort of return for the votes in favour of my election as Secretary of the Security Council” by Mar and the Duke of Dullahan, who he states “did wrong and have to be held accountable”. It has been pointed out that Lindstrom also held grudges against the two expelled nations, but he has since apologised for what he called “disgraceful conduct” and resigned as Secretary of the Security Council.
This controversy has not stayed within the GUM. There has been a widespread loss of support for the organisation, with Renasia, Amager and Uberstadt withdrawing. Friday evening saw demands for early elections, and at 14:02 GMT earlier today Chairman Mar resigned, stating that he had “zero rights to remain” in office “after essentially betraying the Quorum of Delegates”.
In his resignation statement, Mar stated that he wished Crown Prince Jonathan, who was serving as Supreme Judge, to “pick up the baton” – the Duke of Dullahan automatically became Acting Chair upon Mar’s resignation, but resigned himself 46 minutes later.
Crown Prince Jonathan has thus become Acting Chair of the GUM. Quorum will be held tomorrow, in which a replacement Vice-Chair and Supreme Judge will be selected to support the Crown Prince during the rest of the term. Elections are due to be held in March, but it is possible that they may be called forward.
Crown Prince Jonathan has served two terms as Chair in the past, both widely regarded as highly succesful – the first saw a revision of the outdated original constitution and a large increase in membership and activity, and the second saw the only in-person Quorum meeting of the organisation’s history and a special 24 Hour Quorum which raised over £80 for various charities. The Crown Prince has stated that, “with the support and dedication” of member states, he will “attempt to oversee the restoration of respect and integrity to” the GUM.
Two inches of snow have fallen over Wrythe and Zephyria today, with more expected to fall over the weekend.
Snow was observed to fall on Wrythe Public Park at roughly 09:00 this morning, with roughly an inch having fallen in the Carshalton area by 12:00 and another inch by 16:00. The snow had mostly stopped by early evening, but more is expected to fall on Sunday afternoon.
Most of Britain has seen snow today, with 26 centimetres reported in some areas of South Wales. Over 3000 schools were closed across the UK, with all schools attended by Austenasian subjects and residents closing at lunchtime. Conditions on the roads are already bad, with slush predicted to freeze into ice over the night.
The Prime Minister announced the Consuls for 2013 yesterday morning before joining an IGS Expedition around Wimbledon Common.
The two Consuls are the highest judicial authorities in the Empire, appointed every New Year’s Day by the Prime Minister. Athough they have the power to decide the sentences of convicted criminals, with Austenasia’s incredibly low crime rate the office serves mostly as a ceremonial honour, with the two Consuls giving their names to the year in some formal documents. Caroline Kingsnorth OAO of Zephyria and former Emperor, Tribune Sir Terry Austen KCJ, were appointed the 2013 Consuls.
The Imperial Family has a tradition of partaking in an annual walk on Wimbledon Common every New Year’s Day with the Boxalls (the family of Lady Margaret Austen, wife of the aforementioned Sir Terry) and some members of Raynes Park Methodist Church, formerly attended by the Boxall family. This year was no different, and on the suggestion of Sir Terry the walk was designated an official expedition of the Imperial Geographical Society.
Due to a poor turnout from the church members unaffiliated to Austenasia – only four people, making a total of twelve – Crown Prince Jonathan was given responsibility for deciding on a route, due to having been the only person to have brought a map. The expedition made two circular walks around different parts of the Common, stopping halfway through at tea rooms under a landmark windmill for refreshments.
The reason Sir Terry had requested this walk be made an IGS Expedition was so that something could be found to be named in memory of his recently deceased mother, the former Emperor Mother Bette, with the name entered into official IGS records. A small bridge near the Queensmere pond was named Bette Bridge in her memory.
Four other features of the Common were also named by the IGS: a long ditch was named Daniel Ditch in celebration of the eighteenth birthday of the former First Midget Master, a crossroad of paths was named Eritoshi Junction in honour of the Countess of Memphis, and a path and a stream were given the names Pertinax and Romanos IV Diogenes respectively after two Roman Emperors who both took power on 1 January.
A report and slideshow of photographs from the expedition can be found here. The next IGS Expedition is planned to take place at the start of May.