Today marks 10 years since the Midget victory in the First Battle of the Grove on 15 March 2004.
The battle, fought by the Midget Empire and their allies the Word Life Gang against a group known as the Girly Gang, took place in what is now the Plain of Copan in Orly, but was then known only as part of the Grove Park in Carshalton.
This was the final battle in a war which had begun in May 2003 when lands claimed by the Word Life Gang had been invaded and occupied by the Girly Gang. The Midget Empire agreed to come to the Word Life Gang’s aid when its own borders were also breached by the Girly Gang.
The Girly Gang numbered about twenty, whereas the allied forces combined outnumbered them by five or six. However, the battle took place after lunch during a school trip, and the teachers supervising the trip detained Midget Master Daniel and much of the Word Life Gang before the battle started due to Daniel having led a pre-emptive attack on their enemies using sticks as swords.
Although a sizeable amount of the allied forces had been detained, Emperor Jonathan I – then known as Commander Jonathan – led the remainder of the troops in the battle against the Girly Gang as Daniel’s deputy, building a small base in nearby trees and implementing battle plans with the leaders of the Word Life Gang.
Despite being greatly outnumbered, the allies managed to hold out against the Girly Gang for a long time with diversionary and guerrilla tactics until they were finally pushed back to their base. Just as Jonathan’s forces became surrounded, Daniel and the other detained soldiers charged across the field from the lunch site, having been allowed to go by the teachers. The Girly Gang were caught in a pincer movement and forced to surrender.
The Girly Gang were made to cede land to the Midget Empire and Word Life Gang, and shortly afterwards dissolved. The Midget Empire emerged as the dominant power in the playground in which it was based, and when Daniel abdicated later that year, Jonathan’s popularity from his leadership in the battle ensured that he became the Second Midget Master, reigning until he left the school in July 2006.
A commemoration on the battlefield had been planned, but the current floods in Copan have made this impossible.
The First Battle of the Grove is the earliest battle to have taken place in the Carshalton Nations the date of which is known with precision. Two subsequent Battles of the Grove (the second usually referred to without a number to distinguish it, and the third more commonly known as the Battle for Orly) took place during the Austenasian Civil War and the War of the Orlian Reunification respectively, in May and in December 2010.
Parliament has passed an Act founding a Privy Council as an advisory body to the Emperor.
The Council contains Countess Eritoshi, Emperor Mother Margaret, Emperor Father Terry, Taeglan I, Lord Marshal William, and several other politicians and friendly foreign leaders.
Appointment to the Council will be at the absolute discretion of the Emperor. The Privy Council has no power to issue legally binding advice, but can give suggestions to the Emperor which he will consider.
Sir Alexander Reinhardt is a founding citizen of the Federal Republic of St.Charlie, who helped to lead the revolution in November 2008 that overthrew the old Kingdom.
Prime Minister from 2009 to 2011, and then again from 2012 to 2013, Reinhardt was recently elected the fourth President of St.Charlie, taking office on 8 March.
The Empire and St.Charlie have engaged in formal diplomacy since August 2009, signing a treaty of mutual friendship and co-operation in December later that year. The Austenasian Times has conducted an exclusive interview with the new president:
Austenasian Times: First things first: how did your inauguration ceremony go? We’ve seen a photograph uploaded to Facebook, but who was present and what took place?
Reinhardt: It was pretty good, I guess! First Judge Michele Vicentini was there, then we had President Lunam with Deputy PM Nicolò Alvisi and two other citizens who came directly from Tor Pendente, one of them was an Observer journalist. The Secretary of the FUCM [a St.Charlian trade union] was also there. We had the swearing, then I signed the official documents and we had dinner together. The inauguration was followed by a party, but some of us don’t remember all of it, to be fair.
Haha, sounds fun. Now, for the sake of those who are not aware, what are your functions in St.Charlie as President?
St.Charlie is a federal parliamentary republic. As such, my duty as President is not only to nominate the Government, and protect the Constitution, but also to represent the nation and its unity. While it could be seen a very ceremonial figure, the President is literally the physical representation of St.Charlie in the micronational sphere.
Some observers have regarded St.Charlie as recently being on the decline in terms of governmental activity and international influence. What would your response to them be?
We’ve all grown up a bit, which led to a decline in terms of online presence, so it is true that there is a difference with the past years. However, this doesn’t mean that we’re not as active as before internally, which I think is the most important thing to preserve in a micronation. We’ve become a bit like our long-time friend and ally, Flandrensis: we exist, we do things as usual, but we don’t publish it much, and many see it as a decline in internal activity. It’s more complicated than what it looks like.
It’s good to know we’re not in any danger of losing you all! PoliNation 2014 in Italy is only a few months away, an event which you are helping to organise. What else do we have to look forward to during your term of office?
My predecessor, James Lunam, did a wonderful job in preserving the identity of our nation. However, he was mostly seen in the Italophone sector. For instance, he recently set up a journalism award for Italian micronationalists named after Nick Maggiore. I am planning to continue his policy, but increase my presence in the English sector too.
Finally, you have been with the modern St.Charlie right from the beginning, when you took part in the movement that transitioned the old Kingdom into the current Federal Republic. Over five years have passed – are you pleased with how St.Charlie has grown in that time?
Yes, I am very pleased with what we have now. Most micronations die with their founders, and we have reached the point where even those who weren’t there in 2008 are political leaders and active citizens. So far, it’s probably the thing I am most proud of.
Good luck for your term, your excellency, and thank you for your time.
Thanks a lot!
Residents of Wrythe this morning celebrated Pancake Day – also known as Shrove Tuesday – the day before Lent in Western Christianity.
The tradition in Britain is for pancakes to be made on this day, due to Lent having been a time of fasting from animal products, with milk and eggs needing to be used up. Although fasting during Lent is now rarely observed so strictly in western Europe, the tradition of making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday remained in Britain, and has been continued by the population of Austenasia.
Pancakes were cooked this morning in the Imperial Kitchen and enjoyed by the Crown Princess, Emperor Mother and Emperor Father. The Emperor himself was not present due to currently living in university accommodation at Roehampton.