Centuria II Ondiara, a naval unit of the Austenasian Army, has been established at the Crown Dependency of Shineshore after a meeting of military leaders on Skype yesterday evening.
The meeting saw Emperor Jonathan I, defence minister Lord Marshal William, North American commander Dux Sir Joseph Kennedy, and air force head Sir Ash (formerly Micheal) Mitchell discuss several matters relating to the Austenasian Armed Forces.
The first matter of discussion was the merger of the air forces as directed by the Armed Forces Act passed last year. The Imperial Air Force (IAF) was founded in October 2009 and disestablished five months later before being re-established in January 2012. In December 2010, though, Zephyria founded its own militia air force with permission from Parliament, which had remained independent from the IAF. It was decided that the Zephyrian Air Force would be disbanded and its members join the IAF, with Lord Marshal William keeping his rank of Marshal.
The next topic on the agenda was a small fleet of four vessels offered to the Austenasian Armed Forces by Shineshore, a crown dependency of Austenasia that had joined the Empire earlier in the month. It was decided that instead of refounding the Imperial Navy (a short-lived branch of the armed forces which existed in name only between October 2009 and March 2010), the vessels would become a naval unit of the Austenasian Army, with their unit being officially founded earlier today as Centuria II Ondiara.
Centuria II Ondiara is comprised of three soldiers, with two kayaks and two stand-up paddle-boards. It is the first proper naval force ever controlled by Austenasia, and gives the Empire a naval presence on Lake Ontario.
Their Majesty King Astrid, known outside of Zealandia as Anna Lindstrom and formerly known as Haakon, is King of Zealandia and Governing Commissioner of the Austenasian Crown Dependency of New South Scotland.
King Astrid changed her name from Haakon after announcing earlier this year that she was female, and is the first openly transgender monarch known to have ruled in the modern era. The Austenasian Times has conducted an interview with the King:
Austenasian Times: After adopting the name Haakon a few years ago, you have recently asked to be known instead by the name of Anna. Could you tell us about your reasons behind that decision?
Yes, I changed my name to reflect my gender identification pretty much after coming out. I feel it reflects my gender more better.
You’ve previously identified as “genderqueer” – now, however, you identify as female, correct?
Yes, it was a process of working through what was inside my head.
The right to change the gender by which one is identified is included under Article XII of the Austenasian Constitution – what laws does Zealandia have regarding transgender rights?
Zealandia has a whole suite of laws for recognition of a person’s gender identity and the right to change gender and name, and to protect from discrimination, including the basic protections given in the constitution and the Gender Recognition Act 2014, which also allows a person to change their documents free of charge.
You’re the first openly transgender monarch in modern history, and your change of identity seems to have been readily accepted by many of those in the MicroWiki community. What do you think this says?
It says that the MicroWiki community is far more progressive and accepting of people than the communities outside of micronationalism. Of course there are exceptions such as Trace Fleeman, but fascists and their opinions have never mattered much to me.
Have you had much opposition to your change of identity?
Yes, both from within my family and from the wider Australian community. Members of my family have had a hard time understanding my identity, and pronouns are always a problem for them; as for the wider community, I have when dressed in feminine clothing I have been threatened with violence and had transphobic slurs hurled my way.
Do you have any plans to undergo surgery to change your appearance?
Unfortunately Medicare doesn’t cover any form of GRS [gender-reassignment surgery], so despite wanting to fix my appearance there is no way that I could afford it at the moment or for a long time. However it is important to note that surgery doesn’t make the woman or man.
Finally, as well as King of Zealandia you also serve as Governing Commissioner of New South Scotland. You recently made Swedish an official language of the Crown Dependency – is there anything else planned for New South Scotland in the near future?
With winter coming in the southern hemisphere, things are starting to get fairly quiet but no doubt I’ll come up with some exciting plans for both the Commonwealth of Zealandia and New South Scotland.
Thank you for your time, your Majesty.
Rose, beloved pet bullmastiff of the Imperial Family, has died aged 7 years old.
Condolences have been pouring in after the news was announced on Facebook earlier today. Rose, whose pedigree name was Bramarley Paloma of Carothan, was Mascot of the Order of the Bullmastiff – effectively the embodiment of the Empire’s national animal. She has been succeeded by Edd, the other pet bullmastiff owned by the Imperial Family.
Rose outlived all her siblings by over ten months, and is thought to have been the last surviving member of the Bramarley kennel. She was born on 17 June 2006 and bought by the future Imperial Family a few months later. Descended from the prestigious Oldwell and Graecia kennels, Rose began to attend dog shows in January 2007 and qualified for Crufts both in 2008 and 2010.
In April 2008, Rose qualified to become a Pets As Therapy dog, and over the following year made trips to a residential home for the elderly to provide friendly company to those there. Despite having a naturally gentle temperament, bullmastiffs rarely qualify for PAT dogs, and so this achievement was such that an article welcoming her to the institution was published in Dog World magazine.
Rose gave birth on 27 June 2010 to her only daughter, Lilly, who currently lives in Surrey.
It is planned for Rose to be cremated and her ashes to be buried in Wrythe Pet Cemetery after a ceremony next month.
Easter was celebrated yesterday by the Imperial Family, and across the Empire.
Easter Sunday, which is an official public holiday in Austenasia, was celebrated with members of the Boxall family (the relatives of the Emperor Mother) visiting the Imperial Residence, where a meal of roast lamb was eaten. Chocolate Easter eggs had already been handed out amongst the Imperial Family at the start of the day.
Commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the day was also observed with attendance at church services. His Imperial Majesty the Emperor went to a midnight service on Saturday evening at the Greek Orthodox Church of Ss Constantine and Helen, and the other members of the Imperial Family went to a morning service at Carshalton Methodist Church. Crown Princess Caroline was given a bag of chocolate eggs by the Emperor to share amongst the children at the latter church.
Despite four separate pieces of land joining the Empire only yesterday, Austenasia has expanded once again this evening with the annexation of East Wrythe.
This piece of land, comprised of a garden, has been annexed as an exclave of Wrythe, situated roughly a third of a mile from the main town, on a large island of the River Wandle which was named the Island of Wrythe on 10 January earlier this year.
This is the first time that the territorial composition of Wrythe has changed since March 2011, when a small piece of land bordering Wrythe granted to the Slinky Empyre was re-annexed after the latter polity collapsed.
East Wrythe is adjacent to the house of Queen Emma I of Copan, and has been granted extraterritoriality as an embassy of Copan. Although under Austenasian sovereignty, Copanese law will apply for as long as East Wrythe remains an embassy. This is the first embassy (not counting the symbolic Crepundia) to be founded in the Empire.
Seven people and over 64,000 square feet of land have joined the Empire of Austenasia in four simultaneous annexations.
In Canada, a new Crown Dependency known as Shineshore has been annexed. Situated on the shore of Lake Ontario, it is the first time that the Empire has had a coastline of any sort, and a prospective naval force is currently being discussed. Shineshore, with a population of five, is governed by Lord Alastair Cranston.
Lord Alastair is also owner of a second addition to the Empire, the Territory of Beith Craobh Iostan on the Scottish isle of Coll. This land features a newly-built holiday house, uninhabited for most of the year.
The third expansion made by the Empire has been to the already existing Territory of Emperorsland, which has annexed the adjacent house lived in by its governor, Lord Hengest Crannis (formerly known as Karanys Dómynus and Theledir the Wight). The annexation of this house has transitioned the Territory of Emperorsland into the Empire’s fifth Town, now known as Lichtenstein, of which Lord Hengest has been appointed Acting Representative.
The fourth annexation made by Austenasia this evening – all of which were put into effect by an Act of Parliament – has been of the Territory of Glencoe, ten square feet of land also in Scotland and owned by Lord Hengest. Neither Glencoe or Beith Craobh Iostan have had governors appointed to them due to no known suitable candidates living near enough to them.
Emma I was crowned Queen of Copan this afternoon by Emperor Jonathan I.
The Emperor, who appointed Emma I to the Copanese throne in June last year after Copan became independent from Wessaxon rule (along with the neighbouring state of the Grove), placed a silver crown on the Queen’s head with the words “As Emperor of Austenasia and Romanorum Imperator Occidentalis, I crown you Emma I, Queen of Copan.”
The coronation was held at Beddington Park in the United Kingdom. The capital of Copan is still flooded, and so an alternative place for the ceremony had to be found.
This is the first time that the Emperor of Austenasia has physically crowned a vassal monarch. Unlike the coronation of Jonathan I himself, which took place only a month after his ascension to the Throne, the coronation of Emma I has taken place just over nine months into her reign.