Her Imperial Highness Crown Princess Caroline has celebrated her 16th birthday.
Presents and cards were opened in the Imperial Residence in the morning, with the immediate Imperial Family going out for lunch in the early afternoon.
The Crown Princess was presented with a birthday cake in the evening.
As Heir to the Throne, Crown Princess Caroline has automatically become a member of the Privy Council upon turning 16.
The status of Austenasian subjects has been bestowed upon some members of the Austenasian government who did not already hold it, increasing the population to 36.
Subjectship was given to Dux Sir Joseph Kennedy, Governing Commissioner of New Richmond; Tribune Jacob Lewis, Governing Commissioner of Terentia; and Prince Andrew I, Governor of Corinium Terentium.
These three individuals have governed Austenasian land for several months now, but remained citizens of foreign countries (the USA and Ashukovo, the USA and Juclandia, and the UK and Sabovia respectively). Having been given the option to become Austenasian nationals, these officials accepted and were granted the status by Parliament earlier today.
Austenasia has laws forbidding dual citizenship with any country other than the UK in most cases, but Parliament has the power to make exceptions to these rules.
The other three Governing Commissioners of the Empire have been given until 1 July to accept the offer of Austenasian subjectship, until which they can be granted the status by a mere public declaration of the Monarch.
Members of the population can be either subjects or residents, or hold both statuses simultaneously. Residents are those who live in the Empire (currently 30 people) whereas subjects are those who have the right to vote in a general election. While most subjects also live in the Empire, not all do – as well as the three people granted subjectship today, the status is also held by former emperor Esmond III and by two military veterans, all non-residents.
Warm weather has resulted in the water which had been flowing into the Copanese capital drying up.
The flood began on 8 January earlier this year after heavy rain throughout the winter made an old source of the River Wandle flow for the first time in 15 years. A usually dry riverbed, the Westcroft Canal, filled with water which flowed into the capital of Copan, the Secluded Place, and through it out onto the Plain of Copan (a large field which comprises the majority of the kingdom) to cause flooding.
Recent warm weather had caused the water on the Plain of Copan to recede considerably, but until recently water was still flowing into the Secluded Place. This was still the case – albeit at a greatly diminished rate – on Tuesday 13th May, but it was today reported that the water level in Westcroft Canal had fallen to the extent that water was no longer flowing into the Secluded Place.
The water which had been flooding the Secluded Place and flowing out from it onto the Plain of Copan has now mostly drained away, with some large puddles remaining.
For the first time since the start of the year, the Secluded Place is can now be accessed due to no longer being underwater. However, Smoker’s Wall, a large set of brick and cement steps which are the main entrance to the capital, has been badly damaged by the water, with a breach in the wall and a large crack in the steps.
Bits of masonry from Smoker’s Wall and other pieces of assorted debris brought there by the flow of the water now litter the ground of the Secluded Place, but the news has been happily welcomed by Copanese citizens that the flood is finally over.
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I has become the new owner of MicroWiki.org after buying it from former owner Pierre d’Égtavie.
D’Égtavie, who has hosted the website since it became independent from the Wikia organisation in November 2010, announced via Facebook at the start of the month that he was “looking to transfer ownership of the site to someone who… [he felt could] keep it alive”.
The Emperor put in a bid for the website, which was soon accepted in principle, with details of the transferral of ownership being discussed over several days. The transferral of ownership took place this afternoon, with the Emperor taking control of the financial and administrative management of the website.
MicroWiki is a website that hosts a wiki and forums which are a major focal point for the foreign relations of Austenasia and many of the states with which it has the closest diplomatic relations, with a vibrant community of politicians and diplomats having grown up around it since the first incarnation of the wiki was founded in 2005.
The acquisition of the website by the Emperor has already been welcomed by several individuals on its forums, as well as via Skype and Facebook.
An urn containing Rose’s ashes was brought to the Imperial Residence this morning.
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor himself escorted the urn to Wrythe from the veterinary clinic where Rose, pet bullmastiff of the Imperial Family, was put to sleep on 24 April after suffering from lung cancer.
The urn has been placed on a table in Bullmastiff Hall, along with a small vase of flowers and some plush toys which were affectionately termed Rose’s “babies” during her lifetime.
The urn will remain in Bullmastiff Hall – almost a sort of lying in state – until Emperor Father Terry returns on Monday 19th from a trip to northern England visiting friends. It is planned for the urn to be buried in Wrythe Pet Cemetery at some point next week after a short ceremony.
An Imperial Decree yesterday withdrew Austenasia’s recognition of New Wessex as a sovereign state after it was learnt that the latter has “effectively collapsed”.
The United Kingdom of New Wessex was founded in January 2012 as the latest in a long line of successor states of a civilisation based in Wiltshire which could trace itself back to 1995. However, it was recently learnt that any governance of the kingdom has effectively ceased.
New Wessex and its predecessor states were absolute monarchies, ruled for the most part by Declan I, who also reigned as Emperor of Austenasia between December 2010 and January 2013 before abdicating and being succeeded by the incumbent Emperor Jonathan I.
Austenasia entered into diplomacy with Moylurg (a predecessor of New Wessex) in June 2010, and held very close relations with the kingdom until after the abdication of Declan I from Austenasia, which he had tended to see more as a colonial holding of his native kingdom.
Relations between Jonathan I and Declan I quickly deteriorated after the abdication, with the final straw breaking on 24 June later that year when Orly was liberated from the foreign rule of the latter.
Very little is known to have been done by Declan I in regards to the governance of New Wessex since its foundation beyond the designing of national symbols and the granting of titles to family members. According to a source close to the Emperor, Declan has no longer “got much time” for New Wessex.
Despite mutual recognition having been nominally maintained between New Wessex and the Empire after the Liberation of Orly, the last vestiges of diplomatic relations were cut in August last year. Anti-Wessaxon sentiment has since been high in Austenasia and in the wider Carshalton Nations – for example, in late 2013 the cipher of Declan I was erased from the Copanese Regnal List in an act of vandalism by an unknown Orlian citizen.
Both kingdoms of Orly became protected states of Austenasia after their liberation, with their governments requesting defence against any prospective attempts by New Wessex to reconquer them. This would now no longer seem to be a threat. It is likely that many in the Carshalton Nations will celebrate the demise of New Wessex alongside the anniversary of Orly’s liberation on 24 June.
Austenasia has become the first government in the world to ban the importation and trade of palm oil.
Palm oil is a vegetable oil which is produced in a way which is extremely damaging to the environment, with mass deforestation leading to huge amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and to the loss of precious habitat for critically endangered species such as the Sumatran rhinoceros and orangutan.
Under new legislation passed this morning, the intentional importation or trade of palm oil is now punishable by a fine of between £5 and £15. An Imperial Decree passed shortly afterwards made an exception for importing palm oil to be used for medical reasons, but this can only be done with the permission of the Representative of one’s Town.
Palm oil is in many products, such as several brands of peanut butter. However, because only the intentional importation and trade of palm oil is banned, negligent importation and trade of products containing it (e.g., not checking ingredient labels) would not be prosecuted. The main aim of this legislation is to raise awareness of the environmental damage caused by the production of the oil.
The ban only applies to Austenasian Towns and Territories, with Crown Dependencies free to choose whether or not to implement it. Palm oil has already been banned in the Crown Dependency of New Richmond since last year.
The Palm Act 2014 was passed by three votes to two in the House of Representatives after having been written and proposed by newly appointed Minister for the Environment, Lord Hengest Crannis, yesterday evening. Lord Hengest has written a message concerning the reasons behind the ban, which can be read here.