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Emperor Jonathan I celebrates ten years on the Throne

20 January 2023 1 comment

It was ten years ago today – 20 January 2013 – that His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I ascended to the Austenasian Throne.

To mark this momentous occasion, today’s Imperial Ascension Day – an annual public holiday – has been declared the start of a Decennalia year, during which various celebratory events will take place to observe the tenth anniversary of the Emperor’s first year on the Throne.

Emperor Jonathan I has published an Imperial Edict thanking those who have supported him in his reign and recommitting himself to the promises made at his coronation.

The Edict also contains a small honours list. The Emperor’s cousin Lord Timothy has been made Archduke of Gallia, and three other imperial rulers – Quentin I and the deputy monarchs of Imvrassia – have been given Austenasian dukedoms.

To further mark today’s jubilee, His Imperial Majesty also donated coins of historical emperors to the Imperial Numismatic Museum.

The first major Decennalia event is an online chess tournament which will take place tomorrow, in which twenty people are expected to take part.

Jonathan I is the fourth Emperor of Austenasia, and the only one to have reached this milestone of ten years on the Throne.

He became Emperor upon the abdication of his immediate predecessor Declan I, having been Heir to the Throne as son of Austenasia’s founding Monarch, Terry I.

His Imperial Majesty will address the Senate on this momentous occasion later today.

Consuls appointed for 2023

Lord William Wilson, Duke of Taysha, yesterday as Prime Minister appointed the two Consuls for 2023.

Annually appointed to a yearly term, the Consuls are Austenasia’s highest judicial authorities, responsible for sentencing convicted criminals. In following ancient Roman practice, they also give their names to the year.

This year’s Consuls have been announced as Shiro Mephistopheles and Sir Anthony Clark.

Mephistopheles previously served as Minister of Defence from 2018-19, and was recently elected Chairman of the Grand Unified Micronational.

Sir Anthony has served as Attorney-General since 2020, and also holds office as Governing Commissioner of Amerdansk.

Both became Austenasian nationals on the same day, 6 August 2018.

Consular years are named in Latin; 2023 is therefore the year of the consulship of Lucinus Mephistopheles and Antonius Clericii Eques.

PM hosts online charity fundraiser Christmas event

Lord Wilson in yesterday’s video conference call

Yesterday saw the Prime Minister, Lord William Wilson, hold an online Christmas celebration to raise money for charity.

The event – the second of its kind – was held on the instant messaging platform Discord, taking the form of a video and voice conference.

Lasting an impressive length of eleven hours, and with a total of thirteen Austenasian and foreign dignitaries taking part, the event was held to raise awareness and encourage donations for the Red Cross relief efforts in Ukraine.

A total of £78 in declared donations was reported.

The conference call saw a Christmas-themed quiz, as well as other online games, and friendly discussion among those taking part.

The fundraiser was held as part of 2022’s annual December charity drive by the Order of Saint Constantine – Austenasia’s Christian philanthropic order of chivalry – which this year is focusing its efforts on Ukraine.

New Town claimed in Colorado

The new Town of Chandler

A new Austenasian Town has been founded after a family of three in Colorado claimed their home for the Empire.

The Colquhoun family contacted Emperor Jonathan I with a request to join Austenasia, and after supplying the necessary information their house was formally annexed earlier today as the Town of Chandler.

The now Lord Michael Colquhoun has been appointed Baron of Chandler, as well as its Acting Representative.

A local election for Chandler – as well as for the similarly young town of Valens – is expected to be held early next year to secure a democratic mandate for parliamentary representation.

With Parliament being in recess for the festive period, the annexation was enacted through an Imperial Decree, which will be put before the House of Representatives to be formally ratified after the holiday season.

This marks the first time that Austenasia has had eleven towns. The Empire previously held a record number of ten towns from January 2015 to September 2016, a number briefly reached again in February 2020, and again since May this year.

Emperor chairs GUM summit in London

Grove Vale Library, East Dulwich

Yesterday saw an international summit organised by the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) held in London, chaired by Emperor Jonathan I.

The GUM, founded in 2009, is the oldest and largest international organisation for small unrecognised independence movement and “micronations”.

The Emperor took office as Chair of the GUM on 6 September earlier this year – the fourth time he has held the position – after winning a snap election called after the resignation of the previous Chair following a chaotic time in the organisation.

Jonathan I was elected on a platform of restoring order to the GUM – a task which it is fair to say has been achieved – as well as on several specific pledges, foremost of which was organising an in-person summit before his term ended with the New Year.

The GUM ordinarily conducts its meetings – formal sessions of official business being called Quorums – online, and has only held two in-person summits in its history.

The first took place in July 2012, immediately following the famous PoliNation summit in London. Representatives of several GUM member states were gathered in one place, and took the opportunity to hold a physical Quorum.

The second was a less spontaneous affair, held in Birmingham in 2019, and was organised by Adam I, Emperor of Adammia, the then Chair.

It had been proposed for the Birmingham summit to inaugurate a tradition of annual meetings, but this hope was dashed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With life now returning to normal, Jonathan I was able to organise yesterday’s summit, and chair the third in-person GUM Quorum.

The summit was held at Grove Vale Library in East Dulwich, London. Four GUM member states were represented in person: Austenasia (by Jonathan I), Adammia (by Adam I), and also the Serene Beaconite Republic (by James Frisch) and Elmwycke (by Larry Martin).

Also in attendance was Lord Mike Lewis, Prime Minister of Lundenwic, a nation which is no longer a GUM member but has been in the past and is interested in re-applying for membership.

A higher turnout was expected, but some prospective attendees had to drop out, including the Emperor’s Vice-Chair, Newton von Uberquie.

The minimum number of delegations required for a Quorum meeting to take place is eight; with only four member states present, a “hybrid” Quorum was held, with the summit meeting being livestreamed and delegations able to participate online.

The formal Quorum meeting held during the summit addressed some routine votes on membership issues, and also discussed a possible replacement for Diplomabear (a toy animal posted between different countries on a “diplomatic tour”) and campaigning regulations for future GUM elections.

The summit also saw two presentations, one on early Adammic history and its legacy, and one on the flag of Elmwycke.

Emperor Jonathan I is the only person to have been present at all three in-person Quorums, and Adam I and Lord Lewis the only other two people to have been present at more than one.

Territorial changes see population increase

2 December 2022 2 comments
Valens (left) and Ganapati Vihar (right)

The population of Austenasia has reached 110 upon various changes made to its territorial make-up.

Thursday 1st December saw an Act of Parliament passed which annexed a new town, Valens, as well as a new Crown Dependency, Ganapati Vihar.

Valens, annexed from Montreal in Canada, has a population of six, making it the Empire’s joint most populous land claim alongside Chalcedon. It is comprised of a three-floor apartment building, all the inhabitants of which have signed a request to joing Austenasia.

Ganapati Vihar, annexed from Kolkata in India, is uninhabited, and consists of a currently uninhabited residential property claimed for Austenasia by its owner, Soumyadip Sengupta.

Three other changes were also made which affected the demographic and administrative make-up of the Empire.

First, New Flat Rock, which was founded as a Town in December 2020, has been transitioned into a Crown Dependency. This is primarily due to none of it residents wishing to serve as an active Representative, while at the same time they wish to retain Austenasian nationality. It will therefore be governed autonomously by its former Representative, Lord Hunter Prater, as Governing Commissioner.

Second, Oberfalcer – a Territory annexed from France in August 2019 – has been dissolved after its founder and governor, Lord Paccard, dropped out of contact with the government last year.

Lastly, Austenasian subjectship was removed from Lord Paccard, together with another Austenasian non-residential subject who is likewise believed to have no desire to retain nationality, while also being granted to the Empire’s newly appointed Ambassador to the Philippines, Manuel Salta.

Although the cession of Oberfalcer has resulted in a net loss of territory, the annexation of Valens and the grant of subjectship to Mr Salta has raised the total number of Austenasians to 110, 76 of whom live in Austenasian land claims.

Jonathan I and Princess Hannah marry

8 November 2022 2 comments

Emperor Jonathan I and the now Empress Hannah have been married in two ceremonies over the last few days.

The couple were legally wed in a Church of England ceremony on Saturday 5th November, and their marriage was then celebrated according to the rites of the Orthodox Church on Monday 7th.

The decision to hold two ceremonies was taken by the couple in order to emphasis equal respect for both of their respective religious traditions.

The Anglican service, held on Saturday 5th, took place in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Beddington, the parish attended by the Empress by her family during her childhood.

This was followed by a reception at a golf course conference centre by Oaks Park.

The Orthodox service, held on Monday 7th, took place in the Church of Ss. Constantine and Helen, attended by the Emperor since he joined the Orthodox Church in July 2011. It was livestreamed by Emperor Father Terry in the official Austenasia Facebook group, and followed by a celebratory buffet.

Both services were attended by many of the friends and family of the imperial couple, as well as various state dignitaries.

Emperor Adam I of Adammia and King Calum I of the Grove – the former of whom served as one of Jonathan I’s groomsmen – attended both services, and the former Emperor Esmond III attended the Orthodox service.

Lord Timothy, the Emperor’s cousin, was his best man, and his sister Crown Princess Caroline was another of his groomspeople.

Lord John Gordon, former Prime Minister, had planned to attend as another of the Emperor’s groomsmen, but was unfortunately unable to make it due to illness.

Congratulations have been pouring in from numerous well-wishers from across the globe. The Prime Minister, Lord William Wilson, designed an arms of alliance for the imperial couple in his capacity as Chief Herald, which was prominently displayed behind their table at Saturday’s wedding reception and referenced in the Emperor’s speech.

The imperial couple first met on 11 November 2011, began a romantic relationship on 5 November 2015, and were engaged in September 2016. Their engagement lasted several years, due to the desire to complete their university degrees before focusing on wedding planning.

The Empress has reigned as Princess of Wildflower Meadows since May 2016. As this position is that of a sovereign head of state, she will likely continue to go by Princess in various contexts.

New Mascot of the Order of the Bullmastiff appointed

Penny photographed in August this year

After a vacancy lasting the better part of five years, a new Mascot has been named for the Order of the Bullmastiff.

Penny, a bullmastiff born in April 2020 who is owned by a family friend of the Imperial Family, was named to the position by Emperor Jonathan I earlier today.

The Order of the Bullmastiff is an Austenasian order of chivalry, and the only one to have a Mascot.

The bullmastiff is the national animal of Austenasia, and as such the Mascot serves almost as the ceremonial embodiment of such.

When the Order was founded by Emperor Terry I in January 2009, the Imperial Family had a pet bullmastiff, Rose, who was named Mascot of the Order. After Rose’s death in 2014, she was succeeded as Mascot by the Imperial Family’s other pet bullmastiff, Edd, and after his death in 2017, the position was taken by Rose’s daughter Lily (who did not live with the Imperial Family).

However, upon Lily’s death the following year, the position fell vacant.

Provision had been made for this, with a dog of another breed able to be appointed Honorary Mascot to fill the vacancy. The first Honorary Mascot was Cleo, family pet of the Emperor’s fiancee Princess Hannah. After Cleo’s death last year, a second Honorary Mascot was named as Ralph, family pet of former Prime Minister Lord John Gordon.

Now that a new Mascot has been found in Penny, the two shall serve concurrently. Ralph shall continue to hold the position of Honorary Mascot for the rest of his life, but no replacement will be appointed while a Mascot proper remains in office.

Although born in Cheshire, Penny was exported over to in Spain, where her owners currently live. She comes from a prestigious showing pedigree, with her father having won Best in Breed at Crufts in 2018.

Penny also has familial connections to each of the Imperial Family’s two pet bullmastiffs, being the great-x3 niece both of Rose and of Edd.

Emperor pays tribute to Elizabeth II

His Imperial Majesty has released the following statement after learning yesterday of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II:

It was with great sadness and shock that Our Imperial Majesty yesterday learnt of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Having achieved a great age of 96, it was not a surprise; but it was a shock. The end of a reign which lasted for over seventy years could be nothing else. Her passing is a moment of historical significance equalled by little any of us have experienced. It is truly the end of an era.

A person who has been an ever-constant presence in the background of our lives has now gone. A symbol par excellence of continuity, dignity, stability, identity, constancy, diplomacy, and duty; gone.

Austenasia has always promoted an identity for its people that has complemented rather than conflicted with their existing nationalities. It is due to this that the Imperial Family mourns not just the Queen, but our Queen. We mourn not just as Austenasians, but as Britons. As well as British Austenasians, there are also Austenasians who are Canadian and Australian. Elizabeth II was Queen of just over a quarter of the Austenasian population, and so her death is a blow to our nation as well. The Austenasian Star is flying from the Imperial Residence today vertically, in its customary position of mourning, and as Emperor of Austenasia, our Imperial Majesty pays respectful tribute to the life, reign, and memory of Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty was last pictured at the start of this week as she exercised her constitutional duty in the appointment of a new British Prime Minister. Although frail, she was standing and smiling, and few us of who saw those photographs would have imagined she would be dead in two days. Even in the very last days of her life, she carried on working until the very end, performing her duty to her country and her people, informed and inspired by her strong Christian faith. She was, a paragon of duty and service, who dedicated her life to her people until its very end, and a true example to us all.

ICJA
Wrythe, 9 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died after a reign of 70 years.

Emperor Jonathan I has announced an Empire-wide state of mourning to last until the Queen’s funeral.

For the first four and a half years of the Empire of Austenasia, its entire population also owed allegiance to Queen Elizabeth as sovereign of the United Kingdom, with which all Austenasians up to that point were dual citizens.

Even today, due to the various dual nationalities of all Austenasians, Elizabeth II was the joint sovereign of over a quarter of the Austenasian population (27.6%; 29 out of 105).

Elizabeth II is now succeeded as monarch by her son Charles, formerly Prince of Wales, who met Crown Princess Caroline in March earlier this year.

Shortly after learning of her death, Emperor Father Terry led a formal toast to the Queen’s memory in Parliament Hall.

Furthermore, Lord John Gordon, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has suspended all parliamentary business.

Full and official tributes to Queen Elizabeth II will be released by the Austenasian Throne and government in due course.

Born on 21 April 1926, Elizabeth II became Queen upon the death of her father King George VI on 6 February 1952. As well as reigning over the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II held the thrones of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and ten other Commonwealth Realms.