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Emperor Grandmother Joyce passes away aged 96

3 November 2018 1 comment

HIH Emperor Grandmother Joyce, 1922-2018

Yesterday evening, HIH Emperor Grandmother Joyce passed away aged 96 after a short illness.

Grandmother to Jonathan I and mother-in-law to former Emperor Terry I, Joyce was born in Essex in 1922. Her family moved to London in 1940, and from 1943-46 she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

On Boxing Day 2008, soon after Austenasian independence, Joyce was given a knighthood by then Emperor Terry I – only the fifth person to be awarded such – after expressing interest in the new Empire.

She was also appointed one of the two annual Consuls in 2016, but otherwise had very little actual involvement in Austenasia and never became an Austenasian subject.

Emperor Jonathan I has requested that a state of mourning be observed through the Empire until the Emperor Grandmother’s funeral, and for the privacy of the Imperial Family to be respected during this time.

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Emperor Jonathan I and Princess Hannah return from Soria

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor and the Princess Consort returned yesterday evening from a nine month stay in the Spanish city of Soria.

Princess Hannah, as part of her university degree, spent the academic year abroad in Spain working as a language assistant in a Spanish primary school. Emperor Jonathan I lived with her for the year.

Emperor Father Terry and Emperor Mother Margaret arrived in Soria on Tuesday to help the couple pack and move out. The four flew back from Spain yesterday evening, arriving at Gatwick Airport.

Imperial Geographical Society Expedition to Soria

The church built over the 6th century hermitage of St Saturio; one of the most iconic sites of Soria.

The Imperial Geographical Society (IGS) yesterday undertook an expedition exploring sites of interest in the Spanish city of Soria, and following part of the course of the Duero River.

The expedition, the members of which consisted of Emperor Jonathan I and his sister Crown Princess Caroline, is the first of the IGS to have taken place outside of the United Kingdom.

The Emperor has been living in the Spanish city of Soria since September with his fiancée Princess Hannah, and will continue to do so until June.

The Crown Princess visited the imperial couple from Tuesday to Friday this week, and on Thursday 12th it was decided to designate a comprehensive tour of Soria’s sites of interest as an official IGS expedition.

The main sites visited on the tour of the city were:

  • An outdoor refuge for stray cats
  • The ruins of the Convent of St Francis (17th century) and of the church of St Ginés (12th century)
  • The churches of St John of Rabanera (12th century), Our Lady of the Hawthorn (16th century), and the Co-Cathedral of St Peter (16th century)
  • The Hermitages of St Saturio and Our Lady of Miron (both 6th century)
  • A hill behind the Hermitage of Miron from which a view of the ruins of Numantia (2nd century BC) can be seen
  • The high street in central Soria

Lily dies aged 7

26 January 2018 2 comments

Lily in 2010, soon after arriving at her new home.

Lily, Mascot of the Order of the Bullmastiff, has died aged 7.

Lily was born in 2010 to Rose, a pet bullmastiff of the Imperial Family who also served as Mascot.

She was sold to a family living in the British county of Surrey, and was visited by members of the Imperial Family in 2010 and 2011. Upon the death of Edd in April last year, Lily was appointed the Order of the Bullmastiff’s new Mascot.

Lily’s death was announced earlier this evening by her owners. She had been experiencing health issues since late last year.

Lily was the last surviving member of the Carothan kennel of bullmastiffs, and her death has left the position of Mascot vacant for the first time since its creation by Terry I in January 2009. If no bullmastiff can be found, there is provision for a dog of another breed to be appointed Honorary Mascot.

Jonathan I has sent a message of condolence to Lily’s owners, expressing sympathy at her death and thanking them for giving her a loving home.

First IGS Expedition held under new rules

Emperor Mother Margaret and Emperor Father Terry photograph the Kingsmere pond on Wimbledon Common.

The extended Imperial Family yesterday embarked on their annual New Year’s walk on Wimbledon Common, classified as an Imperial Geographical Society expedition under new rules for the organisation.

In an Imperial Edict, Emperor Jonathan I laid out rules for the Imperial Geographical Society (IGS) in regards to its structure and the launching of expeditions.

Any excursion in which two or more IGS members are partaking may be made an official IGS expedition after obtaining authorisation from the Director of the IGS.

Yesterday’s walk, led by Lord Michael, was designated an IGS expedition with four of the eight taking part being members of the society.

It is traditional for the immediate Imperial Family to have a walk on Wimbledon Common with the Boxalls (the family of Emperor Mother Margaret) on New Year’s Day, with the walk moved to 2nd January should the 1st be a Sunday.

The expedition first explored woodland north of the famous Wimbledon Common Windmill, passing by the Queensmere and Kingsmere ponds, and then traversed the golf course and woodland south of the windmill.

In the Imperial Edict, Jonathan I also directed that IGS expeditions “must do everything that is reasonably possible to refrain from damaging the natural environment”.

The Imperial Geographical Society was founded in 2009. Yesterday’s expedition was the fifteenth since its foundation, and the third to Wimbledon Common.

Imperial Engagement Party held

The engagement party in full swing.

Emperor Jonathan I and Princess Consort Hannah yesterday held an engagement party in Wallington.

The couple had announced that they had become engaged to be married on 5 September earlier this year.

The party was held at the Trinity Centre in Wallington.

Emperor Father Terry led the toasts towards the end of the night, and a large buffet was available.

The party was attended by the entire population of Greater Wrythe, members and friends of the extended Imperial Family, family and friends of the Princess Consort, and dignitaries such as the ex-Emperor Esmond III and Wildflowerian nobility.

Interview with Lord Kit McCarthy of Amerdansk

Lord Kit McCarthy is Baron and Governor of the newly annexed Austenasian territory of Amerdansk,  and last year founded the RadioMicro media group and the micronation of Mcarthia (his house in Scotland). He is known for his public criticism of Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy – most recently supporting concerns raised over the Prime Minister’s mandate – and is a prominent figure amongst the newer members of the MicroWiki community. The Austenasian Times has conducted an interview with Lord McCarthy:

Tell us a bit about Amerdansk. What’s it like; what interesting features does it have?

Amerdansk is a patch of land next to Mcarthia’s east border, sitting directly north of Government House – indeed, the President’s Office overlooks it. Mcarthia’s two free range chickens are frequently seen there, along with Mcarthia’s two cats.

The land is accessed by a short narrow path through a wooden frame with various plants growing over it.
Much of the territory is actually covered in thick moss, which in summer gets extremely warm. In fact, two years ago, it got so that residents could see a little steam coming off!

Amerdansk: the Territory governed by Lord Kit McCarthy.

Why did you decide to offer Amerdansk to the Empire?

Mcarthia greatly respects the Empire’s position as a community leader, and on our first anniversary we wished to make something of a contribution. Therefore, the Mcarthian Parliament unanimously agreed to cede the land of Amerdansk to the Empire.

We also hoped that after the – ahem – ‘Austenasian Election Affair,’ relations could be improved between the two nations.

There have in the past been tensions between yourself and the Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Kennedy. Can you see this being a problem for your position in the Empire?

I would be lying if I said I approved of all the Prime Minister’s actions, and that is common knowledge. At times, I have found the Prime Minister to be offensive, and believe that some of his actions have been inappropriate for someone of his position.

However, he has been democratically elected, and no matter what issues I may have with him, if the electorate trusts him, I will of course support his position.

I have no desire to fight further, and hope that we can respect each other – accepting, but not dwelling on past events. So long as he is also prepared to accept that, I hope there will not be any further problems between us.

You’ve recently advocated for the Grand Unified Micronational to return to being a full-blown intergovernmental organisation. Could you tell us a bit about your reasons for this, and what you think it would take to be a success?

The GUM was fairly undeniably the most successful of all the micronational organisations, even considering its eventual demise. I have been discussing with a senior member of the community the possibility of the GUM once again becoming active in its previous style.

The community, I have long believed, needs some kind of focal point. Even disasters such as the MNTO brought the community together, and created activity (even if it wasn’t always the activity we wanted…). Despite their bad name, organisations are a good way of encouraging participation in the community, and helping us stay attractive to new and younger members.

I think that with genuine careful planning, and the support of major micronations, the GUM has a hope of becoming a ‘real’ organisation.

It is an unfortunate fact that most, if not all, organised micronational activity does not last forever. I suppose the essential reason for this is that micronationalism is for many a hobby, and is not essential to people’s lives. So what if an organisation collapses? However, this puts many off founding organisations.

We have to accept that there is perfectly good chance that the GUM would not survive again. However, I don’t think this should put us off. If it doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world. It’ll have given us all something to do!

Any efforts however would face a dilemma – the GUM survived while it did primarily because it was full of extremely experienced, respected nations. However, in my discussions with others, it is clear that many would see a new GUM primarily as a project for newer nations. Concerns have been raised that younger micronationalists have no role model, if you will. People see a need, and I think I agree, for an organisation that would mentor MicroWiki’s younger members, and give them valuable political and professional experience.

But then, there is a problem. If an organisation is focused towards younger nations, many of the more experienced nations might not be so interested in joining. And if we don’t have the experienced members, long term success would prove much harder. A very careful balance would need to be struck.

Absolutely meticulous planning would be required, probably months’ worth, and all of the essential technical and legal infrastructure would have to be in place before the organisation began again. One of the major problems the Nollandish Confederacy suffered was a lack of this. All our activities revolved around self-management because the system wasn’t effectively working when the organisation began. Work was divided into two categories – elections (taking 80-90% of our time), and attempting to pass legislation relating to governance and management. We were inflated by unimaginable amounts of bureaucracy.

What should be happening ideally is that the members of an organisation shouldn’t have to bother with this. Administration should, as much as possible, be taken care of behind the scenes.

We couldn’t afford this in a new organisation. Elections would have to take less than no time, and the Constitution should mean that self-governing legislation shouldn’t be necessary. A new organisation would have to hit the ground running.

What happened with the Confederacy was that a complete lack of anything useful being done meant that no one bothered to even vote on all the pointless legislation. No one cared. What others and myself were trying to do later in the Confederacy’s life was introduce some kind of projects – there was a guide for new micronationalists, for instance, or a Confederal games. It was too late.

A new organisation would have to be kept simple. A simple electoral system would be a key example. I have found that organisation designers are somewhat in awe of very complicated electoral systems that might produce a decent result but are absolutely impossible to run. They were the death of the Confederacy, I am fairly sure.

So then, to sum up (and I apologise for a very long answer): a new organisation would have to have confidence, experienced members, a very wide support base, a balance between providing for experienced members and younger members, extremely careful planning, a pre-prepared infrastructure, and a simple governance system. Heaven knows that’s not all, but it’s a start, and if we can get that, I think we’d have a decent chance.

Thank you for your time.