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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
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Kingdom of Vikesland dissolved

King Christopher I, the first and last monarch of Vikesland.

In an announcement yesterday evening on Facebook, King Christopher I of Vikesland announced the dissolution of the kingdom.

The now former king stated that it had become “painfully clear that I could no longer move Vikesland forward and give it the time and resources needed to make it a worthy micro state in the future. My film career and that thing we call life unfortunately needs my attention more. With those left helping me in agreement, we have decided to shut down Vikesland and go our separate ways.”

Initially founded in 2005 as the Principality of Vikesland, the nation rose to fame after it was featured in the 2006 book Micronations: The Lonely Planet Guide to Home-Made Nations, and the then Prince Christopher was hosted in a high-profile state visit to the Republic of Molossia in June 2008.

Further achievements of Vikesland include sending its flag to the edge of space by sponsoring a launch by a private spaceflight company in August 2008, and engaging in an aid mission to rural Cuba in February 2009.

In October 2009, Vikesland became the first nation with which the Empire signed a formal diplomatic treaty, having entered into a state of mutual recognition in June earlier that year. The leaders of both nations continued to maintain friendly contact, exchanging Christmas cards and the like.

Messages were sent to the now former King Christopher by Emperor Jonathan I and Prime Minister Lord Admiral Kennedy, thanking the King for his nation’s friendship with Austenasia.

Racist Representative removed

Daniel Dankovsky – also known as Pavle Savovic – has been removed from Parliament for racist remarks.

Jovanovo was yesterday transitioned from a Town into a Crown Dependency in order to remove its now former Representative, Daniel Dankovsky, from Parliament.

Concerns over the behaviour of Dankovsky had been consistently raised both by members of Cabinet and by foreign leaders since he led Jovanovo – an enclave of Montenegro with a population of twelve – into Austenasia in August last year.

Introducing the legislation to downgrade Jovanovo, Emperor Jonathan I summarised what the other members of Parliament already knew; that “for the past seven months the Representative of Jovanovo has made frequent attempts to advocate fascist ideals within Austenasian government. He has consistently displayed a lack of respect towards Austenasia’s government, both in terms of the constitutional system and its members, and he has often publicly expressed views which are repugnant to the majority of decent people to the embarrasment of our nation.”

As early as October last year, Prime Minister Lord Admiral Kennedy found himself in the situation of having to release a statement clarifying that Dankovsky in no way represented Austenasia in a diplomatic context, after a series of controversial messages posted by the latter online.

On Sunday evening, the final line was crossed when Dankovsky posted in a Skype chatroom of diplomats and politicians that “Lower races should truly know their place.”

With unanimous agreement in Cabinet that the imperial government must distance itself from Dankovsky, the legislation to downgrade Jovanovo was entered into force under four hours after being introduced in Parliament, the fastest passage of an Act since records with timestamps began to be kept in late 2016.

The Emperor has also revealed to the Austenasian Times that Dankovsky had approached him in private requesting that the constitution be overthrown in favour of absolutist rule, and had recently suggested that the guarantee of basic human rights be legally denied to “Blacks, Muslims or Jews”.

The passage by Parliament yesterday of the Jovanovo Act 2018 has removed all Austenasian titles, offices and honours from Dankovsky. It also contains a paragraph condemning racism and racialism.

Speaking to Parliament, Prime Minister Kennedy stated that “Fascism and racism have no place in our Empire.”

Now removed from all positions of authority on a national level, Dankovsky has been made de jure Governing Commissioner of Jovanovo in order to nominally keep it under Austenasian rule, although in reality it is likely that he will soon seek to make it become independent.

UPDATE 23 APRIL 10:30 – Dankovsky has since accepted Jovanovo’s new status as a crown dependency, and openly declared it to follow a right-wing ideology called “Legionarism”. Despite Jovanovo remaining part of the Empire, Dankovsky will be unable from his new position to influence politics on a national level.

Honorary Mascot appointed

Cleo in August last year.

Cleo, pet dog of the family of Princess Hannah, has been appointed the Order of the Bullmastiff’s first Honorary Mascot.

The announcement was made by Emperor Jonathan I earlier today.

Cleo has mixed Border Collie/Alsatian ancestry, and lives with the family of Princess Hannah, the Emperor’s fiancée.

Since 2009, the Order of the Bullmastiff – an Austenasian order of chivalry named after the Empire’s national animal – has had a bullmastiff as its Mascot. However, after the death of Lily last month, the position fell vacant.

With no bullmastiff having been found for the position with suitable ties to the Imperial Family or to the Empire as a whole, the decision was made by the Emperor to appoint an Honorary Mascot, a dog which does not need to be a bullmastiff.

The position of Mascot is entirely ceremonial, and the reason for Cleo’s title including the word “Honorary” is simply to reflect the fact that she is not of the dog breed that the Order is named after.

Even if a bullmastiff should go on to be appointed as Mascot proper during Cleo’s lifetime, she will retain the title of Honorary Mascot.

Senate convened as Emperor celebrates five years on the Throne

The Empire yesterday celebrated Imperial Ascension Day, the yearly anniversary of the reigning Monarch’s ascension to the Throne.

It has now been five years since Emperor Jonathan I accepted the Throne upon the abdication of his predecessor Emperor Declan I.

Yesterday also saw the recently passed Second Amendment to the Constitution formally come into force after having been approved by both a referendum and by Parliament.

As part of the Second Amendment, an Austenasian Senate has been established. The task of the Senate will be to keep the Monarch to account, and as part of this, the Monarch must make a yearly address to the Senate. The first such address was made by the Emperor yesterday to the Senate before being published publicly, and can be read below:

 

To the Most Illustrious Senate, greetings from Our Imperial Majesty!

We are pleased to deliver this address to you, five years since the day we ascended the Throne, on the founding day of an institution that is at once both new and ancient. You inherit the legacy of the Empire’s Senates of old, and we are pleased to have restored this institution.

Austenasia now has seventy nine people and over thirty two hectares of land, spread across every continent in the world but Antarctica. The fifth year of our reign saw sixteen Acts of Parliament, six Imperial Decrees, and seven Imperial Edicts passed. Constitutional amendments were approved by a vote taken by our people in a referendum, and successfully passed into law. The Empire grew with the annexations of the Towns of Ionisia and Jovanovo and the Territory of Hoagland, and diplomatic relations were entered into with Imvrassia, Ashukovo and Daljam.

Perhaps the most momentous event in the past year was the passage of an Act of Parliament in June adopting Christianity as the official religion of Austenasia. This decision was not made lightly, and important questions regarding religious freedom were considered before the Act was passed. Nevertheless, an unanimous vote in Parliament, followed by the majority of the population voting in support of similar measures in the recent referendum, reveals that this decision has been far from unpopular. As Austenasia forges on towards its tenth anniversary, organically constructing and realising its own national identity, we can now affirm that we are a Christian country.

The tenth anniversary of our nation will indeed be something to celebrate. It is not often that an endeavour such as the one undertaken by the now Imperial Family in September 2008 endures for a decade, and far less often that so many other people feel drawn to take part in it and help to make it a success. We plan to celebrate this success – our shared achievements and experiences over the past ten years – with a celebration hosted at the Imperial Residence on Independence Day 2018, and hope that all who are able to shall attend. We also look forward to seeing plans realised for other ways of celebrating this momentous milestone in our small nation’s history.

As a result of one of the amendments made to the Constitution as a result of the recent referendum, Cabinet ministers are no longer required to be Representatives. This opens up the executive branch of our government to a far greater number of people, with different skills and abilities to draw on. We shall discuss with our Prime Minister the best way in which to utilise this new pool of talent, and to what extent Cabinet ministries may be reallocated to ensure that we have the most suited and capable people working to govern the country.

Over this coming year, we shall engage upon a publicity drive for Austenasia in London and more specifically the Borough of Sutton, seeking to draw upon local interest in order to revitalise the Carshalton Nations and, if possible, to find new talent to benefit the Empire itself. As authorised by an Act of Parliament passed last year, we shall designate an area of land to be claimed as the Kingdom of Rushymia reborn, after ascertaining that there are no local objections to the annexation of said territory.

Personally, we intend to remain at the Austenasian Consulate-General in Castile and León with Princess Hannah until we return back to Wrythe in late June, with a visit back for Easter of a week or two in April. In late September, we shall take up residence in Chester as we begin a year-long Master’s degree at the university there.

Throughout this coming sixth year of our Imperial Majesty on the Throne, we shall continue to actively oversee the smooth running of the state, and to work with our Prime Minister, Cabinet, and the Representatives of our people to ensure stable, just, and efficient governance.

God bless you all, and God bless the Empire.

I C J A

Soria
20 January 2018

Constitutional amendments approved in referendum

7 January 2018 1 comment

A referendum held yesterday saw proposed amendments to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011 approved by the Empire’s electorate.

Out of the 54 subjects eligible to vote, 37 did so, a turnout of 68.52%. The amendments had been divided into four parts, each of which could be voted on separately.

The first part establishes a Senate as a body responsible for the accountability of the Monarch which may in extreme circumstances vote to depose them. It also removes the requirement for Cabinet ministers to be Representatives. This part of the amendments passed with 81.08% of votes in support.

The second part of the amendments makes it a requirement for the Monarch to be a baptised Christian, and explicitly claims that Austenasia is a continuation of the Roman Empire; this part passed with 70.27% of votes in support.

The third part of the amendments clarifies that marriage in the Empire is between one man and one woman, and also permits Parliament to expand upon various human rights laws in the Constitution which until now were unable to be repealed and put into more detail. This part passed with 64.86% of votes in support.

The fourth and final part of the amendments changes the office of Deputy Prime Minister from being the runner-up in a general election to being a Representative nominated by a newly elected Prime Minister. This part passed with 81.08% of votes in support.

Now that the amendments have been approved by referendum, they must be approved by Parliament. A requirement of over 80% of Representatives to be in favour of any constitutional amendments means that if more than one of Austenasia’s seven Representatives opposes the changes, they will not be able to be passed.

Upon approval, these amendments will come into force cumulatively as the Second Amendment to the Constitution at one second past midnight in the morning of Imperial Ascension Day, 20 January, the fifth anniversary of the Emperor’s ascension to the Throne.

Constitutional amendments proposed

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor yesterday promulgated an Imperial Edict which ordered a referendum to take place on 6 January in which all Austenasian subjects will be able to vote on proposed amendments to the Constitution.

The proposed amendments have been grouped into three parts, and voters will be able to vote Yes, No, or Abstain on each of the three parts.

The first part of the proposed group of amendments establishes a Senate as a body responsible for the accountability of the Monarch which may in extreme circumstances vote to depose them; the second part reflects the Roman and Christian culture of the Empire by explicitly claiming that Austenasia is a continuation of the Roman Empire and by making it a requirement for the Monarch to be a baptised Christian; and the third part defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

As each of these three parts has the potential to be controversial, voters will be able to vote in support of one and reject the other two, vote for two parts but against one, or vote for all or against all.

If no changes to the Austenasian population take place before then, there will be an electorate of 54 subjects eligible to vote in the referendum.

The full list of proposed amendments can be seen here.

UPDATE 7 DECEMBER 10:20 – The Emperor yesterday promulgated another Imperial Edict adding a fourth part of the amendment to be voted on in the referendum. This fourth part of the amendment states that the Deputy Prime Minister shall be chosen from amongst the Representatives by a newly elected Prime Minister; at present, the position of Deputy Prime Minister goes to the candidate with the second-highest number of votes in a general election.