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Former PM Kennedy: “I am a transgender woman”

Dame Brooklyn Kennedy

The politician formerly known as Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy has announced that she is a transgender woman, and has changed her name to Brooklyn.

Kennedy served as Prime Minister between 2015 and 2020 before leading the amicable secession of New Virginia in February last year. She currently serves as its elected head of state as President.

Dame Brooklyn will no longer use the title of Caesar, which is for men only. Her other Austenasian titles – three titles of nobility, a peerage, and three knighthoods – will henceforth change to their female equivalents.

With respect to her Austenasian titles, she will therefore henceforth be known as Lady Admiral Brooklyn Kennedy, Duchess of New Royton.

Electoral reforms for general elections

Saturday 28th November saw Parliament pass legislation establishing a regular schedule for general elections and preventing Prime Ministers from running for a third consecutive term without parliamentary approval.

Under the 2008 Constitution, general elections were to take place every three years, on January 1st. After the 2009 general election, the next was scheduled to take place on 1 January 2012, but the 2011 Constitution came into force before this date was reached.

Under the current 2011 Constitution, the date of a general election is decided at the discretion of the Monarch or Prime Minister, and can take place anywhere from six months to four years after the previous one.

Saturday’s Act of Parliament has added a restriction to this clause, to the effect that the full range of dates constitutionally available can only be considered in an emergency; otherwise, under ordinary circumstances, general elections are to take place on a day between the 1st and 12th of February every four years.

This provides greater certainty regarding the future, with the next general election now scheduled to take place in early February 2024.

A second reform affects the ability of a Prime Minister to run for three or more consecutive terms. Although not a term limit in a strict sense, in future, a Prime Minister who has served more than seven of the past eight years in office will have to seek a vote of approval from the House of Representatives in order to stand for re-election.

No limits on consecutive terms have previously been applied. The only requirements to run in a general election are to be a sitting Representative with the (never before refused) approval of the Monarch; requirements which also have to be met by a Prime Minister running for re-election.

The longest serving Prime Minister in Austenasia’s history was Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy. He held office from 4 March 2015 to 13 February 2020, just three weeks shy of five years.

Augustan rank of Imvrassian monarchs recognised

24 October 2020 1 comment

By a joint decision of the Austenasian, Holy Roman, and Adammic thrones, yesterday evening saw the claim of Imvrassia to imperium fully recognised.

Coat of arms of Imvrassia

On 1 January earlier this year, the Kingdom of Imvrassia declared itself an Empire, and its monarchs Aikaterini I and Stamatios I assumed the titles of Empress and Emperor respectively.

The already existing emperors refused to recognise a unilateral claim to imperium, but on 1 May an agreement was reached with Imvrassia whereby its monarchs would be recognised as holding the subordinate rank of Caesar rather than that of Augustus.

Yesterday saw Emperor Jonathan I of Austenasia, Emperor Adam I of Adammia, and Imperial Regent Joseph III of the Holy Roman Empire sign a treaty with the Imvrassian government whereby its monarchs are now recognised as holding full Augustan rank, equal to the other emperors.

Empress Aikaterini I has held the Imvrassian throne since August 2016, albeit with a three-month temporary abdication in late 2018. She rules alongside her grandfather Stamatios I, who reigns in a more ceremonial capacity and has held the throne since November last year.

Imvrassia is a Romano-Hellenic nation with 23 citizens, with land claims located primarily in the eastern Mediterranean. Austenasia has held close and friendly relations with Imvrassia since a treaty was signed between the two states in April 2017.

Joseph Kennedy becomes regent and heir in HRE

30 September 2020 Leave a comment

HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Duke of New Royton, was appointed Imperial Regent of the Holy Roman Empire on September 21st, having been elected King of the Romans on July 30th.

Joseph III, King of the Romans

The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) is an imperial confederation of sovereign states which recognise the imperium of the Holy Roman Emperor, and claims to be the revival of the entity dissolved in 1806.

The incumbent Holy Roman Emperor, Quentin I – who also serves as King of Wyvern – began to create the revived HRE in 2014, and it was recognised by Austenasia and Reyla in September 2016.

The Holy Roman Emperor is not an hereditary but an elected position. On July 30th, Joseph Kennedy – who served as Austenasian Prime Minister between 2015 and 2020 – was elected heir to Quentin I by representatives of the HRE’s member states.

As was the case in the original HRE, the designated heir assumes the title “King of the Romans”. Kennedy will therefore be known as King Joseph III.

On September 21st, Joseph III was also appointed Imperial Regent, due to Quentin I having been unable to spend the necessary time on his imperial duties.

As Imperial Regent, Joseph III has assumed the administrative duties of Quentin I, although the latter remains Holy Roman Emperor and is not thought to be considering abdication.

The HRE currently has ten member states, and a cumulative population of over two hundred people.

Emperor leads heads of state in condemning Hagia Sophia conversion

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I has led a group of seven heads of state in condemning the recent decision by Turkish President Erdoğan to convert the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

The statement, published yesterday, was also signed by Quentin I of the Holy Roman Empire and Wyvern, Aikaterini I of Imvrassia, Emmanuel I & II of Rhomania (formerly Mouzilo), Edward I of Ashukovo, Denis I of Vlasynia, and former Austenasian PM Lord Admiral Kennedy in his capacity as provisional head of state of New Virginia.

Hagia Sophia was built as a cathedral by the Emperor Justinian and completed in 537. It stood as the greatest cathedral in the world and the centre of the Orthodox Church for almost a thousand years, until the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in May 1453.

During the fall of the city, thousands of civilians and refugees took shelter in Hagia Sophia while a Liturgy was served. When the city fell, the Turks broke down the doors to the church and slaughtered, raped and enslaved those inside.

The Ottomans destroyed or plastered over the Christian elements of the church, and installed minarets and other features to convert the cathedral into a mosque.

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the abolition of the caliphate, Kemal Ataturk – the founder of modern Turkey – ordered Hagia Sophia to become a museum in a drive towards modernity and secularism. Archaeological and restorative work uncovered many of the Christian mosaics, and the building was open for all to appreciate its unique history.

Hagia Sophia was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

The decision of President Erdoğan to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque has been seen as a regressive move aimed at bolstering his support among Turkey’s Islamists, as well as intentionally insulting Turkey’s Orthodox neighbours in Europe.

Reports state that the building’s Christian mosaics will now be covered with screens and lighting effects, and that visitors will have to remove their shoes upon entry.

The action has immense significance for Orthodox Christians, for whom Hagia Sophia remains a building of intense spiritual importance. Many legends and prophecies concern the cathedral.

For example, one legend says that when the city fell to the Turks, the clergy paused the service they were conducting and vanished through a door on the south side of the church, where they await to complete the Liturgy. To this day the door has not been opened, and some say chanting can be heard from the other side.

Of more concern are prophecies by Orthodox saints of the past century which warn that the building becoming a mosque again will herald a war.

Regardless of any eschatological significance of this action, it remains one calculated to intentionally offend and belittle Turkey’s already victimised Christian minorities.

The statement published yesterday by Emperor Jonathan I and others is as follows:

It was with the utmost disgust and devastation that we learnt of the decision of the Turkish government to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. At a time when so many nations around the world are looking back at their history, critical of the colonialism and oppression of the past, the Republic of Turkey – a state built on the genocide and ethnic cleansing of its Greek, Armenian, Assyrian and Kurdish minorities – has chosen to continue to insult and attack the culture and history of the people whose land it took. This action, which is illegal under international law, has been denounced by UNESCO, by the EU, by the USA, and of course by Greece and by the Orthodox Church. Under the government of Erdogan, Turkey is becoming an Islamist rogue state and international pariah, and we condemn this action unreservedly. It is an intentional insult not only towards the Christian religion, but also towards all who descend from or value the Orthodox civilisation of the medieval Roman Empire. The whole civilised world has united in condemnation of this atrociously insulting act, but we may take consolation in the knowledge that despite Erdogan’s claims, Hagia Sophia does not belong to Turkey. Rather, it belongs to God, and may His will be done.

15 July 2020 (7528)

Emperor Jonathan I of the EMPIRE OF AUSTENASIA
Emperor Quentin I of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE and KINGDOM OF WYVERN
Empress Aikaterini I of the EMPIRE OF IMVRASSIA
Basileus Emmanuel I & II of the BASILEIA OF THE ROMANS
Prince Edward I of the REPUBLIC OF ASHUKOVO
Sir Joseph Kennedy of the COMMONWEALTH OF NEW VIRGINIA
Despot Denis I of the DESPOTATE OF VLASYNIA

UPDATE 16 JULY 21:20 – Princess Hannah of Wildflower Meadows and King Ciprian of Juclandia have also expressed their explicit support for the statement.

Prince Dionisiy proposes constitutional changes

27 February 2020 1 comment

The new Prime Minister has proposed changes to the current system of executive and legislative power in a Prime Minister’s Broadcast released earlier today.

New Prime Minister Dionisiy I

Prince Dionisiy, who was elected earlier this month, announced plans to put forward various constitutional changes.

The amendments would, in brief, change the nature of Austenasia-wide democracy from having an executive to a legislative function.

Prince Dionisiy has proposed “to establish regular direct and binding referenda which will solve the important legislative questions… so that not only the House of Representatives is able to decide upon legislative questions, but that the people themselves are in charge.”

This would be coupled with a change to the set-up of government, with the Consuls being appointed by the Monarch and replacing the Prime Minister as head of government.

The details of how these changes would be implemented and the proposed timescale of their implementation are yet to be known, as they have not yet been officially proposed by legislation. Any changes to the Constitution require approval by the Monarch and a supermajority of Representatives, as well as confirmation by a referendum.

Lord John Gordon, the Leader of the Opposition, has come out in opposition to the proposal to make the head of government an appointed position.

“Austenasia is a democratic nation, a fact I am proud of. I will fight as Leader of the Opposition against any attempts to undermine the democratic process,” Lord John said today in an exclusive statement to the Austenasian Times.

Given the requirement that any change to the Constitution requires the support of over 80% of Representatives, it would take just one Representative other than Lord Gordon to also vote against in order to derail the proposed amendments.

Prime Minister’s Broadcasts were a semi-regular feature of the premiership of the then Crown Prince Jonathan, when the now Emperor was Prime Minister (2008-13). They were not used by Lord Marshal William (2013) or Countess Eritoshi (2013-15), but Lord Admiral Kennedy (2015-20) did publish one shortly after his initial election win.

General election takes place after New Virginia given independence

Yesterday saw New Virginia set up an independent state under outgoing Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy. Tomorrow will see the Lord Admiral’s successor take office as Prime Minister.

Austenasia’s sixth general election is currently underway, as Prince Dionisiy I and Lord John Gordon battle for the public’s votes to become the fourth Prime Minister of Austenasia.

As announced at Christmas, the towns of New Richmond, Terentia and Augusta were yesterday granted independence from Austenasia as the newly independent Commonwealth of New Virginia.

An uninhabited part of Augusta has been retained by Austenasia as the territory of Fraternitas, which now borders both New Virginia and the United States of America.

Yesterday also saw the Crown Dependency of Oregonia leave Austenasia. Although it did not likewise join New Virginia, the decision to dissolve the crown dependency by its governing commissioner, Adam I of Uberstadt, was based partially on the departure of Lord Admiral Kennedy from government.

Although these losses only saw Austenasia lose 3.28% of its land claims, the population has dropped from 102 to 80.

Outgoing Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, has published a speech for the occasion:

My fellow Austenasians – as you all know, yesterday, the Commonwealth of New Virginia seceded from the Empire. Today marks a general election, and my last day as Prime Minister of the Empire of Austenasia. Together, we’ve built this nation up as a testament to the success a small country can achieve. Our nation has gone from a small home south of London with four residents to a vast empire on which the sun never sets, from North America to Australia. We are one of, if not the, largest functioning democracies in the community of small nations, and it has been my absolute pleasure to oversee this growth for almost five years now.

We’ve accomplished a lot since I assumed the office of Prime Minister back in 2015. We’ve expanded our territories exponentially and more than doubled our population. We’ve established ourselves as a military superpower in our community. We secured peace in New South Scotland, and returned full administration of that crown dependency to the central government. We’ve reformed the executive branch to ensure ministerial accountability to the Prime Minister’s Office and to Parliament through ministerial reports. We’ve made Parliament more accountable to the people through the reformation of our elections and the introduction of the Parliamentary Gazette. We’ve completely reformed our judiciary and introduced the Ministry of Justice. We’ve introduced the Ministry of Culture, which has undertaken various efforts such as a registry of historic locations. We’ve reformed the way Parliament operates through the Parliament Act 2019. We’ve amended our Constitution twice through national referenda. 

The Empire as it stands today, the last day of my term, is vastly different from the one I knew when I came to office, and I am very proud – not of myself, but of the Austenasian people, because my team and I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without your mandate and support. I cannot possibly articulate my appreciation for you, my fellow Austenasians, and for the opportunity you have given me to be your highest elected official. As I leave this noble office, I can say wholeheartedly that this Empire is better than ever.

As I’ve said, I’m eternally grateful for my time as Prime Minister of the Empire of Austenasia. Personally, I’ve grown as an individual during my time in office. I was sixteen years old when I took office, and I am twenty-one years old as I leave. I’ve spent the most important formative years of my life as the head of government of a micronational superpower, and it has been a surreal and incredible experience. We have, as stated, accomplished a vast number of reforms and growth.

Speaking now as Chairman of the Provisional Council of New Virginia, I affirm that the Commonwealth will take great measures to ensure the fraternal bonds shared by our peoples, for which the Territory of Fraternitas is so aptly named, continue to thrive. I am very, very excited to see where our national friendship will take us in the future.

I am furthermore announcing the dissolution of the Imperial Party. The party has achieved a great deal of success in the Empire, however the bulk of its membership has amicably departed for the Commonwealth. I thank the party’s many supporters for the confidence they placed in me as Leader of the Imperial Party.

After discussion with the Emperor, it has been decided that I will stay on as the Emperor’s deputy in North America as Caesar, the Chief Advisor of the Privy Council, and will assume a seat in the Illustrious Senate. While I leave my high offices and retract from political life within the Empire, I will remain a trusted friend and advisor to the Monarch, government and people of Austenasia.

I wish the best of luck to whoever is elected to assume the premiership. I thank you, my fellow subjects, for your continued confidence in myself and my team over the past five years. Serving as Prime Minister has been one of the most challenging – yet rewarding – experiences of my life, and I’m proud to leave the Empire in a better place than I found it. God bless you all, and God save the Emperor.

The results of today’s election will be announced on the morning of Thursday 13th.

Dionisiy I and Lord John Gordon confirmed as general election candidates

Lord John Gordon (left) and Prince Dionisiy I (right)

Emperor Jonathan I yesterday confirmed two candidates for next month’s general election.

Prince Dionisiy I of the Fatherland Party will be standing against Lord John Gordon of the Whig Party.

Lord Gordon is Representative of Palasia, and Prince Dionisiy is Representative of Theodosiopolis.

The Whig Party espouses classical liberalism, but Lord Gordon is on the left-wing of his party, and will be running on a platform of socially liberal ideas.

The Fatherland Party’s candidate, Prince Dionisiy, is running on a platform of social conservatism and the promotion of Roman and Christian culture.

The general election will take place on 12 February, and will elect the country’s fourth Prime Minister.

The incumbent Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, has been in office since March 2015 but is stepping down due to the secession of New Virginia.

Lord Gordon previously ran for Prime Minister in 2013 as a Marxist, but lost to Countess Eritoshi with one third of the vote. He then served as her Deputy Prime Minister until her own electoral loss to Lord Admiral Kennedy in 2015.

Lord Gordon has held positions in Cabinet, serving as Home Secretary from November 2013 to May 2014 and as Minister of Defence from February to July 2018. He also serves as President of the Iceni Democratic Republic, an independent state located near to Palasia.

Prince Dionisiy, who also reigns as sovereign of Montescano, joined Austenasia upon the annexation of Theodosiopolis in March last year. He has since been instrumental in the expansion of Austenasia in the old Roman East, personally claiming Laranda, Seleucia ad Cilicia, Chalcedon, and Trebizond for Austenasia.

New Virginia to secede on 11 February

11 January 2020 3 comments

Yesterday saw an Act of Parliament passed establishing Tuesday 11 February as the day on which the majority of New Virginia will secede from Austenasia to become an independent state.

As announced at Christmas, the City of New Richmond and the Towns of Terentia and Augusta will be leaving Austenasia to form the Commonwealth of New Virginia.

An uninhabited part of Augusta will be retained by Austenasia as the Territory of Fraternitas, which will be administered by Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy as its Governor.

Lord Admiral Kennedy, the incumbent Prime Minister, will remain in office throughout February 11th and 12th, with the latter due to see his successor elected in the upcoming election to take office on February 13th.

Lord Admiral Kennedy will retain Austenasian nationality alongside Lady Vice Admiral Eryn Lewis and Lord Riley Kennedy, the three Representatives of the towns in question. The other residents of New Virginia will lose Austenasian nationality, bringing Austenasia’s population down to the mid-seventies.

Furthermore, the Imperial Navy – the modern iteration of which was based entirely in New Virginia – has by the same Act of Parliament been disbanded.

The legislation authorising the creation of the Commonwealth of New Virginia states that “maintaining a close and special relationship with the Commonwealth of New Virginia… [will be] a top priority of the Austenasian Government.”

Emperor announces changes for 2020 in Christmas broadcast

25 December 2019 2 comments

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor used his annual Christmas broadcast to announce that February 2020 will see a general election and the secession of New Richmond and Terentia from Austenasia.

He has also revealed exclusively to the Austenasian Times that the Town of Augusta will be joining them, and was not mentioned in his broadcast due to a mistake.

The three towns will create a new Commonwealth of New Virginia, to be recognised as an independent state.

New Richmond is the most populated single town of the Empire, with 15 inhabitants, and is home to the current Prime Minister, Lord Admiral Kennedy.

Augusta – which was part of New Richmond before becoming its own town in June this year – has three inhabitants, and Terentia has six.

New Richmond and Terentia both originally joined Austenasia in 2013. It is understood that their desire to leave Austenasia and create their own country is primarily due to the growth of their own local identity and culture during this time.

With the impending departure of the incumbent Prime Minister’s hometown, a general election has been called for 12 February 2020.

At the time of writing, the Whig Party is expected to put forward Lord John Gordon and the Fatherland Party Lord Dionisiy Tezdzhan-Smahin as candidates. Applications for candidacy will be confirmed by the Emperor by 15 January.

The Christmas broadcast was published this morning on YouTube, and can be heard here. Jonathan I has broadcast a Christmas message every year since his ascension to the Throne in 2013.

Other than the publication of the Emperor’s Christmas broadcast, the Imperial Family celebrated Christmas Day by attending a morning church service at Carshalton Methodist Church and later opening presents and enjoying a Christmas meal at the Imperial Residence.

The Emperor and Crown Princess light the Advent candles at Carshalton Methodist’s morning service.

The Imperial Family was joined at the church service by members of the extended Imperial Family as well as the former residents of Zephyria.

Although most of the Imperial Family is Methodist, Emperor Jonathan I joined the Orthodox Church in 2011. He attended a service at his own church yesterday for Christmas Eve, but often attends the morning Christmas Day service at the Methodist church with his priest’s blessing in order to spend time with his family at Christmas.

During this year’s service, Jonathan I and Crown Princess Caroline were invited to light all five of the Advent candles to mark the beginning of the service.

Christmas wishes have been sent to and received from numerous foreign national leaders by cards and e-mails.