Apologies for the delayed publication of this news due to technical difficulties.
Local elections on Thursday 9th February in Wrythe and New Richmond saw HIH Emperor Father Terry and Victoria Hathaway, Countess of Sidney elected as the respective Mayor for each city.
The local elections also saw – as expected – the incumbents Emperor Jonathan I and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy re-elected as Representatives of Wrythe and of New Richmond respectively.
An Act of Parliament passed last month created city status to be granted to various prominent towns. The Emperor called local elections in the two towns granted city status in order for them to elect a mayor.
Mayors have the power to chair their city council, veto changes to the city arms, and unilaterally implement bye-laws in relation to local governance.
Since his abdication as Emperor in February 2010 up until now, the now Emperor Father Terry has not been involved in politics, but enlisted in the Austenasian Army in August 2011 and served as a consul in 2013.
Victoria Hathaway, Countess of Sidney is a resident of a new area of New Richmond annexed to the city in December 2016, and was appointed one of this year’s two consuls on New Year’s Day.
HIM Emperor Jonathan I has called for local elections to take place in the Empire’s two cities on 9 February.
Wrythe and New Richmond became Austenasia’s first two towns to be granted city status earlier this month, on 8 January and 9 January respectively.
The local elections will see the electorates of both cities elect a Mayor, who will hold responsibilities in local government.
The position of Representative will also be up for election, but it is expected that the incumbents – Jonathan I in Wrythe and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy in New Richmond – will be re-elected.
As the positions of Representative and of Mayor are incompatible, it remains to be seen who will run for election as Mayor in the two cities.
Alongside calling the elections, the Emperor also granted a mural crown to the arms of both cities in recognition of their new status.
The Austenasian capital of Wrythe yesterday saw its second tourist visit.
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I met Mike Lewis at Carshalton railway station, from which he gave him a guided tour of the Carshalton Nations which concluded at Wrythe.
Princess Consort Hannah joined the Emperor and Mr Lewis towards the end of the tour.
Mr Lewis was shown Orly, the site of Rushymia and the Midget Empire, and Muschamp Alley, all sites which are relevant to the Carshalton Nations and their history, with the Emperor giving commentary as they went.
They then walked to Wrythe, where – by this point joined by Princess Consort Hannah – the tour concluded with lunch.
At the Imperial Residence in Wrythe, Mr Lewis met with Emperor Father Terry, Emperor Mother Margaret, Crown Princess Caroline and imperial pets Edd and Rosie.
He was also shown various documents and artefacts of historical interest, presented with a gift of an Austenasian postcard, and signed a guestbook newly acquired for the Imperial Residence.
This is the second time a tourist has visited Wrythe, the first having been Jonny Blair in March last year.
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor earlier this morning granted Imperial Consent to the Cities Act 2016.
The Act of Parliament allows certain towns to be given the status of cities, and designates Wrythe (the capital) and New Richmond (Austenasia’s largest and most populous town) as the Empire’s first two cities.
Wrythe and New Richmond will officially become cities in January.
Cities will not only elect a Representative to elect them in Parliament, but a Mayor to oversee their local government.
The Cities Act specifies that Mayors will be elected alongside Representatives in local elections, but forbids the two offices from being simultaneously held by the same person.
The immediate Imperial Family have announced that they plan to acquire a pet kitten, to arrive in Wrythe on Saturday 10th December.
The family have decided that the kitten will be named Rosie, in honour of the late Mascot of the Order of the Bullmastiff, Rose, who passed away in April 2014.
Rosie will join Rose’s successor as Mascot, Edd, who – being of a very gentle temperament – is expected to get along well with the new arrival.
This will be the first time that the immediate Imperial Family have owned a pet cat, having previously only owned dogs, fish, and hamsters.
Rosie was born on 18 October to a cat owned by a friend of the family.
Around 16:00 BST this afternoon, a British police helicopter flew low over Wrythe and the surrounding area, hovering and circling for some ten minutes before flying away.
The helicopter is believed to have been a Eurocopter model belonging to the United Kingdom’s National Police Air Service. Ministry of Defence records show that a similar helicopter was observed in the area at the same time of day on 21 August last year.
Emperor Jonathan I, who is also incumbent Representative of Wrythe, has issued a statement on the infringement of air space:
“Earlier this afternoon a British police helicopter flew over Wrythe and the surrounding area for approximately ten minutes. There is no evidence that this action was directed towards Wrythe itself; nevertheless, we ask all residents to be vigilant for suspicious signs from the larger countries bordering the Empire. Should similar incidents recur in future, we shall discuss the formulation of a policy on air space with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence.”
The past few days have seen Christmas celebrated across the Empire.
On Christmas Day, Friday 25th, the populations of Wrythe and Zephyria attended a morning service at Carshalton Methodist Church. The Imperial Family then had Christmas dinner at the residence of the Boxalls (the maternal relatives of the Emperor).
On Boxing Day, Saturday 26th, roles were reversed with the Boxall family being hosted at the Imperial Residence by the Imperial Family. Also joining them was Princess Consort Hannah, the Emperor’s unmarried partner.
Emperor Jonathan I published his third annual Christmas broadcast on YouTube on Christmas Day, which can be heard here. In the speech, he reflected on the events of 2015 and on the meaning behind celebrations and anniversaries.
Furthermore, Pontifex Maximus Alexander III (also known as Bradley of Dullahan) published a Christmas encyclical, which can be read here.
The Austenasian Times wishes all its readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!