The Empire of Austenasia is a constitutional monarchy, and is ruled by Emperor Jonathan I as head of state.
Austenasia is not a ceremonial constitutional monarchy such as those in the United Kingdom, Belgium, or Sweden, but rather what is known as an executive constitutional monarchy, such as those in Jordan, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Morocco. This means that although the Emperor does not hold absolute power, he nevertheless holds substantial powers which are exercised at his personal discretion, holding a position of proactive executive leadership rather than a ceremonial office.
The Monarch is advised by the Privy Council, and also held accountable by the Senate, a body which can pass advisory resolutions and ultimately has the power to depose the Monarch should they be considered incapable of ruling.
Although the monarchy is officially hereditary, Parliament has the power to make changes to the line of succession. This resulted in two unrelated Emperors ruling after Terry I before his son ascended to the Throne.
The Monarch holds extensive executive, legislative, and judicial powers, as well as several more ceremonial rights and duties. Their consent is required for the passage of Acts of Parliament, and they can legislate independently with Imperial Decrees and Imperial Edicts. They approve candidates for Prime Minister, with whom they implement government policy via the Cabinet, and they hold absolute power over Crown Dependencies independently of the central government. Furthermore, the Monarch serves as Judge of the Imperial Court, appoints most judges and juries in the judiciary, and serves as the ultimate interpreter of the law.
Emperor Jonathan I
HIM Emperor Jonathan I is the fourth and incumbent Monarch of the Empire of Austenasia, and ascended to the Throne on 20 January 2013.
The now Emperor founded Austenasia together with his father Terry I in September 2008. Between then and his ascension to the Throne, he was known as Crown Prince Jonathan and held the office of Prime Minister.
Austenasia’s longest ruling Monarch, the reign of Jonathan I has been notable for a massive increase in the Empire’s land and population and the promulgation of numerous comprehensive pieces of criminal and civil legislation.
Born on 13 October 1994 at St. Helier Hospital in Carshalton, the Emperor is an amateur historian, journalist, playwright and actor, who holds degrees in Theology from the Universities of Roehampton and of Chester.
Emperor Terry I (2008-10)
Emperor Terry I was the first Monarch of the Empire and one of its two de facto founders, ruling Austenasia between 20 September 2008 and 16 February 2010. Functioning as a mostly ceremonial leader, his son the Prime Minister held the real power during his reign. Although enthusiastic about the idea of his family having its own sovereign state, Terry I saw his role as being primarily that of supervising his son’s running of the country, and did not wish to be too heavily involved in the day-to-day administration of the government. He announced his abdication on 15 February 2010, and is now known as the Emperor Father.
Emperor Esmond III (2010-11)
Esmond III attended the same high school as Crown Prince Jonathan, and as a ceremonial and symbolic honour was made second in line to the Throne in late 2009. This turned out to have unintended consequences, with Esmond becoming Austenasia’s new Emperor after Terry I’s abdication. On 16 February 2010, Emperor Esmond ascended the Throne after the Crown Prince refused to become Monarch, adopting the regnal number of “the Third” both out of an aesthetic preference and in reference to the two Anglo-Saxon king Edmunds (a name considered similar enough to his own) who ruled Austenasia’s land claims prior to the Norman Conquest.
Princess Caroline (daughter of Terry I) disputed Parliament’s right to place Esmond before her in the line of succession, and claimed the Throne for herself with military support from both domestic and foreign backers. Esmond III led the nation through the resultant Austenasian Civil War, with Princess Caroline acknowledging his victory after the Austenasian people confirmed that they wanted him as Monarch through a referendum and the rebel forces surrendered.
This victory, together with the personal charisma of Esmond III, resulted in the influence of the Throne growing by a huge amount during his reign. Unlike his predecessor, Esmond III used the powers of his office at his personal discretion, assuming proactive executive leadership of the Empire and deciding policy at an unofficial “Imperial Court” based at the high school attended by himself and the Crown Prince. The local influence of Austenasia expanded exponentially, with the creation of various vassal kingdoms justified with a philosophy of Austenasia’s imperial succession from Rome promoted by the Emperor and eagerly adopted by the Austenasian people.
On 31 March 2011, Esmond III was deprived of the powers of the Throne through a Vote of No Confidence passed by Parliament in response to growing concerns about his increasingly eccentric means of ruling the country (such as demanding tribute of cake, announcing frequent nonsensical changes to the calendar, and even making proposals to transform Austenasia into a dictatorship). This left him as Monarch in name and title only, until he was removed from office entirely by the enactment of the current Constitution on 20 September 2011.
The reputation of Esmond III has been greatly rehabilitated in recent years, and his reign is now remembered for his overseeing of a massive increase in the Empire’s local influence, and the “golden age” of court culture which grew up around him.
Emperor Declan I (2010-13)
Declan I reigned between 19 December 2010 and 20 January 2013, ascending to the Throne while Esmond III was still Emperor and ruling alongside him for a while. Already a ruling monarch as King of Wilcsland, he became joint Emperor of Austenasia through an Act of Parliament after exploiting tensions between the then Emperor Esmond III and Crown Prince Jonathan, gaining the support of the latter by pledging to moderate the influence of the former.
Declan I became sole Monarch in September 2011 with the enactment of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, which also saw the legal powers of the Throne greatly increased to their present-day extent.
Declan I is the only Monarch to have not once set foot in Austenasia, instead ruling via the internet from his home kingdom of Wilcsland. His physical absence from the nation helped him to promote an image of himself as a remote and near-unapproachable absolutist ruler, but also laid the logistical foundation for the international expansion the Empire would see under the reign of his successor.
Declan I abdicated on 20 January 2013 for personal reasons, and was succeeded by the incumbent Jonathan I. He continued to rule the nearby nation of Orly until it was liberated in an Austenasian-backed revolution in June later that year.