Coronation of Emperor Jonathan I
|Date||23 February 2013|
|Location||Imperial Residence, Wrythe|
The coronation of HIM Emperor Jonathan I as Emperor of Austenasia took place on Saturday 23 February 2013 in the Imperial Residence.
Two Emperors of Austenasia had been coronated before. Terry I, the founding Emperor, was crowned on 20 May 2009, and Esmond III, Terry's successor, was crowned on 18 September 2010. Declan I, the predecessor of Jonathan I, did not have a coronation as he is the only Emperor of Austenasia to have never set foot in the Empire. It was planned that Declan I would have a coronation should he ever visit Austenasia, but all planned visits never took place for various reasons.
The coronation of Terry I (reigned 20 September 2008 - 16 February 2010) took place eight months after he became Emperor, nearly halfway through his reign. The coronation of Esmond III (reigned 16 February 2010 - 20 September 2011) took place nearly seven months after he became Emperor, roughly a year before his reign came to an end (Esmond III was, in fact, removed from effective power less than seven months after his coronation). There was thus a precedent for coronations of Emperors of Austenasia to take place a good way into their reign, and so it was unusual for Jonathan I to plan his to take place only a month after he ascended to the Throne.
The coronation of Terry I lasted only a few minutes. With three of the four items of the Imperial Regalia of Austenasia - wearing the Imperial Robes and the Imperial Chain, and holding the Imperial Sceptre - Terry I promised "to rule fairly and wisely, to defend Austenasia, and to enforce and abide by the law", seated on the spot from which the Austenasian Declaration of Independence was sent via e-mail on 20 September 2008. After making this coronation oath, the then Crown Prince Jonathan, designated the "Founder of Austenasia", crowned Terry I with the Imperial Diadem.
The coronation of Esmond III was even shorter than that of Terry I, and took place spontaneously instead of being planned. Esmond III visited Austenasia for the first (and, to date, only) time on 18 September 2010 with a small Grovian retinue. Upon entering the Prime Minister's Office (now known as the Imperial Quarters), he asked to see the Imperial Regalia, and the decision was made to hold an impromptu coronation. Esmond III took the Imperial Diadem from Jonathan's hands and crowned himself, making no coronation oath, reflecting the more absolute Esmondian view of the Austenasian Monarchy held at that time. Although the coronation took place in what was then known as the Prime Minister's Office, by coincidence this was still on the same spot from which the Declaration of Independence was sent, being directly over it on the first floor.
Several guests had been invited to attend the coronation of Emperor Jonathan I. The Emperor's predecessor, Declan I, was unable to attend for health reasons, and Acting Prime Minister Lord Marshal William was away on a course with his CCF group.
Countess Eritoshi of Memphis arrived at roughly 10:00 at the Imperial Residence, meeting Jonathan I and Emperor Mother Margaret. She was followed twenty minutes later by Air Chief Marshal Sir Micheal Mitchell KPP, head of the Imperial Air Force (now known by the name of Ash Mitchell). At 10:45 Emperor Mother Margaret drove Jonathan I to Carshalton railway station to meet Taeglan I Nihilus of Reyla and James von Puchow of Landashir, the four of them then driving back to the Imperial Residence to join the Countess and Air Chief Marshal.
Introductions were made and drinks served before a photographer from the Sutton Guardian arrived. The photographer made a short film of the preparations for the ceremony and took photographs of the guests. He also recorded the ceremony, which started at roughly 11:45.
The Austenasian Constitution of 2011 sets out how a coronation of the Emperor is to take place.
...the Monarch, wearing the Imperial Robes and Imperial Chain, shall sit while the Prime Minister, Heir to the Throne, and any willing others may swear an oath of loyalty to the Monarch. Then, the Monarch shall take the Imperial Sceptre, and may choose to swear an oath to rule the Empire fairly and wisely, to defend Austenasia, and to uphold and abide by the law. Finally, the Monarch shall take the Imperial Diadem from the hands of the Founder (or, if the Founder is no longer alive, from the hands of the Prime Minister) and place it on his or her head while those present shout “Vivat Imperator”...— Austenasian Constitution of 2011, Article IV, Section H, Paragraph D
This left considerable scope for additional parts to be added to the ceremony at the direction of the Emperor. Jonathan I wrote an order of ceremony which included some religious aspects, inspired by British coronations and reflecting his own faith.
The ceremony started with Jonathan I, wearing the Imperial Robes and Imperial Chain, walking through Parliament Hall and sitting on the same chair used by Terry I during his coronation, placed over the same spot. Countess Eritoshi - who had been designated "Leader of Ceremonies" by the Emperor - then declared "I here present unto you His Imperial Majesty Jonathan I, undoubted Emperor of Austenasia." She then asked the Emperor "Do you promise to rule fairly and wisely... to defend Austenasia and its people... to uphold and abide by the law?", with the Emperor replying "Yes" after each question. Unlike Terry I, Jonathan I made these promises while holding a Bible, making his coronation promises an oath in the proper sense of the word.
After the oath, Jonathan I was anointed on each hand by the Countess with blessed oil from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a church used for the coronations of the Kings of Jerusalem during the 12th century. Unlike the ampulla and spoon used for British coronations, the holy oil was in a silver dish, and the Emperor was annointed with it with a small brush.
After being annointed, Jonathan I was handed the Imperial Sceptre by the Countess. This was planned to have been done by Declan I, but due to him being unable to attend the function was performed by the Leader of Ceremonies instead, leaving out a line symbolising the transfer of the Throne from Declan I to Jonathan I.
After being presented with the Imperial Sceptre, Jonathan I moved a cushion with the Imperial Diadem on top of it towards him as the Countess said "Most mighty lord, Western Emperor, receive the Imperial Diadem of Austenasia and so be sanctified with the crown of the Imperium." With the words "As Founder I crown myself, Imperator Caesar Jonathan Augustus, Emperor of Austenasia", Jonathan I placed the Imperial Diadem on his head.
All military personel present saluted while all others bowed. All present then cried "Vivat Imperator!" (Latin for "God save the Emperor"), after which an instrumental verse of the Austenasian national anthem was played.
After the ceremony
After the coronation, the Sutton Guardian photographer left. HIH Emperor Father Terry fortunately arrived at roughly the same time, and took photographs of the Emperor with his guests.
A table had been booked for 13:00 at a nearby gastro-pub, The Racehorse. With some time before the group needed to arrive, the opportunity was taken for Jonathan I to sign the Treaty of Wrythe with Taeglan I Nihilus. Under this treaty, both emperors formally gave recognition of each other’s full imperial rank while agreeing that either of them addressing another as “Emperor” would not constitute recognition of imperial rank under the Carshaltonian political doctrine of Imperium without the consent of the other, and reaffirmed an earlier treaty of friendship between Austenasia and Reyla. The Emperor then gave his guests a short tour of Wrythe Public Park, showing them the Orange Pyramid, Wrythe Genocide Memorial and Wrythe Pet Cemetery.
With six people going to The Racehorse to eat, two vehicles were needed to transport them out to lunch. Emperor Father Terry drove Jonathan I and Countess Eritoshi while Emperor Mother Margaret drove Taeglan I, von Puchow and Sir Micheal. Emperor Mother Margaret then went back to the Imperial Residence, not joining the others for lunch as she had been invited to a five-course meal in the evening by a work colleague.
After eating, Jonathan I and his guests walked the short distance (roughly 220 metres) to Orly, where they visited Countess Eritoshi's county of Memphis. Leaving Orly, the group unexpectedly ran into the former Lord John, father of Lord Marshal William, who wished Jonathan I congratulations on his coronation. Taeglan I and von Puchow then departed back to Carshalton station, while Emperor Father Terry drove the Emperor, Countess and Air Chief Marshal back to the Imperial Residence. They there conversed with Crown Princess Caroline until Sir Micheal had to leave at roughly 16:00, followed by Countess Eritoshi at 17:51.
- ↑ HIH Emperor Father Terry and HIH Crown Princess Caroline were not present when guests arrived, working and out with a friend respectively.
- ↑ This was the same photographer who had visited Wrythe to take photographs for an article in the Sutton Guardian on the founding of the Empire published in January 2009.