Kingdom of Lovely
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Kingdom of Lovely
|Motto: "Die dulci freure"|
Have a Nice Day
|Anthem: National anthem of the Kingdom of Lovely by Banks & Wag|
|Status||Inactive or defunct|
|Location||None (see footnote)|
|1 January 2005|
|Membership||~58,165 (as of 1 December 2007)|
|Currency||Interdependent Occupational Unit (IOU)|
The Kingdom of Lovely was a micronation that claimed as its territory an East London flat owned, and once lived in, by its creator and ruler, Danny Wallace. Like several other micronations it is a partly Internet-based project that claims a small amount of territory. It was created as part of the BBC series How to Start Your Own Country in 2005. Wallace proclaimed himself King and, at its peak, 58,165 citizens were registered on the micronation's website citizensrequired.com. This site is no longer active.
The sole official territory of Lovely was Wallace's flat in Bow, East London, but citizens of Lovely were invited to declare a room, or some other building or land belonging to them, to be an embassy for the country by taking a photograph displaying Lovely's flag there.
The show depicted Wallace attempting to acquire various accoutrements of statehood for his fledgling nation. These included:
- The country's name. Wallace solicited ideas online and put his two favourites "Home" and "Lovely" to a vote.
- A national holiday: "Lovely Day" on 2 September, celebrating the nation's naming.
- A flag featuring a blue stripe and a red stripe at erratic angles on a white background.
- A pixelated coat of arms to reflect the Internet-based nature of the micronation
- A Latin motto: Die Dulci freure (sic – the correct Latin is fruere), meaning "Have a nice day".
- A national anthem performed by Banks & Wag.
When the owners of a private island in Ireland rejected Lovely's currency (The "Interdependent Occupational Unit (IOU)") as a basis for sale, Wallace tried to start his nation by "invading" Eel Pie Island in London with the help of his friend Jon Bond, who became Lovely's Minister of Defence. Bond was chosen for the role having once worked as a security guard at Tesco, making him the closest thing Wallace had to an army. However, the Metropolitan Police were contacted by local people, and Wallace was forced to call off the "invasion". After speaking to several people including the leaders of Sealand and Dennis Hope, who claims to own the Moon, Wallace declared his flat to be a sovereign nation on 1 January 2005 and he set about populating the micronation and recording the television series. Other notable interviewees included noted linguist and politician Noam Chomsky, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, Giorgio Carbone, Prince of Seborga, Major General Andrew Graham and Erwin Strauss, author of the guidebook How to Start Your Own Country.
During the broadcasting run of How to Start Your Own Country, additional material was broadcast to digital TV viewers after each episode. This took the style of a national broadcast named Citizen TV. It was presented live by Danny Wallace and featured news, a special guest (usually a member of Wallace's government), and conversations with "citizens" who had called in. An early political change occurred when Wallace fired his first foreign minister live on-air and appointed citizen Kieran Collins in his place.
Wallace attempted to submit a song of his own composition, Stop The Mugging, Start The Hugging, as the Lovely entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. The contest's scrutineer, Svante Stockselius, met with Wallace and was sympathetic to his cause but informed him that Lovely could not enter the Contest as it has no national television or radio station of its own and therefore could not join the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Wallace then submitted his song to the BBC (which is an EBU member who supports the UK entry to the contest), in an attempt to receive their backing – their judges, however, were unimpressed.
The series also showed Wallace's attempts to gain official recognition for Lovely at the United Nations, which was established to be the true mark of statehood. These efforts were unsuccessful, largely because of Lovely's lack of independent territory, Wallace's own flat being within the UK. Despite all this, Wallace appeared before his citizens in full regal attire in the final episode, declaring that their new country now had more citizens than seven internationally recognised countries, including Vatican City, Monaco, and Liechtenstein.
The Guardian Angel, a Lovelian citizen-run newspaper operated between September 2005 and September 2007.
On Wallace's website he describes the show as gaining "an almost-too-loyal fanbase, several of whom take against me when I am unable to dedicate my entire life to running a small country from my flat."
Danny Wallace no longer lives in the flat, but still owns it and rents it out to tenants. He believes the tenants are unaware of the flat's status, and has left a newspaper article about himself and Lovely, complete with photograph of him posing in front of the flat, on top of a cupboard, in the hope that someone will discover it.
The country's unit of currency is the Interdependent Occupational Unit, or IOU. The currency is based on the phrase "time is money". IOUs are exchangeable for an amount of the recipient's time, e.g. paying a citizen for 5 minutes of washing up. Previously, each member of the micronation's official BBC message board received one tenth of an IOU for each post made, but since the move to the new forum this had been abandoned. No way to make use of the accumulated IOUs has ever been announced. This can be compared with local exchange trading schemes.
The Government of Lovely originally consisted of friends of Wallace who were recruited at a meeting held at a London pub; other Royal appointments have been made, and the first open elections to specific posts were held via the official website. Subsequently there have been further elections, and even disputes, on the official internet forum and other websites.
A Prime Minister, the position created in 2007, is supposed to be informally elected every six months, with elections held in the form of polls on the main messaging board used by the citizens.
Currently, the message board has been closed by the BBC, and is inaccessible. Therefore, no further Prime Ministers have been elected.
References and notes
- ↑ Sellars, John Ryan, George Dunford, Simon (2006). Micronations : [the Lonely Planet guide to home-made nations]. London: Lonely Planet Publications. pp. 28–33. ISBN 1-74104-730-7.
- ↑ "The Guardian Angel". thega.org. Retrieved 2021-11-14.
- ↑ Wallace, Danny. "History". Retrieved 14 November 2021.