|Emperor of the Cygnians|
Coat of arms of the Cygnian Imperial Family
since 4 December 1996
|Style:||His Imperial Majesty|
|Heir apparent:||Prince Alexander, Duke of Augusta|
|First monarch:||Alexander I|
|Formation:||5 May 1792|
The Emperor of the Cygnians, commonly referred to as the Cygnian Emperor, is the constitutional monarch of Cygnia. The monarch's title is "Emperor" (male) or "Empress" (female). The current monarch and head of state, Theodore V, ascended the throne in 1996 following the death of his father, Ellory I.
The monarch and his or her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial, diplomatic and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the Chancellor. The monarch is, by tradition, commander-in-chief of the Cygnian Imperial Armed Forces. Though the ultimate formal executive authority over the government of Cygnia is still by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Congress and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent.
In the Imperial Constitution, the Emperor (otherwise referred to as the Sovereign or "His/Her Imperial Majesty", abbrieviated H.I.M.) is the Head of State, as established in Article II, Section 1. Oaths of allegiance and office in Cygnia are made to the Emperor and his lawful successors. "Mine Faithful Emperor" is the Cygnian imperial anthem, and an abbrieviated version is used as the official imperial fanfare. The Emperor also appears on postage stamps and coins.
The Emperor takes a relatively significant role in Government for a constitutional monarch. While the decisions to exercise sovereign powers are delegated from the Emperor, either by statute or by convention, to the Chancellor, the Cabinet, officers of the Crown, or other public bodies, exclusive of the Emperor personally, the Emperor acts as an important part of the system of checks and balances to the various political institutions of the country.
- Legislative power is exercised by Congress, comprised of the Senate and the National Assembly.
- Executive power is exercised by His Majesty's Government, which comprises the Chancellor and his/her Cabinet. While the Emperor serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Cygnian Imperial Armed Forces, the powers associated with the Commander-in-Chief are exercised by the Chancellor through Unified Defence Command and the Imperial Secretariat for Defence. The Cabinet also has the direction of the Civil Service and other Imperial Servants such as the Diplomatic Corps and the Military Intelligence Bureaus (the Emperor receives certain foreign intelligence reports before the Chancellor does).
- Judicial power is vested in the various courts of the Empire, the most senior of these being the Supreme Court of Cygnia.
- The Church of Cygnia, of which the Emperor is the head, has its own legislative, judicial and executive structures.
- Powers independent of government are legally granted to other public bodies by statute or Statutory Instrument such as an Order in Council, Imperial Commission or otherwise.
Appointment of the Chancellor
Every four years or when otherwise necessary, the Emperor is responsible for appointing a new Chancellor (or reaffirming the appointment of the existing Chancellor if re-elected). The Chancellor is constitutionally empowered to appoint and dismiss every other member of the Cabinet, and thereby constitutes and controls the government. While by tradition the Emperor may appoint whomever he deems fit to serve as Chancellor, Constitutional law binds the Emperor to appoint the individual elected by the population in the quadrennial Cancellarial Elections. The Chancellor takes office in a public inauguration ceremony in the presence of the Emperor.
Some of the government's executive authority is theoretically and nominally vested in the Sovereign and is known as the imperial prerogative. The Emperor acts within the constraints of convention and precedent, exercising prerogative only on the advice of the Chancellor and the Imperial Council. In practice, prerogative powers are exercised only on the Chancellor's advice – the Chancellor, and not the Sovereign, has control. The Emperor holds a weekly audience with the Chancellor. No records of these audiences are taken and the proceedings remain fully confidential. The Emperor may express his views, but as a constitutional ruler must ultimately accept the decisions of the Chancellor and the Cabinet except in circumstances as provided in the Constitution.
Despite being a constitutional monarch, however, the Emperor possesses significant power in comparison with other constitutional rulers. For example, the Emperor has the ultimate authority to sign bills into law, and may veto the bill if he believes it is not in the interests of the Cygnian people; he may also override the Chancellor's veto of a bill if he opposes it, provided the bill has the continued support of Congress.
The Imperial Prerogative includes the powers to appoint and dismiss officials, regulate the civil service, and issue passports. The decision to declare war and make peace is not the Emperor's to make; Congress instead has the powers to do so. The Emperor personally shares with the Chancellor the powers to negotiate and ratify treaties, alliances and international agreements. Any treaties cannot, however, alter the domestic laws of the Empire; an Act of Congress is necessary in such cases. The Emperor is also jointly responsible for the protection of Cygnians abroad and foreign nationals in Cygnia, making the powers related to those specific responsibilities fall outside the jurisdiction of Imperial prerogative. The Emperor is commander-in-chief of the Imperial Armed Forces, accredits Cygnian High Commissioners and ambassadors, and receives diplomats from foreign states.
It is the prerogative of the Emperor to convene, adjourn, and dissolve Congress. Each Congress begins with the Emperor's summon, although in practice new Congresses are opened on 6 February, the same day new Chancellors are inaugurated. The new Congress' first session is marked by the State Opening of Congress, during which the Emperor reads the Speech from the Throne in the Senate chamber, outlining the Government's legislative agenda. Adjournment usually occurs about one year after a session begins, and formally concludes the session. Dissolution ends a congressional term, and is followed by a federal election for all seats in Congress. A federal election is held two years after the previous one as provided in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution; every second election thus coincides with the cancellarial election.
Before a bill is passed by Congress can become law, Imperial Assent (the Emperor's approval) is required. Assent can either be granted (making the bill law) or withheld (vetoing the bill). However a veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress, whereupon the Emperor is required to give Imperial Assent to the bill.
The Emperor is considered to be the "fount of honour", the source of all honours and dignities in Cygnia. The Crown creates all peerages, appoints members of the orders of chivalry, grants knighthoods and awards other honours. Although peerages and most other honours are granted on the advice of the Chancellor, some honours are within the personal gift of the Sovereign, and are not granted on cancellarial advice. The Emperor alone appoints members of the Order of the Swan, the Imperial Ellorian Order and the Order of Merit.
The Emperor is the Supreme Governor of the established Church of Cygnia. Archbishops and bishops are appointed by the Emperor, choosing the appointee from a list of nominees prepared by a Church Commission. The Crown's role in the Church of Cygnia, however, is otherwise titular; the most senior clergyman, the Archbishop of Swanstone, is the spiritual leader of the Church.
As a result of the Emperor's technical leadership of the Church, before 1962 Emperors were granted the title Defender of the Faith. However, in 1962 Ellory I through Letters Patent permanently changed the title to Defender of Faith, to reflect the equal importance of his non-Church of Cygnia subjects.
Succession to the Cygnian throne is governed by the Acts of Succession. The Acts may only be amended or added to by Acts of Congress; it is not possible for an individual to renounce his or her right of succession. The Acts of Succession restricts the succession to the legitimate descendants of Alexander I.
Upon the death of a sovereign, his or her heir immediately and automatically succeeds, and the accession of the new sovereign is publicly proclaimed by the Chancellor. Upon their accession, a new sovereign is required by law to take the Oath of Accession. The latest oath, taken by Theodore V in 1996, is as follows:
|“||I, Theodore Frederick Thomas Oliver Charles Elliott William, do hereby solemnly and sincerely affirm that I will in my capacity as Emperor of the Cygnians uphold, defend and protect the Constitution of the Empire of the United Cygnian States, and to the best of my ability serve and defend the will of the Cygnian people. I further affirm that I shall protect the democratic rights of all citizens of the Empire, and fulfil my responsibilities and duties without fear or favour, affection or ill will. This I declare, and this I affirm.||”|
While the Emperor is technically the Supreme Governor of the Church of Cygnia, the sovereign is not legally required to take a religious oath, and may instead affirm his intentions to abide by the Oath. Theodore V was the first Emperor to break tradition and not swear a religious oath, and in the spirit of inclusiveness chose to make a secular affirmation with the approval of the Church. To facilitate this, the Archbishop of Swanstone in the ceremony presented Theodore with a copy of the Imperial Constitution instead of the traditional Bible. He did, however, in private make another religious oath in the presence of the Archbishop so that he could assume his role as Supreme Governor of the Church of Cygnia.
The Emperor is usually crowned in St George Cathedral, normally by the Archbishop of Swanstone. A coronation is not necessary for a sovereign to reign; indeed, the ceremony usually takes place many months after accession to allow sufficient time for its preparation and for a period of mourning.
After an individual ascends the throne, he or she usually reigns until death. However, the Constitution provides procedures for the abdication of a monarch. In the event that the Emperor is suspected of "treason, bribery and other high crimes or misdemeanours," Congress is empowered to suspend the Emperor, institute a regency, try the Emperor and thereafter if convicted the Emperor can be compelled to abdicate. This abdication would be formally advised to the Emperor by the Chancellor. So far, this has not yet happened in Cygnian history. No Emperor has ever abdicated, although this will change on 6 February 2017, when it is expected that Theodore V will abdicate in favour of the Duke of Augusta.
Restrictions by gender and religion
Succession during the First Empire was largely governed by male-preference cognatic primogeniture, under which sons inherit before daughters, and elder children inherit before younger ones of the same gender. The Second Amendment to the Acts of Succession, which was passed shortly after the restoration of the Imperial Constitution under the Second Empire in 1946, abolished the gender-preference rule for anyone born after 1 June 1946. The Amendment also provided that Emperors would not be prohibited from marrying a Roman Catholic – a law which dated from the pre-Cygnian Acts of Settlement 1701. However, since the Emperor is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of Cygnia, the law which prohibits a Roman Catholic from acceding to the throne remains. The Amendment was passed by Congress on 14 May 1946, and was given Imperial Assent on 25 May.
Only individuals who are Protestants may inherit the Crown. Roman Catholics are prohibited from succeeding. An individual thus disabled from inheriting the Crown is deemed "naturally dead" for succession purposes, and the disqualification does not extend to the individual's legitimate descendants.
The Regency Acts allow for regencies in the event of an Emperor who is a minor or who is physically or mentally incapacitated. When a regency is necessary, the next qualified individual in the line of succession automatically becomes regent, unless they themselves are a minor or incapacitated.
During a temporary physical infirmity or an absence, the Emperor may temporarily delegate some of his functions to Counsellors of State, who consist of the Empress and the first four adults in the line of succession. The present Counsellors of State are Empress Elizabeth, the Duke of Augusta, the Princess Imperial and the Duchess of Carnarvon.
All official expenses of the Emperor are covered by the government, including those for staffing, state visits, public engagements, and official entertainment. This is provided through the Civil List, and its size is fixed by Congress every eight years; any money saved is carried forward to the next eight-year period. An annual Property Services Grant-in-Aid is paid for the upkeep of the Imperial residences, and an annual Imperial Travel Grant-in-Aid paid for travel.
The Imperial property portfolio, known as the Crown Estate, is one of the largest property owners in Cygnia, with holdings of §7.3 billion in 2011. It is held in trust, and cannot be sold or owned by the Emperor in a private capacity. In modern times, the profits surrendered from the Crown Estate to the Treasury have exceeded the Civil List and Grants-in-Aid. For example, the Crown Estate produced §200 million in the financial year 2007–8, whereas reported Congressional funding for the Emperor was §40 million during the same period.
Like the Crown Estate, the land and assets of the Duchy of Augusta is a similar estate held in trust to meet the expenses of the Emperor's eldest son. The Imperial Collection, which includes artworks and the Crown Jewels, is not owned by the Emperor personally and is held in trust, as are the Imperial residences in Cygnia such as Ellingham Palace and Theodora House.
The Emperor is subject to indirect taxes such as value-added tax, and since 1983 the Emperor has paid income tax and capital gains tax on personal income. Congressional grants to the Emperor are not treated as income as they are solely for official expenditure. Republicans estimate that the real cost of the monarchy, including security and potential income not claimed by the state, such as profits from the Duchy of Augusta and rent of Ellingham Palace and Theodora House, is §334 million a year.
The Emperor is also granted access to various vehicles for transportation, many of which are shared with the Chancellor. For ground travel, the Emperor uses the Imperial state car, which is an armoured limousine built on a heavily mmodified Holden-based chassis. The Chancellor uses an identical vehicle. One of two identical Douglas Madison Royce MAC-30 aircraft, which are extensively modified versions of DMR-18-800 airliners, have since 2015 served as long distance travel for the Emperor and are referred to as Cygnia One while the Emperor is on board (although any Cygnian Imperial Air Force aircraft the Emperor is aboard is designated as "Cygnia One" for the duration of the flight). Domestic trips are typically handled with just one of the two planes while international flights are handled with both, one primary and one backup. Any civilian aircraft the Emperor is aboard is designated Executive One for the flight. The Emperor also has access to a fleet of twenty Cygnian Imperial Marine Corps helicopters of various models, designated as Marine One when the Emperor is aboard any particular one in the fleet. Flights are typically handled with as many as five helicopters all flying together and frequently swapping positions as to disguise which helicopter the Emperor is actually aboard to any would-be threats. The Emperor is usually prohibited from travelling in the same helicopter fleet, plane, or car as the Chancellor, for security reasons.
The Emperor's official residence in Swanstone is Ellingham Palace. It is the site of most state banquets, investitures, Imperial christenings and other ceremonies. An alternative residence is Theodora House in the northern city of Theodora. Other members of the Imperial family use different residences, although they unlike the monarch are not prohibited from taking residence on privately-owned property. For example, the Duchess of Carnarvon lives with her family in the southern suburbs of Swanstone. The Duke of Augusta and his family lives in Colburn House, a Government-owned riverside mansion in the inner neighbourhood of Colburn, Swanstone.
The present Emperor's full style and title is "Theodore the Fifth, by the Grace of God, of the Cygnian People Emperor, Head of the House of Hamilton-Campbell-York-Lancaster, Defender of Faith". The title "Head of the House of Hamilton-Campbell-York-Lancaster" is bestowed by the Imperial family under its House laws, and is technically not tied to the Crown. The style "Defender of Faith" dates back to 1521, when Pope Leo X first granted the title "Defender of the Faith" to Henry VIII of England in 1521, rewarding him for his support of the Papacy during the early years of the Protestant Reformation, particularly for his book the Defence of the Seven Sacraments. After Henry broke from the Roman Church, Pope Paul III revoked the grant, but Parliament passed a law authorising its continued use. The usage of the title "Defender of the Faith" continued in Cygnia after Alexander I became Emperor of Cygnia. The style was changed to "Defender of Faith" by Ellory I in 1962 to reflect the equal importance of his non-Church of Cygnia subjects.
The Emperor is known as "His Imperial Majesty". The form "Cygnian Majesty" appears in international treaties and on passports to differentiate the Cygnian monarch from foreign rulers. The latter title is used in the prefixes of military installations and naval vessels. Navy ships carry the prefix Cygnian Majesty's Ship (CMS), while Army and Naval bases have the prefixes Cygnian Majesty's Army Base (CMAB) and Cygnian Majesty's Naval Base (CMNB) respectively.
The Emperor chooses his regnal name, not necessarily his first name – Emperors Theodore II and Theodore IV did not use their first names.
Traditionally in Britain, the signature of the King included his regnal name but not ordinal, followed by the letter R, which stands for rex or regina (Latin for King and Queen, respectively). After three Theodores occupied the throne consecutively, Theodore III dropped the usage of the initial, which had since become an I for imperator (Latin for Emperor), and instead used his full regnal name, Theodore III. This continued with Theodore IV. Ellory I also used his ordinal in his signature, although since his ordinal was I, it would not have made a difference since the ordinal could have been interpreted as the imperator "I" as well. Theodore V also uses his ordinal in his signature.