The Kingdom of Saint Helena, often referred to simply as Saint Helena, is a sovereign state located in the Atlantic Ocean. Established in 1813, it is all that remains of the British Empire.
Saint Helena, along with Brazil, Iceland, and the Dutch Republic of the East Indies, is known as a "diaspora nation". These are nations created by citizens fleeing their invaded homeland and re-establishing their government in a colony.
Saint Helena was discovered by the Portuguese, but was first settled by the British in 1657.
After Britain surrendered to the French Empire in 1813, Napoleon exiled the British royal family to rule the island (rather like the Allies exiled Napoleon to Elba in OTL). They arrived on the 12 of December, 1813, and immediately set about establishing governmental institutions, such as a parliament, military and judiciary. HM George III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was restyled HM George I, King of Saint Helena and the Islands of the Atlantic.
In the 1820s, the kingdom set about colonising the other islands in the South Atlantic. Ascension Island in 1822 and the Tristan de Cunha Islands in 1823.
In 1830, Queen Charlotte left the island to take up residence in India as the Empress. From then on, Saint Helena was once again headed by a Governor appointed by a non-residential monarch. However, the institutions created by George I, such as the Island parliament, military and court, all remained.
In 1832 Governor Wallis claimed Saint Helena had sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, which had been part of the British Empire prior to the Great French War. The Islands had since been settled by the United Provinces of the Rio de Plata (UPRP). The First Helenian-Platan war which followed was the first military test for the new Kingdom. The navy, while small, inflicted a heavy toll on the Rio de Platans, and after intervention by India and their Brazilian allies, Saint Helena was granted the islands at the end of the war in 1835.
The remainder of the nineteenth century was characterised by a stream of migration from Britain, accompanied by a proportional growth in industry and power. By the dawn of the twentieth century, Saint Helena was almost self-sufficient, although still received large amounts of funding and trade from India and Brazil.
Saint Helena's shipping-based economy was severely crippled by the post-Asia-Pacific War Depression. Public sentiment and faith in the government was restored in 1976 when Saint Helena almost single-handedly defeated another attempt by the Rio de Plata to take the Falkland Islands. The war precipitated economic revival in the island which continued to the turn of the milennium.
The Kingdom of Saint Helena is a constitutional monarchy. The monarch is the Head of State, and the holder of executive power in the kingdom. As the sovereign generally resides in India, the Governor executes most of the royal duties on their behalf. There is also a bicameral parliament, the Parliament of Saint Helena.
The parliament consists of a lower and upper house; the House of Commons and the House of Lords respectively. The House of Commons is made up of 21 elected representatives, one for each of the districts of the kingdom. The Commons drafts laws, which, if passed, are handed on to the House of Lords.
The House of Lords is made up of 13 hereditary nobles and two high-ranking members of the clergy of the Church of England. They review the laws given to them by the Commons, make amendments if they wish, and, if the law passes, they hand it to the sovereign.
The sovereign generally grants royal assent to the law, but there have been occasions where they have not.
The current sovereign of Saint Helena is HM Elizabeth. She ascended the throne after the death of her father, George III in 1952. The current Governor is Sir William Hodges, who has been in office since 2011.
The role of the Governor is mainly ceremonial but they still hold some power. They have the authority to appoint the Prime Minister, dissolve the parliament, declare wars (normally on the advice of the parliament), and bestow honours.
The current Prime Minister is Andrew Gurr, the leader of the Islander Party. He has been in office since 2008. The Prime Minister is the member of the Commons who receives the majority of the votes of the other members of Parliament. This is almost always the leader of the party which holds the majority of seat in the house.
Military and Foreign Affairs
Saint Helena maintains a large military for its population, but it is small by global standards. As a thalassocracy, the main arm of the Saint Helenian military is the Royal Navy. It is equipped an up-to-date, technologically superior navy, which is frequently referred to as the most professional in the world.The Army, while small, is also well-equipped and has taken part in many FN peacekeeping missions. All adults in Saint Helena must complete basic military training and one member of each family must be a member of the Royal Island Militia.
The foreign policy of Saint Helena centres around its strong relationship within the Coalition, especially with the Britannic Commonwealth and Brazil. The kingdom permits Brazil to fish and conduct military operations in their territorial waters, in return for ships and weapons. This unique relationship has its origins in the strong friendship between Portugal and Britain, from which Brazil and Saint Helena are descended.