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The Kingdom of Wessex-Normandy, Wessex-Normandy, Wessex, is a medium sized autocratic monarchy, divided by the Wessex Channel (OTL English Channel) into the statelets of Wessex and Normandy. To the North it is bordered by Gwynnedd and Man, to the East lies Anglia and United Kingdoms of the Netherlands and to the South the Francian states of Brittany-Maine and France. Its capital is Winchester and the population about 24.5 million.
King Frederick II is the Head of State.
The official languages are Saxon and Norman French. Welsh is spoken widely in the Welsh shires. Bilingualism is very common.
It uses the Wessex Pound (WXP).
Wessex is a member of the nominal state of Francia though its writ only extents to the Norman portion of the kingdom.
Wessex was one of the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the only one to survive the Danish invasions of the 9th century and under Alfred the Great Wessex came to control the vast majority of England. As the situation in Norway collapsed it led an increasing amount of powerful men converging on Jorvik, and the Kingdom of Jorvik broke free of Wessex control. The Danes living in Wessex controlled 'Danelaw' eventually would help subdue and evict the Jorvik vikings. Aethelred II attempted to crack down on the Danelaw's autonomy but his heavy-handed approach (including the murder of King Sweyn II Forkbeard's sister) would see him lose the throne and a united England.
The Danish invasions of 1014-1016 resulted in a division of England between Aethelred II's son Edmund II and Cnut of Denmark. For a while the rump state of Wessex maintained good relations with Anglia, co-operating with it to deny Edward of Normandy (OTL Edward the Confessor) the Anglian throne. Mercia was pawned to Wessex by Sweyn II of Anglia so he could go on crusade. The long reign of Edgar II saw a Norman influence creep into the Wessex court with many Norman nobles rising through the ranks of Saxon nobility. It also saw the beginning of the long decline in Wessex-Anglian relations.
Attempts to throw Wessex's weight around in Francia and Britannia were largely unsuccessful, despite the capture of London in 1183, but wars against its smaller neighbours led to an increase in territory. Cornwall was added in 1052. Normandy was added by inheritance in 1207. South Wales was finally incorporated and pacified in 1511.
The Twenty Years War, a struggle for dominance in northern France, started by the inheritance of Normandy would shape Wessex for many centuries to come. The sheer manpower and money required to continue the war, coupled with revolts in Wales, drained the country's coffers and eventually led to a baronial revolt in 1220. Two years later King Henry II was forced to grant away large privileges in the Magna Carta agreement but via this managed to hold on to Normandy. Successive rulers would spend the next three hundred years attempting to revise this treaty and secure absolute power once more.
Their opportunity eventually came with the weakening of Anglia during the War of Anglian Succession and the advent of Lutheranism. The Wessex War of Religion (1568-1580) fought between the Catholic Royalists and the Lutheran Dukes of Kent & Stafford with Welsh and Cornish allies, although destabilising, allowed a massive increase in kingly power and the confirmation of Wessex as one of Europe's premier Catholic powers. Avoiding the Kalmar Union's zones of influence it assisted both Pope and Emperor in maintaining the line of Catholicism across Europe. It funded several Imperial armies during the Fifty Years War (1618-1668) but had little success when it joined the struggle itself.
The Wessex-Kalmar War (1687-1701) erupted due to the growing naval confidence of Wessex and resulted in the loss of Trentmark (roughly OTL Derbyshire) and its colony of New Devon (OTL Reunion). However Wessex was little effected by the war and trade with the East Indies through the port of Bristol continued to boom.
During the industrial revolution many of the early innovations that would make Denmark and Anglia rich were devised in Wessex, however religious intolerance during the late 17th and early 18th century drove many of the entrepreneurs into Anglia.
Wessex is currently pressuring Anglia for a plebiscite in the Trentmark. However this has been countered with Brittany-Maine's demand for one in Cornwall.
The two parliaments of Wessex and Normandy operate autonomously however the king appoints the (sole) Prime Minister as well as the ministers of the major governmental bodies. He also has final say on all laws. This has been criticised as 'bottle-necking' government but despite occasional strikes and demonstrations has little chance of changing. Elections are held every five years.