Counsellors of State

In the Empire of Austenasia, Counsellors of State are members of the Austenasian government, Imperial Family, or nobility, to whom the Monarch, currently Jonathan I, can delegate certain state functions and powers when he is abroad or unavailable for other reasons (such as short-term incapacity or sickness).

While the establishment of a Regency would carry with it the suspension of the Monarch from the personal discharge of the Imperial functions, when Counsellors of State are appointed, both the Monarch and the Counsellors can — the Counsellors within the limits of their delegation of authority — discharge the Imperial functions; so the Monarch can give instructions to the Counsellors of State, or even personally discharge a certain Imperial power, when the Consellors are in place. The Counsellors of State always act in the name and on behalf of the Monarch.


History

The office of Counsellor of State was founded in late November 2009. From then until September 2011, there had to be either five Counsellors or no Counsellors appointed, and the unanimous consent of all five Counsellors of State was needed to give Imperial Consent or to approve Candidates for Prime Minister, four to grant honours, and three to exercise the other powers of the Monarch. The Counsellors of State under this system were, therefore, a form of regency council ruling alongside the Monarch when appointed. The Counsellors of State were only appointed once under this system, between 10 December 2010 and 18 August 2011. Due to the State of Emergency which Austenasia was under between the start of that period and 6 March 2011, the consent of only three of them was sufficient to discharge any Imperial power or function during that time.

Under the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, enacted in September of that year, the system was changed so that although the maximum amount of people eligible to be appointed Counsellors remained five, the Monarch can choose how many to appoint at any given time, and can choose exactly what powers each Counsellor is authorised to exercise. With the First Amendment (2015) to the Constitution, it was made possible for a sixth Counsellor to be appointed; from March 2016, this has been the holder of the office of Lord of Muschamp Alley.

Appointments

  • 10 December 2010 - 18 August 2011: This was the only time that the Counsellors of State were appointed under the original system, appointed first due to the War of the Orlian Reunification, and then kept in place due to the resultant instability of the joint reign of Esmond III and Declan I. Until 6 March, the consent of any three Counsellors could discharge any Imperial power; after that, the consent of all five was needed to give Imperial Consent or approve Candidates for Prime Minister, and the approval of four was required to bestow honours, with any other power still only requiring the consent of three to be exercised. The composition of the Counsellors changed over this time: HIH Crown Prince Jonathan, Lord Marshal William, HIH Princess Caroline, Lady Margaret Austen, and Lord Timothy were initially appointed; the latter two were replaced with Tribune Sir Terry Austen and Tribune Robert Songhurst on 19 December; on 31 March, the two tribunes were replaced themselves with HM King Calum I and Lady Margaret. These changes came about due to the fluctuating situation regarding the co-rule of Esmond III and Declan I and the ability of each to appoint Counsellors.
  • 1 - 23 November 2011: HIH Crown Prince Jonathan and the former Esmond III (then known as "Ptolemy IV" as King of Saqqara) were appointed, each able to exercise any power of the Throne with the other's approval, due to Emperor Declan I temporarily withdrawing from online activity after having an argument on Facebook.
  • 5 April - 5 June 2012: HIH Crown Prince Jonathan was appointed, able to grant Imperial Consent to enter Acts of Parliament into law, due to Emperor Declan I temporarily leaving Wilton to live with two people in central London for several weeks.
  • 12 - 19 July 2014: HIH Eritoshi, Countess of Memphis was appointed, able to grant Imperial Consent to enter Acts of Parliament into law, issue Imperial Decrees and Imperial Edicts, and assume the Monarch's position as commander-in-chief of the Austenasian Armed Forces, due to Emperor Jonathan I going on holiday with the immediate Imperial Family.
  • 24 - 31 July 2015: HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Count of Greater Richmond and HIH Eritoshi, Countess of Memphis were appointed, together able to grant Imperial Consent to enter Acts of Parliament into law and to issue Imperial Edicts, and the Lord Admiral able on his own to exercise any other power of the Throne, due to Emperor Jonathan I going on holiday with the immediate Imperial Family.
  • 31 August 2016 - 31 December 2016: HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Duke of Bohemia and HM King Adam I were appointed, each able to exercise any power of the Throne with the other's approval. They were initially appointed due to Emperor Jonathan I going on holiday to Seville with the Princess Consort, but the appointment remained for four months due to increasing demands on the Emperor's time in connection with his engagement and employment.
  • 3 - 9 September 2017: HIH Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy, Duke of Bohemia and HM King Adam I were appointed, each able to exercise any power of the Throne with the other's approval, due to Emperor Jonathan I suffering from an illness which initially required hospitalization, and his subsequent recovery.

Current Counsellors of State

Those eligible to become Counsellors of State are the spouse of the Monarch, the Prime Minister, and the three highest in the Line of Succession to the Throne who are old enough to be a subject of Austenasia. If, under this criteria, there are less [sic] than five people eligible to become Counsellors of State, for example the Prime Minister is [in] the Line of Succession or the Monarch has no spouse, then the Nobles who are old enough to be a subject of Austenasia shall be added in order of precedence as Nobles to those eligible until those eligible reaches the number of five people. An extra sixth person may be made eligible by Parliament to be appointed a Counsellor of State.

— Article VI, Section F, Paragraph E of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011

Currently (since 1 June 2020), those eligible to be appointed Counsellors of State are:

List of Counsellors of State

Due to various restrictions on who could be created a Counsellor of State before 10 September 2010, there were at some points less than five Counsellors, meaning that they could not have been appointed Counsellors anyway.

This list contains the dates not of when the Counsellors of State served, but when they were eligible to serve. Those in bold are those who are currently eligible to do so.