Carolyn I of Ladonia
|Queen of Ladonia
|Queen of Ladonia
|2 June 2011 - present
|19 September 2011
|Queen Ywonne I Jarl
|The Crown Princess Greta
|1976 (age 47–48)
|Prince David of Ladonia
|Greta, The Crown Princess of Ladonia (Heir)
The Prince Maximilian
The Prince David Edward
Queen Carolyn I of Ladonia is the reigning monarch of the Ladonia, known for her dynamic leadership and advocacy for cultural preservation and free expression. Ascending to the throne in 2011, Queen Carolyn has played a crucial role in shaping Ladonia's identity and international presence. Her reign is marked by significant efforts in promoting the arts, championing free speech, and preserving Ladonia’s unique cultural heritage, particularly the Nimis and Arx sculptures. A notable figure in the micronational community, Queen Carolyn's commitment to these ideals was further recognized with her election to the Micronational Hall of Excellence in 2023. Under her leadership, the Ladonia Foundation was established, furthering her vision of a culturally rich and expressive micronation.
Election as Queen of Ladonia
The election of Carolyn Shelby as Queen of Ladonia marked a significant turning point in the micronation's history. This transition of power followed the reign of the first Queen, Ywonne I Jarl, who was elected during Ladonia's inaugural national election in 1997. Queen Ywonne's reign lasted until 2011 when, in a landmark decision, the Cabinet of Ministers exercised their constitutional right to remove her from office via a supermajority vote. This unprecedented action led to the vacancy of the throne, triggering another constitutional process to elect a new Queen.
Under Ladonia's constitution, any female citizen is eligible to be nominated for the queenship by a Cabinet minister. The 2011 election saw six women receiving nominations. Notably, actress Angelina Jolie, although nominated, was not placed on the ballot as she did not meet the citizenship prerequisite.
The election process was democratic and participatory, with each candidate given the opportunity to address the Cabinet of Ministers. They presented their qualifications and visions for Ladonia, outlining why they believed they were suited for the role of Queen. This event was a display of Ladonia's commitment to democratic principles and transparent governance.
The vote commenced in the last week of May 2011 and concluded on June 1, 2011. Carolyn Shelby, who had been serving Ladonia as the Minister of Customizations and Gary since 2000, emerged as the winner. Her victory was a testament to her dedication and the trust placed in her by the Ladonian people.
Carolyn Shelby was officially proclaimed the new Queen of Ladonia on Ladonia's National Day, June 2nd, 2011. In her acceptance speech, she pledged to dedicate her reign to the preservation of Nimis, the growth and development of Ladonia, and the defense of free speech and expression.
The coronation of Queen Carolyn I was held on September 19th, 2011, at Nimis, the symbolic heart of Ladonia. The ceremony was attended by Ladonia's founder Lars Vilks, the State Secretary, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, and photographers from the Swedish press. The event was not only a formal induction of the new Queen but also a celebration of Ladonia's artistic and cultural heritage, further highlighted by its location at the iconic Nimis sculpture.
Reign and Contributions
Digital Advancements and Infrastructure
Since her coronation in 2011, Queen Carolyn I has been instrumental in modernizing and digitizing Ladonia’s infrastructure, significantly enhancing its global presence and accessibility. She spearheaded a comprehensive digital repair and renovation project, achieving several key milestones:
- Creation of official social media accounts for Ladonia on Facebook and Twitter, increasing visibility and engagement.
- Securing all variations of Ladonia domain names to consolidate the nation’s online identity.
- Overhauling the Ladonia.org website on a secure server, implementing robust security measures, and cleansing compromised files, ensuring a safe and user-friendly online experience.
- Establishing a digital citizenship database, streamlining the citizenship application process to be fully online, thereby making record-keeping and access more efficient.
- Launching an online souvenir shop, providing a platform for supporters globally to acquire Ladonian memorabilia.
- Setting up bank accounts and digital payment systems, facilitating online donations and purchases, a significant upgrade from the previous system of mailing checks to a post office box in Sweden.
International Presence and Diplomacy
Queen Carolyn I has actively participated in and spoken at various micronational conferences worldwide, solidifying Ladonia's status in the micronational community. Her international engagements include:
- Speaking at Polination 2012 in London and Polination 2015 in Perugia.
- Leading the Ladonian delegations at MicroCon events in Anaheim (2015), Toronto (2019), and Las Vegas (2022), and hosting MicroCon 2023 in Chicago and MicroCon EU 2023 in Ypres.
- Visiting the Principality of Aigues-Mortes for the Le Godet D'Or event multiple times.
- Regular visits to Ladonia and meetings with the ministers, and formerly with the State Secretary until his death in 2021.
Awards and Honors
Queen Carolyn's contributions have been recognized by various micronations, reflecting her esteemed position in the community. Her accolades include:
- From Westarctica: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Snowflake, Stranger Dame in the Illustrious Antarctic Order of the Orca, Dame in the Order of the Polar Cross.
- From Kolios: Knight Commander in the Most Honorable Order of Kolios.
- From Kaharagia: Dame Commander of the Royal Order of the Kaharagian Eagle.
- From the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis: Commander of the Order of Saint Polycarpus.
- From Karnia-Ruthenia: Dame of the Order of the Lion.
- From Austenasia: Dame of Edd in the Order of the Bullmastiff.
- From the Principality of Aigues-Mortes: Dame of the Order of the Flamingo.
In 2023, Queen Carolyn was elected to the Micronational Hall of Excellence, a testament to her significant impact and leadership within the micronational sphere.
Legacy and Vision
Throughout her reign, Queen Carolyn I has been a driving force behind Ladonia’s progression and increased prominence in the micronational community. Her commitment to digital innovation, international diplomacy, and cultural preservation has significantly shaped Ladonia’s identity and legacy in the 21st century.