Culture ministry completes new holiday list

NEW MERCY – On 1 September, the Duchess of Bellevue, Minister for Culture, approved the addition of 34 holidays and observances to Überstadt’s official holiday list. 16 cultural holidays were recognized, some new and some already widely practiced in the Kingdom, while 18 public observances joined the national calendar.

Recognized cultural holidays include significant days in Buddhism, Christianity, and Judaism, reflecting the diversity of citizens’ religious practice. Five secular holidays were listed as having national cultural significance, including the Winter Solstice, LGBTQ+ Pride Day, and two new holidays created based on citizen suggestions: Day of Rest and Knowledge Day. Raspberry Day was listed as significant in Rosewood, where raspberries are the dominant crop and an important aspect of local culture.

Some of the18 codified public observances are internationally-recognized days, like Indigenous Peoples Day and World Water Day. Others are specific to Überstadt, including Victory over Fire Day, which dates to the country’s oldest holiday laws as a commemoration of the 2009 fire that devastated Edmount Island, the first land Überstadt claimed.

After April 2021’s Renewal Act repealed all existing Überstadti legislation, the Kingdom had no legal holidays until Parliament passed the Holidays and Observances Act this March. The act listed six state holidays and authorized the culture minister to publish official lists of cultural holidays, defined as those “culturally significant to Überstadt as a whole or to specific cultural groups within Überstadti society,” and public observances, “designated for general remembrance…but not classified as state or cultural holidays.”

New royal residence annexed and made capital by name of New Mercy

NEW MERCY – King Adam has signed a decree annexing into Überstadt the apartment he shares with Queen Laurel, naming it New Mercy and designating it as the Kingdom’s capital.

King Adam sits in New Mercy in naval uniform and signs the decree.

New Mercy, surrounded by Boston, USA, is Überstadt’s first territory outside the Seattle metropolitan area and its first territory annexed since 2014. The last change in national capital occurred in 2013, when Rosewood joined Überstadt and assumed the status.

The new capital is the first exercise of a theory being developed by the King and other Überstadti leaders that allows for sovereign claims over portions of buildings without necessarily claiming the underlying land, a departure from traditional Westphalian sovereignty that sometimes occurs de facto in urban small nations. Anticipating the Kingdom’s further urbanization, Parliament allowed this type of claim in an act passed earlier this year.

New Mercy is named for Mercy House of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Seattle, where Queen Laurel lived during a service year and where Their Majesties conducted much of their courtship.

The King’s decree makes New Mercy, formally a barony, part of the newly-formed Sophia County and Duchy of Massachusetts. The county is named for the classical personification of wisdom in a nod to the royal couple’s academic pursuits, while the duchy is named for the surrounding U.S. state of Massachusetts and the region’s indigenous Massachusett people.

King Adam and Queen Laurel married

BOSTON – On Saturday, 6 August, King Adam married Laurel, Countess McAleer and now Queen of Überstadt, at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, USA, in the presence of their families and close friends. After a three-day honeymoon in the San Juan Islands, Their Majesties moved to their new home in Boston, USA.

Elegant beauty and themes of loving service at church ceremony

The wedding service began at 10:30 in the morning as the bride and groom processed into the cathedral’s neo-Gothic Thomsen Chapel attended by their siblings as the congregation sang “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones.” The King wore a dark gray suit with a green floral print vest made by the Duchess of Bellevue and a pale green necktie. Lady McAleer wore a vintage calf-length ivory-colored lace dress her mother bought in anticipation of her birth, as well as a vintage veil and her mother’s wedding pearls. The wedding party’s bouquets and boutonnieres included assorted purple and white flowers with extensive greenery.

The couple enters the chapel.

Departing from the traditional giving of the bride, the couple’s parents stood and presented them to be married and promised to support them in their new life together. After the presentation, the people joined in singing Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Their Majesties receive their blessing.

Much of the ceremony emphasized the importance of service to others. Friends of the couple read Bible passages about companionship and godly love from Ecclesiastes and 1 Corinthians, the latter read in both Greek and a new English translation by the Sôgmô of Sandus. The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty, who officiated the marriage, read the Gospel of John’s account of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and commanding them to love one another. Next, she gave a homily on the ways marriage equips a couple to serve those around them, recalling the intention the bride and groom expressed in counseling with her to use their marriage as the basis of their shared rule of life.

The bride and groom made the vows from the Book of Common Prayer and exchanged modern rings. The King received a sterling silver ring carved in a wave pattern. The Queen received a gold ring set with a hexagonal salt-and-pepper diamond, a piece by Seattle-based designer Valerie Madison. Canon King Daugherty pronounced the couple married and, following prayers for the marriage, pronounced the church’s blessing on the union. The congregation then exchanged the sign of peace as the newlyweds embraced and kissed for the first time as spouses.

Ministers prepared the altar as the people sang “Thou Who at Thy First Eucharist Didst Pray.” Canon King Daugherty celebrated the Eucharist. The King and Queen received communion first, followed by the other attendees. After the postcommunion prayer, all joined in singing “Be Thou My Vision.” Their Majesties led the procession out of the chapel as the organist played a setting of “O for a Thousand Tongues.”

The wedding party on the cathedral close: Queen Laurel’s sisters and parents, the Queen and King, the Duchess of Bellevue and Duke of San Juan, and Crown Prince Aaron.

Dozens entertained at thrifty brunch reception

Following the ceremony, attendees and additional invited guests assembled in the cathedral’s social hall for a reception. The room was decorated with vases of lavender and wild greenery and attractive books from Their Majesties’ personal collections. The King and Queen entered and performed their first dance before brunch was served.

The meal was a buffet breakfast taco bar prepared by the couple’s families and friends, featuring a much-celebrated pork barbacoa cooked by the Queen’s mother. The wedding cake, made by the Duchess of Bellevue, was flavored with Earl Grey tea and layered with blueberry compote and lemon frosting dyed lavender to match the wedding’s theme colors. Dessert also included ricotta tarts topped with berries, including some grown in Rosewood.

The reception concluded with toasts from the couple’s parents and siblings, and then their toasts to one another. About 40 people attended. Later in the evening, a smaller group of family and friends enjoyed a private party at a house elsewhere in Seattle.

Brief honeymoon and prompt move to Boston

The King and Queen take a selfie on Mt. Constitution, Orcas Island.

The day after the wedding, the King and Queen boarded a ferry to Orcas Island in the picturesque San Juan Islands of northwestern Washington state. They camped for one night in Moran State Park, where they enjoyed hiking and canoeing, and stayed their second night at the historic Orcas Hotel. Their Majesties enjoyed exploring the island’s wooded rural roads, visiting small farms, shopping for art and handicrafts, and eating fresh seafood. On the morning of the third and final day of the trip, they received the sad news that the King’s paternal grandmother had died overnight. They attended her funeral on Tuesday, August 16.

On the evening of Wednesday, August 17, the couple boarded a flight from Seattle to Boston with their cat, Luna, and landed the next morning. Later in the day, the Queen’s mother and a family friend arrived and stayed for three days helping the couple acquire furniture and unpack their belongings. Their Majesties have since organized their apartment, which is expected to soon be annexed to the Kingdom.

Cool weather causes Rosewood harvest to lag, but gardeners optimistic

SEATTLE – An unusually cool and cloudy spring and summer have stunted fruit and vegetable production in Rosewood, halving the year-to-date harvest versus this time in 2021.

This year’s spring weather in the Puget Sound area has set records for rainfall and low temperature. Tellus Horticultural Cooperative workers who tend Rosewood’s gardens observed that insufficient sun led to sluggish plant growth and late fruiting compared to previous years.

Official harvest tallies have reflected this delay. By 9 July 2021, workers had hauled in nearly 8.3 kilograms of produce. By the same date this year, half that amount has been recorded – about 4.2 kilograms.

Despite weather-related setbacks, the Economy Ministry and the Duchess of Bellevue, who oversees horticulture in Rosewood, have expressed optimism that 2022’s harvest will catch up to those of past years. As measured since the date of each crop’s first harvest, pea and raspberry yield is comparable to past growing seasons, while strawberry production has increased.

Raspberries being weighed in Rosewood after picking on 6 July 2022

Other fruits and vegetables growing in Rosewood this season include zucchinis, cucumbers, blueberries, and several varieties of tomato. Various herbs are also planted. Rosewood, Überstadt’s current capital, is the country’s agricultural center and plays a leading role in the Tellus cooperative active in both Überstadt and Sandus.

Tomatoes and various herbs growing in raised beds in Rosewood’s Tellus gardens

Citizens organize Protestant Church in Überstadt; Countess McAleer first leader

SEATTLE – On 5 June, a group of Überstadti citizens founded the Protestant Church in Überstadt, the first formal religious association in the country’s history. The church’s founders include the King and his fiancée Laurel, Countess McAleer. The church elected Lady McAleer as warden, its executive leader.

As Überstadt is officially secular, the Protestant Church is not a state religion. The church was founded as a voluntary association of workers under Common Economy law, which regards cultural activity as a form of labor. The church describes itself as a cooperative “dedicated to Protestant Christian ministry and fellowship.” The summary of faith in its constitution draws from doctrinal agreements in the Anglican Communion, but its founding members’ backgrounds also include Calvinism and other Reformed traditions.

Warden McAleer, a Sacred Worth Fellow at Boston University School of Theology, has told the Chronicle she is “enthusiastic about the creation of a formal venue for Protestant Überstadtis to practice their faith in common.” She expressed hope for “engagement with people from other traditions who might wish to foster a spirit of interreligious dialogue.”

The Treasury Department, which keeps citizenship records and runs the census, estimates that Protestants are the largest religious group in Überstadt. Nearly a third of citizens affiliates with some Protestant denomination, and 23% of the population belongs to the Protestant Church. The next largest religious demographics are Latter-day Saints and those affiliated with no religion, each group about the same size as the nascent church. Buddhism, Catholicism, and Judaism are also represented.

Royal press release: King and Lady McAleer to marry, begin postgraduate studies in August

THE ROYAL RESIDENCY, ROSEWOOD
KINGDOM OF ÜBERSTADT

His Majesty King Adam I and his fiancée Laurel, Countess McAleer, are pleased to announce that in August 2022, they are to be married and take up residence in Boston, USA to pursue postgraduate studies.

The Royal Wedding is planned for Saturday, 6 August at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, USA. The couple will invite family and close friends to attend, including senior Überstadti officials and the Sôgmô and Sanôba of Sandus. Crown Prince Aaron will be his brother’s supporter. Lady McAleer, whose sisters will attend her, will become Queen of Überstadt.

The royal couple plans to move to Boston in the weeks following the wedding. The King will begin a master’s degree in United States history at Boston College, while Lady McAleer will enter seminary at Boston University School of Theology as a Sacred Worth Fellow.

After relocating, the King intends to ask Parliament for an act annexing the new Boston seat of the Royal Household. His Majesty will consult with citizens to decide whether to move the Kingdom’s official capital from Rosewood.

Above: Official engagement photos of King Adam I and Laurel, Countess McAleer

Parliament approves culture programs, territorial changes, health and environment ministry

SEATTLE – At a meeting on Independence Day, 6 March, Parliament approved the King’s proposals for new cultural programs, territorial reforms, and a broadening of the environment ministry’s portfolio to include health.

Two of the four acts empower the Minister for Culture to give government sanction to aspects of national and local culture by publishing them on official lists. The Holidays and Observances Act defines six state holidays and directs the minister to maintain a Holiday and Observance List. The list will recognize cultural holidays and other observances observed by Überstadtis generally and by specific cultural and religious groups. This act also permits government workers leave on state holidays and cultural holidays they observe.

The Monuments and Heritage Act similarly establishes a National Monuments List and a National Heritage List to record sites, artifacts, and intangible heritage of national significance.

The Territory Act’s most important provisions clarified aspects of Überstadt’s territorial philosophy. It declared that Überstadt’s oldest territory, Edmount Island in Lake Ballinger, is a claim of “historical and cultural significance to the Kingdom and an acknowledgement of stewardship, not an assertion of exclusive control or usufruct rights.” The act also asserts that Überstadt may exercise sovereignty over parts of buildings without claiming spaces above and below them, essentially allowing territorial claims of individual units in multifamily residences. These changes follow King Adam’s speech at MicroCon 2019 that urged micronations in historical settler colonies to rethink their approach to land claims and reflects the increasing number of citizens who live in dense urban neighborhoods.

The Territory Act also created the county as a subdivision of the Kingdom’s duchies and relinquished Überstadt’s claim to Creekbed Colony, a small piece of parkland near the capital, Rosewood.

This meeting’s final agenda item was the Health and Environment Act, which renames the Ministry for the Environment to the Ministry for Health and the Environment. It requires the minister to publish quarterly reports on public health in Überstadt and an annual report on environmental issues.

Royal decree reforms military

SEATTLE – This past Wednesday, 2 February, King Adam issued his twenty-seventh royal decree to reform the Royal Armed Forces, Überstadt’s military.

The new decree regulates the Royal Navy, previously known as His Majesty’s Navy, and the Royal Militia, a successor to the reserve army force that existed several years ago. It defines the two services’ missions and creates rules for their ranks and uniforms.

Most provisions focus on the Royal Navy, Überstadt’s only standing military force. The decree articulates the doctrine that “every member [of the Navy] is a sailor, marine, conservationist, and emergency responder,” reflecting its role in both traditional military activities and the King’s intention to use it as an instrument of environmental policy and emergency planning.

Disaster response also features in the new Royal Militia’s role. The decree defines it as a volunteer reserve force available for the King to activate in times of emergency and encourages broad citizen enlistment.

The Royal Navy’s new emblem

Besides a new name, other changes to the Navy include defining its symbols, changing the official designation of its commissioned watercraft from His Majesty’s Naval Ship (HMNS) to Royal Navy Ship (RNS), and creating a body called the Admiralty to help govern the force. The Navy’s incumbent commander, Crown Prince Aaron, now holds the office of First Lord of the Admiralty. Lord Vice Admiral Michael, Duke of San Juan, holds the post of Second Lord of the Admiralty, responsible for the fleet’s upkeep.

Überstadt has a strong naval tradition. Its leaders have commissioned naval officers since before the state’s official foundation. The Navy has conducted boat patrols of Überstadti waters and the surrounding Salish Sea for years and features prominently in the national consciousness.

Economy ministry releases 2021 horticulture report

AUSTIN, Texas – The Ministry for the Economy has released a report on Überstadt’s horticulture in 2021. It is the government’s first official summary of domestic production since the formation of the Common Economy with Sandus in 2019.

The ministry reported that gardens in Rosewood yielded 20 kilograms (44 pounds of food) in the 2021 growing season. The most abundant product was red raspberries, accounting for roughly 37% of the harvest. The report highlighted recent crop diversification enabled by a move toward container gardening for vegetables and other non-berry produce.

Garden workers distributed the harvest among citizens and their friends and neighbors. They froze some berries for use at major holiday celebrations and plan to explore more ways to preserve surplus produce next year.

Since the ratification of the Second Common Economy Treaty earlier this year, all horticulture in Überstadt has occurred under the auspices of Tellus, a cooperative operating in both Überstadt and Sandus. In an introduction to the report, King Adam discussed the importance of horticulture in both Überstadt’s national economy and the shared Common Economy.

King announces interim cabinet

ROSEWOOD – On Monday night, 21 June, King Adam I announced his cabinet’s new composition in Parliament’s online venue. The appointees will serve on an interim basis until the next meeting of Parliament votes on whether to confirm them.

The King’s appointments are as follows:

  • Himself continuing his present roles as Secretary of the Treasury and Minister for the Economy;
  • Crown Prince Aaron assuming the role of Minister for the Environment;
  • The Duchess of Bellevue continuing as Minister for Culture.

The King acknowledged the current cabinet’s domination by the Royal Family and expressed an intent to diversify its membership in the coming year. He invited citizens to suggest any offices that they feel should be created and noted his interest in finding another person to serve as economy minister.

The economy minister role holds heightened significance during Überstadt’s ongoing negotiations with Sandus on the governance of the Common Economy they share. By treaty, the minister has a seat on the Commission for the Common Economy, which governs the association.