Featured image art by Maink, at: https://www.pixiv.net/en/artworks/78178180
By HM Queen Anna
Her Majesty’s personal column is published exclusively by The AG. This royal op-ed was reprinted from her column in yesterday’s morning edition.
By now, dear citizen, you’ve probably heard all about Arendelle’s tensions with Great Britain. I’ve chaired several war councils, met with my inner court, and deliberated with Elsa on the best course of action. I’ve thought long and hard about my approach before asking the Great Assembly to vote for potential war with Britain.
Obviously, this all started with the East India Company, which is a rapacious private empire, attacking trade vessels belonging to Bjorgman House, our kingdom’s largest ice importer. Just to be clear, my Kristoff hasn’t owned any shares in this company since we got engaged. Anyway, Bjorgman House ships had been carrying ice to a new British colony in the Far East. I hear the humid weather there means that there’s even a street called Ice House Street. They were headed to port when the East India Company’s fleet attacked them. No one was killed, but twelve seamen were injured and the trade delegation had to retreat. Now our traders are obviously wondering how we can do business when the EIC is attacking whoever they want.
The directors of the EIC insist that Bjorgman House had been trespassing on their maritime routes. To no one’s surprise, the British foreign secretary, Lord Palmerston, is trying to protect the EIC, since for centuries it’s been basically an unofficial arm of Britain’s empire. Talk about sleazy. I foresaw a potential conflict like this the moment I sat on the throne: an asymmetrical dispute with a much larger country that harbours colonial ambitions. That’s why Arendelle has trained and mobilized one of the world’s best diplomatic corps, and why part of my plan for government is a grand alliance with many other nations. We can’t let these maritime empires swallow us.
For now, I must deal with Lord Palmerston face-to-face. I’ve sent my personal flagship, Autumn Cloud, to EIC waters to make a show of strength. Arendelle will not be bullied. However, unlike some of my more hawkish ministers and jarls, I don’t want war. All I want is the EIC – or whoever is responsible in the EIC for this fiasco – held accountable.
In contrast to Britain, Arendelle has no colonial interests. If you know me at all, I’m stridently anti-imperial due to what my grandfather did to Northuldra. My whole gig as your queen began with destroying Runeard’s colonial project. I’m just asking empires like Britain for respect. And if her negotiators are going to be sincere, they will make a deal with us and rein in the EIC.
Lord Palmerston, Lord Curzon, Lord Salisbury… all these uptight men whose fury makes continents quake – they will meet their equal in me.
Signing off, your friend and servant.