Gudrun, Senior Staff Writer for The Arendelle Guardian (AG): Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Plaza on this sunny and crisp-aired morning. Get comfortable and please come closer. The Arendelle Guardian has the pleasure of hosting the first open interview with Her Majesty and Lady Honeymaren, who will share their views with everyone gathered here today.
Anna (A): Hi! It’s so nice to try this new format.
Maren (M): It feels weird sitting here. I feel everyone’s eyes on us.
AG: I’ll ask my questions first, before putting forward to you a few questions submitted to us last night. Will that do?
A: Fire away, Gudrun.
AG: It’s been a truly momentous few months for Your Majesty as well as Lady Maren. You have both emerged as a kind of “tag-team” in the Arendellian parliament, and not only has Maren been pushing for a cultural exchange program between the children of Arendelle and Northuldra, but you’ve just introduced a proposal that could define your reign.
AG: This proposal lays it all out: an eventual re-integration between Arendelle and Northuldra. This is extraordinarily ambitious. Do you think it will be passed?
A: Well, the Great Assembly has plenty of time to debate it alongside smaller bills and everyday business. I want it passed, of course, and over the next year Maren, myself, and the ministers supporting me will make every effort to win over the necessary votes – and I daresay your paper will be making the case for this bill to the public. I hope that the bill’s vision will speak for itself – I’m well aware that the act of re-integration may not happen during my time, but far down the line when I’m no longer queen.
AG: I think it’s the general pace at which you’ve been moving that surprises some. You’ve pushed more new legislation and reform than any previous monarch in the first year of their reign. It’s impressed some, but intimidated others. What would you say to that?
A: The only thing I can say is that I really don’t mean any harm. I’m not here to wreck anything. I want to use every opportunity to show our parliament why Northuldra and Arendelle’s destinies are entwined. But I also want to show my ministers the many ways in which our kingdom stands to benefit from my vision for the future. See how Arendelle now commands respect among the European empires, and is spearheading a grand alliance: all critical leverage that was neglected by my predecessors, like my father and grandfather. I’m making up for lost time and also looking ahead not just five years, but ten, twenty years ahead.
AG: You didn’t include your sister as one of your predecessors.
A: Duh, because Elsa can do no wrong! I’m kidding. Maybe.
AG: Maren, these must be momentous changes to not just your old life but also your outlook. Can you keep up with Her Majesty?
M: (Laugh) She confounds me every day with something new. I won’t lie: this new post has exposed me to people and ideas that I never knew existed or were important. You could say it was Elsa and Anna that did me a favour in asking me to work in the government, not the other way round. My horizons have been expanded immensely and there’s no going back.
AG: Was it easy to make this decision to live and work here?
M: I’m not sure if it was an easy or tough choice, because I never really felt that it was about me. But I can say that it was Elsa that brought Anna and I together, so in a sense we feel a duty of care to each other because neither of us want to let Elsa down. I’ll always have Anna’s back, and I know she has mine.
AG: Your Majesty, Maren’s appointment as Head Liaison of Northuldra-Arendelle Relations brought new momentum into the pro-Northuldra wing of the Great Assembly. What is the general opinion about the Snow Queen’s influence on Arendellian affairs?
A: I can’t speak for those who still hold antipathy toward my sister or Northuldra in general, but I hope ministers with vision and ambition – real ambition – can reframe their thinking and see Elsa as an inextricable part of our kingdom’s life, as a great spirit and person who wants nothing less than the best for us. Northuldra, as I outline in my big proposal, is not a separate part of Arendelle: it’s always been part of us, but we’ve been separated too long! That’s why I use the word re-integration, not unification.
AG: Maren said that neither of you wanted to let Elsa down. Is it fair to say that your working partnership is thanks to the Snow Queen?
A: I think so. Thanks to Elsa, our paths are interlocked, our fates shared, our goals unified.
M: I’ve seen for myself how amazing Anna is in her governance. I’m proud to be her partner in realising her goals.
AG: I’ll ask you some questions submitted to me by our audience. Let me just have a look at my notes… “Asmund” asks: “Is tourism going to be a thing in Your Majesty’s plans for Northuldra?”
A: Fantastic question. Tourism, along with other economic foci like development and infrastructure, will be discussed very seriously between Maren and I. I don’t want to pre-empt Maren, but I’ll definitely propose some form of tourism – the sustainable kind. Even as Arendelle changes, Northuldra also needs to change.
M: The question is always what kind of change will benefit both regions. That’s where things get complicated.
A: Exactly. But I can definitely tell you that Northuldra is absolutely beautiful – it has the most stunning landscapes you’ll ever experience. So next time I have a break, I’m definitely going camping there with Maren and Elsa.
AG: “Valda” asks: “When will you and Kristoff announce your wedding at the chapel?”
M: Ha, it’s all yours, Anna.
A: I’m afraid I’ve been so busy with state affairs, and Kristoff with the Princely House, that we haven’t announced a time yet. Sorry for such a copout answer, but it’s the truth. The past year, this first year of my reign, has just been…
A: In a meaningful way. It’s punishing, exhausting, and frustrating. But this isn’t a complaint. It’s exactly what Elsa warned me about before making me queen. Past monarchs, including Elsa herself, started off with much less support and resources.
M: I wasn’t around during Elsa’s reign, of course, but Her Majesty can rest assured that she will never fight alone with Elsa and me around.
AG: One final question from the public, this time from “Gabrielle” – “Maren, will you ever invite your family and friends to our kingdom for sightseeing?”
M: I’ve been looking to ask Ryder over. We miss each other, and he’s never been outside of Northuldra before. I think he’d be very happy to see Kristoff again, and who knows? Anna might even have a use for him.
A: He’s a champ, that’s what he is. I like him a lot.
AG: And that concludes our first public forum interview with Queen Anna and Lady Maren! Thank you, everyone, for your very meaningful and heartwarming questions to Her Majesty and Maren, and thank you most of all to you, ladies, for your time this fine morning. The Arendelle Guardian has provided cakes and refreshments for everyone on those tables over there. Please stay around and mingle, everybody, and enjoy the rest of your time in the Plaza and by the dockside.
A: My favourite part. Look at those chocolate mud cakes. Ah, cupcakes too! Hurry, Maren, get me two while I stuff some in my –
M: I have no idea how your tummy can accept so much sugar and cocoa. Coffee, Gudrun?
AG: I wouldn’t say no to some, thanks…
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