Featured image art by PURY (@puryartist)
Signed and sealed by the queen on 7 December, 1843.
Submitted by the palace to the Great Assembly of the House of Ministers and House of Jarls on 7 December, 1843.
Released to the press on 8 December, 1843.
I read with dismay the decision of Lord Palmerston, British foreign secretary, to refrain from a public condemnation of Russian aggression against Arendelle and our allies, collectively known as the Entente of Small Kingdoms. This one stings personally. I remember how, in the early months of my reign, he and I negotiated a mutually beneficial deal that curbed the power of the East India Company – something that both Kristoff’s Princely House and the British parliament had wanted. Why have our overtures been rebuffed this time?
Our diplomats enjoy a good relationship with Britain’s, and behind the scenes there’s plenty of communication and agreement on the direction of Europe’s balance of power. However, I want to note my disappointment at the British Empire’s refusal to throw its support behind the Entente, something that the Duke of Weselton and Mari of Vesterland had been agitating for some time.
Britain formed a critical alliance with Russia during Grandfather Runeard’s years, when Napoleon’s France was sweeping across Europe and building an empire. In the darkness of that period, countries united to fight the Napoleonic Wars. Despite catastrophic defeats and terrible losses, the allies pressed on, with the survival of entire nations at stake. From Napoleon’s catastrophic invasion of Russia to the incredible British victories at Trafalgar and Waterloo, Russia and Britain showed us smaller kingdoms that an emperor-to-be like Napoleon won’t consume Europe, as long as there’s a balance of interests that disincentivizes total war and encourages limited theatres of conflict and patient negotiations.
Where is that same sense of urgency with regard to Princess Katina now? I would argue that the threat she poses to Scandinavia is at the same existential level – she’s made it quite obvious. She means what she says. She’s also made it explicit that she intends to annex Northern Europe, turning it into a supermassive, continental base from which she can inflict a fatal blow against the Western European powers – a terrifying prospect that I thought would be taken more seriously by the monarchs of Britain, Spain, the Dutch Republic, and many more of my fellow sovereigns.
I’m mindful that many of Arendelle’s friendly nations are moving towards constitutional monarchies in the face of emerging movements that challenge the need for queens and kings. This limits decisive actions and splinters decision-making, even in matters of national security. I’m well aware that as an executive monarchy, my throne retains elements of “despotism,” in its purest sense, that even my dear friend, Queen Victoria, no longer wields. That’s a conversation I’m itching to have, and I’ve fearlessly devolved powers to my parliament, the Great Assembly, to prove to you that I’m not my father or grandfather.
But here’s the problem: all these forward-looking discussions will be meaningless if we’re overwhelmed by the might of Katina and her commanders. If Arendelle’s rivals feared Elsa when she was on the throne, they’re asleep if they don’t fear the power of the Grand Dukes. Do we stand alone against a territory-hungry princess, who’s becoming the Napoleonic figure she claims to despise? Is there no country that can answer the call of history? If Great Britain stays neutral, then what about the Central and Eastern European dominions, and the connections we’ve cultivated with Austria and the Ottomans?
Please don’t force the Southern Isles, Chatho, Vesterland, Weselton, and Arendelle to stand alone against the imperial juggernaut of Katina. If our Entente falls, this Exalted member won’t just become the ruler of a newly conquered Scandinavia, but the overlord of all Europe and Asia Minor.
Signed and sealed,