The Danaan monarchy properly refers to the royal dynasty of the Danaan High Kingdom and more loosely refers to the institutions surrounding the Danaan High King in his capacity as the Head of the Commonwealth and to Confederal royalty in general. The current Danaan monarchy can trace itself back to the earliest reaches of the High Kingdom's history through High Queen Maile, an Aboriginal Danaan princess who wed the first king among the early European settlers in the land, Rhygyfarch ap Cunedda, who began to style himself High King after the wedding. However, it is High King Rhygyfarch who normally begins any modern list of the Danaan monarchs, largely because the ancestors of High Queen Maile, excepting her father King Kamameha, are unknown.
While the modern institution of the monarchy is clearly descended from the High Kingship traced back to Rhygyfarch and while the current monarch is directly of Rhygyfarch's line, this lineage has not had an uninterrupted rule. It is only in 2005 that the last and longest lasting interruption of Rhygyfarch's dynasty (a period of rule by House Gwydion) ended in the disaster of the Shattering.
The formation of the Confederated Peoples has fundamentally changed the constitutional role of the monarchy. Today, the High King of Dana is the monarch of several dozen different Confederal Members and is also officially recognized by those Members which traditionally constitute Nabarro Abarca as the Emperor of Nabarro Abarca and by those Members which traditionally constitute the Danaan High Kingdom as the High King of Dana. On the Confederal level, he is the Head of the Commonwealth and is one part of the tripartite Head of State, meaning that he is fully entitled to the status of a Head of State at home and abroad. He symbolizes the free union of the Confederated Peoples, accepts visiting monarchs independently of the Confederal Council, manages relations with foreign royal dynasties, participates in Confederal foreign policy and exercises other powers and performs other functions associated with his position in the tripartite Head of State.
The current Danaan monarch is His Most Esteemed High Majesty Owain ap Cunedda. Although she is not the heir apparent, Her Most Esteemed Highness,Gwendolyn, Grand Duchess of Shieldcrest and His Majesty's younger sister, is next in line for the throne as the heir presumptive. Other members of His Majesty's family include his youngest sister, Princess Morgan; his mother, Princess of Lutherstadt, Ygraine; and his wife, Marissa.
Since time immemorial, Dana has had many leaders who could be, somewhat anachronistically, referred to as aboriginal kings and queens. Ruling over a tribe or a loose confederacy, an ancient ruler of this sort genuinely left no written record and the only evidence left of most such leaders are scattered archaeological finds.
All of Dana was not united under one king until sometime in the late ninth century, when High King 'Alohilani waged a series of wars bringing all the tribes under his rule. Despite his origin as a military conqueror, 'Alohilani's reign was prosperous for the Danaan people and saw the introduction of the first real laws, most notably protections for the common people against arbitrary violence.
Kamameha, the last aboriginal High King, was a direct descendant of 'Alohilani, reigning during the time when Europeans first began to arrive. After some initial conflict, Kamameha reached an understanding with the settler's King Rhygyfarch, whereby Rhygyfarch would take Kamameha's daughter Maile to wed and their heirs be considered legitimate monarchs of the island by both peoples.
The king of Shieldcrest was also the High King of the Resurgent Dream from the arrival of Rhygyfarch in 947 to the abdication of High King John in 1381. This period was marked by the gradual expansion of the monarch's actual authority.
During the lifetime of Rhygyfarch, his actual area of influence was limited largely to the city of Narich itself. The Welsh colonists had not expanded beyond a single city and, while he had gained theoretical rule over the whole island from his marriage to Maile, the native people largely kept their own counsel.
Over the next few decades, European settlement spread out over all of what is now Shieldcrest. While Welsh settlement never expanded beyond this area, other European peoples were settling in other areas of the island. At first, most non-Welsh colonists claimed their settlements for their home countries or considered themselves independent countries.
By the reign of Merlin VII, however, the entire island acknowledged allegiance to the High King at Narich. However, this meant very little in the lives of most people. Almost all decisions were made by local kings and lords. It was this feudal system which allowed a group of English settlers under Thomas Waller to defy the decadent High King John and eventually bring down the rule of the kings of Shieldcrest for another century.
The king of Shieldcrest was again High King for a brief period between 1478-1511. Dafydd ap Cunedda, a king of Shieldcrest, managed to win back the high throne from Thomas VIII only to lose it again forty years later during the Homecoming War.
The throne of Wintermore was founded by the Waller dynasty. Thomas Waller, a distant relation of King Richard II of England, was the leader of a band of lost English explorers who landed in what is now Wintermore. He organized the lost explorers into a settlement and, based upon his royal connections, declared himself a king. Having little respect for the Cunedda dynasty and the high king who ruled from Shieldcrest, King Thomas soon initiated a sucessful coup, claiming the title for himself.
The kings of Wintermore held the high throne from 1391-1478. This period was also marked by the subordination of the interests of other Danaans to the interests of the people in Wintermore. The army of the High King, during this period, was recruited largely from Wintermore and His High Majesty's outpost were, in practice, often quite like the fortifications of an occupying army outside of Wintermore. They were deeply unpopular and High King Dafydd enjoyed overwhelming popular support when he finally overthrew them.
After the Homecoming War, the Sidhe High Queen Corrina ni Gwydion was established on the throne. While she tried to be equitable to all of her subjects, her reign was very much organized according to Fae norms. She entitled her husband High King instead of Prince Consort and kept to Sidhe traditions on any number of other specific matters of protocol. Nonetheless, Corrina was responsible for the gradual evolution of the Parliamentary system, the establishment of a basic measure of individual freedom, and the formal banning of the slave trade (which was admittedly unknown before her time, not embraced by previous rulers).
Corrina was succeeded by her daughter, Agwene, whose brief reign was nonetheless very eventful. Agwene's reforms, the Agwenian Edicts, brought true liberal parliamentary democracy to the Resurgent Dream. It was also under Agwene that all claims of the principalities to be sovereign kingdoms were finally abolished.
The modern Crown
After the Shattering, the Crown returned to the line of Rhygyfarch in the person of Owain, Duke of Tasat. Since his coronation, Owain has largely abandoned the Sidhe traditions of his predecessors. In many areas, he has returned to the traditions of the monarchs before the Homecoming War. In many others, where such traditions would be overly anachronistic, he has modelled himself on other modern human constitutional monarchies. Owain recently married to High Queen Marissa. However, as the royal couple do not yet have a child, the heir presumptive of the Resurgent Dream remains Owain's sister, Grand Duchess Gwendolyn.
Succession to the Danaan Crown is by lineal primogeniture, under which elder children inherit in preference to younger without regard for gender. The eldest child of a reigning monarch is titled the Crown Prince of Crown Princess of the Resurgent Dream and is the heir apparent. If the reigning monarch has no child, the person next in line is not the heir apparent but the heir presumptive. The heir presumptive receives no additional titles or honors because of his or her position as heir presumptive. The current heir presumptive of the Resurgent Dream is Grand Duchess Gwendolyn, the High King's sister.
There is only one means by which a person entitled by birth to a place in the Danaan line of succession might be deprived of that right. Any Danaan royal who becomes the spouse of a foreign sovereign loses the right to inherit the Danaan Crown, as do all of his or her descendants. This is not considered a punishment, but simply a measure to prevent a personal union between the sovereignty of the Resurgent Dream and that of any other power, as such unions often lead eventually to national unions.
The instant a Danaan monarch dies, their heir inherits the Crown. However, it is usual for a new monarch to mourn his or her predecessor for a period of forty days before having a coronation, taking up the duties of the Crown, and moving in to the Royal Palace.
Under law, the powers of a Danaan Sovereign who is under the age of seventeen or who is incapacitated either physically or mentally must be exercised by a regent. Physical or mental incapacity must be certified by at least three of the following people: the Sovereign's spouse, the Sovereign's person physician, the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor, and the Chief Justice of the Uasal Court. The declaration of three of these people is needed once more to end a regency and restore the powers of the Crown to the Sovereign.
When a regency is necessary, the Sovereign's spouse is automatically made regent unless he or she is similarly disabled. If the Sovereign's spouse is unable to perform the duties of the regency or if the Sovereign is unwed, the Lord Chancellor becomes regent. If that officer is also unable to fulfill the duties of the regency, they fall to the next person in the line of succession who is of age and capable of performing the duties of the regency.
When the Sovereign is simply away from court, those ceremonial duties normally performed by the Sovereign may be delegated to whatever person the Sovereign might see fit to entrust with them. This is almost always the Lord Chancellor.
After every Parliamentary election, the High King is bound by duty to issue his madate to form a government to the leader of the largest party in whichever coalition has a majority. However, that leader does not become Prime Minister until they have formed a government which has received the approval of a majority of the Parliament. If they fail to do so, the High King will normally dissolve Parliament and call new elections.
As Grand Marshall of the Royal Armies, the High King is the Commander-in-Chief of the Danaan Armed Forces. He attends weekly military briefings and makes military decisions based upon the advice of the Minister for Defence and the Military Command Council. The Sovereign very seldom gets involved directly in professional military matters.
The purpose of the Sovereign's direct control of the military and the police is to make sure that these organizations remain above partisan politics and continue to defend the nation and enforce the law without being subject to politically motivated interference. It is considered a safeguard of democracy and a check on Parliamentary power by most Danaans.
The powers and duties belonging to the Crown are collectively known as the Royal Prerogative. In the Resurgent Dream, the Royal Prerogative is divided into titular powers, constitutional powers, executive powers, and contingent powers. Each of these divisions also contains corresponding duties. Titular powers are powers which are officially exercised by the High King but where constitutional norms require him to act either on the advice of some established body or according some other set procedure. Constitutional powers are powers which the High King is supposed to exercise based on his own judgement, with only such advice as he requests. Executive powers are those powers which are entrusted to the High King so as to defend the nation and enforce the laws. Contingent powers are powers currently attached to the Gryffon Throne which the High King does not possess in his capacity as High King.
The titular powers of the Danaan Sovereign include the powers to make treaties, appoint ambassadors, grant or deny assent to any Act of Parliament, to summon and dissolve Parliament, to grant to presumptive Prime Ministers the mandate to form a government, and the ceremonial power to formally welcome foreign ambassadors.
Of the titular powers, the powers to make treaties and to appoint ambassadors are always exercised on the advice of the Foreign Minister. However, if a treaty would in anyway change the domestic laws of the Resurgent Dream, it must also be ratified by Parliament.
The power to grant or deny assent to Parliamentary Acts is the titular which allows for the most independence upon the part of the High King, although he is still bound rather strictly by constitutional norms. Once a week, the Council of Ministers, a group consisting of between three and six Danaan Cabinet Ministers, meets with the High King and presents to him all Acts passed in Parliament that week. Where the document is either too long for the High King to read it during the Council or too technical for a layman to fully understand its meaning easily, the ministers explain the legislation in question. During this time, the High King can ask his ministers any questions about the legislation that he might have. Once the Council of Ministers has concluded, the High King has a week to do one of three things with any given piece of legislation. If the High King considers the legislation unobjectionable, he might simply give it his immediate assent. If he fears the legislation may violate the constitutional principles contained in the Agwenian Edicts, he may send it to the Uasal Court for a ruling. If the Court informs the king that the Act is, in fact, unconstitutional, then the king is expected to withold assent. If the Court decides the other way, he is expected to grant assent. If an Act is constitutionally uncontroversial but the High King nonetheless considers it objectionable, he may return it to Parliament with his written objections. Parliament is required to hold a reading of the objections and to reopen debate. If, after doing so, Parliament submits the same Act for assent a second time, the High King is expected to grant it immediately.
The High King always grants a mandate to form a government to the leader of the majority party or of the largest party within a majority coalition. If no one fulfills either of these conditions, then the High King has slightly more leeway, although he is expected to grant it to the leader of the party with a plurality.
The constitutional powers of the High King include making the Speech from the Throne which opens every session of Parliament, the creation of all peerages, the appointment of members of the Order of the Cup, the granting of knighthoods, and the awarding of all civilian and military medals and honors issued by the Resurgent Dream as such. Unlike in some other Parliamentary systems, the High King expresses his own opinions in the Speech from the Throne, and not the agenda of the new government.
The executive powers of the High King include command of the Armed Forces and the National Police. The High King normally leaves operational command to professional officers and normally sets general policy based upon the advice of his ministers. The one area where the High King only takes advice from professional military officers and never from civilian ministers is that of promotions. Any promotion to a rank of General or Admiral must be personally approved by the High King. The exclusion of politicians from this process is designed to ensure that the military cannot become partisan. The entire purpose of the High King's direct command of these institutions is to keep defence and law enforcement apolitical and to make sure there loyalty remains to the nation as a whole.
The contingent powers of the High King mostly consist of those powers he wields as Grand Duke of Tarana. In this capacity, he controls the Tarana Police Department, appoints the appointed Member of Parliament for Tarana, and serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Tarana Militia. His assent is also required for any local Taranan legislation. However, as the national Parliament acts as Tarana's legislature, this power has tended to blend with the granting of assent for national legislation.
Marlund and Adoki
Queen Ygraine of Marlund is the mother of the current High King of the Resurgent Dream. Her Majesty was widowed in late 1990, when her husband died in the brief Danaan Civil War. In 2005, she married a second time, joining with Hermann of Marlund. Although a Queen Consort's children from a previous marriage do not automatically become the heirs of her new husband, King Hermann legally adopted High King Owain in early 2006.
The Danaan Crown also has a more distant connection with the Throne of Adoki. The High King's fourth cousin, Prince Suizei of Kadoki is married to Princess Yuko, the only child of the current Emperor of Adoki.
Some commentators speculate that, because of these ties, the High King of the Resurgent Dream will also be the king of Marlund and the Emperor of Adoki within a few years. Such a possibility poses a number of constitutional problems, since it has previously been unlawful for a Queen Consort or Prince Consort of another nation to inherit the Danaan Crown, precisely because the merging of dynasties was considered extremely undesirable. The exact legal form any such union might take is currently hard to imagine.
A small portion of the High King's funds are supplied by Parliament from public taxation. These include funds for the performance of all official state functions, such as greeting foreign ambassadors, maintaining a military staff, travel on official state visits, and other activities where the High King acts to perform a constitutional duty of the monarchy.
The great bulk of the High King's income comes from the Crown Estate, the collection of all lands held personally by the High King of the Resurgent Dream in his capacity as High King. Revenue on the Crown Estate is generated by renting royal lands out to private businesses or individuals who pay a fixed sum to the Crown each year. Currently, the income from the Crown Estate is 6,470,000,000S a year.
The High King also derived income from the Duchy of Tasat. The High King holds this title and these lands as the Duke of Tasat and not as the High King. The current income from the Duchy of Tasat is 648,000,000S a year.
The official residence of the High is the Royal Palace at Tarana, located at the heart of the Marble City. It is here that state banquets, investitures, and other royal ceremonies take place. Foreign ambassadors are accredited to the Court at Tarana.
The High King also maintains an official residence in each Danaan Principality of the High Kingdom. Thus, the Crown maintains Abdelsatta Palace in Alekthos, Abbud Palace in Amalad, Acum Palace in Amory, Bakogianni Palace in Bilbtoria, Ch'ak'iso Palace in Carasia, Cadmus Palace in Corral, Ffoulkes Palace in Farinor, Ferguson Palace in Fireforge, Hackett Palace in Holista, Kauntiz Palace in Kagerlund, Kadri Palace in Kar, Kada Palace in Kadoki, Lam Palace in Legon, Nana Palace in Nerise, Palani Palace in Pele, Sáenz Palace in Sanero, Gwydion Palace in Saraben, Segal Palace in Selinia, Shone Palace in Shieldcrest, Tammerk Palace in Thorlund, White Palace in Wintermore, Waglewski Palace in Wyrnsk, Zhai Palace in Zeng, and Zinsli Palace in Zutern as official residences of the High King. However, most of these palace are either open to the public or inhabited by foreign dignitaries, court officials, or members of the royal family when the High King is not in residence. It is considered in poor taste to simply leave the palaces empty for any lengthy period of time.
In addition to the residences of the High King, those members of the royal family who are also grand dukes, grand duchesses, princes, and princesses of the various principalities have their own official residences, located in the capitals of their respective principalities.
The High King maintains a number of residences which he does not hold as the High King. These include a mansion in North Carolina and the legendary Tasat Manor, considered one of the best designed buildings in the nation.
The present Sovereign's full title is "Owain Gwynfor Dafydd ap Cunedda, by the Grace of God, High King of the Resurgent Dream and Grand Duke of Tarana, Grand Marshall of the Royal Armies, Lord Constable of the Resurgent Dream, Knight Peerless, Chief Dragon of the Islands."
The High King is formally known as "His Most Esteemed High Majesty". However, in most situations, he is referred to simply as "His Majesty." The form "Danaan Majesty" appears in international treaties and on passports. Queens Consorts (wives of kings) and Queens Dowager (widows of kings) are also entitled to the style of "Most Esteemed High Majesty." However, the husbands of female Sovereigns have not been since the Shattering.
The ordinal used for Danaan monarchs takes into account all monarchs back to High King Rhygyfarch, even though a number of dynasties have reigned over that time. If only one monarch has used a particular name, then no ordinal is used. High King Owain is not Owain I.
The High King's signature consists only of his full name. However, in all cases, his complete title is printed below his signature and his seal affixed upon any document he has signed.
Arms of Dominion
The coat of arms used by the Sovereign, known as the Arms of Dominion, are: Quarterly, I and IV Vert a gryffon regardant in Or; II and III Argent a dragon rampant gules within a bordure engrailed of the last.The supporters are the bear and the lion and the motto is "Fiat Justitia Pereat Mundus," which is also the national anthem.
The monarch's official flag is known as the Royal Standard and depicts the Arms of Dominion. The Royal Standard flies only from buildings where the Sovereign is personally present. At other times, the Danaan flag is flown. The Royal Standard is never flown at half mast because there is always a Sovereign.
In the past, some monarchs have maintained their own distinct personal arms as well as the arms of the Crown. All three Gwydion Sovereigns maintained the arms of their House. However, High King Owain has stated categorically that the Arms of Dominion are the only arms of the Danaan Sovereign.