Succession and sustainability, a real challenge for micronations
Monday August 3, 2020 will remain a sad date in the history of micronationalism. It was the day when Prince Graeme, heir to Prince Leonard of Hutt River, signed after 50 years of existence, the dissolution of the famous Australian principality.
The event highlighted a reality about the fate of most micronations that are often condemned to disappear with their founders. The legacy of such an achievement may seem heavy for descendants who do not share the same passion as their elder founders.
There are many heirs and heiresses who have followed their parents in their passion, but very few give the feeling of really getting involved. Do they assume their roles to please mom or dad? Do they do it because they share the passion of their elders? Would a micronation be a passion that turns into poison? How do some micronations approach their sustainability? We have chosen to ask our questions to His Royal Highness, Grand Duke Nicholas de Flandrensis, one of the most eminent micronationalists for his action and his micronational knowledge. He is also and above all the happy father of little boys. We also thank His Royal Highness for the Scoop that we have the honor to reveal at the end of this article.
According to Your Royal Highness, why is it so difficult for micronationalists to find a heir ?
I believe there is a combination of several factors in this matter. Firstly there are not much micronations with a long term activity. Within the micronational community on social media Molossia and Atlantium are active since the 20th century! But most micronationalists are to young and only a few have children.
Secondly, a micronation always have a very strong connection with its founder. It’s that person who created a nation inspired on his or her ideals and interests. It’s an utopia to believe your children will have the same passion and enthusiasm to secure the future of your micronation, you cannot force them. The Principality of Hutt River is a good example of how the micronation died together with Prince Leonard. President Baugh is in an unique position that most of us don’t have: his first lady is already involved and his stepdaughter will be in his steps when he’s gone (just check their social media to see their passion on the pictures).
And thirdly: if you don’t have children or close relatives, who would you trust the further existence of your micronation? Most micronations already collapse within 6 months because the founders don’t want to share power or responbility because it’s “their project”. Seborga and Araucania and Patagonia even have usurpers who claims the throne because of the lack of procedures.
What about your two princes, How do they experience your status and Flandrensis so far?
My two sons are still to young (4 and 6) to fully understand Flandrensis but as every father I try a little bit of indoctrination (laugh): we have the flag outside, the many pictures in house, they know my uniform and always want on the picture with me. They love their medals and I try to involved the oldest one in some activities like clean-up actions.
For me it’s a priority to teach them to respect our planet and environment and Flandrensis is the perfect tool for it. On the other side I’m also carefully. They didn’t chose to have a father who has his own country and outsiders (= people with a narrow mind who don’t do any effort to understand micronationalism) can be very hard, especially on a young age they can be bullied. That’s the reason why we chose for the pseudonyms Ferdinand and Jakub and I limit pictures of them on social media. And also important, it’s not because they are my children that one of them is my heir. They are to young to make such decision, out of free will. When Delphine was pregnant for the second time we changed our constitution and chose for an elective monarchy: when the Grand Duke is no more, my direct descendants (the House de Mersch d’ Oyenberghe) can put their candidature and the Flandrensian nobles (= everyone who got a title as award for their contribution and commitment for Flandrensis) can vote. If none of them want the title and responbility members of the House Le Grand (descendants of my sister) can be candidate and if nobody wants – what is always a possibility – Flandrensians nobles can put their candidate to be elected as Grand Duke.
Ideally, how would you imagine your micronation in the future without you ?
Flandrensis is for me a long-term project. I already called it an utopia, but I would like that one of my children will be my successor. But more importantly: the next Grand Duke must be someone who is dedicated. But I really hope to get very old and in good health to run Flandrensis as long as possible and who knows, maybe one of my children will start their career in the Grand Ducal Cabinet and have a taste for more …
SCOOP microcosme.info !
Being a big fan of microcosme.info, The Grand Duke did us the honor of letting us announce the future birth of a new baby. In this photo, the little princes Ferdinand and Jakub show you an ultrasound of the Grand Ducal baby. The sex will be announced by the Grand Ducal couple at birth ( as royal tradition requires! ). We would like to congratulate the Grand-Ducal couple for this happy event to come and we wish Their Royal Highnesses again and always a lot of happiness.