Abdication of Charles II
On July 21, 2015, the abdication of Charles II took place, marking the end of the king's nearly ten-year reign. The Crown transferred to his heiress apparent, the Crown Princess Elisa following the king's decision to avoid a conflict of interest between his role as a monarch and his involvement with Cabrillo Technologies, as its chief executive and majority shareholder. An unprecedented decision, Smith became the first Sierran monarch to abdicate the throne and consequently, his daughter, Elisa, became the youngest monarch to ascend the throne in Sierran history. His abdication request was made in the early morning and the Parliament officially recognized it through His Royal Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act of 2015, which formally transferred the powers and titles of the Crown to Elisa (who subsequently became Elizabeth II).
Elisa, the Crown Princess, became the fifth monarch and second queen of Sierra. At the time of her ascension, she was 18, nearing 19, making her the youngest monarch in modern history to ascend the throne. She decided to take the regnal name of Elizabeth II, in honor of her grandmother, the late Elizabeth I. She granted her father and mother the newly-established titles of Duke and Duchess of Cabo, while they have also became legally known as the "King Father" and "Queen Mother" respectively.
Background[edit | edit source]
Charles II founded Cabrillo Technologies, an electronics company specializing in semiconductors and networking hardware in 1990 while he was the Duke of Colorado during the reign of his mother Elizabeth I. The company became known for its router, the Purple Box, which became a dominant brand in the networking hardware market. Controversially, Cabrillo Technologies received a $20 million grant from Parliament in 1991, leading to accusations from competitors and government watchdog organizations that the private company was unfairly receiving support from the government due to the prince's involvement. The company eventually went public and was listed on the Porciúncula Stock Exchange in 1997. Despite pressure to step down as the company's chairman and chief executive order, Charles remained with the company. During the early 2000s, the company faced antitrust lawsuits which accused the company for engaging in anti-competitive practices. Other controversies involved privacy concerns and the company's close cooperation with the Sierran intelligence community. Charles testified before Parliament on three occasions to defend his company's position on the issues, waiving his royal privilege in each instance.
On October 17, 2005, Queen Elizabeth I died and Charles succeeded the throne as king. Immediately following his ascension, there were calls for the king to relinquish his involvement with the company. During his first speech to Parliament, the king promised to devote himself to royal duties and reducing his company responsibilities. A week after his coronation ceremony, King Charles II formally resigned as CEO and president, but remained the executive chairman of the company's board of directors on November 1, 2005. He also sold 30% of his shares with the company and donated half of his proceeds to various royal patronages and charities. His uncle, Prince George the Elder of Sonora, was designated as the company's new CEO. The decision received mixed public reactions due to concerns that the king and the Sierran royal family held undue influence over a publicly traded company, as well as accusations of insider trading.
In 2008, Prime Minister Steven Hong and the Democratic-Republicans gained control over the House and operated on a platform promising government transparency and corporate accountability. One of Hong's keystone promises was to rein in the amount of political capital and influence the monarchy held in the public sphere, particularly in finance and business. Hong and the Privy Council counseled the king to completely end any significant duties or obligations with the company. The king agreed to do so and resigned from his chairman position on January 1, 2009. Following his resignation, he sold all of his outstanding shares and publicly released his tax return the following year, a move which was considered unprecedented.
In December 2014, insider sources leaked that there were private talks within Cabrillo Technologies to go back to being private. Sierran media began reporting that the king was involved in the talks, raising concerns that the king was going to renege on his promise to remain uninvolved in the company. On June 15, 2015, company shares for Cabrillo Technologies were delisted from the Porcincúla Stock Exchange and was being bought out by the private equity company Lewis & Sons, another company with connections to the Sierran royal family. It was then announced that Charles II would reassume his role as chief executive officer and chairman of the company once the buyout was finalized. In a televised announcement on January 17, 2015, Charles II revealed his intentions to return to the corporate world and that he was seeking to abdicate the throne in order to avoid conflict of interest. In preparation for the move, the king had reportedly sought advice and counsel by top Sierran lawmakers including Prime Minister Hong, and also solicited advice from his eldest daughter, the Crown Princess Elisa. It was agreed that upon abdication, Charles II's uncle, the Prince Elder of Sonora, would become regent while Crown Princess Elisa as Queen, would be able to continue her studies as a college student.
Abdication is mentioned in two sections of Article II of the Sierran constitution. In Section 7, the Constitution states that Parliament "shall have power to settle all abdications...by Statute". With the king's intentions to abdicate made clear, Parliament passed the Declaration of Abdication Act of 2015 on March 18, 2015 and set the date of the king's official abdication on July 21 of that year to allow time for preparation and transition. The act also established that the coronation of the upcoming queen and investiture of the regent would occur within a week of Charles II's abdication.
Abdication[edit | edit source]
In the weeks preceding Charles II's abdication, official farewell celebrations were held in honor of the outgoing king. RBS dedicated entire blocks of programming related to the king and the royal family, an occurrence that usually happened only after the death of previous monarchs and state leaders. On July 21, 2015, King Charles II gave his farewell speech from the Occidental Palace at 12:00 pm local time. After his speech ended, he declared that he officially abdicated and he received a standing ovation from invited guests, state dignitaries, and members of the press. Upon his abdication, he introduced Crown Princess Elisa as Queen Elizabeth II, who delivered her inaugural speech. According to Occidental Palace spokesman Sally Mervin, Charles II's style after resignation would be His Royal Highness Charles II, the King Father or King Emeritus. Later, it was announced that Charles would be created as Duke of Cabo and he later became known formally as "Charles, Duke of Cabo".