Abdication of Smith II
On July 21, 2015, King Smith II abdicated from the throne in favor of his daughter, the Crown Princess Elisa following the controversy surrounding his royal edict regarding the Mexico Resolution nearly two months back. 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 the His Royal Highness' Declaration of Abdication Act of 2015, which formally transferred the powers and titles of the Crown to Elisa (who subsequently became Angelina II).
Before Smith II abdicated, he delivered his final speech as King before the public, thanking them for the support from the people and the government, and his hope for Sierra's future. He stood by his edict, believing that the invasion against Mexico (which had recently been concluded and deemed a massive success) not only toppled an oppressive regime, but that it would bring justice to the victims of the Veracruz-Macias regime and those of the Baja California crisis and 2015 San Diego bombings. The king's abdication was met with varying responses, many were completely shocked and saddened by his departure while others, particularly republicans celebrated and demanded the abolition of the monarchy.
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 Angelina II, in honor of her grandmother, the late Angelina I. She granted her father and mother the newly-established titles of Duke and Duchess of Cabo.
Sierra and the Mexican Social Republic had a contentious relationship in the 21st century during the latter's existence. Highly belligerent, Mexico claimed the Baja California peninsula and the Sonora as inherently Mexican territory despite Sierra's internationally-backed sovereignty over such lands as the Pacífico Norte and Pacífico Sur. Under a Veracruzist regime, the Mexican government acted aggressively along the Sea of Cortez. In the spring of 2014, a Mexican frigate rammed into a Sierran cruiser on Sierran waters, just 4 miles off the coast of the city of La Paz, resulting in 18 killed Sierran military personnel, and triggering the Baja California crisis. Mexico further provoked Sierra and the Anglo-American region when Mexico was connected to a series of military coups in Central America. In response to the coups, the Conference of American States considered military action to reinstall the Central American governments, while punishing the Mexican government for its involvement. Sierra, Brazoria, and a number of other allied nations tightened trade sanctions with Mexico, while newly elected Mexican President Macias vowed retaliatory actions, by reaffirming Mexico's claims over El Norte. Macias, an ultranationalist, was outspoken on attacking Sierra throughout his campaign election, and encouraged Mexican citizens to disrupt Sierran authority. Macias was also accused of holding ties with prominent drug lord families and cartels involved in Sierra throughout 2015. Sierran intelligence later revealed he held ties with the perpetrators of the 2015 bombings in San Diego. Revelations of Macias' and, by extension, the Mexican government's connections with the bombings resulted in the end of Sierra's diplomatic mission to Mexico and heightened military tension.
The bombings caused such anger and outrage from the public that the call for war was widespread including by prominent members in the government, particularly those on the right. In Parliament, the Mexico Resolution bill was formally introduced, which would authorize the Sierran Crown Armed Forces to engage in an armed response against Mexico. However, some members in the Senate were in opposition towards immediate war, and believed diplomatic negotiations and a measured, less severe response would be appropriate. The bill was stalled and was even filibustered before the bill could reach the Senate floor for final vote, six days after the bombings on June 12. The bill ultimately failed, short of a few votes for it to have passed. Within an hour of the bill's failure however, King Smith II arrived to the floor, and after notifying the Parliament that there was a state of emergency (as ordered by Prime Minister Steven Hong), it was one of his royal prerogative as King to issue an edict in such times of crisis.
The edict triggered a constitutional crisis and the Ministry of Defense leadership refused to regard the edict as binding. Other government bodies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Intelligence Agency also protested the King's decision and recommended that no military action commence unless expressively declared by Parliament. Although the Sierran military made no immediate changes in response to the King's edict, the border provinces along the Mexican border, as well as the El Norte territories sent their militias to patrol the border. Meanwhile, the Mexican state condemned the edict, and formally petitioned to the League of Nations Security Council to condemn Sierra for unilaterally declaring war.
Anti-monarchists, anti-war activists, and moderate Royalists politicians joined the campaign for Smith's abdication. A poll conducted in July 2 showed that 57% of Sierrans found that the edict was controversial and 49% believed that the king should abdicate. Smith, Hong, and other members of the government were also summoned in the Select Committee of the Investigation of San Diego Bombings over Smith's edict and Hong's assistance. Although the King was found to have exercised his powers within the constitutional framework of the law, some raised ethical questions regarding the King's actions in executing a unilateral decision as serious as war declaration. On July 4, the Supreme Court declared the King's action was indeed supported by the Constitution as his royal prerogative. Within days of the Supreme Court's decision, the Parliament issued a retroactive absolution of the edict, thereby ending technical state of hostilities with Mexico.
In private, Smith II conferred with the Privy Council on what course of action he ought to do. Tired of the taxing job as King and nostalgic of his time as CEO of Cabrillo Technologies, Smith II began contemplating abdication in the mid-July. By July 16, he informed his peers including Prime Minister Hong that he would be abdicating the throne soon. He also spoke to his own family including Elisa, who would succeed him as Queen, and offered her guidance. Smith wrote his speech on July 19 and the next day, he held a private celebration gala commemorating his reign. Many of the guests at the time, were unaware of the King's soon-abdication.