Monarchy of Themiclesia
The monarchy of Themiclesia serves as the constitutional head of state of Themiclesia. The current monarch is La of the Slje-mra′, Inner Region (內史司馬涂), who ascended the throne on Dec. 12th, 2016. He succeeded the late sovereign Emperor Sk'en'.
The monarch and the royal family undertake political, legal, cultural, and ritualistic duties as provided by law and custom. As the monarchy is politically neutral, it is bound to the constitution and precedents when appointing ministers and officials, to confirm the Government's decisions, and to award honours and titles. Unlike most monarchies, the Emperor is not commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces, which are led by the government under legislation. The monarchy retains de jure unlimited power, though this is in practice never exercised personally by the monarch.
The institution of kingship amongst Meng settlers can be traced to the Hexarchy and earlier, though its precise cultic, political, and social roles and rules of succession are still not conclusively described. Though six major kings emerged, the high kingship or hegemony was established by the Tsjinh in 256 and developed into the modern monarch. The power of kings depended on a network of nobles bearing varying duties, military and civil, towards the royal administration.
In the activist political reformism during early 19th century, treatises proliferated on the "Themiclesian constitution question" to find out not only about the future form of the state, but also what kind of state Themiclesia was. Gjong J., writing in 1834 and with obvious influence from Casaterran traditions, said the King of Tsjinh (晉王), bearing the title Emperor (皇帝, gwang-têgh), is head of state and suzerain of "the associated states", possessing unlimited power over the former and treaty-based powers over the latter. He called Themiclesia a "complex" state due to this compound character, contrasting it with "simple" states such as the Sieuxerrian Empire, which in modern terms might be called a unitary state. Gjong's arguments, though influential, are criticized for a heavy focus on the letter of the law and omission of material forces that "have altered the substance of the state, but not the form".
In the following decade, Reformists sought to establish a codified constitution for Themiclesia, which the crown supported opportunistically to recover some of its lost powers. This plan the Conservative leaders opposed, believing granting the crown any unilateral authority, particularly in questions of war and peace, was a prelude to politically active monarchs. Royal politics was cited as a source of discord amongst the aristocracy and much misery for the entire country. The Reformists and Conservatives reached an agreement in 1844 to maintain the principle of consensus between the hereditary peers and elected representatives, which left the crown powerless despite Emperor Ng'jarh's intrigues.
The accepted role of the Emperor is Themiclesia's politically-neutral head of state. Even though the crown is a part of the executive, legislative, judicial branches of government, it is in all cases expected to follow the advice of ministers or other officials that take responsibility for the royal actions that they advise. Royal actions without the endorsement of ministers or officials, as may be appropriate, are regarded as legally void.
Themiclesian statutes, which date from antiquity to the modern age, reserve a large number of powers to the crown. Such powers are part of the executive function of the crown and might be held personally or delegated to ministers he appoints. After the Great Settlement of 1801, these powers are exercised by the Cabinet, which is responsible to the legislative, with the crown's nominal approval.
The personal names of the current monarch, that of any of the seven preceding monarchs, and that of the first monarch of the dynasty are legally taboo. It is an offence to utter or write their names, but there is no punishment stipulated for doing so after 1892. In practice, all monarchs in the current dynasty have been given extremely obscure names, so as not to interfere with normal communication, and offenders have not been prosecuted since 1854. In 1970 it is further legislated that the government will not prosecute except with an express ordinance from the monarch, which must also be drafted by the government. The name of the current Emperor, Ngljakw-mon, consists of two characters, of which the first has no known meaning and is only found in lexicons, and though the second is common, it is not an offence to utter or write either character, but only the two in combination. The family name of the dynasty is not subject to taboo and is shared with thousands of individuals.
Lèse-majesté (大不敬) has been a crime in Themiclesia for centuries. In view of its abuse in prevoius centuries, the current Penal Code clearly stipulates that lèse-majesté is limited to intentional bodily injures to the Emperor, Empress Dowager, Great Empress Dowager, and the Crown Prince, intentional desecreation of their official residences, intentional affrontery to their edicts issued regarding matters of state, and intentional destruction of the Great Temple, the Temple of Heaven, the Temple of Earth, and the mausolea of former holders of those titles. It is not lèse-majesté to insult the Emperor (or any of the individuals aforementioned), because only the dignity of the office is legally protected. Even this can usually be circumvented by using one of several accepted synonyms instead of the term "Emperor" in a less respectful context. However, since the Emperor can be regarded as a natural person as well, it may be a crime under normal legislation to slander or libel him. No law currently allows the Emperor to exercise the rights of his natural person,.
The last time a person was prosecuted for lèse-majesté was in 1942, when a man who lost his sibling to the Pan-Septentrion War, dissatisfied with the compensation issued to him, set fire to the East Side Gate of the palace in Kien-k'ang. The fire was put out before significant damage was done, and the government dropped the charges in view of what may be an unpopular prosecution during a time when national unity was important.
Previously, illustrative depictions of the Emperor (and the aforementioned personages) are also deemed taboo. If the Emperor is depicted in a painting, it is customary to have him seated in a canopy, with drapery slighly obscuring his complexion. Other common methods used to avoid depicting his person include having other persons, animals, objects, or natural phoenomena blocking his visage. Doing so without creating a jarring result on the artwork is deemed a skill. In the same vein, photogrpahy or videography of the Emperor is likewise taboo; whenever formal films are made featuring the Emperor, filming crews were instructed to capture only his profile or back and avoid his face.
After the PSW, it became increasingly common for uninvited journalists to capture images of the Emperor and publish them on tabloids; due to the awkward circumstances under which the Emperor is pictured, stories often showed the Emperor in an indecorous state. To remedy this problem, an official portrait of the Emperor was made, and it is a non-copyrightable image under Themiclesian law. The official portrait was made in 1952, when the Emperor was 37, but it has not been updated subsequently; as a result, the aging Emperor was perinnially depicted as a 37-year-old in official media, causing much confusion in foreign states.
Staring at the Emperor directly, especially for a prolonged period, was deemed disrespectful to the sovereign in the first half of the 20th century. Those close in his presence usually looked at the Emperor's hands when speaking to him, though occasionally looking at the Emperor's face is not prohibited, especially for a justifiable reason, such as inspecting his health or comfort. While these rules may seem restrictive, the Emperor spends most of his time in a canopy, with the drapery loose; his sillhouette is visible, but looking at him through the canopy is sufficiently removed from the affront of staring and is not avoided.
When addressing the Emperor, the speaker uses the style Your Majesty (陛下); however, in the third person, he is simply referred to as "the Emperor" and not "His Majesty".
Themiclesian culture places emphasis on the Emperor's procession or motorcade (駕) as a symbol of his status. There are three motorcades that the Monarch uses in different occasions. In some works the word "procession" means the part of the motorcade that emphasizes the monarch's status, while the "motorcade" extends beyond the procession and includes security officials meant to protect the entire procession.
At the most intimate distnace, the protection of the emperor is the responsibility of two separate organizations, the Gentlemen of the Enclosure and the Ushers of the Enclosure. The Gentlement perform guard duties around the building complex in which the emperor is present, while the Ushers ensure that individuals coming into the complex are unarmed and escort them to the royal presence. The law strictly requires the building where the emperor is to be clear of weapons of any sort, and it is strictly prohibited to come into the physical presence of the monarch under arms. These laws apply to the emperor's guards as much as his other courtiers and visitors. There is a slight exception to this rule for civil servants to bring eraser-knives (similar to letter knives) to make corrections to inscriptions on wooden or bamboo slips, which served as writing media before the Middle Ages; however, these knives are usually not sharpened to a blade, since a blunt edge was sufficient to scrape off unwanted writing marks. By law, these blades cannot be longer than three inches (c. 7.2 cm). Both the Gentlemen and Ushers are under the portfolio of the Under-Secretary of State for Palace Affairs (殿中郎), who in turn reports to the Cabinet Office. The