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Would-be King of Dragons
May 10, 2004
Well, I've finally done it and actually started working on my own AAR. Surprised? Well, so am I. Be patient and be kind, as I'm working my way through this and just so you all know, I know just enough to be dangerous but not enough to be considered an expert.

So without further ado, let the play begin:


For King and Country!

The nations not so blest as thee,
Shall in their turns to tyrants fall;
While thou shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves:
Britons never shall be slaves.​

Rule Britannia

1936 as many historians now mark it, a turning point of the British Empire. A turning point away from the slow decline made possible by the wastes of the Great War and toward the resurgence that not only revitalized the Empire but also reminded the world of the glory of the British Empire.

I was fortunate to not only to be a member of the generation that helped build that resurgence, but to one of a select group that watched this revival from the side of it’s architect, His Royal Highness Prince Albert of York, the future King, His Majety George VI.

I was promoted to Captain in 2nd battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry on January 1, 1936 and on January 2 was assigned as military aide-de-camp to HRH Prince Albert, a duty I was not overjoyed to partake of. His Royal Highness, while a Royal, was seen as a dead end posting for an up and coming officer in the British Army. I had been hoping to become ADC to Prince Edward, but as I was taking the King’s shilling, I did the King’s bidding and presented myself to Prince Albert eager to conclude my posting as soon as possible and thereby obtain a transfer to a more thrilling post.

The first eighteen days of my duties were to be expected, what with life at 145 Piccadilly being somewhat sheltered fro the Duke and his bride, Lady Elizabeth. Things changed for myself, the Royals, Britain, the Empire and the entire world on the sad day of January 20 when His Majesty George V, HRH’s father, passed away. The previous days leading up to the King’s death had seen HRH visiting often with the King and discussing the state of the Empire, and the day after the King’s death saw a change come over HRH. Gone was the stammer and nervous disposition that he was well known for and in their place was a steely mannerism more akin to a reigning monarch of an embattled nation rather than one second in line to the throne.

From the memoirs of General The Right Honourable Malcolm R. Drake,
Earl of Guernsey, KCB, MC, DSO​
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Great stuff. Great indeed.
Sounds very interesting so far...
Thanks guys. I'm going to try to post a little more today, but that all depends on my being able to distract my boss long enough. Keep your fingers crossed, eh? ;)
I assume this is going to be alt-historical?
But of course, we already know how things turn out in RL! :D It's time to see what a Yank can do with the British Empire, eh?

Here goes and sorry for the length:

Chapter One

The 1930’s were spent struggling for a solution to the global depression. Italy took the route of Fascism as the solution while Germany chose Nazism. With the exception of Poland and Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe fell under the sway of Totalitarianism. Stalin’s perverted form of Communism was the rule of the day in the Soviet Union. The Far East, witnessed the rise of Militarism as the best hope at solving the problem. While in Western Europe and America, more progressive reforms occurred as opposed to a radical change as many sought. In England…. in England, something different occurred.

With Edward VIII ascension to the throne a change came to the house of Windsor and as such to the British Empire. The King and his heir Prince Albert, Duke of York, set about a reorganization of the British government that would allow the Crown to have more of a direct role operating of the British Empire, a role that the Royals had not had for over a century.
His Majesty Edward VIII, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and of the British dominions beyond the seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India
His Royal Highness Prince Albert, Duke of York

The basis was quite simple. The royal brothers had determined that it was time to bring England and the Empire back to the where the Crown was not just the Head of State figuratively but literally as well. The King met in many numerous meetings with various members of both Houses of Parliament using charm and wit to explain and convince the members how the time was right for a change. The times were hard and the population of the Empire needed to not only see but believe that the Crown was not only in charge, but concerned with it’s subject’s well being, something the current government under Prime Minister Baldwin had not been able to provide. While this was a move that went against more than a century of tradition, King Edward was able to convince not a few members of Parliament that in the scheme of history, that tradition was hardly the tradition of the Empire.

At the same time as the King was having his meetings Prince Albert was touring Britain meeting with the non-governmental leaders of the nation, the industrialists, the merchants, and above all else, the people of the Empire, gaining popular support for the restoration of the old prerogatives and rights to the Crown.

Moving quickly after only a few weeks of talks, the Royals took the first step on the path toward their goal. Despairing at the lack of ability of Chancellor of the Exchequer Chamberlain, and thus the Government of Prime Minister Baldwin, to do more for the plight of Britons in the economic hard times, the Royals took action. Using the knowledge gained during the 1920’s when he was nicknamed “The Industrial Duke” by the press, Prince Albert suggested that a massive increase in industrial upgrades and new construction be undertaken to kick start the economy of the Empire. Shocked by the unwanted interference of the Crown in what he felt was his responsibility, Chamberlain issued a report to Prime Minister Baldwin detailing how there were not enough funds in the Exchequer for the Government to support such a naïve suggestion. In response to Chamberlain’s report and the Prime Minister refusing to go against his Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Royals, in an unprecedented move, circumvented, the Government and announced to the press their intent to fund, out of the Royals’ own coffers, Prince Albert’s plan for revitalizing private and public heavy industry. The plan, dubbed “The Re-Industrialization of the Empire” by the press, called for the massive upgrading of existing factories and building of new ones, and the organization of assistance programs for the workers and their families should they have need of such assistance. The plan bore a resemblance to the New Deal in the United States, and as in the America, gained a great deal of support from the populace.

Outraged, Baldwin and Chamberlain brought the issue to Parliament looking for support from the members to force the Royals out of the situation. After several long hours of debate (according to some witnesses the word debate gives to much civility to the meeting) the Prime Minister realized the success of the Crown’s actions of the past weeks and the error of failing to counter the Royals’ moves when the vote came in declining to support the Government. Faced with the swelling popularity of the Crown and the declining popularity of his Government, Prime Minister Baldwin overrode Chamberlain’s objections and allowed for Government funding to match the Royals funding.

It was a rough start and Government funds quickly dried up, as Chamberlain had predicted causing a slow down in the plan and an actual reverse in the fortunes of some Britons. Seeking to regain some of his own authority and prestige within Parliament and the nation, Chamberlain issued report after report to the press detailing the folly of the “Industrial Duke’s” plan, somewhat disrespectfully attacking the Royals and pushing for a full removal of the Crown from day to day operation of the Government. While the King took several tours of Britain to soothe the angst of the populace and publicly counter the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s attacks, Prince Albert divided his efforts between striving hard to come up with ways for both the private sector and governments to become more efficient as well as attempting to come up ways to politically limit the impact of Chamberlain.

The solution was found in May of 1936 when Winston Churchill and several other members of the House of Commons, at the secret urging of the Royal Family, called for a vote of No Confidence the Baldwin Government. Faced with the dilemma of the vote, Baldwin sought the support of the Crown feeling that the King would not wish to risk the possibility of discord that would occur if the No Confidence vote was taken and passed. The Prime Minister was severely shaken to find the King refused to assist the Government and actually made sure that it was publicly known that Crown itself had no confidence in the current Government. The vote was taken the day after the King’s press announcement. In a move that fit the Royals’ plans perfectly, Parliament, with the support of the majority of Britons, voted to restore to the Crown the prerogatives the King and Prince had been lobbying for, as well as asking for the Crown to assist in choosing the next Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet.

Informing Parliament that the Crown had no wish to be in possession of powers and prerogatives not traditionally the Monarchy’s, the King simply provided a list of names that would be favorable to the Crown. Parliament after several days of negotiations among the differing parties announced to the world that The Right Honorable Winston S. Churchill would be the next Prime Minister of the British Empire.

After that hurdle, and by the summer of 1936 the roughest times of the project, while far from over, were past the Empire and the new factories being fully staffed, started production, which increased products for consumption, which were of course purchased by the now employed population of the Empire, which caused cash back into the hands of the Government and industry, which with further funding caused the cycle to repeat.
While the Royals had won this battle with the establishment of the status quo, they had not finished their grand scheme. While still taking his tour of the nation to gain support for the Crown’s resurgence, Prince Albert started the groundwork for their next step, the reorganization of the Empire’s armed forces.
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Draco Rexus said:
Thanks guys. I'm going to try to post a little more today, but that all depends on my being able to distract my boss long enough. Keep your fingers crossed, eh? ;)
I owned a game once that had the tab "Boss Coming" in the menu bar... it blanked the screen! :rofl:

Great start, Draco! And about time!

I love the name Malcolm Drake. I'm sure he can be trusted to make sure Prince Albert doesn't get canned.

Looking forward to the rest! I suppose I'll learn some about HOI 2 now... I'll get it once the price goes down. Ebayed EU II for $8 the other day, so I'm off to other adventures!

You are off to a good start Draco, and it will be interesting seeing how this will all act out. Keep up the good work :)
smashing stuff.
Interesting updates. A curious premise, I wonder if other European powers will lean the same way?
Definitely an interesting start. Never played UK myself but it will be interesting to see what you can do with the Empire.

Good luck!
Friends and neighbors, I thank you kindly for you interest. Now, let's see if I can give some feedback for the feedback, eh?

cthulhu : Yes, you and Allenby did finally convince me... as did a few others. I figured it was about time. Now the question remains if it will be worth the effort, right? :p

therev & cthulhu : Regarding the House of Windsor or the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, as will be seen, the Royals are traditionalists, but I'm not sure they are going to be that traditionalist. But I could be wrong, we are talking about royalty here, eh? :D

Mettermrck : Aye, the Monarchy is going to be much more than mere figureheads in this reality! Now, if that's good or bad, I don't know. :eek:

Machiavellian : As for the other European powers... well, let's just say that the Empire has found that many European powers are leaning to the Left, which was a large surprise to myself and the Britons themselves. How this gets worked out we shall all find out soon.

Okay guys, I'm working on the next update... hopefully I'll be able to have something in a day or two. Thanks for your patience! :D
So it's full steam ahead for absolutism and Empire? Choo choo! I wonder what will happen next?
Good morning, class.

Now, I understand that there has been quite a bit of confusion as to exactly how Edward VIII and Prince Albert were able to obtain such a significant amount of power from Parliament in such a short time period. Before your exam on the subject tomorrow morning, I, in a moment of weakness, have decided to go over the particulars one more time… in the hope that mayhap this time it will sink in with your overworked brains, not that I’m going to hold my breath.

Right then. I’ll begin with the fact that I am finding that most of you have not been able to grasp. It must be remembered and understood that the British government does not have a single document to use as a baseline, unlike your governments Constitution, rather Britain uses tradition as well as laws and agreements set down in the past. From a broad point of view, it can be understood that the British monarchy began losing it’s royal powers back in 1215 with King John’s signing of the Magna Carta and each successive monarch lost a little bit more power and authority that was gathered up by Parliament. However, and this is the important part, is that none of those prerogatives and authority taken up by Parliament were ever codified into law to cement Parliament’s ownership. Or in other words, as one of your own historians has put it, the British Monarchy did not lose any of its authority due to action of outside forces, it rather lost its authority due to inaction on its part.

Now, how did Edward VIII, and the future George VI, Prince Albert, regain these authorities and prerogatives? As I’ve lectured to you before, Edward used his wit and charm to basically woo certain MPs into supporting the upcoming actions of the Crown, while Prince Albert, with detailed plans and pure tenacity, outlined in no uncertain terms that the House of Windsor was taking back the Crown’s authority and with it was going force the Empire into recovery of the woes of the early 1930’s since the government under Prime Minister Baldwin was unable to do so. Between the two Royal brothers, enough support was gathered that when the time came and the King requested, Parliament restored all the sought authority and privileges the Crown.

I know that there are some of you who have been questioning how the British Empire, a democratic constitutional monarchy that was the foundation for your own country’s political philosophy, could simply, as young James here so crudely put it, “roll over and give up.” Well, young Master James, the Empire did not roll over as this was not a dismemberment of any of the democratic forms of Great Britain, this was simply a restoration of the Monarchy to its’ proper role in the daily operation of the Empire.

What’s that Miss Julia? What powers did the Monarchy take back? Once again I am amazed… what have you people been doing for the last three weeks? Now don’t start getting teary-eyed Miss Julia, I’ll review this information for you once again. In a nut shell, the Crown and Government’s relationship reverted to what it had been traditionally in prior to the late 19th Century, that is, the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and so on were once more members of the Crown’s Privy Council. The members of the Council were picked by the King and then presented to Parliament. The Council was made up of the Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor, Lord Privy Seal, Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Home, Foreign, Dominion and Colonial Secretaries, First Lord of the Admiralty, and the Secretaries for War, and Air. The remaining positions of the Government such as Board of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and the Commission of Works were appointed by Parliament as in years past. In essence, the Crown regained control of the Empire while Parliament continued to have possession of majority of control of the day-to-day life of Britons.

Any other questions? Good. Now class dismissed.

Dr. Ian Rifkind-Major
Visiting Professor of History
British University of Chicago​

With the fall of the Baldwin Government and the restoration of the Crown’s power, King Edward and Prince Albert moved quickly to transition from rule by Government to rule by Privy Council and Parliament.

With the Stanley Baldwin resigning due to complications to his health, the Crown chose Winston Churchill as the new Prime Minister and head of the Privy Council. Lord Hailsham, the Right Honourable Douglas McGarel Hogg, was retained as Lord Chancellor, and Lord Halifax, the Right Honoruable Edward F.L. Wood was elevated to the post of Lord of the Privy Seal.

Ramsay MacDonald, Lord President of the Council under Baldwin, considered one of the pioneers of British socialism, was released by the Crown, a move that surprised no one considering Prince Albert’s vehement anti-socialist feelings, despite his organization of workers compensation programs during “The Re-Industrialization of the Empire”, and was replaced by Lord Doxford, the Right Honourable Walter Runciman. After his very public attacks on the Royals, Neville Chamberlain was expected by everyone (himself included) to removed as Chancellor of the Exchequer and quite possibly frog-marched to the Tower of London. However, recognizing his through knowledge of economics, the King overrode Prince Albert’s objections and kept him as Chancellor.

Sir John Simon was retained as Home Secretary, and Anthony Eden maintained his post as Foreign Secretary. Dominions Secretary Malcolm MacDonald, son of Ramsay MacDonald, was replaced by Lord Stanley, Edward M.C. Stanley and Colonial Secretary J.H. Thomas was replaced by Lord Harlech, William G.A. Ormsby-Gore.

When it came to the so-called “Military Ministries” the Crown retained Lord Swinton, the Right Honourable Philip Cunliffe-Lister, as Secretary of State for Air, Alfred “Duff” Cooper was kept on as Secretary of State for War. Lord Monsell, Bolton M. Eyres-Monsell continued as First Lord of the Admiralty with Admiral Sir Alfred E.M. Chatfield retaining his position as First Sea Lord.