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Du gamla, Du fria


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The decision of King Frederick I to invade the United Kingdom set into motion events that would eventually overtake the Norse Kingdom. At first, the population was jubilant, fueled by nationalist propaganda and news that the war was going well for their kingdom at first. However, it didn't take long for discontent to set in as the war dragged on and the government began gradually implementing wartime measures such as rationing, curfews, and censorship. The straw that broke the camel's back, however, wasn't soaring inflation, but the surprise revelation in an article published by an anonymous source that King Frederik Christian I wasn't who he was at all. The government tried to suppress the article, but it was too late. The population reacted as well as they could when they found out that their ruler was actually the former ruler of Babylon: millions of inhabitants converged in the major cities, from Oslo to Stockholm, loudly demanding for the end of the war and the abdication of the false King. The Norse Spring ultimately succeeded, although the state of affairs was so bad afterwards that the post-royal government was forced to ask for Athenian protection in the end.
 
After decades of benign Athenian protection, once they got their affairs in order, the people began to stir once again. In Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, the population petitioned the protectorate authorities for independence and sovereignty once again. Steering committees began forming in the major cities and towns in each region (the Norway Steering Committee, Danish Steering Committee, Svalbard Steering Committee, so on), where they convened a national Steering Committee to serve as the provisional executive government under the chairmanship of Fredrik von Magnus. As support for a monarchy among the people remained strong, even after the debacle that was Frederik Christian I, the House of Bernadotte was declared the official royal house of the Scandinavian regions, to wide popular acceptance. After background search and verification, Victoria, the eldest daughter of the late Carl XVII Gustaf, was proclaimed Empress. As Empress regnant, she would have a wide range of powers, though not so much as an absolute monarch.
 
In a speech in Stockholm, Victoria I would proclaim the Swedish Empire in the lands of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Each region would enjoy a form of autonomy (they would have their own flag, legislature, and so on) and elections would be held for the Riksdag in three month's time. The Empire extended a warm hand of friendship to the world's nations, hoping for peace and cooperation with them. As soon the speech concluded, the flag of the Empire was raised all over Stockholm and the rest of the country. The anthem, "Du gamla, Du fria" ("Thou ancient, Thou free") began playing across the country, along with the Norwegian and Danish anthems.
 

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