|Holy Britannian Empire|
|Emperor/Empress||Charles zi Britannia (98th)|
Lelouch vi Britannia (99th)
Nunnally vi Britannia (100th)(incumbent)
Euphemia li Britannia (Nightmare Of Nunnally)
|Anthem||"All Hail Britannia!"|
|Real World Countries|
| North America|
The Holy Britannian Empire (神聖ブリタニア帝国 Shinsei Buritania Teikoku, also refered to as the Britannian Empire or just Britannia) is a nation born from the defeated remnants of the British Empire and is the world's dominant military superpower that ruled over one-third of the world and one of the large Empire-unions that control Earth initially in the early 21st Century, the others being the Chinese Federation, the Europia United, and later United Federation of Nations.
Prior to the invasion of Japan, Britannia comprised the entire North and South American continents as well as New Zealand and the Philippines. The novels indicate that the Indochinese Peninsula is Area 10, though other maps contradict this; in the anime, Indochina seems to be a part of the Chinese Federation comprising of Vietnam and Laos. Cambodia appears to be a part of the empire at least by the events of R2, as it serves as the headquarter for Schniezel's faction although never referred to as an Area. Oddly enough, the British Isles are not a part of Britannia, instead being part of the Europia United and do not unify with the empire, even after the EU's defeat.
In the prologue to the series, Britannia invades Japan, one of the few other independent nations, in order to secure deposits of sakuradite. By the beginning of the events of the series, in 2017 a.t.b., Britannia has conquered six more areas, and then the Middle Eastern Federation as Area 18. In the second season, Schniezel's forces conquer more than half of the territory of the Europia United, incorporating France, Spain, Russia, and southern, western, and northern Africa in an unspecified amount of Areas. No other areas are designated beyond Area 18.
An Area is a nation or group of nations that has been conquered by Britannia and made into a colony. Each Area is designated with a number, and its people are referred to by that number (ex: after Japan was conquered and made into Area 11, the Japanese were known as Elevens). There are at least eighteen Areas (twenty-one in the manga), numbered in order of conquest, though only a handful are mentioned by name. Early in the first season, Area 18 is conquered by Britannia, while many more Areas are conquered during the course of R2, though none of them are designated.
Areas are given one of three categories: Reformation, Developing, and Satellite status, according to Code Geass Light Novel: Stage-2-Knight. The "Reformation" category is also known as "Correctional." Following conquest, an Area gradually progresses through these areas and gains greater degrees of autonomy with it, though, in the case of a serious setback such as a popular uprising, an Area may be demoted as Area 11 was following the First Black Rebellion. This has the effect of dividing moderates and hardliners within Britannian society, with the former seeking to improve an Area's status through peaceful obedience while the latter try to disrupt the process through their activities. The general Britannian policy is to let each Area govern itself. In Stage 09: Refrain, Lelouch gives the opinion that Area 11 and its people are better off under Britannian rule, in terms of its economic and geopolitical situation, so long as the Japanese can live without pride. This earned him a slap from an irritated Kallen, who considered such a thing unacceptable, failing to realize that Lelouch actually shares her opinion.
Following Lelouch's ascension to the throne, the Area and Numbers system was abolished and full citizenship granted to all former Numbers, and the former names of all Areas were also restored. Lelouch, however, remained ruler over all the former Areas. This apparently gave Lelouch an overwhelming numerical advantage when he attempted to join the UFN because its voting system was weighed by population, implying that the regions of Britannia as a whole are much more populous than their real-world counterparts. Alternatively, the regions may have the same population as their real-world counterparts, but the area of Britannia as a whole contributes to its enormous unified population, as all people living in former Areas were granted citizenship.
- United States - Disputed (considering the timeline, the United States never existed in this world) In addition, Britannians make several mentions to the "Homeland" suggesting that there's a part of their empire that isn't an Area. Since the original colonies that Britannian nobles fled to after losing Great Britain were in North America, it would make sense that at least part of the United States as well as possibly part of Canada, would be the "Homeland".
- Canada and Queen Elizabeth Islands
- Mexico (and the rest of Central America)
- South America
- Hawaii and Midway Atoll
- Falkland Islands
- New Zealand
- Indochina - Disputed (Indochina is shown as a territory of the Chinese Federation)
- Cambodia - Disputed (While Britannia seems to have connections with Cambodia, it was never called an Area) In addition, Cambodia is considered a part of Indochina.
- Papua New Guinea
- Southern Pacific Islands
- Korean Peninsula - Disputed (Shown as a territory of the Chinese Federation)
- Indonesia - Disputed (shown as a territory of the Chinese Federation, especially taking part of the uprising)
- Middle Eastern Federation
Just as each sector is given a number, the natives of the region are referred to by the same number. Hence, Japanese become "Elevens" and natives of the Middle East, regardless of their ethnic group, become "Eighteens." Collectively, all Non-Britannians living within the Empire as referred to as the "Numbers", which many Britannians try to separate themselves from. Many Non-Britannians find this very offensive, and the Empire uses it as a form of cultural suppression. The term Numbers in itself is often used derogatorily by Britannians.
The capital of the Empire is the Imperial Capital of Pendragon, where Pendragon Palace is situated. This was destroyed by Schneizel using his F.L.E.I.J.A. equipped floating fortress, Damocles. The majority of the ruling family resides in the district of the capital known as "Saint Darwin Street".
The Emperor apparently resides in "Britannia Palace", the site of the assassination, as well as Lelouch's temporary residence at the time of his reign. Other residences in the capital include: Belial Palace where Nunnally resided in the year between the first and second seasons; Warrick Palace, the home of Clovis' mother, Gabriella la Britannia and the Imperial Villa at Aries (アリエスの離宮|Ariesu No Rikyū), the residence of Lelouch's mother prior to her death. Owing to his fond childhood memories of the beautiful aerial gardens at Aries, Clovis la Britannia later modeled the villa on top of the Viceroy's Palace in Area 11 after it.The audio dramas also mention the existence of a Capricorn Villa; considering the presence of Aries and Capricorn villas, it may be reasonable to suggest that there are other villas named after astrological symbols (i.e., Leo, Gemini, Libra). The Britannian capital of Pendragon appears to be in the middle of our present day Arizona, however, on a map displayed on the Ikaruga, it was shown to be just northeast of our Baja California.
California Base is a major port used by the Britannian Pacific Fleet, situated on the west coast of Britannian homeland. It served as the departure port of Nunnally's aerial escort to Area 11 upon her assumption of office as Viceroy of Area 11. California Base may be analogous to our San Francisco, San Diego, or another major coastal city in the real California. It is also worth noting that California is referred to as its name in our world and not as an area, which suggests it is part of the Homeland. It is also worthy of note that, before becoming part of the United States, Mexico held control of California, which was grouped together with Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and part of Colorado to form "Alta California" as well as controlling Baja California; the California in Britannia may refer to both of these regions together, and not necessarily to the area of the real-world U.S. state of California.
Texas is part of Britannia, and Dallas is the location of In Vogue, Schniezel's personal research team. The Area of Texas as a region within Britannia is not known; it may comprise the area of modern Texas, or a larger or smaller area as it did historically.
According to Episode 4 of R2, it would appear that the states of Alaska, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia are also in existence.
Main article: Euro Britannia During Britannia's war with the E.U., it had established a tributary empire called Euro Britannia which comprises of all conquered European countries from during the war. It was presumably formed sometime after Britannia had conquered Russia and is based in Sankt Petersburg as its capitol. It acted as the eastern front for the Britannian war effort against the E.U. and presumably grew to acquire all the other European nations that were annexed following the collapse of Europia United.
Britannia traces its cultural origins back to the military expedition of the British Isles by Julius Caesar, invades Britain twice in 55 and 54 B.C., Alwin I meets with strong resistance from the local tribes, who became the founder of the imperial family. The election of the king and the repulsion of the Romans is the starting date of "Ascension Throne Britannia," the universal dating system in Code Geass, which is similar to the Gregorian calendar of our world, though dated same years. This would place the date of the invasion of Japan, in 2010 a.t.b., and the events of the series in 2017 and 2018 a.t.b.
It is not stated if the current imperial family (that of Charles) traces its genealogy back to Alwin I, or if the British Isles remained independent of Roman rule during the course of their history or if they were also able to repel the invasions of barbarians, i.e., if the Britannians are the descendants of Celts or if they are Anglo-Saxons as the British of our world are. It is also unclear what effect the Viking and Norman invasions during the Middle Ages had on the British Isles in Code Geass, or if they occurred at all. However, the presence of predominantly Germanic-sounding names suggests that the Britannians are Anglo-Saxons, and the fact that Marianne's maiden name is Lamperouge suggests at least some French influences on Britannian heritage, perhaps resulting from a Norman invasion. (In actual history, the invasion of Germanic tribes, notably the Angles and Saxons, pushed the Celtic peoples of the British Isles out of what we know as England, into Wales and Cornwall.)
Early Modern EraEdit
The exact details of Britannia's growth up until the modern period is only heard in bits and pieces in the entire Code Geass universe, and not entirely in the anime.
During the reign of Elizabeth I (which would presumably be dated as 1558-1603 a.t.b.), the queen remained unmarried, but bore a son, the father of whom is never publicly identified, though candidates were Sir Robert Dudly, the 1st Earl of Leicester, Sir Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex, and Sir Carl, the Duke of Britannia. Each of these men would use this knowledge to garner influence and power in the country. Elizabeth I's son ascended to the throne as Henry IX upon the death of his mother in 1603. His ascension was said to mark the beginning of "the Golden Age of the Tudor dynasty." (In actual history, Elizabeth I died childless as the last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.)
Britannia's history drastically diverges from our timeline during the "Age of Revolutions," starting with the failure of the American Revolutionary War in the 1770s, which is known as "Washington's Rebellion" in the history of Code Geass. The revolution failed because Benjamin Franklin was bribed off by the Duke of Britannia with the title of earl. George Washington and the Continental Army suffered a crippling defeat at the battle of Yorktown, at which point control of the North American colonies by Britannia was assured.
The colonial possessions of "Britannia" at this time are not clear in relation to our British Empire; it is not made clear if Britannia ever colonized the Indian Subcontinent (as China controls it at the beginning of the series) or if it was ever an active colonial power in Africa. It seems that Britannia's most important overseas possessions were in North America.
The Age of RevolutionEdit
As the "Age of Revolution" reached its peak, many of the old monarchies in Europe were overthrown, but Henry X of Britannia retained an absolute monarchy. The greatest of these revolutions at the time was the French Revolution, which eventually produced the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was Napoleon who orchestrated the greatest formative event which resulted in the creation of the Holy Britannian Empire. A decisive victory at the Battle of Trafalgar allowed Napoleon to invade the British Isles and occupy London. Napoleon's invasion of the British Isles advanced to the point that, in 1807, Queen Elizabeth III was forced to retreat to Edinburgh, where a local revolutionary group arrested her and forced her to abdicate the throne, ending the monarchy over the British Isles. This event came to be known as the "Humiliation of Edinburgh." (In actual history, the French invasion fleet suffered a crippling defeat at Trafalgar to Admiral Nelson.)
However, Sir Ricardo von Britannia, Duke of Britannia, and his friend and subordinate Sir Richard Hector, Knight of One, led a retreat with Elizabeth III and the remaining loyalists in the British Isles to the North American colonies, establishing a capital on the east coast. In 1813, Elizabeth III died childless, nominating Ricardo von Britannia as her successor on her deathbed. It was at this time that the "Ascension Throne Britannia" calendar was established in the American version. Though Napoleon successfully conquered the British Isles, his rule over Europe ran into popular discontent and culminated in his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1821. Napoleon died on his way back to France; it is rumored that he was poisoned by agents who were acting in accordance with Elizabeth III's will. With the departure of Napoleon and his imperial ambitions from history, a new Europe-spanning empire with democratic ideals arose, and would later become the modern Europia United. Over time, the EU would grow to encompass all of Europe, including the whole of Russia, and Africa, and would for centuries be the bitter enemy of Elizabeth III's followers in North America.
Development and ExpansionEdit
By the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the "Britannians" were essentially the defeated remains of the absolutist aristocracy of the British Isles who had retreated to their colonial holdings in North America following the loss of their original homeland. Even before the Napoleonic Wars, the Britannian aristocracy had rejected all notions of democracy that were put forth by the Enlightenment and the Age of Revolution, instead embracing absolutism like that of the Tudor dynasty. Their humiliating defeat and exile only further embittered the Britannians, causing them to fully embrace a national ethos of revanchism. The resulting Holy Britannian Empire, while geographically centered in the area of the real-world United States and descended from the real-world British Empire, is analogous to neither of these political entities, instead being an odd mix of North American Tories (pro-British colonials, or loyalists, from the Revolutionary era) and imperial British aristocrats.
The small population of "Britannian" nobles had reached a critical low point, having a very small core population, but were determined to rebuild their former power in North America, and began and aggressive campaign of conquest. Presumably this campaign began as events analogous to the real-world Manifest Destiny, but clearly eventually grew to stretch across both North and South America, presumably seizing former European colonial regions such as the empires of Mexico and Brazil. After being pushed to the edge of oblivion, the Britannians now saw international politics as a fight for survival, and rapidly rebuilt themselves into a world power by dominating the rest of the Americas. Each new region that was conquered appears to be designated as an "Area," and its indigenous population as "Numbers" named after their Area (e.g., Area 11 and the Elevens). However, it is not explicitly stated what parts of North and South America make up the Britannian Homeland; it could form North America, or just the original colonies, or the whole of the Americas. It is therefore difficult to place exactly what regions are Areas prior to the incorporation of Area 11 (Japan) into the empire.
Because the original core population of Britannians was so small, a very stratified and highly classist social hierarchy was established, in which the extremely small minority of "pure blood" Britannians (who were descended from the original British aristocrats who fled to North America) ruled over the "honorary Britannians" (who held a mid-level social position). At the very bottom were the Numbers, the conquered peoples who lived in segregated ghettos. Numbers could also apply for honorary citizenship, but are still treated as second-class citizens by some Britannians if this is granted.
When Charles Darwin proposed his Theory of Evolution, which was later appropriated by the philosophy of Social Darwinism, it readily caught on in Britannia. The idea that conflict and competition promoted growth, that those who conquered and subjugated other peoples were justified in doing so, was well-accepted by Britannians. They saw it as the ultimate justification for their struggle to claw back from the brink of extinction and over the decades turn themselves into a world power again, and for their campaign of survival, conquest, and, ultimately, revenge.
The Holy Britannian Empire embraced Social Darwinism not only as a national ethos and mentality, but even as something akin to a state religion; Charles Darwin came to be referred to as Saint Darwin, as an example, and the Emperor Charles may very well have been named after the naturalist. The subjugation and oppression of non-Britannians became a systematically applied set of negative virtues, which brought about the act of Britannia "reforming itself along Prussian lines" as the society became almost entirely dedicated to the military effort and further conquests.
By the time of the (unspecified) World Wars in the mid-20th century, the Holy Britannian Empire had already become one of the three superpower nations that controlled a third of the planet, the other two being the Europia United and the Chinese Federation. Of note is the fact that the three superpowers are similar in their geographic composition to the three superpowers of Nineteen Eighty-Four: Oceania (Britannia), Eurasia (Europia United), and Eastasia (Chinese Federation).
By the time of the invasion of Japan, from their homeland in North America, Britannia controlled the whole of the Americas, as well as—depending on different versions of the manga that do not contradict the main storyline—New Zealand, Hawaii, and the Philippines.
Conquest of JapanEdit
The rare mineral, sakuradite, became increasingly valuable as more and more modern military technology relied upon it; the superconductive properties of it resulted in technological miniaturization which allowed for the development of such machines as Knightmare Frames. Unfortunately for Britannia, 70% of the world's sakuradite came from reserves located in Japan. While not being part of the three superpowers, Japan was able to maintain its independence and economic superiority by manipulating sakuradite supplies to each of the three superpowers to maintain a balance of power; essentially, if any one superpower tried to invade Japan and seize its sakuradite reserves, it would give them such an advantage that the other two powers would have to attack it instantly or risk annihilation. Consequently, no one superpower was willing to risk a world war by conquering Japan, even though each of them was perfectly capable of doing so.
In 2010 a.t.b., after the conquest of Area 10 by Britannia (in some versions the Indochinese Peninsula), Japan decided to align with the policies of the Chinese Federation and Europia United and apply economic pressure upon Britannia, an event which came to be referred to as the Oriental Incident; all three factions blockaded Britannian ports in an attempt to force negotiations.
The plan backfired, though, as Britannia instead invaded Japan on August 10th in the Second Pacific War. Lasting only a month, Britannia conquered Japan thanks to the large-scale implementation of fourth-generation Knightmares as weapons of war, whose combination of mobility and firepower gave them a complete advantage over the more standard main battle tanks of Japan. The conquered island nation was renamed Area 11, and its citizens "Elevens." Britannia accomplished this feat without retaliation from the EU and the Chinese Federation thanks to clever political manipulation: Britannia divided the sakuradite production of Japan into thirds and evenly distributed it among the three superpowers. More sakuradite was produced overall as the Japanese no longer had any say in the matter, such as the exploitation of sakuradite deposits under Mt. Fuji which caused the sacred mountain to be defaced in pursuit of the mineral. Britannia wisely gave the other two superpowers equal shares in the stockpiles of sakuradite, essentially bribing them out of war or even allying with each other.
A major reason as to why the war ended so abruptly was the apparent suicide of the Japanese Prime Minister, Genbu Kururugi (actually his murder by his son, Suzaku). Though Japan had been militarily defeated, it had not completely surrendered and was prepared to mount a do-or-die resistance against Britannia; ironically, this meant that Britannia had never actually broken Japan or even really demoralized its population beyond hope, and its industrial and economic capacities were never completely destroyed. This meant that Area 11 was never a fully pacified occupation sector for Britannian forces, which may account at least in part for the rather brutal treatment of Elevens by Britannians such as the massacres at the Shinjuku and Saitama ghettos in 2017 a.t.b.
Britannia appears to be an absolute monarchy, meaning that the Royal Family holds most or all authority and administrative power, though there is also a bicameral legislature in effect, at least in the Britannian Homeland. The Upper House is the House of Lords, which likely represents the interests of the aristocrats, while the Lower House is the Senate, and the Senators may be drawn from their State Legislatures. With the aristocracy dominating the House of Lords, the Senate represents the common people. In all of Code Geass media, the only named member of the Senate is William H. Helmsley, who was assassinated by Rolo in front of the Tennessee State Legislature in Nashville as portrayed in R2 Stage 04 Counterattack at the Gallows at an unspecified point in the past. This seems to indicate that the Senate actually wields enough power to warrant Rolo being dispatched to assassinate a member. Helmsley stood in opposition of the House of Lords on the issue of demoting Area 8 to a correctional sub-Area, as had happened to Area 11 following the First Black Rebellion.
The head of state is the Emperor of Britannia, and the head of government is the Prime Minister. Schneizel, as Prime Minister, by default, controls all administrative and managerial aspects of Britannia; despite not being the eldest son, he has the highest office apart from the Emperor, although it is unknown if he is in charge of other the House of Lords or the Senate. The Areas are under the control of the Viceroys, who are themselves either part of the aristocracy, the Imperial Family itself, or the military.
While the policies of Britannia vary depending on the reigning emperor, its succession is based on Social Darwinism rather than divine mandate as their name and a verse of the national anthem ("His [the emperor's] bloodline immortal and pure") would suggest. Consequently, much bloodshed and in-fighting occurs between members of the royal family; one who wants to become the next monarch has to lie, cheat, and murder their way to the top.
Lower nobility controls much of the business and bureaucracy outside the Royal Family, and judging by the number of legal and illegal businesses that appear in occupied areas, capitalism is widely encouraged. The residents of conquered nations can become Honorary Britannian citizen, and while not genuine Britannians or free from discrimination, they are entitled to the same basic rights. Those who refuse to accept honorary citizenship are consigned to live in rundown ghettos, while those who accept it may live in the prosperous Britannian colonial cities, called Concessions. Britannian corporations are described as Zaibatsu in Japanese, referring to powerful business cliques.
Euro Britannia too has the same system since it is the subsidiary of Britannia.
Charles zi Britannia's EraEdit
During the era of Charles zi Britannia, the Empire mostly followed an ideology of Social Darwinism. While the Emperor himself does hold most of the governmental power in theory, in practice he delegates regional control to his many children, and even those that do not govern a particular region also have considerable political and military power. Charles has stated that traditional "Ten Commandments" morality is counter-progressive and believes that only internal struggle and military conquest can facilitate human evolution, and advocates such acts as adultery and murder. He does not even make exceptions for his own children, as he shows no sympathy for their deaths, only pride in that those who cannot fend for themselves are being culled from the royal line.
Outside the Royal Family, there were numerous noble ranks during Charles' era, listed here in order of importance:
- Grand Duke (大公爵)
- Duke (公爵)
- Marquess (侯爵)
- Margrave (辺境伯)
- Earl (伯爵)
- Viscount (子爵)
- Baron (男爵)
- Knight (騎士), non-hereditary.
- Knight of Honor (武勲侯), non-hereditary
Lelouch vi Britannia's EraEdit
Main article: Zero Requiem When Lelouch vi Britannia ascended to the throne during 2018, he quickly abolished many policies that grew during the Charles' era. These included the elimination of the aristocratic system, serious penalties for financial conglomerates engaging in or a part of illegal or illicit activities, and the abolition of the Number-Area system. This led to a rift among Britannian citizens with discontent among ex-nobles and approval among the commoners, causing agents and loyalists to Lelouch to routinely set out to put down dissidents.
However, during his regime, instead of moving towards democracy, the Empire would actually progress to be more dictatorial and domineering than ever. Opposing his regime are the Imperial Family who have lost their power after he assumed the throne and stripped them of their nobility, and Knights of the Round, who are loyal to Charles. Emperor Lelouch actually intended all of this, as part of Zero Requiem.
Nunnally vi Britannia's EraEdit
As the little sister of Lelouch, as well as understanding her brother's intentions as he died, it is likely that many of Nunnally's policies are the same as Lelouch, when he initially took the throne. Thus, the aristocratic system was left unrestored and serious penalties continued to be enforced for financial conglomerates engaging in or a part of illegal or illicit activities. Zero, originally a sworn enemy of Britannia, had later became a political symbol for the nation in aiding Nunnally with politics.
Euphemia Li Britannia's Era (Nightmare Of Nunnally)Edit
After Charles Zi Britannia declared the Holy Nation of Eden Vital, number of opposing Britannians along with the Areas including Black Knights proposed that Euphemia becomes Empress. As a result Euphemia becomes the 99th Empress of the Holy Britannian Empire. She still has Suzaku as her knight. She and Lelouch (Zero) declares war against Charles' nation. After Charles' defeat, Euphemia abolished Number-Area system and creates peace treaties but at the same time faces hostility from other nations. One example is when she makes Nunnally a goodwill ambassador of Japan after Nunnally inherits her royalty.
Although descended from the former British Empire, with English as its national language and direct cultural roots that still exist in its modern state (such as drinking tea as a beverage and an appreciation for classical art, opera, equestrianism and namesakes e.g. Glasgow, Sutherland and Warwick) Britannia's culture is both unique and diverse, mirroring that of many real world countries, especially that of America and other European nations (French cuisine seemingly admired throughout both series despite a deep rivalry with the EU over their control of the British Isles. German names and titles are also very common.)
Britannia possesses advanced forms of communication including modern cell phones, earpieces, the internet and television, and information seems to flow freely, despite rigid censorship and state propaganda in news broadcasts. In Episode 2, Shirley Fenette's swim club friends are shown to be watching some kind of comedy chat show on a small handheld television. The Tokyo Concession abounds with giant solar panels around its edges, and vehicles seem to lack exhaust pipes, possibly indicating that Britannia is a green society free of emissions.
Britannia is a highly capitalist and consumerist society and the ruthless 'survival of the fittest' nature of capitalism fits well with Britannia's belief in Social Darwinism. Corporations in Britannia apparently wield large amounts of power and influence.
These characteristics apparently result in spite for the Britannians being built up, especially among the Numbers. It has been demonstrated that some Numbers (specifically the Elevens) seem to have little concern for the well-being of Britannian innocents, viewing them as no better than the government.
Among the Britannians themselves, there does not appear to be a great amount of discontent with the current governmental system. This indicates that the Britannian government is not as repressive of the lower class Britannian citizens, in comparison to the repression of the Numbers. However, power struggles and feuding amongst the royalty and nobility seems to be commonplace.
However, this began to change with the Black Knights rebellion which led to a wave of new uprisings and terrorism both from conquered territories and from Britannians themselves. Anti-imperialist groups such as the Wings of Talleyrand are of Britannian origins.
Despite these ruthless characteristics, knightly concepts of chivalry and honour also plays a major role in Britannian culture as well. This is particularly seen in the military and often clashes with the existing prejudices and loyalty to the monarchy as we can see from various characters such as Jeremiah Gottwald, Oldrin Zevon and Gilbert G.P. Guilford. Britannian soldiers are seen to have sacrificing their own lives to protect those they believe in implies a strong belief in honour and loyalty. Although Britannian forces have constantly attacked and massacred Numbers, even the most racist Britannians were shocked and horrified by the genocidal killing during the events at Special Administrative Zone massacre. Also the lords of Euro-Britannia have expressed disagreement and disgust for the cost of innocent civilians that their invasion plan could have on Western Europe.
Despite being a 'Holy Empire,' religion does not seem to be a governing factor in Britannian society. Whilst it is possible and even encouraged by HI&RM The Emperor Charles for royals to succeed to the imperial throne by killing all co-competitors, it is never indicated that other monarchs do not style themselves as "N. the Xth, by the Grace of God Emperor […]" and do not adhere to the principle of male primogeniture (i.e., the eldest child succeeds, sons taking precedence before all daughters) as was the ancient custom in the realms of Great Britain (England and Scotland plus the Lordship of Ireland). Indeed, as there is a Crown Prince or Heir Apparent in Odysseus, this will be the general principle followed.
Britannia may be a Christian nation, or at least a nation of free religion. Lloyd comments, "onward Christian soldiers" (though this was in the Dub) in reference to Suzaku's conflicting morals just prior to the destruction of the Japanese Liberation Front, and the Fenette family appears to be Anglican. At Odysseus and Tianzi's wedding, a priest in a Protestant cardinal's robes appears to be conducting the service (of note is the popularity of Western-style weddings in Japan). A young Nunnally also questioned if Japan was led by a pope-like king when she learned that the Kururugi family lived at a shrine, which Lelouch corrected her on, in one of the picture dramas. And finally, during Lelouch's completion of Zero Requiem, C.C. can be seen praying in a chapel.
Main article: Britannian Armed Forces The Britannian Military includes all Armed Forces of the Holy Britannian Empire. It is believed to be one of the largest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced militaries in the world. Members of the military play important roles throughout the series.
Other Military HistoryEdit
In the history of Code Geass, George Washington and the Continental Army failed to wrestle control of the Thirteen Colonies from Britannia. Benjamin Franklin betrayed the Revolutionaries in exchange for the title of earl. Ironically, the colonies that had once tried to break away from Britannia would one day become its new homeland.
Though Washington was defeated, his democratic legacy would live on in the Europia United, the Flare party, political extremists, and small resistance groups on the mainland. In Japan, Britannian extremist democratic cells would take up arms in favor of the Black Knights, forming one or two divisions. By 2017 a.t.b., most Britannians, including the aristocrats, viewed Washington as a founding father of modern Britannia, and Lelouch viewed him as an idol of sorts; he almost certainly referenced the attempted revolution when he declared that Area 11 would become the United States of Japan, and again when he organized the reformation of the Chinese Federation as the United States of China. He also mentioned a Declaration of Independence during the First Black Rebellion.
First Pacific WarEdit
Though unmentioned, there must be a First Pacific War in the world history of Code Geass because of the Second Pacific War's naming. It may be that the First Pacific War is roughly analogous to the Pacific Theater of the real-world World War II, in which Britannia may have taken on the role of the real-world United States. In Code Geass Stage-0-Entrance light novel (page 120-121), it is mentioned that Japan lost a major war in 1945 a.t.b. and became a democracy; it could be that this war is the First Pacific War.
Second Pacific WarEdit
Main article: Invasion of Japan The war in which Britannia invaded, conquered, and annexed Japan, turning it into Area 11.
First Black RebellionEdit
The first official war between Britannia and the Black Knights, which began when Lelouch accidentally used his Geass on Euphemia and made her try to kill all the Japanese. Lelouch's dialogue indicates he had planned to set off the Black Rebellion by faking an injury inflicted by Euphemia to stir up Japanese emotion over his apparent death, but when his Geass ran out of control without his knowledge and he offhandedly mentioned one of the things he could force Euphemia to do, he inadvertently caused the Rebellion differently than he had intended and was forced to kill Euphemia. The Chinese Federation began their activities noted by the Britannian Homeland. The rebellion went exceedingly well as many other resistance cells joined the Black Knights in their attack on the Tokyo Concession, but took a turn for the worse when Lelouch and C.C. left in the middle of the deciding battle to try to rescue Nunnally; with Ohgi injured by Viletta and without the leadership of Zero, the Black Knights were defeated by the superior organization of Britannian forces, and most of them were killed or captured. Only a small number of the Black Knights, including Kallen, C.C., and Urabe, escaped.
Between First and Second Black RebellionEdit
Between the gap after the first Black Rebellion, the Black Knights and other terrorists such as Peace Mark and Wings of Talleyrand still resume their activities. In reaction to the rebellion, Britannia dispatched the likes of the Glinda Knights and Knights Of The Round to suppress any terrorist activities. The Wings Of Talleyrand were the only terrorist group to attack Britannian's main capital only to end up eliminated by the Glinda Knights. The Wings Of Talleyrand have the same ideals of Britannian opposition but it is unknown if their principles correlate to the Black Knights. Peace Mark have cooperated with the Black Knights to build more strength and do commit secret missions to bring down Britannia. It is unknown what happened to Lelouch during this time.
The Holy Britannian Empire began their conquest to take over E.U. in order to annex more areas into their territory. During Akito The Exiled, they have already begun with Euro Britannia taking over with the four Knights of Order. Most of the Empire didn't arrive until later and during R2 under Schneizel el Britannia, Suzaku Kururugi, Julius Kingsley, and other Knights Of The Round. By the time the second Black Rebellion took place, Britannia had taken over most of the E.U.'s territories.
Second Black RebellionEdit
The beginnings Second Black Rebellion came about in 2018 when Lelouch was met by the remains of the Black Knights in Babel Tower. After having his memories restored by C.C., Lelouch led the Black Knights in a counterattack, defeating the Britannians and killing Viceroy Calaras. The Black Knights escaped (except for a few including Urabe who were killed) refuge in the consulate of the Chinese Federation thanks to Li Xingke who had planned this with C.C.. Rolo arrived at the consulate to talk to Zero. Lelouch returns to Ashford Academy while C.C. gives a speech dressed as Zero so Villetta would become suspicious of Lelouch. During the Counterattack at the Gallows Guildford says he will kill the Japanese captured during the first battle of Tokyo but Lelouch challenges him to a duel and using the same trap as during the first battle for Tokyo freed the prisoners. Rolo then tried to kill Lelouch, but Lelouch tricked Rolo to joining the Black Knights by playing on his insecurities.
Lelouch convinces the freed prisoners to rejoin him but things are complicated as Gino Weinberg, Anya Alstreim and Suzaku Kururugi arrive in Japan and more so when it is revealed the Nunnally is the new viceroy. During, Operation Pacific Ocean Ambush the Black Knights attack the convoy carrying Nunally, but this mission ends in failure. The Black Knights are attacked by a Britannian naval fleet but Lelouch, as Zero, arrives and declares he will join the Specially Administered Zone of Japan but instead the Black Knights, all dressed as Zero, escape into exile to the Chinese Federation knowing Suzaku would not allow the army to harm innocents. While in the Chinese Federation the Black Knights interrupt the wedding of Empress Tianzi and First Prince Odysseus eu Britannia and Zero kidnaps Tianzi. The High Eunuchs agree to forgive Xingke for his part in the coup if he captures the Empress and using his Shen Hu Knightmare Frame and captures Kallen and hands her over to the Britannians. The Black Knights become trapped in the mausoleum of 98 Emperors. However, when Lelouch tricks the Eunuchs to confessing their crimes support turns against them and the Britannians are forced to retreat. The battle ends with Xingke killing the Eunuchs, forging an alliance with the Black Knights.
It is unclear when the term "Britannian" was coined in the history of Code Geass, but when used as an ethnic descriptor, it seems only to refer to citizens with ancestry in the British Isles, and so are of Celtic or Anglo-Saxon descent. However, the territorial acquisitions of Britannia suggest that large numbers of other Europeans may also live under Britannian rule, all of whom may become Honorary Britannians. However, Britannians have been observed to diverge from the normal pale skin tone, such as Villetta Nu who is a full Britannian citizen (and a member of the Purists at that); this implies some degree of ethnic diversity in the Britannian population.
Since all conquered Areas are given a numeric designation, conquered people are similarly referred to by that number, hence Japan is referred to as Area 11 and the Japanese as "Elevens". It is assumed that there are at least 24 different numbered Areas, though only a few are specified. Britannians use the term "Numbers" as shorthand for any non-Britannian living under their rule.
The Empire in the American version uses [[a.t.b.]] or "Ascension Throne Britannia" calendar, also called the "Imperial Calendar", which is dated to the election of the Celtic super-king Alwin I. Despite this, it appears to be dated similarly if not identically to the real-world modern Gregorian calendar.
The Britannian flag resembles the St. George's Cross, the flag of England, warped with the Union Flag of the United Kingdom. It bears a unique coat-of-arms. On the coat-of-arms, the lion represents royalty (or the Emperor) while the serpent represents "death and rebirth".
However, the arms of Britannia depicted on the flag are not correct in the heraldic sense. For example, in the arms the serpent's Vert (green) meets the field's Sable (black)—both Vert and Sable are colors and thus may only meet metal, such as Argent (silver/white) and Or (gold/yellow). A similar mistake is seen in the mantling—the green leaves or cloth around the arms. The rule has it that the color is—unless the opposite is specified—always on the outside and the metal on the inside, while two colors may never meet even in the mantling. The flag, the Imperial House, and therefore the Empire also seems to lack a heraldic motto. The closest attempt to blazoning the depicted coat of arms of Britannia would be:
"Sable a lion Or langued Gules and a serpent Vert langued Gules(or proper), both winged Argent , fighting and intertwined. Mantled Vert and Imperially crowned proper."
The Anthem of the Empire is called "All Hail Britannia!", after the Britannic Salute. It is played on several occasions during the show most notably 3rd Prince Clovis la Britannia's funeral, which gives most the lyrics in the anime.
- Truth and hope in our Fatherland!
- And death to every foe!
- Our soldiers shall not pause to rest
- We vow our loyalty
- Old traditions they will abide
- Arise young heroes!
- Our past inspires noble deeds
- All Hail Britannia!
- Immortal beacon shows the way
- Step forth and seek glory!
- Hoist your swords high into the clouds
- Hail Britannia!
- Our Emperor stands astride this world
- He’ll vanquish every foe!
- His truth and justice shine so bright
- All hail his brilliant light!
- Never will he be overthrown
- Like mountains and sea
- His bloodline immortal and pure
- All Hail Britannia!
- So let his wisdom guide our way
- Go forth and seek glory
- Hoist your swords high into the clouds
- Hail Britannia!
The Holy Britannian Empire is clearly inspired by the British Empire of the 15th-20th centuries. This can be seen through the world-spanning size of the Empire, its territorial holdings (such as the Falkland Isles, North America, and New Zealand), its system of government (with an aristocracy, House of Lords and a Prime Minister), and its namesakes, e.g., Ashford, Darlton, Guilford, Warrick, Glasgow, Colchester, Bartley. The name 'Britannia' is a Roman name given to the province of Britain when it was part of the Roman Empire.
It also has some similarities with the Holy Roman Empire (962-1806). Despite its name, the Holy Roman Empire never controlled Rome and was located in Germany. Similar to how the Holy Britannian Empire is located in America and doesn't control Great Britain (or any of the British isles). A similar comparison could also be made with the Roman 'Byzantine' Empire (330-1453) which continued to refer to itself as the 'Roman Empire' for nearly a thousand years after it had lost Rome to the Ostrogoths in 546.
Likewise, the history of the Holy Britannian Empire bears similarities to that of the Portuguese Empire and its later American successor, the Empire of Brazil. In 1808, facing an impending invasion of their homeland by Napoleonic forces, the Braganza dynasty of Portugal transferred their court to their American territory in Brazil, making Rio de Janeiro the new seat of the empire. In 1822, the Braganza monarchy in Brazil declared their independence from Portugal. This is comparable to the Holy Britannian Empire evolving from the British Empire after transferring the seat of the empire to its North American colonial holdings following a Napoleonic invasion around the same time frame.
Although it is unclear if the Code Geass creators are aware of it, the Holy Britannian Empire also has many strong parallels with the Domination of the Draka alternate history novels by S. M. Stirling. Like Britannia, the Draka are a sort of "anti-America" formed by pro-British Tories who opposed the American Revolution, who lost and were exiled from their homeland, but then utterly embraced Social Darwinism to get revenge on and later try to enslave the rest of humanity. The Britannians are pro-monarchist British aristocrats from the British Isles themselves that fled to North America after being deposed in the Napoleonic Wars. In contrast, the Draka are pro-British Tories who, instead of fleeing to Canada after losing the American Revolution, fled to the Cape Colony in South Africa (the point of divergence in their timeline is that Britain had already conquered it from the Dutch by that time). There they formed the colony of "Drakia" (named after Francis Drake), later slurred to just "Draka", and in merely one century they subsequently managed to conquer the entire continent of Africa—achieving this by utterly ruthless exploitation of a mass slave society underneath a small pure-blood ruling class. Stirling's main novels focus on how the Draka proceed to conquer most of Eurasia during alternate World Wars.