|Author||Charles A. Coulombe|
|Genre||Alternative future novel|
|Publication date||29 September 2016|
Star-Spangled Crown is a future history novel by American author and lecturer Charles A. Coulombe exploring the concept of the United States as a constitutional monarchy.
In the early 22nd century, the United States is racked by civil unrest. "On an early February morning" amid this unrest, the day after the Cabinet resigned (but for the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense), an inexperienced and paranoid President declares a nationwide state of emergency. In an event described as the "Battle of the Oval Office," the President shoots her remaining Cabinet secretaries and attempts to acquire the nuclear launch codes from a Secret Service agent. The agent refuses and escapes to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whereupon the Chairman leads a military coup against the President. The Joint Chiefs, upon the recommendation of Army Chief of Staff General Anderson, surrender power to a monarch and create a constitutional monarchy.
The Joint Chiefs agree to confer power to Grand Duke Hans-Josef II of Lichtenburg, a popular, well-read Central European royal who had served in the British Army and is fluent in English. With Hans-Josef's three conditions—first, to be granted full power; second, to be granted power to rewrite the entire U.S. Constitution save for the Bill of Rights; third, that "all office holders at national, state, and local levels must swear allegiance to him as King, his heirs and successors"—the Grand Duke is unanimously endorsed by both Houses of Congress. "Some of the legislators were as motivated by the fear of national meltdown as were the military".
"Wearing the dress blues of a U.S. Army General" in his inaugural address, "First Speech from the Throne", to Congress, Grand Duke Hans-Josef assumes the name and title "James IV, King of the United States and of their Possessions, Grand Duke of Lichtenburg" and of the House of "Lichtenburg-Stuart".
- King James IV, in honor of James III, formerly Grand Duke Hans-Josef II of Lichtenburg, formally "James IV, King of the United States and of their Possessions, Grand Duke of Lichtenburg", a Central European royal who becomes King of the United States under a constitutional monarchy.
- General Anderson, the Army Chief of Staff and former professor at West Point "blessed with an imagination and a thorough grounding in Literature and History" who recommends the restoration of the monarchy in the United States.
Parallels with real-life royal families
The fictitious Grand Duke Hans-Josef II of Lichtenburg shares names with Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein (born 1945) and his grandson Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein (born 1995). Hans-Josef's unnamed grandfather is said to have authored a book on American government, Third Millennial Statecraft, which bears a similar title to The State in the Third Millennium authored by Hans-Adam II.