Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy

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(Redirected from HIMSN)
The Navy to the rescue!

This is an example of lore derived from the game code. You will find no mention of Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy (HIMSN) in the literature which came with Classic Elite (the Manual or the novels The Dark Wheel & Imprint). But many of the various versions of Elite included missions - and for at least one of these, the player was instructed by Captain Curruthers of Her Majesty's Space Navy! And in our own Oolite, Captain Carruthers of Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy once again materialises to seduce the unwary player into deeds of derring do!

The problem

So what is Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy? All we know is that C(u/a)rruthers is a Captain of it, and that he's joined there by a second Captain as well as an Agent in other missions!

  • Is it a forerunner of the Duval Empire which exists in Frontier/Elite 2 (but is conspicuously absent in Elite & Oolite)?
  • Is it another body hinted at in the original manual? The Galactic Co-operative is only one - although the largest - of several planetary federations, and maintains trade and diplomatic links with over 2000 planets spread throughout 8 galaxies. (p11)
  • Is it GalCop's Galactic Navy?
  • Is it something else?

After prolonged confabulation amongst the early savants of Oolite, a consensus was reached.

The solution

Lave has never been Earth - Old Earth is mentioned in both The Dark Wheel and the Manual as a separate entity, and although never clearly stated, it is implied that it is some distance away. Also, Lave's population is listed as Human Colonials. In Frontier and FFE, the galactic map puts Lave some distance to the south-west of the Sol system, and that's the first confirmation of where Earth is in relation to Lave.

If you look in the Gallery on my site, I have a Frontier map of the same area covered by Galaxy 1's map in Elite.

OK, Her Majesty's Space Navy is a holdover term from Elite before the whole question of Lave's and GalCop's heirarchical structure was discussed. As far as I know, Bell and Braben never really set out the structure of the organisation or galaxies involved, and Rob Holdstock was given very free reign to make it up as he went along. If you notice, in original versions of Elite, GalCop is never explicitly mentioned - it is a term restricted to the manual and fiction that went alongside it!

So - the term His/Her Majesty's Space Navy is not a term related to the Empire, since the Emperor is usually referred to as His Imperial Majesty. Also, the term HER Majesty would never be used to refer to an Empire of Achenar ruler, since they do not allow female monarchs.

In my writing, Her/His Majesty's Space Navy is a traditional term harking back to the days of the Old Worlds Alliance, where members of what had once been Earth's royal family set up a government on Lave and became self-styled Kings and Queens. With the formation of the Space Navy following the Thargoid threat, it was the royal famiy who funded and approved the Navy, becoming the patrons of the organisation. By this time, however, they were no longer rulers of Lave, having turned the rule of the world over to an autocratic government.

A monarch is still in residence on Lave, and has governmental rule over one continent of the world. She retains control of the Space Navy in a purely patronising way (as in she is the PATRON of the Navy, not that she patronises it) but has no direct control over the way it is run.

For the record, the current monarch is Queen Isabell, and she is over 90 years old. Her 67 year old son is much chagrined at her obstinate refusal to die, and is seeing his chances at taking the throne fade away with his health. He already has had most of his internal organs replaced in order to remain fit and healthy and eligible to take over the throne.

(Selezen, 2006)

Note that Her Majesty becomes Her Imperial Majesty in later BB threads.

Discussion from 2008:

Here's a likely scenario. Lave is home to the GalCop offices and training facilities. Lave is a dictatorship (nothing in the manuals or fluff speak out against Lave being under the rule of an imperial monarch during the Elite era - the landmasses could be under the general control of the Firstfallian Empire). A hundred or so years ago, the emperor of the time began to get hissy about the fact that all these outworlders were travelling to Lave and not bringing any benefit to the economy, since they were just here to do some piddly little flight exam then bugger off, leaving all their litter and empty Reidquat Ale bottles lying around.

So GalCop put together a committee, then a sub-committee, then an evaluation board, then a study group, then GalCop's president looks at all the proposals and says "bugger all that lot, let's just give the moaning-faced old git a fancy hereditary position and make up a title for him - how about Commander in Chief of the Navy!" Hence, to keep the old codger (the Emperor) happy, he's called Commander in Chief of All The Galactic Navy, and the Navy sometimes gets called His Imperial Majesty's Space Navy. Out of his earshot, it's still the darned Galactic Navy, but at least old royal bones has shut his face. He thinks he has some sway with the Navy and how it's run, but in reality there's about fifteen levels of beurocracy before any of his ideas even get to someone important.

Over the years and decades, the name kind of sticks in certain areas, especially with those Naval officers who hail from Lave. they're kind of proud of it, and use it whenever they can. Other officers just use it to make everything sound impressive in front of the proles.

Hence, Carruthers and that other bloke could either be trying to 'big themselves up' in front of our lowly pilot bloke or could actually be from Lave!


And, the next post:

I like that! Unless someone can see any glaring issues with it I think it's the best solution. "Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy" could be used pompously, or seriously, or sarcastically!

"I, sir, am an officer of Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy!"

"Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy stands ready to do its duty."

"So, you're an officer of 'Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy', are you?" (for best effect, try to imagine a frog making "quote marks" in the air with his fingers as he says this)


But, in 2012, we find a contrasting approach:

If on the Wiki, one maybe would have to look back to page revisions previous to the release of Galactic Navy.oxp. The creator of the OXP changed the Elite backstory (and the Wiki) considerably in order to accommodate the massive military he created. I see that as a deviation from Elite canon, but because not many people are aware of that, and the OXP is one of the most recommended for newbies, this deviation from canon has (for many players) turned into canon. For me personally, one of the central points of canon, and in fact one of the defining characteristics of GalCop as an organisation is that it doesn't have a considerable naval force. The whacky and oddly-named "Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy" that you encounter in the two native missions is really all there is. It's mostly invisible, simply because there doesn't exist much to show. 16 capital ships (I'm in favour of Behemoth.oxp), an unspecified number of small fighters, and every licensed pilot as a reserve, that's it.

The affectations of "Her Imperial Majesty's Navy" could be a courtesy to whatever monarch is being referred.

(Commander McLane)

So we commence with HIMSN being a name for the Galactic Navy, but we then move on to it being quite distinct! Of course, Oolite being an individual game tailored by you for you, you can decide this for yourself!


HIMSN Komodo Carrier.png



  • HIMSN p14 Smiv's summary of the relationship between the Galactic Navy & HIMSN
  • HIMSN p18 Gimi's summary of the HIMSN project
  • HIMSN p27 link (broken) to first test .oxp for HIMSN (first of half a dozen)
  • HIMSN p32 Cim's second critique
  • HIMSN p34 Norby's synopsis of good ideas in the thread so far
  • HIMSN p50 Abandonment of HIMSN due to leak in pipe forcing purchase of new computer and consequent loss of Pleb (the Imperial Project Manager) to E:D