Tuesday, April 23, 2019

RIP Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg (1921-2019)

The Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg announced that HRH Grand Duke Jean passed away early this morning. I am sorry to learn of the death of this model constitutional monarch and beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Reigning from 1964 to 2000, he was the last surviving head of state who had fought in World War II. Grand Duke Jean abdicated on October 7, 2000, just over a week after I started my website in New York on September 29. Therefore his was the first royal reign whose end I "reported" on, as I now report on the end of his long life. Obituaries: European Royal History Journal, Telegraph. A state funeral will be held on Saturday May 4.

I think this four-generation photo from last summer captures the joy Grand Duke Jean took during his retirement in being surrounded by his family. Standing: Antonius Willms (b 1988) holding his son Zeno (b 2018), his wife (Zeno's mother) Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau (b 1986), her father Prince Jean (b 1957).
Seated: Grand Duke Henri (b 1955), Grand Duke Jean (1921-2019), Grand Duchess Maria Teresa (b 1956).

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Church and The World

Christians often talk about issues where what the World wants and what the Church wants diverge. And I'm sure there are ways in which I'm guilty of siding with the World. But I honestly think what frustrates me the most is the areas in which the World and the Church seem to be aligned against me. Both the World and (since Pope Leo XIII) the Church tell me that it's acceptable for monarchies to be abolished and replaced by republics and that those who are sad about that just have to live with it, other issues being more important today. No. I don't want to. Both the World and (since the 1960s) the Church tell me that it's acceptable for the kind of music I love to be replaced by "music" I find disgusting and that those who don't like it have to be tolerant of others' preferences. No. I don't want to. In these two areas, at least, I insist that I'm right and the World and the Church today are both wrong. And I don't care how arrogant that makes me. I've made do with Anglicanism for almost 10 years now but sometimes I really wish I could found a new branch or denomination of Christianity that would be uncompromisingly both monarchist and musically traditionalist. I don't suppose it would have many members though.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Summer in Russia and Britain, and a Habsburg event in Dallas

Apologies to anyone still reading this blog for my lack of activity here. There's so much I theoretically could have blogged about in recent months, particularly my July trip to Russia "In the Steps of the Romanovs" culminating in my participation in the solemn commemorations of the centennial of the murder of the Imperial Family in Ekaterinburg, but having documented my trips so thoroughly on social media I never got around to also producing a blog entry. I would like to encourage anyone curious about my experiences in Russia and Britain ("Wonders of Wales and England") to follow me on Instagram, or even if you're not an Instagram user check out my page (which unlike my Facebook is Public), and peruse my photos there (in reverse chronological order) which cover all the highlights.

https://www.instagram.com/royalcello/

Today, however, here in Texas I was reunited at the Blessed Karl Symposium at Mater Dei Catholic Church with HI&RH Princess (née Archduchess) Maria Anna Galitizine, granddaughter of Bl Karl, nearly two years after I first met her in Washington DC. I think she liked my shirt!
 







Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Changes

Sometimes I come across old internet posts and comments of mine. I haven't changed much. That's why it can be hard when online acquaintances go through various ideological and/or religious phases. Sometimes it means they don't want to be "Friends" anymore. This is usually guys, usually considerably younger, though I can think of one female former friend about my age to whom it applies. I think sometimes young men get interested in Monarchy--why not, it's awesome--but then when they learn that the modern world is never going to take this seriously, and Europe's contemporary royals are not going to do what they want, they either sell out and embrace "normie" politics or gravitate to more extreme ideologies that they see as "tougher." Sometimes they reject Christianity altogether; sometimes they embrace a fanatical Christianity that rejects all earthly goals dear to the hearts of traditionalists. It's sad to witness. I'm sticking with what I know is right. If that makes me a "LARPer," so be it. I'm grateful for all those who have stayed loyal and aren't budging. Monarchism Forever.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Royal Encounters in Mexico

Last week I visited my brother William in Mexico, where he has been serving as concertmaster of the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional in Mexico City. We did a lot of fairly typical Mexican sightseeing (including Chapultepec Castle where Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota lived) and eating, mostly beyond the scope of this blog post, but the evening of June 6 was far from typical: a performance for HI&RH Archduke Carlos Felipe, a grandson of Emperor Bl Karl of Austria-Hungary and great-great-grandnephew of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, at his Mexico City home, for an audience that also included his wife, his two sons, and his cousin HRH Prince Alexander Margrave of Meissen, head of the Royal House of Saxony! While I have had many special experiences as a musician, it's hard to imagine that anything could top playing Bach, Kreisler, and the Kaiserhymne for such an audience. Afterwards (as well as the day before when we were getting ready) I had ample opportunities to talk to all the royalty present, who were impeccably gracious and appreciative: a monarchist musician's dream. I felt that my brother and I got to be the latest in a long line of musicians who have performed for members of the Habsburg dynasty over the centuries. Archduke Carlos Felipe has done a great deal to rehabilitate the image of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico and it was a tremendous honour to be his guest.


With Archduke Carlos Felipe and his wife Annie-Claire in front of a portrait of Emperor Maximilian, June 5
Portraits of Maximilian & Carlota, and their piano, at Chapultepec Castle

My brother and I with Prince Alexander of Saxony, Margrave of Meissen






With Archdukes Louis-Damien and Julian
With Archduke Carlos Felipe and a portrait of his ancestor Emperor Charles V
Altar of the Kings, Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, June 7

Friday, June 1, 2018

Habsburg Twitter and Me

Yesterday, much to my delight, I had a light-hearted exchange with not one but two Habsburgs on Twitter. You can read about it at my friend Jovan's blog here.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

History

It has been fashionable lately to bemoan Americans', especially young Americans', ignorance of the Holocaust. But there's so much ignorance of history in general that I don't see these statistics as particularly surprising. I daresay that Americans, even millennials, still know more about the Holocaust than they do about many other historical topics, about which they know nothing at all. In fact as a classical musician and as one who loves the authentic Germany of many centuries before 1918, I resent it that most bookstores' "Germany" history shelves tend to be dominated by books about the Nazis, as if 1933-45 were the only twelve years in all of German history that matter.

However little millennials know about Nazi atrocities, I bet they know even less about numerically greater Communist atrocities, which is why the work of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (even if I disagree with its Americanist orientation) is so important. So yes, history education needs to be improved, but in all areas, not just this area. I was lucky in that I had an excellent 9th grade world history teacher, and read a lot on my own, but many were probably not that fortunate, and why do high schools require only one year of non-US history?