Thursday, October 13, 2016

King Bhumibol Adulydej (1927-2016)

I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Bhumibol Adulydej (Rama IX), King of Thailand for an incredible 70 years (1946-2016) and extend my condolences to the Royal Family and People of Thailand. May he rest in peace.

This picture series includes a relatively rare photo of the late King playing the saxophone. Interestingly for Americans, HM was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and played with many jazz legends.

I have updated all the relevant pages of my website (including this one) to reflect the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, with mourning black for the main page. It is a little frustrating to not yet be able to list Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn as King; given the known anxieties about the future of the Monarchy, I think it is important that his accession be proclaimed as soon as possible.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monarchy, Religion, and Priorities

I have Catholic monarchist friends who have no problem getting along with fellow Catholics who have no use for Monarchy whatsoever. Ultimately, their religion comes first. The same is probably true in Orthodoxy, though I'm less familiar with those internal debates. That would frankly be more difficult for me. (Thankfully I don't seem to encounter anti-monarchist Anglicans very often.) 

I suppose the fundamental difference between me and those who are firmly committed to the exclusive truth of their particular variety of Christianity is this: while I understand that a Christian must put Christ first (that is, while there are non-Christian monarchies I like, I wouldn't defend Saudi Arabia from justified Christian criticism simply because it calls itself a Kingdom), I'm not willing to put the divisions _within_ Christianity ahead of Monarchism. I would be Catholic if I lived in France in 1685, Protestant if I lived in England in 1570, and Orthodox if I lived in Tsarist Russia, but I would not become Muslim if I lived in Constantinople in 1453...I hope. So, I'm a Christian first, but a Monarchist second, and an Anglican/Protestant (if Anglicanism is Protestant, but that's a whole other discussion) third. To the extent that I identify as an American at all, that's fourth at best.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

William in Hawaii

I'm proud of my brother, violinist and cultural diplomat William Harvey, for this eloquent reflection on his visit to the once and future Kingdom of Hawaii.

Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1917)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


As my website approaches its 16th birthday tomorrow, I was thinking a bit mournfully about a formerly monarchist online acquaintance I'm not in touch with anymore, and it occurred to me, I'm still dreaming of a Wittelsbach restoration in Bavaria, while not only X. but also the actual Wittelsbachs have moved on. If that means I'm politically irrelevant, I guess I'm politically irrelevant. Oh well. I know I'm right, even if the whole world disagrees, and it's not quite the whole world. If you're one of the not-so-happy few (and if you're reading this blog you probably are), thank you, and let's never give up.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Elizabeth II, Charles III, William V, George VII

While I'm glad that most Britons are not republicans and want the Monarchy to continue (that is, most Britons are not evil), far too many don't understand how it works and fail to appreciate the finest Prince of Wales Britain has ever had. As one who deeply admires Prince Charles, I am so sick of this kind of stupidity. I don't think the question should even be asked or articles like this even published. The whole point of a hereditary monarchy is that it's not a popularity contest and you don't get to pick. You keep your mouth shut and accept the lottery of hereditary succession--which has a much better overall track record than presidential elections. But of course modern people think that they have a right to choose everything. They don't. I would support the normal line of succession even if it were 1816 and the heir were George (IV). But as it happens, those who denigrate THIS Prince of Wales are morons and I have no respect for their stupid opinions.

Royal Names

I think the most popular name for European monarchs (defined herein as kings or emperors) has been Charles. Let's see: two kings of England & Scotland, ten kings of France, one king of Portugal, four kings of Spain, seven Holy Roman Emperors, one (beatified) Emperor of Austria-Hungary, nominally sixteen (actually ten) Kings of Sweden, two kings of Romania, one king of W├╝rttemberg. Did I miss anyone? Oh yes, there's Naples & Sicily which gets complicated because some kings ruled both with different numerals and then the last King Charles (VII/V) subsequently became III of Spain. But if you're ever in a situation where you have to guess the name of a European monarch, you have better odds with "Charles" than any other particular name.

Louis, especially after Louis IX was canonized, was extremely popular in France, going all the way up to XVIII (Woody Allen's character in "Small Time Crooks": "how high do the 'Louis's go? Anyway, it's a top Louis."), but in other countries, we have four Holy Roman Emperors, two kings of Bavaria, one king of Portugal, and one short-lived king of Spain. Not bad I suppose.

Edward unsurprisingly has been the most popular kingly name in England; the numbering only goes up to VIII, but there were additionally three Kings Edward before the Norman Conquest. But the name never really caught on on the Continent; just one king of Portugal.

Henry is another very important monarchical name; obviously, eight Kings of England. Four Kings of France, seven Holy Roman Emperors, four Kings of Castile.

We mustn't forget my own brother's name, William. Four kings of England (and God willing, one future), four kings of the Netherlands (though the present one insists on going by "Willem-Alexander"), two German Emperors, two kings of W├╝rttemberg.

Francis: two Kings of France, two Holy Roman Emperors, and two Kings of the Two Sicilies. (Of course now there's also the pope, but I'm not dealing with popes here.)

Ferdinand was the name of seven kings of Spain, three Holy Roman Emperors (a fourth was king of Bohemia & Hungary but predeceased his father so never became Emperor), two kings of the Two Sicilies, one Austrian Emperor, one king of Romania, one king of Bulgaria.

Philip: six kings of France, six kings of Spain (including the present one), the present king of Belgium.

Leopold: three kings of Belgium, two Holy Roman Emperors.

Maximilian: two Holy Roman Emperors, two kings of Bavaria, one Emperor of Mexico.

Joseph: one king of Portugal, one dubious (Napoleonic) king of Spain, two Holy Roman Emperors.

Alexander: three Kings of Scotland, three Emperors of Russia, one King of Greece, one Prince of Bulgaria, two kings of Serbia/Yugoslavia (though the second did not use "II").

John: one king of England (not a great success), six kings of Portugal, two kings of France, one king of Saxony, one king of Denmark.

Frederick: three Kings of Prussia, nine kings of Denmark, three Holy Roman Emperors.

George: six Kings of Great Britain (III & IV were also kings of Hanover), one additional king of Hanover, one king of Saxony, two kings of Greece.

Peter: four kings of Aragon, five Kings of Portugal (the 4th of whom was also I of Brazil), two Emperors of Brazil, three Emperors of Russia, two kings of Serbia/Yugoslavia.

Otto: four Holy Roman Emperors, one king of Greece, one king of Bavaria.

Harold: two pre-Conquest kings of England, five kings of Norway (including the present one).
This isn't really in any sort of order anymore, is it?

Most other names seem to be associated primarily or exclusively with one monarchy (e.g. Christian in Denmark, Gustav in Sweden, James in Britain).

I'm just typing this, without doing too much research to refresh my memory, on a rainy afternoon for no reason really. Hope someone enjoys it.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Off to the Old World!

In about 24 hours, God willing, I'll be departing from Philadelphia to Munich. I'm excited for my longest international excursion since 2011.

Basic itinerary:

16-20 July: Bavarian Castles Tour (Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, Herrenchiemsee), Germany
20-22 July: Southern Cathedrals Festival, Chichester, England, UK
22-24 July: Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester
24-25 July: Birmingham
25-30 July: "Glorious Scotland" tour (Edinburgh, Glamis, Dunnottar, Kildrummy, Balmoral, Stirling, etc.) by Transcendent Travel
31 Jul-2 Aug: Edinburgh
2-5 August: visiting friends in Northern England
5-8 August: London
8-13 August: "To The Manor Born" tour by Transcendent Travel (Windsor, Highclere Castle, Bath, Boringdon Hall, Port Isaac, Tortworth, Hampton Court, etc.)
13-15 August: London

I'll hope to see as many of my UK friends as possible. After my return perhaps I'll post some pictures here.