Monday, October 16, 2017

A Portuguese Royal Weekend in DC

With HRH Dom Duarte, Duke of Braganza, Army & Navy Club, Washington, DC, October 13, 2017
This weekend in Washington DC I was honored to meet HRH Dom Duarte, Duke of Braganza, and was deeply humbled by entry on Saturday October 14 as a Knight of the Portuguese Royal House.



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A 21C Problem

My natural inclination is to argue, as I have many times, that the European countries that have kept their monarchies are better places to live than the European countries that haven't. Throughout the 20th century, and perhaps even into the early years of this one, I think the truth of that assertion was pretty obvious. Today, however, with the governments of Poland & Hungary and perhaps also other Eastern European republics proving more resistant to the evils and dangers of our time than any Western constitutional monarchy, it's getting harder and harder to make that argument. I almost miss the Cold War.

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Christian EU?




As a monarchist who rejects the Italian, German, and French republics in principle, I'm not especially sympathetic to conservative arguments (though Metropolitan Hilarion has also made comments favorable to monarchy) that the European Project was founded by Devout Christians but only later went off track. Alcide De Gasperi, Theodor Heuss, Konrad Adenauer, and Robert Schuman were not acceptable substitutes for legitimate Christian kings. At a personal level, they remind me of the sort of people I used to argue with on Catholic forums who were dismissive of my monarchist beliefs. That they would probably be appalled by what the EU has become today doesn't mean their sort of "conservatism" wasn't part of the problem. That Western Europe, including its republics, was a superficially decent enough place to live during the second half of the 20th century (I'm not so sure about today) doesn't make the catastrophic political changes of the first half acceptable. France, Portugal, Germany, Austria, and Italy shouldn't _have_ presidents, no matter how "conservative" or "Christian." They should have kings. We can't bring the dead of the World Wars back to life. But we can rebuild buildings, and we can restore monarchies, and we should never give up on the real Europe which is Royal as much as it is Christian.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A month late: this year's July 4 thoughts

I was going to reproduce this July 5 Facebook post here, but forgot to do so until now. If anything, attending the "Enlightened Princesses" exhibit at Kensington Palace on Sunday strengthened my commitment to the Hanoverian succession.



Every year on July 4, online discussions of the American Revolution bring out not only Tories like me, but zealous internet reactionaries (one seldom encounters these people in real life) who after more than 300 years still stubbornly deny the legitimacy of the Hanoverian succession, forming a sort of unholy alliance with conventional republican defenders of the Revolution in denying that George III and his successors have been lawful monarchs at all. (A particularly extreme version I encountered yesterday rejects all English and British monarchs since Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I in 1570.) Unsurprisingly I tend to get cross with these people (whose views are not required or even supported by actual Roman Catholic teaching), but not only because of my attachment to the present Queen.
I understand the appeal of the 18th century Jacobite cause, and as a member of the board of trustees of the [American] Society of King Charles the Martyr can hardly be considered an enemy of the Stuarts. I believe I would have sided with James II in 1688. But as my irritation with modern hardline Jacobites has grown, I've realised that I am utterly unwilling to concede that the British Monarchy as it has actually existed since 1714 is any kind of inherent disappointment or lesser evil. 
There is nothing wrong with fantasy. But I believe that monarchism necessarily involves supporting real monarchies, which from time to time (not only in 1688/1714) have undergone irregularities in succession. The truth is, I love the close relationship between British and Protestant German royalty that flourished for exactly 200 years (1714-1914), not coincidentally corresponding to the peak era of British power and achievements. That relationship is essentially the foundation of the modern royal genealogy I take pride in having memorised, and inseparable from traditional concepts of Britishness (as opposed to mere Englishness or Scottishness) now endangered on multiple fronts. I don't think it's hyperbole to assert that the agony of the 20th century, and the root of much of what is wrong with the modern world, is ultimately the breakdown of that Anglo-German relationship: the failure of the cozy Victorian dream in which courts all over Germany--Hanover, Prussia, Coburg, Hesse, Württemberg, Mecklenburg-Strelitz--maintained close family ties to the little old lady in Windsor Castle.

Obviously for some the West has been at least partially on the wrong track since 1517. But for me, as a pan-monarchist Tory Anglican, Britain lost her way not when she imported a sovereign from Hanover in 1714, but nearly two centuries later when in stark contrast to the brilliantly successful policies of the 18th and 19th centuries, she drifted away from Germany into the arms of the regicidal French Republic. I refuse to believe that this rupture was inevitable, and I mourn its consequences. And I will never apologise for my loyalty to King George III of the House of Hanover and his heirs and successors. 

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Voting

One platitude beloved by Democracy lovers is "it doesn't matter who you vote for, so long as as you vote." To me that is absurd as if someone who claimed to be a health advocate said "it doesn't matter what you eat, so long as you eat." Voting properly understood should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. If you believe that an election matters, and I happen to believe that today's British one does, rationally what matters is the outcome, not Voting for its own sake. Do people actually think after what they perceive as a disastrous result, "well this party/candidate will be absolutely catastrophic for my country, but at least people Voted"? Madness. The defeat of the execrable Jeremy Corbyn and everything he stands for, hopefully by as wide a margin as possible, as well as the weakening of the SNP in Scotland at the hands of the excellent Ruth Davidson, is absolutely imperative. So I feel no shame whatsoever in expressing the hopes that as many of those inclined to vote Tory as possible will do so and that those who would never in a million years vote Tory will stay away from the polls.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

War and Ideology

Despite occasional outbursts from the comfort and safety of my computer, I'm not a violent person. I've never hurt anyone in my life and it's unlikely that I ever will. I would probably be utterly useless to any military. I generally take a dim view of war and am not inclined to romanticize it. But I am an ideological person, which means that when I look at History, some conflicts are easier for me to understand than others. Let's face it: in retrospect, most of history's wars between independent countries, including monarchies, look pretty stupid. It seems to me that it is history's civil wars that, tragic as they were, actually make sense. For example: the idea that if I were a young Englishman in 1914 I should want to kill young German men, when neither they nor their Kaiser had ever done anything to me, because they are German, is utterly incomprehensible and abhorrent to me. But the idea that if I were a young Spanish Catholic monarchist in 1936 I might need to kill Spanish atheist republicans and communists, while I'm under no delusions that it would be pleasant, at least is not irrational.

For the record, it shouldn't surprise readers of this blog that I support, in a few cases reluctantly as a lesser evil, but in most cases fervently:

King Charles I and the Royalists in the English Civil War (1642-51)
King George III and the Loyalists in the American Revolution (which was to an extent the first American civil war) (1775-83)
King Louis XVI and then the Vendeans and Chouans against the French Revolution (1789-c.1800)
the Bourbons, Habsburgs, and Papacy in the Wars of Italian Unification (1848-70)
the Confederacy in the American Civil War (1861-65)
Emperor Maximilian and his supporters in Mexico (1864-67)
the Whites in the Russian Civil War (1917-22)
the Whites in the Finnish Civil War (1918)
the Whites in Hungary (1919-21)
the Cristeros in Mexico (1926-29)
the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39)
the Chetniks in Yugoslavia in WW2 (1941-45)
the Royalists in the Greek Civil War (1946-49)
the Royalists in the North Yemen Civil War (1962-70)
the Royalists in the Nepalese Civil War (1996-2006)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Monuments Man and the Princess

Here is an interesting article from October I just found yesterday about "Monuments Man" Clyde Harris (1918-1958) of Oklahoma, who married Princess Cecilie of Prussia (1917-1975), a granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Wikipedia's article on her grandmother Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia is also worth reading.

Crown Prince Wilhelm (1882-1951), Princess Cecilie, Clyde Harris, Crown Princess Cecilie (1886-1954), and Amarillo mayor Lawrence Hagy (1905-1993) at Cecilie and Clyde's wedding at Hohenzollern Castle, 21 June 1949