Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
In a related story, Frenchmen of the heroic Vendée, stronghold of Catholic and royalist resistance to the Revolution, demand that the First Republic's horrifying massacres of men, women, and children there in 1794 be recognized as a "genocide." It's unfortunate, though, that the Vendean historian quoted can only go so far as to claim that the Vendée atrocities constituted "faithlessness of the Revolution to its own principles," when in fact it was the French Revolution's evil principles themselves that were the problem, and led naturally and logically to the extermination of those who did not wish to live under the revolutionaries' new order.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tomorrow, Christmas Day, I will fly to Indianapolis to join my family there.
I would like to wish my readers a very merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I'm glad to see the WSJ paying attention to non-reigning royalty (though the reader comments--open only to subscribers--are uniformly disgusting), and that HRH persists in believing in the future of the French monarchy, no matter how unlikely its restoration seems at present. But there are a few misleading statements in the article.
(1) The [Spanish] Bourbons (the French Bourbon senior line became extinct in 1883) and the Orléans are not two separate families or dynasties. They are different branches of the same family, the Capetians, who ruled France from 987 to the Revolution and then again until 1848, and remain on the thrones of Spain and Luxembourg. Both the Duke of Anjou ("Louis XX") and the Duke of Vendôme are descended in the male line from King Louis XIII (1601-1643), the former from his elder son Louis XIV (1638-1715) and the latter from his younger son Philippe Duc d'Orléans (1640-1701). While it is not incorrect to state that "[t]he Orléans are related to Louis Philippe I, who ruled France between 1830 and 1848 and was related to Louis XIV's younger brother," why not specify that the Orléans are descended from Louis Philippe I (1773-1850), who was descended from Louis XIV's younger brother? "Related" makes it sound like some vague connection less direct than it actually is. As direct male-line descendants of Henri IV (the first "Bourbon" King of France) and his son Louis XIII, in a sense the Orléans family are "Bourbons" too.
(2) Luis Alfonso de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou (b. 1974), is not a "distant cousin" of the King of Spain. His father was Juan Carlos's first cousin, making them first cousins once removed. That is not a "distant" relationship!
(3) The idea that a Spaniard cannot be King of France is not really an "old tradition," but rather an odd way of summarizing the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which stipulated that the crowns of Spain and France could never be united. The main issue, however, is not that stipulation (since Luis Alfonso is not in line to the Spanish throne), but rather the fact that Louis XIV's grandson Philippe Duc d'Anjou (from whom the Spanish and Italian Bourbons, including Luis Alfonso, all descend) renounced for himself and his descendants any claim to the French throne in order to be recognized as King Felipe V of Spain (1683-1746); the validity of that renunciation is the key dispute between supporters of "Louis XX" and supporters of "Henri VII" (Jean's father).
That said, kudos to Prince Jean for his determination to remain above "Left" and "Right" and "sow ideas" for Restoration. Vive le Roi---whoever "le Roi" is! (This blog would gladly acclaim either Louis XX or Henri VII rather than the French Republic!)
Friday, December 19, 2008
(H/T: Jørn K. Baltzersen)
As I pointed out at my friend Mr. Baltzersen's blog, Mr. Warner, whose blog I've often admired, does not seem to be defending Grand Duke Henri so much as reproaching him and other Catholic monarchs for not being even more intransigent on issues such as euthanasia, even if it led to their abdication. This is not a position I'm willing to take; in fact I would probably not take it even if I shared Mr. Warner's Roman Catholic faith.
Like it or not (and I don't!), "Democracy" is held sacrosanct in modern Europe (except of course when popular referendums might hinder the agenda of the EU...), and it is not within the ability of the continent's remaining constitutional sovereigns to change that. Catholics opposed to euthanasia, abortion, etc., are obliged to work within the democratic process like everyone else, not rely on monarchs whose constitutional limitations in most cases were set before they were born to "save the day" or risk the fall of the monarchy with grand gestures of defiance. As I've said many times in arguments with those who while not unsympathetic to monarchy in principle don't see the point in today's "emasculated" versions, symbolism matters, and I would much rather Europe's monarchies survive by making compromises with modernity than allow themselves to be replaced by republics whose very existence would be repulsive and repugnant and would certainly not do Catholics any good.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
More unsettling, political dynasties are fundamentally un-American. This is not -- or is not supposed to be -- a country in which political power is an inherited commodity. The notion that Caroline Kennedy could simply ring up the governor and announce, or even politely suggest, her availability grates against the meritocratic ideal. After all, even the children of politicians generally take the time to climb the usual rungs rather than parachute into top jobs.
Confusingly, Marcus ends up endorsing Caroline, precisely because her appointment would make her a "national princess" in a "fairy tale," for which other more consistently anti-dynastic commentators have criticized her:
The last link is a good example of why I eventually concluded I could have nothing to do with American paleoconservatism, even though Daniel Larison has written some things I agreed with. Dynastic politics are a sign of health, not "sickness," an indication of the natural human desire for family leadership fighting its way through against the artificial constraints of 18th-century republicanism and "meritocracy."
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I groaned at my admirer Tony Dodd's cliche-ridden classification of Prince Charles's life as a "privileged yet worthless existence". I was glad to see others take him to task for this boring, ill-informed comment. If we must have republicans here, can they at least argue sensibly? The Prince's Trust, and many other of Charles's activities, are plainly thoughtful and worthy things, the fruit of a serious and generous mind. The 'privilege' of the monarchy (as any reader of Shakespeare must know) is all about maintaining its mystery and standing. In any organisation or institution, the senior figures are hedged about with various special facilities and privileges, whether they be the key to the executive washroom, the chauffeured car, the corner office, the big desk, the pretty PA, and of course the invariable use of a title "Managing Director", "Prime Minister" etc..
How can informed people continue to imagine that the monarchy is expensive and luxurious? Why are the same people unbothered by the huge government car fleet, and the flunkeydom and perks which attend the lives of ministers? Why do they snivel about the formal respect granted to Majesty (which stands for our sovereignty over ourselves) - yet not object to the gloopy sycophancy of the mad, Stalinesque standing ovations given to political leaders for their dire orations?
We know now about the Queen's Spartan breakfast table, the Tupperware and the ancient radio. These people are not the Bourbons or the Romanovs, who were themselves maligned in the same way by revolutionaries. Revolutionaries, on the other hand, usually end up living in gross luxury once they are safely in power.
As a patriotic Protestant Englishman, Hitchens is of course entitled to prefer the style of monarchy represented by the Windsors to that of the Bourbons and Romanovs, though this blog supports all three dynasties. I'm glad though that even from his relatively Whiggish perspective he can acknowledge that French and Russian royalty were also unfairly "maligned...by [hypocritical] revolutionaries."
Monday, December 8, 2008
Some more pictures here, here, here, and here.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Coming across this quotation on the "Enlightenment," from a letter of the great Empress to one of her sons, I thought readers might find it particularly interesting, as relevant today as it was in the 18th century.
Nothing is more pleasant, nothing more suitable to flatter our egos as a freedom without restrictions. "Freedom" is the word with which our enlightened century wants to replace religion. One condemns the whole past as a time of ignorance and prejudice, while knowing nothing of that past and very little of the present. If I could see these so-called enlightened figures, these philosophes, more fortunate in their work and happier in their private lives, then I would accuse myself of bias, pride, prepossession, and obstinacy for not adjusting to them. But unfortunately daily experience teaches me the opposite. No one is weaker, no one more spiritless than these strong spirits; no one more servile, no one more despairing at the least misfortune as they. They are bad fathers, sons, husbands, ministers, generals, and citizens. And why? Because they lack substance. All of their philosophy, all of their axioms are conceived only in their egotism; the slightest disappointment crushes them beyond hope, with no resources to fall back upon.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Really, I thought her comments were pretty mild considering how uncomfortable modern Spain must be for orthodox adherents of the faith that was once so integral to Spanish society. I also applaud HM for not falling into the false trap of pro-war "conservatism." I'm not even sure that her quoted remarks are best described as an "attack on gays and abortion" as trumpeted by the headline.
I do not agree with those right-wing Catholics who condemn King Juan Carlos for facilitating Spain's transition to liberal democracy; I am convinced that if he had tried to rule as unreconstructed Francoists would have liked, there would be no monarchy in Spain today, and another Republic would not do Catholics any good. However, I think it's awfully churlish of the Left to begrudge their Queen, who as a conservative politician pointed out was only saying what most 70-year-old Spanish Catholic women think, a few moderate expressions of discomfort, given that their side, not hers, has had its way with contemporary Spain.
One often encounters the statement that most Spaniards are "juancarlistas," not monarchists. As a monarchist, this is hard for me to understand; the mentality of a Spaniard who does not love the monarchy itself, who does not treasure the heritage of St. Fernando III, Ferdinand & Isabella, Philip II, Carlos III, Queen Maria Cristina, etc. is incomprehensible to me. But alas it would seem that there is some truth to the cliché, as it is impossible to imagine a British newspaper, even a Leftist one, printing a headline telling the Queen to "shut up." It would seem that in what was once that most Catholic of countries, a queen must keep her Catholic opinions to herself if she wishes to avoid spiteful attacks.
Friday, November 14, 2008
A King in Waiting - The Daily Beast features three reflections on Prince Charles and this milestone. (Thanks to reader Anna Brew.)
Dominic Sandbrook points out that the once-mocked Charles is truly a prince of our times. (Thanks to forum member Jovan Weismiller.)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I've never understood the idea that explicitly identifying the British monarch with Anglicanism is offensive to non-Anglicans. While it is true that I now attend an Episcopal church, I was once a very secular sort of a monarchist, and then for 2-3 years felt more or less aligned with Roman Catholicism; during neither of those periods did it ever occur to me that this particular title of Elizabeth II's would have somehow excluded me from the benefits of being one of her subjects, had I been lucky enough to be one. It seems to me that religious people of all faiths benefit from a monarchy that acknowledges a spiritual dimension and is committed to the defense of its own religious tradition, since one cannot truly defend them all. Even an atheist or agnostic ought to be able to acknowledge the special relationship that Christianity in general and Anglicanism in particular had with the development of British culture. The fact is that Britain for some time (especially since the 1829 Catholic Emancipation) has had a deserved reputation as a land tolerant of various faiths, and of secularism, for rather longer than many European countries, and the monarch's status as "Defender of the Faith" has not interfered with that. So why get rid of it now?
Additionally, it might be reasonably objected that changing the title to "Defender of Faith" implies a new and unnecessary opposition between the monarchy and modern Britain's many non-religious people, in a way that simply leaving it as it is does not.
An alert member of my forum pointed out that the Telegraph article's list of royal guests is rather remarkable in its errors. "Prince Mary" of Denmark should of course be "[Crown] Princess Mary," and "Felipe" and "Matilda" of Belgium should be "Philippe" and "Mathilde."
The Meyerson Symphony Center mentioned is where I work. My colleague and her husband were in the audience at the gala. (I, of course, was a 12-year-old 7th grader in Indianapolis at the time.)
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I wish that those members of the British public who are not abolitionists, but seem to think that their silly preference for Prince William (why? because he's 34 years younger?), or their spiteful wish to deny the former Camilla Parker Bowles her husband's rank upon his accession, ought to count for something, could get it through their thick heads that the monarchy is not a popularity contest and is not supposed to be. Legally the wife of the King is the Queen, not the "Princess Consort," whatever that is. Brits should be glad that they have an heir to the throne as thoughtful and energetic as Prince Charles, and that he's finally found a wife who supports him and with whom he can be happy.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Some Americans who share my distaste for the nominees of the two major parties will be voting for alternative candidates like Bob Barr or Chuck Baldwin. I cannot see the point of this. Neither of them has achieved even as much momentum as Ralph Nader did in 2000, and not only because the system is stacked against them; they're just not very appealing candidates except to tiny niches of voters. In this spring's Republican primaries, there was an alternative candidate who, while far from perfect, I thought worthy of support: Rep. Ron Paul. But Dr. Paul managed to gather a diverse coalition that, while ultimately unsuccessful, was commendable in galvanizing and uniting anti-war radicals, conservative Christians, secular libertarians, and other assorted dissidents whose one common denominator was dissatisfaction with the choices usually offered by American politics. Neither Barr nor Baldwin can do that. And neither of their ideologies are much closer to mine than those of McCain and Obama.
To the extent that I have a preferred outcome at all, if someone held a gun to my head and said that I had to choose between a McCain victory and an Obama victory, I would opt for the latter. There are several reasons for this. The pragmatic one, from a right-wing American point of view, is that an open enemy is not as dangerous as a false friend. If Obama is elected, as now seems likely, conservatives will fight him every step of the way. But if McCain is elected, they will let him get away with actions they would oppose in a Democrat. A McCain victory would confirm the triumph of neoconservatism, move the Republican establishment further to the Left, and extinguish hopes that traditional conservatives will ever regain any kind of influence in Washington. An alternative pragmatic, perhaps even selfish, reason for me to prefer an Obama victory is that as much as I disagree with most of the Democratic agenda, there's no getting around the fact that Democratic administrations are generally more favorable to the interests of both the arts and labor unions than Republican ones, and I'm a unionized classical musician. However, I won't claim that my weak desire for an Obama victory is purely pragmatic. I have serious disagreements with the American Left; but I despise and detest the American neocon "Right." I believe George W. Bush to have been one of the worst presidents in history, certainly much worse than Democrat Bill Clinton; in my view, justice demands that Republicans be punished for inflicting the abomination of Bush upon the world. And in our system the only way for Republicans to be punished is for Democrats to win.
Yet for all that, I cannot vote for Obama. For all his talk of unity and transcending ideology, he is clearly of the Left, and to the extent that its original meaning still survives at all, I am essentially of the Right, even if I can hardly recognize any of my values in the contemporary "Right." Barack Obama believes in Progress and Equality; I believe in Tradition and Hierarchy. I may be currently estranged from the ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholicism I once thought I might one day espouse, but I still retain enough Catholic influence in my thinking to be uncomfortable with the consequences of Roe vs. Wade and Obama's unflinching support for it. It is simply not possible to hang out with traditional Catholics for two years and remain totally indifferent to abortion, as much as I resent the way the issue repeatedly has been used to rope pro-lifers into the GOP column without delivering any substantial change in return. In fact, it is not necessary to favor a blanket nationwide ban on abortion in all circumstances (as Catholics must) to see that Roe vs. Wade was a terrible decision that has poisoned our national politics and ought to be overturned. Unlike hardcore pro-lifers, I would be content to see the matter returned to each of the 50 individual states, with abortion remaining legal in the more liberal states and becoming illegal in the more conservative ones. But President Obama and the sort of justices he would appoint to the Supreme Court would not permit even that compromise.
So far almost everything I have written could have been written by an American paleoconservative or libertarian who believed in republican government and admired the American Revolution. And I would indeed concede a certain respect to anyone who refuses to choose between Obama and McCain, even if his fundamental beliefs do not match my own. But this is after all a monarchist blog, and it would not be honest or logical to restrict myself to the above arguments, especially since I am aware that there are other races being decided tomorrow besides the presidential one.
When confronting the decision of whether to bother going to the polls, one must ask oneself as an individual what the purpose of voting is. A single vote is not going to decide the election. This is particularly true if one lives in a state that is solidly Republican (like mine, Texas) or solidly Democrat. Therefore, the only real reason to vote is to symbolically affirm one's faith in Democracy in general and in the American system of government in particular. And that is what I refuse to do, quite apart from my objections to this year's presidential candidates. (I now consider even my primary vote for Ron Paul to have been a futile mistake.) For all American politics, "liberal" and "conservative," Democratic and Republican, ultimately proceeds from the Revolution, from that unjustified and hypocritical rebellion against King George III that I believe was wrong, even though it did not approach the horror of the rebellion against another King it helped to inspire a few years later. Unlike the world's other leading ideological republic, France, the United States has never had a viable or even visible faction opposed to the legacy of the Revolution itself. There is no political party advocating a return to royal sovereignty, no political party that does not at least pay lip service to the Constitution (whose explicit prohibitions of titles of nobility and religious establishment are deeply offensive to anyone who idealizes the kind of society that I do) and the Founding Fathers (who I consider to have been Traitors to their King). And so I cannot in conscience participate in this system, for the system is the problem, and there is no way to vote against the system.
I freely admit that I have no principled argument to refute anyone who says that if I really believe as I say I do, I should move to another country, perhaps the United Kingdom or Canada, where I would undoubtedly be willing to participate in electoral politics, albeit with only slightly more enthusiasm for today's Tories than I have for America's Republicans. Yes, in principle I should. But there are other things in life that matter besides political philosophy. My theoretical temporal allegiance may lie with the Crown--but my family, friends, and job are all here in the United States, and it is not so simple to uproot one's entire life, especially for purely ideological reasons. And there is no legal or moral requirement that Americans who are eligible to vote do so; I am hardly the only non-participant, though few non-voters are likely to share all of my particular reasons. Ironically, the very Constitution that Americanists revere requires them to respect my "right" to denounce the American system of government, and my "freedom" not to participate in elections. So I will stay here for the forseeable future, knowing that whatever happens tomorrow or on subsequent Election Days, I will remain profoundly alienated from the politics of the country where I happen to live, but determined to find as much meaning and enjoyment as possible in the non-political aspects of life.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
While it is true that the two wars into which Nicholas II led his country (1904-05 with Japan and 1914-17 with Germany and Austria-Hungary) obviously turned out not to be in Russia's best interests, Nicholas went to war only because he sincerely believed that doing so would be, according to a traditional and relatively narrow concept of "national interests." John McCain, in contrast, has consistently supported a war which has now lasted longer than both of Nicholas's combined and has been motivated by a wild-eyed neoconservative ideological crusade to spread "Democracy" to the world. (It is impossible to imagine Nicholas II picking some republic halfway around the world to invade in order to turn it into a monarchy!) Nicholas II went to war with Germany in 1914 with the greatest reluctance, persuaded by his generals and advisors that he had no other patriotic option. While he loved military pageantry, he regarded war itself with an appropriate solemnity, fully aware of the inevitable loss of human life. McCain, in contrast, despite his own horrible experiences in Vietnam (another American war at least as pointless and ill-conceived as any waged by a monarch), finds it funny to joke about how he would "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." Nicholas II was a devoted family man who if anything went too far in his loyalty to his wife and children; McCain is a lifelong womanizer who discarded his first wife after she became disfigured in favor of a wealthy bimbo young enough to be his daughter. (Yes, I'm aware that many kings and tsars did have mistresses; they generally did not, however, divorce their queens and officially replace them with their mistresses while their queens still lived.)
I am not a supporter of Barack Obama either. (I am planning to write more on the election and why I will not be participating in it in a subsequent post.) But the idea that Obama is our era's Lenin, or that he intends towards conservative Christians in America anything like the terror that Lenin and Trotsky unleashed on the Russian Orthodox Church is patently absurd. I disagree with Obama on many issues, including abortion, but I believe that he sincerely believes himself to be a Christian and a conciliating "unifier." There is nothing of Bolshevik hatred in Obama himself, though I won't deny that some of his supporters have attitudes towards conservative Christians that are not entirely dissimilar. But leftist radicals will be disappointed if they think an Obama presidency will mean they will finally get their way all the time; like all presidents, Obama will inevitably have to make compromises, play to the center, and deal with the reality that most Americans are not as ideological as his highly motivated base.
It may be unfair to expect most Americans to fully appreciate the distinction between anointed monarchs and elected politicians, but it's also relevant in debunking Mr. Zmirak's analogy to point out that the obedience owed by Russian soldiers to their Tsar in 1917 has nothing whatsoever in common with the purely tactical loyalty to McCain Mr. Zmirak would have conservatives exhibit today. From a Russian Orthodox monarchist point of view, the Tsar was accountable only to God, the very personification of Holy Russia, and a Russian soldier who deserted him would be guilty of treason against both his country and his faith. Surely even the most die-hard Republicans would not dare to claim any such mantle for John McCain, nor could they even if they wanted to.
John Zmirak is a mildly traditionalist Roman Catholic who has written with affection of the Habsburgs and with horror of the French Revolution. I've admired some of his articles in the past, so I am disappointed to find him parroting the establishment line on Tsarist Russia, and don't understand his inability to apply whatever monarchist sympathies he has to dynasties not adhering to his own Church. To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, while I obviously didn't know Nicholas II, I daresay I've read more about him than John Zmirak has, and Mr. Zmirak, John McCain is no Nicholas II. And fortunately, Barack Obama is no Vladimir Lenin.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
HM the Queen visited the headquarters of Google UK, which marked the occasion with a monarchical version of its famous logo. Apparently Google employees were unprepared for Prince Philip's request to see their office on Google Earth. He and the Queen were amused by a popular YouTube video of a laughing baby boy.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
For some reason the New York Times chose to assign the review of David Fromkin's The King and the Cowboy: Theodore Roosevelt and Edward the Seventh, Secret Partners to the notorious republican Johann Hari. Mr. Hari may have a legitimate point in questioning whether this alleged "friendship" between two men who never met was all that important, but unsurprisingly for a Brit who despises his own country's greatest institution, there is much that is sloppy and haphazard in the review.
Mr. Hari claims that upon Edward VII's accession, "[a] relative of the king, Princess May of Teck, summarized the public mood in Britain when she howled, 'God help us all!'" Princess May of Teck (who by that time would have been known as Mary, Princess of Wales) was not just a "relative," she was his daughter-in-law (would it have been so difficult to say so?), and it is difficult to imagine anyone less likely to express herself by "howling," nor am I aware of any evidence of horror at her father-in-law's accession. The remark, if made, was more likely to have been an expression of grief and shock at the loss of a beloved queen and grandmother-in-law without whom many who grew up during her reign could not imagine Britain. Mr. Hari also flippantly refers to the much-maligned Kaiser Wilhelm II as "half-mad," as is this were an incontestable statement of fact, conveniently ignoring that the very newspaper in which he is writing, the New York Times, lavished praised on the Kaiser in 1913 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his accession for having maintained the peace in Europe.
The next time the New York Times wishes to review a book on the British monarchy, perhaps they could assign the review to someone with more credentials to his name than adolescent pseudo-rebellious contempt for it.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
(Thanks to my father for the link.)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
While I wish for the sake of the monarchy's long-term future that King Mswati had a more astute sense of public relations, and hope that he and his court will be mindful of what happened in Nepal, I don't think His Majesty needs lectures from the newspaper that covered up the Ukranian famine of the 1930s. And in an era when most of the world's remaining monarchs are forced to constantly kowtow to the restraints of liberal democracy, I have to admit I'm tempted to find it oddly refreshing for a king to refuse to toe the line.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Again, in countries where the republicans have had their way, would "human rights" allow public officials to formally swear allegiance to the head of the deposed royal family? I don't think so. For leftist "human rights" advocates, those who agree with them apparently have "rights"--like reaping the benefits of political office without acknowledging that office's legal foundation--that would never be extended to those who do not.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Controversies like this always make me wonder if there is a single republican legislature in the world that would even tolerate the presence of monarchist members openly contemptuous of the constitutional foundation of the government they purport to serve, let alone actually consider changing parliamentary procedure to accommodate them. I don't think so. So which system is it that is more conducive to permitting the "freedom," "tolerance," and "diversity" republicans claim to love so much: republicanism or constitutional monarchy?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I never cease to be amazed and delighted by this great journalist, and by the fact that he is able to express such counterrevolutionary sentiments at the website of a mainstream newspaper. Is there any heroic "lost cause" he will not champion? Can you imagine an American media organ publishing commentary praising the Kings of the Two Sicilies and the Grand Dukes of Tuscany?
Monday, August 4, 2008
I'm not sure whether Solzhenitsyn would have accepted the designation of "monarchist," and indeed he was perhaps too complex a figure to be adequately summed up by any one label, but he seemed to have leanings in that direction. Certainly he was perceived that way, all too often by those for whom "monarchist" is apparently a self-evidently sinister or pathetic thing to be, like New Yorker editor David Remnick, quoted in the New York Times obituary: “In terms of the effect he has had on history, Solzhenitsyn is the dominant writer of the 20th century. Who else compares? Orwell? Koestler? And yet when his name comes up now, it is more often than not as a freak, a monarchist, an anti-Semite, a crank, a has been.”
Idiotic statements like that, which imply that monarchism (or even a hint of nostalgia for Tsarist Russia) deserves to be grouped with such epithets, remind those of us who know better how outnumbered we are. But on the other hand, if an acknowledged giant can be called such names, monarchists--who at the very least share with Solzhenitsyn a refusal to accept the lie that modern liberal democracy is the only alternative to totalitarianism--can be proud to have kept such company.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Fortunately, there are happier events associated with this date: the beginning of the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement in England with John Keble's famous "National Apostasy" sermon in 1833, and the birth of HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in 1977, exactly one year before me.
(A Catholic Facebook friend informs me that this is also the traditional feast of St. Bonaventure.)
Somewhat encouragingly, the Los Angeles Times reports (H/T: RadicalRoyalist) that many French people today lack enthusiasm for Bastille Day--though not necessarily for the right reasons.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
To be fair, it should be noted that the "preferably republican written constitution" recommendation came only from Sri Lanka, and that the report includes a disclaimer stating that "all conclusions and/or recommendations contained in this report reflect the position of the submitting State(s) and/or the State under review thereon. They should not be construed as endorsed by the Working Group as a whole." Still, what gives this "Working Group" the right to recommend any changes to the United Kingdom in the first place?
This is not the first time the United Nations has attempted to interfere with one of Europe's few remaining monarchies; last year another UN committee criticized the Principality of Liechtenstein for daring to maintain male-only succession.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Mrs. McVeigh finds the Act of Settlement, which excludes Catholics from the royal succession (but has no effect on ordinary Catholics who would not be in line anyway), incompatible with "modern multicultural values." Perhaps it is. But if so, then surely so is Roman Catholicism, from its decidedly non-pluralist claim to be the One True Church to its "discriminatory" restriction of the priesthood to men. It's unfortunate that since Vatican II so many Catholics apparently confuse their faith with modern egalitarian ideology which if carried to its logical conclusions would dissolve into meaninglessness all faiths--including Catholicism.
British Catholic blogger Damian Thompson agrees (via A Conservative Blog for Peace).
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Nevertheless, I enjoyed being introduced to some of the younger representatives of the royal families of Dubai, Swaziland, Thailand, Brunei, and Japan, none of whom I had previously heard of. I suppose one should give the mainstream American media a little credit whenever they deign to acknowledge that there are still reigning royal families other than those of Britain and Monaco.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Traditionalists who long for a more active Crown should think of modern royalty as prisoners in a golden cage, in which case it is up to us to rescue them. We can start by trying to combat the false belief that only those who have won elections are entitled to have any real influence in government. But for the time being, that is the way Britain works, and it is the MPs who voted for this bill, and the ordinary people who voted for them, not the Queen, who should be held responsible for it. I doubt that even all of those opposed to this Bill would wish for it to be defeated via royal veto, so deeply ingrained is the democratic mindset even among "conservatives."
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Another interesting development is that due to population growth in Britain and the Commonwealth Realms compared to relatively static figures in Japan, Queen Elizabeth II has overtaken Emperor Akihito as the monarch with the most subjects.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
This is a black day for Nepal and the world. The gang of thugs and murderers currently in charge of Nepal have "swept away more than two centuries of history," as the Telegraph put it. Will those photographed dancing in the streets still be dancing after they've experienced Maoist rule? Whatever happens, the new republican "government" is an abomination and while we may have to deal with its existence for the foreseeable future, we should never accept it. Once again Revolution, the diabolical enemy of all that is good and beautiful, which has been poisoning the world since the late 18th century, has claimed another nation as its victim. Let's make sure this is the last time.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I couldn't help but be mildly irritated by her father's comment that prior to his daughter's relationship with the Queen's grandson he hadn't known much about the Royal Family because "it's not something we follow that closely in Canada." Who is "we"? Speak for yourself, Mr. Kelly. Maybe you didn't care about your daughter's future in-laws, who happen to be your country's Royal Family as well as Britain's, but there are other Canadians who do.