Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reza Pahlavi in the NYT

The heir of the late Shah of Iran answers some impertinent questions from the New York Times with rather more dignity than they deserve.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Architecture and the Monarchy

As noted previously, Prince Charles's war against modernist architecture has not endeared him to the architectural establishment, though I'm not convinced that the whining of these pompous defenders of ugliness truly constitutes a serious "Debate Over Monarchy."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More from Empress Farah

The Shah's widow may have been in exile for 30 years, but Empress Farah has never lost touch with events in Iran.

Henry VIII Coronation Anniversary Service

Available (for the next five days) to listen at the BBC website is Sunday's highly recommended Chapel Royal service marking the 500th anniversary of the coronation of Henry VIII, with music of William Smith, Purcell, Tallis, and Henry VIII himself. The King's "Green Growth the Holly" features BBC Young Chorister of the Year Harry Bradford, 13, as soloist. The Rt Rev'd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres, Bishop of London and Dean of the Chapel Royal, preaches a thoughtful and inspiring sermon on the monarchy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lonely Battle

With ugliness abundant in modern British society, who besides Prince Charles speaks up for beauty, asks Nigel Farndale.

Future Commander in Chief

Prince William, in a joint interview with brother Prince Harry, has not given up hopes of being allowed to fight in Afghanistan.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Iranian monarchist hopes

Exiled de jure Shah Reza II Pahlavi and his mother Empress Farah view the current turmoil in Iran as a threat to the Islamic Republic. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that most opponents of the Ahmadinejad regime see monarchy as the answer. Crown Prince Reza says that he is not necessarily fighting for the the restoration of the monarchy, but only for a democratic and secular government which might or might not include a European-style constitutional monarchy; I wish he would, but perhaps he is simply being prudent.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Modern Monarchist Experience

Writing in TakiMag about the diverse anti-modern faction in American politics known loosely as "paleos," Charles Coulombe makes a provocative observation relevant to monarchists such as himself: "I am, myself, a Catholic Monarchist at base; Robespierre was not. Yet he was more a man of the Ancien Regime than I could ever be, just I am much more a man of the Revolution. The reason, of course, lies in the periods of our upbringing, and the influences of the culture around us."

This is a problem I have thought about but had never seen summarized so succinctly and brutally. It is frankly difficult for 21st-century monarchists, especially those of us living in a country which lacks not only a monarch but any post-independence monarchical tradition of its own, to achieve the authenticity of, say, a French royalist in the 19th century when the question of "Monarchy versus Republic" was still very much part of mainstream public discourse, kings still reigned or had reigned within living memory, and society's prevailing values were still essentially conservative. And our lives are in many ways more "modern," more thoroughly shaped by the legacies of the anti-monarchist Revolutions than those of the original advocates of those Revolutions--just as many contemporary "conservative Christians" routinely dress in ways that would have seemed indecent to secular progressives of a hundred or even fifty years ago and listen to "music" the latter would have dismissed as noise. That is the nature of the Revolution; it ultimately influences even those who believe themselves opposed to it. To a certain extent we have to accept this--no monarchist today can actually live, consistently, as if it were still 1788--but I'm sure my friend Mr. Coulombe would agree that that is no reason to give up!

Architectural Friends and Foes

Prince Charles's latest intervention against modernist architecture has stirred up quite the controversy, reports Andrew Pierce. Obviously, as one who would be happy for royalty to wield more power than they currently do, I have no patience with those who object to the Prince using his influence because he is "unelected." In any case, as Gerald Warner points out, who elected his critic Lord Rogers? Modernist architecture has been thrust down the throats of people who never wanted it for years; it's about time someone with the ability to do so make a difference. Andrew Roberts is correct to celebrate HRH's "meddling."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

John Zmirak on "Praying with the Kaisers"

Andrew Cusack's always attractive and interesting blog brought to my attention this thoughtful article by John Zmirak on the Habsburgs and what replaced them. "Progress," indeed! In the past I've occasionally parted company with Mr. Zmirak in that he doesn't always seem to have much use for monarchies other than the Habsburgs', and is more willing than I am to accommodate himself to participation in the American political system, but when waxing lyrical on his favorite dynasty he is right on target.

Also worth reading (though endorsement of the site's other views is not implied) is "The Hands of the King" by Br. André Marie of the [New Hampshire] Saint Benedict Center.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trooping the Colour

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her official 83rd birthday with the spectacular pomp and pageantry of the annual Trooping the Colour parade in London, concluding with a Royal Air Force flypast.

HM's husband, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, recently achieved his own milestone as Britain's longest-serving royal consort, for which Gerald Warner and David Flint salute him.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Brazilian prince on lost flight

The Imperial House of Orléans-Bragança has confirmed that Prince Pedro Luíz (b 1983), fourth in line to the Brazilian throne, was among the 228 people aboard the Air France flight that disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean. Authorities do not expect to find any survivors. My condolences to the Brazilian Imperial Family, Brazilian monarchists (some of whom, given his uncles' links to the controversial militant Catholic association TFP, had pinned their hopes for the future of Brazilian monarchism on Pedro), and all those who appear to have lost loved ones in the disaster.

The above picture shows Pedro with his double first cousin Princess Alix de Ligne (b 1984), who was to be on the same flight but had decided to take a different one. Pedro's younger brother Prince Rafael (b 1986) is next in line and presumably must now tragically be considered to have replaced him in the succession.