Thursday, January 28, 2010

NPR on French Royalists

National Public Radio's Morning Edition reports on French royalists commemorating Louis XVI at St Denis and seeking the restoration of the monarchy. While the reporter's tone sounds a bit dismissive, and I can hardly agree with her implication that Louis XVI's support of the American revolutionaries (in my view actually his worst mistake) was his most redeeming action, it's good to see the mainstream media even noticing that not all French people support the Republic.

Unfortunately the introduction ("Even though France has been a republic for more than 200 years...") perpetuates the misconception that the monarchy ended permanently with the [original] Revolution of 1789. As readers of this blog probably know, but NPR apparently does not, it came back, with France's current republican continuity (such as it is) dating back only to the fall of the Second Empire in 1870. "More than 100" years, unfortunately, yes, but not 200! Two hundred years ago, France was very much a monarchy (though not that of its legitimate dynasty) under the Emperor Napoleon I; more importantly, several other monarchs followed, including the executed King's brothers Louis XVIII (1814-24) and Charles X (1824-30), Louis Philippe (1830-48), and Napoleon III (1852-70)!

The odds against Restoration may seem overwhelming, but if nothing else royalists have the right and the duty to keep the flame alive and deny the Republic unanimity, as vocally as possible, so kudos to these people for doing so. I fully agree with the royalists quoted. Vive le Roi!

(Also see Tea at Trianon)


MadMonarchist said...

When dealing with John Q. Public I would also point out in a positive way King Louis' support for the Americans. Obviously I also think it was a mistake, but it cannot be undone and it can help to show Americans that they should at least not be afriad of kings or anti-monarchy as the USA would not exist without the support of King Louis XVI.

Their misinformation on the longevity of the republic is actually even worse. The current French republic dates back only to 1958. It says alot about the lack of stability France has suffered since the fall of the ancien regime (which existed for over a thousand years) that since the (first) fall of the monarchy France has gone through 1 National Convention, 1 Directory, 1 Consulate, 2 empires, 1 commune, 1 State, 1 provisional government and 5 republics. Hardly a testament to the stability and longevity of the republican model.

elena maria vidal said...

Theodore and Mad Monarchist, you make excellent points about the French Republic and the lack of stability thereof. Thank you for the link!