official shirts), and quite a few wanted to come, but as it turned out only five of us were able to actually do so. Nevertheless what we lacked in numbers we made up for in enthusiasm. Of the five attendees, one (me) was Anglican, one was Roman Catholic, and three were Orthodox, so all three "branches" of Christendom were represented, as were three U.S. states (Illinois, Texas, New York) and Canada. While no "manifesto" was produced (any conference would probably need to have more than five participants to be considered authoritative!), there was general agreement that some sort of collaborative book ought to be produced. More importantly, we all had a good time conversing on a wide range of monarchical and religious topics with like-minded individuals.
The agenda for the weekend included a wide range of cultural, social, and religious activities. We began Friday evening with a terrific concert at Ravinia by the Chicago Symphony of music by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), a conservative loyal subject of the German monarchy. On Saturday we visited the Art Institute of Chicago, whose vast collection includes portraits of Magdalena of Saxony (1507-1534) (wife of Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg), the young Don Juan of Austria (1547-1578) (natural son of Emperor Charles V who led Christendom to victory at Lepanto), and Marie de' Medici (1575-1642) (wife of Henri IV and mother of Louis XIII of France), as well as German armor from the time of Maximilian I and other late medieval Holy Roman Emperors. Even pre-revolutionary European art that is not specifically monarchical reflects the general sensibilities of a vanished Christian, hierarchical, and predominantly agrarian civilisation healthier and more beautiful than our present one, a civilisation that not coincidentally accepted the rule of hereditary kings and princes as natural. For this excursion we were a much larger group as one of the Orthodox attendees brought along his wife and seven young children--monarchists of the future!
After the Art Institute we briefly visited Queen's Landing on Lake Michigan where Queen Elizabeth II arrived for her visit in 1959. Unfortunately there is not as far as we could tell any sort of plaque commemorating the occasion; perhaps there should be! For dinner we met at the Red Lion British pub, complete with a British flag and portrait of Lord Nelson, where I had a unique and delicious "Colonial Chicken" entree and a free "Spotted Dick" dessert with a candle for my [34th] birthday--all in all a great way to celebrate, much better than whatever was going on in France that day!
On Sunday the Orthodox participants went to their Divine Liturgies while I attended a beautiful Solemn High Mass at the Anglo-Catholic Church of the Ascension. We all subsequently met for a farewell lunch at Chicago's unique Bosnian Restaurant Sarajevo--perhaps ironic in light of what happened at the city of that name in 1914, but offering tasty food with an appropriate elegant "Old World" feel. I thoroughly enjoyed getting the chance to spend time with four enthusiastic and knowledgeable fellow monarchists and hope that such gatherings become a regular event with more participants attending next time!