Saturday, August 21, 2021

RIP Princess Marie of Liechtenstein (1940-2021)

HSH Princess Marie Aglaë of Liechtenstein, wife of Prince Hans Adam II and mother of Hereditary Prince Alois and three other children, has died at the age of 81, having had a stroke a few days ago. May she rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


I'm not up to posting all my thoughts on the heartbreaking situation in Afghanistan, which any longtime readers still following this blog may recall I visited in 2013, but I do want to share this article about how the USA's stupid bias against monarchy prevented the restoration of King Mohammed Zahir Shah in 2002 when it might have paved the way for a brighter future.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Don Foreman (1948-2021)

I am deeply saddened by the death of cancer on Friday 13 August of my friend Don Foreman, former secretary general of the International Monarchist League. Don, who lived in Royal Tunbridge Wells, was one of the first monarchists I ever corresponded with, starting in 1999 when I was following the Australian referendum and he published my first article on the subject, "Why I am a Monarchist," in the league's newsletter. We first met in person at the Queen's Golden Jubilee in London in 2002, my first trip to the UK, long before Facebook connected me with anyone else there. This photo was taken in Canterbury in 2011 when my choir from Dallas was on tour there. Passionately committed to monarchist unity and support of the world's diverse monarchies regardless of potentially divisive factors such as religion or race, he consistently stayed well informed of relevant developments all over the world. During his time as secretary general (1991-2002), the IML, founded in 1943, became more visible in the media than either before or since. I'd had no idea he was ill. We hadn't been in touch much recently, though he'd sent me a meme making fun of a certain Oprah interview in March. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The truth about the French Revolution

Gerald Warner demolishes the myths on which the modern French Republic is built. Tuesday was the 229th anniversary of the (first) temporary abolition of the ancient French Monarchy, but royalists will never give up. Vive le Roi!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Latin Mass

Below are some assorted thoughts on Friday's Vatican decree, originally intended for Facebook. (16 July) This isn’t really my fight anymore. But if I were Catholic I’d be angry and defiant. I will always promote and defend the incomparable treasury of music, art, and architecture inspired by the Latin Mass.

(18 July) It was striking that at Incarnation this morning, two days after a certain cruel and malicious document emanated from the regime in Rome, that both choral works (Byrd Ego sum panis vitae & Gabrieli O sacrum convivium) were in Latin, written for the Roman Catholic Church when it was a serious institution with serious liturgy and music. I am so grateful to be an Episcopalian.

Eighty-five years ago yesterday, which happened to be the 18th anniversary of the murder of the Romanovs (a fact that I'm sure must have been noted by some at the time), after five years of republican chaos, right-wingers in Spain decided they'd had enough. "Traditionis Custodes" deserves no more respect or obedience than the Spanish Republic did. Before I make a point implicitly critical of some American traditionalists, let me be clear that there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for what the Vatican regime promulgated on Friday. I think it is one of the most evil papal (?) pronouncements in the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church. Many good Catholics who did nothing at all to deserve this will be negatively affected.

That said, I do think that the vocal identification of a noisy minority of American traditionalists, fierce critics (not without just cause) of the current occupant of the Vatican, with unqualified support of Donald Trump, egged on by Archbishop Vigano, may have contributed to the climate that made "Traditionis Custodes" possible. Again, this is not a defense of Bergoglio's act, which I condemn, in any way whatsoever. Most traditionalists are not Americans and many American traditionalists do not support Trump, but the shrillness and visibility of those who do seems to me to have contributed to a false and unjust association of the Latin Mass subculture in the United States with Trumpism. It may be that this ghastly decree still would have appeared even if Hillary Clinton had won in 2016 or if red hat MAGA Catholicism had never become a thing. I don't know. No one does. I just think that for Christians to put their trust in (and allow their faith to be identified with) any politician, especially an objectively terrible person like Donald Trump, is always a mistake. (I'm obviously a fervent monarchist, but I don't think I idolize any specific monarch, not even Queen Elizabeth II, quite to the extent that MAGAists idolize Trump.) I think it's long past time for all conservatives and traditionalists of any stripe to face the fact that the Trump presidency ultimately made everything worse, including from a genuinely traditionalist perspective. Americanism poisons everything, and MAGA is Americanism on steroids. The modernist Left and the Trumpist fake "Right" deserve each other. A plague on both their houses. The tragedy is that some Catholics who are in no way Trumpists and never fell for MAGA cultism are likely to lose access to the mass they love, unless they are able and willing to seek refuge in the SSPX, independent chapels, or sedevacantism, for which I wouldn't blame them at all.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Hélène d'Orléans 150

One hundred fifty years ago today, Princess Hélène of Orléans (1871-1951) was born at York House in Twickenham, England. Daughter of the Count of Paris, Orléanist claimant to the French throne, following the fall of the Second Empire she spent most of her childhood in France, until the insecure Third Republic exiled them again in 1886 following exuberant royalist celebrations of her older sister Amélie's marriage to the Crown Prince (later King) of Portugal. Thus the Orléans family returned to England and became close to the British royal family. Hélène and Prince Albert Victor (1864-1892), eldest son of the Prince of Wales, fell in love and wished to marry, and Queen Victoria was fond of her, but the religious difference proved insurmountable.

Instead Hélène married in 1895 Italy's Prince Emanuele Filiberto (1869-1931), Duke of Aosta, a nephew of King Umberto I, whose own father had briefly reigned as King of Spain, and who was next in line to the Italian throne until the birth of Crown Prince Umberto in 1904. The marriage produced two sons, Amedeo (1898-1942) and Aimone (1900-1948), but was not happy; Hélène became known for her adventurous solo travels in Africa and for her heroic humanitarian work with the Red Cross. Her life was marked by tragedies, such as the murder of her brother-in-law and nephew in Portugal in 1908, the devastation of the two World Wars, and outliving both of her sons as well as the Italian monarchy she had served for half a century. Hélène was the grandmother of Prince Amedeo (1943-2021) who died recently, as well as two princesses who survive. Edward Hanson's biography "The Wandering Princess" is a fascinating window into a long and unconventional royal life that spanned and was shaped by the major upheavals of modern European history.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Today's Rant

Atheists think all religion is fantasy; many Protestants think those beliefs peculiar to Catholics (though in most cases also held by the Orthodox and some Anglicans) are fantasy. And yet most contemporary Christians, including Catholics, are far more grounded in "Reality" than I am. Most Christians who use the internet want to talk about widely discussed contemporary issues from a Christian perspective, primarily as pertaining to the country in which they live. Whereas I want to talk about things like restoring the Portuguese Monarchy, which has been gone for 110+ years and which hardly anyone is talking about. I don't like contemporary "Reality" and want it to go away. I would rather live in my little royalist fantasy world and play music written when Europe was mostly ruled by monarchies than be fully engaged with the political issues of my actual time and place. I don't accept that living in the United States obliges me to give my primary patriotic loyalty to the United States and not to the United Kingdom. If I wish to identify as British then I'm British. I'm sorry if this sounds selfish and arrogant but I have no doubt that the Twentieth Century and the American Revolution were wrong and I'm right. And neither the Church nor the World can force me to defer to their priorities.