Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Strange Bedfellows

A self-proclaimed Irish republican confesses her admiration for the British Monarchy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Controversial Versailles exhibition upheld

Prince Charles-Emanuel de Bourbon-Parma was unsuccessful in attempting to halt an exhibit at Versailles by an American "pop artist" which he felt was disrespectful to his royal ancestors. Note the claim by the republican in charge of Versailles that a victory for the prince would have been "tantamount to proclaiming that the Revolution didn't take place." Really? (If only it hadn't!) It is interesting that even after 138 years of having their way, French republicans are so defensive that they can see a single legal dispute like this as a threat.

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


I'm excited about celebrating Christmas Eve tonight by singing, for the first time in my life, in traditional Christmas Eve services, as a member of the choir of the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. Music will include the Missa ad Praesepe by George Malcolm (1917-1997), who was organist at London's Westminster Cathedral.

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, I will fly to Indianapolis to join my family there.

I would like to wish my readers a very merry Christmas!

The Passionate Prince on YouTube

The recent BBC documentary Charles at 60: The Passionate Prince is now available in nine ten-minute installments beginning here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Labour MPs back disestablishment

Never able to leave well enough alone, Labour MPs are seizing on the Archbishop of Canterbury's technically true but unwise observation that disestablishment of the Church of England "would not be the end of the world" to advocate bringing it on, since, after all, it would not, in the strict sense, end the world. Predictably, the [disgraceful and tragic] expulsion of the hereditary peers from the House of Lords in 1999 is used as precedent. And unfortunately, they have a point: if it's "wrong" for peers to hold seats in Parliament based on heredity, if the liberal principle of "non-discrimination" is to govern everything, surely it's also "wrong" for clergy of a particular religion that now represents only a minority of British people to hold on to theirs. What's left unsaid is the question of what all this ultimately means for the monarchy itself, beyond the Roman Catholic succession issue. I shudder to think of how disestablishment might affect the next Coronation...

Jean d'Orléans in the WSJ

The Wall Street Journal interviews the recently engaged Jean, Duc de Vendôme (b. 1965), son of the most widely recognized claimant to the French throne. (H/T: Royal Musings)

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

More on Luxembourg

Gerald Warner weighs in on Grand Duke Henri and euthanasia. A petition in support of the Grand Duke is here.

(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

Loyal Thai answers republican Economist

Thailand's former Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai responds to The Economist's recent criticisms of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

(H/T: Jørn K. Baltzersen)

Duke of Braganza in London

Speaking in London, Dom Duarte, Duke of Braganza, delivered an acclaimed speech on the ills of Portugal, to whose throne he is the most widely recognized claimant.

(Thanks to R.J. Stove.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Anarchy in Greece?

David Flint of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy points out that Greece's republican politicians, united only in their contempt for King Constantine, cannot even maintain order in the absence of the Crown.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why I support Caroline Kennedy for U.S. Senator...

...because anti-dynastic Americanist republicans do not. Ruth Marcus writes in the Washington Post:

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

Hitchens on Prince Charles and the monarchy, cont.

Peter Hitchens responds to those responding to his original post on the Prince of Wales. An excerpt:

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."

Sark Update

Apparently the glorious new era of Democracy in the Channel Island of Sark isn't going so well. What a surprise.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gloria in Extremis

Beliefnet's "Idol Chatter" blog notes a New York Times Style Magazine profile of "punk-princess"-turned-devout-Catholic Princess Gloria von Thurn & Taxis.

Royal Wedding in Belgium

Uniting two ancient houses, Archduchess Marie Christine of Austria (niece of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and great-granddaughter of Emperor Bl. Karl) married Count Rodolphe of Limburg-Stirum at Saint-Rombout Cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium on Saturday.

Some more pictures here, here, here, and here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Queen Rania's Top Ten

Spoofing David Letterman, HM Queen Rania of Jordan explains why she started her own YouTube channel:


Ill Thai King misses speech

Troubled Thailand's beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 81, was too ill to give his traditional birthday speech, said his son and heir Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.

More on Grand Duke Henri

The BBC and the Times report on the euthanasia crisis in Luxembourg.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Maria Theresa on "Freedom"

Yesterday on the airplane en route from New York to Dallas I finished Julia P. Gelardi's new book In Triumph's Wake: Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters, and the Price They Paid for Glory. Drawing parallels between the lives of Queen Isabella I of Castile (1451-1504) and her daughter Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England (1485-1536), Empress Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary & Bohemia (1717-1780) and her daughter Marie Antoinette, Queen of France (1755-1793), and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819-1901) and her daughter Victoria, German Empress (1840-1901), it's a good read that I would recommend to anyone interested in those royal personalities.

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.

Grand Duke of Luxembourg to be stripped of remaining powers

Luxembourg's politicians, determined to force through the legalization of euthanasia recently approved by parliament, intend to strip Grand Duke Henri, apparently a faithful Catholic like Queen Sofia of Spain, of his remaining constitutional powers after he warned that he would not sign such a bill. It is particularly irritating that even those who personally opposed the bill, like Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker himself, are committed to this step, indicating that ultimately their highest loyalty is to their real god of "Democracy," rather than either their Sovereign or their conscience.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thrifty Queen

The royal family are doing their part in the current economic crisis.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Archduke Otto at 96

Gerald Warner salutes Central Europe's de jure Emperor on the recent occasion of his 96th birthday, though few of the ensuing comments have anything worthwhile to say.

P Hitchens on the activist monarchy of Charles III

Peter Hitchens hopes Prince Charles will speak out as King, arguing that the crisis this would indeed provoke is necessary. Hitchens is a bit hard on the present Queen, but I see his point.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

LIFE photos on Google

My father informs me that Google has made the entire archive of photographs for LIFE magazine available online, including many royal images. Note that Queen Victoria is the icon for the 1890s.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

News flash: Queen of Spain actually believes in Catholicism

Spain is atwitter over Queen Sofia's comments, quoted in a new book, critical of both the liberal social developments of modern Spain and American foreign policy under George W. Bush. I imagine that HM's combination of views, which seem to be thoroughly grounded in her Roman Catholic faith, must be terribly confusing to those who imagine that there are only two political types: "liberals" who support abortion & gay rights and oppose Bush's wars, and "conservatives" who oppose the former and support the latter. How dare she confound that false dichotomy?!

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.

Charles III: An Active King?

The Sunday Times reports that Prince Charles, while acknowledging the monarch's need to stay out of partisan politics, intends to develop a more vocal approach to the throne than that associated with his mother. I personally think this could be a great thing, but he will have to tread carefully due to the unfortunate persistence of the idiotic belief that no one who has not won an election should have any political voice or influence.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thais mourn Princess Galyani Vadhana (1923-2008)

Thousands of Thais paid their respects to their King's late sister, at a time when doubts about the monarchy's long-term future are alleged to exist, despite the popularity of the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Prince Charles at 60 (6)

The Prince of Wales celebrated his 60th birthday with a performance featuring Robin Williams raising money for the Prince's Trust, a dinner at Buckingham Palace, and a serenade by schoolchildren.

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

Prince Charles at 60 (5)

The Telegraph reports, without any real evidence, that King Charles III will be known as "Defender of Faith" rather than "Defender of the [Anglican] Faith." I wonder what such tinkering would accomplish; after all, the original Latin (Fidei Defensor) would be unaffected.

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 Queen in Dallas, 1991

A colleague's husband sent me these PDFs of articles about HM's visit to Dallas in 1991; I thought readers might find them of interest. Too bad it looks like some leftist agitators attempted to overshadow the visit.


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.)

Prince Charles at 60 (4)

The Queen paid tribute to her son and heir, expressing her confidence in his role as future King.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Prince Charles at 60 (3)

Andrew Pierce wonders if Prince Charles will ever be King. Frankly I don't see what all the anxiety is about. Yes, he has waited longer than any previous Prince of Wales and is likely to wait some more. But barring an unforeseen tragedy, he will become King; that is the law, and despite the continuous sniping of republicans I'm honestly not too worried that the law is about to change any time soon.

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.

Queens Consort

Helen Brown reviews Lisa Hilton's Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Prince Charles at 60 (2)

Robert Hardman, who was responsible for the documentary mentioned in my previous post, has focused on the Prince of Wales in a new program exploring his contemporary role.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Monarchy on PBS

On Wednesdays November 12, 19, and 26, PBS will be airing Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work. I already own this excellent program (which really ought to permanently shut up those who claim the Windsors "don't do anything") on DVD, but I encourage Americans who haven't yet seen it to take advantage of this opportunity to do so.

Bhutan Coronation

Bhutan crowned its new King, world's youngest head of state Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, in an ancient and colorful ceremony.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Choice I Cannot Make

Tomorrow Americans will go to the polls to decide whether the next President of the United States should be an unstable crazed warmonger who jokes about bombing Iran or a quasi-socialist "messiah" who would be more firmly committed to legalized abortion than any president ever elected. Many people I like and respect, most of them Roman Catholics, believe that the former, John McCain, must be preferred as the "lesser evil." Many other friends and relatives of mine are enthusiastic supporters of the latter, Barack Obama. (It is interesting that I do not know anyone who is actually enthusiastic about McCain.) I do not agree with either point of view and will not be voting tomorrow, for two different sets of reasons, only one of which depends on being a monarchist.

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

Prince Charles at 60

Andrew Alderson reports that Britain's future King, finally content with both his personal life and his role as Prince of Wales, is much happier than at previous milestone birthdays.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Worst Analogy Ever

Well, perhaps there have been worse ones, but I can't think of any at the moment. Writing at Taki's Magazine, John Zmirak attempts to justify his reluctant support for John McCain by comparing the upcoming American election to the Russian Revolution, likening McCain and the Republicans to Tsar Nicholas II, and Obama and the Democrats to the Bolsheviks. As a member of my forum pointed out, only someone who knew very little about either the last Tsar or Lenin could write such nonsense.

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

Canada's regal representatives

Reporting and reflecting on a provincial lieutenant governor's reception by the Queen, the Ottawa Sun salutes the role and relevance of the Canadian crown.

Queen's grandchildren

Princes William and Harry completed their arduous eight-day motorcycle trek across South Africa.

Meanwhile, their equestrian cousin Zara Phillips was injured in a fall.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Young Henry VIII

Jerry Brotton reviews David Starkey's Henry, Virtuous Prince, which covers the first twenty years of the life of England's most notorious king, when he was a rather more attractive (in every sense) figure than he eventually became.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Britain's Future King

As Prince Charles approaches his sixtieth birthday, historian Andrew Roberts explains how the Prince of Wales has made his potentially frustrating role an energetic and valuable one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Marie-Chantal of Greece

The Telegraph has a long interview with Crown Princess Pavlos of Greece (née Marie-Chantal Miller).

Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (1913-2008)

HRH Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, grandson of King Ludwig III (1845-1921) and the last male member of the Wittelsbach family born when they were still in power, died Friday at 95. See Royal Musings for pictures and more information.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Princes on Bikes

Princes William and Harry are ready for their epic charity journey across Africa.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Royal Google

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

More royalty in Chicago

Chicago seems to be the place to be for Catholic royal visits this fall. Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria and her husband Prince Peter Galitzine, as well as other unspecified "members of the Royal Family" (perhaps their children?) will be guests of honor at St. John Cantius (home of one of the best Roman Catholic programs of sacred music in the country, if not the world) on October 19, October 21 being the feast day of her grandfather Emperor Bl. Karl.

Chicago royal ICK benefit follow-up

The Institute of Christ the King reports (with photos) a successful benefit event with Duke Paul of Oldenburg last month.

Swazi Democracy Meeting Banned

King Mswati III has banned a "democracy meeting" in Swaziland. Given the usual reality of "democracy" when it is achieved, I don't blame him.

Monarchy in Indonesia

An Indonesian monarchist defends the role of his country's regional sultans against an attack from the Jakarta Post.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bombay Anna

The history of the woman who inspired The King and I is at least as interesting as the musical. Leah Price reviews Susan Morgan's Bombay Anna: The Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of the “King and I” Governess.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Charlotte and Victoria

Matthew Dennison reviews Kate Williams's Becoming Queen, an account of the life of Princess Charlotte (1796-1817) and the early life of her cousin Queen Victoria (1819-1901).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

King Hussein

Patrick Cockburn reviews two biographies of King Hussein of Jordan (1935-1999), Avi Shlaim's Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace and Nigel Ashton's King Hussein of Jordan: A Political Life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Prince Michael Andreivich Romanov of Russia (1920-2008)

The Sydney Morning Herald has an obituary of Nicholas II's grandnephew, who died last month in Australia, including a beautiful slideshow of the funeral.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Romanovs rehabilitated

In a legal victory for Grand Duchess Maria Vladmirovna and monarchists, Russia's Supreme Court ruled that the Romanovs were victims of political repression and should be rehabilitated. It's unfortunate though that lawyer German Lukyanov felt the need to state that this step was not intended to lead to the restoration of the monarchy. Why not?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crowning Insult

A. N. Wilson indignantly deplores New Labour's latest attacks on the monarchy. His point that the Queen's constitutional obligations to Anglicanism are surely far more offensive to militant secularists than to most actual sincere adherents of other religions is a particularly important one.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Edward VII & Theodore Roosevelt

Continuing our Anglo-American theme....

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

The Eagle and the Crown

Despite their country's anti-monarchist beginnings, Americans have a long history of fascination with the British monarchy. I am hardly the first American to gaze lovingly across the Atlantic. Dominic Sandbrook reviews Frank Prochaska's The Eagle and the Crown: Americans and the British Monarchy.

(Thanks to my father for the link.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Savoy-Greece marriage

Marriages between members of different royal families used to be standard but are now rare. Special congratulations are therefore due to HRH Prince Aimone of Savoy (great-great-great-grandson of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy) and HRH Princess Olga of Greece (great-granddaughter of King George I), who married in a civil ceremony at the Italian embassy in Moscow on September 16 and will have a religious wedding in Greece on September 27.

More on Democracy and "Choice"

William S. Lind explains why opponents of Bush's foreign policy, though rightly against McCain, cannot have much confidence in Obama either. The last line makes it clear why this article belongs here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prince William to become RAF search and rescue pilot

Ending speculation that he was about to leave the military to focus on royal duties, Prince William has chosen to become a full-time pilot with the Royal Air Force.

Republican leads Australian opposition

Australia's opposition conservatives, the Liberals, have chosen republican Malcolm Turnbull as their leader. However, monarchists deny that this will aid the republican cause in the near future, since even Turnbull admits that no constitutional change will occur in the reign of the present queen.


Robert Hardman predicts that the Diamond Jubilee will eclipse the Olympics.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Duke Paul of Oldenburg in Chicago

The Institute of Christ the King announces that HH Duke Paul of Oldenburg (b. 1969) will be in Chicago as the guest of honor at a September 27 recital by tenor Trevor Mitchell to benefit the Institute's restoration of its church there, the Shrine of Christ the King. Duke Paul, the son of Duke Friedrich of Oldenburg and Princess Marie Cecilie of Prussia (herself a great-granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II and great-great-granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II), is a convert to Catholicism and a supporter of the Latin mass. He and his wife, the former Maria del Pilar Mendez de Vigo y Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (whose father is descended from the secret second marriage of Queen Maria Cristina of Spain) have four young children, whose ancestry I've posted here. This looks like a very special event; it's not too often that royalty, classical music, and traditional Catholicism converge in the United States. I encourage any monarchists in the Chicago area to attend.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Prince Harry "coolest young royal"

Prince Harry, 24 tomorrow, can also celebrate being voted Britain's "coolest young royal," with voters citing his charity work and military service.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monarchy, Choice, and Power

Recently TheMonarchist did me the honour (British spelling intentional) of inviting me to join their blogging team. I posted my first contribution there today, and hope that readers of this blog will enjoy it as well.

Monday, September 8, 2008

King Henry Wako Muloki (1921-2008)

Uganda officially buried the traditional King of Busoga, who died last week at 87.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

William and Harry to bike through southern Africa

Princes William and Harry plan to bike a thousand miles across South Africa and Lesotho to raise money for orphans and AIDS victims.

Swaziland celebrates independence

King Mswati III, 40, led celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Swaziland's independence from Britain.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Costs of a Living in a Fairy Tale Kingdom

The New York Times doesn't understand why most Swazis still love their king despite their poverty and his wealth. Admittedly Mswati III is a difficult monarch for modern Western monarchists, accustomed to monogamous constitutional sovereigns of countries with high standards of living, to defend. But the people of Swaziland would do well to remember that not once in history has abolishing a monarchy ever ameliorated poverty; in fact, the lot of the poor has usually gotten worse in the wake of such revolutions, often accompanied by greater repression.

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

Showtime's Henry VIII won't get fat

I enjoyed the first two seasons of The Tudors, willing to overlook the various historical inaccuracies. However, I'm dismayed by reports that the producers have no intention of making Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who admittedly has always been a somewhat eccentric choice for the lead role, appear to gain weight during the third season. The 2009 installments will presumably cover the period during which Henry VIII (who ceased exercising after a jousting accident in 1536 when he was 45, an event depicted in the second season) achieved his famous girth. Unlike all the other historical details that have been altered so far, most of which are only bothersome to history buffs, the aging king's obesity is a central feature of Henry's place in the popular imagination, and to keep him slim throughout his later marriages would seem to stretch suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. One wonders how viewers are supposed to feel particularly sorry for Catherine Howard if her husband (who was more than twice her age and overweight by the time he married her in 1540) still looks like a 31-year-old model and movie star.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bulgarians in Spain pray for Kardam

Bulgarians living in Spain gathered to pray for the recovery of Crown Prince Kardam, who remains hospitalized, as does his wife.

Archbishop of Canterbury?

I was amused and flattered this morning to discover that the proprietor of the excellent blog "The Monarchist," apparently in agreement with some comments I'd made on a previous entry about what changes I'd like to see in Anglicanism, had nominated me for Archbishop of Canterbury...a bit of a stretch for an unbaptized 30-year-old American. (Though on the other hand, perhaps it would be a logical progression for the Church of England to finally overcome these last frontiers of "discrimination.") I'm pretty sure that "Beaverbrook"'s tongue was planted firmly in cheek--but thanks anyway!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wealthy Asian Monarchs Outrank QEII

Forbes released its list of the world's richest royals, with Queen Elizabeth II (whose personal wealth has often been greatly exaggerated) ranked 12th.

Georgian Crisis

Gerald Warner has a solution unfortunately not likely to be echoed by many other Western pundits: restore the monarchy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bulgarian Crown Prince Injured

Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria is being kept in an artificial coma after being severely injured in a car crash in Madrid on Friday. Messages of support from Bulgarians have poured in; I too hope he will recover as swiftly as possible.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I was discussing the Romanovs with a royalist friend online and he recommended Ekaterinburg by Helen Rappaport as a great read more sympathetic to the family than Greg King and Penny Wilson's revisionist The Fate of the Romanovs. Here is a review by John Crossland.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Campaign against Oath to Queen continues

Republican traitors hope to use perverse modern interpretations of "human rights" to legally challenge the oath of allegiance MPs must take to the Queen. This is a good example of why I am weary of the contemporary obsession with constantly expanding "human rights" (which for some reason rarely seem to protect those humans who dissent from fashionable opinion). People today are entirely too preoccupied with their "rights," a word that has been so frequently and disastrously abused since the 18th century that it has lost any useful meaning and ought to be abandoned in serious political discourse. Instead of endlessly bleating about their "rights," people should be more concerned about their duties--like, in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms, their duty to their Sovereign.

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

Danish royal holiday

Queen Margrethe II spoke to reporters at her summer home in France about the Danish economy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Prince Speaks Out

Fulfilling his ancient royal role as steward of the land, the Prince of Wales warns against the possibly disastrous consequences of genetically modified crops. Gerald Warner defends him against indignant supporters of GM "progress."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Republican MPs fuss about oath to Queen

A small group of republican MPs are objecting to being obliged to swear [or affirm] allegiance to the Queen--who last time I checked remains at the legal center of Britain's constitution, whether these sniveling petulant traitors like it or not. What worries me is not so much this republican minority, but the potentially greater number of spineless moderates like former "Conservative" Transport Minister Peter Bottomley who are not exactly republicans themselves but would cater to the tender sensibilities of such scum by making the oath optional. Far more truly Conservative is the attitude of Tory MP Geoffrey Cox, who has no tolerance for what he rightly denounces as "constitutional vandalism." The oath must remain mandatory--if leftists don't like it, no one is forcing them to serve in Parliament.

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

Prince Philip pursues privacy

The Telegraph reports that the Duke of Edinburgh hopes that the Max Mosley privacy ruling will be applied to the royal family in the future. Under these standards many well-known royal stories of the past three decades would never have been published. Frankly, I wish him success; while in general few people are more interested in reading about the royal family than I am, there were certain aspects of the endless Windsor scandals of the 1990s about which I wished I hadn't read.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Warner on Garibaldi vs. the Bourbons

Garibaldi and the Risorgimento paved the way for Fascism and the EU, says Gerald Warner, defending the Italian Bourbons and Habsburgs in the process.

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

Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)

Quoting from the famous 1978 Harvard address, Andrew Cusack eulogizes Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the heroic foe of Communism who puzzled many in the West by refusing to uncritically embrace secular democratic capitalism either.

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

Wilhelm vs W

Paul Gottfried points out that the last German Kaiser's legendary arrogance and bellicosity pale in comparison to the current American president's.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

King and Country

In spite of past discontent, most Tongans are proud to express their loyalty to their King in his coronation week, reports the New Zealand Herald.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tonga Coronation

The BBC reports (with pictures) on the coronation of King George Tupou V.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

William to visit special forces

Clarence House announced that Prince William will spend time with special forces in the next stage of his military career.

Unsuccessful Royal Marriages of the Past

Tuesday, July 29, was the 27th anniversary of the ill-fated marriage of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. As Neatorama irreverently points out, it was hardly the first royal marriage that sadly did not turn out so well.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Coronations 2008

Monarchists disheartened by events in Nepal can perhaps take some comfort in the fact that this year offers three royal coronations: in the French territory of Wallis (July 25), Tonga (August 1), and Bhutan (November 6), though it's unfortunate that in both of the latter two countries the coronations coincide with the emasculation of the monarchies, as both George Tupou V and Jigme Khesar Wangchuk surrender most of their remaining political powers.

The Search for the Missing King

Historians are puzzled by their inability to locate the head of a statue of King George III destroyed in the American Revolution.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Discovering the Tsar

A new exhibit gives Russians a chance to discover their country's glorious Imperial heritage, which was suppressed during the Soviet era.

Friday, July 18, 2008

More on Romanovs

Andrew Cusack has posted some beautiful photos of commemorations of the Romanov martyrdom anniversary in Russia. Gerald Warner reflects on the lingering impact of Nicholas II's legacy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Romanovs Remembered

David Flint of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy marks the 90th anniversary of the tragic events of July 16-17, 1918.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More on Bastille Day

The great Gerald Warner weighs in on yesterday's "holiday." (Unfortunately, many of the comments demonstrate that Jacobinism is alive and well.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 14

As a monarchist, I've long been perturbed by the irony of sharing a birthday with Bastille Day. How dare the French celebrate their vile Revolution, which led to the deaths of so many innocent people and paved the way for Nazism and Communism, on my birthday! (Bruce Lewis and John Zmirak share similar thoughts.) As if the French abomination weren't bad enough, July 14 is also the anniversary of the overthrow and murder of King Faisal II of Iraq in 1958, which paved the way for...oh, never mind.

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

Maria Vladimirovna optimistic

The most widely recognized claimant to the Russian throne refuses to give up on the dream of monarchical restoration. Good for Her Imperial Highness! May all true Russians flock to her cause. It's wonderful to see a royal claimant actively promoting restoration, and HIH's points about the shameful anamoly of other Romanovs espousing republicanism are especially apt.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Olympics trumps Heritage

Britain's Labour government refused the Queen's request for money to maintain Buckingham Palace, due to the soaring costs of the Olympics.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nepal: the world's newest republic

With a humiliating press conference, King Gyanendra marked his tragic departure from the palace of his ancestors.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Green Prince

Michael Gerson reflects on the Prince of Wales's "Green Sensibility."

Trooping the Colour

The Queen celebrated her official birthday with the Trooping the Colour parade in central London. Her son and heir's statement ("I hope it will go on for as long as possible because I think the world would be a sadder, drearier and greyer place without it") perfectly sums up how I feel about monarchy in general.

Friday, June 13, 2008

UN vs. Monarchy

Anyone doubting that the United Nations is a truly despicable and worthless organization need look no further than this article describing how the Orwellian UN "Human Rights Council," a body that includes representatives of the governments of those well-known havens of human rights Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, recommends that Britain hold a referendum on adopting a written constitution, "preferably republican." I hope all British patriots will unite in telling the UN panel exactly what it can do with its idiotic recommendation.

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

Catholics, the Queen, and Scouting

An eight-year-old Scottish Roman Catholic boy, backed (and perhaps also prodded?) by his mother, objects to the requirement that Scouts pledge allegiance to the Queen. I guess no one ever told this woman and her son that Catholics are supposed to obey the laws and accept the authority of the institutions of their country (a principle applicable to patriotic organizations like Scouting when one is a child), as long as such obedience is not contrary to the faith. There is nothing un-Catholic or sinful about loyalty to the Queen; in fact, if one is British, it is un-Catholic and sinful to refuse that loyalty. St. Thomas More and St. Edmund Campion, living at a time when the English monarchy really did persecute Catholics, went to their graves with more loyalty to the Crown than all too many present-day Catholics in Britain and the Commonwealth have shown their considerably milder sovereign.

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

Order of St. Barnabas

I am deeply touched and honoured (British spelling seems appropriate in this case) that the officials of the Dominion of British West Florida, perhaps America's most serious and genuinely particularist monarchist organization, have chosen to induct me into their Order of St. Barnabas.

Leaving the Palace II

Former (how I resent that word!) King Gyanendra has spent his last night in Nepal's royal palace, which is to be turned into a museum. However, he is determined to remain in Nepal and do what he can for his country.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Prince Jefri faces jail

The Sultan of Brunei's estranged and controversial brother Prince Jefri may be jailed in London, reports the Telegraph.

Leaving the Palace

He may not have wanted to relinquish the crown jewels, but King Gyanendra is vacating the royal palace within the deadline set by the Maoists.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Uncooperative King

King Gyanendra has so far refused to hand over his crown to the gang of thugs now ruling Nepal. Why these murderers, terrorists, and traitors should have any claim to the crown jewels is beyond me. I hope he continues to hang on to what is rightfully his.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Edward I

Allan Massie reviews A Great and Terrible King by Marc Morris.

Keep pretending

The Economist, which in the past has made clear its contempt for the world's surviving monarchies, provides an irreverent "retirement guide" for pretenders to vacant thrones.

Friday, June 6, 2008

How to watch royal TV specials...

...turn the sound off. As is fairly typical with this sort of thing, E!'s "Forbes: Twenty Hottest Royals" had some nice footage, but the commentary was mostly worthless. I was particularly edified to learn that "in the old days, royals had to marry royals, but Princess Diana changed all that." Really? Amazing how Diana managed to convince that stuffy old King George V to encourage his children to marry British aristocrats instead of foreign royals, nearly forty years before she was born! Also rather...creative was the breathlessly authoritative declaration that Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark (so styled because her patrilineal great-great-grandfather King George I of Greece was originally Prince William of Denmark) is "only half a royal" (whatever that means) because Denmark still "recognizes the monarchy" and Greece does not. Or something.

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

William to the Caribbean

Prince William will battle drug lords in the Caribbean as he begins his naval career.

New republic threatens Gurkha tradition

While the abolition of any monarchy is bad enough in itself, it should also be noted that no monarchy ever falls without other traditions also being endangered. The Telegraph reports that the heroic Gurkha regiment is the Maoists' next target.

Pomp, Pageantry and the Throne

As a sort of follow-up to yesterday's post, this interesting New York Times article from November makes it clear how irksome even a primarily ceremonial monarchy is to leftists and republicans. Monarchy's enemies all understand instinctively that the Crown matters even if it never overrules the elected government; its supporters forget this at their peril.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cusack on the Crown

Writing at Taki's Magazine, Andrew Cusack eloquently laments the fact that HM Queen Elizabeth II will probably sanction the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, a piece of legislation which certainly seems to be contrary in principle to any serious concept of a Christian Monarchy, which the United Kingdom nominally still is. While Mr. Cusack makes good points, it remains my position that HM cannot and should not be blamed for consistently acting within the constraints of modern constitutional monarchy, according to which the sovereign is expected to automatically sign any bill passed by the legislature. We have seen in Europe and elsewhere what has happened to monarchs who have strayed outside the "democratic" box. It should also be noted that none of the modern examples of British or Commonwealth royal intervention cited by Mr. Cusack involved an attempted royal veto of any legislation approved by the elected government, and even King Baudouin's defiant gesture on abortion was obviously not effective. While a relatively activist style of monarchy has been fairly successful in the Principality of Liechtenstein, the last European King who clashed with his government was Constantine II of Greece--now in exile for the past 40 years.

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

Forbes: Hottest Royals

Forbes identifies the world's twenty "Hottest Young Royals." Apparently a related E! TV special will air at 9 PM EDT on June 6. I'm sorry that no representatives of the generation of European Catholic royalty born in the 1980s (Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, the Habsburgs, etc.) were included; apparently they weren't considered to have enough "international Web and media presence."

What next for Gyanendra?

Deposed monarchs of the past have explored a number of options, the BBC helpfully informs us, as King Gyanendra is formally evicted from the palace.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I have just updated (for the first time since 2004) my page on Population of the World's Monarchies, to reflect events in Nepal and the latest population estimates from Wikipedia. My conclusion is that, sadly, with the loss of Nepal (a country of about 29, 519,000 people) and other factors, the percentage of people living in monarchies has declined from about 8.6% to about 8% of the world's population. That may seem like a small change, but it's significant when we're talking about percentages of such a huge number (6.7 billion).

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

Kingdom of Nepal (1769-2008)

It looks likes it's over for the world's only Hindu monarchy, with Nepal poised to formally become the world's newest republic, as reported by the BBC and the New York Times. I don't have much to add to what I wrote last month and in other Nepal posts. The modern era has offered few good times to be a monarchist, but this would appear to be a particularly dismal one, and I cannot think of any positive spin to put on what has happened.

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

Auster on Edward VIII

Right-wing blogger Lawrence Auster reflects on the abdication of King Edward VIII, as dramatized in 1978 by ITV. I don't agree with a reader's posted dismissal of the current Prince of Wales, but otherwise some interesting thoughts.

Gyanendra leaves the palace

In a sad development for monarchists, King Gyanendra has vacated the palace of his ancestors as Nepal continues to move toward the establishment of a republic. The Telegraph reports, almost happily, that the King's image is disappearing from souvenirs and currency, but admits that many ordinary Nepalis still support the institution of the monarchy. The Maoists now in control are unlikely to listen to them, much less to us monarchists in other countries who can only shake our heads in distress as Nepal follows that tragic path, which those of us too young to remember the 1979 Iranian revolution had previously observed only in history books, of consigning its monarchical heritage to oblivion.

Danish royal wedding

In a ceremony attended by representatives of the Scandinavian royal families, Queen Margrethe II's second son Prince Joachim of Denmark (previously divorced from Alexandra Manley) married Marie Cavallier (b 6 Feb 1976) in Møgeltønder.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Queen's grandson marries at Windsor

With most of the royal family attending, Peter Phillips married Autumn Kelly at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Autumn Kelly

The Telegraph profiles Autumn Kelly, who will marry Peter Phillips at Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel on Saturday.

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.