Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prince Harry in New York

Concluding a successful visit to New York City on a lighter note in contrast to Friday's somber visit to "Ground Zero," Prince Harry delighted onlookers at a charity polo match. MSNBC has video here.

I hope that someday the writers of articles about Prince Harry will not feel obliged to routinely bring up the same 2005 and 2009 incidents as if they constitute some sort of significant deplorable pattern. They don't. What's deplorable is the culture of political correctness that would have people live in perpetual fear of saying or doing something that might offend somebody, and attempts to paint a good-natured, fun-loving prince as some kind of "troubled" or "insensitive" delinquent in need of redemption and reeducation.

Louis XVI manifesto found

The original copy of King Louis XVI's "Declaration to all the French," written shortly before the unsuccessful June 1791 flight to Varennes, turned up in the United States after having been presumed missing for over two centuries. Despite what the Telegraph article says, this isn't really his "final testament": that would be this moving document written on Christmas Day 1792, less than a month before his tragic but heroic death.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Letters from Nicholas II's sister

Newly revealed letters from Grand Duchess Olga (1882-1960), written to her mother and sister at the height of the Russian Revolution, reflect the terror and uncertainty of that time. With the precise details of the tragic fate of her family etched on our minds as they are today, it is difficult to imagine what it must have been like to have to wonder what had happened to them, fearing the worst but not able to know for sure.

Monarchists should never allow the world, especially Russia, to forget the significance of July 17, 1918, when savage thugs murdered a beautiful family, including a sick 13-year-old boy, crossing a Rubicon of sorts and setting the stage for all the horror of the accursed 20th century. There is only one way for the Russian people to truly repent and cleanse their land of the stain of this shameful sin: restore the monarchy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

French Republic snubs Queen

The British press is fuming that the French government failed to invite Queen Elizabeth II, the only living head of state who served in uniform during World War II (though it should be noted that King Michael of Romania remains the only living adult head of state from that era) to celebrations of the 65th anniversary of D-Day. It is hard to know if HM personally shares the media's indignation, but it would seem unlikely for there to be no sense of disappointment at Buckingham Palace. I am not surprised that the president of the bloodstained illegitimate abomination known as the French Republic is more interested in sharing the limelight with Barack Obama. France needs a King, not a President, and in the meantime should show more respect for the head of state of its neighbor across the Channel.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Prince Charles winning architecture battle

The Prince of Wales may succeed in his battle against a modernist flats development in a historic part of London, resulting in the usual criticism from those who live only for money and "progress."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Prince Albert at the Poles

In a rare interview, Prince Albert II of Monaco discussed his passion for the environment, expeditions to the North and South Poles, and the pressure to marry.

Dispossessed Royalty

Somehow I missed this little Telegraph article (it would have been nice if it were more comprehensive, but oh well) when it appeared in March, so I'll link to it now. Of course, in France it is not only "republicans" who believe that Luis Alfonso's "ancestors relinquished the right to the French crown when they took the Spanish throne," but also royalist supporters of his rival Henri d'Orléans.

I came across this while reading a much older (2001) article on Prince Georg Friedrich, head of the Imperial House of Hohenzollern, prompted by the irritating news that modern Germany has just "re-elected" something called a "president," as if any commoner could possibly be an adequate German head of state. It's a shame that HI&RH does not "see any reason for the political system in Germany to be changed," but encouraging that he nevertheless points out that his "family could undertake a representative role by setting an example."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

True Leaders: the Queen and her Heir

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens contrasts the royal family with Britain's scandal-plagued politicians:

One good effect of the exposure of our ‘democratic’ representatives as greedy luxury-lovers may be a bit less silly mockery of the Royal Family. The Queen herself is a model of frugal living. And I’ve never believed that Prince Charles gets his toothpaste squeezed on to his brush by a footman. This change of climate might lead to the views of this often thoughtful and intensely patriotic man being taken a little more seriously. Why shouldn’t he challenge and criticise brutalist architects, who dwell in Georgian splendour themselves but force us to live and work in howling canyons of chipped, stained concrete (which looked so nice and artistic on the drawing board)?

Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday and "Cranmer" hope that the Queen will dissolve Parliament.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Princes and Frogs

Appearing with his sons Princes William and Harry, various celebrities, and...a frog, Prince Charles, launching his new Rainforests Project, appealed for action to save the world's rainforests.

Meanwhile, Prince William dropped in on a 109-year-old woman who had complained that his grandmother the Queen had been wearing the same outfit in all the birthday cards she had received.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

King Constantine surgery

The Greek Royal Family announces that King Constantine II is to undergo heart surgery. I wish His Majesty a speedy recovery!

Monday, May 4, 2009

SSPX bishop rebukes monarchists

Given all the trouble that SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson has caused his fellow traditional Roman Catholics and the Pope this year, I suppose monarchists should be grateful that he has suddenly decided to distance himself from us. Nevertheless, given the traditionally strong association between the SSPX and French royalism, it is surprising to learn that Bishop Williamson has "never felt entirely comfortable around monarchists." It seems to me that in declaring that kings are "insufficient," the bishop is jousting with straw men; I am not aware of any monarchist claiming that the restoration of kings per se would instantly solve all our problems.

It is all very well, and hardly inappropriate for a bishop, to emphasize humanity's need for the "King of Kings," but that very title implies that there ought to be earthly kings under Him, and the bishop ignores the fact that even if everyone were to embrace the Roman Catholic faith, the question of what sort of temporal government is best would still be a pertinent one! Bishop Williamson is missing the point: no one denies that "kings alone are not enough"--as if any monarchy could exist without a complex patchwork of factors that certainly includes religion. But that doesn't mean that the revolutionary destructions--which he himself admits were "ghastly"--of ancient Christian monarchies such as those of France and Russia are not in themselves evils that must be remedied if the Christian world is to have any hope of genuine rebirth. Temporal Kings and Queens are not sufficient, but they are necessary; necessary in their embodiment of Tradition and Continuity, concepts which are integral to any authentically Christian worldview. Saying that because monarchy per se is not the only thing we need, there is no point in being a monarchist, is as absurd as saying that because one needs other ingredients besides sugar to bake cookies, there is no point in buying sugar if one wishes to bake cookies. Yes, Europeans need more than just the restoration of their monarchies, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a good start!

If Bishop Williamson is not a monarchist, but also opposes the contemporary democratic political order, then one naturally wonders what sort of government he would support. Roman Catholicism, like my own tradition of Anglicanism but unlike the more extreme forms of Protestantism (not to mention Islam), does not demand "theocracy;" the Church has always taught that there is a legitimate need for a political sphere distinct from (though ideally allied to) the Church. Faith in the "King of Kings" may be enough for salvation, but it is not a specific blueprint for civil society as long as we're alive on this planet.

Traditionalists of Bishop Williamson's ilk often seem like they would prefer some sort of conservative Catholic dictatorship, of the sort likely to be called "clerical fascist" by its enemies. Not only do I as an Anglican monarchist find that model profoundly unappealing, but it seems to me that if they reject traditional monarchy in favor of "Catholic strongman" authoritarianism, right-wing Roman Catholics--for all their alleged conservatism--are ironically reflecting the essentially modernist mentality that they have the right to judge and to a certain extent choose (though perhaps by bullets rather than ballots) their head of state. Rejecting hereditary monarchy because it cannot guarantee (as if any system could) that every ruler will be a devout Catholic, they embrace key errors of the very modernists they claim to detest: that we are now in a "new era" for which "new solutions" must be found, that "you cannot turn back the clock," and that any insistence that older political forms remain valid and valuable is nothing more than a "nostalgia trip," a "distraction."

Bishop Williamson and other non-monarchist trads will not like being told (especially by an Anglican) that they resemble modernists or liberals, but in this one area, at least, they do. (Indeed, throughout the 20th century it has been the European "Right"'s acceptance of the abolitions of monarchies that has served to consolidate the gains of the egalitarian Left, which hates the Altar at least as much as the Throne.) I hope that my Roman Catholic monarchist friends will join me in saying to them: we do not want your Dollfusses, your Salazars, your Tisos, your Francos; we want Bourbons, Hapsburgs, Witttelsbachs, and Braganzas, and we cannot envision any "Social Kingship of Christ" that does not include the legitimate temporal rights of the latter.

New Prince of Denmark

Fellow blogger MadMonarchist reports that Princess Marie, second wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark, has given birth to his third and their first child, a boy, whose name has not yet been announced. Congratulations! I'm sure HM Queen Margrethe II and HRH Prince Henrik are thrilled to have another grandchild.