Thursday, January 28, 2010

NPR on French Royalists

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

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

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

(Also see Tea at Trianon)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Heir to the Throne

When I was 12 (1990-91), inspired by Robert K. Massie's book, I had ambitions of composing a musical, Nicholas and Alexandra, about the Romanovs. I never finished it, but wrote a number of songs. My favorite was probably the one for Tsarevich Alexei, "Heir to the Throne." After my voice changed and I couldn't sing it anymore, my younger brother sang it a few times. But since his voice changed (in the mid 1990s) it hadn't been sung by anyone for about 14 years until last month when a young member of the choir of St Mark's School of Texas (with which I sing monthly Evensongs and went to England last summer) agreed to record it. I am grateful to Weston for singing and to his older brother Landon for filming.

"Heir to the Throne" (1991)
Weston Blair, treble
Theodore Harvey, piano
December 21, 2009
Dallas, Texas

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oldest English royal remains discovered

Archaeologists in Germany believe they have discovered the remains of Eadgyth (d. 946), wife of Holy Roman Emperor Otto I and granddaughter of Alfred the Great. Scientists at the University of Bristol will aid the ongoing investigation.

Prince William Down Under

Prince William, having already charmed New Zealand, is wrapping up a triumphant visit to Australia, where the public have greeted him enthusiastically as reported by media such as the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. I do wish that journalists would remember that HRH is second in line to the Australian throne, not only the British one! Hopefully this visit will cement Australians' affection for the royal family for years to come, making it difficult for republicans to succeed in denying them their future King William.

The newest addition to my blogroll, Wales Monarchy, has extensive pictorial coverage, as do Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and Radical Royalist.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Return of the King

Megan Marshall reviews Jenny Uglow's A Gambling Man: Charles II’s Restoration Game.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Defending Monarchy

Responding to some predictable Americanist criticism of his March 2009 Remnant article on Grand Duke Henri and the euthanasia controversy in Luxembourg, Brian McCall defends monarchy from a traditional Roman Catholic perspective. His article (which is dated June 2009, though I did not find it until recently) is good as far as it goes, focusing on classical and medieval political theory and distinguishing monarchy per se from the hereditary aspect with which it is commonly associated. However, while it is technically true that the Papacy is an elective monarchy and that monarchies do not have to be hereditary in order to be, strictly speaking, monarchies, I do believe that hereditary succession (for good reasons) over time became so closely linked with most Christian monarchies that a monarchist must be able and willing to defend it, for reasons I outlined at my forum here. Nevertheless I commend Mr. McCall for his efforts, which may be more likely to convince skeptical American Catholics of the potential merits of monarchy than either a more fervently dynastic approach or anything I could write as an Anglican.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Czech monarchists march in Prague

Heroically refusing to accept the past 91 years of republicanism as permanent, Czech monarchists recently marched through Prague advocating a restoration of the monarchy. The question of who would be king might appear thorny, since Czechs are probably even less likely to be persuaded to reunite with Austria than to restore the monarchy. However, unless an entirely new dynasty were to be established (perhaps from a Czech aristocratic family with distant royal roots), for the moment there is no obvious candidate other than Otto von Habsburg. Failing a full-blown restoration of the pre-1914 (or, for that matter, pre-1789) status quo, an ideal compromise might be for the present-day countries which made up the Habsburg Empire (principally Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia) to adopt some sort of [British] Commonwealth-like arrangement, retaining separate parliaments and prime ministers while sharing the head of the Habsburg family as head of state, thus restoring the monarchy while retaining their independence. Sadly all this would appear to be quite hypothetical at present, but the Czech monarchists are to be commended for not giving up.