Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Royal Weddings 2011

This year's most publicized royal wedding may have already taken place (SymphonyNow interviews conductor Christopher Warren-Green, who conducted the orchestra at the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last month). However, there is no need for royalists to sink into anticlimactic post-nuptial doldrums, for at least three other major royal marriages are yet to be celebrated this year, even if the American media is unlikely to pay them quite as much attention. Prince Albert II of Monaco (whose engagement was announced a year in advance) will marry South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock in July. As previously reported, in the most dynastically traditional of all of these unions Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia (head of the House of Hohenzollern and therefore rightful King of Prussia and German Emperor) will marry Princess Sophie of Isenburg in August. Finally, the world's youngest head of state King Jigme Khesar Wangchuk of Bhutan, 31, has announced his engagement to Jetsun Pema; they will marry in October.

Just as 2008 was a year of coronations, 2011 is shaping up to be a great year for royal weddings. Congratulations to all four couples and their countries. I'm sure all monarchists will join me in hoping that they all enjoy happy and fruitful unions--and also that Germans will wake up from their long republican nightmare and formally acclaim Georg Friedrich and Sophie as their Monarch and Consort!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Canada and the Crown

Political consultant Steve LaFleur denies that it is time for Canada to cut her links with the Crown. My favourite observation of his is that "[g]overnment doesn’t exist to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be a President. It exists to enforce the rule of law." Exactly. I don't think I've ever seen that particular point stated so concisely before. While I don't think that "the royal family is arguably more profligate than necessary," otherwise this is a valuable and insightful article.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Queen in Ireland

In what has been described as one of the most important speeches of her reign, Queen Elizabeth II eloquently reflected in Dublin on the complex relationship between Britain and Ireland. The Queen is making the first visit of a British monarch to [Southern] Ireland since that of her grandfather King George V in 1911. While a noisy republican minority have protested, most Irish people seem to be happy to welcome the Queen and move forward into a positive relationship with their neighbour. While we monarchists already knew this, a speech like this shows the world how Her Majesty is always so classy and gracious, no matter how delicate the situation.

As usual, despite a provocative headline that gives undue publicity to the aforementioned noisy minority, the Daily Mail has great pictures.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Royal Wedding: The Official Album

The Royal Wedding: The Official Album, available on iTunes since immediately after the ceremony, was released today on CD, so being the sort of person who prefers to have a physical manifestation of a recording to hold, I waited until this morning and promptly bought one. I'm listening as I type this. While I wish that the complete personnel of the choir and orchestra had been listed in the jacket, otherwise it's a superb musical souvenir of last month's great event, including some material (such as Vaughan Williams's "Prelude on Rhosymedre") that was hard to hear when watching on TV. Highly recommended!

Speaking of the royal wedding music, last month Westminster Abbey's assistant organist James McVinnie blogged about his then-impending experience as a key musician of the great event.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Princess Maria Elisabeth of Orléans-Bragança [Bavaria] (1914-2011)

I am sorry to learn of the death at 96 of Princess Maria Elisabeth of Orléans-Braganza (née Bavaria), widow of Dom Pedro Henrique of Orléans-Braganza (1909-1981) and granddaughter of King Ludwig III of Bavaria (1845-1921), though even sorrier that Brazil and Bavaria remain occupied by republics. Princess Maria Elisabeth, whose son Dom Luiz is considered by most monarchists to be the current head of the Imperial House of Brazil, was the last member of the House of Wittelsbach to have been born when that ancient dynasty still reigned in Bavaria. She was born on September 9, 1914, at Nymphenburg Castle to Prince Franz of Bavaria and Princess Isabelle (née Croÿ) of Bavaria, married Dom Pedro Henrique there on August 19, 1937 (8 sons, 2 daughters), and died on May 13, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro. Requiescat in pace.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Serbians Want Monarchy

A recent poll shows that 64% of Serbians favour a restoration of constitutional monarchy under Crown Prince Alexander.  Yet none of Serbia's major political parties officially back such a restoration.  Something is wrong here.  Why is it that the media (including internationally) are constantly attentive to the views of dissenting republican minorities in constitutional monarchies such as the United Kingdom, while a majority backing restoration in a republic receives comparatively little coverage?  Perhaps it doesn't fit the "progressive" interpretation of history.  Let's hope that Serbian monarchists can overcome whatever obstacles remain in the way of implementing the Serbian people's noble and righteous goal of royal restoration and formally add HM King Alexander II (actually I think he should be Alexander III, in a posthumous conciliatory gesture towards the rival Obrenovich dynasty) to the ranks of Europe's reigning monarchs!  Ten is not enough!