Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Swedish monarchy under pressure

As The Local reports, the Swedish monarchy is no longer enjoying the glow of favourable publicity that surrounded it a year ago at the time of Crown Princess Victoria's splendid wedding. Questions surround the king's alleged behaviour as described by a recent book, but Swedish royalists are confident the monarchy will survive. Hopefully the media-fueled scandal will eventually subside in a country which cannot reasonably claim today to adhere to traditional Christian sexual morality anyway. My guess is that most ordinary Swedes are not quite as appalled as republicans and the media claim they are and will continue to support their country's ancient monarchy, one of only three European kingdoms (the others being neighbours Denmark and Norway) to have endured without a break since the first millennium. Republicanism is utterly alien to Sweden, which has always been ruled by kings or queens, and must be vigilantly resisted.


Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am decidedly a reactionary Christian, and if I were drafting the constitution of a monarchy, as in fact I have done for a hypothetical state, no adulterous prince could succeed to the throne and a king proven to be an adulterer could be removed.

On the other hand, I am highly skeptical whenever the mainstream media attacks a monarch. We all know which side their bread is buttered on, and even The Local is not claiming that the attacks on the king are facts, only allegations.

And on the third hand, although I think a king should be a good example, and hate the idea of having an adulterous one, there really isn't any necessary connection between the king's marital faithfulness and his ability to govern well. Of course, marital faithfulness indicates better character, which is always a positive trait in a king, but a country need not expect oppressive, arbitrary rule if its king is an adulterer. Moreover, as has been pointed out, sex scandals are far from uncommon in the Great Free Republic that is These United States, and I'd add that mere adultery is not a cause for the removal of our President either.

As a result, the conclusion is that I cannot judge His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf on the basis of such uncertain evidence. If he turn out to be guilty, he should probably abdicate, but I won't become a republican if he doesn't.

Theodore Harvey said...

I only just saw this comment today, hence the delayed response, but I must say I do not agree with you at all. Your standards would rule out many or even most of the kings of European history, including some good ones. Inventing a new rule that never existed in any actual traditional, historical Christian monarchy is actually not "reactionary" at all but quite modernist in its own way. This is one of my biggest problems with many contemporary "conservative Christians": as a reaction against the modern world's excesses in the other direction, they adopt a heightened obsession with sexual morality that would have been nearly as foreign to most actual loyal subjects of Christian monarchies of previous eras as modern leftist attitudes would. It is not necessary for a Christian monarchy to function for the monarch to be a saint, only that he respect the Christian character of the institution and the Church's place in society, something that many adulterous kings had no problem doing.