Saturday, December 29, 2012

My New Cello

On Thursday I was thrilled to acquire a "new" cello, made in London (where else?) by Thomas Kennedy (1784-1870) in 1850: my first old instrument.  (The cello I've been using since 1993 was made in Alaska in 1988.)  Surely if any cellist were meant to have an English cello, I was.  Of course, every musician should know which monarchs were reigning when his instrument was made, so a few weeks ago I prepared this chart of the leading monarchs of 1850.  And here I am playing "God Save the Queen" (requested by one of my royalist friends) on this beautiful English instrument, my portrait of HM visible on the wall behind me.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Roosevelts and Windsors

Tonight my parents and I went to see Hyde Park on Hudson.  Bill Murray is great as President Roosevelt, whose 1939 visit from King George VI and Queen Elizabeth forms the center of this drama based on an FDR mistress's secret diaries, but I was less convinced by the other characters especially Olivia Colman as the Queen who (with the writers) turns her into a shrewish, fussy snob--about as unlike the real, warm, fun-loving Queen Elizabeth as she could have been, even unfavorably comparing her husband in private to his recently abdicated brother, which anyone who knows anything about Queen Elizabeth's post-abdication views of "David" would know she never would have done. The actual Queen Elizabeth tended to view challenges and unfamiliar things (like hot dogs) as an Adventure; that's probably why she lived to be 101. The "Queen Elizabeth" depicted in this movie would have worried herself to death several decades before 2002. Samuel West, though like Colin Firth totally lacking anything resembling the real King's gaunt features, is somewhat more suitable as King George VI, but while the look and feel of the 1930s is captured convincingly this is not a film for those who like royalty depicted with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Monarchy, Christianity, and Vampires

I hope I got your attention with that subject title.  This is probably one of the more bizarre articles I've found on the web as a result of all the Google searches I do to see what is being said about this blog's favorite topic.  It's probably necessary to be at least somewhat familiar with both True Blood (which I am) and Mad Men (which I am not) to understand all the references.  I certainly don't share this writer's values and assumptions at all.  But it's interesting because coming from a perspective that is clearly hostile to monarchy and traditional pre-egalitarian society (whether Western or Eastern) in general, Sellar sees what so many non-monarchist Christians cannot or will not see: that Christianity, like Asia's traditional Confucian beliefs, is inherently monarchist, and its language remains so today even among Americans who pride themselves on their rejection of Monarchy.

That issue is also addressed, and also from a hostile perspective, here
Everett's agenda for Christianity, set forth in 1989, still around today though not usually articulated so bluntly, must be fought on all fronts. But he gets credit for seeing the tension between republicanism and Christian tradition clearly; he's just on the other side. On Tuesday, celebrate the birth of the King of Kings (as in Handel's Hallelujah Chorus), not the President of Presidents.

The Real Republic

Recently a French cabinet minister announcing that the government will monitor religious groups including traditionalist Catholics for "religious pathology" revealed the essentially totalitarian nature of the French Republic with rather more honesty than usual nowadays.  “Secularism is not about simple tolerance … it is a set of values that we have to share.”  And if "we" don't?  What then?  More genocide like in the 1790s? 

French Catholics, it is long past time to abandon the failed and misguided Ralliement of Leo XIII.  The Republic hates you, always has, always will.  “We decided to be uncompromising against all those who utter hate speech against the Republic and our values.”   Good.  Bring it on.  Let monarchists and Catholics be no less uncompromising.  The Republic and its rotten "values" should be condemned loudly and vigorously with what it calls "hate speech."  I would be proud to be counted among the enemies of the Republic illegitimately occupying the once-great nation where all the trouble started.  Only a King can lawfully rule France.  Death to the Republic!  Vive le Roi!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who Cares about the Don't Carers?

We monarchists love our rituals and traditions.  But there's one "ritual" I think we would all be happy to see the back of.  I'm talking about the way that every time there's a widely covered royal event, the internet is immediately deluged with angry comments from people who proclaim that they Don't Care (and therefore presumably no one else should either).  I posted the following yesterday on both Facebook (where it received 62 "Likes," including from a few non-Friends) and the Mail Online (where less gratifyingly it received a net total of five "red arrows," meaning that negative/red reactions outnumbered positive/green reactions by five).  Blog readers, if you follow the second link which should take you directly to my comment, green arrows would be much appreciated!

Dear Nasty Bitter People Leaving Negative Comments On Articles About The Royal Pregnancy:

OK, we get it. You don't care. You don't care so much that you feel the need to inform the entire world how much you don't care. Well, guess what? I didn't care about the U.S. presidential election and had to hear much more about it than you will ever hear about the royal baby. I don't care about sports--at all--yet hear about that constantly. Somehow I've managed to avoid reading articles about these things I don't care about and posting comments about how I don't care, because I actually don't care enough to do that and am not a moron. As incomprehensible as it may be to you, some of us actually do think that the birth of the future head of state of sixteen countries is kind of a big deal. So kindly shut up and leave our articles alone.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Duchess of Cambridge pregnant!

St James's Palace has announced that HRH the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby! Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as Britain and the Commonwealth Realms, blessed with the most fully human and beautiful method of selecting heads of state there is, await their future sovereign!  I hope HRH will recover soon from the acute morning sickness that caused her to be hospitalised and the pregnancy publicly confirmed sooner than would be customary.  But truly this joyous news is the perfect end to a jubilee year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Royal Affair (2012)

Last night I went to see the latest royal period drama, A Royal Affair, a visually lush and compellingly acted Danish film concerning the ill-fated relationship of Denmark's British-born Queen Caroline Matilda (1751-1775) (Alicia Vikander), sister of King George III, with the progressive Dr Johann Struensee (1737-1772) (Mads Mikkelson), physician to her eccentric (though perhaps not literally insane) husband King Christian VII (1749-1808) (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard).  Struensee, enjoying in different ways the favor of both the King and the Queen, briefly rose to become the de facto ruler of Denmark, implementing many progressive reforms influenced by the Enlightenment, before falling from power just as dramatically.  He lost his life and Caroline her freedom and her children, dying at 24 in Germany three years later.

Despite some obvious heavy-handed liberal bias (We Must Tell the Audience in the Prologue how Oppressive the Nobility and the Church were, Just So They Know), which in any case is more anti-religious than anti-monarchist, I found the movie impressive and enjoyable both as entertainment and as an introduction to a fascinating episode in royal history which is not very well known, at least outside of Denmark.  I'm not sure how close the movie is to historical truth, though I do know that if you're going to criticize religion, you should at least try to get your denominational facts straight: since when do Lutherans threaten sinners with Purgatory?

The "villains" of A Royal Affair are not the Monarchy per se, not even the undeniably difficult and unstable King Christian, though his stepmother Queen Juliane (1729-1796) (Trine Dyrholm) is depicted as a classic wicked stepmother, as she probably would have seemed to Caroline.  Rather, the primary culprits (besides the main characters' own recklessness) in Caroline and Struensee's downfall are unscrupulous politicians such as could just as easily surface in any republic.  And critics of the Enlightenment might even take some grim comfort in the way Struensee eventually has cause to regret and reverse his reckless abolition of all censorship.  Even the written epilogue makes it clear that it was with the Monarchy, under Christian and Caroline's son Frederik VI (1768-1839) (William Jøhnk Nielsen), that Struensee's liberal vision triumphed in the end.   And of course Denmark, unlike far too many other countries, happily remains a constitutional monarchy today, under the impeccably admirable and talented Queen Margrethe II--a direct descendant of Queen Juliane, via her son Prince Frederik (1753-1805) (Frederik Christian Johansen).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Liberty, the God That Failed

I spent the past weekend in the Carolinas visiting friends, including a fellow royalist with whom I'd celebrated the Diamond Jubilee in London in June.  It was a wonderful trip all around, but what I want to post about here is the book I finished reading on the airplane, Christopher Ferrara's monumental Liberty, the God That Failed: Policing the Sacred and Constructing the Myths of the Secular State, from Locke to Obama.  Mr. Ferrara, a traditional Catholic lawyer and scholar with whom I have periodically corresponded for years, delivers a substantial and eloquent Catholic approach to American history, skewering the myths of Left and "Right" with equal clarity.  While uncompromisingly Catholic, his thoughtful and fair-minded approach makes his subject compelling to readers of other religious beliefs as well, perhaps especially Anglicans since he has no problem siding with the Anglican British Crown against radical Protestants and Deists.  

Of particular interest to American monarchists will be his thorough demolition of the American Revolution, which he shows beyond any reasonable doubt to have been unjust and hypocritical from the beginning, resulting immediately (and not only in the 20th century as imagined by some American conservatives) in a government far more oppressive than that of King George III had ever been.  While I of course already held Tory/Loyalist convictions, it was pleasing (if also infuriating, since there is not much we can do about the Revolution now) to see them confirmed and bolstered with copious citations and evidence.  Mr. Ferrara meticulously avoids the possibility of being accused of anachronistically judging the past by present-day standards by frequently citing sources from the periods he discusses that confirm his points.  Whether you share Mr. Ferrara's Catholic or even Christian beliefs or not, I highly recommend this book.  Those who already oppose the American Revolution will be invigorated with new ammunition, and those who cling to the myth that it was in any way "conservative" or compatible with Christian teaching will profit from having their illusions shattered, however uncomfortable that process may be.

Iraqis Reconsider Royalty

The storming of the Bastille in 1789, and the repulsive French holiday celebrating it (spare me the technicality that the holiday officially commemorates the ephemeral Fête de la Fédération a year later), is not the only historical event that makes July 14 an ironic birthday for a monarchist.  On that date in 1958, exactly twenty years before I was born, a clique of Iraqi army officers massacred their young King Faisal II and his family, paving the way for the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and all the chaos and misery that followed.  Disgracefully this date has been a holiday in Iraq for years, but recently Iraqis have been prompted by an unprecedented exhibition in Baghdad on the monarchy to re-examine their royal history, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor and the Alaska Dispatch.  Unsurprisingly for monarchists, the Kingdom of Iraq (1932-1958) now seems like a golden age in retrospect.  When will the world ever learn?

King Faisal II of Iraq (1935-1958)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Walton Cello Concerto

Most regular visitors to this blog probably know that I am a professional cellist.  Usually I perform as a member of the Dallas Symphony, but on Sunday I had the honor to perform the Cello Concerto (1956) by Sir William Walton (1902-1983) as soloist with the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra (of which I was a member from 1987 to 1996) conducted by Susan Kitterman in Indianapolis.  Anyone wishing to listen to the performance can hear it at this "Dropbox" link!  Please enjoy.

My biography in the program concluded as follows: "A keen royalist and Anglophile, Mr. Harvey would like to dedicate today's performance of the Walton concerto, which coincides with Remembrance Sunday in the UK, to HM Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her Diamond Jubilee year."  Royalists may also be interested in the program notes I wrote which draw attention to Walton's work for the coronations of George VI and Elizabeth II.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I Won't Vote

I've written an essay, originally for Facebook, explaining why I will not be participating in the U.S. presidential election tomorrow.  It is available at my website here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spanish heir "out of touch"?

Spanish anti-royalists are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Now they're criticizing Prince Felipe for...apparently not immediately realizing upon exiting a friend's funeral that a woman extending her hand was a beggar and shaking her hand instead of giving her money. Shocking!  To be honest, I, unlike the Prince, usually ignore beggars completely.  I suspect most of the Prince's critics do too.  Is that what they would have preferred?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah

As long as I'm crediting family members, I'd like to thank my brother William for recommending the lavish and thoroughly enjoyable Bollywood epic Jodhaa Akbar, about the legendary Mughal Emperor of India Akbar the Great (1542-1605) and his Hindu wife Jodhaa.  Below is one of my favorite scenes, in which loyal subjects from throughout India sing praises to their sovereign, who was a model of skill, vision, magnanimity, and tolerance, a Muslim ruler who respected all religions in a part of the world which has not always known such qualities since.  Full of exuberance, colour, and joy, this is what a magnificently monarchist song-and-dance spectacular looks like, even if towards the end there is an ominous sign of the truth that uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.  (I recommend watching this clip full screen, with the volume fairly high, for maximum impact.)

Frederick the Great at Carnegie Hall

My alert mother Susan Raccoli called my attention to this New York Times review of a concert I'm sure I've would have enjoyed celebrating the music of Prussia's remarkable King Frederick the Great (1712-1786) and the composers he sponsored.  "In a country where eliminating public support for the arts can be used as a campaign stop applause line, it may seem unthinkable, but there was a time when a court prima donna pulled a greater government salary than a cabinet minister.  Frederick II’s Prussia, in which this fantastical situation was reality, was one of history’s great musical hotbeds. The king was a composer and flutist so devoted to the arts that as an 18-year-old prince he tried to escape to England rather than accept his father’s restrictions on his playing."  "It is amazing that a king wrote music that can be played without embarrassment centuries later at Carnegie Hall, and Frederick’s Flute Concerto No. 3 in C is sprightly and fluent."  I discussed Frederick's contributions to music in a 2002 paper as a graduate student at Juilliard.  Even when kings were not as talented as Frederick was, they generally cared about artistic excellence and wanted to be associated with art of the highest quality, a trait sadly but (for monarchists) unsurprisingly lacking in today's democratic politicians who prefer to pander to the lowest common denominator.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Defending Tsarist Russia

I'm a little disappointed in Peter Hitchens, normally one of my favourite British political commentators.  In a passage mainly about Cuba, he deflected criticism that by attacking Castro he defends Batista with the analogy, "No more do I defend the Tsarist autocracy which ruled Russia before the Bolshevik revolution," adding later (provocatively for monarchist readers) that "[i]f Russia had had only the February Revolution of 1917, and not the October putsch, it would have been saved from a long nightmare."  As I just wrote in a comment at his blog,

Well why not? I do. Tsarist Russia has been unfairly maligned by leftist propaganda for more than a century and as a staunch monarchist I am always sorry to see otherwise discerning right-wingers falling for it. Consider this observation from a 1998 letter to The Independent from Oleg Goridevsky:

Russia under Nicholas II, with all the survivals of feudalism, had opposition political parties, independent trade unions and newspapers, a rather radical parliament and a modern legal system. Its agriculture was on the level of the USA, with industry rapidly approaching the West European level.

In the USSR there was total tyranny, no political liberties and practically no human rights. Its economy was not viable; agriculture was destroyed. The terror against the population reached a scope unprecedented in history.

No wonder many Russians look back at Tsarist Russia as a paradise lost.

What is often overlooked is that after the 1905 upheavals subsided, conditions were actually improving considerably in Tsarist Russia and very well might have continued to do so had it not been for the 1914-18 War you rightly mourn as the end of traditional European civilisation. Imperial Russia had its flaws, but they were not insurmountable, and it deserves better [from conservatives]. Nicholas II was a good man who loved his country and served it to the best of his ability. As Dominic Lieven points out in his excellent biography, he was neither as weak nor as unintelligent as commonly thought. I cannot accept any abolition of any monarchy for any reason; Kerensky's republic might have been more tolerable than Communism (anything would be), but it was essentially no more legitimate than the USSR--or Putin's regime today.


I might have added that while I can't endorse every point of this defense of Nicholas II and Tsarist Russia by a Russian Orthodox priest, it is worth reading as a counterbalance to the mountain of calumnies commonly hurled at pre-1917 Russia.

Meanwhile, back in the United States, political hype has reached a fever pitch difficult even for determined non-voters to ignore.  With that in mind I conclude this entry on Russia (thanks to the Mad Monarchist) with a pertinent observation from the great Tsarist Russian conservative statesman Konstantin Pobedonostsev (1827-1907):

“In a Democracy, the real rulers are the dexterous manipulators of votes, with their placemen, the mechanics who so skillfully operate the hidden springs which move the puppets in the arena of democratic elections. Men of this kind are ever ready with loud speeches lauding equality; in reality, they rule the people as any despot or military dictator might rule it.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Guillaume & Stephanie II

I hadn't sent an alarm, but nevertheless found myself up by 4:00 AM this morning to watch the two-hour religious ceremony at Luxembourg's Notre Dame Cathedral live via  I'm glad I did as it was a beautiful service with a glittering array of royal guests in attendance.  Being a musician, I noted with approval (while wishing I could have been one of the three cellists in the orchestra) the choices of Gigout's Grand Choeur Dialogue for the processional, Mozart's Missa Brevis in C as the mass setting, anthems by Mendelssohn and Handel (the famous Hallelujah Chorus), and the Finale from Guilmaunt's Symphony in D Minor for the recessional, though I do wish that TV commentators (whether American, British, or Luxembourgish) would not feel at liberty to talk so much during the music.

Bride Countess Stephanie (now HRH Hereditary Grand Duchess), who looked every inch the beautiful fairytale princess, was escorted down the aisle by her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy, as their father Count Philippe at 90 is a bit old for such a role.  (Stephanie is the youngest of eight children.)  Touchingly, they stopped to share a moment with him upon reaching the altar and the service began with a minute of silence in honour of their mother Countess Alix (1941-2012) who died in August.  The Catholic nuptial liturgy, celebrated with dignity by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, was conducted mostly in French with some Latin and a few greetings and prayers in English (presumably for the benefit of international guests and viewers).  Afterwards, the bride and groom appeared on the palace balcony where they delighted cheering crowds with kisses and were subsequently joined by the rest of the grand ducal family.  I congratulate Their Royal Highnesses and wish them and their families all the best. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Guillaume & Stephanie I

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy exchanged civil vows at Luxembourg's town hall, mingling afterwards with enthusiastic crowds.  I only caught the tail end of the live stream, but video highlights are available here and here.  I usually wish I were British, but this weekend would be quite happy to be Luxembourgish.  The couple's relaxed, warm, and happy demeanour is clearly reciprocated by their future subjects.  There is not much of a sense of pressure; everyone is just having a good time.  Blessed in many ways and enjoying its rare turn in the spotlight this weekend, Luxembourg is truly a fortunate country to have Guillaume & Stephanie as its future grand ducal couple.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

J K Rowling defends the Crown

Though a longtime fan of Harry Potter, I've been critical of some of author J K Rowling's other political beliefs.  So it's a relief to know that unlike the actor who played her most famous character in the movies, in this interview with Jon Stewart (starting at about 26:30) she demonstrates an admirably concise understanding of one important benefit of the Crown (its separation of State from Government), even suggesting that what the USA needs is "a monarch" and the Queen would be glad to have us back!  (Thanks to my brother William for the link.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

King Norodom Sihanouk (1922-2012)

Cambodia's former King Norodom Sihanouk, father of the present sovereign, died in Beijing today at the age of 89, ending a remarkable life (pictures).  I remember how happy I was as a 15-year-old royalist when he was restored to the throne in 1993, having already been at the center of Cambodian politics off and on for more than half a century; at the time I assumed this restoration would be the first of many.  RIP.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Only Candidate We Need

Dictators Go, Monarchs Stay

I am not a fan of American neoconservative Democracy projects, but this article by former Bush administration security adviser Elliott Abrams nevertheless makes good points comparing monarchies to republics in the Middle East.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Cathedral is Full!

An advantage of living in a small monarchy: members of the Luxembourg general public will be able to attend the October 20 wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy, though unsurprisingly the first-come-first-served tickets quickly ran out.  For those lucky guests, the sense of their grand duchy as one extended family led by the royals will be beautifully reinforced even more strongly than usual.  Those not inside the cathedral will still be able to watch on large screens in the nearby Place Guillaume, where the newlyweds will mingle with the crowds.

Newcastle's Luckiest Lad

Visiting Newcastle on her first official visit to England's Northeast, the Duchess of Cambridge gave a cheeky ten-year-old boy who stretched out his arms a hug--and a magical moment he'll remember for the rest of his life.  Would children be nearly as excited about a president's granddaughter-in-law?  Republicans want to deprive children like Terry Campbell of unique experiences like this.  Remember that next time they claim to speak for "ordinary people."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Prince Albert of Saxony (1934-2012)

Prince Albert of Saxony, the last surviving male-line grandson of the last King of Saxony, has died in Munich at the age of 77, less than three months after his brother Maria Emanuel who had been the last undisputed head of the family.  In recent years there has been some controversy over the succession to the Saxon throne, which my friend Arturo Beéche explains in detail at Eurohistory.  This blog, like Mr. Beéche's, supports the late Maria Emanuel's adoption of his nephew Alexander (son of Princess Maria Anna and Lebanese aristocrat Robert de Afif and himself married to Princess Gisela of Bavaria) as heir (accepted by the entire family in 1997, though some members including Albert subsequently reneged on the agreement) and so hails him as Margrave of Meissen and rightful King Alexander I of Saxony.   Two thousand twelve has been a sad year for the Royal House of Saxony. Princess Maria Anna (b 1929) died on March 13, Prince Maria Emanuel Margrave of Meissen (b 1926) on July 23, and Prince Albert (b 1934) on October 6. They were all children of Prince Friedrich Christian (1893-1968), son and heir of King Friedrich August III (1865-1932). Only their sisters Princess Maria Josepha, 84, and Princess Mathilde, 76, survive of this generation of Saxon royalty.  May all three departed dynasts rest in peace.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Discreet Tonic of Monarchy

From a European site comes this relatively encouraging article about monarchism in Romania as King Michael's grandson Nicholas, 27, moves from Britain to Romania.  While the lack of momentum towards formal restoration in the Balkans over the past two decades since the fall of Communism has been frustrating for monarchists, it is clear that many Romanians have not forgotten their royal family. But what will it take for this land of rich history and beauty to take the leap to become once again the Kingdom of Romania? 

Friday, October 5, 2012

King & Queen of Sweden in Minnesota

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden are visiting the U.S. state of Minnesota, known for its Scandinavian immigrant history, this weekend.   They were welcomed at the American Swedish Institute, where a little girl presented the Queen with flowers, and toured its new Nelson Cultural Center.  Today they visit Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter to celebrate its 150th anniversary, and tomorrow return to the ASI for a dedication and gala dinner.  This is an exciting weekend for Minnesotans of Swedish heritage!  (Note to "Swedish" republicans: would anyone in Minnesota care about a foreign president visiting?  Probably not.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Princess Maria Krystyna of Altenburg (1923-2012)

Princess Maria Krystyna of Altenburg, daughter of Archduke Karl Albrecht of Austria (1888-1951), of the Polish branch of the Habsburgs, and his Swedish morganatic wife Alice Ankarcrona (1889-1985), died yesterday in Poland at the age of 88.  As obituaries at blogs such as Royal Musings and Eurohistory make clear, her long life was deeply affected by the vicissitudes of the twentieth century, but it ended peacefully in the same town where she was born, Maria Krystyna having become a popular local figure living in a small apartment on what had been her father's estate.  Requiescat in pace.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chinese Imperial Family Reunion

Even more so than most non-reigning royal families, relatives of China's last Emperor, Pu Yi (1906-1967), tend to keep a low profile.  Recently, however, many of them gathered to celebrate a new series of books about the imperial family.  Sadly, the article as well as some of its comments show how successful Communist anti-imperial indoctrination has been, even among the relatives themselves.  The fall of the ancient Chinese monarchy in 1911-12 was one of the first signs of how horrible the 20th century would be.  Even a relentlessly optimistic (at least publicly) monarchist like me has a hard time seeing how Imperial China could ever be restored.  RIP Pu Yi.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Defining "Monarchy"

As I celebrate the twelfth anniversary of my website, created on this date in 2000, it's worth reflecting on the meaning of the word it's all about.  One problem that monarchists sometimes run into, especially in online discussions, is defining exactly what a "Monarchy" is.  While I regard a hereditary element as normative, there are non-hereditary exceptions (Vatican City, Andorra, Samoa) that have to be acknowledged.  Particularly galling is when republicans want to claim horrible dictatorships such as North Korea (which has now had leaders from three generations of the same family) as "Monarchies."  But the definition at Wikipedia's article on Monarchy, which is much better than it used to be, is about the best I've seen: "A monarchy is a form of government in which sovereignty is actually or nominally embodied in a single individual (the monarch)."  (I might change "actually or nominally" to simply "officially.")  This manages to cover unusual cases such as Vatican City while excluding superficially "hereditary" authoritarian republics.  Since nominally republican regimes like those of Belarus, Syria, and North Korea still claim to embody sovereignty in "the people," they are not monarchies, no matter how absurd that claim is, and monarchists do not have to answer for them.  (Even Nazi Germany never formally repealed the 1919 constitution of the Weimar Republic.)

Juan Carlos's "Redemption"

Spain's traditionally popular King Juan Carlos has been under more pressure than usual lately, reports the New York Times, though as his supporters point out, he continues to work hard from Spain facilitating beneficial business deals that would not happen without his international connections.   Spaniards need to remember how lucky they are that their country's ancient and brilliant monarchical tradition has survived (unlike that of neighboring Portugal and France, both now mired in more than a century of republican darkness) and rally to their King (the only 20th century European monarch to successfully steer his country from the bitter legacy of civil war and dictatorship to a relatively stable parliamentary democracy) and his successor the Prince of Asturias.  Viva el Rey!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Queen and her Abbey

Australian artist Ralph Heimans has unveiled in Canberra his striking new official portrait of the Queen at Westminster Abbey, with the sovereign apparently pausing in reflection at the very spot where she was crowned in 1953.  Having had the honour to sing services (in 2009 and 2011) in those choir stalls, I was moved by the choice of setting as well as the way Heimans has captured Her Majesty's expression and sense of place in history.  For musical Anglican monarchists, everything we believe in is represented in this beautiful painting.

Jubilee Tribute

Though in London at the time, I missed this unique and moving tribute to the Queen (featuring previously unseen footage) by her son and heir the Prince of Wales when it aired on June 1, and did not know it was available on YouTube until today.  Well worth an hour of your time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tour de force

Despite a certain incident with a French magazine, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge's tour of Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu (concluding with a brief stop in Australia) was a triumphant success, the Telegraph and Mail report.  I love these joyful videos of their welcome and departure in Tuvalu, not least because they must make leftist anti-imperialists cringe.  God bless the people of Tuvalu and their wonderful future King and Queen.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cambridges in Malaysia

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, moving on to Malaysia, attended a glittering dinner as guests of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and his wife the Queen.  Official visits are so much more exciting when both hosts and guests are royal!  The Duchess also made her first overseas speech.  Probably the most moving moment, however, came when she brightened the day of a 15-year-old leukaemia patient whose mother had feared she would not see him smile again.  This is royalty at its incomparable best, caring for the suffering as conscientious princesses have done for hundreds of years.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Richard III found?

Archaeologists from the University of Leicester believe they may have found the remains of King Richard III (1452-1485), the last English king to die in battle.  I am unsure whether Richard III has been unfairly maligned regarding the mysterious fate of his unfortunate nephews, but this looks like a remarkable archaeological achievement nonetheless. Visiting the Bosworth Battlefield site this summer, including the well from which Richard allegedly took his last drink, was a moving experience.  In retrospect it was there, with Richard, that the English Middle Ages ended and the early modern era began (whether for good or ill) with the accession of the Tudors and all that their reigns would mean for English identity, culture, politics and religion.  It's perhaps with that in mind that Ed West suggests a state burial in London if the remains are indeed his.  (Update 19 Sept: Chris Skidmore MP elaborates; Gareth Russell demurs.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Habsburg Wedding in Washington

Back in December I reported on the engagements of brother Archdukes Imre and Christoph of Austria-Hungary.  In what must have been a first for the American capital, Archduke Imre's wedding to American Catholic writer and activist Kathleen Walker took place on Saturday, September 8, at St Mary Mother of God Catholic Church in Washington DC.  Many of the groom's royal relatives attended, including his Luxembourg cousins and the Duke & Duchess of Braganza (de jure King & Queen of Portugal).  The wedding itself, reported in the Washington Post, seems to have been a splendidly traditional celebration with a Latin Mass and music by Schubert, concluding with Haydn's Austrian Imperial anthem.  Pictures are available at Royal Musings, Revue, Tageblatt, and Spiering Photography.

One would think that everyone interested in royalty would be united in wishing the newly married couple happiness, but unfortunately that has not been the case.  In certain corners of the royal-watching internet, to which I will not link, some people have not been able to get past their disagreements (to put it mildly) with the deeply held religious and moral convictions of the bride, who has been active in the anti-abortion movement.  This blog generally avoids taking explicit stances on such divisive contemporary issues and recognizes that monarchists can disagree on such matters.  However, I have been dismayed by the sheer meanness of some of the comments I have seen.  How can anyone find it at all surprising that a member of Europe's greatest Catholic dynasty (long known for its defense of the Church), a great-grandson of the Blessed Emperor Karl who was beatified by the staunchly pro-life Pope John Paul II, would marry a woman who actually believes in Catholicism and takes it seriously?  Whether one shares the faith and views of Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen (as she now is, since the current head of the House of Habsburg, himself married to a former minor baroness, does not insist on the maintenance of the traditional requirement for Habsburg spouses to be of royal blood) or not, any decent person who claims to care about royalty ought to be able to respect their convictions and wish them well in their new life together.

The newlyweds met two years ago at a mass at the same church (which just dedicated a shrine to Bl Karl this past Sunday) honoring the groom's saintly great-grandfather, and this weekend received an official Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI (referring to the groom as "Archduke Imre of Austria," which can't have pleased the republican anti-title brigade).  What, for Catholics, could be more auspicious and appropriate?  I for one congratulate Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen and am confident theirs will be a happy, fruitful, and enduring union that will prove all the naysayers wrong and offer hope to the beleaguered Western world, which has suffered so for nearly a century from the destruction of the Habsburg Empire and the values that underpinned it.

Cambridges in Singapore

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge begin their Diamond Jubilee Asian/Pacific tour, which will also include Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu, with a visit to Singapore.  It is always exciting to see this young future King and Queen representing their country and doing their duty with aplomb.  No politician could be as glamourous or effective an ambassador.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Arab Monarchies Survive as Republics Falter

Thanks to my brother William Harvey, violin and viola teacher at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, for calling my attention to this interesting New York Times discussion of The Staying Power of Arab Monarchies.  For a variety of reasons, the region's monarchies all appear likely to weather the "Arab Spring" unrest intact, while authoritarian republican regimes have fallen, with more potentially to follow.  What seems inescapable is the conclusion that within any particular cultural context, monarchies generally can offer their people more stability and hope than republics.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

In Defense of Monarchy

Recently several of my monarchist friends on Facebook have been sharing an intriguing and worthwhile article "In Defense of Monarchy" from a website with which I had not previously been familiar, Riding the Tiger.  My only caveat would be that I think the writer is too hard on twentieth-century royalty, most of whom were far from "spineless," though some of them made poor decisions.  For example, Greece's King Constantine stood up to the politicians and the eventual result was the fall of the monarchy.  It would seem that in modern times royalty are damned if they do and damned if they don't.  But it's always reassuring to see that more and more people are questioning the myth of republican "Progress."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Come, Sing at St George's!

I was momentarily disappointed when cleaning up links on my website to discover that my old link to the video about the choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle didn't work...but it turns out that's only because there's a new one, and it's even better. Check out this inspiring and enviable traditional union of music, royalty, and religion: England at its best, narrated by HRH the Countess of Wessex. Highlights include a chorister who gets to meet the Earl of Wessex on his birthday and a special visit to the school by HM the Queen herself.  I'm not sure how any musical monarchist can watch this video without wishing he had been a chorister at St George's Chapel; I certainly do!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Empress Farah: Iranian Royal Comeback?

Reaction to a new documentary on the exiled lives of the Shah and his widow since their departure from Iran in 1979 suggests that some, though not yet nearly enough, Iranians are beginning to regret the Revolution.  No reasonable person, even if not a monarchist, can deny that what has replaced the Pahlavi monarchy has been much worse, with none of the positive features of the Shah's regime.  Empress Farah remains an eloquent voice for a humane vision of Iran even as she deals with the heartbreak of having lost two of her four children.

Prince Harry

I have no desire to provide links or comment at length on the latest media-manufactured Prince Harry "scandal."  I will however simply repeat what I wrote on Facebook.  Have any of Prince Harry's pompous media critics risked their lives fighting the Taliban, started a charity to help orphans in Lesotho, and brilliantly represented their country diplomatically throughout the Caribbean to the delight of thousands? No? Well then please shut up now, thanks.  (For further discussion, please see the thread at my forum.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Monarchy and the Olympics

Apologies for the recent lack of blog entries (I hope this blog is still getting visitors--it has not been abandoned and hopefully never will be!).  Since returning from the monarchist conference in Chicago I have been busy with musical activities on opposite ends of the North American continent, first the International Baroque Institute at Longy (July 20-28) in Cambridge, Massachusetts (during which I also had time to explore for my first time some of Boston's historic landmarks including the unique Anglican-Unitarian King's Chapel established by James II in 1686 whose loyalist rector the Rev. Henry Caner was forced out in 1776), and currently the Britt Festival (July 31-August 19) in Jacksonville, Oregon.  However I would like to take a moment to share some thoughts on my mixed feelings about the recently concluded London 2012 Olympics as it pertains to the British Monarchy.

Many, though not all, of my British royalist friends (I don't really have any British republican friends!) have reacted positively to the Olympic Games and the hype surrounding them, particularly the highly visible involvement of the royal family, from the Queen's acting debut with James Bond (Daniel Craig) to the frequent enthusiastic and prominent presence of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at many events.  While I cannot claim to have followed the Olympics closely, I am pleased that my British friends are pleased, and I admire the genuinely remarkable achievements of British athletes such as Tom Daley.

Yet I can't help feeling that for serious monarchists whose monarchism goes beyond liking and admiring the Queen and Royal Family as individuals, something just might be amiss.  My impression from all the commentary (positive and negative) on the London 2012 Olympics I've read, though I don't have time to assemble a comprehensive collection of links, is that there seems to be a growing consensus that this undeniably remarkable Jubilee/Olympic year of 2012 has seen the birth of a new sort of "centrist" (but actually leftist) British Patriotism, one in which the Monarchy and the Union appear popular and victorious (and thus a defeat for republicans and separatists on the Left) but only to the extent that they have been redefined and co-opted so as not to interfere with a broadly leftist and thoroughly modernist concept of what Britain is (and thus also a defeat for cultural traditionalists and critics of immigration and multiculturalism on the Right).  While I'm glad to see anti-monarchists and Scottish 'nationalists' perceived as having been rejected by the overwhelming majority of the British public in favour of the preservation of the United Kingdom, I cannot claim to be entirely comfortable with this New Britishness, especially in light of the way that Britain's distinguished classical and choral music traditions have been almost entirely marginalised in favour of what a traditionalist correspondent of mine acidly but aptly described as "the dreary din of 'Britpop'."

While some right-wing critics of the Olympics may be guilty of hyperbole, it is hard to totally dismiss the sense that we have witnessed a celebration of a sort of vaguely pagan national cult, ceaselessly accompanied by the pounding sounds of pop music, from which Christianity and virtually everything recognisably British that pre-dates the 1960s has been excised--with the notable and arguably curious exception of the Monarchy itself, which the New Britishness suddenly embraces with an enthusiasm that would have surprised the BBC and leftists in general ten years ago.  Is this really something to celebrate?  And given that part of the Queen's strength as a public figure has always been the fact that she is not a "Performer" (when she doesn't feel like smiling, she doesn't, with the result that her consistently genuine smile is all the more captivating when given), is there not a certain risk in turning Her Majesty into an actress as in the now-famous James Bond clip, no matter how brief and enjoyable?  I'm not sure.  I know that the Royal Family have to adapt--they always have.  But how much of this adaptation can those of us who value the monarchy partly because of its resonance with traditional values embrace?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

French Revolution "abomination" (1985)

I was too busy in Chicago on Saturday to worry much about that horrid holiday the French insist on celebrating on my birthday, but here's an article on French monarchists from 1985, when I was seven years old.  At that time I must admit I would not have been able to correct its genealogical errors: the Count of Paris was (and is) a direct, not "indirect," descendant of Hugh Capet, while the Prince Napoleon was (and is) descended from Napoleon III's uncle Jerome, not from the last Bonaparte Emperor himself.  It's kind of depressing that not much has changed in 27 years other than the identities of the pretenders.  But the longevity of French royalism despite seemingly endless "irrelevance" just demonstrates that monarchists never give up, no matter how marginal the world tells us we are, no matter how stubbornly the French stupidly keep electing new presidents, as if that will ever solve anything.  Vive le Roi!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

North American Monarchists in Chicago

Yesterday I returned from a wonderful weekend in Chicago with monarchist friends from Facebook, only one of whom I had met before.  More than 150 people had been invited to this "North American Monarchist Conference" (complete with official shirts), and quite a few wanted to come, but as it turned out only five of us were able to actually do so.  Nevertheless what we lacked in numbers we made up for in enthusiasm.  Of the five attendees, one (me) was Anglican, one was Roman Catholic, and three were Orthodox, so all three "branches" of Christendom were represented, as were three U.S. states (Illinois, Texas, New York) and Canada.  While no "manifesto" was produced (any conference would probably need to have more than five participants to be considered authoritative!), there was general agreement that some sort of collaborative book ought to be produced.  More importantly, we all had a good time conversing on a wide range of monarchical and religious topics with like-minded individuals.

The agenda for the weekend included a wide range of cultural, social, and religious activities.  We began Friday evening with a terrific concert at Ravinia by the Chicago Symphony of music by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), a conservative loyal subject of the German monarchy.  On Saturday we visited the Art Institute of Chicago, whose vast collection includes portraits of Magdalena of Saxony (1507-1534) (wife of Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg), the young Don Juan of Austria (1547-1578) (natural son of Emperor Charles V who led Christendom to victory at Lepanto), and Marie de' Medici (1575-1642) (wife of Henri IV and mother of Louis XIII of France), as well as German armor from the time of Maximilian I and other late medieval Holy Roman Emperors.  Even pre-revolutionary European art that is not specifically monarchical reflects the general sensibilities of a vanished Christian, hierarchical, and predominantly agrarian civilisation healthier and more beautiful than our present one, a civilisation that not coincidentally accepted the rule of hereditary kings and princes as natural.  For this excursion we were a much larger group as one of the Orthodox attendees brought along his wife and seven young children--monarchists of the future!

After the Art Institute we briefly visited Queen's Landing on Lake Michigan where Queen Elizabeth II arrived for her visit in 1959.  Unfortunately there is not as far as we could tell any sort of plaque commemorating the occasion; perhaps there should be!  For dinner we met at the Red Lion British pub, complete with a British flag and portrait of Lord Nelson, where I had a unique and delicious "Colonial Chicken" entree and a free "Spotted Dick" dessert with a candle for my [34th] birthday--all in all a great way to celebrate, much better than whatever was going on in France that day!

On Sunday the Orthodox participants went to their Divine Liturgies while I attended a beautiful Solemn High Mass at the Anglo-Catholic Church of the Ascension.  We all subsequently met for a farewell lunch at Chicago's unique Bosnian Restaurant Sarajevo--perhaps ironic in light of what happened at the city of that name in 1914, but offering tasty food with an appropriate elegant "Old World" feel.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting the chance to spend time with four enthusiastic and knowledgeable fellow monarchists and hope that such gatherings become a regular event with more participants attending next time!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

House of Lords "Reform"

Many contemporary British conservatives, including some I know and respect, seem to regard the advocacy--even in theory--of restoring the hereditary peers shamefully expelled from the House of Lords by New Labour in 1999 as unrealistic and irrelevant.  Instead they focus on opposing Nick Clegg's plans for a mainly elected House, as seen in the recent superficially successful Tory "rebellion."  But I agree with Peter Hitchens: a mainly appointed upper house is indefensible and the real damage was done in 1999.  Traditionalists understand that "a mainly hereditary House was superior in every way" and that "tradition, inheritance and nobility are things which are good in themselves, coupled with a sensible scepticism about that upstart idea called ‘democracy’ – which in Parliament means that the members are chosen, controlled, rewarded and punished by a centrally-directed party machine subject to the executive."  Is there anyone else in print in a major newspaper who dares to defend, not some vague compromise that in the end satisfies no one, but the role of hereditary peers who served Parliament well for six hundred years?

Friday, July 6, 2012

King Gyanendra hopes for restoration

For the first time, Nepal's ousted King Gyanendra has explicitly stated that he would like to be restored as a constitutional monarch.  (If only we could get similar declarations from more former and would-be monarchs!) As any monarchist could have predicted, Nepal's politicians have utterly failed to agree on a constitution or improve anything for anybody in the four years since they thoughtlessly and traitorously abolished the 239-year-old monarchy in what I fervently hope will remain the only downfall of a monarchy in my politically conscious lifetime.  If Nepalis have any sense they will take their former king up on his offer!

Ex-republican admits defeat

I don't usually link to left-wing articles, but this piece by Sunder Katwala is a decent one, admitting that republicanism has failed spectacularly to convince the British public of any merit to its agenda.  According to Mr Katwala, progressives can and should even find valid reasons of their own to support, or at least accept, the persistence of the monarchy. And it is good for right-wing monarchists to acknowledge that the modern British Monarchy is and must remain a monarchy for everyone, including people like Mr Katwala, at least everyone who is not an outright abolitionist.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Queen & Country

Royalists and Anglophiles in the U.S. will want to be sure to catch Sir Trevor McDonald's new documentary Queen & Country, airing on PBS the next three Sunday evenings.  Having been away from home I missed the first episode on TV that aired July 1, but fortunately it is available in its entirety online at the PBS site, so I watched it tonight.  At times I thought the editing was a little strange in that the film would occasionally disrupt continuity by abruptly returning to interviews that had appeared earlier with unrelated material in between similar comments.  More substantially, I disagreed with author Miranda Carter's claim that royal pageantry does not really predate Queen Victoria (what about George IV's famous visit to Scotland? the Thames pageants of Charles II and George II?).   Otherwise I enjoyed the programme with its excellent footage and can recommend it to all interested in the British Monarchy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4 and the Emptiness of Whiggery

Once again American monarchists' unhappiest anniversary is upon us.  Keen to live up to a friend's description of me as "the worst American [she's] ever met," I am wearing black (including my new souvenir shirt from the "Royal River" exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich featuring Canaletto's 1746 masterpiece "The River Thames with St Paul's Cathedral on Lord Mayor's Day") in honour of King George III and the Loyalists.  On this date more than any other, American monarchists--especially those of us who identify primarily with the British monarchy--are reminded that we are strangers in a strange land as everyone around us celebrates what to us were treasonous, unjustified, and lamentable actions, severing us from the Crown we love and wish were ours.

I don't expect most Americans to agree with my negative view of the Fourth of July and what it represents.  But I cringe when British conservatives with whom I otherwise often agree wax all pro-American, as Ed West does today.   What I find so depressing about essentially Whiggish British commentators like West (Daniel Hannan is another example) is that while they may score valid points against the contemporary Left now and then, articles like this make it clear that deep down they are not coming from the same place as I am at all. The contemporary "Right" is almost completely dominated by the sort of men who probably would have fought for Cromwell in the English Civil War (1642-51); in Britain almost as much as in America, the Cavalier point of view is comparatively silent.  West and his ilk might defend the monarchy when they have to (though if I recall correctly his main reason for celebrating the Royal Wedding last year was that it annoyed leftists), but what they really care about is the Whig cult of "Liberty." Whereas what I love about England is the monarchy and its pageantry, the countryside, the castles, the cathedrals, the Church (pre- and post-Reformation) and its traditional liturgies, the music--especially Tudor and Anglican sacred choral music, angel-voiced boys in cassock and surplice lining up to process into an ancient church for Evensong...none of which have much to do with "Liberty," at least not as Roundheads, Whigs, and "Patriots" have understood it. Any Englishman who says that the Declaration of Independence (treasonous war propaganda full of slanders against a good anointed Christian King) is England's "greatest gift" to the world is obviously moved by a very different concept of England than I am.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Liechtenstein safe, but Europe misses Charlemagne

Monarchists can breathe a sigh of relief now that more than three fourths of Liechtensteiners have voted to preserve their prince's veto powers.  (Can you imagine a presidential candidate getting 76.1% of the vote?)  For once the majority were right!  Meanwhile, however, the rest of Europe languishes without its monarchies.  I'm not a fan of the modern European project, but it's refreshing to see its advocate Istvan Deak acknowledge that it needs an Emperor, and that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was preferable to any of its successors.

On a rare non-monarchical note I'd like to share this delightful little video from Oxford, the first in a series, on the choral tradition at that great ancient university.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Liechtenstein votes on royal powers

Hereditary Prince Alois, Liechtenstein's acting head of state since 2004, has threatened to leave the country if Liechtensteiners pass a referendum eliminating his ability to veto legislation.  While I wince a bit at the risk inherent in such a threat, I admire Prince Alois's bold stand in defense of the rights of the last remaining ruling (as opposed to merely reigning) hereditary monarchy in Europe.  Don't Liechtensteiners know how lucky they are to live in a country that has not yet completely surrendered to the inane and overrated god of "Democracy"?  Fortunately, it seems that many do.  Member of Parliament Renate Wohlwend supports the Prince and his powers.  '"I don't like to call them powers," she explained. "I think of them as rights and responsibilities, and this mix of monarchy and democracy creates the right kind of balance for a small country like Liechtenstein."'  So perhaps wisdom and tradition will prevail.  Long live Prince Hans Adam II, Long Live Prince Alois, and Long Live the Principality of Liechtenstein!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bush vs UK Tories

I wasn't always so anti-American.  I even voted in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections, and in the 2008 primaries, before concluding that "the system is the problem, and there is no way to vote against the system."  But revelations like this only confirm my bitter resentment of the the regime in Washington, whichever rotten party is in control of it.  Neither the Democrat Clinton nor the Republican Bush had any respect for British sovereignty or other countries' national sovereignty in general.  The U.S. Presidency is one of the leading enemies of truth, peace, and tradition in the world today.  It does not deserve one iota of the respect usually accorded to it as an institution, and I will not implicitly endorse it by participating in its inane and pointless rituals every four years.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Return of the Kings

I'm back in the United States after a uniquely memorable trip to the United Kingdom (my sixth) during which I enthusiastically celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with great views of every event, met a number of fellow royalists I had previously known only via the internet, attended a fascinating conference on the history of the monarchy at Kensington Palace, went on a Tudor history tour focusing on Executed Queens (Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Jane Grey, and Mary Stuart), celebrated the Queen's official birthday (Trooping The Colour), and generally had a wonderful time.  I'm not sure what else to add here to what I posted on June 5, which was undoubtedly the highlight.  Another valuable aspect of this trip was the opportunity to attend a variety of religious services at some of the leading Anglican and Roman Catholic churches of London and Cambridge, all of them integrating beautiful music into the liturgy, my list of which is online here.

Meanwhile, looking beyond Britain, my friend Charles Coulombe offers this excellent article "Return of the Kings" on the future of monarchy in Europe. The success of the Diamond Jubilee, with millions in London and throughout the UK and the world joining in the celebrations, demonstrated that the popularity of the British monarchy is as secure as it has ever been.  Why shouldn't the inhabitants of those currently republican countries which once enjoyed splendid royal traditions of their own  be inspired to restore their monarchies, providing them with opportunities for the incomparable joy and unity this month's glorious events gave to Britain?

 (The four men who should be ruling the Balkans: King Simeon II of Bulgaria, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, King Michael of Romania, King Constantine II of Greece)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Diamond Jubilee

I will never forget for as long as I live this incomparably glorious day...from arriving at the Mall by 7:00 in the morning and securing a prime spot in the Mall in the front row behind the barrier near Clarence House, to catching a first glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they left for St Paul's, to waving at (and identifying a few of) the extended royal family as they passed by in buses, to the incredible thrill after waiting for hours of finally seeing first the Queen (with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall) and then William & Catherine and Prince Harry pass by in their open-topped carriages despite the rain, somehow photographing them despite tingling and trembling and screaming with excitement, and finally surging towards the Palace, that citadel of majesty, the centre of any Anglophilic royalist's universe, with a perfect view of that one and only balcony, as the Sovereign and her heir's immediate family emerged to the thundering roar of the crowd and the Royal Air Force flew past above. Truly this was the event of a lifetime, marred only by the unfortunate absence of an ill Prince Philip who I wish could have been there and who I hope will swiftly recover. God Save the Queen!