Saturday, December 13, 2014

Will & Kate's America?

American monarchist Michael W. Davis reflects on American enthusiasm for the recent visit of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and the British royal family in general. He makes good points, but I think it's important not to overstate our case. While I am one of the many Americans who are enthusiastic about the Windsors (though I probably take it a little further than most), for every one of us there are probably many more Americans who are indifferent or (as comments from Americans on any article about the royal family--including this one--tend to make clear) even hostile. The USA is such a big country that if only a fraction of Americans are excited about royal visits or events, that is enough to sell magazines and to make it seem like "Americans" in general are crazy about the royal family (which is indeed the impression that British people--some of them unfortunately less so--often get, probably skewed by the fact that Americans who spend thousands of dollars to travel to Britain are more likely than the average American to care about the British royal family). But that's not necessarily the case. As much as I and some of my friends might like it, I don't think the USA is about to give up the presidency and recognize William and Catherine as our future King and Queen any time soon.

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge attending their first basketball game, Brooklyn, December 8, 2014
On a related note, I enjoyed this account by the general manager of New York City's classical radio station describing his experience meeting the Duchess of Cambridge, who told him that she listens to classical music at home with Prince George

Friday, December 12, 2014

Farewell to Queen Fabiola.

Royalty from around the world (though not the UK) gathered in Brussels to mourn Queen Fabiola. Perhaps most touching was the grief of 11-year-old Prince Gabriel, who evidently had been close to his great-aunt.

I must say that I find it disappointing that
none of the British royal family attended. Surely they could have sent someone? Queen Elizabeth II did attend King Baudouin's funeral in 1993. But in general since 1917 there has often seemed to be a certain...distance between British and Continental royalty. Wikipedia has a complete list of royal guests at its article on Queen Fabiola. Empress Michiko of Japan, 80, came all the way from Tokyo. The Dutch, Luxembourgian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Spanish, Austrian, Italian, Two Sicilian, Russian, Portuguese, Moroccan, Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Iranian, and Thai royal families were also represented.

Some deeply moving footage here from the funeral. As Queen Fabiola's coffin enters the Cathedral, the organ plays Bach's Fantasia in C Minor BWV 537. Later as the Belgian royal family including the children approach the coffin and bow in pairs, the chorale featured in his St Matthew Passion is sung.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An heir and a princess for Monaco!

Hooray! HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco has given birth to twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques. Jacques is Monaco's first direct heir since the birth of his own father Prince Albert II in 1958. Congratulations to the princely couple and to all the people of the great Principality of Monaco.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge arrive in New York

“Our celebrities and politicians, they’re shooting stars. They come and go,” said Ms. Green’s mother, Colleen, who brought her daughter to New York for the occasion. “Royalty is forever.”

Friday, December 5, 2014

Queen Fabiola (1928-2014)

I am saddened to learn that HM Queen Fabiola of the Belgians, a beloved fixture on the European royal scene since her marriage to King Baudouin in 1960, has died at the age of 86. She was the epitome of the elegant and gracious queen consort. While she and King Baudouin (1930-1993) were childless, all Belgians were in a sense their children. May she rest in peace.

Queen Fabiola of the Belgians (Doña Fabiola Mora y Aragón) (11 June 1928 - 5 December 2014)

The Belgian Royal Family in 2013.
Standing: Princess Claire, Prince Laurent, Queen Fabiola (1928-2014), Queen Mathilde, King Philippe, King Albert II, Queen Paola, Princess Astrid, Archduke Lorenz.
Seated: Princess Eleonore, Prince Gabriel, Princess Elisabeth, Prince Emmanuel.
Queen Fabiola and King Baudouin on the palace balcony after their wedding, 15 December 1960

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fidei Defensor

Prince Charles's interest in other faiths has been much misunderstood, as this excellent article on his championing of Middle Eastern Christians points out. God bless the Prince of Wales!

Friday, November 28, 2014

A New Ally and a New Enemy

Welcome to the blogosphere Venerable Monarchy, who begins with an excellent response to an utterly ghastly article by one Andrew Cline lambasting the media dress code for the forthcoming visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. (That last link will allow you to avoid going to the original site itself.) Honestly, sometimes I think I can almost live with being an American, then I come across an article like that and feel like burning the nearest U.S. flag. Whoever Andrew Cline is, he and those who think like him make me ashamed to be an American.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Grand Duchess Olga's Toronto apartment for sale

The small apartment (quite a comedown from Peterhof Palace where she was born) where Grand Duchess Olga of Russia (1882-1960), sister of the last Tsar, spent the several months of her life is on the market. I wish I had known the address (316 Gerrard St E) when I spent three weeks in Toronto in June 2010; it would not have been difficult to visit. The building can also be seen via Google Street View. My hope would be that whoever buys it would turn it into a small museum commemorating the Grand Duchess's life.
Peterhof Palace, where Grand Duchess Olga was born in 1882...

...and the rather different building where she died in 1960

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Accession will not silence Charles

Hope for a more active monarchy, or a threat to Britain's constitutional settlement? Only the wimpiest sort of soft royalists will be afraid of the latter. I personally would love to see a more active monarchy, have far more respect for the Prince of Wales than any prominent British politician, and am sure he will make an excellent King!

Romanian president-elect meets King

A good start, but not enough. King Michael and his family must be treated as part of Romania's future, not only the past. Let's continue to work and pray first for the scheduling of a referendum and then for victory and the restoration of the Monarchy. And then no more presidents will be needed. Long live the Kingdom of Romania!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Royalist Videogame?

I have never been into video games, but this article makes me wonder if I should be. The French Republic deserves to be hated, the "sans-culottes" really were bloodthirsty savages, and Robespierre really was a monster. Those who insult Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are worthless scum. Death to the Republic!!! The French Revolution was the most evil event in pre-20th-century history and should be excoriated and denounced at every opportunity. Let's whip up that "anti-republican sentiment" and crush republicanism forever; if a video game can be part of the process, then God bless that video game. Long live the Counterrevolution and Vive le Roi!!!

The two most ideological republics in the world are the USA and France. But it seems like being a French monarchist would be rather more exciting than being an American monarchist. Here, it's considered a harmless quaint eccentricity. There, one would actually have enemies.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blue Dung vs Red Dung

Apparently the USA had some elections or something. I'm broadly on the Right rather than the Left, but I'm so far apart from the sort of people who think these election results are something worth celebrating that I might as well be from another planet. You know what would make me happy, politically? Even a single monarchy being restored, anywhere in the world. Now that would be a victory.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Momentum in Romania?

Good news from Romania. Finally, a formerly monarchical European country whose mainstream politicians are willing to consider restoration. Let's hope monarchists' efforts will be successful. It may be prudent not to try to hold the referendum too soon though.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Appeal for church to replace Lenin's tomb

If Vladimir Putin were the defender of traditional Russian civilization that some imagine him to be, he would do this. But he's not, so he won't.

From Wikipedia: "Since 1991, there has been some discussion about removing the Kremlin Wall Necropolis and burying Lenin's body...His successor, Vladimir Putin, opposed this, pointing out that a reburial of Lenin would imply that generations of citizens had observed false values during 70 years of Soviet rule."

Well, they did. And it is long past time to deal with it. Lenin was a mass-murdering monster, no better than Hitler. It should be no more respectable to honor Communism in Russia than it is to honor Nazism in Germany. The fact that the mausoleum still stands 23 years after the fall of his evil system is an abomination. There is only one real and legitimate Russia, and that is the Russia of the Tsars. The disgusting mausoleum should be demolished, and both communism and republicanism along with it. Long live Empress Maria Vladimirovna!

Monday, September 29, 2014


Theodore's Royalty & Monarchy Site, created on September 29, 2000 in New York City by a new graduate student at Juilliard, is fourteen years old today. Sometimes it's hard not to be discouraged by how little most of the world cares that an eccentric cellist illogically living in the United States desperately wants monarchies to be restored, but the connections made with like-minded friends and allies all over the world over the past 14 years make it all worth it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In Memoriam

Anton Günther, Duke of Oldenburg, grandson of the last reigning Grand Duke of Oldenburg, died on Saturday at 91. He is succeeded as head of the house by his son Christian (b 1955). (Spurred by the Duke's passing I have reorganized my page on German Ruling Families according to the organization of the German Empire.)

Not quite royalty, but almost: Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, last of the famous Mitford sisters, died this morning at 94.

May both titled nonagenarians rest in peace.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Post-Referendum Thoughts

It is a bonus (though unsurprising given his defeat) coup for Unionists that Alex Salmond has resigned. The backhanded compliment might surprise you, but the fact is that he was an extraordinarily skillful politician, and the SNP are not likely to produce a leader as capable for another generation at least. None of the three leaders of the mainstream parties at Westminster were a match for him individually. Gordon Brown rose to the occasion, but in all probability the Union survived in spite of Cameron, Clegg, and Milliband, not because of them.

The Union won, but 1,617,989 votes against it is not negligible. The Westminster politicians bear a good deal of responsibility for the discontent (hardly confined to Scotland) that fueled the "Yes" vote.

The Better Together campaign, though successful, could have been...better. The margin of victory should have been even larger than it was, given the comfortable lead Unionism enjoyed prior to this summer. There was too much emphasis on economic fears and not enough of a positive patriotic case for the Union until the very end.

HM the Queen has issued a statement urging Scots to move forward.

United Kingdom Triumphant

It's official: with every council except Highland declared, Scotland has decisively rejected independence. God Save the Queen!

NO: 1,914,187 (55.42%) (1,822,443 needed to win)
YES: 1,539,920 (44.58%)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scotland votes NO

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been upheld by a projected margin of 55% to 45%, which if it indeed pans out that way (four of 32 regions are not yet declared) would be the same margin as the 1999 Australian referendum that upheld the Crown. Congratulations to the people who devoted their energies to the Better Together campaign. God Save the Queen!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Final Appeal

It is now after midnight in the United Kingdom, with less than seven hours before polls open. For the second time in my life, the first time being the Australian referendum of 1999, a vote is being held about which I care deeply and passionately, and once again there is nothing I can do but hope and pray. I love the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with all my heart. I love it more than any other country on earth, certainly much more than the one in which I inexplicably was born and perhaps indefensibly still live. I cannot believe that a majority of the people of Scotland, which I so loved visiting in 2007, really want to destroy the greatest narrative of national union and cooperation in the history of mankind. Together the English, Welsh, and Scottish made the small damp island of Great Britain a leader in the world with an impact far more profound than a country its size would be expected to have. But Britain, the nation that defeated Napoleon and Hitler, the nation that gave the world so much innovation and culture, cannot be Great without Scotland. And its majestic Monarchy is as Scottish as it is English. To lose the iconic Union Jack, the most beautiful and perfect flag ever designed, alone would break my heart, but its symbolism would be empty without the continued union of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland with the bonny land that St Andrew's Cross represents. Ultimately this is not about economics, as important as those questions are, though I certainly agree with those who predict that separation could have disastrous consequences. This is about love for what the idea of Great Britain and its unified civilisation has meant not only for its own people but for the entire world. Please, Scottish voters, keep that flame alive today. Please vote NO. God Save the Queen.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Meeting the Duchess of York

With Sarah, Duchess of York at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala, Meyerson Symphony Center, September 13, 2014
Tuesday night my boss, Dallas Symphony Orchestra president Jonathan Martin (who took this photo) mischievously informed me that while he couldn't tell me why, it would be in my interest to arrive early at the Gala and find him in the lobby. I suspected royalty was involved but had no idea who and actually guessed it would be a member of the Dutch royal family, given our music director's nationality. But the guest of honour turned out to be none other than Her Grace the Duchess of York (a friend of gala chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich). Needless to say I was thrilled.

I didn't even have to ask for this picture; when I told her I was known in the orchestra for my love of Britain and the royal family, she said "oh then we must get a picture." The professional photographer took a couple shots first with her camera but I wanted one with my own so Jonathan obliged. Later on, backstage before the concert, the Duchess met other members of the symphony as well, saying to me "I already know you" (at that point I called her attention to my Union Flag lapel pin which I had not been wearing earlier). I was elated to have been the first member of the orchestra to meet her and am grateful to Jonathan for making it possible.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

More Unionist Than The Queen?

I yield to no one in my love for the United Kingdom, and have made it abundantly clear that I am hoping and praying with every fibre in my being for a NO vote on Thursday. That said, it is totally unacceptable that some Unionists (including a now-ex-Facebook-Friend) have taken to attacking HM the Queen for not having explicitly and publicly told her Scottish subjects how to vote. Either one accepts the British form of parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy or one doesn't. It is all very well to pine for the kind of monarchy in which the Sovereign wields real power, as I often do myself, but that is not the reality that we have at the moment. Whatever one thinks of Alex Salmond, and monarchists certainly have cause to dislike and distrust him, the fact is that in Scotland he is Her Majesty's duly elected First Minister, attempting to do what those who voted for him knew he would attempt to do, and as a constitutional monarch the Queen _cannot_ openly set herself against his government's central policy agenda. And what if a royal intervention backfired, having a negligible effect on changing minds on the Union but pushing some moderately pro-monarchy nationalists towards republicanism? It would be extremely short-sighted to put the Union before the Monarchy. Without disparaging the greatness of the Union one iota, the Crown predates it on both sides of the border by almost a thousand years and is ultimately even more important. God Save the Queen.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Only two weeks until the fate of one of the greatest countries in history, where unlike the rest of the world relative political stability has been the norm for over three centuries, is decided. Outside of Scotland itself far too little heed has been paid to the ramifications as the world focuses on other matters. This is the most important vote anywhere since the 1999 Australian referendum, one of the few times voting has actually really mattered. Unfortunately there is little that supporters of the United Kingdom ineligible to vote or donate can do besides hope and pray. It will be a monumental tragedy if petty misguided "nationalism" based on historically illiterate lies and bullying is allowed to destroy the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. And if Unionists lose the battle for the Union, make no mistake: whatever Alex Salmond says, the battle for the Crown in Scotland will begin the next day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


When monarchists, traditionalists, and reactionaries criticize "Democracy," we do not necessarily reject the very idea of elections or legislatures (though some might). Rather, we reject the modern idea that Democracy (a word disliked even by most of the American founders) is always the best form of government, and that "democratic" is necessarily good and "undemocratic" necessarily bad. We deny that democracy is the only source of political legitimacy. We deny that Democracy is an end in itself. The existence of some sort of elected legislature as a check on the power of the monarch or his chief minister may be a good thing in particular circumstances. Democratic structures make the most sense at the local level. But the genuine common good is not necessarily best served by universal suffrage, and an elected legislative chamber should in turn be checked by a hereditary component (e.g. the pre-1999 or better yet pre-1911 British House of Lords). Of course all this is sadly quite theoretical in the West today, but perhaps times will change.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Altar and Throne

It would be hard to deny that when Monarchical Government and Hierarchical Society were the Established Order of things in Europe (largely the case until 1917-18), the major Christian Churches (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran) appeared, at least, to bless, affirm, and sanctify that order, teaching obedience to it as God's will. But institutional Christianity has proved more flexible than some of its more traditionalist adherents would like (or than its revolutionary enemies thought it could be), generally today appearing to endorse Democracy and Equality now that these very different values are dominant in Western society, a transformation that applies to many Christians who would consider themselves "orthodox" or "conservative" as much as it does to Christians who would consider themselves "progressive." There is a lot that has been and could be written about this, but the observation I'd like to make here is that Christians (and for now I'm really referring only to the sort who even bother to think about this sort of thing, and primarily liturgical Christians who believe in a hierarchical institutional Church) can perhaps be roughly divided into three basic groups according to how they react to this shift.

For traditionalists (and it should come as no surprise that I count myself among this group), the human element of the Church were right then but are largely wrong now: Monarchy and Hierarchy remain the proper order of things established and desired by God, against which the world has been in revolt for the past 225 years, a revolt the Church should not at all appear to endorse or accommodate. For conservatives, the Church was right then and is right now: prudence requires the Church to adapt to whatever circumstances she finds herself in; forms of government and social structure are not all that important and what matters politically is order and stability. For progressives, the Church was wrong then but is increasingly right now: the ancien regime Church's collaboration with Feudalism is a shameful embarrassment and only recently is the Church beginning to see the light of Equality which is what Jesus really wanted all along. (Technically, a fourth permutation--wrong then and wrong now--could exist, but that wouldn't make any sense: it's unlikely anyone believes that the Church should not have been monarchist in the past but should be monarchist today.)

Note that the above classification applies only to issues related to monarchy/hierarchy versus democracy/equality; it is quite possible that a Christian could hold "conservative" views on theological and sexual matters but fall in the "progressive" category when it comes to perspectives on the relationship of Altar and Throne. Conversely, a Christian could be sympathetic to monarchy and aristocracy past and present without being particularly traditionalist on some other issues. While there is plenty of room in today's Churches for both conservatives and progressives as I've described them, genuine traditionalists may sometimes feel deeply uncomfortable with the state and apparent messages of their Churches today, especially with regard to their most visible clerical leaders. But what is the alternative to perseverance? Politically conservative and politically progressive Christians need to know, at least, that the politically traditionalist Christian viewpoint still exists, and why.

On the subject of Altar and Throne, here is a fascinating 1945 documentary on Westminster Abbey, produced not without difficulty during the war. Viewers familiar with the Abbey today will notice that the exterior was much dirtier. But in general it's reassuringly familiar if you've been there, despite all the changes in Britain and the world since then. [I first visited in 2002 (the only time I had to pay admission), had the great honour of singing daily services with The Incarnation Choir for a week in both 2009 and 2011, and attended services in 2012 and 2013.] The seven decades that have passed since this was fiilmed are but a blip in the Abbey's 900+year history.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

More on the WW1 centennial

I would have liked to watch or listen to the service at Westminster Abbey yesterday, the leaflet for which is available online, but it was not available live outside the UK. The end of it was led by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, extinguishing the last candle.

The boys of The Choir of Westminster Abbey must have been brought back from their summer holiday specially for this. One hundred years ago, a lot of boys only a few years older than they are, some of whom had surely been choristers too, went away and didn't come back.

I don't endorse every point, but Peter Hitchens's sobering article "The Foul Tornado" is worth reading.

The Man Who Would Be Kaiser

"If the facts change, I am a free person who can adjust to anything," says the head of the House of Hohenzollern, Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia. Well, that's better than nothing. But German monarchists need to make the case for changing those facts, and Germans need to listen. Monarchy is always relevant.

The War That Ruined Everything

A century ago yesterday (the future Queen Mother's 14th birthday), Britain declared war on Germany. The initial cast of characters for the destruction of Europe's old order was complete. There would be no real enduring glory, for the savagery that would unfold would prove as damaging to the "victors" as to the vanquished. Everyone lost...except those to whose short-term advantage it would be to build ...hideous new orders on the ashes of the old. It is perhaps the greatest and most tragic irony of modern European history that the traditional values of patriotism, courage, and obedience in this case ultimately contributed to the fall of the very authorities those values tried to serve. With hindsight we can see that it would have been better if more questions had been asked. But any explanation that attempts to blame one country or one ruler for the war is overly simplistic. Whatever the causes, the catastrophe happened, and there is little we can do today but mourn for what was lost, not only the human lives but an entire tapestry of dynastic and aristocratic rule with its roots in the chivalry of the Middle Ages. Instead of kings and kaisers an age of ugliness and banality is upon us, from which virtually the only relief is the surviving beauty of that which was created before the apocalypse of 1914.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Monarchist Utopia?

What, exactly, do monarchists want, if we could have our way with the world? I set out one proposal for Europe here. But my friend Charles Coulombe has sketched out an even more ambitious agenda, from his robustly Catholic perspective, in "The Perfect Versus the Good." While I cannot agree with every point of his article, it's certainly an appealing read, and when it comes to the present Spanish monarchy I fully endorse his warnings against making the perfect the enemy of the good. I'm less willing to apply his logic to participation in U.S. politics and U.S. patriotism, because I'm unable to see those things as "Good" at all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

14 July

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. There was also some sort of "holiday" in France but I prefer to focus on sharing my birthday with the Duke of Bavaria (81) and the Crown Princess of Sweden (37). I had a delightful evening with four local monarchist friends at Medieval Times. Having lived in Dallas for six years now, I'd driven by that castle so many times and thought I should go (I went to the one in California with three other monarchist friends, including Charles Coulombe, almost eight years ago in 2006), but the right opportunity never came along until yesterday. Since we don't have real castles in America, we have to make do with fake ones; it was all good fun. (Shame the "Ozark Medieval Fortress" project in Arkansas stalled.) With its glorious pageant of feudal, hierarchical, & chivalric civilisation, Medieval Times should be commended for showing its audiences what's really worth celebrating on 14 July or any other day. Appropriately, our section's champion the Blue Knight was festooned with the fleur-de-lis of the French Monarchy.

I get tired of pedants pointing out, as they occasionally do, that technically yesterday's disgusting "holiday" in France is supposed to commemorate the events of 14 July 1790 (over which poor Louis XVI presided) rather than those of 14 July 1789. It makes no difference. Whatever its merits, the constitutional monarchy obviously did not last, so there is nothing to celebrate. Nations that turn their backs on their Kings do not deserve unity and do not deserve celebrations. The only real France, the only source of everything beautiful in France, is the Catholic and Royal France of the forty Kings who in a thousand years made France. Everything else is an abomination deserving of nothing but contempt. Only those who are ignorant, stupid, or evil celebrate the diabolical French Revolution. Monarchy yesterday, Monarchy today, Monarchy forever. A bas la république! VIVE LE ROI!!!

It's funny; I feel like when it comes to some historical topics such as the French Revolution or the Spanish Civil War, or some contemporary controversies such as the purported "ordination" of women, I'm more Catholic than most Catholics. More Catholic than the Pope, even. (Some would say that's not too hard at the moment.) It's when it comes to other historical topics such as Queen Elizabeth I and the British Monarchy, or Ireland, or the sublimity of Choral Evensong, that I'm not quite there.

Friday, July 11, 2014


It's painful for pan-monarchists (a very different worldview from that of nationalists loyal to one particular monarchy) to contemplate the fact that quite a bit of European history from the Middle Ages up until 1918 consisted of monarchies going to war with each other, though less so from 1783 to 1914 (if the Bonaparte emperors are not counted as proper monarchs). Only since 1945 have Europe's remaining monarchies generally enjoyed good relations with each other. But it is clear, and may become clearer still in the 21st century, that getting rid of most of the monarchies did not make things any better and in many ways made them worse.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Weigel on Monarchy

I never thought I would ever endorse an article by American Catholic neoconservative George Weigel, but "The Uses of Monarchy" isn't bad, considering his perspective. (Mr. Weigel in his writings critical of traditionalist Catholics has not demonstrated much sympathy for French royalism, but then the modern French royalist tradition has been more overtly anti-democratic than most.) Indeed, former King Juan Carlos would be a much better candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize than many of those who have actually won it. What Mr. Weigel reports about Francisco Franco disproves the claims of both those on the Left who imagine that Franco was some sort of monstrous "Fascist" and those on the far Right who imagine that El Caudillo expected his authoritarian regime to last forever but was somehow betrayed by the King he chose.


In a recent Facebook discussion on a Catholic friend's page, I pointed out, and no one disagreed with me, that while the restoration of the Habsburg monarchy as envisioned by the Schwarz-Gelbe Allianz is certainly unlikely (alas), it's no more unlikely than most of the political goals of today's American Conservative Catholics (and other religious & social conservatives), which get a lot more press. I'd rather focus on the Habsburgs.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

June 25: Two German Anniversaries

Having been preoccupied last month as far as European history was concerned with the centennial of Sarajevo on June 28, as well as my orchestra's annual residency in Vail, Colorado, I neglected to mention two interesting round-numbered anniversaries on June 25, which was both the 150th anniversary of the death of King Wilhelm I of Württemberg and the accession of his son King Karl I in 1864, and the 100th anniversary of the death of Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen and the accession of his son Duke Bernhard III (the last Duke) in 1914.

When Wilhelm I (1781-1864) died after a reign of 48 years, the last monarch to have been born before the French Revolution, he had been Europe's senior monarch for some time; wondering exactly how much time that was (it turned out to be 24 years) led me to create this chart on the seniority of European monarchs, indicating who held the position of longest-reigning monarch at every point in European history over the past 500+ years.

Georg II (1826-1914), the "Theater Duke," was one of the most fascinating and admirable local rulers of the German Empire, celebrated for his active and gifted involvement with theater and music. When he died, Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia, became the longest-reigning of all the rulers of the German Empire. In the wake of the events in Sarajevo three days later, the clouds of war gathered in Europe. It is often forgotten that the war would mean the abdication less than five years later of not only the Kaiser but all the local dynastic rulers, whose families had reigned there for centuries and had nothing to do with the outbreak of the war.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Christian Right?

I find it interesting how American liberals seem to think there are all these scary "right-wing Christians" in this country, yet I considers myself both a right-winger and a Christian and feel almost totally alone here. American "conservatism" is really degenerated Classical Liberalism with some Puritanism thrown in. The USA has never had a "Right" in the European sense. Being right-wing is not about venerating free-market capitalism, nor is it about being unduly concerned with other people's private lives (though American conservatives are quite correct to not want to pay for other people's private lives). The Right is--or was, and ought to be--about defending Tradition and Hierarchy, Altar and Throne, to which most of modern "conservatism" is indifferent or hostile. Even more annoying than American "conservatism" is when British "conservatives" (such as the Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley who in an irritatingly irreverent video commentary on the World War I centennial casually dismissed Tsar Nicholas II as "an idiot") seem to have more enthusiasm for the USA and its republican political culture than they do for their own nation's monarchical and hierarchical traditions.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sarajevo at 100

It is morning in Sarajevo on 28 June: the centennial of one of the most catastrophic single events of all time. One hundred years ago, a wicked assassin's bullet snuffed out the lives of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife, and with them the Old Order of European Civilisation, probably forever, as much as present-day monarchists sometimes try against all probability to be optimistic. There have been other pivotal events in world history, but the magnitude of 1914 is unparalleled: until that time, in spite of revolutions in the Americas, France, and more recently Portugal and China, Monarchy remained the dominant form of government on earth; five years later, that was no longer true, and since then the cancer of republicanism has only grown.

The West's internal political controversies of today seem trivial and pointless by comparison. Contemporary European governments, most of them illegitimate republics that ultimately owe their miserable worthless existences to Princip's bullet, will issue their statements and hold their commemorative events. There will probably be blather about "freedom" and "democracy," but it's all balderdash. Europe today is a pathetic shadow of what it once was; all that's left are echoes, remnants, and memories. If Europe is still able to awe and delight both inhabitants and visitors, it is because of the greatness of what was built--physically, culturally, and spiritually--in the centuries before 1914.

RIP Archduke Franz Ferdinand. RIP Duchess Sophie. RIP all the millions of men, many of them teenagers, who died for no good reason. Any analysis that blames one country or one ruler for the war is an oversimplification. But the real Europe was the Europe of kings and emperors, archdukes and duchesses. And that Europe was destroyed one hundred years ago this day, though it would take a few years for that to become clear. The lamps went out all over Europe, and they have not been lit again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Felipe VI

It is now after midnight in Madrid and Spain has a new King. Viva el Rey Felipe VI!

This is the first time one Spanish monarch has immediately succeeded another since 1833, and the first time one Spanish king has succeeded another within a year since 1886.

Juan Carlos signed the document of abdication in a ceremony Tuesday evening. The new King will be publicly proclaimed as such in the morning, though celebrations will be modest.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Yes, it should.

Should France Go Back to Being a Monarchy?

Oui. Interesting article (try to ignore the disgusting cartoon and comments), but if the Regicide of 1793, undeniably one of the most horrible acts in History, was truly a "point of no return," how was it that France had various monarchies for two thirds of the following century? Also it's rather unfair to deride the "candidates" of the House of Bourbon as "lame"; for more than a century they haven't been given a chance! France needs a King, not a president. Vive le Roi.

Alliance Royale

Institute Duc d'Anjou
(The Count of Paris's site,, appears to be down currently.)

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Democratic Peace Theory refuted

Defenders of modern Democracy as the best of all possible governments often promote the "Democratic Peace Theory": the proposition that democratic countries rarely or never go to war with each other and this proves democracy's superiority to other forms of government including traditional monarchies. There are many possible objections to this theory (including examples suggesting that it is simply untrue) made by its critics, who are not necessarily monarchists, but I thought of one in particular I'd like to set forth here.

Even if it is true that wars between democracies are rare, it is even more clearly true that since 1945, for 69 years, there have not been any wars between monarchies either, with the ranks of the world's remaining monarchies including both democratic and non-democratic countries. (I think we can discount the surreal 1947 episode in which India and Pakistan briefly went to war with each other while George VI was still technically King of both, a situation both countries quickly dispensed with.) And it is only since 1945 that Democracy as commonly understood today (which tends to exclude countries like the pre-1914 German and Austro-Hungarian Empires where democratic institutions coexisted with monarchs who retained significant powers) has been the norm in Western Europe. It did not become the norm in Eastern Europe until after 1989, and is still not the norm in much of Asia and Africa.

So before 1945, there simply weren't that many democracies around in the Eastern Hemisphere to potentially go to war with each other, and since 1945, monarchies have not gone to war with each other either, suggesting that we in the West have been enjoying an atypical epoch of relative peace (as, for the most part, did Europeans between 1815 and 1914) which cannot be credited to democracy per se. In fact, most wars since 1918, including World War II, can be blamed on the abolition of monarchies. The major wars that have occurred since 1945 have tended to be either civil wars with outside involvement (Korea, Vietnam), or broad coalitions (which have included both monarchies and republics) against a single dictator such as Saddam Hussein, or whatever the "War on Terror" is. "Traditional" wars of countries A, B, & C against countries X, Y, & Z have been rare since 1945, regardless of forms of government. Therefore it is fallacious to compare the many wars involving monarchies before 1945 with the absence of wars between democracies in the only era where democracies have been plentiful, without mentioning that monarchies during this time have been relatively pacific as well.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

State Opening of Parliament 2014

I finally had a chance to watch yesterday's magnificent State Opening of Parliament and Queen's Speech starring the peerless Queen Elizabeth II, wistfully wishing the United Kingdom were my country. Perhaps the page boy who fainted is a staunch supporter of the restoration of the Iranian monarchy and was therefore horrified by the idea of a nuclear agreement with [the Islamic Republic of] Iran.

This is the finest pageantry in the world. There's a disgusting article in The Economist calling the ceremony an "international embarrassment." Anyone who could write that has no heart. The Economist is the embarrassment!

Why do people laugh at the traitor Dennis Skinner's so-called "jokes" every year? He's not funny.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Abdication in Spain

I woke up this morning to texts, messages, articles, and e-mails announcing that HM King Juan Carlos of Spain will be abdicating. This continues the odd pattern by which Spain has not had a "normal" (king dies and is immediately succeeded by his son) succession since 1788. In light of recent difficulties, HM's decision is not entirely surprising and may very well be in the best interests of the Spanish monarchy of which he has been for the most part a successful and popular steward. HRH Felipe, Prince of Asturias, is untainted by any controversy and by all reports should make an excellent King. Viva el Rey!

HM the King, HRH the Prince of Asturias, and HRH Infanta Leonor in 2012

Of the world's 28 (which is not nearly enough, by the way) reigning monarchs, only seven have been on the throne since before I was born: the King of Thailand (1946), the Queen of the United Kingdom (1952), the Sultan of Brunei (1967), the Sultan of Oman (1970), the Queen of Denmark (1972), the King of Sweden (1973), and the King of Spain (1975). Soon it will be down to six.

Here is an excellent selection of pictures (including the above three-generation photo) from the Telegraph.

It's...interesting, seeing the Spanish and EU flags side by side. One is beautiful, organic, steeped in tradition and history, evoking a world of chivalry. The other is ugly, artificial, modern, incapable of evoking anything other than the pedestrian plans of politicians, bureaucrats, and committees.

Not only has there not been a "normal" succession in Spain since 1788 (Carlos III/Carlos IV), but when King Juan Carlos formally hands over the thrown to Prince Felipe, it will be the first time one Spanish monarch has immediately succeeded another since 1833 (which was far from uncontroversial due to Isabel II's gender), and the first time one king has followed another in less than a year since 1885/86. This transition and the reception of the new King will be an important test of the resilience of the Spanish monarchy.

It's perhaps worth noting that at 76 King Juan Carlos is already older than any Spanish monarch in history. Only two Spanish monarchs since unification (1492) have reached their 70th birthdays while still on the throne: Felipe II (1527-1598) and Carlos III (1716-1788). And among those who abdicated, none except for Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte (if you count him at all) made it to 76.

I've had it with internet "monarchists" who refuse to recognise King Juan Carlos (and soon, presumably, Felipe VI). What exactly do they think they're accomplishing? Genealogically, Juan Carlos IS the Carlist King of Spain (the original Carlist line died out in 1936, leaving the exiled Alfonso XIII as the senior living Bourbon) and his legitimacy has been unquestionable since his father's renunciation in 1977. There is no alternative. Viva el Rey!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Height and Priorities

Speaking of architecture...

From 1311 (when Lincoln Cathedral in England surpassed the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt) until 1884, 573 years, the tallest building in the world was always a Christian church. But in 1884 Cologne Cathedral (pictured) was surpassed by the Washington Monument, celebrating the leader of the American Revolution, and five years later by the Eiffel Tower, celebrating the centennial of the French Revolution. The record would never be held by a church again. Food for thought.


Having recently resumed getting DVDs from Netflix after a hiatus of several months, last night I finally watched Disney's Frozen, the movie that created such a stir last year, particularly among young girls. Frozen has been widely praised as the best Disney film since the 1989-92 "Renaissance," and while I might still prefer The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), as far as anything since then is concerned I would have to agree. What is striking for a monarchist is the way that even in the second decade of the 21st century, it is stories about royalty, in this case a princess/queen learning to accept her duties and trying to find a balance between repressing her abilities entirely and failing to control them at all, that remain the most appealing, and thankfully Disney (despite everything that's changed there since Walt's time) still understands that. And Frozen would not be as enchanting as it is without the intrinsic aesthetic beauty of monarchy and monarchical civilizations, including the ice palace that Queen Elsa builds with her magical powers, for even without magical powers, it is the architecture of Monarchy that along with that of religion surpasses all else in its glory. Fortunately, unlike most of the modern real world, the country on which the world of Frozen appears to have been substantially based, Norway, still has its monarchy today. As I wrote in 2010, children are natural monarchists; only adults who have lost any sense of childlike wonder could invent something as pedestrian as republicanism.

UKIP peer attacks Prince Charles

I often feel estranged from the entire existing political spectrum, because while the Left is committed to "Equality" in principle, most "right-wingers," even in Europe, don't particularly see it as a problem in itself that monarchies have been abolished, and many don't even find it obligatory to defend the few remaining ones. Whereas true traditionalists will never, ever, abandon the Crown(s), not in a hundred years, not in a thousand, no matter what. Republicanism must be crushed and destroyed and the traditional dynasties restored, with proper courts and hereditary succession and so forth, and that is more important than any other "right-wing" or "conservative" cause. Meanwhile some in the "right-wing" United Kingdom Independence Party think it acceptable to insult the heir to the throne (Warning: Treason) and praise the evil American Revolution, of all things. Whether one believes in man-made climate change or not, the views of the future King must be treated with respect, though sometimes we real right-wingers may be forgiven for wondering if an ecological apocalypse would be such a terrible thing, modern "civilization" is such a disaster anyway.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Grimaldi announcement

Finally, an heir for Monaco! (BBC) (Mail) Andrea Casiraghi can relax (or perhaps he's disappointed). In a century when Europe's remaining hereditary monarchies are grappling with the implications of unprecedented lifespans likely to yield increasingly elderly sovereigns, and even elderly heirs, unless abdication (as in the Low Countries) becomes the norm, it may be a refreshing contrast to have an heir 56 years younger than the monarch. Congratulations to Their Serene Highnesses Albert II and Charlene.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why Prince Charles should not remain silent

While I do not agree with the very last line--speaking as a monarchist living in a republic, even a "silent dummy" monarchy would be preferable--otherwise this is a great article and a rousing defence of the heir to the throne.

Progressives for Monarchy

An unlikely source proposes Princess Martha Louise of Norway for Queen of the USA. From 2010.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Six Years Too Many

Six years of republican darkness in Nepal. How long must this madness last? It's bad enough that so many monarchies fell before today's young monarchists were born, but for one that had survived long enough to have a website to do so is intolerable. Hopefully the illegitimate republican regime will collapse of its own incompetence before too much longer and the world will once again have a Hindu kingdom, whether under King Gyanendra, his son Crown Prince Paras, or the latter's son Prince Hridayendra.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Habsburgs Revisited

I don't usually link to articles I don't like, but this one is too frustrating to ignore. It's like the writer feels guilty for regretting the collapse of the Habsburg Empire at all, so contradicts himself with baseless assertions, oversimplifications, and half-truths. The incoherent article might be summarized like this: "Yes, Europe was better off when the Habsburgs ruled, but the Habsburgs deserve absolutely no credit for that and what's happened since 1914 is all their fault anyway."

Since Prince Philip Kiril of Prussia asked the British people's forgiveness for his great-great-grandfather's role in the beginning of World War I a century ago, perhaps the British and other Allied governments should ask for _his_ forgiveness for their role in the republicanization of Europe--a monumental tragedy from which Europe has never recovered and for which Europeans, clinging to egalitarian and republican lies, have never repented. That the 20th century would have been better for everyone, including non-monarchists, if the Hohenzollerns, Habsburgs, and Romanovs had remained on their thrones is so blindingly obvious that it ought not to be controversial to say so. Republicanism is Death, basically, and Europeans should never be allowed to forget that.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Russians attack Prince Charles

Russia has not had a legitimate government since March 1917. The republican Russian Federation, like all post-monarchical republics, is an illegal gang of traitors and has no right to criticise HRH the Prince of Wales, whose own relatives were murdered there by Bolshevik scum in July 1918. Republics are insects compared to Monarchies and should approach them in abject humility, if allowed to exist at all. It is a gross crime crying out to Heaven for vengeance that the Monarchy was not restored following the fall of Communism. If Russians want to be treated with respect they can repudiate 1917-91 and restore the Monarchy. Until then, shut the Lenin up Vladimir Putin--you have no more right to call yourself the head of state of Russia than I do. Down with presidential republicanism, long live Empress Maria Vladimirovna and long live the Romanov dynasty!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Monarchism in 1984

I just found this interesting article on American monarchists from 1984, published when I was five years old and for some reason not yet particularly active in monarchism. Most of it still applies today, thirty years later. We haven't gotten much less marginal since then, but at least now we have the internet.

Rereading Hoppe

Hans-Hermann Hoppe's book Democracy: The God That Failed, which I've owned since I lived in Miami (2002-04) and have recently been revisiting since a friend I'd loaned it to returned it to me, is interesting and useful, but depressing.

"...the transition from monarchical to democratic rule must be explained as nothing but a change in public opinion. In fact, until the end of World War I, the overwhelming majority of the public in Europe accepted monarchical rule as legitimate. Today, hardly anyone would do so."

Well, Prof. Hoppe, there are a few of us!

"On the contrary, the idea of monarchical governments is considered laughable. Consequently, a return to the ancien régime must be regarded as impossible. The legitimacy of monarchical rule appears to have been irretrievably lost."

Perhaps, but if public opinion changed once, why can't it do so again?

Charles, Putin, and Hitler

It's kind of sad when the most sensible reaction quoted in an article is from Nick Clegg: "I have never been of this view that if you are a member of the royal family somehow you have to enter into some Trappist vow of silence. I think he is entitled to his views. But I don't know whether those were his views because I just don't think providing a running commentary on what were private conversations is useful to anybody. I don't know exactly what he did or didn't say in that conversation because he thought it was a private conversation."

Perhaps the Prince of Wales should not have said what he reportedly said. One can dislike Vladimir Putin without likening him to Hitler. But talk of an "international scandal" is absurd.

It's worth noting that Prince Charles is the great-grandnephew of Empress Alexandra (1872-1918), murdered with her family by the Bolsheviks in 1918. [Alexandra's sister Victoria (1863-1950), still alive when her great-grandson Charles was born, was the mother of Princess Alice (1885-1969), mother of the Duke of Edinburgh.] His beloved great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten (1900-1979), had a boyhood crush on his cousin Grand Duchess Maria (1899-1918) and kept a photograph of her on his desk for the rest of his life. The post-Soviet Russian state has never repudiated Communism as thoroughly as it needs to. And true repentance can be demonstrated only by the restoration of the great Russian monarchy.

Prince Charles at his christening in 1948, held by his mother Princess Elizabeth (b 1926) and flanked by his two great-grandmothers, Queen Mary (1867-1953) on the right and Victoria Marchioness of Milford Haven (1863-1950) on the left. Standing behind them (L-R) are Patricia Mountbatten Lady Brabourne, (b 1924), the Duke of Edinburgh (b 1921), King George VI (1895-1952), Queen Elizabeth's brother David Bowes-Lyon (1902-1961), Queen Mary's brother Alexander Earl of Athlone (1874-1957), and Princess Margaret (1930-2002).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monarchy or Republic: Yes, it matters!

Having posted on Facebook via The Pahlavi Dynasty page about his daughter Princess Noor's graduation from Georgetown this weekend, I was looking at The Official Site of Reza Pahlavi and couldn't help finding it depressing to see in a 2011 Q&A that HIH had said that the important thing is for Iran to be democratic and secular and it doesn't matter if it's a republic or a constitutional monarchy because there isn't much difference between Germany and the Netherlands or between France and Spain. With all due respect, Your Imperial Highness, for some of us there is all the difference in the world! People fortunate enough to live in the Netherlands or Spain have a non-partisan head of state who connects them to their history; people in Germany or France have a divisive head of state who cuts them off from their history.

Every day of my life I resent living in a republic, and I would resent it even more if I lived in one that used to have a monarchy of its own like Germany or France...or Iran. For anyone with a deep sense of history and tradition, the illegitimate German and French republics are totally repulsive and cannot represent their monarchist inhabitants at all; neither would any Iranian republic, whether theocratic or secular. Perhaps the most discouraging thing about being a monarchist in the 21st century is the fact that too often it seems like even royalty don't really believe in monarchy. The world desperately needs royal restorations, but who will be our champions if not the would-be kings or shahs themselves?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Royalty and Envy

Christians these days often seem to be constantly arguing with each other, and with the secular world, about topics related to Lust. But wherever one stands on those issues, Lust has traditionally been regarded as the least heinous of the Seven Deadly Sins. Why isn't there more talk about Envy? Look at the comments on any article about wealthy people, including but not limited to royalty, and it's apparent that far too many people out there, at least some of whom probably would claim to be Christians, believe that it's perfectly acceptable to hate those who who have more money than you do, especially if in your opinion they didn't sufficiently "earn" it. Guess what? It's not! In fact it's a grievous sin. If modern "conservatism" (most of which does not actually conserve much of anything, but that's another topic) is prone to Greed, Leftism is essentially the Deadly Sin of Envy writ large. Whether royalty and other wealthy people are serving God or Mammon is between them and God--and may not always be as easy for others to determine as they think. It is not a sin in itself to be wealthy or to occupy a high social status--otherwise the Church never would have canonized the many royalty and nobility who have been canonized. It is, however, a sin to give in to hatred of those who you consider to be more fortunate than yourself.

The Anti-Democracy Activist

I just spent a good chunk of this morning perusing an interesting blog I hadn't come across before, The Anti-Democracy Activist. While I don't endorse every viewpoint this writer expresses, there's much to agree with and his work is certainly worth reading.

Going back to my 2003 article "Two Kinds of Monarchists," I've long thought that monarchism comprises at least two distinct elements, which as an alternative to "neo" and "paleo" might be called "cuddly" ("OMG Prince George is so adorable!") and "non-cuddly" ("Thank God Franco won the Spanish Civil War!"). It has always been my position that both are necessary, and that monarchists drawn more to one side should not scorn the other. Without the former, monarchism loses its potential appeal to ordinary people; without the latter, it is impotent. This anti-democracy blog, and the neo-reactionary movement generally, are useful additions to the "non-cuddly" side, but that doesn't mean we have to stop appreciating things like charming photos of the Danish royal family.

However, a less complementary way to express the dichotomy is that perhaps there are two kinds of monarchists: those who think that republican scum like Peter Tatchell are wrong when they argue that even a symbolic constitutional monarchy is incompatible with the [democratic and egalitarian] prevailing values of our time, and those of us who think that (painful as it is to admit it) Tatchell and his allies are logically correct but the problem is with the prevailing values of our time.