Yesterday was the 104th anniversary of the last Roman Catholic royal coronation (of King IV.Károly of Hungary, better known as Emperor Bl. Charles, in Budapest) to date. I find the fact that there have not been any such events more recently terribly sad. [Norway held the last Lutheran coronation in 1906, Romania the last Eastern Orthodox one in 1922, Ethiopia the last Oriental Orthodox one in 1930. The present Queen Elizabeth II, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, was crowned in 1953, as was the Wesleyan (Methodist) King of Tonga in 2015.]
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Even when I was at the height of my Latin Mass phase (c. 2004-07), I could never really accept it that most Catholics, even traditionalists, were just not that into restoring Catholic Monarchies. Even those who are sympathetic to monarchism in theory tend (especially if American) to have other political priorities in practice, whereas I, being incorrigibly stubborn, was and am far less interested in conforming politically to "the real world." Most of history's major Catholic monarchies are long gone, meaning that Catholic Monarchism inevitably appears hopelessly bound to the increasingly distant (pre-1914 or even pre-1789) past. (This is arguably even more true of Orthodoxy, which sadly has lacked a single extant monarchy since 1974.) The Kingdom of Spain (albeit somewhat beleaguered nowadays), of whose restoration this past Sunday was the 45th anniversary, survives, as do four smaller European Catholic monarchies, but modern Spain presents its own problems for Catholics unhappy with the prevailing values of modern secular democratic society, to which the modern monarchy has largely acquiesced (and yet is still hated by the Left).
The situation with Anglicanism is somewhat different, since obviously the only Anglican monarchy ever to have existed is still very much in existence (and shared by 15 other countries), and is the most famous in the world. So are four continental Protestant kingdoms. This enables one who identifies as an Anglican or Protestant Monarchist, if he can accept contemporary developments such as female clergy, to be more reconciled to the present than a Catholic or Orthodox Monarchist can be, to a certain extent, though of course I also remain passionately committed to the restoration of Catholic, Orthodox, and even some non-Christian monarchies. But I don't want to know what would happen to my relationship with Anglicanism if...I don't think I want to finish this sentence...
|Coronation of King Louis VIII of France, 1223|
|Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, 1953|
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
To single out the royal family and deny them their property seized by the equally evil Communists when the ancestors of millions of ordinary Germans also supported Hitler in the beginning is grossly unfair. (The article does not mention that Crown Prince Wilhelm soured on Hitler after his friend Kurt von Schleicher was murdered in the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, before most people did.) Germans should be bowing to their Kaiser, not “negotiating” with him. But I want Prince Georg Friedrich to be given back his throne, not only his property. It is republicans, not the royal family, who should be blamed for the rise of Hitler, which was only possible in the context of the vacuum created by the stupid and evil abolition of the monarchies. Still, this is a more thorough and balanced article on the Hohenzollerns than one would normally see in the American media. (Be sure to watch the video, with beautiful footage of Hohenzollern Castle.)
I can’t stand the way that virtually all mainstream commentary on 20th century German history treats the 1918 fall of the monarchies and 1919 establishment of the Weimar Republic as a good thing that all Germans should have immediately embraced, as it those who didn’t were the problem. No. Republicanism is cancer and the Republic was and is the problem. Crown Prince Wilhelm had every right and even the duty to seek the restoration of the monarchy, though as he eventually realised himself he was wrong to put any trust in Hitler. No country has the right to abolish its monarchy, let alone multiple monarchies as happened in Germany in 1918, which with all due respect to 2020 remains the worst year in history. It is those who thought Germany could manage without kings and princes who are to blame for the rise of Hitler, for they created the vacuum that facilitated it. As C.S. Lewis put it, “spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served. Deny it food and it will gobble poison.”
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Monday, August 31, 2020
It is really hard for me when even someone who maintains one of my favourite royalty pages feels the need to explicitly declare publicly that they are not advocating the restoration of the [German] Monarchy and privately that it will never happen. I am so tired of being told that my dreams are impossible and that I should instead accept the the way things are. Never. The way things are is an abomination, the infestation of Europe with illegitimate republics a far more egregious monstrosity than any of the things normie conservatives whine about. I will NEVER accept the loss of the German monarchies. If that means that the overwhelming majority of actual Germans today are my enemies, so be it. I curse and condemn the illegitimate Federal Republic of Germany and want the world to know that I am its enemy. I condemn Angela Merkel and Frank-Walter Steinmeier and all German politicians for their treasonous arrogance in refusing to bow to their Kaiser and the rightful other kings and dukes and princes. I demand that Europe be put back mostly the way it was in 1914 (Finland, Poland, and the Baltics can keep their independence), with the Portuguese and French monarchies restored too. And I am sick and tired of "conservative" Christianity not taking a stand. Republicanism is the true sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, far worse than anything anyone has ever done with anybody in a bedroom. I demand royal restorations, and I want republican Europeans Left and Right to know that I despise them and their precious republican values. I spit on the German republican constitution and I spit on its Basic Law. There is only one true form of government for Germany or any other country that has had a monarchical tradition. In Europe, Switzerland and San Marino are the only legitimate republics. Death to republicanism. Monarchy yesterday, Monarchy today, Monarchy forever!!!
Friday, August 28, 2020
On Tuesday I spent the 750th anniversary of the death of King St. Louis IX of France (also the 175th birthday of King Ludwig II of Bavaria) in St. Louis, the American city named for him founded in 1764. Here I am (in my “Vive le Roi!” shirt) at the famous statue (previously visited in 2015), “Apotheosis of Saint Louis.”
Monday, July 20, 2020
|Archduke Rudolf of Austria (1788-1831)|
Monday, June 29, 2020
Update: apparently the Constantine statue is not actually under threat.
In general, classical Greek and Roman history is not my specialty. I respect it and those who are knowledgeable about it, but my passion is for the period between Charlemagne's coronation as (Holy) Roman Emperor (800) and the end of World War I (1918), which I like to call "Charles to Charles" (in the latter case referring to the last Emperor of Austria). Spanning 1118 years, that's quite a bit of history.
But Emperor Constantine the Great (272-337), who was proclaimed Emperor in 306 near the present site of York Minster and who is considered a Saint in the Orthodox Church (I bought an icon of him and his mother St. Helena at the Greek Festival a few years ago), is important to me, because if I'm honest I'd have to admit that without him, Christianity might not have ever become the sort of thing that a person like me would be interested in. I was drawn to Christianity more via the cultural patrimony of Christendom that his conversion made possible than via the Bible directly. So York's bronze statue, with its haunting echoes of the links between the old Roman Empire and the England that I love, is a particularly significant monument.
|My June 2015 photo of the statue of Emperor Constantine at York Minster|
|Icon of Sts. Constantine & Helen purchased at the Dallas Greek Festival, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church|
It is commendable for living composers to try to create tonal music that people will like. But I believe there is a reason, though not necessarily an insurmountable one, why most fans of classical music connect more with music by long-dead composers. The European society of the 18th and 19th centuries (despite the sinister interruption of the French Revolution) when most of what we now call the standard repertoire was written was basically a healthier society than ours. I see the modern world as a fundamentally sick society so am not surprised that it doesn’t produce much new of value. The circumstances conducive to the creation of “Great” secular instrumental music didn’t really exist before c. 1600 either, so there’s no guarantee that they always will. All I ask at this point is that we be allowed to hang on to as much of the past as we can, rather like tending the remnants of what used to be a roaring fire 🔥 so that it doesn’t entirely burn out.
Even when liberals (often under attack from those even further to their Left) defend the legacies of pre-20th-century European culture that they personally like, they tend to so in an apologetic way that implicitly concedes something like, "yes, of course they were wrong about a bunch of stuff back then and our modern secular democratic egalitarian values are totally superior, but there were still some worthwhile achievements we can benefit from." But that's not what I believe. I believe that the values of the European past, when most of the music I love was composed, were in many ways superior, and that's why the music, art, literature, and architecture were better. And for those problems that did exist, the proper solution was always reform, never revolution.
Sunday, June 28, 2020
|The Apotheosis of Saint Louis (1906), St. Louis, Missouri|
I'm going to have to be careful what I say about this, as it makes me very angry. I think it will suffice for now to say that while I am an Episcopalian, if I lived in St. Louis I would have been there in solidarity with the Catholic defenders of the statue yesterday. Monarchists in the USA don't exactly have a lot of public monuments we can relate to, and this one is probably the best, and closest to my heart since my 2015 visit. Saint Louis, pray for us!
Here is another article. I left the following comment on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Facebook page: "This diabolical campaign does not deserve any respect. King Saint Louis IX was a good man and a hero. I am an Episcopalian, but if I lived in St. Louis I would have been with the Catholics defending the statue. American monarchists like me have very few public monuments we can relate to and this one is the best and closest to my heart. This should not even be presented as a legitimate controversy. The statue's radical enemies seek only destruction and have nothing positive to contribute to society. How can anyone in St. Louis even contemplate the eradication of their city's French Catholic heritage and name? St. Louis had nothing to do with American racial problems and should not be associated with them. This movement displays gross historical ignorance and attempts to judge a 13th-century French king by modern politically correct standards. Virtually any medieval European Catholic would be considered "anti-Semitic" and "Islamophobic" by contemporary standards. That doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't be honored for the good things they did within the framework of the only society they knew. Shame on the St. Louis authorities for not making sure the statue was protected before yesterday."
Statement from the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
I just signed this petition and urge others to do the same. I've also ordered a miniature copy of the statue from the St. Louis Art Museum.
Saturday, June 27, 2020
[Sunday update: on a lighter note, here are Princes Constantine and Achileas on guitar and drums.]
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
|with the eponymous statue of King St. Louis IX of France (1214-1270) in St. Louis, Missouri, March 2015|
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Summer Chamber Concert from Dallas Symphony Orchestra on Vimeo.
Saturday, June 6, 2020
The United States of America was founded on a falsehood: the idea that a "Nation" could be fabricated from scratch out of Enlightenment ideology which was mistakenly believed to be universal. That many of the founders were hypocrites who whined about their own "Liberty" while denying it to others was a fatal flaw, perhaps _the_ fatal flaw, that is proving insurmountable. For a long time, buoyed by the inheritance of European Christian patrimony despite the founding ideology being essentially at odds with that patrimony, it seemed to work--for many. But it never worked for everyone, as we're hearing loud and clear recently. For many years the USA appeared to function as a de facto "nation," mostly for Christians (especially Protestants) of European descent who accepted (as I vocally do not) the Americanist republican civic religion. But at the same time, its promises rang hollow for others.
It's distressing now to see essentially American grievances and ideologies being imported to other countries, like the United Kingdom, but that was perhaps inevitable given the monumental (and in my view negative) influence the American idea has had on the world. What we're witnessing now may be the beginning of the end of something that never should have been created, but that doesn't mean it won't be painful to live through. I have lots of thoughts about the past, but no answers for the future.
Thursday, June 4, 2020
In honour of the reconstruction of the column, originally erected in 1650 under Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III (1608-1657), here are pictures of two other Habsburg Ferdinands in Prague: the Coronation of Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I (1793-1875) as King of Bohemia in 1836, and his great-great-great-great-grandnephew Ferdinand Habsburg (b 1997) in the same St Vitus Cathedral in 2019.
Saturday, May 30, 2020
From Charles Coulombe: The attack on the Louis XVI statue in Louisville is ironic on several levels: Louis XVI wanted to buy out the slaveowners and liberate their slaves as early as 1777 - he thought he would be able to do so in ten years at the rate his reforms were working, but the next year made the biggest error of his reign: intervening in the American rebellion. Although that intervention made rebel victory possible (hence the statue and the town being named after him), it turned George III (who felt betrayed by Louis) against Catholic emancipation, and bankrupted France. Not only was there no money to free the slaves, there was none to feed the French peasantry when an Icelandic volcano spoiled the 1788 harvest - and so began the French Revolution. Moreover, the 1792 slave revolt in Haiti began as a rebellion in favour of the King against the newly installed republican government on the island. Toussaint l'Ouverture died in one of Napoleon's prisons both a devout Catholic and loyal to the Bourbons. Truly, life is a comedy for those who think, and a tragedy for those who feel.
Monday, January 13, 2020
There is so much grief now, and yet I would not for a second be without the past 5+ years of friendship with him. I wish, bitterly, that I had made it to Australia once during that time. I couldn't go to New York during his one visit to the USA. We talked about perhaps coordinating a European trip one day. For all his love of the Queen and the Monarchy, which he firmly believed was every bit as Australian as it was British, I don't think he ever made it to the United Kingdom, though he'd been to continental Europe. ("I couldn't possibly stay so long in a republic," he replied when I asked if he was still in Greece.) But of course when one's friend is only 21 one thinks there is all the time in the world. With many of the friends I've met online via common interests, our points of view overlap, but we also argue. Wilson and I never really disagreed about anything. He was Australia's finest. I think the best way to honour him is to make sure everyone knows how remarkable he was and continue the fight to preserve Australia's constitutional monarchy forever. And if you ever find Twitter toxic, get off it. I did in April and have never missed it. While social media has undeniably had benefits, including this very friendship, it also has its deadly poisonous side. I hope one day the plague of cyber-bullying will end. I will miss you so much Wilson. You were so brave, brilliant, and fun. God Save the Queen.