Sunday, May 9, 2021

The May King

I admit that the fact that I tend to devote more of my online time to social media is probably the main reason why this blog is not as active as it once was. However, at the moment I am unable to post on Facebook (don't ask), so in case I still have any readers, I will post about this here. Today is the 75th anniversary of the abdication of King Victor Emanuel III (1869-1947) in favour of his son King Umberto II (1904-1983). It has been speculated that if Victor Emanuel III had abdicated sooner, for example in 1943 immediately after the fall of Mussolini, he might have saved the Italian monarchy. However, we'll never know, and many monarchists including me believe that the referendum a month later was rigged by the USA.

Accordingly I have "updated" my Europe 75 Years Ago chart. Sadly, with the 75th anniversary of the accursed Republic approaching, Italy won't be on it at all much longer. And today, even the Royal Family are bitterly divided, as the New York Times reports a little too gleefully.

Friday, April 9, 2021

RIP Prince Philip (1921-2021)

I was deeply saddened this morning to wake up to the news of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021). A full and long life, but I had really wanted him to make 100 in June. I greatly admired his outspoken wit and dedication to countless causes and duties. He will be widely missed. Prayers for the Royal Family especially HM The Queen who has lost her incomparable source of strength and support of 73 years.

Here are links to obituaries from the Telegraph, the Times, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.

As the last person who had been born into a foreign royal family to marry into the British Royal Family, the former Prince Philip of Greece was in many ways modern Britain's last living link with the world of Victorian and Edwardian continental European royalty, including vanished monarchies such as those of Germany, Greece, and Russia. Guests at his parents' wedding in Darmstadt in 1903 included Tsar Nicholas II (Princess Alice's uncle by marriage and Prince Andrew's first cousin), who, evading his security detail to push through the crowd, threw a full bag of rice and a satin slipper at the newlywed bride, who promptly threw them right back at him, reducing the Tsar of All the Russias to helpless laughter in the middle of the street.

Many years later, as a maternal grandnephew of Empress Alexandra, Prince Philip donated blood to aid with identification of the Romanov remains. Once when asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union (which he eventually did), he replied, "the bastards murdered half my family."

Princess Anne and Prince Edward shared memories of their late father and reflected on his legacy. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Monarchism and Identities

One reason why I may occasionally come across as Difficult online is perhaps that I have (at least) three very different sensibilities, none of which I can belong to completely, competing in one head. I'm (whether I like it or not) an American, who wants to be British, but who tries to apply to the British Monarchy a kind of ideological "Divine Right" monarchism (defeated in Britain in 1649) that is more Continental than British, though now virtually extinct on the Continent too. While I don't think I'm a humorless person, I admittedly probably do lack something of the distinctly British sense of humour (sometimes people assume that as an Anglophile I must love British comedy; actually, with the exception of Fawlty Towers, I often do not), and don't know how to debate as well-educated British people debate. I am perhaps prone to take too seriously things that even a very conservative actual British person might laugh off or not want to make a fuss about. Just some reflections that occurred to me (and a good excuse to post van Dyck's famous triple portrait of King Charles I).

Monday, January 18, 2021

German Empire 150

Today is the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Wilhelm I (1797-1888) as German Emperor at Versailles. I celebrated by wearing my new Wilhelm I shirt and German imperial flag mask and making brownies decorated to resemble the German imperial flag. 

I'm not entirely without sympathy for those who (whether at the time or later in hindsight) have regretted the smaller German states' loss of independence (though the Kingdom of Bavaria managed to retain some trappings of sovereignty, including its own military apparatus and consulates in foreign countries). However, at least unlike in Italy the local rulers (except for Hanover's) kept their thrones. I can't help admiring what Germany as a dynamic unified nation achieved between 1871 and 1914, and don't see why Germany should have been perpetually denied the cohesiveness that nations like Great Britain, France, Russia, and Spain had achieved much earlier. Changes in borders and of the balance of power between different monarchies are an inevitable aspect of History, with stronger states
having overpowered weaker ones for as long as states have existed. What is intolerable however is the fact that Germany has not had any monarchies at all since 1918. Here is my new chart of all the rulers of the monarchical states of the German Empire and their wives and heirs at the time of its establishment 150 years ago today, in order of seniority. I haven't been able to find suitable images for all the individuals who were still fairly young at the time, especially heirs. Maybe I will eventually. This is why I tend to get more upset about Germany being a republic than some other countries: it wasn't just one monarchy that fell in 1918, but nearly two dozen. And all the adorable little ones, whose lineages and traditions went back to the Middle Ages, should not be forgotten.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Real Monarchism

One of the many reasons I am confident in the superiority and rightness of monarchism is that Monarchists are practically the only type of ideological faction today who do NOT frequently try to repudiate various unpleasant actual examples of our preferred system on the grounds that while it may use the word it's somehow not a "real" example. (In logic this is known as the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.) Many republicans (with a lowercase "r") claim that dictatorial regimes such as the People's Republic of China or the Islamic Republic of Iran are not "real" Republics. Many Marxists claim that the USSR and its Iron Curtain satellites were not "real" Communism. At the opposite extreme, libertarian or anarcho-capitalist free-market ideologues claim that what we currently have economically in the USA is not "real" Capitalism. "NeverTrump" conservatives argue that Trumpism is not "real" Conservatism. (Even before Trump, some traditionalist conservative theorists maintained that the Republican Party had nothing to do with their ideal of "real" Burkean/Kirkian conservatism.) Apologists for Islam claim that the radical Islam of terrorists is not "real" Islam. Christians of various stripes Right and Left often claim that those Christians from whom they wish to disassociate themselves are not "real" Christians.

Some of those kinds of arguments may have more validity than others. But that's beside the point, which is that in contrast, I don't know any monarchist who denies that, for example, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a Real Monarchy just because most of us don't much like it. It is. It's listed at my website. We own up to our less flattering examples. We just maintain that they're not the norm, and that overall, what we advocate is better than the alternatives, especially when those alternatives have been the result of displacing existing monarchies. I don't think any rival ideological faction is as honest.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

I made some changes to my website today that no one will notice unless I post about it. For years I've compiled charts of reigning monarchs at specific points in European history. Some are permanently fixed at a particular date and so once made don't have to be changed, but others are meant to reflect the state of things at a particular interval in the past (75 years ago, 200 years ago, etc.), so have to be continually "updated." Originally these charts consisted of text only, but then I started making ones with heraldry and pictures. However for some reason instead of simply adding to older files I made new ones, with the result that I accumulated an absurd number of pages whose dates and other information had to be changed every year, some of them essentially duplicates. Rather than edit all of them today, I deleted most of the charts without images, resulting in a more manageable number of files, and added internal links so that visitors can easily navigate between them. You can start with 2021 and work your way back to 1721, or vice versa working forward.