Friday, September 16, 2022

Our Gloriana

Here is an eloquent reflection on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, "Our Gloriana," by Bishop Anthony Burton (Rector of Church of the Incarnation 2008-22, who baptized me there in 2009).

[Edit: and here is one from a Catholic friend at Georgetown University: The Queen's Jesuit Values.]

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Australian Monarchists and their Queen

Congratulations to my friend, Australian composer and monarchist Alexander Voltz, on this excellent and emotional article on the experiences and reflections of Australian monarchists. (Warning: a disturbing passage from a vile student "newspaper" is quoted.) Other young Australian monarchists are quoted in this article, which also quotes republicans.

A new poll indicates that about 60% of Australians favour keeping the Monarchy, up from previous levels. 

Dallas Episcopalians remember the Queen

The Dallas Morning News reports on Tuesday's Choral Evensong in thanksgiving for Queen Elizabeth II at St. Matthew's Cathedral, in which I sang (music of Vaughan Williams, Stanford, and Parry). I am quoted in the article. Needless to say I don't endorse every comment of the homilist. But it was a lovely event and I'm glad it's been publicized.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


This is not a decision I made lightly. I thought about it for a few days. And I don't regret buying the historic Sept. 9 front page which is a significant historical document. But I've cancelled my electronic subscription to the New York Times. I'm fed up with their relentless anti-British bias and negative coverage of the United Kingdom. That stupid article (whose author I'm now ashamed to have met in 2012; I had thought she was better than that) blaming the Queen for "colonialism" within hours of her death was the last straw. And Anglophobia is hardly their only pernicious agenda; a good monarchist friend of mine also has strong objections to their Ethiopia coverage. The sad thing is that they still have plenty of good articles and I'm sure there will be some I wish I could read. But if you knew a substance were 90% ice cream and 10% poison would you eat it? I'm not going to give one more cent to an enemy of my favourite country. God Save the King.

More articles on this topic:

On Mourning the Queen as an American Monarchist

Probably my greatest weakness as a Christian is that while this should not be construed as ingratitude for the positive aspects of my real life I’ve never been able to overcome a certain theoretical resentment at having been born American rather than British, which prevents me from ever feeling quite as docile to God’s will as we’re apparently supposed to, as indeed the late Queen herself was. Indeed, my whole way of being Christian as an Episcopalian is so deeply intertwined with Anglophilia and the Monarchy (which for an Anglican in England would be nothing abnormal) that I don’t know how to separate the two. It’s all sort of the same thing for me, which I suppose is why I tend to see “British” republicans as utterly evil enemies of God, akin to the monstrous orcs in Lord of the Rings, rather than as simply people I disagree with.

As lovely as last night’s Evensong [in thanksgiving for the life of Queen Elizabeth II at St. Matthew's Cathedral] mostly was, there were still a few lines in the homily that made me wince, as did the fact that even on this most inherently royalist of occasions the officiant still sang “State” rather than “King” during the (Smith) Responses. Even many Americans sincerely paying tribute to the Queen feel obliged to include some sort of republican disclaimer, which I never like, because I wholeheartedly believe that “our” way is wrong and theirs is right. I suppose a certain such discomfort is inevitable as long as I live here, and I don’t seem to be moving. But with all my heart I reject 1776 and all its works. God Save the King.

The Queen and the Cello

I am deeply honoured that my own video of "God Save the Queen" (as it then was) from a few years ago has been included in this article "Queen Elizabeth II and the Cello."


I know it’s normal to be sad now. But honestly, I also feel just a little bit ashamed. God gave me 44 years—or, even if only adulthood is considered, 26–to make sure that by the time this happened, I would be living there and (if so for at least six years) could have sworn allegiance to her. 🇬🇧 But I didn’t do that. I did, at least, finally try in 2016 with the Philharmonia, so don’t feel quite as bad as I would if I’d never even tried. But only once, and a little late.

In 1999-2000, when I was getting ready to graduate from Indiana University and wondering what to do next, I went as far as requesting and receiving brochures from the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music in London. But at 21, never having even visited the UK, I wasn’t sure how moving to London and so forth would work, didn’t know anyone there or anything about living there, and didn’t seriously pursue it. New York—not that there was anything wrong with Juilliard!—though still a change was so much easier. And then one thing led to another, and I stayed here, admittedly with much to be grateful for on this side of the pond.

And now over the next few days thousands of people, most of whom in their daily lives are probably not nearly as obsessed with the Monarchy as I am, are standing in unprecedented queues in London to pay their respects, because they’re decent patriotic people, and I won’t be there. I can explain why, I have my reasons, my job, my financial concerns, but still they feel like they might be excuses.

I wish I could have met her just once. Even as one of those lucky people in the front of the crowd behind a barrier for a walkabout. Better yet, actually presented. After all, many people did, over the years, in moments they will never forget. I did see her in person on three occasions, her Golden Jubilee in 2002, her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 (pictured), and Garter Day in 2015. I'm glad that I wrote her a few times and always received a nice reply from the Palace.

But a comforting thought is that if God knows how much I loved her and what she stood for, she does now too.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

The Queen is dead. Long live the King.

As you have no doubt learned by now, HM Queen Elizabeth II died today. Words cannot adequately express the grief felt by me and millions of others for the loss of this iconic figure. It is hard to imagine a world without her. And yet the Monarchy endures. God Save the King.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Costumes and Poverty

I feel sorry for those Internet Users whose automatic reaction to articles and photos like this depicting the glamour of the Old World royalty and nobility is “bUt tHeRe weRe poOr peOple.” Can’t you just enjoy the beauty and art of the pictures? Yes, there were poor people in Tsarist Russia in 1903 who could not go to fancy costume balls, though the Imperial Family ceaselessly undertook charitable endeavours. So what? There were and are also poor people in the USA. Jesus said, “the poor you will always have with you.” Does that mean that there should be no art, no beauty, no glitter, no jewels, no symphony concerts or operas, no luxury anywhere? It’s not as of getting rid of the monarchy 14 years later ushered in a better era for the Russian people; rather the reverse. What about those who earned money designing and making the fancy costumes? The musicians who played in the court orchestra? Would it have been better for them to be destitute too? A world without things like glittering costume balls would be an uglier and sadder place. You could say, it’s just stupid Facebook comments, but the problem is this kind of attitude (which long predates Facebook) has had devastating consequences in the real world since 1789, resulting not in greater happiness or prosperity but in incalculable death and destruction.

That said, enjoy the pictures.