The month of June, in the Catholic Church, is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (as we have touched on before) and this is relevant to readers here because of the extent to which the Sacred Heart has been adopted as the symbol of a great many royalist, monarchist and/or counterrevolutionary movements throughout history. To this day it remains a favorite emblem for traditionalist causes, in the Catholic world at least. Why is this? I cannot say with certainty. The Sacred Heart represents many things to many people but, I suppose, a general way of defining what it is supposed to represent is the enduring love and sacrifice of Christ for humanity. This applies to everyone, of course, and still does not quite explain why monarchists in particular would be attached to it, but perhaps other aspects of historical context will. For myself, I cannot help but think it has something to do with the Sacred Heart coming to be associated with “lost causes” (as some might have guessed from the image of it I have on the right-hand sidebar). The movements that first come to mind when I think of royalists or traditionalists who adopted the Sacred Heart as a badge are the French counterrevolutionaries of the Vendee, the Carlists of Spain and the Cristeros of Mexico. Two out of the three were overtly royalist but one thing they do all have in common is that all of them were, ultimately, unsuccessful. I am sure some may argue that point but I mean only that they did not win a smashing battlefield victory, make their enemies beg for mercy and hold triumphs in Paris, Madrid or Mexico City.
Perhaps then the attachment comes from an acknowledgement that earthly success seems a remote possibility but the cause is sacred and the struggle more important than the outcome itself. Devotion to the Sacred Heart, while long encouraged by the Jesuits, was particularly emphasized after the fall of Papal Rome when the Pope had shut himself up in the Vatican and refused to come out. If one were to look at the number of parish churches named “Sacred Heart” many, possibly most of them, were founded during that period when the Pope called himself the “Prisoner of the Vatican” which may have gone a long way to encouraging the association of the Sacred Heart with traditionalism as well as the “lost cause”. It was certainly strong for a great many Catholic monarchists as the defense of the political power of the Pope was very much dominated by French royalists, though there were the occasional republican-minded papal volunteer just as there were monarchists and republicans on the opposing side but certainly not the same as the mindset that predominated amongst the papal forces and the “Black Nobility”. It was also Pope Pius IX who made the Feast of the Sacred Heart obligatory for the whole Catholic Church (doing so when he still ruled Rome politically). Even then it was already something of a royalist symbol but a more specifically French one when compared to other countries.
Although the devotion had long existed it was the visions of St Margaret Marie Alacoque, in France, that caused it to become much more widespread. The story goes that the saint urged King Louis XIV (at divine request) to put the image of the Sacred Heart on his royal coat of arms which the “Sun King” declined to do. That may, in part, explain why French royalists, after the outbreak of the Revolution and the horrors that went with that, adopted the Sacred Heart as their badge. For the royalist counterrevolutionaries, the Sacred Heart badge was usually the closest thing they had to a “uniform” as it was so widespread. No doubt the French royalists carrying flags with the Sacred Heart and wearing Sacred Heart badges on their clothes went a long way to making it a religious symbol closely associated with the idea of restoring the monarchy and, in particular, a traditional Catholic monarchy which might have been somewhat different than the way it had been under the martyred King Louis XVI or even much farther back. The ties are not direct or even all that strong but one can see a slight connection in the principles that many dissident monarchist groups were fighting for.
One does not often think of the Jacobites in connection with the Sacred Heart, yet there may have been a few who took to it. One devotee of the Sacred Heart was the Jesuit priest St Claude de la Colombiere who, for a time, was the personal chaplain to the future Queen Mary of Modena, wife of the Duke of York who later became King James II for whom the Jacobite cause first sprang into being. The Jacobites endorsed the idea of a strong monarchy in a decentralized state (or states), believing in the “divine right of kings” while also rejecting the Act of Union (passed by a monarch they held to be illegitimate) that bound England, Scotland and Ireland together under one government. They did not advocate the division of the three kingdoms exactly but rather wanted England, Scotland and Ireland to be governed separately according to their own laws and customs under one shared monarch. The Sacred Heart may not be much associated with the Jacobites (their most famous symbol probably being the white rose) but given that the movement was not exclusively Catholic (though it increasingly became largely so) this is not surprising. However, given what they believed in, we can see many parallels with another traditionalist, monarchist dissident group that certainly did take up the Sacred Heart symbol in a big way. That, of course, was the Carlists of Spain.
The Carlists, originally (before being pulled in every possible direction by various factions and claimants) consisted of the supporters of the only recently renounced absolute monarchy of Spain, so something similar to the “divine right” concept while also including a great many that we might today call “regionalists”. They too wanted greater government at the local level rather than in Madrid with the local regions of Spain being governed by their own laws and customs and their previous special favors. In effect, this meant going back more to the way things had been in Spain under the House of Hapsburg prior to the War of Spanish Succession, doing away with the centralization that had taken effect under the House of Bourbon which tended to concentrate power, following the example of the great Louis XIV in France. The similarities between what the Jacobites and the Carlists were wanting are striking and the Carlists did what the Bourbon monarch in France had refused to do and displayed the Sacred Heart on the royal coat of arms. One can easily tell a flag used by the Carlists for the Sacred Heart featuring in the center of the arms. The Carlists also sewed Sacred Heart badges onto their uniforms and the symbol persisted even into the Twentieth Century. One can find photos from the Spanish Civil War of the Carlists fighting for Franco and the nationalists with the Sacred Heart painted on their trucks or scratched into the stocks of their rifles.
The French royalists, at least at the time of the counterrevolution in the Vendee, did not have any sort of political program as the Jacobites and the Carlists had. Even with those groups, it took some time to develop. However, I tend to think they would have come up with something similar, perhaps rolling back some of the Bourbon centralization that had been seen at least since the time of Louis XIII, combined with a sacred view of the monarchy and perhaps a more corporatist model of political and economic representation along the lines put forward by Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XI. In Mexico the Cristeros likewise did not, themselves, have a very well developed political program, being more concerned with simply stopping the government from exterminating them. However, later Catholic groups would take up much the same cause minus any reference to monarchy. That being said, there did exist a minority group that desired closer ties with Spain (and by extension the Spanish monarchy) as part of greater solidarity (not exactly unity) throughout the Spanish-speaking world across Latin America, Spain and even The Philippines. At the very least it would represent a more traditional way of governing in the context of Mexican history though, depending on the circumstances, the Catholic Church had been on both sides of several issues, centralization of power being a good example.
Mexico, like the rest of the Spanish colonial empire, had been rather decentralized under the Hapsburgs. The Bourbons centralized things more but in either case the Church was always on the side of God, Country and King (as the Carlists would say). When independence came, the Church was on the side of Iturbide and after his brief hold on power the Catholic Church was mostly (not entirely) on the same side as the aristocrats and military men who supported centralization over states’ rights (centralists versus federalists they were called then). Sometimes this was because Church leaders saw it as necessary at the time, and many of the political leaders had been monarchists (Bustamante) or flirted with the idea (Santa Anna) and sometimes it was simply because the federalists were anti-clerical and the centralists were not. Naturally one would support the side that means you the least harm. Later on, after the Cristero war (la Cristiada) and the Revolution, things became a bit more clear-cut for the discerning Mexican Catholic with the emergence of the National Synarchist Union in direct opposition to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (which is back in power again) and which consciously drew on the struggle of the Cristeros while advocating for a more Catholic, more hierarchical Mexico organized according to natural, traditional groups rather than the class distinctions favored by both the socialists and (to a lesser extent) the capitalists (not because of any greater righteousness on their part but simply because labor and ownership hating each other is bad for business). Will this group be successful? The current trend of Mexican politics would seem to say “no”. Like others they have divided and may not even be a token force on the political scene anymore.
However, that may make the symbolism of the Sacred Heart all the more valid for all of these groups. As I have said before, I admire the roots of all of these groups even while being dismayed at what they later became and I have no time for anyone who claims to be a monarchist while not supporting their monarch. For many it has become no more than a justification for moaning and groaning and denigrating reigning monarchs in the imaginary world of the internet. It is time wasted as it will accomplish nothing and, many times, what these types want cannot be achieved. The world will never be exactly the same as it was. However, rather than aiding the republicans by withholding support or heaping scorn on existing monarchies and causing division amongst monarchists, I would urge all like-minded people to instead focus on the values these groups had in common. Values they, evidently, thought well represented by the Sacred Heart. You can make the case for greater respect to the monarchy, decentralized power and an organic organization of society without calling for a change of dynasty. Work on converting your fellow man and you may find that everything else will fall into place on its own. As I have said here in the past many times, institutions and rulers usually reflect the values and priorities of their people -and this was true even before “democratic” representative government. Abortion became legal in Belgium in spite of the King refusing to give assent to the bill. Why? Because the public wished it. King Baudouin was a perfectly fine and admirable monarch. He did not need changing, the electorate did. Work on changing that, spreading the values of monarchy, faith and fatherland and you may find that your complaints about the dynasty have evaporated.
The biggest royal news this week was certainly the royal wedding in Sweden on Saturday afternoon at the Palace Chapel in Stockholm. The elites of Swedish society, along with members of high society from the investment districts of London and New York City rubbed elbows with the likes of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Charlene of Monaco, HIH Princess Takamado of Japan and the children of the King of Greece, among others. Little Princess Estelle turned quite a few heads when she arrived with her parents Prince Daniel and Crown Princess Victoria (who was wearing Princess Lillian’s laurel wreath tiara) so that, for once, the King and Queen were most certainly not the center of attention. Princess Madeleine wore a very lovely Italian-designed wedding dress with lots of Chantilly lace topped by the ‘Modern Fringe Tiara’ while Chris O’Neill, who turned down being a prince, was not too big to turn down some jewelry, wearing the badge of a Knight Commander of the Order of the Polar Star which HM King Carl XVI Gustaf bestowed on him a couple days before the wedding. He was awarded the knighthood for showing great courage and heroism in marrying the King’s daughter (I guess). Surprisingly enough, most of the ceremony was conducted in English by the Chief Court Chaplain, a Bishop Emeritus (no, not that one) and the Court Chaplain. The King and Queen hosted a private reception at the palace afterwards where the guests partied all night, some not leaving until five o’clock Sunday morning.
So, everything went off without a hitch, the bride was radiant and the Swedes gave a good display of support for their monarchy and the Royal Family which has not had the easiest time of late. As most regular readers know, I am not a big fan of Chris O’Neill, his background, his attitude and all of that. However, I do send the new couple my sincere congratulations and best wishes for a happy life going forward. Princess Madeleine has not had an easy time when it comes to romance, part of my own worries stemming from her vulnerability after her last ill-fated attempt to make it to the altar. The Kingdom of Sweden may not be seeing much of the couple after this but I do hope all goes well. The monarchy could a period of uninterrupted good news and not only for their own sake. Things have been somewhat tempestuous in Sweden in general lately, there are a great many problems in the country and the monarchy, to my mind, is the last bastion of tradition and, dare I say, sanity amidst a myriad of problems surrounding disagreements over what values, if any, the country will embrace and what it means in this day and age to be “Swedish”. It is certainly a far cry from the Sweden that was once the powerhouse of Scandinavia and which made the Baltic Sea a Swedish lake. However, as much as things have changed, the monarchy remains as the last living link with that traditional Sweden of days gone by and every Swede and every sincere monarchist should wish them success, happiness and every blessing in the years to come.
Moving on, across the North Sea in Great Britain, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh celebrated his 92nd birthday this week, though unfortunately he did so while in hospital for exploratory surgery on his abdomen. HM the Queen came to visit her beloved consort on his special day and, during his time in hospital, there have been a virtual parade of royal visitors as members of the family have come to check on the Prince who is “comfortable and in good spirits”. We are told that the surgery was not serious, though I would think any surgery for someone of ninety-two years is nothing to take lightly. However, we all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Duke of Edinburgh and congratulations on turning 92 with hopes for many more birthdays to come. Prince Philip is possibly my favorite member of the British Royal Family, for his devotion to Queen and country, his tireless work ethic, common sense and great sense of humor. The Duke has taken a great deal of criticism in the press over the years for what are termed “verbal gaffes” but I cheer him for them. I have yet to come across one that was a genuine gaffe, they have invariably been simply cases of the over-sensitive PC media displaying their own lack of humor. So, all the best to Prince Philip, he’s tops.
On the continent, another one of my favorite royals celebrated a birthday this week, that being the Dowager Queen Fabiola of the Belgians, widow of the saintly and beloved King Baudouin. Her Majesty celebrated her 85th birthday on Tuesday. From a Spanish noble family, she had originally considered becoming a nun but, thanks to some matchmaking clergymen, ended up marrying the King of the Belgians on December 15, 1960. Since his death in 1993 the Queen has withdrawn from public life but is still a regular feature of family events. A great lady, a great queen and a woman of great faith and kindness, we wish her a happy birthday and many more to come. Over in the neighboring Netherlands, controversy continues to be dug up from the happy occasion of “inauguration day” (or whatever they are choosing to call it), this time concerning the always controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders. It seems some are now saying that he was snubbed at the big royal event, not being given a position appropriate for someone who has served as long in government as he has. Was it simply an oversight? Possibly, but even if it was not, Mr. Wilders should not be that surprised. His anti-immigrant stance has earned him few friends in the halls of power and I am sure the Dutch Royal Family had little sympathy for him even before his calls for the former Queen Beatrix to be totally excluded from any role in government. One should not take up an adversarial position with the monarchy and still expect to be treated as though nothing happened. However, to be clear, the Royal Family had nothing to do with the order of precedence he or others on his behalf are complaining about. Personally, I have no problem with his stance on immigration. Any country should be able to control who enters their borders. I do have a big problem with his other, radically leftist positions, and the antagonistic attitude he has taken toward the monarchy.
Finally, in the Kingdom of Spain this week, TM King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia along with TRH the Prince and Princess of the Asturias and the Infanta Cristina welcomed, in grand style, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan. HIH Crown Princess Masako was invited by the Spanish as well of course but did not make the trip due to her ongoing ‘stress illness’. Those in attendance, however, were all smiles and the Spanish monarchy put on a grand display of pomp and ceremony. The visit was timed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Spanish-Japanese relations going back to 1613 when the daimyo Date Masamune sent a Japanese mission from Sendai to Spain. As it happens, the daimyo (known as the “one-eyed dragon”) was also a brilliant military leader and a protector of the rights of Christians in his domain who at one point also sent a diplomatic mission to the Pope. HIH the Crown Prince exchanged antique coins with the Prince of the Asturias and also attended a Spanish-Japanese Business Cooperation meeting.
I just wanted to let everyone know, now that I have the opportunity to for the moment, that the MM compound is in the middle of some pretty rough thunderstorms and internet access has been unreliable today. Sympathy is not required -we really need the rain. Right now (obviously) it's on again, but in case it goes out again and nothing can be posted for tomorrow, I just wanted to let everyone know why while I had the chance.
In this day and age of republican dominance there is a great deal to annoy the average monarchist. Clichés, all of them negative toward monarchy, seem to have the gift of immortality. At the same time, the drawbacks of republicanism are often commented on and agreed to but never seem to shift public opinion. Every serious historian, for instance, knows that Queen Marie Antoinette never said, “Let them eat cake” and yet it continues to be endlessly repeated over and over again. Everyone with any knowledge of the world around them knows that, with the exception of the little principalities of Monaco and Liechtenstein, European monarchs have virtually no political power at all and yet the word “king” remains synonymous with someone wielding absolute power. A politician who oversteps the limits of his constitutional authority is always said to be behaving like a king or like royalty when, in fact, there are far more republican tyrants all around the world today than there are absolute monarchs, all of whom are confined to the Islamic world save for little Swaziland in Africa. It seems this is a double standard we will never be rid of. Yet, tiresome as it may be, falsehoods must be refuted with facts, as often as they arise, regardless of the circumstances. The world at large could really use a good education when it comes to the idea of monarchy.
Today, one of my biggest aggravations is the constant association of royalty with idleness, luxury and extravagance. Both sides of the political spectrum like to make use of accusations of “royal” behavior to condemn their opponents. In the past, the overreach of President George W. Bush in the United States, along with the fact that he is the first son of a President to become President himself since John Quincy Adams, led many Democrats to dub him “King George” -and they didn’t mean it as a compliment. Not to be outdone, when First Lady Michelle Obama took lavish vacations the Republicans compared her to Queen Marie Antoinette and when Obama holds lavish parties, goes golfing with celebrities or has his annual Christmas in Hawaii at taxpayer expense, his political enemies complain about Obama presiding over an “imperial presidency”. Do any of these people have any idea what they are talking about? No, of course they don’t. The odd misstatement here or there could be attributed to simply being unable to pass up a damaging analogy but at this point it really does begin to look like sheer ignorance. It is that ignorance combined with a gross misconception about monarchy that leads to this ridiculous analogies and that can be illustrated with a few examples and monarchists should point these out.
First, to be fair, we can certainly understand why the images of opulence exist in the popular imagination. One of the things most monarchists love about monarchy is the pomp and splendor that (traditionally anyway) goes along with the institution. Royals live in palaces, ride in gilded carriages attended by liveried footmen and wear magnificent jewels. It certainly looks pretty lavish, doesn’t it? Even the famously bicycling royals of The Netherlands don an ermine robe when it comes to swearing-in day. However, the fact remains that those magnificent jewels and robes are very old family heirlooms, bought and paid for many years ago (in some cases centuries ago) and their continued use costs the taxpayer nothing. In Great Britain, the Queen is known for being exceptionally frugal, using the same car until it practically falls apart. In fact, in a recent year, the travel expenses for the entire British Royal Family was considerably less than the travel expenses for President Obama and his small crew. The Queen would never dream of spending so much as the American president nor would any British government allow such a thing for ‘mere’ royals. Yet, when the average republican thinks of royalty, they think of big expenses for taxpayers. They do not think of the Prince of Liechtenstein whose subjects pay him nothing at all. In fact, he gives from his own private funds to help the government run smoothly.
The comparisons of Michelle Obama to Queen Marie Antoinette over lavish vacations seems particularly ridiculous considering that the ill-fated French Queen never went on even a single foreign vacation in her life. Bundled off to France as a very young lady she never left the country again and, indeed, seldom ventured far beyond the confines of Paris and Versailles. Royal travel has traditionally been extremely limited. In Britain, no monarch from King Charles II to King George IV ever even made it over the border to Scotland. Yet, when people think of Marie Antoinette, they think lavishness and frivolity, they do not think of a woman who gave large amounts to charity, who broke down social barriers at court and who invited poor children to eat with her own royal offspring at Versailles. When it comes to royal children for that matter, it may surprise some to know how much more luxuriously the children of a President of the United States live compared to royal or even imperial offspring.
All of those who talk of Obama having an “imperial presidency” should consider two of the great, old empires of Europe. The Romanov Archduchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, for example, had to sleep on camp beds and take cold baths. Their educational schedule was positively Spartan with dawn till dark studies and exercises. The White House may not be the Winter Palace but you can be sure the Obama daughters are taking hot baths at night. Similarly, when one thinks of an Emperor one doesn’t usually think of someone like Emperor Francis Joseph who slept on an army cot and wore clothes until they were worn out -and then patched them and wore them some more! One of his contemporaries, German Emperor Wilhelm I, was also notoriously frugal. He was known to sit down at a small table with his grandson (future Wilhelm II) for a glass of wine. After their glasses were poured, the emperor would mark the level of the wine with a pencil on the side of the bottle to make sure no one was pinching any when he wasn’t looking. In Russia, Emperor Alexander III preferred the simple meals of his servants to the delicacies of the banquets thrown by the upper class and his idea of recreation was a simple walk in the Russian wilderness with some sausage and a piece of bread for his lunch. These imperial leaders were hardly men of lavish, wasteful luxury and indulgence.
Of course, not every monarch was known for being frugal. Neither has such a trait always been considered positive. Indeed, even as far back as the Roman Empire, certain Caesars were criticized for being miserly. However, these examples should be pointed out, and there were plenty of others (such as King George VI putting the palace and Royal Family on the ration system in World War II). Even today, the spending habits of some monarchs are no doubt troublesome. The King of Swaziland, for instance, does himself no favors in that regard. However, the fact remains that monarchy remains a much better value for money than the average republic even if not every one is like the Emperor of Japan, growing his own rice. Monarchs, especially today, are much more thrifty than politicians if for no other reason than that they are scrutinized to such a vastly greater extent than any elected official. There is also the fact that much of what people see as the lavish and glamorous side of royalty comes at the private expense of the royals and not from the public trough which is, again, something rarely seen in a republic. Furthermore, most of the expense comparisons between monarchies and republics do not even usually take into consideration the immense costs of elections and election campaigns, held with great frequency even if they never seem to actually change anything.
It is a struggle to change such entrenched popular misconceptions and, naturally, the republican crowd will never allow for a fair and honest exchange if they possibly help it, but the effort should be made. It pains me to think of someone like Emperor Franz Joseph being thought of as extravagant simply for being of imperial status. Plenty of monarchs were quite thrifty and plenty of royals and royal children lived far less pampered lives than many of their republican opposites. However, even for those monarchs who were rather lavish, such as King Louis XIV of France, I would take that lavishness any day over the republican politicians in power today. At least the lavishness of someone like Louis XIV served a higher purpose (whether he intended it to or not is irrelevant) to raise the status of his country, the glory of his country and make it a land to be marveled at from people all over the world and for generations to come. Given how many people still go to visit Versailles, filled with awe and wonder at the magnificence, I would say it was worth every penny.
But, of course, I would; I am … The Mad Monarchist
“Remember that life is made up of loyalty: loyalty to your friends; loyalty to things beautiful and good; loyalty to the country in which you live; loyalty to your King; and above all, for this holds all other loyalties together, loyalty to God.”
King Friedrich I: If ambition in itself is to be admired, Friedrich I is certainly an admirable man and, tempting as it is, I cannot have too high an opinion of him overall. Born in East Prussia, he succeeded his father as the Elector of Brandenburg before, in 1701, crowning himself “King in Prussia” with the grumbling consent of the Holy Roman Emperor (the ruler of Austria in other words) since he had made it the price for Prussian support against France in the War of the Spanish Succession. His reign was greatly concerned with building up the independent power of Prussia apart from the rapidly diminishing power of the Emperor in Austria. He funded the arts and promoted education to show that Prussia was equal to the other major powers of Europe. However, he also presided over a government with a great deal of corruption and it was a heavily indebted state he left to his son. Known as a likeable fellow but not a terribly successful fellow, he seemed constantly to be reaching for a greatness that his abilities never allowed him to achieve. Still, his administrative work cannot be overlooked and he helped build the framework for when the Kingdom of Prussia was able to rise to the status of a major European power.
King Friedrich Wilhelm I: If Friedrich I laid the foundations for Prussian greatness on the civil side of things, Friedrich Wilhelm I certainly did as much or even more on the military front. Known as the “Soldier King” the Prussian army was his pride and joy -perhaps excessively so. Yet, there was more to him than that. He was a very meticulous, “hands-on” monarch who worked throughout his reign to centralize power, improve the infrastructure, expand farming and, of course, to strengthen his beloved army. He loved his soldiers so much it often seem he did not want to spoil them by actually risking them in battle. He is remembered for his love of tall soldiers in particular, hence the famous ‘Potsdam Giants’. An autocrat who firmly believed in royal absolutism, he did not get along well with his more “enlightened” son but he put Prussia back on a sound financial footing, gave it a highly trained and formidable army and laid the foundation for greater success in the future. A rather cautious man, his reign was essential in building on what his father had left behind as well as improving the areas he had neglected. For a small state like Prussia, she had to have an army that could punch above its weight to ever have a chance of becoming a major European power. Friedrich Wilhelm I gave Prussia that army.
King Friedrich II: It is not without reason that the second Friedrich is known to history as “Frederick the Great”. He took the magnificent army his father had built and used it to best advantage. When Frederick the Great came to the throne, Prussia came down with an acute case of “awesome”. He was a latter-day “renaissance man” who knew something about everything, from art to architecture and music to agriculture. His biggest drawback, for me at least, was his place as one of the “enlightened despots” of the time, being both liberal and autocratic. Religiously tolerant, he welcomed Protestant refugees while also harboring Jesuit priests after that order was suppressed and he increased government revenues by (I love this) indirect rather than direct taxation. However, he will probably always be best remembered as a warrior-king in the best Prussian tradition. He learned by both training and experience but once he mastered the art of war he proved to be a military genius the likes of which the world has seldom seen. He conquered Silesia in the War of Austrian Succession and through skill and a great deal of determination (as well as some plain good luck) he emerged victorious from the Seven Years War despite having almost every major power on the continent arrayed against him. Even his most devoted enemies had to admit his genius and long after his death his name was spoken with reverence and awe by both friends and foes of Prussia. Most importantly, by his victories, he made Prussia a major power and was the first to be titled “King of Prussia” rather than merely the “King in Prussia”.
The first Queen consort of the Savoy reign over Piedmont-Sardinia was Anne Marie d’Orleans, a woman of impeccable pedigree whose bloodlines brought some interesting history and potential into the House of Savoy. She was born on August 27, 1669 at Chateau de Saint-Cloud in France, the daughter of Duke Philippe I of Orleans (younger brother the great King Louis XIV) and his wife the controversial Princess Henrietta of England (daughter of the martyred King Charles I). Less than a year after Princess Anne Marie was born her mother died (last rites being administered by the great Bishop Bossuet) but a year later the Duke of Orleans married Princess Palatine Elizabeth Charlotte who proved to be a good stepmother and Princess Anne Marie was very close to her. Even as a young girl Princess Anne Marie stood out for her kind and friendly nature as well as her virtue and firm principles. Of course, in those days, royal girls had to grow up fast and marriage tended to come quickly. Anne Marie was only fourteen-years-old when King Louis XIV decided to help maintain French influence in northern Italy by marrying his niece to Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. A marriage contract was negotiated and signed by the two governments and a marriage ceremony by proxy was performed at Versailles on April 10, 1684 with Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, duc du Maine standing in for Victor Amadeus II.
In one of those odd twists that history often presents, this marriage was arranged in part by a countess who had been the mistress of Victor Amadeus II for about four years and who had given him two illegitimate children. Whether Anne Marie knew about this or cared she had little say in the matter with such royal marriages being a matter of state policy rather than personal preference. The Princess said her goodbyes, her father escorted her to the frontier and she finally met her husband at Chambery on May 6, 1684. The two were married in person by the Archbishop of Grenoble and later made their grand entrance into the Savoy citadel of Turin. She seemed a lovely but delicate girl, her fragility no doubt emphasized when next to a veteran soldier like Victor Amadeus II. Nonetheless, despite having a couple of years pass before she did her part for the succession and became pregnant, her first childbirth was a traumatic ordeal. She was only sixteen-years-old when she gave birth to her first child, Princess Maria Adelaide (later Dauphine of France) but it was so difficult that for a time she seemed close to death and even received the last rites before finally recovering from the ordeal. Ever dutiful though, she would go on to have five more children, a future queen and king among them. She was a good mother and also a devoted wife, patiently nursing Victor Amadeus II when he came down with smallpox, attending to every detail of his care.
In 1688 Anne Marie gave birth to another daughter, Maria Luisa of Savoy, who was eventually married to the Duke of Anjou, the new King Philip V of Spain. This set off the War of the Spanish Succession in which the Duke of Savoy took the side of the Austrians against France and Spain. It must have been a painful ordeal for Anne Marie with relatives on both sides of the conflict. She was herself half French and half British with France on one side and Britain on the other. Her husband was on the side of Austria and Britain while her daughter and half-siblings were on the side of Spain and France. The war began in 1701 and in 1706 Anne Marie had to take her young sons and flee Turin as it was besieged by French and Spanish forces led by her half-brother the Duke of Orleans and her son-in-law King Philip V of Spain while her husband stayed on to defend the city. It seemed hopeless but Victor Amadeus II was able to hold out long enough for the Austrians (under Prince Eugene of Savoy) and the Prussians to come to the rescue and win the battle. When it was all over in 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht rewarded Victor Amadeus II with a royal crown; the Kingdom of Sicily. However, he was later forced to trade that for the Kingdom of Sardinia. This was seen as a lesser prize, nonetheless, it brought recognized royal status to the House of Savoy and made Anne Marie Queen consort of Sardinia.
Yet, this was not the only royal connection to come along for Queen Anne Marie. The following year she became the heiress presumptive of the Jacobite legacy of the British Isles through the Stuart blood of her mother. With the death of Queen Anne of Great Britain in that year, she was the next closest relative of the “Old Chevalier” Prince James Francis Edward Stuart (“King James VIII & III to Jacobites) until the birth of his son Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1720. The Jacobite legacy would be carried on by Prince Charles (and come closest to effecting an actual Stuart restoration) and his brother the Cardinal Duke of York in turn. After that, however, the legacy would pass to the House of Savoy because of the marriage of Queen Anne Marie and King Victor Amadeus II. No one was happier than the Duchess of Orleans, the stepmother of Queen Anne Marie, that she had achieved such royal status. Despite their having been on opposite side of the Spanish war, the Duchess wrote that, “one thing I shall enjoy is to see our Duchess of Savoy become a queen, because I love her as though she were my own child” which is a testament to the good nature of both royal ladies.
Queen Anne Marie sadly died at her villa on August 26, 1728 of heart failure, one day before turning 59. She had already outlived all but two of her six children and was buried at the Basilica of Superga in Turin next to all but the two who had been married off to France and Spain.
Starting in the United Kingdom, this week saw HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of her coronation with a special service at Westminster Abbey among other commemorations. Glimpses of the coronation ceremony are glorious to behold but also a little bitter-sweet considering that, while Queen and Country have carried on, there is really nothing that is the same as back in those days. Even then the once proud British Empire was being scrapped, unable to cope with paying the bills for fighting the Axis as well as funding a new socialist welfare state. Today the UK faces the uncomfortable position, after so many cuts to the military budget, of simultaneously sneering at the United States while knowing, just like in both world wars, American help will be needed for dealing with almost any overseas danger. Today the good graces of Washington would have to be sought even to deal with Argentina, unless the Prime Minister is prepared to go, hat in hand, to the President of France to ask if he can borrow the aircraft carrier. When the Queen was crowned the Empire of India was a newborn republic, though she still reigned over a few bits on the frontier. Today it is India with the growing economy, the stronger military and a country sought out as a land of opportunity for the hard working. In the UK, Northern Ireland is practically independent, Scotland will soon be voting on ending the Union, self-hatred so permeates the country that a soldier is hacked to death in broad daylight simply for being a soldier and the economy lags under the weight of a population in which more seem to be on pension than paying taxes.
When Elizabeth II was crowned, Britain was full of British people (shocking, I know). The population was pretty solidly Church of England with some other Protestants and a few Catholics everyone kept a close eye on. Today Britain is multicultural, full of people from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and nearly every country in Europe. The Church of England that was so staunch at the time of the coronation (ask the Duke of Windsor if you think otherwise) now has women priests, bishops and gay “marriage” and is more about social welfare than Jesus Christ. Anglicans are now a tiny minority, even in England, and must keep their tone low so as not to upset the Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Muslims now part of the population. And for all of the changes, it seems people have never been more unhappy in the UK than they are now. I doubt there were any republican protestors at the coronation as there were at the recent Jubilee celebration, and if there were, the BBC would certainly not have given them any airtime. When the coronation was held, people seemed proud to be British. Today, every news day seems to have nothing but people angry about how terrible Britain is; racist, intolerant, uncaring toward the poor, discriminating against this or that group, angry about having a “class-ridden society” or being the “black sheep of Europe”, I could go on and on. It makes one wonder, if all the changes that have been made are for the better (as we are told); why does everyone always seem so unhappy with the way things are?
When Her Majesty was crowned sixty years ago, there were many who called to mind the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, which was so glorious some took to calling the Queen herself “Gloriana”. Even the socialist Prime Minister Clement Attlee said that he hoped the coronation would mark the beginning of a new Elizabethan Era as great and glorious as that of the first Elizabeth. That was the era when the English sea dogs beat back the seemingly unstoppable might of the Spanish empire, when explorers charted new waters and colonists started to settle new lands. By contrast the Second Elizabethan Era has seen British troops beat back the might of Argentina, sent bureaucrats to battle red tape in Brussels and seen people from other lands arrive to colonize Britain. Hardly the same. In the past, Britain fought for mastery of the seas. Today it argues in Belgium for the right to fish off the British coast. In the past great poets and playwrights heaped praise and glowing tributes on their beloved monarch. Today bands that attack the Queen are called “iconic” and celebrities are applauded for refusing the Order of the British Empire. In the time of the first Elizabeth, Catholics were brutally executed because of the fear that they might be disloyal. In the time of the second Elizabeth, disloyalty to the monarchy is not only tolerated but even celebrated in some circles.
All of this has happened, again, just in the last few decades, during the reign of the current monarch. King Edward VII or King George VI never had anyone crushed to death or drawn and quartered but the British Empire was proud of itself and its place in the world with British people, the world over, pretty solidly united in at least who they were and what they stood for. They were loyal to their monarch, confident that, on the world stage, they were the “good guys” and were having a positive impact on the world. Today, such is certainly not the case. In the Elizabethan or even Victorian eras, British power grew and influence expanded because there were great opportunities for success. It was tough, it was hard work, dangerous and meant risking your fortune as well as your life and limb, but if you succeeded you could count on becoming not only quite wealthy but honored and celebrated by your countrymen. Today, on the other hand, initiative and hard work is discouraged. The successful are scorned, derided and practically robbed while the unsuccessful are rewarded with appointments to a European commission or even a “life peerage” in the House of Lords. And, yes, Queen Elizabeth I may have knighted pirates but Queen Elizabeth II has had to knight the likes of Mick Jagger and Elton John. To my mind the gentlemen privateers were by far the more worthy.
Everything, absolutely everything, seems to have changed in the last sixty years, save perhaps for the Queen herself but not excepting the monarchy. The loss of male preference in the succession and the (partial) removal of the exclusion of Catholics are historic changes to the monarchy. The House of Lords, already de-fanged during the reign of her predecessors, was effectively ended under Elizabeth II with the expulsion of the hereditary peers and more seems to be on the way. British values themselves have changed though no one seems able to agree on what they have changed to. Though, again, none seem happy about it with one side bemoaning the changes and the other which pushed for them still claiming that they have not changed enough. The Queen has, herself, taken up some of these changing values. She too has advocated for at least some of them, using all of the popular labels like “diversity”, “inclusion” and “tolerance” and so on. However, Her Majesty has never thrown over the old values that Britain had when she was first crowned sixty years ago or even before. By her very example she has continued to embody the stoic courage and resolve of the “keep calm and carry on” generation. She is still married to the same man King George VI made her wait to marry those many decades ago and she still lives out a sincere Christian faith. Politicians (put in office by the public, so they cannot escape blameless either) may have robbed her of any real political role or power but she does still possess a moral authority that no one else in the UK or Commonwealth has. It is a pity, and no fault of her own, that if often seems like no one is listening to her.
So, the Queen goes on, as she has for the last sixty years, doing her duty, following the advice of her ministers, doing her best to set an example and to embody the values of an increasingly diverse population that cannot seem to make up its mind what its values are or whether it is right to have any values at all. It is not an enviable position to hold but everyone in Great Britain and across the Commonwealth should be glad that she does. Looking back on the coronation sixty years ago and with the upcoming changes announced for the next coronation, a few have already begun to ask, “what is the point?” but yours truly, of course, is not one of them. I refuse to give in, I refuse to let the republican mob win. It is there insidious influence which has been at work in monarchies around the world, stripping them little by little of any meaningful role in government or even national life as a whole only to then turn around and wonder out loud what the point is of having a monarchy at all. No. Not now. Not ever. I will not play their game, I will not play in to their hands and I will not accept their narrative. So long as a monarchy exists it is something worth defending, otherwise loyalty becomes meaningless. The Queen was crowned 60 years ago and she made a solemn vow to God on that occasion to carry out the duties of a constitutional monarch and everyone in the UK and all her realms and territories (I am tempted to say the English-speaking world) have no higher duty than to be loyal to her, come what may, in good times or bad. She is the Queen, the anointed sovereign and personal loyalty to the monarch must, absolutely must, be something that distinguishes all monarchists. The last sixty years have not been glorious, unfortunately, for Great Britain but it is when times are tough that all those who are truly loyal must show that nothing in the world can break the sacred bond between a sovereign and her subjects.
The history of the Serbs is an extremely long one, going all the way back to the “Dark Ages”. For a while, in the Middle Ages, Serbia got to be a pretty big deal by gobbling up Byzantine territory when the East Roman Empire was occupied fighting the Turks or each other -so there was plenty of opportunities for Serb expansion. Eventually though the place was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and we can see the beginning of the history of Serbia as we know it today. In the early 19th Century the Serbs began a series of rebellions against the Turks, fighting first for autonomy within the Ottoman Empire and later for complete independence. Two leaders emerged during these independence wars; Milos Obrenovic and George Petrovic, better known as “Black George” or Karageorgevich. The two families would dominate the early history of modern Serbia all while fighting each other for power and basically doing their best to wipe each other out. For example, the Obrenovic were early leaders in rebellions against the Turks, gaining some autonomy and a place of importance. When Karageorgevich led another rebellion and set up a government of his own, the Obrenovic had him assassinated. This left them in the best position to oversee Serbian independence but it also left the Karageorgevich family hungry for revenge. The fighting between the Serbs and Turks eventually got the attention of the other Great Powers for Europe who “encouraged” Turkey to back off.
King Milan I
1867 was the big year for Serbia with the last Turkish troops pulling out and the local government asserting total independence from the Ottoman Empire. All of this came about under the reign of the Obrenovic family which ruled in Serbia, for the most part, since 1815. Originally it was the Principality of Serbia and, in 1867, the reigning monarch was Prince Mihailo III, a very forward-thinking ruler who had the support of the Austrian and Russian Empires and who hoped to organize a Slavic federation across the Balkans aimed at rolling back Turkish power in the region. However, he was not an independent ruler for long before Mihailo III was assassinated, by members of the Karageorgevich family the Obrenovic have always claimed. He was succeeded by Prince Milan who leaned more toward friendship with Austria rather than Russia and who finally obtained Ottoman recognition of Serbian independence. This resulted from the Treaty of Berlin by which Serbian independence was recognized so long as the Serbs drop their claim to the political hot spot of Bosnia which would remain Ottoman territory in name while in fact being occupied by the Austrian Empire. In 1882 the prince got a promotion when he was named King Milan I of Serbia. However, things were never calm or tranquil in Serbia or in the royal household. King Milan I and his wife did not get along, being very different in their values and opinions, she favoring a closer friendship with Russia and he preferring to stay on good terms with Austria-Hungary.
At one point Milan I abdicated in favor of his son, King Alexander I, but later returned and led the Serbian army quite capably. King Alexander I was something of a reactionary, abolishing the more liberal constitution of his father in favor of one that gave the King greater power. However, he later moved back in a more liberal direction, enacting another constitution and giving Serbia a bicameral legislature for the first time. It didn’t quite work out for him though as his efforts to maintain royal authority over the upper house earned him some powerful enemies and in 1903 the King and Queen were murdered by a group of army officers intent on replacing the House of Obrenovic with the House of Karageorgevich on the Serbian throne. There were also wider, international aspects to the regicide. The main ringleader was in the pay of the Russian government which wanted to see Serbia move in a direction that was friendlier to Russia and more hostile to Austria-Hungary. The secret society known as “The Black Hand” was also involved and, likewise, wanted to end the period of relative friendship that has existed with Austria-Hungary in favor of a nationalist agenda at Austro-Hungarian expense. The change in royal dynasties also factored into this as the Obrenovic had been known for good relations with Austria-Hungary whereas it was no secret that the Karageorgevich intended to move Serbia into the Russian sphere of influence and had an openly antagonistic attitude toward Austria-Hungary.
King Peter I
So the House of Obrenovic was out and the House of Karageorgevich was in with the leader of the dynasty becoming King Peter I of Serbia on June 15, 1903. The conspirators had named him king immediately but it took a few weeks for the Serbian parliament to formally vote him into office as it were. A new constitution was enacted (yes, another one) based on the Belgian model and King Peter I wasted no time in making it clear that Serbia was the friend of the Russian Empire and the French Republic and no longer the friend of the “Dual-Monarchy” of Austria-Hungary. King Peter I was pretty widely popular. Democracy and parliamentary monarchy were firmly entrenched, the Balkan Wars ended with Serbia gaining Kosovo and other territories from a rapidly crumbling Ottoman Empire and there was much joy and merry-making as they say. Pan-Slavic nationalism was also on the rise, spurred on no doubt by the victories over the Turks, as was a desire for expansion and the creation of a “Greater Serbia”. The problem with the “Greater Serbia” idea was that it demanded a great deal of territory then being held by other countries that they would probably insist on fighting for. But there were those who said, ‘let it come’ and proclaimed it their duty to liberate their Serb brethren living under Hapsburg rule in Austria-Hungary, particularly Bosnia which the Austro-Hungarians annexed outright in 1908 after diplomatically outmaneuvering Russia.
Everyone knows what happened next. In 1914 the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife were assassinated in Bosnia, Austria-Hungary sent an ultimatum to Serbia which, backed up by Russia, the Serbs rejected and the First World War was off and running. King Peter I reigned over a country of determined people and an army of tough veterans of the Balkan Wars. When Austro-Hungarian forces first invaded Serbia, the Serbs sent them packing in quick order with a bloody nose. Eventually, however, Austria-Hungary, backed up by Germany and later Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire, conquered Serbia, pushing the Serb army out until it was rescued on the coast by the Italian navy. The Serbs reestablished themselves on a new front and fought on to the final Allied victory in 1918. Serbia did extremely well in the settlement after the war and the long-held dream of the “Greater Serbia” seemed to be an accomplished fact. King Peter I, by then acted for by his son and regent, was proclaimed King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes to account for all of the territory formerly part of Austria-Hungary that was given to Serbia. This later became the less wordy Kingdom of Yugoslavia, reigned over by King Alexander after the death of Peter I in 1921.
Prince Regent Paul and that other guy
So, things are going pretty great for Serbia. Right? Well, not exactly. Not everyone was happy about being part of Yugoslavia, especially the Croats and Slovenes and King Alexander had a hard time keeping everyone on side. Politics was an often chaotic and even bloody business and finally King Alexander took total control in his own hands and tried to make Yugoslavia a more firmly united country, a country of “Yugoslavs” rather than Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. There was also other minority groups (Italian, Hungarian etc) who wanted no part of the new country at all. To a degree, the Serbian Royal Family was suffering many of the same problems the House of Hapsburg had dealt with. In 1934 King Alexander was assassinated and succeeded by his son, King Peter II, acted for by the Prince-Regent Paul. The country was in a precarious situation, most friends being far away and with many neighboring countries nursing grudges for the territory they had lost to Serbia in the First World War. Prince Paul tried to mitigate these problems by reversing the previous policy of centralization and allowing for more regional autonomy. He also tried to end foreign support for dissident elements by embracing their backers in Germany and Italy.
It was with this in mind that, in 1941, Prince Paul signed up to the Tripartite Pact, making Yugoslavia a (very lukewarm) member of the Axis powers. This has to be seen in context. France (a traditional ally) had already been defeated and Britain looked to be going down too and it seemed that Yugoslavia would have little chance for survival unless they came to terms with Germany and Italy. However, that was not to be as Prince Paul was quickly ousted from power in a British-backed military coup that quickly took Yugoslavia out of the Axis and into the Allied camp with King Peter II being declared of age and assuming his full powers. It was this which prompted the German intervention in the Balkans with Yugoslavia quickly being conquered and divided into German and Italian occupation zones. King Peter II had to flee to the United Kingdom where he finished his education and joined the Royal Air Force while in Yugoslavia communist and royalist factions fought the occupying forces and each other. A key moment came in 1943 when the Allies, having agreed that Eastern Europe would fall under the influence of the Soviet Union after the war, dropped their support for the royalists and backed only the communist partisans. The young King Peter II was pressed to do the same and to name the communist leader “Tito” the commander of the army and prime minister.
King Peter II
This amounted to the signing of the death warrant for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as there was no way that the communists were going to allow the old regime of constitutional monarchy to be restored. As expected, at the end of the war in 1945 the communists, who had taken control of the country with Soviet support, declared King Peter II deposed. Tito became dictator of what was in 1946 renamed the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (later the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). At first there was also talk of merging Yugoslavia and Bulgaria but the Soviet dictator Stalin put a stop to that idea. Some have tried to romanticize post-war Yugoslavia as the “good” communist dictatorship that refused to be dominated by Soviet Russia. Rest assured, it was nothing of the sort and was just as repressive, brutal and criminally inept as every other communist dictatorship the world has ever seen. Ethnic tensions were suppressed but never eradicated, the economy varied only from poor to disastrous and eventually the communist regime fell and Yugoslavia broke apart completely with vicious fighting and charges of ethnic cleansing leaving scars that are still sensitive today. Slovenia, Croatia and later Bosnia broke away leaving only Serbia and Montenegro until 2006 when Montenegro became independent, leaving only the Republic of Serbia.
However, the bad news did not end there for Serbia with the Kosovo region declaring independence in 2008. Serbia has, of course, refused to recognize this but many in the European Union have and the dispute has still not been settled. King Peter II died in exile in 1970 at which point the leadership of the Serbian Royal Family passed to his son Crown Prince Alexander (who should be King Alexander II), a very successful royal who has been forced to live most of his life in exile. It was a happy occasion then when Crown Prince Alexander was first able to return to Serbia in 1991. He moved there permanently after the downfall of the last communist dictator in 2000. The citizenship of the Karageorgevich family was restored as was the use of their property (actual ownership remains ‘up in the air’) and Crown Prince Alexander quickly became a respected figure in Serbian national life. In a way that should be an example to royal exiles everywhere, Crown Prince Alexander has supported worthy social causes while all the while making the case for the restoration of the monarchy and arguing for the superiority of constitutional monarchy as a system of government. The Serbian Orthodox Church has backed a restoration of the monarchy and support for the Royal Family has been growing steadily. It is unfortunate that the political power holders in Belgrade have, so far, refused to take action to restore the Serbian monarchy but, especially compared to many other countries, there remains considerable room for hope and reason for optimism when it comes to the cause of monarchy in Serbia.
Crown Prince Alexander
In conclusion, the fall of the monarchy in Serbia was really an act of treachery and it would be hard to see how any royal figure could have done anything differently to have avoided it. The Serbs fought hard for years to break away from the Ottoman Empire, bedeviled by infighting every step of the way. The First World War was a traumatic event but it ended greatly to the benefit of Serbia. However, that victory brought about a new political entity, Yugoslavia, that suffered many side-effects of its own success. The patriotic nationalism that had driven Serbia in the past became rather unhelpful all of a sudden and Yugoslavia inherited many of the same problems with ethnic tensions that Austria-Hungary had suffered. Given the situation today, it is hard to see how the Kingdom of Yugoslavia could have long survived, however, the crime that brought it down must be emphasized. The Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and thus the Serbian monarchy, was lost almost entirely due to the duplicity of the Allied powers. King Peter II was betrayed as were all of the heroic royalist Chetniks who were carrying on a desperate struggle in his absence against the most inveterate enemies of the kingdom. The monarchy was not brought down by a revolution or an uprising of the public or a democratic referendum but simply by the poor faith of the Allies. It is a dark page in Serbian history and a shameful one for the Allied nations.
As promised, here is another selection from my collection of fan mail. It is gratifying to know that I have the ability to so enflame the emotions of people. I have noticed that the volume of fan mail has been lower recently but the level of vitriol has been higher than it has been in years -possibly ever as you will soon see. For the most part, I look at these and wonder why anyone would so waste their time. I wonder if these are welfare bums or trust fund babies who have so much free time on their hands that they can troll around the internet, looking for websites that are about something they totally despise, find one, never read it but still take the time to figure out the email address or go through the hoops to leave a comment just to let out an insulting tirade. I wish I had that kind of free time though I could certainly find more pleasurable ways to spend it. Anyway, although I cannot understand why, people seem to enjoy reading my fan mail based on the number of hits past posts of this sort have received so, here is another selection of e-mails, messages and (attempted) comments from some of my most adoring fans. As usual there will be the message in as near the original form as I can make it, followed by my reaction. Enjoy.
F**k you, f**k you, f**k you, f**k you, f**k you, good god, f**k you
Ah, right out of the gate we see the eloquence of the average republican on display
You sound like just an apologist for the racism of Rainier III in denying the throne to his beautiful grandson. Not the mad monarchist, the mad apologist. You are probably some bureaucrat paid by the palace to put out this crap.
Oh probably so yes, but my checks must be getting lost in the mail. It seems odd though that Rainier III would be regarded as a racist for not allowing the half-Black illegitimate son of Albert II to succeed to the throne. The rules of succession are what they are and make no mention of race as a determining factor at all but even more odd considering that the mother of little Alexandre did not even come forward with him until Rainier III departed this life. Not that the facts ever mattered to these sort of people.
MadMonarchist - Why don't you go f**k yourself - and this is not "pending approval"
This was an attempted comment obviously and from yet another juvenile republican who recently discovered the “f word”.
wow,i can't believe that such thoughts as those u put forth still simmer in the hearts of men. while it is very romantic to say the least. the reality of monarchy is just as much populated by psychosis as any other form of human social organization(and from my own perspective even more so). it may be a stable form of slavery. but it makes slaves of the masses of human beings all the same. except its out in the open and self evident. which is its only virtue. but i respect ur honesty about ur desires. and ur right to have them.a freedom only allowed in the very republics u deny.
And I can’t believe there are republicans who would dare use the slavery analogy when it was the very monarchist United Kingdom that led the movement to abolish slavery in the western world. I would return the respect for the honesty of this writer if he/she displayed any, the last line there being an obvious lie. In most monarchies the public has the option to become a republic whereas republics give their people NO option to become a monarchy.
Wow. You're an idiot. Maximilian and Agustin were all for ripping off the Mexican people to live in luxury themselves. It's not "politically correct" to point that out--it's reality.
Maybe in your deluded little head. I mean, “Wow. You’re an idiot.” Both Maximilian and Agustin died with not a penny to their name whereas it was the republican leaders like Santa Anna or later Porfirio Diaz who sailed away to live in luxurious exile on the funds they looted from the Mexican treasury before running away -unlike the two Mexican emperors who bravely chose to die for their principles.
all these people descendant deserve to die, bunch off criminals land robbers f**k them all...i wish they had the same faith as Kaddafi...f**k you stupid f**k who like them
People descendant or people’s descendants? Same faith or same fate? Yeah, nothing “stupid” about this guy. That sentiment just screams brilliance doesn’t it?
You stupid ignorant. GO to hell with you g*dd***d king…
Okay, since you brought up stupidity; “stupid ignorant” is rather redundant, you misspelled “damn” and as this was attached to a post on King Norodom Sihanouk, as he was a Buddhist and I am a Christian we will probably not be going to hell together -at least not the same one. Sorry.
You sad soul…so desperate to bow before the “blue bloods”.
You’re right, it is sad, republics where people bow to red blooded American dynasties like the Kennedy, Bush and Clinton families are oh-so superior.
F**k you 51th state , f**k your whore queen, f**k england , stupid pro.british
Again, the intelligence, reason and eloquence of the republican mind never ceases to amaze me. The more I read, the more I am convinced of the error of my ways. Yes, democracy is the answer, where people like this choose who will have sole control over the nuclear arsenals of the world.
This is a rather longer one, so I have had to break it up to respond appropriately: WHAT THE F**K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MONARCHY?!?!! How can you agree with monarchist views, that falls off the ‘right’-side spectrum. The original old and new testaments were not written in favor of monarchy, just remember Jesus’ original message: “Love thy neighbor”.
I may be mad but I have a hard time accepting the Biblical opinion of someone who starts a letter by dropping the “f” bomb. And “Love thy neighbor” has nothing to do with government. It has to do with, well, your neighbors. Both Testaments do favor monarchy, loyalty to monarchs being commanded in no uncertain terms on numerous occasions.
Tyrannical circumstances like monarchy does not fall under the definition of prophetic Christianity, unless those holding power are fair to their people. That is not a common of power, a form of government more on the ‘liberal’ side of the spectrum.
“That is not a common of power”? Do you speak English? And Christianity has nothing to do with fairness. It is, in fact, quite an unfair religion -and I thank God for that. Were it anything close to fair none of us would have any chance at all of escaping damnation.
True Marxist Socialism is possibly the best way to run a system of government. Russia, Cuba, Germany, North Korea nor any of those countries were ever truly socialistic. Look it up, the way the powerful ran those countries was not even close to true socialism, they just called it socialism to fool its people.
YES! I LOVE this argument! I haven’t heard this since my university days. Yes, they all got it wrong. Absolutely everyone in the whole of North Korea, East Germany, Cuba and the Soviet Union ALL got it wrong, even after devoting their entire lives in many cases to studying socialism, they ALL got it wrong but YOU, mister internet troll are so smart that you figured out that system that baffled hundreds of millions in countries all over the world. My goodness, the “best way to run a system of government” must be really, really complicated and hard to understand!
Reformed Socialism is actually quite possibly the worlds very best system there is. In true ‘conservative socialism’ people thrive. Medicine and all health expenses are publicly financed and paid for, and wages are high for everyone because the market doesn’t run off of a ‘Plutocraticly Warped Consumerist Market’.
Why don’t you just say that wages are high because of unicorn flatulence and healthcare is financed by Santa Claus? It makes just as much sense as what you actually said.
Instead, almost all the people in a country are working because there are a ton of publicly expensed jobs; and those people are being paid very well-off in order to pay for the cost of living and public expense. We can choose conservative socialism so everyone has a say and we are following the true definition of a democracy, or we can; for some strange reason, switch to monarcy; where no one has a say; and also very likely will corrupted, nazist dictators will hold power…not god.
Again, do you speak English? Did it take all of your mental power to discover the “true” meaning of socialism so that there was no room left to be able to string together a coherent sentence? I would try to respond to that but, seriously, I feel I would need someone to translate it for me first. What I can say is that this is just one more letter from one more person which makes me ever more terrified of democracy and republicanism. Just read the nonsense above and reflect: the fate of your country is in the hands of people just like this. The horror. The horror.
Republicans are quite a nonsensical bunch no matter where in the world you find them and those infecting the great Commonwealth of Australia are certainly no different. Their arguments are so full of holes and lack any credibility to such a great extent that they have been so far unsuccessful in their treasonous efforts in spite of having virtually the entire mainstream media, political establishment and university system all helping them push their agenda. It would be like losing a football match to a man with only one leg. Part of the problem is that the republican position is being championed by people, more often than not, on the far-left fringe of the political spectrum and yet they instinctively try to use a conservative, nationalistic sort of argument which they are singularly unsuited to make. They end up sounding like Karl Marx trying to explain the merits of capitalism; they do not do a very poor job of it, come off as being terribly insincere and are extremely unconvincing. They try, like most traitors, to cloak their cause in the mantle of patriotism and love of country and yet, again, this comes off as very insincere when they are advocating basically doing away with the country as it has always been, establishing a totally new form of government and probably even scrapping the national flag for a younger, more stylish model. Saying you love your country but want to change the very foundation of it, the symbols of it and deny nearly the whole history of it would leave anyone doubtful about your honesty.
Yet, that is the first argument republicans tend to make; the nationalistic argument. They claim that it is wrong for someone who is the sovereign of the United Kingdom and who lives predominately in Great Britain to also be the sovereign of Australia. They claim that Australia should not have a “foreign” sovereign (sometimes they will say “Head of State” but, in actuality, the Queen is not the Australian “Head of State” but the “Sovereign” of Australia). The first absurdity of this argument is that, not too many years ago, no one in Australia would have considered anyone from Great Britain, or Canada or South Africa or New Zealand to be “foreign” at all. It takes an odd sort of person to view the Queen of Australia as being “foreign” to the Land Down Under. She looks the same as most of them, speaks the same language, worships the same God and has much the same history. Yet, for most of those making this argument, their double-standard is so blatantly obvious it is a wonder they do not trip over it. After all, just like the UK, Australia is a parliamentary democracy with a population of people from every race, nationality and ethnic group under the sun. There are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and people of various other religions and no religion at all that are accepted as Australians and, indeed, the people making the republican argument are often the same ones demanding that it be so. They seem to be trying to argue at the same time that anyone can be an Australian, except for the Queen or any other Windsor royals.
Furthermore, if this point of the Queen not being a native-born Australian is so important; why does it not extend to others? Australia is a member of the United Nations despite the Secretary-General being a Korean and not an Australian. How can any Australian be a Catholic when the Pope is an Argentine and not an Australian? The republicans cannot answer it of course because, as has been said, they are trying to make a nationalist argument while being fundamentally inter-nationalist in their core beliefs. Aside from the background of the socialist principles most uphold there is the positions they advocate in favor of greater power going to international organizations, few to no restrictions on immigration and their whole mindset of being “citizens of the world” rather than being “Australia for the Australians” which is an attitude they would no doubt abhor. Likewise, even if they tried, they would be unable to make such an argument, not only because it goes against their core beliefs but also because they would be unable to concretely define what an “Australian” is when trying to exclude any member of the Royal Family. After all, the royals share the same ethnic background as most Australians, certainly as the early settlers and builders of modern Australia which is a product of the British Empire. In excluding any member of the Royal Family as being “foreign” to Australia would also necessarily exclude anyone of English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish background who was born and raised in Australia. After all, the blood that runs in the veins of any human being does not change because of what patch of ground they happen to be born on.
Even if the republicans were to then make a more rigidly exclusive cultural argument to base nationality on, their case would still hold no water since immigrants are being welcomed into Australia every day and allowed and even encouraged to maintain their own ethnic traditions, beliefs and culture. So, there is really no way in which the royals could be excluded from the idea of being Australian. They cannot be excluded based on history, for their history is bound up with Australia, nor on blood as it is the same as many Australians and no one, certainly not Australian republicans, would ever dream of basing nationality on ethnicity anyway. Finally, on the legal side of things, which bases nationality on the legality of government documents, the royals are, by that standard, Australian already. No matter how one looks at the republican argument, there is simply no basis for saying that the monarchy should be abolished because the royals are British and not Australian. The Royal Family is British of course but they are no more or less British than they are also Australian, Canadian or any other number of legal rather than ethnic nationalities. So, if the republicans are to persist in their campaign, and they certainly are, that argument is simply not sufficient. What else do they have to offer?
One common but tired tactic is to use the argument of democracy. The monarchy, after all, in un-democratic. It makes the highest “office” in the land something beyond the reach of popularity. Yet, as un-democratic as the monarchy might be, this argument does not hold water either. No one votes for the monarch, true enough, yet the very fact that Australia has already had one referendum on republicanism and with the Queen having stated that she will cheerfully abide by any referendum on the future of the monarchy means that the Queen can be voted out of office if the Australian people wish it. In this way, the Australian monarchy is actually more democratic than most of the major democratic republics of the world. Even in the United States a simple popular vote is not sufficient to remove a sitting president from office nor can any popular vote do anything so drastic as to change the very form of government and the basis for government authority. In the same way, in the United States the Supreme Court can overrule a president and the popular will and not one member of that body is elected or accountable to popular opinion. The fact that Australians can decide whether they want a monarchy or a republic means that they already have more freedom and popular power than republics like France or Germany where it is actually illegal to change the form of government in any way.
It is also worth mentioning that just because a government is democratic and a leader is democratically chosen does not mean it will be better. The most common “worst case scenario” cited is usually Adolf Hitler who rose to power by democratic means after failing to take power by force. However, if that is unfair, perhaps Adolf should be given a rest and we look to a less extreme example such as the United States; the most prominent republic and one of the oldest republics in the world. President Andrew Jackson was democratically elected and quite popular yet he was someone who carried out ethnic cleansing in his own country. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was democratically elected, numerous times, was quite popular and he put thousands of innocent American citizens in concentration camps simply because of their race or ethnicity. An elected tyrant is a tyrant all the same and the tyranny of the mob is often even more gruesome than the tyranny of one man. However, we all should know that the “will of the people” is something everyone cites when it coincides with their own opinions and denounces when it does not.
There is also not much reason to believe republicans when they claim such great devotion for democracy in the first place. In large part these are the same people who empower unelected judges to rule on social issues rather than leaving it to the public to decide. The same people who support international organizations like the UN or the EU, neither of whom have a top leadership that is elected by the ordinary people but most of all we can see the republican contempt for democracy in their own reaction to the referendum on the monarchy. There was a vote for switching to a republic, Australians voted “no” and the republicans swiftly decided to ignore that vote and immediately began working for another referendum and no doubt if that one comes back in favor of the monarchy they will wish for a third and a fourth until the public returns the answer that the republicans desire. This is certainly not respecting the will of the majority, it is no more than a charade. Furthermore, the republicans have made no secret of their desire to pose the question at a time when emotional factors or, in other words, an irrational mentality, would make the public more likely to vote the way they wish them to vote. This leads to another argument; how good a job the monarchy has done for Australia.
Whatever one thinks of the current system of constitutional monarchy in Australia, few could doubt that it has served quite well. No system is perfect of course but there are certainly a great many more countries with a variety of forms of government that are worse off than Australia and not that many that are better off or even equal to life in Australia. It may seem odd to some to judge just how good a job the Queen of Australia is doing considering that the Queen is rarely in Australia to act for herself. Her part is played by what most republicans claim to want; an Australian head of state and the Queen through the Governor-General invariably follows the advice of the elected government. However, it would seem even more ridiculous to advocate someone losing their job without even evaluating how that person is doing in his or her job. The ironic thing about the republicans is that, intentionally or not, they admit that the Queen of Australia has done a most excellent job in her role as sovereign of the country. This can be seen in what many republicans say they want for the next referendum. They want to wait until the current monarch dies and the Crown passes to the Prince of Wales to put the issue before the Australian voters yet again. Why would they do this? The answer is simple and quite telling.
Even the most ardent republican has been forced to admit that the Queen has done a superb job and is extremely popular. Therefore, they admit that it is rather futile to try to get rid of the Australian monarchy while the Queen is still alive. Instead, they want to wait for a tragedy, circling like so many vultures, to swoop down with a referendum when the less popular Prince of Wales comes to the throne. Think about what that means. The Queen has done such a good job they have admitted that opposing her is useless. So their only hope is to get rid of the monarchy under Prince Charles before he has been given a chance to prove himself. In effect, their fear is that the Prince of Wales might prove to be just as capable and popular a King of Australia as his mother was Queen. That should tell the public all they need to know about the character of the republicans. They admit that Australia has a great monarch in the person of the Queen and are terrified that the next monarch might be just as great. They would rather have an inept politician in place of the sovereign than successful monarch. They can’t take the risk that Australia might actually do well and Australians might actually love and admire their sovereign. That is their nightmare and it is one that only an especially despicable person could ever have.