Saturday, April 18, 2009

Monarchs Struggle for Restoration

Today many monarchists are often discouraged by the seeming lack of interest on the part of deposed monarchs or pretenders to actually push for their restoration. Instead, they seem content to live comfortable private lives and let the republicans have their way unopposed. To give heart to my fellow reactionaries here is a list of monarchs and pretenders from the 20th Century to today who struggled, advocated and at times fought for the restoration of their monarchies:

German Kaiser Wilhelm II: It must be stated that the Kaiser did not think that his chances of restoration were very good but he never gave up on the idea. He refused to return to Germany unless it was as Emperor and he threatened to disown any of his children who swore allegiance to the republic. He also showed great monarchial solidarity by insisting that he would never be restored alone but that his own restoration must also include the restoration of all the German monarchies (Saxony, Bavaria, Wurttemberg etc) and he maintained many contacts in German society with the hope of an eventual restoration.

Emperor Charles I of Austria-Hungary: Although deposed and exiled in 1918 the last Hapsburg Emperor never abdicated, in fact he probably did not think it would be possible for him to do so. The devoutly Catholic Charles considered the monarchy (correctly) to be a sacred trust between him and God and not something he could ever give up on. Austria was a lost cause but Charles attempted to restore himself as King of Hungary twice in 1921. Unfortunately he was thwarted by the very man who claimed to be holding power temporarily on his behalf, Admiral Miklos Horthy.

King George II of Greece: Although not as actively involved in restoration efforts as some others, George II of Greece did have more than one restoration. In 1923 he was deposed by revolutionaries but did not abdicate. He went into exile but was restored in 1935 in a referendum following a coup by the shifty General George Kondylis. World War II forced him from his throne yet again with communists taking over in the interim. Another referendum in 1946 saw him restored to the throne yet again though a civil war ensued between the communists and Greek royalists.

Crown Prince Alexander II of Yugoslavia: Few other current royal pretenders have been as open in advocating restoration as the heir of the Serbian royal family. Born in London he was not able to go to Yugoslavia until 1991 but once at home he openly stated his belief that constitutional monarchy was the ideal form of government and has campaigned for restoration ever since. Although not yet successful his hard work has won him the support of numerous political elites as well as the Serbian Orthodox Church which openly supports restoration.

Emperor Henry PuYi of China: The last Emperor of China once swore to his ancestors that he would struggle always for restoration and if he failed to do so he was no Aisin-Gioro. Reigning only from 1908-1911 he was first restored in 1917 for a short time following a monarchist coup by Marshal Zhang Xun. He was always looking for allies among the powerful warlords and foreign powers to push for restoration. In 1932 he went along with the Japanese creation of a seperate state in Manchuria and in 1934 was restored there as Manchu Emperor where he reigned until 1945 and the defeat of Japan in World War II. Over a decade in communist prison succeeded in brain-washing him into despising his imperial heritage.

King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia: A hard case to deal with, I personally find the actions of the last Emperor of China and his alliance with Japan far easier to understand than the actions of Sihanouk. After making secret deals with North Vietnam and Red China he was deposed in a coup by pro-US General Lon Nol after which Sihanouk endorsed the murderous Khmer Rouge regime which assured their success. However, as communists are apt to do, they removed him from power as soon as they won the war. Following UN intervention Sihanouk was able to restore himself as King again in 1993 but still maintains close ties with Red China and North Korea.


  1. Well, it's good to see these monarchs fighting back...thanks.

  2. I appreciate your list of Monarchs who refused to accept the republican regimes that followed their reign.

    However, in the case of Kaiser Wilhelm II I must confess that I think it would have been actually better, had he resigned himself to a life in exile. The Kaiser was too much connected with the German defeat in WW I. His grandson Prince Louis Ferdinand (1907-1994) was much better positioned to assume the role of Germany's Monarch, but his exiled grandfather did not allow him play any active political role.

    Only after the Kaiser's death in 1941 could Prince Louis Ferdinand become part of the German resistance movement against Hitler and in doing so he sidelined his own father, Crown Prince Wilhelm.

    Prince Louis Ferdinand never abdicated and maintained his claims until his death in 1994.
    Here's a short YouTube clip, in which Prince Louis Ferdinand proclaims his readiness to become German Emperor:

  3. It was the Kaiser who said "monarchy is like virginity, once you lose it you can never get it back". I think he was resigned to a life in exile but he never totally gave up hope, even if just a glimmer. When the Kronprinz thought about running for President he threatened to disown him as that would mean taking an oath to the republic.

    Kaiser Bill was, I'll just say, a "character" and I think he was once offered the chance to come home but, he felt he was the rightful, lawful Kaiser and he refused to come back under any terms except to come back to rule as the Kaiser. Stepping aside for the younger generation would have been asking too much for someone of his mentality.

    By the time a real opportunity for restoration came it was after the Kaiser was long dead and no one was willing to advocate for Louis. The only talk of a post-WW2 restoration still shunned the Hohenzollerns and came to nothing anyway being dominated by the Soviets in so many ways.

  4. The personalities in the list you gave were striking contrast to some people like Sao Shwe Thaike, the Prince of Yawnghwe, who took office as the first President of the Union of Burma.


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