Saturday, May 22, 2010

Royal News Roundup

Starting in the Far East, HM King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia made his first state visit to Japan on Monday where met with the Emperor, Empress and other members of the Japanese Imperial Family. He also met with government leaders to discuss closer ties between Cambodia and Japan, the two monarchies probably on the most opposite ends of the prosperity spectrum in the Far East. This was the first visit to Japan by a Cambodian monarch since the restoration of the monarchy in 1993.

Moving to the Middle East, the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah started his state visit to the Kingdom of Jordan, also on Monday, and this will be the first time such a visit was undertaken by a Kuwaiti sovereign in 20 years. The Emir met with HM King Abdullah II behind closed doors where they discussed the peace process in Israel and improving relations between Kuwait and Jordan which were cut off during the First Gulf War over accusations by Kuwait that Jordan was collaborating with Iraq. Dowager Queen Noor of Jordan was in the south of France this week for the Cannes Film Festival (also attended by two of the Casiraghis from Monaco) to promote a documentary called “Countdown to Zero” which promotes the elimination of nuclear weapons. Finally, Queen Rania of Jordan was in the U.S. this week where she was given a humanitarian award by the Microsoft corporation. She described technology as “helping humanity move forward”.

On Sunday the Princely Family of Monaco turned out for the Formula 1 Grand Prix, greater coverage can be found here. In the absence of the still recovering King of Spain, the Prince and Princess of the Asturias met with the President and First Lady of Mexico on Monday to open the Spain-Mexico Forum at the Cervantes Institute. The Prince of the Asturias spoke of the shared values of Mexico and Spain, “peace, freedom, justice, democracy, welfare and development” (so nothing that impresses me very much) and also mentioned the need for cooperation in the ongoing struggle in Mexico with the armed drug cartels. President Caledron said that the ties between Mexico and Spain had never been stronger. On Wednesday HM Queen Sofia of Spain traveled to her homeland of Greece, where her brother was formerly King, to promote all things Spanish from architecture to language.

Also this week the Belgian Crown Prince and Princess traveled to Brazil to promote greater economic ties between the two countries ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic games. As is often the case Prince Philippe handled more of the political and business side of things while Princess Mathilde concerned herself with humanitarian events. There was also a special exhibit commemorating the trip made by King Albert I of the Belgians to Brazil. In other Low Countries Royal news the Crown Prince and Princess of the Netherlands traveled to the World Expo at Shanghai to visit the Netherlands Pavilion on Tuesday which was ‘Dutch Day’ at the Expo. While there Princess Maxima saw the tiara she wore at her wedding in 2002.

Finally, on the 17th the Royal Family was out in force for National Day in the Kingdom of Norway. It was a very colorful occasion, as usual, with the Crown Prince and Princess, and their children, taking in the parade dressed entirely in Norwegian national costume. The King, Queen and Royal Family were on hand to wave from the balcony as one expects on these occasions and trips were made to visit certain areas throughout Oslo to mark the occasion. May 17 marks the day in 1814 when the constitution of Norway was first adopted -the oldest constitution in Europe still in use and only the second oldest in the world. A belated happy National Day to Norway!


  1. What do you think of Republican governments granting aristrocracy titles?

    For example, in the Republic of China on taiwan, a descendant of confucius continues to hold an official position as "Sacrificial Official to Confucius", and he continues to hold ceremonies to honor Confucius's birthday along with the President every September 28.

    the Position used to be "Duke Yansheng", but it was changed to the less aristocratic "sacricial official" sounding title.

    however, the position is slowly being nailed away, two years ago, the Sacrificial official position was stripped of its pay and cabinet post, and now due to a gender equality act, a female may hold the title in the future, which may lead to a non direct descendant holding the title.

    that means the next holder of the title may not have the same surname as confucious, which is Kong, also romanized as "kung". the current holder of the title is kung tsuichang. confucius's name was Kong fuzi.

    a "Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee" was created by another descendant in Communist china to map out a family tree. It must be a nightmare to create it. It covers over 2,500 years, 80 generations and two million members. since some of his descendants married Koreans, Muslims, Manchus, and Mongols, they are scattered all over, and there are over 1,000 year old geneological books.

    some communists have slammed the project as being "feudal", others support it as simply being an archival record.

    This september 28th, Confucius is having his 2,560 birthday.

  2. I would not agree with a republican government granting or abolishing aristocratic titles -I do not feel they have any legitimate authority to do so. That said, I am glad that at least some recognition is given to the family of Master Kong. They should go even further and restore the system he advocated.


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