Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MM Video: King James II of Great Britain

James II was the son of the martyred King Charles I and younger brother of King Charles II. He came to the throne of the 3 kingdoms in 1685 when his brother died with no legitimate heirs. He started out on shaky ground as there had long been attempts by the Protestants at court to have him excluded from the succession following his conversion to Catholicism but his brother refused. James II would be the last Catholic to sit on the British throne. He defeated an attempt at rebellion led by the Duke of Monmouth but he encouraged the wrath of powerful Protestants by his efforts to enact religious toleration and his promotion of Catholics. After the birth of his son he was overthrown in 1688 by a Protestant coup after an invasion by the Dutch led by his son-in-law William of Orange. He tried to restore himself first in the Kingdom of Ireland but was defeated at the epic battle of the Boyne. He spent the rest of his life in exile.

Shameless Plug

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monarchist Profile: Lady Blanche Arundell

Lady Blanche Arundell was a monarchist I wish I knew more about, but from what I do know she was my kind of girl. The Lady Blanche was born in 1583, the sixth daughter of Lord Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester and Lady Elizabeth Hastings a well respected, Catholic and staunchly royalist family. On May 11, 1607 she married Lord Thomas Baron Arundell of Wardour who, went King Charles I of Britain raised the royal standard at Nottingham was quick to cast his lot with his monarch. While her husband was away at the front Lady Blanche Arundell showed her own heroism when Wardour Castle, Wiltshire, came under attack by the forces of Parliament. With only herself, her children, a handful of maid-servants and 25 men she resolved to defend the castle, her home and family against 1,300 Roundhead troops, including artillery, led by Colonel Edward Ludlow and Sir Edward Hungerford. For eight grueling days Lady Blanche defended the castle against the hopeless odds until she was finally forced to capitulate. However, thanks to her staunch defense she was able to negotiate honorable terms for her surrender which were signed on May 8, 1643. Lady Blanche was able to leave the castle with her head held high but she had no money and no place to go. Fortunately Lord Hertford provided her with accommodations at Salisbury. Her husband later returned at the head of royalist column and took back the castle his wife had so heroically defended but sadly he was later wounded in battle and died at Oxford the same year. When Lady Blanche Arundell died at Winchester on October 28, 1649 she was buried alongside her husband at Tisbury. Her brave defense of her hearth and home, her children and family honor, all in the cause of her King warrants Lady Blanche being listed among the pantheon of great English royalists of the Civil War.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Former PM of Nepal Makes Sense

Former Nepali PM Krishna Prasad Bhattarai has called for the restoration of the (monarchist) 1990 Constitution. You can read the full story at the Telegraph Nepal. The former prime minister said that, "Federalism, republican order and secularism are against the national order". Truer words were never spoken. The 1990 Constitution allowed for democracy but also a central role for the monarchy and recognized Hinduism as the official state religion of Nepal.

Swedish Anniversary in America

It was on this day in 1638 that the North American colony of New Sweden was founded, during the reign of Queen Christina (above). The expedition set out the year previously under the command of Admiral Clas Fleming (a native of Finland) with the colony to be established by the veteran Dutch colonialist Peter Minuit all done under the aegis of the New Sweden Company. The Swedes settled in the area of Delaware Bay and began construction of Fort Christina near present-day Wilmington, Delaware. Settlements went ahead as planned even though it was in an area already claimed by the Dutch as part of their New Netherland colony. Most of the settlers were Swedes and Finns (more Finns arriving later) with an assortment of other Europeans, predominately German and Dutch. Minuit called the leaders of the local Delaware Indians together and negotiated rights to the land. New Sweden was a successful enough colony until 1655 when a Dutch army under New Netherland Governor Peter Stuyvesant led an attack that captured Forts Christina and Fort Trinity after which time the area of New Sweden was incorporated into the New Netherland colony which was, in turn, captured by the English in 1664. But, it was 372 years ago today that the Kingdom of Sweden arrived in America.

The Pope a Target?

HH Pope Benedict XVI opened Holy Week with the Palm Sunday mass in St Peter's square in the Vatican but in all the news coverage His Holiness' actual religious message was overshadowed by continuing accusations of clerical abuse in Europe, particularly in Ireland and Germany. Is it not odd how all of this comes about just as such similar controversy had died down in the United States. One might think that if people were going to come forward with decades old claims they would be encouraged to do so when others are doing the same rather than waiting until it dies down on one continent only to flare up in another -so that the controversy never ends. But enough about that -that's for a religion blog somewhere to cover.

What has captured my attention in all of this is the calls for the Pope to "resign" (to be correct; abdicate) over these latest scandals. So far these have only come from what a Vichy French police captain would call the 'usual suspects'; secularists, enemies of the Church, the liberal media etc. However, what I find disturbing is that this is not a new suggestion. Readers will recall that when the late Pope John Paul II was near the end of his life and quite infirm there were calls from these same people (all sounding very sympathetic and concerned of course) that John Paul II abdicate as well. Now, they want Benedict XVI to abdicate because of accusations that the Church in Europe has a number of degenerate clerics.

Why is it that all of a sudden, no matter what the problem or situation the "answer" is always for the Pope to abdicate. Is it just me or does it seem like something that would have been absolutely unthinkable only a few years ago keeps being suggested as a 'proper response' to everything? Okay, fair warning, here is where the Mad Monarchist is going to head home to CrazyTown. Could it be that these anti-religion types are simply desperate for the Pope, this one, this last or a future one, to abdicate simply so that the precedent will be set? If such a thing were to happen it would, one could imagine, make it easier for a Pope to pushed aside or done away with.

We have already seen republicanism on the rise in Sweden, attemps on the life of the Dutch Royal Family, calls for the succession in Belgium to be changed, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg stripped of his role in government, bi-partisan opposition to the Spanish monarchy and the republicans in the UK admit that they are simply waiting for the Queen to go to her reward to make their move. The Pope, however, cannot be silenced or influenced and the attempt to kill John Paul II failed and now we have increased calls for abdication. So, if in the future the Pontiff (who is always difficult for the revolutionary crowd) is shuffled off the scene the reason can be given that he abdicated for some reason or another and it is 'no big deal' because abdication has been done before and is nothing out of the ordinary. Call me mad, call me paranoid (and medical opinion would be on your side) but I cannot help but wonder......

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Romanovs in the News

HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia had her case represented in court recently and HIH Grand Duke George of Russia gave an interview. Both of these stories come via the Russian Monarchist's Blog.

The Goliad Massacre

It was on March 27, 1836, Palm Sunday, that was to prove the most infamous day in the history of Texas. The War for Independence looked to be going very badly. Ever since General Santa Anna, President of Mexico, had launched his counteroffensive to retake Texas from the rebel forces his army had been everywhere victorious. While Santa Anna wasted lives in assaulting the Alamo, General Jose Urrea marched up the coast, defeating a number of smaller Texas units on his way to the old presidio at Goliad, renamed Ft Defiance by the Texans where the main Texas army waited under Colonel James Fannin (above). At the last minute Fannin abandoned the fort and marched north but was overtaken in the open by the elite Mexican cavalry. The Texans formed a square and fought off a number of attacks as Urrea and his main force arrived. Surrounded, cut off from water and with little food or ammunition Fannin finally surrendered on the promise from Urrea that he and his men would be treated as prisoners of war. However, for Santa Anna this war was a war of annihilation. After Urrea had continued north Santa Anna sent orders to the commander at Goliad to execute all of the Texan prisoners. A night of heated debate followed before the Mexican officers decided that Santa Anna's orders had to be obeyed and Urrea's ignored. At 8 o'clock in the morning some 350 to 400 unarmed Texan prisoners were marched out of the presidio, told to kneel on the ground and shot at point blank range. Survivors were bayoneted, clubbed to death or chased down by the Mexican lancers. The wounded men who could not walk were carried out and placed by the wall of the chapel and likewise shot. Colonel Fannin, too badly wounded to stand and refusing a blindfold, was seated in a chair and shot after being forced to witness the death of his men.

General Urrea was outraged when he heard what had happened in his absence but not nearly so much as the Texans, the US and most of the civilized world was. "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Goliad" became the battle cries of the Texan forces who were more determined than ever to fight on to ultimate victory and despite the circumstances of the war, because of the actions of Santa Anna and his refusal to take prisoners, and particularly the massacre at Goliad the Mexicans would forever after be painted as the villains in world opinion.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cinema Royal: Barry Foster

The late British actor Barry Foster (originally John Barry Foster) appeared in a number of television and film roles but one of his most memorable, certainly for readers here, was his part in the 1974 BBC miniseries “Fall of Eagles”. In seven episodes he played the part of German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Of course the crew did their best to make all the actors resemble their historical characters as much as possible but, in my opinion, none looked so convincing as Barry Foster’s Kaiser Wilhelm. Particularly in the latter episodes where he was aged somewhat the resemblance is striking. Had it been possible to give him a shrunken left arm one could, at times, have trouble telling the actor apart from the actual monarch. His portrayal was also, on the whole, a fairly accurate one. He did not play the Kaiser as a malicious villain, but as a somewhat over-the-top monarch trying to be the sort of strongman he was expected to be, ever confident that his own course was the correct one. As the series went on and especially in the final episode Foster shows very well how the Kaiser had fallen into frustration and melancholy trying to come to grips with being reduced to a figurehead with his empire collapsing around him. Certain scenes also show his religious side which is often ignored. It correctly shows that he was not behind some maniacal scheme to conquer the world, that he had grave misgivings and gave dire warnings about the efforts to encourage revolution in Russia and one of the most touching scenes of the series was certainly when he comforted his weeping wife over the tragic fate of the Romanovs. For the accuracy of the part, sugar-coating nothing but not vilifying the Kaiser, the talent with which he portrays the Kaiser at different stages in his life and for his uncanny resemblance it is Barry Foster as Wilhelm II that most stands out in my mind from “Fall of Eagles”.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Prince of Wales in Afghanistan

I wanted to post on this earlier but was holding out for a better photo -no luck. In any event, in one of the little acts that I favor most when it comes to royals HRH the Prince of Wales made a swift, surprise visit to the British troops in Afghanistan. This was no formality-laden trip to Kabul, the Prince visited troops at forward positions in Helmand Province, the most Taliban-ridden part of the country. Some areas were so far forward the Prince had to don a helmet and body armor (ever seen a president or vp do that?). There is nothing I like better to see royals in uniform visiting their troops in the field (and if I can be a military fashionista for a moment I think the British desert camo duds are the best -even had to get some myself) and the Prince of Wales can relate to them in a special way as the father of an Afghanistan veteran (which he spoke about). The Prince also met with Afghan military and civilian officials and visited some local sites of interest. The British have been the most active in the Afghan war after the U.S. and this visit has also shown how the American fascination with the British monarchy still survives. Royals from numerous European countries (Denmark, Holland etc) have visited the front in Afghanistan but it did not make the news on U.S. TV and yet I first heard of Prince Charles visiting the front on the uber-American Fox News Channel. It seems you can take the colonies out of the empire but you can't take...

Mad Rant: Healthy Hatred of Hypocrisy

If there is one thing about the revolutionary movement throughout history that really chaps my hide it is the naked, blatant hypocrisy of the lot of them. Moreover, as the revolutionists gain strength this aspect of their character only seems to grow worse with time. It was seen in the French Revolution when criminals citing starving Parisians as their source of indignation allowed His Highness the Dauphin to starve to death in prison. We saw it all throughout and in the aftermath of World War I (a conflict riddled with hypocrisy as few others have been) and we saw it in the Bolshevik Revolution when the same people who railed against the autocracy of the Czar set up a government more far reaching and absolutist that any Romanov had ever been.

To this day it is no less prevalent. In the Dominion of Canada, thankfully still a monarchy but one riddled with revolutionary thinking, the controversial writer Ann Coulter was not allowed to speak at a university in Ottawa because of fear that her rhetoric would violate Canadian “hate speech” laws. So, Ann ridicules terrorists and that is hate speech but a Canadian republican who spews hatred and opposition against his Queen is tolerated if not encouraged? Hypocrisy! You could say much the same about the United Kingdom where the politically incorrect is not tolerated but setting up a guillotine in front of Buckingham Palace by republics is allowed. The U.S. tends to take a sanctimonious tone on issues like this, and free speech is probably more firmly defended here than in other places -but it is by no means absolute.

On other issues the same hypocritical attitude shines through brightly. My favorite bit of hypocrisy in history is the Monroe Doctrine which reserves the Western hemisphere as the exclusive sphere of influence of the United States in which Washington will tolerate no outside meddling! This was always a rather arrogant policy but it was at least not quite so hypocritical as it became later when the U.S. began to intervene in every other section of the globe (warranted or not) and would never think of allowing any other nation so vast a sphere of influence that would be considered “hands-off” to all outsiders.

Finally, what has me the most worked up at the moment are the current wails from the GOP (fully justified in light of the U.S. government going literally and figuratively in the Red) but warning heatedly against any third parties and trying to hold themselves apart from the current crisis. They will repeal and replace ‘Obamacare’ if only they are elected to a majority in November. Well, where the hell was all this fiscal common sense when Bush was President and you had the majority in both houses? No, you spent money like water, cut back on none of the entitlements that are bankrupting the U.S. and instituted the largest expansion of the federal government in decades with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (call me mad but I would have thought that covered by the Defense Department). The Democrats have shown themselves to be the socialist party plain and simple, but why should anyone not think twice about trusting the GOP? It is easy to take such a high moral stand when you have no power but after being burned by the eight years of the Bush administration (who did do some things right I will admit) why should conservatives so willingly trust you again?

Right now the Republicans are saying all of the right things and it would not be difficult to put together a better agenda than that of the Obammunists. However, when Bush first ran for office (and I voted for him with enthusiasm) he promised smaller government, fiscal conservatism, protection of traditional values, defense of the border and that the U.S. would not be a world policeman. In the eight years that followed we got a bigger government, uncontrolled spending, a half-hearted defense at best of traditional values with nothing being rolled back really, little defense of the borders and even an effort at amnesty and nation building efforts in Iraq. Funny thing Republicans -people are reluctant to trust hypocrites which is what you are looking an awful lot like lately. I am sick of the hypocrisy, I am sick of politicians constantly promising one thing and doing another, I am really sick of the people falling for it term after term and I AM … The Mad Monarchist.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monarch Profile: Suleiman the Magnificent

In the long history of the Ottoman Empire, one monarch who stands out from the rest is Sultan Suleiman I, better known as Suleiman the Magnificent. He is perhaps most remembered in the Muslim world for the legal code he left behind but in the Christian world he is more often remembered for his conquests and being a powerful ally to some and a mortal danger to others. Suleiman was born in Trabzon on November 6, 1494 to Sultan Selim I and from the age of seven he was groomed to one day rule, being educated in science, history, literature, Islamic theology and warfare. From the age of 17 he was given a number of important political posts, including three governorships.

Upon the death of his father in 1520 Suleiman became Grand Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Commander of the Faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe. Described as tall, thin, pale studious and wise, great things were expected of him and he was not to disappoint. In his studies he admired the great figures of ancient history such as Alexander the Great and was determined to surpass their deeds. His competitive spirit went to such lengths that he had a 4-tiered crown made for himself in order to surpass the 3-tiered crown of the Pope in Rome. In the spirit of Alexander he immediately set out on a campaign of conquest in southern Europe, taking Belgrade from the Hungarians one year after ascending the throne.

Suleiman the Magnificent (as he soon came to be called) struck fear across Christendom with victory after victory. He invaded Hungary, the King falling in battle, conquered Hungary and after an epic siege captured the island of Rhodes. In 1526 he defeated the Hungarians again, making the Ottoman Empire the dominant power in south-eastern Europe. When the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V liberated Hungary Sultan Suleiman counter-attacked and recaptured Budapest and besieged Vienna, Austria. The survival of Christian Europe hung in the balance but at Vienna Suleiman suffered his first defeat and had to fall back. However, he won other victories later and forced Emperor Charles to sue for peace on his terms.

With the European situation settled to his satisfaction Suleiman then fought a long but ultimately successful war against the Persians, solidifying Turkish control of Iraq and the Middle East. He challenged the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean for control of the trade to the subcontinent, winning control of Yemen but failing to capture key Portuguese positions. He also later assisted rebels in Indonesia against Portugal. However, his attention was drawn back to Europe by the successes of Andrea Doria in the eastern Mediterranean and the gains of Emperor Charles V in Tunisia. Suleiman assembled a massive naval force with the intention of smashing the Christian fleets, invading Italy and perhaps more. He even promised to capture Rome and make St Peter’s Basilica into a mosque. However, despite having every advantage his fleet was defeated by the Christian forces under Don Juan of Austria at the battle of Lepanto in 1571.

Still, Suleiman did not dwell on his losses and soon extended his influence across north Africa at the expense of Charles V. He also famously made an alliance with King Francis I of France who was eager to have such a powerful ally in his own on-going conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor. His naval forces devastated much of Sicily and southern Italy in cooperation with the French but the campaign was marred by the failure to take Malta which narrowly managed to hold out against the Ottoman forces until a Spanish relief force arrived.

At home, Sultan Suleiman undertook a reform and simplification of the law, finally producing the famous code known as the “Ottoman Law” which was to be the law of the land in the empire for the next 300 years. He improved conditions for the Christians and Jews within his empire and made criminal punishments less cruel and decreased the number of capital offenses. The Ottoman Empire went through a flowering of art, literature and architecture during the reign of Suleiman I and the Sultan himself was quite an accomplished poet. One subject he wrote about was his famous wife Roxolana, a harem slave girl who he had broken with tradition to marry and elevate to the role of consort. It was a son by Roxolana that succeeded Suleiman I when he died in 1566 on his way to another campaign in Hungary.

It is a mark of the greatness of the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent that he was widely admired by friends and enemies alike. To his own people and his allies he was known as a wise and just ruler while his enemies had to admire his talent, wealth and power. Under his rule the Ottoman Empire reached a peak in both political power and cultural achievement. Rulers who came after him would build on the foundations he put down until the Ottoman Empire was the most powerful state in the western world.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Today in Monarchial History

Today in 1401 noted Central Asian conqueror Tamerlane captures the city of Damascus. In 1603 James VI, King of Scots, became King James I of England, ushering in the House of Stuart to reign over all of the British Isles upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1923 King George II of Greece was deposed by the Revolutionary Committee while the King was in Romania. The monarchy was restored in 1935 with 95% support by the people. In 1972 the U.K. imposed direct rule on Northern Ireland due to on-going violence between the unionist and nationalist camps. And, on this day in 2008 the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan officially changed from an absolute monarchy to a democratic one in spite of the misgivings of the Bhutanese people.

Consort Profile: Maria Josepha of Bavaria

Maria Josepha of Bavaria was the second wife and Empress consort of the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II. She was born Marie Josephe Antoine Walburga Felicitas Regula in Munich, Bavaria on March 30, 1739. Her father was the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII, of the House of Wittelsbach, Prince-Elector and Duke of Bavaria. Her mother was Maria Amalia of Austria. She married Archduke Joseph of Austria, King of the Romans on January 23, 1765 in Vienna. It may have looked like a good match, the daughter of Emperor Charles VII marrying the heir of Empress Maria Theresa of the Holy Roman Empire, but in fact it was ill-fated from the start and there was little Maria Josepha could do about the situation.

Joseph had previously been married to Isabella of Parma who had died in 1763, who he had adored, as had most everyone. The rather difficult “enlightened despot” was heartbroken and had not wanted to remarry at all but Empress Maria Theresa was adamant that her son take another wife and produce an heir to the Hapsburg throne. Maria Josepha came to Austria in the shadow of Isabella and she could never hope to take her place. Going into the marriage reluctantly, Joseph criticized his new wife for her weight and her bad teeth but also admitted that her character was “irreproachable”, that she did love him and that she had many admirable qualities. Yet, Joseph declared it a pity for all of that as he simply had no love for her in return.

If Maria Theresa had pushed the marriage to obtain an heir she was to be disappointed. Joseph always kept Maria Josepha at a distance and it is doubtful that their marriage was ever even consummated. He went to considerable lengths to stay apart from her and avoid even having to see her. Maria Josepha suffered on under these conditions which did not improve in 1765 when her husband became Emperor Joseph II and she became Holy Roman Empress beside him. Whereas ordinarily she would have the place of ‘first lady’ in Vienna, that post was still very much filled by the formidable Empress Maria Theresa, a very religious and conservative woman, who distrusted the more liberal “enlightenment” tendencies in her son.

It would be tempting to think that Joseph II and Maria Josepha could have, over time, grown closer and perhaps had at least some sort of workable relationship. Alas, it was not to be as after being married for only about two years the Holy Roman Empress Maria Josepha died of smallpox, the very same disease that had taken the life of Archduchess Isabella. At the same time Empress Maria Theresa was sick with the disease, though thankfully she survived. Sadly, even in her final days the Emperor did not visit his stricken wife. It would be pleasant to think that Joseph II was too overcome with grief due to memories of his previous wife to deal with it, but the obvious answer cannot be ignored; that he had never desired Maria Josepha as his wife nor did he ever really accept her as such. She died on May 28, 1767 and in the aftermath Joseph II (who did not attend her funeral) claimed part of Bavaria on the basis of his marriage to the late Bavarian princess which led to the War of Bavarian Succession.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guest Article: Stop Democracy Crusades

If one were to take a look at the history of Democracy one would be surprised at how the government of " Freedom" has little tolerance for the choices of other nations that do not correspond with theirs. Starting with the Athenians. The Athenians were well known for not willing to cooperate with other city states on charges that they were not democratic enough. Because of this stubbornness they ended up causing and losing the Peloponnesian War. This attitude of self rightesnous has survived through out the centuries. It is the attitude that defines arrogance. For these people it is not good enough to have their own country adopt such forms of government. They demand that everyone follow suite or they are evil and anyone who wants to associate with them is evil also. Surprisingly enough Democracies who often claim to be for the free choice usually develop such attitudes over time. I cannot name a single war that A Monarchy has began to force it's ideals on other nations. During WWI U.S president Woodrow Wilson did not enter the war until Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown. That way it could be an ideal Democratic crusade against the " evil" German and Austrian monarchies. Mr. Wilson clearly forgot that George Washington told the american people before exiting office to not get involved in european wars. Or that John Adams said not to go abroad looking for monsters to slay. No, Wilson was determined to push forth his radical League of Nations agenda. He wanted to create a New world order in which any nations who wished to have different form of government than what Wilson wanted would be forced to abandon their Monarchy by force or by economic sanctions.When the war was one the Central Powers were torn into shreds by the treaty of Versailles. While Russia (which was an ally) was hardly represented although out all the allied powers it spilled the most blood. During the russian civil war Woodrow Wilson sent troops to help Kolchack. They however did not move much farther than the Vladivostok where they had been sent. This was because Wilson secretly detested Kolchack for he feared that he would restore the monarchy. He was less concerned with stopping the communists than stopping his ally! This was also shared by President FDR who was just obsessed with taking down the British Empire as he was with taking down Hitler! Today the members of NATO and the EU still are bloody obsessed with taking down any nation they deem under democratic. I believe in national sovereignty . The right that every nation has the right to make its own decisions. If nation wants to have a democracy than it's their decision . However they do not have the right to tell other nations what forms of government they can and cannot have.
This article was written by The Black Baron, the purveyor of the new network website "Monarchist Manifesto". Monarchists are welcome to sign up and contribute.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Beauty Queen for Queen & Country

I needed something pleasant to distract myself and thought this was an awesome story. Katrina Hodge (22) enlisted in the British Royal Army on a dare from her brother and when she showed up in heels and fake eyelashes she was dubbed "Combat Barbie". I'm sure it surprised many when she passed her training courses and proved a capable soldier. She served a tour of duty in Iraq where she was awarded a commendation for bravery and the rank of lance corporal. Now, she is also a beauty queen with the title of Miss England. She entered the Miss England pageant and came in second but when scandal forced the original winner to resign Miss Hodge took her place as Miss England and now the beauty queen doing her bit for Queen and Country is making alot of buzz. One item is that the lovely lance corporal has convinced pageant officials to do away with the swimsuit competition and replace it with a sports competition. She has also become the front-person for a dating website devoted to helping men and women in uniform find romance. With all of the shallow, superficial and frankly selfish attitudes we often associate with pretty faces today, it is nice for someone to be in the position of a beauty queen who has actually served her Queen in a war zone. Now, so as not to mislead, I tend to have very traditional attitudes about women in the military, but I applaud anyone for serving in uniform and "Combat Barbie" here has hopefully shown others that enlisting in the service of their Queen and Country is an admirable thing that anyone of any background should consider. The Mad Monarchist salutes her for her spirit of service and her loyalty as well as her other obvious qualities.
(there, something totally unrelated to creeping socialism...)

Another Step Closer to Bolshevism

Americans have been warned for years about the dangers of communism; a particularly insidious threat as there is no natural, established bulwark against such a thing in a republic like the US, but it seems that despite all common sense there are still many people who have not listened. I speak, of course, of the passage of the super-hyped health care bill by the House of Representatives yesterday, Sunday, March 21, 2010 -a date which will live in infamy. Does this bill bring about a communist America? No. Does it provide socialized healthcare? No. Why so upset then? Because we have all seen this sort of thing happen before and we all know where it ends. This is the begining and both sides have admitted as much; the GOP as a warning, the Democrats as a promise. The Democrats have been crowing ever since the bill passed and that is certainly not because they regard it as a brilliant bit of legislation but because it is the bill by which they have got their foot in the door which will lead to outright socialism.
To my (admittedly damaged) mind there is no room for debate on this. The Democrats have been pushing a socialist agenda too long and too hard (with the 'glorious' GOP doing little more than accepting past socialist gains while offering opposition to the 'next' ones). Furthermore, the number of people in the current administration who have communist ties, communist sympathies and communist backgrounds, often by their own admission, are simply too numerous to ignore. As far as I'm concerned it is a matter of facing facts; the President of the United States is a Communist. The socialist/communist/marxist agenda is being introduced bit by bit, by any and all means necessary but always moving (or "progressing") ever further down the Bolshevik path.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

MM Video: The Royals of Wurttemberg

Favorite Royal Images: King Baldwin the Leper

One of my favorite images and one of my favorite monarchs, this painting shows the young King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem at the battle of Montgisard, forced to be carried on a litter and wrapped in bandages because of his advanced leperosy he nonetheless lifts his sword and leads his knights forward against the superior forces of the formidable Muslim champion Saladin. It was a stunning victory for the Crusaders but the Christians had not seen the last of Saladin...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Monarchist Profile: Jose Fernando de Abascal y Sousa

Jose Fernando de Abascal y Sousa, first Marquis of La Concordia was the Spanish Viceroy of Peru during the Latin American Revolutions. He was born into a noble family on June 3, 1743 in Oviedo in the Asturias in Spain. When he was 19 he joined the Spanish army where he had a rather uneventful career. After 20 years service he was promoted to colonel and during the war with France was promoted to brigadier general. In 1796 he defended Havana, Cuba against the British and later was named military commander of Nueva Galicia in what is now western Mexico in 1800. In 1804 he was named Viceroy of Rio de la Plata but before taking up the most was instead named Viceroy of Peru.

While on his way from Spain he was taken prisoner by the British and so did not take up his vice-regal duties in Lima until 1806. Once there he showed himself to be an active administrator, reforming education, the army and suppressing the first early rebellions against the Spanish Crown. He also undertook the first massive vaccinations of the people of Lima against smallpox but his efforts were fairly well resisted. He founded a medical school in San Fernando and dealt with an earthquake, a massive fire in Guayaquil and a very destructive hurricane during his time in office.

In May of 1810 Spanish South America was thrown into turmoil by the outbreak of revolution in Buenos Aires. Abascal responded by trying to extend his reach as much as possible and keep the widest area in royalist hands. He sent troops into what is now Bolivia, taking the area into the Viceroyalty of Peru, defeated a rebel army at huaqui, Alto Peru and took in modern Chile and Ecuador into the Peruvian viceroyalty as well. Although he was a staunch supporter of the absolute monarchy in Spain his patriotism obliged him to support the more liberal Cadiz Cortes in opposition to the invading forces of Napoleonic France. Because of the turmoil in Spain and the great distance between Europe and America he was able to effectively rule as he saw fit.

Under the leadership of Abascal Peru became the royalist stronghold of South America when revolutionary movements seemed to be breaking out everywhere. When the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812 was put forward Abascal was having none of it in his viceroyalty and put down supporters of it with the same zeal that he had dealt with earlier republican rebellions. That same year he was given the title of first Marquis of La Concordia and with good reason as his forces launched a very successful campaign to restore royal rule throughout the region.

In 1814, in cooperation with a Spanish expeditionary force, Abascal dispatched 2,400 royalist troops under General Antonio Pareja to put down revolutionary uprisings in Chile. They rallied considerable support along the way from the southern part of the country where a greater number of people were loyal to the King. By the time he reached Chillan his force had swelled to 4,000 and the town surrendered without a fight and 2,000 more recruits joined the royalist army. All in all a resounding success but all his years of activity and dealing with disasters had taken their toll on Abascal and in 1816 he requested that he be relieved of duty and allowed to return home to Spain. This request was granted and Abascal died in Madrid in 1821 at the age of 79.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Globe Trotting Royals

HRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg (above) will be visiting the U.S. cities of Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle and San Francisco as part of a delegation to meet with the heads of companies with a history of doing business with Luxembourg and to encourage more businesses to move or open new branches there (many businesses are fleeing California in particular these days) and likewise to meet with those companies interested in the opportunities Luxembourg offers.

HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have been on a tour of Eastern Europe and have just finished their visit to Poland where the Duchess had to take a break from the activities of the day due to back pain. The royal couple will next be visiting Hungary. The Prince of Wales hopes to strengthen ties with the eastern countries that have recently been coming into the European Union. Just after his arrival in Poland the Prince of Wales visited the grave of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a priest murdered by the communists who the Vatican is set to beatify next year this summer. The couple have also met with the Polish President and First Lady and visited a group of Muslim Tatars on the Belarussian border.

Last week HM King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia visited France to accept his place in the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-lettres. The King formerly lived in France and in his acceptance speech talked about the veneration of the Khmer people for their ancient temples and of the great work done by his father, Senior King Norodom Sihanouk. Cambodia became a French protectorate in 1863 and became independent in 1953 under King Sihanouk.

Belgian King to Visit Former Colony

HM King Albert II of the Belgians has officially been invited to attend the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly the Belgian Congo, which gained independence from Belgium in 1960. PM Yves Leterme has said that the government has agreed "in principle" to the King visiting the Congo which will be the first time a Belgian monarch has been there in 25 years. Tensions have long been high between Belgium and the Congo. The area was first acquired by King Leopold II as the Congo Free State in 1885. After reports of gross abuses by local officials became widespread Leopold II sent a royal commission to investigate the reported atrocities and as a result of the findings the government took control of the territory which then became the Belgian Congo. In 1960 King Baudouin went to officially hand-over independence to the Congo and was even then met with considerable animosity. Once the Belgians evacuated the country many Congolese who had been calling for independence then blamed the Belgians for pulling out too quickly when political chaos ensued (something King Baudouin had warned them about in his final address to them). As recent as last year diplomatic relations were efffectively broken off between Belgium and the Congo which has had a chaotic and often bloody history since independence but which remains very sensitive about any remarks about such events, particularly from Belgium. It remains to be seen whether the situation has improved sufficiently for King Albert II to actually attend the independence anniversary festivities. There will be more about the history of the Congo, Belgium and King Leopold II in a future post.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cinema Royal: Genevieve Bujold

French-Canadian actress Genevieve Bujold starred as Anne Boleyn in the 1969 film "Anne of the Thousand Days". For someone coming from an admittedly partisan point of view, and as someone who views Catherine of Aragon as one of the greatest ladies in all of history, it is hard for me to find a portrayal of Anne Boleyn which I admire. Genevieve Bujold, however, strongly delivers. She certainly has the physical beauty to convince the audience she could motivate a king to tear his country in half to have her, however, in this film Anne Boleyn is portrayed as not really seeking for this to happen. Although she is portrayed as a woman with, I shall politely say romantic experience, she nonetheless wants nothing to do with the King who broke up her engagement and had left her sister abandoned after being his mistress. Rather than stringing the king along to get all the earthly glory she can, in this film Bujold portrays Anne as a woman who resists the king at every turn and hopes that she can put up so many obstacles the king will have to stop pursuing her and allow her to go her own way. Henry VIII, played by Richard Burton, tears down every obstacle though and finally wins her over, though as soon as she submits to love him he has fallen out of love with her and wants her gone whom he had once so desired. The part is played well (she won a Golden Globe for best actress and was nominated for an Oscar for the role) and gives Genevieve Bujold's Anne Boleyn a place amongst my Tudor film favorites.

The Death of a King

It was on this day in 1913 that HM King George I of the Hellenes was assassinated by a socialist traitor while appearing in a victory parade in Salonika. George I had arrived in Greece in 1863, the founder of the current Greek Royal Family. During his reign there had been a time of hard earned prosperity and a considerable expansion of Greek territory. Still, it was often chaotic and beset by difficulties on every side and the monarch faced considerable opposition. In spite of this he took very little precautions for his own safety but was surely not expecting such a dastardly attack during what should have been a period of national celebration. Greek troops had just performed brilliantly in the First Balkan War, winning a string of victories against the Ottoman Turks. But of course that meant nothing to the likes of socialist revolutionaries and the King's life was cut short 97 years ago today. RIP.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ireland and the British Monarchy

The British monarchy is obviously not very popular in Ireland. We often hear that the role of the monarch is to embody the people they reign over and, sometimes justly and sometimes not, that means representing both the good and the bad of a people. This has often meant, through the long years of British rule over Ireland that the monarchy in whose name Ireland was governed for so many years has been the target of criticism, resentment and even hatred. However, in the rising radicalism of any two sides in a conflict, extreme and misleading pictures can be drawn. The British monarchy has intervened to the benefit of Ireland over the years and in most cases it was not the monarchs of Britain who did the greatest harm to Ireland and the misrule of British officials should certainly not be used to turn Ireland against its long and ancient history of monarchy. An excellent case in point is the fact that the worst atrocities in Ireland were carried out by the republican dictator Oliver Cromwell who had deposed and murdered the King.

Ireland, after all, was a collection of monarchies before the English invasion and at times even a united "empire" of sorts (High King Brian Boru was sometimes called the "Emperor of the Irish" for ruling over a number of kingdoms). There had never been an Irish republic before and one could say that by simply being a republic Ireland is giving in to the idea that so many centuries of British rule managed to change them into something they never were and that foreign rule effectively brought in a form of rule after independence that was totally foreign to Irish culture. I cannot help but imagine that it would have been rather glorious for Ireland, at the time of independence, to have crowned a High King of Ireland and restore all the chief families and go on as though the occupation had never happened. It would have been close to if not impossible I know, but it seems to me very "Irish" to have done something like that as a way of saying no enemy, no occupation, no matter how long will change who we are and how we do things.

There are a few Irish people who would like to see the old kingdoms restored but this would be quite a job and leads back to one of the reasons why the British monarchy remains rather unpopular. The British government did quite a good job of buying out, forcing out or simply killing off the native Irish royal and noble families. Some were simply added to the English peerage (a tactic that worked well across the British Isles) while those who cooperated sometimes became reviled by their own people (a common fate for native monarchs in a colonial system) and the brave few who tried to fight for their people were all ultimately defeated and killed or forced into exile where they eventually blended in with the native people there. Effectively, the Irish had few to no traditional leaders to turn to and the English and later British ensured that they were the only game in town so to speak. That is one of the problems faced by the handful of Irish monarchs who favor a return to high kingship; who would be High King?

Yet, even with the British and Commonwealth monarchy, feelings in Ireland were never quite so uniform as they are now, especially among the core, Irish Catholic population. Despite the injustices over the centuries the Irish Confederates did ally with King Charles I and the Irish people did support the restoration of King James II and there were Irishmen who fought in the Jacobite wars in Britain. Even as the British monarch was the embodiment of the British Empire many Irish, though resenting British rule, did take a measure of pride in their own part in building the largest empire in history. The Irish sailed with the Royal Navy, fought in the British army and settled in British colonies around the world. Given the many centuries of injustice and persecution it is amazing how many Irish people remained supportive of the monarchy. In fact, the very first St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City was held by Irish troops in the British army during the American War for independence.

During the Revolutionary era Dan O'Connell, sometimes known as the uncrowned King of Ireland, was a monarchist who looked at republican France with horror. Even Sinn Fein was originally formed with some monarchist leanings. Since the reign of at least King George III one would be hard pressed to find any British monarch who actively persecuted the Irish. King George III himself was rather unpopular in Ireland because of the bloody reprisals following the 1798 Uprising and his refusal to grant Catholic Emancipation. However, George III was not answerable for the conduct of the troops and he had no blind prejudice against Catholics, but considered that to emancipate them would be to violate his coronation oath to the Church of England. In fact, George III was so thoroughly the opposite of being anti-Catholic that there were rumors that he himself was a “Papist” at heart and he had to take firm measures to suppress anti-Catholic riots in England.

Queen Victoria was originally quite popular in Ireland and had a great love for the island. She was greeted with much fanfare when she visited Ireland and even clubs of Irish nationalists would often end their meetings by singing "God Save the Queen". She supported Maynooth College, visited the seminary and backed the grant of over 30,000 pounds by the Peel government to the college. During the Potato Famine the Queen donated 5,000 pounds of her private funds (much more then that it is now) for the relief of the Irish. However, that good will was wasted over rigid attitudes regarding protocol. When the Dublin Corporation refused to congratulate the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII) on the occasion of his marriage the Queen took it very personally and refused to visit Ireland after that. Unfortunately for the Queen her action was exactly the wrong thing to do. It is doubtful that any of the radicals missed her and her absence made the loyal Irish feel neglected and enthusiasm toward the monarchy dropped. Her own care for Ireland was genuine though and perhaps may have helped spread the rumor that she was the natural daughter of an Irish father.

Edward VII did little to encourage support among Irish Catholics with his scandalous lifestyle and prominent membership in the Freemasons. However, his successor King George V could be called the most underappreciated monarch Ireland ever had. He was an admirable, upright family man and his writings show that he had a great concern for Ireland in particular. Now, it would be wrong to portray him as some sort of Irish champion, George V was King of Great Britain, Emperor of India and sovereign over the British Empire and holding that empire together was his priority. He was afraid of losing Ireland; the one part of the empire the British were closest to. Historian Robert Lacey said in an article for The Times that George V imagined an Ireland that would be something like Canada with Ulster being a Protestant version of Quebec. However, the King also expressed his annoyance at how Ulster would react to any effort to grant Ireland autonomy. The King wanted peace in Ireland and for Ireland to remain part of the British Empire as a self-governing dominion. In July of 1914 he organized a meeting at Buckingham Palace between the government, the Irish nationalists and the unionists. The meeting was an important first step but no real agreements were reached and though a Home Rule act was finally passed, the First World War stopped all progress.

Concerning World War I, it is interesting to note that even during the Easter Rising of 1916 many Irish people opposed the fight and had very much rallied around the monarchy in the time of war and did not take kindly to the rebels friendly words toward the Germans. On the opposite side there was also some rumors at the time and since that the Irish nationalists, or at least a faction among them (some were socialists) favored inviting the Kaiser's son, Prince Joachim, to become King of Ireland. Of course, it did not happen and the Easter Uprising was bloodily suppressed. In fact, British harshness may have given the nationalists their greatest victory. Even the many who had opposed the uprising were shocked and horrified by the brutality of British forces and the swift execution of those involved. In fact, though little known at the time, it was King George V who urged his government to show mercy for the very reason that harshness would only cause more Irishmen and women to view the British as their enemies. As we know, the King's advice was not taken and support for republicanism grew. It was in the aftermath of this situation, for instance, that Sinn Fein dropped her monarchist position and became openly republican. We all know the sad conflict and civil war that engulfed Ireland afterwards, with Ulster being torn away and the Irish Free State coming into being in 1922 with George V as King in Ireland from 1922 to 1927 and following that as King of Ireland. There was even some planning done to have George V crowned in an official ceremony in Dublin but nothing came of it.

However, surprised as some might be today, Ireland still had a reasonable monarchist presence at the time. A vital event in the changing of this attitude was to come with the rise of Eamon De Valera. Having been born in the United States and an early member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, De Valera had little use for monarchy nor of Arthur Griffith's Anglo-Irish "dual monarchy" idea which was a throw back to the Grattan Parliament. Oddly enough, both of these men were Protestants while De Valera was a devout Catholic which, perhaps, illustrates the difficulty caused by the monarchy being tied in with the Protestant Church of England and all the sad, subsequent history. It became easy to see why Protestantism became associated with monarchism and Catholicism with republicanism in Ireland; certainly one of the few countries in the world in which that was true. Nonetheless, when De Valera gained power there was enough of a monarchist presence among the Irish people for him to promise to put the issue to a vote once Ireland became fully independent. At that time, Ireland could vote to become a republic or to choose a monarch provided the prince in question was not a member of the British Royal Family -monarchy or not De Valera wanted complete and final separation from the British Empire. That promise too, failed to materialize. The vote was never held and Ireland became a republic save for the northern counties which Britain still clings to even today.

Because of this, over time, monarchism was forgotten in Ireland and even grew to be more and more hated as a result of the problems in Northern Ireland. So, is there no hope for an Irish Catholic monarchist? Common sense says there is little, but still perhaps more than one might think. Archbishop John Healy of Tuam, who said, "The character of Kings is sacred" was obviously a monarchist, Abbot Columba Marmion said he was not in favor of a republic. As mentioned even Sinn Fein founder Arthur Griffith, though not a monarchist at heart, favored a "dual monarchy" for a free Ireland to share with Great Britain (and later this was, in a way, to happen throughout the Commonwealth). Dan O'Connell was a monarchist, sickened by the violent republicanism in France; as was Henry Grattan who was a Protestant but then so were Emmet and Tone and so many other republicans. At the end of the day, the basic facts are these: the history of British rule should not prejudice the Irish against monarchy in general and should certainly not make them forget the glory days of the Irish monarchy in Celtic Ireland of old. It should also be remembered that the British royals themselves have done good things for Ireland even though it might not have been known at the time. Hopefully, when the situation in the north is resolved for good and Ireland and Great Britain can truly be friendly and equal neighbors and all the ugliness of the past put behind us a more reasonable and realistic view of the Irish by the British and the British monarchy and monarchy in general by the Irish can be possible.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St Patrick's Day from The Mad Monarchist

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monarchies and Abortion: The Status

Given the recent uproar over the legalization (with restrictions) of abortion in Spain I thought it might be revealing to list the status of abortion in the modern monarchies of what was once Christian Europe. To be clear, The Mad Monarchist is staunchly pro-life and pro-monarchy but has been puzzled by the way it seemed Spain was singled out for not ‘going down with the ship’ on the subject of abortion. For those who will support no monarchy wherein abortion is in any way legal you may find yourself being a theoretical monarchist and a political nonentity as you will see:

Andorra: Recognizes a special relationship with the Roman Catholic Church but has no official state religion. Abortion is allowed only to save the life of the mother.
Belgium: The Royal Family is Catholic but there is no state religion. Abortion is available on demand.
Denmark: The Church of Denmark (Lutheran) is the state religion. Abortion is available on demand.
Liechtenstein: The Roman Catholic Church is the state religion. Abortion is allowed in cases concerning the life, health or mental wellbeing of the mother.
Luxembourg: The Grand Ducal Family is Catholic but there is no state religion. Abortion is legal to save the life of the mother and in exceptional related cases.
Monaco: The Roman Catholic Church is the state religion. Abortion is allowed only to save the life of the mother.
The Netherlands: The Royal Family is Dutch Reformed but there is no state religion. Abortion is available on demand.
Norway: The Church of Norway (Lutheran) is the state religion. Abortion is available on demand.
Spain: The Royal Family is Roman Catholic but there is no official state religion. Abortion is legal is cases of rape, fetal defects or in cases concerning the life, health or mental wellbeing of the mother.
Sweden: The Royal Family is Church of Sweden (Lutheran) but there is no state religion. Abortion is available on demand.
United Kingdom: The Church of England is the state religion. Abortion is available on demand.
Vatican City: The Roman Catholic Church is the state religion (obviously!) and abortion is illegal in any and all cases (there is also no hospital in the Vatican).

As you can see, the current state of affairs is not a pretty picture and those whose support for monarchy hinges on absolute opposition to all abortions, the only state to fit the bill is the Vatican (sorry Protestants). Obviously, the Vatican is a unique case in that the local monarch is the Pope, on the basis of religion it could never allow abortion by the very nature of the state itself and there is no hospital in the Vatican where an abortion or any other major medical procedure could be performed. It is also not exactly the sort of country one could move to and obtain citizenship. All of the monarchies in Europe other than the Vatican allow abortion in at least some cases even those which have official established state religions. Incidentally, the only sovereign, native monarchies outside of Europe with a predominately Christian population and Christian Royal Families (Catholic) Lesotho and (Protestant) Tonga both allow abortion if the life of the mother is threatened. I state these brutal facts not to discourage monarchism on the part of the pro-life, nor certainly to paint the pro-life movement as a lost cause to the monarchists reading but merely to point out that this is a problem far bigger than Spain and will require more than monarchs refusing royal assent to be corrected. Societies must be changed, governments must be changed but scrapping every monarchy but the Vatican (which would not overturn abortion laws anyway) is certainly not the answer.

Monarch Profile: Khaishan Khan

Khaishan Khan was the second Emperor of the Yuan dynasty after the great Kublai Khan. He was born in 1281, the second son of Darmabala and Dagi of the powerful Khunggirad clan and the brother of Ayurbarwada (a future Great Khan). In his youth he was given command of the army in Mongolia that defended the Yuan Empire against raids from Central Asia. One of his most formidable enemies in this arena was Kaidu, a great-grandson of Genghis Khan and long standing enemy of the Yuan going back to the reign of Kublai with his force of mostly Muslim central Asian warriors. In 1289 Khaishan was defeated by him and nearly killed but in 1301 Kaishan defeated Kaidu who died from his wounds. Temur Oljeitu Khan awarded Khaishan the title of Prince of Huaining in 1304 in recognition of this victory.

Victories over other enemies earned Kaishan a great reputation among the Mongol princes and the Mongol and non-Mongol soldiers alike. When Temur Oljeitu died with no male heir his nephews were left to struggle for the throne. Khaishan emerged victorious and successfully assumed the position of Great Khan of the Mongols or Emperor Wuzong of the Great Yuan in 1308. After a rather rough coming to the throne he named his brother Ayurbarwada Crown Prince and heir to the throne. He also had a treatise by Confucius on the duty to obey family superiors and by extension the emperor translated into Mongolian and distributed throughout the empire. However, his reign was to be very unlike traditional Chinese styles.

Khaishan Khan had come up and gained his fame as a nomadic warrior on the steppes of Mongolia and that is how he ruled the Yuan Empire. He had never been trained in the art of statecraft and acted as a traditional Mongol chieftain on an exceptionally large scale. He lavished gifts on the Mongol princes and high officials, spent vast sums on the construction of new Buddhist temples and palaces. Rather than confine himself to the established bureaucratic class he appointed new officials from a variety of backgrounds, Buddhist and Daoist priests, actors, butchers, artisans and so on. To keep the economy afloat he sold licenses in the state monopolies and tripled the amount of paper money which naturally led to high inflation.

This, combined with the greater military spending he naturally favored made Kaishan Khan very popular amongst the Mongol princes but increasingly unpopular with the Han Chinese. He did show favoritism toward the Buddhist religion but was also the first Khan to have the Buddhist and Daoist clergy pay taxes. Most of the military spending went to defending the borders but there was some small expansion when his forces completed the conquest of Sakhalin island. With the continued financial problems he carried out his long-standing wish to restore hard currency with the issuance of new copper coins but this still had little effect. Khaishan Khan died in 1311 after only about three years on the throne and, as planned, was succeeded by his brother.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mad Rant: Powerless Peers and Snotty Senators

I was recently informed by the English Royalist and seen the comments of blog member Law Wells that the Traitor Party in the UK has brought up the abolition of the House of Lords. Most of the stories seem to agree that this is nothing more than an act of desperation on the part of the socialists who are sure to lose big in the next election. They may not really expect anything to come of it, but they want the Tories to take the bait, bite and then use the issue to label the Tories as reactionaries who favor hereditary perks over egalitarian democracy (if only that were true!). However, there is no doubt that this IS a goal of the Labour/Socialist/Traitor Party as they have consistently weakened the House of Lords during their years in power. Whether they expect to be successful now is beside the point: they DO want this to happen sooner or later as their history in reducing the House of Lords to a powerless talking shop proves.

Their aim, of course, to replace the peers in government with an elected senate such as is currently setting new standards in idiocy in the United States. Nice to see the UK is 'catching down' to the colonies on this one (sarcasm intended). Of course, it was not always so. At the outset the U.S. Senate was meant to be much more like the House of Lords than it has become, though perhaps a better analogy would be with the only Imperial German Bundesrat. The Senate was supposed to represent the states and senators were appointed by their state governments to do that. It was not until the presidency of that liberal blockhead and thoroughly evil man (I repeat myself) Woodrow Wilson (Democrat) that senators became elected by popular vote in 1913. Since that time things have only become worse as everyone can see even if not everyone would admit it.

The loss of the House of Lords would be a disaster of epic proportions for the UK even if it might not be obviously so. That is because, as stated, the House of Lords has already been mutilated almost beyond all recognition by the Traitor Party. Gone are the good old days of hereditary peers who could act as an impartial and dispassionate brake on the lunacy and tyranny of the House of Commons. In many ways, as Mr Wells pointed out, simply doing away with the charade and having a senate would be simply a more honest admission of the way things already are. However, the reason why keeping the House of Lords is important is revealed in the liberals very tactic of raising the issue now. If the House of Lords is kept in place, it may be possible one day to restore more of its powers and perhaps, in some future time when the people can be brought to their senses, to restore the hereditary peers. If, on the other hand, it is done away with entirely it will be nearly impossible to ever get back again because no politician will want to take a stand for a return to hereditary power for the aristocracy. It is the same reason why I hate to see royal protocol and ceremony diminished in any way -because it is almost impossible to restore it without the person in question being made to appear arrogant and vainglorious.

It is also important to stop this because all of the same arguments that are made against the House of Lords can be made against the monarchy itself and every step forward at the expense of the lords is another blow against the British monarchy. All of that being said, I do hope that the Tories do not go overboard in leaping to the defense of the House of Lords simply because that is exactly what the traitors want them to do. They should play it cool for now, let Labour lose the next election and then work to shore up the damage that has already been done. Any look at the dismal approval ratings of the U.S. Senate and Congress should prove to the British that they should not be following the American example when it comes to elected representatives and any time one is thinking of looking to how Americans do things there are certainly few worse examples to be followed than the policies of President Wilson. So, the Tories should not freak out -leave that job to others. I for one will be glad to argue for what they cannot. I am for the House of Lords, I am for hereditary peers, I am for traditional authority in all its forms and I am ... The Mad Monarchist.

Beware the Ides of March!

It was on this day, the infamous Ides of March, in 44 BC that Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of republican senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus; a man Caesar had previously advanced. However, this most well-known betrayal in history had the opposite effect that the conspirators had planned. Rather than restore the republic the people were outraged at the murder of their champion and that Brutus had betrayed the man who had been his benefactor. If anything, the murder proved to be another illustration of how divided and corrupt the republic had become and in due course Caesar was deified by the Roman Senate and his heir, Augustus, became the first Emperor of Rome.
It was also on the Ides of March in 1917 that HIM Tsar Nicholas II of all the Russias abdicated the throne in favor of his brother Grand Duke Michael.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Prince Albert!

Today HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco celebrates his 52nd birthday. You can read the formal announcement from that day in 1958 at Mad for Monaco. The Mad Monarchist joins all the Monegasques and Grimaldi loyalists around the world in wishing the Sovereign Prince a very Happy Birthday with many more to come. Long live the Prince!

MM Video: Ottoman Sultans

Shameless Plug

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Great Video on the Romanov Martyrs

A Royal Marriage Gone Bad

It was quite an event when HH Prince Tengku Temenggong Tengku Mohammad Fakhry, of the northern Malaysian state of Kelantan, married well known Indonesian socialite and teenage model Manohara Odelia Pinot in October of 2008. However, according to the 17-year-old bride her married life was a nightmare. While on a visit to Singapore and with some help from the U.S. embassy she fled her husband and went home to Indonesia in May of last year and related a tale of royal torture. She said she had been locked up like a prisoner, cut with razors, drugged if she complained and repeatedly raped. Prince Fakhry immediately sued his young bride for libel and was recently awarded $1.8 million for defamation in spite of the fact that Indonesian doctors who examined the soon-to-be ex-princess said there were clear signs of physical abuse. However, the bride's family did not appear in court nor did they hire an attorney to defend them. They now say the ruling is outrageous and that they will not pay. Divorce proceedings are currently underway in the Islamic court in Kelantan. The north Malaysian state, which borders Thailand, is very conservative and has been ruled for some time by a very hard-line Islamic party. The Republic of Indonesia, on the hand, while the most populous Muslim nation in the world, is considerably more secular and "progressive". Similar charges to the ones made by the Princess have also been leveled at the neighboring Sultan of Brunei, ruler of one of the most absolute and strictly Muslim monarchies in the world.

Consort Profile: Princess Fawzia of Egypt

Although the first wife of the last Shah of Iran was to have a short stay in the world spotlight, she has never been forgotten. She was born Her Sultanic Highness Princess Fawzia bint Fuad at Ras el-Tin Palace in Alexandria, Egypt on November 5, 1921 to HM Sultan Fuad I of Egypt and the Sudan by his second wife Nazli Sabri. Among her varied royal bloodline was Suleiman Pasha, a French colonel under Napoleon who converted to Islam and updated the Egyptian army. Her nephew Fuad II who go on to be the last King of Egypt. Big changes were going on for the Egyptian Royal Family at this time. Her father dropped the title of Sultan in favor of King and enacted a new constitution to limit the power of parliament. Egypt wanted to make itself more known on the modern world stage and Princess Fawzia was expected to play a part in that through her marriage to the young heir to the throne of Persia.

HIH Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran came to Egypt the ask for the hand of the teenage Princess Fawzia and according to the princess they were both quite infatuated with each other. The proper arrangements were made and the couple were married on March 16, 1938 in Cairo. After their honeymoon the two had another wedding ceremony in Tehran. Not long after, in 1941, the Crown Prince succeeded his father as Shah of Iran with Princess Fawzia being elevated to “Queen of Iran”. She was an instant celebrity, not just in the Middle East but around the world as commentators raved about the Egyptian royal beauty who was now Queen consort of the Iranian Empire. Cecil Beaton of Life magazine called her an “Asian Venus”. However, idyllic as her life seemed, she had many problems.

Almost immediately things began to go wrong for the royal couple. Princess Ashraf, twin sister of the last Shah, and Fawzia took an immediate dislike to each other and tensions soon developed between the two families at large. Queen Fawzia reportedly felt neglected by her husband and found life in Tehran hard to adjust to and somewhat more stark and lonely than the court in Cairo. Not long after the birth of Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi the Queen’s brother, King Farouk I of Egypt, prevailed upon Fawzia to get a divorce. This was granted, in Egypt, in 1945 but was not recognized in Iran until 1948 although both countries insisted that their good relations remained intact. Now Princess Fawzia of Egypt and the Sudan again, the harshest condition was being separated from her daughter who, as a condition of the divorce, had to remain in Iran and had no contact with her mother until she turned 18. The Egyptians blamed the Iranian climate on the divorce while Iran said it was the inability of Fawzia to give the Shah a male heir. In reality however, it seems to have been simply, what we would call today, irreconcilable differences.

A year later, in 1949 in Cairo, Princess Fawzia married Colonel Ismail Hussain Shirin and in the following years had two children by him; a daughter and a son. With the fall of the monarchy in Egypt many in the family moved to Switzerland, however, Princess Fawzia remains the senior member of the Egyptian Royal Family. Although the head of the family still lives in exile in Switzerland the Princess lives in Egypt.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pope Gregory XVI Defends Monarchy

Some monarchist wisdom from His Holiness Pope Gregory XVI from his encyclical "Mirari Vos" which dealt with the threats of liberalism and religious indifferentism. The wise and reactionary (I repeat myself) Pope said:

We have learned that certain teachings are being spread among the common people in writings which attack the trust and submission due to princes; the torches of treason are being lit everywhere. Care must be taken lest the people, being deceived, are led away from the straight path. May all recall, according to the admonition of the apostle that "there is no authority except from God; what
authority there is has been appointed by God. Therefore he who resists authority resists the ordinances of God; and those who resist bring on themselves condemnation." Therefore both divine and human laws cry out against those who strive by treason and sedition to drive the people from confidence in their princes and force them from their government.

And it is for this reason that the early Christians, lest they should be stained by such great infamy deserved well of the emperors and of the safety of the state even while persecution raged. This they proved splendidly by their fidelity in performing perfectly and promptly whatever they were commanded which was not opposed to their religion, and even more by their constancy and the shedding of their blood in battle. "Christian soldiers," says St. Augustine, "served an infidel emperor.
When the issue of Christ was raised, they acknowledged no one but the One who is in heaven. They distinguished the eternal Lord from the temporal lord, but were also subject to the temporal lord for the sake of the eternal Lord." St. Mauritius, the unconquered martyr and leader of the Theban legion had this in mind when, as St. Eucharius reports, he answered the emperor in these words: "We
are your soldiers, Emperor, but also servants of God, and this we confess freely . . . and now this final necessity of life has not driven us into rebellion: I see, we are armed and we do not resist, because we wish rather to die than to be killed." Indeed the faith of the early Christians shines more brightly, if with Tertullian we consider that since the Christians were not lacking in numbers and
in troops, they could have acted as foreign enemies. "We are but of yesterday," he says, "yet we have filled all your cities, islands, fortresses, municipalities, assembly places, the camps themselves, the tribes, the divisions, the palace, the senate, the forum....For what war should we not have
been fit and ready even if unequal in forces -- we who are so glad to be cut to pieces -- were it not, of course, that in our doctrine we would have been permitted more to be killed rather than to kill?...If so great a multitude of people should have deserted to some remote spot on earth, it would surely have
covered your domination with shame because of the loss of so many citizens, and it would even have punished you by this very desertion. Without a doubt you would have been terrified at your solitude.... You would have sought whom you might rule; more enemies than citizens would have remained for you. Now however you have fewer enemies because of the multitude of Christians."

These beautiful examples of the unchanging subjection to the princes necessarily proceeded from the most holy precepts of the Christian religion. They condemn the detestable insolence and improbity of those who, consumed with the unbridled lust for freedom, are entirely devoted to impairing and destroying all rights of dominion while bringing servitude to the people under the slogan of liberty.
Here surely belong the infamous and wild plans of the Waldensians, the Beghards, the Wycliffites, and other such sons of Belial, who were the sores and disgrace of the human race; they often received a richly deserved anathema from the Holy See. For no other reason do experienced deceivers devote their efforts, except so that they, along with Luther, might joyfully deem themselves "free of all."
To attain this end more easily and quickly, they undertake with audacity any infamous plan whatever.
This encyclical, though taking some shots at the non-Catholic, was, like most encyclicals, directed primarily at Catholics as during the time liberalism and revolutionary agitation was taking root in several Catholic countries which were under the rule of a foreign (and usually non-Catholic) monarch. Gregory XVI was having none of that!

Papal Profile: Pope Gregory XVI

Not surprisingly Pope Gregory XVI is one of my favorites, not surprising because he was one of the most notably reactionary pontiffs in Church history. He was born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari on September 18, 1765 at Belluno to a modest but noble family. He entered the monastery when he was very young and was known from his earliest writings to be a staunch defender of orthodoxy though in time he would become most known for his political conservatism. This is not surprising given the times he was born into; Europe post-French Revolution. He saw the devastation inflicted on Italy by the revolutionary armies and the kidnapping of Pope Pius VII.

Once the Pope was restored in Rome in 1814 Father Cappellari rose further up the Church hierarchy becoming a councilor of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, prefect for the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith and examiner of bishops. In 1825 Pope Leo XII created him Cardinal-Priest of San Callisto and soon after was sent to arrange a concordat with the Kingdom of the United Netherlands on the Catholic population of what would later become Belgium. Coming out of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars he was a staunch enemy of revolutions of any sort, even when carried out by Catholics against non-Catholic rulers. Part of his diplomatic work included making peace between the Armenian Catholics and the Ottoman Sultan and to entreat the Catholics of Poland to remain loyal to the Orthodox Czar Nicholas I of Russia. It would do, after all, if the “Iron Czar” had to send troops to put down rebellions in Poland while he was supporting the cause of the Catholic royalists in France.

In 1830 Pope Pius VIII died and after 64 days of deliberations Cardinal Cappellari was chosen to succeed him, in 1831, taking the name Pope Gregory XVI. He was, incidentally, the last Pope to be elected without having been a bishop. He came to the Petrine Throne just after the Bourbons had again been driven from the throne of France and he was quick to assert his support for the “Old Order” as well as what would become known as ‘Ultramontanism’; the strengthening of the absolute authority of the Pontiff. As political upheaval grew in Italy, encouraged by events in France and looking forward to the Revolutions of 1848, Gregory XVI had to call on the Emperor of Austria to put down rebellions and restore order in the Papal States. Gregory XVI was effectively faced with his own “War on Terror”.

Pope Gregory opposed innovation of almost any kind and is probably most famous for his opposition to gas street lights and railways (something Czar Alexander III was also not wild about btw). All of which is obviously to his credit. He feared the rise of a liberal upper-middle class elite in the Papal States and opposed any sort of political concessions. Soon, Gregory XVI was perhaps the most hated man in Europe amongst leftist circles, not only in Italy but also in places abroad like Ireland where he urged Irish Catholics to be loyal to their Protestant British monarch. He sympathized with them naturally but his bottom line was absolute opposition to any revolution.

One of the telling statements of Pope Gregory XVI on liberalism was: “This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin.” Obviously liberals within the Church and without regarded him as a horrible reactionary.

However, Gregory XVI does not often get credit for his other positions, for instance, his signing of the apostolic constitution condemning slavery in 1839. He was also a generous (some would say too generous) a patron of the arts, architecture and completed a number of defensive and engineering reforms for the city of Rome. He was also an extremely compassionate man who pardoned a great many criminals who had opposed him -and would continue to oppose the Papacy in the future- but he also had no qualms about putting those to death who crossed the line into violent rebellion. He was strict but fair and always made it clear where the line was that could not be crossed. Contrary to popular belief he did carry out a number of reforms in the Papal States but he would never allow for popular election or any laymen holding office on par with the Sacred College as some urged. His Holiness died on June 1, 1846 and was succeeded by Pius IX who would have to face the full force of the enemies Gregory had tried to fend off.
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