Friday, December 31, 2010

MM Video: Royals We Lost in 2010

Mad Monarchist 2010 Year in Review

Starting with a former monarchy dear to my heart, in January the Romanov Imperial Family of Russia stated by what terms they would consider returning to Russia; a legal residence and the legal rehabilitation of their name. On August 20, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna established the Imperial Women’s Order of St Anastasia to honor the Great Holy Martyr St Anastasia and the first queen of the Romanov dynasty. Moving west among the Slavic lands, in June, HM King Michael of Romania announced the elevation of his grandson Nicholas to the status of Prince and third in-line for the Romanian throne, though Romania sadly remains a republic. HM King Constantine II of Greece turned 70 this year and in August witnessed the marriage of his second son Prince Nikolaus to Tatiana Blatnik on the Greek island of Spetses. In September the Crown Prince and Princess Alexander of Serbia celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in Belgrade with the royals of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece in attendance.

Royal news from across the Adriatic included some good, some sad and some rather lewd. In August, HRH Prince Carlos-Hugo Duke of Bourbon-Parma died at the age of 80. After a postponement, because of this, Prince Carlos V (son of Prince Carlos Hugo) of Bourbon-Parma had his religious wedding in Brussels, Belgium to Annemarie Van Weezel. In September the always controversial Italian Royal Family (Savoy) caused a stir when Princess Clotilde of Venice and Piedmont, wife of Prince Emanuel Filiberto of Piedmont, appeared in a *very* off color burlesque show in France. Ah, the Savoys, I love them but why is it that this did not exactly shock me to my foundations? However, moving to the more pious section of Rome, in September HH Pope Benedict XVI, after visiting Portugal and Cyprus earlier in the year, made an historic state visit to Great Britain where he met with the Queen, Prince Philip, the Archbishop of Canterbury and numerous government and religious officials. In October the Pope ordered the formation of a new Pontifical Council to focus on the re-evangelization of Europe and traditionally (but now largely formerly) Christian countries. In November the Pontiff visited the Kingdom of Spain, meeting with the Royal Family and encouraging resistance to the trend of secularism.

Speaking of the Iberian Peninsula, in April those mischievous but always inspiring Portuguese monarchists replaced the republican flag at the Edward VII park with a big blue-white Kingdom of Portugal flag in another show of royalist opposition to the current regime. A Mad Monarchist salute to them -royalists after my own heart. Across the border in Spain, HM King Juan Carlos had a minor medical procedure to remove a benign lesion from one of his lungs, which put him out of action for a while, later on the feast of St James he prayed for unity among the regions of Spain. In November His Majesty Juan Carlos I celebrated marked the 35th anniversary of his proclamation, by the Cortes, as King of Spain following the death of Chief of State Francisco Franco.

Moving north, across the Pyrenees, on the French royal front, in May HRH Prince Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou and his wife became parents to two healthy twin boys in New York City. In December, French researchers announced that they had uncovered the remains of the celebrated King Henri IV whose tomb had been desecrated during the French Revolution. He will be reburied in grand style in the Basilica of St Denis next year. In June the Princely Palace announced that HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco is engaged to marry longtime girlfriend Charlene Wittstock of South Africa. In November, Charlene was alongside her husband-to-be as Albert II celebrated his fifth anniversary of Sovereign Prince of Monaco. In December the senior member of the Grimaldi dynasty, Princess Antoinette, turned 90-years old.

On the other side of the Channel, the House of Windsor got off to a high note in January when HRH Prince William visited Australia to great acclaim. In March long-time Irish republican embarrassment Gerry Adams announced he would be retiring from his leadership of Sinn Fein. The Prince of Wales visited British troops in Afghanistan and in May the Duchess of York was captured on video offering to sell “access” to her ex-husband for $720,000. After a general election David “Call me Dave” Cameron became Her Majesty’s Prime Minister in a Tory-LibDem coalition government. In June Cameron issued a formal apology for the shootings of “Bloody Sunday” in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1972 after the end of the government investigation into the matter. Also in June HRH Prince Harry of Wales visited New York, visiting the Big Apple and training with U.S. Army officer cadets at West Point. This summer HM the Queen also visited New York City, paying her respects at Ground Zero and speaking to the UN on her way back to the UK from a very successful cross-country tour of Her Majesty’s Dominion of Canada. Even the notoriously boring PM Stephen Harper was moved to remark on the importance of the Canadian monarchy on such an occasion. It was in November, however, that the biggest British royal news came when Prince William announced his engagement to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton.

Moving to the Low Countries, in the Netherlands celebrations for National Day and the state opening of Parliament this year were both marred by minor disturbances, the Royal Family, thankfully were unharmed in both events. In October the Prince and Princess of Orange journeyed to the Dutch possessions in the Caribbean to oversee the formal dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles. The controversial PVV party in the Dutch parliament also expressed their wish that the Queen be removed from any role in government. Across the border, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme resigned and fears of split raised their ugly heads again, not lessened by the fact that Belgium has been unable to form a government since then. On June 30, Their Majesties King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians were on hand for the celebrations of the anniversary of Congolese independence. Fifty years earlier the King’s elder brother and predecessor had visited Leopoldville for the formal handover of independence to the former Belgian colony. In September the Crown Prince visited Mexico to attend the festivities for the 200th anniversary of the call to arms in 1810 that led to Mexican independence. We recall, of course, that the last Empress of Mexico was a Belgian princess.

Finally, the far north, in Scandinavia, in January HM King Harald V of Norway celebrated his 19th anniversary as reigning monarch. Things have been going so relatively smoothly for the Kingdom of Norway that there has been little of great significance to report on this year. However, to the south, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark endured some ridicule in the media after being photographed with a criminal at a party and when a senior official with her charitable foundation assaulted an escort worker. However, there was better news in August when it was announced that the Danish crown princely couple are expecting twins. Across the Baltic, Princess Madeleine of Sweden broke off her engagement to Jonas Bergstrom after he was found fooling around with a snow bunny. In June, however, there was happier news as HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was married to longtime beau Daniel Westling. This year the Swedish Bernadotte dynasty celebrated their 200th anniversary on the throne after their forefather, a former French marshal, was elected King of Sweden.

Jumping over to the lands of “Eternal Asia” sad news came in January when two Iranian monarchists were put to death by the Islamic Republic regime during an overall crackdown against all dissent. Farther over in the Middle East, in July HM King Abdullah II of Jordan met with the Prime Minister of Israel to discuss the peace process based on a “two state” solution. President Obama also hosted talks including the King, the PM and Palestinian leaders. The Israeli PM later complimented the King of Jordan for his commitment to a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In neighboring Saudi Arabia HM King Abdullah II angered some religious hard-liners by putting restrictions on Muslim clerics regarding the issuing of fatwas and appointing the first woman to high government office in Saudi Arabia. Human Rights Watch, in October, reported that, while the situation was still unacceptable, human rights in Saudi Arabia had improved during the reign of the current monarch.

Finally, in the Far East, the communist bandit government in China announced that they would choose the successor of the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet upon his passing. The exiled Tibetan monarch and religious leader said any such choice would be invalid. This was followed later in June by another communist crackdown in Tibet. Malaysian Prince Fakhry of Kelantan sued his wife for libel after she fled and accused him of torture and treating her like a slave. The Prince was awarded over a million dollars though the family of the bride (an Indonesian teenage supermodel) refused to pay. In June the Sultan of Brunei divorced one of his wives, a former journalist from Malaysia. In Thailand a state of emergency was declared after red-shirt rioters forced their way onto the grounds of parliament. Violence broke out and the Royal Thai army was called in to pacify the situation which finally ended in May.
On behalf of myself and the Mad Monarchist Brain Trust, I hope everyone had a good 2010 and will have all the best in 2011.

No Servants for Wills

This story might get buried but I could not resist commenting on it because, as is not uncommon, my reaction seems to be very much the opposite of the majority. It recently made the news even in America that Prince William and his bride-to-be Kate Middleton will not be having servants in their little cottage of wedded bliss. Of course everyone they talked to on the street (and there’s nothing like the split-second opinions of the un-informed) thought it was a great idea that really sent the right message in these hard economic times. I, of course, thought it was a terrible idea. First, let me say at the outset that Prince William can do as he pleases and I am adamantly in favor of that. However, when I first heard the story I was skeptical and speculated that this may not be exactly “true” and was simply done as a public relations tactic. Perhaps at one little residence they would have no servants but overall no such prestigious royal couple could be without them -otherwise they would have no time to do anything other than keep house.

I also don’t like the idea of making any royal couple ‘more common’ if you get my meaning. I don’t want these gestures of humility to become fashionable. The Prince of Wales already had me somewhat worried on this front and Prince William is making me start to as well with the smaller, scaled-down wedding and the ‘no servants’ announcement. I don’t want royals to get caught up in a ‘race to the bottom’ to see who can appear the least royal. Aside from my problem with this attitude itself, I also oppose it because it is nearly impossible to reverse. An excellent example that I frequently go back to is when Pope Paul VI surrendered his papal tiara at the end of the Second Vatican Council as a way to symbolize the renunciation of earthly glory and a new spirit of humility for the papacy. That may sound all well and good but it has meant that, though possible, no pope since has had a coronation or worn a tiara. And who could blame them? After making such a display of renouncing it in the name of humility any pope that tried to restore it would be seen as vain or even arrogant. In the same way, any time a royal gives up a lavish wedding, coronation or some traditional show of reverence for the Crown it makes it all the harder for some future royal to do it the old fashioned way because they will not be seen as wanting a return to normalcy but rather would be seen as saying, “I want more” or “mine has to be better than that” -either way they don’t look good.

Finally, on the servant issue, it makes no sense to me specifically because of the economic hard times in the UK. After all, despite the obvious success of the class warfare mentality, servants at the royal palaces are not poor, put upon slaves or something. They are employees who receive a decent salary for their services as they would anywhere else. Why should the public react positively to the idea that the royals will not be providing as much employment as they otherwise might when so many people in Britain today do not have jobs? People seem to forget (or are often purposely encouraged to ignore) the fact that royals and aristocrats with their grand homes and large estates must employ a great many people to maintain these properties. If the people made sense they would cheer the royals hiring even more servants, giving more people jobs and putting more money back into the economy. That, of course, will not happen and I fear it is because that what is really behind this “no servants” announcement is a public relations effort trying to win over a public that is increasingly falling prey to the class warfare mentality, full of contempt for status, success and for anyone more fortunate than themselves. It is a mentality that does not bode well for the monarchy nor for any great civilization at all.

Royals at Eternal Rest

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Remember Sikkim

I hope to get more into this subject in the future (it has been on my 'to do' list for a while) but in the meantime the Radical Royalist has provided some valuable information on the seemingly forgotten Kingdom of Sikkim, an independent monarchy absorbed by the Republic of India. Read about the 85th birthday of the last king (with a great deal of historical information in general about the lost kingdom) and "For Goodness Sake, He's the King".

Monarch Profile: Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa

Of the great American Indian chieftains of the colonial period, one of the names that is most familiar is that of the Ottawa war Chief Pontiac. For a time, he was the biggest problem the British Empire in North America faced and even offered the glimmer of a chance that His Most Christian Majesty the King of France might be able to overturn the results of the French & Indian War. Like most of his time, place and background, there are few hard facts about the exact origins of Chief Pontiac. The date of his birth has been estimated at 1712 to 1725. No one is sure exactly where he was born or precisely to whom. It was originally said that his father was an Ottawa and his mother an Ojibwa but others stated one of his parents, perhaps his mother, was of the Miami tribe while still others, more recently, assert that he was a Métis of French and native parentage. In any event, he himself and all those around at the time identified him as an Ottawa.

By 1747 Pontiac was a war chief and fought for the Kingdom of France against the uprising of Nicholas Orontony of the Huron. Later, he again fought on the side of His Most Christian Majesty in the French & Indian War against the British. Some accounts say he was present at the famous victory over the expedition of General Edward Braddock whose British column was decimated by a French & Indian attack. We will probably never know for sure but it is tempting to imagine a Pontiac perhaps taking a shot at a young militia officer named George Washington. It was also during this conflict that Chief Pontiac first crossed paths with Major Robert Rogers, a longtime enemy of his, but also a man who would in part be responsible for much of the fame of Chief Pontiac who wrote a play about him called “Ponteach: or the Savages of America”. It should be said though that, today, not all historians consider Rogers and Pontiac to have been so well acquainted as Rogers claimed.

In any event, the end of the French & Indian War was a pivotal moment for the native inhabitants of North America. New France was surrendered to the British and no one suffered more because of this than the Indians who had been allied with the French. The fears of British encroachment and colonization that led them to align with France in the first place were confirmed and even worse was to come. Trade all but stopped, tributary gifts were not exchanged, land was taken and people were killed as the British became the dominant power on the continent. It did not take long for Chief Pontiac and many others to wish longingly for the return of the forces of King Louis. The Indians had come to depend on muskets and gunpowder for hunting, long provided by the French in exchange for other goods. The British, however, refused to give the Indians weapons or ammunition in exchange for anything. Additionally, whereas few French colonists ventured onto Indian lands but instead tended to send out mostly fur trappers, traders and missionary priests, the British were serious about colonizing North America and soon large numbers of British settlers were encroaching on Indian lands.

Chief Pontiac had enough of this and began to rally his people and as many tribes of the Great Lakes region as he could into an alliance to rise up against the British. He and his fellows, war chiefs and shamans, called on the Indians to reject the alcohol the British traded to them (“poison” Pontiac called it) which stupefied them, to return to the traditional values of their people and to rally together in common cause to defeat the British. Chief Pontiac warned his enemies, saying in so many words that the French might have surrendered but he and his people certainly had not! He also hoped (unrealistically under the circumstances) that if he and his warriors could gain sufficient success the French would return and give them assistance. After a grand council Chief Pontiac and his men besieged Fort Detroit in May of 1763. His words inspired the men of many other surrounding tribes and soon the entire western frontier of British North America was ablaze as Indian warriors attacked forts throughout the Ohio country (as it was then called). French settlements were spared and this, combined with how sudden and widespread the attacks were, convinced the British that they were the victims of a vast Franco-Indian conspiracy masterminded by Chief Pontiac.

The truth, of course, was that Chief Pontiac had no authority over any people other than his own and could only persuade others to join him and those who did so acted, not as part of a secret conspiracy, but simply in their own best interests as any people are bound to. However, despite some successes, the Indians lacked the materials for a protracted campaign and effective siege warfare. Soon British retaliation brought ruin to the native population of the region. Chief Pontiac remained stalemated at Detroit, despite winning a stunning victory over a British column at the battle of Bloody Run. Groups began to abandon Pontiac and his cause and by October the proud chief was forced to admit to himself that the French were not coming to his aid (they hardly could have) and he abandoned the siege of Detroit and withdrew to the Illinois country try to continue rallying native support for an alliance against the British. It was not until 1766 that Chief Pontiac met with British Indian agent Sir William Johnson to end hostilities. In 1769 he was murdered at Cahokia, Illinois but his name and what he had tried to accomplish would live on for generations.

Ultimately, Chief Pontiac had failed in his aims and indeed the odds were always vastly stacked against him. However, his war ended up having some very far-reaching consequences. The British, showing their genius for learning from their mistakes, were never again quite so harsh toward the Indians as they had been. They recognized that such wars could endanger British rule in North America and for that reason they did everything in their power to prevent future conflicts and to try to encourage the Indians to see them as friendly allies as they had been previously with the French. Because of Chief Pontiac and the struggle he launched, His Britannic Majesty King George III ultimately declared all lands west of the Appalachians to be the domain of the American Indians and forbid any further encroachment of the region by British colonists. In a short time this act would become one of the primary causes for the American Revolution.

Royals at Eternal Rest

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monarchist Profile: Robert Rogers

Outside of those familiar with American military history the name of Robert Rogers might not be very well known. He was born on November 7, 1731 in a little town in the colony of Massachusetts. His father, an Irish immigrant, later moved them to New Hampshire and founded a town which is today called Dunbarton. In 1746-7 the young Robert Rogers saw service in King George’s War as a private in the New Hampshire colonial militia, getting his first taste of military service. After this was over and he grew older he was a rather troubled young man, known for his short temper, and had some run-ins with the law but nothing ever came of it.

However, conflict was again to rescue the rebellious Robert Rogers and provide him with respectable employment in 1755 with the outbreak of the French and Indian War. Despite being vastly outmatched the French fought with skill and tenacity and won a number of early victories. This, combined with the alarming growth of British colonists in North America, prompted many native Indians to cast their lot with the French and begin raiding British settlements. That winter, while at Fort William Henry in New York, Robert Rogers formed the military unit that was to make him famous; Roger’s Rangers. Rogers built this small band into an elite irregular warfare unit that would use Indian tactics against the Indians themselves and their French allies in numerous raids and reconnaissance missions.

Wearing practical green uniforms to blend more easily with the forest, Rogers taught his men the fundamentals partisan warfare; how to look after each other, move quickly, lightly and quietly, ever alert, to fight from cover and make every shot count, to see without being seen and sweep through an area without leaving a trace behind. He was hard on his troops but a father figure as well, taking it upon himself to recruit them, equip them and pay them, which put him severely into debt. His service proved so valuable that in 1758 General James Abercromby promoted him to major. The following year Major General Jeffrey Amherst, overall British commander, sent Rogers on an incredible raid deep behind enemy lines. Rogers, with 200 of his rangers, slipped through the French lines, evaded detection and destroyed the town of Saint-Francis in Quebec; a major psychological blow to the French and Indians. After the fall of Quebec and Montreal Rogers and his men were sent west where they seized Detroit, Michigan. The French throughout the Great Lakes area surrendered and the Rangers, their work done, were disbanded.

This adventure in the northwest was taken in reaction to the uprising of a pro-French Indian alliance against the British led by the Ottawa chief Pontiac, about whom Rogers would later write a dramatic play which paid no small part in the rise to historical fame of the brave Ottawa chief. The ensuing period of peace was ruinous for Rogers who ended up in prison for debt but the adventurous man escaped, left his American homeland for England and it was there that he tried his hand at being an author. However, he was soon called back and his return coincided with the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Some of his own men were among those militia who stood against the British in the opening skirmishes. Being a native of the colonies and not untouched by the complaints of the rebels Rogers first offered his services to General George Washington of the Continental Army. However, due to his recent stay in England, Washington took Rogers for a spy and refused him a commission. Deeply offended, Rogers washed his hands of the revolutionary movement and offered his sword to King George III and that time was gratefully accepted.

In 1776 the newly appointed Colonel Robert Rogers organized and led the elite Queen’s Rangers in New York. It was Rogers who was responsible for the capture of the famous American spy Nathan Hale. The Continental Congress declared him a traitor (always a rather hypocritical thing for revolutionaries to do) and also declared him divorced from his wife. She later married a proper rebel as Rogers was, by that time, mad, bad and dangerous to know. Rogers was retired for a time and suffering from terrible depression from all he had endured which led him to become an alcoholic. Yet, in 1779 he raised another elite fighting unit in Nova Scotia for Sir Henry Clinton; the King’s Rangers. However, his alcoholism had grown so bad that he was incapacitated and had to pass command to his brother. Captured by the Continental Navy, despite his many misfortunes he proved as difficult a prey as ever to hold and he escaped in 1782. Following the British surrender he accompanied the Crown forces back to England where he died in debt and obscurity.

However, Rogers did not remain obscure after his death in 1795. The Queen’s York Rangers of the modern Canadian army descends from the unit Rogers formed and led. There is also an artillery battalion of the Michigan National Guard that included some of Rogers’ actual descendants. Finally, during World War II, American troops greatly impressed by the skill and style of British commandos formed their own elite special forces and called themselves the U.S. Army Rangers after taking Rogers as their ancestor and inspiration. Thus, Robert Rogers, a soldier of the Crown and active loyalist became the forefather of all the modern American special forces. His famous ‘28 Rules of Ranging’ he drew up for his original unit are still read and well learned (with a few modifications) by U.S. Army Rangers to this day.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Speeches

HH Pope Benedict XVI gives the "Urbi et Orbi" address

HM Queen Elizabeth II of the UK & Commonwealth

Message of HM King Juan Carlos I of Spain

HM Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands

HM King Albert II of the Belgians

Saturday, December 25, 2010

To All Readers

To all members, readers, subscribers, casual observers and devoted monarchists. I hope everyone has a happy Christmas. There are now 169 followers, over 400 friends and over 1,000 subscribers of the Mad Monarchist and I thank you all for your support and attention, reading, watching or just occasionally following along. If this trend continues the revolutionaries are going to start getting really scared! Thanks again to everyone and a merry Christmas to you all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Royal Profile: Prince Karl von Solms-Braunfels

Prince Karl von Solms-Braunfels was born on July 27, 1812 as Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Ludwig Georg Alfred Alexander, Prince of Solms, Lord of Braunfels, Grafenstein, Münzenberg, Wildenfels and Sonnenwalde at Neustrelitz, the youngest son of Prince Friedrich Wilhelm von Solms-Braunfels and Princess Friederike von Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Like many German royals he had an illustrious family tree and counted among his relatives Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Tsar Alexander I of Russia, King Leopold I of the Belgians and Prince Frederick of Prussia. He was known for being well-connected, handsome, romantic and a little on the wild side; which sometimes got him into trouble. After joining the Prussian army (notoriously strict for its discipline) even one as high born as the Prince was sentenced to four months in prison for being absent without leave for a short time. In 1834 he made an unequal marriage and fathered three children before being pressured to divorce his wife and send her away with a nice title.

That same year he entered the Austrian Imperial army as a captain of cavalry; as high-born romantics with more dash and daring than caution tended to. He served in the Balkans, Bohemia and the Rhineland which is where he happened to read a novel by Charles Sealsfield about the newly independent Republic of Texas as well as two other books dealing with the geography and immigration possibilities of the Lone Star republic. Like many others before and after him, Prince Karl von Solms-Braunfels caught ‘Texas Fever’ and he joined the Adelsverein (organized in 1842 and reorganized in 1844) which pushed colonization in Texas with the idea of creating a “New Germany” there. The Prince worked tirelessly to raise funds and the profile of the Adelsverein, calling on his royal relatives for support and going on secret trips to France, Belgium and the Isle of Wight (where he met Prince Albert) in the hope of gaining support for the establishment of a colony or colonies in Texas.

In 1844 Prince Karl was named commissioner-general of the Adelsverein, charged with leading the first effort of the society to send colonists to Texas. With two pieces of artillery and some fine silverware he went to London, met with the Queen, then sailed to the United States, traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and finally to the Republic of Texas, reaching Galveston on July 1, 1844. Ever the romantic, he saw himself as a trailblazer for German civilization, the founder of a “new Fatherland on the other side of the ocean”. He wrote, “The eyes of all Germany, no, the eyes of all Europe are fixed on us and our undertaking: German princes, counts and noblemen…are bringing new crowns to old glory while at the same time insuring immeasurable riches for their children and grandchildren.” This was to be a very European and specifically German undertaking as the Prince was not terribly impressed with the Anglo-American population and wanted his colony sufficiently distant from their bad influence.

He first bought land on Matagorda Bay to establish a port (modestly named Carlshafen -later known as Indianola and now a ghost town) and advised the Adelsverein to purchase more land than what they already had in the distant Fisher-Miller Land Grant. When his first crop of colonists arrived he led them into the interior of the country, stopping them at Victoria while he rode ahead to San Antonio to purchase a piece of land on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers from Raphael C. Garza and the aristocratic Juan Martin Veramendi. The colonists came and on Good Friday, March 21, 1845 the settlement of New Braunfels was established, still a bastion of German culture in Texas today. Set to marry the widowed Princess Sophie von Salm-Salm, daughter of the reigning Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort, the Prince even started construction of a castle/fort named Sophienburg in honor of his beloved. However, when he returned to Germany to collect his beloved (whom he married on December 3, 1845) she recoiled at the prospect of moving to the wild frontier of Texas for the life of a colonist and so the Prince remained in Europe, never to see his namesake colony again.

Resuming his military service he wrote a short book on Texas geography and a memoir which he sent to Queen Victoria, interestingly predicting a future clash between the expanding United States and Europe as the center of world trade. Prince Karl predicted that if the U.S. was able to expand to the Pacific coast America would win this struggle and that the nations of Europe should come together to block the expanding American empire with colonies and, again very interestingly, the establishment of a strong monarchy in Mexico. He also suggested that British emancipation of the slaves would help in the achievement of this. Despite how eerily prophetic this was, his words went largely unheeded. However, though far removed from Texas the Prince never lapsed in his support of the Adelsverein and their goals. In 1847 he helped recruit a group of idealistic young Germans to settle the original land purchased by the society in the Fisher-Miller Land Grant. Also in 1846 he left the Austrian service and became a colonel in the Hessian cavalry. He later attempted to rejoin the Prussian army but was rejected.

Still looking for military glory Prince Karl rejoined the Austrian army and by 1859 was a brigadier general. He fought in the unsuccessful war against Prussia in 1866 where he met with defeat as a corps commander. Nonetheless, by the time he retired in 1868 he had attained the rank of field marshal. Prince Karl von Solms-Braunfels, father of New Braunfels, Texas, died on November 13, 1875, his beloved wife Sophie following him the next year. In his own time some people called him a “Texan Don Quixote” while others hailed him as the last knight of the Middle Ages. He was restless, at times impetuous, vain and far from perfect but he was also a man of vision, much more far-sighted than he was given credit for at the time.

Royals at Eternal Rest

Thursday, December 23, 2010

German Monarchists in Texas

The German presence in Texas has always been considerable and Teutonic Texans have left their mark on the state in a number of ways. The town of Fredericksburg in the beautiful hill country (hometown of the great Admiral Chester Nimitz) was named after the famous Prussian warrior king Frederick the Great. The town of New Braunfels, north of San Antonio, was named for Prince Karl von Solms-Braunfels who led the first German colonists to the Republic of Texas as a member of the Adelsverein which envisioned building a "New Germany" in the vast unsettled lands of the new country (and who you will be reading more about later). The above card shows just how strongly the ties remained between German and Austrian Texans and their ancestral homelands. This was published during World War I (prior to U.S. entry of course) showing symbols that would pull at the bonds of loyalty German-speaking Texans would feel toward their old and new homes alike with portraits of German Kaiser Wilhelm II and Kaiser Franz Josef I of Austria above a picture of "the Shrine of Texas Liberty" the Alamo.

The banner on the left side of the card reads, "The Hearts open, the pockets wide, Do not forget that you're still German," and on the right side, "That for you and for your pride, The Austrian and German troops are fighting for". An appeal for Teutonic Texans to support the Red Cross of Germany and Austria during the war. At the bottom is information on a German-Texan Fair that was held in San Antonio in October of 1916 "For the war suffering Germans, Austrians and their Allies". This shows the extent of sympathy for the Central Powers as well as the Allies prior to U.S. entry into the war, after which time any sentiments remotely sympathetic to the Germans or simply un-supportive of the war was ruthlessly suppressed by the dictatorial Wilson administration. It was also after that time that Texas lost at least some of the more obvious signs of her German flavor. For example, today's King William district in San Antonio, famous for its liberal artists, stately Victorian homes and authoritarian zoning laws, was originally named the Kaiser Wilhelm district but, after the U.S. entered World War I, like many other names of German origin, it was changed to the more politically correct "King William".

Royals at Eternal Rest

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monarch Profile: Kaiser Friedrich III

The sad distinction of having the shortest reign of all the German Emperors goes to Kaiser Friedrich III and yet he is a figure that continues to fascinate many people, wondering how Germany might have developed had he remained longer on the throne of Prussia and the German Empire. He was born Friedrich Wilhelm Nikolaus Karl of the House of Hohenzollern at the New Palace in Potsdam, Prussia on October 18, 1831 to Prince Wilhelm and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar. At the time Prussia was ruled by his uncle King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. His parents had an often troubled relationship. Wilhelm had wanted to marry a Polish princess but his brother would not allow it and arranged the match with Princess Augusta. A known and opinionated liberal she clashed frequently with her very conservative Prussian husband and their children grew up rather troubled and isolated because of this.

Young Prince Friedrich was given a normal upbringing for a Prussian prince with a great deal of discipline, ‘tough love’ and a focus on the military. However, during these years liberalism was running rampant throughout Europe and even then Friedrich began to take a somewhat sympathetic view of them. It was the liberals who conjured up that thing called German nationalism and who advocated the unification of all the German peoples into a single empire under a constitutional monarchy. In most royal courts “constitution” was still a dirty word but Friedrich was at least sympathetic to the idea of a united Germany and this opened the way to his becoming at least more willing to consider the other liberal ideas they espoused. He was also influenced by his mother who insisted that he be given a more liberal education than was normal for Prussian princes. He grew up to be multi-lingual, speaking German, French and English with at least some knowledge of Latin. He was very athletic, particularly good at gymnastics and showed promise as a soldier. When he was 18 he went to study at the University of Bonn which strengthened his liberal leanings, as did his membership in the Freemason secret society, and rather alarmed the more traditional members of his family, particularly his father who was a very ‘old school’ Prussian royal.

This tension only increased with the search for a wife for Friedrich. His father, being sympathetic toward royal autocracy, favored a Russian bride while his mother looked to the most well established constitutional monarchy of Great Britain. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were anxious to maintain the German ties of the British Royal Family and the Belgian King Leopold I (who had helped arrange the very successful match of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) thought Prince Friedrich would make an ideal husband for the Princess Royal Victoria. Prince Albert was especially enthusiastic, thinking that the marriage of his daughter to the heir to the Prussian throne would be the turning point in making the most powerful German kingdom a model of liberal enlightenment and constitutional monarchy for the other states. Prince Wilhelm conceded at last and on January 25, 1858 Crown Prince Friedrich and Princess Royal Victoria were married at the St James Palace chapel in London (to the consternation of many Prussians who thought the wedding should be in their own country). Despite being an arranged marriage it was a winning match. The two were quite taken with each other from the start and would remain staunchly devoted to each other for the rest of their lives.

If Friedrich was a liberal by Prussian standards his new British bride was positively revolutionary. She did not find much satisfactory about Prussia when she arrived and determined that practically everything needed changing, quickly and drastically. Friedrich, for his part, tended to agree with her but was a little more realistic about the time it would take to effect this transformation. Prussia had struggled to the top of the German-speaking world by absolute royal rule and an incredibly strong army so becoming a moderate, liberal, constitutional monarchy was not a change that could be done quickly or easily. Between 1858 and 1872 Fritz and Vicky (as they were informally known) had eight children of whom the most famous and troublesome to the royal couple would be their firstborn the future Kaiser Wilhelm II.

On January 2, 1861 Friedrich became Crown Prince upon his father’s elevation to the status of King Wilhelm I of Prussia. Although liberal elements were on the ascendant in Prussia the King clashed with the parliament and would not bend to their will. He finally appointed Otto von Bismarck Minister-President and he was able to bring the politicians to heel. Crown Prince Friedrich was frequently at odds with both his father and Bismarck. The more he opposed them, the more they distrusted him and kept him out of state affairs which in turned hardened Friedrich against them. He often escaped Berlin to the more favorable political climate of Great Britain where his ideas were more mainstream. He went into battle for the first time during the war with Denmark in which he performed well. In the subsequent war with Austria he led one of the three main Prussian armies and again proved himself a capable soldier, ensuring victory over the Austrians at the Battle of Koeniggraetz. However, he had no love of warfare and actually sided with his enemy Bismarck against the other Prussian leaders who wanted to continue the war against Austria. Yet, not long after he commanded an army again during the 1870 war with the Second French Empire.

Once again, Crown Prince Friedrich won many laurels and several victories, becoming widely respected among the international community for his humanity toward the French and adored by his soldiers for the care he took of them. The German Empire was achieved, Wilhelm I became German Kaiser and Friedrich became an imperial crown prince. Yet, he remained at odds with his conservative father and increasingly so with his son who had been taken in by Prince Bismarck. Fritz and Vicky were as devoted to each other as ever but often felt quite isolated, which they were, but bided their time for when the Hohenzollern crown would pass to Friedrich and he could make, not only Prussia but now all of Germany, the liberal constitutional monarchy he and his wife envisioned.

However, when the time finally came Friedrich had already been stricken with the throat cancer that was soon to take his life. In 1888 Wilhelm I passed away at the age of 90 and his son became Kaiser Friedrich III but his illness was already so advanced he could not attend most of the festivities honoring the occasion. He bestowed honors on his wife, long unappreciated in his view by the conservative court of his father, and he did work as hard as he could in spite of the fact that he could not speak and all the doctors and all of their efforts proved ultimately useless. As his condition grew even worse Empress Victoria acted as his guardian, doing her best to thwart those who were already rushing to gain the good graces of Wilhelm II in expectation of his rapid elevation. After only 99 days on the throne Kaiser Friedrich III died on June 15, 1888 lamenting what would become of Germany when he was gone.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Windsor Wedding!

A short time ago on the British monarchy's official website and Facebook page (the times they are a-changin') announced that Miss Zara Phillips, daughter of HRH the Princess Royal, is engaged to marry Mr Mike Tindall, son of Mr Philip and Mrs Linda Tindall. The couple have been keeping steady company for about seven years now and it is believed the propsal was made last night at the couple's home in Gloucestershire. No word yet on when exactly a date will be set for the wedding but it seems that love is definitely in the air for the British Royal Family. The Mad Monarchist send heartfelt congratulations to the happy couple, and their families (especially the Princess Royal, the most hard working lady in the House of Windsor) and best wishes for a long and happy future together. God bless them.

Monarchist Music: Kungssången

Ur svenska hjärtans djup en gång
en samfälld och en enkel sång,
som går till kungen fram!
Var honom trofast och hans ätt,
gör kronan på hans hjässa lätt,
och all din tro till honom sätt,
du folk av frejdad stam!
From the depth of Swedish hearts,
a joint and a simple song,
which reaches forth to the King!
Be faithful to Him and his House,
make the Crown light upon his Head,
and all your faith in Him invest,
thou, people of high renown.

Royals at Eternal Rest

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Prince and the Pest

Some might recall a moment in the news last year when a man claiming to be a former intelligence agent sued HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco in California over an alleged breach of contract, making all sorts of lascivious accusations along with but quite unrelated to his claim for tens of thousands of dollars. Of course the case was immediately thrown out as no court in California would have jurisdiction over the Prince of Monaco who is also protected from prosecution by sovereign immunity as a sitting head of state. I said as much at the time in my own comment on the spat which attracted the attention of the accuser. At the time I did not believe it was actually the person in question (thinking he would have better things to do than troll forums and blogs to call names of anyone who questioned the merits of his case) but I was certainly wrong there. Not only was it the actual person (I use the term lightly) in question but it was recently brought to my attention that he has been obsessively following my little blog on Monaco ever since, hanging on my every word.

Evidently this extremely thin-skinned person adopted your humble blogger as his secondary arch-enemy after the Prince of Monaco himself. Showing how valid his claim to be an “intelligence agent” was, he tried without success to uncover my “true” identity. I can only feel a little sorry for whoever “Joe Mann” is for enduring the juvenile name-calling of this individual on the belief (or intentional lie) that he is me (well, if he’s not my man he must be Joe Mann I guess). However, aside from being your humble blogger’s most devoted “fan” he has also evidently made it his primary occupation to slander the Prince of Monaco. Coming out with new tirades and conspiracies on a daily basis he has accused Monaco’s Albie of everything but stealing the Lindbergh baby. Recently he has managed to gain a few mentions on internet news sites for accusing Prince Albert II of taking bribes as a member of the International Olympic Committee, sending a letter stating such to the president of the organization (which is probably the only reason anyone mentioned it at all).

The IOC, of course, is not even bothering to investigate such a ridiculous claim. Given the history of this man he could hardly be taken as a source worthy of serious consideration. There is the fact that he has a grudge (some would say obsession bordering on a severe case of the notgay’s) against the Prince, there is also the fact that Prince Albert is hardly someone liable to take bribes considering that he makes more money each day than he could spend tomorrow and finally there is the fact that this same individual has accused Prince of Albert of every sort of malicious deed imaginable, being involved in every sinister global conspiracy and being associated with everyone from the Russian mob to Islamic terrorists. Given that, (and the fact that even by saying this on my dusty little corner of the internet I can guarantee that this man will respond vociferously to me as he does my every utterance -he may in fact be the most religiously devoted reader I have) no matter what the facts or allegations of this case entail it will be dismissed as no more than the ravings of a captain of the tin foil hat brigade and left at that. So far, the Prince of Monaco has considered this crank unworthy of response. Given that his wedding is coming up next year and that there will be an historic papal visit the year after, this course will probably be continued no matter how irritating such ravings might be.
(this is a double post from my blog Mad for Monaco)

Royals at Eternal Rest

Saturday, December 18, 2010

German Princess' First Book

The Princess was inspired in her religious ideas by the "Holy Brother" Father Georg Ratzinger

Royal News Roundup

From Asia, HRH Crown Prince Paras of Nepal, son of the deposed King Gyanendra Shah, was arrested for allegedly shooting at the daughter and son-in-law of the Deputy Prime Minister at a resort in southern Nepal when the two began verbally bashing the late Nepalese monarchy. The Crown Prince was said to be intoxicated at the time and has long had a reputation for hard-living and having a relatively short fuse. The Crown Prince has admitted to firing his gun at the resort but justified it on the grounds that the two were making intentionally provocative remarks and insults about his family and the monarchy and he was simply not going to take it anymore. Nepalese monarchists were outraged by the arrest of a member of the Royal Family and staged a number of protests. The Crown Prince has resided primarily in Singapore since the abolition of the monarchy in Nepal.

Sunday and Monday the glamorous Queen Rania of Jordan was in the Kingdom of Bahrain, she met with the King and spoke about her support for a project designed to educate the young in business and money management -financial literacy education it was called. Queen Rania was praised for her work in promoting education and success across the Arab world. However, later in the week, tragedy struck the Kingdom of Bahrain when Sheikh Rashid bin Issa bin Salman Al Khalifa, brother of King Hamad of Bahrain, passed away. The prince was chairman of the Bahrain equestrian and horse racing club.

In France this week scientists announced that they have identified the skull of the celebrated French monarch King Henri IV who was assassinated in 1610. Best known for his practicality and making peace between the Catholic and Protestants factions in France he converted to Catholicism to maintain the tradition of France as a Catholic monarchy (“Eldest Daughter of the Church”) and then issued the Edict of Nantes granting freedom of religion to Protestants. Reports are that there will be a special “national Mass” held next year in honor of the King when his remains will be laid to rest alongside other French monarchs at St Denis Basilica. On a more sad note it was also recently reported that the treasury office at the Palace of Versailles will be converted by a Belgian company into a luxury hotel. It breaks my heart to see Versailles used in this way, arguably the most magnificent royal palace in the world, though it is not the first such outrage the palace of the Their Most Christian Majesties have suffered over the years.

In northern Europe Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary and their children attended the opening night of a new ballet Saturday, the set and costumes of which were designed by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II. The Crown Princess seemed to be at her best despite being only a month away from delivering twins. The Danish crown princely couple were also featured in the December issue of Vogue magazine (the German version) in a story about the renovations underway at their palace. The pictures were well done and the interview was okay but your humble blogger was not impressed with the Crown Prince saying he would show his independence from tradition by displaying modern art in his new home. In my experience there is a word for 99.9% of “modern art” and that word is -”crap”!

For the British Royal Family, oddly enough, the one story that has made the most headlines is more of a non-story than the most mundane ribbon-cutting. It has been all over the U.S. news networks that President Obama and First Lady Michelle will not be invited to the royal wedding next year. The reason, of course, is not because Prince William and the Obamas are not exactly close friends, it is not because the Obamas have been fairly known for their dislike of the British and it is not because the royal couple were afraid of what sort of horrid gifts they might receive. No, it was simply because (perhaps due to PR pressure it must be said) the Royal Family will be inviting more common people to the wedding and less political elites, heads of state and the like. Despite the inordinate amount of attention this wedding was bound to receive, it should also be kept in mind that Prince William is not a reigning monarch, not next in line to a throne and so in regards to royal protocol his wedding would not ordinarily be considered such a big deal. But it is of course and for every one of the crass, cultureless type of Americans who mocked and ridiculed the Prince and his lovely Princess-to-be on the subject of their wedding there is at least two crying that their beloved President has been “snubbed” at what is sure to be THE social event of the year. Too bad, maybe if Obama pays his carbon tax he can haggle an invitation to Prince Albert’s wedding.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Consort Profile: Empress Julia Augusta

Livia Drusilla, also known as Julia Augusta, was the first Empress of Rome. Like her husband, the Emperor Augustus, she set the standard by which all subsequent imperial consorts would be judged and she set that bar quite high. Aside from being the wife of Emperor Augustus she was the mother of Emperor Tiberius, grandmother of Emperor Claudius, great-grandmother of Emperor Caligula and great-great grandmother of Emperor Nero. Livia Drusilla was born on January 30, 59 BC, the second daughter of Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus and his wife Aufidia, a respected, upper class Roman family. In 43 BC her father married her to Tiberius Claudius Nero, who was her patrician cousin and, incidentally, an enemy of the faction of Julius Caesar and his nephew and adopted heir Octavian (later Augustus). A year later she gave birth to her first child, the future Emperor Tiberius. So deeply involved was her father in the plot against Caesar that he killed himself at the battle of Philippi along with two of the main assassins of Caesar. Her husband continued the struggle though, fighting with Marc Antony against Octavian during his rise to power. When Octavian proved victorious Livia Drusilla had to flee, with the rest of her family to Sicily and later Greece.

When Livia Drusilla returned to Rome after a general amnesty she was pregnant with her second son (Drusus the Elder) when she met Octavian who, despite being married at the time, fell instantly in love with this woman from a family who had long opposed his own. In 39 BC Octavian divorced his wife Scribonia on the very same day she gave birth to his only surviving child; Julia the Elder -who would herself grow up to have a pretty scandalous reputation, but what a traumatic day for Scribonia! Tiberius Claudius Nero divorced Livia who gave birth to his second son only three days before she married Octavian with her ex-husband ‘giving he away’ at the wedding. There was a real attraction between Octavian and his new wife but, as usual, there were some political considerations involved in all of this as well. Tiberius Claudius Nero knew that, despite his efforts, Octavian was the new man in charge, soon to be monarch in charge, and Octavian also knew that he would need an alliance with a member of the patrician class to gain more support amongst the republican elite. Traditionally the common people had been the base of support for Julius Caesar and the rise of his family in Rome. Certainly by the standards of pagan Rome, and really by any standards, they had a very successful and certainly a very enduring marriage which lasted 51 years; as long as they lived.

Not long after Marc Antony was defeated and Octavian became Augustus Caesar, the first Emperor of Rome. He was very careful to tread softly in introducing an imperial monarchy to the traditionally republican Romans and his wife was instrumental in helping him in this regard. They did not live in lavish luxury nor were they extravagant in any of their habits. Livia Drusilla was the model Roman wife but she was also influential, the most trusted advisor of the Emperor and someone who was not shy with her opinions but who often interceded with her husband to get things done and obtain appointments for those she favored. Yet, in their modest home Livia Drusilla was a devoted wife. She made most of the clothes the Emperor wore, attended to the household and set an example by refusing to wear lavish gowns or expensive jewelry but instead being very charitable, very generous and urging the Emperor to show mercy to his enemies and bring people together under the new monarchy. Her husband was so appreciative of her that he gave her financial independence, erected a statue of her for the public to honor and she came to have a sort of secondary court all her own. All across the empire she came to be revered as the ideal Roman wife.

However, the Empress was not without criticism. As with so many of the Roman emperors there were those who tried to portray Livia Drusilla, not just as an imperfect consort, but as a scheming, ambitious and even murderous woman devoted to securing the power of her children, her favorites and herself. However, the fact is that almost all of these accusations are totally baseless with nothing more to back them up but convenient assumption. Emperor Augustus did have his step-son Tiberius married to his own daughter and eventually adopted as his heir but this was a long process and depended on the loss of other candidates that his wife could have had nothing to do with. Even Roman historians who were no great supporters of the imperial monarchy dismiss accusations against Livia as totally unfounded. She was proud, regal, very conscious of her position in the empire and in the public eye but she was certainly no scheming murderess. She had her favorites and tried to advance them as was common at the time and as the wife of Augustus Caesar she was able to accomplish a great deal in this regard and this is probably the source of such accusations.

Although Augustus had not been an entirely faithful husband, Livia had been a very faithful wife and remained so until the death of her husband in 14 AD. She saw her son Tiberius become Emperor of Rome and her late husband deified by the senate. Augustus had left one third of his estates to his wife, the rest to her son and his adopted heir. He extended her official membership into the Julian dynasty and the title of Augusta. Thus honored by both her late husband and her son she was able to live a comfortable life in her remaining years, using the name Julia Augusta, as a very honored and revered figure in Roman life. However, her power and prestige eventually caused a rift between her and her son Tiberius who blocked the senate from granting her the title of ‘Mother of the Country’. Some have asserted that when Tiberius left Rome for his pleasure grotto on Capri it was to get away from his interfering mother. They were still at odds when she died in 29 BC and Emperor Tiberius blocked efforts to grant her further honors by the senate. Her full titles would not be restored until the reign of Emperor Claudius. At that time, in 42 BC, Julia Augusta was deified and statues of her placed alongside her husband in his temple.

Royals at Eternal Rest

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monarchist Profile: Peggy Shippen

Peggy Shippen was the woman behind one of the most infamous names in American history. She was also a Tory girl, staunchly loyal to King and country. She was born Margaret “Peggy” Shippen on July 11, 1760 to Edward Shippen IV and Margaret Francis Shippen, a well-to-do Philadelphia family. Members of the Shippen clan had long been prominent in Pennsylvania history. One was the mayor and founder of the town of Shippensburg and Edward Shippen had served as a judge and a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Council. As two younger brothers did not long survive little Peggy was the baby of the family and properly fussed over as such. Early in life she was noted for her outgoing nature, strong convictions and striking beauty. Her father, whom she idolized, was a staunch loyalist and ensured that even his baby girl was well informed on the politics of colonial America and was left with no doubt that those loyal to King George were the ‘good guys’. She enjoyed the typical pastimes of women in those days and even her political awareness was not so unusual as many today might think.

The outbreak of the Revolutionary War was seen as a tragedy in the Shippen house and they had to be careful to avoid drawing the attentions of the “patriot” party at a time when many Tories were persecuted for their loyalty. However, it was a cause for celebration when the British army occupied Philadelphia in 1777 and, full of confidence in the British war effort, Edward Shippen was quick to open his home to the King’s officers. High profile loyalists, Crown officials and military officers were a common feature in the parties held by the Shippen family and the lovely young Peggy was much sought after. With no shortage of gentlemen callers, Peggy was selective in who she paid attention to and soon there seemed to be a romance developing between her and a particularly dashing and well regarded officer named Major John Andre, an aide on staff of General Sir William Howe. Even though a full match did not have time to grow out of this the two remained very close from that time on. Peggy Shippen, like all local loyalists, was very sad to see the British army pull out of Philadelphia in June of 1778.

There was, then, a real danger that the Shippen family would suffer from the retaliation of the patriot forces who resumed control of the city and for a time they moved to the country. However, in spite of a law mandating the arrest of any loyalists Edward Shippen took his family back to Philadelphia when the countryside proved too dangerous with the battles raging around them. Edward Shippen tried to protect his family by being cordial with the new masters of the city, though his opinions were well known, his home remained a high society meeting place and guests included revolutionary officials and generals. It was on such an occasion that Peggy Shippen met the widowed revolutionary hero General Benedict Arnold. He had been the driving force behind the victorious Saratoga campaign and the near conquest of Canada. However, Arnold had been unappreciated by the political leadership and posted to command the garrison at Philadelphia. Arnold was immediately taken with the vivacious young Tory, known as one of the most beautiful girls in Philadelphia and despite their deep political differences the two were soon known to be an item.

Edward Shippen, and probably many other loyalists, were less than impressed when Peggy set her hat for Arnold. However, Peggy had lost none of her convictions even when she married Arnold on April 8, 1779. He was 38 and she was only 18 but despite her young age she was a force to be reckoned with and early on began working on her husband to bring him over to the loyalist position. Even before their first meeting Arnold had been rather disgusted with the leadership of the revolution and was greatly outraged by the very idea that the fledgling United States would even consider making an alliance with the Catholic absolute monarchy of France. Peggy did nothing to discourage these feelings in her husband and reminded him often how the revolutionary cause was not worthy of him. He had proven himself to be one of the most successful generals in the Continental Army and yet they did not appreciate him, others took credit for his victories and the government harassed him. She assured him that the British did not treat their best generals in such a fashion and Arnold would be better off on the other side. At first Arnold was outraged by such talk but over time Peggy wore him down.

Peggy was also still in touch with Major John Andre who was then working as the spymaster for General Sir Henry Clinton (Howe’s successor as commander of the British forces in North America). She also introduced Arnold to other friends who were all of the loyalist persuasion. Soon the home of one of the most famous revolutionary generals was a regular meeting place for King and Country loyalists. She introduced her husband to her former beau Andre and the two began corresponding. Arnold was finally won over to the Crown position and offered his services, and the fortress at West Point, to the British army; for a price of course. Since that time there have been allegations that Peggy was ultimately responsible for the change of heart of her husband, allegations which her family denied. However, few could argue that her deeply held loyalists convictions could not have influenced her husband at all. We also know that Peggy was involved herself in the exchange of letters between Arnold and Andre over his defection and the disposal of West Point.

When the intentions of Arnold were prematurely discovered Peggy Arnold showed herself to be quite an actress, putting on such a show of feigned shock, outrage and hysteria that George Washington was convinced she had nothing to do with it. Given her background it must have taken quite a performance to accomplish that even in the short-term. Arnold having escaped to the British, Peggy tried to take refuge with her family in Philadelphia but was not allowed in the city. Instead she went to the loyalist stronghold of New York City (held by the British for most of the war) where she joined her husband and where their second child was born (their first being born during their stay at West Point). Peggy remained the strong supporter of her husband that she had always been during his career as a general in the British army and it was not until December 15, 1781 that they left America for London after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Originally Benedict and Peggy Arnold were warmly welcomed by the British and Peggy was even introduced to the Queen by Lady Amherst. However, the glamorous future Arnold had expected did not come to be and Peggy was soon on her own in London while her husband tried to get back into the shipping business in Canada. More children were born, the couple would have five in all, and in 1789 Peggy returned to America to visit her parents but even though her father remained a powerful and well-connected figure in Philadelphia she was thoroughly vilified by the public and treated with great disdain. Growing concerned for her safety, she met her husband in Canada where, even there, mobs accused them of “treason” before the couple returned to England. Even though Arnold had fathered an illegitimate child while in Canada, Peggy remained an ever-faithful and devoted wife and a defender of the legacy of her husband. When he died she was forced to sell their estate to pay his considerable debts and she spent the rest of her life rather ignored by society and living a life far from what she had dreamed of. She died at age 43 of cancer in 1804 and was buried alongside her husband at St Mary’s in London.
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