Saturday, March 5, 2011

Royal News Roundup

The continuing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa reached the absolute monarchy of Oman last week as riots broke out in that normally stable and relatively prosperous country. HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said responding with government largesse and a ’spreading of the wealth’ as we would say. The Sultan replaced some government ministers, boosted taxpayer funded grants for public university students, raised the minimum wage and established a consumer protection organization. Some people have been killed in clashes with police. Many were surprised by these events as Oman has been a very well functioning country, nonetheless, some remain determined to resist almost regardless of the circumstances. The Sultan later promised to create 50,000 new jobs (and wouldn’t it be nice if governments could really do that) amidst continuing demands for democracy and (no surprise) that the oil wealth of the country be more evenly distributed among the populace. Protestors also voiced opposition to the number of foreigners in Oman who are taking jobs from the native population.

To the north, in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the effectively absolute monarchy there is being defended against calls for a ceremonial, constitutional monarchy by anti-government protestors. In a speech to lawmakers the Jordanian Prime Minister said that stripping the King of his political power would violate the constitution of Jordan and the constitutional process for changing and making laws in the country. In some ways, this might put the first minister slightly at odds with his sovereign, King Abdullah II, was has called for a constitutional monarchy for some time but who has also retained ultimate authority in the Jordanian government throughout his reign. The Prime Minister also said that other reforms were being enacted, such as making his own job a democratic position, once the myriad of some 34 political parties in Jordan can unite into a more manageable number of 2 or 3. The PM would then be elected by the majority party in Parliament rather than being chosen and appointed by the King as has previously been the case.

In Europe, HH Pope Benedict XVI won applause from many corners for his total condemnation of the idea that any guilt attaches itself to the Jewish community for the death of Christ. In a preview from his latest book, due to come out shortly, finishing his two volume look at the life of Christ, the Pontiff showed, using reason and careful Biblical study, that it is incorrect and unjustified to place the blame for the crucifixion on Jews and strongly condemned anti-Semitism for this or any other reason. His Holiness also urged world leaders to respect religious freedom and the rights of religious minorities in light of a number of murders of Christians in predominately Muslim communities throughout the world last week. In Belgium, now nine months without a government, HM King Albert II appointed the Flemish Christian Democrat Wouter Beke as his new royal mediator to try to bring the feuding parties together. The last mediator, Didier Reynders, resigned after a month of fruitless efforts. In the Netherlands there was concern over a planned state visit to, of all the times and places, the Sultanate of Oman. Obviously there were great concerns for the safety of the Queen and talk of whether or not the trip would be cancelled. However, at last report a scaled down visit would go ahead with HM Queen Beatrix and the Prince and Princess of Orange will have dinner with the Sultan before leaving for Qatar for a 3-day visit.

On Monday, Their Majesties King Juan Carlos I, Queen Sofia and Their Royal Highnesses Prince Felipe, Princess Letizia and Infanta Elena of Spain were on hand at El Pardo Palace to hand out the numerous National Sports Awards for what His Catholic Majesty called “the most brilliant years of the history of Spanish sports”. Those given awards were honored for everything from football to equestrian sports to hockey and mountain climbing. In congratulating the winners of this year the King of Spain said, “Sport, in its most noble and extensive expression must muster the effort and cooperation of all”.

The British Royal Family has not been untouched by the controversy over the revolution in Libya. Criticism is once again being leveled at HRH the Duke of York over his friendship with Saif Qaddafi (son of the infamous dictator) in his role as the special ambassador for UK Trade & Investment. This, frankly, reeks of hypocrisy. Colonel Qaddafi did not just suddenly become a bad guy, he had always been a traitor, a usurper, a murder, a tyrant and a terrorist and it was the government, not the monarchy, which willingly decided to do business with him. I cannot help but be somewhat reminded of how the King of Italy was, after the war, suddenly ‘blamed’ for Mussolini -as if the fascists had no support at all before the King asked them to form a government. If this means that the governments of the western world have suddenly discovered their principles, let me warn them that are doing business with plenty of other people as bad if not worse than Colonel Qaddafi. Check the human rights record of Fidel Castro or the actions of the President of Communist China when he was governor of Tibet. How about the British government taking responsibility for letting a convicted terrorist go free in exchange for Libyan oil? The Duke of York should not be made the scapegoat for this hypocritical behavior.

Finally, there has also been some chatter lately over the guest list for the royal wedding (Prince William is getting married in case you haven’t heard). No, the Obamas still aren’t invited (get over it Michelle) but neither is the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark. HM Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik are to attend and they may be sitting not too far from the local grocer, butcher and postman from Catherine’s hometown. Yes, you read that right; the town butcher. Those must have been damn good pork chops. Their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan have been invited, all good there, but so has the openly republican Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard and her paramour Tim Mathison. Excuse me? Julia Gillard? The same woman who has said she hopes the Australian monarchy dies with Elizabeth II and that Prince William never becomes King of Australia. You know, seriously, it is things like this that make me think sometimes even the royals don’t get it. She is the elected head of government for a Commonwealth nation -I get it. However, this is someone I would expect royals to deal with when they had to (with all proper decorum of course) but certainly not the type who should be honored with an invitation to THE wedding of English-speaking world.


  1. Julia Gillard should not be PM of Australia, or Mayor of a small town in the Outback. It should b required that the PM be loyal to the Crown at least Nominally, and certainly not Hostile to it.

    Then again she also made a show of her Atheism as if that makes her impressive. Somehow these days its something to be proud of.

    But to correct, I don’t think Julia Gillard was elected by the Good People of Australia was she? Rudd the Dudd was asked to leave and she was made an interim replacement. I don’t think she’s really elected.

    I’d have just asked the Governor-General.

    As to the Butcher, hey, its likely they at least knew the Family.

    As to Omar, it seems that Revolutionary Sentiment is a Fever hat spreads. It also seems like this happened in the 18th Century. Democracy as an ideal took root in most of the world by the end of the 20th Century and now they express this by Violent Revolutions because those have been Glorified. I think Omar was not so bad a place, just not in line with the socialist vision of Prosperity.

    Churchill said Socialism was the Doctrine of Greed, and that also plays a part of it methinks.

    Ghaddafi is the only one subject to such Revolutions I have no Sympathy for. He betrayed his King and became basically a Military Dictator. We did nothing to depose him, though a man from Scotland named Sterling did come up with an Idea on how to Reinstall the King.

    Still, Ghaddaffi is not one I can muster much for.


    I agree with the MadMonarchist, it is ridiculous that a republican regardless of the fact that she's my nations Head of Government was invited to attend. She is part of the group that probably supported that English Bishops public denouncement of the wedding. I'd rather invite Tony Abbott (Australian Opposition Leader) who is a man of faith and still believes in the institution of Monarchy and does not waiver in those beliefs while Gillard seems to contradict herself on most things. It wouldn't even matter if she wasn't invited even OBAMA wasn't invited, I'd think people would understand.


    I am also enraged on how politicians in the UK seem to be targetting the Duke of York of things that are nothing close to the detestable acts of politicians.

    These events simply enrage myself as an Australian and a Monarchist.


    I will join the rest in celebration when Colonel Gaddafi is finally removed from power and bought to judgement for his crimes but I also hope that this 'Arab Revolution' doesn't claim a single Monarchy which luckily it hasn't so far. Isn't that funny though? The Middle East is virtually the only part of the word that still has Absolute Monarchy's yet only the republics are the ones getting toppled for tyranny and corruption. Perhaps the monarchies there aren't as bad as people imagine?

  3. I don't know her whole political history but if she was in Parliament I'm assuming she was elected by someone -obviously not the sort of people I would be in sympathy with. Were it up to me she would never have been allowed to take her seat much less become PM.

  4. Actually, we had an election last year. Gillard won... kind of. We actually wound up with a hung parliament, and Gillard got the Greens and three independents to back her, and I don't think many of them would be monarchist (even the country independents, much as they claim to be conservative).

    Still, I do agree that it should be the GG rather than the PM who goes to the wedding. PMs come and go (rather faster than they used to, apparently). Royals and GGs stay.

  5. MR. Wells, or perhaps Adams or another, can you tell me what the general sentiment towards her is, exactly? I realise in a Parliamentary system you don't really vote for the PM in the same way one does a President in America, so its possible to have a PM everyone hates thats still PM because people liked the party or candidates from parties that won.

    So just how Popular is Gillard in Oz?


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