Saturday, April 23, 2011
Royal News Roundup
Back at home, or in America rather, lovely Princess Madeleine has come under some criticism for her parties and shopping sprees in the Big Apple. Evidently the sympathy over her break-up with her ex-fiancé has about run out and more people have been asking about her charitable work when all they see is shopping and nights out with her new boyfriend. It was released that Princess Madeleine is working with the Queen’s charity in New York, in a supervisory role but that she is not being paid. Rather than silence the rumblings, people then began to ask where the money for her high-living was coming from, the answer of course being her government allowance, and that has caused some criticism. All the years of socialism and the recent tidal wave of immigrants could not possibly be to blame, so of course the media focuses on Princess Madeleine and her shopping trips. Yawn.
An unusual story has also appeared out of Miami, Florida where, in November, a new church will be consecrated, bearing the name of HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. Organizers asked the future Norwegian queen for her permission to use her name in such a way and she consented. The full name of the place will be, “The Church’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Church - Scandinavian Church and Center”. It will be run by the Seamen’s church and will join other of their churches with royal names in Stockholm, Paris, New York, Torrevieja and Copenhagen. Seamen’s church leaders said that the Norwegian Crown Princely couple had visited their church in Miami and that the Crown Princess had demonstrated, “a commitment to religion in a social context that coincides with the values Seamen’s Church stands for” said their Secretary General. The Seamen’s Church is the name of the Church of Norway abroad, usually located in major ports, to serve the Norwegian and Swedish communities (and sailors) in those areas.
In the Low Countries, HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and HRH the Prince of Orange attended a special memorial for the victims of the mall shooting on Saturday, April 9. The Queen and Crown Prince met with the families of the victims after the memorial and the Dutch prime minister expressed the solidarity of all Netherlanders with them in their difficult time. In Belgium, a special program was aired taking advantage of all the attention on the upcoming royal wedding in Britain, highlighting the long ties between the kingdoms of Great Britain and Belgium. Most of the focus was on King Leopold I of the Belgians whose first wife was the short-lived Princess Charlotte of Wales and who later helped introduce Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
In Rome, in a display of how hi-tech the modern world is, HH Pope Benedict XVI appeared on Italian TV on Good Friday, answering questions from children from around the world on the program “In His Image”. The Pontiff was given some pretty ‘hard ball’ questions from the little ones, ranging from the timeless question of why innocent people suffer so terribly to the state of the soul of a comatose person to more Easter-oriented questions about Christ and the resurrection. The Pope spoke of the Church trying to help in war torn areas and, on the devastation in Japan, admitted that he could not answer why such suffering happens to some and not others but reiterated that Jesus suffered too and that the Catholic community was with those suffering in effort and in prayer. Once the Easter festivities are over the Pontiff will relocate for a time to Castel Gandolfo for a ‘working vacation’.
In Great Britain, Thursday was a doubly special day as both Maundy Thursday and the actual birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II who turned 85-years old. The Queen was at Westminster Abbey for religious services, handing out the traditional Maundy money to some 170 elderly people (85 men and 85 women) to mark the occasion. Also, as of Her Majesty’s 85th birthday the Queen has become the oldest reigning British monarch in history and she seems ready, willing and able to continue her service for a long time to come. We all certainly hope that she does. God Save the Queen!
Blog News: Next week there will be a mini-series on refuting republicanism based on Christian history and the Bible, a look at two famous English and Austrian consorts, monarchists from Hungary and Spain, a monarch from Mongolia, an Elizabethan movie review and videos on Emperor Don Pedro II of Brazil and the Imperial Family of Mexico. (switching to broadcaster voice) And we hope you stay tuned for those reports. -MM