Starting in the Far East, The Mad Monarchist wishes a happy 20th birthday to HIH Princess Mako of Japan, eldest grandchild of Their Imperial Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan. In southeast Asia, on Thursday HM “King-Father” Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia returned to his homeland after extensive medical treatment in China. He was greeted by Prime Minister Hun Sen (*cough* dictator-in-all-but-name *cough*) and HM King Norodom Sihamoni. This will be a busy weekend of celebrations for the Cambodian Royal Family and all Khmer people. Saturday is the anniversary of the coronation of King Norodom Sihamoni, Sunday is the 20th anniversary of the return of King Norodom Sihanouk to Cambodia after the civil war and on Monday the “King-Father” will celebrate his 89th birthday. Best wishes and congratulations on all these events to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Finally, in the Near East, HRH Prince Nayef of Saudi Arabia has, predictably, been named Crown Prince and heir to the throne following the death of the elderly Crown Prince Sultan in New York last week. Now Crown Prince Nayef is known for his close ties to the Wahhabi school of Islam and has opposed many of the changes enacted by the present King. Meanwhile, down on the Dead Sea, HM King Abdullah II of Jordan opened the World Economic Forum which focused on the economic prospects of the Middle East. The King praised the “Arab Spring”, said that democracy is the way and also called for Palestinian statehood as well as greater recognition of Israel.
Southern Europe has had a pleasant amount of good news for the royal houses. On Wednesday TRH Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana of Greece are expecting their first child next spring. Also, in an interview with CNN Greek Crown Prince Pavlos discussed the current crisis in Greece saying it stemmed from an over-reliance on the public sector, that the middle class consisted almost entirely of government workers and that the private sector needed to be “re-introduced” to Greece. He also pointed out the lack of confidence in past and present governments. The Crown Prince said the road to recovery would be painful but that he remained optimistic because of the admirable qualities of the Greek people. The Mad Monarchist also sends congratulations to HM King Michael I of Romania who celebrated his 90th birthday on Tuesday. The King later, in a historic moment, addressed the Romanian parliament for the first time since 1947 when he was still reigning. The venerable monarch did not shy away from being critical of the corrupt officials in the Romanian government, taking a thinly veiled swipe at them by condemning, “demagogy, selfishness and attempts to cling to power”. He received a standing ovation and many cries of “Long live the King” from the assembled members. His official birthday celebrations were attended by the King of Sweden, the Queen of Spain, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the former King of Bulgaria and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, head of the Imperial House of Romanov among others.
In the Low Countries, HRH Princess Elisabeth of Belgium celebrated her 10th birthday on Tuesday. After a change in the succession law, and provided the country stays together, Princess Elisabeth will one day become the first reigning Queen of the Belgians. On Friday HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and HRH Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange began their first full day of activities during their visit to the Dutch island of Aruba in the Caribbean. Aruba is now one of the four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and has been part of the old Dutch colonial empire since 1636 when the Dutch East Indies Company first arrived. In fact, there is an American connection there as the man who brought Dutch rule to Aruba was Peter Stuyvesant, the last governor of the New Netherlands colony which is today the state of New York. With France having gone republican and America pushing out the Spanish, the Netherlands and Great Britain are the only monarchies that still maintain a presence in the Caribbean Sea. May they long continue.
Finally, as probably everyone knows by now, British Prime Minister “Call Me Dave” Cameron has declared victory in the effort to change the succession laws in Great Britain to prevent any gender discrimination against the as yet non-existent offspring of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. What? Huh? What about all the messages and emails I received from people telling me this was impossible because it would require the legal agreement of all the Commonwealth realms to be valid? Well, I hate to say “I told you so” (and I really do in this case) but one should never expect politicians to abide by legal limitations to government. They will always find ways, find loopholes or just flat out ignore the laws that would prevent them from having their way. “Call Me Dave” just asked the people at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference and they said, “sure, why not” and now that’s that. Well, not quite, but that is the message being conveyed. It is over, it is done, “Davidulus locuta est, causa finite est” (or something like that). Firstborn girls can inherit the throne over younger brothers and everyone can marry a Catholic. On that point, “Call Me Dave” was quick to point out that the monarch would still have to be in communion with the Church of England (since she’s supposed to be the boss of it) so as to calm any fears of another “Bloody Mary” (which, really, at this point I just have to laugh about -the sheer number of modern people who still dwell on that).
Forgive me a sidetrack here: Personally, this is one more step, it seems to me, toward the CofE giving up the ghost and disestablishing. And, as much as I would prefer England remaining “officially” Christian, I don’t think it would distress me as much as it once would have considering the extent to which they’ve tossed most of Christianity and given that the CofE has been disestablished everywhere else but England, the Queen doesn’t actually oversee it anymore and, as there are now republicans among the ranks of the clergy, they have evidently tossed out even their foundational issue I really don’t see much of a point in it anymore. The number of those I consider the good, traditional, Anglican types are becoming ever fewer. Many have decided to ask for a “do over” and have returned to the Church of Rome while others, a faithful few, remain determined to go down with the ship. I blame the government. Government-run religion doesn’t work. Royal-run religion can (I suppose) but in every case, in Europe at least, what started out as royal-run religion became government-run religion and the government in London has so run the CofE into the ground there are now many Anglicans who feel their traditions and beliefs will be in safer hands in the Church led by the Bishop of Rome than that in the hands of the Queen of England. But, it is not *really* in her hands anyway as we know. But, I am the reactionary sort. I don’t think either divine truth or the royal succession should be subject to popular opinion or the interference of politicians AT ALL.