Saturday, March 31, 2012
Royal News Roundup
Across the North Sea, in Denmark on Monday HM Queen Margrethe II and HRH Prince Henrik hosted a special gala dinner in honor of TRH the Prince of Wales and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall who were visiting the Kingdom of Denmark this week. Later, the Queen and her Prince Consort attended a gala banquet put on by the Academy Council Foundation at Charlottenborg palace in Copenhagen. In Norway, on Monday, HM King Harald V held a special audience with representatives of the Lion’s Club International at the royal palace. On Tuesday the King attended the closing ceremony of the Gorud Youth Conference in Oslo.
In the Low Countries, HM King Albert II of the Belgians met with the Minister of Public Enterprises, Science Policy and Development Cooperation (trying saying that three times fast) this week. HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands attended a special celebration for the 25 anniversary of the National Committee at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. In Luxembourg HRH Grand Duke Henri met with the Grand Rabbi of Luxembourg, Mr. Alain Nacache, at the Grand-Ducal Palace.
In southern Europe, on Wednesday TM King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia attended the XXIX Edition of the International Journalism Awards ‘King of Spain’ and the VIII Edition of the Don Quixote Award for Journalism in Madrid. Thursday HM King Juan Carlos I of Spain unveiled a special plaque in the Bosnian town of Moster commemorating the arrival of Spanish forces in the area in 20 years ago as part of the peace-keeping force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This week also saw TSH Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco in the far north, visiting the Sami community of Norway, donning native costume and going for a reindeer sleigh ride.
Across the world in the Pacific Ocean, on Tuesday the people of Tonga laid to rest the late King George Tupou V at the royal tombs in Mala’e Kula in a traditional 2-hour state funeral attended by thousands of grieving subjects, government officials and the representatives from nations around the world.
Finally, there seems to have been some uproar over the editing of the speech made by HM the Emperor at the commemoration of the 1-year anniversary of the Fukushima earthquake-tsunami disaster. There have been accusations of censorship by the state-run Japanese media and protests by outraged citizens that the words of the Emperor concerning the nuclear disaster were cut out from the pre-recorded re-broadcasts of the event. Of course, I would never be in favor of censoring the Emperor under any circumstances as it seems was done here, though it has not been proven as yet. However, the reaction that I have found just in my own poking around (unfortunately) seems to reinforce why the Japanese government tried to keep certain information from the public for fears of causing mass hysteria. I found a great deal of hysterical shrieking on the subject of radioactive contamination and environmental destruction that seems totally out of proportion to the actual facts. Just to remind everyone, the huge loss of life one year ago was caused primarily by the tsunami, to date NO ONE has died from radiation. People should try to keep that in mind before becoming too hysterical. I would not be wild about having a nuclear reactor in my backyard but I do have high-pressure natural gas pipelines in my backyard (front yard too as it happens) and those could cause quite a disaster as well. The point being that no combustible fuel is ever going to be 100% safe in any and all circumstances. Also, the current Prime Minister of Japan, as well as his predecessor, have implemented the gradual elimination of nuclear energy in Japan. However, before anyone starts celebrating, let me remind everyone as well that as things stand now “green energy” is far from sufficient to meeting the needs of a nation the size of Japan and so the country will simply become entirely dependent on imported oil. It is worth remembering that dependency on foreign fuel sources was a big reason for Japan feeling it vitally necessary to expand her colonial empire in the build-up to World War II. Just something to keep in mind. Overreacting is never a good idea.