Friday, April 13, 2012

QA with MM

The last time I did this it generated a lot of interest so, here we are again. I was recently interviewed by the “Grand River Royal Club”, was emailed a copy of it and am posting here (there was no objection). It has a much different tone from my last interview with a republican.

(after the pleasantries)

GR: Do you have a favorite monarchy?
MM: Goodness no, that’s like asking a parent to name their favorite child. I’m a pan-monarchist, I support them all, I know more about some than others but they all interest me and I wish I knew more about all of them.

GR: So I probably shouldn’t ask if you have a favorite monarch.
MM: No, I do have favorites, and I’ve listed many on my blog, but I narrow down the possibilities considerably. I’ve listed my favorite Spanish monarchs, Romanov monarchs, Savoy monarchs and English monarchs after the conquest, before the union of the crowns. Even then I’ve only ever been able to narrow it down to five.

GR: Is there a particular monarchy you at least feel more of a connection with than any other?
MM: Even that is tough to say. I keep up more with Monaco in terms of current royal families. My first language is English so there is a connection with the English monarchy, there are those I have a special interest in due to ancestry and, in terms of where I live, the monarchy I feel closest to in terms of local history and culture would be the Spanish. For family reasons I also have very strong feelings about the royal legacy of Vietnam but then there are others that I am very interested in and get very emotional about that I have no real reason to at all.

GR: Okay, putting aside personal preferences, is there a monarchy that you think has been better or more successful than others? One that is still around today I mean.
MM: I would probably have to say the English monarchy.
GR: You mean the British.
MM: Yes I do, but let’s be blunt about it, it is the English monarchy when you get down to it, the lineage, the traditions and so on are all English. I say them because the Queen, even after the dissolution of the British Empire, still reigns over more land and people than any other and because, looking at history, the English have just been pretty fortunate in having had a pretty good record of competent, benevolent royal leadership. There are always low points but their’s have been fairly few.

GR: When it comes to the fall of monarchies, which I realize is always a terrible thing, is there one that particularly moves you or upsets you more than any other?
MM: Absolutely. Russia, without a doubt, though I can only speculate as to why. I get very emotional when it comes to the fall of Russia, it really effects me like no other.
GR: Speculate then; why do you think that is?
MM: Well there is the fact that the last Tsar and Tsarina were such good people but then so was Charles I of Britain, so were Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette but I think, perhaps, I feel the loss of Russia more because it was so violent, it was the entire family and because it was so comparatively recent. We have tons of photographs of the Russian Imperial Family, we can see them growing up and I think that allows one to feel much more connected to them. It was such a horrific tragedy. I could tear up just thinking about it. It was also one of the last truly, purely Christian monarchies left in the world even then.

GR: When it comes to the monarchies that fell in the wake of World War I, many people seem to be aware of those, even if World War II overshadowed them a bit but is there a fallen monarchy that you think is overlooked? I mean one that shouldn’t be.
MM: China. I’ve never understood why more people don’t recognize what a huge, huge historical event the fall of Imperial China was. Here was an empire that existed from the time of the city-states of ancient Greece to the 20th Century and was a pretty major power for almost all of that time, yet most history books seem to give it barely a mention. I don’t understand that. I’ll never understand that.

GR: Which former monarchy do you think is most likely to be restored?
MM: I really don’t know. I wish I did. Recently events in Montenegro have been very promising but usually, when pressed, I would say one country with more reason to hope than most would be Serbia.
GR: Why Serbia?
MM: The Crown Prince has a pretty high profile, good connections, he’s well respected around Europe and he’s been making an effort. He’s been staying out of politics but still staying very much involved and I cannot praise him enough for actually going out there and making the case for monarchy as a better system than the republic. It’s also an Orthodox country and the Church has been very supportive of a royal restoration so, you put all that together, it seems like a winning combination. I’m disappointed it hasn’t happened yet but I still see more reason to hope in Serbia than in many other places.

GR: Which monarchy do you think is the most misunderstood? Even by monarchists.
MM: I would have to say Italy, the House of Savoy.
GR: How so? Because of Mussolini and World War II probably?
MM: No, I actually think most monarchists understand that period pretty well but I’m thinking more of Catholic monarchists who, because of 1870 or an inability to get beyond 1870, have shrugged off the Italian monarchy as being liberal and anti-clerical when, if you look at the whole history of the House of Savoy, and it’s one of the oldest families in the world, they have traditionally been one of the most staunchly Catholic and staunchly monarchist, and I mean very anti-revolutionary, of any royal house in Europe.

GR: Going back to fallen monarchies, which one do you think has been the most far-reaching disaster? Which still effects us today the most?
MM: That’s a tough one because in almost every case there has been a chain-reaction. My knee-jerk reaction would be the Hapsburgs because so much trouble came from the break-up of Austria and Hungary but that has mostly settled down recently and with others like Germany or Russia or China it’s the result of what resulted from the fall that we still have problems with so, I would have to say, probably the Ottoman Empire.
GR: I wasn’t expecting that one.
MM: Well, it gets lost in the shuffle a lot I think but considering all the problems we are still having with Syria, the Israel-Palestine drama, the recent war in Iraq and so on and so forth, that all goes back to the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. Everyone always says that, ‘those people have been fighting forever, there’s no stopping it’ and stuff like that but, there was actually a pretty long period of Middle East peace when the whole region was ruled by the Turkish Sultan. That’s just a fact.

GR: Before we have to go, how are things going with the blog?
MM: Pretty good all things considered. I’m a long way from being the most popular but there’s usually about 2,000 hits per day so far and considering the number of people who get very upset with me, the number of people I tell NOT to read the blog and the number of even monarchists who really don’t like me, I’m amazed anyone is reading it at all.
GR: I haven’t seen any of your fan mail in a while. How’s that going?
MM: Oh, there hasn’t been as much of it lately but it’s been considerably uglier. If I ever post them it’s going to require a great deal of censorship.
GR: What is your biggest problem with the blog?
MM: I’m not sure what would be the biggest problem. One is that people are more vocal in telling you what they dislike or disagree with than what they do agree with. People will complain about something, I stop doing it and then later I’ll hear others say, ‘why did you stop doing that, I liked those’ and I wonder, ‘well, where were you when everyone was complaining?’ or ‘why didn’t you say so at the time?’ That can be problematic.

GR: How long have you been blogging on this stuff?
MM: It’s almost three years at the current blog, I did do it for a year or two before that on another blog that, frankly, was read by hardly anyone.

GR: What advice would you give to other monarchists, just starting out?
MM: The only advice I could give them would be that they shouldn’t take advice from someone like me. If I knew what I was doing, well, let’s just say they should ask someone more well-liked for advice.

GR: You’re well liked with us for what it’s worth but I know you have to go so thanks for getting back to me, thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
MM: I appreciate it. I’m glad you spoke up and keep doing what you’re doing.


  1. The fall of the Russian Empire and the brutal execution of the Romanov family is one of the most emotional events in history. Revenge would never even come. No monarch should ever go through something like that. Even worse is the Atheism that plagued the country.

    You are absolutely right about that part, sir.

  2. Great post MM, though i do take issue with your assertion that the present day British Monarchy can be viewed as a continuation of the English Monarchy, pre-1603. Anti-monarchist nationalists, in Scotland and Wales, regularly make such claims much to my regret and anger.

    1. I knew when I re-read it someone would point that out. If anti-monarchists like to make hay of it, I can't help it. Canadian republicans say the same thing about the monarchy being "British". I suppose I get tired of trying to please everyone. The monarchy does operate according to the English tradition, the Queen is Queen Elizabeth *the Second* and so on. They speak English, not Welsh or Gaelic and, for that matter, Wales is part of England anyway. I know some try to make something outrageous out of it but I can't help that. The British monarchy is English, the German monarchy was Prussian, the Italian monarchy was Piedmontese and so on and so forth. People just need to get over their prejudices.

  3. Good interview.
    I suppose though one of the reasons you cannot have a favorite monarchy/favorite monarch is because your country isn't and hasn't been one - depriving you of a patriotic choice.

    1. It has never been an independent monarchy but it was under the Crown of Spain for the greater part of history so, as I said, I do have a special interest in the Spanish monarchy for that reason. You are correct though that, having a republican homeland, there is none I can view totally as my own.

  4. What about restoration in Russia? About 20-25 years ago, the then-head of the Romanov family said he was not in favor of restoration, but what does the average Russian think?

    And what about China? Are there any members of the imperial family of China left? Millenia of tradition has to be a hard thing even for Communists to completely destroy.

    1. There is some room for hope, there have been some positive signs in Russia in recent times. I have heard that the subject has at least been discussed in the Kremlin but there is still a very strident anti-monarchy segment of the population, the leadership of the Imperial House is contested, which is always a problem, and there is not as much unity amongst those favoring the monarchy compared to other places.

      In China, as long as the PRC exists it remains highly unlikely. There are members of the former Imperial Family (the Qing Dynasty) still alive but were China to ever become a monarchy, as much as I would like to see the Qing restored as a correction of an injustice, it is more likely that a new dynasty would emerge.

    2. For China, my guess would be that it will be a CCP official of a sort of traditional bent (they exist in the Party, which has long ceased to be Maoist) who will stir things up to that point. But it is completely farfetched.

  5. MM, is there an e-mail we could reach you? Just to ask a few questions in an e-mail interview. We at the Hungarian monarchist community have done quite a few e-mail interviews, e.g. one with Charles Coulombe, the famous American monarchist.

    The easiest would be if I were to give you my e-mail adress, right?

    1. Lots of people have guessed my address with little difficulty but you can leave your email address here (I will not post it of course) and I can email you if you like and you'll have it then.

  6. What is your stance on The Last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine? I've been very interest in Byzantium as of late.. That, and What do you think of Richard the III? I'd like to ask those questions when the next q&A comes.

    1. You can use the search box at the bottom of the sidebar to find the profile I did on Constantine XI, I think he did the best he could. I don't tend to talk about the Byzantine Empire as much as I would like to because so much bitterness remains about it and I would rather not talk about it at all that to not be able to give my honest opinion without upsetting everyone. The "blame game" gets played alot on that subject and I can't stand that sort of thing, and such attitudes are out of place on a pan-monarchist blog anyway.

      Richard III, another prickly subject, was beyond the pale IF he was guilty of all he is accused of. If not, he must be one of the most unjustly treated English monarchs. For me, regardless of personalities, it is always sad to see an old dynasty (like the Plantaganets) come to an end and I think it was rather disgraceful how he was betrayed.

  7. I have a Favourite Monarch and Monarchy. Christ Jesus My King, and his Kingdom of Heaven.

    That outof the way, I think a large part of why the Russian Revolution wss such a gut wrenchign oen for you and everyone else here is because it didnt just affect the Russians, it affected the world. it was a declaration that Democracy shoudl rpevail in all lands, makign it on oar with the French Revolution it emulated.

    The Atheism, and the tyranny are justprt of that package.

    1. That's true, it had far-reaching consequences all over the world but that has an impact on me in terms of my mind, I don't think that alone explains the emotional impact it has on me. It was also, somewhat like the French Revolution, traumatic because you had one system being replaced, not by some reformed or modified version of itself, but by the absolute opposite extreme. And because it was so recent, because we can see them, we know so much about them and I think they were more relatable because it was so recent (they had trains, newspapers, cameras and so on) that probably causes me to be more moved by it.

  8. Do you think that the French Revolution, The 1917 travesty in Russia, and The current pushes for democracy were sparks caused by the American Revolution? I've been thinking lately that perhaps the revolution here might have started the wildfire.

    1. I don't think it had too much influence directly because it was a war of secession rather than a true revolution. The French Revolution was much more influential. However, it was indirectly quite influential because, starting with France, it made rebellion fashionable and it encouraged people that overthrowing royal authority could be done successfully ('They did it, why can't we' -that sort of attitude). Over time, the success of the United States (although it was singular and very precarious at times) also made people think that a country could get along just fine without a monarch.

  9. Interesting interview. And while I disagree with you sometimes (Nicholas II was a Terrible Tsar, and Alexandra a horrid Tsarina. But they were both good people who WANTED to do good, but always did the opposite), I was sorry to read that you get vitriolic emails & responses.

    I always enjoy your blog, even if I do disagree sometimes (rare), because I get a good education.

  10. ON an aside, I think I understand why CHina is not in History Books more. Most Westerners begin CHiense History with Marco Polo, and Chinese History in China is basiclaly condenced toa Preamble until the Great and Fearless Leader Mao Liberated the Peple. Western Arrogance combined with Eastern Political gendas combine to make Imperial CHina not somethign discussed. Especially by the Chinese who want to make COmmunism seem more successful ad dont want CHildren inspird by Tals of old Emperors. Heck, in tat the west agrees...


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