Saturday, October 13, 2012

Royal News Roundup

In the Middle East, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan saw public protests against HM King Abdullah II and calls for political reform. The protest came one day after the King dissolved the government and called for new elections two years early. Muslim Brotherhood supporters were among the protesters as were the Bedouin tribes that have traditionally been the most stalwart supporters of the monarchy. Most did not call for an overthrow of the monarchy but there were chants of ‘our only loyalty is to Allah’ and a traditional song of support for the King was altered to say, ‘reform or leave’. In the past, the King and Queen have made supportive statements about the “Arab Spring” and the King has called for more political participation on the part of Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Action Front in spite of their criticism of the monarchy and calls for boycotts of elections. On Wednesday, King Abdullah II appointed a new prime minister to form a government, a veteran politician, which is not likely to go over well with those protesters upset with the same people holding power after every election or change of government.

In Eastern Europe, on Saturday, members of the Serbian Royal Family gathered for the official reburial of the (somewhat controversial) Prince-Regent Paul of Yugoslavia. The Prince-Regent presided over the Yugoslav government prior to the entry of the country into World War II when Yugoslavia was invaded by German and Italian forces. Prince Paul had died in Paris and had been buried in Switzerland. In 2011 he was legally rehabilitated as the post-war communist regime of Yugoslavia had declared him a state enemy. His remains were finally brought back to his Serbian homeland and buried in the royal crypt in Oplenac in central Serbia along with his wife, Princess Olga, and son Prince Nikola. President Tomislav Nikolic attended the burial ceremony which was done with full state honors in recognition of the service of Prince Paul as regent of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

There was also sad news this week out of Germany as Prince Albert of Saxony passed away last Saturday at the age of 78 at a hospital in Munich, Bavaria. He had no children and his demise marks the end of the male-line descendants of the Royal Family of the former Kingdom of Saxony, one of the four kingdoms of the second German Empire. He was the last living grandson of the last (and beloved) King of Saxony, HM Friedrich August III. Most monarchists will know that the House of Wettin (with its many branches), to which the Prince belonged, has been one of the most historic and far-reigning royal families in European history. However, there is also some happy news out of Germany as well. TIRH Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia are expecting their first child, making them the first to be in a ‘family way’ of the recent crop of royal newlyweds. No info on the future birth or a due date have been given out as of yet but the secretary of the House of Hohenzollern has officially confirmed the news. February 2013 has been put out by unofficial sources as an estimated tie of arrival.

In a brief run-down on what the reigning monarchs have been up to; the Prince and Princess of Monaco visited Florence, Italy; the King of Spain presided over celebrations for the national holiday of Spain (Columbus Day in the U.S.), King Albert II of the Belgians visited one of the largest training camps of the Belgian Army, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands presented an award for painting, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark met with ambassadors from a variety of countries from Europe to Southeast Asia and in Britain, Queen Elizabeth II has been forced to cancel an appearance for an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle due to some back problems Her Majesty is suffering from. We wish HM, of course, a speedy recovery.

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