Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - The Year in Review

How has the cause of monarchy fared around the world in 2012. As is often the case, it has been something of a mixed bag. In Sweden, HM King Carl XVI Gustaf came under fire for some bad behavior and unsavory company that caused quite a lot of embarrassment. However, it was shuffled off the front-page by happier news with the birth of a future queen when Crown Prince Victoria and Prince Daniel welcomed their daughter Princess Estelle into the world in February. Later, in October, Princess Madeleine of Sweden announced her engagement to live-in boyfriend Chris O’Neill of New York. Across the border in Norway, the Royal Family went about their duty with no fuss or major problems. A poll taken found the King of Norway with an approval rating of 93%, a feat no politician could ever hope to match.

Many royals had problems in 2012. In April His Catholic Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain broke his hip while on a hunting trip in Botswana and rather than an outpouring of sympathy from his people he was met with a tirade of anger and abuse -because he had been hunting. Things reached such a fever pitch that the King himself had to issue a formal apology to the nation. Things were also made difficult by the allegations of wrong-doing aimed at the King’s son-in-law and HM Queen Sofia was denied permission to attend the Diamond Jubilee festivities in London because of lingering Anglo-Spanish tensions over Gibraltar. All in all, 2012 was not a good year for the House of Bourbon. We can only hope this year will be better.

There were scares and tragedies for others as well. In February, Prince Johan Friso of The Netherlands was buried in an avalanche while skiing in Austria, was nearly killed, and his been mostly comatose ever since. Doctors have hinted to the family to prepare for the worst but at other times seemed more encouraging. Twice during the year HRH Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Italy had to be hospitalized to have cancer removed though thankfully he has bounced back after each procedure. On the other side of the world, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan underwent heart bypass surgery in February, came through it well enough, was released but later had to return to the hospital to have fluid drained from his chest. His duty schedule was shortened as a result with HIH Crown Prince Naruhito happy to take on more work to ease the burden on his father. There was more tragedy for the Imperial Family when the colorful and often out-spoken Prince Tomohito of Mikasa passed away in June.

One of the most prominent and ever-present royal figures in Southeast Asia departed this life when HM King-Father Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia passed away in October after many years of worsening health. Most Cambodians alive today cannot recall a world without him. In Europe, 2012 was a year of re-burials in the Balkans. In October the late Prince-Regent Paul of Yugoslavia was moved from France to be reburied in Serbia and in November, also coming from France, the remained of Ahmed Zog, the President-turned-King of Albania was brought home for a formal reburial in his native land. One could certainly not call any burial or reburial a happy occasion but such ceremonies do serve to remind the people of their royal history and give a little taste of the traditions that have been lost with the politicians republics that exist today.

However, there was happy news as well, thankfully, and for monarchists nothings is better than weddings and coronations. In October HRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg was married to Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy, and even the United States got in on the royal wedding scene in September when HIRH Archduke Imre of Austria married Kathleen Walker in Washington DC at a very traditional but low-key traditional Catholic ceremony (“traditional” as in Latin, the language of God and the Caesars). And, on the other side of the world, in April HM Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah of Kedah was (for the second time) formally enthroned as the King of Malaysia or “Yang di-Pertuan Agong” (He Who Is Made Lord) with all appropriate pomp and ceremony. Wedding bells will also soon be ringing again in the Principality of Monaco as in June Andrea Casiraghi (eldest son of Princess Caroline) announced his engagement to long-time girlfriend Tatiana Santo Domingo who later announced her own pregnancy. Okay, so they didn’t get it in the proper order but happy news all the same. Monarchists also smiled when the Prince of Monaco sued French newspapers for libel over their effort to ruin his wedding with their gossip-peddling (good for him) and in some really great news for monarchists, in July the good people of Liechtenstein voted by a margin of over 70% that their Sovereign Prince should retain his power to veto legislation. Hoech! Hoech! Hoech!

And of course, for the English-speaking world at least, it is the House of Windsor that always tends to dominate royal news and this was entirely appropriate for 2012 as not only was there a great deal going on but it was also the year of the Diamond Jubilee with HM the Queen celebrating 60 years on the British throne and the thrones of all the other Commonwealth Realms. The Queen visited Northern Ireland in June, opened the Olympics in July (“parachuting” in with James Bond -I’m sorry I still think that was tasteless) and taking in a river parade for her anniversary celebrations that went well despite the botched coverage by the BBC. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as the Prince of Wales visited Australia and New Zealand, Prince Harry made a splash in the Caribbean in March and then in August caused a tempest in a tea pot by his partying in Las Vegas (I hear there was gambling going on too!) but this only brought about a wave of popular support for the picked on party animal. HRH the Duchess of Cambridge was announced to be “with child” and politicians eager for distraction embraced the cause of changing the law of succession to allow royals to marry Catholics and to replace gender discrimination with age discrimination. Not too thrilled about that but, on the whole, 2012 was a good year for the House of Windsor I think with the Olympics and the Jubilee stirring up a little healthy patriotism and the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as popular as ever. Even the Prince of Wales seems mostly in the good graces of the public, even if he still thinks the environment is going to kill us all.

The Diamond Jubilee certainly was the biggest royal-related story of the year and helped bring a great deal of more positive coverage in a year that, otherwise, saw a great deal of problems. Hopes for restorations in North Africa were not fulfilled, the Kings of Sweden and Spain came under unprecedented criticism, agitation and riots throughout the year troubled the Kingdom of Jordan and several Gulf monarchies, there was a tragedy for the House of Orange and monarchs struggling with fragile health in Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Japan. However, at least in those countries support for the monarchy remains strong and there was good news of weddings, weddings to come, babies to be born and, because of the Diamond Jubilee, a number of royal visits by members of the House of Windsor to realms around the world and there is nothing like a royal visit to make royalist sympathy stronger. So, all in all, it was a good year for some, a rather terrible year for others but, on the whole, I would say a little more into the positive zone. Other years have certainly been worse but we can hope that 2013 will be better and that we will have nothing but good news to talk about. No harm in hoping.

And, as always, my thanks to everyone for reading and keeping up with The Mad Monarchist in 2012. I hope you have found it of some benefit and I hope you will all be back next year, though it may be a slow start this time. I appreciate your reading, and your patience and hope you all have a happy new year and the best of 2013.
-The Mad Monarchist


  1. Keep on your crusade, sir! I've been following your blog since 2010, and it's always a pleasure to read your articles! Have a nice 2013, sir! Greetings from Brazil

  2. I hate to say it, but I'm not feeling optimistic about monarchy in 2013. The ravening Jacobin mob has been increasingly vociferous in recent days. Two places I'm particularly worried about: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where the Islamists are making openly seditious anti-monarchist statements, and Belgium, which is on the verge of disaster as the Flemish and the Walloons both turn on the one stable, unifying institution, viz. the monarchy.

    Restoration hopes are slightly better, esp. in Eastern Europe. If handled correctly, Romania and Serbia could both see monarchies before 2020, and Albania may also follow.

    Anyway, a happy new year to you, and thank you for acting as the vanguard of monarchism online. You fulfil an invaluable role, drumming up support for current monarchies and ensuring dormant ones are not forgotten. I look forward to a monarchist 2013.

  3. Thank you for another excellent year of contributions! Can't wait to see what 2013 holds for this page, and the monarchies of the world!

  4. 2012 was just a generally terrible year by most regards, but at least every monarchy came through alright and we have some optimistic things to look forward to in 2013.

    Belgium, Bahrain, Kuwait, and even Spain and Sweden are of some concern, we also can't be too complacent about some of the Commonwealth realms, particularly Jamaica, Barbados, and the Solomon Islands which have some pretty strong republican elements right now.

    Still, developments in Montenegro and Serbia are especially encouraging. The former came very close to restoring it's monarchy last year (2011), while polls in Serbia continue to show something like 2/3 in favor of monarchy. Why neither country has yet held a referendum in the matter is beyond me, the people are clearly ready to have their kings back. Maybe 2013.

    Another place to watch is Fiji - monarchist sentiment is still pretty strong their, and they are going through public forums on their new constitution right now, and will adopt the final version of it by the end of 2013 - there may be an outside chance of a constitutional monarchy, not holding my breath, but there's some hope.

    Anyway, I really enjoy the blog and wish you and your readers all the best for 2013. Keep fighting the good fight.

  5. So, it is 2013, about a year and a half to go before we reach the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Republicans in many remaining monarchies are as relentless and ardent as ever, always bringing up monarchy when it should not be an issue at all especially in countries where a referendum already took place like Australia. It is as if they want to have a referendum every single year until their monarchies are finally abolished. On the other hand, the subject of monarchy is not even an issue at all in republics and I don't see any visible serious discussion or debate about it.

    I have been wondering about what does it take to restore a monarchy. It seems to me that all future restorations of monarchies have to be done through a referendum and the result will always come down to the people who even bother to vote. Then, that would only happen if the republican government allows a plebiscite to be held in the first place and the only time I remember that a republic had a referendum on monarchy is when Brazilian monarchists suffered a disastrous defeat in 1993. This means it is highly likely that the governments of countries with a good chance of restoration like Serbia and Romania will need to called on by their people to even begin discussing monarchy.

    Then, there is the question of what does it take to become a monarchist when so many people are stupid enough to be easily convinced by republicans and other vile enemies of monarchy to believe all those ugly and ignorant slanders about this sublime tradition.

    Just like other years, we all should hope for the best in 2013. After all, so many unexpected things happened in the past. Let's keep reminding those republicans that monarchy will not disappear without a fight and hope things would turn out for the better so that the next generation won't have to do this all over again.


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