Saturday, January 12, 2013
Royal News Roundup
In the Middle East, justice is being meted out -which is good news in my book. In the gulf state of Bahrain the highest court in the land has upheld a ruling against 13 leaders of the uprising of 2011 that had the tiny country on edge. Foreign observers, including American officials from the Obama administration, were pushing for the 13 to be acquitted (Bahrain is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet) for fear that upholding the lower court decision could cause renewed unrest. But, that didn’t happen as the higher court found that, as they did the crime, they shall have to do the time. There were actually 20 individuals sentenced but only 13 appealed their cases. Meanwhile, in Kuwait, while the Crown Prince was honoring local athletes, a lower court sentenced a Kuwaiti man to 2 years in prison for insulting the ruling Emir via “Twitter”, which is, so far, the second such case to be ruled on. Better yet, he has to start serving his sentence immediately though legal challenges are still in the works. Again, you do the crime, you do the time. Given the situation, I’m not surprised. In Oman the ruling Sultan presided over a cabinet meeting this week and farther to the north worries are still rampant about the perilous state of the Kingdom of Jordan.
In Europe, HM the King of Spain was all hope and optimism in his New Year speech but a poll taken by El Mundo showed support for the monarchy down to roughly 50% among the 1,000 Spaniards questioned. Last year was a rough one for the Spanish Royal Family and, it seems, more young people in Spain are taking their freedom to gripe and complain for granted, feeling no gratitude to the monarch who presided over the transition to democracy (much good it seems to have done him). The King recently celebrated his 75th birthday and, of course, we wish His Majesty many more and hope that he comes through this unfortunate period successfully. Unfortunately, Spain is not the only source of bad news for royals in Europe. The bleeding-heart cry baby brigade has been taking their anger out on the Crown Princess of The Netherlands for wearing fur, after all, what sort of country is it that would allow someone to dress themselves? Get stoned, go to whores, abort your children and euthanize Grandpa is fine and dandy but; wear fur? What are you, a barbarian? In Sweden a poll suggested that 60% want the King to abdicate but there was some trickery done with the numbers to get that result with only a tiny minority actually wanting him out immediately while most were looking at the King handing the Crown over to Crown Princess Victoria within another decade or so; which will surely happen in any event. But, while Crown Princess Victoria and her new family are extremely popular, younger sister Princess Madeleine has, according to a recent poll, become the least liked member of the Royal Family, her upcoming engagement not withstanding. Unfortunate, but perhaps not that surprising given that the Princess has been living in New York City with her now husband-to-be for the last few years and there have also been some stories about her wealthy British-American beau having taken part in some shady business deals.
Finally, in the realms of the House of Windsor, the Girl Guides are considering dropping reference to the Queen from their initiation oath (called “the Promise”). But, Her Majesty is in good company as reference to God might go as well. It should be noted that the Boy Scouts said some time ago that the part about duty to the Queen in their oath is absolutely permanent. Meanwhile, Prince William is worried about rhinos, Prince Harry did a good deed by sending a hand written note from Afghanistan to the daughter of one of his fellow soldiers to wish her a happy birthday. I’m sure that will never be forgotten. The Prince of Wales also made the news this week for reportedly expressing some concerns over the changes to the succession being so rapidly pushed through. The experts were quick to assert that the Palace must be fully supportive of these changes or they would not be happening but the Prince is reportedly concerned that the wider implications of these changes have not been thought through, such as how inheritance might be affected amongst the aristocracy or what would happen if a Catholic were to come to the throne and be expected to take an oath uphold the Anglican communion -you know, little details like that. If this story is true, and I hope it is, it is reassuring for me at least that HRH is actually willing to think things through before rushing along with the popular trend. If only more would do the same.