Saturday, January 19, 2013
Royal News Roundup
Over in Europe, HM the Dowager Queen Fabiola of the Belgians has come under criticism over the establishment of a foundation to provide for her nieces and nephews, for a limited time, should any of them fall on hard times. Hardly seems outrageous to me but, sadly, there are those in Belgium who will seize on anything to attack the monarchy and the Dowager Queen has been accused of trying to avoid taxes. Personally, I find it ridiculous the Dowager Queen should have to pay taxes at all. In any event, reductions in the royal allowance has been scheduled for this summer and Elio Di Rupo, the Belgian PM (and homosexual Francophone socialist) has said he wants the allowance to the Dowager Queen cut by half a million euro, despite the fact that, as the Queen herself said, her allowance goes almost entirely to maintaining her home and mostly for the salary and benefits of her staff. All this proposed reduction would do, realistically, is put people out of a job. In better news, HRH Crown Princess Mathilde celebrates her 40th birthday on Sunday and she still looks great and continues to do a great job. We wish HRH a happy birthday and hope for many, many more to come.
In the sunny Principality of Monaco there has been legal to report this week. After a high court ruling in his favor, HSH Prince Albert II is set to receive 300,000 pounds plus legal expenses from the Sunday Times newspaper over unsupported and scandalous articles they printed about the Prince and Princess of Monaco just prior to their wedding. The Sunday Times also had to read out a formal apology in court. The articles included a slew of slanderous gossip and, hopefully, this ruling will make papers think twice about taking the word of professional charlatans. How about just printing verifiable facts from now on? The House of Grimaldi also recently released a statement distancing themselves from the upcoming film “Grace of Monaco”. Although previously supportive, the statement put out by Prince Albert II, Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie stated that the film is not a true biopic of their mother and contains many inaccuracies which they brought to the attention of the filmmakers but which they refused to redress. The film covers a particularly tense moment in Franco-Monegasque history and stars Nichole Kidman as Princess Grace and Tim Roth as Prince Rainier III.
For the House of Windsor this week, it was announced that the new addition to the family of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is due to arrive in July. Good news for them, and good news for the Prince of Wales whose organic food label is doing very well but, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Prince and Princess of Kent who have taken a hard financial hit in their own business since the recession. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have also been enlisted in trying to encourage trade and help British business. However, perhaps the biggest news this week involved the Queen and that dusty, old, legal formality called “Royal Assent”. It has been common knowledge for ages that no British monarch since Queen Anne has refused Royal Assent to a bill but, not so claim certain Mps and investigators from “The Guardian” (yes, I know…) who claim that the Queen has vetoed bills at least three times in her reign; in 1964 over a titles abolition bill, in 1969 over the independence of Rhodesia and in 1999 over military action in Iraq. A statement from the Palace only reiterated that the Queen takes no action on any bill without the advice of the ministers and, so far, most of the outrage is directed at Tony Blair and other of his predecessors for using the Crown to get them out of a tight spot. However, this could be used as a wedge issue to remove the role of the Crown in the legislative process entirely.