Saturday, April 6, 2013
Royal News Roundup
In Rome, HH Pope Francis caused quite a bit of a stir on Holy Thursday in another break with tradition, going to a Roman juvenile prison and washing the feet of young women as well as young men, including one or two Muslims. Your humble blogger (not so humble as Pope Francis but I try) would also like to make it clear that when earlier I spoke of the Pope giving up the Apostolic Palace, *I was joking*. I was trying to be absurd and outrageous to make a point. However, it seems yours truly was actually being prophetic as Pope Francis has decided that he will not reside in the Apostolic Palace, declaring it too big and fancy for his simple tastes. He will instead have a small room in a building which normally houses staff and where the cardinals previously were quartered during the conclave. He will still use the library for receiving visitors and will use the usual balcony window to address the crowds. Perhaps the Apostolic Palace will be converted for administrative use, seems like a waste of space to just let it sit empty. Just to be on the safe side, I will refrain from making any further speculations about the future of the Holy See. Based on what I have said already, the Swiss Guards may want to start looking around for other employment opportunities just to be on the safe side.
On the British front, HRH the Duke of Cambridge said recently that there was no better job than saving lives, a reference to his work as a rescue-helicopter pilot, but with the impending arrival of his firstborn the future king will be cutting back on his duties with the Royal Air Force. Meanwhile, HRH the Countess of Wessex, royal patroness of the Girl Guides, said that she would be reviewing her role with the organization depending on the outcome of an upcoming vote on whether or not to drop their traditional loyalty oath to the Queen. The countess is reportedly quite upset by the matter and rightly so. If the Girl Guides decide to turn their back on the monarchy; why should any royal give them the time of day? I hope the Girl Guides will not do something so foolish (I could use a stronger word) but I say good on Countess Sophie for drawing a line at such an issue. Also, recently, HM the Queen received a special BAFTA award (the British equivalent of the Oscars in America) for her many years of support for the British film industry. That’s all well and good, though given the number of republican traitors in that particular business I was a little surprised by it. They also made mention of the Queen being the most unforgettable “Bond girl” in reference to that little stunt during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. I could have done without that, as readers will remember, but as usual I seem to be in the minority on that front.
Not a great deal of big royal news in the Far East last week but there was plenty to talk about concerning the communist regime in North Korea which could have a very serious impact on the oldest monarchy in the world next door in Japan. The North Korean regime goes through these antics at fairly regular intervals, mostly because they are usually rewarded for it. They do something outrageous and demand food shipments or something, usually from America, as the price for stopping. This has been quite lucrative in the past, gaining considerable concessions by shutting down the same nuclear plant several times. The problem is that every time they seem to have to go one step farther to prove that “this time” they really mean it. One day they will finally go a step too far. In the past, U.S. President Obama said publicly that the days of North Korea being rewarded for bad behavior were over. If he really means that, the pudgy potentate in Pyongyang may find that he has painted himself into a corner and, when no concessions are forthcoming, is “forced” to take some aggressive action rather than being seen with egg foo young on his face. South Korea can take care of itself, it has a very professional army and the strongest economy among the free nations of the east but of course it would not be just North Korea but also Red China and that would be too much for South Korea to handle. The U.S. is obliged to be involved in this, but no one should count on the U.S. for long. Japan would be well-advised to enact constitutional reforms and move towards becoming a stronger, more independent country. Japan and South Korea may even have to go for their own nuclear deterrent or else be prepared to make sacrifices to please the bandit government in Peking. For the sake of all those involved, certainly for my own friends and family in Japan, South Korea and mainland China, I really hope all of this blows over without bloodshed as it has in the past.