Saturday, May 25, 2013
Royal News Roundup
That seems perfectly understandable to me. In all this fashionable celebration of multiculturalism and diversity, what seems to me to be overlooked is the fact that England at least still has an officially established church and the monarch is the head of that church so it hardly seems unreasonable that the official installation of the head of the Church of England be a purely Church of England affair. I say this as someone who is not terribly fond of the Church of England these days, in fact as someone who scarcely considers them to be “Christian” at all any more but, whatever you think of them, however you want to label the thing, there IS a Church of England, the British monarch is the head of the Church of England and the coronation is to Anglicans what the “installation” (or whatever they are calling it these days) of a new Pope is to Catholics or what the election of an Ecumenical Patriarch is to Orthodox Christians. Why should the Church of England have to include others in their ceremonies just because their governor has ‘another job’ which involves working with a great many non-Anglicans?
Meanwhile, in other news, royal wedding fever has again gripped the Kingdom of Sweden. However, this week there was an additional bit of meat for the media to chew on when it was announced that Princess Madeleine’s husband-to-be Chris O’Neill has “declined” to accept Swedish citizenship and will not accept any royal or noble title. A statement from the Marshal of the Realm said, “Mr. Christopher O’Neill has respectfully asked to remain a private citizen and not be granted royal status”. Who would turn down the chance to be a prince? That seemed to be the question everyone was asking. Personally, I find this to be another story which does not surprise me in the least. He doesn’t want to be granted royal status? Fine, he’s not royal anyway and I am not very wild about anyone “becoming” royal unless it is a girl marrying into a royal family -and even then I think it would be best if everyone kept to their own kind. Whether or not the Swedes find this upsetting I do not know but I think, if anything, I would be more offended by his refusing Swedish citizenship than refusing a royal title. After all, he already has dual US-British citizenship as it is, so why not add another and pledge allegiance to your father-in-law? If they still do that in Sweden, and why refuse it when being a citizen of the UK (and I’m trying very hard not to go on a rant about when all these monarchies suddenly started having citizens instead of republics -”citizen” used to be a dirty word) automatically makes one a citizen of the EU which includes Sweden anyway. Right?
Compared to another high profile case, Princess Madeleine is coming off quite well. When HIH Princess Nori of Japan decided to marry an ordinary commoner she, in accordance with Japanese law, had to relinquish her imperial title, left the Imperial Family, took the name of her husband and gave up her government allowance. Princess Madeleine is not required or expected to make any such sacrifices though, in 2011, Swedes were rather upset about the Princess still receiving a state allowance despite living in New York, carrying out no official duties and also probably because all anyone ever saw of her in the papers was shopping and going to parties with her then live-in boyfriend. That may change in any event but it would be no great sacrifice as I am sure whatever she receives from the Swedish government is pocket change compared to the expense allowance her multi-millionaire husband-to-be can provide her. The law in Japan may seem unkind to some and I will admit I am no more fond of someone “becoming” common than I am of someone “becoming” royalty but differences of birth hold no terror for me. I am a monarchist and I think royals and commoners are very different things and even if the blood sucking investment banker thinks being a prince is “beneath him” or simply a waste of time, I cannot get very upset about it because I don’t think he should be a prince anyway. Honestly, I don’t think he’s terribly worthy to be marrying Princess Madeleine but (full disclosure) I have long had a soft spot for the princess and would probably find anyone unworthy of her. If Chris O’Neill wants to say, “I am not royal” then I am perfectly fine agreeing with him.