Saturday, August 31, 2013
Royal News Roundup
As to royals from the continent, HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover and family have been relaxing on St Tropez, perhaps resting up for the approaching wedding of Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo. Daughter Charlotte Casiraghi was also on hand and, from the photos taken, the rumors of her pregnancy have definitely been confirmed. In Luxembourg, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie have departed for a visit to Germany to mark the anniversary of the Weilburg Militia which was founded in 1813 to mark the wedding of two ancestors of the Luxembourg Royal Family. In the Kingdom of Sweden TM the King and Queen visited Norrbotten County this week and Prince Carl Philip presented the racing cup that has his name on it to the winners of the Lidkoeping Open karting competition. And, in Bulgaria, the former monarch is drawing criticism from the political right over accusations that he “sold out” to the leftist government in return for their giving him back confiscated royal properties. The criticism came from the minor “Order, Law and Justice party” after King Simeon took to his website to condemn the protests against the government. The party accused the King of supporting the government (a coalition of the leftist Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a party of ethnic Turks) in exchange for a promise to restore royal property. A party spokesman referred to King Simeon as the “Red Tsar” and called him an advocate for former communists.
In the Middle East the threat of U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war got most of the headlines this week. Just to re-cap, the Arab monarchies are all pretty unanimous in wanting the Assad regime to go but are not prepared to go beyond funding the rebels or at least the rebel faction of their choice. Assad is not and never has been to their taste, though they are almost all concerned with any civil unrest as it has proven a rather contagious problem. In the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan protestors took to the street to voice their opposition to the American intervention President Obama is still thinking about. The top royals were not in Jordan at the time though as TM King Abdullah II and Queen Rania visited Rome this week where they met with HH Pope Francis. Meanwhile, unnamed members of the Saudi Royal Family have, we are told, been holding somewhat secretive meetings with the Russians in an effort to gain some assurance that Russia will not decide to take any action if the United States intervenes against their Syrian allies for the significant reason that if American intervention goes forward and Vladimir Putin so much as snorts in the direction of an American ship or plane then Obama would soil himself. And this week the Emir of Qatar signed a new border accord with Saudi Arabia but, with everything going on in Syria, I doubt many people noticed.
Finally, in the lands of Eternal Asia, TM the King and Queen of Bhutan attended the graduation ceremonies at the Royal Institute of Management this week. The King told the graduating class that they had a responsibility to use the knowledge and experience they have gained to serve the country and that by strengthening the rule of law they could contribute to maintaining the security and sovereignty of Bhutan. Great. The King also said they all had to work on strengthening democracy. Yawn. Meanwhile, in the Land of the Rising Sun, a new generation have suddenly became aware of the fact (long known to many of us) that HM the Empress is pretty cool man, she’s pretty with-it and all that. While on a visit to the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo HM the Empress saw an exhibit on the virtual pop star sensation Hatsune Miku and pointed her out saying, “Ah, I suppose this is Miku-chan, isn’t it?” At which point young people all over Japan dropped their jaws in amazement that HM the Empress actually recognized a pop culture figure and seems to be up on what is ‘hip and cool’ with the kids these days. Personally, ever since I found out what a big sumo fan HM the Empress is, nothing surprises me. So, yes, young people, congratulations on finding out what we all already knew: the Empress is awesome. In other news, TM the Emperor and Empress visited another museum in Nagano prefecture this week before taking a little time off for a friendly game of tennis.