Monday, October 28, 2013
Royal News Roundup
In Europe, starting in the south, Prince Felipe of the Asturias was in Panama where, along with the Panamanian President he attended a special ceremony honoring the Spanish conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa on the 5th centennial of his discovering the Pacific Ocean. Tributes were paid before a statue of the bold explorer that was given to Panama a hundred years ago by His Catholic Majesty King Alfonso XIII. The Prince received a miniature statue of Balboa as a gift for the occasion. Later, also in Panama, the Prince inaugurated the sixth World Congress of the Spanish language. Back in Spain, HCM King Juan Carlos held an audience with the Foreign Minister of Morocco at Zarzuela Palace. In the Low Countries, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg were in Rome for an audience with HH Pope Francis. In Belgium, Princess Astrid traveled to Africa this week for her first trade mission, also touring a hospital in Angola. The Princess took over this duty from her brother after he became King. In Brussels, the Flemish PM Kris Peeters was given an audience with King Philip and later in the week the Belgian King and Queen were welcomed by singing children on a visit to Bruges.
In northern Europe, the King of Sweden presented the New Entrepreneur of the Year awards, thanked all those who expressed congratulations on his 40th jubilee and along with the Queen attended a meeting of the World Scout Foundation. Expectant-mother Princess Madeleine attended a “Green Summit”. Over in Norway, Crown Prince Haakon visited the naval forces on anti-pirate patrol and then visited Finland. Back at home, the King and Queen held a dinner for members of parliament, serving lamb raised on their own royal farm. Also, a new biography details how Norwegian King Haakon VII kept his country out of the Axis camp by going against most of the political and business leaders in Norway urging him to appoint the pro-Nazi politician Vidkun Quisling to the post of Prime Minister. Finally, in Denmark, the Crown Prince and Princess made a visit to Australia, returning to the same city where their romance began. Crown Princess Mary, always a favorite in her homeland, made the crowds go wild singing the Australian national anthem and visiting a local school.
Finally, in Britain, the big news this week was little Prince George of Cambridge becoming the newest little Christian in the Royal Family, officially joining the Church of England with his christening at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Afterwards a special 4-generation portrait was taken of Prince George, the Duke of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales and HM the Queen. This was a bigger event than some people, perhaps, realize. Consider for a moment all of the media attention (positive) focused on a Christian sacrament in a country (and a continent) were religious observance has largely become the exception rather than the rule. At a time when so many have forgotten their history, their faith, the Royal Family continues to be a reminder of these things and in their traditions embody all that Britain is and where the country came from. Less positive was a news story later in the week in which an article quoted an anonymous aide to the Prince of Wales saying that he was trying to accomplish as much as he could before he became King, comparing the throne to a prison. The Palace was quick to denounce this, saying that the Prince never said such a thing and that the comment does not reflect his beliefs at all. Of course, the Prince himself was never quoted at all and everyone should know what “anonymous sources” are worth, however, it is good to push back against such a sentiment. The reason, of course, is that, while it certainly sounds plausible given how restricted the lives of modern constitutional monarchs are, such sentiments are made-to-order for republican traitors who can then attempt to disguise their treason with good intentions. Surely some will have heard things like this in the past already, these traitors claiming that they do not dislike the Queen or the Royal Family but that they wish to “liberate” them from the “prison” that is the monarchy. It is something we all have to be on guard for.