Monday, November 18, 2013
Royal News Roundup
Today, the British coronation is the only Christian coronation still performed in Europe with all other monarchs having a simple “swearing-in” ceremony (which sounds rather political) and the Pope having an “installation mass” (which sounds like getting a new washing machine). The effort does reveal the secularist mindset for all to see. They want the freedom to not participate in religious services, which they have, but then they also want to ban other people from participating in religious services. They say the coronation violates the human rights of the non-Christian and non-religious and yet do not consider secular ceremonies to violate the rights of those who are Christian or who are religious. They are also encouraging a total lack of freedom by attacking the symbols and traditions of the country and culture that allowed them the right to exist in the first place. This simply sends the message that if you value your religion, your traditional culture and so on, then you should not allow people of other beliefs into your country and you should not allow dissent to be voiced, because if you give them that freedom, they will repay it by trying to destroy that which you hold dear. If the coronation ceremony violates the “human rights” of atheists and non-Christians, my solution (even as a non-Anglican) would be to encourage all atheists and non-Christians who feel their rights are being violated to leave the country and shake the dirt from their boots as they do so. But, of course, I’m sure that would be considered terribly intolerant. Anyway, in lighter news, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall continued their visit to India and also visited Ceylon and both the visitors and the visited seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely.
Moving to the continent, the King and Queen of The Netherlands visited Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin. There was some unpleasantness as protestors hurled tomatoes at the Dutch royal couple while on their way to a gala concert in Moscow. Fortunately, no one was hit and two of the culprits (a 23yr old man and 18yr old woman) were sentenced to 15 and 10 days in jail. Were these right-wing Russian nationalists angry at Dutch interference in their energy industry or the trouble with the Russian diplomats in Holland? No, these were actually members of “The Other Russia” opposition party who blame, ridiculously enough, King Willem-Alexander for the suicide of a Russian dissident who was denied asylum in The Netherlands. Meanwhile, in Belgium, retired King Albert II attended mass for King’s Day this week, something which he has not done since his late brother Baudouin was alive. By tradition, the reigning King never attends King’s Day services but as Albert II is now retired, he was on hand this time while King Philip stayed at home. There was troubling but not surprising news for the Crown Princess of Norway who has been having severe neck problems recently, forcing her to cancel many plans. It was announced this week that she will be undergoing surgery to try to correct the problem. Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark arrived in Mexico for a visit on Monday and the Prince and Princess of the Asturias made a visit last week to California.
In Asia, President Putin of Russia called King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss ways of easing the tensions between the two countries. Relations between Russia and the Saudi kingdom have worsened due to Russian support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who most Arab monarchs would like to see gone, and over Russian support for Iran and the Iranian nuclear program. Saudi Arabia and most Sunni Muslims in the region greatly fear the Shia Islam theocracy in Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. Russia was sharply critical of Saudi Arabia turning down a seat on the UN security council and recent efforts at reconciliation have had no success. It is rumored that Saudi Prince Bandar, on a trip to Moscow, offered Russia a $15 billion arms deal in exchange for Putin dropping his support for the Syrian dictator but the offer was declined. Russia denies any such thing was even discussed. Across the continent in the Kingdom of Malaysia, AFP ran a story this week on the trouble being caused by the lavishness of royal titles in that country. Particularly the title “Datuk” or ‘sir’ has been bestowed rather generously so that some are now complaining that the title no longer is all that special. Allegations have also arisen of corruption in the way the title is sometimes obtained. Estimates of the number of people in Malaysia who hold royal titles run into the tens of thousands. Fake or purchased titles are also a persistent problem. And in Japan, actor-turned-antinuclear activist-turned politician Taro Yamamoto continues to be the center of controversy over the letter he handed to HM the Emperor regarding the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Many conservatives have called on Yamamoto to resign for attempting to politicize the monarchy while others defend him saying that what he did is being exaggerated in order to keep attention off of ending nuclear power use in Japan. Others, most outsiders who hold nothing sacred and want to impose their lack of values on others, say the whole episode only highlights how the Emperor is still too highly revered for a modern, democratic country. Some, of course, have, like always, brought up again the late Showa emperor, World War II etc. It all really needs to stop. Finally, in another break with tradition, it has been announced that HM the Emperor will be the first Japanese emperor in about 400 years who will not be buried. Instead, when the sad occasion comes, the TM will be cremated and placed in simple tombs within the Imperial mausoleum in Hachioji.