Monday, December 16, 2013
Royal News Roundup
Concerning the British & Commonwealth royals, Prince Harry had his race to the south pole canceled because of safety concerns but he and the veterans still continued their trek to the southernmost extreme of the globe at a more leisurely and non-competitive pace. They arrived on Friday making Prince Harry the first British royal to ever visit the South Pole. Back at home, Prince William showed his support for HM’s Armed Forces at a special military tournament in London. Having ended his career in the RAF, the Duke of Cambridge is expected to be rejoining the Blues & Royals shortly. Also on the military front, the Duchess of Cambridge welcomed home her Fourth Rifles Battalion this week of which she is honorary colonel. The Prince of Wales gave out an art award and along with the Duchess of Cornwall attended the Sun Military Awards.
Princess Catherina-Amalia of The Netherlands celebrated her tenth birthday (congratulations there) this week and Queen Maxima was on a tour of Africa, visiting Ethiopia and Tanzania, bringing quit a bit of happiness to the locals based on the images from the trip. In Belgium, King Philip met with trash collectors and got started celebrating Christmas at the Royal Palace along with Queen Mathilde, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent.
In southern Europe, in the sunny Principality of Monaco, Charlotte Casiraghi is all set to give birth to her first child and has a room reserved at the Princess Grace Hospital where she and her brothers were born. Her actor/comedian boyfriend will be wrapping up his latest tour in Monaco to be on-hand for the big event. In nearby Italy, HH Pope Francis made headlines again this week for being given the distinction of TIME magazine “Person of the Year”, continuing the unabashed love affair the mainstream media has been having with Pope Francis, something that stands in stark contrast to the treatment of his predecessors. However, in another interview with an Italian periodical, seemingly in response to the controversy caused by his papal “mission statement” Pope Francis had to assert that he is “not a Marxist”. That is, of course, good to hear but it is also not exactly the sort of thing one expects a Pope to have to clarify. Once upon a time, the very idea would have been too absurd to even occur to anyone. Unfortunately, though he clarified that he was not one, the Pope did not seem bothered by being called one saying, “I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.” That may be an even worse thing to say. Marxists are atheists after all, so one would wonder by what definition a Christian could consider an atheist a “good” person. Did anyone ever say that National Socialism was wrong as an ideology but many Nazis were good people? Has anyone ever said that -because Marxism has killed more people than Nazism did (even if for no other reason than that it is more widespread and has been around longer). Somehow I doubt it. How things change. And, over in Spain, HRH Infanta Cristina was sued this week by the far-right group “Manos Limpias”, I would suspect mostly likely in an effort to gain publicity. On a lighter note, HM Queen Sofia was in London doing some Christmas shopping.
On the subcontinent of India, HH Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar passed away on Tuesday at the age of 60 from a heart attack. Wodeyar was the last descendant of the dynasty which ruled Mysore until the abolition of the princely states following independence from Britain and the dissolution of the Empire of India. Today the area is part of the state of Karnataka. Described as a progressive and a reformer he was also a known cricket enthusiast. He had no children. In happier news, though not without a hint of controversy for the royal world of India, star athlete S. Sreesanth was married to Princess (?) Bhuveneshwari Kumari of the royal family of Jaipur at the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple in Kerala. The famous cricket bowler has had some trouble with the law in the past. Of course, we wish them all the best.
In still more news of people saying things that shouldn’t have to be said, former PM and convicted criminal on the run from the law, Thaksin Shinawatra, has said he is loyal to the King and complained that nothing his enemies in Thailand are saying is true (that he is not loyal to the monarchy and aspires to being the first “President of Thailand”). Of course, the fact that he has to say such a thing only goes to show what good reasons have for people to doubt it. After all, if one cannot take the word of a politician convicted of massive deceit and corruption, who can you believe?
In Japan, HIH Crown Princess Masako released a 2-page statement on the occasion of her fiftieth birthday saying that she is making good progress in her recovery and has hopes for better times ahead. Less pleasantly, in a recent article by the ever left-leaning Japan Times, Philip Brasor editorialized on how the “liberal leanings” of HM the Emperor are at odds with the “far-right” LDP currently in power. It bemoaned how “emperor worship” is still engrained in people, much to His Majesty’s discomfort and embarrassment, pointing to the recent uproar over a breach in protocol when an activist politician handed HM a letter. This is the sort of simplistic and frankly racist idiocy that can only come from a western leftist. His are the very same people who howl the loudest about the Emperor being a purely symbolic figure, completely outside of politics, upset that any might still respect or (dare I say) even revere HM while in the very same breath insisting that, despite being totally nonpolitical, when it comes to politics, deep down HM really agrees with them and not the “far-right” that places more trust and more seriousness to the monarchy. Everyone should also be aware that the *actual* far-right has never held an ounce of political power in Japan (at least since World War II) and that what these people call “far-right”, such as the Liberal Democratic Party means a party that believes in the freedom for people to worship where they choose, to insist on past agreements being honored and which is determined to defend the country in case of attack. That is what they call “far-right”. It would be funny if so many people didn’t believe it. As for HM the Emperor holding “liberal” views, if “liberal” is defined as caring about the health of the people and country and preferring to have peaceful relations with all, then, yes, that would make HM the Emperor a liberal but the same would also apply to the vast majority of the entire population.