Saturday, August 31, 2013
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.
Friday, August 30, 2013
General Ernst Peymann commanded the defending Danish troops while at sea a British fleet under Admiral James Gambier pressed in to close the ring. The Danes refused the British summons to surrender and Gambier began to bombard Copenhagen. Some 2,000 civilians were killed before General Peymann agreed to surrender. The British demanded that all Danish naval forces be turned over to them, which was agreed to, though Crown Prince Frederick secretly ordered Paymann to have all the ships burned. This, however, was not done and the Danish fleet passed into the hands of the British. One can certainly understand the concern of Great Britain over the possibility of the French being able to turn the powerful Danish navy against them but the whole episode was an unfortunate affair. The Danes really had no great love for Napoleon and had intended to resist the French like most everyone else in Europe. However, the British attack on Copenhagen and the seizure of their proud fleet soured all feelings against Britain. The Kingdom of Denmark, therefore, entered into an alliance with Imperial France under King Frederick VI who came to the Danish throne in 1808.
|King Frederick VI|
|The battle of Copenhagen|
Thursday, August 29, 2013
|Finnish White Guards|
|Prince Friedrich Karl|
|Crown of Finland|
Mannerheim, in fact, had been chosen as regent in spite of the fact that he had been less than enthusiastic about offering the throne to Prince Friedrich Karl specifically because of the reaction this would provoke among the Allies. Unfortunately, he was proven correct and with the defeat of Germany the cause of monarchy in Finland was instantly doomed, even before the nominal King had been able to take up his throne. The Allies made it clear that they did not approve of the Hessian Prince becoming King of Finland and the Finnish Prime Minister, Lauri Ingman (a monarchist), was obliged to request that Prince Friedrich Karl renounce the throne. If he did not, Finland feared that the Allies would not recognize their independence. So, on December 14, 1918 Prince Friedrich Karl formally gave up the Finnish throne, before he had ever even actually taken up the position, and in the subsequent parliamentary elections in Finland the republicans won the majority of seats. When the new constitution was voted on and enacted it was, of course, a republican constitution and Finland has remained a republic ever since.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha had a very happy and devoted marriage. The couple were alike in many ways; friendly, humble, approachable and compassionate. The pair were very down-to-earth with the Crown Princess making clothes for her children by hand. Those children were Princess Ragnhild, born in 1930; Princess Astrid, born in 1932 and finally the future King Harald V born in 1937. For Crown Prince Olav these were years of great happiness and contentment. Yet, there was also growing concern about the increasing belligerency of Germany to the south. By then a colonel in the Norwegian army, Crown Prince Olav was well aware of how unprepared Norway was for any military conflict. Despite the best efforts of the King, working behind the scenes, to increase Norwegian military preparedness, the political leaders of the country put their faith in neutrality as the only protection for the Kingdom of Norway. Because of the ties between the Royal Families, Norway was most adamant about not coming into conflict with Great Britain. However, as World War II spread, it became clear that Norwegian neutrality would be violated by either Britain or Germany. The only question was who would make the first move.
When the Germans invaded, Crown Prince Olav stood firmly beside his father the King in a firm resolve to resist the attack as long as possible. He advised both civilian and military officials in reacting to the crisis and the Norwegian troops offered fierce resistance to the German attackers. The Germans hoped that the Norwegian Royal Family could be captured but the Norwegian royal guards offered heroic resistance to prevent this, earning the grudging respect of the Germans who nicknamed them the “black devils” because of their dark uniforms. Norway was conquered and occupied but the government and Royal Family were able to escape to Great Britain. Crown Prince Olav wanted to stay in Norway with his people but the government would not allow this and he went into exile as well. Still, the war was not over and the Crown Prince continued to assist the government-in-exile and the Norwegian troops who had been evacuated and the new Norwegian forces recruited in exile. He visited Norwegian forces in the UK, US and Canada during the war and earned the respect of the British and American military leadership for his talent and grasp of the situation. In 1944 he was made Chief of Defense for Norway and helped to coordinate with the Allies on any issue involving Norway or Norwegian forces. When victory came and Norway was liberated it was the Crown Prince who oversaw the disarmament of the German occupation army.
As an example of that, in 1968 he won the Holmenkollen Medal, the highest Norwegian award for skiing skill. The King loved to ski and this led to another incident which showed both his love for the sport and his down-to-earth style. During the 1973 energy crisis travel was banned on certain weekends. The King did not want to miss a good ski weekend and, though as the King he certainly could have made himself an exception, to set a good example for the rest of his people he traveled on the train with everyone else. Throughout his reign he continued to support winter sports, sailing, scouting, international relations (he was the first Norwegian monarch to travel abroad extensively) and he kept up his interest in the military, never taking national security for granted. He always kept himself well informed on national issues and policy while strictly respecting the constitutional limits to his position. Olav V was, in every way, a model constitutional monarch, attentive to his duties and combining a deep sense of history with a great sense of humor. Admired by people of Norwegian descent around the world the King also supported charitable ethnic organizations of Norwegians living abroad.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Gustavus Adolphus. From 1621 to 1623 he accompanied his king in the campaigns in Livonia on the other side of the Baltic and it was King Gustavus Adolphus who first impressed upon him at an early age the importance of artillery on the battlefield. He learned even more when he was subsequently sent to study at the Holland Military School under another of the great captains of history, the Dutch Prince Maurits van Nassau. When he returned to Sweden he fought for three years in the campaigns against Prussia, seeing action in such engagements as the battle of Wallhof in 1626. The King was greatly impressed by his skill and promoted him to colonel at the age of 26, giving him command of the first artillery regiment in military history. He wasted no time in proving himself worthy of such a position and by the following year he had earned promotion to general and his title of the “father of field artillery”.
Torstensson basically took the innovations of the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus and the Dutch Prince Maurits van Nassau concerning artillery, refined them and built upon them to increase the mobility of the artillery. His fame as the “father of field artillery” comes from the fact that, before his time, artillery tended to be seen mostly as a weapon of static, siege warfare. Torstensson made it something more mobile that would be capable of supporting the infantry and cavalry on the battlefield. Previously, the only light cannon had been rather dangerous guns with a copper core wrapped in leather. Torstensson came up with a new cast-iron cannon that was powerful enough to be a major force on the battlefield but which could still be moved by as few as four men or two horses. He also led the way in getting away from cannon balls to more advanced artillery “shells” which combined powder and shot inside a wooden container. He also worked out a drill routine that so increased the efficiency of the Swedish artillerymen that they were able to load and fire their cannon faster than the infantry could load and fire their muskets. On September 17, 1631 at the battle of Breitenfeld his innovations were put to the test and Torstensson was fully vindicated. His guns fired at three times the rate of the Catholic forces opposing them and accompanied the infantry and cavalry to help secure a decisive Swedish victory.
Pressing on after this victory, Torstensson and his Swedish army marched into Bohemia and Moravia. He turned away to pursue a threatening Danish army and defeated a Bavarian army to sent to the aid of the Danes. The battle of Jankau in 1645 was his last great victory, won over the Bavarians, after which the great general was obliged to resign because of his worsening health and return home to Sweden. He held a few political posts before his death in Stockholm on April 7, 1651 at the age of only 47. Were it not for the great and influential victories of King Gustavus Adolphus himself, Marshal Torstensson would probably be remembered as the greatest Swedish military mind of his age. Nonetheless, alongside the great king, he was responsible for securing the victories that made Sweden a major military power, he was a competent and successful battlefield commander and as an innovator his influence on artillery has been immense in military history, putting artillery for the first time on an equal footing with the infantry and cavalry as one of the indispensable tools of modern warfare.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Lombards and Emperor of the Romans, the first emperor in the west since Romulus Augustulus was deposed. Beatified locally his caused was advanced when he was canonized by Anti-Pope Paschal III which, of course, the Church never recognized. However, his beatification was confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV and his feast is celebrated in France and Germany.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
I am sure everyone has heard at least some of these stories, one of the most popular themes being that Princess Diana was pregnant with Dodi Al-Fayed’s baby and that the Royal Family (sometimes HRH the Duke of Edinburgh is singled out) had Mi6 or the SAS kill her off to avoid a scandal. Yeah, because a scandal involving Diana would have been unthinkable. Unfortunately, this whole tidal wave of conspiracy theories was partly supported by Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed who, as far as I am concerned, is scum of the lowest order. Fabulously wealthy scum, but scum nonetheless. He seems to be to be someone who was able to buy his way to the top of society but became bitter because he could never buy his way up to the level of the royals and so petulantly decided to wage his own propaganda war against the monarchy. The people who spread these wild stories or give them any time at all are deluded at best and treasonous at worst. Contrary to what many think, they are no real friends or admirers of Princess Diana either. They are doing her memory no favors and are besmirching the good name of both the Royal Family and the British armed forces in the process.
On that subject, let me say that I have not been a big fan of Princess Diana ever since she decided to go public with her marital problems. Before that, I had a favorable view of her. What she did was wrong and it does not matter to me in the least that the Prince of Wales was doing wrong as well or who did wrong first. I am certainly not saying the Prince was or is or should be free from all blame but what should have been a private, family trauma was made into a public scandal by Diana and that I do not approve of. What was going through her mind, no one can say. However, it allowed many people to use her situation as a way to further their own agendas and to attack the monarchy. I was further turned off by the long-running hero worship of Diana and the way so many seized on her as the one “pure” royal who was being mistreated by the “wicked” forces of the monarchy. She is not the only royal figure to have ever become the focus of such sentiments and, sadly, she will probably not be the last. In life and now in death Princess Diana is being used by unscrupulous people as a tool with which to attack the foundational institution of the United Kingdom and its commonwealths. Regardless of what these people may think, they are no true friends or admirers of the late Princess.
Having given my opinion of Diana, let me also say that I do not hold the anger against her that some others do. I was genuinely sad at her untimely death and I applaud her for the good work she did throughout her life. She made mistakes and did plenty that I disapprove of but it also cannot be denied that she also did a great deal of good for a great many people around the world. Those, however, who used and who continue to use her memory as a way of attacking the monarchy are doing Diana no favors. They certainly have not the slightest care or compassion for the only thing left of her in this world, namely her children. Imagine how completely horrible it must be to have tabloids and talking heads pattering on about the idea that your grandfather had your mother killed. It is unspeakably atrocious and even less than that, just the effort to draw divisions within the personal lives of Princes William and Harry between their mother and father, their mother and grandparents, all people they love as much as any other person loves their own parents and grandparents. These stupid, ignorant stories and allegations do no one any good, they only harm and hurt. The only people who benefit are those who manage to enrich themselves at the expense of the ignorant and gullible.
There should be no doubt about this. Princess Diana was killed primarily because she was traveling in a car being driven by a man who was dangerously intoxicated, more than three times over the legal limit. More than anything else, even more than the rightfully despised paparazzi (who certainly played a part), the tragedy was the fault of a drunk driver. It is sad, it is unfortunate, but it happens to people every day all over the world. That should be the end of it and I hope, I really, sincerely hope, that one day Princess Diana will be allowed to rest in peace and that her children will not have to keep being traumatized by these ridiculous and hateful tales from the media.
Friday, August 23, 2013
In the time of the wars of kings, not many national leaders met their end because of a war and those who did usually only lost power rather than their lives. In more modern times, even when a negotiated settlement is a possibility, it is made a very unattractive prospect due to the fact that the loser is usually brought before some sort of court or tribunal and then executed. In World War II the Allies actually did the Nazi Party a great favor by openly announcing that only an unconditional surrender would be accepted. The Germans had seen what happened when they were left at the mercy of their enemies and many who had wanted to get out of the war suddenly had Nazi propagandists saying, “I told you so” as the only options left to them were victory or death. Looking at the primary Axis powers, it took royal leadership to spare their peoples from total annihilation. Under Hitler, Germany was drowned in a sea of blood. In the Kingdom of Italy, on the other hand, when the Allies invaded Sicily, the King finally said enough was enough and that Mussolini had to go. Had the Allied handled things better, that might have been the end of the war on the Italian peninsula. Likewise, in Japan, the militarists were determined to fight on to the bitter end until the Emperor stepped forward and declared that the end had come.
Even after the French Revolution gave the world the concept of the “nation in arms” we can still see how monarchist forces handled the aftermath of a conflict so much better than republican forces. After the Napoleonic Wars, rather than the farce of a trial, the enemy was shipped off into exile and the statesmen of Europe gathered to put the continent back together again. Talleyrand, former the Foreign Minister of Napoleon, was on hand to take part in the negotiations. Imagine that; France was actually included in the negotiations over what was to become of France. The end result was a period of peace in Europe. Compare this to the aftermath of the First World War in which the defeated nations were given no part at all in the peace process. They were simply informed of how they were to be carved up by the victors and expected to like it. The fates of Germany and Austria-Hungary were decided without a single German, Austrian or Hungarian taking part in the negotiations. The result was a brief respite of a couple of decades before an even more terrible and more widespread war devastated mankind. Even then, the aftermath was handled no better and the world might have seen a similar result yet again were it not for the fact that former enemies were forced together out of the shared threat of the Soviet Union in Europe and Asia.
The world had never been more violent and bloody than when the supposed champions and representatives of “the people” took power from the kings and princes. Even today, what peace prevails is mostly the peace of people who cannot be bothered to go to war over anything. Wars, in our democratic, republican age, have become a tool of politicians rather than a continuation of politics. We still fight, we still kill and bomb and destroy but we don’t call it “war”. We do so for vague reasons, against vague enemies and end up with vague outcomes. Wars no longer have a beginning and an end. Instead, we have interventions, escalations and they just go on and on until the public loses interest. But, we are ruled by politicians rather than monarchs so everyone thinks it is all okay. And that is the mentality that has produced the undeniable fact that no regimes in human history have been so oppressive and blood-soaked as those that have “people’s” or “democratic” in their names. Humanity would do well to consider that.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
|Queen Margaret I|
The religious disputes that followed the spread of Protestantism caused a setback for Danish power but new alliances were made and in time Denmark was back to being the most prosperous and powerful of the Scandinavian countries. They took a sting in the Thirty Years War and then a rather serious drubbing from Sweden. A number of subsequent wars failed to restore Danish supremacy over the region or to break Swedish power which grew considerably thanks to a number of very gifted military leaders. However, you cannot keep a good Dane down and in time Denmark was again a model of prosperity, confident enough to start looking beyond Europe for opportunities to grow. Thanks to the union with Norway the Danish Crown already held Iceland and Greenland as well as some other smaller islands in the North Sea but under King Christian IV, Denmark began looking to plant the oldest national flag in Europe on warmer shores. In 1620 the Kingdom of Denmark established its first official overseas colony in India, the subcontinent that was so attractive the Portuguese, Dutch, British and French were all competing to make claims. The Danish foothold was established at Tranquebar (now called Tharangambadi) which remained a Danish possession until 1845 when it was sold to Britain.
|Ft Christiansborg in Africa|
Efforts were made to establish plantations in Africa but these were not successful and eventually the interior was seized by African powers hostile to Denmark and as public sentiment was eventually turning against the idea of slavery the Kingdom of Denmark withdrew from Africa and sold its forts to Great Britain in 1850. They served no purpose by that time as the slave trade had long been mostly suppressed thanks to the British and in 1848 the Kingdom of Denmark abolished the use of slave labor. The Danes had already seen that slavery could prove detrimental to the masters as well as to the slaves when there was a massive slave rebellion on the island of St John, where African slaves outnumbers Danish colonists by 5 to 1, which was only suppressed with the help of France. However, though Denmark was congratulated for the abolition of slavery this also meant that most of the plantations in the Danish West Indies went out of business and the local economy went downhill fast. Rather than being self-sufficient or profitable, the islands became a drain on the Kingdom of Denmark. So, in 1916 (when the Danish economy itself was in trouble due to World War I) there was little regret when Denmark sold the islands to the United States who wanted to use them to establish naval bases to guard against those troublesome German submarines. The following year the former Danish West Indies became the U.S. Virgin Islands.
|Queen Margaret II in the Faroe Islands|
With Iceland going republican, Greenland and Faroe Islands remain the only vestiges of the Danish colonial empire and these are each self-governing, autonomous members of the “Danish Realm”. In fairness it should also be pointed out that these islands were originally Norwegian possessions which came under the Danish Crown during the union of Denmark and Norway via the Treaty of Kiel of 1814. However, unassuming as the Kingdom of Denmark may appear today, there was a time when the Danes were the dominant force in far north Europe and at various times the rule of the Danish monarchy stretched across Finland, Sweden, Norway, England, northern Germany, Latvia, the North Atlantic, down to the Caribbean Sea, the Gold Coast of Africa, southern India and as far east as the Nicobar Islands in the Sea of Bengal (sold to Britain in 1869). Although today the Danish colonial empire may not be as well remembered as the more extensive realms of other colonial powers, for a time it was one that had to be taken into account with the Danish flag flying over parts of America, Africa and Asia.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
One of his accomplishments (though it took some time) was to obtain Ottoman recognition of his title as Khedive of Egypt. He and his predecessors had used the title for some time in Egypt but the Ottoman Sultan still only recognized them as basically provincial governors. However, Egypt was already effectively independent of Turkish rule but there was still a desire to maintain titular links to the Ottoman Empire and of course the religious links with the Sultan who was the Caliph of Islam. In 1867, in return for greater tribute payments, the Sultan finally recognized Ismail Pasha as Khedive of Egypt. Further, the Sultan authorized a change in the rules of succession to allow the throne to pass from father to son rather than brother to brother which Khedive Ismail hoped would bring greater stability to the country. In 1873 the Ottoman Sultan also recognized the full autonomy of Egypt from the government in Constantinople, giving official sanction to what had already been the actual state of affairs for some time. From a distance, it may seem rather trivial but these were important steps in maintaining peace between Ottoman Turkey and Egypt, achieving all but a recognition of Egyptian independence on the part of Turkey while maintaining the country as a nominal part of the wider Ottoman Empire. This recognition also helped Egypt in diplomacy with other foreign powers.
The new industries growing up in Egypt brought with them a need for natural resources and this, combined with a desire to assert regional supremacy and gain greater respect on the world stage, prompted Khedive Ismail to embark on a campaign of expansion to the south. His goal was to extend Egyptian control up the entire length of the Nile and to dominate the entire Red Sea coast. Many of these areas had, in the past, been claimed by the Ottoman Empire at the height of Turkish expansion and, as Egypt was still nominally part of the Ottoman Empire, this gave Egypt at least some grounds for moving south. In preparation, the Khedive had also endeavored to build up the Egyptian army and hire veteran soldiers from foreign countries to modernize the military. Many of those who were brought in were Americans fresh from the Civil War. General Thaddeus P. Mott, a veteran of the Union army and numerous conflicts around the world, gained rank in the Ottoman army and was enlisted by Khedive Ismail to recruit American military experts for service in Egypt. A number of officers were enlisted with recommendations from none other than Union General William T. Sherman and those Americans (from both Union and Confederate armies) included such men as Generals Charles P. Stone (another Union army veteran) and Henry H. Sibley and William W. Loring (former Confederate generals). Coastal defenses and the artillery were improved a great deal.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
|King James II|
One of those who helped Prince Charles actually get to Scotland was Lord Charles O’Brien, Viscount Clare. A Jacobite with a long record of service in the French army he would eventually attain the rank of Marshal of France and be made a knight of the Holy Spirit. It was Lord Clare who put Prince Charles in touch with the Irish shipping magnates who helped arranged the gathering of the men, material and funds the Prince would need to launch his expedition. At the time, Lord Clare was the commander of the Irish Brigade in the army of His Most Christian Majesty King Louis XV. This was a unit originally formed for French service in exchange for a larger contingent of French troops that were sent to Ireland to fight for King James II. When Prince Charles finally set out for Scotland he was accompanied by the “Seven Men of Moidart” of whom four were Irishmen; Sir Thomas Sheridan, Parson George Kelly, Sir John Macdonald and Sir John William O’Sullivan. Sheridan had been the tutor of Prince Charles and was over seventy when the expedition launched. His age would have made campaigning difficult and he was soon sent back to Rome to keep Prince James informed of the progress of the uprising. Parson George Kelly, likewise, did not remain too long in Scotland as he was sent back to France after the battle of Prestonpans to spread the word of the stunning Jacobite victory.
Sir John William O’Sullivan was born in County Kerry, sometime around 1700, and was trained for the priesthood in Rome and Paris. However, when his father died, he returned to Ireland to take over the family estates. Unfortunately, he ran afoul of the Penal Laws and forfeited his ancestral lands, returning to France and joining the army. His time as a tutor in a French military household likely gave him the notion to take up a career in the army. O’Sullivan showed considerable talent and rose rapidly in rank, finally becoming a colonel. He served in Corsica and on the Rhine where he gained a high reputation for irregular warfare. It seems most likely that it was his record as an accomplished guerilla fighter that brought O’Sullivan to the attention of Prince Charles and, in any event, the two became very close and lasting friends. When the Prince set out for his effort to restore his house in Britain he named O’Sullivan his adjutant and quartermaster-general. From the time of their landing until the bitter end O’Sullivan never left the Prince’s side.
As Quartermaster-general, O’Sullivan had the difficult and unenviable task of keeping the Jacobite forces fed and armed. Many ardent Jacobites professed that he gave good service in this position but O’Sullivan (like the Prince) was constantly at odds with Lord George Murray and the partisans of Murray tend to lay much of the blame for the Jacobite failure at the door of O’Sullivan if not the Prince himself. At the last battle at Culloden Moor, once again, Lord Murray did not want to fight, insisting that the ground was too soft and their position less than ideal. Prince Charles, however, was determined to have at the enemy at least one more time, regardless of the circumstances, before admitting defeat. Colonel O’Sullivan, as usual, agreed with the Prince and many have since placed at least some of the blame for the lost battle on O’Sullivan for choosing such poor ground to fight on. Whatever the case, O’Sullivan has also been credited with helping to arrange the safe escape of Prince Charles back into exile. The colonel himself escaped on a French frigate (which also had an Irish captain) and was later knighted by Prince James (King James III to the Jacobites) for his part in saving the life of his son. He married well and died sometime in the early 1760’s.
|Prince Charles Edward Stuart|
Sunday, August 18, 2013
King St Canute IV of Denmark
The first Dane to be canonized as a saint, he strengthened the Danish monarchy, attempted to conquer England and had many miracles attributed to him after his death. He was canonized in 1101 by Pope Paschal II. His feast day is January 19.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Prince Johan Friso renounced his place in the Dutch line of succession and became known as Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau rather than a prince of The Netherlands in order to marry Mabel Wisse Smit. The government had refused to consent to the marriage because Princess Mabel (as she was later titled) had been acquainted with a drug lord in the past and government consent is required for the marriages of all Dutch royals in line for the throne. Prince Friso had made it clear since he was a child that he never wanted to be king anyway and was quite happy to renounce his rights to the throne to marry the woman he loved. Good enough as the two were married in 2004 with the rather unusual situation that Princess Mabel became a member of the Dutch Royal Family but not of the Dutch Royal Household. The two had a happy and devoted marriage ever after, producing two lovely daughters; Countess Emma Luana in 2005 and Countess Joanna Zaria in 2006. The family lived and worked in London.
As per the wishes of the Royal Family the funeral arrangements were minimal and strictly private. The Prince was laid to rest on Friday at Lage Vuursche near Drakesteijn Castle, where he had spent his childhood and where HRH Princess Beatrix has chosen as her place of retirement. The government issued a statement and many messages of condolence were sent but no dignitaries attended the funeral which was purely a family affair. The only foreign royal in attendance was HM King Harald V of Norway, the godfather of the late prince. A more open commemoration ceremony is expected to be held later in the year. Of course, I am sure I speak for all readers when I say that our prayers and condolences go out to the Dutch Royal Family, the people of The Netherlands and most especially Princess Mabel and her unfortunate daughters on this most tragic occasion. May God watch over them.
In other news, HRH the Prince of Wales has come under criticism (again) for supposed “meddling” in politics, which in this age of leftist media overreaction means he was talking to cabinet ministers (gasp). How many people, I wonder, can see the blatant hypocrisy of those who claim to champion equal rights for all crying foul whenever a member of the Royal Family exercises even the most basic rights of the most common subject? It is ridiculous, of course, as there is no evidence whatsoever that the Prince attempted to influence or ‘strong-arm’ anyone, only that he met with ministers to discuss issues important to him, which anyone is or should be perfectly free to do. In other news, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh met his new great-grandson for the first time this week and the Duke of Cambridge had his first official engagement since the birth of his son. Sarah Ferguson, ex-wife of HRH the Duke of York, met with HM the Queen in Scotland which has led to rumors that the subject under discussion might have been marriage plans for Princess Beatrice of York. Word has also been about that little Prince George of Cambridge may have his first overseas visit to the Commonwealth of Australia. That, in my view, would be wonderful -a real blow to the sad republican traitors in the land Down Under.
In other royal news, the Swedish royal court launched a new website in preparation for the fortieth anniversary of the enthronement of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden coming up on September 15. Princess Isabella of Denmark had her first day of school this week and there was rather embarrassing news this week for the House of Hohenzollern as Princess Irina of Romania (aka Irina Walker) was among a group of people arrested in Oregon and Washington on charges of running a cockfighting ring. Also arrested was Princess Irina’s husband former sheriff’s deputy John Wesley Walker. Princess Irina is the third daughter of HM King Michael of Romania and Queen Anne of Bourbon-Parma. Not long ago we also reported on the legal victory of the daughters of the late Maharaja of Faridkot in India over the extensive estate of their late father. After many years in court the existing will was voided so that the daughters could claim their rightful inheritance. However, new complications arose this week as other royal cousins have started to surface and have made legal claims to a share of the family fortune for themselves. Thankfully, however, we do have a happy note to end on as this week the Kingdom of Thailand celebrated the birthday of HM Queen Sirikit, devoted wife of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, who turned 81-years old. We hope Her Majesty had a happy birthday and send our best wishes for many more to come.