Saturday, August 21, 2010

Royal News Roundup

Starting at the first of this last week in the Low Countries, HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was at the Hague on Sunday at the Dutch East Indies Monument to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the surrender of the Japanese who, in the course of World War II, conquered most of the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) but not without heroic resistance by the Dutch colonial army and Royal Netherlands Navy (the small Dutch submarine flotilla actually sank more Japanese shipping than the U.S. sub fleet in those early days). Mention was made of the 13,000 people that died in the war and the 100,000 Dutch subjects sent to internment camps by the Japanese. In Belgium King Albert II is still meeting with party leaders who have still failed to form a government, talks having stalled over the issue of how to divide state funds between the two regions. French news has reported that, while the nationalists won a majority in Flanders, feelings are growing harsher in Wallonia as well with 67% being opposed to any concessions to the Flemish and 32% of Walloons saying they would prefer to join France if the country divides.

In Scandinavia Princess Marie of Denmark spoke at a conference on Monday related to childhood poverty and social exclusion. On Thursday Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, daughter of the Crown Prince and Princess and the future Queen of Norway since the end of primogeniture, attended her first day of school. In Russia a rather comical lawsuit has been filed by Valery Kubarev, a descendant of the Rurik family and self-styled “Grand Prince of All Russia”. He is claiming that the Kremlin in Moscow is rightfully his own property along with a few other ancient historical sites in Russia. The authorities have not been inclined to take this seriously, despite the warning from Mr. Kubarev that his family is descended from the ancient pagan gods of Russia who will, he warned, deliver supernatural vengeance on those who mock him.

In the U.K. HRH Prince Harry of Wales has again caused some eyes to roll by agreeing to participate in a reality show for BBC2. The show will take the form of a talent search with the finale being the choosing of a winner to perform at Buckingham Palace with Prince Harry as the guest of honor. A royal aide assured the press that no one will be ‘voted off’ or laughed at and explained it as a way to encourage and mentor musical achievement, also adding that Prince Harry is a fan of “reality TV”. Royals participating in television programs in the past have not been too well received with many regarding it as beneath the dignity of the Royal Family. You can add The Mad Monarchist to that camp. I’m sure Prince Harry has nothing but the best of intentions in doing this but it seems to me he could find a much better way to spend his free time and encourage musicians in Great Britain than this. Also in Great Britain, on Wednesday, was Their Majesties the King and Queen of Jordan who were at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland to watch the annual Military Tattoo in which some Jordanian bands are participating in this 60th anniversary year. The Jordanian military has a very British style to it as Jordan was formerly a British mandate. Like many in the Royal Jordanian Army the King himself is a graduate of Sandhurst.

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