Saturday, February 19, 2011

Royal News Roundup

The wave of uprisings sweeping the Arab world continues with violent demonstrations breaking out in the Kingdom of Bahrain accompanied by calls for the overthrow of the monarchy. The government has cracked down on the protestors and the U.S. has been particularly concerned given that the tiny gulf kingdom is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, cornerstone of the American military presence in the region. Two people have been killed and King Hamad has promised that the government will investigate the deaths. Bahrain has undergone progressive reforms in recent years but they have not satisfied the majority Shia population (the royal family are Sunni Muslims) and it is feared that Shia control of Bahrain would give Iran undue influence in the gulf state. Over in Jordan Queen Rania, who has been the subject of criticism in the protests in that country, expressed her best wishes for the people of Egypt where she had been a university student and for the first time since the unrest began made a public appearance visiting madrasas in Amman. Violence has also broken out in Libya with calls for the overthrow of the tyrant and arch-traitor Muammar Gaddafi. However, there have also been rumors that Gadaffi, who engineered the overthrow of King Idris as a young army officer, may be contemplating a restoration of the Libyan monarchy, possibly in conjunction with his own retirement. It seems unlikely but in recent years Gadaffi has returned some of the properties previously confiscated from the former Libyan Royal family.

In Europe, where the President of France recently joined the German chancellor and British Prime Minister in denouncing multi-culturalism, Queen Beatrix and Prince Friso of the Netherlands opened a new multi-religious cultural center in Amsterdam last Friday. In Belgium, controversial the Prince Laurent had his drivers license suspended for two weeks due to excessive speeding. The palace has made no excuses for the prince but the humorless press did not respond well to the outspoken Prince’s joke that there should be a special license for those with fast cars. But there is happier news in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg where the lovely Princess Alexandra had her twentieth birthday on Thursday. I have always been a fan of the Princess who has been studying at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio which is also impressive as it is a very small and conservative Catholic university one would not expect to see a European royal choose to attend. The Mad Monarchist wishes the lovely Luxembourger a very happy birthday with many, many more to come.

On the Scandinavian royal front there is some slightly troubling news out of Denmark where one of the newborn twins of Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary (the little girl -as yet unnamed) has been taken to the hospital. The baby, only a month old, seems to be suffering simply from a cold but, given her tender age the Crown Princely couple wisely decided to take every precaution. The twins are set to be baptized and have their names announced in April. In Italy Princess Martha Louise of Norway has appeared on television to talk about her latest book “Meet Your Guardian Angel” which has been a big hit in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the Scandinavian countries, success which may make the book more available in other languages. The Princess has taken a lot of criticism for her beliefs, generically referred to as “New Age” type ideas as well as the usual accusation anytime a royal does anything for themselves in the private sector; using her title to gain an unfair advantage. Yawn. I am certainly not in agreement with all that Princess Martha Louise believes but I very much agree with Siv Ellen Kraft who said, “There are a lot worse things she could have found to believe in than angels”. Just so.

In the British Isles it was recently announced that U.S. President and First Lady Obama will go on an official state visit to the U.K. from May 24-26. According to the President accepted an invitation from the Queen for a state visit which will be the first since 2003. However, this has also brought up renewed talk about the Obamas not being invited to the royal wedding this summer. Speculation that this invitation was a consolation prize for not being invited to the wedding was to be expected, especially given that First Lady Michelle Obama stated on television this last week that she was not going to the wedding because she had not been invited. The Palace has maintained that this was due simply to the fact that the wedding is not a state occasion and has nothing to do with the noticeable deterioration of Anglo-American relations under the Obama administration.


  1. Let's see if anyone kicks up a fuss about Obama's visit like they did for His Holiness.
    I'm glad to hear about Sarkozy though, seems like he's finally doing something right.

  2. Oh I doubt it, he can kick the British around all day and plenty still seem to adore him. It was quite different though when President Bush came to visit, who was generally a very pro-British president, when there were big, angry protests and real security concerns. You can keep us posted on Sarkozy, I always said he probably wasn't the worst choice, he sounds like he's facing facts but we will have to see if he is prepared to really do anything about it.

  3. It is an horrible new that in Bahrain are republican protest lets hope that it wont succed


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...