Saturday, February 26, 2011

Royal News Roundup

Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is still topping the news this week and it is still largely troubling. In Jordan several people were injured in clashes between pro- and anti-government forces. HM King Abdullah II urged his government to adopt reforms (as he has done before) with greater urgency and also stressed that neither he, nor the people, would allow anyone to spread disunity and discord in Jordan. Across the border in Saudi Arabia their King returned home after a three-month absence following surgery in New York City. Protests have also been planned for Saudi Arabia were the dissidents have included among their demands an elected national leadership. The King of Bahrain, also engulfed in unrest recently, was on hand to greet the Saudi monarch who has been particularly concerned with the riots in Bahrain, a Shia majority country ruled by a Sunni Royal Family, worried that the discord to spread to the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia where Shia Islam is also dominant. The King had been recovering in the North African Kingdom of Morocco where trouble has also broken out. Mobs took the streets Sunday demanding that King Muhammad VI give up most of his powers, dissolve the government and crackdown on corruption. Of course, one must wonder how much the King can be expected to do to combat corruption if his powers are curtailed. Fortunately these protests have not, as yet, taken on a republican tone with most saying they want to retain the monarchy but reduce the royal role in government, saying they want something like Spain or Great Britain.

Also, in Libya, the violence continues as the arch-traitor and dictator Colonel Muammar Gadaffi tries to cling to power. In many parts of the country the old royal flag of the short-lived Kingdom of Libya is being carried by protestors and flown from many buildings, some people carrying pictures of King Idris, the first and last King of Libya. For a little background, Libya had been associated with the Ottoman Empire. After a lost war on the part of the Turks Libya became a colony of the Kingdom of Italy. After World War II the Italians were forced to give Libya independence and the country became a monarchy under King Idris from 1951 to 1969 when he was overthrown in a military coup led by Gadaffi.

In the Far East, HIH Crown Prince Naruhito celebrated his 51st birthday on Wednesday. The Crown Prince hinted that he might be taking up more official duties in the future as the Emperor cuts back his schedule. The Emperor was recently diagnosed with hardening arteries and is on medication for the problem. The Crown Prince was tight-lipped when asked about his daughter and gave the same line we have heard for many years now regarding the emotionally fragile Crown Princess Masako saying that she was “recovering steadily”. The Mad Monarchist wishes His Imperial Highness a very happy birthday and all the best for his family. It also came out this week that Princess Aiko is still having some trouble in school and is not yet attending all of her classes or taking lunch with her fellow students. She was pulled out for a time due to what was only described as “rowdy behavior” by some boys and returned only with her mother taking her to and from school and sitting in with her classes. This really makes me wonder, and worry. It certainly does nothing to allay the fears of those who think the Crown Princess has some serious nervous or mental disorder and has passed that on to her daughter. Some normalcy would be nice.

Also in the lands of Eternal Asia, a leading member of the Chinese Communist Party central committee has called for a renewed campaign against HH XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet. Mention was not made as to why this is needed (the PRC has long attacked and slandered the Dalai Lama and bullied any nations that deal with him) but it may be proof that the exiled god-king’s influence in his homeland is more extensive than the Red Chinese have wanted to admit. The leadership also said, however, that the Communist Party needed to take more care about religious issues and economic concerns so as not to provoke yet another uprising of the Tibetan people. For me, this was a bit of good news. Not that more attacks are being called for of course, but that the Dalai Lama is still able to so infuriate the CCP. Makes me warm inside. Pro-commie sources have tried to defend the regime by pointing out that half of the Tibetan people have been lifted out of “absolute poverty” in the last five years because of Red Chinese investment. Knowing the difference between “poverty” and “absolute poverty” might be helpful in that instance, but they also neglect to mention that the overall Tibetan population has been reduced almost as much due to all of the Han Chinese immigration that has accompanied the CCP’s “investment”.

In Russia, on Monday, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, head of the Romanov dynasty, visited the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in Moscow. The Grand Duchess met with the Chairman of the Court Vyacheslav Lebedev and other judges and court officials. She stressed that the legal rehabilitation of Tsar Nicholas II and his family as a sign that Russia had made peace with her past, accepted the facts and could move forward without fearing the truth. She also stated again that the Romanov dynasty has no demands to make for the restoration of family property seized by the state in the past and stated that the Romanovs have a unique historical position to fill to serve Russia through charity and social and cultural events. The Grand Duchess also stressed again that the House of Romanov will not interfere in politics in any way and that if the monarchy is restored it will be strictly limited and totally removed from political decisions. However, she also stated again that such a restoration is totally up to the will of the people and that her primary goal is not to restore the monarchy but to serve the Russia in any way that is necessary. This week the King and Queen of Spain also arrived in Russia, where they have met with the President of the Russian Federation to inaugurate the Spain-Russia Dual Year that will focus on strengthening ties between the two countries.

In Scandinavia, on Monday His Majesty King Harald V of Norway turned 74-years-old. The world does not seem to hear much about the King of Norway but I will submit that such is a good thing and to his credit. The only times monarchs really make the news in a big way is when there is some scandal involved. Not the case with the Norwegian monarch who goes about doing his duty, quietly and professionally with no fuss or drama. The Mad Monarchist wishes His Majesty a happy birthday with many more to come. In other Norwegian royal news the Royal Family was out in force in Oslo for the Nordic World Ski Championships and they will be involved with the event for its duration. The Queen of Denmark is also expected to visit. Also on the Danish front, on Friday the first official photographs of the new royal twins were released, to the joy of many impatient royal watchers.

In Great Britain more news has been released regarding the upcoming royal wedding. Invitations have gone out to 1,900 guests for the occasion including 200 government officials, MP’s and diplomats, 60 governors-general and PM’s from across the Commonwealth and 30 members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. The royal guest list includes crowned heads, princes and princesses from across Europe, the Middle East, Thailand, Tonga, Malaysia and Japan. It has also been announced that the first foreign visit by the royal newly weds will be to Her Majesty’s Dominion of Canada. In the meantime, Miss Middleton and Prince William carried out their first royal function together in Wales, not far from the RAF base where the Prince serves, to christen a new lifeboat. Prince William spoke at the event, partly in Welsh and also mentioned the horrific earthquake which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand. Kate was given the honor of actually ‘baptizing’ the new craft.

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