Saturday, June 25, 2011

Royal News Roundup

Why, especially with all of the pressing issues facing the countries of Europe today, do so many seem fixated on messing with the rules of succession? In the UK, Nick the Commie Clegg has started talks with the Commonwealth realms over the abolition of male primogeniture in the monarchy of the British Commonwealth. It remains to be seen how that will turn out. It is, however, an accomplished fact in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg which recently passed a law getting rid of male preference for the descendants of Grand Duke Henri. Hold on though, it gets better. The law was actually passed in September of last year but has only now been made public. Of course, most other European monarchies have already done the same but I wonder if these people will all be honest when the changes actually take effect? Will the Swedish Royal Family after “Queen Victoria” be known as the House of Westling rather than Bernadotte? I doubt it. I never liked this sort of thing but it is one of those issues that I like even less the more I think about it.

There has been a royal exchange, east and west, this week. HRH Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark traveled to Japan to visit some of the sites hit by the tsunami disaster. First were the formalities of course, meeting with HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and later a dinner with the Emperor and Empress. When visiting the hard hit areas the Crown Prince met with a number of school children and it was a happy sight to see with so many smiling faces, the Crown Prince included. HIH Crown Prince Naruhito also traveled overseas, going to the Federal Republic of Germany to mark the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Amity between the Empire of Japan and the Kingdom of Prussia. This was an “unequal treaty” as far as Japan was concerned and later renegotiated. During World War I the Japanese, as allies of Great Britain, declared war on Germany and seized German possessions in the Far East but later fell out with the Allies over their treatment of Japan after the war. Of course there then followed the period of the “Axis” between Japan, Germany and Italy which ended with their defeat in World War II. Since then, Germany and Japan have still maintained good relations based on trade and cultural exchanges.

In North Africa, the Kingdom of Morocco has introduced numerous constitutional changes with HM King Mohammad VI taking the lead in calls for reform. However, many protestors still complain that the reforms do not go far enough though some are ready to declare “mission accomplished”. Unrest in Morocco has already led to the referendum on the changes being held far ahead of schedule. Aside from the government aspects, expansion of democracy and so on, the changes will also include greater religious freedom (while maintaining Islam as the official religion) and greater protections for the Berber minority.

In the Low Countries, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg celebrated its National Day on Thursday with the Royal Family out in force for the event. Meanwhile, Crown Prince and Princess Philippe and Mathilde of Belgium have come to the United States for a 9-day visit focused on strengthening business links between Belgium and America, bringing several hundred Belgian businessmen with them. New York, Boston and Washington DC are on the itinerary before they jet back to Europe. After all, they must be back in time for the Princely wedding in Monaco which has been getting an increasing amount of media attention, you see some of the latest stories and interviews at Mad for Monaco.

And who would have thought that the United Kingdom would be the focus of a Catholic ‘gong’ fight between members of the Royal Family of the former Kingdom of the Two-Sicilies? Well, it has happened. As you probably know, leadership of the Bourbon-Two Sicilies dynasty is contested between HRH Infante Don Carlos, Duke of Calabria and HRH Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro. Each also claim leadership in rival factions of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George. Well, the Constantinian Order of the Duke of Castro planned a special service to be held in Westminster Cathedral this fall. When this was publicized the Duke of Calabria protested vehemently, claiming that the Duke of Castro’s Constantinian Order is invalid and should be shunned while also mentioning some unsavory relations on the part of the order headed up by his rival. The Duke of Castro, of course, would probably say the same thing about the Order of the Duke of Calabria. However, this dust-up has caused something of a diplomatic headache and threatens to force the Catholic authorities to take a side, something the Holy See has adamantly refused to do in the long-running succession dispute. These disputes are so, so very tiresome. Whether it is France, Portugal, Russia or the Two-Sicilies, sometimes I would really like to knock their heads together. Most simply ignore the feuding but it does do real harm. I for one and rather annoyed that when I finally became able to actually contribute some meaningful assistance to the monarchist cause, I can scarcely find a royalist movement where the leadership is not disputed and you risk donating to what may turn out to be the “wrong” side. It would make me mad … if I weren’t already.

I should also point out that I take no sides in most of these disputes. In some, I do adhere to one side but I would not argue their case here. I want to encourage monarchist unity and in every case I would prefer any candidate over the prevailing republic. I list the websites of both the Castro and Calabria factions on the sidebar (because frankly every time I have tried to work out which “side” is right, I end up with a legalism-induced headache) as well as the websites for the Savoy dynasty of both the Prince of Naples and the Duke of Aosta. On that one, I have mixed feelings, I do lean a certain way but at the end of the day I take no side. For France, I list both (though I do have a preference) because I don‘t want to ignite a debate that would accomplish nothing.


  1. MM, do you know how much power the king will retain after this cursed reforms?

    I hope that he don't lose too much power :-(

  2. He will have to share power with a "President of the Government" chosen by parliament. The President, rather than the King as in the past, will be able to appoint state officials and have the power to dissolve parliament. I think they go much too far and I wish the King had stuck to his original position but, it seemed the wave of rebellion and international opinion was against him.

  3. But i think that he won't give up his supremacy so easy, perhaps if the situation is favorable in a short of long time he or his descendant may try to assert their rightfull power...

    I think that the single power that all the parliament should have must be to pass the laws proposed by the monarch.

    At least he is the SINGLE king that lost power after this blasphemous revolutions agaisnt the nonarchies, i think that the situation of morroco will get worst because the advance of the politicians.

  4. Please let William and Kate have a son first so this elitist 'equal succession' zeal is kicked back into the grass, where it belongs!

  5. I do *pray* that is the case. A monarchy trying to be "politically correct" is going to put itself out of a job and if they do have a girl I am not looking forward to the inevitable howls that will arise as to who is *really* the monarch rather than the one on the throne.


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