Friday, April 13, 2012
QA with MM
(after the pleasantries)
GR: Do you have a favorite monarchy?
MM: Goodness no, that’s like asking a parent to name their favorite child. I’m a pan-monarchist, I support them all, I know more about some than others but they all interest me and I wish I knew more about all of them.
GR: So I probably shouldn’t ask if you have a favorite monarch.
MM: No, I do have favorites, and I’ve listed many on my blog, but I narrow down the possibilities considerably. I’ve listed my favorite Spanish monarchs, Romanov monarchs, Savoy monarchs and English monarchs after the conquest, before the union of the crowns. Even then I’ve only ever been able to narrow it down to five.
MM: Even that is tough to say. I keep up more with Monaco in terms of current royal families. My first language is English so there is a connection with the English monarchy, there are those I have a special interest in due to ancestry and, in terms of where I live, the monarchy I feel closest to in terms of local history and culture would be the Spanish. For family reasons I also have very strong feelings about the royal legacy of Vietnam but then there are others that I am very interested in and get very emotional about that I have no real reason to at all.
GR: Okay, putting aside personal preferences, is there a monarchy that you think has been better or more successful than others? One that is still around today I mean.
MM: I would probably have to say the English monarchy.
GR: You mean the British.
MM: Yes I do, but let’s be blunt about it, it is the English monarchy when you get down to it, the lineage, the traditions and so on are all English. I say them because the Queen, even after the dissolution of the British Empire, still reigns over more land and people than any other and because, looking at history, the English have just been pretty fortunate in having had a pretty good record of competent, benevolent royal leadership. There are always low points but their’s have been fairly few.
GR: When it comes to the fall of monarchies, which I realize is always a terrible thing, is there one that particularly moves you or upsets you more than any other?
MM: Absolutely. Russia, without a doubt, though I can only speculate as to why. I get very emotional when it comes to the fall of Russia, it really effects me like no other.
GR: Speculate then; why do you think that is?
MM: Well there is the fact that the last Tsar and Tsarina were such good people but then so was Charles I of Britain, so were Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette but I think, perhaps, I feel the loss of Russia more because it was so violent, it was the entire family and because it was so comparatively recent. We have tons of photographs of the Russian Imperial Family, we can see them growing up and I think that allows one to feel much more connected to them. It was such a horrific tragedy. I could tear up just thinking about it. It was also one of the last truly, purely Christian monarchies left in the world even then.
MM: China. I’ve never understood why more people don’t recognize what a huge, huge historical event the fall of Imperial China was. Here was an empire that existed from the time of the city-states of ancient Greece to the 20th Century and was a pretty major power for almost all of that time, yet most history books seem to give it barely a mention. I don’t understand that. I’ll never understand that.
GR: Which former monarchy do you think is most likely to be restored?
MM: I really don’t know. I wish I did. Recently events in Montenegro have been very promising but usually, when pressed, I would say one country with more reason to hope than most would be Serbia.
GR: Why Serbia?
MM: The Crown Prince has a pretty high profile, good connections, he’s well respected around Europe and he’s been making an effort. He’s been staying out of politics but still staying very much involved and I cannot praise him enough for actually going out there and making the case for monarchy as a better system than the republic. It’s also an Orthodox country and the Church has been very supportive of a royal restoration so, you put all that together, it seems like a winning combination. I’m disappointed it hasn’t happened yet but I still see more reason to hope in Serbia than in many other places.
MM: I would have to say Italy, the House of Savoy.
GR: How so? Because of Mussolini and World War II probably?
MM: No, I actually think most monarchists understand that period pretty well but I’m thinking more of Catholic monarchists who, because of 1870 or an inability to get beyond 1870, have shrugged off the Italian monarchy as being liberal and anti-clerical when, if you look at the whole history of the House of Savoy, and it’s one of the oldest families in the world, they have traditionally been one of the most staunchly Catholic and staunchly monarchist, and I mean very anti-revolutionary, of any royal house in Europe.
GR: Going back to fallen monarchies, which one do you think has been the most far-reaching disaster? Which still effects us today the most?
MM: That’s a tough one because in almost every case there has been a chain-reaction. My knee-jerk reaction would be the Hapsburgs because so much trouble came from the break-up of Austria and Hungary but that has mostly settled down recently and with others like Germany or Russia or China it’s the result of what resulted from the fall that we still have problems with so, I would have to say, probably the Ottoman Empire.
GR: I wasn’t expecting that one.
MM: Well, it gets lost in the shuffle a lot I think but considering all the problems we are still having with Syria, the Israel-Palestine drama, the recent war in Iraq and so on and so forth, that all goes back to the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. Everyone always says that, ‘those people have been fighting forever, there’s no stopping it’ and stuff like that but, there was actually a pretty long period of Middle East peace when the whole region was ruled by the Turkish Sultan. That’s just a fact.
MM: Pretty good all things considered. I’m a long way from being the most popular but there’s usually about 2,000 hits per day so far and considering the number of people who get very upset with me, the number of people I tell NOT to read the blog and the number of even monarchists who really don’t like me, I’m amazed anyone is reading it at all.
GR: I haven’t seen any of your fan mail in a while. How’s that going?
MM: Oh, there hasn’t been as much of it lately but it’s been considerably uglier. If I ever post them it’s going to require a great deal of censorship.
GR: What is your biggest problem with the blog?
MM: I’m not sure what would be the biggest problem. One is that people are more vocal in telling you what they dislike or disagree with than what they do agree with. People will complain about something, I stop doing it and then later I’ll hear others say, ‘why did you stop doing that, I liked those’ and I wonder, ‘well, where were you when everyone was complaining?’ or ‘why didn’t you say so at the time?’ That can be problematic.
GR: How long have you been blogging on this stuff?
MM: It’s almost three years at the current blog, I did do it for a year or two before that on another blog that, frankly, was read by hardly anyone.
MM: The only advice I could give them would be that they shouldn’t take advice from someone like me. If I knew what I was doing, well, let’s just say they should ask someone more well-liked for advice.
GR: You’re well liked with us for what it’s worth but I know you have to go so thanks for getting back to me, thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
MM: I appreciate it. I’m glad you spoke up and keep doing what you’re doing.