Starting in the Far East, Japan has “fired back” at South Korea over warnings that the Emperor would not be welcome in the country until he himself issued a properly worded apology for Japanese actions in World War II. Putting aside the fact that His Majesty the Emperor was a small boy at the time and had nothing to do with the Second World War, Japanese officials have reminded South Korea that it was they who had extended the invitation to the Emperor to visit South Korea in the first place, during a state visit by the Korean President to Tokyo and that, in any event, there were no plans for the Emperor to go to South Korea at all so it is rather ridiculous to begin making ultimatums and setting terms for a visit that has not even been planned. Farther to the south, in Indonesia (a republic but one where some royals retain positions of power on a local level) there is a succession problem brewing in Yogyakarta which a recent, hard-fought-over bill failed to address. It involves two palaces; Hadiningrat and Pakualaman the families of which are traditionally appointed to the positions of Governor and Deputy Governor but there are worries in some quarters due to the lack of sons (but a plethora of princesses) in these families while the law restricts the succession to males.
In Europe, my favorite news story this week comes from the lovely Kingdom of the Netherlands where a 28-year-old man was given a six-month suspended sentence by the Dutch court for making threats and vile, insulting remarks directed at his sovereign, HM Queen Beatrix on Twitter. Of course, the Dutch Royal Family is always on the cutting edge and both the Queen and the Royal Palace have their own Twitter accounts, though whether they saw the offensive posts is not known. The contents of these were not revealed in court, only that they were “offensive to her dignity”. The court in the Dutch town of Den Bosch also said the man may have his social media privileges limited by probation officers. The man tried to lessen his culpability by blaming his Asperger’s syndrome but though the court took this into account, the fact that he had been punished before for similar offenses, and is currently on probation already for those, lessened the effect. Personally, I think he should have done a little hard time depending on what sort of “threats” were made. Threatening the life or personal safety of the sovereign is not something that should ever be tolerated. In republics, certainly in the United States, any and all threatening comments made toward the President are taken very seriously indeed.
Not much “big” royal news in Europe this week but in Britain TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (as well as TSH the Prince and Princess of Monaco) attended the opening of the Paralympics in London. Princess Charlene of Monaco is of course the ambassador of the special Olympics. It was also recently announced that the Duchess of Cambridge will be making her first speech abroad in Malaysia at a hospice as part of the royal tours marking the Jubilee. HRH the Duke of Edinburgh is also out of hospital and getting back to normal (thank God for that) and Prince Harry’s Las Vegas adventure continues to cause headlines as details leak out of some happenings that are rather more serious than harmless, ‘frat boy’ behavior. Some in the British army are also none too happy with the many “naked salutes” servicemen and their wives and girlfriends have been posting online. I hate to be critical of anyone supporting a member of the Royal Family, and I won’t be, but I have to admit that such scenes do take something away from the image I always had of the British military as the embodiment of professionalism. I’m sure the palace would like it all to just go away as soon as possible but, that’s the problem with things like this -it will not go away so long as people can make some money off of releasing new revelations about how outrageous it all was, and which is why royals really should be careful about who they associate with. One group firmly on Prince Harry’s side is the Las Vegas tourism commission which is encouraging people to shun those who talk to the press for fear that if “what happens in Vegas” doesn’t “stay in Vegas” people may choose not to come to the city for their misbehavior.