Saturday, January 19, 2013

Royal News Roundup

In the lands of eternal Asia this week, on Wednesday, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan as well as HIH the Crown Prince and other Imperial Family members, attended the 2013 New Year Poetry Reading Ceremony which was held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. HM the Emperor read a poem of his own about Okinawa. Down south in the Kingdom of Cambodia, 135 policemen are rehearsing for the part they will have in the funeral procession next month for the late “King-Father” Norodom Sihanouk. Across the border in Thailand, a special exhibition will be held from January 18 to February 26 at the Queen’s Gallery featuring works by the “elusive” artist HSH Princess Marsi Sukhumbhand Paribatra. On the other side of the continent, in Saudi Arabia, the “Red Prince” Talal bin Abdul Aziz is still calling for greater democracy and rights for women while at the same time leading Islamic clerics have been criticizing HM King Abdullah (brother of the ‘Red Prince’) for appointing 30 women to the Shura Council, allowing women to vote and run for political office. Same old story, too much for some, not enough for others. And, across the border in Jordan, where the monarchy faces growing criticism, HM Queen Rania spoke at “Sustainability Week” in Abu Dhabi this week about “energy poverty” reminding attendees that 1 in 5 people in the world lack access to grid electricity.

Over in Europe, HM the Dowager Queen Fabiola of the Belgians has come under criticism over the establishment of a foundation to provide for her nieces and nephews, for a limited time, should any of them fall on hard times. Hardly seems outrageous to me but, sadly, there are those in Belgium who will seize on anything to attack the monarchy and the Dowager Queen has been accused of trying to avoid taxes. Personally, I find it ridiculous the Dowager Queen should have to pay taxes at all. In any event, reductions in the royal allowance has been scheduled for this summer and Elio Di Rupo, the Belgian PM (and homosexual Francophone socialist) has said he wants the allowance to the Dowager Queen cut by half a million euro, despite the fact that, as the Queen herself said, her allowance goes almost entirely to maintaining her home and mostly for the salary and benefits of her staff. All this proposed reduction would do, realistically, is put people out of a job. In better news, HRH Crown Princess Mathilde celebrates her 40th birthday on Sunday and she still looks great and continues to do a great job. We wish HRH a happy birthday and hope for many, many more to come.

In the sunny Principality of Monaco there has been legal to report this week. After a high court ruling in his favor, HSH Prince Albert II is set to receive 300,000 pounds plus legal expenses from the Sunday Times newspaper over unsupported and scandalous articles they printed about the Prince and Princess of Monaco just prior to their wedding. The Sunday Times also had to read out a formal apology in court. The articles included a slew of slanderous gossip and, hopefully, this ruling will make papers think twice about taking the word of professional charlatans. How about just printing verifiable facts from now on? The House of Grimaldi also recently released a statement distancing themselves from the upcoming film “Grace of Monaco”. Although previously supportive, the statement put out by Prince Albert II, Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie stated that the film is not a true biopic of their mother and contains many inaccuracies which they brought to the attention of the filmmakers but which they refused to redress. The film covers a particularly tense moment in Franco-Monegasque history and stars Nichole Kidman as Princess Grace and Tim Roth as Prince Rainier III.

For the House of Windsor this week, it was announced that the new addition to the family of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is due to arrive in July. Good news for them, and good news for the Prince of Wales whose organic food label is doing very well but, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Prince and Princess of Kent who have taken a hard financial hit in their own business since the recession. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have also been enlisted in trying to encourage trade and help British business. However, perhaps the biggest news this week involved the Queen and that dusty, old, legal formality called “Royal Assent”. It has been common knowledge for ages that no British monarch since Queen Anne has refused Royal Assent to a bill but, not so claim certain Mps and investigators from “The Guardian” (yes, I know…) who claim that the Queen has vetoed bills at least three times in her reign; in 1964 over a titles abolition bill, in 1969 over the independence of Rhodesia and in 1999 over military action in Iraq. A statement from the Palace only reiterated that the Queen takes no action on any bill without the advice of the ministers and, so far, most of the outrage is directed at Tony Blair and other of his predecessors for using the Crown to get them out of a tight spot. However, this could be used as a wedge issue to remove the role of the Crown in the legislative process entirely.

1 comment:

  1. I find it shameful that there is even a whisper of removing the Queen's role in the legislative process, the last real remaining thread of a legitimate monarchy with tangible authority in Britain.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...