Saturday, June 29, 2013
Royal News Roundup
The biggest royal news this week came out of the Middle East where the Emir of Qatar officially abdicated and handed power over to his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. It is certainly different from what happened in 1995 when Sheikh Hamad (the now former Emir) overthrew his own father to take the throne which he has held until now. The new Emir of Qatar is British educated, a graduate of Sandhurst (for American readers that’s basically the British version of West Point) and some have pointed to this change of monarch as part of the ongoing “Arab Spring” movement which has swept North Africa and the Middle East. Many monarchies in the region supported the “Arab Spring” in other countries but resisted any outbreak of similar movement in their own countries. Qatar is not expected to turn wildly democratic anytime soon, however, Qatar has been a major supporter of the rebel forces fighting in Syria to overthrow the ruling dictator Bashar al-Assad. Observers are now waiting to see if the new Emir will continue the policies of his father or take Qatar in a new direction. Meanwhile, at a conference on boring things where important people talk excessively, HM King Abdullah II of Jordan took time out from world economics to warn about the danger of the Syrian civil war sparking a wider sectarian war in the Middle East unless outside forces intervened to set up peace talks as well as warning that Palestine could erupt in an “Arab Spring” type revolt if Israel did not make concessions soon. He welcomed the latest call by the Obama administration to resume peace talks but warned that time was running out for Israel to stop building settlements.
In Europe, things were fairly quiet this week. One item that I cannot avoid commenting on though is the recent outrageous behavior directed at HM Queen Sofia of Spain. Queen Sofia, as most probably know, is a big fan of classical music and this week attended the International Music Day concert at the Royal Theatre in Madrid. Unfortunately, when she appeared there were jeers and shouting from hecklers in the crowd and this is not the first time the Queen has had to deal with booing and hissing from a crowd lately. Nor is she the only one as HM King Juan Carlos and TRH the Prince and Princess of the Asturias have received similar treatment. That is what I find most alarming. The anti-royal sentiment that has been aroused (an an intentional effort to draw attention away from the political elite and their policies that have ruined the Spanish economy I am convinced) is now apparently approaching the point of mindless hysteria. After all, not too many years ago any disrespect toward the King would have been unthinkable but that is not the case anymore. The vast majority once had all the respect and sympathy in the world for the Queen, then she started to be criticized for her Orthodox-Catholic values and now she is even being jeered at in public. Still, that being done, we were told not to panic because the Prince and Princess of the Asturias were untouched by all the current unpleasantness and are the popular, beloved face of the future Spanish monarchy. Well, they have not been immune from rude treatment either and it seems that more people are choosing to turn off their brains and be hateful at the most prominent targets available. All monarchists should take care of this change in the wind because such ignorant acting out is one of the unfailing symptoms of a mob mentality.