Saturday, August 31, 2013

Royal News Roundup

Starting in the British Isles, it seems complaints about minimum wage standards are costing jobs on both sides of the pond this week. Advertisements had previously gone out for a maid to be employed at the Queen’s residence in Scotland only to have the offer withdrawn after “social justice” types complained that the position only paid minimum wage (the perk of getting to live in a palace must not have impressed them). Buckingham Palace officials have said that the initial advertisement was a mistake. Meanwhile, rumors were swirling this week that the Duke and Duchess of York may be becoming an item again (MM rolling his eyes). HRH the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted for the first time in public since the birth of Prince George, doing a little grocery shopping. The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry will be joining forces next month for a charity party in London’s Canary Wharf to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. And, in reference to the special report last week, Britain’s elite SAS is launching an investigation into who said what concerning the accusations that they were involved in the death of the late Princess of Wales. British army commander General Sir Peter Wall is reportedly furious that the elite special forces unit has had its reputation attacked in this way.

As to royals from the continent, HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover and family have been relaxing on St Tropez, perhaps resting up for the approaching wedding of Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo. Daughter Charlotte Casiraghi was also on hand and, from the photos taken, the rumors of her pregnancy have definitely been confirmed. In Luxembourg, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie have departed for a visit to Germany to mark the anniversary of the Weilburg Militia which was founded in 1813 to mark the wedding of two ancestors of the Luxembourg Royal Family. In the Kingdom of Sweden TM the King and Queen visited Norrbotten County this week and Prince Carl Philip presented the racing cup that has his name on it to the winners of the Lidkoeping Open karting competition. And, in Bulgaria, the former monarch is drawing criticism from the political right over accusations that he “sold out” to the leftist government in return for their giving him back confiscated royal properties. The criticism came from the minor “Order, Law and Justice party” after King Simeon took to his website to condemn the protests against the government. The party accused the King of supporting the government (a coalition of the leftist Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a party of ethnic Turks) in exchange for a promise to restore royal property. A party spokesman referred to King Simeon as the “Red Tsar” and called him an advocate for former communists.

In the Middle East the threat of U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war got most of the headlines this week. Just to re-cap, the Arab monarchies are all pretty unanimous in wanting the Assad regime to go but are not prepared to go beyond funding the rebels or at least the rebel faction of their choice. Assad is not and never has been to their taste, though they are almost all concerned with any civil unrest as it has proven a rather contagious problem. In the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan protestors took to the street to voice their opposition to the American intervention President Obama is still thinking about. The top royals were not in Jordan at the time though as TM King Abdullah II and Queen Rania visited Rome this week where they met with HH Pope Francis. Meanwhile, unnamed members of the Saudi Royal Family have, we are told, been holding somewhat secretive meetings with the Russians in an effort to gain some assurance that Russia will not decide to take any action if the United States intervenes against their Syrian allies for the significant reason that if American intervention goes forward and Vladimir Putin so much as snorts in the direction of an American ship or plane then Obama would soil himself. And this week the Emir of Qatar signed a new border accord with Saudi Arabia but, with everything going on in Syria, I doubt many people noticed.

Finally, in the lands of Eternal Asia, TM the King and Queen of Bhutan attended the graduation ceremonies at the Royal Institute of Management this week. The King told the graduating class that they had a responsibility to use the knowledge and experience they have gained to serve the country and that by strengthening the rule of law they could contribute to maintaining the security and sovereignty of Bhutan. Great. The King also said they all had to work on strengthening democracy. Yawn. Meanwhile, in the Land of the Rising Sun, a new generation have suddenly became aware of the fact (long known to many of us) that HM the Empress is pretty cool man, she’s pretty with-it and all that. While on a visit to the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo HM the Empress saw an exhibit on the virtual pop star sensation Hatsune Miku and pointed her out saying, “Ah, I suppose this is Miku-chan, isn’t it?” At which point young people all over Japan dropped their jaws in amazement that HM the Empress actually recognized a pop culture figure and seems to be up on what is ‘hip and cool’ with the kids these days. Personally, ever since I found out what a big sumo fan HM the Empress is, nothing surprises me. So, yes, young people, congratulations on finding out what we all already knew: the Empress is awesome. In other news, TM the Emperor and Empress visited another museum in Nagano prefecture this week before taking a little time off for a friendly game of tennis.


  1. I don't really understand the situation in Syria, but I'm tired of us intervening on every dang problem on the Middle East - oil or no oil. Let them kill each other if they want. I don't want my SIL to have to do another tour overseas. He's due to come home in a month...let's keep it that way.

    And God Bless & keep HIH the Empress of Japan! They're both awesome!

  2. If you don't mind my asking, what's your take on the whole situation in Syria?

    1. If somebody makes Assad dead I will give them a hand clap. However, there are far worse regimes in the world, I don't trust the rebels (even the ones who really do support democracy, see how that worked out in Egypt) and until someone can tell me how Assad is a threat to the United States, I think America should stay out of it. I also don't like to see Russia needlessly antagonized because every time that happens they march closer into the arms of China (poor dopes).

    2. Good to hear we have similar views on the subject. I really think it's sad to watch Russia and China work together when Russia was making so much good progress to get away from their Red history. Personally I think it's shameful for the United States to be backing Syrian Rebels with ties to Islamic Fundamentalist groups; absolutely shameful. Then again, I'm not sure I like Assad either, but I still think it's ridiculous to intervene on the side of Islamic Extremists.

      The only possible sane pretext I could think for intervention would be small-scale intervention through cooperation with the Catholic Church in the region to ensure the protection of Catholics and to put down the Muslim Rebels to show we don't like them anymore than they do. Hopefully this might lead the Syrians to see Mother Church in a new light; if they react with hostility despite our efforts, then we should bugger off and leave them out to dry. Of course, this assumes the nation we're describing in question is some semblance of a good Catholic Monarchy and not the United States or any of these other overtly-secularized countries involved in the affair.

      I think if Russia goes into full partnership with Red China, then it's our fault for poking them with a stick and giving them any reason to think doing that is even an option in the first place. Russia's got the money and China's got the men; someone like Putin knows that a combination like that makes an unstoppable war machine on a purely temporal level. Russia couldn't beat us mano-e-mano I don't think; even if they could, they'll want an ally if they can get one before the US can get to them. Trade alone would be reason enough for China to go with us, maybe.


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