Monday, October 28, 2013

Royal News Roundup

Starting in the Far East, on Sunday HM the Empress of Japan celebrated her 79th birthday, congratulations on that and best wishes for many more to come. In a press conference Her Majesty expressed her admiration for those still dealing with the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake, her joy at Tokyo being chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and expressed her concern over civil wars and acts of terrorism around the world. The Empress addressed some of her health problems with advancing age and, of course, apologized that this caused some people to worry (adorable) and spoke about some family milestones and expressed her happiness that HIH Crown Princess Masako was able to make the trip to The Netherlands with HIH the Crown Prince for the enthronement of King Willem-Alexander. TM the Emperor and Empress also visited the Minamata disease site and leprosy sanitarium in Kumamoto. In Southeast Asia, there was a 3-day wedding celebration in Indonesia for Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwono X’s fourth daughter, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Hayu at the Palace’s Panepen Mosque to Kanjeng Haryo Notonegoro. Congratulations to the happy couple. And, in Brunei, the Sultan this week issued a new legal code based on Islamic law with tougher punishments such as mutilation for theft and stoning to death for adultery. Other crimes such as using alcohol or having an abortion will be punished by flogging. Human Rights Watch is not pleased, however, it should also be kept in mind that these punishments apply only to the majority Muslim population and not the non-Muslim minority.

In Europe, starting in the south, Prince Felipe of the Asturias was in Panama where, along with the Panamanian President he attended a special ceremony honoring the Spanish conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa on the 5th centennial of his discovering the Pacific Ocean. Tributes were paid before a statue of the bold explorer that was given to Panama a hundred years ago by His Catholic Majesty King Alfonso XIII. The Prince received a miniature statue of Balboa as a gift for the occasion. Later, also in Panama, the Prince inaugurated the sixth World Congress of the Spanish language. Back in Spain, HCM King Juan Carlos held an audience with the Foreign Minister of Morocco at Zarzuela Palace. In the Low Countries, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg were in Rome for an audience with HH Pope Francis. In Belgium, Princess Astrid traveled to Africa this week for her first trade mission, also touring a hospital in Angola. The Princess took over this duty from her brother after he became King. In Brussels, the Flemish PM Kris Peeters was given an audience with King Philip and later in the week the Belgian King and Queen were welcomed by singing children on a visit to Bruges.

In northern Europe, the King of Sweden presented the New Entrepreneur of the Year awards, thanked all those who expressed congratulations on his 40th jubilee and along with the Queen attended a meeting of the World Scout Foundation. Expectant-mother Princess Madeleine attended a “Green Summit”. Over in Norway, Crown Prince Haakon visited the naval forces on anti-pirate patrol and then visited Finland. Back at home, the King and Queen held a dinner for members of parliament, serving lamb raised on their own royal farm. Also, a new biography details how Norwegian King Haakon VII kept his country out of the Axis camp by going against most of the political and business leaders in Norway urging him to appoint the pro-Nazi politician Vidkun Quisling to the post of Prime Minister. Finally, in Denmark, the Crown Prince and Princess made a visit to Australia, returning to the same city where their romance began. Crown Princess Mary, always a favorite in her homeland, made the crowds go wild singing the Australian national anthem and visiting a local school.

Finally, in Britain, the big news this week was little Prince George of Cambridge becoming the newest little Christian in the Royal Family, officially joining the Church of England with his christening at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Afterwards a special 4-generation portrait was taken of Prince George, the Duke of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales and HM the Queen. This was a bigger event than some people, perhaps, realize. Consider for a moment all of the media attention (positive) focused on a Christian sacrament in a country (and a continent) were religious observance has largely become the exception rather than the rule. At a time when so many have forgotten their history, their faith, the Royal Family continues to be a reminder of these things and in their traditions embody all that Britain is and where the country came from. Less positive was a news story later in the week in which an article quoted an anonymous aide to the Prince of Wales saying that he was trying to accomplish as much as he could before he became King, comparing the throne to a prison. The Palace was quick to denounce this, saying that the Prince never said such a thing and that the comment does not reflect his beliefs at all. Of course, the Prince himself was never quoted at all and everyone should know what “anonymous sources” are worth, however, it is good to push back against such a sentiment. The reason, of course, is that, while it certainly sounds plausible given how restricted the lives of modern constitutional monarchs are, such sentiments are made-to-order for republican traitors who can then attempt to disguise their treason with good intentions. Surely some will have heard things like this in the past already, these traitors claiming that they do not dislike the Queen or the Royal Family but that they wish to “liberate” them from the “prison” that is the monarchy. It is something we all have to be on guard for.


  1. This might seem off-topic, but I don't know of any other way to address you on the issue. All monarchies started somewhere, yes? Let's say some traditional bloke somewhere by some dint or another established a traditional monarchy in a country: what would one have to do in order for the claim to legitimate, and is their precedence for such? New kingdoms start somehow, yes?

    1. Unfortunately, all I can say is, "it depends". People have different ideas about what confers legitimacy and, especially today most are not consistent on that point. It also depends on the question; legitimacy in whose eyes. I hate to give an answer that sounds like waffling, but I don't believe in cookie-cutter countries or monarchies and there has never been one, consistent answer to that question from anyone.

      For example, Napoleon was born a common man, he was able to take power in France and to force other countries to recognize his rule. To some, it only mattered that he was able to take power and hold it, for others, when the Pope blessed his coronation as emperor, that gave him legitimacy but for the royalists it did not matter because no one of the blood could ever be the legitimate ruler of France. In some places it is the government, in some it is the Church, in others it is simply success. It all depends.

    2. Ugh...I meant "NOT of the blood" of course.


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