Monday, January 20, 2014
Royal News Roundup
On the Scandinavian royal front, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden injured her leg while skiing in Italy over the New Year holiday but was not letting that hold her back, carrying on with her royal duties with her left leg in a brace. Meanwhile, the King and Queen met with county governors this week. In neighboring Norway, HM King Harald V celebrated the anniversary of his succession to the throne this week and HM Queen Sonja opened the “1814 -The Game of Denmark and Norway” exhibition at the Norwegian Folk Museum. And in Danish royal news, Crown Princess Mary was in Burma this week, comforting impoverished children on a visit to promote “sexual health” in that unfortunate country. Further south, King Philip of the Belgians opened the Brussels Motor Show this week and in Luxembourg it was announced this week that some months ago Archduke Istvan of Austria resigned from his post as secretary general of the administration of the Grand Duke. The Archduke is the son of the late Archduke Felix who was the son of Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria-Hungary.
And, speaking of the House of Hapsburg, in an interview with a group of European newspapers, Archduke Karl (current head of the family) said that his family should not be blamed for starting the First World War (and rightly so) saying that, “If you were to simplify it, you could say that the shooting in Sarajevo started the first world war. But if there hadn’t been the shooting in Sarajevo, it would have kicked off three weeks later somewhere else. He said his family nor Austria-Hungary had anything to feel sorry about as they were not guilty of anything, saying it would be wrong to single out one state when tensions were so high between all the major powers. And, moving on to southern Europe, in Rome the world media was shocked at the ‘State of the World’ address of Pope Francis in which he called abortion “horrific” in his most critical words yet about the practice. Reuters earned some derision for referring to the remark as a “nod to conservatives” in their headline. In the Principality of Monaco, Andrea Casiraghi and new wife Tatiana are busy preparing for their second wedding ceremony while the Sovereign Prince and Princess greeted circus performers. Finally, in Spain, the anticorruption prosecutor has now said he will not appeal the summons for HRH Infanta Cristina to testify but he also criticized the judge for believing in “conspiracy theories” in an effort to bring the Infanta before the court despite a lack of evidence that it is warranted. Good for him.
In Africa, archeologists from the United States believe they have uncovered the tomb of a previously unknown Egyptian pharaoh. As most know, the pharaohs of Egypt were held to be gods and someone else is being accused of making a similar case on the African continent. However, it is nowhere near as outrageous as most of the headlines make it sound. Yes, it is the Kingdom of Swaziland where the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs said that God operated “in a monarchical way” just as the King does. This is, of course, entirely true. He said, “It is God’s desire to see the people of Swaziland loving their monarchy” which I would also be inclined to agree with. However, he probably did go a bit too far considering the many problems that exist in that country saying, “The reason God’s eye is closer to the Kingdom of Swaziland is that we are a platform of showing the world how the Almighty God wants the world to be ruled”. Okay…
Moving on to Asia, readers may recall a previous news report here about a claimant to the Sultanate of Malacca in what is now Malaysia obtaining a document recognizing his claim from the International Court of Justice. Well, *fooled you*! Turns out it was a fake as the ICJ came out this week saying that it did no such thing and that the claimant in question is a big, fat, lying liar (or words to that effect). The pretender in question, who calls himself Raja Noor, has since been arrested under the sedition act on allegations that he has been involved in the buying and selling of titles (a significant problem in Malaysia). And, on Wednesday, in the “Land of the Rising Sun”, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress participated in the annual New Year’s Poetry Reading Ceremony at the Imperial Palace. A poem, composed by HM the Emperor, was recited which recalled a recent imperial visit to a coastal area devastated by disease caused by severe mercury poisoning due to pollution. There were also poems by HM the Empress and HIH Crown Princess Masako among others.