Saturday, May 14, 2011

Royal News Roundup

Starting in eastern Europe, there is promising news out from Serbia. The Serbian newspaper Blic (perhaps inspired by the recent wedding in London where Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia was a prominent guest) published a poll which found that some 64% of Serbs would prefer a monarchy over their current republic. It is certainly no coincidence that the Serbian Crown Prince has been probably the most active non-reigning heir to a throne in Europe. Putting other, less active, royals to shame the Serbian heir has been hard at work for years campaigning for a return to constitutional monarchy as the form of government best suited to his people. He has dealt with the public, the government and the Serbian Orthodox Church which supports a restoration. There are no political parties pushing a monarchist agenda but there are monarchist organizations active in spreading grass-roots support for a return to the Kingdom of Serbia and it seems there are being effective. Serbia should be an example to other monarchists and would-be monarchs alike.

Staying in the Balkans, Romania has begun to worry many monarchists in recent years with changes in the succession, the King endorsing his son-in-law in a failed run for the presidency and now there is something else raising eyebrows about the Romanian royals. On Tuesday HM King Michael of Romania signed a decree severing “historic and dynastic links” with the House of Hohenzollern to which all Romanian monarchs since King Carol I have belonged. It is said that this was done to underscore the purely Romanian nature of the Royal Family and to remove any association with Germany (from whence the Hohenzollern family came). Prince Paul of Romania (a grandson of King Carol II) has already denounced the decision and it seems rather an odd thing to do. Why now? Are there some deep-seated resentments between Romania and Germany of which outsiders are unaware? And, of course, be it Romania, Britain or Belgium, no royal decree or change of name can change the facts of history. I will confess to being rather puzzled by this.

It seems, of course, an effort to remove the Prince of Hohenzollern from the succession but I think the King has already made it clear who he wishes to succeed him and all any of it has done so far is split the monarchist community between those who wish to adhere to the traditional rules of succession and those who wish to adhere to whatever the King desires. All of these antics of late have rather depressed me as I once had very high hopes for a restoration in Romania. King Michael was loved by many and respected by very many more yet all of these recent squabbles and efforts at re-arranging the succession, trying to “make” new princes and cancel the rights of others have, I am afraid, greatly lowered the image of the Romanian Royal House and certainly have not helped efforts to effect a restoration there.

Also involving the ‘southern front’ of European monarchy, HRH Prince Carlos Javier, Duke of Parma, recently issued a statement affirming his leadership of (at least one branch of the fractured movement of) the Carlists of Spain who now refer to him as “Don Carlos Javier II, King of the Spains”. This has caused a degree of embarrassment for the Dutch Royal Family who, of course, recognize HM Juan Carlos I as King of Spain -end of discussion. It is rather sad how the Carlists have fallen. Prince Carlos Javier is now the leader of the leftist branch of Carlism, opposed by the right-wing branch led by his uncle Prince Sixte-Henri. At this point the effort seems to be a “legitimism” of popular ideology, declaring any royal their legitimate leader who goes along with their left or right-wing views. Others will of course point out that with the death of the Carlist heir Alfonso Carlos de Borbon y Austria-Este in 1936 the senior male line descendant of King Carlos IV became King Alfonso XIII who is, as we know, the grandfather of King Juan Carlos I.

In Great Britain, Her Majesty the Queen recently surpassed King George III as the second-longest reigning monarch in British history, taking her one step closer toward the record of Queen Victoria. In more troubling news, we hope not a sign of things to come, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had their honeymoon destination made public by a tourism official in the Seychelles. We can only hope they remain undisturbed. It has also been put out (though this is hardly “news”) that the Queen can expect no one to bow or curtsy to her when she makes her historic visit to the Republic of Ireland. PM “Call me Dave” Cameron will accompany her, at least part of the time and she will be arriving via the Casement Aerodrome, named after the Irish republican and pederast Roger Casement who was chief antagonist to Belgian King Leopold II before arranging arms shipments from Germany to Ireland during World War I. He was hanged for treason in London after the Easter Uprising. The Queen will also lay a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin to commemorate those who tried to overthrow her grandfather King George V. And yet, it is the Irish who tend to be upset by the visit rather than the British -go figure.

Somehow I missed the Prince of Wales visiting the United States last week (don’t recall seeing anything on TV about it either). On Tuesday the Prince arrived in Washington to visit a “city farm” in what the AFP called a “predominately Black neighborhood” -perhaps someone should clue them in that Washington is a predominately Black city, anyway, the Prince seemed to take it all in stride, even when some on-lookers attracted his attention by shouting, “Yo Charles, over here!” and another woman asked him for his autograph (which was not forthcoming of course -that is not done). The Prince spoke at Georgetown University on sustainable agriculture and attended an event to honor the allied British and American soldiers currently serving overseas. He also toured the US Supreme Court and had a short visit at the White House with President Obama.

Finally, moving to the Far East, here is some news of the sort that I really like to see. In the Kingdom of Thailand the justice ministry has recruited several dozen young volunteers to serve as “Cyber Scouts” to patrol the internet for comments slandering their beloved monarch. The new social media, YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, MyFace, SpaceButt, BoobTube, AppleFritter, etc, etc have all made it harder to ensure that the laws against insulting the monarchy are upheld. However, the young “Cyber Scouts” are happy to donate their time and most say they are inspired to do so by their King and view their service as a way of giving back, helping him out and defending what they regard as the central and most sacred aspect of their country. The program is just getting started and so far no one has been reported to the authorities. I wish them every success and I would like to see more of this sort of voluntary defense of monarchs on-line around the world, in the west particularly. The western media reporting on this, of course, think it is atrocious and simply a method of persecuting the “red shirt” movement in Thailand as anti-monarchist. All I can say to that is, if the shoe fits…

15 comments:

  1. As to Serbia, I hope there is a restoration. I am gladdened that 64% want a return to heir original Culture.

    As or Michael, I am saddened but not surprised, too much modernism has crept in and too much talk of reform, and that seems to be the poison that spoils the broth.

    As to the Queen, same as above. Why on Earth should we make Immoral Monsters with mental problems our Heroes? While I understand the need of the Queen to recognise Irish Independence and to thus show the utmost respect for the Irish, I don’t get how firm defiance by not even a bow in greening is anything but an immature show of self importance, and to be frank, why should we want the Queen to lay a wreath at the grave? I mean, surely people can understand why this makes no sense, right?

    But we live in insane Times.

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  2. The Romanian news are said however, I have to point out, that Romania is not part of the Balkans (maybe politically, but hell, politically even Hungary and the so called 'Slovakia' [former highlands of Hungary] is), nor is the northern (former Hungarian) part of Serbia. That said, again, these news about the Hohezollern family seem kind of revolutionary to me.

    No surprise; it was King Michael of Romania, who simply put his country in the Red camp on the 23 August 1944 and attacked Hungary, when the situation was hot...what he got in response is dethronement.

    A great example for the phenomenon you have mentionned in an earlier post; he was trying to please the enemy.

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  3. It is a great new about Serbia, lets hope that if it is restored the new king can do something about kosovo. And MM can you tell me your sources about the serbian opinion, please?.

    Hi from Argentina.

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  4. As I said, Blic newspaper conducted the poll, I read about it at Balkans.com

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  5. Hooray for Serbia!

    Concerning the Romania-Hohenzollern dipsute, I don't claim to know anything about lines of succession (I tend to side with legitimists), but why exactly is it a large problem? Haven't houses broken ties before?

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  6. It is heartening news that so many Serbs are favourable to restoring their monarchy. The awful legacy of Communism and conflict demands that countries completely break with it, and by returning to their roots and traditions they can do so. If it succeeds in Serbia, it should hopefully initiate a trend towards restoring those monarchies which had been unjustly deposed.

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  7. King Michael has said that his daughter will succeed him (which under the last rules for the monarchy would not have been allowed) and that her son will succeed her, so in the traditional way of regarding these things the Crown will have passed from the original Hohenzollern family to that of the King's son-in-law. Prince Paul is also on friendlier terms with the Hohenzollerns and there may be fear on the part of the King that they will recognize him rather than the King's daughter as head of the Romanian Royal House after his death. Of course there is a division between those who go with whatever the King says and those who say he has no right to change the rules as he pleases to choose his own successor.

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  8. Crown Prince Alexander has done everything right over the years, he's carefully cultivated the "proper" image for the public, being involved with the right social and charitable causes, appearing diplomatic and confident in public, all the while working to educate and inform on the benefits of a constitutional monarchy, biding his time until the people were finally ready for a restoration. Well, it appears that time has finally come.

    When nearly 2/3 of the public is in favor, I'd say its high time for a referendum. Parliament has stalled for too long, time to just bite the bullet and do it - they've only been debating the issue for over a decade.

    If it works, Serbia could easily become a model for other countries from Hungary to Russia. One can only hope.

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  9. I think so, and have often said, if you want a good example of the model non-reigning monarch, look to Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia! Now, his years of effort are showing real results and I wish others would take the lesson and I hope the Serbian government calls a referendum while the iron is hot!

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  10. But that'd mean Politicians loosing power...

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  11. Which I'm sure is why they haven't done it already. Anything with over 60% support would be something politicians would be running over themselves to get in front of but on this issue- it will be like pulling teeth. They are probably hoping that the poll is the result of recent media attention and that it will soon pass and they can justify ignoring it. They probably also will take their own poll, manipulating it as they do, to show predictable opposition to the idea.

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  12. Serbia finds itself at a crossroads after two waves of conflict and finding itself standing alone as a nation for the first time since 1918. I wonder if politicians are waiting for the right time to do it and restore the monarchy. Then Montenegro, Albania, Georgia, Romania and Bulgaria can follow.

    In Greece monarchist sentiment is much weaker, but even there it seems people's attitudes towards their royal family are softening, it would seem, because of the discrediting of the political class.

    In Western Europe, Portugal has emerged as the most realistic chance, monarchist sentiment appears to be surging and again there's such a frustration with the political class. Even in Austria and Germany the younger generations aren't all that unreceptive to the idea of monarchism and who knows what watching William and Kate's wedding can do for monarchist causes.

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  13. Greetings, this will be my first comment, but I have been following this blog for some time. I was curious if there had been any other polls on the monarchy in Serbia, as I am a little hesitant to trust a tabloid, as much as I would love to see an Orthodox kingdom reestablished in eastern Europe. If this news is legitimate, all the better, but still I would prefer not to get my hopes up too high.

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  15. Here is something I found about King Michael and the Hohenzollern Family.

    I found it on Wikipedia so I don't know what to think of it.

    On 10 May 2011, on a background of lawsuits in Germany brought against his family by his German relatives regarding the former name Hohenzollern-Veringen of his son in law, Radu, and of fears expressed by some that the German Hohenzollerns may claim succession to the headship of the Romanian royal house, Michael severed all of the dynastic and historical ties with the princely house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, changed the name of his family to "of Romania", and gave up all princely titles conferred to him and to his family by the German Hohenzollerns.

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