Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Denmark mourns Prince Henrik

As condolences pour in, Denmark is observing a month of official mourning for Prince Henrik, who will be cremated according to his wishes. More photos and video at the Mail.

Prince Henrik & Queen Margrethe and their family celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2017

Queen Margrethe II & Prince Henrik, 2017

Prince Henrik with his grandsons Princes Nikolai & Felix

Crown Princess Margrethe and Prince Henrik after their wedding, 1967

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

RIP Prince Henrik of Denmark (1934-2018)

His Royal Highness Prince Henrik died peacefully in his sleep Tuesday 13 February at 11.18pm, at Fredensborg Palace.

Her Majesty the Queen and the two sons were at his side.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Monarchists and the Internet

As a traditionalist, I'm broadly sympathetic to critiques of Modernity. The internet and social media are now part of modernity. If I could have the pre-1914 world back, I would, and there was of course no Facebook or Twitter then. That said, I'm nevertheless skeptical of articles--I just saw yet another one, ironically via Twitter--that castigate social media as somehow uniquely destructive of society. The thing is, I remember late 20th-century society, before iPhones or Facebook, and I didn't think it was that great. I remember trying to learn royal genealogy before Google or Wikipedia via out-of-date print encyclopedias with no way of finding out who had died since they were published, and conventional media (newspapers, radio, TV) didn't usually report on that sort of thing because it wasn't what most people were interested in. And frankly, being as far as I knew the only teenage monarchist in the world was kind of lonely. I suspect that the sort of Thoughtful American Commentators who denounce social media's ability to connect like-minded people with unusual interests are the sort of commentators who would say that non-conformists like me should get over ourselves and learn to fit into one of the two camps American politics provides. No.

Another common criticism is that social media allows people to expose themselves only to views they already agree with. At least in my case, that's not true; while I freely admit that anyone who used Facebook to advocate the abolition of the British or any other monarchy would not last long on my Friends list, regarding virtually every other issue my News Feed encompasses a wide range of views. Sometimes I see enthusiastically pro-Trump and vehemently anti-Trump posts right next to each other. One of my favourite things on Facebook is when I look at the list of people who have Liked one of my royalist posts, reflect on how some of them would disagree sharply on other issues, and feel affirmed in my conviction that Monarchy can bring people together as no politician can.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The New York Times discovers monarchists

In a new article entitled "What’s the Cure for Ailing Nations? More Kings and Queens, Monarchists Say" the New York Times notices us, including my friend Charles Coulombe. I hadn't heard of The ISSA Center for the Study of Monarchy, Traditional Governance, and Sovereignty, but it looks like a worthy endeavor.

Monarchists and Entertainment

The combination of a Facebook discussion yesterday on The King's Speech, and my recent "discovery" of Stranger Things last month nearly a year and a half after everyone else got into it, prompts this observation. As much as I love movies and TV shows about my pet topic of royalty, like The Crown and Victoria, when I watch them, even if I basically enjoy it, there's always a part of me that's judging. "No, that's not right!" Same with classical music (e.g. Mozart in the Jungle). I can't help it. To a lesser extent I suppose that's true even with quasi-medieval fantasy like Game of Thrones. With Stranger Things, and also Breaking Bad (the other modern mainstream show I belatedly decided I liked), there is something liberating about not having to be like that and just being captivated, as millions of others have been, by how extraordinarily well done it is.

That said, Dungeons and Dragons (which I never played as a kid, though I attempted it a couple times in 2014-15 thanks to a younger friend) plays an important role in Stranger Things, and over the years I've occasionally seen republicans in online arguments accuse monarchists of just wanting to play Dungeons and Dragons. So, there's that. Probably not many people are aware that Finn Wolfhard (2002) has the same birthday (December 23) as Emperor Akihito of Japan (1933), Queen Silvia of Sweden (1943), and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia (1953).

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Thoughts on The Crown

I just finished Season 2 of The Crown. Episode 10 appeased me to some extent after Episode 9, which so offended me. I don't think I fully grasped Peter Hitchens's argument in The Abolition of Britain about the destructive impact of the 1960s satire boom until I saw it dramatised in this episode. The scenes juxtaposing poor Harold Macmillan trying to be a good sport and laugh with the crowd at "Beyond the Fringe" but clearly hurt, the jeers of others including his unfaithful wife, the trial of Stephen Ward, and the Queen's distress at it all as the credibility of the old ruling class is shattered in the Profumo affair, were quite effective, even heartbreaking. 

When people learn that I'm an Anglophile, they sometimes assume that I must love British comedy. Actually, with rare exceptions (e.g. Fawlty Towers), I often don't, because I see British comedy, or at least certain types of British comedy since the 1960s, as having contributed to the undermining of a lot of what I do love about Britain. The sort of Brits I saw on that stage and in that crowd, snarky towards everything, reverent towards nothing, are the sort of Brits I don't like at all, the sort of Brits who make me feel like perhaps it's just as well I don't live there. And while Harold Macmillan (1894-1986) can certainly be criticised, including from the Right, I for one felt deeply sorry for him in this episode.

I quite liked the scene when Princess Margaret claims that her renovations to Kensington Palace will somehow make it more modern and "egalitarian," to which her sister the Queen witheringly responds, "you're the least egalitarian person I know." I can imagine that conversation happening.

But even in this superior (to its predecessor) episode, the end of which seemed to have been deliberately calculated to tug at my heart personally, there was at least one disturbing false note, and that was the Queen's cruel parting remarks to the outgoing PM Macmillan. While the Queen's relations with her Prime Ministers probably could aptly be described as friendliness rather than friendship, if there's one quality of which I do not believe the Queen has an ounce, it's cruelty, and I can't imagine she would have said anything like that to the ailing Macmillan, especially as it involved also disparaging Churchill who the young Queen revered.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

RIP King Michael (1921-2017)

RIP King Michael of Romania (25 October 1921 - 5 December 2017), who was the last living adult head of state from World War II. I am saddened by his death, and even more saddened that he was not restored to the throne. My condolences to the Romanian Royal Family and to all loyal Romanian monarchists.

King Michael (1921-2017) (R) as a boy during his first reign (1927-30), with his cousin Prince Philip of Greece, now the Duke of Edinburgh, also born in 1921, on Romania's Black Sea coast. Incredible that someone who first shared the world stage as a head of state with Calvin Coolidge and King George V was still with us until today.

 Romania now sadly joins the ranks of former monarchies regarding whose successions monarchists are unlikely to reach unanimous agreement. King Michael & Queen Anne (1923-2016) had five daughters, but no sons. According to Romania's last monarchical constitution, which did not provide for female succession, Michael's heir is Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern (b 1952). However, in the absence of a parliament loyal to the Crown, I choose to accept the late King's authority to modify the rules of succession and designate his eldest daughter as his heir, which he did in 2007. So I now recognise HRH Princess Margareta (b 1949), Custodian of the Throne since March 2016, as the rightful Queen of Romania. The King is dead; long live the Queen.