Saturday, December 31, 2011
My father called my attention to Jackie Lyden's interview on National Public Radio with Andrew Marr, author of The Real Elizabeth, a new book about Queen Elizabeth II based on interviews with those who know her best. Marr's comments helpfully illustrate to American listeners who might not know much about how the monarchy actually functions how hard the Queen works and how valuable her considerable experience is to her prime ministers. His book promises to be a valuable addition to the body of literature about the most famous yet enigmatic woman in the world.
Friday, December 30, 2011
I don't understand why Mitt Romney, who in August claimed that the Obama administration resembles the government of King George III during the Revolutionary War, and now likens the president to Marie Antoinette, is trying so hard to get me (and the rest of the vast American monarchist population) to support Obama. (Not a chance, especially given Obama's apparent tilt towards Argentina against Britain regarding the Falklands, though I'm not aware that any of his Republican opponents have taken a different position, but that's another issue.)
Unfortunately this is only the latest example of an irritating pattern according to which American Republicans--knowing nothing of history outside U.S. borders and little of that within, clueless about real conservatism, and uncritical of the Jacobin interpretation of European history--think it clever to equate their Democratic opponents with allegedly "extravagant" and "tyrannical" European royalty, confident that no one will challenge the premises of their ludicrous analogies. (I am not aware of any specific recent examples of Democrats doing the same sort of thing to Republicans, but they probably exist.) The real Marie Antoinette, of course, was a great benefactress of the poor and certainly never said "let them eat cake."
Isn't it supposed to be the Left who unfairly malign royalty and Christian civilization? But of course most American "conservatives," especially since the ascent of the Trotskyite neocons with the second Bush administration, actually are a kind of "leftist;" arguably America's left-liberals and right-liberals quarrel so strenuously partly because they don't realize how similar they really are. The only Republican presidential candidate who articulates anything resembling authentic historic conservatism even by American standards is Ron Paul. Otherwise, American Republican "conservatism" continually reaches new lows of embarrassing ignorance and should be shunned by all thinking right-wingers.
...about genetically modified crops, admits the Daily Mail. For years the thoughtful heir to the British throne, whose book and companion film Harmony put forth a profoundly appealing and arguably vital vision for the world, has been mocked for his causes. But one need not agree with every opinion the Prince of Wales has ever articulated to see that GM crops have not exactly been the boon they were supposed to be, and there are real costs to ignoring the warnings of skeptics of "Progress" like him.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
As reported at the Tea at Trianon Forum, Royal Musings, and Tageblatt (German), Archdukes Imre (b 1985; right photo with Miss Walker) and Christoph (b 1988; left photo with Miss Drapé-Frisch) of Austria-Hungary, sons of Archduke Carl Christian and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg, have jointly announced their engagements respectively to American Catholic writer and activist Kathleen Walker and French diplomat's daughter Adélaide Drapé-Frisch.
My fellow royalist blogger "Elena Maria Vidal" met Archduke Imre in Pennsylvania at a TFP event hosted by monarchist Michael Drake in 2010 and had a delightful experience. Congratulations and best wishes to both couples!
In a nod to any readers disappointed by these young ladies' lack of royal birth, I'd like to add that while I admire the way many members of formerly reigning royal families (including the Archdukes' older sister Archduchess Marie-Christine who married a count from an ancient noble family of the Holy Roman Empire) have maintained traditional standards in their choices of spouses, I don't think it would be reasonable to expect all of them to continue to do so indefinitely when the nations ruled by their ancestors continue to refuse to accord them their rightful status. Privilege and responsibility are meant to go together--and the Habsburgs since the tragic fall of their Empire 93 years ago have demonstrated plenty of responsibility. It is their would-be subjects who have failed them by stubbornly refusing to restore them to their thrones despite ample evidence that the fall and dismemberment of the Habsburg Empire was a disaster for humanity.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
British art critic Brian Sewell, who seems to be a rather colourful personality himself, discusses his fascination with King Ludwig II of Bavaria on BBC Radio 4. The pictures I posted last month complement the programme (which I learned about via Rafe Heydel-Mankoo) beautifully.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Christmas Update: Just as I predicted, Prince Philip says he feels fine. "I don't want to make a fuss. I just want to go home." The rest of the Royal Family attended church at Sandringham, where a record 3,000 wellwishers turned out to greet them. In her 2011 Christmas message (text), the Queen spoke of the importance of families and communities as she reviewed her year which included triumphant visits to Australia and Ireland and the marriages of two of her children. I wish all readers of this blog a Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah, 84, a fan of jazz and football, succeeded Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, 49, as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Paramount Ruler) of Malaysia on December 13. Abdul Halim, who also reigned from 1970-75, is the oldest man to hold the office and the first to hold it twice. In Malaysia's unique system of constitutional monarchy, the position of head of state rotates among the various hereditary local rulers. The new king described his role as "the umbrella to the people" as "the people are the pillars of the king."
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Fortunately for viewers outside the UK, however, the entire film is now available on YouTube; here is Part I. I particularly enjoyed seeing the interaction between Prince Charles and the men and boys (two of whom I met in Edington in 2010) of the choir of Westminster Abbey. Britain is incredibly lucky to have an heir to the throne (too often not appreciated as much as his mother or his sons) who cares so passionately and speaks so intelligently about classical music. (Here is a report on HRH's appreciation of the Australian Chamber Orchestra who performed for him recently in London. Note though that Prince Charles is also the heir to the Australian throne, not only the British one.)
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
However, while it's all very well if Navis Pictures wants to tell this "violent and brutal" story "with a careful sense of reserve" so as to make it "safe for the whole family to watch," I would still like to see a major studio with more resources tackle a similar project someday with enough gory honesty to merit an "R" or even "NC-17" rating. The French Revolution must be seen for what it was: a sadistic bloodbath utterly without merit whose evil legacy has plagued human civilisation for over two centuries, and perhaps only a film violent enough to shock even modern audiences could convey this message properly.
À bas la Révolution! À bas la République! Vive le Roi!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I am sorry to learn of the de jure king's death, but even sorrier that as with all the Balkan countries the collapse of Communism has not been followed by a royal restoration. It's encouraging, however, that Albania's prime minister now admits that the 1997 referendum "cannot be considered a closed issue." Leka is succeeded as head of the Royal House of Albania by his only son Leka (II), now an orphan at 29 since his mother (the former Susan Cullen-Ward) died in 2004. Rest in Peace, Your Majesty.
Readers wishing to send condolences can do so at this address:
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
It is encouraging and moving to see how many Bavarians still revere the memory of their "Märchenkönig." The Atlantic has a remarkable collection of beautiful large photos about King Ludwig, his castles, and the commemoration of his death. Bavarian monarchist sentiment (despicably suppressed by occupying Americans after World War II) is not unanimous; a few disrespectful republicans reportedly staged an "anti-monarchist swim" in Lake Starnberg, though the numbers of those honouring their beloved King seem to have been much larger. I salute those Bavarians who continue to keep traditional Bavarian culture & its Wittelsbach royal heritage alive and wish I could have been among them in June. Current prospects for restoration unfortunately appear slim, but we must never lose hope. Long live the Kingdom of Bavaria!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
The euro may or may not survive but the fact is that we didn't join it. What kept Britain out? Was it the Tory Eurosceptics, Gordon Brown – or a spiritual insularity that is far older and more innate? This image says it all. We never were going to abandon sterling for two reasons that precede all others. We stayed out because we have a monarchy, and because we once had an empire.
Incidentally, I notice that Sherborne School [which King Mswati (b 1968) attended as a boy prior to becoming king in 1986] does not include him on their list of famous alumni. Perhaps they are not especially proud of this particular Old Shirburnian?
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Nevertheless as a royal genealogy aficionado I'm always glad to see relatively obscure corners of European royal genealogy explored in the mainstream media. Friederike (b 1959) has three daughters, Felicitas (b 1986 and also quoted in the article), Victoria (b 1989), and Donata (b 1992) von Reiche. She is the first-born child of Princess Felicitas of Prussia (1934-2009), first-born child of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (1906-1940), first-born child of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany (1882-1951), first-born child of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), first-born child of Princess Victoria (1840-1901), first-born child of Queen Victoria (1819-1901).
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Hopefully the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge will soon have a boy as their first child to render all this silliness irrelevant for another generation. If their first child is a girl and she remains heir to the throne ahead of a younger brother, I suppose I'll have to grudgingly accept it, as I already do with Sweden, Belgium, and Norway (the three European monarchies whose royal families have already been affected by such "reforms"--it's a moot point so far in the Netherlands, where the Prince of Orange has only daughters, and in Denmark, where the Crown Prince's eldest child is a boy). Only a hardcore Jacobite, the sort who insists that Franz Duke of Bavaria is the "real" British monarch (and I think I've made it clear what I think of that nonsense), can coherently deny that Parliament has the authority to alter the succession, whether it should or not. But at heart, unlike more liberal monarchists, I am ironically inclined to agree with the republicans I so despise when they say that even a constitutional monarchy is incompatible with Modern Democratic & Egalitarian Values. We simply draw opposite conclusions: I say if that's the case, then to hell with Modern Democratic & Egalitarian Values!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Speaking of Australia, I don't normally post on non-monarchical matters, but this article by an Australian atheist who admires the great Anglican tradition of Choral Evensong, as experienced at places such as St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, is worth reading. Frankly though a practicing Anglican and adult convert to Christianity I have more respect for people like him--who just might be closer to God than they think--than for "Christian" philistines who would modernize our cultural patrimony out of existence.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
King Michael recently defended his war record from absurd attacks. I congratulate HM on his birthday and call on Romanians to formally restore him and his family--already more meaningful symbols of the nation than any politician could ever be--to the throne. Two decades since the alleged "fall" of Communism have been squandered, but it is not too late for Romanian politicians (like the disgusting president who boycotted the speech and the Liberal leader who though supportive of the invitation was at pains to distance it from any possibility of restoration) to stop being greedy traitors and bow to their rightful King!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Monarchists should remain aloof from the modern republican "Right." The bourgeois capitalist republicans that emerged in the 19th century from the wreckage of the old order and tossed most of the remaining crowns aside in the 20th thought they didn't need us; they can try to "conserve" their godless, throne-less, anti-human system without us. The Whigs have made their bed; let them lie in it.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I think it's also worth noting that even under the existing supposedly "sexist" system, which allows women to reign if they have no living and eligible brothers, the English monarchy has been headed by women for 185 of the past 458 years (since the accession of Mary Tudor in 1553), or about 40%--nearly half--of the time (190/41% if the five-year reign of Mary II who reigned jointly with her husband William III is included). For Scotland, it's 160/165 of the past 469 years (since the accession of Mary Stuart in 1542), or 34/35%. Clearly when God or Fate means for Britain to have a Queen Regnant, she will. Politicians should leave well enough alone and focus on the UK's real problems.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Genghis Khan, a product of a nomadic culture in which leadership though not unrelated to family ties was normally taken by force, presents an interesting paradox as a ruthless authoritarian ruler whose regime included elements of democracy and meritocracy as well as enduring innovations such as passports and diplomatic immunity. Whether Genghis Khan was the type of monarch present-day monarchists wish to defend is debatable, but as our nomenclature literally means "rule by one," monarchist visitors to this fascinating exhibit may find themselves agreeing with his vision that "there should be one Khan as there is one sun in the sky."
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
to which Roman Catholic Habsburg loyalist James Bogle (who I suspect is the blogger behind Roman Christendom) responded:
Trifkovic responded to the response:
and Bogle responded to the response to the response:
Readers (some more knowledgeable than others) weighed in as well. Obviously as a generally pro-Habsburg monarchist I'm closer to Bogle's (whose lovely biography of Otto's parents Karl & Zita A Heart for Europe I own) point of view, but am not entirely sure what I think of the whole Austrian/Serbian/Muslim question. Catholic/Orthodox divisions are perhaps particularly painful for those of us who would like to see Christians and monarchists united. Not that Trifkovic is a monarchist at all; indeed, it is partly because of right-wingers like him who do not seem to regard the fall of monarchies as particularly regrettable and do not demonstrate any respect for royalty that I no longer subscribe to Chronicles (despite having enjoyed its summer schools as mentioned in the previous post) and no longer identify with the paleoconservative "Right," even if it does remain preferable to neoconservatism.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Here is a photo of my choir on the steps of St George's Windsor (24 July), and here we are at Westminster Abbey (31 July).
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Meanwhile, Los Angeles monarchist Charles Coulombe pays tribute to Archduke Otto.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Archduke Otto, who agreed to accept the Austrian Republic in 1961 and subsequently represented republican Bavaria in the European Parliament, ironically was perhaps not as fervent a monarchist as his more enthusiastic loyal supporters, though his article Monarchy or Republic and this interview are always worth re-reading. However his political career can be seen as an attempt to preserve for the great Habsburg dynasty a role in European affairs when the world had denied it its traditional royal one. A respected figure in European politics and the only Member of the European Parliament to speak all its languages, he would have made a splendid Emperor. As long as Archduke Otto lived, into the 21st century, the remarkable theoretical possibility remained (however remote) that the Habsburg monarchy could be restored without skipping a single generation. Now this last remaining link to the Old Order is gone. While I am sorry that the de jure Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary has died, I am even sorrier that the idiotic modern world never accorded him the rank to which he was entitled. Recquiescat in Pace, Your Imperial & Apostolic Majesty.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Asked by a liberal Dutch monarchist to address the point that to him hereditary succession itself seems more rational than favouring males over females, I responded at my forum that one rational argument is that republicans especially in the Commonwealth countries would do their utmost to turn the necessary debate into one on the very existence of the monarchy itself. Most of us would rather not open that can of worms.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is relatively new, a creation of the post-Napoleonic era, so it is perhaps somewhat more appropriate for it and its even younger neighbour the Kingdom of Belgium to "move with the times" to a certain extent (though I don't really agree with the adoption of equal primogeniture there either). But the British Monarchy with its roots in the ninth century is all about Tradition, and the tradition there has been for male monarchs to be the norm (even if it doesn't quite seem like it due to three female monarchs having had exceptionally long reigns), with queens regnant the exception. Personally as an admirer of Elizabeth I, Victoria, and Elizabeth II I think that female monarchs shine when they are the exception, having come to the throne due to the absence of any (living) brothers.
I would consider it a travesty for Prince William's eldest son to be bypassed by a sister, which with the unique exception of Prince James Stuart (1688-1766) (hardly analogous to the present situation; somehow I doubt the "Glorious Revolution" was motivated by concern for gender equality) has never happened before in the history of the British monarchy. It is natural, and in accord with most monarchical traditions, for the eldest son of a king to expect to be king in turn, and cruel to deny that to him as it has been denied to Prince Carl Philip of Sweden (b 1979) whose sister Crown Princess Victoria (b 1977) would probably have preferred not to be heir to the throne. [In the Netherlands, ruled by Queens since 1890, it's a moot point at present since Prince Willem-Alexander has three daughters and no sons, but in Belgium Princess Elisabeth (b 2001) precedes her brother Prince Gabriel (b 2003), which still seems odd to me.]
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
THE LAST TRADITIONAL ROYAL WEDDING MUSIC?
Like the vast majority of the population I like to take Saturday mornings at a nice easy pace; in fact so easy that I try not to wake up until 9 o'clock at the earliest. I have to tell you that I fail every time to meet my target even though I refuse to open my eyes when I put the radio on in the early hours in the hope that the drone of the morning Overseas News Service and Weather Forecast will send me straight back to sleep again. From then on it's a toss -up whether I snooze, meditate, ruminate or contemplate.
On this particular Saturday I was thinking about the recent Royal Wedding, its colour, its pageantry, its beauty, the crowds, the music – ah the music! Having been Head Chorister at Canterbury and eventually going from there into the profession (indeed I had been a member of Westminster Abbey Choir itself), I have played my part in previous Royal occasions. Like those young choristers I was brought up to perform to high standards of discipline and technique, and was thus able to appreciate the hard work that must have gone into their performance whilst not forgetting the influence of the Master of the Choristers James O'Donnell. With their clear voices still ringing in my memory my subconscious took over and I was suddenly very much awake - “what a stupid thing to say” I declared out loud, opened my eyes and sat up in bed.
I was referring to a piece I had read about the Royal Wedding which rightly praised the wonderful choirs of men and boys of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal but then added “It's probably time for the Monarchy to rectify this ancient bias, perhaps by inaugurating a parallel girls choir”. The next day a different writer added “O what a pity....things would have been even better with female singers”!!
With my background you would hardly have expected me to go along with that kind of thinking, but I have never seen such a deliberate dollop of insane political correctness and frustrated feminism! Most of us are fed up with political correctness just about as much as with some of the the ridiculous Health and Safety rulings which spoil so much of the fun and challenges in our lives, particularly those of our young children.
It is the same political correctness that insists that whatever boys do, girls must do the same, and that a male institution must have its female equivalent however unsuitable that may be. Of course we are all agreed that girls should sing as often as possible, and let us hope the present interest in Choral singing and singing in small ensembles becomes an educational and cultural requirement for all.
However, let us also remember that the sound of a boy's voice is different from a girl's, lasting a mere 5/6 years, before developing into a Counter-tenor, Tenor or Bass. Whereas a girl's voice lasts well into maturity. There is real concern that by mixing the voices of boys and girls, the unique sound of the boy's voice will be lost. Moreover, since we are also denying girls the possibility of developing their own particular style, we are in danger of reaching a creative stalemate.
We should not underestimate the benefits of creative stimulus at an early age and the positive influence that this has in later life. The tragedy is that the opportunity for building lasting self-esteem is being denied to many disaffected young people in our society. The good news is that the potential for artistic and creative success is not merely a bolt-on for those with money and privilege. There are countless musicians, artists, writers and sportsmen and women for whom social disadvantage has not been a handicap. But at some time or another these people will have been inspired to pursue their own particular excellence by their teachers or role models.
The boy chorister is no exception. He is uniquely placed to carry forward a long and distinguished tradition into 21stcentury Britain. He is making and enjoying music – often to very exacting standards – with boys of his own age, whilst at the same time being part of an adult world. We must not deprive him of the opportunity to scale his particular heights, or the evocative “Once in Royal David's City” and “Oh for the wings of a Dove” will be lost for ever.