Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Emir of Qatar

Congratulations to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 33, on his accession as the new Emir of Qatar. A monarchist knows he is getting older when two of the world's monarchs (the other being the King of Bhutan), and one other head of state, are younger than he is.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wisdom from Lord Nelson

A recently auctioned letter from Britain's greatest naval hero reveals his thoughts about monarchies and republics, with which this blog heartily concurs.

"I hate rebels, I hate traitors, I hate tyranny come from where it will. I have seen much of the world, and I have learnt from experience to hate and detest republics. There is nothing but tyranny & oppression, I have never known a good act done by a Republican, it is contrary to his character under the mask of Liberty. He is a tyrant, a many headed monster that devours your happiness and property. Nothing is free from this monster's grasp. A republic has no affection for its subjects. A King may be ill advised and act wrong, a Republic never acts right, for a knot of villains support each other, and together they do what no single person dare attempt."

Transition in Qatar

Abdication seems to be The Thing To Do this year. First the Vatican, then the Netherlands, now Qatar. Sheikh Tamin (b 1980) will be the world's third head of state younger than I am, joining the King of Bhutan and that odd character in North Korea.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jordan the Survivor

As republican governments throughout the Middle East have tottered or fallen, the Kingdom of Jordan under King Abdullah II, though not without problems, remains a beacon of stability.

Germany rebuilds Berlin palace

I'm not entirely sure what I think of this project. Without a king or kaiser to live in it, what's the point? And why a "modern interior" featuring "non-European art"? The German government seem to be heading for all the usual republican criticisms of spending money on palaces without any of the advantages of an actual monarchy. That said, any attempt to reverse the dismal architectural legacy of Europe's horrific 20th century should at least improve the visual experience for residents and visitors.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

BBC "Westminster Abbey" online

Back in December I was sorry not to be able to see the BBC's new documentary on Westminster Abbey, which aired only in the UK. So I was delighted today to discover two of its three hour-long episodes (the third does not appear to have been uploaded) available via YouTube. As the Abbey is a Royal Peculiar, the church of royal weddings and coronations, there is much of particular interest to monarchists. One of the choristers is quoted saying, "we are the Queen's choristers, so we have to make sure we never let her down." Hear, hear!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Serbia's Alexander II looks ahead

Of Europe's would-be kings, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia (son of King Peter II of Yugoslavia who as this Telegraph article to its credit admits was betrayed by Churchill during World War II) may have the best chance at restoration. The recent reburials in Belgrade of his parents, grandmother, and uncle highlighted the strong interest in the royal family that persists in Serbia.  Long live King Alexander II!

Monday, June 10, 2013

German prince advocates restoration

Today is the 37th birthday of HRH Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, rightful King of Prussia and German Emperor. But it is his cousin Prince Philipp Kirill (who would be the next head of the House of Hohenzollern if not for its equal marriage requirements--his mother is not noble, while Georg Friedrich's, born a countess of Castell-Rüdenhausen, is), a Lutheran pastor and father of six, who is more committed to thoughtfully and reasonably advocating the restoration of the German monarchy, an idea which while still far from mainstream is encouragingly more popular among young Germans than older ones.

Annoyingly, most of the reactions from Local readers were hostile. I posted the following in response:

As a convinced and passionate monarchist, I am appalled--though unfortunately not really surprised--by most of the comments here. This is a thoughtful man who takes his inheritance seriously, obviously loves his country in spite of the shabby way his family have been treated since 1918, and reasonably proposes an alternative that works quite well in ten modern European countries, and all people can do is tear him down. The causes of the First World War were extremely complex and cannot be blamed on any one individual. In any case a new German monarchy would not be exactly like the old one but would be a new creation suitable for the 21st century, as the British, Dutch, and Danish monarchies manifestly are. 

I fail to see that Germany's elected presidents and politicians have been in any way an improvement on the noble and royal houses that shaped German culture and destiny for a thousand years. What happened in 1918 was a tragedy from which Western Civilization has still not recovered and must be reversed. I find it amazing that after Hitler anyone can still believe it is better for leaders to come from humble backgrounds. A king born in a palace is much safer. Everything that is good and beautiful in Germany, everything that tourists admire, comes from the time of the monarchies--not just the Hohenzollerns, but all of them, including the Wittelsbachs of Bavaria (my personal favourite)--before the apocalypse of 1918. But monarchy should not be confined to nostalgia; the principle of a head of state who by being separate from the divisive political process, precisely because he is not elected, can represent the entire nation as a politician cannot, is as relevant today as it ever was. God bless Prince Philip Kiril and long live the German monarchies!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Coronation Anniversary

This past Sunday, June 2, was the sixtieth anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey. The occasion was celebrated two days later by a commemorative service (excellent pictures at the Daily Mail) at the Abbey featuring much of the music sung at the original event and attended by a wide variety of participants and representatives as well as the entire Royal Family. Being in Brazil I was not able to watch live, but fortunately the service is available in its entirety online. (Thanks to Matt Follows of the excellent British Monarchist Society for bringing the YouTube link to my attention.)

Here is a chart I made of the Monarchs of the World at the time of the Coronation. In many ways this was a better time, especially for those countries listed which could not be included on a similar chart today. 

Peter Hitchens sounded a pessimistic note that I cannot dismiss completely, though I think the service was glorious and there is still much to celebrate in the present British Monarchy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Back from Brazil

As some readers may know, but others will not, I just returned today from a Baroque musical tour of Brazil (São Paulo and Belém), which is why I haven't posted lately. While as in Amsterdam my hopes of meeting royalty were unfulfilled (a descendant of Emperor Dom Pedro II was a registered participant at the recorder festival in São Paulo but at the last minute was unable to attend), otherwise it was a wonderful trip and everything went splendidly, with sightseeing including a visit to the Independence Monument where Emperor Dom Pedro I (1798-1834) and his two wives Empress Leopoldina (1797-1826) and Empress Amélie (1812-1873) are buried. Here is a video of me performing the Sonata No. 6 in A Minor by Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762) on May 29 at the Church of Our Lady of Consolation in São Paulo which I hope readers will enjoy:

Having visited Brazil, it and its history loom larger in my mind than previously. I can no longer accept a return to the 1914 status quo (in terms of monarchies vs republics) as minimally adequate. Brazil is too important, and its monarchical story too unique and remarkable, for monarchists to ignore. Only a return to the pre-1889 status quo (essentially 1914's monarchies plus those of Brazil, Hawaii, Portugal, and China) will do. That would still leave republicans with the continental USA, Spanish-speaking Latin America, France and its former colonies, Switzerland, San Marino, and Liberia. (They ought to be satisfied with that, the greedy bastards!)

Brazil is an amazing country. But this incorrigible royalist cannot resist pointing out that it could be even more amazing if it would restore the Monarchy that unlike any other Latin American nation guided its first 67 years of independence. Viva o Imperador!

Independence Monument

A monarchist pays his respects at the tomb of Emperor Dom Pedro I