Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Dutch King and Queen to visit Australia and New Zealand soon

When Willem-Alexander and Máxima visited ten years ago, they where still Crown Prince and Crown Princess. Last time they arrived down under on 23rd October. In 2016 they will touch down in Perth for their official state visit from 31st October to 4th November, and in New Zealand from 7th to 9th November.

Their Majesties will be accompanied on the visit by Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, Minister for Foreign Trade Lilianne Ploumen, and Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp.

Monday, 31st October & Tuesday, 1st November – Perth
The King and Queen will spend the first two days of their visit in Western Australia. Following a welcome ceremony at Government House, the royal couple will go to Fremantle port and the Western Australian Maritime Museum, where they will spend time in the Shipwreck Galleries among others.
On Tuesday, Their Majesties will visit Curtin University, where in the Curtin Hube for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (HIVE) they will be shown how data is converted into 3D images for use in research. The day’s programme will end at Ascot Racecourse, where the King and Queen will be able to follow the Melbourne Cup races.

Wednesday, 2nd November – Canberra
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s time in Canberra will begin on a sombre note when they lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial before meeting Australian and Dutch veterans of the Second World War and wars in Afghanistan. The will also visit the MH17 monument and meet Australian officals who provided assistance in response to the MH17 plane crash. After a lunch at Government House, the King and Queen will meet with Australians of Dutch descent at the National Archives.

Wednesday, 2nd November & Thursday, 3rd November – Sydney
From Canberra, the King and Queen will travel to Sydney to attend a concert by Dutch pianists Lucas and Arthur Jussen at the Sydney Opera House.

The next morning the royal pair will attend a meeting of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency on potential Australian investments in the Netherlands, following which the King and Queen will be given a tour of research projects on which Australian and Dutch students are working together at the University of Sydney. After visiting the university, King Willem-Alexander will attend the final session of a meeting between Dutch and Australian CEOs, while Queen Máxima will attend the close of a meeting on smart cities.

Friday, 4th November – Brisbane
On their last day in Australia, the King and Queen will visit Queensland University of Technology to hear about the water management partnership between the Netherlands and Australia. They will then take a boat ride down the Brisbane River to see the measures taken to combat flooding, and will end their visit at the Queensland Art Gallery.

Monday, 7th November – Wellington
After the weekend, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will arrive in the capital city of New Zealand, where they will be greeted by a traditional welcome ceremony at Government House. They will lay a wreath at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, before embarking on a guided tour of the Great War Exhibition that was created by director Peter Jackson, who hails from New Zealand. Their Majesties will also visit Park Road Post Production, where the sound and pictures for films including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies were edited. The day will end with a banquet at Government House.

Tuesday, 8th November – Christchurch
The King and Queen will begin their day with a visit to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, which runs a breeding programme for the endangered New Zealand kiwi, before traveling to the headquarters of the Ng'i Tahu Iwi, the largest Maori tribe on the South Island. Later, the royal couple will visit the city of Christchurch to view the effects of the earthquake in 2011 and the redevelopment efforts.

Wednesday, 9th November – Auckland
During their final day Down Under, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the Auckland Art Gallery, and attend an economic conference on the future of food. Finally, the King and Queen will visit the training vessel Spirit of New Zealand which teaches skills like communication and leadership while on sailing trips, before departing for the Netherlands.

The main focus of thess state visits will be on expanding the Netherlands’ long-standing bilateral ties with the two countries, and will draw attention to the military and academic partnerships between Australia and the Netherlands. In New Zealand, almost 60 businesses will participate in a trade mission about horticulture, life sciences and health, smart cities and sports, with the view to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions to societal challenges.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Happy Queen's Birthday Holiday

To all loyal Australians: A Happy Queen's Birthday Holiday!

And to all those republicans - especially in the media - who can't help it, but denounce our lady sovereign queen, well, keep on writing and publishing nasty opinion pieces and keep ignoring her 90th birthday totally (Melbourne's daily newspaper The Age manages to print not a single line on the birthday celebrations in the UK, which have been reported all over the world.)

It is sad to say it, but it gives a certain kind of satisfaction to know, that rather sooner than later The Age will no longer be printed on workdays. After 150 years it will stop being sold in newspaper shops, only The Saturday and Sunday Age will continue to be sold. However, our local newspapershop does no longer open on Sundays, which will certainly not help stabilizing the sales figures of The Age.

The Australian Monarchy will survive the printed Fairfax media. That gives an Australian Monarchist some satisfaction.

Her Majesty in the centre: Trooping the Colour to honour her 90th and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's 95th birthday.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Head of the German Imperial Family turns 40

While the Commonwealth countries and everyone who is interested in our royal family celebrate the 95th birthday of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, in Germany Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia can celebrate his 40th birthday.

In March 2015 Prince Georg Wilhelm welcomed the British Ambassador, Sir Simon McDonald, KCMB, on the castle of Hohenzollern, the family's ancient home.

Prince Georg Friedrich is the only son of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (1944–1977) and Countess Donata of Castell-Rüdenhausen (1950-2015), born a member of a mediatized princely family. In 1991 she married her former sister-in-law's ex-husband, Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg and was then known as Duchess Donata of Oldenburg.

His grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia dedicated his memoirs to his grandson and heir.

After the death of his father in a severe accident during military maneuvers Prince Georg Friedrich spent much of his youth in the care and under the guidance of his paternal grandfather. He attended grammar schools in Bremen and Oldenburg and completed his education at Glenalmond College near Perth, Scotland, where he passed his A-levels.

Prince Georg Friedrich and his mother, Princess Donata at Glenalmond College near Perth.
He volunteered for a two-year stint in the Alpine troops of the German army, where he was known simply as "Preuße" ("Prussia"). Georg Friedrich took his degree in business economics at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Saxony.

Prince Georg Friedrich succeeded his grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, as Head of the House of Hohenzollern on 25th September 1994.

On 21st January 2011, Prince Georg Friedrich announced his engagement to Princess Sophie Johanna Maria of Isenburg (born 7th March 1978), daughter of Prince (Fürst) Franz-Alexander of Isenburg (from the Catholic branch of Isenburg-Büdingen-Birstein) by his wife, Princess (Fürstin) Christine, neé Countess of Saurma and Baroness von und zu der Jeltsch. The wedding took place at the Church of Peace (Sanssouci) in Potsdam on 27th August 2011.

On 20th January 2013, Prince Georg Friedrich's wife Princess Sophie gave birth to twin sons in Bremen:

HRH Prince Carl Friedrich Franz Alexander of Prussia
HRH Prince Louis Ferdinand Christian Albrecht of Prussia

Prince Carl Friedrich, the elder of the two, is the heir apparent. The boys were baptized in the Chapel of St. Michael at Hohenzollern Castle on 24 June 2013.

Visitors of the castle of Hohenzollern can see the genealogical tree of the Hohenzollern family. At the top end are the latest heads and heirs of the Imperial House: Crown Prince Wilhelm +1951, Prince Louis Ferdinand +1994, Prince Louis Ferdinand Jr. +1977, Prince Georg Friedrich (present head of the family) and Prince Carl Friedrich, the heir who was born in 2013.
Their third child, a daughter, was born on 2nd April 2015.

HRH Princess Emma Marie Charlotte Sophie of Prussia.

Princess Emma was baptized in the Chapel of St. Michael at Hohenzollern Castle on 13th June 2015. Her godparents are Archduchess Katharina of Austria (mother's sister) and Prince Otto of Castell-Rüdenhausen (father's first cousin).

Prince Georg Friedrich is also in the line of succession to the British throne. At present he is holding position 179 according to the William Reitwiesner's list.

Friday, 3 June 2016

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan celebrates the Centenary of the Great Arab Revolt

The Hashemite Family members at the Great Arab Revolt Centennial Ceremony

Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, well known as the leader of the Great Arab Revolt and the Sharif of Mecca, was born in Ottoman Istanbul in 1853. Though well acquainted with imperial politics, Sharif Hussein spent a significant portion of his life among the bedouin Arabs of the Hijaz, immersing himself in the political life of Arabia. In 1908, the Ottomans, recognising his influence in the region, appointed him Emir (Prince) of Mecca.

As Ottoman policies grew more oppressive after the coup of the “Young Turks”, Sharif Hussein earned support among Arabs by opposing Istanbul's totalistic policies in the Hijaz. Some historians say that, even then, he was preparing for Arab independence. Indeed, the idea that the Arabic-speaking people were a nation, deserving of independent recognition, is often thought to have originated with Sharif Hussein.

In 1916, Sharif Hussein allied the Arabs with British forces, leading, along with his sons, Abdullah and Faisal, numerous tribes from the Hijaz in a revolt that liberated the Levant from Ottoman control. Bearing the Hashemite name and tradition of the Aal Al Bayt, Sharif Hussein was the central figure in the revolt, earning the title, “King of the Arabs.” After this victory, however, European powers failed to honour their commitment to support Arab sovereignty and instead, installed colonial rule throughout the Levant.

Sharif Hussein died in Amman in 1931.

King Abdullah I and the Founding of Jordan

The first king and founder of the state of Jordan was born in 1882 in Mecca. Like his father, Abdullah began life as a representative of the Ottoman court but his prestigious education and exposure to Arab tribal customs soon made him aware of the growing nationalist sentiment among his people.

In the Arab Revolt, Abdullah led several Arab battalions against the Ottoman Turks. Afterwards, he left the Hijaz and settled in Maan, where he was received as a leader and sharif. While the European governments were dividing the region among themselves, Abdullah was building support and unity among the tribes and townspeople of Jordan.

The future king led a modest existence, often staying with leaders of different sects and sectors of society, developing relationships with them. He spent much of his time amongst the local bedouin tribes. In 1921, he organised his first government in Amman, thus establishing the Emirate of Transjordan.

For the next thirty years, Emir Abdullah concentrated his efforts on state-building. In 1928, the Prince oversaw the country’s first legislative council and the drafting of a constitution. One year later, he held the first parliamentary elections. On 22 March 1946, Transjordan secured its independence, and Abdullah was crowned king later that year.

More on the 70th anniversary of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan here.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

70 Years The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

On 25th May 1946 - to this day 70 years ago - a new Kingdom was born. H.H. Emir Abdullah of Transjordan (1921 - 1946) proclaimed the independent Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and he became His Majesty King Abdullah I.

King Abdullah I bin al-Hussein

Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, was born in February 1882 born in Mecca, Hejaz, which then belonged to the Ottoman Empire, and he was the second of three sons of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah. He was educated in Istanbul, Turkey and Hijaz. From 1909 to 1914, Abdullah sat in the Ottoman legislature, as deputy for Mecca, but allied with Britain during World War I. Between 1916 to 1918, working with the British guerrilla leader T. E. Lawrence, he played a key role as architect and planner of the Great Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule, leading guerrilla raids on garrisons.

When he assumed the Throne of Transjordan in 1921, he established the first centralised government out of a mostly tribal and nomadic society in this territory. Over the next 30 years, he focused on nation building and developing the institutional foundations of modern Jordan. He is also remembered for promulgating Jordan’s first Constitution in 1928 and holding the country’s first parliamentary elections in 1929.

During these three decades, King Abdullah I presided over a series of Anglo-Transjordanian treaties, culminating in the 1946 Anglo-Transjordanian Treaty, ending the British mandate and granting the new Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan full independence. He laid down the basis for democracy in the Kingdom and called for political pluralism. The first political party was formed during his reign. A poet himself, he used to meet with poets, writers and scholars and discuss the country’s affairs.

On 20th July 1951, King Abdullah, while visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, was shot dead by a Palestinian from the Husseini clan. He was succeeded by his son King Talal bin Abdullah (26th February 1909 – 7th July 1972). Under the reign of King Talal the country prepared a new liberalised Constitution in 1952, which introduced a culture of Arab unity by declaring Jordan part of the Arab nation. During the short reign reign, Jordan concluded important agreements including a pan-Arab collective security agreement and announced compulsory free education. The introduction of compulsory free education, the first of its kind in Jordan and the Arab world, had a positive impact on the country’s future development.

King Talal bin Abdullah
Born in Mecca in 1909, King Talal studied at the British Military Academy, Sandhurst, and in 1929 became the first Jordanian officer to graduate from the institute. As an officer of the Arab Army, he participated in battles between Arab and Israeli forces in Jerusalem, Ramallah and other Palestinian towns. In 1934, he married Zein Al Sharaf, the late Queen Mother, who died in 1994.

He was King of Jordan from 20th July 1951 until forced to abdicate in favour of his son Hussein due to health reasons on 11th August 1952.

Hussein ibn Talal was born on 14th November 1935, in his parents' villa in Amman, in what was then the Emirate of Transjordan. His family's circumstances were modest. Though heir to the throne, his father, Talal ibn Abdallah, supported his family of three sons and a daughter on an allowance of pounds 1,000 a year. Hussein received his primary education at schools in Amman and then at 13 was sent to Victoria College, Alexandria, an Egyptian boarding school on the British model. He recalled repairing his school uniform with a needle and thread to spare his parents the expense of replacing it. 

Prince Hussein was standing only a few feet away when his grandfather was murdered, and saw the king's bloodstained turban roll across the floor in front of him. The 16 year-old only escaped death himself by what seemed a miracle: a bullet aimed at him struck a medal on his uniform. He was thrown backwards but otherwise unhurt; his grandfather had given him the medal only the day before.

At the time of his coronation, on 2nd May 1953, Hussein was just 18 (by the Islamic calendar). His cousin Faisal II of Iraq  was crowned King of Iraq on the same day. Having ascended the throne as a teenager, he was as a young king the target of numerous attempted coups and assassinations. Later, two Arab-Israeli wars and a civil war threatened the existence of his throne and the state itself. He was under threat as much from political enemies among his Arab neighbours as from a militarily superior Israel.

The result of King Hussein's determination to safeguard his position is a country which enjoys a degree of openness, stability and prosperity not widely achieved by other Arab states. The King also secured the prize that had eluded his predecessors: a peace treaty with Israel.

King Hussein was motivated by a strongly mystical, if sentimental, belief in his own destiny as the only remaining Hashemite king. His dynasty traced its ancestry back to the Prophet Mohammed and beyond, and had ruled Mecca for seven centuries until it was seized by Saudi forces in 1925.

King Hussein and Princess Muna with their sons, Prince Abdullah and Prince Faisal, later followed the twins Princess Aisha and Princess Zein.

But in King Hussein's mind the ideal of a universal Hashemite monarchy persisted, taking the form of a benign authoritarianism that drew legitimacy from Islam and the traditional values of the desert Arab.

At the end of July 1998, it was made public that King Hussein was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. On 7th February 1999, King Hussein died of complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was, at the time of his death, one of the longest-serving leaders in international politics. He had been the King of Jordan for over 46 years. His successor was his eldest son, Crown Prince Abdullah.

Just present and fourth King, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein was born on 30th January 1962 and has been the King of Jordan since he ascended the throne on 7th February 1999 upon the death of his father.

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania with their children, Princess Salman, Prince Hashem, Princess Iman and Crown Prince Hussein.
He was born to King Hussein and his second wife, the British-born Princess Muna al-Hussein. Abdullah was named Crown Prince shortly after his birth. King Hussein transferred the title to his own brother, Prince Hassan, in 1965, only to return it to Abdullah in 1999. King Abdullah is married to Queen Rania of Jordan, who is of Palestinian origin.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Republics divide ...

... Monarchies unite.

Here is a photo of King Faisal II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq, in 1957 clergy of all spectrums of Iraq's Christian, Muslim and Yazidi communities.

A year later King Faisal II and many members of Iraq's Royal Family were hacked to death.

Since the military putsch on 14th July (!) 1958 Iraq has been in turmoil.

The loss of the Iraqi Monarchy cost millions of people their life. The murder of King Faisal was only the beginning. The Christian churches of the East are disappearing in what was Mesopotamia; the century old community of the Yazidi are on the brink of extinction and the muslim communities are bitterly fighting against each other.

It would be the start of a healing process to bring back the King of Iraq. He is living in neighbouring Jordan.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Camilla and The Night Manager

The Daily Telegraph reported the first meeting of HRH Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and Tom Hiddleston who won fame in the BBC's great thriller success The Night Manager, which was on air in March in the UK, on Foxtel in Australia and is presently shown in the USA.

The Duchess didn't mind Tom Hiddleston's arm on her shoulder.
Obviously the Duchess watched the five-part mini series as this dialogue proves:
"After [BBC Radio 2 host Chris] Evans greeted her with a kiss on the cheek, he introduced the Duchess to Hiddleston, saying: 'Your Royal Highness, The Night Manager.'

"The Duchess said: 'Hello Night Manager, how are you? Sunday nights just aren't the same without you.'

"'Well I can only apologise unreservedly for that,' said Hiddleston

"'But you might come back again?' the Duchess asked hopefully.

"'Well you never know,' he replied. 'We will have to ask John Le Carré [the writer].'

"'Well it was brilliant, the Duchess said. 'Everyone sat gripped.'"
Once again Her Royal Highness showed her good taste.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Yehudi Menuhin believed in constitutional Monarchy

The Right Honourable The Lord Menuhin OM KBE
Yehudi Menuhin, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, was an American-born violinist and conductor, who spent most of his performing career in Britain, where he became a monarchist. He received a knighthood in 1985 and in 1993  Sir Yehudi was bestowed a life peerage by the Queen as The Right Honourable The Lord Menuhin OM KBE. He was born 100 years ago on 22nd April 1916 and died on 12th March 1999.

In its 1975 summer edition The Monarchist - Journal of the Monarchist League published the following letter to the editor by Yehudi Menuhin:
Thank you for sending me a copy of The Monarchist. Having read it, though, I would like to take this opportunity to point out a fundamental weakness in your proposition.
Constitutional monarchy is the genius of the British nation whose people understand what your philosophy has failed to realise, viz., that the very heart of the system is ineluctably welded to democracy. It is palpably obvious that the highest position in the land is utterly without power, and by this very token our responsibility for the weaker, courtesy for principle, and pride in the sharing of power between all citizens, from Palace to Pub, upheld.
I believe that constitutional monarchy is the best defence of democracy.
Yours sincerely,
Yehudi Menuhin,
London N6