Sunday, 26 August 2012

A message from Prince Harry about the Paralympic Torch Relay

Along with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry is a London 2012 Paralympic Ambassador.

The following video message was recorded for the Paralympic Torch Relay, which was played during the first Flame Festival at Trafalgar Square.

Monday, 20 August 2012

The Monarchist Alternative in Spanish American Independence

Anthony McFarlane's paper focuses on the curious episode in Iberian American history when Princess Carlota Joaquina, daughter of King Carlos IV, brother of King Fernando VII of Spain, and wife of Dom João, Prince Regent of Portugal and later King João VI of Portugal, tried to assert sovereignty over the Spanish monarchy, in whole or in part, during 1808-10. Although Carlota's pretensions were unsuccessful, they are nonetheless worthy of discussion for a number of reasons.
"Royalism seems to have reached across the social spectrum from the richest to the poorest elements of society. Evidence from both Mexico and South America suggests, for example, that Indian communities tended to remain loyal to the Spanish monarchy. Their reasons no doubt include both genuine commitment to a system into which they had been firmly incorporated as Christians subjects of the crown, alongside a preference for a paternalist system in which the „republica de indios‟ enjoyed the protection of the king and, through its direct relationship to the crown, some degree of autonomy.

"Examples of Indian fidelity abound. In southern Peru, most Indian communities remained faithful to the royal cause. The Indian nobles of Cuzco was a particularly firm bastion. Despite loss of wealth and status after the Túpac Amaru rebellion, they remained committed to the Spanish monarchy on which they depended and did not rebel against Spanish government until 1814. In New Granada, the Indians of Pasto and Santa Marta played important roles in defending enclaves of royalist government, while Indian communities in coastal Caracas and Cartagena also favoured the royalist side against its republican enemies. This loyalty usually reflected the importance of traditional leadership and its ability to sustain a following, as well as political calculations arising from local disputes over resources."
McFarlane, Anthony (2012) Princess Carlota Joaquina and the Monarchist Alternative in Spanish American Independence. In: Liberalism, Monarchy and Empire: Ambiguous Relationships, 10 February 2012, Senate House, London.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The republican scapegoat for a less successful Olympic dream

Australia is suffering the blues, the Olympian blues. Instead of a rain of gold medals, the Australian athletes managed so far to gain 1 gold, 12 silver and 20 bronze medals, too little for the big egos of the sports commentators. And especially embarrassing that in the overall ranking New Zealand is placed ahead of Australia!

But The Age told its readers in an editorial on 4th August the reason: Because Australia is not a republic and the members of our Royal Family cheer exclusively for British sportspersons. Sounds stupid? Yes, it is the most stupid republican idea that could cross one’s mind.
"The princes [William and Harry], however, evidently felt no conflict of interest; it was clear who they were cheering for, as it is when they attend England v Australia rugby matches at Twickenham. They are, after all, English. And although the Queen might have been less exuberantly partisan in her behaviour if she had been present at the regatta, it is inconceivable that she would have wanted any crew other than the British pair to win."
Isn’t it fantastic how The Age’s commentator could exactly say, what the Queen of Australia would want to happen? They should leave the media business and start an astrology firm if they know so well what other people have on their mind and what they would do.

And when the Princes William and Harry turned up at the Australian Channel Nine’s Olympic studio, The Age did not like that either. When the princes wandered “into the International Broadcasting Centre with the promise of a live interview, it's 1945 again and we're singing God Save The King at the cinema. ... Meanwhile, what did we learn from the interview itself? That William is not going to go quietly; so keen was he on praising Australia he was under the delusion we'd whacked the Yanks in the pool.” The Age is linking to the video with Channel Nine's interview anyway. Have a look!