Sunday 24 February 2008

The ABC and the Monarchy
The ABC is reluctant to show documentaries on our Royal Family. Yet, when they do they are usually a great success.

They are such a great success that the ABC shop has a whole "Monarchy section" with products all related to our Australian Royal Family.

Isn't it funny that these DVDs must be selling extraordinarily well, otherwise the ABC shop wouldn't give them a place of their own.

Have a look yourself what's on stock

Friday 15 February 2008

A photo says more than a thousand words
Every republic has the president it deserves. Sarkozy may grow with time.

Tuesday 12 February 2008

Republic in Action
France has come a huge step closer to Bonapartism, this time in disguise of Sarkozysm. The new emperor’s son, Jean Sarkozy, staged a coup against the head of the ruling UMP in Neuilly-sur-Seine, David Martinon, just four weeks before the French local elections. David Martinon is not just anybody, but spokesman of the Elysée Palace, where Jean’s dad happens to be residing as president. And Neuilly is not any part of Paris, but the richest and considered the most “chic”, where Nicolas Sarkozy started his political career. Young Jean looks to be a little bit young to become Mayor of Neuilly, but 21 may be the right age for the Prince Impérial to stretch his wings.

David Martinon misjudged the court of l’empereur Sarkozy. Being considered close to the president’s ex-wife, Cécilia Sarkozy, Martinon fell out of grace at the palace and had to pay the price for bad opinion polls. Since an early honeymoon after he was elected in May 2007, when 68 percent approved of M. Sarkozy, the polls plummeted further and further. This month Sarkozy's approval rating had fallen to its lowest point since he was elected. Pollster IPSOS said it had fallen 10 points to 39 per cent, while rival CSA said it had dropped six points to 42 per cent. Even in the UMP’s stronghold Neuilly-sur-Seine opinion polls saw a rival list of candidates ahead of the president’s party.

Last Sunday evening Nicolas Sakozy tried to sound like a statesman and addressed the nation explaining why it was perfectly alright that the French people had no say in the Lisbon Treaty. The new EU treaty was signed on 13th December 2007 in the Portuguese capital and is the EU’s answer to the refusal of the French and Dutch voters to accept the EU Constitution. The new treaty was passed by the French Assembly and the Senate last week and will become effective on 14th February. Sarkozy put it plainly: He had promised the French people in his election manifesto that he would have a new treaty passed by parliament rather than holding a referendum with uncertain outcome. He kept this election promise. He did not promise more democracy, but “reforms”. Change is all that matters. The local elections on 9th March, which he styled a “national test”, may bring a result he will not like.

The French president shows all signs of a politician who overrates his ego. He might soon face the people whom he did not dare to ask about their approval to the new EU treaty on the streets to fight an unpopular policy – and an unpopular president. His presidency looks more like Napoléon’s court than the model republic all those advocates of this “modern” form of state proclaim. Sarkozy shows how old this republican model really looks like.

Sunday 10 February 2008

Portugal's King in waiting: Dom Duarte Pio

Portugal was the first country in the 20th century to lose her Monarchy, yet the claimant to the Portuguese throne hopes the country will be the first in the 21st century to win back the Monarchy. Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Bragança, is confident of re-gaining the throne that was taken away from the Royal House of Bragança in 1910 because recent opinion polls demonstrated that up to 30 percent of the people would not mind having a King instead of a president. This high approval rate for a Crowned Head of State is not just nostalgia, but is to a large extent Dom Duarte’s good reputation as someone who cares about the country and the environment. Since the 1970s he has advocated organic farming, he is an outspoken critic of the destruction of the landscape in rural areas, where holiday homes replace farm houses. He travels the country and listens to the people, but not as a politician who wants to catch their votes, but as someone who cares. Though the Monarchist People’s Party (Partido Popular Monárquico – PPM) has deputies in the national assembly, the King in waiting keeps his distance even to his most loyal supporters. He knows as King it would be dangerous to be affiliated with a single party. He is above party lines and has supporters in nearly all democratic parties.

On the other hand he formed a non-partisan organisation, the Causa Real, the Royal Cause, which has 10,000 members all over Portugal. Recently the organisation elected a new chairman: Paulo Teixeira Pinto. He had served Portuguese presidents and prime ministers in the last 30 years before quitting politics and becoming secretary general of Portugal’s Central Bank. Then he joined the country’s biggest finance group. After leaving the Millenium Bank he re-organised his personal life and became a solicitor. He seems to be determined to promote the Cause Real to a new level and make it a vehicle for Dom Duarte’s claims to the throne.

Born on 15th May 1945 in Berne/Switzerland, Dom Duarte and his family were banned from entering Portugal until in 1950 the National Assembly repealed the laws of exile. In 1951 Dom Duarte visited Portugal for the first time accompanied by his aunt the Infanta Filippa. In 1952 he moved to Portugal permanently with his parents and his two brothers.

From 1957 to 1959 Dom Duarte was enrolled in the Colégio Nuno Álvares in Santo Tirso in Northern Portugal. In 1960 he entered the Military College in Lisbon. He attended the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (now part of the Technical University of Lisbon) where he received a degree in agricultural sciences. Later he attended the Graduate Institute of Development Studies of the University of Geneva.

From 1968 to 1971 Dom Duarte did military service and worked as a helicopter pilot in the Portuguese Air Force in Angola. In 1972 he participated with a multi-ethnic Angolan group in the organization of an independent list of candidates to the National Assembly. This resulted in his expulsion from Angola by order of the then Portuguese Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano. He assumed the rights and duties as Head of Portugal's Royal Family on the death of his father, Dom Duarte Nuno, on 24th December 1976.

When Dom Duarte married the Portuguese noblewoman Isabel de Herédia on 13th May 1995 the country enjoyed the first royal wedding since the marriage of King Dom Luís in 1862. The ceremony, televised throughout Portugal and other Portuguese speaking countries including Brazil, Angola and Mozambique, was celebrated in the Monastery of Jerónimos in Lisbon and presided over by the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal António Ribeiro, and attended by the president of the republic, Mário Soares, the president of the National Assembly, the then prime minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva, who was elected president of Portugal in January 2006.

The birth of Infante Afonso, Prince of Beira, on 25th March 1996 was the first royal birth in Portugal since the birth of Dom Manuel II, Portugal’s last King, in 1889. With two more children born in 1997, Infanta Maria Francisca, and Infante Dinis, Duke of Porto, in 1999 the succession is secure and the Portuguese Royal Family will florish in the 21st century, ready to ascend to the throne.

Official website of the Portuguese Royal Family

Video on the Portuguese Royal Family

The Royal Wedding in 1995 (part 1 of 18 parts!):

King Manuel II (1889-1932)

Wednesday 6 February 2008

On Wednesday 6 February 2008, the Governor-General, His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC sent the following message to Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of the 56th Anniversary of Her Accession to the Throne:

"It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the people of Australia, to send to Your Majesty loyal and affectionate greetings on the Anniversary of Your Accession to the Throne”.

On a much more enthusiastic note the Canadian Government asked all Canadians to celebrate the accession of the Queen of Canada to the throne:

Statement by the Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) on Accession Day
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwir e - Feb. 5, 2008) -

February 6 marks the anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne as Queen of Canada.

For more than 50 years, Her Majesty has been a constant reminder of our heritage as a constitutional monarchy and of our unique identity-of our origins and of our constant evolution.

As Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last year, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's "lifelong dedication to duty and self-sacrifice have been a source of inspiration and encouragement to the many countries that make up the Commonwealth and to the people of Canada."

I would like to take the opportunity presented by Accession Day to encourage all Canadians to express their pride in our identity as a constitutional monarchy and in the democratic heritage left to us by our forbears.

For more information, please contact
Office of the Honourable Jason Kenney, PC, MP,
Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)
Alykhan Velshi, Director of Communications