Friday, 31 December 2010
When The Age yesterday published Margaret Fitzherbert’s serious and non-polemic thoughts on an overhaul of the succession laws to the British throne, nasty comments could be expected. And indeed, among of the 21 comments online there were the usual stupid remarks(“I'm not sure why we're even wasting time thinking about the succession to the British throne, when we're set to become a republic..."). However, the printed edition today contained only one letter to the editor. It came from the usual suspect: Barry Everingham, Malvern. “This is offensive in egalitarian Australia.” And so on and so on ...
That’s the same man, who on 3rd December 2007 published a Republican call to arms, which, much to his chagrin, was equally ignored as were his other attacks on the Australian Monarchy, for which he usually chooses Murdoch’s tabloid papers.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
Tim Elliott considered it funny when last week he ridiculed The Queen’s Christmas message in a “pre”-review published in The Age’s Green Guide (=TV guide): “She switches on, tunes in and says pretty much exactly what she has said for the past 50 years.”
This week’s edition of the Green Guide published two responses:
Monarch’s moving message
Tim Elliott (Critic’s view, Saturday 23rd December) could not have been more wrong when he predicted the Queen’s message would be another boring round-up of the past year. Instead, the message described and encouraged sport as a force for peace and a stronger community.
Bryan F., Nyora
You media people just don’t get it when it comes to the Queen. A lot of us look foward to the Queen’s message on Christmas Day and we find your snide remarks offensive.
Garry K., Richmond
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
The Indian occupation of Sikkim is an ongoing violation of international rights.
In reaction to a previous posting the RadicalRoyalist received a testimonial from a former fellow student of Prince Wangchuk Tenzing Namgyal (*1st April 1953), second son of the 12th Chogyal of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal (+ 29th January 1982). He was crowned as Sikkim's 13th king after his elder brother, Crown Prince Tenzing Namgyal was killed in a road "accident" on 11th March 1978.
David from London wrote: "I have read much about the political situation in Sikkim, especially at the time the 11th Chogyal was dealing with the Nepalese, the Indians and the Chinese. It certainly is a tragic story, after so many centuries of the monarchy. It would be very interesting to get the perspective of the 13th Chogyal on the situation – although I don’t suppose much will change now.
A small story about Wangchuk that may amuse you:"
Sikkim's Royal Family, Prince Wangchuk is second from the right(with spectacles).
He [Prince Wangchuk] used to accompany a small group of us to the pub at lunchtimes. He was never a big drinker, but used to participate in the banter, and enjoy the company.
One day I asked him where he came from - he replied:
“Sikkim – it’s a small country in the Himalayas, between Bhutan and Nepal”.
I then asked, “So why are you here in London, Wangchuk?”
“Oh, my father thought it would be a good idea for me to get a British education”.
My next question was: “So what does your father do in Sikkim, Wangchuk?”
“Oh, he’s in the government.”
“So what does he do in the government, Wangchuk?”
“Oh, he’s quite senior actually...”
“Well, how senior, Wangchuk?”
“Well, really quite senior.”
“Come on, Wangchuk – what does he do??”
“Oh for goodness sake, he’s the King, OK?!”
Stunned silence ensued, followed by an animated conversation about the political situation, and how unhappy his father was...
Wangchuk was always the most charming chap, although quite self effacing. I enjoyed his company immensely.
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Her Majesty Queen Beatrix I of the Netherlands
Christmas Speech 2010
The song just sung, the first words read: "That is from the world's dark clouds, a light upon light absorbed." It is the light of Jesus' birth. His arrival on earth and the way he has gone for focusing on what gives life meaning and value. Christmas inspires reflect on what we find important. These are days of reflection on questions which we want to give attention to everything that we value for ourselves, each other and a future in which we can believe.
Every person needs a safe place and a life in harmony with others, together we are part of a society. Therefore we must ensure the base remains strong and balanced proportions. Fear of change leads to vague unrest and uncertainty about the future. Then comes the social fabric under tension. When people no longer recognize the familiar, distrust grows. But patience, respect and solidarity can counterbalance. It comes down to social solidarity. The challenge is always to each other in solving problems. Anyone who feels participant, is also strengthened in the sense of self.
Anyone who wishes to contribute to understanding and trust must be prepared to confront their own prejudices and his actions to assess the consequences for other people and the consequences for society as a whole. Each community has its roots in social awareness and responsibility takes over and over again. Humanity, compassion and solidarity are forces that bind and offer support in difficult times.
Support is also sought in personal life. In the power of people's convictions can find inner security. But when the waves are high in life takes courage to go to hold on to principles. Against the tide comes down to perseverance.
Stories from World War II, we know impressive examples of personal courage, when people themselves are not considered brave, but stood for their principles. Their choice had serious consequences for others and for themselves. Despite fear and despair she felt after all the strength to remain true to their faith in human solidarity.
That world of war, thankfully, long gone. In the narrative history of younger generations, therefore, play a role in other examples. Again, some people - far away and sometimes approaches - taking action where injustice prevails. There is still need courage to stay strong and brave opposition. We too may be asking yourself: where do we stand when it comes to justice?
The conscience is the touchstone that determines the choice. By working from principles to deal with good and evil is one's conscience is formed from childhood. Therein lies the basis of personal conviction and perseverance. Those who own choices must be addressed not only to themselves but also justify to others.
Every day we notice that on assumptions and expectations of the public interest differences of opinion. The danger exists that the joint is concealed and differences are magnified. Then walls of alleged contradictions raised and hardened positions. But it is important to seek what unites and to encourage one another.
Divergent views together of course with an open society. We can not deny the differences, but they see it as a starting point for social dialogue. It is not necessary to persuade each other to endure. That is the basis of mutual respect.
We also find encouragement in the sharing of values which have been shaped over the centuries. These are recognizable in many places where people find themselves together peacefully and work together. Traditionally this is based on tolerance, diligence and helpfulness. These principles are essential today. Treat others as you want them to treat you. Thus, Jesus is the famous golden rule - what you do not want done to yourself that even a non - formulated positively.
With the processes that govern human life we are all involved. In many respects we are linked. By focusing on a common perspective, we try to overcome fear and suspicion and a good balance between 'us' and 'them'. The message of faith, hope and love Christmas gives us inspiration and encouragement.
I wish you all a blessed Christmas to.
His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain
Quiero que mis primeras palabras sean para transmitir de corazón a todos los españoles mis mejores deseos de paz, prosperidad y felicidad en estas Fiestas Navideñas y para el Año Nuevo 2011.
Llegamos al final de un año difícil y complejo, marcado por una crisis económica, en España y en otros países, más larga e intensa de lo esperado. En nuestro caso ha puesto de manifiesto desequilibrios y deficiencias estructurales que hemos de resolver juntos con eficacia y prontitud.
Lo más doloroso es que ha golpeado a tantos hombres y mujeres que han sufrido -en su propia carne o en sus familias- la pérdida de empleos. Los parados concentran nuestras preocupaciones; son una prioridad insoslayable. La sociedad española no puede dejar que, especialmente, tantos jóvenes carezcan por más tiempo de un trabajo.
Pienso asimismo en quienes han tenido que cerrar comercios, talleres o negocios. En todas las personas que han asumido grandes sacrificios y esfuerzos a lo largo de este año: trabajadores asalariados, autónomos, profesionales, empresarios, pensionistas o funcionarios. Todos ellos merecen nuestro más amplio respaldo. Sus múltiples desvelos diarios y los de millones de familias, cuentan con nuestra mayor gratitud pues contribuyen al bien de todos.
La crisis ha requerido la adopción de importantes decisiones por parte de nuestros poderes e instituciones públicas a todos los niveles. A escala europea ha exigido concertar nuevas iniciativas. Pese a ciertos signos alentadores, todavía no se ha logrado una plena estabilización y recuperación internacional.
Es preciso seguir adelante con empeño, ganar la batalla al paro con decisión, constancia y firmeza; mejorar en productividad y competitividad, en educación e innovación; y volver a situar a nuestra economía con visión de futuro en el pelotón de cabeza, manteniendo nuestra protección y cohesión social.
Sin un crecimiento adecuado no crearemos empleo. Y para crecer como necesitamos, debemos proseguir y abordar juntos las reformas necesarias, cumpliendo además nuestros compromisos en materia presupuestaria y de déficit. Se trata de modernizar nuestro modelo productivo y de generar mayor confianza para reactivar nuestra economía, proyectando al mundo nuevos ejemplos de vitalidad y de impulso como sociedad.
Pudimos salir con éxito de anteriores crisis económicas. Disponemos de las condiciones y de los instrumentos necesarios para lograrlo de nuevo.
Somos una gran Nación, orgullosa de su pluralidad y diversidad, integrada en la Unión Europea con la que estamos comprometidos y por la que siempre hemos apostado. Un país de personas laboriosas y creativas, con una juventud espléndida, un inmenso y variado patrimonio cultural, modernas infraestructuras y muchas empresas punteras a escala internacional. La misma España que ha sido capaz de progresar y de superar con éxito muchas pruebas.
No hemos llegado hasta aquí para dejarnos vencer por las dificultades, para renunciar a nuestras ambiciones de construir un país cada vez mejor.
Debemos desterrar el desánimo, levantar la cabeza, aunar esfuerzos y continuar la faena, conscientes de lo que somos, de lo que ya tenemos y de lo que podemos avanzar.
Los nuevos tiempos requieren grandes compromisos por parte de todos. Si queremos ganar el futuro, debemos mirar más allá, estimular ilusiones y fortalecer capacidades, sabiendo que juntos llegaremos siempre más lejos.
Por todo ello, para salir de la crisis y asegurar nuevos horizontes de prosperidad y de bienestar, necesitamos unidad, responsabilidad y solidaridad. Estos son los mejores aliados para vencer dificultades y alimentar nuestras esperanzas. Los mismos que han guiado a otros países.
Creo que la actual situación ha puesto de relieve lo evidente: de cómo le vaya a España depende cómo le vaya a cada uno de los españoles. Por eso, no caben actitudes individuales ni colectivas de indiferencia o de egoísmo, que a la postre nos dañan a todos.
Nada que valga la pena se consigue sin renuncias y sin entrega. Es preciso fomentar el ejercicio de grandes valores y virtudes como la voluntad de superación, el rigor, el sacrificio y la honradez. Valores y virtudes cuya ausencia no es ajena al origen de la crisis, y que son consustanciales a toda sociedad justa y equitativa.
En definitiva, debemos unir nuestras fuerzas para alcanzar nuevos logros colectivos, con confianza en nosotros mismos y en nuestro país, contando con la acción de nuestras instituciones en el marco de convivencia y estabilidad que asegura nuestra Constitución.
Todos, empezando por nuestros partidos políticos y agentes económicos y sociales, somos importantes para conjugar voluntades en esta dirección, con generosidad, sentido de Estado y pensando en el interés general.
Quiero reiterar esta noche que el terrorismo solo suscita condena y repudio en cuantos defendemos la libertad y la democracia. No nos debe faltar determinación para acabar con esta lacra. Honremos y arropemos con todo nuestro cariño y solidaridad a las víctimas de la violencia terrorista y a sus familias.
Por otro lado, continuemos prestando la máxima atención a los excluidos y marginados, trabajando por la igualdad de oportunidades y en apoyo de los discapacitados. Redoblemos asimismo esfuerzos para combatir las drogas y terminar con la inaceptable violencia de género. Y por supuesto, cuidemos más nuestro entorno natural.
Nos jugamos mucho a diario en el mundo complejo y competitivo en que vivimos. Por eso tenemos que defender el papel y los intereses de España en el plano internacional y mantener nuestros compromisos con la paz y el desarrollo de muchas naciones necesitadas. En este marco dirijo mi gratitud y afecto, a los miembros de nuestras Fuerzas Armadas y Cuerpos de Seguridad desplazados en otros países, que han sufrido la pérdida de compañeros que permanecen en nuestro recuerdo.
Pero el año 2010 nos deja también alegrías, realizaciones y esperanzas, incluidos numerosos triunfos inolvidables en la historia de nuestro deporte. ¡Estoy convencido de que 2011 nos aportará nuevos éxitos y avances en muchos campos!
He contado siempre, y muy especialmente este año, con el afecto de los españoles y con el activo apoyo del Príncipe de Asturias. Al expresar mi agradecimiento quiero, una vez más, asegurar que sigo y seguiré cumpliendo siempre con ilusión mis funciones constitucionales al servicio de España. Es sin duda mi deber, pero es también mi pasión.
Quiero terminar reiterando mi plena confianza en España y en nuestros ciudadanos. Confianza en nuestra capacidad y fortaleza para dejar a nuestros hijos y nietos un país cada vez mejor, con mayor prosperidad en cada pueblo, ciudad y Comunidad Autónoma. En suma, plena confianza en que seguiremos progresando.
¡Muy feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo 2011, en nombre propio y de mi Familia, a todos los españoles y a cuantos extranjeros viven con nosotros!
Juan Carlos R
King Juan Carlos Urges Unity Amid Economic Woes
King Juan Carlos said his countrymen must act with unity, responsibility and solidarity as Spain grapples with high unemployment and a large budget deficit and also called for determination in the struggle against terrorism.
In his traditional Christmas message, aired nationwide Friday on radio and television, the monarch said 2010 has been “a difficult and complex year marked by an economic crisis – in Spain and other countries – that has been longer and more intense than expected.”
In Spain’s case, the king said, the economic struggles “have exposed structural imbalances and deficiencies that we must work together to correct quickly and effectively.”
“What’s most painful is that the crisis has affected so many men and women who have suffered job losses – either personally or within their families. The unemployed are the focus of our concerns; they’re an unavoidable priority,” he said.
The 72-year-old king added that Spanish society “especially cannot allow so many young people to go more time without work.”
“The crisis has forced our public authorities and institutions at all levels to take important decisions,” the king said, adding that it is “necessary to forge ahead with conviction, win the battle against unemployment with determination, perseverance and resolution and to make improvements in terms of productivity and competitiveness, education and innovation.”
Juan Carlos was referring to recent moves by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s government aimed at boosting investment and job creation and calming fears that Spain may require an Ireland- or Greece-style bailout by the European Union and the IMF.
In May, the government pushed an austerity plan through Parliament that included a pay cut for public employees and a suspension of cost-of-living adjustments for most pensioners.
A bill to overhaul Spain’s pension system is due to be sent to Parliament early next year, while other moves aimed at reducing the budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2013 from last year’s level of more than 11 percent include a hike in the tobacco tax and a plan to partially privatize the company that manages Spain’s airports.
The king stressed the need to reorient Spain’s economy with an eye on the future while “maintaining social protection and cohesion” and said the country must “modernize” its productive model.
Alluding to an unemployment rate of around 20 percent, the highest in the European Union, and a gross domestic product that stood still in the third quarter, the monarch also urged Spaniards to “banish despondency, lift up your heads, unite your efforts and continue the struggle, aware of what we are, of what we have and what we can still achieve.”
“These new times require a great commitment by all of you,” he said, stressing unity, responsibility and solidarity as necessary elements “for emerging from the crisis and ensuring new horizons of prosperity and well-being.”
“These are the best allies for overcoming difficulties and fueling our hopes,” he added.
The effects of the global recession were aggravated in Spain by the collapse of a long construction and property boom that made the country’s economy the envy of most of Madrid’s partners in the European Union.
Separately, the king also urged “determination in ending the scourge” of terrorism and called on Spaniards to “honor and show affection and solidarity with the victims of terrorist violence and their families.”
Basque terrorist group ETA has killed more than 800 people since 1968 in its campaign for an independent Basque nation in parts of northern Spain and southwestern France, while radical Muslims were responsible for Spain’s worst-ever terrorist incident: the March 11, 2004, bombings on four Madrid commuter trains that left nearly 200 dead and 1,800 injured.
Referring to the “excluded and marginalized,” the king stressed the importance of continuing to offer them “maximum attention” and urged his compatriots to continue working “for equality of opportunities and support for the disabled.”
“Let’s redouble our efforts to combat drugs and end unacceptable gender-related violence. And of course, let’s care for our natural environment.”
At the conclusion of his speech, the monarch reiterated his full confidence in Spain and its citizens as they strive to “leave our children and grandchildren with an even better country, with greater prosperity in every town, city and autonomous community.”
“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me and my family to all Spaniards and the numerous foreigners who live among us,” Juan Carlos said.
His Majesty King Albert II of the Belgians
Mes chers compatriotes,
En ce temps de Noël et de Nouvel An, je voudrais d’abord partager avec vous un motif de satisfaction. De l’opinion unanime de nos partenaires européens, la Présidence belge de l’Union européenne, pendant le second semestre de cette année, a été particulièrement réussie. Dans nombre de domaines très différents des progrès importants ont été réalisés. Je pense entre autres à la stratégie économique européenne, aux mesures pour éviter le retour des crises financières, au budget européen, aux réalisations en matière commerciale et diplomatique, aux relations entre l’Europe et l’Asie. De nombreux chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement ainsi que des dirigeants d’institutions européennes, m’ont fait part spontanément de leur admiration à ce sujet. Cela illustre bien les talents de notre pays lorsqu’il s’agit de rapprocher des points de vue en trouvant des compromis. Notre diversité nous aide dans ces domaines.
Et pourtant, cet art du compromis, il me semble qu’au sein de notre propre pays, nous l’avons quelque peu oublié ces dernières années. D’où ma préoccupation et ma ferme volonté de lancer un appel à tous nos responsables et à tous les citoyens.
Notre pays a l’occasion de se transformer en profondeur pour mieux répondre aux attentes de nombreux Belges, et pour affronter les défis à venir. Désormais, après plus de 6 mois de négociation tous les éléments se trouvent sur la table pour réaliser une réforme profonde de l’Etat. Il y aurait un important transfert de compétences aux Régions et Communautés, une autonomie et une responsabilisation beaucoup plus poussées des entités fédérées, y compris sur le plan fiscal, un refinancement de Bruxelles et le maintien d’une réelle solidarité au sein de notre pays. En même temps, il sera nécessaire d’assurer le financement dans la durée de l’Etat fédéral pour exercer les compétences et les obligations qu’il continuera à assumer vis-à-vis de tous les Belges, mais aussi sur le plan européen et dans le monde. Il faudra également inclure une solution pour BHV et définir des règles en matière d’éthique politique.
Il s’agit donc de trouver des compromis équilibrés qui tiennent compte des aspirations légitimes des uns et des autres. Dans un tel accord il ne doit pas y avoir de perdants. Nous devons trouver des solutions ou chacun est gagnant.
Dans la recherche de cet accord raisonnable il est évident que chaque partie devra faire des concessions. Chacun aura donc l’obligation de prendre ses responsabilités. Le moment est venu où le vrai courage consiste à chercher fermement le compromis qui rassemble, et non à exacerber les oppositions.
Si un tel accord se réalise, un nouveau gouvernement fédéral pourrait être constitué. Avec les entités fédérées, il sera à même de prendre des mesures nécessaires pour sauvegarder le bien- être de la population, et pour rétablir la confiance au sein du pays. C’est cela que tous nos concitoyens attendent.
Lorsque nous réussirons, car je suis convaincu que nous le pouvons, nous redeviendrons à nouveau un exemple d’entente, et un facteur d’unité dans un monde qui en a grandement besoin. Nous pourrons présenter l’image juste d’un pays qui parvient dans la paix, à se transformer profondément. Nos partenaires européens, et tous les autres pays, constateront que la Belgique demeure un Etat responsable auquel ils peuvent faire confiance.
Cet appel que je vous lance solennellement à tous, je l’adresse évidemment en premier lieu aux responsables politiques, mais aussi aux responsables économiques, sociaux, culturels et des médias. Tous, par nos actions, par notre comportement, nous devons avoir le courage d’être des artisans de paix.
C’est le souhait chaleureux, que la Reine et moi et toute notre famille vous adressons de tout cœur, en ces fêtes de Noël et de Nouvel An.
Wir alle müssen bei unseren Aktionen und unserem Vorgehen den Mut aufbringen Friedensstifter zu sein.
Das wünschen Ihnen zu diesen Weihnachts- und Neujahrsfeiern die Königin, ich selbst und unsere ganze Familie von Herzen.
His Majesty King Harald V of Norway
Kongens nyttårstale 2010
King Harald V touched on national pride and Norwegian prosperity in his annual address on New Year’s Eve, and the need to become better and “bigger.” He cautioned, however, against situations where personal dignity and self-worth can be challenged, not least in the case of foreigners trying to adjust to life in Norway. He spoke of how difficult it is to be an asylum seeker or immigrant in Norway, because they’re not always welcome in the workforce or community.
“Every single person has resources that can be used in our society, regardless of nationality, health, age or social factors,” King Harald said. He said Norway’s emerging “multi-cultural competence” must be put to use, because it will be “steadily more important for us in a smaller world.”
His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
Léif Letzebuerger, léif Matbierger,
Wa mir haut op Hellgerowend op d’Joer zréckkucken, dann erënnere mir eis u vill schéi Momenter, ma och un eenzel vläicht méi schwéier Passagen. Ech hoffen, datt fir jidderee vun Iech déi positiv Evenementer iwwerweien.
Och wann dëst Joer munnech sozial, politesch a wirtschaftlech Problemer d’Aktualitéit markéiert hunn, gouf et dach a verschidde Secteure vun eiser Economie eng Reprise. Vill Leit hei am Land awer spieren nach ëmmer d’Auswierkungen vun der Kriis a si veronséchert. Heiheem wéi an der Welt gëtt dacks d’Fro gestallt: Wéi geet et virun?
Besonnech wëll ech haut un all déi Matbierger denken, déi ënner Aarmutt, Chômage a sozialer Ausgrenzung leiden an duerch schwéier Zäite ginn. Hinnen all gëllt et, grad och op Chrëschtdag, eng Hand ze reechen.
Zwou Froen, déi ech d’lescht Joer op dëser Plaz gestallt hunn, wéilt ech haut verdéiwen: "War eis Gesellschaft net vläicht ze vill vum séiere Profit geblennt? Hu mir eigentlech iwwerhaapt richteg un d’Zukunft geduecht?"
Eist Handelen, léif Matbierger, huet ëmmer mat eiser Fassong ze dinn, wéi mir mat eise Matmënschen ëmginn. Begéine mir hinne mat Respekt, sou seet dat vill iwwer eis selwer aus. Wann awer séiere Profit eist Zil ass an eleng d’Geld zielt, da verléiere mir d’Uechtung virun deem Aneren a virun der Gesellschaft.
Eist Schaffen, a klenge wéi a groussen Actiounen, huet ëmmer eng sozial an eng ethesch Dimensioun. Wirtschaftlecht Handelen ass a bleift en Deel vum gesellschaftleche Handelen. Emmer dann, wann d’Economie an d’Finanzwelt vun der Gesellschaft a vun der Politik lassgekoppelt agéieren, musse mer eis an Uecht huelen.
Et gëtt kee Grond, d’Economie vun der Ethik lasszeléisen, schreift den indesche Nobelpreisdréier Amartya Sen. "L’économie moderne s’est trouvée considérablement appauvrie par la distance qui a éloigné l’économie de l’éthique." D’Wirtschaft ass fir de Mënsch do, a net de Mënsch fir d’Wirtschaft. Dofir musse mir op zwou grouss Froen eng Äntwert fannen: Wéi soll ee liewen? Wéi eng Gesellschaft wëlle mir?
Wéi soll ee liewen? Et ass ze kuerz gegraff, mam Fanger op anerer ze weisen. Jidderee vun eis dréit Verantwortung. Jiddereen ass en Acteur a kann eis Gesellschaft, eis Economie an eis Emwëlt duerch säi perséinlecht Handelen positiv beaflossen. Emmer rëm iwwer séng eege "Façon de vivre" nozedenken, ass e ganz wichtegen Exercice. Verantwortung a Vertrauen ginn hei Hand an Hand.
Wéi eng Gesellschaft wëlle mir? Sécher wëlle mir all eng Gesellschaft, wou jidderee seng Plaz huet a wou et gerecht zougeet. Nëmme wann de Mënsch an Dignitéit liewen a schaffe kann, ass de soziale Fridden op Dauer garantéiert. Ech lueden dofir jidder eenzelnen an, bei all Striewe no Profit de "Bien commun" net aus den An ze verléieren an deenen eng Hand ze reechen, déi an Nout sinn.
Ech sinn iwwerzeegt, datt e neien Opschwong méiglech ass, deen eng wierklech Perspektiv a Sécherheet bidd. Dat verlaangt vun eis all en Emdenken, ma de positiven Impakt op eist Zesummeliewen sollt eis dat wäert sinn. An enger Zäit, wou eis sozial a wirtschaftlech Relatiounen ëmmer méi virtuell ginn, kritt d’Cohésion sociale, fir déi ech mech zanter zéng Joer asetzen, eng nei Bedeitung.
Léif Matbierger, vergiesse mer ni, datt et hei am Land formidabel Beispiller vu Matenaner a Solidaritéit ginn, och iwwer d’Grenzen eraus. Den Engagement vu ganz ville Bénévolen a Professionnellen am soziale Secteur zeechent eist Land aus. Doropper kënne mir houfreg sinn.
Bei eise soziale Visiten hei am Land erliewen d’Grande-Duchesse an ech ëmmer rëm mat wéi engem groussen Asaz vill Organisatiounen an öffentlech Servicer sech an den Déngscht vum Mënsch stellen. Glécklecherweis gi sech och ëmmer méi Entreprisen hirer sozialer Verantwortung bewosst. Och den Intressi un alternative Wirtschaftsformen hëllt zou. Ech denken hei un d’Economie sociale et solidaire, déi der Grande-Duchesse esou staark um Häerz leit. Ech félicitéieren all Acteure fir hieren Engagement an encouragéiere si, an dëser wichteger Richtung virun ze fueren.
Chers amis étrangers,
Lors de notre récente visite d'Etat au Portugal, la Grande-Duchesse et moi-même avons été très touchés par l'accueil chaleureux que ce merveilleux pays nous a réservé. Il témoigne des liens profonds qui unissent nos deux pays, notamment à travers la présence au Luxembourg de nombreux citoyens d'origine portugaise. Votre présence et celle de toutes les autres communautés est et reste indispensable pour le bien-être de notre société et doit nous encourager à œuvrer en commun pour un avenir prometteur.
Grad an dëser Zäit ass et wichteg, zesummen ze stoen, sou wéi d’Lëtzebuerger Vollék et schonn dacks a sénger Geschicht gemaach huet. De Wee aus dëser Kriis däerf net an d’Aarmutt féieren. Am Géigendeel, de Wee kann zu engem neien a méi responsable Matenaner an der Gesellschaft féieren, vun deem mir all profitéieren. Mir hunn eis Zukunft selwer an der Hand. Loosse mir dës Chance notzen.
Op Hellgerowend wënschen ech Iech all, och am Numm vun der Grande-Duchesse, vu méngem Papp, dem Grand-Duc Jean, a vun eise Kanner, e schéint Chrëschtfest an e glécklecht neit Joer.
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan
Emperor Akihito shared his impressions on this year's nationwide "missing centenarians" issue and other noteworthy events in a recent press conference held on the occasion of his 77th birthday on Dec. 23.
"It has now become evident that, among those elderly who were thought to be well and sound, there are some whose fate and whereabouts are unknown, which is most regrettable," the Emperor said, pointing to the issue as one of the news topics that struck him most.
Emperor Akihito also frankly talked about issues relating to his aging, saying, "I have become somewhat hard of hearing, so when I receive people, I ask those around me to tell this to them and to ask them to try to talk to me in a louder voice. When watching the news and other programs on television, I can understand what the announcers are saying but when it comes to listening to the other people's conversations on TV, I find myself often relying on subtitles."
The Emperor then continued, "It is my sincere hope that there will be further understanding of the needs of the elderly and that more and more attention will be paid to make buildings and towns better equipped to serve the needs of the elderly."
His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Sverige Jultal 2010
Dear Swedes at home and abroad.
I want to wish everyone a happy Christmas.
When I look out the window here at the palace - this cold and snowy winter in 2010 - I see the National Museum by the snowstorm across the stream. It displays the exhibition "Master Art". It is one of the many manifestations of this year has been given to Bernadotte Jubilee.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Swedish parliament gathered in Örebro and chose Napoleon's Marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte as the new heir apparent. It was the beginning of the long period of peace which we have been lucky enough to experience ever since, a benefit that few other countries on earth to share with you. During the Oslo period as heir to the throne and later ruler was also the foundation for modern Sweden, including a new infrastructure, banking and education.
My family and I participated in the commemoration of the tronföljarvalet in Örebro this year. We also attended the celebrations in Helsingborg by 200-year memory when Jean Baptiste Bernadotte first landed on Swedish soil - a stormy day, on 20 October. We had well maybe no further luck with the weather, but it did not dampen the party atmosphere. I was especially glad that my cousin, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, also participated in the celebration.
Christmas is a time when we may pause for a while to gather with our loved ones. It is a time for socializing with family, relatives and friends. But we must also remember that there is anyone who has one or more to share Christmas joy with.
To all of you who are alone or ill this Christmas, I would make an especially warm greeting. It is my hope that you too can feel something of the joy of Christmas, and that next year will be a better and more joyful year for you. There lies a special responsibility on us as a Christmas can gather in fellowship with our loved ones. We must reach out and include them in our neighborhood who are not as fortunate. This is the Christmas message of love.
Christmas is also a time for reflection of the past year, and hopes for the new.
A big event for me and my family during the year was when our oldest daughter, and heir to the throne of Sweden, Crown Princess Victoria was ordained by his Daniel on June 19. It was a glorious day of celebration, and our joy was shared with all those hundreds of thousands who had gathered along the motorcade route and below the castle, and with all the millions who followed the wedding on television all over the country and abroad. I want to express my and my family's heartfelt thanks for all the appreciation and warmth that has come to Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.
In my Christmas speech last year, I mentioned that the Queen and I intend to fulfill a dream for a long time, to create a forum to highlight children and young people in the world. The aim is to inspire and support the UN Children's Convention are complied with. Recently, also took the first World Child and Youth Forum held at the Royal Palace with more than 400 participants. This was met not only representatives of the various child welfare organizations, but also many children and adolescents. This particular dialogue between the generations is important - something that the Queen stressed in his opening speech.
Last spring, did Queen and a state visit to Brazil. I also visited China soon after the inauguration of the Shanghai World Expo, and Crown Princess and Prince Daniel was there last fall. We found that the Swedish pavilion did well among the 190 countries. There is great interest in China for what Sweden and the Swedish company stands for: quality, sustainable development, new technologies and innovations.
In Sweden we can for now rejoice in the strong economic growth. Exports are growing and employment has begun to increase. But we have reason to respect for those in the financial turmoil abroad and what it can get for the consequences.
Our planet is vulnerable. I tend to think of Earth as an apple - with the crust as thin as an apple peel.
How fragile, this shell is, we were reminded several times during the past year. Haiti was hit by an earthquake in which perhaps as many as 200,000 people died. During the year, there was also strong earthquakes in China, Turkey, and Mexico. Volcanic eruption in Iceland - when apple shell burst, so to speak - leading to a large part of air traffic in Europe had to be canceled due to the emission of ash.
We also damaged the earth's surface. Oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a major oil spill, where oil continued to flow out for several months.
If the Earth is an apple, so is life on the planet - humans, animals and plants - as delicate as the dew on an apple that can be easily rub off on your sleeve. We must do everything to protect Earth's environment and promote sustainable development. We must succeed in reconciling the poor countries for economic development with the need for measures to ensure our common future on Earth.
Many were disappointed over the outcome of the UN environment meeting in Copenhagen last year. It is therefore encouraging that the recent meeting in Cancun in Mexico seems to have yielded results - results that point to a better future development, although it is far from binding international agreements.
These are urgent problems, for we are just more and more. The earth's population will already in 2050 to be three times as large as it is today. How can we get food, water and energy sufficient while creating a sustainable development that preserves the environment?
The answer to that question is better knowledge. A knowledge based on scientific facts. It is certainty in an age when more and more people imagine that astrology is a science.
This was the issues discussed when the ten royal academies gathered at the palace last month for another round of seminars in the series' crown of Knowledge ".
Yes, we can be pleased that Sweden is far ahead as a knowledge nation. The Swedish universities and colleges position themselves better in the annual, international comparisons. In Sweden, also creates several new internationally competitive research.
In Lund, built for example, two new international center for advanced materials research, MAX IV and ESS. Furthermore, it interacts KTH, Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University in a resource center for large-scale research in molecular life sciences and medicine.
During the past year we have gained new insights into early human origins. A Swedish scientist, Svante Pääbo, have managed to map the genetic heritage of ours, long extinct, nearest relative, Neanderthals. By comparing this genome and our own, we have unprecedented insight into what makes us unique - for example, our qualified consciousness and intellect, and our developed social skills. Let us use these properties to the best of its ability to create a better world for all.
I will conclude with a few lines from the Queen Silvia's prayer book. It is a prayer written by Archbishop Anders Wejryd:
"Help us to cultivate the vitality you have in your creation,
So that we become managers rather than consumers,
Builder and not destructive "
With these words, I ask once again get to wish you a merry Christmas, and send you my best wishes for the New Year.
Carl XVI Gustaf R
His Majesty King Michael I of Romania
Mesajul Majestății Sale Regelui Mihai I de Crăciun 2010
Pentru câteva minute, vă spun bun găsit din liniștea căminului nostru de la Săvârșin. Am trecut cu toții printr-un an greu, cu destule suferințe și nemulțumiri. Dar, în viața multora dintre noi au existat și motive de bucurie și speranță.
Felicit pe cei care au reușit performanțe economice, mai ales micii întreprinzători și companiile mijlocii. Felicit pe tineri și pe profesorii din universități, licee și școli, care au continuat munca lor importantă, în ciuda greutăților. Felicitări celor din agricultură, care au reușit să meargă mai departe, deși rămași fără resurse și încurajare. Felicit funcționarii publici, diplomații, militarii, oamenii de artă, pentru stăruința lor de a-și face datoria, deși puternic încercați de lipsa banilor și descurajați instituțional.
Sunt mâhnit pentru toate momentele prin care mamele, oamenii bătrâni și cei bolnavi sunt nevoiți să treacă.
România are nevoie de infrastructură și de instituții respectate. Agricultura nu este un domeniul al trecutului istoric, ci al viitorului. Școala este o piatră de temelie a societății. Universitățile răspund administrativ față de guvernare, dar au nevoie să fie libere din punct de vedere organizatoric și științific.
Regina și cu mine, alături de Familia noastră, am mers în orașele și comunele țării, încurajând profesii, inițiative, organizații și instituții. Am făcut în anul care se încheie multe vizite internaționale, în care am susținut interesele fundamentale ale României.
Suntem cu gândul la militarii români din teatrele de operații. Sunt mândru de sutele de mii de români aflați la lucru în străinătate, pentru o viață mai bună și mai demnă. Ei ajută mult familiile lor și România.
Toate guvernele europene au acum greutăți. Criza economică obligă la măsuri impopulare. Totuși, există multe feluri de a micșora asprimea consecințelor pentru populație. 2011 va fi poate ceva mai bun, dar vor exista dificultăți, drept pentru care țara trebuie să fie protejată.
Sper ca anul viitor să aducă respect și etică în instituții, simț al datoriei și altruism în viața publică. Valorile și competența ar trebui să fie criteriile noastre. Aveți încredere în democrație, în rostul instituțiilor publice și în regulile lor!
Așa să ne ajute Dumnezeu!
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE - GREGORIAN CALENDAR 2010
On the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the day of great joy for all Christians, I wish the citizens of Serbia and people across the world who celebrate Christmas by the Gregorian calendar the very best wishes from my family and myself. May everyone enjoy peace, love and happiness.
My family joins me in wishing all of you a peaceful and Happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year 2011.
Peace on Earth and goodwill for all!
Christ is born!
Joyeux Noël à tous et toutes!
La princesse Philomena et le prince Gaston se joignent à moi pour souhaiter à chacun et chacune d'entre vous de fêter la Nativité la joie au cœur. En France et ailleurs dans le monde, nombreux sont ceux qui traversent de graves difficultés ou même subissent de lourdes épreuves. En cette nuit de grâce, sentons-nous profondément proches et solidaires les uns des autres – et entretenons la plus capétienne des vertus : l'espérance !
Joyeux Noël à tous et toutes!
Le Prince Jean de France, Duc de Vendôme
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Yesterday The Age had to report that 52 per cent of the Australians want their Monarchy to continue and today the same paper contained a Critic’s view on The Queen’s Christmas Message, which could not be nastier. Fortunately it’s not available online. Tim Elliott, who has the gift to know in advance what Her Majesty (permanently constantly referred to by the skilled reviewer as Her Royal Highness) will say, gives readers of The Age this advice:
“If you wish to see her saying it all again, then tune in. Alternatively, you could get much the same effect by reading a fortune cookie with an English accent.”Sydneysider Tim Elliott successfully defended his reputation as a fierce republican journalist. Two years ago, when reviewing the documentary A Year With The Royal Family, he made this comment:
"The Queen, meanwhile, comes across as a cranky old sausage, bored with the ceaseless sycophancy and pointless appointments."One could think, that the term “cranky old sausage” would also be appropriate for some republicans, especially in the journalistic field, but politeness bars us from calling a defeated adversary that.
The Queen's Christmas Message
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
“A total of 52 per cent think the nation should remain a monarchy”, reported The Age today, but added in the bad old republican fashion: “Australia's fondness for the monarchy is on a knife-edge”.
Excuse me, did the republican mates not claim 80 per cent would back “a” republic? Or at least The Age used to say so.
The poll is published in Australian Women's Weekly, on sale 22nd December.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Phillip Blond Director, ResPublica think tank, had a radio essay on the BBC. He argued that the Monarch has an important, continuing and foundational role in contemporary politics.
Here are his main points in favour of the Constitutional Monarchy as we enjoy it in Australia:
A king is a person vested with ruling and sovereign authority over land and people. He is a single personage with the right to rule over the nation.You can hear a longer version of this essay via the BBC iPlayer.
There is a difference though between the power expressed by the monarch and that held by the prime minister. Initially we might think that the prime minister represents the democratic process. That he or she is a check on the absolute and arbitrary claims of the king.
But in reality the reverse is the case.
Does not the ideal monarch stand for a higher good and a deeper principle than that of the politician? Indeed by personifying the nation, the monarch holds politicians and democratic politics to a higher standard.
The King or Queen in seeking to stand for all members of the national commonwealth saves us from extremism and the righteous fundamentalism of those who believe only in their beliefs.
What I am beginning to suggest here is the paradox that democracy itself is not enough to ensure the continuation of democracy.
Unless we have powers that represent other interests than that of a temporary and often manipulated majority, we will be dominated by the contest for electoral superiority, and determined by the unlimited rule of those who win.
Monarchy helps to sustain the democratic process by mixing a power other than that of democracy with democracy.
And in this respect, mixed constitution - the combination of the rule of the many, the few and the one - is more effective than the division of powers in preventing elected tyranny.
Monarchy - the rule of the one - acts as a kind of umpire which ensures that the democratic process itself cannot cannot be subverted and that it displays a certain rule of fairness. In short the monarch upholds the rule of law.
Thus of some 40 constitutional monarchies in the world, 16 of which recognise the Queen as sovereign, all have clearly observed constitutional procedures.
Constitutional monarchies also comprise some of the world's most developed, wealthy, democratically accountable and progressive states.
According to the UN, seven of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of quality of life are constitutional monarchies.
Certain inherited institutions: the king, the lords and the church, representing the one, the few and the transcendent; stood guard over the notion of the objective good and the common good.
So to defend democracy, we need more than democracy.
Were we to abolish or further limit the power of the British monarch therefore, we would remove the very lynchpin that has secured our British liberties, equities, social mobility and sense of economic justice over hundreds of years.
Friday, 10 December 2010
It is not often you see a Chinese praising the Chinese Emperors. But in today’s edition of The Age Pu Zhiqiang, a civil rights lawyer living in China and executive partner of Beijing Huayi Law Firm, compared today’s China with the thousands of years Emperors ruled the country. In comparison with the Communist oligarchy the Emperors win not only on moral grounds:
"China's emperors won their power through war and slaughter but they also believed in morality. They cared for what others thought and what their descendants or future generations would think. But in today's China, liars are accepted, judges can be bribed, evil-doers are encouraged and officials can serve the devil.
"When the Chinese Communist Party took power, it destroyed all family tradition, the middle class, and nobles. Today's middle classes are the nouveau riche - until they are targeted by bigger nouveau riche and left with nothing. There is no religion in China, the Communist Party is afraid of nothing, but it will ruin itself one day.
"Everything in China is for 'interests' and nothing is for 'isms'. As the intellectual Qin Hui says, the powerful elites use ultra-leftist methods to appropriate assets, often under the name of the environment, or justice, and once they've got them, they share among themselves in an ultra-rightist way.
"China's development is actually the bald-faced robbery of land and property by crony capitalists. Crazy development has resulted in putting poison into milk. We who are fighting for the rights of people do not expose these things for the sake of exposing the dirty side of the Communist Party. It is dirty enough already. Better to pull its necktie to make it walk forward."
The Mad Monarchist on a possible heir to the Chinese Throne:
"It is debated as to who would be the heir of the last Emperor today. In his book, Pu-Yi wrote that he designated his cousin, Prince Yu-Yan as his successor. He died in 1997 and if his line is accepted the heir to the Dragon Throne today would be his son Prince Hengzheng, aka Yuan Yuan."
Wikipedia also list a claimant of the Ming Dynasty:
"Zhu Rongji is also a potential pretender to the chinese throne, being a descendant of the Ming Dynasty Emperor Hongwu through his son Prince Zhu Bian, Zhu Rongji was born in 1928, and he also has a cousin, Zhu Yunzhong, born in 1933.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
It is typical for Rupert Murdoch’s papers, that they don’t just publish a film review, but garnish it with republican propaganda. Theodore Harvey wrote an objective review of The King’s Speech, but Anna Brain of Melbourne's MX-Talk newspaper (8th Dec. 2010) could not help herself adding another attack on the Monarchy:
She and her fellow republican journos hammer it into our heads: “... the royals have no relevance to your average Aussie ... It’s great they can sit on thrones and be rich.”
One has to wonder if Rupert Murdoch considers his chair as chief executive officer of News Corporation to be a throne and himself as allmighty ruler, but he certainly accumulated more wealth than the British Royal Family.
According to the 2010 list of Forbes richest Americans, Murdoch is the 38th richest person in the U.S. and the 117th-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $6.2 billion.
In Rupert Murdoch’s own newspaper The Times our Queen held rank 214 on the 2009 Richest List with £270m – a very modest sum, which Murdoch probably earns in less than six months. Murdoch’s personal wealth is 14 ½ times the Queen’s wealth.
A comparison between the Monarch’s personal wealth and Rupert Murdoch’s immense fortune and political power is rarely made – and certainly not in a glossy junk paper like MX-Talk.
One has to wonder why Murdoch’s scribes hate the Monarchy so much. All the old accusations against our Australian Monarchy ("the royals have no relevance to your average Aussie"), had been heard and certainly printed millions of times before, but have not changed the Constitution. In the Australian Constitution the Crown plays a central role and puts the politicos on second place. They certainly do not like that.
It must be frustrating for politicians and journalists alike to realise that despite all republican efforts the number of Monarchists in Australia has not diminished.
Switzerland voted for a new president. Well, not exactly Switzerland or the 7.78 million Swiss, but a combined session of both houses of parliament, called Vereinigte Bundesversammlung.
246 members had the right to cast a vote. Only 223 ballot papers were handed out, indicating that 23 parliamentarians did not bother to show up. From the 222 ballot papers cast 106 bore the name of the Socialist candidate Micheline Calmy-Rey (65). She will be the Swiss president for one year, starting on 1st January 2011.
27 ballot papers were blank, 6 void. The rest carried names of other candidates.
Anybody interested to adopt the Swiss republican model, where 106 votes from 246 electors are sufficient to make someone president?
Even the arch-conservative Neue Zürcher Zeitung was not happy with this presidential election: Calmy-Rey bricht den Negativrekord (Calmy-Rey breaks negative record).
Monday, 6 December 2010
His Royal Highness Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Bragança (*15th May 1945) is the 24th Duke of Bragança (Portuguese: Duque de Bragança) and a heir to the throne of Portugal. He delivered a message on 1st December, Portugal's Restoration of Independence Day (Portuguese: Restauração da Independência), this year commemorating the 370th anniversary of the end of the Iberian Union with Spain.
The ancient House of Aviz, or Joannine Dynasty, (1385 - ca. 1580) of Portugal had become extinct in the male line in 1580, at which time the Portuguese Crown had been inherited by the Spanish King Philip II who became King Filipe I of Portugal.
In 1640, however, having tired of rule from Madrid, the Portuguese people rose up and offered the Crown to the greatest noble of the Kingdom, the Duke of Bragança. The House of Bragança (Portuguese: Casa de Bragança) traced its origins to 1442 when the Duchy of Bragança was created by the Regent, Infante Dom Pedro, Duke of Coimbra, and offered to his brother Afonso, Count of Barcelos, a natural son of João I. The royal lineage of dukes that followed married into the House of Aviz and became one of the most important noble families of the country. Infanta Catarina, granddaughter of Manuel I and Duchess of Bragança by marriage to João, 6th Duke of Bragança (himself the heir of the dynastic rights of Jaime, Duke of Bragança, acclaimed heir to the throne in 1495 by the Cortes), joined the two houses in 1565. In 1580, she was one of the claimants to the throne, but lost it by military force to King Philip II of Spain.
By the unanimous voice of the people Duke João of Bragança was raised to the throne of Portugal during the revolution effected on 1st December 1640 against the Spanish King Philip IV. The Duke of Bragança, João o Restaurador, led the Portuguese to victory and established a sovereign and independent Kingdom under his dynasty's rule.
HRH Dom Duarte's Message:
Mensagem do 1° de Dezembro 2010
The daily newspaper Público 20 reported on the Duke's Message: Duarte Pio compara crise actual à da Primeira República e pede referendo à monarquia (Duarte Pio compares actual crisis with the 1st Republic and calls for a referendum on the Monarchy). The Monarchist Left (Esquerda Monárchica) reprinted Dom Duarte's Message as well.
Monday, 29 November 2010
This weekend saw two considerable backlashes for republicans.
Kingdom of Spain
The Spanish autonomous region Catalonia voted against the incumbent three party coalition government. While the Socialists (PSC) lost nine and the former Communists/Greens (Iniciativa Verds-Esquerra ICV-EUiA) two seats, the Republican Left (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya - ERC) was more than halved: from 21 seats it could retain only ten. Or in actual figures: In 2006 414,067 Catalonians had given their votes to the ERC, this time 218,046 Catalonians thought it to be a good idea to vote for the republican left.
The new government will be built by Covergència i Unió (CiU), a conservative and moderate separatist oriented party that had been in power for most of the time after Catalonia regained its autonomous status and became one of the autonomous Communities within Spain in 1980.
Victoria went to the polls on Saturday and although not all votes are counted yet, it is most likely that the Australian Labor Party’s eleven years in government will come to an end. Premier John Brumby will be replaced by the Liberal Ted Baillieu. Mind you, this replacement is not the reason, why the RadicalRoyalist calls this electoral result a defeat for the republicans, though John Brumby loved to be called an "avowed republican". John Brumby’s record as a Premier of Victoria may have been appalling, when the transport system is at its worst since privatisation took place and the continuation of stupid and expensive, taxpayer strapping PPP (public private partnership) projects became a trademark of this state government, but since there is no guarantee that the incoming government of Liberal and National Party will perform any better, the main focus of this posting is on the fiercely republican Rob Hulls, Attorney General and “Labor’s attack-dog-in-chief, Brumby’s closest mate in caucus ... the man Brumby ensured became his Deputy Premier when others wanted the job after the abrupt departures of Steve Bracks and John Thwaites in mid-2007” (The Sunday Age on 28th November).
It was Hulls who accused opponents of his decision to replace the Queen with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from New Year's Day 2010 as "rabid Monarchists".
His possible replacement as Victoria’s Attorney General, Robert Clark MP, stated in a letter to the RadicalRoyalist, “that what the Attorney-General [Hulls] has announced is beyond his powers and usurping the role of judges. It is also in direct conflict with the rules made by judges about criminal court matters, which still provide for the use of The Queen’s name.”
It has to be seen, if the taking office of Mr. Clark will make a change to the better. The RadicalRoyalist will remind the new Attorney General of his words.
On a more reconciling note, it should be said that on the personal level, Mr. Brumby had an excellent relation with his Queen. After meeting the Queen of Australia in October 2009 he said: “I was so impressed by how informed she was about Victoria and about Australia. . .she was particularly interested in the recovery, how people were faring and the status of the temporary villages.
“She's a remarkable person. She's extraordinarily well informed and deeply concerned about what's happening in Victoria and Australia. That's what so impressed me and this is something she has personally felt and personally experienced.”
Sunday, 28 November 2010
A reflexion on the pros and cons of a Monarchy in today's Portugal, exactly one century after the implantation of a republican system:
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II met Sultan Qaboos during a visit to Muscat marking the 40th anniversary of his rule, on her second and final leg of a Gulf tour.
Dressed in light pink with a white bag, gloves and shoes, the 84-year-old monarch who arrived from a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates was accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, to the Sultan’s Al Alam Palace.
Omani artillery fired a 21-gun salute to the Queen upon her arrival at the palace, Oman’s official ONA news agency reported.
The Sultan, the Queen and Prince Philip discussed “the historical relations binding the two friendly countries (and) aspects of the existing close co-operation between the two sides in all fields,” it said.
The visit “is an opportunity to celebrate our thriving relationship” with Oman “which has been transformed since Her Majesty last visited in 1979 ... and to look forward to even stronger ties,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement posted on the embassy’s website.
More photos on Queen Elizabeth's visit to the Sultanate of Oman at Noblesse et Royautés.
On 6th and 7th March 2011 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will pay a visit to Oman on the invitation of Sultan Qaboos. The Dutch Queen will be accompanied by Crown Prince Willem Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima.
Thursday, 25 November 2010
I am deeply saddened by today's news that there is now no hope for the men trapped in the Pike River mine.
My heart goes out to the families and friends of these 29 brave miners and to all who have been touched by this national disaster.
I send my thanks and deep appreciation to everyone who has worked so hard to attempt a rescue and also to those who will have a part to play in the task of healing the pain that is being felt throughout New Zealand and around the world.
At this sad and difficult time my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
In memory of the Pike River miners
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom begins a four-day state visit today to mark the 40th anniversary of the reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the local British residents hope that the tour will boost relations between the people of the two countries.
The Queen, arriving in Muscat from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after a two-day tour, last visited the Sultanate in 1979. She will have the privilege of seeing major changes that have happened in the Sultanate, from state-of-the-art technologies to international standard infrastructure.
The Queen’s arrival in Oman will delight over 7,000 of her loyal subjects who are living and working in the Sultanate, the largest western expatriate community in the country. All of them hope the visit will boost UK-Oman trade relations.
Stephen Thomas, CEO of Renaissance, cited the trade treaty of 1800 that cemented commercial activities between the two countries. An earlier one dates back even further to the year 1645, according to archives available with the Ministry of National Heritage.
“In the context of this enduring friendship, it is entirely appropriate that Queen Elizabeth should want to pay a state visit to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the people of Oman at the time of the 40th National Day celebrations. This reflects the highest standing of the relations between the two countries,” the Renaissance CEO, said.
Ross Cormack, CEO of Nawras Telecommunications, says he is proud, as a British national that the relations between the UK and Oman stretch back centuries and the bond is still strong today.
“British businesses and citizens have contributed in many ways to the development of Oman over the years and will enjoy the fruits of the Queen’s visit to mark the 40th anniversary of His Majesty’s rule. Relationships flourish on many levels and not only between nations but also to touch the hearts of individuals,” said Cormack.
Kevin Hasler, General Manager of ZEENAH PR, said the visit will be one of the highlights of the 40th anniversary celebrations and the British expatriate community is already buzzing with excitement.
“The Sultanate and the UK have enjoyed exceptionally close ties for the past 40 years. The fact that the Queen and Prince Philip will spend so long in Oman is a clear testament to the continued strength of the special relationship between the two countries. A visit of this length will also enable both the countries to build even stronger economic ties and enhance trade and prosperity between the nations,” Kevin Hassler, said.
But the Queen’s arrival is also about acknowledging the increasingly influential role His Majesty has prominently played in the international arena. His Majesty is considered by many in the West as a powerful figure in the Gulf region and also seen as the most progressive leader as well, foreign diplomats based in Muscat, said.
“His Majesty the Sultan has become a major peace arbitrator in the regional political affairs. The Queen’s visit is a direct recognition of this fact,” an European diplomat, said.
Times of Oman
The historical relations between the two countries date back to the time of the Ya’aariba Imams in Oman. During the reign of Sayyid Sultan bin Ahmed (1792-1804), the two countries signed an agreement on 12th October 1798, under which Sayyid Sultan pledged his support to the British government on issues of global concern. On 18th January 1800, another pact was inked between the two countries, which intended to beef up the 1798 agreement. According to an agreement in 1804, signed on behalf of the British government by John Malcolm, assistant to the British Resident at Hyderabad, India, Sayyid Sultan bin Ahmed allowed Britain to set up a British agency in Muscat.
The British consulate in the Sultanate was established in 1800 during the reign of Sayyid Sultan Ahmed bin Said. It is also a fact that Sultan Said bin Taimour attended the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
This Wednesday the German magazine stern published a new representative opinion poll, which brought a surprising result: 13 percent of the 1,000 Germans asked on 18th and 19th November favour a Monarchy. 67 percent oppose it and 20 percent could not make up their mind.
Surprisingly high was the positive Monarchist response among the young Germans between 18 and 29 years. In this age group 19 percent wish to see a Monarch ruling in Berlin.
The online news site Monsters and Critics.com observed that Germans have an "obsessive interest in the royals of other European countries. ... The poll came in the wake of the announcement of the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton - which has made the front pages in Germany."
Though 13 percent may seem insignificant, but considering that Germany lost her Monarchy in 1918, 92 years ago, practically no German alive had first hand experience with their Monarchy. The last German who shook the Kaiser's hand must have passed away a long time ago.
And by the way: The German people have never been given the chance to decide in a rair and free referendum on their country being a republic of a Monarchy.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
A new opinion poll, published in the Swedish newspaper Expressen, showed increased support for the Swedish Monarchy.
The internet news site The Local reported, the recent publication of a controversial biography on Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf does not appear to have affected the level of support the monarchy receives among Swedes.
A Demoskop poll published in the Expressen daily on Tuesday showed that 69 percent of respondents said that Sweden should continue to be a monarchy. The survey questioned 1,381 Swedes from November 13th to 17th.
The result is an increase from the 63 percent support polled in the spring ahead of Crown Princess Victoria's wedding to Prince Daniel on June 19th. The previous measurement was conducted on April 21st with 615 interviews.
On both occasions, respondents were asked, "Do you think that Sweden should continue to be a monarchy with a king or queen as head of state or should we become a republic with a president as head of state?"
The unofficial, tell-all biography "Carl XVI Gustaf - the reluctant monarch" ("Carl XVI Gustaf - Den motvillige monarken") went on sale on November 4th, providing details of supposed "wild parties" and "affairs with young women".
Despite worries that the book would damage the royal family and confidence in the monarchy, it appears the opposite is the case, Expressen reported on Tuesday.
"There is no doubt that support for the royal family strengthened after the wedding. However, no wedding in the world could have saved the King and his popularity if it were not for him. The Swedish people's new record support says it in clear language: The King, you did it," Johan T Lindwall, the newspaper's court reporter concluded.
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
35 Years on the Spanish throne
On 22nd November 1975 Don Juan Carlos, the Prince of Spain, was proclaimed King of Spain in the Spanish Cortes. Spain had been a Kingdom without King since 1947, when a referendum approved the Monarchy that had been toppled by republicans in 1931.
For 35 years King Juan Carlos of Spain has enjoyed the unquestioning loyalty of his subjects and the discreet respect of the media. The King's role in helping restore democracy in Spain after the dictatorship of Franco won him the enduring gratitude and respect of a majority of Spaniards.
Born in Rome on 5th January 1938, the King returned to Spain at the age of ten, where he studied and was groomed as the successor to Franco. He was proclaimed King after General Franco's death, but steered the country toward a parliamentary system and now has little actual power.
During an attempted military coup in February 1981, the King went on television to denounce the putsch and urged the Spanish people to support the democratically elected government.
The Royal Family remains popular among Spaniards, who in May 2007 voted King Juan Carlos the greatest Spaniard of all time, beating out Christopher Columbus and Miguel de Cervantes, the author of "Don Quixote."
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Sultan Qaboos ibn Said Al Said (Arabic: قابوس بن سعيد آل سعيد;) was born on 18th November 1940. He ascended to the throne of Oman on 23rd July 1970 deposing his father, Sultan Sa‘id ibn Taymur.
Since 1962 the Dhofar Rebellion, a Marxist rebel group supported by the neighbouring South Yemeni’s Marxist regime threatened the country. Since his father seemed unable to fight back the Marxist terror, Sultan Qaboos had to act. He introduced major social reforms to deprive the rebellion of popular support and modernised the state's administration. The rebellion ended in 1975 with the intervention of Iranian Imperial ground forces – the last time a Monarch gave assistance to another Monarch in need - and major offensives by the expanded Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces.
Sultan Qaboos is the only son of Sultan Said ibn Taimur and Princess Mazoon al-Mashani. He is one of the 8th generation of the Al Bu Sa‘idi dynasty. He received his primary and secondary education in Salalah and at Pune, in India, and was sent to a boarding school in the UK in 1956. At 20 he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After graduating from Sandhurst, he joined a British Infantry regiment, The Cameronians, and served in the 1st Battalion in Germany for one year. He also held a staff appointment with the British Army.
After his military service, Sultan Qaboos studied local government subjects in Britain and, after a world tour, returned home to Salalah where he studied Islam and the history of his country. Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa‘id is a religious liberal Muslim of the Ibadi school of jurisprudence, which has traditionally dominated Oman.
His Majesty’s rule has made Oman one of the best administered countries – not only in the Middle East. In November 2010, The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) listed Oman as the most-improved nation in last 40 years from among 135 countries worldwide. On the Index of Economic Freedom, Oman is ranked third freest among the seventeen countries in the Middle East/North Africa region; its economy overall is ranked forty-second freest in the world, reflecting a score higher than the regional average
Despite Oman’s economic liberalization, the Sultanate remains dependent on the oil revenues that account for 75 percent of the country’s export earnings and 40 percent of its gross domestic product. But oil production is declining and is bearing on the country’s economy, which His Majesty tries to counter by diversifying Oman's economy. In recent years Oman became a popular tourist destination.
The future of the Monarchy
Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa‘id has no children and has three sisters. There are however other male members of the Omani Royal Family including several paternal uncles and their families. Using primogeniture the successor to Sultan Qaboos would appear to be one of the children of his late uncle, His Royal Highness Prince Tariq ibn Taimur Al-Said, the former, first and only Prime Minister in Oman's history.
Once again The Age demonstrated its mediocre journalism. On day two after the news of the engagement of Prince William and Katherine Middleton The Age’s Europe correspondent Paola Totaro’s report A match fit for the times was placed on the front page, while yesterday’s Age had the news hidden on page 12 as “World News”. Today’s page 14 was exclusively dedicated to “the Royal Wedding”.
Tony Wright, not the usual royal editor of The Age, wrote:
“Julia Gillard could hardly looked more radiant ...: ‘The world awoke this morning to happy news,’ Ms Gillard beamed to the House of Representatives, delivering the glad tidings of a new betrothal.
"No sooner had Ms. Gillard finished gushing and offering the nation’s best wishes than Tony Abbott was on his feet, declaring himself ‘Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition’. “I rise also to congratulate Prince William, our future king and Miss Kate Middleton on their engagement,” he said. ‘Every Australian should rejoice at their happiness.’
”Malcolm Turnbull, once the most prominent republican in the land, peered into the middle distance.
“Mr. Abbott was so swept away that when Speaker Henry Jenkins childed him a little later for interjecting when normal political combat had resumed, he pleaded ‘royal wedding fever’.”
The Age’s editorial “Here’s to William and Kate” had the usual republican rants like: “The Age, which believes in a republican Australia, can also believe in fairytales. Congratulations!”
The printed version contained an opinion piece by Monica Hesse from The Washington Post. Why The Age had to fall back on an American writer remains a mystery. Was an article from the Guardian newspaper not available? What about the usual suspects from the republican Australian journo camp, didn’t they want to spread their well-known hatred of the Australian Monarchy?
It could be asked why The Age did not find a Monarchist columnist who could comment of the good news from Buckingham Palace, but gave space to an article of Klaas Woldring, convenor of Republic Now Association Inc., "Time to breathe life into an archaic constitution". Although he admits that “the republic has been removed from the public policy agenda”, he calls the Australian Constitution “this costly, undemocratic and inflexible document”. And he also states: “A sovereign people can rewrite its Constitution at any time. That is the essence of its sovereignty.” Did he forget that in 1999 the sovereign people of Australia said NO to a republic?
Message from the Governor-General
Your Royal Highness,
on behalf of all Australians, Michael and I send our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to you and Miss Catherine Middleton upon the announcement of your engagement to marry next year.
Australians were delighted, earlier this year, to have the opportunity to welcome you to Australia. Our time with you in Sydney was memorable and thoroughly enjoyable. [Did the Governor-General forget that HRH was also in Melbourne and country Victoria? RR]
Your genuine fondness for Australia and Australians shone through in all your interactions, and I know that these feelings are very much reciprocated.
I am sure that Australians look forward with anticipation and excitement to hearing of your wedding preparations as they unfold. It is a unifying time of much joy and celebration. And, naturally, we will take immense pleasure in welcoming you both on the occasion of your first visit to Australia together some time in the future.
Your Royal Highness, your announcement has warmed our nation’s heart.
Friday, 12 November 2010
The Duchess of Cornwall joined families of British journalists who have died over the last decade reporting conflicts around the world, in a memorial service held in their honour on 10th November 2010.
Attending the service at St. Bride’s church on Fleet Street, which is often regarded as the spiritual home for journalists throughout the world, were also a number of well-known media figures.
Addressing the congregation rector David Meara, said: "As consumers of news in a fast-changing world, we demand a great deal of our journalists and foreign correspondents.
"We expect them to keep us informed about difficult and complex situations in the trouble spots of the world, often at great personal risk, and sometimes, tragically, they pay the ultimate price.
"Their families, many of whom are with us today, know only too well that bearing witness to the truth has a personal cost."
Among the congregation was Helen Garston, the widow of Sunday Mirror defence correspondent Rupert Hamer, 39, who was killed in January in Afghanistan. He died when a vehicle he was travelling in was hit by a bomb while he was embedded with the US Marine Corps.
After the service, The Duchess attended a reception where she met with the families and those who attended.