Monday 27 February 2012

Barbados celebrates the Royal Couple

In Barbados Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex - accompanied by his wife, Countess Sophie - addressed a Joint Sitting of Parliament in the Senate Chamber, held in commemoration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, praised the nation for its 'resilience' and urged to learn from the past in order to move forward.

He said: "Rarely has this been more important than now as all parts of the world struggle to overcome the past few years of international economic turmoil. As legislators and as leaders you are well aware of the responsibilities and difficulties you face as you seek firstly to safeguard your country's hard won economic and social gains in so volatile an environment, and then to prosper. To respond to these challenges, you will need courage, creativity and common sense, traits which have long characterised the Barbadian spirit. With trust in the resilience of your people, confidence in the future and faith in the Almighty, Barbados' continued development will be assured."

The royal couple's two-day visit on 23rd and 24th February began, when they arrived at the Bridgetown Port on board the HMS Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Rosalie. They were met by a group of dignitaries including Acting Governor General Elliott Belgrave and Mrs. Belgrave, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Chief Justice Marston Gibson, and Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson and inspected the Guard of Honour.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex joined Governor General Elliot Belgrave at his official residence along with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

The Barbadian visit culminated in an official state dinner at the Official Residence of the Governor General of Barbados on 24th February.

The royal couple wore co-ordinating outfits of black and white, with Countess Sophie sporting a long white gown with black ribbon and shrug detail.

Saturday 25 February 2012

The King of Tonga received by the Pope

Vatican City, 24 February 2012 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received His Majesty Siaosi Tupou V, King of Tonga. The King subsequently went on to meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

The cordial discussions dwelt on various aspects of the country's social and economic life, as well as on the positive contribution the Catholic Church makes in various sectors of society, and her activities of human promotion. There followed an exchange of opinions on the international situation, with particular reference to the Pacific island States.

Friday 24 February 2012

Death of a centenarian

Her Royal Highness Infanta Dona Maria Adelaide de Bragança van Uden who could celebrate her 100th birthday on 31st January has passed away today, 24th February. She was in good health when the whole Portuguese nation celebrated the landmark birthday of the youngest daughter of King Miguel II.

On her 100th birthday she was created Grand Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite of Portugal. The official statement called her "an example of life by moral stature."

During World War II, she lived in Vienna, where she worked as a nurse. She was active in the Resistance movement, arrested and was sentenced to death by the Gestapo, after being accused of listening to the BBC. For more information about her role in the resistance, see the book, The Hand of Compassion: portraits of moral choice during the Holocaust by Kristen Monroe.

According to the Monarchist website Arautos s'El-Rei , a private family funeral will be held for Infanta Dona Maria Adelaide de Bragança van Uden . (As cerimónias fúnebres da Senhora Infanta D. Maria Adelaide serão reservadas apenas à sua Família mas em breve será anunciado o local e a hora da Missa do 7º Dia.)

Tuesday 21 February 2012

One documentary, two reviews, but one conclusion: No Australian republic

On BBC1 Andrew Marr presented the three-part documentary series The Diamond Queen on the last three Monday evenings looking at the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, with special interviews and remarkable archive footage.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Her Majesty’s Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard as putting “the” republic on the backburner: "Right now I think in the life of the Australian nation, it is not the question at the forefront of people's minds." Her comments drew a response from interviewer and respected British journalist Andrew Marr, who said: "Even that republican Prime Minister doesn't see a republic looming anytime soon."

The Daily Telegraph goes further in explaining the republican Aussies’ problem: “Trailing [Her Majesty] during last year’s hugely popular visit to Australia, Marr repeated a hilarious quote from a leading republican there: ‘I wish she’d stop coming; she sets [our] cause back years every time she comes.’”

There you have the reason, why our sovereign is so rarely allowed to enter her Australian realm.

Monday 20 February 2012

Commissario Montalbano comes out as a Monarchist

Ma io un commissario MONARCHICO SONO.

This version with subtitles was shown in Australia by SBS. The translation handled the Monarchist confession of Commissario Montalbano in a correct manner.

Saturday 18 February 2012

Good news from Greece

There was a time, not so long ago, when news from Greece were joyful:

Arrival of HRHPrincess Anne-Marie of Denmark in her new homecountry.

Their Majesties' wedding on 18th September 1964 was the first televised royal wedding in Greece. This wedding was watched by millions of people around the world and was international headline news. All of Athens seemed to celebrate the wedding. Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou attended the wedding in good spirits. King Constantine II publicly heralded the prime minister as a replacement father figure in the wake of his father’s death. King Pavlos I had died on 6th March 1964.

The US magazine Time knew this about the Royal Wedding:
"Weddings are, so to speak, expensive propositions. In Athens, Finance Minister Constantine Mitsotakis announced that the marriage of Greece's King Constantine, 24, to Denmark's Princess Anne-Marie, 18, cost the treasury $303,000, including $183,300 spent on wedding gifts.

However, an issue of 2,000,000 commemorative 30-drachma pieces will net a profit of $1,063,000, leaving the wily Greeks with $760,000 to play around with, or possibly use as a dowry for
Crown Princess Irene."

A very apt comment by a French Royalist
Ces vues nous rappellent que la dynastie et le peuple grec faisaient qu'un à l'époque et que la Grèce pouvait montrer au monde sa puissance et sa prospérité. Quel dommage que le jeune couple royal n'est pas pu gouverner plus longtemps leur royaume. Peut-être aujourd'hui il n'y aurait pas la crise et le chaos qui se passe actuellement en Grèce. Si les Grecs voient ces photos, ils doivent se rappeler du bon vieux temps. Espérons que dans quelques années, le roi Constantin ou un de ses descendants pourra remonter sur le trône grec.

And of course this is still true: The Hellenic Republic is losing its sovereignty

Friday 17 February 2012

German president resigns after numerous scandals

As the RadicalRoyalist wrote on 21st January and 7th January 2012 German president Christian Wulff has been in trouble since mid-December 2011. This Friday he finally announced his resignation just hours after the prosecutor’s office in Hanover announced that it had asked for the German head of state’s immunity from prosecution to be removed, so that it could open a criminal investigation into allegations that Wulff had improperly granted or accepted favours from businessmen.

The latest scandal involves media allegations that film producer David Groenewold paid for a vacation Wulff spent on the island of Sylt as well as a short break in Munich during Oktoberfest in 2007. A year earlier, Lower Saxony, which Wulff led as state premier at the time, had approved a four-million-euro credit guarantee for one of Groenewold's projects.

In his resignation announcement Wulff was honest and said he enjoyed being president, but that Germany needed someone in the job who large swathes of society trusted. As president Wulff received an annual payment of approximately €213,000 and he can expect to receive the annual salary for the rest of his life. The German taxpayer will also finance an office plus staff and a chauffeur-driven car (certainly not a VW Beetle). Today Germany pays for five "retired" presidents, one since he left office in 1979.

Aren't republics cost effective?

The alternative to any German president is presented here.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

The Queen in her own words

Sarah Rainey went through archives and found personal remarks of The Queen which The Daily Telegraph published on Her Majesty's Accession Day. Here are just a few examples:
On football:
When knighting FA Premier League chairman David Richards at Buckingham Palace in November 2006, the Queen reportedly said: “Football’s a difficult business and aren't they prima donnas? But it’s a wonderful game.”

On modern technology:
When international development secretary Clare Short’s pager went off at a Privy Council meeting in August 1998, the Queen is said to have shaken her head and whispered: “Oh dear, I hope it wasn't anyone important.” A similar thing happened to an embarrassed guest at a Jubilee garden party: “You’d better answer that,” she said.

On meeting people:
When an MP sympathised with her for having to meet so many people every day, the Queen replied: “It’s not as difficult as it might seem. You see, I don’t have to introduce myself; they all seem to know who I am.”

All, it would seem, except one shopper in a store in Sandringham village, who remarked: “You look awfully like the Queen.” “How very reassuring,” Her Majesty is said to have replied.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Head of Italy’s Royal Family turns 75

Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, son of King Umberto II of Italy, and head of the Royal House of Savoy celebrates his 75th birthday today. He was born on 12th February 1937 in Naples to then Crown Princess Marie-José and Crown Prince Umberto of Italy. As a coincidence his wife, Princess Marina, Princess of Naples, née Marina Ricolfi-Doria, was also born on 12th February, but in 1935.

After the rigged referendum in May 1946, the newly proclaimed Italian republic sent the whole Royal Family into exile. For more then five decades the Savoy family lived in exile, mostly in Switzerland and Portugal, Prince Vittorio Emanuele lived with his mother in an estate in Merlinge, Switzerland. After his wedding in 1971, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Princess Marina and their son, Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Venice and Piedmont, born in Geneva on 22nd June 1972, resided in Geneva, Switzerland.

For 56 years, Prince Vittorio Emanuele lobbied the Italian Parliament against the law prohibiting the return to his home country. In 1999, he filed a case at the European Court of Human Rights, in which the Prince charged that his lengthy exile violated his human rights. In September 2001, the court decided to hold a hearing on the case at a date later to be fixed.

In 2002 Prince Vittorio Emanuele dropped his case at the European Court of Human Rights and instead he and his son, Prince Emanuele Filiberto, wrote a signed letter, published through a law firm, in which they formally expressed their loyalty to the Constitution of Italy. On 23rd October 2002, the provision in the Constitution of Italy that prohibited Prince Vittorio Emanuele's return to Italy was repealed, after he signed an agreement recognizing the republic as the valid government of the state. Prince Vittorio Emanuele was permitted to re-enter the country from 10th November 2002. On 23rd December 2002 he made his first trip home in over half a century. On the one-day visit he, his wife and his son had a 20-minute audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

The position of Prince Vittorio Emanuele is also claimed by the head of a junior branch of the House of Savoy, his third cousin, Duke Amadeo of Aosta, born 27th September 1943. Duke Amadeo argues that his cousin was no longer eligible to call himself Prince of Savoy because he had failed to secure the legally-required permission of his father, King Umberto II, to marry a Swiss commoner.

The Duke also argued that Prince Vittorio Emanuele forfeited his right to the dynastic title because in order to be allowed to return to Italy from exile in 2002, Prince Victor Emmanuel had to formally recognise the Italian republic as the country's legitimate government. The Duke of Aosta and his family were not forced to go into exile, because the republic did not consider them to be in direct line to the throne, and they stayed in the bilingual autonomous region of Aosta, in the Italian North West. On 22nd July 1964 Duke Amedeo married Princess Claude of France (born 11th December 1943) in Sintra, Portugal. She was the ninth child and fifth daughter of Henri, comte de Paris, de iure King of France, and of Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza, de iure Queen of France.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Republicanism does not gain ground

There's little comfort for the republic group in the UK, despite Graham Smith's efforts to claim progress for his cause (there as well as in Australia, therefore he is a welcome writer for the Australian republican publications). In The New Statesman Sunder Katwala wrote on 7th February 2012:
The uncomfortable truth for republicans is that public attitudes to the monarchy have barely shifted.

What is most striking is just how little difference all of that made to public attitudes. There is very limited evidence for the
"changing public attitude" which Smith says the media is ignoring. Robert Worcester of pollster MORI has more persuasively identified attitudes to the Monarchy as "the most stable measure of public opinion that exists in this country", remaining remarkably consistent at just under one in five across recent decades.

Support for a republic was 18 per cent in 1969. It was also 18 per cent in 1993, 19 per cent in 2002, 18 per cent again in 2007 and 18 per cent again in 2011. During the turbulent period of 1993-2002, MORI found support for remaining a monarchy remained within the narrow range of 69 per cent to 74 per cent in favour. The Jubilee polls are very likely to find very similar levels of support.

British Future state of the nation polling found a broad appetite for the Jubilee celebrations, with 68 per cent believing that the Jubilee will boost the British national mood, while 7 per cent say it will have a negative impact and 23 per cent say it will make no difference. It is an attitude held by 69 per cent in England and 70 per cent in Wales, and by a majority (55 per cent) in Scotland too.

Perhaps, as
Graham Smith claims, "any residual affection" will end with the Queen but it sounds like wishful thinking. The end of a reign and the accession of a new Monarch is as likely to be powerful a moment when the Monarchy is as secure as ever.

Republicans make no effort to understand the Monarchist majority
Republicanism remains, of course, an entirely legitimate democratic project, but its advocates must admit that they are a democratic minority, with a sustained democratic majority for a constitutional monarchy, and has made little apparent effort to understand why most people are not persuaded or to respect the views of those who disagree, tending to portray most people as unthinking drones who have been duped by the propaganda. The challenge for republicans is that, while most people understand the arguments for and against, a majority remain unpersuaded that there would be any significant gain, while many would feel a deep sense of loss at the removal of this living link to British history in order to tidy up the constitution and make the country just a little bit more like everywhere else.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Another failed republic - The Maldives president forced to resign

Embattled president Mahomed Nasheed of the Maldives resigned today in the face of growing protests and a police mutiny. He handed power to his deputy Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, saying continuing in power would result in his having to use force against his people.

Former political prisoner Mahomed Nasheed beat president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 2008 and finished a dictatorial regime that had replaced the century old sultanate of the Maldives in 1968. Although governed as an independent Islamic sultanate from 1153 to 1968, the Maldives was a British protectorate from 1887 until 25 July 1965.

After independence from the UK the sultanate continued to operate for another three years under King Muhammad Fareed Didi. On 11th November 1968, the monarchy was replaced by a republic under the presidency of Ibrahim Nasir.

King Muhammad Fareed Didi, who died one year after he was deposed, had been the first Maldivian Monarch to assume the title of "King" with the style of "Your Majesty" rather than Sultan.

More on the Maldive Royal Family on their website.
"Staunchly republican", but not democratic

Should anyone have expected The Age would get the facts right, when one of the paper's journalists wrote – another – condemning editorial on the Queen on her 60th Accession Day anniversary, you were wrong.

After a few nice words about the Queen’s life achievement, the guillotine blade fell: “All this a staunchly republican newspaper like The Age readily concedes. We acknowledge, too, that the enthusiasm for an Australian republic that was strong enough a decade ago to produce a clear majority in favour of change has diminished in recent years.” The Age admitted that “opinion polls now tend to show that support for a republic has dropped below 50per cent”. That's euphemism since the latest opinion poll gave the republicans 34 per cent, hardly a figure as The Age marked it as “not so far below that mark that it could not be reversed”.

The Age repeats the republican myth, that 1999 referendum would have gone in their favour, had the republicans agreed on another model of a politicians’ republic: “The present crop of politicians also remember the scarring experience of the 1999 referendum, when the monarchy survived not because Australians wanted it but because republicans could not agree on a model of republican government. That experience, however, is but a cautionary tale. Next time, there should be a choice of models as well as a choice between the monarchy and the republic. And we should get on with it.” And what, if the majority of Australians still vote to retain the Monarchy? Will The Age (and the republicans) make peace with the Monarchy? Who else will they blame for another defeat next time, if another republican model will be rejected?

As “a staunchly republican newspaperThe Age will certainly advocate more referenda until the nation’s editorial headmasters will get what they have been hammering into the heads of the naughty Monarchist children.

However, this prophecy might be permitted: The Australian Monarchy will survive The Age’s print editions.


A letter to the editor of The Age was brought to the RadicalRoyalist's attention. The letter was not published, but the writer gave permission to put it up here:
It was to be expected that The Age, being 'a staunchly republican newspaper' according to its own account, would present a muted and non-triumphalist coverage of the Queen's extraordinary achievement in reigning for sixty years. Alas, it was also to be expected that its latest propaganda for change to a republic would be intellectually meagre indeed; and it was!

In vain does one look in your editorial for any convincing argument that a republican constitution for Australia would actually be an improvement on one that is monarchical. Contrary to your assertions, the Queen does represent Australians as a credible symbol, for, among other things, she is Sovereign of our mother-country - of what is still, culturally,
'Home'. Think too, please, of this: that the glory of kings and queens is recognised worldwide as a source of unity and inspiration to peoples. There is not, and there never will be, any such charisma for presidents.

Monday 6 February 2012

Official Diamond Jubilee portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, photographed in the Centre Room of Buckingham Palace, overlooking The Victoria Memorial Statue

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee message in full

Today, as I mark 60 years as your Queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the Diamond Jubilee.

In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth.

I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations.

I send my sincere good wishes to you all.

Australia's message to Her Majesty The Queen

6th February 2012

Her Excellency the Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, has sent the following message to Her Majesty The Queen, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of her accession to the Throne:

It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the people of Australia, to send Your Majesty loyal and affectionate greetings and congratulations on the 60th anniversary of your accession to the Throne.

The warmth and enthusiasm which greeted Your Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh on the occasion of your 16th visit to our country last year was a reflection of the immense regard in which you continue to be held.

[My husband]
Michael [Bryce] joins me in wishing you a wonderful year ahead”.

The Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Australian Opposition, the Hon. Tony Abbott posted this message on his website:

The Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen
Posted on Monday, 6th February 2012

It was sixty years ago today that Her Majesty The Queen ascended the throne on the death of her father, King George VI.

Though The Queen will formally celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in June it is appropriate that we acknowledge today The Queen’s sixty years of service.

As evidenced by the tens of thousands who greeted her during her most recent visit last year, The Queen has a special place in the hearts of all Australians.

The Queen’s first Australian Prime Minister was Sir Robert Menzies. No less than 11 Australian prime ministers and 17 opposition leaders have come and gone in those sixty years.

Whilst The Queen herself has been unchanging in her commitment to the values of service and loyalty, the Crown has evolved with the people it serves. Over the past sixty years, for instance, the office of Governor-General has evolved into a fully Australian office.

Today Australians will think of our Queen with respect and affection.

I hope all Australians will have the opportunity to celebrate and commemorate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee during 2012. The Coalition will be supportive of appropriate national commemorations that honour this significant event.

Her Majesty's Australian Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard, had a transcript of a press conference in Canberra on her website:

6th February 2012

I’ve got three matters to deal with today. First I would like to offer my congratulations to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee. Today is the anniversary, the sixtieth anniversary of her accession to the throne. We will be saying some more about this in Parliament tomorrow and particularly the ways that Australians can get involved in celebrating the Diamond Jubilee this year.

For today it is enough to say that we are marking a remarkable event for our Monarch, she is the only person to reach – the second person to reach the Diamond Jubilee anniversary, a truly remarkable event. I believe Australians remember her visit to Australia last year with a feeling of warmth and many Australians will want to get involved in celebrating this milestone this year.

Thursday 2 February 2012

Accession Day celebration in Melbourne

Melburnians have the opportunity to celebrate the Queen of Australia’s 60th anniversary of the Accession on Monday, 6th February at 2 pm at the Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3005. Please inform Phyl if your are coming, Tel. 9645 4417.

The seafarers' building was designed by Walter Butler in 1916 and is architecturally significant as being a fine urban example of the Arts and Crafts & Spanish Mission style in Melbourne. It was also the place, where Melburnian Monarchists came together to celebrate Prince Charles' 60th birthday.

The building itself is worth a visit since it is an oasis of calm in the city.