Saturday 30 June 2012

The Queen unveils a memorial to Bomber Command

Her Majesty the Queen thanks Australian Bomber Command veterans David Leicester and Norman Deady for their service at the Bomber Command Memorial dedication in London.
Second World War veterans from Britain, Australia, Canada and around the world braved sweltering conditions on 28th June 2012 to see the Queen unveil a memorial to tens of thousands of airmen who died in the conflict.

The Bomber Command Memorial in London's Green Park remembers the sacrifice and bravery of the RAF and Commonwealth crew who played a crucial part in winning the War and faced death on a daily basis.

Marshal of the Royal Air Force HRH The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Australian Bomber Command Veterans at the memorial dedication.
More than 5,000 veterans and veterans' relatives joined The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to remember the 55,573 RAF crew who lost their lives.

The Queen pulled a rope to unveil the centrepiece of the memorial, a 9ft bronze sculpture depicting a seven-man bomber crew returning from a mission.

The Last Post was sounded and there was also a flypast by five RAF GR4 Tornado bomber aircraft crewed by the RAF, and another by the RAF's last flying Lancaster Bomber, which dropped poppies over the park as a message of remembrance for those who died.

The Bomber Command Memorial has been criticized in Germany, where many see the devastating attacks as criminal. But there is growing acceptance of Britain's desire to honor its dead. And Germany has donated a £25,000 yew tree for the memorial site. The tree, which will take pride of place in a garden of remembrance next to the monument in Green Park, will be a symbol of reconciliation as well as recognising the sacrifice made by the 55,573 airmen who died to help free Europe, including Germany, from Nazi tyranny.

It was originally planted in Potsdam, near Berlin, to commemorate the meeting in 1945 between Stalin, Churchill and Truman at which Germany's future was decided.

Jim Dooley, chairman of the memorial committee, said when the move was announced two years ago: "This is a stunning gesture by the German people, and one for which we are hugely grateful."

Concerns in the city of Dresden have been assuaged by an inscription commemorating all lives lost during the raids. Heike Grossmann, spokeswoman for the mayor of Dresden, Helma Orosz, said: "We are close friends with people in Britain, we are twinned with Coventry, and at first we were surprised that the memorial was being constructed. Our mayor raised concerns when she happened to be at an exhibition in London and met London mayor Boris Johnson. The inscription is a further gesture of reconciliation between Britain and Germany."

Marshal of the Royal Air Force HRH The Prince of Wales looks at Australian Bomber Command Veteran Phillip Smith's historic photo at the memorial dedication.
Dudley Hannaford, 88, who came from Sydney, Australia for the service, told how he served as a wireless operator on Lancaster bombers flying out of RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.

"I had 18 operations over Germany and I was shot down on the 18th," he said. "I joined up with the pilot and we tried to evade capture, which we did for 16 days, but we ran out of food and had to give ourselves up. It was quite near the end of the war anyway, and I was in a prisoner of war camp near Munich when I was released and repatriated."

He said today's occasion was "absolutely wonderful. It makes me think of release and victory. I only played a very small part in that, but it is something to be very thankful for."

Other veterans came from Canada and New Zealand.

The Belgian-Greek Royal Connection

In his latest posting The Exiled Belgian Royalist published a most interesting article on the Belgian-Greek Connection in the 1830s:
"The Greeks had claimed independence to break away from the Ottoman Empire of Turkey in 1830 and were in need of a monarch. A prince from a powerful royal family or with, at least, family ties to powerful countries, was preferred to help secure Greek independence as a policy of insurance against efforts by the Turks to retake Greece. Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was considered and was asked to come reign over the new Kingdom of Greece. The cause of the Greeks had been a popular one in Europe, seen by many as a great romantic adventure and there was much sympathy for the Greeks against the Turks. Prince Leopold was not unaffected by this and he considered seriously accepting the offer to become the first King of Greece or King of the Greeks.

"After reviewing the Greek situation, he did not have much confidence in their chances of success. The population seemed too divided, the situation was too unstable and there were not the resources to ensure to a reasonable degree the long-term success. Finally he decided to decline the offer ..."

Instead of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in August 1832 the Greek National Assembly elected 17 year old Prince Otto, the second son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria as King of Greece. He arrived in his new Kingdom on 6th February 1833.

Fatherly advice

His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan advising HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein


His Majesty King Abdullah II has sent a letter to HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II on the occasion of his 18th birthday on 28th June.

Following is the full text of King Abdullah’s letter to Prince Hussein:

Your Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II May God preserve and protect you, Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you, It is a pleasure to extend to you my Arab Hashemite greetings, expressing my love for you, my satisfaction and pride in you. You are a Hashemite knight whom I have consecrated to the service of his country and loyal people, and the Arab and Islamic nation.

I have chosen to send you this message upon the completion of the 18th year in what will, God willing, be your long life. At such age, you are fit to shoulder the burden of responsibility. May this letter be a beacon that guides you in the days to come as you fulfil your responsibilities and may it show you the way of life and approach to work that you will adopt.

This has been the vision of governance as far as we, the Hashemites, are concerned. It has been passed from generation to generation, starting from our great ancestor, Prophet Mohammad, may peace and God’s blessings be upon him. He taught us and humanity at large that fearing God is the ultimate wisdom and that the pious will always be divinely guided out of their dilemmas. He taught us that those who are modest will be raised to higher status by God and that justice is the cornerstone of governance. We have also learned from the Prophet that mercy, forgiveness and tolerance as personal traits are blessings that God grants only to his good servants, as evident in the holy Koranic verse: "It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)." Our fathers and grandfathers have followed this path. They have upheld the belief that responsibility is a trust and serving the people is a duty and an honour. They have always believed that a good ruler is the one who sees himself as the servant of his people, even if they see him as their master.

I have learned from your grandfather, the late Al Hussein, God bless his soul, that I should treat each and every fellow Jordanian as a brother, a father or a son. He taught me to respect the elderly, have mercy on the young and the vulnerable and treat all on equal footing when it comes to rights and duties. I was taught to forgive wrongdoers, and work relentlessly to serve the people and their interests and those of the future generations. The relationship between us, the Hashemites, and the faithful Jordanian people has never been one between the ruler and the ruled. Rather, it was founded on cordiality, respect, compassion and solidarity. We have always been one loving family. Jordanians of all backgrounds and origins have seen the most difficult conditions and experiences. Nevertheless, they remained one united and loving family. They have never failed their leadership, nor have they failed to carry out a duty or offer a sacrifice, regardless of its scale. It is our duty to pay back, returning to our people the same love, pride, appreciation and gratitude they have given us.

I have raised you, and I have great faith in you. I am totally confident that you will follow on the path of your father and grandfathers as a man committed to loving your country with a high sense of belonging and devotion to sincere, hard work. I am confident that you will show selflessness, humility, resolve and strong will. You will always follow the guidelines of the Hashemites, reflecting their traits: the good manners and generosity that stem from fear of God in the first place, and then from their love for people, modesty in dealing with them, keenness to serving them and treating them on equal footing.

I am happy and proud of the person you have become now and the one you will be in the future, God willing. You will always have my support and good advice.

May God protect you and grant you success in serving your people and country. I ask Him to render you the source of our hope and optimism, and that of your people and supporters, the members of the one great Jordanian family.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Your father, Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein Amman, June 28, 2012 AD Shaaban 8, 1433H

Sunday 24 June 2012

The Queen of Australia represents multiculturalism

Last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the first data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. After The Age published interpreting articles, one letter writer (mis-)used the blank figures for an attack on the Queen of Australia.
THE census figures demonstrate how totally inappropriate is our head of state. In a modern democracy the head of state should represent the entire population. The Queen as head of the Church of England represents the 17 per cent of the population who are Anglican. Catholics represent 25 per cent of the population. Clearly the Pope would be a more appropriate foreign head of state than the Queen.
Brian Sanaghan, West Preston
Brian is a well-known writer of pro-republican letters to the editors of many Australian newspapers, but instead of assuming that Her Majesty is unfit to be Australia’s head of state, because she is an Anglican and head of the Church of England, he should consider her the most suitable person to represent multiculturalism.

Not only is she married to a husband of Greek origin, she had a mother who was Scottish, a grandmother who was of Württemberg descent and a great-grandmother from Denmark, her husband’s grandmother was Russian. And to top it all: The most interesting genealogical issue of the descent of Her Majesty the Queen is that among her forefathers was the Prophet Mohammed.

The Queen is descended from the marriage of Edmund of Langley, the fifth son of King Edward III, to Isabel of Castile in 1372. Isabel was the daughter of Pedro the Cruel; Pedro the Cruel was descended from the Prophet. The Queen's descent from Edmund of Langley is straightforward. It runs through Edward IV, Edmund's great grandson, to King Edward IV's great grand-daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, down through King James I to the Hanoverian line, and so on to the House of Windsor.

She even has managed to join Martin McGuinness, the leading republican, who was once an IRA commander, in a handshake representing peace for Ireland.

Here's another press release from the ABS:

Saturday 16 June 2012

Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee in the Jubilee Time Capsule

The Jubilee Time Capsule is a way for people to share their memories of the last 60 years and help create a unique gift for The Queen this Diamond Jubilee year.

It is online time capsule that will chart the 60 years of Her Majesty’s reign from the people’s perspective and will be gifted to The Queen following the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Invited are people from across the globe to select one of the 22,000+ days in the time capsule and share their story of that day; be it a memory of a family wedding in Australia last year, or memories of Ghana’s Independence Day in 1957 as a Dominion with the Queen as head of state.

Taking part is easy: simply visit, sign up, pick your date and tell your story. Use photos, videos, words, songs, poems ... whatever you want - it's up to you - it's your story!

This is a Commonwealth capsule, so stories must be about life in a Commonwealth country, or events that have impacted the Commonwealth.

The Jubilee Time Capsule is organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society. About The Royal Commonwealth Society.

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) is an education charity with a wide portfolio of projects which seek to engage young people in global affairs and develop their skills through a number of different schemes.

For over a century, the RCS has communicated with schools, universities and young people to engage them in issues and to develop their skills in leadership, writing, film making, photography, advocacy, public speaking, political literacy, communication and volunteering. The vision of the RCS is to promote international understanding through our membership, educational programmes, events and publications, thereby helping to raise the profile and value of the modern Commonwealth.

Thursday 14 June 2012

The Greek Crown Prince joins the discussion

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece has launched his discussion forum, The Periscope Post. Just a few days before the Greeks go to the polls again, he has chosen a provocative title: Germany failed to conquer Europe through military power, are they now succeeding through financial and socia-economic power? 

The answer the Greek Crown Prince gives, is far away from statements uttered by the Neo-Nazis of Chryssi Avgi, populist Syriza or the numerous marxist parties who shout unrealistic slogans and promise the sky to the desperate Greeks. 
"Not all countries have the resources to be as industrially productive as Germany, but in the southern sphere of Europe, we at least need to consider a better work ethic and social responsibility. We need to pay our taxes, not cheat the system, and ensure that education is based not only on completing a high school diploma or baccalaureate, but also on bringing up socially responsible adults. If a population wishes to mirror some of the social benefits that northern European countries such as Germany, Denmark, and Sweden enjoy, then they must also recognize the need to be responsible to themselves, to their neighbours and to their governments. Similarly, governments can no longer try to gain votes by promising deals that will eventually bankrupt their own countries. We cannot expect to receive and not give back in sweat, innovation and social unity. As the late John F. Kennedy famously said, 'ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country'."
While the Greek Royalists are still not able to present their ideas to the Greek people because of the banning of the Monarchist party  National Hope (ΕΘΝΙΚΗ ΕΛΠΙΔΑ), Crown Prince Pavlos is able to have his say in the Greek future. The internet cannot be banned by the Greek authorities.

Diamond Jubilee song biggest selling single of 2012

Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band have taken the top spot in the UK charts this week, with 'Sing.' The track was written and recorded for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and was accompanied by a BBC documentary showing Barlow travelling the continents on the hunt for musicians to perform on the track.
'Sing' sold 142,000 following the concert on 3rd June 2012 and claims this week's No.1 single spot, with Gary Barlow also claiming a No.1 album with his commemorative record of the same name. All proceeds of the album go to the charities endorsed by the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee.
At a special meeting at Windsor Castle Andrew Lloyd Webber (r.) and Gary Barlow officially presented Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a special anthem they have jointly composed in honour of her Diamond Jubilee.


Monday 11 June 2012

Happy Queen's Birthday Holiday

Like in all previous years The Age has printed its usual anti-monarchist editorial for Queen’s Birthday holiday. “As The Age has asked before, why do we continue to mark an occasion that is an unnecessary link to Australia's colonial past?” Yes, they have asked the question many times, but they keep refusing to acknowledge the answer: Because the Australians – in their overall majority – want the Monarchy.

Interestingly enough the result of the most recent opinion poll on this question, published two days ago, never appeared in The Age, neither in the printed version nor online:

According to the Roy Morgan Researchan increased majority of Australians (58%, up 6% - the highest since July 1988) believe Australia should remain a Monarchy while a decreasing number of Australians 35% (down 2% since October 2011) believe Australia should become a republic with an elected president and 7% (down 4%) are undecided — according to a special Morgan Poll of Australians taken over two nights (June 5/6, 2012).

"Now more Australians (48%, up 5% since October 2011) also support Australia remaining as a Monarchy if Prince Charles were to be crowned King than not with 43% (down 5%) of Australians wanting a Republic with an elected President, and 9% of Australians can’t say.

"But, if Prince William were to be crowned King, a clear majority of 58%, (up 5% since October 2011) would want to continue with the Monarchy while only 34% (down 5%) of Australians would want a republic with an elected president and 8% (unchanged) of Australians can’t say.

"Analysis by voting intention shows more ALP supporters (48%) want a Republic with an elected President compared to 47% who would prefer to continue with the Monarchy. However L-NP supporters clearly favour continuing with the Monarchy (72%) and only 23% want a republic with an elected president."

The Age should start asking questions about why this has occurred instead of pushing their old and rather tired editorial policy on a disinterested Australian people. The circulation culd only benefit.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Stupid, stupid, stupid - Penny Wong and the Royal Anthem

When the Australian beacon for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was lit, Her Majesty’s Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stood side by side with the Leader of Her Majesty’s Australian Opposition Tony Abbott. While the latter sang God Save the Queen, the PM’s lips were sealed. That caused some kerfuffle in Australia. Asked by journalists, why he thought the PM did not join in singing, Tony Abbott joked that the Labor Prime Minister might not know the lyrics. “May be she sang the Internationale during her youth ...

Australian Finance Minister Penny Wong defended her Labor leader by making clear, that she (Ms Wong) knew the lyrics of the Australian National Anthem Advance Australia fair, but not those of a foreign anthem.

It is deplorable that a woman in her position does not know that God Save the Queen is not only the British National Anthem, but also Australia’s Royal Anthem.

The website of the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade explains:
[In] April 1984 that the Governor-General issued a proclamation that ‘God Save the Queen’ was designated the Royal Anthem, to be played at public engagements in Australia attended by the members of the Royal family. ‘Advance Australia Fair’ was finally declared to be the Australian national anthem.

Usually ‘God Save the Queen’ is played at the start of Royal functions and ‘Advance Australia Fair’ at the end, unless it is more appropriate to play both anthems at the start. ‘Advance Australia Fair’ is played at all other official functions.
Could the Australian Foreign Minister please enlighten the Australian Finance Minister about the role of the Australian anthems?

In case you would like to tell her, send her an emai:

It is very common to have  case to have a national and a royal, even presidential anthem. Here's a list of these countries.

The best-known example is Norway.

The Norwegian Nation Anthem

Royal Anthem of Norway - Gud Sign Vår Konge God

Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

On the Occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Reign

To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

I write to offer my warmest congratulations to Your Majesty on the happy occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of your reign. During the past sixty years you have offered to your subjects and to the whole world an inspiring example of dedication to duty and a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, in keeping with a noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch.

I retain warm memories of the gracious welcome accorded to me by Your Majesty at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh at the beginning of my Apostolic Visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010, and I renew my thanks for the hospitality that I received throughout those four days. Your personal commitment to cooperation and mutual respect between the followers of different religious traditions has contributed in no small measure to improving ecumenical and interreligious relations throughout your realms.

Commending Your Majesty and all the Royal Family to the protection of Almighty God, I renew my heartfelt good wishes on this joyful occasion and I assure you of my prayers for your continuing health and prosperity.

From the Vatican, 23 May 2012





A Sua Maestà
la Regina Elisabetta II

Scrivo per formularle, Maestà, le mie più cordiali congratulazioni nella lieta occasione del giubileo di diamante del suo regno. Negli ultimi sessant’anni lei ha offerto ai suoi sudditi e al mondo intero un esempio ispirante di dedizione al dovere e d’impegno a sostenere i principi di libertà, giustizia e democrazia, conformemente a una nobile visione del ruolo di un monarca cristiano.

Conservo cordiali ricordi della cortese accoglienza che lei, Maestà, mi ha riservato a Holyroodhouse a Edimburgo, all’inizio della mia visita Apostolica nel Regno Unito nel settembre 2010, e rinnovo i miei ringraziamenti per l’ospitalità che ho ricevuto in tutti e quattro quei giorni. Il suo impegno personale a favore della cooperazione e del mutuo rispetto tra i seguaci delle diverse tradizioni religiose ha contribuito in non poca misura a migliorare le relazioni ecumeniche e interreligiose nei suoi regni.

Affidando Sua Maestà e l’intera Famiglia Reale alla protezione di Dio Onnipotente, rinnovo i miei cordiali buoni auspici in questa gioiosa occasione e l’assicuro delle mie preghiere per la sua buona salute e prosperità.

Dal Vaticano, 23 maggio 2012

Thursday 7 June 2012

"The Monarchy is the real defender of liberty and equality"

In an opinion piece for the ABC Philip Bond, "a political thinker and social-economic commentator" writes today:
" ... there are advantages to being a subject of the crown rather than a citizen of a republic. Traditionally English monarchs conferred the status of subject on all in their realms, thus making all equal. This effectively subverted the rule of feudal lords by making the King responsible for the peasants who worked the land. Conversely, citizenship in republics was often only conferred on a privileged group and could be denied of whole classes of people, such as slaves or women.

"When monarchy and republics collide, it quickly becomes clear which is the more just. For example, in 1772, when Lord Mansfield freed an American slave named Somersett who had landed in Britain, he declared slavery an odious institution and argued that it had no place in British common law. Fear that this would extend to the American colonies helped provoke the war of independence, resulting in a republic that maintained slavery. As the former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass noted on leaving America in 1845 for Britain, he would be sailing from "American republican slavery, to monarchical liberty."

"And English colonial history is replete with examples when the monarch tried to restrain colonists from pillage and murder precisely because the natives where also subjects of the Crown. So progressive is constitutional monarchy that, had the American Revolution been avoided, I suspect slavery in the United States would have abolished decades earlier, the civil war would not have occurred and the Native American population would not have been slaughtered.

"Nor are the virtues of monarchies confined to the distant past. Constitutional monarchies comprise some of the world's most developed, wealthy, democratically accountable and progressive states. According to the UN, seven of the top ten countries in the world in terms of quality of life are constitutional monarchies. Monarchies really do help guarantee liberty and prosperity.

"High tories used to argue that because the monarch stood alone, he or she could not be bought off by vested interests or the corruptions of representative politics. Indeed, English monarchs have regularly allied with the people against vested interests - so, when landowners were evicting peasants in the sixteenth century, the king campaigned against enclosure and the landed interest.

"Similarly, today Prince Charles sponsors through his foundations and charities political and educational work that is often more radical and transformative than anything state or private endeavour has yet achieved. A populist monarchism also brought Spain out from fascism and monarchy remains central to many European states, precisely because people trust the institution more than they do politics and politicians.

"In an era when representative government is so despised and democratic accountability has resulted in the creation of undemocratic and unaccountable elites who are nothing less than a modern oligarchy, do not be surprised that monarchy becomes ever more popular. It is, after all, the real defender of liberty and equality."

"Charles will be our next head of state"

It seems that Shaun Carney, an associate editor of The Age, went too far yesterday. He had admitted:
“Charles will be our next head of state. And, whether I live to see it or not, I'm convinced that Charles' first-born, William, will be Australia's head of state after that.”
Today The Age’s editorial returned to the familiar republican modus vivendi:
People who have a strong and principled attachment to the institution of monarchy may be relatively few in this country, but there are undoubtedly many who sincerely profess admiration and affection for the monarch. That fact alone may keep the republic at bay for the remainder of her reign.
And the author of the editorial expressed equally this hope:
The mystique of monarchy may yet prove to be merely the mystique of a monarch, and popular support for an Australian republic, which has waned in recent years, may revive. For the present, however, an observation of Liberal frontbencher and former republican leader Malcolm Turnbull probably captures the popular mood most accurately: Australia has more Elizabethans than monarchists.
How much better did Shaun Carney capture the situation for the Australian Monarchy - at present and in the foreseeable future:
...for Australians, the diamond jubilee festivities were our celebration too, because the Queen is our head of state.”

“ Charles seems a decent person who has played his part in raising two fine young men in William and Harry. None of them asked to be born into the British royal family, which, because Britain colonised this continent in the 18th century, is our royal family.

“And we had our chance to go in a different direction, but, by a national vote of 55-45 per cent, chose not to. As recently as the late 1990s, a solid majority of Australians were telling pollsters that they wanted Australia to become a republic, to cut the formal constitutional ties with Britain and to have a full-time Australian head of state. Then the republicans started squabbling about what sort of republic we should have, which cruelled the chance of success at the 1999 referendum, and the opportunity to end Australia's days as a constitutional monarchy was lost.

“Originally, the republicans - especially the direct-election advocates who had supported a ''no'' vote at the referendum - argued that the country would be able to return to the question a few years down the track. It soon became apparent that this would not happen. Then they looked to the period after the Queen's passing as the appropriate time for the move to a republic, convincing themselves that Prince Charles as king would be a turn-off to monarchists - a forlorn piece of wishful thinking.

“In the meantime, public attitudes in Australia have changed. Republican sentiment has been in steady retreat. Last year, the Queen attracted enormous numbers during her Australian visit. The gushing from Australians behind the barricades in Melbourne about the Queen's magnificence equalled the encomiums from their London counterparts this week.

“The republican cause in Australia will always have adherents, but republicanism's moment has passed. Perhaps it will return, but not for a long time.”
To publish a contradicting opinion piece with the all too familiar republican statements one day after Shaun Carney’s admission that the republican crusade has failed to capture the Australians is an effort to re-establish the newspaper’s credentials among the Australian republican circles. Alarming figures haunt the Melbourne branch of Fairfax media. The Age’s sales dropped 13.4 per cent on a weekday in the March 2012 quarter and the Saturday Age lost 12.4 per cent. Instead of transferring 66 editorial production jobs to New Zealand – which lead to a journalist strike of 36 hours in Melbourne – Fairfax should re-examine their editorial policy.

Everybody who follows the RadicalRoyalist knows, that Rupert Murdoch has no friend in this blogger, but it must be said that while The Age lost readers in double digits, Murdoch’s Melbourne tabloid HeraldSun newspaper fell only 3 per cent in March 2012.

Murdoch knows, what people want to spent money on. Last Saturday the HeraldSun offered a 52-page souvenir magazine that was sold with the newspaper on 2nd June, the day before the beginning of the big Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It is a lovely and well-edited magazine with references to the Queen of Australia and the Queen of Victoria – terms you will never find printed in The Age. How did The Age report on the Diamond Jubilee celebrations? They re-printed articles from The Daily Telegraph and the Guardian. Nothing extraordinary, but perhaps the editor thought not being nasty had been praise enough.

But why should one buy a Melburnian newspaper, when there is so little content that pleases its readers?

Monday 4 June 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee

After spending many hours in front of the television until the early hours of the morning, this is not the time to re-capitulate the fantastic Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

The Queen and all members of the royal family enjoyed the biggest event on the Thames for 350 years together with an estimated 1.25 million rain-lashed royal supporters. Soon the ratings will show, how many Australians watched this spectacular show of loyalty.

It has to be admitted that the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant could not be covered in the Monday edition of The Age. But why did the chief editor decide to put in an opinion piece of the misanthropic Tim Soutphommasane?

His commentary must have been written before the event as there would not have been time for it to included in today's Age otherwise.

His comment: Last night, my thoughts turned to Philip. There he was, sitting next to the Queen on the gilded royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, as it floated down the Thames as part of a 1000-boat flotilla.

But had he really watched the live broadcast, he would have noticed that neither Prince Philip nor the Queen ever sat down. The Queen barely flinched and showed her stoicism by standing throughout a miserable afternoon to greet the armada in conditions reminiscent of her coronation in 1953.

Tim Soutphommasane shows his complete lack of the magic of the Monarchy by aligning the form of state with claiming that the class warfare has returned to Australia.
As a republican, I hope that Australia will one day sever its formal ties with the British monarchy. ... Yet any apathy about the republican cause might also reflect our flagging egalitarianism. Perhaps we have been growing increasingly comfortable with inequality, in its various forms. This has been accompanied by a new conservative political correctness. ... Charges of class warfare are now back in vogue. We are told that we should be generating wealth rather than redistributing it. That it's wrong to rob Peter to pay Paul.
Republicans like Tim Soutphommasane guarantee the continuity of the Australian Monarchy. God save the Queen!

Sunday 3 June 2012

Persian Prince Reza Pahlavi in The Hague

Persian Dutch Network – “If tomorrow our country is attacked, it just destroys our chances for democracy”, Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of [Iran] said in a press conference in The Hague.

The Prince is paying a short but intense visit to The Netherlands in order to present evidence to the International Criminal Court in order to charge the supreme leader of Iran for crimes against humanity.

As the Iranian government has not signed the Rome Statute we cannot send a complaint to the court as citizens or groups”, Reza Pahlavi told the Persian Dutch Network in a video interview. “Everything is up to the Security Council of the United Nations to refer the file to the ICC,” he added.

Prince Reza sought support from those who care about human rights issues in Iran.

Crown Prince Reza was welcomed in The Hague by his supporters.
The 52-year Prince has lived in exile since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. At a press conference in The Hague, Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi strongly warned against a military attack on Iran. “It just destroy our chances for democracy in our homeland. In this way we lose the support of Iranians who are now fighting for democracy.”

Prince Reza Pahlavi is meeting with Dutch Parliament members. Dutch media has warmly received his arrival to The Netherlands. The Iranian Embassy in The Hague has not yet reacted to the Prince’s trip.

Before the Crown Prince went to The Hague, he had been in Berlin. Members of the federal parliament (Bundestag) had agreed to meet him and to discuss his concerns. However, the meeting was cancelled at short notice. But Crown Prince Reza could talk to media people in the German capital, among other to the B.Z. News aus Berlin and an Iranian TV station (see below). Why the German politicians shied awayfrom a meeting with Crown Prince Reza is at everybody's guess.

Saturday 2 June 2012

The Queen bestows Order of Merit upon John Howard

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been presented with a rare and exclusive accolade from the Queen of Australia. During a meeting with the Monarch at Buckingham Palace, John Howard received the insignia of a member of the Order of Merit. Appointments to the Order are the Sovereign's personal gift and no ministerial advice is required. The Order is restricted to 24 members as well as additional foreign recipients. Appointments can only be made when a member dies. The Honourable John Howard O.M., A.C., S.S.I. and British artist David Hockney O.M., C.H., R.A., who was also appointed on 1st January 2012, take places left by the death of artist Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH (8th December 1922 – 20th July 2011) and Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE (7th November 1926 – 10th October 2010).

John Howard: "It's a very nice honour and I feel particularly touched that I should have received it. I am touched by the personal compliment but I also see it very much as a mark of the Queen's great affection and esteem for Australia.

"What I did, of course, I did as an Australian and as prime minister of the country. It was the greatest privilege anybody can have to be prime minister of Australia and I certainly see it very much as a mark of respect for our country."

John Howard and ecologist Robert May, Baron May of Oxford, OM, AC, FRS (* 8th January 1938), an Australian scientist who has been Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, are the only current Australian members of the Order, while opera singer Dame Joan Sutherland and Sir Sidney Robert Nolan OM, AC (22 April 1917 – 28 November 1992), one of Australia's best-known painters and printmakers, are among past recipients. John Howard was accompanied to Buckingham Palace by his wife Janette and youngest son Richard.

Having already been appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia, and receiving the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, protocol will see the latest honour take precedence on the chest of Australia's 25th prime minister.

Friday 1 June 2012

The Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Australian Opposition: "We are indeed lucky as Australians to have had her as our Queen."

On the eve of the Diamond Jubilee Tony Abbott, Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Australian Opposition praised the Queen of Australia in Parliament:
I am grateful to be given these few moments to note that before the parliament next meets Her Majesty the Queen will have celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. I think it is worth recalling today the words of Prime Minister Ben Chifley when noting in this parliament many, many years ago the marriage between Princess Elizabeth and Phillip Mountbatten. Prime Minister Chifley said:
The members of this Parliament would wish to be associated directly with the general rejoicing throughout the Empire on the occasion …
He went on to say:

… all Australians regard with deep affection this charming girl, whose natural dignity, intelligence and nobility of mind so well equip her to become the ruler of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

That charming girl has become a gracious and dutiful monarch who has served this country and many others for 60 eventful years. We are indeed lucky as Australians to have had her as our Queen, and the whole world is lucky to have had such an exemplar of duty and service.
May I conclude with the words of the royal hymn, which I hope will be widely sung in this jubilee year: May God save our Queen, and may she long reign over us.