Friday 21 June 2013

Commemorative Mass for King Juan III

With a solemn commemorative mass in the royal chapel of the Royal Palace in Madrid the Spanish Royal Family and the Spanish Government honoured the centenary of the birth of Don Juan de Borbón y Battenberg. The father of King Juan Carlos was born on 20th June 1913 as the third son of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia, née Princess of Battenberg (the family changed its name to Mountbatten in 1917). He died on 1st April 1993 from laryngeal cancer.

The Royal Family during the commemorative mass.

Besides King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía many members of the Royal Family were present: Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, the Infantas Elena and Cristina. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, former Prime Minister José Luis Rodrîguez Zapatero, and the son of the former Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez, who is suffering from dementia and is no longer participates in public engagements, were among the audience of more than 200 people.

The Prince and Princess of Asturias - the King and Queen of Spain.

Other royal dignitaries also joined the Spanish Royal Family: King Simeon and Queen Margarita of the Bulgarians, Dom Duarte Pio and Duchess Dona Isabel of Bragança and the head of the South-Italian Royal Family Infante Don Carlos and Doña Ana of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

The mass was celebrated by the military Archbishop of Spain, Juan del Rio, who in his homily recalled the historical and human history of Don Juan.

On 15th January 1941 King Alfonso XIII abdicated in favour of his son, the Infante Don Juan, Count of Barcelona. In 1947 a referendum restored the Monarchy in Spain. When Don Juan met the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in August 1948, they agreed that the future heir, Don Juan Carlos, should be educated in Spain. It was clear that Franco had no desire to give up his position as head of the Spanish state. He was also aware that his supporters included the anti-royalist Falange movement, and Carlists who backed a rival branch of the Bourbon dynasty. Franco's compromise was to restore the monarchy in name in 1949, appoint himself head of state for life, and reserve the right to name his successor 'as King or Regent'.

Don Juan moved Portugal in 1946 in order to be closer to the Spanish people. He was faced with a dilemma which he never managed to resolve. Should he conclude that Franco intended to cling to power for as long as possible, and side with the liberal opponents of the regime? The issue between Don Juan and Franco was who should succeed the dictator as king in a restored monarchy: Don Juan or his son Don Juan Carlos. Don Juan knew that to sever ties with Franco would destroy his own chances of restoration. Equally, by putting Don Juan Carlos under Franco's tutelage, he knew that he was increasing the chance that Franco would name the younger Bourbon as his successor. That’s what happened in July 1969, and Don Juan was bitterly disappointed by his rejection.

From his exile in Estoril, he issued a statement pointing out that he had not been consulted and the freely expressed opinion of the Spanish people had not been sought. In Franco's final years he increased his contacts with the democratic opposition, and in June 1975, just before the dictator died, he was banned from Spain after attacking the regime at a dinner in Barcelona. After Franco’s death Don Juan realised that his son’s introduction of democratic reforms in Spain was the same as he had always intended to do and on 14th May 1977 Don Juan formally renounced his rights to the throne.

Don Juan de Borbón y Battenberg, Count of Barcelona, heir to the Spanish throne, his wife, María de las Mercedes de Borbón y Orléans, Countess of Barcelona, after they were married in Rome, Italy, 12th October 1935.
Don Juan always claimed that he took up the monarchist cause out of a sense of obligation. Before the war he had served as a naval officer, first with the Spanish navy, and after 1931 at the Royal Naval College in England.

On 1st April 1993 Don Juan died and was interred at the Pantheon of Kings in the Monastery of El Escorial under his rightful title Juan III. On 2nd January 2000, barely seven years later, his wife Doña María de las Mercedes de Borbón, Countess of Barcelona, whom he had married in 1935 in Rome, died and was buried at his side at the Pantheon of Kings in the Monastery of El Escorial.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Trooping the Colour - the Queen's official birthday

The Royal Family standing on the balcony after Trooping the Colour.

Yesterday tens of thousands of people lined The Mall and crowded in front of Buckingham Palace to watch the military procession of the yearly celebration of Her Majesty's official birthday, known as Trooping the Colour.

It was the 61st occasion that The Queen, who turned 87 on 21st April, has taken the royal salute.

Prince Harry shared the coach with The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duchess of Cambridge.

The Duke of Edinburgh's place at the Queen’s side was instead taken by her cousin, the Duke of Kent.

The Queen first took part in the Trooping the Colour in 1947 and first took the royal salute in 1951, when she deputised for her sick father, King George VI .

The Queen and The Duke of Kent.

Saturday 15 June 2013

In Melbourne: Honouring the Queen of Australia

After the Royal Over-seas League - Victorian Branch held a lunch a week ago in honour of this year's Queen's Birthday holiday, The Australian Monarchist League celebrated the official birthday of the Queen of Australia together with her 60th coronation anniversary on 14th June.

Both speaker, Sophie Mirabella MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science, and Philip Benwell MBE, AML National Chair, praised Her Majesty's tireless workload, which she continues despite her 87 years. Sophie Mirabella stressed the continuity of the Australian Monarchy by pointing out that during Her Majesty's reign, she had 11 Australian prime ministers - and 17 leaders of the opposition. Ms. Mirabella, who had been an active member of the No campaign for the 1999 referendum on the introduction of a republic in Australia, mentioned in her speech this year's proposed change to the constitution.

For the Election Day, 14th September 2013, the present government - and most members of the opposition -is proposing a referendum to change the Australian Constitution to create a third tier of government with local councils and to empower Canberra to bypass the States and give taxpayer monies direct to this new tier of government. In 1942, the States had income-taxing powers but temporarily loaned them to Canberra to fund the war effort. Those powers were never handed back and Canberra today uses taxpayer money to force the States to do its bidding.

Sophie Mirabella MP during her speech to the members and friends of the Australian Monarchist League in Melbourne.
While the Liberal Opposition in Parliament agreed to proposed referendum and front benchers are bound to this agreement, Liberal back benchers are allowed to campaign against it. Ms. Mirabella, being a member of the shadow cabinet, made it clear that she will not take part in a No campaign, but she herself would vote no, should the referendum actually be held on 14th September. However, she did welcome the Western Australian and Victorian Liberal Councils’ decision to incorporate a NO vote in their How-to-vote cards on 14th September.

The Australian Monarchist League established a referendum campaign to provide information to those concerned about this referendum and stated: “We are not in opposition to any other group that may be opposing this move to centralise more power into Canberra.” Both the local government referendum information website, a Facebook and a Twitter account have been set up.

Monday 10 June 2013

Swedish Wedding

On Saturday 8th June, Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Mr Christopher O'Neill were married in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

The Princess Couple with the bridal attendants.

The wedding began at 16.00, and the service was conducted by Chaplain to The King and Bishop Emeritus Lars-Göran Lönnermark. Princess Madeleine's wedding dress was created by the Italian designer Valentino Garavani. The Princess's tiara is privately owned, and was decorated with sprigs of orange blossom.

Representing the British royal family: Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, leaving the Royal Chapel.

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

The Greek Royal Family was represented by four children of Their Majesties King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes.

Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his wife Marie-Chantal.

Prince Nikolaos of Greece and his wife Tatiana.

Princess Theodora and her brother Prince Philippos of Greece.

Queen's Birthday Holiday 2013

The Age's editorial writer must feel so relieved. The anti-monarchist editorial for today's Queen’s Birthday holiday ("abolish the Queen's Birthday's honours - and why not the holiday as well?") is done and you can always rely on the old ideas The Age had printed on previous occasions without sounding too repetitive. They did what they obviously do consider their duty. Can we now return to the more pressing issues in Australia? The audience would have expected that The Age would have given far more coverage to the issues surrounding PRISM which have a far more direct impact on our sovereignty the our Queen’s Birthday.

Long live the Queen of Australia!

A Jacobite at the University of Western Australia, Perth

The 8th Annual Limina Conference at the University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth, will take place next Friday, 14th June, on the UWA Crawley campus, courtesy of the University's Advanced Studies Institute.

The overarching title for this year's conference is "Exclusivity: Boundaries of Difference", and the event aims to highlight current research being undertaken at UWA, and more broadly across Western Australia.

Craig Buchanan will be speaking in the first concurrent session of the morning on "Closed Ranks: the Sobieski Stuart Brothers, Jacobite Wish Fulfilment, and the Community of Authority in Great Britain, Ireland, and Beyond". Basically, the paper will look at the brothers and their relationships with some of the leading families of the day - the Dukes of Argyle, the Earl of Moray, Lord Lovat, and the extended Beresford clan, among others.

Craig Buchanan is a part-time PhD candidate within the School of Humanities at the University of Western Australia. He holds an M.Phil. from the University of St Andrews in the field of Scottish political literature, and a BA (Hons) from the University of Stirling.

Conference Schedule-Final

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Shame: Australian prank call DJ given top award

Some people really have no decency:

Royal prank call DJ Michael Christian was declared the joint "winner" of the metro category of the contest that recognises Southern Cross Austereo network's "best in the land".

Christian, who now works at Austereo's Melbourne station Fox FM, claimed regardless of "everything" that had happened he was still at the 'top of his game'.

That "everything" was a prank call to London's King Edward VII Hospital, where Christian and his colleague were put through to the Duchess of Cambridge's ward by nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who took her own life soon after the hoax.

As "Top Jock winner", Christian will fly to Los Angeles for a studio tour. Could the Americans please give him an appropriate welcome?

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Today a republican - gone tomorrow

Yesterday the Australian federal Treasurer Wayne Swan stated his republican creed:
"The time may not indeed be right for an immediate referendum, but it is my belief that it is always the right time to argue for the merits of a republic and prepare the ground for future constitutional change. The road to an Australian republic is a long one, without a timetable, and so the journey must continue.
"The case for a republic is as simple as it is compelling, and one that I have been making since my maiden parliamentary speech in 1993."
Funny that he referred to his maiden speech, since yesterday's press conference might be the preface of his swan song, his last political statement. Today he is faced with a disastrous opinion poll "Swan likely to lose seat amid Queensland Labor despair" (The Age, 4th June 2013):
"Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan looks set to lose his Brisbane seat of Lilley for a second time, with internal polling suggesting Labor will struggle to retain any Queensland seats north of the Brisbane River at the September 14 federal election.
"The results are so dire for Labor that a ''worst case'' scenario suggests Kevin Rudd could become Labor's ''last man standing'' in Queensland, with the former prime minister the only Queensland MP who is seen as likely to retain his seat.

"The Queensland polling, taken in recent weeks in Mr Swan's electorate, is believed to show that his primary vote has collapsed to just 28 per cent, compared to 41 per cent at the last election.

"Mr Swan has held the seat since 1998, although at the last election his margin narrowed from 8 per cent to 3.2 per cent, with a 10 percentage point fall in his primary vote."
Let's hope for the best that could happen. Wayne Swan will lose his seat in September and have a lot of time afterwards to become a full time republican propagandist. Or should we say "itinerant preacher"? Even The Age's editorial admitted today: "The increasing likelihood is that a federal Coalition government led by Tony Abbott, an ardent monarchist, would consign a republic to the political deep freeze for at least a few more years. "

No need to feel sorry - neither for Mr. Swan nor for The Age. This letter to the editor says it all:
According to internal polling, Wayne Swan is about to receive a well-deserved and long overdue ''efficiency dividend'' from his electorate (4/6). Can't wait.
Lucien Zalcman, North Fitzroy
Seen at Federation Square in Melbourne.
It goes without saying, that The Age, like the ABC, has totally ignored The Queen's Diamond Coronation Jubilee. All they could publish was a re-print from The Sunday Telegraph last Wednesday, 29th May: Working overtime. No wonder, The Age no longer uses the PR sloag: "If it matters to you, it's in The Age." Such an obvious lie wouldn't work anymore.

Queen Máxima charms Germany

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima today arrived in Berlin to begin their first visit to Germany. The royal pair were greeted by Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin at the beginning of their two-day visit. The visits to both Hesse and Baden-Württemberg had been planned ahead of Queen Beatrix's abdication. However, the itinerary was extended to include a first official visit to Berlin as head of state for Willem-Alexander. In both states, the royal pair were to meet German and Dutch entrepreneurs.

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Ma1xima and Angela Merkel.
Germany was not the first state visit they paid to a foreign nation. In May King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima visit their relatives in Luxembourg. Until 1890 the King of the Netherlands was also Grand Duke of Luxembourg. But Luxembourg did not recognise female succession and when Queen Wilhelmina inherited the throne from her father, King Willem III in 1890, Luxembourg received the former Duke of Nassau as new Grand Duke Adolph I. Ironically King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima left Berlin for Wiesbaden, today the capital of the German state of Hesse, but until 1866 the residence of the Dukes of Nassau. When the Prussian annexed Nassau in 1866 they could not have thought, that the Prussian dynasty would lose their throne, but the rulers of Nassau would still be sitting on a throne today.

On Tuesday, the couple - and a delegation representing Dutch business - will continue on to Baden-Württemberg. Like in Hesse, the royal couple could walk on the footsteps of their ancestors: Princess Sophie, daughter of King Wilhelm I of Württemberg, married Dutch King Willem III in 1839 and became Queen of the Netherlands. Unfortunately all three sons born to the royal couple died before they could succeed their father as King of the Netherlands. After Queen Sophie's premature death in 1877, King Willem III married Princess Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, a small German principality and today also part of the state of Hesse, on 7th January 1879. She was 41 years the King's junior. In 1880, Princess Wilhelmina was born. She became heiress presumptive in 1884 after the death of the last remaining son from William's first marriage. Many potential male heirs had died between 1878 and 1884. Because Queen Wilhelmina had not yet reached adulthood, Dowager Queen Emma became regent for her daughter. She would remain regent until Queen Wilhelmina's eighteenth birthday in 1898. Queen Wilhelmina reigned until 1948 and is King Willem-Alexander's great grandmother.

The schedule for the visit to the Hesse state capital of Wiesbaden included a reception with state premier Volker Bouffier, who faces an election this September and certainly appreciates a little bit of royal glamour. Also on the itinerary was a visit to a memorial to William the Silent, the founding father of the Dutch royal family who had strong links with Hesse.

A visit to the Opel car factory at Rüsselsheim is planned for Tuesday, along with engagements near Stuttgart at machinery and laser firm Trumpf and the University of Hohenheim.

Sunday 2 June 2013

The Queen's 60th Coronation anniversary

The 1953 Coronation provided the Queen with a formal initiation rite and an investiture with her official regalia.

Australia's magnifiscent Queen's Birthday stamp 2013
Queen Elizabeth was the 39th sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey; the first was William the Conqueror, whose coronation took place on Christmas Day, 1066.

The 27-year-old Queen swore her oath and was anointed (concealed under a canopy) on her hands, her breast and her head with holy oil of orange flowers, roses, cinnamon, jasmine and sesame with benzoin, musk, civet and ambergris, in imitation of the anointing of the kings of ancient Israel. She put on the Armills (bracelets), the Robe Royal and the Stole Royal. She held the orb and sceptre. Then the crown was placed upon her head.

Everyone shouted “God Save Queen Elizabeth. Long Live Queen Elizabeth. May the Queen live for ever.”