Saturday 31 August 2013

Survey: Queenslanders love the Australian Monarchy

The Queensland Times chose bizarre headline so report on a positive event: Survey shock: Ipswich loves the Royals
 "Ipswich voters are among the country's most enthusiastic supporters of Australia retaining its ties with the monarchy and not becoming a republic.
"And they are just as passionate about Australia investing more money on defence, and getting tougher on temporary foreign workers and restricting the number of 457 visas issued.

"Those attitudes became clear when the ABC published results of its Vote Compass survey, which measures the responses of 900,000 Australians to a number of propositions.

"The report showcases the electorates where voters are 'most in agreement' and 'least in agreement' with the propositions put forward in the Vote Compass survey.

"Voters in the electorate of Blair ranked ninth in the country in their support for the monarchy.

"Of the 10 electorates that stood most firmly behind the monarchy, nine were Queensland seats - including Wright, which also covers parts of Ipswich.

"Federal LNP candidate Teresa Harding said she supported Australia's form of government and saw no reason it change it.

"But Labor MP for Blair Shayne Neumann said he thought it was time Australia had its own head of state and believed the change was inevitable."
The survey result reflects Queensland's loyalty to the Crown. In the 1999 referendum 62.56 percent of the Queenslanders said No to a politicians republic. They rejected the model, which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the republicans at the 1998 Constitutional Convention.

Australian Referendum on the question: Do You Approve of the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia as a Republic with the Queen and Governor-General being Replaced by a President Appointed by a Two-Thirds Majority of the Members of the Commonwealth Parliament, 6th November 1999

Friday 30 August 2013

Pope Francis received the King and Queen of Jordan

Pope Francis and the Jordanian sovereigns.
On the morning of 29th August 2013 Pope Francis received their Majesties the King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Rania. Later, the Hashemite sovereign met with His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

King Abdullah II, Queen Rania and Pope Francis.
Several themes of common interest were addressed during the course of the cordial encounter, most importantly the promotion of peace and stability in the Middle East, with a particular focus on the restarting of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and on the question of Jerusalem. Special attention was reserved for the tragic situation in which Syria finds itself. In this regard, it was reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population.

Appreciation was also expressed for King Abdullah’s commitment in the field of interreligious dialogue and for the initiative of convening a conference in Amman, at the beginning of the month of September, on the challenges that Christians in the Middle East will have to face, in particular during this period of socio-political transformations. Finally, recognition was expressed for the positive contribution that Christian communities bring to the local society, of which they are an integral part.

The Jordanian Queen wore a white veil. According to the Vatican customs, only Catholic Queens or monarchs may wear white veils for an audience with the Pope. When Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to the late John Paul II she wore a black veil. In her typical style, Cherie Blair wore a white veil. Although a Catholic, she was not a head of state nor was her husband, then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Queen Elizabeth II wore black, when she was received by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Royal Egyptian and Afghan Wedding

Crown Prince Muhammad Ali of Egypt and Princess Noal Zaher, granddaughter of King Zaher Shah of Afghanistan, are preparing for their impending royal wedding.

Crown Prince Muhammad Ali, Noal Zaher's mother, Fatima Aref Begum, Muhammad's father, King Fuad II and Princess Noal Zaher
The couple, who announced their engagement on 27 April 2013, are set to tie the knot on 30th August at the Palace of Çirağan on the European shores of the Istanbul Strait in Turkey.

The Egyptian Crown Prince was born in Cairo in 1979 and is the eldest son of King Fuad II of Egypt, giving him the title of Prince of Sa'id. Today Prince Muhammad resides in Paris where he works in real estate and met his princess during a holiday in Istanbul.

Princess Noal Zaher was born in 1980 in the Italian capital of Rome, where her family took refuge after a coup d'état proclaimed a republic in Afghanistan in 1973, which destabilised the country up to this day. Her father is Prince Mohammed Daoud Khan Pachtounyar, the fifth son of King of Afghanistan Zahir Shah and Queen Homeira.

Princess Noal Zaher graduated from the famous French university Institut Saint-Dominique with a degree in European Business before specialising in jewellery design at Webster University in London.

Crown Prince Leka II of the Albanians and his fiancée, Ms Elia Zaharia,
Crown Prince Leka II of the Albanians and his fiancée, Ms Elia Zaharia, announed on his website, that they will attend the wedding the Egyptian Crown Prince's wedding.

The dynasty of Mehmet-Ali who ruled Egypt for over a century is considered to have Albanian roots. The website claims, that "the presence of the head of the Albanian Royal Family shall celebrate the very closed friendship between the two royal families, especially during King Zog I and Queen Geraldine’s exile. The royal couple, Crown Prince Leka and the whole royal household were generously hosted by HM King Farouk I in his beloved country from 1946 until to the fall of the egyptian monarchy."

HM Queen Farida, King Farouk I’s first spouse and HRH Princess Fadia of Egypt attended King Leka I and Australian-born Queen Susan’s wedding in Madrid in October 1975.

King Fouad I and King Farouk I, respectively great grandfather and grandfather of HRH Prince Muhammad-Ali, were both holders of the highest ranks of the royal Albanian orders, the Grand Collar of Honour of Albania and the grand-sash with star of the Bessa Order as well.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Aussie republicans claim not to be afraid of Tony Abbott

If it weren’t for their adherence to an obscure ideology, one could feel sorry for the Australian republicans.
It was only on 26th July 2013 that David Morris, national director of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) told AAP (published in The Australian):
 “... when we try and talk about Australia (and a republic) the media has no interest."

Morris said: "It's very depressing."
A month later he gave another interview to AAP published by Ninesmn on 26th August, Abbott 'won't set backrepublican cause' , this time to claim:
“The head of Australia's republican movement says the cause would not be hurt by Tony Abbott, a monarchist, becoming prime minister.
“If the polls are right, a man who once headed Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy is on track to become the next prime minister.
“But Australian Republican Movement national director David Morris says Mr Abbott's potential elevation to the top job would be unlikely to set back the cause of constitutional change."
By this claim Mr Morris contradicts the July article, where The Australian published these figures:
“In the early 1990s some 70 per cent of Australians wanted a republic while 30 per cent were monarchists.
“But since the failed 1999 referendum, support for a republic has dropped to about 40 per cent.”
In January 2013 The Age quoted Mr Morris with these remarks:
"The Australian Republican Movement's national director, David Morris, said republicanism had been off the agenda since the referendum because of a ''complete lack of political leadership''.

"Mr Morris said the movement was launching a new campaign, with the slogan ''Our identity: who do we want to be?'' and would focus on Australians ''growing up'' and gaining their independence."
Did anybody take notice of the ARM’s identity campaign? It left no impact here. The ARM launched the campaign in October 2012 in Hobart and went public with an ARM sponsored opinion poll that hardly showed their strength. The Age reported under the headline Republic? Young want to keep it in the (royal) family:
"They were the hope of the republican side - confident young Australians with weak emotional ties to Britain increasingly taking over from ageing monarchists and putting the next referendum on the issue beyond doubt. It hasn't quite worked out that way.
"Research commissioned by the Australian Republican Movement shows that 45 per cent of Australians under 30 want a republic - fewer than any other age group apart from those 70 or over. Strongest support, at 54 per cent, is among baby boomers, particularly men.
"Moreover, young people are much more positive towards the Queen. As one young participant in a focus group put it, she is ''like a mother figure''. If Australia became a republic, ''we'd feel as though we'd lost a family'', said another.
"Nevertheless, he concedes that the research is sobering. Or, in the words of UMR Research, which did the polling, ''the Australian Republican Movement's task is massive''.
The research shows that while 48 per cent of voters overall favour a republic, only 18 per cent are strong supporters. The same proportion rate the issue as very important, but they are more likely to be monarchists than republicans. As UMR put it, ''As passion grows, republican support declines.''
It is more likely, that David Flint’s remarks on Tony Abbott are closer to reality and the improbability of any republican progress under a possible Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He wrote:
"On Wednesday afternoon, instead of prepping for the debate, writes Mark Baker in The Age 24 August, 2013 (Tony) Abbott took himself to the northern outskirts of Brisbane to mingle with members of the Pine Rivers Memorial Bowls Club. He thoughtfully brought a framed portrait of the Queen to replace the one that went missing during renovations a couple of years ago.

''The monarch is a great symbol of unity. The Crown has served us well,'' said Tony Abbott, as the bowlers voted with applause."
But an election is only finished, when the last votes are counted. And referenda are not won by the assertion of either side, that they have a majority only because one of their numerous self-organised opinion polls claim they'd had a majority.

Monday 26 August 2013

Cordial meeting of the Crown Princes of Albania and Montenegro

Crown Prince Nikola (r.), Mr. Nazif Cungu (c.), Crown Prince Leka II. (l.) in Ulcinj, Montenegro.

On the occasion of the opening of the 13th edition of the Ulcinj Book Fair, and on the invitation of the mayor of Ulcinj (Montenegro), Mr Nazif Cungu, HRH Prince Leka II of Albania, his fiancée, Ms Elia Zaharia, and HRH Prince Nicolas Petrovitch Njegos, head of the Royal Family of Montenegro, were invited to hold an official and friendly meeting mid-August.

Their Royal Highnesses and Ms Zaharia were kindly received by Mr Cungu at the City Hall of Ulcinj..
Their Royal Highnesses and Ms Zaharia were kindly received by Mr Cungu at the City Hall. The discussions evolved not only around the current agenda in the cultural sector of the city of Ulcinj, particularly marked by an exemplar and peaceful coexistence between the Montenegrine and the Albanian communities, but also tackled the evaluation of a concrete cooperation between the two Royal Families and the City of Ulqin.

Mr Cungu stressed the fact that the authentic friendship wich characterises the two Royal Families’s relations is the sign of a new democratic reality and of a new style of dialogue in the whole area.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited Syrian refugee camp

Recently Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for three days. While in Jordan she met refugees from Syria who received shelter in a camp near Amman. 120,000 refugees live in the camp, which is supported by the Danish charity organisation KVINFO.

Crown Princess Mary talking to children in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.

Crown Princess Mary in Jordan.

Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.

"King Constantine was the first to move against the colonels, but was shown the door"

Good old Taki Theodoracopulos sums the Greek problem up in a few words What History Does to Heroes:
"We Greeks are down and out right now, but there are still a few seconds left before the referee counts to ten. When in trouble, think and dream about the past. Back then we were number one in everything. There were no gruesome, soulless, untalented hustlers like Jay-Z, no punk rockers, no TV vulgarians like Jonathan Ross. Sure, we were a bit tough on people who were born on the wrong side of the tracks, but no one’s perfect, as Socrates should have told us. My great hero was a real person, not a mythological one—Kimon, son of Miltiades, victor of the battle of Marathon. Kimon had his cake and also ate it. He was a real stud who serviced everyone and was madly loved by his wife. He, too, ended up in exile like his old man.
Official photo of H.M. King Constantine II of the Hellenes.
"Greeks have a tendency to do that sort of thing—get rid of what’s good and keep what’s rotten and corrupt. Themistocles won the battle of Salamis and was shown the door.
"Since 1974 the same two parties have shared power and have stolen the country blind. The king, who was the first to move against the colonels, was also shown the door and his property stolen from him by the state. Go figure, as Homer never said."

Saturday 24 August 2013

24th August 1883 - Death of the Comte de Chambord, the last of the male descendants of the senior line of the House of Bourbon

Henri, Duc de Bordeaux
Henri Charles Ferdinand Marie Dieudonné de Bourbon, Duc de Bordeaux from his birth, later known as the Comte de Chambord, and by French Legitimists as Henri V, King of France and Navarre, died on 24th August 1883 in Frohsdorf, Austria. He was the last of the male descendants of the senior line of the House of Bourbon from King Louis XIV.

His birth on 29th September 1820, as the posthumous son of Charles Ferdinand, Duc de Berry, assassinated as he left the Paris Opera House theatre seven months before, came as joyful news to French Royalists, who had feared the extinction of the senior line. He was given the baptismal name "Dieudonné" and called "l'enfant miracle". His mother, Caroline of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, each of whose four grandparents were descendants of Princess Elizabeth Stuart, Electress Palatine of the Rhine, Duchess of Orléans, was determined that her son should inherit the Bourbon Throne of France.

After the abdication of King Charles X in the July Revolution of 1830, his heir was his surviving elder son, the Dauphin, Louis Antoine, Duc d'Angoulême, who had no children from his marriage with his cousin, Marie Thérèse, the last surviving child of King Louis XVI, known as Madame Royale.

Louis Antoine, Duc d'Angoulême
For 20 minutes, no more, Louis Antoine became de facto King Louis XIX. Henri was at once proclai- med Henri V, King of France and Navarre, but the National Assembly declared the Throne vacant and summoned Louis Philippe, Duc d'Orléans, whose consort, Marie Amélie of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was the aunt of Henri's mother, the Duchesse de Berry. Louis Philippe was proclaimed King of the French and reigned until 1848.

Royalists in France were divided. Liberals and constitutionalists supported the July Monarchy of the Orléans branch of the House of Bourbon, Conservatives recognised Henri V, while Legitimists and the former Ultra-Royalists considered that Charles X had no right to renounce the Throne and that, consequently, he was still de jure King of France and Navarre, until his death in 1836 at Gorizia, in Venezia Friuli. Only then was the Dauphin Louis Antoine recognised by Legitimists as Louis XIX, until his death in 1844, also at Gorizia, then Austria, today Slovenia.

From 3rd June 1844, Henri V, while the retaining the title of Comte de Chambord, by which he is known in history, became the official French Legitimist claimant. On 16th November 1846, at Brück an der Mur, in Austrian Styria, he married Archduchess Marie Therese Beatrice Gaëtane of Austria-Este and Princess of Modena. The couple remained childless.

It is perhaps the last years of Henri V, Comte de Chambord, which are the most controversial. With the defeat of Napoleon III by Prussia in 1870, France found herself with the Legitimist Maréchal Patrice de MacMahon, Duc de Magenta, as Provisional President of the Third Republic, and with a mixed Royalist majority in the National Assembly.

Louis Philippe, Comte de Paris, 1893
Orléanists were prepared to support the restoration of Henri V, on condition that Louis-Philippe Albert d'Orléans, Comte de Paris, would be recognised as his successor, in the event of a Restoration. Whether or not Henri, the Comte de Chambord, was prepared to make a compromise settlement, he was implacably opposed to accepting the Revolutionary Tricoleur as the national flag of France, insisting on the white "Fleur de Lys" of the pre-revolutionary Bourbon Monarchy. He remained in exile and was not prepared to return to France, before a settlement had been reached among Royalists, according to his declared principles. But he and the Comte de Paris met and found a common ground:
Le comte de Paris cherche à se rapprocher de son cousin. «Henri V» n’ayant pas d’enfant, le chef des Orléans est en effet convaincu qu’une restauration légitimiste ferait de lui le dauphin et permettrait de renforcer le camp monarchiste face aux républicains et aux bonapartistes. Après l’envoi infructueux de plusieurs émissaires auprès du « comte de Chambord », le comte de Paris décide de se rendre lui-même à Frohsdorf afin d’y affirmer officiellement sa soumission à l’aîné des Capétiens. Le 3 août 1873, le prince déclare ainsi à son cousin : « Je viens en mon nom, et au nom de tous les membres de ma famille, vous présenter mes respectueux hommages, non seulement comme au chef de notre maison mais comme au représentant du principe monarchique en France ». À ces mots, le « comte de Chambord » l’embrasse et lui répond : « Croyez, mon cousin, que je trouve tout naturel que vous conserviez les opinions politiques de votre famille, dans lesquelles vous avez été élevé. L’héritier du trône peut avoir ses idées comme le Roi a les siennes ». La fusion des deux courants monarchistes et la reconnaissance mutuelle des deux princes en tant que chef de famille et héritier semblent donc totales
It was clear that after the death of Henri, Comte de Chambord, the head of the Maison de France (as distinguished from the Maison de Bourbon) would be the head of the Orléans line, i.e. the Comte de Paris. Henri himself had accepted that and it was accepted by many Legitimists, and was the default on legal grounds; since the only surviving Bourbon line more senior was the Spanish branch, which had renounced its right to inherit the throne of France as a condition of the Treaty of Utrecht. However, many of Henri's supporters, including his widow, chose to disregard his statements and this law, arguing that no one had the right to deny to the senior direct-male-line male Bourbon to be the head of the Maison de France and thus the legitimate King of France.

Reconciliation between the Comte de Chambord and the Comte de Paris.

Monday 12 August 2013

Prince Johan Friso has died

Prince Friso, his wife, Princess Mabel and their daughters.
Prince Johan Friso, Prince of Oranje-Nassau and younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, has died on Monday, 12th August, 18 months after he was left brain-damaged by an avalanche while skiing in Austria.

The Royal Family's webside published a statement.

"His Majesty the King announces with great regret that this morning His Royal Highness Prince Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David, Prins van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg, died at the Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, aged 44."

"Prince Friso died from complications as a result of oxygen shortages during his ski accident on 17th February 2012 in Lech, Austria."
The Prince had "minimal consciousness" and his condition was unchanged, the palace said. "The royal family warmly thanks all those who looked after prince Friso for their outstanding and dedicated care," the statement said.

Prince Friso was in July transferred from a hospital in London, where he lived in Wellington Hospital since March 2012, to the residence of his mother, former Queen Beatrix, in The Hague. Despite the Prince's ill-health, his death came unexpectedly.

His wife, Princess Mabel, tweeted just hours before the announcement her thanks for birthday messages, after she turned 45 on Sunday.

State broadcaster NOS showed archive footage of the Prince as a child and a young man after his death was announced, as tributes poured in.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was to end his holiday early and return to the Netherlands on Tuesday, said that "despite everything this news still comes as a shock. Prince Friso remains in our minds as a man with broad interests who always put his multifaceted talents at society's service," Rutte said in a statement.

He sent his condolences to Prince Friso's widow and children, as well as to his mother, Princess Beatrix.

The mayor of the Austrian resort of Lech, where Prince Friso was swept away by the avalanche, expressed his condolences.

"As somebody who, like many Lech residents, had known the prince ever since he was a kid, I am personally shocked and deeply moved," Ludwig Muxel told the Austria Press Agency.

"My utmost sympathy and that of all the people of Lech goes to Princess Mabel, her children, Princess Beatrix, King Willem-Alexander and all their relatives."