Tuesday 20 December 2016

What would the Kaiser say?

The Breitscheidplatz in front of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

A truck slammed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin on Monday night, killing at least 12 people and wounding 48, some critically.

The Scania-brand truck plowed up to 80 meters (260 feet) into the Christmas market near the iconic Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, along the Kurfürstendamm shopping mile, at around 8:30 p.m. local time as people were getting off work in the busy shopping district just days before Christmas.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church before WW II bombs damaged the building.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz is one of Berlin's most famous landmarks. The ruin of the old church has been converted into a war memorial.

Built between 1891-95 in memory of Kaiser Wilhelm I, the first German Emperor and King of Prussia (1861-1888), by Franz Schwechten in neo-romanesque style, it was damaged on December 23rd, 1943 and subsequently almost completely destroyed during the April 1945 air-raids.

The construction of the church was part of a Protestant church building programme initiated by Kaiser Wilhelm II and his consort Empress Auguste Viktoria. In honour of Kaiser Wilhelm II's grandfather the church was named after Kaiser Wilhelm I. The competition for the design was won by Franz Schwechten, member of the Bauakademie who had distinguished himself with the design of the Anhalter Bahnhof.

The Hohenzollern Family remained attached to the church. It is said, that Kaiser Wilhelm II took the keys to the church into exile in Doorn. When his grandson and successor Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia died, a memorial service was held in the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche.

On 4th December 1965 Prince Louis Ferdinand's eldest daughter Princess Marie-Cecile married Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg in the Berlin church.

No assassination can rob this prestigious place its dignity. The noble church and the family that have been associated with it have endured many moments of sadness and sorrow.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Turnbull's 'Keatingesque' support for republican movement a 'political death wish'

Yesterday evening Prime Minister Turnbull addressed a millionaire's meeting - aka 25th anniversary dinner of the Australian republican Movement (ARM) - in Sydney. His reaffirmed his support for "a" republic was not excactly welcomed by the media, which says a lot considering usually the pro-republican bias. The HeraldSun's report predicted The only republic Turnbull will give us is a banana one. And the ABC quoted federal government MPs saying: Turnbull's 'Keatingesque' support for republican movement a 'political death wish'.

Malcolm Turnbull knew, that the idea to replace the Australian Constitutional Monarchy with "a" republic has little support, therefore he called for "a strong grassroots political movement mobilising a substantial majority behind the republic, that must be delivered by [the] republican movement today … not by the Government or the Opposition". He even admitted: "It is hard to see how this issue would return to the forefront of debate during the Queen's reign."

So, can it be expected that all will be quiet at the republican front?

He did commit to working with republicans to create what he described "a grassroots campaign". "Right now” Turnbull said “an Australian republic is not inevitable, but we can make it so by working together on this great unfinished business for our nation."

As far as monarchists are concerned, they would not have been pacified in any way with his comments and in particular with his closing remarks “Advance Australia. Up the republic.” They would also be concerned that the Prime Minister has committed to working with the Australian Republican Movement to make "a" republic happen.

Monarchists must be vigilant and fight the numerous signs of republicanism in the country. Next Australia Day will see many republicans crawl out of their holes and attack the Crown. The Australian of the Year who was appointed on Australia Day 2016 was a disgrace and threatened to fight for "a" republic during his tenure. Fortunately the man was so controversial that calls for the Resignation of David Morrison as Australian of the Year never stopped.

Greek King and Queen cheered in Athens streets

Doing their Christmas shopping in Athens: King Constantine II of the Hellenes and his wife Queen Anna Maria in a shop.

The monarchist news agency Royal Central published this report from Greece on 14th December:

"Now, King Constantine have appeared publicly on the streets of Athens with his wife. The two were seen when they were out, looking to buy Christmas gifts for their family. According to witnesses, they visited one of Athens finest jewellery stores and some other shops. The news that the Greek King was out in the streets spread quickly both in the media and among Athens residents. Not long after the King was first observed a small herd of Greeks had gathered outside the store the King was in and cheered when the King came out.

"The King seemed in good health, he took the time to be photographed with some of those who waited for him and he spoke to some of them. He was still pretty shaky and had difficulty keeping his balance. He leaned on a walking stick with his right hand and his wife held him steady with his other arm."

Monday 12 December 2016

Australian republicans organise a millionaires meeting

Can you spare $3,000? Instead of buying Christmas presents for your loved ones or donating the money for a charity and the needy a rather weird alternative is to buy a seat at the Gold Table dinner of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) and sit next to Malcolm Turnbull. The not remotely successful Prime Minister plans to attend a fund raising dinner for the ARM on Saturday night at Sydney University.

ARM chairman Peter FitzSimons said: "It is an occasion to honour those who've got us to this point.” He may have been sarcastic, because neither the republican movement nor Malcolm Turnbull have been achieving anything in recent years.

Channel Ten’s Paul Bongiorno said that Malcolm Turnbull will hold a speech on the republic. Be prepared for something nasty to distract from the governments deep deficit and the problems to pass legislation. It must be a welcome change for Malcolm Turnbull to talk to his fellow millionaires next Saturday rather than to find solutions for Australia’s problems. Because: The Monarchy certainly is not a problem for the Australian people – only for ambitious politicians.

In the September 2016 issue of the Australian Monarchist League's newsletter, National Chairman Philip Benwell wrote:

"We are aware that the Australian Republican Movement has been building up its resources for some time.

"We already know that the now Israeli resident, James Packer, donated $50,000 to the Australian Republican Movement earlier this year. Only this week it was announced that he has donated a further $200,000. The Australian Republican Movement has sent out an email announcing this stating: 'This latest boost is just one of the thousands of financial contributions we have received over the last 18 months.'

"One may ask why does the Australian Republican Movement get such large donations when we, the Australian Monarchist League, are reliant principally on the few dollars our members can afford? The probable answer is, a president could be helpful for business (perhaps this particular mogul would like to be president himself) whereas our supporters have nothing personally to gain except the continuation of the security and stability that our constitutional monarchy provides.

"However, with this sort of largess, the ARM can no longer be dismissed out of hand.

"The Australian Republican Movement says that they have used the funds to reduce their membership fees and to employ, as ARM Campaign Director, a young professional who has consulted to the Liberal and National Parties on multiple state and federal election campaigns. Apparently he is an Army Reserve officer and one wonders how such a person equates his oath or affirmation of allegiance to the Queen whilst campaigning to bring down the system of governance he has sworn to uphold? ... 


"It is so important for the Australian Monarchist League to grow in numbers and in financial backing. Our war-chest remains relatively untouched despite having to pay for so many advances and innovations over the past year.

"Advances such as our website which is modern, innovative and easy to navigate although we do need to put finishing touches to it and will do so once we have the funding. Our media division tops that of any other in the field, but does need continual training and development, which can be expensive. When we have available funds we will also be retaining professional assistance for our media output.

"For years we have been speaking with the government - both Howard’s and Abbott’s - about publishing and disseminating a booklet clearly outlining what our system of governance is and the part the Queen plays in it.

"For years we have been knocked back or ignored and we have therefore taken it upon ourselves to prepare a booklet and a video which should be published very shortly. This will obviously cost a fair amount, but it is something that must be done if we are to get our message across, particularly to new Australians.

"However, we still remain without the sort of funding needed to establish an office and small staff but we do manage with the facilities and resources we have and owe a tremendous amount to our volunteers for their input. We are also extremely grateful to those of our members who support us financially. Unlike some politicians we do not have foreign governments or corporations coming to our aid - nor would we ever want them to. The Australian Monarchist League has always controlled its own destiny and has never bended to the will of politicians or big business.

Contact: secretary@monarchist.org.au

"Republicans, particularly Irish republicans, are people that will shout their affiliation from the rooftops [the twelve million dollar ($12M) a year Irish CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, has joined the Republican Movement (AFR 4/11/15)], whereas monarchists generally being traditionalists, are far more conservative in their outlook, preferring to keep their sentiments to themselves. This is why people are joining the republican movement whereas, whilst we enjoy a great amount of support, monarchists prefer not to join any organisation.

"As an incentive for members to encourage monarchists to join AML over the next month we will send out to both the proposer and the person who joins a free copy of “the Servant Queen”. To enable us to do this, we would need the proposing member to let us know whom they have approached. Membership information can be found on the covering sheet with this mailing. If you require membership cards for distribution, please advise how many you need?"

Tuesday 29 November 2016

King Abdullah of Jordan pays a state visit to New Zealand

His Majesty inspected the Guard of Honour during the official welcoming ceremony at Government House in Wellington

After King Abdullah II and Queen Rania visited Australia last week together, the Jordanian monarch flew to New Zealand. He was welcomed by The Queen's representative the Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, at Government House in Wellington.

At the State Dinner Banquet hosted by the Governor-General of New Zealand in honour of His Majesty and the accompanying delegation King Abdullah gave the following speech:

Friday 18 November 2016

Jordanian King and Queen to visit Australia and New Zealand

Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan are scheduled to pay a state visit to Australia on 23rd November upon an invitation from the country's Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, according to a Royal Court statement.

In Canberra and Sydney, the Jordanian monarch is going to hold meetings with the Governor-General, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, senior officials and parliamentary leaders.

On 28th November 28 the King is scheduled to conduct an official visit to New Zealand, during which he is going to hold talks with its Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Prime Minister John Key and officials and parliamentary leaders.

The talks in Australia and New Zealand seek to boost cooperation between them and The Hashemite Kingdom in economic, investment and trade fields, in addition to discussing regional and international issues, the statement added.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Monarchs in solidarity with New Zealand

The Queen of New Zealand sent the following message to the Governor-General of New Zealand, following the earthquakes in New Zealand:
Prince Philip and I were shocked to hear news of the severe earthquakes that struck on Monday. I send my condolences to the families of those who were killed and to the people whose homes and businesses have been affected.

Our thoughts are with you at this time.

A message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

A message from HRH The Prince of Wales sent to Dame Patsy Reddy following this week's North Canterbury earthquake.

Her Excelleny, The Governor-General of New Zealand The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy tweeted:

"This morning I received a phone call from King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands expressing concern and heartfelt condolences on behalf of himself and Queen Maxima to all New Zealanders who have been affected by the earthquakes centred in the Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs area.

"Their Majesties visited Government House last week for an Official Welcome and a State Dinner, before flying to Christchurch where they toured the areas under reconstruction from the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. They also met earthquake survivors and heard about the physical and emotional impact the earthquakes have had on their lives. As a consequence of their recent trip and experiences, His Majesty said they both felt very connected to the suffering of those impacted by the recent quakes and asked that I forward to them their very best wishes and sympathy."

Thursday 10 November 2016

The Australian Constitutional Monarchy is not so bad after all

This letter to the editor was published in The Age as a comment of the US election

The Australian Republican Movement has been strangely quiet during the US presidential election. Maybe it is thinking our system is not so bad after all.
David Carlyon, Sandringham

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Speech by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander in Canberra

Speech by His Majesty the King at a State Lunch on the occasion of the Dutch State Visit to Australia, Canberra, 2nd November 2016

Your Excellency,

Let me begin by thanking you and Lady Cosgrove for the warm welcome you have given us. It means a lot to my wife and me to be back in Australia. For us, personally, Australia holds many fond memories, not least of our extensive visit ten years ago.

Then, as now, we followed in the wake of the Dutch mariners who mapped out Australia's coastline four centuries ago:

Willem Janszoon, who set sail on the Duyfken in 1606.

And Dirk Hartog who sailed on the Eendracht in 1616.

Their explorations are traced on the great world map in the marble floor of Amsterdam's Royal Palace, which was built in the 17th century. The map shows only half of your great country, labelled 'Nova Hollandia'.

Every time I walk across that marble floor, I'm struck by the presumptuousness of giving the continent that name. As if it hadn't been inhabited for thousands of years by a civilisation that deserves respect as the planet's oldest living culture.

The fact is, Australia has always captured the Dutch imagination. For us it remains a land that 'abounds in nature's gifts of beauty rich and rare'. A beacon of freedom and independence. A permanent source of human enterprise and energy. In the Netherlands, just hearing the word 'Australia' brings a smile to our face.

Your Excellency, you have devoted your whole life to the freedom and prosperity of your country. As a soldier and Chief of the Defence Force, as the leader of the reconstruction programme in northern Queensland after the devastating cyclone of 2006, and for several years now as Governor-General. But you are also a symbol of the helping hand that Australia extends to the world. Not least in your role as Commander of the successful international peacekeeping mission in Timor Leste.

Today, at a time when the international legal order is under pressure, it is all the more important that we stand together to defend its principles. Australia and the Netherlands are natural allies as promoters of peace, justice and development, and we often work side by side. Take our partnership a few years ago in Uruzgan in Afghanistan. And our current efforts in the fight against terrorism in Syria and Iraq.

You have also given personal expression to the bond between our countries. You were in Eindhoven on that dark day in July 2014, when the first flights arrived carrying the remains of the victims of the downing of MH17. For my wife and me, commemorating the Australian victims this morning at the memorial was a very moving experience. We greatly appreciate Australia's outstanding cooperation in the investigation of the full facts, so that those responsible can be called to account, and justice can be done.

Australia has flourished over the decades, and it makes the Dutch proud to know that we played a part in its success. In the years after the Second World War, many Dutch families headed to these shores in search of better lives. For many thousands of Dutch people, Victoria Quay in Fremantle and Station Pier in Melbourne were gateways to a new homeland. And they proved that Dutch roots could thrive in Australian soil.

During this state visit, we will be celebrating the close bonds our countries have forged over the centuries. But perhaps even more important are the opportunities we see ahead of us. The Kingdom of the Netherlands attaches great value to our close partnership with Australia because we believe that, as like-minded nations, we stand stronger together. Together we can find better answers to the challenges of our time.

Just as, for us, Australia is a window onto the Asia-Pacific region, we want to be your window onto Europe.

As I said, Eendracht - Concord - was the name of the ship in which Dirk Hartog sailed to Australia in 1616. And today, 400 years later, 'concord' is a fitting flag for us to sail under as we go forward into the future.

Thank you for the warmth and friendship you always show us in Australia.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Dutch King and Queen to visit Australia and New Zealand soon

When Willem-Alexander and Máxima visited ten years ago, they where still Crown Prince and Crown Princess. Last time they arrived down under on 23rd October. In 2016 they will touch down in Perth for their official state visit from 31st October to 4th November, and in New Zealand from 7th to 9th November.

Their Majesties will be accompanied on the visit by Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, Minister for Foreign Trade Lilianne Ploumen, and Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp.

Monday, 31st October & Tuesday, 1st November – Perth
The King and Queen will spend the first two days of their visit in Western Australia. Following a welcome ceremony at Government House, the royal couple will go to Fremantle port and the Western Australian Maritime Museum, where they will spend time in the Shipwreck Galleries among others.
On Tuesday, Their Majesties will visit Curtin University, where in the Curtin Hube for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (HIVE) they will be shown how data is converted into 3D images for use in research. The day’s programme will end at Ascot Racecourse, where the King and Queen will be able to follow the Melbourne Cup races.

Wednesday, 2nd November – Canberra
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima’s time in Canberra will begin on a sombre note when they lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial before meeting Australian and Dutch veterans of the Second World War and wars in Afghanistan. The will also visit the MH17 monument and meet Australian officals who provided assistance in response to the MH17 plane crash. After a lunch at Government House, the King and Queen will meet with Australians of Dutch descent at the National Archives.

Wednesday, 2nd November & Thursday, 3rd November – Sydney
From Canberra, the King and Queen will travel to Sydney to attend a concert by Dutch pianists Lucas and Arthur Jussen at the Sydney Opera House.

The next morning the royal pair will attend a meeting of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency on potential Australian investments in the Netherlands, following which the King and Queen will be given a tour of research projects on which Australian and Dutch students are working together at the University of Sydney. After visiting the university, King Willem-Alexander will attend the final session of a meeting between Dutch and Australian CEOs, while Queen Máxima will attend the close of a meeting on smart cities.

Friday, 4th November – Brisbane
On their last day in Australia, the King and Queen will visit Queensland University of Technology to hear about the water management partnership between the Netherlands and Australia. They will then take a boat ride down the Brisbane River to see the measures taken to combat flooding, and will end their visit at the Queensland Art Gallery.

Monday, 7th November – Wellington
After the weekend, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will arrive in the capital city of New Zealand, where they will be greeted by a traditional welcome ceremony at Government House. They will lay a wreath at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, before embarking on a guided tour of the Great War Exhibition that was created by director Peter Jackson, who hails from New Zealand. Their Majesties will also visit Park Road Post Production, where the sound and pictures for films including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies were edited. The day will end with a banquet at Government House.

Tuesday, 8th November – Christchurch
The King and Queen will begin their day with a visit to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, which runs a breeding programme for the endangered New Zealand kiwi, before traveling to the headquarters of the Ng'i Tahu Iwi, the largest Maori tribe on the South Island. Later, the royal couple will visit the city of Christchurch to view the effects of the earthquake in 2011 and the redevelopment efforts.

Wednesday, 9th November – Auckland
During their final day Down Under, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will visit the Auckland Art Gallery, and attend an economic conference on the future of food. Finally, the King and Queen will visit the training vessel Spirit of New Zealand which teaches skills like communication and leadership while on sailing trips, before departing for the Netherlands.

The main focus of thess state visits will be on expanding the Netherlands’ long-standing bilateral ties with the two countries, and will draw attention to the military and academic partnerships between Australia and the Netherlands. In New Zealand, almost 60 businesses will participate in a trade mission about horticulture, life sciences and health, smart cities and sports, with the view to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions to societal challenges.

Monday 13 June 2016

Happy Queen's Birthday Holiday

To all loyal Australians: A Happy Queen's Birthday Holiday!

And to all those republicans - especially in the media - who can't help it, but denounce our lady sovereign queen, well, keep on writing and publishing nasty opinion pieces and keep ignoring her 90th birthday totally (Melbourne's daily newspaper The Age manages to print not a single line on the birthday celebrations in the UK, which have been reported all over the world.)

It is sad to say it, but it gives a certain kind of satisfaction to know, that rather sooner than later The Age will no longer be printed on workdays. After 150 years it will stop being sold in newspaper shops, only The Saturday and Sunday Age will continue to be sold. However, our local newspapershop does no longer open on Sundays, which will certainly not help stabilizing the sales figures of The Age.

The Australian Monarchy will survive the printed Fairfax media. That gives an Australian Monarchist some satisfaction.

Her Majesty in the centre: Trooping the Colour to honour her 90th and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's 95th birthday.

Friday 10 June 2016

Head of the German Imperial Family turns 40

While the Commonwealth countries and everyone who is interested in our royal family celebrate the 95th birthday of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, in Germany Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia can celebrate his 40th birthday.

In March 2015 Prince Georg Wilhelm welcomed the British Ambassador, Sir Simon McDonald, KCMB, on the castle of Hohenzollern, the family's ancient home.

Prince Georg Friedrich is the only son of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (1944–1977) and Countess Donata of Castell-Rüdenhausen (1950-2015), born a member of a mediatized princely family. In 1991 she married her former sister-in-law's ex-husband, Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg and was then known as Duchess Donata of Oldenburg.

His grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia dedicated his memoirs to his grandson and heir.

After the death of his father in a severe accident during military maneuvers Prince Georg Friedrich spent much of his youth in the care and under the guidance of his paternal grandfather. He attended grammar schools in Bremen and Oldenburg and completed his education at Glenalmond College near Perth, Scotland, where he passed his A-levels.

Prince Georg Friedrich and his mother, Princess Donata at Glenalmond College near Perth.
He volunteered for a two-year stint in the Alpine troops of the German army, where he was known simply as "Preuße" ("Prussia"). Georg Friedrich took his degree in business economics at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Saxony.

Prince Georg Friedrich succeeded his grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, as Head of the House of Hohenzollern on 25th September 1994.

On 21st January 2011, Prince Georg Friedrich announced his engagement to Princess Sophie Johanna Maria of Isenburg (born 7th March 1978), daughter of Prince (Fürst) Franz-Alexander of Isenburg (from the Catholic branch of Isenburg-Büdingen-Birstein) by his wife, Princess (Fürstin) Christine, neé Countess of Saurma and Baroness von und zu der Jeltsch. The wedding took place at the Church of Peace (Sanssouci) in Potsdam on 27th August 2011.

On 20th January 2013, Prince Georg Friedrich's wife Princess Sophie gave birth to twin sons in Bremen:

HRH Prince Carl Friedrich Franz Alexander of Prussia
HRH Prince Louis Ferdinand Christian Albrecht of Prussia

Prince Carl Friedrich, the elder of the two, is the heir apparent. The boys were baptized in the Chapel of St. Michael at Hohenzollern Castle on 24 June 2013.

Visitors of the castle of Hohenzollern can see the genealogical tree of the Hohenzollern family. At the top end are the latest heads and heirs of the Imperial House: Crown Prince Wilhelm +1951, Prince Louis Ferdinand +1994, Prince Louis Ferdinand Jr. +1977, Prince Georg Friedrich (present head of the family) and Prince Carl Friedrich, the heir who was born in 2013.
Their third child, a daughter, was born on 2nd April 2015.

HRH Princess Emma Marie Charlotte Sophie of Prussia.

Princess Emma was baptized in the Chapel of St. Michael at Hohenzollern Castle on 13th June 2015. Her godparents are Archduchess Katharina of Austria (mother's sister) and Prince Otto of Castell-Rüdenhausen (father's first cousin).

Prince Georg Friedrich is also in the line of succession to the British throne. At present he is holding position 179 according to the William Reitwiesner's list.

Friday 3 June 2016

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan celebrates the Centenary of the Great Arab Revolt

The Hashemite Family members at the Great Arab Revolt Centennial Ceremony

Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, well known as the leader of the Great Arab Revolt and the Sharif of Mecca, was born in Ottoman Istanbul in 1853. Though well acquainted with imperial politics, Sharif Hussein spent a significant portion of his life among the bedouin Arabs of the Hijaz, immersing himself in the political life of Arabia. In 1908, the Ottomans, recognising his influence in the region, appointed him Emir (Prince) of Mecca.

As Ottoman policies grew more oppressive after the coup of the “Young Turks”, Sharif Hussein earned support among Arabs by opposing Istanbul's totalistic policies in the Hijaz. Some historians say that, even then, he was preparing for Arab independence. Indeed, the idea that the Arabic-speaking people were a nation, deserving of independent recognition, is often thought to have originated with Sharif Hussein.

In 1916, Sharif Hussein allied the Arabs with British forces, leading, along with his sons, Abdullah and Faisal, numerous tribes from the Hijaz in a revolt that liberated the Levant from Ottoman control. Bearing the Hashemite name and tradition of the Aal Al Bayt, Sharif Hussein was the central figure in the revolt, earning the title, “King of the Arabs.” After this victory, however, European powers failed to honour their commitment to support Arab sovereignty and instead, installed colonial rule throughout the Levant.

Sharif Hussein died in Amman in 1931.

King Abdullah I and the Founding of Jordan

The first king and founder of the state of Jordan was born in 1882 in Mecca. Like his father, Abdullah began life as a representative of the Ottoman court but his prestigious education and exposure to Arab tribal customs soon made him aware of the growing nationalist sentiment among his people.

In the Arab Revolt, Abdullah led several Arab battalions against the Ottoman Turks. Afterwards, he left the Hijaz and settled in Maan, where he was received as a leader and sharif. While the European governments were dividing the region among themselves, Abdullah was building support and unity among the tribes and townspeople of Jordan.

The future king led a modest existence, often staying with leaders of different sects and sectors of society, developing relationships with them. He spent much of his time amongst the local bedouin tribes. In 1921, he organised his first government in Amman, thus establishing the Emirate of Transjordan.

For the next thirty years, Emir Abdullah concentrated his efforts on state-building. In 1928, the Prince oversaw the country’s first legislative council and the drafting of a constitution. One year later, he held the first parliamentary elections. On 22 March 1946, Transjordan secured its independence, and Abdullah was crowned king later that year.

More on the 70th anniversary of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan here.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

70 Years The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

On 25th May 1946 - to this day 70 years ago - a new Kingdom was born. H.H. Emir Abdullah of Transjordan (1921 - 1946) proclaimed the independent Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and he became His Majesty King Abdullah I.

King Abdullah I bin al-Hussein

Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, was born in February 1882 born in Mecca, Hejaz, which then belonged to the Ottoman Empire, and he was the second of three sons of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah. He was educated in Istanbul, Turkey and Hijaz. From 1909 to 1914, Abdullah sat in the Ottoman legislature, as deputy for Mecca, but allied with Britain during World War I. Between 1916 to 1918, working with the British guerrilla leader T. E. Lawrence, he played a key role as architect and planner of the Great Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule, leading guerrilla raids on garrisons.

When he assumed the Throne of Transjordan in 1921, he established the first centralised government out of a mostly tribal and nomadic society in this territory. Over the next 30 years, he focused on nation building and developing the institutional foundations of modern Jordan. He is also remembered for promulgating Jordan’s first Constitution in 1928 and holding the country’s first parliamentary elections in 1929.

During these three decades, King Abdullah I presided over a series of Anglo-Transjordanian treaties, culminating in the 1946 Anglo-Transjordanian Treaty, ending the British mandate and granting the new Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan full independence. He laid down the basis for democracy in the Kingdom and called for political pluralism. The first political party was formed during his reign. A poet himself, he used to meet with poets, writers and scholars and discuss the country’s affairs.

On 20th July 1951, King Abdullah, while visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, was shot dead by a Palestinian from the Husseini clan. He was succeeded by his son King Talal bin Abdullah (26th February 1909 – 7th July 1972). Under the reign of King Talal the country prepared a new liberalised Constitution in 1952, which introduced a culture of Arab unity by declaring Jordan part of the Arab nation. During the short reign reign, Jordan concluded important agreements including a pan-Arab collective security agreement and announced compulsory free education. The introduction of compulsory free education, the first of its kind in Jordan and the Arab world, had a positive impact on the country’s future development.

King Talal bin Abdullah
Born in Mecca in 1909, King Talal studied at the British Military Academy, Sandhurst, and in 1929 became the first Jordanian officer to graduate from the institute. As an officer of the Arab Army, he participated in battles between Arab and Israeli forces in Jerusalem, Ramallah and other Palestinian towns. In 1934, he married Zein Al Sharaf, the late Queen Mother, who died in 1994.

He was King of Jordan from 20th July 1951 until forced to abdicate in favour of his son Hussein due to health reasons on 11th August 1952.

Hussein ibn Talal was born on 14th November 1935, in his parents' villa in Amman, in what was then the Emirate of Transjordan. His family's circumstances were modest. Though heir to the throne, his father, Talal ibn Abdallah, supported his family of three sons and a daughter on an allowance of pounds 1,000 a year. Hussein received his primary education at schools in Amman and then at 13 was sent to Victoria College, Alexandria, an Egyptian boarding school on the British model. He recalled repairing his school uniform with a needle and thread to spare his parents the expense of replacing it. 

Prince Hussein was standing only a few feet away when his grandfather was murdered, and saw the king's bloodstained turban roll across the floor in front of him. The 16 year-old only escaped death himself by what seemed a miracle: a bullet aimed at him struck a medal on his uniform. He was thrown backwards but otherwise unhurt; his grandfather had given him the medal only the day before.

At the time of his coronation, on 2nd May 1953, Hussein was just 18 (by the Islamic calendar). His cousin Faisal II of Iraq  was crowned King of Iraq on the same day. Having ascended the throne as a teenager, he was as a young king the target of numerous attempted coups and assassinations. Later, two Arab-Israeli wars and a civil war threatened the existence of his throne and the state itself. He was under threat as much from political enemies among his Arab neighbours as from a militarily superior Israel.

The result of King Hussein's determination to safeguard his position is a country which enjoys a degree of openness, stability and prosperity not widely achieved by other Arab states. The King also secured the prize that had eluded his predecessors: a peace treaty with Israel.

King Hussein was motivated by a strongly mystical, if sentimental, belief in his own destiny as the only remaining Hashemite king. His dynasty traced its ancestry back to the Prophet Mohammed and beyond, and had ruled Mecca for seven centuries until it was seized by Saudi forces in 1925.

King Hussein and Princess Muna with their sons, Prince Abdullah and Prince Faisal, later followed the twins Princess Aisha and Princess Zein.

But in King Hussein's mind the ideal of a universal Hashemite monarchy persisted, taking the form of a benign authoritarianism that drew legitimacy from Islam and the traditional values of the desert Arab.

At the end of July 1998, it was made public that King Hussein was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. On 7th February 1999, King Hussein died of complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was, at the time of his death, one of the longest-serving leaders in international politics. He had been the King of Jordan for over 46 years. His successor was his eldest son, Crown Prince Abdullah.

Just present and fourth King, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein was born on 30th January 1962 and has been the King of Jordan since he ascended the throne on 7th February 1999 upon the death of his father.

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania with their children, Princess Salman, Prince Hashem, Princess Iman and Crown Prince Hussein.
He was born to King Hussein and his second wife, the British-born Princess Muna al-Hussein. Abdullah was named Crown Prince shortly after his birth. King Hussein transferred the title to his own brother, Prince Hassan, in 1965, only to return it to Abdullah in 1999. King Abdullah is married to Queen Rania of Jordan, who is of Palestinian origin.

Saturday 7 May 2016

Republics divide ...

... Monarchies unite.

Here is a photo of King Faisal II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq, in 1957 clergy of all spectrums of Iraq's Christian, Muslim and Yazidi communities.

A year later King Faisal II and many members of Iraq's Royal Family were hacked to death.

Since the military putsch on 14th July (!) 1958 Iraq has been in turmoil.

The loss of the Iraqi Monarchy cost millions of people their life. The murder of King Faisal was only the beginning. The Christian churches of the East are disappearing in what was Mesopotamia; the century old community of the Yazidi are on the brink of extinction and the muslim communities are bitterly fighting against each other.

It would be the start of a healing process to bring back the King of Iraq. He is living in neighbouring Jordan.

Friday 6 May 2016

Camilla and The Night Manager

The Daily Telegraph reported the first meeting of HRH Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and Tom Hiddleston who won fame in the BBC's great thriller success The Night Manager, which was on air in March in the UK, on Foxtel in Australia and is presently shown in the USA.

The Duchess didn't mind Tom Hiddleston's arm on her shoulder.
Obviously the Duchess watched the five-part mini series as this dialogue proves:
"After [BBC Radio 2 host Chris] Evans greeted her with a kiss on the cheek, he introduced the Duchess to Hiddleston, saying: 'Your Royal Highness, The Night Manager.'

"The Duchess said: 'Hello Night Manager, how are you? Sunday nights just aren't the same without you.'

"'Well I can only apologise unreservedly for that,' said Hiddleston

"'But you might come back again?' the Duchess asked hopefully.

"'Well you never know,' he replied. 'We will have to ask John Le Carré [the writer].'

"'Well it was brilliant, the Duchess said. 'Everyone sat gripped.'"
Once again Her Royal Highness showed her good taste.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Yehudi Menuhin believed in constitutional Monarchy

The Right Honourable The Lord Menuhin OM KBE
Yehudi Menuhin, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, was an American-born violinist and conductor, who spent most of his performing career in Britain, where he became a monarchist. He received a knighthood in 1985 and in 1993  Sir Yehudi was bestowed a life peerage by the Queen as The Right Honourable The Lord Menuhin OM KBE. He was born 100 years ago on 22nd April 1916 and died on 12th March 1999.

In its 1975 summer edition The Monarchist - Journal of the Monarchist League published the following letter to the editor by Yehudi Menuhin:
Thank you for sending me a copy of The Monarchist. Having read it, though, I would like to take this opportunity to point out a fundamental weakness in your proposition.
Constitutional monarchy is the genius of the British nation whose people understand what your philosophy has failed to realise, viz., that the very heart of the system is ineluctably welded to democracy. It is palpably obvious that the highest position in the land is utterly without power, and by this very token our responsibility for the weaker, courtesy for principle, and pride in the sharing of power between all citizens, from Palace to Pub, upheld.
I believe that constitutional monarchy is the best defence of democracy.
Yours sincerely,
Yehudi Menuhin,
London N6

Thursday 21 April 2016

90th Birthday of the Queen of Australia

Anyone who would have thought that Queen Elizabeth II's birthday would be used to push the dwindling circulation figures of the Fairfax media were wrong. In today's print edition of The Age there was not a single line on the significance of this 21st April that marks the 90th birthday of Australia's longest serving Monarch.

This was today's front page:

The front page of The Age, 21st April 2016

On page 2 a report of drugs in Melbourne, a crumbling wall (very common in Melbourne), page 3 a case of child snatching of an Australian woman in Lebanon and on page 4 and 5 a "special report" on Muslims in Australia, followed by petty articles on domestic items. Nothing of great interest to anyone outside the suburbs. World news on page 14 had the inevitable report on the US primaries in New York and the retired Cuban dictator "Ailing Castro" who is quoted with saying: "I'll be 90 years old soon." He is not the only one, one is tempted to tell The Age.

However, in the Comment section this time no nasty editorial, no vicious letters to the editor, no guest writer telling the unwilling audience, that in his or her opinion Australia should become a republic.

The total ignorance is a replica. On 2nd August 2000, when the Queen Mother celebrated her 100th birthday, every single newspaper in the UK had front coverage on her life. Not so The Independent, which ignored the Monarch's anniversary. That was certainly not the only reason for dropping sales figures, but an indicator how out of touch The Independent was. In March 2016 it was not longer printed. The Independent can be read only online these days.

The Age's development from a broadsheet to a tabloid newspaper to an internet news point may go faster. It will take not 16 years for The Age to stop the printing machines forever.
To be fair to Fairfax, it has to be mentioned that Mark McGuinness wrote Queen; Happy birthday to our time-share monarch, which lacks to usual attacks on the Australian Royal Family and admits:  
Her family, in particular her heirs, have visited regularly and kept the flame alive. The Prince of Wales' affection for the country that (it has been said) made a man of him, is genuine and undimmed and he will make a good king.

Oh yes, and  o n e  photo in the editor's choice photo section, however,it is the same is in Mark McGuinness' article.

An extraordinary poor coverage on Her Majesty's milestone birthday, but typical for avowed republicans.

Queen's Birthday stamps 2016
It is in stark contrast to Australia's Queen.

In 2011, when she returned to Australia, a Palace spokesman said the tour did not have the atmosphere of a final farewell.
It's almost a coming home for the Queen she has a huge fondness for Australia, a lot of Australians have worked in her household
And during her visit David Marr wrote in The Age: "She hasn't been around for years, but we don't feel neglected. If anything, absence has made us a little fonder of this bent figure in a big blue hat."

Former soldier Arthur Pembroke first met the Queen in 1953 when he was decorated for heroism during the Korean War. The former officer, who received the Military Cross from the Queen during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, said: "She impressed me a great deal and has right from the time I [first] met her. Her dedication and loyalty and determination to carry out her duty as she sees it, I think it is the sort of thing we have always admire."

The Queen made her first visit to Australia in 1954, when she became the first reigning monarch to set foot in the country and covered so much ground that an estimated 75 per cent of the entire population saw her at least once.

When she finally arrived, stepping ashore at Farm Cove on February 3, 1954, a crowd of one and a half million people had gathered to watch. Waiting media described it as Sydney's biggest party since Victory over Japan day with female editorialists gushing over the young monarch's youth, beauty, poise

The 1954 Royal Visit, particularly given the communications and transport facilities of the day, set a high water mark that has never been matched. It lasted two months from 3rd February to 1st April and, for the duration, dominated the front pages of the nation's newspapers. The Queen's travel schedule involved 33 flights taking 57 hours and covering 16,000km. This paled into insignificance when compared to the airlift required to keep the show on the road. Described as the largest individual civil air operation in history, this involved 257 flights covering more than two million kilometres and carrying over a million pieces of freight. Then there were a further 363 flights by the RAAF.

During her stay in 2006 she met Her Australian Prime Ministers who were still alavive then, even the promoters of republicans did not decline the invitation.
When she last came to Melbourne in 2011 crowds flocked to Federation Square to get a glimps of their Monarch and her husband. Flinder Street Station was blocked.

Monday 18 April 2016

Time to get rid of Malcolm Turnbull

When 54 Liberal MPs and senators abandoned Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 14th September 2015 (44 remained loyal to the elected PM) the winning Malcolm Turnbull had claimed that "the [Abbott] government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. ... We have lost 30 Newspolls in a row. It is clear that the people have made up their mind about Mr Abbott's leadership."

Today he faced the same situation: The polls as published in The Age are against him. "Labor and the Coalition are fifty-fifty in the latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll, as Malcolm Turnbull's once-soaring approval rating continues to decline. Voters have reacted savagely to the reality of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister when measured against their own expectations, sending a clear warning to the Coalition that the election will be close and victory cannot be assumed. A massive 25 per cent drop in his ability to make things happen headlines the decline. This seems to sum up the sense of disappointment in voterland at the slow pace and performance of the Turnbull government and a disturbing tendency to set out ambitious policy goals and then retreat from them.

"The Prime Minister's net approval rating has dropped by 10 points since March and his preferred prime minister rating has also fallen by seven points over that time.

"Mr Turnbull's disapproval rating has jumped up six points as voters marked him down severely on a range of 11 leadership characteristics including a staggering 25 per cent drop in his ability to make things happen, a 20 per cent drop in his perceived strength as a leader, a 17 per cent drop on his authority over his party, and a 13 per cent drop in his perceived competence."

The wake-up of the voters as well as of Malcolm Turnbull should not come as a surprise. It is a déjà-vu of his tenure as Leader of Her Majesty's [Loyal?] Opposition, which was ended by Tony Abbott and it deserved this comment, written on 2nd December 2009:
The past fifteen months have shown, how a darling of the media, a republican messiah even, fell from grace and is now seen - even by his republican mates - as a disaster!
Nothing has changed. Turnbull started as the darling of the media and the public, but everybody soon realised what a dud he really is. Time for the Coalition to dump him and send him to the Cayman Islands, where his money is parked.

Sunday 17 April 2016

A glitzy republican can't handle Queen's Birthday

Ask your local MP a simple question and be surprised about a complicated answer.

The Radical Royalist happens to be a resident of the Melbourne constituency of "Higgins". For many years former federal treasurer Peter Costello was the member of Parliament for "Higgins" and he received a couple of letters and blog entries from the Radical Royalist since the wannabee successor of former PM John Howard was an avowed republican. But Peter Costello is long gone and his seat was inherited by Kelly O'Dwyer.

With the approaching birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, the Radical Royalist asked Ms O'Dwyer, what kind of celebrations for the Australian monarch will take place in the constituency of "Higgins".

The MP Ms Kelly O'Dwyer sent this reply:

"I am a great admirer of Her Majesty, despite being a Republican, and I gave a speech in her Honour which you can read here.

"As you might be aware, the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove have accepted an invitation from Her Majesty to be present in London for official commemorations on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June and, again as you might be aware, Australia Post will mark this significant occasion by releasing commemorative stamps".

It is rather odd to refer to a speech held on 9th February 2012, when being asked about events in 2016. And although it is a great honour that the Australian Governor-General and his wife have been invited to London, that does not solve the problem that obviously Ms O'Dwyer does not intend to do anything in the constituency of "Higgins".

May be she is too busy to prepare a celebration for herself. Today The Sunday Age published a report on the Fundraiser for Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer to be sponsored by NAB amid banking firestorm. 

The authors James Massola and Heath Aston gave a revealing insight into the real interests of the local MP for "Higgins":
"A major bank will help foot the bill for a glitzy pre-election political fundraiser to be fronted by Treasurer Scott Morrison and his deputy Kelly O'Dwyer at the same time as they are resisting calls for a royal commission into the scandal-plagued banking sector.

"The $1200 to $2500-a-table breakfast, scheduled for 10 days after Mr Morrison delivers his first budget, will be held under the banner of co-sponsor National Australia Bank.

"NAB is one of two corporate sponsors for the May 13 event organised by the Higgins 200 Club, a fundraising body that supports Ms O'Dwyer, the federal member for Higgins.

"Tickets for the fundraiser start at $150 per head and a table of 10 at the event starts at $1200 for Higgins 200 Club members and $1350 for non-members, while "premium corporate tables" at the event cost $2500.

"Based on the capacity of the Palladium Room, which has hosted the Logie Awards, the event could raise $100,000 to $150,0000 before venue hire and catering is subtracted."
In her newsletter for the local residents Kelly O'Dwyer MP has no space left for the Queen of Australia.

The Age reported on 14th June 2016 that Kelly O'Dwyer might lose her seat to the Greens: Mirabella-style loss looms in Higgins. Without a seat she would be free to pursue her republicanism.

Saturday 9 April 2016

Anzac Day 2016 London

Ticket applications for the Cenotaph wreath laying ceremony, and the Westminster Abbey service will close at 5:00pm on Tuesday, 12th April (UK time).

Applications for tickets opened on 25th February. You will need to provide details of ID (passport or driver’s license) for all applicants, so please ensure you have this information handy when you apply. To apply for tickets, please click on this link.
Monday, 25th April 2016

5.00am: Dawn Service, Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner

The main service will take place in front of the Royal Artillery Memorial on Hyde Park Corner. The service lasts approximately 45 minutes and is a non-ticketed event open to the public.

In 2016, the only entry point for the public will be at the Green Park/south-east corner. Access to the site will be from 3.30am onwards. There will be a search regime in place, so please do not bring large bags with you. We recommend you arrive early in order to secure the best viewpoint.

9.30am: Gallipoli Association Service, St Paul's Cathedral

A short service and wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Gallipoli Memorial in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral at 9.15 am for 9.30am on Monday 25 April. Wreaths will be laid by a representative of Her Britannic Majesty's Government, by senior representatives of the Royal Navy and the Army, and of the High Commissions of Australia and New Zealand, and other high-ranking officials from France and Turkey. Tickets are not required for this event.

Please note this service is not organised by the High Commission, but by the Gallipoli Association – enquires can be made to: events@gallipoli-association.org

11.00am: Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade, The Cenotaph, Whitehall

Following a march onto Whitehall, a requiem is read, and at 11.00am the High Commissioners for New Zealand and Australia lay the first wreaths. They are followed by representatives of other countries, as well as representatives from various service and ex-service organisations. Arrival by 10.30am is recommended. This service will conclude at approx 11.20am, allowing time for the short walk to Westminster Abbey for the Commemorative Service.

If you are Service, ex-Service Personnel, or a relative interested in marching in the Parade, please click on this link (external link) to apply for tickets.

If you wish to observe the service, you will be able to watch from the east (Richmond House) side of Whitehall without a ticket.

12.00 noon: Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving, Westminster Abbey

On completion of the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Cenotaph, there is a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving to mark Anzac Day at Westminster Abbey at 12.00 noon. Guests need to be seated at the Abbey by 11.45 am. The service is approximately one hour.

Complimentary tickets are required to attend this service. They may be requested from the High Commissions of New Zealand or Australia and are allocated on a ‘first in, first served basis’.

ANZAC100 Commemorative Coin.

Last year Her Majesty's representative in New Zealand, Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, presented the Commemorative Coin at an official launch at Government House in Wellington.