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Monday, January 2, 2017

MadMonarchist: 2016 Year in Review

MadMonarchist: 2016 Year in Review

This will not be a very long post as 2016 was not the most eventful of years for the monarchies of the world though the major events that did happen were quite unprecedented. It was certainly not a happy year for the former Royal Family of Romania. King Michael I was diagnosed with cancer, sparking an outpouring of insincere praise from the political establishment in Bucharest. He certainly deserves such praise but if these clowns really meant what they said, they should have restored him to his throne. As it was, the former monarch was not even well enough to attend the funeral of his beloved wife, Queen Anne, when she passed away in August of this year. There were some public gatherings and hopes that the traditionalists in Romania might be going somewhere but there has been no movement on that front as the politicians refuse to give up their beloved presidency they all aspire to and wish to exploit.




There was happier news from the British Isles in 2016. Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her ninetieth birthday, becoming the oldest reigning monarch in British history and she is still doing fine. No doubt the Queen needed all of her genetic fortitude when the government insisted on ‘putting on the dog’ for a state visit by the President of China. Ladies such as the Duchess of Cambridge and (soon to be Prime Minister) Theresa May showed up for the state dinner in red dresses in honor of their Chinese guest, though the Queen did not. She was later overheard remarking about how rude the Chinese had been to her ambassador and the Prince of Wales refused to attend the state dinner to show solidarity with the people of Tibet so there was plenty for the media to chatter about. It was as nothing though compared to the British event of the year which was the long-promised but much delayed referendum on U.K. membership in the European Union.
To the dismay of many but the joy of many more, Britons voted to exit the EU in a vote which attracted a larger turnout than any vote in British history. The royals were not left untouched by the event with the Duke of Cambridge making remarks that some interpreted as support for Britain staying in the EU while others interpreted remarks by the Queen as revealing Her Majesty’s support for leaving. Papers also published reports from palace sources that the Queen wanted out. The people vote, “leave” carried the day, the “remain” camp went into hysterics and the government of “Call Me Dave” Cameron was soon gone, replaced by Theresa May. Britain has still not actually left the European Union but the whole affair came as a terrible shock to the political establishment and media elites, all of whom predicted that Britons would vote to stay in. U.S. President Obama even came over to warn the British that leaving the EU would put them at the back of the line, all to no avail.

Major events, though they likely seemed innocuous to many in the rest of the world, were also afoot in East Asia in 2016. The conservative government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan pushed ahead for constitutional reforms that would allow for the strengthening of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, more freedom of action and, perhaps, even officially making HM the Emperor the “Head of State” and placing him above the constitution. There were immediate cries from the usual suspects, as well as some unusual ones, that Japan was reverting back to “fascism” and the pre-World War II days. Most, however, looked at the situation with an erratic and nuclear-armed North Korea next door and an expansionist giant in the form of China and considered the changes Abe is seeking as hardly uncalled for.
It was also in August of this year that His Majesty the Emperor, for only the third time in all of Japanese history, addressed his subjects directly. The Imperial speech was mostly about how the Emperor is feeling his age, is concerned about being able to carry out his duties properly and so on. The real purpose was to express his wish to abdicate without actually saying so as this would be considered “political” speech and there is no section of the current constitution allowing for an Emperor to abdicate. Therefore, this was a way for the Emperor to send a signal to the political establishment that it would be nice if they were to make the appropriate changes to the law in order to allow him to abdicate or at least hand his more onerous responsibilities over to a regent, in all probability the Crown Prince, for the remainder of his era. That may not happen for some time though as politics moves extremely slowly in the Japanese government which sits atop a bureaucratic behemoth that would likely astound even Austria-Hungary.
The other major royal news in Asia was the death of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great of Thailand. The highly revered monarch, who had reigned over “The Land of Smiles” since 1946 had seemed to be near death for quite a long time but it was nonetheless a major and traumatic event. Scarcely anyone could remember a Thailand without him, and no one wished to imagine one. Stocks tumbled, the world worried and Thais took to the streets to mourn their beloved monarch. In a country long plagued by government unrest and the occasional military coup, it was the King who always provided a rock of stability, who saw to it that things never got out of hand and who could be counted on to bring everyone on side. Political divisions in the country could be fierce, but everyone was united by their admiration for the King. The sad event came at a time when the military was in control and it is likely that was part of the plan, to ensure a smooth transition over this event which is unlike anything Thailand has experienced before. It remains to be seen how the country will move forward with the new King Vajiralongkorn.

The biggest news story in Europe for 2016 has likely been the migrant crisis and the increasing occurrence of terrorist attacks by Muslim fanatics. Such events have been pointed to as explaining the vote for Britain to leave the European Union, the rise in popularity of parties that oppose open borders and even the election of Donald Trump in the United States. The Kingdom of Sweden has been particularly hard hit, though Germany is generally regarded as the epicenter. For the most part, the royals involved have their kept their opinions to themselves though the King of Norway cheered many on the left and angered many on the right when he spoke out in favor of open borders and the odd sort of ‘intolerance for the intolerant’ that is so popular with modern-day “progressives” but this was hardly a surprise to anyone who had been keeping up with the words and actions of the current Norwegian Royal Family. The Queen of Denmark would likely never think of saying such a thing and the King of Sweden is probably just trying to keep his head down.
In Britain, Prince Charles seemed to be worried about the rise of parties on the right in his Christmas address as both the National Front in France and the Alternative for Germany party in that country have seen their support increase over the course of this migrant crisis. Some though the anti-immigration Austrian People’s Party was set to win the presidency in that country, but an electoral do-over after some voting shenanigans saw the win go to the open-borders Green Party. In the Italian Republic, however, voters said “no” to constitutional reform and the government of the socialist Prime Minister Renzi and this was all to the liking of the elder claimant to the Italian throne, Prince Amadeus, Duke of Aosta, who had earlier said he intended to vote “no” as well. The talk about town in Italy was that a “no” vote would bring down the Renzi government, which it effectively has, and that this could lead to a new government that will give Italy the chance to, like Britain, vote on leaving the European Union.

Other royal events of 2016 did not attract too much notice. The Arab monarchies in the Middle East continue to carry on as they have been, for all the sense that makes. The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan saw the birth of an heir to the throne with the little Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel, in Britain the Princess Royal’s daughter suffered a miscarriage and the Federation of Malaysia got a new monarch with the term of Sultan Mohammed V of Kelantan, the fourth youngest ever elected at 47. With the ongoing civil war in Syria, Chinese expansion at sea, the election of Donald Trump and numerous ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks, there has not been much room for other news in 2016. If current trends continue, however, the world could be in for a major realignment and a confrontation between the nationalist and internationalist/globalist camps which could have a significant impact on the cause of traditional authority around the world, both depending on who wins and which side the monarchs of the world are seen to take. No doubt 2017 will prove interesting.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all!