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.