Monday, September 29, 2008

Symposium on Monarchy in Laufen

The first Monarchy Forum organized by the German Monarchist Society was held from 26 through 28 September 2008 in Laufen in Bavaria. The purpose of this conference was to set new courses that promote the interdisciplinary discourse among political sciences, jurisprudence, and historical sciences.

The symposium began on Friday evening with a welcome speech by the first governing mayor of Laufen, Mr. Hans Feil. Professor Dr. Karl Otmar Freiherr von Aretin followed immediately with a lecture on the “shipwreck of the Weimar Republic, resistance from 1932-33 in the Bavarian monarchist movement against the NS-regime, and the 1950-52 efforts towards the reintroduction of monarchy.” Freiherr von Aretin has lectured for many years at the Technical University of Darmstadt in the faculty for social and historical sciences. He is also the former director of the Institute for European History.

The next day, Dr. Götz Freiherr von Boyneburg-Lengsfeld-Dornkasch provided some future insight with his topic “relevance of inherited values for the 21st century.” The distinguished jurisprudent and historican Prof. Dr. Reinhard Heydenreuter talked about the legal status of the bavarian nobility after the year 1918.

On Sunday there was an opportunity for all participants to discuss and debate before the forum officially closed. Many questions remained unanswered, but the debate provided some suggestions for topics for the second Monarchy Forum in 2009.


Queen Rania on UN Millennium Goals



HM Queen Rania of Jordan helped in launching the YouTube Action against Poverty called „in my name“ outside the United Nations. She urged world leaders to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals to end extreme poverty.


As you know we’re half way through our deadline, 2015, deadline for the Millennium Goals, yet we are very far from reaching them. So, we are here to remind the world leaders that it is very important for us to renew our commitment to these goals, to try to achieve the results we promised. Because half a promise is an injustice. We can not just extend our hand to the needy only to put it away again. We cannot raise hopes only to dash them. So, we are here to renew our commitment, to say that we must correct the injustices, and remember that the MDGs are underpinned by our appreciation of our common humanity. So, an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, economist Jeffrey Sachs and celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Kristin Davis, Elle Macpherson, Annie Lennox, Bono and Fergie also helped in launching the campaign. To see more and take action, visit www.youtube.com/inmyname.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why I am a monarchist (6)


Nada Pavković, senior undergraduate student at the School of Law, University of Belgrade


Looking at all the European countries, since Serbia is a European country, and looking at constitutional parliamentary monarchies, throughout history, until the present, we can see that these countries have always been at the top, I mean in every aspect of social development, starting from political to cultural, or any other aspect of development, European monarchies like Sweden, Spain, Great Britain and other, have always been leaders in social development. Serbia, as long as it had been monarchy in different forms, always went firmly ahead and was never behind those European countries. Today, when she is off that course, she is where she is, I think the condition Serbia’s in and the path she’s taking don’t need any comment. I simply believe that monarchy should be restored in Serbia.


Some people become monarchists, but I have always been a monarchist. Ever since I was born, and since I knew the world around me and myself, I only knew about monarchy, the system that, in the words of my parents and my relatives, was the only right solution for our country, for the young, to have a decent place to grow up and live in. So, as someone who has been that since the day I was born, I shall always be a monarchist!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Measure of a nation’s population wealth

17 out of 30 world’s richest countries are monarchies! (13 constitutional and 4 traditional monarchies)

The gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the measures of national income and output for a given country's economy. GDP is defined as the total market value of all final goods and services produced within the country in a given period
of time (usually a calendar year). It is expressed in US dollars.

Source: CIA World Factbook


Rank

Country

GDP - per capita (PPP)

Year

of est.

1.

Qatar

$ 80,900

2007

2.

Luxembourg

$ 80,500

2007

3.

Malta

$ 53,400

2007

4.

Norway

$ 53,000

2007

5.

Brunei

$ 51,000

2007

6.

Singapore

$ 49,700

2007

7.

Cyprus

$ 46,900

2007

8.

United States

$ 45,800

2007

9.

Ireland

$ 43,100

2007

10.

Switzerland

$ 41,100

2007

11.

Kuwait

$ 39,300

2007

12.

Andorra

$ 38,800

2005

13.

Iceland

$ 38,800

2007

14.

Netherlands

$ 38,500

2007

15.

Austria

$ 38,400

2007

16.

Canada

$ 38,400

2007

17.

Denmark

$ 37,400

2007

18.

United Arab Emirates

$ 37,300

2007

19.

Sweden

$ 36,500

2007

20.

Australia

$ 36,300

2007

21.

Belgium

$ 35,300

2007

22.

Finland

$ 35,300

2007

23.

United Kingdom

$ 35,100

2007

24.

Germany

$ 34,200

2007

25.

San Marino

$ 34,100

2004

26.

Japan

$ 33,600

2007

27.

France

$ 33,200

2007

28.

Bahrain

$ 32,100

2007

29.

Italy

$ 30,400

2007

30.

Spain

$ 30,100

2007

Monday, September 22, 2008

What is a neomonarchist?

Theodore Harvey

Neomonarchists
see monarchy as entirely separate from Left/Right political divisions. Their own political views are likely to range from liberal to moderately conservative, or they may not be very interested in politics at all. While respectful of the religious traditions associated with royalty, they are usually not particularly religious themselves. Neomonarchists are primarily concerned with the support of existing constitutional monarchies, such as the ten currently reigning in Europe, and it is this model of monarchy that they would advocate in the case of any possible restoration. Many of them enthusiastically follow the lives of contemporary royals, and are inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt when they are criticized. Neomonarchists tend to be socially liberal and so are unlikely to object to non-traditional marital alliances such as that of the Crown Prince of Norway with an unwed mother who had confessed to using drugs. They embrace multiculturalism and see monarchy as a potential unifying figure in Europe’s increasingly diverse countries, as exemplified by Denmark’s part-Chinese Princess Alexandra and the Prince of Wales’s interest in Islam. They
enjoy contemporary popular culture and welcome royals’ interactions with it. Most importantly, neomonarchists are those royalists who have made their peace with modernity and do not see any fundamental conflict between monarchism (they may prefer to say “interest in royalty”) and liberal democratic values. Not especially prone to nostalgia, they are nevertheless often quite fascinated by the royal personalities of past eras, and have no problem sympathizing on a human level with members of autocratic royal families such as Russia’s Romanovs while rejecting everything that these royals stood for ideologically.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Traditional openings of the Parliaments in Sweden and Holland


The new working year for the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) started on Sep 16 with the traditional ceremonial opening by the King Carl XVI Gustaf. At the request of the Speaker, the King declared the session open. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt then gave an inaugural speech presenting Statement of Government Policy, with main emphasis on tax cuts and a number of different reforms.






Prinsjesdag (Day of the Princes) is the day on which the Queen of the Netherlands addresses a joint session of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament in the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) in The Hague. It is traditionally on the third Tuesday of September. The Speech from the Throne (Dutch: Troonrede) sets out the main features of government policy for the coming parliamentary session.













Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why I am a monarchist (5)


Mandy:

My interest in the monarchy began at age seventeen while I was researching my family's English heritage. I found the history of the monarchy in Britain to be fascinating. From the ancient rituals to the national debates on the institution itself, the monarchy was fast becoming my favorite topic.

When Diana, Princess of Wales died in 1997, it was an event that brought an enormous amount of attention to the personal lives of the country's royal family. It was then that I looked more closely at this dynasty. What were they really all about?

Through much reading and research, I discovered that the Royal Family was an incredible living representation of history in Britain. I also found that Her Majesty the Queen is a marvelous lady who is tirelessly dedicated to crown and country, and dedicated to her Commonwealth.

The Queen has served as my role model in many ways - Her Majesty's inner strength, dedication, and patience has inspired me in my own life.

I am currently working in Special Education. I will soon be certified in teaching and I am working my way towards a Master's Degree in history. I would like to become a history professor one day. I am finishing my Bachelor's Degree in Communications Media: Graphic Design this year.

(Mandy has put her design skills to good use, designing a first day cover for HM Queen Elizabeth’s 80th birthday Royal Mail stamp issue. She also designed stamp covers celebrating HM the Queen & The Duke of Edinburgh's 60th wedding anniversary, and the visit by Her Majesty to Milton-Keynes for their 40th anniversary celebrations.

The limited edition covers and their special postmark are being issued by Britain’s 'secret little post office' at Bletchley Park. The stamp covers are available directly from Chapman and Mitchell Covers at Bletchley Park Post Office.As Mandy put it „It has been a joy to work with Bletchley Park in creating this first day cover. I thank them for giving me this chance to further express my admiration for the Queen, who is my inspiration for so many things in life“.)

Queen Rania of Jordan once said, „In drawing up our national strategy, we have to be sensitive to our traditions, values, and culture.“ This statement certainly applies to the United Kingdom as well. The monarchy is a huge part of Britain's traditions, values, and culture. It is an integral part in the balance of old and new. To ignore this fact would be to dismiss the island nation's important attributes and historical roots.

What Monarchy Means

The monarchy has been a permanent fixture in Britain for over a thousand years. It is celebrated as a solid foundation on which we can rely. The Royal Family, with its duties, traditional ceremonies and pageantry does so much for morale! It brings together people from all walks of life, united in pride for a magnificent Queen. She and her institution are above politics, and can therefore embrace a wide range of people. Her Majesty and her family are real people, and go out among their subjects not as some campaign personality, but as themselves.

A royal person as head of state does a lot of good for the nation's prestige and standing. As the Queen has proved, being trained from birth to respect tradition and fullfill one's duties to the nation is honorable. The people love and admire her for her devotion, and feel pride at having a knowlegable, hard-working head of state.

Providing successors who do the same is also a secure way of maintaining the country's well-being. Monarchs build on the achievements of their predecessors, and at the same time make sure they provide their own heirs with proper training and guidance. Trained to be a head of state all their life, there is no question that the eventual successor would be most experienced. And the longer they actually reign, the more firsthand experience will come. And the preparation of the heir is not for a singular task or vested interest - the training encompasses all aspects of the kingdom.

Addressing The Critics

Many people think that being pro-monarchy automatically means anti-progress. That monarchists are either antiquated, elitist, or merely wistful of times past. This is not so. Many monarchists and staunch supporters of the British Royal Family are progressive, intelligent, and open-minded people. We feel that Monarchy represents the best of what our culture has: belief in God, tradition, patriotism, and family. We wholeheartedly support these ideals, and Her Majesty who upholds them. These values are what will make progress, not deter it.

Many monarchists know that there are always two sides to an issue, and address criticisms honestly and openly. We recognize that the monarchy must adapt in certain ways for its ever-changing society, and monarchy supporters must help with the adaptation. We must see to it that our royal family serves the nation in the best way possible, yet stay rooted in the ways that have served the country well for many years.

It is my hope that the Monarchy of Britain shall continue to prosper. We as monarchists will continue to preserve and celebrate the Queen's lifelong work and the Monarchy's vital role in this world.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thai Princess becomes Goodwill Ambassador for UN

Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand has joined the United Nations “Say No to Violence against Women” at a ceremony to mark her designation as a Goodwill Ambassador in Thailand for the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Princess Bajrakitiyabha – a doctoral graduate in law from Cornell University and an Assistant Public Prosecutor in Thailand – handed out “Say No” cards at the recent ceremony in Bangkok, attended by ministers, senior Government officials, dignitaries and representatives from civil society.

“I am confident that, with our concerted efforts, the UNIFEM campaign… will certainly draw a huge number of signatures from the public showing the strength of Thailand’s one clear voice towards ending the violence against women,” Princess Bajrakitiyabha said.

UNIFEM invited Princess Bajrakitiyabha to be a Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of her initiative known as Kamlangjai (Inspire), which aims to empower women inmates, including pregnant inmates and their babies in correctional facilities.

The Thai Constitution has provisions to address violence against women, including domestic violence.

According to UNIFEM, at least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, with the abuser usually someone known to her.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

200th Anniversary of the University of Belgrade

The University of Belgrade is the largest and most prominent academic institution in Serbia. A place of educational and scientific excellence and the centre of academic life, this year marks its Bicentennial.


The origins of the University may be traced back to 1808. During the Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire, led by the Supreme Leader Karadjordje (ancestor of HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia), the first Grand School was founded by Dositej Obradovic, the most influential proponent of Serbian national and cultural Renaissance. One of the first students was Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, major reformer of Serbian language.


In 1813, following the collapse of the Uprising, the Grand School was closed, however, in 1838 a new high school, called the Lyceum, was opened in the town of Kragujevac. In 1841 it was moved to Belgrade, to the Palace of the Princess Ljubica (Obrenovic).


In 1863 it evolved into Grand School and moved to a new building, the gift of The Danube Captain - Misa Anastasijevic. It had been originally designed to serve for the anticipated court of the grandson of Karadjordje Petrovic, who was married to Captain Misa’s youngest daughter Sara. Nevertheless, following the realization of construction, Captain Misa Anastasijevic gave his mansion as a gift to “his fatherland for educational purposes”. This building is often regarded as one of the most beautiful in Belgrade. Today, the seat of the University of Belgrade is headquartered within its premises.



The original courses of Philosophy (1838), Law (1841) and Nature and Mechanics (1853) formed the first faculties.


Grand School had an outstanding reputation, not just in the Principality (and later Kingdom) of Serbia, but throughout Europe of that time. Its most prominent lecturers were educated at the leading European universities, and maintained close cooperation with their foreign professors and colleagues.


King Peter I (great-grandfather of HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia) formally granted university rights by a royal charter, on March 12, 1905. It guaranteed autonomy of the University, stating that „lecturers are free in explaining science“.


During the First and Second World Wars, the University was closed. The period between the two wars is regarded as the golden age of the University, when thanks to many donations, it became one of the best equipped and wealthiest universities in Europe. There were 500 professors and over 10,000 students.


The importance of the University of Belgrade, regarding the countries heritage, is that the origins of all other universities in Serbia and Montenegro and some other countries owe their very existence to the resources of Belgrade University.


Today, Belgrade University incorporates 31 faculties, divided into five groups (Mechanical Sciences, Social Sciences, Medical Science, Natural Science and Mathematics and Biotechnical Sciences) with currently 72,000 students, taught by 2,500 lecturers.


Throughout its history, the University has promoted the ideals of a democratic society, civil liberties, national traditions and European orientation.