Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coronation Anthems - George Frideric Handel

This year is the 250th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest composers, George Frideric Handel, who died on 14 April 1759. Handel composed a total of 18 organ concertos, 40 operas and 21 oratorios.

The four anthems Handel composed for the coronation of
King George II and Queen Caroline on 11 October 1727 have never lacked popular favor. They were repeatedly performed at concerts and festivals during his life and since. Rarely did a composer of the day have such an audience for his new works and Handel composed his four anthems to match the pomp and grandeur of the occasion and, of course, the venue – Westminster Abbey.

The success of the anthems may have contributed to the popular image of Handel as a grandiloquent composer demanding huge forces of voices and instruments. In fact, Handel always matched his music to the occasion and the building for which it was written, and no occasion could be grander than a coronation. The forces that he used were substantial for the period: an augmented Chapel Royal Choir of 47 and an orchestra that may have numbered as many as 160!

Zadok the Priest
, the first anthem, was written with words adapted from the first chapter of the First Book of Kings:

Zadok, the Priest, and Nathan, the Prophet, anointed Solomon King;

And all the people rejoic'd, and said:

God save the King, long live the King, may the King live for ever!

The words of Zadok the Priest have been sung at every coronation since that of King Edgar in 973 AD, and Handel's setting has been sung at every one since 1727.

Let thy hand be strengthened
, the second anthem, Psalm 89:

Let thy hand be strengthened and thy right hand be exalted.

Let justice and judgment be the preparation of thy seat!

Let mercy and truth go before thy face.
The King Shall Rejoice uses a text from Psalm 21 and Handel sets each of the four sentences and the final Allelujah as separate musical sections:

The King shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord.

Exceeding glad shall he be of thy salvation.

Glory and great worship hast thou laid upon him.

Thou hast prevented him with the blessings of goodness and hast set a crown of pure gold upon his head.

The piece has a magnificently grand and elaborate conclusion which, as it was performed at the actual crowning section of the coronation service, matches the occasion perfectly.


My Heart is Inditing is an adapted and abridged text using verses from Psalms 45 and Isaiah 49. It was sung late in the service when Queen Caroline was crowned, and throughout Handel's setting are references in the words that are relevant to a queen:

My heart is inditing of a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made unto the King.
Kings daughters were among thy honourable women.

Upon thy right hand did stand the Queen in vesture of gold and the King shall have pleasure in thy beauty.

Kings shall be thy nursing fathers and queens thy nursing mothers.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Queen Rania meets Michelle Obama

HM Queen Rania of Jordan visited the White House on Thursday and was hosted by the U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.

Queen Rania is accopmanying her husband HM King Abdullah II on a working visit to the United States. She was the keynote speaker at the 8th Annual Global Philanthropy Forum Conference in Washington D.C.


Stepa Stepanović
(12 March 1856 – April 27, 1929)

Today is the 80th anniversary of death of Stepa Stepanović (Serbian: Степа Степановић), a field marshal of the Serbian Army who distinguished himself in Serbia's wars from 1876 to 1918.

„You've got nothing to write about. Everything that's been done, was done by the officers and soldiers of my army. They’re the ones who defeated the enemy and liberated our country. If you already want to write something for the French and British newspapers – there, you write that.“

Stepanović’s words to the correspondent of the Press bureau of the Supreme Command, who wanted to write his biography for the Allied press, on the occasion of the victory in the Battle of Cer.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pourquoi le Roi?


What are the advantages of the monarchy?

A king has a role of an arbitrator...

He is independent of the parties...

So, he really represents all the French.

First of all, he is self - legitimate

Because his legitimate dynasty ruled by the people and for the people.

He is the true guarantor of the institutions,

He guarantees a sound and real separation of powers.

Louis will crown France

And rid our country of the republican hypocrisy.

Let us dare to have the King!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why I am a monarchist (10)

Dragiša Jocić

It is my opinion that parliamentary monarchy is the only way, and our genetic code, that will lead Serbia to a better future and prosperity. I believe now is the right moment to achieve this goal. After the WW2, Serbia lost a true head of state, and she is still without one – although we could easily have a true head of state – His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II Karadjordjevic. I see no reason to keep having false heads of state, and one can see that a candidate for the position is not wasting time, we just can’t allow that to happen, I think today we have a unique chance that we mustn’t miss. Serbia today has no true political alternative and no hope for the future, which is very dangerous, for it can in no time erupt into anarchy or dictatorship, which is the reason why we must work very wisely to give hope and alternative to our citizens, and I mean honest and real hope and alternative – reestablishment of parliamentary monarchy. Our final goal is to establish a system of values, to promote democracy, without abusing it. People who should work on this goal must exemplify democratic values and importance of parliamentary monarchy in achieving this goal, which for sure leads to Serbia’s progress.

The Royal Family has done so much for Serbia and Serbian people, without fanfare. Having in mind our mentality, this sort of approach must be changed, and although I am aware that the Karadjordjevics wish to have a calm, unassuming and gradual approach, circumstances have changed, and it really does not depend so much on them anymore. Simply, it can very easily happen that they remain stuck in the status they currently have, and that the idea of the Kingdom of Serbia vanishes like a soap bubble. I am deeply convinced that we must enter the EU as a kingdom, for it is only the Kingdom of Serbia that will be able to retain political and economic independence, while becoming a member of the European Union.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Crown prince Willem-Alexander in Afghanistan

HRH Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands paid a secret visit to the Dutch troops stationed in the Afghan province of Uruzgan last week. The Prince, who was accompanied by Major General Peter van Uhm, commander of the Dutch armed forces, was on his third visit to Afghanistan, where he met civilians and aid workers as well as soldiers.

In a speech, the Crown Prince heaped praise on the heads of the Dutch soldiers: „What you have achieved is unbelievable, impressive. On behalf of all Dutch people, I say that I am proud of what you are doing and of your willingness to make great sacrifices.“ During his visit, the Prince of Orange repeatedly mingled with the Dutch soldiers. He ate his meals with them and slept on thin mattresses in steal bunk beds.

„Of course there are frustrations among those who came here with positive expectations and feel that change is taking too long,“ the Prince wrote in his online diary. „But despite all this, I still have a sense of hope for a lasting peace and development, primarily because of the conversations and experiences of all these brave men and women who I've had the honour to meet here. They believe in their mission, and so do I.“

In an exclusive interview with AD newspaper, Prince Willem-Alexander said: „The Netherlands is forever inextricably bound up with Uruzgan. We will always continue to follow this province. It is a beautiful land with an extraordinary, old history.“

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Serbian Orthodox Church continues to use the Julian calendar. The starting point in determining the date of Orthodox Easter is also March 21, but according to the Julian reckoning, which corresponds to April 4th on the Gregorian calendar. In addition, the lunar tables of the Julian calendar are 4 days (sometimes 5 days) behind those of the Gregorian calendar. The 14th day of the lunar month according to the Gregorian system is only the 9th or 10th day according to the Julian. The result of this combination of solar and lunar discrepancies is divergence in the date of Easter in most years.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Two sultans meet

His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, arrived on Wednesday in Muscat, starting an official state visit to Oman.

Upon arrival at the royal private airport, he was warmly welcomed by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said.

The visit was marked by the launch of a joint 100 million dollar investment fund, official news agency ONA reported.

The fund, which will be equally shared between the two states and based in Muscat, is aimed at fostering investment opportunities in the two countries in the commercial, industrial and tourism sectors.

The visit to Oman is part of Sultan of Brunei’s current tour of a number of countries in the region.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

King of Jordan meets Emperor of Japan

His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan was on a three-day working visit in Japan, where he met with His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito and a number of high-ranking officials.

King Abdullah held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso on the means to bolster bilateral ties, mainly in the economic and trade fields, explore areas of cooperation and build strong partnership between Jordan and Japan in the economic and social domains.

Discussions also focused on developments in the Middle East and efforts to bring about peace in the region, in addition to regional issues of mutual concern.

His Majesty was accompanied by HRH Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein, HRH Princess Raiyah Bint Al Hussein and the King's Personal Envoy Prince Ghazi bin Mohammad. Princess Raiyah is a half-sister of King Abdullah II and is studying at Ritsumeikan University in Japan.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Breakfast With Prince Georg Friedrich

Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia opened the exhibition “Déjeuner Royal - Frühstücks- Service aus vier Jahrhunderten” (Royal breakfast - breakfast service from four centuries) last week. The exhibition will run till June 28 at the tower of castle of Hohenzollern.

Two tables with china wear will be displayed as well as various other items from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century. A set of travel dishware of Frederick the Great is one of the most interesting things of the exhibition. The exhibition is a cooperation between Burg Hohenzollern, the castle of the houses of Hohenzollern, and the royal porcelain factory (Königlichen Porzellanmanufaktur) in Berlin.

HI&RH Prince Georg Friedrich (32) is the head of the royal family of Prussia. He succeeded his grandfather in 1993, as his older uncles married morganatically. Burg Hohenzollern is maintained by both the royal as the princely branch of the house of Hohenzollern.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Prince Emanuele Filiberto Meets With Earthquake Victims

Prince Emanuele Filiberto and his wife, Princess Clothilde, visited the site of Italy’s massive earthquake Tuesday. They met with survivors and rescue workers in the town of L’Aquila, where nearly 300 were killed and thousands have been left homeless.

“In these times our thoughts turn to the families of the victims of this tragedy,” said the Prince. “What happened was terrible and the proportions of the earthquake appear to worsen with each passing hour. I am very concerned about the consequences of the many homes that have suffered severe damage and are uninhabitable.”

Despite the tragic conditions, the Prince had nothing but praise for the way Italians reacted to the disaster.

“All the Italians have proven to be united, this is a fine example of brotherhood and solidarity in these moments I am proud to be Italian. I am happy that the many friends of the House of Savoy have been enabled to bring their help enabling us to collect as much as three containers of food. Obviously proceed in total coordination with Army and Civil Protection.”

The House of Savoy was Italy’s royal family until 1946 when the country voted to abolish the monarchy. Prince Emanuele is the grandson of Italy’s last king.

Monday, the Prince had launched a campaign of solidarity between the Friends of the House of Savoy and between members of the knightly orders of the Royal House. The prince has visited two refugee camps and a field hospital and then heading to the Center of Coordination of aid in assessing how to distribute the aid offered by dynastic Orders of the House of Savoy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

HGD Guillaume Awards Work Promotion Diplomas

Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume awarded Work Promotion 2008/2009 diplomas.

The event took place at the Grand-Théâtre de la Ville, and Guillaume awarded the dilpomas to young master craftsmen and those who were awarded with the Work Promotion 2008/2009 diplomas.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The King of Spain Human Rights Prize

HM King Juan Carlos awarded last week the King of Spain Human Rights Prize to the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women's Rights, (CLADEM), at a ceremony where he called for an end to violence against women and for education and employment accessible to all.

The monarch, accompanied by Queen Sofia, expressed these sentiments at the auditorium of the University of Alcala de Henares near Madrid, during the ceremony awarding this biennial prize with its cash award of 30,000 euros ($40,000).
The prize is designed to honor organizations that have distinguished themselves in the defense and promotion of human rights and democratic values in Latin America.

In his address, the king said that to assure equality and decent living conditions for women we must „eradicate the domestic violence so many women suffer; eradicate poverty, hunger and disease and ensure their full access to education and employment“.

„I hope that this prize“, he said, „will go some way towards achieving a fairer life for all citizens of Latin America“. He added that rights and freedom are „by their very definition a rejection of violence and zero-tolerance for the hateful curse of terrorism“.

According to the King, this prize recognizes „the sum of efforts being made in Latin American communities to establish fundamental rights and liberties, as well as a greater social and economic development“.
CLADEM, which was the unanimous choice of the jurors, is a non-profit making organization operating in Latin America and the Caribbean, which coordinates an extensive network of regional organizations and individuals committed to defending these rights. It was founded in 1987 in San José in Costa Rica, has its headquarters in Lima and currently operates in 17 different countries in the region.

CLADEM coordinator Norma Enriquez expressed her gratitude for the award because it acknowledges the role of defenders of human rights who, she said, often meet with „bludgeoning power exercised by rulers who consider that whoever defends human rights, demands they be respected or complains when they are violated are enemies of the state.“

Enriquez explained that one of the initial goals of CLADEM when it was founded twenty years ago was to achieve laws against domestic violence. In less than ten years almost every Latin American country had one as a result.

Friday, April 3, 2009

World leaders at The Queen’s reception

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace for world leaders, to mark the beginning of the G20 Summit in London.

(from left, standing): Kevin Rudd, PM Australia; Stephen Harper, PM Canada; Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director IMF; Angela Merkel, Chancellor Germany;Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General; of the United Nations; José Luis Zapatero, PM Spain; Pascal Lamy, Director General WTO; Jan Peter Balkenende, PM The Netherlands; Abhisit Vejjajiva, Chair of ASEAN and PM Thailand; Kgalema Motlanthe, President South Africa; Taro Aso, PM Japan;
(from left, sitting): Lee Myung-bak, President S. Korea; Nicolas Sarkozy, President France, Co-Prince Andorra; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia; Hu Jintao, President China; Gordon Brown, PM UK; Queen Elizabeth II;

(from left, standing): Abhisit Vejjajiva, Chair of ASEAN and PM Thailand; Kgalema Motlanthe, President South Africa; Taro Aso, PM Japan; Silvio Berlusconi, PM Italy; Barack Obama, U.S. President; Mirek Topolanek, PM Czech Republic and Chair of EU; Recep Tayyip Erdogan, PM Turkey;Mario Draghi, Chairman Financial Stability Forum; Manmohan Singh, PM India;Robert Zoellick, President World Bank; Jose Manuel Barroso, President European Commission; Meles Zenawi Chair of NEPAD and PM Ethiopia.
(from left, sitting): Queen Elizabeth II; Luiz Innacio Lula da Silva, President Brazil; Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President Indonesia; Felipe Calderón, President Mexico; Cristina Kirchner, President Argentina; Dmitry Medvedev, President Russian Federation.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Crown Princess Margarita Celebrated 60th Birthday

HRH Crown Princess Margarita of Romania celebrated her 60th birthday on March 26th in grand style. Her husband, Prince Radu has organised a dinner at the C.E.C. palace (Casa de Economii şi Consemnaţiuni) in Bucharest, that was attended by the family and many friends of the princess. Among them the Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, his wife Crown Princess Katherine, Archduke Domenic of Austria-Tuscany and Archdukes Martin and Lorenz of Austria-Este.

When the princess started a welcome speech to the guests she was still somewhat emotional by the surprise, as she shared with the guests. In her speech the princess thanked her guests for coming and especially welcomed Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, who is in a similar situation as the Romanian royal family. The crown princess’ parents King Michael and Queen Anne were also present as were two sisters of the Princess and her nephew and niece.

The birthday celebrations lasted three days, on Friday the guests made a tour at the royal estate of Sinai, where they visited Pelesh and Pelishor castle. Later that day they attended a performance at the Ateneul Roman, the concert building in Bucharest.