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Curious

In the United Kingdom, it’s a crime to advocate (in print) the abolition of the monarchy. Still on the books, though rarely enforced.

Treason Felony Act, 1848, s. 3
11 & 12 Vict. c. 12:

Offences declared felonies by this Act to be punishable by transportation or imprisonment.

If any person whatsoever shall, within the United Kingdom or without, compass, imagine, invent, devise, or intend to deprive or depose our Most Gracious Lady the Queen, from the style, honour, or royal name of the imperial crown of the United Kingdom, or of any other of her Majesty’s dominions and countries, or to levy war against her Majesty, within any part of the United Kingdom, in order by force or constraint to compel her to change her measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon or in order to intimidate or overawe both Houses or either House of Parliament, or to move or stir any foreigner or stranger with force to invade the United Kingdom or any other of her Majesty’s dominions or countries under the obeisance of her Majesty, and such compassings, imaginations, inventions, devices, or intentions, or any of them, shall express, utter, or declare, by publishing any printing or writing . . . . . . F1 or by any overt act or deed, every person so offending shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable . . . . . . F2 to be transported beyond the seas for the term or his or her natural life . . . . . .

Amendments:
F1 Words repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1891 (c. 67)
F2 Words repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1892 (c. 19)

Modifications etc. (not altering text):
C1 Reference to transportation for life to be construed as reference to imprisonment for life or any shorter term: Penal Servitude Act 1857 (c. 3), s. 2, (E.W.) Criminal Justice Act 1948 (c. 58), s. 1(2) and (S.) Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 (c. 21), s. 22(1)(2)

Category: Amor Patriae  Tags:  Comments off

Unveiling the National War Memorial, May 21st, 1939

Their Majesties doubtless had a pretty fair notion that within a few months’ time, another devastating war would be underway.

H.M. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth unveiling the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario. May 21st, 1939. (National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada / C-002179)

A veteran bows deeply while shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth after the official ceremonies of the unveiling of the War Memorial. May 21st, 1939. (Library and Archives Canada / PA-211006)

Detail of bronze figures during construction of the National War Memorial, Ottawa, Ontario. c1938. (Library and Archives Canada / C-010447)

Category: Amor Patriae, Historica  Tags: ,  Comments off

For we are called with our Allies to meet the challenge of a principle which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal to any civilised order in the world.

King George VI addresses the British people via wireless.  September 1939.

King George VI addresses the Empire via wireless. September 3rd, 1939.

      1. George VI address (excerpt) - BBC broadcast, Sept. 3, 1939

For the second time in the lives of most of us we are at war. Over and over again we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies. But it has been in vain. We have been forced into a conflict. For we are called, with our allies, to meet the challenge of a principle which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal to any civilised order in the world.

…Such a principle, stripped of all its disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right; and if this principle were established throughout the world, the freedom of our own country and of the whole of the British Commonwealth of Nations would be in danger. But far more than this – the peoples of the world would be kept in the bondage of fear, and all hopes of settled peace and of security of justice and liberty among nations would be ended.

— King George VI, Broadcast on the Outbreak of War, 03 September 1939.

In his personal diary, the Sovereign revealed that he was “relieved” that Britain was finally at war with Germany, after ten days of intensive negotiations over Poland had come to naught.  To those of us looking on from a distance, relief may seem like an odd feeling to have, especially when contemplating war.  But then we have not endured three years of the Rt. Hon. Arthur Neville Chamberlain as our first minister, who was busy preparing morsels of other countries in the vain hope that, after gobbling up enough Rhineland, Austrian and Czech hors d’oeuvres, the fascist madman on the Continent could be sated.  I’ve no doubt that over time, as Hitler blustered and Chamberlain folded—once, twice, and three times—the King had privately come to the conclusion that some brave nation in Europe would have to face facts, take up its sword, and run the German through.  Certainly his wartime deeds and stoic bravery helped restore both the prestige of the monarchy and British morale.  It has been reported that both the King and Churchill had wanted to be aboard HMS Belfast for D-Day; probably just as well that they couldn’t.  Both the King and the Prime Minister going ashore on the first day of the invasion would have torn the fabric of space-time with too much epic awesomeness.

Some of the most poignant and prophetic words about German belligerence in the tense autumn of 1939 belong, improbably, to a Czech diplomat—Mr. Jan Masaryk.  He was Czechoslovakia’s ambassador to Britain; at least until he resigned in protest in September of 1938.  The catalyst, naturally, was Chamberlain signing away the Sudetenland to the Third Reich.  Speaking in London on August 27th, 1939, Masaryk offered up this candid and accurate assessment:

jan_masaryk

Mr. Jan Masaryk, Czech Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1939

      2. Czech Ambassador on Poland situation

…One thing is very definitely sure.  If the war starts, it will be Hitler who is the guilty party.  I do not wish to deny that the unbelievable policy of the Western democracies has helped Hitler to this fortunate or tragic position.  History will prove that most efficiently and conclusively.

…If there is even a vestige of the Munich spirit left to initiate these negotiations, they are doomed to be a dismal failure.

The only possible chance of success without bloodshed is for Hitler to climb down from the Trojan Horse on which he has galloped from Munich to Berlin, and then to Vienna, Memel, Prague and so forth, and now toward Warsaw.  From now on he must walk, even walk backwards a bit.

Let me be perfectly frank; I believe I have the right to be so.  If Hitler attempts another bloodless victory for vulgar gangsterism, and the world—including the United States of America—let him get away with it, I have no illusions about the future of the European civilisation.

— Jan Masaryk to the BBC, 27 August 1939

Oh that we would have such discernment today.

RELATED: Publius at Gods of the Copybook Headings recounts the early days of the “Phony War”, leading off with Chamberlain’s declaration of war.

Category: Historica, Pro Victoria  Tags: ,  Comments off

So he gave Her an iPod

queen_obamas

I admit it’s not the swankiest of gifts, but surely a personalised iPod for Her Majesty is less tone-deaf than a DVD set for the Prime Minister.

LONDON—Finally! An answer to the question that everyone has been dying to know, especially after the debacle of the gift exchange last month when the Obama’s gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a bunch of DVDs and proceeded to get hammered for bad gift-giving by the British press: What did the Obamas give to Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday when they arrived at Buckingham Palace?

An iPod.

Seriously. An Obama aide reports that Mr. Obama gave the queen an iPod loaded with video and photos of her 2007 trip to the United States, as well as other songs and accessories, and a rare songbook signed by Richard Rodgers, of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame.

According to reports, the queen gave the Obamas a silver framed signed photograph — a gift she gives to all visiting dignitaries.

— Helene Cooper.  “Her Majesty’s Royal iPod“, New York Times, April 1st, 2009.

Some of the commenters to that article call the iPod tacky and embarassing.  I’m not so sure.  The question of what to give a wealthy monarch would likely stump even Martha Stewart.  Unless the President was going to splurge on something really over-the-top—like renouncing the Constitution and returning the United States to British rule—it would be fairly hard to give a really impressive gift to the Sovereign Who Has Everything.  Queen Elizabeth’s father, after all, was head of state to a quarter of the planet.  I am certain that he and his forebears collected all the really awesome, historic gifts this planet has to offer.  Whatever’s left is bound to be a disappointment.  At least getting an iPod is slightly better than something far less useful, like New Jersey.

The real key to gift-giving is not the expense necessarily, but the thoughtfulness.  The je-ne-sais-quoi that makes that particular gift appropriate for that particular person.  What’s something only the United States can give?  How about a personalised F-22 Raptor, with Vargas pin-up-girl nose art and an ass-whoopin’ name, like “Ballistic Betty”.  That’s the kind of gift you don’t easily forget.  And it’s practical.  You never know when you’re going to have to leave a JDAM-sized invitation for one of your PMs to tender his resignation.

Category: Foreign Affairs  Tags: ,  Comments off

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense

harry_comrades

Against all odds, the warrior ethos of Britain’s nobility is subtly reasserting itself.

Denied the opportunity to command a tank troop in Iraq, Prince Henry of Wales quietly re-trained as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), and has been serving in Afghanistan for the past ten weeks.  With the express approval and consent of the Queen, and, improbably, the collusion of the British media in keeping it all under wraps.

Following the bitter disappointment of the cancellation of his tour to Iraq last year, the Prince’s new deployment was cloaked in secrecy, with close friends and even senior generals kept in the dark to prevent the Taliban being inadvertently alerted.

The Queen was also kept closely informed and gave her personal backing, as did the Prince of Wales. A news blackout has held for (more than four months?) as part of a deal between Clarence House, the Ministry of Defence and the media to prevent Harry or his comrades coming under any extra danger.

…Although Harry considered leaving the army he stayed on with the prospect of a new role in Afghanistan.  He retrained as a JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) away from the public eye during summer 2007.

The role put him at the heart of the fight against the Taliban, working long hours and constantly in demand.

— “Prince Harry’s ‘dream’ of fighting for Britain“, The Daily Telegraph, February 28th, 2008.

I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t make me a little misty-eyed.  While there will certainly be additional danger faced by Harry’s compatriots, I cannot image that any of them would actively resent his presence.  After all, the last royal to see combat was the Duke of York in the Falklands War (1982), and the last British sovereign to fight alongside his troops was George II at the Battle of Dettingen (1743).  Britannia could use more warrior-kings prepared to lead from the front, a la Henry V, than philosopher-kings who let the kingdom slip through their fingers, a la Henry VI.

As far as I’m concerned, if MoD really wanted to burn some Islamist britches and destroy enemy morale, then HMS Ark Royal should be parked in the Persian Gulf with Elizabeth, Phillip, Charles, Andrew and Edward flying daily missions from her deck.  That would make a great object lesson to hand down to the next generation of terrorists.  “Your father was killed by an 82-year-old infidel Zionist-Crusader queen”.  “And did we shoot her down?”  “No, she bombed your uncle last week.”

How long can a shame-based fascist culture endure constant humiliation and defeat, but still remain intellectually attractive?  Maybe it’s time we put it to the test.  I can’t think of a good reason not to try to mock the hell out of a misogynist enemy, whose appeal stems largely from adolescent fantasies of endless rutting in Paradise.

Anyway, Bravo Zulu to Widow Six-Seven.  Your ancestors would be proud.  Cry ‘God for Harry, England and Saint George!’

RELATED: Hilarious title from Fortitudine of The Canadian Republic and Dust my BroomPrince Harry For The Crown: If We’re Going To Have A Monarch, He Might As Well Be Awesome.

England expects every man to do his duty

An open letter to Elizabeth II, Dei Gratia Britanniarum Regnorumque Suorum Ceterorum Regina Consortionis Populorum Princeps Fidei Defensor.

Your Majesty,

In light of recent statements, it is apparent that Rowan Cantuar has no more fight left in him.  He is prepared to sanction the integration of Islamic law into the legal framework of Britannia major—which already has an established Church, founded some 473 years ago.  Protestantism is still at the heart of Britain’s governmental and legal infrastructure today, and I am certain that even sharia‘s contemporary treatment of women and non-Muslims is very much at odds with Enlightenment principles of equality that are entwined in the fabric of British common law.

Dr. Williams, however, appears to have intellectually abandoned the necessity of preserving and defending the common law.  As Supreme Governor of the Church of England, responsible for the spiritual and moral health of your Church and State, surely you can see that it would be unwise for the doctor to continue his tenure.

I would be much obliged if Your Majesty’s Government would introduce an Act of Attainder to strip Rowan Cantuar of his public offices, and give all persons the Freedom of the Empire to kick said doctor in the ass—once per diem—whenever and wherever he may appear in Publick.

Your Obedient Servant,

C. Taylor

RELATED:  Palmerston at The Monarchist is also mightily displeased.   The New Criterion links to many dissenting Anglican bishops quoted in This Is London.