Monday, 13 March 2017

Commonwealth Day 2017



Today we in Victoria celebrate Labor Day, but all over Australia and beyond our shores fifty-two countries come together today to celebrate Commonwealth Day under the theme ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’.

Commonwealth Day, held on the second Monday in March each year, is an opportunity for individuals, communities and organisations to promote the Commonwealth’s shared values of peace, democracy and equality, and to celebrate the association’s rich diversity.

Her Majesty's representative in Queensland, H.E. The Honourable Governor Paul de Jersey AC, published this message on his website:

This Commonwealth Day, a baton will set out from Buckingham Palace and begin a long and extraordinary journey. Over the next twelve months, the Baton will visit people living in the nations and territories of our Commonwealth family in every continent and ocean.

Carried on its way by thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds, by the time it reaches its final destination, The Queen’s Baton will have brought together through its route and symbolism, almost 2.5 billion people who share the special connection of being Commonwealth citizens.

Contained within the Baton will be a written message that will be opened and read at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year. However, there is an even more powerful message to be seen and experienced as the Baton passes from hand to hand, from
seashore to mountaintop, through cities, towns, and villages. It is the message of a peace-building Commonwealth.

The cornerstones on which peace is founded are, quite simply, respect and understanding for one another. Working together, we build peace by defending the dignity of every individual and community.

By upholding justice and the rule of law, and by striving for societies that are fair and offer opportunities for all, we overcome division and find reconciliation, so that the benefits of progress and prosperity may be multiplied and shared.

As members of the Commonwealth family we can find much to be thankful for in the inheritances we have received from those who came before us. Through consensus and cooperation great things have been achieved.

We can find further reward and fulfilment by continuing to collaborate with others in a spirit of goodwill to build a peaceful and abundant future for all Commonwealth citizens.

Commonwealth Day Message by Her Majesty the Queen, Head of the Commonwealth

This Commonwealth Day, a baton will set out from Buckingham Palace and begin a long and extraordinary journey. Over the next twelve months, the Baton will visit people living in the nations and territories of our Commonwealth family in every continent and ocean.

Carried on its way by thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds, by the time it reaches its final destination, The Queen’s Baton will have brought together through its route and symbolism, almost 2.5 billion people who share the special connection of being Commonwealth citizens.

Contained within the Baton will be a written message that will be opened and read at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year. However, there is an even more powerful message to be seen and experienced as the Baton passes from hand to hand, from seashore to mountaintop, through cities, towns, and villages. It is the message of a peace-building Commonwealth.

The cornerstones on which peace is founded are, quite simply, respect and understanding for one another. Working together, we build peace by defending the dignity of every individual and community.

By upholding justice and the rule of law, and by striving for societies that are fair and offer opportunities for all, we overcome division and find reconciliation, so that the benefits of progress and prosperity may be multiplied and shared.

As members of the Commonwealth family we can find much to be thankful for in the inheritances we have received from those who came before us. Through consensus and cooperation great things have been achieved.

We can find further reward and fulfilment by continuing to collaborate with others in a spirit of goodwill to build a peaceful and abundant future for all Commonwealth citizens.

Event calendar


Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth
Monday, 13 March 2017, all day
This year over 1,000 individual flag-flying ceremonies are predicted to take place on Commonwealth Day. More information
Commonwealth Day Commemoration at the Memorial Gates
Monday, 13 March 2017, 10:40 GMT
A service of remembrance and the laying of wreaths at the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill in London.
Launch of The Queens Baton Relay
Monday, 13 March 2017, 11:30 GMT
The Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) has been a traditional curtain raiser to the Commonwealth Games since the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. More information
The Commonwealth Service: A Celebration of the Commonwealth
Monday, 13 March 2017, 15:00 GMT
The Service is the biggest multi-faith celebration in the United Kingdom and takes the form of an hour-long service at Westminster Abbey, London, featuring a mixture of testimonies, readings, hymns and musical performances. The Service is by invitation only. More information
Commonwealth Day Reception
Monday, 13 March 2017, 18:00 GMT
The Commonwealth Secretary-General hosts a reception attended by representatives of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Secretariat's headquarters, Marlborough House in London. The evening will commemorate the Commonwealth Theme of 'A Peace-building Commonwealth'. The Reception is by invitation only.
High Commissioners' Banquet
Tuesday, 14 March 2017, 18:30 GMT
Hosted at Guildhall, London, attendees at the dinner will include High Commissioners from the 52 Commonwealth nations, senior figures from the Commonwealth family, and key individuals from the worlds of politics, civil society, business and sport. The Banquet is by invitation only.
Annual Commonwealth Gala Performance and Presentation by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choirs at Marlborough House
Tuesday, 14 March 2016, 18:30 GMT  
The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir brings together communities across the Commonwealth through music, transcending cultural, political, social and economic boundaries.
Commonwealth Youth Awards
Wednesday 15 March 2017, 11:00 - 13:00 GMT
The awards recognise outstanding young people under the age of 30 from Commonwealth countries whose work has significantly contributed to local, national, regional and global development. Over 300 nominations were received this year. More information

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Message from the Governor General of Canada on the Occasion of the Sapphire Jubilee of The Queen’s Accession to the Throne

The Royal Mint has commissioned a range of specially designed Sapphire Jubilee commemorative coins to mark the 65th anniversary of The Queen's accession to the throne.

On 6th February Queen Elizabeth became the first Anglosaxon monarch to mark her Sapphire Anniversary, marking 65 years on the throne. Two very different messages were published by Her Australian and Canadian Governors-General.

The Governor General of Canada His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., published the following message on the Occasion of the Sapphire Jubilee of The Queen’s Accession to the Throne:
On behalf of all Canadians, I am delighted to convey warm greetings to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to all the people of the Commonwealth on the historic occasion of the Sapphire Jubilee of her accession to the throne. 
Throughout The Queen’s reign, she has inspired the world, demonstrating constant  dedication to duty and service to others. This impressive milestone, the first for any sovereign in our history, provides us with an opportunity to express our deepest gratitude for everything Her Majesty has done for the Canadian Crown.
I am honoured to add my voice to the chorus of heartfelt words of congratulations to Her Majesty The Queen from around the globe.
Et en français:
Au nom de tous les Canadiens et Canadiennes, je suis heureux de saluer chaleureusement Sa Majesté la Reine Elizabeth II et tous les citoyens du Commonwealth en cette occasion historique du Jubilé de saphir de l’accession au trône de la Reine. 
Tout au long de son règne, la Reine a inspiré le monde, accomplissant son devoir et se  mettant au service des autres avec un dévouement indéfectible. Ce jalon impressionnant,  atteint pour la première fois dans l’histoire par un souverain, nous donne l’occasion d’exprimer notre gratitude la plus profonde envers la Reine pour tout ce qu’elle a fait pour la Couronne canadienne.
Je suis honoré d’unir ma voix au concert de félicitations sincères exprimées à travers  le monde à la Reine.
The Governor-General of Australia His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) published this on Facebook (not on his website):
Today we acknowledge Her Majesty The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee - 65 years as our Sovereign - and we send Her the nation's best wishes.
Poor Australia, could only afford a simple sentence to mark the sovereign's milestone jubilee. Really a symbol for the shabby behaviour we all are watching in Canberra at the moment.

By the way, Her Majesty's Governor of Victoria does not mention at all the Sapphire Jubilee on the website, but on 6th February had this news item on her Twitter account. 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Queen's Blue Sapphire Jubilee


Buckingham Palace has authorised the reissuing of this portrait taken by David Bailey to mark The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee
On 6th February Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, reaches another milestone: She can celebrate a Blue Sapphire Jubilee for her 65 years on the throne.

Twitter announced what officially marks her anniversary as Queen: Gun Salutes on Mon 6th Feb: HMQueen's Accession Anniversary: Green Park at noon and at 1pm.

6th February is also the anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI, an event that made her monarch at age 25, therefore this will be one anniversary that won’t be marked publicly. The Queen will do some work behind the scenes as she reads documents sent to her by government departments in her historic red boxes.

To mark the occasion, the Royal Mint has cast special coins. The milestone has seen coins struck in a range of metals and denominations from £5, £10 and £500 to £1,000. The recommended retail prices for the commemorative coins range from £13 for the brilliant un-circulated £5 piece to £49,995 for the £1,000 UK gold proof kilo coin - expensive but not to be the most valuable coin produced by the Royal Mint.

Sapphire Jubilee commemorative coins have gone into production at the Royal Mint to mark the 65th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.


Although she is the first British monarch to reach 65 years on the throne, the feat is not unique elsewhere.

King Louis XIV of France, who reigned for 72 years, and King Bhumipol of Thailand, who died last year after a 70-year reign, are among those who reached Platinum Jubilees. Their record was surpassed by two margraves from Baden: Margrave Wilhelm 77 years (*1593/1600 - 1677) and Margrave Karl Friedrich 73 years (*1728/1738 - 1811), however, in 1803 he assumed the title Elector and in 1806 Baden became a Grand Duchy.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Queen Elizabeth will unveil the Iraq Afghanistan Memorial


Prince Harry during his tour in Afghanistan
Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will attend a Service of Dedication on Horse Guards Parade before formally unveiling the new Iraq Afghanistan Memorial on Victoria Embankment Gardens, London, on Thursday, 9th March.

The Iraq Afghanistan Memorial Memorial honours all UK Service personnel and civilians who took part in conflicts in the Gulf region, Iraq and Afghanistan between 1990 and 2015.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Duke of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal and Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will also attend the Service of Dedication, together with 2,500 invited guests.

Guests at the Service of Dedication will include current Service personnel, veterans, representatives of departments and bodies including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the National Health Service, and representatives of various charities and aid organisations.

Following the Service of Dedication, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will travel to Victoria Embankment Gardens, where Her Majesty will unveil the Iraq Afghanistan Memorial in the presence of the Memorial Trustees, together with individuals who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.

Members of the Royal Family, led by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, will then attend a reception on Horse Guards Parade for those who attended the Service of Dedication.

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? ... 

IMPORTANT THAT AML CONTINUES TO GROW

"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

MEMBERSHIP
"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: