Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Queen is not a foreign power, she is above citizenship

Following the latest attempts of Australian republicans to replace the Constitutional Monarchy with an unknown republican regime, The Australian Monarchist League today published the following media release:

Mr Bill Shorten last night launched an attack on the Queen accusing her of being a foreign power. If he truly believes that then what worth is his word when he swore to bear true and faithful allegiance to the Queen when he took his seat in the parliament?

“I, William Richard Shorten do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!”

The fact is the Queen is Queen of Australia by right of the Australian Constitution. Both she, as sovereign head of state and the Governor-General, who upon appointment assumes the role of effective head of state, must accept the directions of the Australian ministers of the Crown provided those directions are in accordance with the Australian Constitution. The Queen is not a foreign power, she is the Queen and therefore is above citizenship.

Philip Benwell
National Chair
Australian Monarchist League

Also see blog entry: Her Majesty, World Citizen

Saturday, 29 July 2017

"Labor vows vote on republic" - Yawn!

The key players in the Battle Royal: Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, the future King and Queen of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, present Prime Minister and main loser of the 1999 republic referendum, his wife Lucy, and Bill Shorten, ALP Leader of the Opposition and wanna-be Prime Minister who wants to take the Monarchy away from the Australians to replace it with some sort of a republic.

The Saturday Age's headline "Labor vows vote on republic" is hardly newsworthy. The editorial in the same paper unsurprisingly comes to Labor's aid: "Opposition leader Bill Shorten is right that Australia should expedite its inevitable transition to a republic." So far, so bad, but all this was said and written before.

What neither Bill Shorten nor The Age are telling the bored audience is the answer to the question: WHAT kind of republic do you want? The Constitutional Monarchy Australia has enjoyed since becoming an independent country in 1901 has given a frame work everybody knows - even if some people dislike it. But to give this up and wander off to unknown territory will not easily be done by the Australians. Out of 44 referenda to change the constitution, only eight were successful.

Mr. Shorten knows this, therefore he wants a plebiscite with the question: "Do you support an Australian republic with an Australian head of state?" - to be followed by a second vote after that would settle on the tricky topic of the best model. When will Mr. Shorten let us know, which model he prefers? There's no indication anywhere what kind of president he would like to have (or he would like to be?).

In this plan neither Mr. Shorten nor the Fairfax media rule in a "No!" vote in the plebiscite. This is a more than likely assumption considering that the opinion polls do not favour the republicans, despite their loud claims they would speak for the Australian people. They are nowhere near the 50 percent threshold for their cause.

That poses the question: Will they give up their useless efforts to replace our Constitutional Monarchy with "a" republic? Isn't the US example of a republic not frightening enough?  Why not donate their millions to a worthy cause instead of spending it on their media advisers and the likes?

Or to say it in the words of Taylor Gramowski in the Spectator, "Flogging a dead horse republic": The ARM and Labor need to stop flogging a dead horse, concede defeat and move on.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla in 2015 at Government House, Sydney.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Happy 70th Birthday, Your Royal Highness

To mark HRH The Duchess of Cornwall's 70th Birthday, Clarence House has released this new portrait, taken by
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall turns 70 today and instead of celebrating her own birthday it is announced she is to take on a new patronage championing older people. In addition to some 90 charities and organisations she already represents, the Duchess will lend her experience to a helpline to combat loneliness in older age. She joins the Prince of Wales in becoming an influential voice for older people, after he last week spoke out for the forgotten would-be workers aged over 50 who struggle unnoticed to find employment.

They were photographed by Mario Testino in the morning room at Clarence House during a shoot in May, looking relaxed and happy as they smile for the camera side-by-side. The Duchess is captured for posterity in a navy blue dress coat with white embroidery by Fiona Clare, while the Prince wears a coordinating dark blue suit, shirt and tie. Testino paid tribute to the Duchess, describing her as “a kind and beautiful person with a wonderful sense of humour” after working with her again.

In November 2012 the royal couple paid a visit to The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in Southbank, Melbourne.

Clarence House hosted a garden reception to acknowledge those the Duchess works with, from former Royal household staff to charity leaders. A fellow party guest Dame Esther Rantzen has announced the Duchess is to be patron of her charity The Silver Line, with her 70th birthday placing her in the perfect position to help.

The Prince, too, has recently used his platform to speak up for older people, presenting awards to entrepreneurs over 50 during a visit to Wales last week. Speaking at Prime Cymru, the Prince’s initiative for “mature enterprise”, he told an audience that the difficulties faced by older workers are too often forgotten.

Though most women her age have long retired, there is no expectation in Royal circles that the Duchess will change her workload following the landmark birthday, continuing charity work in areas including children’s literacy, women’s empowerment and cancer care.

Her portfolio of charities will remain around the same size in the foreseeable future, a Royal source confirmed, with no sense of slowing down as she aids the Prince in his public duties. Both will join the wider Royal family in supporting the Queen and representing her in public engagements as the Duke of Edinburgh retires in the autumn.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Monarchy: A lifelong dedication to duty

The comments in an interview given recently by Prince Harry to the American magazine Newsweek in which he stated that: “the heavy burden which comes with the throne isn’t something anyone aspired to” are being broadcast - and often misinterpreted - on Australian television and other media.

In many ways, Prince Harry is quite correct. To be monarch is an awesome burden. Not only does one have to be on call 24 hours each day, read through State papers, meet with ministers to be consulted and to advise, attend various events and functions almost every day but also, worse, the monarch and heirs are in the public spotlight continuously.

The Queen has carried on her duties for over 65 years immaculately. Even though the 24/7 news cycle occurred only more recently during her reign, Her Majesty has taken it all on board and has unflinchingly continued to serve the people.

Service and duty is today what the monarchy is all about. As Prince Harry said in his interview “Despite the challenges that come with it” the monarchy was “a force for good”.

Australia’s system of constitutional monarchy has upheld our democracy for well over a hundred years during which time so many countries became republics and then dictatorships.

Philip Benwell

National Chair

Australian Monarchist League

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

King Simeon's Birthday will be a summit for the Balkan Royal Families

Their Majesties King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of the Bulgarians
The third King of the Bulgarians, since gaining independence from the Ottomans, will celebrate his 80th birthday on 16th in his home country.

His Majesty Tsar Simeon II expects members of European Royal Families at the Vrana Palace. He also invited representatives of the Bulgarian administration and collaborators of the former parliamentary group of the NMSS (National Movement Simeon II, later renamed to National Movement for Stability and Prosperity), and the ministers from his government, which he headed between 2001 and 2005, public figures, former political partners, business representatives.

King Simeon II and Princess Maria Luisa of Bulgaria
Almost the whole family of Tsar Simeon and Queen Margarita will be present for the anniversary. The sister of the King, Princess Maria Luisa of Bulgaria, has already arrived from the United States. The King's children and grandchildren will arrive a day before the jubilee . The last time they gathered in Vrana was ten years ago, when the family celebrated the 70th birthday of Tsar Simeon II. Missing will be Prince Tirso - Prince Kubrat and Princess Karla's son, who will sit in exams when his grandfather turns 80. On the same day, their son Prince Lucas, who is a medical student, has an important test and will miss the family celebrations.

The Bulgarian Prime Minister and the US president
In January this year, His Majesty sent letters to the royal families in Europe, informing them that he had to limit the guest list for his birthday party. However, he invited he heads and heirs of the royal families in the Balkans. This is also due to the fact that the possible presence of royal couples of active monarchies would involve Bulgarian state bodies and require tightened security measures at the state level. Due to historic misfortunes the King's birthday reception has to be private. Unlike in Bulgaria's neighboring countries, where the royal families work together with the higher state institutions in such cases, and could expect police protection there is no such practice in today's Bulgaria.

Among the guests from abroad will be Crown Princess Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown, and Prince Radu of Romania, Crown Prince Alexander (II) of Serbia and Princess Katharina of Serbia, Prince Nikola of Montenegro, Crown Prince Leka II of the Albanians with his wife Princess Elijah, and Prince Osman Salahhdin Osmanoglu - a direct descendant of the Turkish sultans Murad V and Mehmed V.

From Spain, Queen Sofia and her sister Princess Irine of Greece and Denmark will take part. King Juan Carlos, who will also turn 80 years old in seven months, will not be able to attend. The Austrian Archduchess Elena will also join the celebrations the anniversary. Also expected is Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who is the dean of the extended Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family. He will fly in with a special plane directly from the German city of Coburg.

Among the guests will be Prince Tusun of Egypt, who was a classmate of Tsar Simeon II in the famous Victoria College in Alexandria. Prince Karel Schwarzenberg, who was foreign minister of the Czech Republic, will be absent.. He is the peer of the King and his close friend. Unfortunately, he will not be able to attend, due to the fact that on 16th June, national celebrations commence for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Schwarzenberg dynasty in Bohemia. Their Majesties, King Harald V and Queen Sonia of Norway, who have visited all provinces in the country for their 80th anniversary earlier in 2017, have already sent their excuses.

Their Majesties King Simeon II and King Juan Carlos I
On 16th June, a church service of Thanksgiving will take place at the "St. Alexander Nevski" cathedral, headed by His Holiness Neophyte, the Patriarch of Bulgaria and the Highly Reputed Metropolitans of the Holy Synod.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Manchester: A message from Her Majesty The Queen

Her Majesty meets Evie Mills, aged 14, from Harrogate, and dad, Craig at the hospital in Manchester.

The Queen told victims in Manchester Children's Hospital the attacker was 'very wicked to target' the concert on Monday.

A message from Her Majesty The Queen to the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester

23rd May 2017

The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.

I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured.

I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care.

And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity.


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Order of the British Empire marks centenary in the presence of HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Two days after the horrible attack on children, teenagers, men and women in Manchester The Most Honourable Order of the British Empire celebrated its centenary in a service of dedication at St Paul’s attended by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

The service on Wednesday 24th May 2017 was attended by 2,000 people from across the UK and Commonwealth who are holders of the Order awards, the GBE, KBE, CBE, OBE, MBE and British Empire Medal.

The Queen, who is the Sovereign of the Order and Prince Philip, who is the Grand Master, were met by the Lord Mayor of London and greeted by the Dean of St Paul's, the Cathedral Chapter and Officials of the Order.

In his Bidding Prayer, the Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul's, thanked God for the lives of members of the Order, "for the adventure and courage, idealism and diligence, contributed to the life of our world." Following the attack in Manchester, he prayed "we commend to God's love those who suffer at the hands of others in Manchester and elsewhere."

In his sermon, in which he looked at the work of the Order and its award holders, the Dean said: "Jesus Christ reminds us that honour is due, not to those who think highly of themselves, but to those who think highly of other."

The Queen enters the service with the Very Reverend David Ison,Dean of St Paul's

Hymns included Ye holy angels bright and Guide me, O thou great Redeemer, and the Cathedral Choir sang a number of anthems including Lo! God is here! with words written by Methodist founder John Wesley, who with his brother Charles is celebrated throughout the Anglican Church on 24 May each year.

The Order of the British Empire

Instituted by King George V in 1917 initially to recognise the considerable civilian contribution to the war effort during the First World War, the Order of the British Empire was a pioneering honour, being the first five-class Order for national distribution and the first to admit women to membership. Until then no woman had been eligible for an award, although an exception was made for Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

In 1918 the Order was separated into military and civil divisions and these awards have continued to this day. Announced twice a year, on the Queen's birthday and at New Year, these five classes honour all people in society, from lollipop ladies to sports stars; musicians to charity workers.

In increasing order of seniority, the awards are:

MBE Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
OBE Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
CBE Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
KBE/DBE Knight/Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
GBE Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

The association with St Paul's stems from the Cathedral's long consideration, by many, to be the Nation's Church and a place of great state occasions, including state funerals and memorial services. It therefore was a natural location to be the spiritual home of the Order of the British Empire.

The OBE Chapel in the crypt of St Paul's
On 20 May 1960, The Queen and Prince Philip came to St Paul's as the Bishop of London, Henry Campbell, dedicated the newly created Chapel of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (commonly known as the OBE Chapel) at the east end of the crypt of St Paul's.

The Order's chapel is also known as St Faith’s Chapel. The original St Faith's was a parish church attached to the old Cathedral destroyed in the Great Fire of London. During the rebuilding of St Paul's, this chapel was dedicated to St Faith close to the foundations of the former church and offered parishioners their own place of worship in the building.

Today, the OBE Chapel is one of the busiest spaces within the Cathedral. Every week, the Chapel is used for educational work, including the OBE Organ Outreach Programme, which introduces organ music to thousands of children, thanks to the generous support of the Order. One of the privileges of receiving an award within the Order is to marry (holders and children of holders) or be baptised (holders, children and grandchildren of holders) within the Chapel and these special services are held on nearly every weekend of the year.

The Queen and Prince Philip with the officials of the Order

Friday, 7 April 2017

Queen's Birthday Stamps 2017

In a couple of days the Queen of Australia will turn 91. The Queen’s Birthday 2017 stamp issue celebrates this incredible milestone. In the domestic base rate stamp, Australia Post shows the Queen greeting the crowd during a day of public engagements with Prince Philip. On this occasion, Her Majesty is visiting the Broadway Theatre, situated in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham.
This year will also mark the 70th anniversary of the marriage of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and His Royal Highness Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, which took place on 20th November 1947 at Westminster Abbey, London.

The international rate stamp features Her Majesty and Prince Philip, in recognition of the longevity of their relationship. The couple are riding in the Royal Procession as part of the prestigious five-day horseracing event Royal Ascot. First introduced in 1825 by King George IV, the Royal Procession signals the beginning of each day’s racing. A royal carriage procession, headed by the Queen and Prince Philip, travels up the straight mile in a circuit, transporting the Royal family to the Royal Box. In 2013, The Queen’s own horse, Estimate, won the prestigious Gold Cup race.

The stamps are available at the Australia Post shop, which promises: International delivery available