Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Marienbad: Where Emperors Met

It was a reign that knew not Royal Assent to Parliament Bill 1911. It was a reign that knew not the Great War, nor the pervasive government of the post-WWI world. It was a reign that knew not the Yekaterinburg slaughter, nor the following millions of Communism’s victims. It was a reign that knew not the Amritsar Massacre. It was a reign that knew not the rise of Nazism. It was the reign of Edward VII.

Edward_VII_in_coronation_robesIt was in Marienbad in the Kingdom of Bohemia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Two Emperors met. The Emperor of India. The Emperor of Austria.

104 years ago today. August 16, 1904. Two days before the Austrian Emperor’s 74th birthday. It is indeed peace. A war that was to destroy this old order was quite unthinkable.

The Herald [today’s International Herald Tribune] reported:

MARIENBAD: The Austrian Emperor arrived here today by special train at 2.15 this afternoon to formally return the visit paid to him by King Edward at Vienna last year. The King, wearing the uniform of an Austrian field-marshal, and attended by his suite, awaited the Imperial visitor at the station platform. A large crowd thronged the station entrance, and as the train steamed in an enthusiastic cheer was raised. The Emperor, wearing the uniform of a British field-marshal, at once alighted from his saloon, and stepped towards the King, who advanced with outstretched hand. A sensational incident occurred during the drive through town. A woman suddenly threw off her cloak and rushed towards the carriage containing the two monarchs. Before anyone was able to prevent her, she raised her arm and hurled something towards King Edward. The greatest excitement prevailed but the gendarmes quickly seized the woman and led her away. The missile proved to be a letter to King Edward, the contents of which have not been divulged.
His Britannic Majesty was fond of the spa town of Marienbad, a favorite recreational spot, which he frequently visited.

Yes, the Emperor Francis Joseph formally returned a visit in his own Kingdom of Bohemia.

This in our times would be equivalent to Her Britannic Majesty having a favorite recreational spot in, e.g., Bruges in the Kingdom of Belgium, going on a visit to Amsterdam, and it being formally returned by the Queen of the Netherlands to Bruges. This is something quite unthinkable in this day and age. One can only imagine the outcry it would cause in Her Britannic Majesty’s non-residential Commonwealth Realms of a representational residence in a non-Commonwealth country.

Comparing the cosmopolitan Old Order with modern day cries for “national” heads of state does indeed give some perspective.


Kipling said...


Future generations will view the reign of Edward VII as a Golden Age in human history. Crowned tyrants indeed! Poor old Franz-Josef, a gentlemen who tried the best for his people! The Ancien Regime, for all its faults, was a far more civilized and humane place than our world.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Thank you for your comment, sir! I do appreciate it.

Of course, official history is written by the victors, so the losers' faults are overemphasized, whilst the victors' virtues are overemphasized.

Perhaps one of the things we should lament is that the ancient Britannic monarchy teamed up with the revolutionary Republic?

Nuno Castelo-Branco said...

Edward VII was very popular in Portugal. He was a close friend of our great king Carlos I and he did everything to cooperate with Portugal in Africa and in the future Entente Cordiale. It was a shame that he died soon, otherwise we would NEVER become an republic. Republic who give us ruins, tirany and dictatorship.