Death of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh at 99 years of age.

Niall

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Ain't that the truth! Raising my hand here. There's really something about British monarchy that, as a French, I find fascinating. But I'm very partial to England. I love the countryside, the history, the language, the culture, the eccentricity of the English. The French and English are so different, and yet we've had that love/hate relationship and we've been "enmeshed" with each other for so long, like an old couple. And I think we do have a kind of nostalgia for royalty. Maybe that's why we love to read about the British royal family.
There's a surprisingly well-supported royalist movement in France; they want to 'replace the regime of 68' (and, by implication, that of 1789!) by reinstating a constitutional monarchy. The fleur-de-lis has become something of a symbol of rebellion/protest, and it's been especially visible since the Yellow Vest movement.

I understand the appeal. The truncated understanding of monarchy Westerners today have is that it's a bad system of government because it's too much power for one man or woman. Absolute monarchism was rarely practiced though; power was shared or devolved between multiple institutions. The remaining monarchs today - in the West anyway - have no real power.

In their restoration scheme, French royalists would give the monarch the power to mediate between competing interests, acting as a kind of neutral, truly disinterested casting vote when parliamentary disputes were evenly split, or when certain core national interests come under threat of capture by oligarchy (which is effectively monarchial-rule-from-the-shadows).

And this, obviously, is endemic today. So the royalists are effectively calling for a form of democratic regime change by 'making honest' what is already, functionally, the case: permanent, quasi-dynastic rule by elite monied or bureaucratic interests.

For all the high-falutin' terminology about democracy and progress and The Enlightenment, the underlying psycho-social reality is that most people seek out and resonate with a 'king' or 'queen'. That's why, when a good leader is voted into office, people will vote for him or her repeatedly (if their constitution allows it - and if the oligarchy tolerates him or her).

I think that's why they instinctively abhor Putin, Jinping, Trump and - all the way back - Casear. "He wants to be king, thus a tyrant!" they warn. Well, yes and no. Though a politician, he is functionally 'king'. He doesn't want to be though; he has to be, for his people and his country. That's what separates - indeed, elevates - him from the other nobles. They are tyrannical, but project that quality onto the one keeping tyranny at bay.

It takes one good, strong leader to keep avaricious nobles in check. It's also why real power-holders like intel agencies spend time grooming Obamas and Macrons, to 'plug into' the population's archetypal need for the 'one good man', all the while ensuring their own 'divine right to rule' remains untouched.

QEII doesn't have the political power to keep the nobles in check, and so the British elite (in general) have gone from bad to worse during her time. Her influence is limited to teaching good values (duty, family, tradition) by way of setting an example. Within tight political confines, she excels at that.
 

Niall

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Reminds me of my father, who, born just before ww2, wrote letters to
the Crown, with grieves. He had more faith in them than in the politicians.
With grievances, you mean?

Yes, that was practiced in imperial Russia. Anyone could write to the tsar with a petition, and although they were filtered before reaching a royal audience, it was a legitimate and much-used means of doing so, bypassing the zemstvo (local government councils), State Council (formal national government) and other mid-level entities like religious assemblies. In this manner, the tsar could intercede at every level of government, on a case-by-case basis.

Ironically, Putin spontaneously initiated a form of this as soon as he became president in 2000. People would gather when he visited somewhere remote and grief-stricken, like a war zone or the scene of natural disaster, in order to pass him small handwritten notes pleading for help. By all accounts, he strove to answer and satisfy every single petition. Today he uses technology to assist with same, hosting all-day marathon all-Russia teleconferences in which people can air their grievances. Again, by all accounts, he is personally offended when a junior government minister has neglected to hear or act upon the petition of an ordinary member of the public.

And so, when the oligarchs' media berates Putin for being 'a tsar', it's true in a sense they don't realize.
 
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MJF

Jedi Council Member
There's a surprisingly well-supported royalist movement in France; they want to 'replace the regime of 68' (and, by implication, that of 1789!) by reinstating a constitutional monarchy. The fleur-de-lis has become something of a symbol of rebellion/protest, and it's been especially visible since the Yellow Vest movement.

I understand the appeal. The truncated understanding of monarchy Westerners today have is that it's a bad system of government because it's too much power for one man or woman. Absolute monarchism was rarely practiced though; power was shared or devolved between multiple institutions. The remaining monarchs today - in the West anyway - have no real power.

In their restoration scheme, French royalists would give the monarch the power to mediate between competing interests, acting as a kind of neutral, truly disinterested casting vote when parliamentary disputes were evenly split, or when certain core national interests come under threat of capture by oligarchy (which is effectively monarchial-rule-from-the-shadows).

And this, obviously, is endemic today. So the royalists are effectively calling for a form of democratic regime change by 'making honest' what is already, functionally, the case: permanent, quasi-dynastic rule by elite monied or bureaucratic interests.

For all the high-falutin' terminology about democracy and progress and The Enlightenment, the underlying psycho-social reality is that most people seek out and resonate with a 'king' or 'queen'. That's why, when a good leader is voted into office, people will vote for him or her repeatedly (if their constitution allows it - and if the oligarchy tolerates him or her).

I think that's why they instinctively abhor Putin, Jinping, Trump and - all the way back - Casear. "He wants to be king, thus a tyrant!" they warn. Well, yes and no. Though a politician, he is functionally 'king'. He doesn't want to be though; he has to be, for his people and his country. That's what separates - indeed, elevates - him from the other nobles. They are tyrannical, but project that quality onto the one keeping tyranny at bay.

It takes one good, strong leader to keep avaricious nobles in check. It's also why real power-holders like intel agencies spend time grooming Obamas and Macrons, to 'plug into' the population's archetypal need for the 'one good man', all the while ensuring their own 'divine right to rule' remains untouched.

QEII doesn't have the political power to keep the nobles in check, and so the British elite (in general) have gone from bad to worse during her time. Her influence is limited to teaching good values (duty, family, tradition) by way of setting an example. Within tight political confines, she excels at that.
Yes, I think you are right. I have spent time with French royalists and they instictively admire the British monarchy. However, for those who argue for a restoration of absolute monarchy (such as under Louis XIV), and some do, I would always counter them by saying that you could end up with a tyrant like Henry VIII. Hence, be careful what you wish for.

The French courts were presented with a case some years back by the Comte de Paris, the purported head of the Orleans family, to determine who should be the rightful claimant to the vacant French throne if the monarchy was ever restored Henri, Count of Paris (1933–2019) - Wikipedia. He lost the claim but has this issue ever been determined since? BTW the fleur-de-lis on a blue background is the old royal flag of France.

It may surprise French people but one of the Queen's titles is the 'Duchess of Normandy'. She herself is part Norman through her late mother, Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon. Hence, LOL you could argue I suppose that Normans in Normandy still owe fealty to her. As someone of Norman ancestory myself, it surprised me to learn some years ago that if you deduct land in public ownership, then 75% of England is still owned by Norman families. I wonder if Laura appreciates that her Percy family are the Dukes of Northumberland and they own large tracts of land throughout England, including parcels of farm land where I live in Surrey.

Having a constitutional monarchy has some advantages when a crisis occurs and ordinary government becomes impossible. It is one reason why we have a Privy Council in England. A good illustration of the point I make occurred in Spain many years ago when a Spanish fascist military colonel held the Spanish Parliament hostage at gunpoint. King Juan Carlos took over the reins of power with what few ministers of state he had available who were not being held hostage until the crisis was resolved. Ultimately, all power flows from the monarch and, when needed, can flow back to him or her.

Margaret Thatcher used to think that the British Civil Service was there for her personal use. She had to be reminded that civil servants are servants of the Crown first not the government. The same is true of the British armed forces, where all military commissions are granted by the Crown in the person of the monarch. The same is also true of judges. Politically, as a system, it works surprisingly well.
 

Siberia

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Ironically, Putin spontaneously initiated a form of this as soon as he became president in 2000. People would gather when he visited somewhere remote and grief-stricken, like a war zone or the scene of natural disaster, in order to pass him small handwritten notes pleading for help. By all accounts, he strove to answer and satisfy every single petition. Today he uses technology to assist with same, hosting all-day marathon all-Russia teleconferences in which people can air their grievances. Again, by all accounts, he is personally offended when a junior government minister has neglected to hear or act upon the petition of an ordinary member of the public.

At the very beginning of his presidency in 2000 there was a situation Putin still feels ashamed of. Even 20 years later he tells this story with tears in his eyes:

"It was in the early 2000s. I traveled a lot, the country was in a very difficult situation ... It was the end of the working day, the night was approaching, it was dark ... I was going to the car through slush, when an elderly woman appeared. She mumbled something and then suddenly fell to her knees, giving me a note. I said I will certainly read it, took it, gave it to my assistants, and it was lost. I will never forget this. I am still ashamed of it," Putin said during his annual "Direct Line" Q&A session, when asked whether he was ashamed of something.

Since then the President tries to address every issue he is informed about. Here is the video of him getting very emotional when answering this question (at the end of the video):


Seems like this was one of the situations that prompted Putin to launch his yearly teleconferences where people can address him directly, fwiw.
 

MJF

Jedi Council Member
That's a very sweeping statement, very broad and actually incorrect, certainly for the modern monarchy. As noted by many, the Royals are tools of sorts, albeit with exceptional wealth, but that doesn't guarantee happiness nor emotional comfort....duty, and more duty. Roles that they were born into and by accident or design, responsibilities that some probably didn't expect to come their way. Like all families, some have fared better than others. England suffered it's first civil war post invasion by the Normans just after the death of Henry 1. 14 long years of wannabe monarch fighting wannabe monarch....a time when common people were used as pawns, as playthings and a time where the country suffered extremes of violence and depravity because of wounded egos and 'it's mine!' mentality.
Yes, you can add in the mix the War of the Roses, which lasted 100 years and only ended when Henry VII deposed Richard III. Then the two English Civil Wars of the 17th century reputedly cost the lives of one in five Englishman, which proportionately is worse than the death toll in the American Civil War.
 

MJF

Jedi Council Member
Its interesting that all the Trump Russia gate business revolved around clandestine doings in Washington, London and Rome. The three city states within countries. Remember Hillary et al and their purple dresses and scarfs? The absolute dumping of the veneer of "democracy" and rule of law to get him out of office. Catalyst indeed, he ripped off their masks and flushed them out in the open. Then we get Corona (crown) virus, and the Biden MasterCard puppet show.

The times they are a changing, but its been going on over and over again since way back.
By "Remember Hillary et al and their purple dresses and scarfs", I guess you may be referring to the fact that by tradition only kings and queens may wear purple?
 

Jones

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In regards to petitioning the monarch about grievances, I have recently been reading Suits in Chancery by Henry Gibson (Published 1907). It lays out the history of petitioning the King in regards to grievances.

Evolution of Equity in England.—The development of the extraordinary jurisdiction of the Chancery Court of England was similar, in its causes, progress and results, to the development of the system of Equity in the Roman law, as already intimated.6 In England, the King was regarded as the ' fountain of justice;" and, when any person conceived that he had been wronged, either in court or out of court, he had the privilege of petitioning the King for redress. The King, being unable to hear and determine all of these complaints because of their number and complexity, generally referred them to his chief secretary, who was called his Chancellor. This officer was an ecclesiastic, trained in the law and theology of Rome,7 and was sometimes called the "keeper of the King's conscience."8 When thus directed to adjudicate the rights, and determine the remedies, of those petitioning the King for justice, the Chancellor naturally had recourse to the civil law of Rome, being most familiar therewith; and, also, finding therein a diviner sort of justice, and a simpler and more efficient form of procedure. Besides, these Chancellors, who were generally very able and very learned men, were no doubt, disposed to regard the English common law as a barbarous code compared with the Roman civil law.9 The Chancellor's office was one of great trust and confidence: he was the King's adviser and confidant, the chief member of his council, and the keeper of his great seal of State. He is spoken of, at a very early day, as one who "annuls unjust laws, and executes the commands of a pious prince, and puts an end to what is injurious to the people or to morals."10

[snip]

The Divine Law of Justice the Rule of Decision.—The statement, often made, that the Court of Chancery was established to mitigate the rigor of the common law, and to supply its defects, is not wholly true.48 This Court was established to do justice, regardless of any and all law. The King deemed it a duty imposed upon his conscience, both by his oath and by religion, to "decree justice," and in decreeing justice he deemed himself bound rather by the Divine Law than by human law 49 and, when the Chancellor acted in his stead,
he based his decisions, not upon the law of the land, but upon honesty, equity and conscience, for so was he commanded to do in exercising the King's prerogative of Grace.50 In short, the Chancery Court was established rather as a Court based on the precepts of Religion than as a Court based on the rules of Law. 51
It is unquestionably true that the harshness of the common law, its unfitness to cope with fraud, its incapacity to do justice in many cases, the defects in its remedies, the opportunities it gave the strong to oppress the weak, and its general inadequacy to meet the requirements of equity, greatly contributed to perpetuate the existence of the Chancery Court, and to enlarge and justify its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the vital principle from which the Court sprung was the prerogative doctrine that the King was the "fountain of justice ;" and that, when a citizen could not get justice in the ordinary Courts, he might come to this fountain.52 The King, in administering justice in such cases, deemed himself above all the laws and customs of his realm, and bound only by his conscience and his will. As it was not a matter of right in a citizen to draw on this reserve source of justice, when remedy was given it was deemed "granted as of Grace."53

Other Causes Contributing to the Establishment of the Chancery Court. —As the Chancery was the office out of which all writs at common law issued, the Chancellor retained cases for his own disposition when the facts were such that no common law writ was adapted to the requirements of the case, or when the common law Courts were unable to furnish adequate relief ; and some contend that herein originated the extraordinary jurisdiction of the Chancellor. In this class of cases, the Chancellor determined the matters in dispute, so that the court of the King might not be deficient in doing justice.54 But it is believed that the equitable jurisdiction of the Chancellor originated mainly, if not exclusively, from the reference to him by the King of petitions for justice and redress, as already stated. It is unquestionably true, however, that, had it not been for the deficiencies of the common law, the number of these petitions to the King would have been comparatively few.

When the lay Chancellors succeeded the ecclesiastics, no material changes were made in the jurisdiction of the Court. Its system of jurisprudence was, however, enlarged and made more comprehensive, precedents were more closely followed, and the decisions of the Chancellors more carefully preserved. But the equitable principles of the civil law were as fully enforced, and the peculiar proofs and practice of the Court in all things continued, the lay Chancellors being greatly aided herein by the Masters in Equity, who were permanent officers of the Court.66

Thus was established the High Court of Chancery of England; and thus originated that grand system of jurisprudence known as Equity; both maintaining their existence by virtue, alone, of their inherent merits, and their wonderful fitness for the purposes of administrative justice.57 It may be well here to remark that, by an Act of the British Parliament, which went into operation in 1875, all the great Courts of England, including the High Court of Chancery, were consolidated, and a system of pleading and practice adopted similar to those in use in Chancery. The Act of Parliament also provides that "in all matters in which there is any conflict or variance between the rules of Equity and the rules of the common law, with reference to the same matter, the rules of Equity shall prevail.

And thus in England the triumph of the righteous principles of Equity over the rules of the common law is complete, and, no doubt, final.68

So basically most of these petitions and grievances are dealt with by the Justice system now - since the 1873-75 Judicature Acts - and the UK monarch can't do much about them. Prior to 1875, it would have been a PTB nightmare to risk the chance for a moral King and Chancellor gaining popularity amongst the people by having the power to step outside the law to settle conflicts according to honesty, equity, conscience and justice where circumstances warranted. Spreading that power out amongst a bunch of judges and magistrates where there's a variety of characters dilutes any obvious impacts and probably makes it easier for dodgy judges and magistrates to ignore equitable maxims.
 

MJF

Jedi Council Member
I lived near Balmoral for about a year in '92 and had a beer or three with the people that worked there and here's what they said...

Queen Mother, lovely. Her Daughter not so much but her Mum was hard to beat. Hubby, bit aloof and arrogant. Chuck, he was OK, I served him and his regiment, The Gordon Highlanders. He seemed sad, somewhat beaten, his regiment had a lot of time for him, said he went out of his way to ensure their welfare. Princess Anne was liked and respected.

Diana was disliked, treated the staff like dirt, one account I heard 3 times from different people is as follows. Her official gowns travelled and were stored flat in large, awkward samsonite cases. She would demand a certain outfit to wear and the ghillies would lug the the thing upstairs. She would change her mind and demand another one be brought upstairs, wash, rinse repeat. Same would happen with horse riding, the horses were prepared then she would change her mind. They claimed she was manipulative and used the press to her advantage. Whether they created her or she was born this way I do not know.

The Fleet Street Press were revolting, they stayed in the hotel I worked at when Princess Anne was getting married. They groped and propositioned the housemaids and left revolting bodily excretions in their rooms.
The Queen Mother (who I saw twice as a child) was the rock on which King George VI, a shy retiring man with a bad stutter, leaned on. She and her husband did immense work helping to keep British public moral up during the dark days of WW2. King George was relatively young when he died, no doubt an early death brought on by the huge strain that he had to carry during the war years. My parents were the war time generation and remember both the King and Queen Mother with great affection. The Queen Mother also provided invaluable support to her daughter when she ascended the throne at the young age of 26. However, to his credit it was Prince Phillip who helped to shape the modern monarchy that we see today in Britain.
 

MJF

Jedi Council Member
In regards to petitioning the monarch about grievances, I have recently been reading Suits in Chancery by Henry Gibson (Published 1907). It lays out the history of petitioning the King in regards to grievances.



So basically most of these petitions and grievances are dealt with by the Justice system now - since the 1873-75 Judicature Acts - and the UK monarch can't do much about them. Prior to 1875, it would have been a PTB nightmare to risk the chance for a moral King and Chancellor gaining popularity amongst the people by having the power to step outside the law to settle conflicts according to honesty, equity, conscience and justice where circumstances warranted. Spreading that power out amongst a bunch of judges and magistrates where there's a variety of characters dilutes any obvious impacts and probably makes it easier for dodgy judges and magistrates to ignore equitable maxims.
A good analysis. Speaking as an English lawyer, the English system of law did not adopt the Roman civil law model, which much of Europe still relies on to this day. Scotland is the exception to this though. English common law is really a mish mash of old Anglo Saxon practices and customs mixed in with some Norman legal concepts (think of liens and baileeship). It has been developed down the years through the case law system of stare decisis. 'Stare decisis' basically ensures that cases with similar scenarios and facts are approached in the same way. Simply put, it binds courts to follow legal precedents set by previous decisions. The courts of equity now consolidated into the High Court of Chancery are pretty unique compared to those of other legal systems. Amongst other things, they have helped to create the rules of equity and the concept of the trust, which has proven a very useful and flexible legal vehicle in so many areas of life.

It is still possible to petition the monarch in areas that are extrajurisdictional. It always helps to have the monarch's influence if you can bring something to her attention (which admittedly is not easy). Queen Victoiria was known, for example, to put her Prime Ministers on the spot from time to time where she had a particular hobby horse to ride.
 

MJF

Jedi Council Member
I became aware of Prince Philip's death when I turned on my tv to check the weather. It happened to be on CBS (early morning) which was announcing that news. Being that he was 99 years old (soon to be 100 if he lived), I wasn't surprised and didn't register any real emotion. I rather clump the royals in with celebrities which, at this point in time, I truly can't stand at all - especially all their award shows basking glory upon themselves along with over-the-top PC! :barf: I did shortly access Sott to see if his passing was noted and was surprised to see no article (unless it had already dropped off the main page). What I did see was the satirical article in the Lighten Up section. I have to admit I was a bit taken aback by that. Seemed rather insensitive (even if I agreed with the jest) especially as there seemed to be no legitimate article in the main section. I did see later that a respectful article was posted although by then, it had dropped to the very last position before disappearing.

As I said before, I wasn't fond or a fan of Prince Philip. What bothered me the most was his pressure upon Charles to marry Diana when Charles really wanted to wed Camilla, the woman he actually loved. Camilla, although a Royal, was not of the appropriate tier of Royalness to be considered as Charles' wife. And so the tragedy of the Charles/Diana marriage ensued. Plus, Philip passed on the approval and even encouragement of non-fidelity in marriage to Charles. Lord Mountbatten was a strong influence as well to both Prince Philip and Charles if memory serves me correctly according to the PBS Royal Family documentary. I do wonder if Diana would have become known to the world had the Charles/Camilla marriage taken place. She was certainly a beauty that was unlikely to remain in the woodwork. It should be noted - and presumed to be true - that Charles dropped to his knees in overwhelming grief upon viewing Diana's dead body. The man has a heart and real feelings despite all the negative forces he's been subjected to. I do not envy the life that the Royal Family has been destined to live.


I agree whole-heartedly with this! I just wish I had a failsafe memory that could retain it all!
"What bothered me the most was his pressure upon Charles to marry Diana when Charles really wanted to wed Camilla, the woman he actually loved. Camilla, although a Royal, was not of the appropriate tier of Royalness to be considered as Charles' wife."

The trouble was that Camilla went off and married Andrew Parker Bowles first. Hence, Charles had no choice but to look around for another wife and he was not getting any younger. As for her not being of the appropirate tier, well he is married to her now! Princess Anne has married two commoners and Prince Edward is married to yet another commoner. Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, is also a commoner. Hence, I don't think this is as strong a factor as it was perhaps in the past.
 
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