Coronation Fiasco?

Thursday, May 4, 2023 11:19 PM

Anywhere you can dream is good, providing the place is obscure, and the horizon is vast.—Victor Hugo

Dear Friends + Interlocutors,

Herewith a brief, speculative note about the coronation of King Charles of England, taking place on Saturday. I have the feeling it could be an eye-opener and therefore a fiasco. 

Some time ago I happened to come across, I forget why, the video of the last English coronation in 1953. The accidental girl Queen, Elizabeth II, who was only made possible by the forced abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936. 

My predisposition to a fiasco is based upon that BBC video. The 1953 spectacle was way, way over the top. See for yourself. Beyond reality and common sense. And not in a good, fairy-tale way. Rather, in a ludicrous way. I have nothing against monarchy. 

Actually, I’m pro-monarchy. I’m just aghast and annoyed at the modern-day British monarchy and at what England has become. Which is something of a joke. 

If the King Charles coronation ceremony should be as bizarre as that of 1953, it could spell the end. Charles is a true non-entity, an absolute figure-head with no purpose and, in sharp contrast to the un-coronated Edward VIII, Charles is not likable. His double-dealing treatment of Princess Diana can hardly be forgotten.

Will 2023 be like 1953? Loaded with grandiosity and antique madness? At this late date, pomp and circumstance make no sense. A simple coronation would be more dignified, in keeping with England’s greatly reduced status in the world and the disappearance of the British Empire.

As the lone survivor, the English monarchy sits atop the wreckage of major European royal houses to which it was related. This was a ruination of royalty for which England is largely responsible, thanks to the two regime-changing world wars of the 20th Century. 

English politicians bear direct responsibility for these unnecessary, British Empire wars which imperiled the lives of millions and laid waste to the European continent. 

Without England’s blind jealousy of Germany—irrational alarm at its rise in trade, industry and finance—the leadership in Paris and at the Kremlin would not have gone to war in 1914 against Germany and Austria, the Central Powers. 

On the sidelines, the British Foreign Office was the determining factor, in my view. It did nothing to stop the dominoes from falling. The mighty British Empire loomed offshore as insurance, a backstop, for France and Russia.

Why should HMG have actively opposed Austria’s counter-measures against Serbia in the summer of 1914? Serbia was not doing enough to find and punish the assassins of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, heirs to the thrones of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Vienna was understandably incensed at this outrage in the Balkans.

England was a monarchy, after all. The English monarch was both King and Emperor. Should not Whitehall have taken a firm stance with Austria against regicide and terrorism? That would have been logical. Why be hypocrites? Why criticize Austria, and by association, Germany, another monarchy allied with Austria?

The demise of Old Europe, pre-1914 Europe, was the ultimate result of England’s folly. The destruction of monarchies in Austria, Germany and Russia was the immediate consequence. Directly, in the first two. Collaterally, with respect to the Romanovs in Russia with which England was allied. 

Perfidious Albion had to enforce a balance of power on the Continent, and use that dubious concept as an excuse to pit European countries against one in the days of Napoleon and even before. This led inevitably to the Second World War. We now live in a postscript era.

The Great War was the facilitator for Communism and the obliteration of European primacy. Russia was the first to fall. Once mobilization started, the trip-wire for war in those days, there was no way to limit the damage. 

First, the murder of the Romanovs by the crazed Bolsheviks. Then the abdication of the Kaiser and the dethroning of the Hapsburgs when the Central Powers came up short on the Western Front.

Don’t forget that royalties in London, Berlin and Moscow were all related. The Kaiser was a grandson of Queen Victoria. He was the first cousin of George V, who was King of England at the outbreak of the Great War. He was also first cousin to Empress Alexandra, who was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and wife of Czar Nicholas II. 

The Kaiser and the Czar were naturally on first name basis—Willy and Nicky—and tried but failed to advert war through a series of telegrams on the eve of war.

In that bygone era, kings still had standing, respect and power. Nowadays, they do not. In England, the monarchy is a remnant of the past but hardly even that. The current English royal family, besides being a nonentity, has discredited itself. 

An interminable ceremony of highfalutin rigamarole, last seen in 1953, will only reinforce the debacle.