Monday, 21 May 2012

Royal Tour of Canada 2012 -- What to Expect

My interview with Sun News Network on the day before the arrival in Canada of TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. A discussion about the role and relevance of the Canadian Monarchy. Click video below to watch.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

"Like a Diamond" Jubilee Anthem to challenge Gary Barlow's Jubilee Anthem

Gary Barlow's Jubilee Anthem, recorded to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the succession to the throne of HM The Queen, has a lovely melody but it has received considerable criticism for failing to mention or depict The Queen once in the entire song and video. It seems remarkable that a song recorded as a tribute to The Queen should ignore here completely. Certainly anyone watching it would be unlikely to think that it was recorded for Her Majesty.

Fortunately, another songwriter and producer, Anton and John Lorien, have rescued the day by producing a stirring Jubilee Anthem dedicated entirely to Her Majesty. The lyrics relate directly to Her Majesty's lifelong service to Britain and the Commonwealth.

This terrific, and stirring Jubilee song, deserves as much exposure as possible in these coming days, as we approach the Jubilee. So please, listen to the song below and, if you like it, please share the link with friends and family -- particularly anyone in the media or the music industry. We would love to have this song in the charts before the Jubilee. It's the most appropriate popular music tribute to The Queen one could possibly hope for.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Charles, Camilla's royal visit sticks to tradition

I'm quoted in this article by Melanie Patten published today by the Canadian Press.

Canada, refine your curtsy and practice your bow. Another royal visit is upon us.
But unlike Prince William and Kate's whirlwind, hands-on tour as newlyweds last year, there is no need to brush up on dragon boating or street hockey...
Headlines remarked on the couple's informal attitude, their outward affection for each other, their willingness to mingle freely with crowds, and their desire to participate in non-traditional events, including facing off in a dragon boat race and playing street hockey.
As newlyweds, their visit was a coming out of sorts before the entire world. Charles and Camilla's tour, however, is meant to focus on the Queen's service to the Commonwealth over six decades, said Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, a royal commentator based in the U.K.
"This tour in Canada is not going to be the celebrity glam tour that we saw with Prince William and Catherine," he said from London.
"Instead, we're going to see a focusing on all those initiatives and projects which aren't fashionable but which the monarchy supports."
Heydel-Mankoo said the decision to send the future king to Canada as part of the Diamond Jubilee festivities speaks volumes of the Royal Family's affection for the country.
"Canada has a very, very strong connection with the Royal Family," he said. "They would never say so in public, but I think secretly it's their favourite realm after the U.K."
Charles and Camilla are set to arrive in New Brunswick on Sunday evening. Their official welcome, replete with a 21-gun salute, is scheduled for the following morning at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.
The royal couple will meet with members of the military and attend a reception with Gov. Gen. David Johnston before heading to Saint John for a walking tour. They will also take in a citizenship ceremony and Victoria Day celebrations before departing New Brunswick for Toronto on Monday evening.
On Tuesday, Charles will meet with students at Ryerson University before he and Camillia attend a Diamond Jubilee celebration hosted by Premier Dalton McGuinty. Charles will also meet with leaders of the Assembly of First Nations.
The couple's final day in Regina will include a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Heydel-Mankoo said he expects Charles will make many more trips to Canada in the future to give newer generations a chance to know him better.
The prince is already highly regarded in the U.K., he said.
He said Charles successfully emerged from bad press in the 1980s and 1990s and the collapse of his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, to become "a renaissance man." Deeply spiritual and reflective, Charles is dedicated to issues of sustainable living, education and helping disadvantaged youths, he said.
As for his relationship with Camilla, royal historian Carolyn Harris said it is one of mutual respect.
Camilla was once vilified as an old flame who poisoned Charles's first marriage to Diana, but the 64-year-old duchess is now considered an integral member of the Royal Family.
Harris said observers will note the public relationship between Charles and Camilla shares similarities with that of William and Kate.
"Diana attracted an enormous amount of attention and, to a certain degree at the time, she upstaged her husband and that created tensions within their marriage," Harris said from Toronto.
"Whereas we see with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall the degree to which they compliment each other as a couple."
Heydel-Mankoo agrees.
"They have a wonderful working relationship. He's very much the ying to her yang," he said.
"There's just a nice, warm happy glow when they're together."
If William and Kate were responsible for reigniting Canada's interest in the monarchy, MacKenzie said Charles and Camilla — and the pomp and ceremony people have come to expect from royal visits —will keep that flame alight.
"There's a little something for everyone of all ages and persuasions in monarchy," he said. "That's what makes it so continually appealing."

Read it on Global News: Global News | Charles, Camilla's royal visit sticks to tradition 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Prince of Wales Announces New Canadian Patronages

Press Release: "TORONTO – Prince’s Charities Canada (PCC) is pleased to announce that two new Canadian organizations have been granted a Royal patronage from HRH The Prince of Wales.  Both The Royal Conservatory of Music and Earth Rangers were notified of the honour just ahead of The Prince’s official visit to Canada next week.
“The Prince of Wales has been involved in Canadian public life for 40 years,” said Amanda Sherrington, President and CEO of Prince’s Charities Canada.  “These patronages represent a further deepening of that relationship and honour the good work of these organizations in The Prince’s areas of interest”.
The Prince of Wales currently serves as patron to six Canadian organizations including those announced today as well as acting as Colonel-in-Chief to seven Canadian regiments.
“The Royal Conservatory is extremely proud and grateful to join a select group of organizations reflecting the values and goals of His Royal Highness,” said, Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory. “We are honoured to announce the patronage relationship as we celebrate 125 years of excellence as one of the world’s largest and most influential music and arts education institutions.”
The Royal Conservatory is also working with Prince’s Charities Canada to take it’s successful “Learning through the Arts” program to the United Kingdom where this Canadian success story will be administered by The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.  Learning through the Arts (LTTA) is a rigorous, structured curriculum program that uses music, drama and visual art to teach core subjects such as math and science.  His Royal Highness will be meeting representatives of The Royal Conservatory of Music as well as students and teachers who use the LTTA program during an event at First Nations University in Regina.
The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world.  Providing the definitive standard of excellence through its curriculum, assessment, performance and teacher education programs.
Prince’s Charities Canada is currently working with Earth Rangers to explore similar opportunities within The Prince’s global network.  “The Prince of Wales shares our passion for wildlife and the environment and we are thrilled by today’s announcement”, said Peter Kendall, Executive Director and Co-CEO Earth Rangers
Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring children on the importance of protecting biodiversity and adopting more sustainable behaviours.
For more information:
Daniela Minicucci, NATIONAL Public Relations"

Spanish Government force Queen Sofia to cancel her attendance at the reigning world monarchs' Diamond Jubilee Lunch

First it was announced that TM The King & Queen of Spain would not celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary -- now it has been announced that Queen Sofia has been "ordered" (whatever happened to "advised"?) not to attend the Diamond Jubilee lunch with the world's sovereing monarchs that will be held at Windsor Castle on Friday.

Poor Queen Sofia. HM is a frequent visitor to London -- she is  often seen shopping in St. James's and elsewhere. London is familiar territory to her. More important, she is a descendant of Queen Victoria and thus a cousin of our Queen -- Queen Sofia is also a first cousin once removed of the Duke of Edinburgh. The Spanish Government has stated that Queen Sofia cannot even attend in a private capacity.  This must be a most disappointing turn of events -- particularly after the bad publicity surrounding His Majesty's big game hunting (and subsequent injury). Queen Sofia will no doubt be most upset to miss such an important opportunity to meet with her peers and relatives and celebrate such a momentous occasions -- the world's reigning monarchs and consorts meet very rarely.

Some reports bear headlines that suggest Queen Sofia has snubbed Queen Elizabeth. This is wholly incorrect. The fault lies with the Spanish Government's attempt to insert politics into a day of non-partisan celebrations. A great shame, and much to be lamented.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Britons Support The Sovereign's Role as "Defender of the Faith", poll suggests

A poll by Comres commissioned by B.B.C. local radio to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee suggests that 73% of Britons favour the maintenance of the Sovereign's historic role as "Defender of the Faith" and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. In total, almost 80% of Britons appear to believe that the Sovereign has an important role to play in matters of faith.

These findings will come as a blow to republicans, many of whom have argued for years that the Sovereign's Christian faith is divisive and incompatible with a multi-faith society. Whatever one's personal views on religion, the Comres poll demonstrates that many non-Christians approve of the values and principles according to which The Queen has led her life and believe that the essence of these values are not restricted to adherents of any single faith. Indeed, several non-Christian religious leaders have stated their preference for a Head of State who is a person of faith, rather than a person without faith.  

Although the title of Fidei Defensor ("Defender of the Faith") was originally bestowed on the then Catholic King Henry VIII by Pope Leo X in 1521 in recognition of his book Assertio Septem Sacramentorum ("Defence of the Seven Sacraments"), the title was revoked by Pope Paul III following King Henry's break with Rome.  The Sovereign's current title of "Defender of the Faith" was conferred by Parliament for precisely the opposite purpose of the original papal grant (i.e., to defend the Protestant faith against Catholicism). Today, however, the use of "Defender of the Faith" in the Sovereign's formal Royal Titles and Styles may be taken as a reference to the Sovereign's status as Supreme Governor of the Church of England (as this role is not included in HM's formal styles and titles).

The Queen demonstrated the evolution of this role earlier this year, during a multi-faith gathering at Lambeth Palace, which was attended by leaders of Britain's nine largest religious faiths (including Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, Buddhists, Baha'i, Zoroastrians and Jains), in which Her Majesty said that the role of the Church was not "to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of all other religions, instead the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country."

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Government of Canada Unveils Details of the 2012 Royal Tour

Official Release: Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will tour Canada from May 20 to 23, 3012, visiting four communities in three provinces. This will be the 16th time His Royal Highness has toured Canada. His most recent tour was in 2009. This will be the second tour to Canada for Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

The program will highlight Canadians’ service to their communities, in recognition of which The Prince of Wales will present The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals. 

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will visit:
  • Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown, Oromocto, New Brunswick (May 21)
  • Saint John, New Brunswick (May 21)
  • Toronto, Ontario (May 21 and 22)
  • Regina, Saskatchewan (May 22 and 23)
Opportunities for Canadians to see Their Royal Highnesses will be at the following events:
  • Official welcome to Canada at CFB Gagetown in Oromocto on May 21
  • Victoria Day Celebration in Saint John, New Brunswick on May 21
  • Arrival at Queen’s Park in Toronto, on May 22
  • Arrival at the Saskatchewan Legislature on May 23
  • Arrival at the First Nations University in Regina on May 23
In addition to these public opportunities, there are several highlights of this tour:
  • Victoria Day fireworks in Toronto on May 21
  • A meeting with chief executives and youth who have participated in The Prince’s Charities Seeing is Believing program in Canada on May 22
  • A meeting with young veterans and mentors involved in the Military Entrepreneurship summer school at CFB Gagetown on May 21
  • A meeting with the National Leadership of Assembly of First Nations in Toronto on May 22
  • A first visit for Her Royal Highness to the Queen’s Own Rifles—she has just become Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment—in Toronto on May 22
  • A special military event that will commemorate the War of 1812 in Toronto on May 22
  • A celebration of the centennial of Regina’s Legislative Building on May 23
  • A performance by the Regina Symphony Orchestra of which His Royal Highness is a Royal Patron in Regina on May 23.
The theme of the 2012 Royal Tour is “For Queen and Country:  Service to Canada—A Royal and a National Value.” Source: Government of Canada:

The Royal Line of Succession genealogical and heraldic chart

I am delighted to recommend this splendid work of heraldic art and genealogical skill -- The Royal Line of Succession by the accomplished heraldic artist Neil Bromley. A tremendous achievement (no pun intended) and perfectly timed for the Diamond Jubilee. Originally painted on vellum in 23 carat gold, this work was deemed to good not to share with the public. It has therefore been reproduced on quality paper and is available for sale at this link The Royal Line of Succession.