Thursday 31 May 2007

Royal Stuart Society's Restoration Dinner, 2007

David Lumsden of Cushnie, Garioch Pursuivant to the Countess of Mar; Alexandre de Prat i Pont; Don Victor Franco De Baux; Hugh Macpherson Esq.

Monarchists, traditionalists and historians gathered en masse yesterday evening in the dignified surroundings of London's Travellers Club library to honour the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660; thus marking the end of 11 years of hated, puritanical republican dictatorship. The Royal Stuart Society organises this splendid annual dinner on or around Oak Apple Day, May 29th, King Charles II's birthday and the date of his triumphal entry into London.

The Governor General of the Society, HG The Duke of St. Albans, presided over the dinner and the guest of honour was Lord Charles FitzRoy, son of the Royal Stuart Society's Vice-President, HG The Duke of Grafton KG, and a descendant of King Charles II. Lord Charles's latest book, Return of the King: The Restoration of Charles II is due to be published this year by Sutton.

This well-attended annual event is always a delight and provides an opportunity to meet friends old and new.

"The Royal Stuart Society was founded in 1926 and has an international membership.

The Society’s specific Objects as laid down in its Constitution are:

* to be open to all who have an interest in the members of the Royal House of Stuart, their descendants and supporters

* to promote research in and further knowledge of Stuart history

* to uphold rightful Monarchy and oppose Republicanism

* to arrange such commemorations, lectures and other activities as shall advance these objectives

"The Society is therefore of a monarchist and traditionalist character and with a specific interest in the Royal House of Stuart and research concerning the Royal House and Stuart history.

"Within these parameters, the Society regards itself as a ‘Broad Church’ and applications for membership will be welcomed from all who support its objects and ethos as shown above.

"The Society gladly recognises that those who form its membership are likely to have a varied range of particular interests. For some it will primarily be support for the institution of monarchy and the upholding of monarchical institutions against attack from their opponents. This support may favour, for instance, the legitimist stance based on hereditary principles and exemplified in the Jacobite movement and tradition after 1688. Adherents of this position will look with favour on the senior and direct hereditary heirs of the Royal House of Stuart although as our page on ‘Succession’ makes clear, none of those heirs has claimed any or all of the thrones of the British Isles since 1807. Other members of the Society will support or find acceptable the ‘parliamentary’ monarchy created by the Act of Settlement (1701) and now embodied in the reigning House of Windsor. For all there will be a consensus based on the desirability of having a monarchy rather than a republic. Closely linked with support for monarchy, members are likely to favour organised society in these islands being of a Christian, civilized and traditionalist nature. In a more general way they will favour co-operation with other credible monarchist bodies such as the International Monarchist League to support monarchical forms of government worldwide.

"For many members of the Society, a key emphasis will lie with the achievement of historical accuracy and credible interpretations of events, policies and outcomes in studies relevant to the Stuarts and the periods of their primary significance by high quality scholarship. In this connection, the flourishing state of Jacobite studies from 1688 to 1807 has inestimably benefited the Society. Such members may themselves be academics or people with a significant interest in historical work concerning the Stuarts. These members may be actively engaged in original research and also in challenging errors of fact or interpretation where unsubstantiated or biased interpretations have previously been accepted. They will be especially interested in the programme of high quality lectures and publications organised and produced by the Society and shown on the ‘Forthcoming Events’ and ‘Publications’ pages of this website. By arrangement with publishers, the Society is often able to offer newly published books on Stuart history to its members at discounted prices. Such books and others may also be reviewed in our annual ‘Royal Stuart Review’ which all members receive.

"Other members may have as their foremost interest the fascinating and complex world of Stuart iconography and symbolism found in the portraiture, glassware and medals which enabled the Stuarts to communicate with their subjects and supporters both as reigning and exiled monarchs in an age without means of mass communication. A number of recognised experts in these fields are members of the Society and other members are serious collectors. Beyond that there is the reviving interest in the music of the Stuart Court and period both in the British Isles and in exile in France and Italy and the consequent resurgence of enthusiasm for composers such as Gibbons, Lawes, Lanier, Blow, Couperin and Fede. Linked to these interests is the Society’s programme of visits to places of Stuart interest such as Ham House, Restoration House (Rochester), Chiddingstone Castle and the Library at Windsor Castle.

"For the majority of members, it is clear that interest lies not so much in any one of these subjects but in a combination of them all. Membership of the Society therefore attractively represents the opportunity to support monarchical institutions and traditionalist values in the context of academic excellence, the visual and musical Arts and good fellowship." (Source: The Royal Stuart Society)

"This day, it is thought, the King do enter the city of London.": Samuel Pepys, 29 May 1660.

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