Monday, March 21, 2011

Monarchie - Why?

I have answered this many times, but never here as I remember. I am often asked (by Americans) why I am a royaliste. If I have not much time, I say, "Why are you a republican". Naturally then they become very upset and tell me they are a Democrat! That must be an American "thing" of some kind. My point there though is the easy answer is the same as why Americans support the President. Their country is a republic, they love their country and they are then republicans. In the same way, my country is a kingdom, I love my country and so I support totally my king and Family Royal. There is, naturally, more to it than that because I think monarchie is usually better in other countries also, not Belgium only. When I have time, and am asked, I explain this. I think it is better to have a monarchie, maybe not for everyone (don't be frightened Americans) but for most of the time.

Sometimes I am asked why I think it is better to be a kingdom. I ask them why they think is better to be a republic. They usually answer because they have democracy, freedom and civil rights. I tell them naturally that Belgium (and the others in Europe) also have democracy, freedom and civil rights as well. Many people stick in the past thinking that to have freedom you must murder a king, but surely we can see today that is not true. In modern times, monarchies keep people free rather than oppressing them. When Germany banished the Kaiser this allowed Adolf Hitler to become a dictator. If the Kaiser had been around he could have easily dismissed Hitler from office (like the King of Italy did to Mussolini). Joseph Stalin could not have come to power if the Russian Emperor was still alive. Russia certainly did not become more free after killing their emperor. Spain would not be democratic at all today without their King. All the freedom they have is owed to the King. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg are the most free, liberal countries anywhere and all with monarchies.

Especially today when the nation-state seems to be going away, because not everyone is "Swedish" in Sweden or "Danish" in Denmark any more. Every country in western Europe today includes people with various different national origins, religions, cultures and histories from where they come from. The monarchie is something that provides something to unite people. Always in Belgium this has been important and I think we understand better than most just how important this aspect of a monarchie is. Saying that as I do then I am sometimes told that it must not be working because Belgium is not much united anymore right? That is true, in part, but that is not the fault of the King. The King is someone who can unite people if they want to be united. He cannot make people love each other, but through history the King has always been the one to unite and stay focused on the national issues and not regional ones. I think the King could still be a greater force for unity, possibly, but he is hindered by the self-interested politicians, the no-compromise regions, also I think is somewhat important: the lack of respect show for the King in society. When so many can make jokes of the King he is not going to be able to bring people together as easily if people do not treat him with respect.

Of course, I love my country best, any my monarchie best. I think the monarchie has been the most central thing in making Belgium to survive despite divisions over the history. Also I think Belgium has been very fortunate to have very good kings (and queens) over the history. It helps to be founded with a good, balanced government type so the King can always help but never harm. I like all of our kings, I think we have had a good history compared to others of good kings who have really been devoted to their countries and service to their people. Sometimes a mistake is made, but all the kings have done valuable service and I think the King today is doing probably more every day than any other monarch in service to his country because of the situation he has to deal with. I like monarchie, I think it is usually better and I think we have, for us, the best!


  1. I also think the Belgian dynasty have been unusually good. I don't like Leopold II (sorry!) but I generally think well of the rest. My favorite Belgian kings are Albert I and Leopold III.

  2. They are probably my favirites (I like them all though) because they had to deal with the biggest challenges, leading the country in time of invasion. I missed out on the rise in criticism of Leopold II, my only personal memory related to him was being taken on a tour when I was very small and my papa telling me all the monuments 'built by Leopold II, built by Leopold II' so I always associated him with the golden days of Belgium. Leopold I was probably most clever, Albert I and Leopold III most moral and heroic, Baudouin I cannot think of the word but keeping together when things come apart. Leopold II I think had personal errors but was a great king.

  3. Oops, not to forget Albert II, for a time of most peace and prosperity he really has many difficulties to deal with. Also Philippe will make a great king I think, after him, I am still unfamiliar with the feeling of having a Queen.

  4. Hear! Hear!
    Thank you (once more) for reminding us what a wonderful country Belgium is! We are indeed lucky to have such a history and a monarchy like ours!
    And now that I figured out where you are situated...Too funny!
    Keep up the good work!
    Vive le Roi!

  5. Yes, I am studying in America (or Texas, not everyone here acts like its the same thing). I started this when I was bored and tired of being called "Frenchie". So, I try to show all about Belgium and why it is a great kingdom.

    Vive l'roi!

  6. I am still laughing...(My SIL is Texan and yes, they are a breed apart). My Flemish accent in addition to my having learn the Queen's English has saved me from being called Frenchie...
    Mine was a lucky day when you decided to post it seems! And to think you did it because you were bored!
    Belgians in the Civil War is our next topic on this island this weekend...

  7. You can take comfort in the fact that not all "Americans" are the same (though most are). I was born here in the "States" and was raised to be a Republican (referring to both the system of government and the political party within the American government). Nevertheless, through my growth in knowledge of both history and Holy Scriptures, I have become an ardent monarchist. I have always had a special interest in the Belgian Monarchy, and monarchs such as Leopold III are among my favourites.

  8. As a staunch monarchist, I find pleasure in refuting republicanism. For all the talk of democracy and equality, the fact that US election spending exceeds the cost of a monarchy, the fact that the US lags behind European monarchies in many areas such as social justice, or that Latin American republics have never been shining examples of democracy and equality, only attempting to change that within the last generation. Education on the matter is as vital as ever.

  9. Thank you reactionaryrunner, I know not all Americans are like that (my friend who inspired me to write this blog is americain) but as you say most of them are. Also agree withyou David, there are many republics that have no freedom at all, people in poverty and lots of other problems the monarchies of Europe do not have. I think Belgium has a good model -King, law and liberty but like any system you have to have people willing to work together to succeed.