Friday, September 28, 2012

Olive Muir

My apologies for my long absence here; it has been a difficult month. Nevertheless, I wanted to share some information about Olive Muir, kindly brought to my attention by Daniel Wybo of the Royal League of Veterans of King Leopold III. One of the more passionate, but less well known defenders of the King during World War II and the Royal Question, Mrs. Muir was arrested at one point for heckling Paul-Henri Spaak, the former Socialist prime minister of Belgium, at a political debate in Strasbourg. The Glasglow Herald of November 22, 1950 described the scene:
A British supporter of King Leopold of the Belgians, Mrs. Olive Muir, was taken into police custody after interrupting the debate by heckling the chairman, M. Paul-Henri Spaak (Belgium). She was released when the debate ended.

Mrs. Muir, a wealthy authoress painter, and owner of a Devonshire estate, interrupted the debate as Mr. Macmillan rose to speak.

From the visitors' gallery, Mrs. Muir called out: "M. Spaak, why do you allow a majority here...?" M. Spaak ordered the ushers to remove her.

While ushers tried unsuccessfully to remove Mrs. Muir, who stood passively in the gallery repeating the first half of her sentence, M. Spaak declared the session suspended. On her way down to the police room for questioning, Mrs. Muir told reporters she had wanted to say:-

"Why do you allow a majority here, when you do not accept it in your own country?"
Presumably, Mrs. Muir was referring to Spaak's refusal to abide by the results of the popular consultation that had recently decided the Royal Question in Leopold's favor.

Olive Muir was also the author of a book, Why I Defended a King's Honour (1955), containing excerpts from her diary and earlier articles and pamphlets on Leopold's behalf, such as the following:
It is a lamentable fact that at this moment some people believe that King Leopold had audience with Hitler in 1940. This information is entirely untrue. King Leopold only consented to see his enemy at Berchtesgaden in order to arrange more food for starving Belgium and the exchange of prisoners of war who had fought bravely for their country, and the Princess of Piedmont's (The King's sister) visits to Hitler were only undertaken for the same cause.

"King George," of Britain, writes Olive Muir, "and the Royal Family wish King Leopold's return to Belgium."

Olive Muir also states that M. Spaak must be labouring under some false illusions or misguided information and should be enlightened of the truth upon such an important matter as his King.

Britain should be magnanimous enough to face the truth, and if Churchill did his duty, he should come forward and announce to the whole world the greatness, ability, courage and heroic sacrifice of Belgium's Royal Sovereign.

Olive Muir adds:

"No one has any right to question the marriage of such a loyal King. Mademoiselle Lilian Baels was a great friend of the Royal Family. He could not have chosen a more suitable wife. The King of Britain married what we call 'a commoner', and she has proved a great success and a blessing to her country. Surely, King Leopold's wife will do the same.

Olive Muir ends:

"My sympathy with the present predicament of a brave nation who cannot make up its mind to receive back their great King and hero, who kept his Royal word to his troops and who is worthy of undying loyalty by his subjects, induces me to write this book." (pp. 25-26)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

KayleyP

Hello please can someone get in contact I am research the wonderful Mrs Muir and would very much like to gather any information on her relationship with HIM Haile Selassie
Kayley.porter101@gmail.com

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