Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Belgian Abdication

The Mad Monarchist has some reflections on the similarities and differences between the abdications of Albert II and his father, Leopold III, as well as good wishes for the new King of the Belgians to be, Prince Philippe Leopold Louis Marie, Duke of Brabant.
Some media outlets have erroneously reported that this is the first abdication in Belgian history which, I am sure, most monarchists at least know is not true. King Leopold III abdicated in 1950 but he was, until now, the only Belgian monarch to abdicate and that was under some rather unique (and unfair) circumstances. King Leopold I did offer to abdicate once but his people did not wish it. He, as well as King Leopold II, King Albert I and King Baudouin all reigned until their deaths. Traditionally, the situation in Belgium is rather like that in the United Kingdom; abdications have happened but only rarely and under difficult circumstances. So, in that regard, the abdication of King Albert II is something surprising and out of the ordinary... 
In any event, Prince Philippe will soon be the new King of the Belgians and I would be hard pressed to name a modern royal figure for whom I have greater respect for than the Duke of Brabant. I do hope he takes the name ‘King Leopold IV’ rather than ‘King Philippe I’ but, alas, I doubt it. I am sure he will be told that the name “Leopold” has negative connotations these days but that is unfair and unfortunate. Particularly the last one, King Leopold III, has been the victim of some of the most gross injustices and slander of any royal figure in recent history. He was a fine, upstanding, God-fearing man who does not deserve to be spoken of with anything less than pride and admiration. Similarly, whatever he shall be called, it remains to be seen if Prince Philippe will be given a fair chance. As we have talked about before, the Duke of Brabant has also been subject to many unfair efforts to lower his standing in the eyes of the public with all sorts of slander and cruel jokes being made about him despite the fact that he has done nothing at all to deserve it. In fact, he has often been ridiculed specifically for being such an upstanding man. I pray he will be given a fair chance and that the public will rally to support him. If he is given that support I have no doubt he will be one of the great monarchs of Belgian history. He certainly has the character for it. (Read entire post)

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