In the side-by-side comparison above, you can see the decline of monarchy over 116 years, but while historians often say that WWI was the deathblow to European monarchy, the truth is it was already weakening before this. By 1900, Tsarist Russia remained the only significant outpost of absolute monarchy, with others being limited in some key constitutional respect to varying degrees. even if in word only, which was in most cases a concession to Liberalism. This was a divergence even from past forms of limited autocracy.
Supporters of monarchy can only be grave in their assessment of the current situation, the full scope of which is now made clear by the map, since the constitutional entanglements of 1900 pale in comparison to the captive nature of royal influence in contemporary European politics. The official heads of state in charge of countries like the United Kingdom, Norway, and Denmark are decaying tourist attractions who debase themselves before the people in a misguided push to remain relevant. The most embarrassing moments have included Prince Henrik dressing up as a panda, and Queen Elizabeth II agreeing to be mimicked in an atrocious Olympic opening ceremony as a parachuting daredevil, touching down between mockups of British industry curiously produced by blacks and other ethnic minorities.
These things should not come as a surprise. Just as we have acknowledged that the priestly caste would be led into degeneracy in the Modern era, monarchs likewise have no magical protection from the zeitgeist. It is omnipresent. Of course however, these things can never be ignored and immediately disqualify the participants from being worthy of our respect or service. When the grand duke of Luxembourg opted to exercise his last power, a veto, against a bill on euthanasia, his assembly stripped him of this power without even an attempt on his part to resist such actions through the force of his title. No doubt the crown prince of Liechtenstein, who expanded his own powers in the early 2000s breathed a sigh of relief that he was unlikely to be held captive in such a manner.
The sad truth is that as the stranglehold of the Modern era solidified and its apparatus (that being representative assemblies) carried out its bidding to strip all formal responsibilities and powers from those deemed ‘undemocratic’, most royal lines offered up no resistance. After all, their wealth remains curiously unaffected, and perhaps the adoration of magazine rack tabloids keeps them warm at night where respect and loyalty once did.
Still, I wanted to take the time to talk about two royal lines that perhaps could find themselves on our side of the battle line when the inevitable end to the European spectacle comes.
PRINCE SIXTUS HENRY OF BOURBON-PARMA
Whenever you hear a more than cursory recount of the Spanish Civil War, the term ‘Carlist’ is often mentioned as a faction of Francisco Franco’s insurgency against the communist-backed Republican forces. Sadly, few have a grasp of what ‘Carlism’ was beyond some kind competing royal legitimist movement. Indeed this was the birth of the movement, but it became more than that.
Essentially, the laws of succession in Spain traditionally were non-salic (meaning daughters and sisters could ascend to the throne), however when the salic Bourbon monarchy of France had one of its princes, Philip V accede the throne, there was a big question as to which law of succession would apply. A kind of semi-salic system prevailed whereupon females could only take the throne if the previous monarch had no sons or brothers who could take it.
The problem arose when Ferdinand VII became gravely ill with no male heirs, but a pregnant wife. He changed the law to ensure that regardless the sex of the unborn child, it would succeed him. The child was Isabel II. The previously presumed heir, Ferdinand’s brother Infante Carlos, was outraged by the theft of his crown and left for Portugal, with a great deal of the country in uproar. In the period after this, there was an uprising in support of Carlos, particularly in Catalonia.There were in fact a series of such insurgencies (known collectively as the ‘Carlist Wars’) lasting between 1833 and 1876, after which the movement pursued peaceful methods to make its case for Carlos’ line of succession.
For all but the most starstruck by royal quarrels, this will seem like a lot of waffle, but it provides the backdrop for the greater sociocultural conflict Carlism represented. After the end of Napoleonic occupation of Spain, the country questioned its absolutist roots due to the influx of Liberal ideology from France. Ferdinand VII, after initially restoring much of the Traditional order, had made deals to get Liberals to support Isabel II’s claim to the throne, while Carlos was a staunch believer in the traditional powers of the monarchy and importantly the Church as a necessity. While Spain was mired in economic hardship, Liberals attacked Spanish institutions relentlessly, wanting a full seperation of church and state, as well as a centralization of federal control, which included dismantling the Basque autonomy (now you know where all that trouble with Basque separatism began). Carlist ideology, over time became the vehicle of Ancien apologetics, the embodiment of the Traditionalist spirit in the face of a veritable wave of inept monarchs from Ferdinand’s line who effectively lost the Spanish Empire, incompetent dictators, and passing attempts at Republican governance. Despite high and low level protests, Spain gradually modernized, hence why in 1886, Fr, Félix Sardà y Salvany wrote ‘Liberalism is a Sin‘ as by this time the left had begun to probe the Roman Catholic Church for weaknesses.
battle scene from the Carlist Wars
Much like the later Romanian Iron Guard, Carlism was not an elite movement. It drew support from all strata of society, from peasants to landed nobles and the priesthood. Its core beliefs were outlined in the four word slogan: Dios, Patria, Fueros, Rey.
Dios (God): Carlism believes in the Catholic Faith as a cornerstone of Spain, and must be politically active in its defense.
Patria (Fatherland): Carlism is heavily patriotic, Traditionalism sees the Fatherland as the nesting of communities (municipal, regional, Spain) united under one.
Fueros (similar to medieval charters): Part of the limitation of royal powers is the acknowledgment of local and regional self-rule (and of other types of communities in the political body, especially the Church).
Rey (King): The concept of national sovereignty is rejected. Sovereignty is vested on the king, both legitimate in blood and in deeds. But this power is limited by the doctrine of the Church and the Laws and Usages of the Kingdom, and through a series of Councils, traditional Cortes and state-independent intermediate bodies. The King must also be the Defender of the Poor and Keeper of Justice.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Carlist militias were enlisted on the side of General Franco against Marxist forces, and many died in the bloody battles that ensued. This alliance with the general was however never easy, as his support for their claimant to the throne was ambiguous, and they conflicted with Primo de Rivera’s Falangists over the centralization of the state. In fact, some suspect Franco played the two sides off against each other to preserve his own leadership. His dislike of Primo de Rivera was indeed documented, with some even accusing Franco of allowing Republican forces to murder him.
Regardless, during Franco’s regime the Carlist movement fractured over an internal claimant dispute, some even supporting the Isabellan line that continues to this day. It certainly didn’t help when the major claimant, Carlos Hugo I, embraced Titoist Socialism and turned his back on the Traditionalist values of the Carlist movement. He has since passed, and his younger brother Sixtus, who holds the title Duke of Aranjuez is the Carlist regent. While he doesn’t claim the throne himself, many of his supporters have taken to yelling “¡Viva el Rey!” during his speeches. His hope is that in the future, one of his nephews will re-embrace Traditionalism. Sixtus was present in 1988 when renegade bishop Marcel Lefebvre ordinated four bishops into the controversial Traditionalist Catholic body, the Society of St. Pius X. He was also said to be present at a recent confab of the European far right in Vienna, organized by our favorite Russian mischief-maker Konstantin Malofeev. Prince Sixtus would not be engaging in such things if he was not still very much interested in the legitimacy of the Carlist claim and the ideals that have propelled it through history, despite its sorry state at present
General Franco had clearly expected his choice for enthronement, Juan Carlos I, to continue his own legacy, a grave mistake. The king dismantled the regime and turned the country over to democracy. His son has continued to degrade the dignity of Spain in his passivity. This is unacceptable. Momentum for Reactionary solutions in Europe should aim for a return to Traditional Spain ultimately through the Carlist claimant.
PRINCE GIORGI BAGRATIONI
This child could represent a turning point in Georgia’s future, a decisive turn away from the siren song of American hegemony and liberal democracy. The Bagrationi dynasty is one of the longest existing Christian royal dynasties in the world beginning in the Middle Ages. It ruled Georgia until the country’s fragmentation in the 15th Century. After the various provinces were annexed by Russia, it became a mere noble family, and after the February Revolution, was declared null and void by the new state. With many of the family’s members in exile with no way of knowing if those who stayed had survived, it was natural that a split in sovereign claims would ensue. Those in exile became the Mukhrani branch, while those surviving in Georgia became the Gruzinsky branch.
After Soviet occupation ended, a marriage between members of both lines finally produced Giorgi, in the eyes of most people joyously mending the rupture and introducing the prospect of a return to the throne by the Bagrationi dynasty.
While support for monarchical restoration in Russia remains tepid but growing, in Georgia it is very high, with 82% of participants in an interactive survey apparently wishing for some form of restoration. Patriarch Ilia II, the most respected figure in the entire country, has thrown his support behind a return to monarchy, and there is hope that the Bagrationis, who hold a mystical status in Georgian history, might mend the conflicts with breakaway provinces; South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
What interest should a Reactionary take in such matters? The presence of this man…
Sir Levan Vasadze is the chairman of Prometheus Capital Partners, and has involved himself in a number of ultraconservative agendas, including the World Congress of Families which he hosted (designed to form an international bloc against gender ideology). As Konstantin Malofeev has been called ‘God’s Oligarch‘, so Vasadze has been called ‘Georgia’s Malofeev‘. What’s more, he is also one of the godfathers of the young Bagrationi, and has such a strong relationship with the royal family that they bestowed upon him the tile of Raindi which is equivalent to Knight. It seems clear from both action and association, that his goals align with ours:
“The West is attacking our Christian culture with atheism, new forms of socialism and sexual radicalism — worse than what we saw during the last 25 years when we were part of the Soviet empire.”
“Tolerance is a term of the Franco-Gallic medical school and means human organism’s ability to tolerate poison. It is the dead body that has perfect tolerance. It is very interesting where they [the liberals] want to take the national organism, don’t you think?”
There is also some suggestion he may have been in attendance at the Vienna summit previously mentioned. Restoration of the Bagrationis would give an explicit Reactionary hand in Georgian political life as well as geopolitical outlook. The key to moving Georgia out of the orbit of USG lies in the latter’s endless social crusading and the former’s return to royal governance.
When we say that out of chaos come the strong men, out of necessity we shall see our fortunes restored, it is incumbent upon us to be abstract in our assumptions, wisely hedging our bets on exactly what the ascendancy will look like. I would say that in the case of Georgia and Spain, we have reasonable answers for the long term question of rule. That is, should the seizure of such rule become possible.