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Post Monarchies and Marital Fidelity
Created by John Eipper on 09/21/22 4:41 AM

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Monarchies and Marital Fidelity (Consoly Leon Arias, Spain / Canary, 09/21/22 4:41 am)

The Crown is a symbol of the unity and permanence of the State.

Their multiple privileges are accompanied by sacrifices.  Among them, monarchs must show an exemplary and ideal image in all aspects of their lives.

Based on this, their "mistakes" must be punished when, how and where appropriate.

Tax matters should be settled in court, insofar as private matters are regularly questioned by public opinion and the mass media, in such a way that the image of a monarch, or a member of the Royal Family, can be discredited.

If disloyalty is as old as the origin of the world, the women and men of the 21st century, of any social class, condition, ethnicity, or religion, according to the new times, must assert their rights, and above all their human dignity.

If the Middle Ages were ten centuries of male dominance in Europe, currently gender equality prevails more and more.

JE comments:  Historically, royal marriages were political alliances first and foremost.  Sentimentality rarely entered into the equation.  Are we expecting too much morality from today's monarchs?  In the old days royal dalliances were understood as completely normal.  Look no further than Catherine the Great. Her equally Great contemporary, Prussia's Frederick, allegedly preferred men and saw his wife only at Christmas.  Etc.

What about taxes?  Britain's monarchs are exempt from income tax, but the Queen paid hers voluntarily.  She still made out extremely well.  I presume Charles III will follow suit.  Consoly, is Spain's Felipe VI tax-exempt?  We know his inner circle has been very skilled at tax...evasion.

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  • Monarchies are Nothing But Drains on the State (Anthony J Candil, USA 09/22/22 3:51 AM)
    I cannot refrain from answering our dear friend Consoly León Arias.

    Yes, everything she mentions is true, but it's also pure theory.

    Monarchies are neither a symbol of unity nor of the permanence of the State. There are many other ways to represent unity and permanence. A republic is a perfect example.  See our own case in the US, or France, Italy, or Germany. Does anyone dare to say that unity and permanence are not well represented?

    True, monarchs must exhibit exemplary conduct. They should be the best citizens in their own countries. The reality is they are not.

    Consoly mentions the "sacrifices" the monarchs make to compensate their privileges. What? Can Consoly mention one and only one sacrifice Philip VI has made? And Juan Carlos?  Again, this is pure theory.

    Taxes? It is a very laughable question. They cheat, evade, have funds out of reach in tax havens and so on. And sometimes they even steal from their subjects, or create Ponzi schemes to do it, for example Philip VI's sister Infanta Cristina.  And where is she? Totally free and happy living under her great privileges in Switzerland. What sacrifice has she made?  Living in Switzerland?

    And Mr Juan Carlos? He is not allowed to live in Spain and his sacrifice has been exile in Abu Dhabi, surrounded by luxury and other privileges not worthy of speaking about instead of being in jail. And who pays for his luxurious life abroad? The Spanish taxpayers.

    Who pays for Prince Andrew's life and style? The British taxpayers.


    Certainly one of their privileges is immunity against the law. A president of the Republic is not, and I hope we are going to prove this here by jailing the "Donald."

    Sincerely, monarchies are not worth all the trouble.

    JE comments:  Juan Carlos recently returned for a visit to Spain, to see his son the King for the first time in over two years.  I am not clear on whether his legal troubles have been dropped.  Can someone clarify?  At the very least he did not fear arrest in his homeland.

    As for royal "sacrifices," I believe Consoly León Arias means the absolute loss of privacy and the requirement to constantly be on display.  Many would gladly make this particular sacrifice.  The great Mel Brooks said it best:  It's good to be the King.

    So how much does a monarchy cost?  The short answer:  a lot.  Paul Levine (next) has details.

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    • Today's "Validos": Monarchy and Corruption (Anthony J Candil, USA 09/23/22 3:59 AM)

      I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that monarchies in the 21st century, as always, bring even more corruption to their societies.

      The way they bestow titles and privileges (dukedoms, count entitlements, marquisates, peers, and equivalents, knighthoods, and so forth) are no different from the practice of favoritism from the 17th century (the infamous "validos" in Spain) and are given for a reason. Kings surround themselves with a court of advisors and influencers, who, in exchange, obtain privileges and sustain the monarchs.

      Today's "validos" are businessmen, judges, politicians, anyone who can provide support and "loyalty" to the monarch. Of course, this loyalty usually entails a fee that goes to the monarch's off-shore banks.

      This happens within republics as well, but at least in a republic we can replace the head of state when it is required. A monarch lasts forever, in principle.

      JE comments:  "Valido" in this context translates as "favorite," but it literally means a (male) person of worth (from the verb valer).  The notion of "favorite" itself, when used as a noun to refer to a person, implies all sorts of shenanigans.

      Anthony Candil inspires a question:  are monarchies more corrupt by nature?  The national rankings (WAISers know I'm addicted to national rankings) do not support this thesis.  Among the least corrupt nations we have the "developed" constitutional monarchies of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.  Conversely, there are no monarchies among the top 10 or even 20 Usual Corrupt Suspects.

      Click and reflect:


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  • A "Gold Filling in the Mouth of Decay": Britain's Monarchy (Paul Levine, Denmark 09/22/22 4:22 AM)

    Thinking about monarchies, I remember John Osborne's immortal description
    of the British Royal Family: "The gold filling in the mouth of decay."

    recent revelations about suitcases stuffed with Pounds Sterling being delivered
    to the former Prince Charles for his "charities," Osborne's old description
    still seems prescient in post-Brexit Britain.

    In a time of economic decline it is estimated that Elizabeth II's funeral cost £9
    million. I hope the British public thinks it got its money's worth.

    Two recent articles in the UK press bring home Osborne's point. Happy reading!

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-wealthy-is-the-royal-family-king-charles-prince-william-net-worth-explained-9p9jm8zbs#:~:text=The%20main%20Crown%20Estate%20wraps,adds%20another%20%C2%A3494.3%20million .


    JE comments:  Look no further than King Charles' exemption from Britain's 40% tax on estates over $380,000.  This alone saves him a cool $200 million from the Queen's personal treasury.  But this $500 million of Elizabeth II's "private" wealth pales in comparison to the market cap of Britain's Royals, Inc., which Forbes puts at $28 billion.  The New Republic article (second link) puts a refreshing twist on royal-watching:  they are actually a very modern institution, insofar as they do nothing but sit on their throne and watch their wealth grow. Advanced Western societies used to get rich by making stuff.  Now they let their capital do the work.

    Paul, what is your take on Denmark's Queen Margrethe?  We never hear about her, over here.  Upon the death of Elizabeth, Margrethe inherited the title of Europe's longest-serving monarch.  This year she is celebrating her golden jubilee (50 years on the throne).

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  • Royal Marriages are No Longer State Alliances (Consoly Leon Arias, Spain / Canary 09/23/22 3:23 AM)
    Although monarchies are almost exclusively the "heritage" of the Old Continent, America bequeathed us one of the most beautiful and glamorous princesses of all times. Naturally, I am referring to the legendary Oscar-winning Grace Kelly, who passed away almost exactly 40 years ago, on September 18, 1982, in the Principality of Monaco.

    It is true that for centuries, royal marriages served political and state interests. This ensured dynastic continuity, generation after generation, for centuries. However, state alliances through royal marriage are no longer the case in today's Europe.  Consider, for example, the marriage of King Carl Gustaf of Sweden to the German flight attendant Silvia Sommerlath, or King Harald of Norway to the seamstress Sonia Haraldsen, or King Felipe VI of Spain to the journalist Letizia Ortiz, as well as Prince Albert of Monaco to Zimbabwean swimmer Charlene Wittstock.  This also applies to the heirs to the British, Swedish and Norwegian thrones.

    We could add to this list Prince Rainier of Monaco, who married American actress Grace Kelly, or even the late Elizabeth II, who married her childhood sweetheart, Philip of Greece.

    In each and every one of these examples, the different members of "blue blood" have entered into morganatic marriages, attending only to the dictates of the heart, or what is the same thing, they have married for love. Which does not necessarily ensure marital success, or maybe it does. One never knows.

    You asked me if we expect too much morality from today's monarchs. My answer is that what is expected of a sovereign is to act with integrity, and to show the principles with which he or she is supposed to have been educated from the cradle.

    As to whether a monarch owes allegiance to his wife, whether she is of royal blood or commoner, is a matter strictly within the purview of their marital intimacy.

    With respect to the tax authorities, Spain's Royal Family pays taxes to the State, for which they annually present and settle their personal income tax returns. In addition, the Crown is subject to the Transparency Law (Law 19/2013, of December 9), which aims to strengthen the transparency of public activity, as well as to establish the obligations to be fulfilled by public servants.

    I agree with you, John, that it was the tax scandals of people close to Juan Carlos, which led the government to take action, with the creation of the aforementioned Transparency Law.

    Yet in Spain, laws seem to be applied at times with different standards. Evidently, the Crown is permanently in the spotlight, and its movements, especially economic ones, are analyzed in detail, while on the other hand, a former public official, a socialist at the time sentenced to prison by the Supreme Court for prevarication and embezzlement of public funds (680 million euros), is about to be pardoned... for larceny.

    JE comments:  The 680 million of unemployment relief funds, known as the ERE case, were embezzled by the Regional Government of Andalusía, under the leadership of Manuel Chaves and José Antonio Griñán.  Egads, that's not just petty cash.  It couldn't have been stolen without many people knowing about it.

    On this massive corruption scandal, see below:


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