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The Uses of Monarchy

Hereditary monarchy is not exactly a growth industry in the 21stcentury. But those who imagine monarchy to be useless in a democratic age might consider the case of Spain (a stable democracy that has just gone through a royal transition, with King Juan Carlos abdicating in favor of his son and heir, Felipe). It’s an intriguing tale involving an unlikely cast of characters: President Richard M. Nixon; General Vernon Walters; and the Spanish Caudillo, Francisco Franco. Continue Reading »

God Save the Queen

On February 6, Queen Elizabeth II marked her diamond jubilee, an achievement that Great Britain will celebrate throughout 2012. I am not a monarchist, but I’ll happily join in saluting the Queen, who embodies several qualities that are in short supply among 21st-century public figures. In one of a slew of diamond jubilee books, author Robert Hardman reports that Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is awed by the Queen’s “gravitas.” … Continue Reading »

La Belle Tontina

For Nicola I send fond wishes to a horse named TontoAnd you, sweet Nicola, who once was wont toCross a busy London thoroughfareTo ride about the Common on this mare.But there’s another matter that’s still pending,And that’s her boyish name you keep defending. A change to something like La . . . . Continue Reading »

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