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Category: Monarchy

Of weddings: royal, bombed & droned

rahnuma ahmed

I

Millions watched the wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and former American actress Meghan Markle on television the world over. While many heralded it for demonstrating ‘how Britain has become more egalitarian and racially mixed‘ and lauded the ”Meghan effect‘ on black Britons,’ others rejoiced at the wedding ceremony for having been ‘a rousing celebration of blackness,’ and still others hoped that the ‘spirit of Harry and Meghan… [would] revitalise our divided nation,’ that prince Harry’s choice of spouse would ‘[initiate] real change in UK race relations.’

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with newly-wed grandson Prince Harry and grand daughter-in-law Meghan Markle, and other family members including Ms. Markle’s mother Doria Ragland, and bridal party. ©AFP

Meghan Markle – now Duchess of Sussex, with her own Royal Coat of Arms – is the daughter of a white American father and an African-American mother, her parents divorced when Meghan was 6, and she was raised singly by her mother.

Would-be Canadian citizens set to fight oath to Queen

A small group of landed immigrants with republican views who have refused Canadian citizenship because the ceremony involves swearing an oath to the Queen will be in a Toronto courtroom on Friday, facing off with the federal government in an attempt to have this citizenship requirement declared unconstitutional.
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer raises his hand as a group of 60 people take the oath of citizenship during a special Canada Day citizenship ceremony in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday July 1, 2012. (DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press)
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer raises his hand as a group of 60 people take the oath of citizenship during a special Canada Day citizenship ceremony in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday July 1, 2012.
(DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press)

Amritsar Massacre. Cameron in India

Better redress is to never forget

If Cameron feels real contrition he should make teaching of the British empire a compulsory part of the GCSE history syllabus

William Dalrymple The Guardian

Britain's PM Cameron visits the holy Sikh shrine of Golden temple in Amritsar

David Cameron at the Golden temple in Amritsar this week. He declined to apologise for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, but said we must ‘learn lessons’. Photograph: Munish Sharma/Reuters
On 13 April 1919 a large group of Punjabis protesting against British rule gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. They were incensed at the arrest of two of their leaders, and for 24 hours the city had been consumed by riots. At five in the afternoon, General Reginald Dyer marched into Jallianwala Bagh with 140 troops, most of them Gurkhas, but with a few Sikhs and Baluchis as well. Having blocked the exits, they fired into the peaceful and unresisting crowds until they had exhausted all their ammunition. Official estimates put the casualties at 379 killed and 1,200 injured. Popular estimates put the casualties as much as 10 times higher.

Gallant medieval knights

A sobering account for those in search of knighthood


In today’s excerpt – the knights of the Middle Ages were anything but gallant, often bastard sons of minor nobility, unable to inherit, and joined to roving bands of thugs. And jousting tournaments were in no small part a way of keeping them out of trouble:
“It was … at the height of the fairs of Champagne and the Italian mer?chant empires, between 1160 and 1172, that the term ‘adventure’ be?gan to take on its contemporary meaning. The man most responsible for it was the French poet Chretien de Troyes, author of the famous Arthurian romances — most famous, perhaps, for being the first to tell the story of Sir Percival and the Holy Grail. The romances were a new sort of literature featuring a new sort of hero, the ‘knight-errant,’ a warrior who roamed the world in search of, precisely, ‘adventure’ — in the contemporary sense of the word: perilous challenges, love, trea?sure, and renown. Stories of knightly adventure quickly became enor?mously popular, Chretein was followed by innumerable imitators, and the central characters in the stories — Arthur and Guinevere, Lance?lot, Gawain, Percival, and the rest — became known to everyone, as they are still. This courtly ideal of the gallant knight, the quest, the joust, romance and adventure, remains central to our image of the Middle Ages.

Arab monarchies of Persian Gulf

Relics of barbarism, handwriting on the wall

By Webster G. Tarpley?Sat Aug 18, 2012 PressTV

Anti-regime protesters stage rally in Saudi Arabia?s coastal town of Qatif on July 8, 2012.
Anti-regime protesters stage rally in Saudi Arabia?s coastal town of Qatif on July 8, 2012.

The Arab monarchies that emerged under British auspices from the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire have always represented an anachronism, in sharp contradiction to the whole direction of modern history and human progress elsewhere in the world.