Friday, June 30, 2023

Another Tragic Stuart

Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain, daughter of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, died as a prisoner of Cromwell. Elizabeth Stuart will be a heroine in the sequel to My Queen, My Love. From Stephanie Mann:

 Princess Elizabeth, Charles I and Henrietta Maria's second daughter was born on December 28, 1635 and died imprisoned by Parliament on September 8, 1650. The portrait of her in the Palace of St. James by Millais depicts her as scholarly and young. As her father had in his youth, she had suffered from rickets and broke her leg at the age of seven. She was rather scholarly, learning Hebrew, Greek, Italian, Latin, and French. The princess was also known for her gentleness, with the nickname "Temperance."

She and her younger brother Henry were not allowed to join their mother and other siblings in Holland and France. She urged her older brother James to escape as soon as he could, lending him clothing to disguise himself. Elizabeth and Henry met with their father before his execution one last time and the princess wrote her recollection (she was 13; her brother 8):
He bid us tell my mother that his thoughts had never strayed from her, and that his love would be the same to the last. Withal, he commanded me and my brother to be obedient to her; and bid me send his blessing to the rest of my brothers and sisters, with communications to all his friends. Then, taking my brother Gloucester on his knee, he said, 'Sweetheart, now they will cut off thy father's head.' And Gloucester looking very intently upon him, he said again, "Heed, my child, what I say: they will cut off my head and perhaps make thee a king. But mark what I say. Thou must not be a king as long as thy brothers Charles and James do live; for they will cut off your brothers' heads when they can catch them, and cut off thy head too at the last, and therefore I charge you, do not be made a king by them.' At which my brother sighed deeply, and made answer: 'I will be torn in pieces first!' And these words, coming so unexpectedly from so young a child, rejoiced my father exceedingly. And his majesty spoke to him of the welfare of his soul, and to keep his religion, commanding him to fear God, and He would provide for him. Further, he commanded us all to forgive those people, but never to trust them; for they had been most false to him and those that gave them power, and he feared also to their own souls. And he desired me not to grieve for him, for he should die a martyr, and that he doubted not the Lord would settle his throne upon his son, and that we all should be happier than we could have expected to have been if he had lived; with many other things which at present I cannot remember.
He gave her a Bible and told her to read good Anglican books--and never to read any Catholic books! (Read more.)



Saving the Child Victims

 From The People's Voice:

During an interview with Steven Bannon on Tuesday, Bannon focused on promoting Caviezel’s new film Sound of Freedom, which is based on the true story of a former government agent who embarked on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers in Colombia.

Bannon asked Caviezel if he thinks U.S. intelligence agencies play a role in the human trafficking industry.

“Absolutely,” replied Caviezel. “The three-letter agencies, they’re all involved.”

“Do you believe that that’s part of the senior government apparatus just does not want to touch this?” asked Bannon, adding “they profit off it. They don’t mind if it happens… and like you said, there’s five drug agents to every one human trafficking agent. This trafficking is a massive problem, people know it’s a problem.”

“That’s my opinion. I don’t know what Tim’s opinion is, but it’s definitely my opinion that this is something they don’t want to solve,” Caviezel responded. “And so, it’s going to take the public to put the light on it.”

“Do you think that’s why they suppressed this film for three years?” asked Bannon.

“Absolutely,” said Caviezel.

“You might have 14 people in the room and they all want you, but two have big enough voices where they can shut down those twelve. And so right now, I don’t think it was smart for Bud Light to, you know, somebody woke up in the morning and said, ‘Hey, let’s put this transgender on our beer can. Okay?’ And then Target is looking going, ‘Wow, look at all the billions they’re losing. We got to do this, too.’ Obviously, something’s going on, right?” (Read more.)


From The National Pulse:

Mel Gibson provided “valuable intelligence” on a pedophile ring preying on children in Ukraine, according to Operation Underground Railroad. Rumors Gibson was making a “docu-series on the $34 billion global child sex trafficking market involving countries like Ukraine” went viral following an unsourced tweet from Leading Report. Writer Katherine Brodsky later reported these claims were false, but cited Operation Underground Railroad president Tim Ballard, who revealed Gibson made a vital contribution to the fight against child sex trafficking.

“Mel is a personal hero of mine and called me back in 2022 with valuable intelligence regarding children who were rumored to be vulnerable to human traffickers in Ukraine,” Ballard said.

“Using that intelligence, we went to Ukraine, where Operation Underground Railroad, Aerial Recovery Group, and The Nazarene Fund were successful in beginning the process of dismantling a dangerous international pedophile ring,” he added. The flurry of interest around the alleged Gibson documentary comes as an enormous pedophile network operating largely unhindered on Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram has been exposed. (Read more.)


More on Mel Gibson, although there is no planned documentary. From Life Site:

Renowned Catholic filmmaker Mel Gibson provided “valuable intelligence” about an international pedophile ring, but he is not involved in producing a four-part documentary series about a sex trafficking mission in Ukraine, according to a report.

Amid recent speculation that Gibson was producing the series about a child sex trafficking rescue mission in Ukraine, Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) founder Tim Ballard issued a statement dissolving those rumors but confirming that Gibson provided crucial information about the children who were saved in the 2022 operation.

A video from January 2023 of Ballard sharing the story of the Ukraine mission has been circulating on social media, leading to false reports that the documentary designed to expose the reality of international pedophile rings was being produced by Gibson. However, Ballard never said that this was the case, a point he reiterated in a June 8 statement.

“I stand by every word I said in the video circulating around social media,” Ballard said. “Mel is a personal hero of mine and called me back in 2022 with valuable intelligence regarding children who were rumored to be vulnerable to human traffickers in Ukraine.”

“Using that intelligence, we went to Ukraine, where Operation Underground Railroad, Aerial Recovery Group, and The Nazarene Fund were successful in beginning the process of dismantling a dangerous international pedophile ring.” (Read more.)

From The Irish Times:

Teenage girls in the care of the State are being targeted and sexually exploited by co-ordinated “gangs” of predatory men, according to a new study which calls for an “immediate investigation” into the problem. The research details cases of girls being taken from residential care homes by taxis and brought to hotels, where they were then sexually exploited and abused, often after being supplied with drugs. The study by University College Dublin (UCD) school of social policy, published on Thursday, is based on interviews with staff and organisations working with children in care. It found multiple cases where girls in the care of Tusla, the child and family agency, were “being coerced or enticed to provide sex acts to multiple men in exchange for a variety of goods”. (Read more.)


The Gentleman from Verona

 From Robert Royal at The Catholic Thing:

Romano Guardini (1885-1968) was born in Verona in Northern Italy, but while he was very young his family moved to Mainz in Germany, where his father was Italian consul. Except for regular trips to Italy, he lived in Germany during his formative years and wrote in German. For many thinkers, this history might be a mere biographical detail. In Guardini’s case, it has considerable significance.

He was a beloved figure among his students and had an enormous influence on the Catholic Church and European culture in the twentieth century – and beyond. He inspired later thinkers as diverse as von Balthasar, Pieper, Giussani, Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), and Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis). His influence probably owes something to his dual heritage, which combines German academic rigor with a gentler Italian humanism.

Guardini’s greatest and best-known books – The End of the Modern World, The Spirit of the Liturgy, and The Lord –have remained in print and influenced generations. The End of the Modern World was particularly prescient. In 1950, Guardini could already write that it was easy to describe the modern age because, “in all crucial respects the modern world has come to an end.”

The two World Wars had released not only unbounded violence, but unprecedented human disorientation and rootlessness. More:

Monstrosities of such conscious design do not emerge from the calculations of a few degenerate men or of small groups of men; they come from processes of agitation and poisoning which had been long at work. What we call moral standards – responsibility, honor, sensitivity of conscience – do not vanish from humanity at large if men have not already been long debilitated. These degradations could never have happened if its culture had been as supreme as the modern world thought.

Guardini is a valuable figure for all of us who understand the need to recover the human things that were lost in what he acknowledges were gains in power and wealth – but which also led to the radical discontinuity and fragmentation of recent decades.  There’s no going back to some legendary, pre-modern Catholicism. A new way forward has to be created by using past materials in a new synthesis, which he began to develop.

Regnery Books has assembled a one-volume collection (687 pages!), The World and the Person and Other Writings, five lesser-known but equally insightful Guardini books (with my longish introduction), which will be published tomorrow.

Guardini called these books “reflections.” But they “reflect” his deep and internally consistent theological, philosophical, and – unusual among religious writers – literary culture. His books on Dante and Rilke, along with frequent references to Augustine, Pascal, Dostoyevsky, Heidegger, and even Nietzsche, present an eclectic but profound and coherent vision of the Church and the world.

Guardini had the kind of mind – the living virtue, as he puts it in his book on the virtues – that can range everywhere, flexibly but faithfully. His books are less like academic treatises than living conversations with a wise and trusted friend. (Read more.)


Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Battle for the Bed Chamber

From The History Jar:
Henrietta Maria has undoubtedly had a bad press in English History – in the past she has either been fitted into the pattern of she-wolf or interfering wife. And yet prior to arrival in England in 1625 and in the weeks afterwards she was praised for her youth and her beauty.  Her arrival was, after all, the beginning of an Anglo-French partnership. Not that every was wildly happy about a French Catholic becoming queen.

The power of a consort was very indirect so far as most Stuart kings of England are concerned.  Henrietta is the best known of the Stuart wives and she undoubtedly arrived with an agenda.  Pope Urban VIII had made her a member of the order of the Golden Rose prior to her departure for England. She wrote to her brother, Louis XVIII, saying that she would improve the lot of Catholics in England.  She made no secret of the fact that she was a good Catholic princess.  Her pilgrimage to Marble Arch and Tyburn where Catholics had been executed caused consternation amongst her Protestant subjects.  Yet, she was also supposed to engineer a firm Anglo-French alliance.  She was fifteen and it was a very tall order. (Read more.)

The Queen doing Penance at Tyburn


The Toxic Assumptions of Evolutionary Psychology about Men

 From Evolution News:

The theory that marriage is imposed by women is an incredibly damaging message to send to men. But it is also very convenient for them. When they misbehave, they can blame women for failing to civilize them. (“The woman whom you gave to be with me” — it’s her fault. Genesis 3:12 ESV.) 

For example, former radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger (known as Dr. Laura) scolded women, saying, “Men would not do half of what they do if women didn’t let them.” She added, “That a man is going to do bad things is a fact. That you keep a man who does bad things in your life is your fault.” Notice the unquestioned assumption that a man will “do bad things” as if that’s just his male nature — and that it’s the woman’s job not to “let” him. 

These commentators offer a view of men that is as dark and cynical as that of the most radical feminist. For example, the feminist professor Camille Paglia wrote an essay titled “Rape and Modern Sex War,” in which she claims, 

Hunt, pursuit, and capture are biologically programmed into male sexuality. Generation after generation of men must be educated, refined, and ethically persuaded away from their tendency toward anarchy and brutishness. . . . Masculinity is aggressive, unstable, combustible.

Tell men often enough that they are naturally irresponsible brutes, captive to ancient caveman urges, and they will start acting like it. They will start treating marriage as an imposition that works against their true nature, a trap that constrains their free spirit. The result is exactly what we see today: too many young men refusing to grow up, avoiding the responsibilities of job and family. The phrase “failure to launch” describes a tragic reality. Marriage rates in the United States are at their lowest rates ever. Negative definitions of masculinity have negative consequences. (Read more.)


A Diamond the Size of the Earth?

 What? From Gagadget:

The white dwarf is located 104 light years from our planet. The star is believed to have been around for 4.2 billion years, but astronomers can't establish its exact age because the core is in the process of crystallisation. A star loses its outer shell during its transformation into a white dwarf. Its mass decreases and when it runs out of fuel, the star may turn into a black hole. During the crystallisation process, the temperature drops due to a lack of additional energy sources. Astronomers speculate that such stars will eventually become black dwarfs with a diamond structure. The process is thought to take over 13.8 billion years, so it's likely that no such objects yet exist in the Universe. But this is the fate of almost all the stars in the Milky Way, including our Sun. (Read more.)


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Ohio Author to Write 18th-century French Novel Series

 A novel about Madame du Barry's Zamor. From Cision:

Patti Flinn had never heard of Louis-Benoit Zamor until she came across the portrait of him painted by Marie-Victoire Lemoine, on Pinterest. The full-time executive assistant—and part-time romance novelist—was browsing French art for her living room wall when she discovered Zamor, a black man who lived in 18th-century France. That portrait led to a three-book fictional series called The Last Favorite’s Page, of which the first book, The Greatest Thing, is set to release in October 2023.

“Pinterest is great because there’s no pressure to engage,” says Flinn. “On any other social media site, just looking and not engaging makes you a lurker—which sounds bad from the outset—but on Pinterest anyone can just share or browse.”

Cruising past the portrait of Louis-Benoit, something in his eyes caused her to back up and click on the link. That was when she learned about Zamor, the personal servant—or page—who lived in the Palace of Versailles during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. He’s best known as the traitor who helped send Madame Jeanne du Barry (former mistress of King Louis XV) to the guillotine during the French Revolution.

Admitting she knew little about the history of black people on mainland France in the 18th century, Flinn wondered if others might be as curious about the period or if they’d even be interested at all. She decided to pen Véronique’s Journey and Véronique’s Moon, parallel stories based on a character from the Zamor series. Though she didn’t want to take too much time from the main story, Flinn felt there was a need to introduce readers to the unexplored subject matter. Already, Véronique’s Journey has won an IPPY (Independent Book Publishing Award). Véronique’s Moon, set to release July 2023, ends just after the character’s introduction to Louis-Benoit Zamor.

“I’m excited that other people are as interested in what was happening with black people during that time as I am. We see these images on social media and rarely put a story to the faces. Before seeing that portrait I never even considered writing a historical novel but something about this man’s eyes opened up a whole new world for me. That’s the beauty of visual arts – they touch us in different ways. I’ve seen many portraits of people of that time but seeing Zamor’s face was, instantly, like looking at an old friend. I felt compelled to continue in response, one artist to another.” (Read more.)


More on Zamor, HERE.


Brutal Attack on Pro-lifers

 From LifeSite:

Police have released video footage of a brutal attack on pro-lifers praying outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Baltimore, Maryland weeks after the incident took place. The attack, as reported by LifeSiteNews, took place on May 26 and left two sidewalk counselors seriously injured after an unidentified suspect assaulted them. In the video put out on YouTube by the Baltimore Police Department, the suspect can be seen arguing with pro-lifers outside the Planned Parenthood facility located at 300 North Howard Street.The suspect – a white male with brown hair and a beard wearing blue jeans and a gray t-shirt – appears to be backing away from the confrontation when he suddenly lunges for 80-year-old Dick Schafer, tackling him over a ceramic planter and onto the brick sidewalk.

Abortion “clinic escorts” were present during the incident and can be seen in the footage. They backed away upon witnessing the attack, with at least one opening the door to the abortion facility, presumably to call for help. 

Meanwhile, 73-year-old Mark Crosby can be seen running across the street to help Schafer, where he is instantly thrown to the ground by the suspect, who both punched and kicked the man’s face before walking away from the scene. 

Police released the video with a request that “anyone with information about the incident or the suspect” contact Central District detectives at 410-396-2411 or submit anonymous tips through the Metro Crime Stoppers website 

Following the assault, local pro-lifer John Roswell confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Schafer “is recovering at home” but Crosby was taken to the University of Maryland shock trauma facility for treatment. Roswell said that the “plate bone in his upper right cheek is completely fractured” and that he “is bleeding from some unidentified area behind his eye and the bone eye orbit is completely shattered and will have to be replaced with metal.” (Read more.)


Parrots Are Taking Over the World

 From Scientific American:

Today at least 60 of the world's 380 or so parrot species have a breeding population in a country outside their natural geographical range. Each successful transplant has its own story: some are benign, others a threat to the local wildlife; some are abundant in their home ranges, whereas others rely on cities as a refuge from extinction. All are by-products of the pet trade and animal trafficking around the world. Because they're parrots, they're smart, adaptable, creative and loud. “They're animals that are really social, and they live in cognitively complex social environments,” says Grace Smith-Vidaurre, a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University and the University of Cincinnati, who studies the birds. “They're like humans in a lot of ways.” (Read more.)


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Order of the Garter Service 2023


Held at Windsor at St. George's Chapel as in the days of Charles I. From The Royal Watcher:

The British Royal Family joined the King and Queen to attend the Service for the Most Noble Order of the Garter at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on June 19th, following Trooping the Colour and the Coronation. The oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, the Most Noble Order of the Garter was founded by King Edward III in 1348, and is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales and 24 members as well as members of the Royal Family, known as Royal Knights and Ladies, and Foreign Sovereigns, known as Stranger (or Extra) Knights and Ladies. (Read more.)


Mutilating Children for Profit

 From The Daily Mail:

The 18-year-old, who is referred to as Layla Jane, says she should never have been put through the 'torment' of testosterone hormones at age 12 and puberty blockers and surgery the next year. She is one of a growing number of detransitioners, as they are known, who come to regret their procedures and sue the doctors they accuse of pushing them into irreversible treatments instead of counseling.

'I don't think I should have been allowed to change my sex before I could legally consent to have sex,' Layla said on Fox News. 'I don't think I'm better off for the experience, and I think transition just completely added fuel to the fire that was my pre-existing conditions.'

According to legal papers, Layla experienced moodiness, anxiety, gender confusion and anger issues as a child. At age 11 learned about radical transgender ideology and went online to learn more about the new trend. She self-diagnosed that she was a boy and believed transitioning would solve her mental health problems. According to the suit, doctors at the Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals rushed her on to cross-sex hormones and a double mastectomy without properly assessing her mental health problems. Her evaluations lasted only 30 minutes and 75 minutes, records show. Legal papers identify the carers as Susanne Watson, a psychologist in Oakland, San Francisco-based plastic surgeon Winnie Tong, and Lisa Taylor, a pediatric endocrinologist in Oakland. They are accused of 'intentional, malicious, and oppressive concealment of important information and false representations' that saw Layla pushed into the procedures.

It's claimed they presented Layla Jane and her parents with a terrifying choice: 'Would you rather have a live son, or a dead daughter?' — language that echoes complaints from other detransitioners across the US. 'These are decisions I will have to live with for the rest of my life,' Layla said in a statement. 'I'm ready to join the growing group of detransitioners so that no other child has to go through the torment I went through at the hands of doctors I should have been able to trust.' Layla speaks with a voice deeper than is usual for a young woman — which is understood to be the result of taking the male hormone testosterone for several years. She started to detransition at age 17. (Read more.)


Teachers help each other to trick the parents. Also from The Daily Mail:

 Dozens of Midwestern teachers met online this week and traded tips on helping trans students change gender at school without their parents' knowledge, while criticizing a raft of new Republican laws on sex and identity. gained access to an online session hosted by the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP), which is funded by the Department of Education, attended by some 30 teachers from Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and beyond. In the four-hour workshop, they discussed helping trans students in the face of new laws in Republican-run states on gender, pronouns, names, parents' rights, bathroom access, and sports teams. Some teachers said they followed the rules, but others discussed being 'subversive,' how their personal 'code of ethics' trumped laws, and how to 'hide' a trans student's new name and gender from their parents. (Read more.)


The Jovial Father and Tom Bombadil

 From The Imaginative Conservative:

Joviality is an attribute of kingship; we can discern that if we look into the origin of the word. Jove is another name for Jupiter. I’m not thinking of the planet here—not the planet as it is contemporarily understood, anyway. The Jupiter I’m thinking of lived in the old cosmos as it was understood by astronomers before the invention of the telescope. He was the King, and his name literally means, “Sky Father”. That old cosmos, with all if its relevance for creatures living on the earth, was beautifully brought back to life by C. S. Lewis in his Narnia Chronicles. In those books the planets exercise a subtle, but pervasive influence in each one of the stories. We can see the influence of Mars in Prince Caspian, and Mercury in The Horse and His Boy, and even the Sun (yes, it was considered a planet, too), in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But we see Jupiter, in all his kingly splendor, in the first book (at least in the order in which they were written): The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Michael Ward in his marvelous book, Planet Narnia, makes an irrefutable case for what I describe. His thesis might be written off as eisegesis if it wasn’t for the consistent interest Lewis shows in the planets in so much of his scholarship. For example, The Discarded Image, the last book Lewis published, documents the contents of his Oxford lectures entitled, “A Prolegomena to Medieval Poetry.” (In other words, it is his introduction to the subject of medieval poetry, containing important information a reader must know if he is to understand the poetry of the period.) And in that introduction Lewis zeroes in on Jupiter, the King, and the influence he has on the world that lies beneath him. (Read more.)

Monday, June 26, 2023

New Drum Horse

 Many of us were charmed by the drum horses at the Coronation. From Tatler:

The first mare to be made a Drum Horse in the Household Cavalry had a starring role in Trooping the Colour. Following two years of training, Juno officially passed out at the King’s Birthday Parade and took on the prestigious role which is assigned to one special horse. It saw her take on the rank of Major, and walk at the front and centre of the parade as she helped lead other horses down the Mall. Formerly named Willa Rose, Juno was officially renamed by the Queen at a ceremony at Clarence House earlier this week. There, the queen was greeted by the commanding officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Armitage LG, who introduced her to the horse. Queen Camilla presented Juno with a headcollar featuring a brass name plaque, and spoke with soldiers from the regiment, hearing about the training process involved with a Drum Horse. The event ended with a photograph of the crowd, and Her Majesty was presented with a portrait of the horse, painted by artist Mandy Shepherd. (Read more.)

More on the Royal Family site, HERE. Pictures from Trooping of the Colour, HERE.


Decadent Elites Plunge America Into Political Crisis

 From American Greatness:

Trump’s supporters are the regime’s helots, the “deplorables” consigned to sweat and toil for a government that openly hates them as they are gradually wiped out by an endless stream of more compliant foreign replacements. They have no reason not to support Trump because the alternative is to be governed like vassals.

When Biden hung the banner of “Pride” from the White House balcony, he was merely making formal the implicit. It was received like the taunt that it obviously was. These humiliations are now a normal part of daily life for the Christians and downwardly mobile middle-class whites who comprise the core of Trump’s base, and who are increasingly unable to recognize the country of their birth.

One needn’t be a fire-and-brimstone type to see a spiritual aspect in the grotesque spectacle that has become of the United States. There are neighborhoods in our cities that resemble scenes from Dante’s Inferno. But as in any oligarchy, the world of fabulous privilege is just a short distance from the mad hell of chaos and disorder. The elites live secure from the evils they midwife, leaving the innocent to face the penalty while they collect their rewards. 

The White House is occupied by a venal, sleazy puppet whose sordid crimes have been covered up by the “free press.” The law is deployed to harass and terrorize people like Daniel Penny, the former Marine who was indicted (just a day after Trump was arrested by his political opponent) for restraining a deranged vagrant from attacking bystanders. Penny is no radical ideologue, but he didn’t need to be to provoke the regime. It was enough for him to have attempted to do the right thing. (Read more.)


John Winant and Sarah Churchill

 From New England Historical Society:

He was a liberal Republican who supported the New Deal. He stumped throughout New Hampshire at church dinners and Grange halls on behalf of the “Townsend Plan,” which became Social Security. In 1941, President Roosevelt appointed him U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom to replace Joseph P. Kennedy, who wanted to appease Hitler rather than fight.

Roosevelt called the idealistic Winant ‘Utopian John.’ He was rich, handsome, likable, gentle, dreamy — and doomed by his hopeless love affair with Sarah Churchill. In London John Winant fell under the spell of Winston Churchill and his family. He worked tirelessly with the prime minister to support Britain during the war. When news of Pearl Harbor broke, Winant and Churchill danced around the room together, excited by the inevitable entry of the United States into the conflict. He visited Churchill nearly every weekend at his Chequers country estate. Winant was fond of all the Churchills, and they of him. Sarah Churchill visited Chequers every weekend, too, drawn to her powerful father and the great events unfolding around him. (Read more.)

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Royal Ascot 2023

His Majesty King Charles III

Her Majesty Queen Camilla
From Hello!:

Royal Ascot remains to be one of the Royal Family's most anticipated yearly events. The late Queen Elizabeth II always enjoyed attending the lavish outing, with a number of her own horses previously competing. This year is an extra special one for the family, as it marks the first Ascot since King Charles and Queen Camilla were coronated on 6 May. It is also the first time that Charles will see a number of his own horses competing in the races. The royal couple have certainly made the most of the exciting event, having been in attendance since Tuesday when it kicked off. The King and Queen have been captured socialising with their fellow royal family members including Princess Anne, Zara and Mike Tindall and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. (Read more.)

More from Hello! HERE and HERE.


Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh
From Tatler:

 The action continues at Royal Ascot – and royals including the Duchess of Edinburgh, Zara Tindall and Lady Sarah Chatto are leading the fashion pack. The perfect occasion to don the finest millinery and British garden-inspired regalia, the event acts as a sparkling competition of best dressed among the upper crust of high society – and 2023’s edition is a dazzling display of regal talent.

Zara Tindall was first to claim the crown of the most marvellous outfit on day one. Donning a decadent balloon-sleeved, point-collared dress decorated in green and peach lilies from Australian designer Leo Lin, Princess Anne’s equestrian daughter certainly wasn’t horsing around when it came to the fashion game. Accessorising with a bespoke boater from British hatmaker Sarah Cant, the royal roused the crowd with a classically chic splendour. The glamour continued on day two, with her navy dress and statement emerald green hat.

On Thursday, the Duchess of Edinburgh proved she is not to be outdone and brought a fabulous flourish of florals to proceedings in a dress by go-to label Suzannah London. She was accompanied by her father, Christopher Rhys Jones. (Read more.)

Princess Beatrice with her Italian Count and the Tindalls

The Princess Royal


Princess Anne, on another day at the races, with husband and guests

The Prince and Princess of Wales with Count Mapelli-Mozzi

And one of the Their Majesties' horses won! From Blood Horse:

Desert Hero  gave the King and Queen a historic success at Royal Ascot in the royal silks, winning the June 22 King George V Stakes at odds of 18-1. The 3-year-old colt pounced late under Tom Marquand to win on the line from Valiant King and provide King Charles III with a first success at the royal meeting since the death of Queen Elizabeth II last September.

The winner was trained by William Haggas, who was in the royal procession before racing on Wednesday. It was just the King's fourth runner at Royal Ascot this week and more than twice the odds of his first three. The late Queen bred the chestnut son of Sea The Stars .  

The King collected the prize with Queen Camilla, who could be seen close to tears in TV pictures of the royal box in the aftermath of the surprise win. Zara Tindall, granddaughter of the late Queen Elizabeth II, said the victory was bittersweet for the royal family.

She said to ITV: "Think how proud our grandmother, the Queen, would've been. To have a winner for Charles and Camilla and keep that dream alive was incredible. It's a new excitement. Like all those owners that come here and have a horse here having that dream, that hope, and then fulfilling it is incredible. (Read more.)


Winning horse and jockey

The Princess of Wales

More pictures, HERE.

Lady Colin Campbell shares her day at Ascot:


Hunter and Burisma

 From The Daily Mail:

Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm employer were involved in setting up an account with a foreign bank that was shut down after a money laundering investigation. Burisma, the allegedly corrupt Ukrainian gas firm that hired the President's son in 2014, set up an account with him in Malta at a bank that later closed following a financial crimes probe, bombshell emails show. The revelation that the First Son and Burisma are linked to a bank accused of flouting money laundering rules, comes after claims made by a longstanding FBI informant revealed this month by lawmakers, that Burisma's owner sent $10 million to Hunter and his father using a complex web of offshore transactions. Emails obtained from Hunter Biden's laptop show he gave income statements, passport details and even utility bills to Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi to set up an account at the now-defunct SataBank in Malta in 2016.mails obtained from Hunter Biden's laptop show he gave income statements, passport details and even utility bills to Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi to set up an account at the now-defunct SataBank in Malta in 2016. (Read more.)

How did the Bidens make all their money? From The Federalist:

So the question of sources now looms large. How exactly does a former vice president rake in such a large amount of money without any logical explanation, without any functioning business, and without expertise in anything — except politics? Republicans in Congress are now interested in finding the answer. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., commented, “Biden should disclose (the source of the revenue) and every member of the press ought to hound him until he does.”

Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., also voiced concern about the unexplained income in light of the alleged pay-for-pay scheme, saying, “the fact that there are credible claims signaling that a foreign national bribed the president of the United States with cash in exchange for influence over U.S. policy decisions is appalling. The American people deserve to know who paid the Bidens and what exactly they were paid for.”

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said “the president seems to find selling out our country funny. We don’t. If he’s serious about proving our allegations wrong, he should release his family’s unredacted bank records and show the American people where all this money is coming from. The FBI can’t protect him forever.” (Read more.) 

Gotion Inc.’s ties with CCP. From Uncover DC:
The Biden administration will allow the construction of a Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) connection to Gotion Inc. near Big Rapids, Michigan. The U.S. Treasury Department told Gotion Inc. the land purchase for the $2.4 billion Chinese battery part manufacturing plant is “not a covered real estate transaction and is not a covered transaction under the Defense Production Act of 1950.” Gotion Inc. North American Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Gotion High-Tech. The publicly held Company established its U.S. headquarters in Silicon Valley in 2014. Gotion’s VP of North America Operations, Chuck Thelen, is from the Big Rapids area.

Gotion submitted documents associated with its plans to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). However, neither the federal government nor Gotion has ever made the documents public. CFIUS is a federal review panel that audits foreign companies for national security risks. Local residents have challenged the Company’s plans for national security and environmental reasons. As of June 16, organizers for the effort collected and submitted 399 signatures in five days to “freeze the township’s actions.” Residents are only required to collect 133 signatures. (Read more.)


Twin Suns

 From Space:

For decades, astronomers wondered if planets with twin suns like Luke Skywalker's fictional home world of Tatooine were only science fiction. Now, scientists have now discovered a new Tatooine-like system that is home to multiple worlds. Binary stars, or two stars orbiting each other, are very common — about half of the sun-like stars in the Milky Way galaxy are in binary systems. Up to now, astronomers had confirmed the detection of 14 circumbinary planets — ones that whirl around both stars of a binary system at once.

"Circumbinary planets were originally thought not to exist, since the binary stars stir up the planet-forming disks, creating a harsh environment for planets to form," study lead author Matthew Standing, an astrophysicist at the Open University in England, told "This all changed with the discovery of Kepler-16b in 2011 by the Kepler space telescope. This discovery showed that it must be possible for these planets to form." (Read more.)

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Rudhall Manor


Where Lord Nelson would have assignations with Lady Hamilton. From Country Life:

A beautiful home and fascinating history are part of the package at Rudhall Manor, the home which Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton once used as their meeting place away from the disapproving looks of London society. The historic, Grade I-listed Rudhall Manor, three miles east of Ross-on-Wye in southeast Herefordshire, sits close to the Welsh border and the northern edge of the Forest of Dean. A guide price of £3.25m is quoted by Lindsay Cuthill’s Blue Book Agency, which is handling the sale. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric manor house set in 10 acres of picturesque landscaped gardens leading down to the Rudhall Brook, which enters the grounds via a waterfall and is crossed by a series of bridges. The brook feeds a pair of lakes that provide a haven for birds and wildlife. According to its listing details, the manor house was extensively remodelled in the mid-to-late 16th century, further remodelled and rebuilt after a fire in the 17th century, altered in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and restored in the 20th century. The manor was home to the influential Rudhall family and their heirs by marriage, the Westfalings, until 1830, when it was acquired by Alexander Baring, later 1st Lord Ashburton. Other notable owners include the ornithologist Sir Peter Scott and the businessman Sir John Harvey Jones. The current owner is intriguingly described as ‘a well-known artist with an illustrious catalogue’ (Read more.)


No, Democrats, These Are Not Your Kids

 From The Federalist:

Years ago, P.J. O’Rourke correctly described the purpose of Hillary Clinton’s detestable book on the same subject: “It takes a village to raise a child. The village is Washington. You are the child.” It’s no accident the head of the nation’s largest and most powerful teachers union praises op-eds with headlines like, “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t.” That’s also the position of the institutional left, including the president, who argues that American values are at risk if parents dare demand kids’ libraries exclude books describing incestual rape, celebrating gender dysphoria, and depicting 10-year-old boys having oral sex.

Marx also saw the traditional family as an antiquated unit. The first Soviet welfare ministers complained about the “narrow and petty” idea of the nuclear family in which reactionary bourgeois parents, selfishly wrapped up in their trivial anxieties, were “not capable of educating the ‘new person.’”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe Joe Biden is going to ship parents to Siberia. Nor am I suggesting that the president’s handlers are sitting around thinking about the Frankfurt School. (They arrived at a similar philosophical destination organically, I suspect.) What I’m saying is that the White House is teeming with wannabe authoritarians who believe the state would do a better job raising kids by filling their impressionable heads with corrosive, immoral ideas. And that the institutions to achieve that goal already exist.

Public schools, some of them excellent and many of them disastrous, are not voluntary, communal places. In most municipalities, parents have little choice, and their kids are in a captive audience. State-run schools, conceived to educate and forge patriotic, civic cohesion, have often become places of left-wing indoctrination — from “universal pre-k” until they go off to college, where credentialed halfwits and leftist ideologues who detest the “national ambitions” of a constitutional republic run the place.

You pay for all of it. But you also get to shut up.

It’s important to remember that totalitarian states do not stop citizens from participating in political life, they demand it. Everything one does in these societies is drenched in ideology. Sports. Movies. Academia. Books. Commerce. Morality. Family. Sex. Schools. Which very much sounds like the goal of contemporary leftism. (Read more.)


From UncoverDC:

The new book ban coordinator will provide new training programs for schools nationwide “on how book bans that target specific communities and create a hostile school environment may violate federal civil rights laws,” according to the press release. The book ban program is one of several announced in a June 8 press release that lays out the Biden-Harris administration’s “actions to protect LGBTQI+ communities.”

However, some important details on the nature of the referenced book bans are consistently missing from the press release. It is true parents are questioning the wisdom of including certain sexually explicit materials in classrooms and school libraries. However, the vast majority of those requests refer to books that include inappropriate sexual content for minor children.

In some cases, teachers put these sexually explicit materials on reading lists for children in the name of inclusivity. The press release also fails to mention that several Dr. Seuss books were pulled from publication during this same administration “because they contain racist and insensitive imagery.” No one in the Biden administration said a word about the removal of those well-loved childhood books when it was announced in March 2021. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, young girls are being raped in trans-friendly bathrooms. From The Blaze:

A 12-year-old girl alleged that she was raped in a middle school bathroom in October 2021, but the incident was not brought to light until the girl's mother discovered her diary entry about the attack, according to the Post Millennial.

In Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the young girl was washing her hands in what was described as a girls' restroom at the ASK Academy middle school. At that point a male came into the bathroom and allegedly walked over to the girl, pinned her against the counter, and wrestled her onto the floor. After allegedly hitting her head, he also reportedly held the girl down and raped her.

“I was raped. I was raped. I was raped. F***ing kill me," the girl, who is being referred to as Ray, reportedly wrote in her diary. The discovery of the passage by her mother, being referred to as Maggie, explained the shift in mood and mental health that her daughter had inexplicably been going through. (Read more.


Egyptologists Challenge the View of Tutankhamun as A Weak and Sickly King

 From Ancient Origins:

Tut’s tomb contained dry white wine and six chariots interred with him in the tomb, along with a breastplate and other armor. Aziz cites these as proofs of Tutankhamun’s warrior-hardened persona, rather than the inverse. This goes along with other claims it is likely that the 19-year-old’s leg hit the dashboard of the chariot at high speed, causing a fracture that the autopsy supports, and the infected wound. From this, Aziz concludes that Tutankhamun was likely a battle-hardened warrior, rather than the frail, sickly boy that history has written him as. But even ancient Egyptian folklore has portrayed him as frail and deformed with a club foot. His remarkably preserved burial also exacerbated this point – he was buried with 130 fragmented and complete sticks of numerous designs and shapes, which suggested that he needed walking sticks to aid his mobility. But conversely, there were also throwing sticks used in hunting included in the tomb(Read more.)


Friday, June 23, 2023

Two Family Miniatures by Dumont



From East of the Sun and West of the Moon via Vive la Reine:

A comparison between details of two Marie-Antoinette family miniatures by Dumont, with the top being Marie-Thérèse and Joseph, and the bottom being Marie-Thérèse and Louis-Charles.

The first miniature is formal and informal at the same time... Marie Antoinette is embracing and being embraced by her child in an informal manner, but he's dressed to showcase his regal status, while his sister Marie-Thérèse gestures toward him. The backdrop of the miniature is regal and formal.

The second miniature is about as informal as it could get, with both children enjoying their mother's embrace without the same type of stiff, formal deference that Marie-Thérèse was painted in with the first miniature. The setting is the Trianon, sitting on the grass, hardly the stiff formal palace interior of the first miniature.


The Utter Failure of Merrick Garland

 From The Hill:

Merrick Garland began his tenure as attorney general with the stated intention of restoring faith in the Justice Department and the rule of law. By that standard, Garland has been a failure. In fact, if anything, the crisis of faith surrounding his department has only deepened on his watch, and he bears some of the blame.

Polls show that half the country distrusts the FBI. A recent poll by Harvard CAPS-Harris found that 70 percent are either very or somewhat concerned about election interference by the FBI and other intelligence agencies. An additional 71 percent agreed that changes post-2016 had not done enough to prevent further interference and that “wide-ranging” reform was still required. Another poll showed 64 percent view the FBI as “politically compromised.”

During the term of his predecessor, Bill Barr, 50 percent of the public viewed the department favorably, and 70 percent had a favorable view of the FBI. The public trust of the department appears to have declined under Garland. At the very least, it has not dramatically improved. There is variation in these polls, but they show a deep-seated distrust of the Justice Department that continues to taint all of the department’s work. (Read more.)


The Lancaster Sisters

 From History...the Interesting Bits:

Philippa of Lancaster was born at Leicester on 31 March 1360. She was the eldest daughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and 4th son of Edward III, and his first wife Blanche of Lancaster, great-great-granddaughter of Henry III. Philippa’s father was one of the richest men in the country – and one of the most powerful. Her life as a child would have been one of luxury and privilege, with a glorious dynastic marriage awaiting her in the future. Philippa was raised alongside her younger sister, Elizabeth, who was born in 1363/4, and her baby brother, Henry of Bolingbroke, born in 1367.

The children lost their mother when Blanche died at Tutbury on 12 September 1368, from the complications following the birth a daughter, Isabella, who did not survive. The children’s father was with Blanche when she died but departed on campaign to France soon after; although it is doubtful the children’s care was interrupted.

Philippa and her sister were raised together in one household, with Blanche Swynford, the daughter of their mother’s lady-in-waiting, Katherine Swynford. John of Gaunt provided his daughters with an annual allowance of £200. The Lancaster household was well-organised and run by Katherine, now the girls’ governess. She became mistress to their father, John of Gaunt, in early 1371. Despite his relationship with Katherine, in September 1371 the Lancaster children gained a stepmother in their father’s new bride, Constance of Castile. Constance was the daughter and heir of Pedro the Cruel, the deceased King of Castile who had been murdered by his half-brother, Henry of Trastámara, in March 1369. A new sister arrived when Constance gave birth to Catherine (Catalina) of Lancaster, in 1372/3.

Despite several dynastic marriage propositions, by 1385 and at 25 years old Philippa was still unmarried. However, in the following year her father took all three of his daughters on his military expedition to Spain, hoping to claim the kingdom of Castile in right of his second wife, Constance. Philippa’s marriage to John – or Joao – I of Portugal was agreed as part of an alliance made with her father at Ponte do Mouro in November 1386. Philippa was married to King John at Oporto on 2nd February 1387, before they had even received the required papal dispensation. Philippa was 26 – about 10 years older than the average age for a princess to marry. John of Portugal was three years her senior and had been king for just short of two years. (Read more.)


Thursday, June 22, 2023

Margrete: Queen of the North (2021)

 Someone is out to get us. But they do not know who they are up against.~ Queen Margrete I in Margrete: Queen of the North (2021)

On July 20, 1396, the feast of the virgin-martyr St. Margaret of Antioch, Queen Margrete I of Denmark, known to her people as the "Lady King," published the Union of Kalmar, uniting the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden and Norway under one crown. A year later she crowned her adopted son Eric of Pomerania as Sovereign of the Three Kingdoms, although Margrete remained in control. What followed was more than a century of peace within Scandinavia, leading to an era of great prosperity. Margrete insisted on law and order, punishing rape severely, while encouraging the growth of the Order of Brigettines (she had grown up with St. Bridget of Sweden's daughter and granddaughter.) Her highly successful reign, however, was marred by a bizarre incident in which a stranger showed up at court claiming to be her only son King Olaf, who had died of the plague at the age of seventeen many years before. The pretender was judged to be a fraud and executed for treason.

 Margrete: Queen of the North dramatizes the episode of the "false Olaf" in a film of poignant magnificence. Sets, costumes, and stormy vistas are perfection and a treat for lovers of things medieval. I saw the dubbed version but would have preferred the original since I would rather hear the actors' own voices, although the dubbing did not ruin it for me. Danish actress Trine Dyrholm as the Lady King captures the turmoil that assails the usually imperturbable monarch as she struggles with the realization that the hapless, broken man might truly be her son. She eventually becomes convinced that Olaf did not die as a teenager but was hidden by her enemies to be brought to light at the very moment when his presence can destroy the fragile peace she has so laboriously wrought. Nevertheless, even as her emotions overwhelm her, Margrete seeks the guidance of Bishop Peder, a longtime mentor. She sends trusted messengers into Prussia to discover if her old foes the Teutonic knights are playing a part in the reappearance of Olaf. 

While Queen Margrete wrestles with herself and seeks to discover the truth, her chosen heir Eric is scheming behind her back. Eric is about to become betrothed to the child princess Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of the usurper Henry IV, but the English ambassador is demanding more than Queen Margrete wants to give. Eric tries to negotiate on his own but is out of his league due to youth and inexperience. He ends up being humiliated by Margrete. As the bitter truth dawns, the Lady King has to choose between her two sons, Eric, whom she has adopted and brought up to be king, and Olaf, who is her biological son but whose ascendancy could destroy the promising future of the Scandinavian peoples.

From The Guardian:

Blending the grand visuals of a sweeping epic with the psychological unease of a chamber piece, Charlotte Sieling’s feature probes the legacy of Denmark’s Queen Margrete, a visionary ruler who brokered the historic Kalmar Union that – for the first time – united Norway, Sweden and Denmark against the threat of a German invasion. But her reign also saw a bizarre mystery in the Scandinavian region, which forms the emotional beating heart of this stately film. On the eve of the engagement between Margrete’s adopted son Erik (Morten Hee Andersen), and Princess Philippa (Diana Martinová), daughter of England’s Henry IV, news broke that the Queen’s biological son King Olaf (Jakob Oftebro) had returned from the dead. This sudden arrival not only unsettled political coalitions but also sent the usually stoic Margrete into a state of distress. Since she was not at his side when Olaf died, her maternal grief encouraged her to believe that Olaf had survived. On the other hand, her monarchical rationality questioned if he was merely an impostor sent to her doorsteps to disrupt a sought-after alliance with England. Much of this emotional tug-of-war is played out in atmospherically lit indoor compositions, which evoke a painterly, classical feel. What elevates the film from a run-of-the-mill period drama is Trine Dyrholm’s masterfully understated performance as the tormented queen. Her Margrete has no need to shout and weep to convey her turmoil; a mere gaze is enough to articulate the dilemma of having to put collective needs over personal desires. (Read more.)

 Margrete is a noble character, a virtuous lady who seeks the common good in the framework of her vocation as a Christian monarch. While there obviously is love between her and Peder, it is restrained and subdued by duty. In the end, Margrete must make an unspeakable sacrifice, which the viewer realizes is the greatest in a series of sacrifices which have composed her life. How appropriate is the back drop of the majestic crucifixion altar piece in the chapel scenes, a carved and colorful work of art depicting Our Lady standing at the foot of the cross. For Queen Margrete is compelled to live out her own passion play and in this the actress is able to convey boundless sorrow without speaking a word. Once again we are taught that the privileges that come with wearing a crown are nothing compared to the sacrifices which honorable rulers must make.