When I was young and dumb, I flirted with republicanism, wrote Taki, The Spectator’s High Life columnist on 12 June 2010 in “Right Royal Celebration”.
“Then," he says,” a very wise Greco–German proved to me that the worst king is better than the best president, at least in the highly politicised climate of the Olive Republic.” Taki is Panagiotis Theodoracopulos. He is “a Greek/American journalist, socialite, and political commentator”, declares Wikipedia.
At the time of the recent Royal wedding in London, I thought of his column on the wedding of the Crown Prince of Greece, Prince Pavlos to Miss Marie-Chantal Miller in 1995 at St Sophia's Cathedral in London.
I haven’t a copy, and its not on the internet. But I vividly recall his comment that the Greek politicians forbad any of their colleagues to come. Taki compared their seedy appearance and activities with the golden Prince and his young wife and damned the Athens politicians as sleazy and corrupt, or words to that effect.
The wedding ceremony, hosted by Miller's father, Robert Warren Miller, was attended by 1,400 guests. It is said to have been the largest gathering of royalty in London since Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip in 1947.
Last year Taki reported that The King of the Hellenes, King Constantine was planning to move to Greece. He also reflected on the value of monarchy in general.
….value of monarchy…
“Just look at the tranquillity of the political situation in Scandinavian countries, in Holland, Belgium (a split-in-half nation) and right here in merry old England.”
“Most historical peoples began with a king. Human nature being what it is, it caused decline and eventual barbarism, but then monarchy returned.
"Monarchy encouraged refined manners and the rise of politeness, and opened up our true nature as rational, social and moral beings. Wise guys like Rousseau praised noble savages, but he was pretty much of a savage himself, starting with his own children.
“Though modern Greece has been an intermittent monarchy since 1830, and although the monarchy was abolished by a government in 1974 after a referendum that was rigged in everything but name — King Constantine was called a collaborator with the military junta that seized power in 1967, yet he was the first to mount a coup against it and left the country as a result — there is no realistic prospect of its restoration. The Greek royal family had to endure endless vilifications while political hacks led the nation to the ruin of today.
“Greek politicians fear the King and they fear monarchy even more. Presidents can be appointed and can be expected to pay back, kings are not and do not“And it gets worse. Vilification aside, the Greek royal family’s lands were confiscated — lands that had been bought by the family in the early 19th century and not handed to them by a grateful nation — and after judicial review in the highest court of Europe, appraised at one hundredth of their value.
“The Greek King gave the funds to a Greek charity and has never complained. The fact that the Greek King and his family have always acted impeccably when the nation has been in danger does not seem to matter.
…the London wedding…
“Which brings me to the present. The King is now planning to move to Greece, and last week he celebrated his 70th birthday. His son, Prince Pavlos, and his wife, Princess Marie-Chantal, threw a wonderful dinner to celebrate it.
"Their house is near the river and has a garden to end all gardens. A clear-sided tent had two long tables allowing intimacy, and drinks beforehand were indoors, where some of us could rub shoulders with the royals. And royals galore were there.
"The Queen and Prince Philip, the Queen of Denmark and Prince Henrik, the Queen of Spain and her son Prince Felipe, the Queen of Greece, of course, and all her family. Princess Anne, the Duke of Gloucester, Prince Michael and Marina of Greece, Princess Alexandra and Prince Andrew, in a particularly jovial and pleasant mood.
“The first speaker was Prince Pavlos, who spoke movingly about his father and the dignity he has kept throughout a volatile period, and I was happy he mentioned that the King as Crown Prince had won the first Greek Olympic gold medal in the postwar Rome Olympics.
After Pavlos’s young son, Queen Anna Maria followed and then it was the King’s turn.
“Seated next to Queen Elizabeth — on her other side was my very old friend Nicholas Soames — Constantine talked about the ‘spring of my senility’, and made us all feel included. It was as graceful as it was touching, and he mentioned Princess Chantal of Hanover, who was also celebrating her birthday.”