Monday, 12 October 2009
The Revolution was a mistake; long live the King!
One small thing helped to bring a little extra brightness to my day-a report that Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme, has published a book calling on the French, groaning under the weight of public debt and moral decay, to admit that the Great Revolution was a mistake! In his book, Un prince français, a kind of royalist manifesto, he goes that one step further, calling for a restoration of the monarchy.
He is absolutely right of course, the Revolution and all that followed was an absolute disaster for France, as Edmund Burke anticipated. The record is there: a revolution drowned in blood followed by a brutal military dictatorship. What came after was weakened monarchical experiments, followed by a succession of unstable republics, punctuated by a comic-opera empire. Where he is wrong is to believe that contemporary France is without monarchy: that was reestablished by Charles de Gaulle in 1958 with the erection of the Fifth Republic, far more stable, so far, than all of its predecessors. One can never tell with the French. :-)
But the antecedents of the dear old Duke were part of the problem that ailed France, not the solution. He is a representative of the Orléans family, the junior branch of the French Royal house, and a descendent of the last king of France, the unglamorous, pear-like Louis Philippe, deposed in 1848. The senior branch, the House of Bourbon, overthrown in 1830, still exists and has a far superior claim to that of the Orléanists, treasonable in 1789 and treasonable thereafter.
Vive le Roi!-just as long as he is not the Jean III, erstwhile Duke of Vendôme.