After the romantic flap over the wedding between England’s Prince Harry to American, Meghan Markle, Oregon Public Broadcast announced 70% of the British population favored maintaining the monarchy despite the expense and the grumbling of detractors. Surprisingly, a number of other countries are guilty of the same “sentimentality,” including the Vatican. (Click)
Not all monarchs enjoyed tolerance, however. France decapitated its king and queen during the revolution. Others were deposed and sent into exile. In Russia, the communists assassinated the entire family line for fear some claimant might reemergence. July of this year marks the 100th anniversary of the massacre. Ekatgerinburg, the city where the royal family died, will hold a remembrance in a church built to mark the event. Eighty-two- year old Nikolai Tolstoy, a branch of the Romanov family, will attend. He still holds the title, Count of the Russian Empire. Peter the Great bestowed the honor on his family generations ago. He has another: Chancellor of the International Monarchist League.
As chancellor, Tolstoy, also a relative of the famous author, raises money for the deposed royalty who are rattling around the globe, some of them in dire straits. The last king of Rwanda, for example, lived out his exile in Washington, D. C. , living on food stamps and public housing. (“Long Live the Kings,” by Michael Joseph Gross, Vanity Fair, May 2018, pg. 61) Some have found work in government but most haven’t enough money to live modestly. Unlike Spain, few countries are likely to restore their monarchies, even as a constitutional one. Romania took a small step. It returned the royal estates to the rightful heirs. (Ibid. pg. 63.)
Surprisingly, many people of means support Tolstoy’s efforts to give succor to royal blood. For example, “The rich Greeks tithe for Constantine the presumptive heir.” (Ibid pg. 63.)
Such nostalgia might seem strange to Americans who, except for King George III in colonial times, never had a monarch. But if thoughts of faded castles and drafty parapets stir the imagination, Tolstoy, Count of the Russian Empire, stands ready to accept your contribution. Make your check out to the International Monarchists League in England. Don’t imagine your charity will be tax-deductible, however. In fact, instead of cash, you might consider sending tea.