British Monarchist League
Matthew James Follows
Member, The British Monarchist League
In the year 1605 a plot was hatched to take place on the 5th of November with the intent of blowing up the House of Lords, the murder of its members, of King James I of England and VI of Scotland, and of most of the Royal Family. The scheme was designed by thirteen principle plotters who sought the establishment of Catholicism as the central religion of the realm. The band of extremists had links to Catholic Spain and had longed wished for a Spanish invasion of England. They were led not, as it is commonly thought, by Guido ‘Guy’ Fawkes - but by a religious fundamentalist Robert Catesby.

The plan was that the attack, which would take place during His Majesty’s State Opening of Parliament, would act as the first stage of a large scale takeover. It was to involve a popular revolt emanating from the Midlands, with the ultimate goal of kidnapping the nine year old daughter of the King, Princess Elizabeth, and establishing her as a Catholic Head of State, eventually seeking support from the European powers to maintain a new regime.

The role of the infamous Guy Fawkes himself was to take charge of the gunpowder. Thirty five barrels of gunpowder were stored in an undercroft beneath the Palace of Westminster by Fawkes and his associate.  Fawkes was to be the one to commit the act itself – to light the explosives beneath the House of Lords, and flee across the Thames.

The circumstances of the discovery of the plot revolve around a letter allegedly written by one of the conspirators to his brother-in-law who was a member of the Lords and thus a potential victim. He warned his relative not to attend Parliament on the 5th because; “they shall receive a terrible blow this Parliament”.

The cryptic details of the letter were eventually shown to King James who ordered a search of Parliament ‘both above and below’. The first of two searches took place on the 4th November. Yet they merely discovered a large amount of firewood in the undercroft beneath the Lords and a man presumed to be a servant. Thankfully the King, intent on discovering the threat, ordered a further search. Late that night the investigators returned to the undercroft and found the ‘servant’ Fawkes dressed in his now infamous cloak and hat - carrying a lantern and matches. The hidden barrels of gunpowder were unearthed from beneath their camouflage, and the plot was foiled.

To this day it is tradition during every State Opening of Parliament to search the Palace of Westminster ‘both above and below’ before the arrival of the monarch. This honour is carried out by the Yeoman of the Guard – which are the ceremonial bodyguard of Her Majesty the Queen.
From 1605 to present day we have celebrated the failure of the Gun Powder plot. An official Act of Parliament was passed (and remained in force until 1859) to appoint 5th November as a day of thanksgiving for ‘the joyful day of deliverance’.  Celebrations are known in Britain variously as ‘Bonfire Night’, ‘Fireworks Night’ and ‘Guy Fawkes Night’. Today we celebrate with enjoyable social commemorations, bon fires and firework displays. It remains tradition to burn an effigy of a ‘Guy’ and in doing so we commemorate the prevention of an act of terrorism and of regicide.
Remember, remember the fifth of November, 
Gunpowder treason and plot. 
We see no reason 
Why gunpowder treason 
Should ever be forgot! 

Guy Fawkes, guy, t'was his intent 
To blow up king and parliament. 
Three score barrels were laid below 
To prove old England's overthrow. 

By god's mercy he was catch'd 
With a darkened lantern and burning match. 
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring. 
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

And what shall we do with him? 
Burn him!

Written in Honour of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee 2012
Thomas J. Muscatello DeLacroix Mills
Secretary General, The British Monarchist League 

In most nations, leaders come and leaders go
But on the world stage you are still producing our show
Something unique is happening as you continue your life-long reign
As you have brought your Britain home, to renewed world fame
The sudden loss of a king only healed and mended with time
Has lead to a reign celebrated and jubilantly marked with this rhyme
The decades have been filled with much excitement, celebration and loss
That whoever would have thought a travelling princess would return as boss
A long time indeed it has been since the year nineteen fifty-two
Starting out as separate entities within our nation, it is together that we grew
A Queen to her people in the beginning, always kept out of range
But over the last many decades there has been a noticeable change
No matter where you go, what you say, or what you do
You are the only one that the world’s leaders rightfully bow to
Possessing unthinkable know-how and the deepened skills of State
You have been bound to Britain and its people, for us a most fortunate fate
A superior stateswoman who has more than changed with the times
Means everything to this island nation of deep rooted history and cockney rhymes
Over Sixty years of the unexpected, you have always been ready
To us your people, always constant, formidable, absolute and steady
Seen as more than an icon, there is not one who does not know your face
But it is no longer for your beauty, your style or your integral grace
You have set forth the example of how we as a society should be
And it is with your help and understanding that we have been kept free
Decades of time you have dedicated to us your people
Never complaining about defending our laws or that cross on the steeple
Most things have changed drastically from what you once knew
But we as a people are especially lucky and blessed to have you
You have always given us everything you have had to give
And still you continue for us, your one and only life to live
Always asking so much of you, you expect very little in return
We can only say thank you by letting the celebratory beacons burn
The envy of the world – you are God’s true gift that we possess
As Britain would not be where it is today, if it were not you in that coronation dress
For as long as most of us can remember you have always been there
The mother our nation – we are ever grateful to have been entrusted to your care
From you over time we have taken many things away
But never have you been spiteful or changed the rules by which to play
Decommissioning your one true escape and forsaking your beloved boat
We can only begin to make up for it by crafting you a new Jubilee float
Undeserving we are of someone with your values so fair
We celebrate your love with cannons and fireworks in air
No matter what we have done, you have always displayed unconditional love
That to truly reign over us, it must take a lot of help from above
Despite the differences and the events that we have worked through
Never once were we meaning to mishandle or disrespect you
With the time that you have given and the hard work you continue to do
Let it be know the world over that Britain respects, loves and treasures you
Though selfish in a way we may want to be we cannot forget the Commonwealth
So from all of your people throughout the world we toast your lasting health
Six decades have passed and surely we would ask for sixty years more
As the heart, the soul and the voice of this nation what more could we ask for
This is the time for great celebration as this year is of course a milestone Jubilee
And as our British history reveals this time around for you makes three
Celebrating the year with diamonds instead of sparkling silver or shining gold
It is your story of the past sixty years that always and forever will be told
In the years to come, together we have so much more to explore
That with you directing our story we are safe not knowing what’s in store
You have served your people proud and are everything that we should be
And as a nation under one crown it is another similar occasion we expect to see
We cannot thank you enough for everything that you have done
And we hope that this year will be one of exceptional fun
Thank you for the memories, the guidance, and how over the world we have been seen
As there is no nation luckier than Britain, for you are our Queen!

Happy Diamond Jubilee Year Your Majesty!

God Save The Queen!
Part Two In A Series of Essays
Thomas J. Muscatello-DeLacroix Mills 
Secretary General, The British Monarchist League

Buckingham Palace has always been known to put on a great show, if not the greatest show on earth. This show of great spectacle and colourful patriotism is at its best when the Royal Calendar and the “London Social Season” are together at their combined height, in which the Palace defines the very essence and meaning of what it is to be truly and uniquely British under the crown. As London is filled with the sounds of massed bands on parade, gun salutes, and millions of camera’s shutters, the union jack flag vendors and the cheers of hundreds of thousands of people, a complete scene unfolds that is very much an iconic image of how Britain is seen by the world. We are defined by more than just the millions of post cards that are purchased, and the billions of photos that are taken each year that showcase our brave soldiers in scarlet uniforms with black bear skin hats, or others which are mounted on horses in uniforms of blue and gold or red and white. These images of our nation are the roots of our heritage, the fabric of our culture, and the living symbols of the majesty and might of our people, in which Her Majesty the Queen is the key component of our national identity. It is because of the presence and existence of our sovereign that we are able to witness the very events that are to be discussed in this series of essays.

As explored in Defining Britain, Part I, we accept that as a nation our national days of celebration are not like those of republics with one set annual day (i.e. Bastille or Independence Day), but are far and few in between. However when our national days are celebrated they are marked with a royal flair where the general theme is based around unity and the nation in whole. The greatest and most colourful events in not only the national calendar, but the London social season take place in the height of the Royal Calendar during the month of June. This is the months in which a majority of Royal events are scheduled very tightly together which lead up to the grand finale which includes Royal Ascot and then Wimbledon which closes out the “season”.  The second weekend in June is not only the most important weekend of the calendar but the most strenuous, tedious, and busy for the many royal, governmental, and Armed Forces parties involved. Beginning with the Beating Retreat on Thursday evening (as explained in Defining Britain, Part I ), the pace of the weekend quickens when the climax of the royal calendar, The Queen’s Birthday Parade, which is more commonly known as Trooping the Colour is presented by the Palace.  Let us further explore in great detail the divisions of the Queen’s Guard as well as the many intricate components of the Queen’s Birthday Parade.

Her Majesty's Guards

The Beating Retreat and Trooping the Colour are two distinct ceremonies that illustrate the discipline and traditions that have made the Guards Division of the British Army one of the most respected military divisions the world over. For as long as they have served and protected their sovereign, the Guards have been not only a vital component on fields of battle, but an important aspect to the regal flavour of our ceremonial events. In the past, these unique events were a routine practise that ensured the efficiency and control of large bodies of men in a time when modern technologies had not yet been developed. These ceremonies are a very important component to the ceremonial aspect of our modern army, which serve as a useful reminder to all Guardsmen that they belong to an elite division of soldiers with a distinguished record and exemplary history. Identifying our soldiers in Scarlet can be a difficult task if one is unsure of which symbols identify them with their proper divisions. Though each division of the Queens Guard is dressed in scarlet with their traditional black bearskins, each one has different emblems and markings to identify which division they belong to, and this too will be explained in the paragraphs below. It is a common belief held by many that the Guards tunic is scarlet to mask blood if wounded, however this fallacy is discarded as scarlet was a very early form of camouflage. It is when soldiers marched en masse in scarlet, which makes it more difficult than any other colour to separate individuals for a proper count. As Her Majesty is Colonel-in-Chief of all the forces and its regiments, each division of the Queen’s Foot Guard retains a member of the Royal Family as the Colonel of each Regiment, with the exception of the Coldstream Guards. 
Grenadier Guards – The formation of this regiment took place during Cromwell’s Republic while King Charles II was in exile in 1656. It was honour, duty, and loyalty to the crown that the King’s men followed him into exile, in which they vowed to protect and serve their Sovereign. Since then the Grenadier Guards have served ten Kings and three Queens, including Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. There have been only a handful of names for this regiment, having been termed the First Regiment of Foot Guards, and now as we know them to be: The First, or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards. The Grenadiers are a proud regiment, having served in almost every major conflict with the British Army. They are also the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and as such, are the most senior regiment of infantry (not the Army). This highly esteemed division of Her Majesty’s Guard has been awarded 74 battle Honours and has received 13 Victoria Crosses during their service to the crown. The grouping of buttons on a soldiers tunic is a common way to distinguish between the regiments of Foot Guards, in which the buttons worn by the Grenadiers reflect their position as the most senior of the Foot Guard regiments. Grenadier Guards' buttons are equally spaced and embossed with the Royal Cypher, which are then reversed and interlaced surrounded by the Royal Garter which reads “Honi soit qui mal y pense (Evil be to him who evil thinks). The Grenadiers not only adopted their bearskins in which they are identified not only by their buttons, but also the white plume located on the left hand side of their bearskin, but also acquired the name “Grenadier” by royal proclamation in 1815 after the defeat of Napoleon’s Grenadiers at Waterloo. The Grenadier wide "Buff Belt" brass clasped also bares the Royal Cypher. The current and serving Grenadier Guardsmen don a cap badge of a grenade fired proper (flaming grenade) with a total of seventeen engraved flames. This cap badge must be cleaned twice a day (composed of brass it will tarnish) as a tarnished grenade is seen as disrespectful by all in the regiment. H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh is the Colonel of this regiment of Grenadier Guards.
Coldstream Guards – In 1650 Colonel George Monck formed this regiment from regiments of the New Modern Army at Berwick-on-Tweed, where this division was garrisoned on the Scottish border at Coldstream. This regiment is the oldest regiment in the Regular Army in continuous active service to the crown. It was after Cromwell’s death in 1658 that this regiment (then known as Monck’s Soldiers) helped to restore law and order during the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. It was during this time that a great need for special forces to protect the King, which led to this division being one of the first regiments in the army under King Charles II. This division of the Gurads was placed as the second senior regiment of Household Troops, as it entered into the service of the Crown after the Grenadier Guards. Due to this fact, the Coldstream Guards adopted the motto Nulli Secundus (Second to None), due to the fact that the regiment is older than the Grenadier regiment. While on Parade, the Coldstreams always stands on the left of the line with the rest of the Foot Guards, in which they are standing "second to none". The Coldstream Guards are known for having the longest record of unbroken service to the crown, more so than any other regular division in the Army due to their early formation in Berwick-on-Tweed. The Coldstream Guards were officially titled as such in 1670 after the death of Colonel Monck. Different that the Grenadier Buttons, Coldstream buttons are arranged in pairs. They also are identified by a star of the garter, which is embossed on their brassware plates. With a red plume in their bearskins, all Coldstream Guardsmen wear the 'Home Service' Dress tunic in summer or greatcoat in winter for their public duties. Lieutenant General James Bucknall, CBE is the Colonel of this regiment of the Welsh Guards.
Scots GuardsThese Scottish soldiers form the third regiment of the Queen’s Guard. They were formed on the orders of King Charles I by Lord Archibald (1st Marquis of Argyll), where the Scots Guard was placed on the English Establishment in 1686, thus becoming part of the British Army. They have served the crown loyally for 368 years and have also served in almost every major conflict with the British Army where it was a Scots Guardsman who was the first to receive a Victoria Cross. Their motto being “Nemo Me Impune Lacessit”, or No One Provokes Me Without Impunity, the Scots hold 93 Battle Honours, 11 of them being the Victoria Cross. Scots Guardsmen can be recognised by having the buttons on their tunics spaced in groups of threes without any plume present on their bearskins. H.R.H. The Duke of Kent is the Colonel of this regiment of Scots Guards.
Irish Guards - The Irish Guards regiment was formed on 1, April 1900 by the orders of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. This creation of another guard regiment was to commemorate the Irish people who fought in the Second Boer War for the British Empire. Since 1902, an Irish Wolfhound has been presented as a mascot to the regiment by the members of the Irish Wolfhound Club, which is a tradition that continues to this day. Due to a darkened economic feeling shortly after the Irish Guards formation, the regiment's existence was threatened briefly when Winston Churchill (who served as Secretary of State for War between 1919 and 1921), sought the elimination of the Irish Guards and the Welsh Guards as an economy measure. Despite the economic restrictions on the nation, Churchill’s suggestion did not find favour in the government and was soon dropped. The regiment’s motto, "Quis Separabit", or "Who shall separate us" is derived from the Order of St. Patrick.  The "Home Service Dress" of the Irish Guards is a scarlet tunic and the trademark bearskin of the British Guards. As with the other regiments, the Buttons on the Irish Guards tunic’s are worn in two rows of four, reflecting the regiment's position as the fourth most senior Guards regiment, and the collar is adorned with a shamrock on either side. The Irish plume is blue and located on the right side of the bearskin. A plume of St. Patrick's blue was selected because blue is the colour of the mantle and sash of the Order of St. Patrick, which is an order of chivalry founded by King George III for the Kingdom of Ireland in February 1783 from which the regiment also draws its cap star and motto. Blue was selected because the uniform of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, which were still in existence at the time the Irish Guards were formed, was a scarlet tunic and bearskin with a green plume. St. Patrick's Day is the traditional regimental celebration. H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge is the Colonel of this regiment of Irish Guards.
Welsh Guards - The Welsh Guards were brought into being on 26, February 1915 by a Royal Warrant by His Majesty King George V which included Wales in the national scheme of Foot Guards. The Welsh Guards were the last Guard to be created. It was only three days after their inception that the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards mounted its first King’s Guard at Buckingham Palace on St. David’s Day – 1, March 1915. The Motto of the Welsh Guards is “Cymru am Byth” (Wales Forever), and it is with great pride that they have served in Both World Wars, the Falklands War, the Iraq War and that of Afghanistan. The Welsh Guards have always maintained strong links with Wales, so much so that 90% of its guardsmen hail from that part of the Kingdom. The Welsh Guards are identified by having their buttons on their tunic arranged in two groups of five, with a distinctive white/green/white plume on the left hand side of their bearskins. H.R.H. The Prince of Wales it the Colonel of this regiment of Welsh Guards.

This in depth look of the Queens Guard (as broken down by regiment) will give each reader terrific insight as to each regiment’s duty as we progress further in this series of essays. In the coming series, the Household Cavalry will be explored in great detail together with each Division’s relationship and duty with regard to Her Majesty’s Birthday Parade and Trooping the Colour.  The Household Cavalry is a term which is used to describe the cavalry of the Household Division which is our nation’s most elite and historically senior military grouping which provides functions associated directly with our Sovereign, the Queen. Comprised of the Life Guards, the Blues and Royals, and the Royal Horse Artillery, the Household Cavalry together with each division of the Queens Foot Guard, is at their best when on display as we will find in our next installment, for their Sovereign at Trooping the Colour.
The Canadian Conservative government plans to announce that Maritime Command and Air Command, the official names of the two Canadian Forces' units, will be returned to Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force, last used in 1968.

Robert Finch, the chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada told Huffington Post Canada he was absolutely thrilled” about the news.

"From a monarchist perspective it is always good to see the visibility of the crown restored…for me, it underlines the fact that the military is non-partisan and that the Queen is the commander-in-chief of the military."

Last December, the Senate passed a motion calling on the government to rename Maritime Command something with the word “navy” after former Liberal Sen. Bill Rompkey brought forward a petition to change the name officially to "Canadian Navy."

Websites bearing the new logos are expected to launch Tuesday.

Finch said he believes that this federal government’s decision has more to do with restoring the military’s history than reinforcing the links to the monarchy.

It is certainly a part of it (but) I don’t see this as being on the same level as royal family visits or the diamond jubilee.

The full story can be read here.
Through My Eyes: Trooping the Colour 2011
Thomas J. Muscatello-DeLacroix Mills, 
Secretary General, The British Monarchist League
I have determined that I have been tremendously spoiled, and this is something I have just come to realise. I have been spoiled by the history, the culture, and the traditions of this great nation to which I am pleased to defend at any given opportunity. Throughout the years, I have come to belong to an exclusive club, a club so exclusive that my Grandfather and I are the only members. To those who know, there is nothing more special than the bond between a Grandfather and Grandson, especially when the elder is a retired Grenadier Guardsman of Her Majesty’s Foot Guards. Looking back over the years, I have been terribly fortunate to have been educated about the many vast intricacies of our system of government and more so about the vital role the Crown plays in not only our system of government, but our daily lives. To truly understand what the crown means to the nation, one must possess the proper knowledge in regard to the complexity and deep rooted nature of who we are as a people and our institution of Monarchy that serves no political party, but the people of our united nation as a whole.

The education I have received was not part of the national curriculum, but more importantly from a member of the Queen’s Guard who has had years of devoted service under his belt. It was due to his life experiences, dealings with the Palace, close proximity to Her Majesty and the Royal family, along with the trying and grueling process of being a Guardsman that afforded him the knowledge and expertise, which has been instilled within me.  For all of the years I have stood by my Grandfather, I have been given a top notch education without even knowing it. I have been ever so fortunate to witness such annual ceremonies as Trooping the Colour, the Garter Ceremony and Procession, the Beating Retreat and many other Royal events on an yearly basis, but it has never crossed my mind until recently that the constant explanations of these aforementioned ceremonies and stories of old, have been the foundations of the very education that my Grandfather has bestowed upon me. Today as I stand on the Victoria Monument watching the marching of the guard and the throngs of tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of our Queen, one of the most important men in my life stands beside Grandfather.

It is not just because he is my Grandfather that I say how special he is, but the fact that he is a living component to over 60 years of Royal history. Everything I have come to know of our great nation has stemmed from the stories and experiences that he has shared with me, and this past June was a reminder of just how important his role in the Guard was. It is evident that his devotion to his regiment and loyalty to the Crown is just as strong now as it was when he signed up to defend and protect Her Majesty decades ago. He took an oath of allegiance to the Queen, something he has never forgotten and has always stood by, no matter how long he has been retired. He gave his word to fight for and protect our nation, just like when the Queen gave her word to our people in 1952, when she stated that her whole life would be dedicated to our service. To see a man so dedicated and devoted to our nation as he wears his colours and Grenadier markings with pride and honour, continues to show me the true meaning of the saying “For Crown and Country”.  Standing alongside each other on the mall in front of Buckingham Palace (complete with cuppa in hand) on a cool, but sunny day in June, we began to reminisce about Troopings past as we watched the large Royal Standard unfurl and the crowds start to line the parade route. As the flags decorating the mall swayed in the breeze and the aroma from the freshly planted flowers greeted us with a pleasantly sweet aroma, it was not long before “God Save The Queen” was playing and Her Majesty resplendent in Robins egg blue departed the palace for Horse Guards Parade with all of the pomp and pageantry that one expects on a day such as Trooping the Colour 2011.

The crowds were 12 deep in areas, and were filled with excitement. Children waved Union Jack, St. George, Scottish, Canadian, Welsh, Australian, and other flags while their faces lit up with great excitement, and their eyes popped open with delight at the first sound of the Regimental Marching Bands. For those who had arrived early enough to witness the morning preparation for this Royal event, they had chosen to wait for the Queen to appear closely to a man smartly dressed man in a sports coat and dress slacks with matching vest, which was complete with a Grenadier tie, badges of medals, and regimental colours, while a Regimental cap and badge evened out his look. As other similarly dressed men would pass, a cordial nod of the head or a salute would take place, denoting that they too were ex-guardsmen. Throughout the day, all it would take to spark a conversation between these men would be the smallest little badge or colour that identified their regiment, and before long a great conversation had taken place which produced smiles from both men who were perfect strangers at the beginning, but said goodbye as friends. As explained to me by my Grandfather, it does not matter which regiment a soldier belongs to, as all guardsmen belong to one family with one common goal. They are a brotherhood of men devoted to the protection of their most Sovereign Lady, the Queen. It is a bond that today is not commonly understood by the masses, a bond of true devotion of loyalty to Crown and our nation that our younger generations have not been taught.

In the distance, the sound from the strength of the drums along with the light and airy tunes of the Marching Band’s brass grew louder and more prevalent as they neared the Palace. As those around us watched my Grandfather speak with other guardsmen and took note of his cap and colours, they began to ask questions as to the events of the day. They were happy to listen to his commentary as to the guards, their regiment, and the history associated with each passing guard. They asked to take photos of him with their children so they would have an item for “show and tell” when they returned to school, as well as a very personal experience that they would remember forever. Standing next to us was an older couple who had brought their grandchildren to see Trooping the Colour for the first time ever. The experience for them to be standing next to a guardsman was the highlight of their day. The little children asked question after question and continuously asked when the Queen would be coming. All the little ones wanted to see was Her Majesty, and knowing that simply put the greatest smile on my Grandfathers face. The fact that such young children were being brought to witness and learn about the Troop really touched me, as it is the younger generations that really need to experience and understand what events of this magnitude mean, along with the reasons why we are so unique as a country, due to the existence of our Monarchy.

As each division of the Foot Guards passed there was no doubt as to the regiment I was naming off to a group of Dutch and Australian onlookers who were astonished as to the knowledge I possessed of each regiment, as I had been taught many years before by a man who was once one of the soldiers we were watching on parade. As the regiments passed the people around us started asking more questions as to which regiment they were, what their plumes, stripes and medals meant, and why the buttons on their scarlet tunics were different.  Certain regiments have embroidered collars, whilst other guards have taller bearskins, which denote rank. People from all over the Kingdom as well as the world had gathered on this day to witness the Queen’s Birthday Parade, in which my Grandfather and I were the narrators to one of the greatest shows ever produced. As the Guards lined the mall, and the household cavalry began its procession, the Life Guards and Blues and Royals formed the escort for Her Majesty, which signaled the beginning of the Queen’s Birthday Parade. All of the Royal family were on parade to the sounds of the Massed Bands, but it is when Her Majesty leaves the Palace that the excitement turns into something more.

As she exits the Palace to the national anthem and circles the Victoria Monument, the first glimpse of her evokes not only cheers from the crowds, but heartfelt emotions which are released from deep within. With the backdrop of Buckingham Palace all decorated in its finery with a larger than life Royal Standard mixed together with the Union Jacks lining the mall, the soldiers in formation with their arms offering the Royal Salute, the time seems to stand still as Her Majesty drives down the mall. The personification of the state in the being of our Sovereign who just happens to materialise and be amongst her people on this very special day, is enough to bring a lump to our throats and a tear to our eye, as I know it does every time I feel sentimental pride in regard to the greatness of our nation which is put on show for all the world to see during the events of this day. As Her Majesty passed, a bow from the neck by both my Grandfather and me showed our respect not only to our Queen, but to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom.  The time progressed quickly after Her Majesty passed to Horse Guards Parade, where my Grandfather was again in full detail of the many stories he had to tell of his service under not only the Queen, but her father King George VI.

He regaled not only children and adults alike, but those from the Metropolitan Police who were also lining the parade route near us. He told the stories that I have enjoyed for many years and have even told myself so many times. His favoured stories were when he was on Palace duty before the guard was brought behind the gates to their present positions. It was a hot summer day many years ago, when a child passed him with an ice creme cone, to which my Grandfather thought would be a refreshing treat. Sweating in his bearskin and trying not to think of the cool flavourful ice creme, the child who was inspecting him with the sweet cone suddenly shoved it in my Grandfathers face to his unexpected delight. Unable to lick the ice creme from his face, let alone move to wipe it off, a police officer quickly came round to clean him up and send the little one on his way. This story has always deserved a chuckle from our family, but those who were around listening and hung on every word, laughed excitedly at the correct times as if it was all scripted. In all of my years I have never seen anything like this. It was terribly interesting to me as to just how interested the general public was to hear of how life was like for the Guards on duty, as well as for the guards that they saw not only thirty minutes before marching in front of Her Majesty.

As he finished his last segment of stories including the traditional and most efficient way to spit shine his black patent-leather shoes, his participation in the funeral cortege of King George VI from the train platform at Windsor to St. Georges Hall in Windsor Castle, and his interactions with Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, the sound of the massed bands returning from Horse Guards Parade grew louder, signaling that Her Majesty was returning to the palace. As the excitement for the arrival of the Queen and what was to come heightened, the people surrounding my Grandfather and I returned to their cameras and video cameras, as the little ones nudged their way between our legs to press their noses up against the barricades that they were not yet tall enough to see over.  The massed bands all together marching up the mall was a sight to see, as the sounds of “Captain Nichols” and “Back to Camp” cleared the way for the royal procession. As Her Majesty passed us and entered into the forecourt of the Palace, the crowd welcomed the Queen with lively shouts and cheers while waving their flags in a sea of multi-national unity. The Mall was again alive with the magic of spectacle, the Massed Bands, the Guards, the Horses and carriages, along with the Royal family, all in a spectacular scene of British pomp and pageantry that happens to be the most defining British icon we have.

Once Her Majesty was safely back inside the gates of the Palace, she took the salute as all of her Guards marched and rode past her. The sounds of the Massed Bands again were for everyone to hear as a familiar addition from the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery sounded a 41 gun salute. The crowds were tightly packed coming up the mall from Horse Guards Parade as the throngs of people who lined the mall scrambled to take their place in front of the Palace for the best photo opportunity of the famed balcony appearance by Her Majesty and the Royal family. As the guns sounded, the bands played, and Her Majesty emerged onto the balcony, the crowd went into a thunderous frenzy of applause and cheer in honour of Her Majesty’s Birthday. Suddenly, the Queen and Prince Philip were joined by the rest of the Royal family as the fly past of aircraft from the Royal Air Force formed the spectacular finale to the day’s celebrations. The Red Arrows illuminated the sky with trails of red white and blue over Buckingham Palace before flying out of site. As the Queen retreated into the Palace and the Guard regiments filed back to Wellington Barracks, the crowds lingered in amasement from the show they had just witnessed. As I stood with my Grandfather observing the crowd, I could not help but think just how important and symbolic this event is to our nation, and just how special it was for me to be there watching the very duty that my Grandfather himself had taken part in decades ago.

Reflecting on not just the day’s events, but the quality of time spent with my Grandfather, it is now that I have come to realise that I have been tremendously blessed in favour of being spoiled, as the education and experiences I have been afforded can only be provided by the experiences and knowledge of those who have been so close to the heart of this grand show. A show that is only possible by an elite, brave and small loyal group of our population, where their efforts, hard work, and dedication to Queen and country, make the mystique and majesty of the Crown an experience unparalleled by any other. To me Trooping the Colour is not just another parade, or another show being aired on the BBC. It is a national celebration of who we are as a people, which combines our history, traditions, and culture into a spectacular production of what is great about our nation. It is a display of our military culture, and the devotion and loyalty of our men in uniform to our nation, that is represented by our Head of State: our Queen. It is an event that holds generations of my family’s history as my Grandfather’s father, and his before him, and so on were also Grenadier Guardsmen. I have been taught history, continuity, and devotion by such events as this, and being able to sit on the sidelines of history with my Grandfather, a man who was once marching history himself, is truly an honour and an experience that I am both fortunate and blessed to have in my life.

As the day ended and we started to walk towards Wellington Barracks, I stopped to capture a memory that I have captured every year since I was young. However something was different, something had changed inside of me. Every year, the Palace is resplendent in its decoration, always complete with balcony decorations of red and gold swags, and topped with one of the largest flags I have ever seen. To most people, a flag is a flag, but to me, my family and all of those who serve or have served under these colours, the Royal Standard is more than just a flag. It is a symbol of the unity of our nation in which our people have sacrificed, pledged allegiance to, and have served to defend and protect. When I looked at that beautiful standard (which I have done for many years on this day) something within me changed. I not only saw the Arms of Her Majesty, but the flowing history of not only my own family, but countless others that now belong to the same club that my Grandfather and I do. I stopped to capture the Palace, but instead I posed together with my Grandfather to capture something greater. The portrait of a Guardsman yes, but more importantly a photograph of a Grandfather and Grandson together united in history, culture, and tradition, under one banner of greatness and unity. The day was perfect, the weather splendid, and the memories captured will always remain near and dear to my heart for as long as I am alive, and for as long as we sing together in one united voice “God Save the Queen”. 
 Scott Pepé
Youth Co-ordinator, The British Monarchist League

The Royal Family has had a fantastic year so far, Youth Co-Ordinator Scott Pepe looks at the newspapers which would have run a rather different course with a clapped out politician as head of state.

It was a day that was supposed to unite the nation, but the wedding of the president’s grandson yesterday turned out to be a huge disappointment in the months before his grandfather’s re-election campaign. Only a few hundred members of the general public turned out to see the newlywed couple, and the tourist board are reporting a disappointing level of visitors over the bank holiday weekend which looks set to leave the net effect on the British economy in the red. The President was heckled as he entered the abbey by protestors angry at his support for the government’s domestic policy. This left many people wondering why state occasions are not separate from party politics. The congregation consisted of party allies and civil servants as well as the editors of those newspapers who look set to support the President in his re-election campaign next may. The ceremony was broadcast on national television but did not draw the worldwide crowd anticipated. A spokesperson from one Media Company said ‘This wedding certainly has not generated much international attention and has not elevated Britain on the national stage’. He went on to say that ‘People from all parts of the world admire Britain’s sense of tradition and heritage but evidently were not interested in the marriage of a politician’s grandson ’. Following the marriage there was a brief delay while photographers from a glossy magazine clambered to take pictures of the couple and the guests. It has been rumoured that the magazine has agreed to donate £500000 to the President’s re-election campaign but given the circumstances of a state event the decision to allow the intrusion has been criticised.

As the President of the UK took off from Cork airport on Friday he received mixed reviews for his performance. The tour got off to a shaky start when some Irish leaders complained at the cost of the tour, declaring that ‘Ireland could not afford the visit at this time’. It just goes to show that whatever office the head of state occupies it still costs money to send them places- something republican movements throughout the world should remember. The Presidents speeches, particularly at Croke Park although full of rhetoric were criticised as weak and meaningless. ‘An apology from someone who embodied the history and traditions of Britain would be far more poignant’, one spectator said.  A Stables in Ireland were left disappointed as the President changed his plans at the last minute in order to discuss economic policy with the Irish government. Downing Street is said to be ‘concerned’ at the increased political meddling from the ceremonial head of state, though it would seem the President is far less at home when it comes to conducting ceremony. The President concluded his visit with a trip to the Guinness factory. With his election campaign coming up, the President was keen to look like one of the people and happily slurped down the Guinness offered to him. The reaction to this was varied. One person remarked ‘Wow he drinks Guinness. He is just like me! A true breath of fresh air and will clearly change the world because he is clearly a man of the people’. Others were less convinced and questioned whether this was the most dignified way to act a state visit.  With the President currently so unpopular at home it is difficult to know whether this trip will show a Britain unified in wanting improved Anglo-Irish relations.  Whilst the visit of the President was certainly a start, he continues to face criticism that his words were more about politics and less about meaning.

It seems the days in which Presidents of the United States treated our head of state with huge respect are gone. The American President, known to disagree with our President on a number of issues spent less than 3 hours at his residence. With no time for pomp and ceremony, it was disappointing to see a distinct lack of ‘Britishness’ at the event which didn’t even include the 21 gun salute. Once again it seems a shame that our head of state is judged on his politics rather than his personality. ‘If only our head of state was separate from our politicians, some are beginning to say’. Having said that, one has to sympathise with the American President’s view point – it must be difficult to respect someone who has only spent 4 years In ‘service’ to the country (most of which was spent planning elections).  59 years would surely command his respect more. What a shame we don’t have a head of state who has served for this amount of time.

In a trip hardly likely to set Canada on fire, the Presidents grandson has touched down in Canada this morning with his wife. The couple are going to do a small amount of charity work in the morning before attending a fundraising ball in the evening which hopes to raise money for the President’s re-election campaign next year. The trip has not been well publicised in Canada with 68% of Canadians saying that ‘the trip has no relevance.’ The couple were met by a representative of the Canadian President, though they weren’t met by much else. Since the abolition of the monarchy it’s a shame that the bond between our Canadian cousins has weakened.  ‘It’s such a shame’ one Canadian veteran reported ‘I remember thousands lining the streets the last time the British head of state visited. Why? Because they were our head of state too!’ ‘The only thing the same is the protestors from Quebec’ he joked. 

Once again there will be no trooping of the colour this year after the President reiterated his distaste for ‘pomp and circumstance’. Despite the ceremony being loved by many British people, the President cannot be seen to be embracing something hard liners in his party would never accept. The news will once again disappoint members of the British forces who used to hugely look forward to parading in front of the Queen and indeed the country via our television screens. The move will also fuel the Presidents critics who accuse him of forcibly removing Britain’s history, tradition and image. One soldier didn’t seem too upset however: “The President is from a party who I would never vote for and whom hold views totally incompatible to mine. The idea that he would inspect me, or indeed that I would fight for him seems ridiculous’. Once again having a politician has head of state seems to be doing more harm than good.

The President of the Great Britain has today has announced that he will cease all duties not because he is 90 years old but because it is now less than 90 days to election day. Hundreds of schools and community centre’s will be left disappointed as our politician head of state puts elections before his people. With the 2008 US presidential election costing over 1 billion dollars it will be interesting to see how much of tax payers’ money this election will cost.

Whilst these articles are rather tongue in cheek and are meant to be read as a humorous satire, I have none the less attempted to highlight the triumphs of our system of government along with the failings of the Republican system.  No one at the BML is advocating a hereditary head of government, but the role of government should be kept completely separate to the role of the head of state. The head of state is the ultimate representative of the people, and we are so fortunate to have one who does her duty with such dignity and one who does not put elections, fundraising and political spin first. Not only does the monarchy give us some of the finest public servants in the world, it gives us an opportunity to celebrate our nation without getting bogged down in politics. The Royal Family has indeed had an extremely successful 2011, long may it continue.  If we at the BML continue to highlight Her Majesties astounding commitment then we can ensure that the diamond jubilee is another defining moment in the reign of Elizabeth II.

God Save The Queen!
We are delighted to announce that Jacob Rees-Mogg is now an Honorary Member of the British Monarchist League.
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP
 In a recent debate that followed the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement on the Civil List, Mr Rees-Mogg defended and celebrated our monarchy. What he said can be found at this link here.
The BML is pleased to announce that Mr. Anton Lorien;
(Brit Pop singer/songwriter) has pledged his support to the British Monarchist League. We are grateful to Mr. Lorien for his patronage and invite all of our members to listen to his songs, watch his videos and become better acquainted with our newest supporter and his active campaign "Afhgan Heroes".
  Thomas J. Muscatello-DeLacroix Mills
  Secretary General, The British Monarchist League

Today Her Majesty delivered a message to the House of Commons outlining a proposal for the new Sovereign Support Grant which would help outline the future funding of the crown. The new Grant would replace the Civil List which would see the crown funded based off of a percentage of the revenue from the Crown Estate. As the Crown Estate is the hereditary possession of the sovereign, Her Majesty therefore has the right to turn the revenue over from these lands to the Commons, for the greater support of the people of the United Kingdom. At present, the Civil List was based on the notion that the Sovereign would willingly forfeit any revenue from the Crown Estate in return that the Commons fund the expenses of the crown. This practise dates back to the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688, but most effectively under the reign of King George III is the 'hereditary possessions of the Sovereign' is the 'hereditary, to which the current agreement between Crown and Commons exists. As the new Grant would be based on a similar agreement between the Crown and the Commons, Her Majesty this very day has offered to continue to forfeit the revenue from the Crown Estate for herself and her successors as long as the Commons continue to fund the operations of the Palace.

The Crown Estate generates in excess of £200M per annum, of which Palace expenditure runs approximately around £40M, thus giving the Commons a surplus of £160M to do as they please in the best interest of the public, therefore showing that the crown is a self funding entity in its own right. Her Majesty’s letter to the Commons contained the following wording:

“Her Majesty desires that the hereditary revenues of the crown, for any period for which support is provided to any of Her successors, should be at the disposal of the House of Commons”.

With the forfeiture of revenue from the Crown Estate in regard to the new Sovereign Support Grant, Her Majesty is asking that a return be made to the Crown, which would be the covering of expenses from the very funds that she is to forfeit for the betterment of the nation. At the end of the day, it is the State who comes out better with this decision to fund the crown than Her Majesty, when all is said and done. If the Crown were to retain the revenue of the Crown Estate and pay for the expenses to operate the Palace directly, there would be a surplus of millions of pounds that could just be put into the coffers of the sovereign. However, our past sovereigns and our present monarch understand that the wealth of the nation is best shared with the people and not for the personal consumption of the crown. It is not unfair for the Crown to ask for the commons to fund the operations of the Palace out of the money it is being given, which causes some confusion amongst those less informed on the workings and funding of our government. By removing the commons from the appointment of funding to the crown and basing the new grant on a set percentage of the Crown Estates performance, the crown will therefore be recognised to be 100% self funding as it always has been, without the illusion of the Palace asking the Commons for money to fund its operations, that was not truly that of the State to begin with.

In light of this new Grant to fund the operations of the Crown, Republic have of course refuted the need to fund the operations of the Palace in which Republic spokesperson Graham Smith said:

"The Crown Estate is not – and never has been – the personal property of the royals. The Windsors have no more right to its revenue than I do. To claim that it should fund their lavish lifestyle is deceitful and dishonest."

As aforementioned, the Crown Estate is the 'hereditary possessions of the Sovereign' in which the Queen is the Sovereign, and therefore would have not just a hereditary, but legal claim to the Estate. The suggestion that the crown acts in a lavish manner and is rampant with deceit and dishonesty, is merely a personal thought by a republican which is clearly biased and unfounded based upon the work provided by and the value provided to the nation from the Crown.

"The Crown Estate is there to fund government and public services. If this deal goes through it will be a historic stitch up that will end up lining the royal family's pockets."

The revenue from the Crown Estate is graciously given at present annually to the Commons by the Sovereign, in return that the Commons fund the daily operations of the Palace. The proposed Sovereign Support Grant would eliminate the need of the Crown to ask the Commons for funding, and would therefore set the record straight that the crown is not funded by the Commons, but in fact by itself, therefore eliminating the rumors and exaggerations used by organisations such as Republic to claim that the Monarchy costs the tax payer a single red penny. The Royal family’s private wealth is not made up from funds from the current Civil List agreement, or the proposed Sovereign Support Grant, but through their own investments, private enterprise, and the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall that provide private income for the royal family. Republic knows exactly how the Queen and her family are funded, and are using the above referenced statement as a scare tactic to promote their own ideals and agenda.

"We've seen that the royals are unable to keep their spending under control. The new grant is likely to lead to even greater waste with less accountability. It will give the royal household even more freedom over its finances at exactly the time when its expenditure should be more tightly controlled."

The Monarchy has drastically reduced its expense by half over the last 20 years from over £80M to just under £40m currently. Her Majesty has allowed the crown to be more transparent as to how money is spent, and has been held accountable as to Palace expenses including that of Clarence House. The Palace does cost money to operate just like any other government sector or private corporation, it but does a better job at accounting for and reducing its expenses to keep within a budget that is grossly unfair and has not been increased in over a decade despite the rampant inflation in both goods and services. Westminster has made the Palace a budget enterprise which has seen reductions in staff, and the gross decay of the very buildings which are national treasures which happen to house not only the offices of the Queen, but the modest and accommodations of the royal family’s private apartments. Though the State rooms inside the palace may be lavish and gilded, Her Majesty is a naturally frugal person who does not partake in excess or the constant redecoration of her own private living quarters.

The Palace should say how its spends its own funds, and if they did have more control over how their funds were spent, Buckingham Palace would not be crumbling to the ground and would have already undergone the much needed repairs that must be made. If any component to government must have their finances more strictly controlled, it should be the Commons, as their waste is grossly in excess and extravagant, as their value for money is something less than can ever be achieved by the Palace.

"The office of the head of state should be funded like every other public body– through a budget agreed by Parliament and based on need."

The Office of the Head of State, not only funds itself, but helps to fund the Commons as already aforementioned. This office is not under the control of the Commons, but under the control of the people directly, for as long as the people believe in and support their sovereign, the crown is only accountable to the people, in which it serves and protects. If the Palace was funded by the Commons fairly, and according to “need”, then the Palace would have been given an increase in its expenditure over the last decade, as well as repairs made to both Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, in which crumbling debris could have almost killed the Princess Royal a few years ago when a loose piece of moulding came free from the palace and nearly crushed her car. If the Office of the Head of State was treated fairly and shown the same respect that it shows the people and the Commons, then there would be no issue as to the funding of the Palace or of the Commons itself through a direct forfeiture of revenue by Her Majesty for the greater good of the Kingdom.

The Sovereign Support Grant is a way for the Palace to fund itself without having to go cap in hand to Westminster for monies Parliament have been given by the Crown. With this agreement between the Palace and the Commons, it will be greater understood by the people, that the Monarchy is a self funded institution with no cost to the public, in which the public can enjoy the benefits and value given to the nation by an institution that not only funds itself, but funds a portion of the operations of Westminster. Given the claims by Republic which were dispelled above, it is a very rare and almost impossible occasion that we agree with Republic when they state and post on their website that: The Crown Estate is the 'hereditary possessions of the Sovereign'. With that being agreed upon, may the new Sovereign Support Grant continue its path to liberate the Palace from the negative notion that the monarchy is a direct cost to the public, in which the public has everything to gain through the great benefits and value for money that the existence of the Crown provides to the people.
Armed Forces Day 2011
  Thomas J. Muscatello-DeLacroix Mills
Secretary General, The British Monarchist League

As the Royal Family attended ceremonies throughout the United Kingdom in respect for those who have served, are serving, and have given so much in sacrifice for our great nation, a small group of protesters sent a huge message to the brave men and woman who serve our nation: “We have no respect for you”! The pressure group Republic staged not just a gathering, but an illegal protest outside the gates of Buckingham Palace on Armed Forces Day, to bring attention to their version of reporting on Royal Finances, before the Palace releases the years Royal Expenditure figures early next week. For an organisation that claims the crown is out of touch with the people, it is surely Republic and its followers who are truly the ones out of touch with the mood and feeling of our great nation.

Of all days on the calendar to stage a protest, Republic chose Armed Forces Day, to show the nation that they will stop at nothing to cause ill feeling and create a show of blatant disrespect not just towards the crown, but towards the men and woman who fight for the nation. By disrespecting the forces, Republic has disrespected more than our soldiers and the crown, but the entire nation as a whole on a day that should be revered as one of the utmost respect and pride for being British as displayed by our heroic people in uniform. For their protest, Republic had applied to the Royal Parks Agency for permission to hold their desired demonstration, but their request was denied as our laws clearly outline that any protests or demonstrations within the royal parks are illegal. As Buckingham Palace is considered to be under Royal Parks Authority and in a royal park, Republic ignored the decision of the Royal Parks Agency and ignored any possible legal implications of staging a protest, and continued to gather illegally in front of the Palace. As our Royals acknowledged the Armed Forces by participating in a tedious schedule of ceremony and parade to show respect, dignity and pride for our nation, a small group from Republic gathered in front of a darkened and vacant palace with banners and signs.

The leader of this band of unlawful protesters is none other than Graham Smith, who led the demonstration with one hand in his pocket and another on his megaphone in which little, if not any of his energy was exerted as his band of warriors carried out the majority of the protest holding their banners and signs that read “Tiaras or Teachers” , “Get your hands out of my pockets” and “Are we all in this together?”. Implicating that the crown spends frivolously on jewels, tiaras, and materials on a  daily basis (such as republicans accused Queen Maria Antoinette of), instead of supporting and giving reverence to the employment sector (as if the crown has any direct role in employing the public masses), Republic continued to plague the Victoria Memorial with their republican banter and 1789 rhetoric in front of a home in which there were no residents present to bear witness or be troubled by their illegal, pestiferous and unnecessary presence, on a day that should have been spent supporting and celebrating our citizens in uniform.

In a blatant show of disrespect to our soldiers and a keen disregard for our laws, Republic took it upon themselves to show the nation that they are a walking, talking, and breathing contradiction, in which they themselves feel entitled, above the law, and better than those who put their lives on the line everyday to keep us all (including illegal republican protestors) free. Republic has spent years attacking the crown and more directly Her Majesty the Queen for being aloof, expensive and not worth the money that is costs to run the monarchy. They have based years of their lives and their entire smear campaign of the crown on the simple but false basis that the crown is a band of entitled people, who are above the law, and see themselves as better than the “common” citizen of the United Kingdom. In today’s display, Republic has violated their own platform by adhering to the very ideology for which they attack the crown.

As is the case with this organisation, Republic seeks to gain as much media attention to advance their own illusions of being important, and have purposely staged their illegal protest to the release of royal finances, so that they can garner as much media coverage for their cause. Seeking nothing more than to be viewed as infamous, disrespectful, devious and criminal, Republic has really over stepped the mark by choosing one of the most important days in the national calendar, which is more than a slap in the face to the United Kingdom in whole. Armed Forces Day is a day of national celebration, a day of pride, and a day of respect for our soldiers. For a group such as Republic to protest their own over inflated and blatantly misleading series of lies regarding royal finances which they have used as propaganda to advance their dangerous and anarchical agenda, only further proves that these criminals will use radical, as well as illegal means to justify their warped and false views of our cherished and respected institution of Monarchy.

Next week when released, the royal finance report will prove that Republic is indeed a radical and disillusioned group of anarchists that seek to not only disrupt the workings of our government, but bring about the eventual destruction of our ways of life by the lies and misleading information they touted as fact in regard to the expenses of the crown. It is a sad day when those who commit crimes are not brought to justice for their wrongdoing, however if Republic were ever worth their weight in hot air, they just might have been worth prosecuting. On this special day, and out of respect for Her Majesty and for our Armed Forces in particular, thank you for your service and for your continued commitment to the protection of our shores and the people who inhabit them. Without you we would not be who, or where we are today. Your sacrifices are great, and your courage even greater and today above all others you are thought of, respected and cherished as an institution in your own right.