The madness of suggesting Prince Harry could become Russian Tsar

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by senior correspondent Barry Everingham

Barry Everingham says that only someone on the "very edge" would seriously suggest Prince Harry could become Tsar of Russia.
I really feel sorry for the paid “supporters” of ACM — they pay to keep the moribund and ever more ridiculous Flint controlled organisation afloat, yet there are only twelve people who as “members” are permitted to vote on any matters affecting it, including it seems the leadership.

Flint has become a national embarrassment and certainly does nothing to enhance the reputation of ACM — which has every right to promote its cause.

But its credibility has been seriously compromised by its leader's irrational ramblings and it’s time for a palace coup.

The professor this time seems to be tottering on the very edge.

As an example — read his blog’s lead story in the May 5 issue.

Prince Harry – Tsar of all the Russias – screamed the headline – by Professor David Flint AM.

(Then followed the spunkiest picture ever taken of a marching, impossibly handsome, Harry Mountbatten Windsor; its David’s favourite, he uses it unceasingly and makes me wonder where its pride of place is in David’s house—but I digress).

The photo of Harry is "David’s favourite"
Some two billion people across the world may have been watching the Royal Wedding on Friday between Prince William and Kate Middleton, noted the London Daily Mail on 4 May 2011.

The report continued: “And it seems some Russians were watching their televisions, green with envy-because now a leading former diplomat believes that Prince Harry – third in line to the British monarch – should be offered the vacant throne.

“Alexander Baunov – a diplomat turned journalist – thinks that William’s 26 year old brother should be crowned the first King of Russia since Tsar Nicholas resigned in 1917 on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Flint jumps in at this point.

“As we (note: the royal “we”) have noted on several occasions on this site, Russia before the revolution was gradually becoming freer and progressing economically. The Bolshevik coup was a disaster.”

First it was Flint who had noted; when he writes the opinion is his; my disgruntled source tells me David has absolute editorial control of the ACM blog.

And second, and Flint needs to be reminded of some facts.

Along with Russia, the following European nations dumped their monarchies:

Albania, Austria, Bavaria, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Prussia, Romania, Yugoslavia.

The former Bulgarian king Simeon Saxe Coburg Gotha renounced his titles and is now his country’s prime minister.

In 1979, I interviewed the former monarchs, or pretending monarchs, or descendants of former monarchs, of those monarchies for a three part series for The Australian newspaper (which was subsequently syndicated world-wide) and the only one who was adamant he would return to claim his late father’s throne was King Leka of Albania, who is now living in Tirana but has no official status.

The remainder, including the Russian royal, were clear—the days of royalty in their former countries were finished and none of them had any expectations of change.

And to take it a step further — all were curious as to why Australia continued to be "tied” to the British monarchy, remembering all of them are in some way related to the Windsors either through Queen Victoria and Prince Albert or in the case of King Leka further back through German connections.

Back to Flint’s bizarre claim that under the last tsar of Russian things were looking good.

As an example, in 1916 one British diplomat reported to London that “Nicholas is obstinate and vindictive, and quite obsessed with the idea that the autocracy is his and his children’s by divine right”.

Looking good?

Nicholas II: "...obstinate and vindictive, and quite obsessed with the idea that the autocracy is his and his children’s by divine right".

In 1912, Tsarist soldiers shot dead 500 striking miners and wounded hundreds of others at the Lena goldfields in Siberia.

Conditions at the mine were horrendous; the men worked fifteen to sixteen-hour days with an accident rate of 700 per 1,000 workers. Then followed a general strike and one of the tsar’s ministers, when asked if things should improve, replied: “thus it has been and always will be”.

Looking good?

A completely innocent Jewish clerk had been put on trial for a ritual child murder. The almost comically hopeless case against him had been trumped up with the government’s and the tsar’s knowledge — in the expectation that grass roots anti-Semitism would rally loyal Russians to the government.

Nicholas himself sent the judge a gold watch on the eve of the trial in the anticipation of a guilty verdict. There are hundreds of such “looking good” incidents in Miranda Carter’s excellent biographies of Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War 1 (Random House 2009).

Flint’s obsession with monarchies, titles, palaces, princes and old world fantasies are as out of place as the professor himself and he really should slip quietly away from circa 2011 where  there  is no place for such nonsense, particularly in modern egalitarian Australia.

The least that can be said for the current crop of British royals is that they may be a problem family but at least they keep glossy magazines in business.

But Tsar Harry?

Nyet, Professor Flint!  
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