Czech party seeks to restore ancient monarchy

 

The ancient coats of arms of Moravia, Bohemia and Silesia.

Prague Post | Dec 19, 2007

Koruna C’eská would rebuild the ancient Czech Kingdom

By Markéta Hulpachová

Former Prime Minister Miloš Zeman called them “one of the parties that could fit in an elevator.” Social Democrat Party Chairman Jirí Paroubek once referred to them as “not even small fish, but plankton.”

The members of Koruna Ceská, a national party that wants to transform the government into a constitutional monarchy, are used to condescendence.

But, with between 400 and 500 members and government representation in four municipalities, Koruna Ceská is not just some farcical movement.

“We’re not satirists, and we’re not some virtual party,” says party Chairman Václav Srb. “We’re simply the political embodiment of a movement to reunify the historic territories of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia under the Czech crown.”

Today, the crown jewels of the old Czech kingdom are locked away by seven keys, asleep in a secured chamber within the St. Vitus Cathedral. But if Srb and his fellow party members have their way, the storied St. Václav crown — the very same headpiece conceived by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in the 14th century — would once again adorn the head of a Czech monarch.

Koruna Ceská was founded in 1990 as the reincarnation of Ceské deti, a monarchist movement that sprang up in the revolutionary atmosphere of 1988. That year, the dissident members of Ceské deti published a manifesto advocating the renewal of the Czech kingdom, which was reprinted by communist newspaper Rudé právo in an effort to discredit the group. “By showing the public that the dissidents had become monarchists, the comrades wanted to prove that [the dissidents] had gone completely insane,” Srb says. “However, it had the opposite effect.”

By publishing key passages of the manifesto, Rudé právo brought the movement to the attention of dozens of like-minded individuals who had previously thought they were alone in their views. In 1991, over 400 people filled the Realistické (now Švandovo) theatre in Smíchov for Koruna Ceská’s first official assembly. “Until then, each of us thought that we were isolated in our persuasion,” Srb says. “Every monarchist was therefore pleasantly surprised to learn that there were more of us who had found the same solution.”

Srb, a historian, says he came to the conclusion while studying central European wars and political conflicts of the 20th century. “Today, not just the monarchists, but any historian will admit that the fragmentation of the central Danube territory was nonsensical,” Srb says. “By breaking up this territory, which for centuries served as a buffer for outside invasion, it was only a matter of time before these little countries fell prey to Germany or Russia.”

In the case of the Czech lands, the Treaty of Versailles only ensured its security for the next 20 years, when Hitler “stopped liking it,” Srb says.

While he admits that the Austro-Hungarian Empire could not have survived without major reforms that would have increased the autonomy of individual regions, “those reforms were already on the program — their implementation was only interrupted with the onset of World War I,” Srb says.

Return of the king

Instead of its current republican form, which he calls “unsettled” and “artificial,” Srb and his fellow monarchists would strengthen the political integrity of the state by restoring the traditions of the Czech kingdom. To do this, it would be essential to replace the current presidential institution with a royal one. Aside from Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the venerated founding father of the Czechoslovak republic, “an overwhelming majority of our presidents have been either outwardly criminal or pitiful,” Srb says, whereas locals continue to refer to Charles IV as the “most revered Czech persona.”

Unlike the president, who is elected to his post, the king would be groomed for his reign since childhood, which would raise respect for his position and elevate him above politics, Srb says.

Apart from gaining national support for their reforms, the monarchists face the obvious challenge of finding a luminary who would be able and willing to take the crown.

According to Srb, the most obvious choice would be former European Parliament representative Otto von Habsburg. As the eldest son of the last Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles, the 95-year-old crown prince of Austria is the heir to the Czech throne.

But, because the Habsburg dynasty was for decades demonized by local republicans, “it’s understandable that this dynasty isn’t the right one at the moment,” Srb says.

An alternate solution is to turn to foreign ruling dynasties. “I say, if not the Habsburgs, then anyone —let’s not be Eurocentric,” says Srb, whose own provocative suggestion is Norodom Sihamini, the current king of Cambodia. “His father stowed him away here during Cambodia’s period of upheaval … he is the only currently ruling monarch in the world who is fluent in Czech.”

Regardless of the feasibility of its agenda, Koruna Ceská’s presence on the political scene points to a deep disillusionment with the nation’s current identity. “Through our ideals, we want to rehabilitate a non-pathetic, cultured patriotism and the values that coincide with it,” the party’s manifesto says.

“Although our republic is a woeful 90 years old, it’s a negligible episode in our nation’s thousand years of statehood,” Srb adds. “The old traditions still dwell in each of us, but, in most cases, they’re asleep.”

. . .

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8 responses to “Czech party seeks to restore ancient monarchy

  1. “Unlike the president, who is elected to his post, the king would be groomed for his reign since childhood, which would raise respect for his position and elevate him above politics, Srb says.”

    Yes! Caligula, Nero, Vlad Tepes, and Ivan the Terrible agree!! Among others…

  2. The big joke is, the New World Order is just the Old World Order, but this time it’s on steroids. Another term used is Neo-feudalism. They will say that the “experiment” with “democracy” proved to be unworkable, so that the “solution” is to go back to the feudal system, the plan all along.

  3. It would be wonderful to see a king reign [again] in the Czech Kingdom. Those who accuse Monarchists of longing for a feudal society live in the past. Nothing is more democratic than a King above party lines.
    To wil: Stalin, Hitler, Kim Il-sung were not Kings, but republicans. Today’s dicators are all presidents.

  4. For a fascinating look at the origins of the modern Czech Republic … do have a look at my exciting new book, “A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today” [ http://www.ashatteredpeace.com ].
    My editor at Wiley, Hana Lane, was born in the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia). I served for 3 years (during the communist era) as The New York Times correspondent covering the Czech Republic and was a friend at the time of Havel, Kohout et al!
    Do have a look at my book!
    Best,
    David A. Andelman

  5. You just want to trade one form of dictatorship for another. It’s insanity. There is also no such thing as “royalty”. It is merely hereditary dictatorship and nothing more. Of course, if a people want to be ruled as slaves and serfs under psychopathic masonic overlords, then who is to stop them? People seem to prefer slavery over freedom anyway because most are simply dumbed-down sheep following the herd.

  6. ?? I didn’t say anything about Stalin, Hitler, or Kim Il Sung. Where’d that come from? haha

    My point was just because somebody is royal or “groomed” doesn’t guarantee ruling ability being superior.

  7. I’d rather be ruled by an educated, benevolent monarch who lived and worked for the people, then by the masses, who often assert their collective “will” more forcibly and selfishly then many monarchs ever did.

  8. It is hard to tell what is better if it is Presidents or Kings. In Czech Repubic most people would be for rebirth of Kingdom but the question is: Who will they accept as their King?
    If we take a look at Czech (Czechoslovak) Presidents we see only two of them that didnt bring Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia) down and if we take a look at Czech Kings we see many who brought Czech to glory and not so much that were bad. So sure King would be better but we must choose wery carefully and not only by blood.

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