The Habsburgs: Rise and fall of Europe’s premier dynasty

They were canny, enduring and keen on expansion. In the end, however, the empire couldn't survive the First World War

The Habsburgs: Rise and fall of Europe’s premier dynastyThanks to a voluble professor of European history at University College Dublin, the Habsburgs first piqued my curiosity in the early 1960s. Then the interest lay dormant until a chance 2011 visit to the imperial crypt in Vienna’s Capuchin monastery. In operation since 1632, the crypt contains the tombs of more than 140 Habsburg royalty.…

Want to help Harry and Meghan? Leave them be

The principal issue is that Harry and his wife are not interested in, nor apparently have the resilience for, performing public duties

Want to help Harry and Meghan? Leave them bePersonal autonomy and the exercise of individual conscience are cornerstones of western civilization. We expect mature individuals to accept that personal autonomy includes embracing the consequences of independent decisions. We have entrenched these values in the canon, from Magna Carta to Canada’s Constitution Act. So when Harry and Meghan, the duke and duchess of Sussex,…

The Stuarts, a dynasty brought down by religion

In addition to displaying the Stuart propensity for absolutism, James II publicly converted to Catholicism. The die was cast

The Stuarts, a dynasty brought down by religionOf the world’s failed causes, one of the most enduring is the romantic tale of the House of Stuart. Who hasn’t heard of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his tragic-heroic attempt to recover the three crowns lost by his grandfather? Let’s back up a bit. The Stuarts were originally French, having crossed over from Brittany in…

Why the monarchy still makes sense in Canada

The Commonwealth that binds the U.K. and Canada is a great positive for the world. And the influence of colonialism isn't all bad

Why the monarchy still makes sense in CanadaPublic support for the monarchy in Canada is lower than in the United Kingdom, but Queen Elizabeth II’s reign isn’t over yet and there’s no real reason to believe Prince Charles won’t become the next head of state. Quebec aside, Elizabeth remains extremely popular throughout Canada. Polls show eight out of 10 Canadians positively endorse…

When Elizabeth goes, the monarchy will fade in Canada

The debate about severing the royal connection will begin immediately after Queen Elizabeth’s passing. It may take a while but the break seems inevitable

The recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be the last one that’s watched with so much interest by so many Canadians. Recent polls reveal that most of us aren’t enthusiastic about the prospect of King Charles III as our head of state. Much-loved Queen Elizabeth II is in her 90s. Upon…