I can't believe MM made such an egregious error! 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' and his brother, Henry, Cardinal-Duke of York, both claimed the Throne! Other than that, I agree with his analysis.
From The Mad Monarchist (24 June 2014)
I mean that sincerely. I wish a thousand appreciations to HRH Duke Franz of Bavaria. Why, you may ask? Because with the recent focus on Spain, the abdication of King Juan Carlos and the installation of His Majesty King Felipe VI the neo-Carlist republicans have been coming out of the wood work in the last few days doing their best to help bring about a Third Spanish Republic. I had to ask myself why these pretended legitimists are such a bigger pain than the neo-Jacobites out there (and they are out there, at least on the web) and the only conclusion I can come to is that the neo-Carlist republicans have a pretender to rally to and the neo-Jacobites do not because Duke Franz, God bless him, nor any of his predecessors going back to Bonnie Prince Charlie ever tried to claim to be the King of England, Scotland, Ireland and France. The neo-Carlist republicans, on the other hand, have Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parma as their figurehead and I can only assume that is why they are so much more active in causing problems and trying to kill monarchism in Spain forever. So, on behalf of every actual monarchist and loyal monarchists across the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms (if I may be so bold), thank you Duke Franz, thank you from the bottom of my heart and I do pray God that you one day be restored to your rightful throne (as King of Bavaria).
Some, undoubtedly, will accuse me of being intentionally antagonistic by referring to the neo-Carlists as republicans. In the first place, I have no problem with that considering how antagonistic they have been recently and secondly, I say that because that is exactly what they are. Spain has a monarchy, they do not support it. They have nowhere near enough support to bring about any of the sort of changes they want, so by opposing the monarchy they are actively assisting in the creation of another republic. They are hurting the cause of monarchy and helping the cause of the republic, hence they are republicans whether they are honest enough to admit it or not. There is also no way on God’s green earth they could be called legitimists. The neo-Jacobites may or may not be republicans depending on their attitude to the British monarchy but that they are legitimists no one can deny. In the French royalist community the legitimist royalists are legitimists without question. The neo-Carlists, on the other hand, are nothing of the sort. In this area, again, they are republicans. This should be quite obvious by the very person of their royal front-man Prince Sixte-Henri. He has absolutely no legitimate claim on the Spanish throne at all. Period. He is leader of the neo-Carlists solely because he proved more popular than his brother Prince Carlos Hugo, who himself had no legitimate claim either.
The true Carlists of history came into being officially because of a legal dispute but also because they really did not like the wife of King Fernando VII who would be regent on behalf of his young daughter Queen Isabella II. In truth, both sides had some tradition on their side. As a legal matter, the Carlists were completely correct, King Fernando VII had not acted according to the law in the way in which he named his daughter as his successor. What is a bit ironic is that the Carlists were the ones who favored an absolute monarchy while the forces of the Queen Mother Maria Christina favored constitutional monarchy and it was the fact that Fernando VII was the last absolute monarch of Spain that made him think he could just do as he pleased and make his daughter his successor rather than his brother. As far as tradition goes, the Carlists were fighting to uphold the traditional Salic Law which did not allow a woman (or in this case girl) to become monarch under any circumstances. On the other hand, this had only been the tradition since the House of Bourbon replaced the House of Hapsburg in Spain which had died out. The earlier tradition in Spain allowed for female monarchs though males still had preference.
However, in an effort to gain greater support, the Carlists decided that while they were very attached to the Bourbon tradition of Salic Law, they were not so attached to the Bourbon tradition of centralizing power and so they denounced this and thus attracted a great deal of support from the regions that resented the loss of their old privileges to the government in Madrid. So, they were traditional in some ways, not so traditional in others but that they were legitimists no one could deny. That remained the case up until the time of HRH Infante Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime. He was the last male-line descendant of the original Carlist pretender the Count of Molina (Carlos V to his supporters) and after his death the senior male descendant of King Carlos IV (the last monarch before Fernando VII and all the trouble) would be the (by then deposed) King Alfonso XIII of the rival line. So, it was at that point that the Carlists ceased being legitimists because if they had, they would have embraced King Alfonso XIII and then his son Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, his son King Juan Carlos I and his son King Felipe VI and we would not be having any of this fuss today. Instead, however, they abandoned bloodline legitimacy in favor of ideological popularity and Infante Alfonso Carlos (again, breaking the very laws the Carlist rebellion originally started over, only more so) determined that he could decide who would be his rightful successor and he chose the nephew of his wife, Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma.
Things really came to pieces during that time with the Carlists being split into a number of factions and that has continued until today with the most prominent faction basically deciding who the “legitimate” heir to the Spanish throne is based on his religious and political opinions, thus it landing on the person of Prince Sixte-Henri who is not even the legitimate heir to the Duchy of Parma to say nothing of the Kingdom of Spain. Infante Alfonso Carlos, the last legitimate heir of the Carlist line, had ordered his adherents to support Generalissimo Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War and they played a considerable part in his success and were a significant force in Spanish politics in the aftermath. However, their breakdown in unity, their abandonment of bloodline legitimacy and so on meant that they lost influence rapidly during the Franco years and have never since been a political force worthy of serious consideration. In recent years, or decades at this point, many (of the faction that did not go the Marxist route) attached themselves to the cause of Catholic groups such as the Society of St Pius X or those that refuse to accept the legitimacy of the Pope, saying that there has been no Pope since Pius XII or John XXIII (there is disagreement on that point). Obviously, it is a mess and even if they all came together they would still not have sufficient support to effect their grandest wishes and as it stands now, their own in-fighting would preclude them from even making a genuine effort at effecting change of any sort.
The problem with these modern-day neo-Carlists is that they manage to be both practical republicans in the present and totally insult the memory of the original Spanish Carlists who were legitimist monarchists at the same time. The fact that they carry on as they do, even in times of crisis for the Kingdom of Spain, is enough to make one speculate that they may be more than just inadvertent republicans, helping the cause of republicanism out of ignorance. They would have to get their own house in order before being able to have any chance of even the slightest effort at an actual political impact in Spain and so far they cannot even agree on which house is their own to start getting it in order. So, they attack and slander the existing and legitimate Spanish Royal Family, adding their voices to all those of the enemies of monarchy while having nothing but an even more godless republic to replace it with and, moreover, while their list of things they oppose grows longer. For example, while remaining staunchly Catholic, they condemn the Spanish monarchy for not being sufficiently Catholic while also condemning the Pope and the leadership of the Catholic Church for not being sufficiently Catholic. Perhaps, then, instead of wishing to change the government, monarchy and entire Royal Family of Spain they should focus first on making the Catholic Church more to their taste and teach and behave the way they think it should and then perhaps their dissatisfaction in Spain will take care of itself, perhaps the existing Royal Family will be given proper instruction and become ideologically acceptable to them. Focusing on one impossible goal at a time might make sense to some people.
Anyway, having probably wasted my time with that last bit there, I want to point out that not everyone, certainly not all Catholics, share this same ignorance and this can be proven by looking to Russia. First, keep in mind that the place in question here is the Russian Empire that was officially and zealously Russian Orthodox and recall that the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches have not gotten along very well for about a thousand years or so. I have read a number of history books written by Catholic authors which deal with the subject of the Russian Revolution. These were extremely partisan books which were not bashful about recounting the history of Catholic-Orthodox relations as being pretty black and white, with the Catholics in the right and the Orthodox in the wrong, one even going so far as to joke (I think?) that the sacking of Constantinople should be a feast day on the Catholic calendar. Now, keeping all that in mind, not one of these books recounted the Russian Revolution as anything other than the horror it was and while some may have had some criticism for the Emperor and Empress, every single one regarded them as good, God-fearing people who died a heroic death at the hands of the worst criminals imaginable.
Why do I point this out (this is a post about modern Carlists that started in Bavaria and has gone to Russia, don’t act so surprised)? Because even though each of these very partisan, Catholic authors would have regarded the ideal as Russia and the rest of the Orthodox world reuniting with Rome while offering their abject apologies and for Russia to become a Catholic empire “eastern style”, they knew that such a thing was not about to happen and that what did happen was that the traditional, religious, God-fearing Russian Orthodox monarchy was replaced by a murderous, godless Bolshevik regime that waged war on the very idea of any religion. In the same way, these same Catholic authors condemned the overthrow of King Charles I of Britain despite the fact that he was a Protestant because what was bound to come after was not going to be a Catholic Britain but a Puritanical one. On the opposite side, I have never come across a Protestant, British monarchist who cheered the French Revolution because it brought down a “Papist” monarchy that did not have a government or a church that they approved of. Would they feel different if the very Catholic and absolute monarchy of France had been replaced with one that was constitutional and Protestant? Perhaps, but that is not what happened and no one would be so great a fool as to think there was any chance of it.
That is the bottom line and that is one major reason why I call these neo-Carlists republicans. There is no more chance of the current Spanish monarchy collapsing and everyone in Spain deciding to make Prince Sixte-Henri of Bourbon-Parma the absolute monarch of a new Spain religiously administered entirely by the Society of St Pius X than there was of the French Revolution turning the country into a Protestant constitutional monarchy or the Bolshevik revolutionaries deciding to turn the Russian Empire into a Catholic monarchy. The odds are absolutely as ridiculously infinitesimal as that. Spain will have the monarchy it has or it will have no monarchy at all. For my part, being a monarchist is simple; I support the monarchy, the monarchy which would be reigning over me if things had gone differently in the past (and perhaps if there had been no series of wars over the succession the Spanish Empire could have been maintained) and I have drawn the line in the sand here. I cannot change the past but I can make a stand in the time and place that I am now and I say that I want no more monarchies to fall. In the world where I live, in the time that I live here, I can say, “no farther, not if I can help it”. It is for that reason that I will not abide or tolerate in any way anyone who does not support the precious few monarchies we still have with us today and why I say ‘thank you’ again to the Duke of Bavaria and why I say sincerely ¡Viva Felipe VI!
(Additional Note: The night before posting this I received two or three confirmations that neo-Jacobite republicans do exist and are indeed adding their voices to the republican mob, so I may have spoken too soon with my praise. I will hope otherwise and in any event still appreciate the Duke, and his predecessors, for having more sense.)