Saturday, November 28, 2009

My nascent monarchism revealed

Sua Tremendita Giorgio Carbone, the prince of Seborga, is dead.

Seborga, as everyone knows, is a legally autonomous principality unlawfully occupied by Italy, to whom its citizens are forced to pay tribute in the form of taxes.

To quote from the Seborga official website:

The Bourg of Seborga is to the Principality of Monaco what Cancun is to the Belize, it is a place for the uncommon, fill with history, nature and the atmosphere so dear to Ernest Hemingway or was it Sommerset Maughn!

I note, with some reticence, the presence of Knights Templar in the historical account of the principality, but that was then and this is now, so no Dan Browning here, please. Always bear in mind Umberto Eco's caution:

The lunatic ... doesn't concern himself at all with logic; he works by short circuits. For him, everything proves everything else. The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.

(The Templars are known these days as the 9/11 Knights of Truth. But that's another story.)

Where was I? Oh, yes, Sua Tremendita ("His Tremendousness"), called such because he liked to curse and swear, although the connection escapes me, was an elected Prince, and a very popular one, winning 304 of a possible 308 votes in 1963, and handily winning re-election in 1995. Seborga declared itself sovereign in 1993, issuing "symbolic passports" and coining money, and was consequently recognized by 20 states, Burkina Faso being the first to do so. Seborga maintains consular representation in 10 countries today.

The official motto of Seborga is Sub Umbra Sede ("Sit in the shade.") Whether this is advice or a lively Seborgan curse is not immediately apparent.

Giorgio I planned to step down in 2006, at the age of 70. But an upstart appeared on the scene:

Princess Yasmine von Hohenstaufen Anjou Plantagenet [!] wrote to the newly-elected Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, claiming that she was the true heir to Seborga's throne and offering to hand it over to Italy. Carbone gruffly dismissed her claim, voicing doubts over her lineage: "I have never seen her," he said. "We call her the internet princess".

The Internet Princess was intelligent enough, it seems, to claim descent from a gaggle of royal Houses in order to stake her claim, but, alas, she was and remains a fraud. And a traitor, as well, meriting, it seems to me, nothing less than full mediaeval justice for such a scandalous act of
lèse majesté.

Giorgio I consequently decided to retain his throne, and so he did until this past Wednesday. It is not clear at this point if an heir of his own is stepping forward, but the pretender Princess Yasmine has lost no time, writing to the President of Italy to request the annexation of Seborga. This has generated at least one response, from a furious former Seborghino:

Sono un ex abitante di Seborga e volevo comunicare la mia indignazione per la totale mancanza di rispetto del suo quotidiano online e, soprattutto, della Principessa Yasmin Aprile Von Hohensatufen Pouti Ventimiglia Lascaris, nei confronti non solo della cittadinanza seborghina ma di una persona che, per Seborga, ha fatto molto. Mi riferisco a SAS Giorgio I° che, nel giorno delle esequie, è stato attaccato solo per pubblicità da parte di una banda che ha provato già in passato a rompere le uova nel paniere e che, con questa uscita, penso abbia veramente passato il limite.

[I am an ex-Seborgan and I would like to express my indigation at the total lack of respect of your on-line journal and, above all, of Princess Yasmine Aprile Von Hohensatufen [sic] Pouti Ventimiglia Lascaris [one or two new royal titles have apparently been added--ed.], towards not only Seborgan citizens, but a person who has done much for Seborga. I refer to HRH Giorgio I, who, on the day of his funeral, was attacked, just for the publicity, by a gang whose bubble has already burst and who in this latest outing, I think, has truly crossed the line.]

Hear, hear. Off with her head, I say. Sit in the shade, dear Prince, and rest in peace. And Viva Seborga.

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