The Demise of a 21st Centuary Monarch, a Legacy
*By Dame Nina Ahmed - 8th January 2014
With the news of the recent sad demise of His Royal Highness Prince Philippe I of Araucania and Patagonia, it is with most sincere regret that we receive this lamentable reality. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully in his sleep, aged 86 at 9am on Sunday the 5th of January in this year 2014 at his home, the former birthplace of the original founding Sovereign, King Orelie Antoine I, in Chournac d’ans, France.
||From left to right, Conde Reynaldo Mariqueo, Charges d’affaires, KAP,
HRH Prince Philippe I of Araucania and Patagonia and Dame Nina Saleh Ahmed.
As head of the Royal House of Araucania and Patagonia Prince Philippe dutifully and with great dignity, fulfilled his role as present day Monarch in exile, along with the weighty responsibilities which this role commanded. During his reign of over 60 years, having celebrated his Diamond Jubilee on May 12th 2011, in fact one year prior to that of our present British Monarch, Queen Elisabeth II, and it must be noted that as such Her Royal Highness became the longest reigning Monarch in British history, Simply testifies further to the tenacity and deep seated sense of commitment borne by HRH Prince Philippe throughout the duration of his reign.
Prince Philippe was born on the 19th of February 1927 in Paris, France, where during his early career he initially became a journalist, however he was soon to become a leader in public relations where according to the Institute European des Relations website, he founded the first public relations agency in Western Europe in the years following World War II. Many years later in 1980 he proceeded to found ‘Faculte Libre des Sciences de la communication’. However he spent the majority of his life in dedicated military service during which time he was elected as head of the Parisian section of the French Résistance.
Prince Philippe carried out this role from his office in the historic military institution known as ‘Des Invalides’, a building originally constructed to serve the purpose of the first French military hospital for injured soldiers and later used as French military offices; Prince Philippe’s office was prestigiously situated directly at the foot of the magnificent mausoleum housing the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. Furthermore, in recent years, for his valiant contribution in French military service, HRH was awarded the legion d’ honneur, the highest medal of honour which may be bestowed upon a citizen by the French Nation, this medal was in fact bestowed upon Napoleon Boneparte for his exemplary services as a high ranking military gentleman; It is also conferred upon all French Premieres following their official inauguration.
Philippe Paul Alexandre Henry de Boiry assumed the title of Incumbent Monarch Prince Philippe I on the 12th of May 1951 in line with the official protocols outlined in the constitution of the Kingdom under which non-hereditary succession is permitted. Therefore Prince Philippe represents the sixth monarch to hold this position since the establishment of the Kingdom on Mapuche soil 153 years ago. As such he has occupied the longest tenure upon the throne to the present date.
During the great span of his reign Prince Philippe married on two occasions, firstly to his first wife Princess Jaqueline Dominique Marquain on 10th July 1978 and following her death, many years later married Princess Elisabeth de Chauvigny on 21st January 2006. Prince Philippe had no children in his lifetime.
Throughout his reign Prince Philippe sought with genuine conviction to foster and restablish broken links between the Mapuche people and the Kingdom which their ancestors had adopted at its inception in 1860, links which had been shattered as a result of the extreme oppression and brutality levied against them by both Chile and Argentina in the respective campaigns known as ‘the campaign of the desert’ and ‘the pacification of Araucania’; two genocidal campaigns which successfully sought to illegally appropriate and exploit Mapuche ancestral territory for the sole purpose of territorial expansion and capital gain. It was immediately prior to this manoeuvre that the Chilean government had kidnapped, imprisoned and subsequently deported the newly crowned Orelie Antoine I, perceiving the monarch and his Kingdom as a threat to their future plans of mass subjugation and assimilation of the Mapuche people.
The Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia was originally conceived and made manifest in conjunction with the wishes of the foremost Mapuche leaders of the Mapuche Nation of the time and their subsequent elected monarch HRH King Orelie Antoine I. This uncommon alliance was created following the development of a strong and loyal bond of friendship between Orelie Antoine, a French born lawyer and the Mapuche people including their highest Lonkos (Chiefs) and Tokis (war chiefs), immediately prior to the divisive and imminent invasion and illegal appropriation of Mapuche ancestral territory (Wallmapu). It was this impending invasion that became the catalyst for the selection and ratification of Orelie Antoine as the original democratically elected sovereign along with the transition of the traditionally structured Mapuche system of governance to that of a sovereign nation state modelled on those of 19th century Europe. The Kingdom of Araucania celebrated its 150th anniversary on 17th November 2010.
Prince Philippe positively fostered friendly relations with the Mapuche people and actively sought their full participation within the Kingdom and its affairs. As such all kings council meetings were open to the full participation of any Mapuche person who wished to either simply attend as an observer or to participate and contribute democratically to the deliberations which would take place during such meetings. Observing the founding principles of the Kingdom in making provision for full Mapuche participation, within the institutions of the Kingdom. The original ‘kings’ and ‘state’ councils being made up entirely of Mapuche people alone. The current kings’ council includes a growing number of Mapuche individuals.
On 17th November 2010 by Royal decree HRH introduced the Mapuche warrior medal known as the ‘ Weychafe pu Mapuche’ medal, devised in order to honour the greatest of Mapuche sacrifice and service of their people. Some of the recipients of the first of these medals to be awarded were, Conde Reynaldo Mariqueo, Charges d’affaires of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia, Oswaldo Gomez (El Indio Arauco) a renowned and prolific Mapuche singer and performer and Lonko (Chief) Juana Rosa Calfunao, one such highly esteemed and unfalteringly courageous leader of the Mapuche Nation.
Prince Philippe himself actively and consistently raised awareness of the on-going repression of Mapuche human, civil, social, political and economic rights in such international forums as the United Nations Working Group for Indigenous Peoples and via representatives of the Kingdom at the U.N Human Rights Council, the European Parliament and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation among others. Prince Philippe also engaged in countless media interviews in an effort to raise awareness of these issues during his lifetime.
The contribution made by HRH Prince Philippe is immeasurable, his great affection and loyal alliance to the Mapuche people and to the advancement of their foremost aims and aspirations including their inherent birth right to territorial autonomy and self-determination is clearly evident.
The deep sense of affection and commitment to the Mapuche Nation their aims and aspirations had been a lifelong preoccupation of the late Prince, his depth of emotion regarding the Mapuche people was at times clearly tangible, should one observe him whilst speaking of the Mapuche people. In short, Prince Philippe held the Mapuche Nation with the highest esteem throughout his lifetime, seeking always to preserve their primary interests, he remained a true and loyal ally.
His Royal Highness Prince Philippe I will be greatly missed by the international fraternity; In his absence he has left behind him an indelible legacy which belongs solely to the Mapuche people, one which by his touch, finds the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia significantly fortified and revitalised. The seeds of which he had so tentatively and patiently sown, will proceed to grow in strength and stature with the passage of time. The Kingdom which he so proudly and staunchly sustained shall bear his mark above and beyond this day and far into the distant future.
HRH Prince Philippe’s Funeral will take place at 2:30pm on the 9th of January 2014 at Tourtoirac Abbey, Tourtoirac, France. The official Chaplain of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia will preside over the ceremony. The late Prince Philippe will later be laid to rest in the grounds of his secondary home, La Cheze, Chournac d’ans, in the crypt of the Private family Chapel .
A meeting of the Kingdoms ‘Regency Council’, constituted by an amalgamation of both the ‘Kings’ and ‘State’ Councils will be convened immediately following the internment of His Royal Highness.
*(‘the Order of Queen Laure-Therese’ of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia)
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