In the 1940s, the British king, the Dutch queen and the Japanese emperor reigned over colonial possessions in Asia, whose ‘protected’ indigenous monarchs included Indian and Himalayan maharajas, Shan princes in Burma, and sultans in the Malay states and the Dutch East Indies, as well as the Vietnamese emperor and the Cambodian and Lao king in the French republican empire, and the ‘white raja’ of Sarawak. Decolonisation posed the question about the form of government to be adopted in successor states to the colonial empires and about the fate of local dynasties. As their possessions gained independence, the European and Japanese monarchies also had to adapt to a post-imperial world. This collection of original essays by an international group of distinguished historians argues that the institution of monarchy, and individual monarchs, occupied key roles in the process of decolonisation. It analyses the role of monarchy (both foreign and indigenous) in the late colonial period and with decolonisation. It examines the post-colonial fate of thrones buffeted and sometimes destroyed by republicanism and radicalism. It assesses the ways that surviving dynasties and the descendants of abolished dynasties have adapted to new social and political orders, and it considers the legacies left by extant and defunct dynasties in contemporary Asia.

Editor: Mandy Merck

Moving images of the British monarchy, in fact and fiction, are almost as old as the moving image itself, dating back to an 1895 dramatic vignette, The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Led by Queen Victoria, British monarchs themselves appeared in the new 'animated photography' from 1896. Half a century later, the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II was a milestone in the adoption of television, watched by 20 million Britons and 100 million North Americans. At the century's end, Princess Diana's funeral was viewed by 2.5 billion worldwide. Seventeen essays by international commentators examine the portrayal of royalty in the 'actuality' picture, the early extended feature, amateur cinema, the movie melodrama, the Commonwealth documentary, New Queer Cinema, TV current affairs, the big screen ceremonial and the post-historical boxed set. These contributors include Ian Christie, Elisabeth Bronfen, Andrew Higson, Steven Fielding, Karen Lury, Glyn Davis, Ann Gray, Jane Landman, Victoria Duckett, Jude Cowan Montague, James Downs, Barbara Straumann, Deirdre Gilfedder, Jo Stephenson, Ruth Adams, Erin Bell, Basil Glynn and Nicola Rehling.

Surviving colonisation and decolonisation
Anthony Milner

Modern Malaysia is characterised by its elaborate monarchy, as well as by its sharply plural society – a Muslim-Malay majority, but with very large Chinese and Indian minority communities. There is not just one royal ruler: apart from the country’s King (or Yang di-Pertuan Agong ), nine of the states in the federation (which consists of thirteen states and three federal territories) have Rulers (seven with the title ‘Sultan’). Every five years, the Rulers choose one among them to be King. The country, not surprisingly, has many royal family members with the

in Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia
Sultan Omar Ali and the quest for royal absolutism
Naimah S. Talib

The survival of Brunei as the only ruling absolute monarchy in Southeast Asia has been attributed to the statesmanship of its former Sultan, Sir Omar Ali Saifuddin. 1 Credited as the ‘architect’ of modern Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali’s reign, from 1950 to 1967, coincided with a period in post-war colonial Southeast Asia marked by tumultuous change. The Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia during the Second World War highlighted the inequities brought about by colonialism, and the end of the war provided opportunities for colonised peoples in the region to question

in Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia
Civil religion in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the Commonwealth
Author: Norman Bonney

This book introduces a discussion of a fundamental paradox concerning contemporary society and government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). There is strong evidence of continuing trends towards a more secular and less religious society and pattern of social behaviour. At the same time, religious doctrines, rituals and institutions are central to the legitimacy, stability and continuity of key elements of the constitutional and political system. Outlining the thesis of secularization, the book attempts to account for the failure of secularisation theory. The oaths of the accession and of the coronation of the monarch are the central affirmative symbolic acts which legitimate the system of government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) and the place of the monarchy at the apex of the political system. The book explores some remote and dusty corners of the constitution of the UK that might be of some importance for the operation of the UK political system. The 1953 coronation ad many features of the 1937 coronation on which it was modelled. The religious rituals of the UK Parliament appear to be much more fixed and enduring than those devised in the context of devolution since 1999 to resolve tensions between the religious and political spheres in the 'Celtic' regions. A profound limitation of Anglican multifaithism as a doctrine for uniting the political community is its failure to connect with the large secular population.

Robert Aldrich and Cindy McCreery

Monarchies and Decolonisation in Asia is the third volume we have edited for Manchester University Press’s ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series around the previously understudied theme of monarchy – the institution of the crown, the activities of individual sovereigns and other members of royal families, and the culture of royalty – in colonial contexts. The chapters in Crowns and Colonies revealed some of the ways European and non-European monarchies came into contact around the world in the colonial age, particularly at the time that imperial powers were

in Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia
Norman Bonney

MUP FINAL PROOF – <STAGE>, 08/03/2013, SPi 7 UK state Anglican multifaithism and the Protestant monarchy While considered by many to be a ‘broad church’, the Anglicanism that provides the basis of the UK state religion is a narrow formulation within the context of the total span of Christianity and the global diversity of religious and related belief. UK monarchs have constantly been aware, at least in the last century or more, as has been shown, of the tension between the narrow and exclusive religious doctrines and rituals which legitimate their reign and

in Monarchy, religion and the state
Bao Dai, Norodom Sihanouk and Mohammed V
Christopher Goscha

did some colonially conceived monarchs survive decolonisation while others did not? To answer that question, I use a comparative framework to consider four main factors: the nature of French colonial monarchy in each of these protectorates; the specific local, national and international circumstances; the individual personalities of each sovereign; and the strategies they used. I proceed in three separate acts, one for each monarch, before returning to Bao Dai to conclude. Act I. Bao Dai During the second half of the nineteenth century, the French conquered

in Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia
Ryan Wolfson-Ford

, especially during the Issara independence movement (1945–49). Yet now Savang entered parliament, followed first by Crown Prince Vongsavang and only after by Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma. 1 Savang served a ceremonial but nonetheless crucial role. This was not a given; two decades earlier there had been not a single, but rather several monarchies across Laos. This chapter examines how the modern Lao monarchy was made (and unmade) by partisan struggles. More deeply, it considers questions about what role kings had in a post-colonial democracy and how this was influenced by

in Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia
Mark Hampton

change of sovereignty was treated as a negotiation between two sovereign countries, the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This chapter explores the uses of monarchy in the last thirty years of British rule, 1967–97, years in which the colonial government sought to rebuild legitimacy following a major crisis, grappled with uncertainty about continued rule, and ultimately prepared to transfer sovereignty to the PRC. Origins Hong Kong’s atypical decolonisation process grew naturally out of the colony’s origins. Hong Kong island became a British

in Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia