In this post, I promised you a sneak peak of The Monk’s Curse. Here it is, the exclusive newspaper article.
The Holy Alliance: Fact or Fiction
By John Stanley
A quiet man, never before seen or heard of, has suddenly emerged on the streets of London creating quite the storm. Jonathan Henry Dalton has been running in the streets of London claiming to be the pretender to the Ottoman Empire – as well as the descendant of its last Sultan – which was dissolved in 1922 (45 years ago). He further claims to have been protected since birth by what he calls The Holy Alliance. From what he has needed protection for 32 years, he fails to mention. However, he gained widespread media attention upon insisting that The Rt Hon. Lord Gardiner, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, listen to his story and take it to Her Majesty’s Government. He forcibly stopped Lord Gardiner while he was on the way into a sitting of the House of Lords at Westminster.
Lord Gardiner chose to get him arrested on the grounds of assault. However, his recent arrest has not deterred Dalton who remains firmly obstinate that his story is veritable. With the public going to town over his story, making wild assumptions, we decided to check the facts about what The Holy Alliance was and who the real pretender to the Ottoman throne is. Here is what we found.
The Holy Alliance was a treaty signed by Russia, Prussia and Austria after Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat at Waterloo. This treaty, signed in Paris in 1815, aimed to restrain revolutionary and secularised sentiments in Europe at a time when France was in a period of political tumult. As such, it actually reaffirmed the divine rights of kings to rule, while firmly establishing a Christian viewpoint. Interestingly enough, Otto von Bismarck tried to reunify the Alliance, but this failed in the late 19th century when Austria and Russia disagreed over issues about the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. Ironically, this Alliance was in no way holy, gaining the approval of neither of the ‘divine’ powers at the time (The United Kingdom, the Papal States or the Ottoman Empire). From this, at least one part of Dalton’s story checks out: The Holy Alliance did have something to do with the Ottoman Empire. However, the real Holy Alliance was no secret society dedicated to protecting a pretender. In fact, Dalton asserts that they have protected the Ottoman Sultans since this 13th century. Dalton’s story again does not check out as that was the job of the Janissaries, and The Holy Alliance was only founded in 1815. Furthermore, why would a Christian alliance protect an Islamic emperor?
Dalton furthermore claims that this Alliance is composed of five key groups: the Romanov family, the remnants of an old noble family from Wallachia (an area situated in modern day Romania), the Order of Rasputin, a secret Vatican Council, and the powerful descendants of once illustrious Italian families like the Medici’s.
We decided to further check the facts surround his claims. This is what we uncovered. We went to the head (albeit the disputed head) of the House of Romanov, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov. This is what he had to say: ‘No, I do not believe that any member of the Romanov family is part of this so-called alliance or any other subversive conspiracy for that matter. The last Romanov’s to be part of the real Holy Alliance are long since dead. Furthermore, I can confidently claim that even the Prince Andrew Andreevich Romanov, another claimant to the headship of our house, whom I may not agree with much on, is undoubtedly not affiliated with this conspiracy. I firmly believe that we should not encourage this man who I advise should be committed to an institution to treat his lunacy.’
We went doing our own research, trying to find the remnants of the Wallachian nobility. However, with the Romanian monarchy dissolved after King Michael’s abdication in 1942, we seriously doubt that any nobility has managed to survive the onslaught of the Red Army. As such, with the East being almost impenetrable, we could not uncover any fact to substantiate Dalton’s claim. In addition, we were not able to go to the USSR (as Russia was where the monk, Grigori Rasputin was from) but the history that is accepted by most historians, including that of the top historian of the subject – David Henry Mortimer – asserts that no order called the Order of Rasputin has ever been known to exist.
Penultimately, we analysed a release made by the Vatican. The senior Vatican spokesperson remained firm that no secret council existed according to the knowledge of the Pope, Paul VI. It was furthermore declared that the leader of the world’s Catholic adherents was certainly aware of all organisation claiming allegiance or suzerainty under the Holy See. Failing to mention The Holy Alliance, or any secret council, in any of the Vatican’s documents or press releases, we have deduced that, much like the rest of his story, this is a fallacy on Dalton’s part probably induced by the ‘lunacy’ of which the Romanov head spoke.
Finally, we investigated the last claim. The House of Medici is known to have fallen in 1737 with its last head being the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Gian Gastone. This undoubtedly absolves Dalton’s story of any fact.
However, we decided to look at exactly what happened to the last Ottoman Sultan, from whom Dalton claims descent. He was called Mehmed VI. Mehmed was exiled after the Empire was abolished in the November of 1922. He fled to Malta and later to the Italian Riviera. He died in 1926. His son, Prince Şehzade Mehmed Ertuğrul Efendi, went into exile with him and died without child. Although other lines of succession have since taken pre-eminence, Dalton claims descent from the last Sultan, which, from our research is proven impossible.
The verdict – everything that Dalton claims is indeed fiction, and as such, he is guilty of assaulting Lord Gardiner.
It proved to be a good conspiracy over which to obsess – at least while it lasted.