Last updated: February 23rd, 2004.

February 1st
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway presented their daughter Ingrid Alexandra to the press today at Gut Skaugum, after already having issued a few photos of the family yesterday. Also the Crown Princess's son Marius was present. Little Princess Ingrid Alexandra stayed quiet and didn't mind all the cameras around her. Crown Prince Haakon told that both names of his daughter will be used officially. He himself calls his daughter Ingrid Alexandra, while Crown Princess Mette-Marit calls her Ingrid only. The baby had a tummy ache the past few days, but is doing fine. No date for the christening has been set yet. Crown Prince Haakon said that at Skaugum Ingrid Alexandra will be able to grow up in a "relatively sheltered" environment. The crown princely couple want their children to have as normal lives as possible. "We want to be parents for our own children," said Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Photo series.

A Japanese House of Representatives panel on constitutional amendment is considering opening the way for female members of the Imperial Family of Japan to accede to the Chrysanthemum throne. According to sources the chamber's Research Commission on the Constitution is poised to incorporate the proposal in a final report on constitutional amendments it will issue in about one year. The proposal is aimed at laying the groundwork for revising the Imperial House Law that allows only male members of the Imperial Family to ascend to the throne.

More than 500 people attended the funeral of Prince Phiwokwakhe of Swaziland the past night. The Prince was the second son of the late King Sobhuza II of Swaziland and the late Princess Manoni. He passed away on January 12. He was buried at the caves of the area of Lugongolweni near the eastern royal residence. 15 Pastors from different dominations held a sermon, each sermon was followed by music of a gospel choir. Next to members of the royal family also dignitaries from KwaZulu and South Africa attended the funeral.

February 2nd
At a press conference today some information was made known about the three-hour-long rock concert "Rock 'n' Royal" that will be held at Parken in Copenhagen on May 7 in presence of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and his fiancée Mary Donaldson. 40.000 tickets are for sale from tomorrow. Head of the crown princely court Per Thornit said that it was Crown Prince Frederik who came up with the idea for the concert: "The idea was to have a different concept than the official events in the following week." The programme will include Danish and foreign artists, some from Australia. The concert will be broadcasted live on TV2. The proceeds will go to the organisation Save the Children, which is under the patronage of Crown Prince Frederik. Earlier this week it was already revealed that the gift of the Danish people to the Crown Prince and his fiancée will be a big Flora Danica dinner-service, as well as a special popsong composed and recorded by Erann Drori. The proceeds of the sale of the song will go to charity.

On May 15 Countess Michaela von Schönburg-Glauchau (born 1975), daughter of Count Georg von Schönburg-Glauchau and Countess Madeleine von Spee, and Alexander Ritter von Miller zu Aichholz will get married at the church in Wechselburg. The wedding party will be held at Waldenburg Castle. The groom was born in 1966 as the eldest son of Oscar Ritter von Miller zu Aichholz and Countess Amélie zu Castell-Castell. Countess Amélie is a daughter of Count Luitpold zu Castell-Castell and Princess Alexandrine-Louise of Denmark (1914-1962).

February 3rd
The coffee shop De Vliegende Hollander in Groningen has invited Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to visit the establishment on Queen's Day, when the Queen will visit Groningen. The owner said: "The Queen is a modern woman of the world open to new experiences. I fear that like most Dutch people she does not have a good picture of our industry and the products that we sell. We can explain to her how the weed works, what sort of people come here and how regulated the sale of cannabis is in the Netherlands." He also said the coffee shop visit was an appropriate addition to the type of Queen's Day celebrations promised by Groningen Mayor Jacques Wallage: "It is something different from clog dancing and (games of biting) the cake." He has not yet received a response to his official invitation to the Queen.

February 4th

Photo and Copyright: RVD

The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands together with their almost 2-month-old daughter Catharina-Amalia appeared on Dutch television this evening to thank the nation for all the presents, letters and best wishes they received following the birth of their daughter on December 7, 2003. They were filmed at their estate in Wassneaar and at Palace Noordeinde. Princess Máxima told about her daughter: "She is perfectly healthy. She doesn't cry much, only if she is hungry. If she eats, she eats a lot. She is increasingly alert and looks with huge curious eyes at the world." She also said: "We are now 100 percent responsible for someone's life, but it is a very happy period." She also admitted her husband is more practical than herself, joking that she is "little bit Latin" in that respect. The Prince and Princess showed the cradle Amalia sleeps in and revealed that also was in use for Queen Juliana, Queen Beatrix and Prince Willem-Alexander himself. Queen Wilhelmina received the cradle in 1909 for the birth of her daughter Juliana. In a letter of thanks, published on the official website of the royal family the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima write as though Amalia herself is speaking, telling about the day she came into the world and the period afterwards. The website also shows several new photos of the couple with Princess Amalia.

Yesterday Prince Hans Moritz von und zu Liechtenstein died in hospital in Tulln, Lower Austria. He was born on August 6, 1914 as second child of Prince Alfred and Princess Theresia née Princess zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Wallerstein. In 1944 he married Princess Clotilde von Thurn und Taxis. The couple has seven children and eight grandchildren. Prince Hans Moritz will be interred at the Family Vault in Vaduz.

Russian energy tycoon Victor Vekselberg has bought the Forbes family's Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs collection, which was to be auctioned at Sotheby's in New York on April 20th and 21st. No price has been disclosed for the private sale. Pre-auction estimates were that the eggs and the rest of the Forbes Fabergé collection would realize in the range of $80 million to $120 million. Mr Vekselberg will return the eggs to Russia. He says that the collection "represents perhaps the most significant example of our cultural heritage outside Russia. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to give back to my country one of its most revered treasures." In a statement the Forbes family said that "the family is delighted that the advent of a new era in Russia has made possible the return of these extraordinary objects. This is an amazing and exciting ending to our Faberge story." Prior to returning to Russia, highlights from the Collection, including the fabled nine Imperial Easter Eggs, will be on public exhibition at Sotheby's in New York, at a date to be announced shortly.

Former king Mohammed Zaher Shah of Afghanistan, 89 year old, was flown to New Delhi, India, yesterday evening for treatment after falling ill. He stays in a clinic now. Spokesman Hamid Helmi said: "He had some illness, some kind of cold. It's not very serious."

The PR person who will manage the image of Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales started his work this week. Paddy Harverson will be in charge of handling press for the princes and their father, the Prince of Wales. "I am very excited by the prospect of working for the Prince of Wales," he said when his appointment was announced, adding: "I am looking forward hugely to my new job and the challenges ahead."

On March 11, three days after International Women's Day, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will host a girls-only luncheon at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the excellence of women in British society. It will be the first ever female-only event at the Palace. Among the about 200 women invited are JK Rowling, Cherie Blair, Heather Mills McCartney and Twiggy. Also the Princess Royal, the Duchess of Gloucester and the Countess of Wessex will be present. A palace spokesman said: "The Queen has been a working mother most of her adult life and thought this would be an appropriate way to celebrate women and recognise their achievements and contribution to British society. It will be a day to pay tribute to women across a broad range who have achieved in all sorts of areas, many of whom have triumphed, often in the face of adversity."

French chauffeur Marin Roman has taken legal action against defence minister Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, claiming he and several other drivers were paid under-the-table for the Prince's frequent trips to France. He said he was hired without a contract in July 2001 to manage the payroll of the prince's domestic help in France. In September 2001, after discovering that most of the drivers were paid "in cash and off the books" he demanded a signed contract for his position but received one dated from that moment. Following a long battle to have that date changed, Mr Roman said he received a letter from the Saudi embassy in June the following year firing him. He filed a lawsuit for unfair dismissal and another for illegal employment practices, his lawyer, Antoine Gillot, told the press.

February 5th
Archaeologists have unearthed the spectacularly rich tomb of a Dark Age Anglo-Saxon king - the most important discovery since the Sutton Hoo ship burial in 1939 - in Prittlewell, Southend-on-Sea. Excavations revealed the intact tomb of an early seventh century Saxon monarch - almost certainly either Saeberht or Sigeberht, both kings of Essex. The 12-feet-wide, five-feet-high wood-lined chamber, in almost perfect condition, was crammed with gold coins and ornaments. The spectacular grave goods were found still hanging from iron pegs which had been hammered into the walls of the tomb. They include a 75cm diameter copper cauldron, a 35cm hanging bowl from northern England or Ireland and an exquisite 25cm diameter copper bowl, probably from Italy. There is also a 30cm high flagon, almost certainly from the Byzantine Empire, two gold foil crosses, an iron-framed folding stool, a sort of mobile throne, a gold reliquary which would probably have contained a bone fragment from a saint, four glass vessels, two drinking horns, the king's sword and the remains of his shield, two gold coins from Merovingian France, the remains of a lyre, and several iron-clad barrels and buckets, presumably for alcoholic drink. The king's skeleton has not survived due to the acidic nature of the soil. The excavations have been carried out by the Museum of London Archaeological Service and the objects will be on display at the Museum till 17 February and then from 21 February at Southend-on-Sea's Museum.

Recently Count Ignaz zu Toerring-Jettenbach became engaged to Robinia Mentasti-Granelli. Her parents are Bruno and Floriana Mentasti-Granelli. The family of the bride lives in Milan, Italy. The wedding might take place this summer, but date and location are yet to be determined.

The court in The Hague today ruled that Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme and her husband Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn's summoned witnesses, among others Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, The Duke of Parma and Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme, don't have to give testimony under oath in their case against the Dutch state. According to the court in The Hague it is not clear that those testimonies from members of the royal family will unveil relevant facts to prove the claim of Princess Margarita and her husband: "The expression of several allegations against the state, without further basis, is insufficient reason to allow temporary witness testimony." Britta Bohler, lawyer of the couple, said she was very disappointed with the court verdict, but that the legal challenge against the state will go ahead. They yet have to decide if they will appeal the ruling.

February 6th
Princess Claire of Belgium gave birth to a daughter at 22:34 at the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc in Woluwé-Saint-Lambert near Brussels. She is named Louise Sophie Mary. Louise weighs 3420 grammes and is 54 cm tall. Mother and daughter are doing well. Princess Louise is eleventh in line of succession to the Belgian throne. Princess Claire was admitted to hospital this afternoon, and Prince Laurent arrived at the hospital in the late afternoon. Tonight mother and daughter were visited by King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians, as well as Nicholas Coombs and Nicole Coombs-Mertens.

The Spanish royal court announced that Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, fiancée of the Prince of Asturias, has personally chosen fashion designer Manuel Pertegaz, 86-years-old and based in Barcelona, as the designer of her wedding dress. Mr Pertegaz has dressed some of the world's best-known fashion icons - Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Onassis as well as Queen Sofia of Spain. Letizia spent two hours at Mr Pertegaz workship this week. Afterwards he commented: "She was very pleasant and she has a wonderful figure." He added: "I don't think I would advise her to wear a gown that is too avant garde." In an interview to El Mundo two months ago Mr Pertegaz said that Letizia "should freely choose what she likes – there are no boundaries in fashion". However he also said that she should be a bride that "breaks any moulds", pointing out that royal protocol would have to be the main consideration.

This morning the majority of party spokesmen in the Danish Parliament said yes in a vote on the first draft of the bill to give Mary Donaldson, fiancée of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, the right to Danish citizenship. The bill will go to a second and third hearing and will come into force when Mary has said yes to Frederik on May 14th. She will renounce her dual British and Australian citizenship. Yesterday already the Parliament had its first debate about the increase of the Crown Prince's apanage. Several members of Parliament thought it to be oldfashioned and discriminating that Mary Donaldson will only get 10% of her husband's apanage instead of her own apanage. Prime Minister Anders Fogh then revealed that Queen Margrethe II and the royal family prefer the oldfashioned tradition.

Royal Coroner Michael Burgess and senior Scotland Yard detectives travelled to France yesterday to visit the Paris crash scene of Diana Princess of Wales. They are also expected to walk the route she took from the Ritz hotel to the Alma underpass where the fatal accident took place. They will also meet French officers involved in the French investigation. It is the first major step in the British investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of the Princess and Dodi Al-Fayed. Somewhere in the coming weeks Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens will also pay a visit to France.

Last week Paul Lambrino, also known as Prince Paul of Romania (grandson of King Carol II of Romania), announced he will legally challenge former King Michael of Romania's attempts to get $ 35 million as a compensation for the nationalized Sinaia estate (included the Peles, Pelisor and Foisor castles). "It was the wish of the Romanian Royal Family, my ancestors, that Peles Castle be kept as a museum for our fellow countrymen, the fine people of Romania. It is my duty as a Prince of Romania to protect and honestly point out, that Peles Castle cannot and will not be stolen from the people of Romania. I will work in coordination with designated members of the Government to insure that the treasures and furniture of Peles will not be diced up like mincemeat, sold off and taken out of Romania by the highest bidder," Paul Lambrino declared: "I have a duty to use my contacts and influence, internationally, to help protect the patrimony of the Romanian people." He also said: "My uncle was very badly advised. Shame on his entourage for placing him in such an undignified and illegal position." Paul Lambrino said that he would appeal to European courts if necessary. Mr Lambrino recently was acknowledged by a local Romanian court as the legitimate grandson of King Carol II, but the decision is currently being contested in Romania's Supreme Court by former King Michael. Two Romanian law firms and one of the leading law firms of Washington have agreed to work together on this with the Government after studying the true and uncontestable evidence that Paul Lambrino claims to possess.

February 7th
An open letter from Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was published in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. In the letter the Prince reacts to the many, often mean and unfounded imputations in publications and the media. He sharply critizised the publishers who according to him tell insulting untruths about himself and his family. He dislikes the insinuations about him having two illegitimate sons in London by Lady Ann Orr Lewis saying she has never been pregnant in those years. He also says about his war-past that he wasn't involved in the treachery of the Battle of Arnhem and the so-called Stadtholder-letter (letter he allegedly has written to Adolf Hitler in 1942 to offer him to become governor of the Netherlands). He also critizises accusations to the address of his mother. He says his mother didn't live a dissolute life when she was young and also didn't support the national socialism. Furthermore he says his parents had a good marriage and that his mother never had a relationship with Colonel Alexis Pantchoulidzew. Prince Bernhard says to act out of sense of honour and considers it his duty to rectify the reputation of his parents. In the letter Prince Bernhard also says he still enjoys life, even at the age of 92, and that he is mostly satisfied by his family and his work in the area of nature. Recently an inquiry was done in his name to collect evidence to proof his own statements in the cases mentioned in the letter. Documents can be seen here.

At a press conference Prince Laurent of Belgium told about the birth of his daughter Louise yesterday evening. The delivery took about 40 minutes and went very well. Princess Claire delivered the baby in a natural way with epidural anaesthesia. Prince Laurent was present at birth. He had to wake up this night already several times and has also changed the baby's diapers once. Princess Claire will leave hospital in 3 or 4 days time. At the press conference Prince Laurent described his daughter as 'round, pink and with bright hair'. He told the press that he had always wanted to share the birth with all people who know sorrows. According to Prince Laurent the little princess could bring them a bit of joy. Asked for his impressions at birth, the prince said he felt a huge responsibility, but that he also was very happy that his dream of having a girl as his first child was fulfilled. He said that now his daughter has been born 'I even understand less how people can hurt the smallest among us, humans or animals'. He said: 'Princess Louise will be raised like other children. How closer you are to your child, how closer the ties are. If you leave it to others, you will receive less gratitude later on'. The godfather of Louise will be a muslim friend of the prince, Prince Laurent told. According to the Catholic laws the godparents of a child to be baptized has to be a Catholic, but a person specialised in this said that one can ask Cardinal Danneels for dispensation. This afternoon Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde visited Princess Claire and little Louise in hospital.

King Abdullah II, Queen Rania and other members of the Jordanian royal family have visited the late King Hussein's tomb on the 5th anniversary of his death. Verses from the Holy Koran were recited and wreaths were laid on the grave. Later today King Abdullah II headed for Germany. Tomorrow he will deliver a speech called "Where does the Middle East go to?" before the participants in the 40th Forum of Munich for security police. He will clarify the Arab viewpoint regarding the region's issues, particularly the situation in Iraq and Palestine, and will also emphasize the image of Islam and the Islamic values that respect pluralism, call for tolerance and denounce terrorism.

February 8th
The Prince of Wales paid a surprisingly nearly 6-hour visit to the British troops stationed in Basra, Iraq. He landed at Basra International Airport from Kuwait at 13:05 local time in an airplane equiped to deflict any surface-to-air missiles. He then took a helicopter to the Al-Sarraji Palace. The Prince of Wales told the troops: "You are a remarkable bunch of people and I can only salute you. You have a great way of conducting that all-important hearts and minds campaign." He also said that the troops were owed a great debt of gratitude and said that the people in Great Britain often don't see the full picture of the good work the forces are doing. The Prince of Wales also met Paul Bremer, the USA's top administrator in Iraq who said: "This is a very important demonstration of the British Government's commitment to what we have started here." A spokesman for the Prince said: "We don't normally take the prince to places as dangerous as this. The troops need cheering up." It was a rare visit by a British royal to Iraq that won independence from Britain in 1932.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende of the Netherlands knew about the letter written by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, but refused to comment about the contents. However he said that the Prince had the right in the last phase of his life to tell his side of the story. Also Queen Beatrix was aware of the letter and expressed understanding for her father's actions. The authors who attacked Prince Bernhard in the past were less happy. Thomas Ross said he had evidence and sources to substantiate his allegations and that the Prince's letter had come too late. "If the Prince has objections about publications, he could have take action earlier by going to a judge." Jan Kikkert also remained firm in his assertions and was unconvinced by the Prince's denials.

The NOS will broadcast the wedding of Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands and Mabel Wisse Smit on April 24 live on television. The editor of the NOS, Lars Andersson, said on the radio the event is of national importance.

February 9th
In the documentary "Princess in Exile" that was broadcasted by the Norwegian channel TV2 Princess Ragnhild Mrs Lorentzen, eldest sister of King Harald V of Norway, gave some comment on the Norwegian royal family. She has been living in Brazil for the past 50 years and says in 1953 she was nearly forced to leave the country when she married a commoner: "I'm not really sure, but I think it was such that if we moved (to Brazil) we'd be allowed to marry." Although it was difficult to move to another country she said it was a relief to be able to live as a normal person. Asked about the future of the monarchy she said: "I'm not worried for myself, but for Norway, yes. I hope I die before that happens. I really hope so." She said not to admire Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Märtha Louise and thinks they've had poor advisers and she doesn't approve their choice of partners. She is certain they are not good for the monarchy. She said: "If my father had lived a bit longer, everything would have been very different." She also said to be very sorry for Marius, Crown Princess Mette-Marit's son saying that once the couple has a new child who's a royal heir "poor Marius is nothing. He is six (now seven) years old, but will understand that there's a difference. And that will give them (Haakon and Mette-Marit) problems. I hope they have thought about that." Princess Ragnhild's husband Erling Lorentzen this weekend tried to get TV2 to edit his wife's remarks as he said the documentary was meant to be broadcasted in connection with the state visit of King Harald V and Queen Sonja to Brazil last fall and now can be taken out of context, but also says that Princess Ragnhild stands by her comments. The palace declined to comment on Princess Ragnhild's criticism.

After his visit to the British troops in Basra, Iraq, the Prince of Wales travelled to Bam in Iran and witnessed the devastation left behind by the earthquake which struck the city on December 24, 2003. He met aid workers. The Prince asked an interpreter: "Would you tell them that my people in Britain are very concerned and they're praying for the Iranian people." After the visit to Bam the Prince travelled to Saudi Arabia. The visit is intended to offer solidarity to the kingdom after it suffered numerous fatal bombings over the past year. The last time a British royal made an official visit to Iran was in 1975 when the Queen Mother came to the country.

The son of the late Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, could be the godfather to the newborn Princess Louise of Belgium, Belgian newspapers speculated today. A palace source said that the speculation was "plausible," although Laurent's official spokesman declined comment.

February 10th

Copryright: Belgian Royal Court, Prince Laurent of Belgium

The first photos of Princess Louise of Belgium were released today. For the first time in Belgium the first photos were shot by the father himself. Also today the royal court issued a statement saying that the parents haven't chosen Louise's godfather yet: "Prince Laurent is indeed considering the possibility of choosing a Muslim godparent for his daughter but as the date of the baptism has not even been set yet he has made no firm choice. The Prince regrets that rumours on this subject have appeared in the media." This morning Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel however said Reza Pahlavi would be an "uncomfortable" choice for the country and that diplomatic relations between Teheran and Brussels could suffer. Reza Pahlavi is actively campaigning to overthrow the regime in Iran. Mr Michel said: "I am making no judgement about that person’s personal qualities, but if a member of our royal family, and therefore a member of a Belgian institution, chooses the Shah of Iran’s son to be the godfather of his child, it’s a bit like an official Belgian authority recognising the old regime when there is a new regime in place today that we have contacts with."

From hopefully 2006 Berg Castle can be visited by interested citizens and tourists in the months of July and August it became known. The initiative came from the Palace itself and a plan is worked out at the moment. The grand ducal residence - Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa live at the castle - might become a very popular touristic place, a spokesman for the Office National du Tourisme said. It is planned that the reception rooms, as well as the park will be open to the public, as well as some grand ducal collections and probably the library.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has been highly critisized in Sweden for an interview on the Swedish public radio during last week's state visit to Brunei. He said that Brunei was "a country which is much more open than one may imagine". He said that every Sunday after his visit to the mosque Sultan Hassan Bolkiah holds an open audience where anyone who wants can come and present his wishes, and presumably his complaints also. The King also said that the Sultan visits every village in Brunei each year "where there is every possibility of direct communication with all his subjects". King Carl XVI Gustaf today apologized for praising the Sultan's openness: "It was perhaps a little thoughtless but it was not my intention to step into the debate on Brunei's form of government," the king admitted, according to a spokeswoman for the royal palace, Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg. Swedish Liberal deputy Birgitta Ohlsson and other parliamentarians callef for the visit to Bruneai to be the subject of a constitutional standing commission. Mrs Ohlsson said: "The king cannot express a political position." She thinks it is irresponsible to send the King to a dictatorship without a minister who can present political criticism. The constitutional standing commission should also examine whether the King's comments could be regarded as a breach of the Swedish constitution.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is to lose direct control of Westminster Abbey and five other royal chapels under radical reforms announced yesterday. The recommendations were put forward by the Lord Chancellor and were based on a report published in March 2001 on the organisation and accountability of the Royal Peculiars. The reforms have been approved by the Queen and will distance her from her historical role as the sole authority over the chapels. The changes were introduced to prevent the Queen becoming embroiled in disputes. The plans are to appoint an assessor - who could act as a moderator - to each of the Royal Peculiars of Westminster Abbey, St George's Chapel and the Chapels Royal at St James's Palace, Hampton Court and the Tower of London. In addition, a body made up of up to three privy counsellors would be able to rule in cases where the assessor failed to bring about a successful mediation. The deans and chapters will continue to be in charge of the day-to-day running of Royal Peculiars but must produce a budget and audited accounts.

February 11th
Prince Paul "Pauly" Romanovsky-Ilyinsky died in his sleep early on Tuesday at the age of 76. He was born in London on January 27, 1928, as the only son of Grand Duke Dimitry of Russia (1891-1942) and Audrey Emery (1904-1971). Paul Ilyinsky served Palm Beach, Florida, for more than two decades as town councilman and mayor. When he was a child he travelled with his parents between their homes in England and France going to school at Sunningdale School in Kent. He first visited Palm Beach with his parents at the age of 6. His parents divorced in 1937. In 1939 his father put Paul on a ship to the USA to escape war. He himself stayed in Europe and died in Davos, Switzerland, in 1942. Paul Ilyinsky graduated from Woodberry Forest School in Virginia in 1946 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he attended combat photography school. He then entered the University of Virginia, but was recalled soon to active duty in Korea. In 1953 he graduated from university. In 1949 he had married Mary Evelyn Prince, but the couple already divorced in 1952. In 1953 he remarried Angelica Kaufmann, with whom he got two sons and two daughters. The couple settled in Palm Beach in 1953, but moved to Cincinnati in 1963. However they returned to Palm Beach in 1979 where Paul Ilyinsky opened a photography studio. He was first elected to Town Council in 1981, was re-elected in 1983 and then named council president. Although being defeated in 1987, in 1993 he became the mayor of Palm Beach after all. He retired in 1999 because of health problems: he had heart trouble and emphysema. He was a member of the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, the Community Foundation, the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and the Coconuts. He loved sailing and collected military miniatures and model railroads. The schedule for Mr. Ilyinsky’s funeral services is pending. Quattlebaum Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements. Mayor Lesly Smith yesterday began the Town Council meeting by rising and calling for a moment of silence. She said: "I'm very sad to tell you that Mayor Ilyinsky died this morning. His two great loves were his family and the town of Palm Beach." Flags around town were lowered to half-staff in his honor.

Around 12:45 Princess Claire of Belgium and her newborn daughter Louise, accompanied by Prince Laurent, left hospital. They thanked the staff of the hospital. Outside tens of people were waiting to have a glimpse of the baby and her parents. The couple took their time to talk with the people before leaving for their villa in Tervuren near Brussels. Princess Claire and Prince Laurent confirmed that their daughter looks a lot like Prince Laurent when he was born.

On April 30, 2005, it will be 25 years ago that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands came on the Dutch throne. To be able to pay attention to the Silver Jubilee in a correct way the Cabinet has founded the National Committee Silver Reigning Jubilee Queen Beatrix. The Committee will make a programme. The Queen's wish is that the programme is connected to activities and engagements that already will take place in the Netherlands in 2005. The committee exists of 21 members and will have its first meeting on February 21.

Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands will become director at TNO Spaces in Delft starting on March 1. He will become a director with his own working area next to another director. TNO Space unites the marketing efforts of five TNO-institutes in the area of aerospace engineering. Prince Friso studied aerospace engineering at the Technical University of Delft from 1988 to 1994.

February 12th
Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein made his very last speech during the opening of Liechtenstein's Landtag. Next year it will be the turn of his son hereditary prince Alois, who will become the deputy-prince on August 15. In his personal speech he looked back at his time as a reigning prince and said that for him it was especially important to assure the sovereignty and the right of self-determination of the people of Liechtenstein. He also said that the country is very small and has been happy to survive over the years, and that he is afraid that a membership of the European Union will mean less self-determination for the people of Liechtenstein. In foreign politics for all the good relations with both neighbours were important.

February 13th
Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway will be christened on Saturday, April 17, at the chapel of the Royal Palace in Oslo. Bishop Gunnar Stålsett will officiate in the ceremony. The godparents will not be announced until the day of the baptism.

Prince Hans Moritz of Liechtenstein, who died on February 3, was interred in the Princely familyvault next to the St Florin Cathedral in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. The mass at the cathedral was led by priest Markus Kellenberger and was attended by members of the princely family, family of the deceased as well as representants of the government and others. The coffin, covered with a yellow-red flag (the colours of the princely house) - was carried out to the familyvault nearby by policemen, while the national anthem was played. Only close members of the family entered the vault.

Prince Harry of Wales has arrived in Lesotho. He will spend the next eight weeks in Lesotho helping young mothers and disadvantaged children. He will visit a number of locations and community schemes and will help with building projects. He will be able to see first-hand how international agencies and charitable organisations provide aid and support to people. For security reasons, exact locations are not being disclosed.

Tapes secretly recorded by Diana Princess of Wales detailing the breakdown of her marriage to the Prince of Wales are to be shown for the first time on television. The Princess speaks of Charles's affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, her struggle with bulimia, suicide attempts, and her relationships with other members of the Royal family, said US television network NBC. NBC says it bought the right to the audio and video tapes, which show the princess "laughing and interacting" with Princes William and Harry, and that the video footage was taken by a 'professional' associate of the Princess between September 1992 and December 1993. There are also interviews with some closest friends. The hour of video and about seven hours of audio tapes were the main source for Andrew Morton's 1992 best seller, 'Diana: Her True Story' and are understood to have been secretly recorded at Kensington Palace. The two-part special will air at NBC in the United States on March 4 and 11.

During the Rally Sweden last weekend Prince Carl Philip of Sweden has confirmed at Swedish television that he is going to compete in motor sport in the future (this summer?). He took a racing licence this summer and got his competing licence from the Swedish motorsport association last weekend.

The opposition Socialist Party of former Communists said Friday it would submit to Parliament a draft law to impose a moratorium on property the state has restored to Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha. The law would bar him from selling, donating, renting and making any other deals with two small palaces, two mansions a hunting lodge and a country house he has inherited from his ancestors. The former king was restored to the property in 2001.

February 14th
Prince Laurent of Belgium will register his daughter at the townhall of Woluwé-Saint-Lambert on Friday, February 20th, at 11:00. He will be accompanied by three witnesses: Viscount Etienne Davignon, Jacques Donnez and Georges Vanlerberghe.

February 15th
The first "official' biography of Diana, Princess of Wales will be published this year with the support of her family. The book, Diana, The Portrait, has been commissioned by, and will raise money for, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, the charity set up after her death. The fund says that the book's purpose is to "redress the balance" following a series of books concentrating on scandals in the Princess's private life. The book will highlight Diana's charity work and "It is the first and only book about the Princess that has the full approval of Diana's estate." Lady Sarah McCorquodale, sister of the late Princess, who is an executor of the estate, will have overall control of the book. It is understood also the late Princess's mother Frances Shand-Kydd, her brother Earl Spencer and her other sister Lady Jane Fellowes support the project. The foreword was written by Nelson Mandela. The book is also said to contain some unpublished photographs. The book might have to compete with a new book by Andrew Morton, called 'Diana, In Search of Love', which is to be published in June.

February 16th
On Friday Countess Diana Bernadotte has given birth to a daughter: Paulina Maria. The baby is 50 cm tall and weighs 2850 grammes. Countess Diana married Bernd Grawe at Mainau last September. Paulina Maria is the first grandchild of Diana's mother, Countess Sonja, and already the 13th of Diana's father, Count Lennart Bernadotte.

In the future King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will be escorted by a cabinet minister on state visits to make sure he doesn't repeat political statements like he did in Brunei. Under the Swedish Constitution, the king is prohibited from engaging in politics. The foreign minister normally accompanies the king on official visits, but Laila Freivalds couldn't fit the Brunei trip into her schedule. He does not take part in the deliberations of the government and is not required to sign any government decisions.

February 17th
More than 700 people attended the Russian Orthodox funeral service of Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky at the The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the Sea, Palm Beach, Florida, yesterday afternoon. The service was co-celebrated by the Very Rev. Kirrill V. Gvosdev and the Rev. Ralph R. Warren. The service, sung in both Russian and English, followed the Russian Orthodox tradition with an open coffin and a paper band on the Prince's forehead signifying a crown of victory. Among the 27 pallbearers was Prince Michel de Bourbon de Parme. Eulogists were among others the deceased's sons Dimitri and Michael, his daughters Paula and Anne as well as his grandson Alex Comisar. Son Michael Ilyinsky finished his speech with a brief tribute to his mother. Alex Comisar remembered his grandfather as "the man in whose presence I learned the true meaning of being a gentleman. All of us here today have lost a friend, but I've lost my very best friend." The Rev. Gvosdev reminded the assembled of the historical significance of the occasion: "An era in Russia is over. The life of a Romanov has been extinguished. A chapter in Russian history is closed." Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky will be cremated.

Mabel Wisse Smit, fiancée of Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands, visited her former school, the Gemeentelijk Gymnasium in Hilversum, to give a masterclass about charity during a special art- and scienceday at the school. She told about working for an organisation involved in human rights and about the meaning of non-governmental aid organisations. Apart from the masterclass she was asked how difficult it is now to appear in public and she said: "At my old school that is nice. The past half year hasn't always been easy. Especially if you can't defend yourself. If so many lies and untruth is written about you. I have buried myself in my job and I have spent as much time as possible with family and friends I care for." About the news that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende will attend the wedding of her and Prince Johan Friso on April 24 she said: "Yes, nice isn't it?"

February 18th
Hon. Ma'atu Fatafehi 'Alaivahamama'o Tuku'aho of Tonga collapsed and died at the Vaiola Hospital on Tuesday morning following a heart attack. He was born at the Royal Palace, Nuku'alofa, on December 17, 1954, the third child and second son of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV and Queen Mata'aho of Tonga. In 1980 the Prince fell in love with a commoner, Heimataura Anderson, daughter of a Hawaiian millionaire, and married her in Hawaii without his father's permission. In Tonga the king officially annulled the marriage and stripped his son and his heirs of any royal rights. After the death of cancer of his wife, only five years after the wedding, the former prince returned to Tonga and in 1989 married Alaileula Jungblut, a granddaughter of Samoa's head of state Malietoa Tanumafili II. He is survived by her and their four children, one girl and three boys: Hon. Sitiveni 'Alaivahamama'o Polu Le'ulingana Tanusia Ma'a Tonga Tuku'aho (13), Hon. Salote Haimhadessah Tuku'aho (12); Hon Fatafehi Sione Ikamafana Tuita (10) and Hon. 'Etani Ha'amea Tupoulahi Tuku'aho (9). He then retained his noble title and in the late 1990s took one of the noble seats in the Legislative Assembly. A traditional royal funeral ceremony will be announced later and a burial site is being prepared at Mala'ekula the Royal Tombs.

Princess Mathilde of Belgium has travelled to Niger on Sunday to evaluate at first hand her country's charity efforts in the region. The visit is initiated by UNICEF. Princess Mathilde will explore a number of locations where Belgian aid projects are underway. She is accompanied by Minister for Cooperation Development, Marc Verwilghen. On Sunday she attended a gala event in Niamey.

During a 5-hour long debate in the Danish Parliament yesterday it was decided to go on to change the Danish succession laws. Only one party was against it. A group of 17 members of Parliament will prepare a bill later this year and make it similar to the Swedish law. This means that if the bill becomes a law, the first child of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson will be the heir no matter if it is a girl or a boy.

Research by Dr Maria Hayward, from the Textile Conservation Centre at Winchester School of Art, in the archives at the University of Southampton reveals more about what was worn in royal circles at the time of King Henry VIII of England. It was already known that the king enjoyed tennis, riding and jousting, but the research revealed that the king also owned a pair of football 'shoes'. Dr Hayward said: "Football in Tudor times was a very vicious game with no teams and no rules. According to contemporary writer Sir Thomas Elyot it was a game of 'beastly fury and extreme violence', so it was not a game for gentlemen. This makes it all the more surprising that Henry had a special pair of shoes for playing football in. The game was apparently especially popular on Shrove Tuesday." Dr Hayward is gathering material for publication about King Henry VIII's first Queen, Catherine of Aragon and an in-depth study of dress at Henry VIII's court. Detailed records exist of Henry's wardrobe for nine years out of the King's 37 year reign, although no clothes or shoes have survived.

February 19th
Former King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan has been discharged from hospital in Delhi, India, where he was admitted after complaining of an intestinal problem. His grandson, Nadir Naeem, has said they will remain in Delhi for the next few days and that the former king is still under medical observation.

Countess Dorothea von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny née Kuntze was cremated in München, Germany, today. She was born in Mährisch-Ostrau on July 1, 1921, as the daughter of Karl Kuntze and Luise Neumann. In 1940 she married Günther Latter, by whom she had a daughter, Monika, but the couple already divorced in 1942. In 1943 she married Count Karl von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (1916-1975). They had four children: Karl-Franz, Ruth, Peter and Isabelle.

February 20th
Prince Amedeo of Belgium Archduke of Austria-Este, who will celebrate his 18th birthday tomorrow, already received the press today. His birthday was celebrated in family circle with his parents, grandparents, brother and sisters at Villa Schonenberg, where the family lives. After a piece of strawberry-cake and champagne, familypictures were taken. Afterwards the party continued in private.

This morning Prince Laurent of Belgium registered his daughter Louise at the town hall of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. The Prince received the pen with which he signed the birth certificate and a silver cup with Louise's name engraved in it. The Prince told the mayor that Louise is doing fine, but that he is very tired because he has to get up at night to give her her bottle. He didn't want to comment on the baby's godfather.
Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway will appear on a Norwegian postal stamp that will mark her christening on April 17. 2 million copies will be issued. She will become the youngest person ever to appear on a Norwegian postal stamp. Press chief Brigitte Lund Nakken of Posten said: "For the first time we have had a female heir to the throne born in the country. This is a major occasion which of course we wish to applaud. This will be Posten's christening gift to Princess Ingrid Alexandra."

Communications Secretary Paddy Harverson quickly replied to an article in the Daily Express called 'Spoiled And Lazy Harry Is One Of A Kind'. The article was very critical about the agenda of Prince Harry of Wales's gap year. Mr Harverson wrote: "I am afraid that these comments make it entirely clear that Ms Sarler has little or no understanding of Harry as a person, and no knowledge of how he has so far spent his current gap year." He further defended Prince Harry's approach to his African trip. "He has insisted it be spent working… rather than on making VIP-style visits where he simply hears of local people's problems." He ended his letter with: "Like any other 19-year-old fortunate to be travelling and working abroad. Harry should be allowed to enjoy and benefit from his experiences."

The Queen's Day visit to Groningen of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands most likely will mainly take place at the Big Market (Grote Markt) and the Fish Market (Vismarkt). That could be concluded from the fact that market-vendors were offered to replace the Friday market to the Wednesday. For more news: here.

February 22nd
King Harald V of Norway, who celebrated his 67th birthday sailing in Florida this weekend, told reporters in Miami Beach he is enjoying the warmth of Florida and that he is feeling good. However he also said it was 'so boring' to be on sick leave and is looking forward to sail in a regatta off Florida this week. He hopes to be back at work after Easter. King Harald said he hopes he and his sister Princess Ragnhild are still friends, after being asked about their relationship after his sister's comments earlier this month. He added: "It would be sad if this affected our family relations." He said to be very pleased with the job his son Crown Prince Haakon is doing as a regent: "I've told him that 'I'm here if there's anything you need to ask about. But there's been very little he's asked about."

Princess Lena von und zu Liechtenstein née Johansson, wife of Prince Andreas von und zu Liechtenstein, gave birth to a son, Viktor, in Stockholm on February 13.

February 23rd
Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan gave an interview to the press club at the Imperial Household Agency prior to his 44th birthday. He said: "The situation in Iraq has been in disarray. I am praying from the bottom of my heart peace will prevail as soon as possible." Asked about his wife, Crown Princess Masako, the crown prince said she has become tired due to hard official work and child rearing, as well as from "major pressure" to give birth to a second child, a boy.

Yesterday Prince Rainier III of Monaco has been hospitalized for the third time in two months. He is suffering from 'acute heart problems' the palace said. A medical statement today said: "Biological exams confirmed this diagnosis corresponded with a new coronary lesion situated just below the heart bypass operation carried out in November 1994." It added that the lesion was "immediately brought under control" and that the prince would remain in hospital "in principle for several days".

The Danish royal website was completely redesigned.

Princess Kritika of Nepal went through the rice feeding ceremony 'pasani' today at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. Her mother, Crown Princess Himani fed her 'fish' during the traditional ceremony.

During building work on a metro-station Italian archeologists have found a 30-centimetres high marble head of Roman Emperor Nero (37-68 AD) in the centre of Napels, Italy. Already months ago parts of an imperial palace had been discovered at the same spot. The head was a part of a statue of the young Nero and most likely had its place at the palace. Leader of the excavations, Daniela Gianpaolo, says that it certainly won't stay the only sensation as Napels is one undiscovered finding place.

February 24th
The Prince of Orange has opened the Hermitage in Amsterdam this evening. A large spectacle outside formed a main part of the opening. The Prince of Orange arrived by boat and then enlighted the facades of the museum after which a special fireworks started, a reconstruction of the fireworks for Tsar Peter the Great during his visit to Amsterdam in 1697. The museum in Amsterdam is the third branch of the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg, Russia, abroad after London and Las Vegas. No Dutch paintings will be exhibited in Amsterdam as 'We will bring only the items Holland does not have - we are Russian cultural embassy' a spokesman for the Hermitage in St Petersburg said. The first exhibition is about Greek Gold. Later this year there will be an exhibition about Tsar Nikolaj II and Tsarina Alexandra.

February 25th
This week's Point de Vue announces the upcoming wedding of Archduke Martin of Austria-Este and Princess Katharina von Isenburg. The wedding will take place at Birstein Castle on May 7. Archduke Martin was born on December 19, 1959 as the fourth child and youngest son of Archduke Robert of Austria-Este (1915-1996) and Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta (* 1930). Princess Katharina von Isenburg was born on October 21, 1971, as the second child and eldest daughter of Franz Alexander 8th Prince von Isenburg (* 1943) and Countess Christine von Saurma Freiin von und zu der Jeltsch (* 1941).

The Royal Palace in Monaco has said that Prince Rainier III's condition has improved since he entered hospital over the weekend. He remains under permanent medical surveillance. His improvement is completely reassuring. Later this week his doctors will decide when the Prince can return home.

The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands have won their legal battle at court in Amsterdam against the gossip magazine Privé. The court ruled that the magazine's publications in 2003 containing photos of the interior of Villa De Eikenhorst, where the couple is living now, were unlawful and that the magazine may not longer use the photos. Any breach of the ruling carries a risk of being fined 25.000 Euros per photo. The magazine was also ordered to destroy all photos, published or not, within five days. The court also ruled that despite the photos "exposed little" and were "reasonably innocent", their publication in combination with the attached text breached the royal couple's right to privacy.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has been honored with the Habitat Scroll of Honor Award for his work in reducing pollution in the canals of Bangkok and other environment projects. The award is the highest award conferred by the United Nations to individuals, projects or institutions in recognition of significant contributions to improving human settlements. It was formally presented to the king today at his palace in Hua Hin by Anna Tibaijuka, an undersecretary general of the United Nations. The Habitat Scroll of Honor will be accompanied with a special citation recognizing the king's "outstanding contribution to improving water resource management in Thailand." "The comprehensive and integrated nature of His Majesty's royal development projects is a lesson to all of us eager to protect our natural environment," Mrs Tibaijuka said.

February 29th
Yesterday afternoon King Mohammed VI of Morocco started a visit to the northeastern part of Morocco to comfort survivors of Tuesday's earthquake that killed more than 500 people. Hundreds of people applauded as the king arrived at the hospital in Al Hoceima, about 20 minutes after landing at the local airport, and talked to victims of the earthquake. Today he visited an hospital in the town of Imzouren, where numerous homes and buildings collapsed. The King's spokesman said the King hoped the visit would "help facilitate and accelerate relief operations." On Monday, King Mohammed VI plans to go to Ait Kamara, the worst-hit town at the quake's epicenter. It was said that a series of aftershocks following the original quake prevented the King from coming earlier to the area and officials said they were wary of sending the king to the area amid fears for his safety. On Thursday and Friday people protested as relief supplies appeared to have penetrated almost all the region affected, while many villages said they didn't receive anything as local authorities failed to distribute the supplies.

Royal News: January 2004. Last updated: February 1st, 2004.