ROYAL NEWS: JULY 2006

Last updated: July 31st, 2006.

July 1st

Photo and COpyright: dana press photo a/s

Yesterday and today Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a huge party for royals and family. The couple married on 14 February 1981 and in February celebrated their wedding anniversary in private. Yesterday evening an artistic spectacle with 900 guests took place at the Grand Theatre in Luxemburg City. This morning the family and several guests attended the opening of the Museum of Modern Art Grand Duke Jean in Luxemburg-Kirchberg. In the afternoon the guests were invited for a picnic at the woods near Gatter. Tonight a huge gala-dinner took place at Berg Castle in Colmar. Among the guests this weekend were among others most family members, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Mr Pieter van Vollenhoven, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Princess Christina Mrs Magnuson and Mr Tord Magnuson, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Queen Fabiola of the Belgians, Prince Lorenz and Princess Astrid of Belgium, Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium, the Princess Royal, Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, Princess Nora of Liechtenstein, Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Princess Sarvath of Jordan, Princess Tsuguko Takamado of Japan, the Duke and Duchess of Bragança, former King Simeon of Bulgaria and his wife Margarita, former King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Princess Margarita or Romania and Prince Radu of Hohenzollern-Veringen, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katerina of Yugoslavia and the Aga Khan. Also Tessy Antony, girlfriend of Prince Louis of Luxemburg, took part in the celebrations.

A man has been arrested after a car was crashed into the gate of the residence of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga in Auckland, New Zealand shortly after midnight. Police said the car caught fire when it hit the gates and emergency services were called. They police says the man is not believed to be hurt but will face charges.

Princess Máxima of the Netherlands yesterday attended the first meeting of the new advisory group for a accessible financial sector of the United Nations in New York. Together with 20 others she was asked to take a seat in the group, which goes further with the results of the International Year of the Microcredit 2005 in which the princess also participated.

July 2nd
Japanese comedian Atsuhiko Nakata who was parachuting for the shooting of a television quiz program and his instructor were blown off course by strong winds. Instead of landing at the Jingu Stadium in Tokyo they landed nearby within the Akasaka Goyochi residential quarters of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan on Sunday afternoon, police said. No one was hurt in the incident. Imperial Household police officers noticed the parachute and warned the two men. The couple was supposed to descend into the baseball stadium area with the answer to a question for a quiz program dubbed "the national quiz tournament for high school students, " scheduled to be aired in September, according to broadcaster Nippon Television Network Co. "They descended on the advice of an expert but were whipped away by an abrupt gust of wind," a Nippon Television spokesperson said. "We apologize to all those concerned who have been inconvenienced."

July 3rd
RJH Public Relations, the company of the Countess of Wessex has been taken to court over a string of unpaid debts. The company has four outstanding unpaid county court judgments totalling £30,000. The company is now being wound up and liquidators are being appointed. The Inland Revenue and Barclays Bank, who have taken a charge on a mortgage on the company premises, will have priority in any payouts. The company’s offices in Mayfair were deserted at the weekend; 12 staff have lost their jobs, and the telephone has been cut off. Buckingham Palace refused to comment, stating that RJH was a matter for the company and not the Royal Family.

Yesterday the Nepal government decided to scrap the tradition of observing the event as a national holiday. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala chaired a meeting of his ministers. King Gyanendra of Nepal will celebrate his 60th birthday on July 7. The monarch's birthday will not be a national holiday anymore for the first time in the history of the 238-year monarchy. Nepal's embassies and high commissions in over 20 countries overseas have been asked by the new government not to celebrate the event officially.

July 4th
The Moscow City Court is to hear an appeal filed by a lawyer for Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia protesting the authorities' refusal to rehabilitate Russia's last Tsar Nicholas II and his family on August 1. "We believe in justice and the law. We hope that pseudo-political decisions to deny rehabilitation to Emperor Nicholas II and his family will be ruled illegal and overturned," lawyer German Lukyanov said yesterday.

King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga celebrated his 88th birthday today. For the first time was unable to attend the military parade and the inspection of the parade was carried out by Crown Prince Tupouto'a at Mala'e Pangai in Nuku'alofa. However the king attended the royal luncheon in the grounds of the palace after the parade. He also received birthday well-wishers at the palace.

July 6th
The traditional photocall of the Dutch royal family took place in Tavarnelle Val di Peso, Italy, today. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands posed together with the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima and their daughters Princess Amalia and Princess Alexia. They all looked very relaxed, although at one moment it all became a bit too much for Princess Alexia who started to cry but was soon consoled by her grandmother. The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima said that they had been very busy lately and travelled abroad a lot. They were happy to be able to spend more time with their children. Despite of political problems Queen Beatrix has started her vacation. She will return tomorrow for one day to swear in the leader of the new government and two new ministers.

Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco, will serve as goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization to promote cancer prevention. The announcement of her appointment was made today during an audience between princess Lalla Salma and WHO director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Hussein Abdel-Razzak Gezairi, who was accompanied by WHO representative in Morocco, Raouf Ben Ammar.

Prince Tu'ipelehake of Tonga and his wife Princess Kaimana were killed when a teenager racing her car crashed into their vehicle at Menlo Park, California, USA, authorities said. Also their driver was killed. 18-year-old Edith Delgado was allegedly racing her white 1998 Ford Mustang at speeds up to 100 mph on a highway around 9 p.m. on Wednesday when she tried to pass the SUV carrying the royal couple. Miss Delgado's car slammed into the driver's side of the car causing it to swerve across several lanes before tumbling to a stop on its roof. Miss Delgado, who was not injured herself in the car crash, was jailed on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and engaging in a speed contest.

July 7th

Photo: Netty Leistra

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain unveiled the Queen Mother's Morial Garden in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Conrwall. The garden features a Celtic labyrinth and four secret gardens, with plants from around the world. It also has a stone pavilion housing a bronze portrait of the Queen Mother. The garden was designed by Lachlan Stewart.

The Royal Palace today announced that Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is to attend an elite Swedish diplomat training programme. The course will start in September and run until June next year. She will learn about Swedish foreign and security policy and the way the Swedish state works. The course is “a very good education,” according to palace spokesman Morgan Gerle. “She is very interested in research on conflict resolution. The Crown Princess has previously carried out placements in Swedish government agencies abroad and at the United Nations. This is a part of her continuing programme.”

King Gyanendra of Nepal marked his 60th birthday with subdued celebrations on Friday as a cloud hangs over the future of the monarchy. About 4,000 people, including Buddhist monks in maroon robes, Hindu priests in white loincloths, members of the king's ousted administration and their families took part in the celebration at the Narayanhity palace in central Kathmandu. For the first time in years, government offices and schools stayed open and ministers skipped the ceremony.

Several members of the monarchist party Consulta dei senatori del Regno today decided that the title of Duke of Savoy and the position of head of the house of Savoy will go to the Duke of Aosta. While the official justification is Vittorio Emanuele Duke of Savoy's marriage to bourgeois Marina Doria without the approval of a former king, it is believed to be directly related to the current scandal. There was an immediate protest by the Prince of Venice and other monarchists. The Consulta dei senatori del Regno was established by former King Umberto II of Italy to preserve the traditions of the senate in the Kingdom of Italy. The council split in 2001 and part has now chosen the Duke of Aosta as new Duke of Savoy, while the other part supports Vittorio Emanuele Duke of Savoy.

July 8th
Fiji police have arrested a man who allegedly threw a metal object at the official vehicle carrying the Princess Royal in Suva this morning. The princess was returning from an official visit to the Save the Children Fund Fiji office when the incident occurred. The man allegedly threw the object from the veranda of his house and police officers travelling with the entourage quickly detained him at the scene.

Duke Michael von Württemberg married Julia Storz in the Schlosskirche at Friedrichshafen in the early afternoon. The couple very much wanted to marry near the Bodensee. The ceremony was led by Father Pierre Conrads Kronenberg SJ. Organist was Prof.Dr. Ludger Lohmann. The Aurelius-Chorknaben from Calw led by Johannes Sorg sang. The civil wedding took place at Altshausen yesterday. It was quite a private wedding with about 240 guests invited. After the marriage the party took place in the evening at Altshausen. Among the guests were the brothers and sisters of the groom with partners and children

Alexandre de Sambucy de Sorgue, youngest son of Baron François Xavier de Sambucy de Sorgue and Princess Chantal of France, married Anne-Cécile Berteau at Montmajour Abbey near Arles. The ceremony was led by Monseigneur Di Falco assisted by Father Michel Ciccullo. Among the guests were many members of the French royal family, as well as Princess Margarita of Romania and her husband. The civil wedding already took place at Paris on 17 June. See: photos of the wedding

July 9th
Prince Harry of Wales is learning to drive light tanks as he begins the next stage of his army training. He will also learn to maintain the armoured reconnaissance vehicles, which have a driver, gunner and a commander. He will complete his "recce soldier" training as a member of the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals in October. A Ministry of Defence spokesman, said: "Prince Harry has begun the second phase of his Troop Leaders' course, for the first time driving an armoured reconnaissance vehicle."

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has slipped and injured on the back, shoulder and one of his ribs Thai media reports. It is reported that the King fell to the ground in front of a royal residence in Bangkok on June 24 while walking for leisure. Doctors said the king was injured on the back and one shoulder, and there was also a small crack on his fourth right rib. The King has been advised to stop from attending any public activities for recovery.

July 11th
14-year-old Princess Mako of Japan will travel to Austria for two weeks to take part in a homestay, it was reported in a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The princess, who is a third-year student at Gakushuin Girls' Junior High School, will stay in Austria during her school summer vacation for 14 days from August 3 to 16. She will stay at the home of an acquaintance that her mother Princess Kiko met when she stayed in Vienna for about two years from 1977. The home of the acquaintance is reportedly on the outskirts of Vienna. During her stay, Princess Mako will reportedly carry out English and other language study and view art in the city of Vienna.

Simeon II National Movement will nominate a candidate for the presidential elections in the country, but this person will not be the leader of the party Simeon Saxe-Coburg. The nomination of Bulgaria's ex prime minister was ruled out by SIINM deputy leader Plamen Panayotov. He explained that this decision has been taken after a thorough analysis of the political situation in the country. Panayotov, however, declined to reveal Saxe-Coburg's motives for not running for president saying that each person decides alone whether to publicly announce his decisions.

July 12th
Today the small principality of Liechtenstein marked its bicentennial as sovereign state. On 12 July 2006 Liechtenstein was admitted to the Confederation of the Rhine and became a sovereign state, which it remained until today unlike the other 15 members of the Confederatin of the Rhine. During the official opening ceremony at the Town Hall of Vaduz Hereditary Prince Alois said that the country looks back to a 'very happy' 200 years. Then the anniversary procession of the eleven municipalities walked through Vaduz. More than 1000 people showed eleven images from the history of the country, illustrating scenes with important personalities from the past. Afterwards the people were invited for the 200 years party with a 200-meter bar and lots of music. A festive banquet for invited guests took place in the Vaduzersaal.

King Gyanendra of Nepal could face questioning by the commission investigating excesses committed by the former royal government during the April pro-democracy movement, commissioner Harihar Birahi said today. He said the king's own role was not beyond the scope of the investigations. The commission has already questioned over three dozen people including the two vice chairmen of the king's council of ministers, other ministers and high officials of the former royal government. Mr Birahi said the king himself could be called by the commission, but did not say how or when that might occur.

Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu has been admitted to Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit after she had a heart attack yesterday morning. Her condition is understood to be serious and last night family and tribal members gathered at her bedside for prayers. A statement from her secretary, Taini Rutene, said she had been admitted to the hospital for observation and medical review. Further tests are to be carried out today and it was expected that Dame Te Ata would then return home, Ms Rutene said.

July 14th
Over 3000 people turned up to celebrate the 29th birthday of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden today at the royal family's summer retreat of Solliden at Öland. As usual the Crown Princess was presented with flowers and drawings by children. She came outside at 2pm together with her parents. King Carl XVI Gustaf made a few jokes before leading the singing of Swedish birthday song Ja Må Hon Leva. He said: "Today is Victoria's birthday. It's been so many years now that I've stopped saying how old she is. It's wonderful that you want to be here to make this a special day." The Crown Princess herself said: "It never ceases to amaze me that so many of you turn up. Many of you have been here several times, and I take that with me when colder and greyer days come." The celebrations continued a little later at the Borgholm sports ground, where the royals arrived in horse ad carriage. For the first time also Crown Princess Victoria's boyfriend Daniel Westling attended part of the celebrations together with other friends of the Crown Princess.

Prince Ernst August von Hannover has lost a case at the Bundesverfassungsgericht (High Council). The court has decided that media are allowed to report on offenses of prominent people with mentioning their name. Therewith the prince has lost his complaint about media reports about him driving too fast in France in August 2003.

July 15th
Princes William and Harry of Wales said today they were "deeply saddened" by the publication of a photo in the Italian weekly magazine Chi of their late mother Diana Princess of Wales taken moments after the car crash which killed her in August 1997. In a statement the princes said: "Following this week's publication in an Italian magazine of material relating directly to the death of our mother, we feel deeply saddened that such a low has been reached. Despite the support shown to us and our mother's memory by so many people over the last eight years, we feel that as her sons we would be failing in our duty to her now if we did not protect her as she once did us. Therefore we appeal to all forms of media throughout the world to appreciate fully that publishing such material causes great hurt to us, our father, our mother's family and all those who so loved and respected her." Editor of Chi magazine Umberto Brindani today defended the picture's publication, saying it was "touching" and "tender", not offensive. The black and white photo under the headline "World Exclusive: The Last Photo" accompanies an article about a new book by French crime writer Jean-Michel Caradec'h called 'Lady Diana: The Criminal Investigation'. The book will include photos of Diana taken shortly after the accident and also includes autopsy diagrams charting the injuries the Princess suffered. Mr Brindini said: "We carried an interview with the author and were provided material from a dossier which he acquired. The material from this dossier is in the book and includes the photograph as well as other documents. We were the first magazine to publish them but I understand that others in Europe - France and Spain - will also publish shortly."

July 16th
Last night Princess Beatrice of York celebrated her 18th birthday with a masked ball and dinner at Windsor Castle. The party was based on the year 1888 in tribute to Beatrice's birthdate of August 8th 1988. The party was attended by 500 friends and celebrities, among them the Duke and Duchess of York, Princess Eugenie, Peter and Zara Phillips, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Lord Frederick Windsor, Andrea Casiraghi, singer Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne with their children Jack and Kelly, actress Demi Moore with Ashton Kutchner. Buckingham Palace confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh would not be attending their granddaughter's 18th and said it had never been her intention to do so. The total cost of the party was expected to be £400,000 and included £215,000 on food and drink, £65,000 on flowers and £120,000 on security, outfits, design and staff costs. One of Beatrice's best friends, named only as Caroline, also made a warm speech in tribute to the Queen's granddaughter, telling the audience: "Some normal girls are a million times more of a Princess than she is." Following the speeches, and with an orchestra from the Royal Philarmonic playing, the Duke of York led his daughter onto the dance floor for the first waltz of the night. The party continued well into the early hours.

Countess Josephine von Posadowsky-Wehner née Princess von Hohenzollern died at Andernach on 11 July 2006. She was born on 15 February 1922 at Burg Namedy as the eldest child of Prince Albrecht von Hohenzollern and Ilse von Friedeburg. In 1967 she married Harald Count von Posadowsky-Wehner who died in 1990. She will be buried at Namedy on 20 July.

July 18th
In an interview with Hello magazine Princess Michael of Kent has spoken out for the first time about her alleged affair with Russian millionaire Mikhail Kravchenko, insisting that her marriage is 'rock-solid'. She excused recent photographs of her kissing and holding hands with him by explaining she is just an extremely 'tactile' woman. "The true nature of our relationship is that it is a very good friendship. I hold hands with all my friends. I don't think that's being intimate at all. I'm a very tactile person - I do it all the time. Anyone who knows us [my husband and I] knows we are so content with each other and with our lives. Right now we are at the highest point in our marriage." About her husband she says: "He [her husband] loves me. I love him. That's very strong. So if he wants to go and have tea or lunch with somebody, why should I care?"

Buckingham Palace officials are already drawing up plans for a commemorative service marking the 10th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in August 2007. It's claimed Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales are being kept closely informed of plans for what a royal source has described as a "tasteful and discreet" service commemorating the events of August 31st 1997. According to a Palace official: "Even though it is over 13 months away, plans are already afoot to commemorate the anniversary of Diana's death. Nothing has been remotely finalised, but there will be some sort of event, possibly a service. The most important thing is that her sons are happy about what occurs. It is likely the event will include some of the things Diana did in her life to show that her legacy lives on. There may be some sort of acknowledgement from the Queen about Diana. Nothing has been ruled out and nothing has been ruled in."

Princess Kiko of Japan has symptoms of partial placenta previa, a condition in which part of the placenta drops too low in the uterus, palace doctor Ichiro Kanazawa said in a statement released through the Imperial Household Agency. "We believe a Caesarean section will be needed at the time of delivery, which is highly likely to come at an earlier date than originally expected," Mr Kanazawa said. "There is a high risk of early bleeding, infection or pre-term birth triggered by the placenta previa. In order to prevent these possible complications, the Princess will have to rest for some time." The Princess and the baby are in good health, but the princess might have to be hospitalized if her condition worsens. "Together with Japanese citizens, we'd like to wait quietly so that Princess Kiko will safely give birth to her baby," Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe told a news conference.

July 19th
The Countess of Wessex's PR firm RJH Public Relations has avoided being wound up today because it has already gone into voluntary liquidation. The firm which is believed to have debts of up to £1.7million, faced a winding up petition brought by publishers Reed Elsevier, which is owed about £25,000. But, in a brief hearing at London's High Court, Mr Registrar Simmonds dismissed the petition with no order for costs at the request of the company's counsel Adam Chichester-Clark. Outside court, solicitor Christopher Mackie explained: "The position is simply that my clients were content to allow the company to remain in voluntary liquidation. They have been since July 10th, and my clients have every confidence in the liquidators undertaking a thorough investigation of the company and its liquidators."

July 20th
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway celebrated his 33rd birthday today at the royal summer residence Mågerø at Tjøme together with his wife Mette-Marit, his children and stepson and Queen Sonja of Norway. King Harald V of Norway is sailing at Mallorca, Spain. See: pictures

The Royal Household Bureau announced that the operation to correct King Bhumibol Adulyadej Of Thailand's lumbar spinal stenosis today at Siriraj Hospital has been successful. "His Majesty has undergone physiotherapy and has been given intravenous saline as well as medicine," said the bureau. The microsurgical decompression began at 4:05 pm and was completed at 8:53 pm. The doctors say that the operation was successful and that there are no complications. Present at the hospital were Queen Sirikit, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and his wife Princess Srirasmi, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess Chulabhorn Valayalaksana and Princess Somsavali. Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, who left the hospital in the early evening, said the King could talk and eat soft food. "His Majesty is so delighted to see many well-wishers," the Princess said after greeting and talking to some of the well-wishers.

The Duke of Savoy who is under investigation in a corruption and vice probe was released from house arrest today. A court in the city of Potenza, where the investigation is based, granted a defence request for the duke's release but stressed that he was not to leave the country. The Duke of Savoy told reporters gathered outside the house in Rome where he had been under house arrest that he was delighted to be released. "As for what follows now, I have complete trust in the Italian justice system. The truth, the real truth, will come out because justice, if one looks for it, exists," he said. His son Emanuele Filiberto said: "My father is once again free to move around Italy. His arrest was never necessary."

The bodies of Prince Tui'pelehake of Tonga and his wife Princess Kaimana, who died in a car accident in the USA earlier this month, arrived in Tonga amid much ceremony ahead of their funeral on Friday. The coffins were draped with national flags and met at Fua'amoto International Airport by a party led by Crown Prince Tupouto'a and a contingent of the Tongan military. Members of the royal family wore black and traditional waist mats. School children and villagers lined the entire 12km route from the airport to the capital Nuku'alofa to pay respects. The arrival of the bodies marked the beginning of 10-day mourning period in Tonga. The prince and princess will receive a royal funeral rather than an official state ceremony. Palace officials say King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga will not attend the funeral for health reasons.

July 21st
The funeral service for Prince Tu'ipelehake and Princess Kaimana Fielakepa of Tonga was held at the Free Wesleyan Centenary Church in Nuku'alofa at 12.30 today. The sermon was conducted by the Rev. Dr 'Ahio. The church was filled with hundreds of family members, relatives and friends, representatives of South Pacific royalty, dignitaries and diplomats. During the service Princess Mele Siu'ilukutapu, the prince's eldest sister, told the congregation her brother had been dedicated to peaceful political reform. Following the two and a half hour service the funeral procession left for the burial at the 'Otu Langi Na Moala, at Lapaha. Tonga is observing a 10-day mourning period for the couple and flags were being flown at half mast as a mark of respect, the Tongan royal family will observe six months of mourning, beginning with an overnight vigil at the couple's home after their bodies were returned on Thursday. Edith Delgado, who caused the car accident, has been charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

July 22nd
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain yesterday embarked for an eight-day cruise around the Western Isles of Scotland with her family at her side. The Queen paid £125,000 to hire the former car ferry converted into the luxury cruiser the MV Hebridean Princess. The cruise is an 80th birthday present to herself, except for a couple of secret stops to pick up and drop off various members of her family. The Queen went on board at Port Ellen on Islay accompanied by the the Princess Royal and her husband Timothy Laurence, Peter Phillips with girlfriend Autumn Kelly, Viscount and Viscountess Linley with their children, Lady Sarah Chatto and Daniel Chatto with their children. The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their daughter Lady Louise Windsor are expected to join the tour in the next few days as other members of the party disembark. Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales have both had to pass up because of their Army commitments. After the cruise, the Queen and Prince Philip will go to Balmoral for their summer vacation.

Michael Burgess, the coroner of the Queen's Household who was due to hear inquests into the deaths of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed has announced he is withdrawing from the cases. He asked for the inquests to be handled by a "senior judicial figure". He blamed a "heavy and constant" workload for his decision. He said he wanted to pass on the responsibility in advance of an official report into the 1997 Paris crash being released. Buckingham Palace said that the Queen had been informed of the development.

Countess Elisabeth d'Udekem d'Acoz married Margrave Alfonso Pallavicini at Saint-Pierre church in Bastogne, Belgium today at 16.00. The civil wedding took place at the town hall of Bastogne on 20 July with as witnesses Karin Luke and Jean Law de Lauriston de Boubers. Only 18 people attended the civil wedding. The religious ceremony today was led by Father Tommy Scholtes assisted by Father Conrads von Kronenberg and Dean Jean-Maurice Jacques. The service was conducted in French, Italian and German and was simple, classic and moving. Witnesses for the bridal couple were Count Charles-Henri d'Udekem d'Acoz, Honorine d'Ursel, Edouardo Pallavicini, Prince Hugo von und zu Liechtenstein, Hervé Thibaut de Maisières and Alexandra Olsufief. The bride wore a beautiful gown designed by Edouard Vermeulen of the House of Natan. Among the about 350 guests was the bride's sister Princess Mathilde of Belgium with her husband Prince Philippe and the eldest two children Elisabeth and Gabriel, who both were bridal children, Prince Maximilian and Princess Angela von und zu Liechtenstein, Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans Duke of Ansjou, Countess Fleur von Goëss née Duchess von Württemberg, Duchesses Helene and Maria Anna in Bavaria, Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria with husband Daniel Terberger and son Maximilian. Also Queen Fabiola of the Belgians, Prince Laurent and Princess Claire with daughter Louise attended the wedding. In the evening the party was held at Losange Castle.

July 23rd
The health of Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu's health has improved enough for her to be out of Waikato Hospital. She has been undergoing dialysis treatment, and there have been unconfirmed reports her health had taken a turn for the worse. Waikato Hospital says the Maori Queen was discharged to the care of her family earlier this week.

July 24th
The Royal Household Bureau announced today that King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand can stand up and walk longer and does not show any sign of pain from the surgery wound. They say doctors asked the king to stand up and walk with a walker for the third time Monday after the surgery. He can now stand and walk for a combination of 13 minutes, which was longer than the two earlier exercises. The latest official statement said doctors had advised the King to exercise. The king was also able to take solid food. Examinations showed the king's physical recovery was satisfactory.

The Nepalese council of minister today decided to scrap the military secretariat in the palace. King Gyanendra will also lose his personal army. Acording to the estimates of the new government, there are about 900 employees and 3,000 soldiers stationed in the palace for the security and welfare of the king and the queen.

July 25th
Tengku Datuk Puteri Kamariah Sultan Abu Bakar, a 64-year-old Pahang princess was stabbed to death and her husband seriously injured after they were attacked by one of their sons at their villa Ismaputri, Lorong Kubang Buaya, Pekan Town, Pahang, yesterday. The Princess was trying to protect her husband Tunku Datuk Ismail Tunku Sulaiman from their 21-year-old son Tunku Rizal Shahzan. The deceased was the half-sister of Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang. Tunku Shahzan died at 7.35pm, six hours afterwards, at the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital apparently of a drug overdose.. Police had earlier arrested him at the villa where they also recovered a “Rambo” knife and a screwdriver, believed to be the murder weapons. He was believed to have been under the influence of designer drugs. He was the youngest of the couple's eight children. Tunku Ismail, who is a member of the Negri Sembilan royalty, is reported to be in stable condition after undergoing an operation at the same hospital. He has slash wounds to the stomach.

July 26th
Buckingham Palace will open to the public again this year from 26 July until late September. In addition to the 19 State rooms, this year's opening will feature a special exhibition of evening dresses and personal jewellery of the Queen to celebrate the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The 80 spectacular gowns, from the 1940s to the present day, have been worn by the Queen for both official engagements and private family events. The selection of jewellery includes private gifts to the Queen from members of the Royal Family to mark special occasions, and some of the most famous and historic pieces in Her Majesty's collection, such as the Vladimir Tiara, the Cambridge Emerald Necklace and two brooches set with stones from the famous Cullinan Diamond.

According to the new Gente magazine Vittorio Emanuele Duke of Savoy will renounce the throne in favour of his son Emanuele Filiberto Prince of Venice. The news should stay secret for some weeks to finish practices expected from the royal protocol for the passage of duties from father to son. A spokesman for the royal family, Filippo Bruno di Tornaforte, yesterday said no document has been signed.

Yesterday thousands of people bid a tearful farewell to Tengku Datuk Puteri Kamariah Sultan Abu Bakar, who died after being stabbed by her son, at the royal burial ground at Pekan. State royalty, led by Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang and his son Tengku Mahkota Tengku Abdullah, were among the first to pay their respects to the deceased. Earlier, the body of Tengku Puteri Kamariah was placed at her residence, Villa Ismaputri, in Kuantan for relatives and friends to pay their last respects. The body was brought in a hearse to the royal burial ground next to the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque at Pekan. The deceased's husband, Tunku Datuk Ismail Tunku Sulaiman, 69, was still in the intensive care unit of the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Kuantan. He underwent a five-hour operation and is reported to be in stable condition. The burial ceremony of Tunku Rizal Shahzan was a quiet affair. With the exception of several of his siblings none of the guests stayed to pay their respects to him. He was laid to rest at the Muslim burial ground nearby after 1pm. His twin brother Tunku Rizal Ramadan Tunku Ismail described his brother as a good person respected by all siblings. He said: ”I believe he was not his usual self during the incident. Otherwise he would not have done it.”

July 27th
The relationship between Prince Joachim of Denmark and Marie Cavallier is over after a ten-month relationship. Marie Cavallier told to this week's Billed-Bladet: "We're not dating any longer." The Royal Court is not commenting on the split.

Nicholas Greaves, who worked as under-butler at Buckingham Palace between 2002 and 2004, was jailed for two years today after he admitted distributing obscene images of young children. He had more than 450 indecent photographs and 15 indecent films of children on his laptop. After his job at Buckingham Palace he took a job with the Jordanian Royal Family, serving at their London home. Shortly before his arrest, Greaves helped with the Queen's 80th birthday celebrations.

The Crown Princely couple of Japan and their daughter Aiko will make a rare overseas holiday from August 17 to 31 to the Netherlands, the Imperial Household Agency said today. The Crown Princess will be accompanied by her doctor. The family will stay at the royal castle in Apeldoorn, with which Castle Het Oude Loo must be meant.

The pregnancy of Princess Kiko of Japan is proceeding "smoothly" despite complications, palace officials said today following a medical examination. During a medical examination today doctors said both the princess and the baby are "stable," said Imperial Household Agency spokesman Yasuo Moriyama.

Prince Nayef al-Chaalan of Saudi Arabia went on trial in his absence in Paris yesterday accused of being involved in a plot to use his private jet to smuggle £50 million of cocaine into Europe. He faces charges relating to his alleged participation in, or organisation of, an operation to fly nearly two tons of the drug from Colombia to an airfield six miles from Paris. The investigation began seven years ago when police seized 1,800lb of cocaine in a raid on a house in Noisy-le-Sec, on the north-eastern fringe of Paris. The Prince, who is not in line to the throne, failed to appear at a preliminary hearing last month, citing "vital professional reasons", and is liable to arrest under an international warrant. The Prince denies any connection with the smuggling operation and says he is the victim of an American-inspired conspiracy. In a recent interview he described the case against him as absurd and claimed that Colombian drug barons had reached a deal with the American authorities to drop charges against them in return for implicating "other smugglers real or imaginary".

Princess Tatiana von Metternich-Winneburg died yesterday morning at Johannisberg Castle near Griesenheim, Germany, at the age of 91 after a long and serious illness. She was the widow of the last Prince von Metternich-Winneburg, Paul Alfons, who died in 1992. She was born as Princess Wassilitschikow in 1915 in St Petersburg, Russia. The couple didn't have children. The Princess adopted Don Alvaro de Salinas, grandson of one of her sisters.

July 29th
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain's 80th birthday cruise around Scotland's Western Isles has come to an end in Stornoway. A crowd of about 200 people gathered there today to greet the royal party. The Queen was travelling to Balmoral to begin her annual summer break, while the rest of the family was expected to fly from Stornoway to London. The Duke of Edinburgh will join his wife at Balmoral later this week. The Prince of Wales stayed on board for a 100-mile cruise to his holiday home at the Castle of Mey in Caithness.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit and their children Ingrid Alexandra and Sverre Magnus attended the wedding of Mette-Marit's brother Espen Høiby and his partner Renate Jonassen at Hidra Church. Also Marit Tjessem and her husband Rolf Berntsen attended the wedding, Sven Høiby didn't. The party afterwards was held at Isbua restaurant. The couple had a son together last AUgust. The groom was married before and has three children from that marriage.

The Royal Household Bureau has said that King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand is recovering well after undergoing a delicate spinal surgery on July 20. According to the Bureau the recovery period of the king following the surgery is to take some time. Queen Sirikit is recovering well from her retinal surgery and a phacoemultification on her right eye to cure a cataract on 25 June. However she will undertake a renewed retinal surgery on her right eye on Sunday at the Ratnin Eye Hospital. A team of royal oculists still found a slight retinal tear on her right eye during the latest check-up on July 26. She is advised to suspend her Royal activities for a another six-week rehabilitation period.

Chinese archaeologists believe, after over a year's excavation and research, a large tomb in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, belonged to the grandmother of Qinshihuang, China's first emperor. The tomb was chronologically the closest to the mysterious mausoleum of Qinshihuang, probably built under the order of the first emperor, Zhang Tian'en, an expert with the Shaanxi provincial archaeology institute, said on Saturday. "So, the excavation of the grandmother's tomb hopefully will help unravel the mystery about the first emperor's mausoleum and contribute to the research on the burial culture of the Qin Dynasty," Zhang said. The tomb is the second largest ancient tomb that China has ever excavated, next only to that of King Jinggong of the State of Qin (897-221 BC), said Zhang. Archaeologists unearthed two carriages that were designed to be driven by six horses, which could be used only by kings and queens in the State of Qin. Also stamps for royal court officials, who were in charge of errands for queen mothers, queens and princes, have also been found. The tomb is still under excavation.

July 30th
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain missed the service at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral yesterday. She cancelled at the last minute after catching a cold during last week's summer cruise. A royal source said: "It's something she would normally never miss but this time she just didn't feel up to it."

The Sultan of Brunei has become embroiled in a £50m court action between two senior members of his family and a British property tycoon. The sultan has been asked to intervene in a case brought by Mark Burby who claims the two Brunei royals owe him £50m for a failed scheme to launch a chain of coffee shops in Great Britain. The two Brunei royals are Pengiran Ayub, the sultan’s cousin, and his wife Damit, the Queen of Brunei’s sister. A judge in the British Virgin Islands last year ordered the couple to pay £50m damages to Mr Burby after ruling that they had reneged on the coffee shop deal. The couple failed to comply with the order to lodge a £10m deposit with the court and now face jail because they did not attend the court and are being investigated by Ernst & Young, the court- appointed liquidator, which is trying to seize their assets.

July 31st
The second retinal surgery on the right eye of Queen Sirikit of Thailand at the Ratnin Eye Hospital in Bangkok yesterday was satisfactorily, according to the Bureau of the Royal Household. The Queen is now on a six-week rehabilitation period at Chitralada Villa as advised by the royal medical team, who suggested that she suspend all her activities during the period and be under a close care of the doctors.


Royal News: June 2006. Last updated: July 6th, 2006.