ROYAL NEWS: MARCH 2007

Last updated: April 5th, 2007.

March 1st
Countess Marie-Adélaïde Henckel von Donnersmarck née Princess of Luxemburg died yesterday evening at the age of 82. She was born at Berg Castle on 21 May 1924 as third child of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Luxemburg. She married Count Carl-Josepf Henckel von Donnersmarck with whom she had three sons and a daughter. She is survived by them and by six grandchildren. The grand-ducal court will be in mourning until the funeral.

Angela Lascelles née Dowding died at home yesterday. She was born in Hanwell on 20 April 1919 as daughter of Charles Dowding and Lilian Lawlor. She was the first wife of the Hon. Gerald Lascelles (1924-1998), son of the 6th Earl of Harewood and Princes Mary of Great Britain. The couple married in 1952 and divorced in 1978. The deceased is survived by their son and grandson.

The Duke of Savoy and the Duke of Aosta are heading to court to solve a quarrel between them. The Duke of Aostra contests the Duke of Savoy's position as head of the royal family of Italy. The hearing will take place at a closed court in Arezzo, Italy, later this month.

The Romanian government has said it will return Peles Castle, Pelisor Castle, Foisor Castle and other confiscated property to former King Michael of Romania. "This is not just about returning a possession, but also an act of moral and historical reparation," King Michael said in a statement. He added that the castles will remain a museum forever. The family wants to use Pelisor Castle partly as their headquarters. In principle the government has agreed to buy back Peles Castle from the King.

The Romanian Ministry of Culture has signed an agreement with the new owners of Bran Castle, which was recently sold by several Habsburg descendants, which says that Bran Castle will remain open to the public as a museum for the next three years.

Fürstin Benita zu Schaumburg-Lippe was hit by a car on Tuesday evening when crossing the street after leaving a hairdresser's shop in Bückeburg. She has a fracture of the lower jaw and a fracture of the skull and is kept in an artificial coma in hospital. Her condition is said to be stable and not life-threatening.

March 2nd
Buckingham palace has been criticised for sending letters to companies in Wales warning them against the use of the three white feathers symbol of the Prince of Wales. The letter from the Lord Chamberlain's office says that the badge is the personal property of the Prince and is protected from misuse by law. A spokeswoman for the Prince says it is important that the use of the insignia is not abused, but says the feathers are also a central part of Welshness. Permission to use the feathers is generally granted as long as it is not for commercial gain and the use represents Wales appropriately, the spokeswoman said. By many people the insignia is regarded as representing Wales itself and not mrerely its Prince.

The High Court has ruled that a jury should hear the inquests into the deaths of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed. Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, won a ruling overturning the decision of Baroness Butler-Sloss, deputy royal coroner, that she would sit alone. The High Court also ruled that Baroness Butler-Sloss shouldn't sit as coroner to the Royal Household. She will now hear the case as Westminster Assistant Deputy Coroner. The two inquests are scheduled to start in May. A pre-inquest hearing is to take place on March 5.

Martin Jørgensen, who will marry Princess Alexandra Countess of Frederiksborg, tomorrow, turned 29 today. A general rehearsal was held at Øster Egede Church this afternoon. Bride and groom were accompanied by the bride's children Nikolai and Felix.

Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands have ended their state visit to Turkey. The royals visited Ankara and Istanbul, while Queen Beatrix also paid a visit to turkish-dutch remigrants in Kayseri. In Ankara they met President Sezer and Prime Minister Erdogan. In Istanbul they visited the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar and made a boat tour on the Bosporus. Princess Máxima skipped a few parts of the visit because she is highly pregnant. She said that she wants to keep on working until April 2, if it is possible.

On the occasion of the birth of Princess Lalla Khadija of Morocco people can write down their best wishes in the public visitor's book at the royal palace in Rabat and in other places in Morocco. Within the palace the royal family celebrates the birth and representatives from all over the country come to give their best wishes. On the seventh day the baby will be baptised. This day two rams will be sacrificed and there will be three days of celebrations. The ministry of justice today announced that on the occasion 8.836 prisoners will be released and 24.218 prisoners will have their sentences reduced.

From 14 to 23 March Prince Akishino of Japan will stay in Thailand for his academic research on poultry. He will attend an academic conference on the subject in Bangkok and will conduct research at animal sanctuaries and farming villages. He is to receive an honorary degree from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang on March 22 for his contribution to marine studies in Thailand.

March 3rd

Photo and Copyright: Dana Press photo a/s

This afternoon Princess Alexandra Countess of Frederiksborg, former wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark, married Martin Jørgensen in a private ceremony at Øster Egede Church near Fakse. The bride entered church at 16:00 accompanied by her sons Nikolai and Felix. She wore a champagne coloured sleeveless dress designed by Henrik Hviid and a long white veil. The service was led by the Rev. Peter Parkov. Photographer Erik Refner was best man. The bridal couple shortly posed for the press when leaving church after about one hour, kissed in front of the cameras and answered some questions. Among the 90 guests were the parents and sisters of the bride and the groom's parents Jacob and Jane Jørgensen, friends and Countess Marina af Rosenborg. No other members of the Danish royal family attended the wedding. 120 guests will attend tonights party at the estate Jomfruens Egede. With her marriage Alexandra has lost the title of Princess. She will keep a yearly apanage. However 52% of the Danes think she shouldn't have this apanage anymore now she has remarried.
  • A wedding special from TV2
  • A wedding special from DR


  • Prince Ferfried von Hohenzollern and his third wife Maja Meinert were divorced at Berlin on 1 March.

    March 5th
    The Duchess of Cornwall had an operation this morning, which was performed by Michael Dooley and Marcus Setchell at King Edward II Hospital in London. The Duchess arrived at the hospital late on Sunday evening. She underwent a hysterectomy. She is recovering well, but will have to stay at hospital for the rest of the week. Afterwards she needs to rest up for up to six weeks. The Prince of Wales visited his wife this afternoon.

    At a pre-inquest hearing today Baroness Butler-Sloss has told the legal team of Mohamed Al Fayed that she needs evidence that his son Dodi and Diana Princess of Wales were murdered as part of a secret plot by the British establishment if she were to present the allegiatons to the inquest jury. She said not to have received any shred of evidence that support Mr Al Fayed's allegations. Mr Al Fayed's representive, Michael Mansfield, told her that the evidence was already into the report by Lord Stevens. He also asked for a six months delay of the inquests to ensure adequate preparations. They want the Prince of Wales and Duke of Edinburgh to be called as witnesses.

    The Civil List of King Albert II of the Belgians has decided to donate 185.000 Euros to the Belgian Defence Ministry. The money will be used to carry out renovation works in the homes of military staff who had an accident at work. The sum is equivalent to the money Prince Laurent of Belgium received from the Marine, according to an inquiry during the fraud process against among others his former advisor Colonel Noël Vaessen. The royal court says that the donation is no confession of guilt by the King or the Prince.

    A team of Iranian and French archeologists have successfully located 2500 year old remains of a summer palace in the Province of Fars, Iran, which belonged to the ancient Iranian ruler Darius. So far parts of the eastern wing were unearthed.

    March 6th
    Luis Alfonso de Borbón Duke of Anjou and his wife Margarita had their first child, a daughter, yesterday at 18.02 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami, Florida, USA. The baby is called Eugenia, weighs 3700 grammes and is 52 centimeters tall. Mother and daughter are doing well.

    The full inquests into the deaths of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed have been delayed until October after Mohammed Al Fayed requested last week for more time to allow his team to prepare. In a written decision Deputy royal coroner Baroness Butler-Sloss said the inquests will take place in or around 1 October. The hearings are expected to last between four and eight months.

    A special police unit has been set up to investigate allegations that someone in their ranks has sold information to the magazine Se og Hør. The investigation is based on the claims in the book 'En helt vanlig dag på jobben' by Håvard Melnæs.

    According to her doctors Empress Michiko of Japan has fallen ill with symptoms linked to psychological stress, the Imperial Household Agency said today. She suffers from mouth ulcers and nosebleeds and shown symptoms of intestinal bleeding. She caught a cold on 19 February and has not felt well since. She will take a five-day break from her duties and cancel some official duties in order to rest.

    Princess Caroline of MOnaco have won their case at German court today against publication of paparazzi photographs of them in the media. The new ban means that magazines will not be allowed anymore to print photos of the Princess in private on public places. Senior justice Gerda Mueller however said that Princess Caroline is 'undisputably a personage of contemporary history' and that the media is entitled to print photos of her if she and her husband are news.

    March 8th
    The Duchess of Cornwall has left hospital three days after undergoing a hysterectomy operation. She was collected at hospital by her husband the Prince of Wales. They returned to Clarence House where the Duchess will continue to recover. A spokeswoman of Clarence House said the Duchess was recovering well.

    Danish gossip magazine Se og Hør reports this week that Alexandra Countess of Frederiksborg and her new husband Martin Jørgensen expect their first child together. They claim some Austrian family members of Alexandra confirmed the news to them.

    Grand Steward Shingo Haketa of the Imperial Household Agency said today that a variety of issues involving the imperial family might behind the stress that caused the intestinal bleeding of Empress Michiko of Japan, rather than reports in weekly magazines. Mr Haketa didn't specify the problems.

    March 10th
    In interviews today at the tv-programme Nova and in the newspaper De Volkskrant Princess Mabel of Oranje-Nassau says that to the media "it seems to me sometimes that quality is less important than viewing and circulation figures, that facts are less important than fun." The interviews coincide with the publication of an essay by the princess based on a speech she gave in 2006. In the essay the Princess says that the media has a crucial role in the creation and maintenance of free and open societies.

    March 11th
    Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia said today that he will not return to Cambodia to attend the court case over corruption charges against him on March 13 at Phnom Penh Municipal Court. He said the court is 'biased, not independent, has irregularity in trial and is in the hand of an influential person' and the lawsuit is 'politically motivated'. He currently is staying in Malaysia.

    March 13th
    Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai today was awarded the Arab World's best female athlete award at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai. "To be frank I am honoured to receive such an award. I was taken by surprise when I was told about this news,” Shaikha Maitha said after receiving her award. “I hope to meet my potential now. For that I need to work hard. But even if I do not reach my potential, I would be happy to have opened the doors for the next generation," She won a silver medal in karate at the Asian Games of 2006.

    In his absence the court case against Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia took place today at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail, with $ 150,000 of compensation for the co-ruling Funcinpec Party which he headed before October 2006. The court found the prince guilty of breach of trust in selling Funcinpec's old headquarters. He also put the land of the newly located party headquarters under his own title. The judge said he has to return the land to the party. The Prince himself has denied the accusations.

    March 14th
    Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, who is married to Kitín Muñoz, gave birth to her first child today at 7.07am at Lozenets Hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria. The boy was delivered by Caesarean section, is 49 centimeters tall and weighs 2626 grammes. Late today it was announced he will receive the name of Simeon, after his grandfather who in 1937 had been the last member of the royal family to be born in Bulgaria. When arriving at hospital with his wife to see their grandson former King Simeon said he has already prepared huge surprises for the mother and the public, but he prefers to keep them secret until the glorious day.

    It was announced a memorial service marking the 10th death anniversary of Diana Princess of Wales is to be held at the Guard's Chapel, Wellington Barracks, on 31 August. The memorial service will be attended by members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duchess of Cornwall, family and friends of the Princess and representatives from the charities the Princess supported. Padre Patrick Irwin, Chaplain to the Household Division, will lead the service and an address will be delivered by the Dean of the Chapels Royal, Dr Richard Chartres. The event will be televised by the BBC. On 7 March Earl Spencer announced that Althorp House and its grounds will open its doors for free on the tenth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. However tickets have to be pre-booked.

    March 15th
    The government of Nepal has decided that King Gyanendra of Nepal has to cut back his staff of 750 people by at least half. It appears the government want to reassign half of them to ordinary government posts, while another quarter will be offered voluntary redundancy. All employees over 58 will be retired. Those leaving include cooks, waiters, the hairdressers of Queen Komal and servants who pluck flowers for use in religious ceremonies.

    March 18th
    Yesterday at 3.50pm Sarah Salleh, wife of Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah of Brunei Darussalam gave birth to a son at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the country. A 19-gun salute was fired after the birth. Both mother and baby are reported to be doing well.

    Tom Parker Bowles, son of the Duchess of Cornwall, and his wife Sara expect their first child. Sara is three months pregnant with the couple's first child. Tom Parker Bowles told the Mail on Sunday: "We have told our friends and family and they are delighted. Mummy is absolutely over the moon at the prospect of becoming a grandmother." Tom is the godson and stepson of the Prince of Wales.

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia has been charged with adultery over his affair with a classical dancer. He is charged following a complaint filed in December by his estranged wife, Princess Norodom Marie Ranariddh. He was already charged in January, but it only became known today. The prince has publicly acknowledged his relationship with the classical dancer, with whom he has a three-year-old son. No date for the hearing has been set yet.

    March 19th
    Princess Kako, youngest daughter of Prince and Princess Akishino graduated from Gakushuin Primary School in Tokyo. Princess Akishino will attended the ceremony on Thursday. In April Princess Kako will enter Gakushuin Girls' Junior High School.

    Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan and his wife Rym had their second child, a son called, Abdullah, today the royal palace announced.

    March 20th
    Today the Romanian government has completed the legal procedures for the return of Peles estate to the former King Michael I of Romania. A document was signed by the secretary general of the Romanian government Radu Stroe and the chief of the Romanian Royal House Andrew Popper. With this King Michael I has officially regained the ownership right over the Peles and Pelisor castles. Peles Museum will become a state museum. The financial aspects are still to be discussed. The royal family is considering selling Peles Castle, the old wing of the Foisor Palace and the surrounding area before the end of the year.

    March 21st
    Sven Høiby, the father of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, died at home in his apartment in Vågsbygd, Kristiansand today after a long illness. He was diagnosed lung cancer in 2006. He was born on 14 November 1936. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit have immediately travelled to Kristiansand to be with the family. The Norwegian royal court has asked the media for reservedness. It is not known yet when the funeral will take place.

    At a preliminary hearing at High Court in London the lawyers of Mohamed Al Fayed have called for access to all material used to compile the report into the death of Diana Princess of Wales, including an interview with the Prince of Wales. They think it is crucial to see the material before the inquest. They also want to see the letter Princess Diana wrote to her butler Paul Burrell expressing safety fears.

    The son of the Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam and his wife Sarah Salleh has received the name and titles Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda'Abdul Muntaqim Ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah. A picture was also released (click on it for a bigger version).

    Princess Kalina of Bulgaria and her newborn son Simeon have left Lozenets University Hospital in Sofia this afternoon at 1.50pm. When the princess has fully recovered media will be invited to take pictures of the whole family with its newest member.

    March 22nd
    The Government Information Service announced this evening that Prince Floris and Princess Aimée van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven expect their first child somewhere in October.

    Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg ended a state visit to Belgium today. The visit started on Tuesday with military ceremony and the laying of a wreath at the grave of the unknown soldier. Grand Duke Henri received the Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt. Afterwards the couple was received at the town hall of Brussels. Also the luxemburg community in Belgium was received. In the evening the Belgian royal couple hosted a gala dinner at Laken Castle. On Wednesday Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Queen Paola of Belgium visited Bruges, while Grand Duke Henri and King Albert II of the Belgians visited the harbours of Zeebrugge and Antwerpen and only paid a short visit to Bruges. In the evening a concert and reception took place at the Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Brussels. Today the couples visited Namen and Eupen

    On the occasion of the 60th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh in November the Royal Mint has unveiled gold and silver £5 commemorative coins. The coins feature a double portrait of the couple, while other designs were inspired by the stained-glass rose window in Westminster Abbey in London, where the couple got married.

    March 23rd
    The funeral service for Sven Høiby, father of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, will take place at Oddernes Church in Kristiansand on Monday according to a death announcement in Aftenposten. Crown Princess Mette-Marit has cancelled her engagements for the coming days. The Norwegian royal court today announced that King Harald V and Queen Sonja will attend the funeral.

    Earl Spencer and his second wife Caroline were divorced today on grounds of his 'unreasonable behaviour'. Countess Spencer's decree nisi was granted by District Judge Kenneth White sitting at the Principal Registry of the Family Division in central London. The couple married in December 2001 and has two children, Edmund and Lara. The couple split last summer when Lara was just four months old.

    Home Secretary John Reid today said that he has earmarked 16 'no-go' areas for special protection. The buildings designated for the measure include Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace, Highgrove House, Sandringham House, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Westminster. That means that trespassing the buildings now is a criminal offence. The measures are due to come into force from June.

    During a photo session Princess Kalina of Bulgaria and her husband Kitín Muñoz announced that their son will carry the name Simeon Hassan. The name Hassan was added in honour to the late King Hassan of Morocco.

    March 24th
    Count Patrick and Countess Mariella von Faber-Castell had their first child together. Their daughter Lucia was born at 6.19 this morning at hospital in Berlin. Lucia is 50,5 centimeters tall and weighs 3500 gramms. Mother and daughter are doing well. Countess Mariella's daughter Isabella is very happy with her new sister.

    March 26th
    Sven Høiby's funeral service was held at Oddernes Church at Kristiansand this afternoon. The funeral was attended by Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, her son Marius, as well as King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. Also both ex-wifes of the deceased, Marit Tjessem and Renate Barsgård, attended the funeral, as well as other family members.

    Prince Stefan of Liechtenstein has become the new ambassador of Liechtenstein in Germany. He handed over his credentials to federal president Horst Köhler today at Bellevue Castle in Berlin. Until this Summer Prince Stefan will also remain accredited in Switzerland, with residence in Bern.

    March 27th
    Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark took their son Christian to Queen Louise's Nursery School in Fredensborg today for his first day there. They were greeted outside the school by staff. They briefly posed for photographers before entering the school which is surrounded by a playground. The couple want their son to have an ordinary childhood.
  • Pictures by Madeleine

    Photographer Annie Leibovitz will take the official photograph for Queen Elizabeth II's state visit to the United States, Buckingham Palace said today. The photograph, that will be very formal and painterly will be shot at the palace in the next few days and will be released the day before Queen Elizabeth IIleaves for the United States in early May.

    March 28th
    Prince Harry of Wales has become the first Royal Patron of three UK-based charities, Dolen Cymru, MapAction and WellChild. This is the first time Prince Harry has taken on the patronage of established charities and his association with each will begin immediately. The Prince is keen to support these charities which all offer essential assistance to communities across the UK and throughout the world.

    Prince Nayef Bin Fawaz Al-Shaalan of Saudi Arabia is one of ten people facing charges relating to a shipment of two tonnes of cocaine in his private plane at Le Bourget airport near Paris eight years ago. He is accused of using his diplomatic immunity to smuggle drugs. The hearing starts today at court in Bobigny near Paris in his absence and in absence of the other people accused. Prince Nayef's lawyer Jacques Verges is expected to argue that his client is the victim of a conspiracy hatched in the USA. A verdict is scheduled for a future date.

    March 29th
    Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown today said that a special commemorative coin will be struck next year to mark the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales.

    The girlfriend of Prince William of Wales, Kate Middleton, has lodged a formal complaint at the Press Complaints Commission against the Daily Mirror. The newspaper today published a picture of Kate outside her house when heading to work. A lawyer of Kate Middleton wrote to the PCC: "The intrusion into my client's private life and the harassment that she has suffered are now amply evidenced by the events of the past seven days." The lawyers have filmed incidents outside Kate's home and office. A spokesman for the Daily Mirror said: "We will provide the necessary thoughts and comments to the PCC. We will not be commenting any further at this stage."

    The engagement between Dr. Klaus Runow and Maria Anna Duchess in Bavaria was announced today.

    A 57-year-old Swiss man, who has been living in Thailand for more than 10 years, has been sencented to 10 years in jail. He was arrested last December after spray-painting posters of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in Chiang Mai. He was drunk. The man has pleaded guilty to five charges. He is believed to be the first foreigner ever imprisoned for the offence.

    March 30th
    The Daily Mirror has apologised for publishing a photo of Kate Middleton, the girlfriend of Prince William of Wales, after she made a formal complaint of harassment to the Press Complaints Commission. They say the picture was taken by a freelance photographer 'in circumstances we were later told she felt harassed'. They admit they got it wrong and that they regret that.

    March 31st
    The Imperial Household Agency yesterday said that Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan has a benign polyp in his duodenum, part of the small intestines. The polyp is not large and was discovered during a periodic medical checkup. The polyp will be removed by endoscopic surgery at a convenient time.


    Royal News: February 2007. Last updated: March 1st, 2007.