ROYAL NEWS: OCTOBER 2005

Last updated: January 2, 2006.

October 1st
The heads of the European royal households have come together for secret meetings for more than 20 years, it was revealed by accident. The 2005 meeting was held at the end of September at Amalienborg, Copenhagen, Denmark. The heads of the royal households share experiences and discuss upcoming issues and challenges for the royal families in each respective country. The meetings have never been publicized and their content has never been made part of the public record. The recent get-together in Denmark was discovered only after a reference to it was published on the website of Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark. When a reporter from Danish newspaper BT asked about it, the reference was quickly removed from the web site. "It's an unofficial meeting that takes place behind closed doors, so I can't say anything about what they discuss at the meeting," the information chief at the Danish palace, Lis Fredriksen, told BT.

Biographer Jonathan Dimbleby said in an interview for the BBC programme Panorama that questions still remained over the future role of the Countess of Cornwall. He says that since the wedding there had been a massive shift in public opinion. The Duchess of Cornwall is no longer the "other woman", but is "being seen now as a very attractive spouse who makes the prince happy, who appears in public, who is gracious, who joins in - in a crowd, who communicates very effectively". Mr Dimbleby said: "We'll see more and more of her in that role, and therefore she will go up and up in public esteem. It's quite conceivable that public opinion will say ... yeah, why shouldn't she be Queen, she's done a lot of good public service over the intervening years between the marriage and whenever this day arrives."He also claims the couple were denied a church wedding because the Archbishop of Canterbury did not think Church leaders would support such a ceremony. He said: "Although it would have been within his gift to do so, I think he took the view that there would be too many distressed communicants inside the Anglican Church for it to be a good idea."

Love letters allegedly sent by the Prince of Wales to a mystery girlfriend have been put up for sale on internet auction website eBay. The letters, owned by American royal collector Alicia Carroll, were on offer for £34.000. One of the letters was said to be written in June 1980 - a year before he married Princess Diana. The other five were sent in 1976 when Charles, who was then serving in the Navy, was regularly linked with a string of women. In the 1980 letter - said to be written on official Windsor Castle notepaper - the Prince complains of his frustration with the Press and not being able to sneak ladies into his hotel room during royal tours. He refers to the pressure on him to wed by writing: "I shall just have to get married as soon as possible and then all these people will relax a little."

October 2nd
The elephant collection of the late Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was auctioned by Sotheby's at Palace Het Loo. The €379.250 raised from the auction will go to World Wildlife Fund conservation efforts in Borneo. “This auction has risen far more than we ever dared imagine,” said Niek van Heijst, CEO of WWF-Netherlands. “We are extremely pleased that so many people, by buying one of the prince’s elephants, contributed to the protection of Borneo’s forests. The elephant was Prince Bernhard’s favourite animal and during his lifetime amassed a collection of 1,000 elephants in all shapes and sizes, ranging from precious art objects and wood carvings to stuffed animals and toys. An elephant donated by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands raised €7.500 at the auction, while a bronze elephant made by Belgian sculptor Tremont sold for €16.000 and an elephant clock from the 19th century sold for €11.000. "I have never led an auction where every single item was sold," said Sotheby’s auction leader Patrick van Maris van Dijk. "It was clear that not only did people very much want to have a personal item in remembrance of the prince, but that they also wanted to support WWF. A terrific combination.” A small number of elephants will remain in the possession of the royal family in remembrance of the prince.

October 3rd
Zara Phillips, daughter of the Princess Royal, beat glamour model Katie Jordan in a poll by Mattel, the makers of Barbie, among more than 1000 girls under 12 years old. Mattel asked the girls which female celebrity shares the same characteristics of their new Princess Annika Barbie doll. According to the girls Zara has the right mix of style, beauty, independence and sporting success. Zara Phillips got 69% of the votes, much to the surprise of Mattel.

Princess Adela Bint Abdullah daughter of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, said in the newspaper Al-Hayat on Saturday: "I think the participation of women in the [all-male 150-member] Shura council is just a matter of time." She continued: "We sense our leadership's keenness to expand women's participation in decision-making in the boards of several institutions, such as the journalists' association and ... soon the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry." As to the chances of Saudi women being allowed to drive, the Princess said that that was "a local issue, which is a function of society's needs and convictions. The Princess called for giving Saudi women a greater role after they have "proven their competence in many of the functions that were assigned to them". Hence I expect it to come at the appropriate time." "Women in whatever field should "spread enlightened thinking and open up prospects of dialogue", she added.

October 4th
Princess Mathilde of Belgium gave birth to her third child, a son, at the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht at 1.06pm today. The Princess gave birth naturally, without anaesthesia. The prince has been given the names Emmanuel Leopold Guillaume François Marie. Emmanuel weighs 3900 grammes and is 50 centimetres tall. Both mother and son are doing well. The birth was only foreseen for the second half of October but like Gabriel the baby arrived a couple of weeks early. Prince Emmanuel is fourth in line to the Belgian throne following his father Prince Philippe, his sister Elisabeth and his brother Gabriel. Princess Mathilde was admitted to hospital at 8.15 in the morning. Prince Philippe was with her. When leaving hospital in the afternoon Prince Philippe told the press that they didn't know beforehand if it would be a boy or a girl. He said: "It went well, but it wasn't easy.", "My wife is fantastic.", "He has family features." and "We are very happy. I am very proud of my wife and I am now going to catch the children and they have to get acquainted." Prince Philippe returned to hospital to visit his wife and son, together with Elisabeth and Gabriel. Later also King Albert II and Queen Paola as well as the parents of Princess Mathilde visited their new grandson. The godparents of the baby will be Countess Elisabeth d'Udekem d'Acoz, sister of Princess Mathilde, as well as Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxemburg.

The enquiry into Diana's death has been told that the late Diana Princess of Wales was secretly engaged to her lover Dodi Al-Fayed when the pair were killed in car crash in Paris, France, in 1997. It is said she was on her way to Fayed's apartment in the city where he was to present her with a $234,000 emerald and diamond encrusted ring she had already picked out. The wedding plans were disclosed by Monte Carlo-based jeweller Alberto Repossi after he was questioned by detectives from Scotland Yard in London. Repossi says he has video evidence of Diana being measured for the rock to back up his astonishing claim. In a statement, he says, "In order to avoid any distortion of the facts, I am enclosing herewith a copy of my consignment book, which clearly indicates that the jewel in question was, at this early date, annotated by me as being an engagement ring." He adds, "Diana chose it herself and Dodi picked it up from my shop in Paris the night before they died. I met them both in St Tropez and Diana picked the ring herself."

Kevin Knott, a top royal aide in charge of the wedding of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall shambles has quit. He was blamed by senior palace figures when the couple had to ditch plans to wed at Windsor Castle and instead use the nearby Guildhall.

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway will set off on an 11-day tour of the USA this month to promote the children's book "Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns"she has written. She is already been booked onto two TV programs. The princess will travel with her six-month-old daughter Leah Isadora Behn, whom they will try to shield from photographers.

Dutch newspaper 'De Telegraaf' reported today that general practitioner George F.M. of The Hague was held in custody for two weeks and was questioned extensively about the suspected murder of 95-year-old widow Sophie Gorter-Hin in 2000. He assisted during the euthanasia. Three weeks ago, the public prosecutor (OM) ordered that her body be exhumed for forensic tests. Three people — including the doctor whose patients included Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her late husband Prince Claus — were arrested. The chief suspect is Hague surgeon Rob S. who inherited almost EUR 3 million after the widow's death. A nurse was also arrested. All three were released on September 22. 'De Telegraaf' said it is not clear how strong the case against the three is. The Government Information Service described the case as a private matter and declined to comment further.

In name of Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven the Government Information Service in the Netherlands has communicated to the press that they are not happy with the interest of the press in their family. It seems that often photographers are near their house in Amsterdam. According to them the press wrongly thinks that the couple don't mind the publications in the magazines. They want their children to grow up as normal as possible.

October 5th
Prince William of Wales recently started working as a farmer on a country estate and is thoroughly enjoying it. The prince will spend two weeks managing the land on the Peak District estate, where the new 'Pride and Prejudice' movie was filmed, which is owned by the Duke of Devonshire. A royal aide is quoted as saying: "William has done his first day's work and he absolutely loved it. He is learning all about how to run a large estate. He enjoys this kind of work and wants to continue it later. He has a real passion for the countryside and is fascinated by the environment. He shares this with his father." The work placement is part of Prince William's plan to work in a variety of positions at different organisations before he finally decides what to do with his future. William will also plans to spend time working in London and will join a mountain rescue team. He said: "The work experience in the city was something I was particularly keen to do as I feel this is an area in which I could learn a lot, and it may well help me with charitable fundraising in the future. The land management will hopefully allow me to develop skills and an understanding of how to best look after the countryside." He added: "Joining a mountain rescue team really appealed to me as I can learn at first hand how these amazing people help save lives on a regular basis."

Princess Sayako of Japan received a messenger today who formally set her wedding date in the latest ritual before the nuptials. In the Kokki no Gi ceremony, or the rite of announcing the date, a messenger from her fiance Yoshiki Kuroda told the chief palace courtier that Mr Kuroda would like to marry Princess Sayako on November 15. Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Shingo Haketa then relayed the message to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko who were waiting in a separate room. He returned to announce that the date was accepted. The princess, dressed in a light green long skirt with a pearl necklace, appeared briefly before the cameras to watch the 15-minute ceremony. Mr Kuroda and his mother Sumiko were to meet the emperor and the empress later. There will be some more traditional rites until their wedding ceremony, including the princess reporting her marriage to the past emperors enshrined in the palace and meeting the emperor and the empress to show her gratitude on November 12.

October 6th
Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, together with their children Elisabeth and Gabriel, presented their newborn son Emmanuel to the world at the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht. They had invited a befriended cameraman to film them.

Princess Sayako of Japan paid her respects today to the spirit of her grandparents Emperor Showa and Empress Kojun at Musashino Mausoleum in Hachioji, Tokyo, and reported to them that she would marry and leave the imperial family. It was announced that the government will give the Princess 152.5 million yen upon her marriage. The money could be described as a dowry from state coffers to celebrate her marriage. The aim of the gift is to help preserve the dignity of Imperial family members when they become commoners. The Imperial Household Economy Law stipulates that the maximum size of the tax-free gift be 152.5 million yen. The money will be given to the Princess by money transfer to a bank account.

The first day of the Sotheby's sale of heirlooms belonging to the Royal House of Hannover undertaken in connection with art advisor Dr. Christoph Count Douglas brought € 6.278.630, more than double the pre-sale high estimate for the day. On the opening session of the ten-day sale a crowd of nearly 300 people overflowed the auction tent set up in the courtyard of Marienburg Castle. The session was covered by ten television crews and 40 print and electronic media. During the four-day pre-sale exhibition from September 30 to October 3, more than 8.000 art lovers, private collectors and dealers came from all over the world. During the sale more than 20.000 items will be offered, divided into some 4.740 lots, estimated to bring € 12 million. No comparable auction has been held in continental Europe since Sotheby's held the Thurn und Taxis and Baden Baden sales in the 1990s.

October 7th
Prince Philippe of Belgium gave notice of the birth of his son Emmanuel at the town hall of Anderlecht this afternoon.

The American breakfast TV programme Good Morning America has broadcast live from Buckingham Palace in a second day of Royal programmes. The first was from Windsor Castle. The presenters toured the state rooms and palace gardens of the royal residence in London, while another team was at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was at Balmoral while the broadcasts took place. The Duke of York was interviewed about his life, the Royal family and the Palace, as part of the broadcast. He played down fears that the number of foreign visitors to the UK had dropped rapidly since the 7 July terrorist attacks. "It hasn't necessarily reduced as much from overseas tourists as we would have expected," he said. "Politicians, policemen, they are working extremely hard to make sure something like this doesn't happen again." He told he supported his nephew Prince Harry's decision to do Army officer training, saying his own 22 years in the armed forces had put him "in very, very good stead". Talking about his own childhood inside the palace, he admitted playing cricket and football there. "We were fairly rough and tumble as children," he said.

A campaign to prevent Japan from changing the law to allow female monarchs started yesterday as a government panel on imperial succession neared reaching a conclusion expected to be in favor of such a change. A group of opponents of allowing female monarchs said at a press conference that Japan should protect the almost unbroken tradition over the centuries of the imperial succession passing to male heirs having emperors on their father's side.

A manuscript found in a Scottish cottage hidden among a pile of belongings, believed to have been written the day after Emperor Napoleon's death on 5 May 1821 by a doctor who examined the Emperor's body after his death in 1821 could put an end to the theory he was murdered. It is known six unnamed British army doctors attended his autopsy and although the document is unsigned it is believed the document's author was one of the six. The document seems to confirm the official theory that the cause of death was stomach cancer. Many historians have claimed that the Emperor was poisoned with arsenic. The manuscript will be auctioned by Thomson Roddick & Medcalf of Carlisle on Friday. Steve Lee, military auctioneer at the firm, said he was convinced the document is genuine. He said: "We believe it is an extremely significant document which puts an end to the theories that Napoleon was murdered. The author of the document describes Napoleon's insides in great detail and the cancer. We honestly don't know what it will go for, it may fetch just a few hundred pounds and be of limited interest, or it could go for five figures to a specialist collector."

October 9th
Luis Felipe, son of Beltrán Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón and Laura Ponte y Martínez was christened in a intimate ceremony at the residence of Infanta Doña Margarita of Spain and Carlos Zurita in Madrid. His godparents were the Prince of Asturias and an aunt of Laura Ponte. The christening was attended by the Prince and Princess of Asturias and Infanta Cristina of Spain, as well as the brothers and sister of Beltrán Gómez-Acebo and María Zurita.

The Prince of Wales is to charter a flight to the USA for his first official foreign tour with the Duchess of Cornwall, at an estimated cost of £300,000, The Sunday Telegraph revealed today. The couple had considered flying on a scheduled flight next month, but advisers cautioned against it after the July terrorist attacks on London, which will lead to increased security problems for the royal party. It will be the first official visit to the USA by the Prince of Wales since 1997.

Prince Saud bin Saud al-Thani of Qatar was arrested by Qatari authorities upon arrival back home. During an illegal car race in Egypt with an Egyptian motorist on Cairo International Airport on September 23 he ran into onlookers, killing five Egyptians and injured 10 others. He left for Qatar shortly after the incident. The Egyptian government has sent an extradition request to the Qatari authorities.

After four days of auctioning the Sotheby's sale of heirlooms belonging to the Royal House of Hannover still goes well. The sale still brings much more than the estimated proceeds. So far the sale brought 25,7 million Euros.

October 10th
Princess Mathilde of Belgium and her newborn son Prince Emmanuel left hospital, accompanied by Prince Philippe of Belgium. Just before leaving and saying goodbye to hospital staff and patients, they held a short press conference at hospital. Being asked why they chose the name of Emmanuel, Prince Philippe said they thought the name Emmanuel sounded nice and Elisabeth and Gabriel found it ok. Asked if they chose it because of the religious meaning of the name Prince Philippe said: "You can look at it like that, but we for all let our hearts speak." He didn't want to answer too many questions, saying: "I have received too much attention already". Princess Mathilde said: "He is beautiful! It is really a fine boy. He eats very well. He slept last night 7 hours, so I hope that it will be like that tonight, and the next nights." Being asked what their other two children think of their new brother Princess Mathilde said: "Gabriel is very generous. He wants to share all his toys with him, so I am a bit afraid when he comes with a tractor above his head. And Elisabeth is a big sister. She is very ..." Prince Philippe added: "She takes the responsibility." Princess Mathilde said: "He looks like Elisabeth. I think he has the same eyes as Elisabeth. And Elisabeth looks like the prince. So he looks like his father." A journalist wanted to know whether there are plans for a fourth child. Princess Mathilde answered: "Everything on its time. We first are going to enjoy." Prince Philippe added. "Three children is already a lot. We will see what they think about it. Maybe they have also an idea about it. But we are going to wait a bit." About the delivery Mathilde said: "I think that is our private life. I think that is an intense moment for a couple and I was very happy that Philippe was present." A journalist asking if he could hold the baby, got the answer from Philippe: "I haven't hold him myself yet. I am a jealous father."

Prince William of Wales is to join HSBC for work experience next month, a spokeswoman for the prince said on Monday. "In early November, Prince William will be starting some work experience in the City. He is going to be there for about three weeks, and the majority of his time will be in HSBC in the charity section," the spokeswoman said. She said his decision to work in HSBC was "his own personal choice". He will also be visiting other institutions. He is among others to spend time with the Braemar Mountain rescue Team. He said this "really appealed" to him, because: "I can learn at first hand how these amazing people help save lives on a regular basis." However he has been banned from saving climbers as part of his stint with a mountain rescue team - because too many girls will pretend to be in trouble. He is mainly goinging to clean equipment, wash emergency vehicles and answer phones. Prince William passed entry examinations for Army officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in June and is expected to join his brother at Sandhurst in January 2006.

Sergeant Leslie Turner, a former bodyguard to the Duchess of Cornwall, is taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police. He was the first black personal protection officer to closely guard the Royal Family and is alleging race discrimination. He was one of the Prince of Wales's bodyguards for seven months until he switched to protecting Camilla following the announcement of their wedding. Before he has also guarded the Countess of Wessex. After four months in that role he was replaced by Inspector Sandra Perry. A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "The Metropolitan Police can confirm that a Sergeant attached to Specialist Operations has lodged a claim alleging race discrimination against the Metropolitan Police." A Clarence House spokesman said: "It's for the Metropolitan Police to comment." He is said to be working now in the back-up squad of the royal protection unit.

Russian and Danish Foreign Ministries have signed a memorandum of understanding that specifies the two sides' oblitations pertaining to a re-burial in St Petersburg of the remains of Czarina Maria Feodorovna, the wife of Czar Alexander III of Russia. The re-burial ceremony has been scheduled for 26 September2006 at the Alexander Nevskij Cathedral at Peterhof. On 28 September 2006 the coffin will be driven to the Isac cathedral and later to the St. Peter and Paul cathedral.A memorial service will be held on 23 September 2006 at Roskilde Cathedral in attendance of the Danish royal family. A Danish warship will carry the coffin to St. Petersburg, where it is to arrive on 26 September 2006. The Danish Crown Prince couple will be present in St. Petersburg. The Czarina, who was born Princess Dagmar of Denmark, died and was buried in Denmark in 1928. The memorandum on re-burial was signed by the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's department for historic documents, Alexander Churilin, and the director of the Danish Foreign Ministry's protocol department, Christopher Bo Bramsen. The document stresses, among other things, "the two sides' deep respect for integrity of relics of the Dowager Empress." Both countries will hold a number of cultural events, like exhibition and a film on Czarina Maria daughter-in-law, Czarina Alexandra.

On the website La Estrella Digital Spanish royalty reporter, Jaime Penafiel, wrote last week that the royal families in Spain, Great Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway can disappear in the coming years. He thinks that the Norwegian royal family will be asked to bow out first, because Crown Princess Mette-Marit's "brutal past with sex and narcotics" will make it impossible for the Norwegian monarchy to survive.

October 11th
The British royal family was out in force tonight to share in the festivities marking the 70th birthday of the Duke of Kent at the home of Lord Kelvedon in Chelsea. Also attending were King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

In an article with the magazine Story called 'How to become Princess in Serbia' Princes Peter, Philip and Alexander of Yugoslavia were presented to Serbian girls as eligible bachelors. The princes did their best to promote themselves in the article, all looking very hard for their dream princess.

Shaikh Salem Al Ali Al Sabah of Kuwait, head of the National Guard, has called for a three-member committee of senior family members to assist the emirate’s ailing leadership. He told Al Qabas daily yesterday that the proposed panel should include himself, Prime Minister Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and leading member Shaikh Mubarak Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Sabah. He said the committee will “assist the leadership” of the Emir, His Highness Shaikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, and Crown Prince Shaikh Saad Abdullah Al Sabah, both of whom are undergoing medical treatment for various illnesses. This has so far been the strongest call for change within the ruling family. “The present situation is wrong and we should not remain silent. From my position in the ruling family, I must draw attention to this serious constitutional flaw in which procedures outlined by the constitution and law are not being observed. Legislation must pass through proper constitutional channels,” said Shaikh Salem who accused the minister of the royal court, Shaikh Nasser Mohammed Al Ahmed Al Sabah, for exceeding his powers. “This situation makes some believe that most government decisions and legislation are unconstitutional” and accordingly, it is feared that the position of the government itself is unconstitutional, he said.

Janan Harb, a former wife of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, has allegedly demanded a DNA sample from the Saudi Royal Family to find out if her 30-year-old daughter, Rania Boueiz, is the king's child. Rania is registered as the daughter of Harb's third husband, Sami Boueiz. But friends say Janan Harb was still married to King Fahd nine months before her daughter was born, in January 1974. Harb's lawyers wrote to the Saudi Embassy two years ago demanding a DNA sample but have not yet received a reply. Mother and daughter have so far declined to comment.

Empress Farah Pahlavi has been awarded the 2005 Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award for Living with Grace and Distinction. The recipient of this prestigious award serves as the keynote speaker during the luncheon at the annual Women's Health Summit of the Baylor College of Medicine's Huffington Center on Aging.

October 12th
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has visited the site of the London 2012 Olympics Park for the first time and said the project was "exciting" and "fascinating". She saw where the 80,000-seat stadium and other venues will be built in east London. London 2012 chairman Lord Coe, who accompanied her said afterwards: "I was explaining the project and she said it was exciting. I told her that this is where we took the IOC members who were impressed by what they saw. She said she could understand that and said it was fascinating. She asked where the stadium was and I pointed out all of the venues." Lord Coe later said: "The Queen and Royal Family were strong supporters of London's bid and it was a delight to show Her Majesty how the Olympic Park site has continued to develop since winning the bid." London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell were also present.

Eight German magazines have been reprimanded by the national press committee for inventing scandalous stories about Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and her family. Walter Keim from Germany became so sick of seeing the stories in the weekly press that he filed a series of complaints to the national press committee. "I wanted to establish that it is in fact unethical to invent and spread false rumors about people, also those who are members of a foreign royal house. Now, after four months of corresponding back and forth, I have finally heard from the official German press committee that all of the complaints have been processed and upheld," Keim said.

Prince Fabrizio Ruffo di Calabria, eldest brother of Queen Paola of Belgium, has died in Rome on October 11 at the age of 82. He was born at Rome on 6 December 1922 as the eldest son of Prince Fulco Ruffo di Calabria and Countess Luisa Gazelli. He was the head of the family. He married twice: in 1953 to Maria Vaciago (divorced 1990) and in 1991 Luisa Cristina Carbajo. From the first marriage he had five children. Queen Paola and Princess Astrid, who was a godchild of the deceased, will attend the funeral on October 14.

Walid al-Tabtabai, a member of the Kuwaiti Parliament has called for Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah to step down, two days after allegations of chaos in the government. He said that would be the first step towards defusing the crisis. Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah said on Tuesday that he would take "decisive action". There has been concern over Kuwait's future leadership since June when Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah was admitted to hospital.

October 13th
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh attended tonight's 80th birthday celebrations for Lady Margaret Thatcher at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge. Nearly 700 of the former Conservative prime minister's friends and colleagues, including some former enemies, were attending also, as well as showbusiness celebrities as Dame Shirley Bassey, Andrew Lloyd Webber and his old partner, Tim Rice.

October 15th
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark have become the proud parents of a son. He was born at 1.57am at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. The Crown Princess had been admitted to hospital yesterday at 15.00. The baby is 51 cm tall and weighs 3500 grammes. The name will only become known at the christening, although the baby is likely to be named Christian. The Crown Prince was present at the birth of his son and helped cutting the umbilical cord. He left the hospital this morning. To the press he said: It looks like a little baby." About being prepared for such a big moment he said: "It's a feeling love and warmth that grows from within. You can't act like a superman at at time like this." He told that he and Mary hadn't known before that they would have a son. Morten Hedegaard, head of the medical team present during the birth, then told the press: "It was an attractive and healthy baby," adding that both mother and father had done well during the birth. He also said: "The birth lasted 10 hours. This was really fast for a woman who gives birth for the first time." He also informed that the crown princess got an epidural. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark visited her third grandson in the morning. Mary's father John Donaldson and his wife Susan arrived at hospital in the afternoon. Prince Henrik, who had been in France, visited his grandson in the evening and said to be very pleased with the birth. 21 gun shots were fired at noon from batteries in Copenhagen and from the Kronborg Castle. In the evening, the Danish Home Guard lit hundreds of bonfires across the country.

After nine days and eighten sessions, the sale of heirlooms belonging to the Royal House of Hannover at Sotheby's realized a total of € 41,7 million. On the tenth day, one marathon session of additional lots that were not included in the catalogue, added another € 2.2 million to the total, bringing it to an amazing €44 million. The result of the sale more than tripled the expected € 12 million and exceeds the results of Sotheby's historic house sales of Thurn und Taxis and Baden. The sale offered over 20.000 objects in 4.400 lots. The Princes Ernst-August and Christian of Hannover reacted: "We are overjoyed that our foundation has had such a positive start " Dr. Christoph Graf Douglas, who organised this sale in co-operations with Sotheby's, said: "Overflowing cellars and attics are usually dead weight. A well funded and well managed foundation will secure the future. I am very pleased that the courageous step of the two princes was so successful and that the cultural heritage of the family in Lower Saxony will now have a future." Duke Philipp von Württemberg, Managing Director of Sotheby's Germany, commented: "The sale was an extraordinary success. We are delighted with the enthusiastic response from all over the world. We are also pleased that most of the buyers come from Germany and over 50% of these come from this region. On behalf of Sotheby's I would like to thank everybody who has participated in this sale". The highest price realised during the ten-day sale, € 1,694,000, was for a pair of 19th century Russian vases made in the Imperial Porcelain Factories in St. Petersburg. Both were decorated with old master paintings after Rubens and Honthorst. The Portrait of Salieh Aga, ambassador of Tripoli to the Court of King George I of Great Britain, painted by Sir Godfrey Keller, catapulted to a second place when it was hammered down at € 653.400. The lowest price of the whole sale was paid for a small 19th century jar that sold for € 60.

October 16th
Princess Beatrice of York is planning to study at an American college. She is in the first year of her A-levels studies at St George's School, Ascot, right now. She hopes to win a place at an Ivy League university - one of the eight most prestigious colleges in the US.

About 84% of the Japanese support female ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, the newspaper Tokyo Shimbun reported today. According to a poll conducted Oct. 1-2 among 1746 adults aged 20 years and older by the Japan Association for Public Opinion Research only 6% of those surveyed favored the current system of male-only succession. The support rating for a female monarch was the highest since the group began the polls in March. About 47% of the survey's respondents were against the idea of bringing back the aristocracy, while 21% thought it was a good idea. Of those supporting female succession, 55% cited gender quality as the reason.

The National Movement Simeon II n Bulgaria has re-elected the former Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha as their leader on Saturday during the second Annual Meeting of the party. In a speech before delegates of the congress Simeon said that the party would aim at finalizing successfully the four-year mandate of the three-party coalition.

October 18th

Photo and Copyright: Dana Press

Photo and Copyright: Dana Press

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and her newborn son left the Rigshospital at Copenhagen today at 14.30. She was accompanied by Crown Prince Frederik. There was a brief photosession at the vestibule of the hospital. Crown Princess Mary told the press that she was feeling great. "He has a very calm personality," she said about her son. "There are no words to describe how happy I am." She added that Crown Prince Frederik had been a big help for her during the birth. Crown Prince Frederik said he was looking forward to coming home and spending the next few days changing diapers and getting to know his son. Before leaving for Fredensborg, the couple thanked the staff there for treating them kindly. In the evening five pictures of the family were released, taken by Steen Evald.

October 19th
More than Bt 104 million was fetched yesterday from bidding for and buying special wristbands to mark the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol of Thailand's ascension to the throne and there is continuing demand for the big hit item. The wristband costs Bt 100 each. Most of them 'sold like hot cakes' on Monday, the first day of sales and bidding. Each piece bears a number from 1 to 1,000,000. Many people queued up at Siam Commercial Bank's Ratchayothin branch Wednesday morning before the bank opened to buy a limited number of special wristbands. Some asked for more bracelets for their families and relatives. The proceeds from the auction will be presented to the King.

The regional court has confirmed the late grandson of the last emperor, Prince Louis Ferdinand (who died in 1994), as full heir in the longstanding inheritance dispute. With this his four children are legally entitled to their compulsory portion on the Prussia inheritance worth millions. Among others Burg Hohenzollern near Hechingen belongs to it. Prinz Louis Ferdinand had excluded his two sons, Friedrich Wilhelm and Michael, from the succesion because of their morganatic marriages and instead made his grandson Georg Friedrich sole heir. The rest of the family had sued against it and they were conceded by the Federal Constitutional Court last year. The FCC considered unanimously that the inheritance paragraph of the house of Prussia restricts the liberty of his great-grandson to marry whomever he wants. This guideline is unethical and therefore invalid. The Karlruhe judges refered back to the Hechingen regional court in Baden-Württemberg. Georg Friedrich had to return his certificate of inheritance. Should the involved parties accept the decision, the inheritance dispute in the house of Preußen-Hohenzollern would be finished after 11 years.

October 20th

Photo and Copyright: Dana Press

The civil wedding of Prince Floris van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and Aimée Söhngen took place at the townhall of naarden. The family and other invited people arrived at the townhall at about 11.00. Bride and groom arrived shortly before 11.30 for the half an hour ceremony in a Mercedes Benz 380 SEL cabriolet, bought by Queen Juliana in 1985. The bride was dressed in an apricot-coloured dress with jacket, designed by Lidy de Joode. The short dress was made of lace on flowered voile and unicoloured satin duchesse. The jacket was made of shiny birch-crepe in a warm mandarin colour, and the shoes were of the same material. The bridal bouquet was in autumn colours with roses, hypericum and small leafs. The couple was married by mayor Peter Rehwinkel. The witnesses (all friends) for the groom were Wybe Bast and Mark Hesselink, and for the bride Uusje Asser and Jeanette Huisman-Quist. Among the guests were Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Prince Friso and Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven, Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène, Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette, Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Prince Carlos, Prince Jaime and Princess Carolina de BOurbon de Parme. After the ceremony the couple gave a short press conference. Prince Floris called it an 'emotional day'. On the question why he didn't ask for permission of the government to get married he said that his cousins and brothers had already done that. Princess Aimée said that she already had gotten used to the attention. She finds it a wonderful feeling to be married. Afterwards they had lunch at the Muiderslot.

On the occasion of her 71st birthday on Thursday Empress Michiko of Japan recounted memories of the time she spent with Princess Sayako and told of how she would miss her when she leaves the Imperial household to get married November 15. The Empress said she has not decided what she will tell her only daughter on her wedding day and might even be at a loss for words. "I would like to tell Sayako just what comes to my mind on the morning of the wedding, but like my mother before me, perhaps I too might not be able to say anything at all," the Empress said in a written response to questions from reporters who cover the Imperial family. "Sayako was a child who would be the first to come to me serenely and say, 'Don't mind,' whenever I was disappointed about a mistake I had made or about something that had happened unexpectedly," the Empress wrote. Writing that Emperor Akihito sometimes calls the princess "our Miss Don't Mind" even now, the Empress added, "How fondly we will remember and miss this tender and heart-warming 'Don't mind' in the days to come." The Empress wrote that Princess Nori, despite having to face a number of restrictions in her life as a princess, was "tranquil and patient, and took responsibility for all her actions, and had a personality that rarely ever slighted others." The Empress also wrote she is happy that Crown Princess Masako, who was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder in July 2004, "appears to be gradually getting better." "While creating as quiet an environment as possible, I would like to watch over the recovery of the Crown Princess," the Empress wrote.

Shaikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, Crown Prince of Kuwait, has returned from a long trip abroad yesterday amid expectations of leadership changes in the oil-rich Gulf ally of Washington. He had been in London since August on a private visit and for medical tests.

October 22nd

Photo and Copyright: Dana Press

The religious wedding of Prince Floris van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and Aimée Söhngen took place at the Grote Kerk in Naarden. Bride and groom arrived shortly before 11.30. They used an old royal car from 1927. The bride wore a wedding dress from cream-coloured mikado-silk, designed by Lidy de Joode. The train was about 3,5 metres long. The veil of silk tulle was almost four metres long and embroidered with small glittering stones. She wore the ear of corn diademe. The bridal bouquet was made of ivory coloured roses, hydrangea, lily of the valley, wild lathyrus and several kinds of pieris japonica. The bridesmaids were Magali Söhngen and Loes Korthals. The flower girls were Julie Hoppenbrouwers, Anna van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven and Isabella van Vollenhoven. The ceremony was led by dr. Anne van der Meiden. Witnesses for the groom were Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme. Witnesses for the bride were Hans and Magali Söhngen. Among the guests were Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Prince Friso and Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven, Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène, Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette, Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, Princess Irene of the Netherlands, the Duke of Parma, Prince Carlos, Princess Margarita, Prince Jaime and Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme, Princess Christina of the Netherlands, Bernardo, Nicolás and Juliana Guillermo, Archduke Michael and Archduchess Christiana of Austria, Prince El-Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan, Princess Badiya of Jordan and Khaled Edward Blaire, Fürst Aloys Konstantin and Fürstin Anastasia zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. After the wedding, around 12.45, a reception for about 600 guests was being held at the nearby Het Arsenaal. Most guests had to walk the short route. Bride and groom were driven to the reception in a gala landau from the royal stables with four Friesian horses in front. Some guests had to queue for about two hours to congratulate the newlyweds. In the evening there was a party at Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn.

The newborn son of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was taken back to hospital on Friday night to be treated for jaundice, according to the newspaper B.T. Crown Princess Mary and the newborn prince checked out of hospital on Wednesday, and had spent three days at home at Fredensborg Palace, before beign taken back to the hospital. A group of doctors and nurses treated him with ultra violet rays. He went home with his parents on early Saturday morning.

October 23rd
Princess Sayako of Japan visited Tamagawa University in western Tokyo on Saturday to view an exhibit commemorating the upcoming release of her book on the research of 19th century British ornithologist John Gould. The book is to be published by the university in late November. The princess worked at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology in Abiko, Chiba Prefecture, after graduating from university in 1992 until last June. She was involved in research on kingfishers.

October 24th
MPs are to quiz officials on the fiasco surrounding the Diana, Princess of Wales, memorial fountain. The Hyde Park monument was beset with problems, ranging from blockages and muddy grass to slippy paddling areas. The Public Accounts Committee will question Dame Sue Street, permanent secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Mark Camley, the Royal Parks chief executive, next week. A spokeswoman for the Royal Parks said: "The fountain has been very successful since it reopened. We had 500,000 visitors between May and September. We've very proud of the way it's been progressing." The PAC hearing will take place on Wednesday November 2.

October 25th
King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit started a three-day visit to London. The visit is part of the continuing centennial celebrations, with Norway marking 100 years as an independent nation, after a break from a union with Sweden. At the start of their visit they were driven up The Mall to Buckingham Palace in a gilded carriage of the Horse Guards. At Buckingham Palace, where they were staying, they were received by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke of Edinburgh and King Harald V inspected a guard of honor, and then a gun salute was fired from nearby Green Park. After lunch at the palace, the Norwegian royal family visited a special exhibition of Norwegian items from the Royal Collection. In the evening a royal banquet was being held. The Duchess of Cornwall made her first dinner appearance at a state visit, wearing a huge diamond tiara, originally crafted for Queen Mary in 1911, and loaned from Queen Elizabeth for this occasion. King Harald's speech referred to the cooperation between British and Norwegian troops in the Balkans and Afghanistan, diplomatically neglected the topic of Iraq, and included a confession that he shared Norway's passion for English soccer. Queen Elizabeth praised Norway's generosity and devotion to helping developing nations, and took the opportunity to thank the Norwegian people for their sympathy after the terrorist attack on London this summer.

A Japanese government advisory panel said it would recommend allowing women to succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne. If the recommendation becomes law, it would resolve the succession crisis. At present only males can ascend the throne. “We agreed that from next meeting we will proceed with putting together a report that recommends expanding imperial succession to include females and their descendants,” Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, the head of the advisory panel to Junichiro Koizumi, the Prime Minister, told a news conference. If the rules are changed, Princess Aiko, could one day become reigning empress. Prime Minister Koizumi said that the Government was considering submitting a Bill to parliament next year to revise the 1947 Imperial Household Law. The report is expected late next month after the wedding of Princess Sayako.

October 26th
In an interview in Vanity Fair the Duke of Aosta reveals that he will have a baby with someone else than his wife. He doesn't want to reveal the name of the mother-to-be. His wife knows about it. The child will be born within the next months.

October 27th
King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Norwegian Ambassador's Residence at 10 Palace Green in West-London for the unveiling of the Queen Maud Statue and Blue Plaque. They were also accompanied by Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner and her husband Johan Martin Ferner. The statue was made by Ada Madssen, who also made the Queen Maud statue outside the royal palace in Oslo. After the unveiling the Norwegian royals hosted a lunch for Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh on the Royal Yacht "Norge".

October 28th
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is to spend her 80th birthday at Windsor Castle, a statement from Buckingham Palace has revealed. The April 21 celebration will take the form of a family dinner hosted by Prince Charles. Senior family members, The Queen's children and grandchildren are expected to be there. The dinner will be followed by a family service of thanksgiving held at St George's Chapel, Windsor, on April 23. The Queen's 80th year will be also be marked by several other events, including a service at St Paul's Cathedral on June 15. In addition, The Queen will host a lunch and reception on April 19 for UK citizens also celebrating their 80th birthdays on April 21.

Crown Princess Masako of Japan failed to attend the Royal family's annual autumn garden party after doctors ordered her to take it easy. The crown princess has been told not to rush back into the public eye. Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan said at the garden party: "They seem to think that Princess Masako has a tendency to try to attempt too much and try too hard." The other members of Japan's Royal family enjoyed themselves at the annual event, which was held in the gardens of Tokyo's Imperial Palace.

October 29th
The Duke of Kent received the German Great Order of Merit at a ceremony in Dresden. He received the award for his contribution to the two countries' reconciliation since the Second World War. Georg Milbradt, governor of Saxony, praised the duke for helping close the wounds left by the war and lauded his patronage of the Dresden Trust, a British group that raised money for the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche cathedral at Dresden. The rebuilt church is to be dedicated on Sunday. The duke said he was "deeply moved" to receive the award, the highest possible for a foreigner who is not a head of state.

A drug addict has managed to get into the royal palace in Brussels on Thursday night. He simply walked through the garden and smashed a window. At first he was too quick for security, but reinforcements managed to catch him. No member of the royal family was present at the palace.

October 31st
The Prince and Princess of Asturias have become the proud parents of a daughter, called Leonor. She was born at 1.46am at the Ruber International Clinic in Madrid. She is 47 cm tall and weighs 3540 grammes. She is second in line to the Spanish throne after her father. Leonor is the seventh grandchild of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain. During a press conference Prince Felipe said that things went so fast and he was so moved that he didn't even notice the sex of the baby when the doctor put her in his arms and had to ask. He said that the name Leonor has many historic meanings for him and his wife, but it was simply a name they liked. He also said that Leonor is a big and strong girl. The baptism will take place after Christmas and the names of the godparents are still to be announced. Gynaecologist Luis Ignacio Recasens said that Leonor was born by caesarian section. There were no complications. He thinks that Letizia and Leonor will be released from hospital in about one week. At noon King Juan Carlos II and Queen Sofia visited their granddaughter. Among the first visitors were also Jesús Ortiz, his wife Ana Togores and his mother Menchu del Valle.


Royal News: September 2005. Last updated: October 15th, 2005.