ROYAL NEWS: SEPTEMBER 2005

Last updated: October 15th, 2005.

September 2nd
King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway arrived in Sweden yesterday on the royal yacht Norge for a two-day-visit to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the break up of the Norway-Sweden union. In Stockholm they were joined by Crown Prince Haakon. The first day of the official visit was filled with culture, exhibitions and fine words about all the things that Sweden and Norway have in common. At Waldemarsudde King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden inaugurated an exhibition entitled Myth and Landscape – The Dissolution of the Union and Cultural Affinity. Queen Sonja presented the Prince Eugen Culture Prize to Norwegian singer Merete Lökkenberg Meyer and Swedish poet Jenny Tunedal. In a speech at the Norwegian Church in Stockholm King Harald V said: “We are twin souls as much as we are good neighbours", but added that despite this it was still “particularly pleasing when we beat Sweden on the sports field.” Journalist Linda Skugge from Expressen called Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, who stayed home to rest, 'spoiled' in her web log. "I'd like to meet the doctor who thinks low blood pressure is a problem during pregnancy ... I don't believe for a minute that the princess has been forbidden to travel."

On 31 August 2005 Princess Yasmine bint Asem, daughter of Prince Asem Bin Nayef and his first wife Firouzeh Vokhshouri, married Jordanian Basel Yaghnam at the bride's father's house in Amman, Jordan. The official wedding took place today in Aqaba. The bride is the eldest sister of Princess Noor Hamzah, who attended the wedding with her husband Prince Hamzah. The wedding was also attended by Queen Noor.

September 4th
Prince Harry of Wales is to join the Household Cavalry, The Sunday Telegraph says. The Prince is said to have been attracted to the regiment because it will offer him the chance of taking part in military operations and because the unit's equestrian links will enable him to continue his polo career. The Household Cavalry is the most glamorous of the Guards regiments, not least because of its extraordinary ceremonial uniforms, which are marked by their plumed helmets, gleaming breastplates and thigh-length black leather boots. Prince Harry will need to apply officially to join the Household Cavalry, which consists of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st The Royal Dragoons), in the final term of his 42-week course at Sandhurst, which begins in January. Most of the training in the first two terms at Sandhurst is based on infantry tactics, and cadets previously considering careers in other branches of the Army often switch to the infantry towards the end of the Sandhurst course. A senior Army officer said: "There is time for Harry to change his mind but he looks set on joining the Life Guards - after all, they are a very fine regiment."

September 5th
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway had to cancel another public appearance. She was supposed to attend the opening of a new Red Cross center in Sandvika on Monday, but the visit was called off. Last week the crown princess was also not able to take part in a long-planned royal state visit to Sweden. Her husband, Crown Prince Haakon, said his wife was suffering discomfort associated with her pregnancy.

September 7th
Halfdan Ihlen, personal physician of King Harald V of Norway said that the king has totally recovered from a heart operation in April, but questioned the king's return to a hectic schedule of duties. He said: "The king is healthy but I stand by my former advice that he should scale down his duties and take it a bit easier. I do not wish to say anything about what discussions I have had with the king. The only thing I can say is that King Harald is healthy and his progress and rehabilitation have gone as expected."

The wedding of the Prince of Apulia and Princess Olga of Greece has been postponed to Spring 2006. It is said it is nothing serious, but the couple and their parents thought they need some extra months to put the finishing touches at the organization of this royal ceremony. It seems the groom's parents didn't agree with the wedding location (the Greek island Patmos) and the number of guests (only 40 guests were invited). The wedding will now take place in Spring 2006 in Turin, Italy, with 1000 invited guests.

September 8th
A 29-year-old mentally ill man drove a stolen car into the wall of the Royal Palace's courtyard in Stockholm at 6am on Wednesday, hoping to get the attention of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. The man told police that he was hoping the princess would notice him: “He is convinced that they are a couple.” The man was under the influence of drugs and was confused. Ann-Christine Jernberg, spokeswoman for the royal family, said: “It’s just very sad.” The royal family were at the palace at the time, but in a different part of the building. Police say the man is now receiving psychiatric treatment.

Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria and her husband Daniel Terberger had their first child, a son, on August 30. The baby is called Maximilian. The proud grandfather Duke Max in Bavaria said: "He is the most beautiful Maximilian born ever to the house of Bavaria."

September 9th
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and her family have finally moved into their new house in Lommedalen, west of Oslo, two years after buying it.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium and six expat students escaped unscathed on Thursday after the bus they were travelling in caught fire after a multi-vehicle collision. The bus rolled over, but the seven youths on board were able to exit the vehicle before it burst into flames. None of them were injured. The drivers of the vehicles involved were all slightly hurt. The accident occurred on the Brussels ring road when they were travelling home from St John's International School in Waterloo. Princess Maria Laura was taken home by palace officials and later taken for observation to hospital. "Everyone is safe and this is the most important thing," a spokeswoman said.

September 10th
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Princes William and Harry of Wales attended the wedding of the Duchess' son Tom Parker Bowles to Sara Buys at Rotherfield Greys near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. The bride, who was 15 minutes late, wore an Alexander McQueen dress. The service lasted about 45 minutes and guests sang the hymns Jerusalem, Glory, Glory Hallelujah and I Vow To Thee My Country. Both sets of parents, Caroline and William Buys and the Duchess of Cornwall and Andrew Parker Bowles, witnessed the signing of the register together with the Prince of Wales. About 450 guests attended the reception at the bride's home near Henley.

In an interview in the New York Times Prince Albert II of Monaco said he was “set up” by the mother of his son, Nicole Coste, with whom he had a relationship. Prince Albert has accepted paternity of the two-year-old Alexandre, but said it was “a very difficult moment for me” adding that he is still "coming to terms" with the unintended fatherhood. He says he has seen Alexandre only once since the news became public, blaming it on Nicole Coste’s “attitude toward me” and says “It is not a very pleasant situation. My only concern now is the wellbeing of the kid.” He says that his son is not a possible successor. About other paternity claims he said: "I don't know of any others that could be true." He denies he paid money to Tamara Rotolo, a California woman who claimed she had a daughter, Jazmin, by the prince 13 years ago. "Other people will jump on the bandwagon," he said. He says he is not involved with anyone at the moment and is 'too busy' to look for a bride, but says that finding someone to fill the shoes of his mother “has not only scared me, but also many women I have known. It has scared them away. It will be very difficult for whoever will be with me, not even in marriage, whoever goes out with me seriously. Even if she doesn't look remotely like my mother, she will be compared to her." He also says: "There was pressure, not so much from the family, but people outside were expecting, and are still expecting, something big to happen." he said, adding that it has taken him a long time to feel ready for that challenge. "Some called it immaturity. I don't think it was immaturity, but I wanted to do it in the right way."

September 11th
Prince Harry of Wales will face the toughest challenge of his Army career this week. After a term of marches and early runs at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Prince faces the "demanding course", which involves war studies, international relations and management and communications studies when the second term at Sandhurst begins tomorrow. Cadets who do not make the grade are "back-termed". Prince Harry is believed to have coped reasonably well at Sandhurst. His instructors are understood to have been impressed with his attitude, physical performance and leadership skills.

Princess Stéphanie zu Windisch-Graetz has died at Uccle, Belgium, on 7 September. She was born at 7 July 1909 in Ploschkowitz (now Czechia) as daughter of Prince Otto zu Windisch-Graetz and Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria. She married first at Brussels in 1933 to Count Pierre d'Alcantara de Querrieu, who died in 1944. In 1945 she married Karl-Axel Bjorklund. The princess has decided that her body will be left to science, the religious service will be celebrated in private. The Belgian tv-channel VTM mistakenly announced the death of the deceased niece, Princess Stéphanie zu Windisch-Graetz, who has been very busy in the past days denying her own death.

September 12th
The Swedish royal court is furious at the newspaper Aftonbladet, after they published a story about the magazine Solo alleging that King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden had been unfaithful. The magazine had named three Swedish celebrities who were said to be his mistresses, and said the King was conducting his affairs in an apartment in Stockholm 'which was used by his father and his grandfather for the same thing'. Solo's editor, Annika Leone, said she believed the king would be flattered to be linked in this way with three young, attractive women. Aftonbladet - which tried and failed to contact the three women for their side of the story - stated that Ann-Christine Jernberg had not ruled out legal action against Solo. It was the headline of Aftonbladet 'King unfaithful with Swedish famous women' that made the royal court angry. "This is a new low," said Ann-Christine Jernberg, the palace press secretary. The palace lawyer, Bengt Ljungkvist, is said to be looking into the possibility of court proceedings or reporting the paper to the press complaints commission.

Zara Phillips and her horse Toy Town this weekend took double gold at the three-day European Eventing Championships in Oxfordshire. She was watched by her proud mother, the Princess Royal, and her boyfriend Mike Tindall. Zara rode off with the top individual prize, in addition to winning Britain's team gold. Her success surpasses that of her mother who, in 1971, won the individual title but missed out on the team event. Zara said: "The crowd were fantastic. I tapped quite a few fences but the horse was a good boy. It has always been a massive dream to win gold like this. It is so bizarre to think I have one more than my mother, but it is even better to have a team gold." It was the Princess Royal herself who presented her daughter with the medal. Zara had been a late replacement in the team after another rider had to withdraw.

Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, was injured on his right hand in a diving accident at Malta. While climbing on board of the boat on Thursday his finger became stuck between boat and stairs. He lost a part of the top of his right forefinger - it fell in his diver's suit - but it could be put on again at the place of the accident by a doctor who was in the diving team. It is thought it will take a few weeks before Mr van Vollenhoven has recovered. He came back to the Netherlands yesterday.

September 13th
The Dutch Government Information Service has again written a letter to the weekly magazine Privé. This week the magazine published photos of the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima and Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands during their vacation in Italy. With that Privé has broken the media code again, by breaking the personal sphere of life of the family. It is decided that Privé will not be invited for royal events in the near future, including the christening of Princess Alexia and photosessions.

Prince Floris van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven and his fiancée Aimée Söhngen have had the banns published on September 6 in Naarden.

September 14th
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was admitted to the Obstetrics Ward at Rigshospital (Copenhagen University Hospital) with contractions last night. Professor Bent Ottesen, of the Rigshospital, and Morten Hedegaard, Clinical Head of the Obstetrics Ward, say “The Crown Princess has approximately 6 weeks to her due date. Crown Princess Mary’s condition is stable and she feels well. The Crown Princess will remain under observation until further notice”. Crown Prince Frederik has been at the hospital with his wife. On the advice of her doctors, the rest of the Crown Princess’s public arrangements are cancelled.

In his first public role as patron of a charity, Prince William has shown his eagerness to continue his mother's legacy of helping the homeless. Centrepoint, the charity he has chosen to back, was one of Princess Diana's favourites and she remained a supporter throughout her life even at times when she pared back her other commitments. "My mother introduced that sort of area to me a long time ago. It was a real eye-opener and I'm very glad she did," Prince William revealed during a visit to another of the charity's centres this week. "It's been something I've held close to me for a long time." He spent two days serving meals to young people at the organisation. As well as helping them find temporary housing and fill in benefit claim forms Prince William sat in on workshops where they could talk through their difficulties.

Princess Máxima of the Netherlands has become patroness of Scouting Netherlands. She follows in the footsteps of Prince Claus of the Netherlands who held the position until his death in 2002.

September 15th
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was discharged from hospital late this afternoon and has returned home to Chancellery House at Fredensborg. She is well, and on the advice of her doctors will continue to rest for the duration of her pregnancy.

Prince Harry of Wales will spend his 21st birthday today at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In an interview with several journalists at his father's farm in Gloucestershire he says: "I am who I am and I'm not going to change." Prince Harry says he had grown up in the past few years, but still had a "child streak" that he was in no hurry to lose. About being criticized for wearing a Nazi uniform at a party in January Prince Harry said: "Maybe it was a sign of my own immaturity. I'm becoming 21 ... something like that I will never do again. It was a very stupid thing to do and I've learnt my lesson." About his education at Sandhurst he said that during the intensive induction he had received the same treatment as fellow officers, including being yelled at by superiors and "treated like a piece of dirt," but he said he was relishing his officer cadet training course. "I do enjoy running down a ditch full of mud, firing bullets, it's the way I am. I love it." Prince Harry said that his stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall, has always been close to him and his brother, William and that he enjoys her company. "She's a wonderful woman and she's made our father very, very happy, which is the most important thing. William and I love her to bits," Harry said. About his girlfriend Chelsy Davy Prince Harry only said that she was "special" and "amazing." Prince Harry said that he is eager to do more charitable works, including in Africa, where he worked with AIDS orphans during a break in his studies last year. "I'm not going to be some person in the royal family who just finds a lame excuse to go abroad and do all sorts of sunny holidays and whatever," he said. He decided not to have a birthday party, like his brother had: "I didn't feel like one just because I've got other things to think about, more important things to concentrate on."

The christening of Princess Alexia of the Netherlands, which will take place at the Village Church of Wassenaar on November 19, will be led by the Rev Deodaat van der Boon. The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands have chosen for a smaller and more intimate christening of their second daughter.

King Abdullah bin Abd Al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia has banned people from kissing the hand of any member of the Royal family, including his own, in a bid to modernise his country. He has made the decree while meeting princes, officials and citizens at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Saturday where he said only ones parents deserved levels of such respect. He said: "Kissing hands is something alien to our values and ethics, and is refused by free and honest people. It also leads to bowing, which violates God's law as the faithful bow only to the one and only God." He added: "I hereby declare my total rejection of this matter, and I ask everyone not to kiss the hand of anyone except their parents as a mark of devotion." Saudis traditionally kiss the hands of royals as a sign of respect and loyalty when they visit. On August 18, King Abdullah already banned citizens from addressing him as 'My Lord' , stressing that God is the only Lord of the people.

September 16th
The Royal Monceau Hotel in Paris has taken Princess Ira zu Fürstenberg to court. Yesterday they clashed in court over a €122,000 unpaid bill and allegations that the princess had removed several priceless antiques from her home in the capital that were about to be seized by bailiffs in lieu of the bill. The princess's lawyer, Emmanuel Trink, regretted his client could not attend the hearing. He denied she had tried to keep her furniture out of the hotel's grasp. A ruling is expected on September 21.

Prince William of Wales is to become the next president of the Football Association, the FA announced today. He will succeed his uncle, the Duke of York, next May. As president-designate until next year's Cup final on May 13 Prince William will support the Duke of York in his duties. "I am really excited to be taking up this role," Prince William said. "Football is a game I love playing and watching. It is also the national sport and generates extraordinary passions among millions of people. It certainly did last year for me when I followed England with my friends during Euro 2004, and will no doubt do so again next summer during the World Cup in Germany. Over the next few months I look forward to getting to know the FA well with the help of my uncle, and to understanding better the role the organization plays in promoting the game at all levels." FA chairman Geoff Thompson met Prince William and FA chief executive Brian Barwick at Clarence House on Friday to discuss his new role and the issues facing English soccer's governing body as well as the game as a whole at home and internationally. Mr Thompson said after the meeting: "Everyone at The FA is delighted that Prince William has agreed to be our next president. In 2000 the FA asked the Duke of York to take the role for five years. He has done a terrific job for which we are enormously grateful. Prince William's enthusiasm for football both as a player and a fan is well known and we believe his presidency will prove a great asset to the national sport."

September 17th
Another 21st birthday picture of Prince Harry of Wales was released today. The photo, also made by Mario Testino, shows the Prince straddled across a motorbike, wearing red, white and black biker gloves, a grey T-shirt and wristbands. The prince said the photo was to capture something of the real Harry. "We had this idea - instead of making sort of fake photos - for me to be who I am. Well, to a certain extent, rather than turn up in scruffy clothes." Prince Harry said: "It's something that we bomb around the fields on - it's a way of shaking the cobwebs out." Three images of the prince have been released, along with press interviews, to mark his birthday on Thursday. The latest was taken at Prince Charles's organic Home Farm in Gloucestershire.

Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, will become a practice professor in risk management at the University of Twente. He will start the job at October 1 and will work one day a week.

Prince Ali bin Hussein and his wife Rym have become the parents of a baby girl. Baby Jalilah was born on Friday at night.

Princess Anna Cecilia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies married Count Rodolphe de Vincens de Causans at the Saint John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin, Italy, today. The civil wedding took place at Les Verchers-sur-Layon, France, on 18 August 2005. The bride wore a dress designed by Gilles Neveu. Ushers were Prince Luigi of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Archduke Martin of Austria-Este. Present were among others Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz of Belgium with their children Joachim and Luisa Maria, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxemburg, Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, the Duke and Duchess of Bragança, the Duke and Duchess of Aosta, Archduchess Margherita of Austria-Este, Archduke Gerhard of Austria-Este, Archduchess Isabelle of Austria-Este and Andrea Czarnocki-Lucheschi, Archduchess Catharina of Austria and Count Massimiliano Secco d'Aragona, Prince Michel and Princess Marina of Greece, Princess Ines of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Michele Carrelli-Palombi, Princess Beatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Princess Caroline Napoléon. A reception for 450 guests took place at Racconigi Castle, decorated by Belgian designer Guendalina Litto. Dinner was served in the French-style, with gilded crystalware, plates monogrammed with the couple’s initials and huge crystal chandeliers. For dinner and ball about 200 people were invited.

September 18th
An intruder sparked a security alert at Buckingham Palace yesterday when he broke into the grounds at 2.10pm. The man climbed the metal railings at the front of the palace and vaulted in to the forecourt. He ran past guards and entered a tunnel at the front of the palace. Onlookers described how the man took them all by surprise by climbing the railings. Police were called and the man was arrested. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The man is now in custody at a Central London police station." Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was still at Balmoral so she was in no danger.

September 19th
During a four-day visit to the USA King Harald V of Norway has unveiled a statue of his mother, Crown Princess Märtha, outside the residence of the ambassador of Norway to the USA in Washington yesterday. He was accompanied by Queen Sonja, his sisters Princess Ragnhild and Princess Astrid with husbands. The bronze statue is a gift from the Norwegian American Foundation and is meant to mark Norway's 100 years as a sovereign nation. It was made by Norwegian artist Kirsten Kokkin, who now lives in Colorado, USA. The King, his sisters and his mother lived in exile in Washington during World War II.

A survey about the monarchy was held by Norwegian Social Sciences Data Services among 41.000 Norwegian high school students between 16 and 19. Only 12,7 % of them say they are glad Norway has a monarchy, and that it means a lot to them. 16.3 % want to abolish the monarchy. 71 % says they are indifferent. The amount calling for abolishment is greater than previous surveys have suggested.

The marriage between Princess Nandi, daughter of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, and Thembu Chief Mfundo Mtirara has collapsed. Palace insiders said the princess had left her husband almost 11 months ago without notifying the Thembu royal family and there were no signs that the marriage would be revived. Princess Nandi has been living with her parents for a while, but has since moved to Durban. The couple wed in a glamorous ceremony two years ago. Mfundo Mtirara doesn't want to comment. Zulu Queen MaDlamini however says: "He knows the reason for the separation better than any other person." "He did not respect his young wife," said a family member.

September 20th
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway paid a two-day visit to Buskerud together with Crown Princess Mette-Marit, who undertook her first official engagement in weeks. The couple told the press that the baby is not due early december as was said earlier, but that they now think the baby will be born at the end of November. However they don't know the exact due date.

About 35.000 people lined the streets of The Hague today to watch Prince's Day in the Netherlands. The first royalty watchers were already standing in front of Noordeinde Palace early in the morning. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven left the palace at 13.00 by carriage for a short ride to the Knight's Hall where the Queen held her annual speech of the throne. In her speech the Queen referred to her 25th jubilee thanking the people who have welcomed her everywhere this year with enthusiasm. To the big disappointment of the crowds outside Noordeinde Palace the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima didn't take their two daughters Amalia and Alexia with them when appearing on the balcony of the palace after the family had returned.

According to the plans of the Dutch government for 2006 which were revealed in the speech to the throne today Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will receive 3.896.000 Euros, of which 715.000 as income and the rest for costs. That is 4000 Euros less than in 2005. Also the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima will each receive 1000 less on personal income, but will receive 3000 Euros more for costs of staff and other things. In total costs of the royal house in 2006 are estimated at more than 5.500.000 Euros, which is 600.000 Euros less than in 2005. The reason is that Prince Bernhard has died. Another 71.000.000 Euros is reserved for security of royals and buildings, transport and state visits.

King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia has launched his official website, on which he will keep his subjects up to date. The website is divided into five sections - news, biography, social activities, correspondence and video - and will be written in three languages, English, Khmer and French. Before the king used the internet site run by his father, former King Norodom Sihanouk.

Bulgarian archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a Thracian city and a royal residence near Hisar in Central Bulgaria, the National Museum of History announced. The first two floors of the palace, spreading over 104 square meters are preserved and the archaeologists, led by Ivan Hristov, have found many artefacts confirming royal presence, among others a short two-face ritual iron axe and a number of coins depicting the Thracian kings Tereus, Kotis and Amatok among others. The artefacts date the city and palace at the end of the 5th century B.C. The archaeologists assume that they have found the capitol of the Odris King Amatok.

September 22nd
The Luxemburg grand-ducal court announced today during a meeting of the press with the Marshall of the Court that Prince Louis of Luxemburg, third son of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and his girlfriend Tessy Antony are expecting a child in spring 2006. The prince is 19, his girlfriend 20. They are a couple since one year. The couple have chosen not to get married for the time being. Their parents are supporting them. Tessy Antony lives in Niedercorn and is in the Luxemburg army since 2003, although she has stopped working some weeks ago. From March 2004 to July 2004 she joined the Kosovo Forces. She attended the technical lyceum in Pétange.

The news that the royal palace in Stockholm is recruiting a new head of information has led to new rumours that Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her boyfriend Daniel Westling will get married next summer. Current information officer, Ann-Christine Jernberg hardly clarified matters. She said: "One could naturally see it that way." She said that the recruitment of a new head of information, far from being in preparation for anything exciting, was simply because the press office has been understaffed since last autumn, when Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg left to become the Crown Princess's advisor. She added that if and when a royal wedding is in the offing, it will be declared through formal channels. "There will be an announcement from the palace. The routine has not changed since the king and queen married," she said.

The divorce between Prince Ferfried von Hohenzollern and his third wife Maja Meinert hasn't been settled today. Princess Maja had forgotten to take several important documents with her at the trial. Prince Ferfried von Hohenzollern wants to marry his current girlfriend Tatjana Gsell in Bavaria in May 2006.

September 23rd
John Ulick Knatchbull Lord Brabourne died peacefully yesterday at the age of 80 at his home in Kent surrounded by his wife Patricia Countess Mountbatten of Burma, whom he married in 1946, and six children. He was born in London at 9 November 1924. Lord Brabourne began his film career as production manager on such movies as 1956's The Battle of the River Plate. He produced films as Sink the Bismarck!, Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile. His 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet and in 1985 A Passage to India received an Academy Award nomination for the best picture. He was director of Thames Television, Euston Films and Thorn EMI and was made a fellow of the British Film Institute in 1979. The funeral is to take place on 30 September at Mersham Parish Church near Ashford, Kent. A service of Thanksgiving in London is to be announced later.

September 24th
Princess Kira of Yugoslavia née Princess zu Leiningen died today at London at the age of 75. She was born at Coburg on 18 July 1930 as daughter of Prince Karl zu Leiningen and Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia. In 1963 she married Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia, but they divorced in 1972. The couple had three children: Lavinia, Karl Wladimir and Dimitri.

In an interview on the occasion of their 20th wedding anniversary Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia spoke about how they met, how they decided to meet again, and how to get married, where they spent their honeymoon. Crown Prince Alexander said: "Those twenty years went by too fast – says her husband. – So much happened. My wife is a lovely lady, a caring mother who is concerned for our country, who helped me in everything I was doing and that wasn’t so easy. Not only that I love her but I admire her. We traveled a lot, spent time with friends and but she was always not only lovely but incredibly positive." The couple met each other at the lunch in Washington arranged by a common acquaintance of Greek origin in 1985 shortly after both having divorced. Only two months later they decided to get married. They spent their honeymoon traveling by Orient Express from London to Venice. Crown Prince Alexander said: "We sat next to each another and saw that we have many things in common, sparks lightened up and we decided to see each other again and shortly afterwards we started living together. We both had children, went through hard moments when we divorced from our first marriages but all that didn’t stop our decision to live together." The Crown Princess said: "I believe that my husband is one of the Serbs who cares and thinks the most about this country, this people, every single moment. That is why I love him. I’m often asked what attracted me to him and my answer is – his honesty. He is always so honest. He simply doesn’t like muddy games and does not have time for them." The interview also reveals that Crown Prince Alexander has a huge passion for the Internet.

September 26th
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway's former live-in boyfriend speaks out for the first time about the couple's relationship in the mid-1990s. He's contributed to a new book about Mette-Marit, due out in October, and says he'll never be able to forget her. The 46-year-old resident of Lillestrøm, where he and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby once shared an apartment, still doesn't want his name to appear in print, but agreed to talk to journalists Frode Hansen and Tommy Fossum, who have written the book. "Every time I look around inside a store, I see her face on the front page of magazines. It's not possible to just close your eyes to it. I just have to accept that I'll never be finished with her." He also said he and Mette-Marit were engaged and planned to travel to Las Vegas to get married. That never happened. He said he didn't want to discuss why their relationship ended. He added that he only has good things to say about Mette-Marit. "Only superlatives," he said. "Not a bad word."

King Mswati III has chosen a 17-year-old as his bride-to-be. He picked Phindile Nkambule in August when she was dancing at the annual reed dance. According to Swazi tradition, the king is always meant to have a bride in waiting, but can only marry her when she is pregnant. The King currently has 12 wives, one other bride-to-be and 27 children.

September 27th
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is in the second week of a two-week visit to China. Last week was spent as an intern at the Swedish embassy in Beijing. The Swedish foreign ministry said that an important aim of the trip was "to learn more about this emerging World power." The Crown Princess's programme in Beijing keeps its focus on arts and culture. The princess will meet the Chinese culture minister, Sun Jiazheng, before moving on to visit Canton and Hong Kong. On Monday she visited the Forbidden City where she opened an exhibition of Swedish-owned Chinese porcelain.

During her visit to the province of Flevoland today Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visited the also 25-year-old municipality of Lelystad. She visited some of the first pioneers of Flevoland and sailed on a ship. Highlight of the day was a performance by rapper Ali B who afterwards jumped of the stage, greeted the Queen with the youth greeting and hugged her.

Princess Máxima of the Netherlands surprisingly took her daughter Princess Catharina-Amalia with her while ordering the first children's poststamps and cards 2005 at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague.

September 28th
The only life portrait of Prince William of Wales in existence, by artist John Wonnacott, has gone on display at Agnew's Gallery in Mayfair, London. The portrait was painted when Prince William was at Eton and was painted in preparation for a group picture of the royal family to celebrate the late Queen Mother's 100th birthday. However the portrait has already been sold to a mystery buyer who reserved the painting at the £100,000 asking price. Three other portraits also went on sale - two of the Queen Mother and one of the family group featuring the Queen, the Queen Mother, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Princes William and Harry. They have also been put on reserve by the same buyer at £100,000 each.

Eighteen members of the Moroccan royal household have been arrested and questioned after thieves stole valuable possessions from King Mohammed VI of Morocco. Police were called after some of the monarch's belongings - including silverware and crystal carafes bearing the monogram of the King's father, Hassan II - were found on sale in local bazaars.

September 29th
In a speech during a congres about the monarchy in Groningen, that was attended by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Professor Dr P. Schnabel said that about 75 % of the Dutch wants the country to stay a monarchy. However they think the job is a burden for the monarch and almost unjust. Half of the monarchists thinks it is a pity that the youth of Princess Amalia also destined by the fact that she will become the Queen in the future. He says that the constitutional monarchie in the Netherlands is an emotional monarchie. The emotion gives the royalty in the modern times context again. The life of the monarch is allowed to look like your own life. The need for recognition and sympathy is much bigger than the wish of idealising of the past. Marriage, birth, divorce, illness and death are carrying elements in the modern monarchy. According to the professor the television has had a huge influence during the reign of Queen Beatrix. He thinks the position of the monarchy has become stronger instead of weaker, which according to him is because the Netherlands has already queens for more than 100 years.

September 30th
ABCs breakfast show Good Morning America is to be broadcasted live from several British palaces it has been announced. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has given her permission for the unusual television event which is aimed at boosting the UK's tourist industry. On Thursday 6 October the show will be broadcasted from Windsor Castle's state rooms and St George's Chapel. On October 7 the presenters will be at Buckingham Palace in London as well as Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. A Palace spokesman said: "We're delighted that ABC has agreed to broadcast their flagship breakfast programme in the UK, especially at such an important time for the tourist industry. The Queen has given her approval." The Duke of York has given ABC an interview about the tourism industry.

The royal family of Hannover may face illegal gun possession charges after police discovered that 37 items in the family collection of muskets, pistols and rifles were still in working order. Police scientists are still checking the weapons, which are listed in an online Sotheby's catalogue for an 11-day antique auction starting next week at Marienburg Castle near Hannover. Public viewing of 20,000 items including cannons and suits of armour being sold off by the Royal House of Hannover began Friday. The vendors are the two sons of Prince Ernst August. The prosecutor said it was illegal to own unregistered guns, even antique ones. Police seized the weapons Tuesday and were investigating who owned them, whether they were covered by any permit and whether they were dangerous.


Royal News: Augustus 2005. Last updated: October 17th, 2005.