Royal News 1999

Last modified: 1 January 2000

Archived royal news from my old website for the year 1999.

January 2nd

Anne of Great Britain, the Princess Royal, has retained her position as the royal family’s busiest member in 1998. She carried out 679 engagements; the Queen herself in second place only had 574 engagements. In total the British royal family carried out 3705 engagements (all together 13 members).

January 3rd

The British Queen Elizabeth wants to open the art collection of the royal family for the public. Therefore an architect is going to design a new gallery in Buckingham Palace. The collection contains paintings of Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Michelangelo, Raphael and others. It should be opened in February 2002, in the year the Queen hopes to celebrate her 50th reign anniversary.

January 4th

If necessary King Sihanouk of Cambodge wants to testify himself if the UN should establish an international court of justice to trial the Red Khmer leaders arrested for two weeks. He would even give up his royal and constitutional immunity and even accept an eventually imprisonment himself. King Sihanouk has also been King for a short while during the Red Khmer domination in the 70’s.

According to some reports the British Princes William and Harry and about 20 friends celebrated a party at Windsor Castle on December 20th after Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip went to bed. It seems they played music and drank alcohol. They should have gone sleighing in the garden on serving-trays from the kitchen.

During a ski trip in Are, Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden gave first aid to a Japanese tourist who lost his friends out of sight. They stayed with him until there came some help. When the friends and the Japanese man wanted to thank the rescuers they had already disappeared.

January 5th

Princess Juliana of the Netherlands (89) was taken to hospital in Utrecht yesterday, after she felt unwell at her home. It seems it goes about hart problems. After some examinations she went home in the evening today.

January 6th

The news everybody was waiting for has been announced finally by Buckingham Palace: Prince Edward, youngest son of the Queen, is finally getting married. The happy girl is Sophie Rhys-Jones, his girlfriend since at least 1993. The wedding will probably take place in the late spring or early summer, with the couple favouring St.George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. It seems Edward finally asked Sophie to marry him just before Christmas and she was fully surprised. Sophie Rhys-Jones was born in Oxford on January 20th 1965 as the only daughter of Christopher and Mary Rhys-Jones. She attended Dulwich College in Cranbrook and West Kent College in Pembury. She worked for Capital Radio and Jet Services before going into PR-business. She runs her own company now.

January 7th

On New Year’s Day Prince Bernhard jr. of the Netherlands broke his left leg during snowboarding in Austria.

January 9th

In St.Michael’s Church in Ghent, Belgium (and not Antwerp), Arch Duchess Catharina of Habsburg married Count Massimiliano Secco di Aragona. In 1500 the Roman Emperor Charles V (from whom Catharina descents) was born in this parish. Hundreds of guests from the European nobility, amongst them members of the Belgian royal family, joined the celebration. On December 4th the couple had celebrated their civil wedding in Woluwe, Brussels, Belgium.

January 10th

No one will be officially blamed for the accident in which Princess Diana, Dodi El-Fayed and driver Henri Paul found the death. However the Court of Justice in Paris says they didn’t finish the case yet.

One of Britains most notorious aristocrats, the Marques of Bristol (44), died in his sleep at his home Little Horringer Hall, on the Ickworth estate in Suffolk. After inheriting lots of money from his father, he drifted into drug addiction. He was jailed a few times: once for smuggling cocaine into Jersey (one year) and twice for possessing heroin and cocaine.

The Dutch government will reconsider the appointment of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander as a member of the International Olympic Committee, after speculations on fraud and members accepting bribes. Since Nagano February 1998 the Prince is candidate member for the Netherlands, and his confirmation was planned in Seoul, Corea, next July.

Sophie Rhys-Jones, the fiancée of Prince Edward of Great Britain, asks people not to compare her with Princess Diana. She is a person of her own.

January 16th

According to The Sun Edward & Sophie will marry on June 19th in St.George’s Chapel at Windsor. About 500 guests should be invited for the ceremony and another 500 for a buffet wedding reception afterwards in the castle’s St.George’s Grand Hall, among them many many royals. Buckingham Palace says this is only a speculation. It is too early to confirm any date.

A bill abolishing the centuries old rights of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords will be introduced into the Commons next week. It looks set to spark heated debates ass Opposition MP’s and many peers have vowed to fight it at every stage.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden opened the biggest water sport fair worldwide ‘Boot ’99’ in the German town Düsseldorf.

January 18th

The Mirror published two letters of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales, written in 1983 and 1984 to some close relatives. The Mirror says they were publishing because they show that Charles and Diana have loved each other in the beginning of their marriage. Diana wrote: “I can hardly bear being separated from him”, and Charles wrote: “She has a great way to mix with other people.”

Today Felipe Prince of Asturia will start his five-week trainee at the European Union. It brings him to the EU-institutions in Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and Luxembourg. In Brussels King Albert II and Philippe Duke of Brabant will receive him.

January 19th

King Hussein of Jordan has returned to his country after staying for six months in the USA for cancer treatment. He came from London, England, where he had spent some weeks to recover his strength. In the pouring rain hundred thousands of people stood along the road from Amman airport to the city of Amman to welcome their king. He will come back to the USA for a check-up in March.

January 20th

The leader of the House of Lords Baroness Jay said: “A fundamental anachronism can be removed as we reach the millennium. The presence of the hereditary peerage has weakened the legitimacy and effectiveness of our second chamber.” About the presence of the peerage, lately a documentary on BBC told that lots of peers hardly show up at the House of Lords.

King Hussein of Jordan told on CNN that he had thoughts and ideas about replacing his younger brother Hassan as heir designate. “I have always had to take the final decisions and I will come to it in the appropriate time.”

January 22nd

Buckingham Palace announced officially that Edward and Sophie will get married at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor, on June 19th.

Prince Laurent of Belgium spent some days in the hospital of Ukkel, Brussels, last week with flu and a nervous collapse. He has been released today but should need some further treatment.

King Hussein of Jordan has deprived the crown prince title from his brother Hassan (who owed this title since 1965). King Hussein was not satisfied about the way Hassan reigned the country when the King was staying in the USA. The new crown prince should be one of Hussein’s own sons. Most likely it will be the oldest son Abdullah (36), but Ali (25) and Hamzah (17) are also mentioned.

January 23rd

Unexpectedly Princess Caroline of Monaco married (civil) her friend Ernst August Prince of Hanover, Duke of Cumberland, in the Room of Mirrors in the royal palace in Monte Carlo. Invited were some close family members and eight friends. It was strange that Princess Stephanie didn’t show up. Further the rumours are that Caroline is pregnant.

It is said the relationship of the Dutch crown prince Willem-Alexander and his girlfriend Emily Bremers has never been broken up. They should have told the media so, because they were sick of all the media interest in their relationship. People have seen them together in the evening-life of Brussels and London.

January 24th

The Queen Mother has undergone a one hour-long minor operation to stop her nose bleeding at the hospital in King’s Lynn, England. She later returned to her home at Sandringham. She is fine again.

Some pieces of the wedding dress of Princess Diana of Wales will be put up for an auction. Before the wedding Diana lost some weight and the dress had to be made smaller. The designer of the dress gave the pieces to her older babysitters who sell the pieces now to collect money to finance the last years of their lives. They ask an amount of about $125.000.

January 25th

King Hussein of Jordan has appointed his eldest son Prince Abdullah ibn Hussein as his heir. Former Crown Prince Hassan will serve as his deputy. Abdullah is a son of King Hussein with his second wife, the English Tony Averil Gardiner (known as Princess Mouna), and was born on January 30, 1962. He is the leader of the special picked troops, as being a lieutenant general he is very popular in the army. Since 1993 he is married to Palestinian Rania Yassine and has two children: Hussein (1994) and Iman.

About one week ago the engagement of Princess Irina of Hesse (born Munich, Germany, April 1, 1971) and count Alexander of Schönburg- Glauchau (born Mogadiscio, Somalia, August 15, 1969) was announced. Marriage will take place in May. Count Alexander is a brother of Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, and since September 1998 head of the House of Schönburg-Glauchau.

January 26th

Unexpected: King Hussein returned to the USA for further medical tests. It is said he is feeling very tired.

January 27th

Jordan’s new Crown Prince Abdullah is sworn in as acting sovereign of Jordan. There are fears his father’s cancer has returned. He suffers from an elevated white cell count. In hospital they have stabilized the platelet count and the temperature of the King. He is to undergo tests in preparation for a bone marrow transplant.

Princess Irene of the Netherlands gave an interview on Dutch breakfast TV. She told about her close relationship with nature (trees) and animals, which she developed step by step. It is known that she ‘talks’ with the nature and animals. She wrote two books on this subject.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has ordered the police to expel the sausage-sellers in front of Buckingham Palace. The royals are getting crazy from the terrible smell, it is said especially Prince Andrew, whose apartments are on the front of the palace.

January 28th

The Prince of Wales and his girlfriend Camilla Parker-Bowles appeared in public together for the very first time. About 200 photographers were waiting outside the Ritz Hotel in London to shoot the photo of the year. Charles and Camilla were at the hotel to celebrate the 50th birthday of Camilla’s younger sister. When they came out Charles briefly put his arm around Camilla before they stepped into the car and were driven away. The whole scene was over in about 20 seconds.

The wedding of Prince Eudes of France, Duke of Angoulême, and Marie-Liesse de Rohan-Chabot will take place in Brittany, France, on her family’s estate, on July 3rd.

January 29th

Paris prosecutors have announced the end of the official investigations into the death of Princess Diana.

David, viscount Linley and his wife Serena have announced they are expecting their first child in June. The couple married in 1993. Viscount Linley is the son of Princess Margaret of Great Britain.

January 30th

King Hussein of Jordan’s situation is stable. The new chemotherapy dose has come to an end and on Tuesday and Wednesday he will have two bone marrow transplants. As in December the donor will be his sister Basma.

January 31st

Last week the Saudi-dynasty celebrated the fact that they owe the throne of Saudi Arabia already since one century.

Prince Ernst August of Hanover wants back hundreds of pieces of art and antique from the German federal republic of Saxe-Anhalt. After the family of Hanover had to leave their estates in eastern Germany at the end of WW II, the government of East Germany confiscated the belongings of the family. Now Saxe-Anhalt doesn’t want to give its museum treasures back.

February 2nd

Today King Hussein of Jordan underwent a bone marrow transplant. The doctors will closely monitor him for the next two weeks. The King was holding up very well his spokesman said.

February 3rd

Sixty-four love letters written between December 1990 and March 1991 by Princess Diana to her lover James Hewitt have been returned to him. They were allegedly taken from the safe in his home in Devon last March by his former fiancée Anna Ferretti who tried to sell the letters to a newspaper.

February 4th

The court of justice of Potsdam, Germany, have dismissed 18 claims of the House of Hohenzollern on getting back former Prussian fortune, amongst it 244 real estates in the Potsdam area. The total amount should have been about 50 million dollar. According to the court of justice the expropriation after WW I was legal.

Princess Alexia of Greece and Carlos Morales Quintana are getting married in London’s Greek Church on July 9th. Count Alexander of Schönburg-Glauchau and Princess Irina of Hessen are getting married on May 29th, where I couldn’t find out.

February 5th

This evening, in Johannesburg, South-Africa, the police have arrested the Albanian pretender to the throne Leka I. They found lots of weapons and ammunition at the houses of him and two others. Leka earns his money by trading in weapons.

King Hussein of Jordan was brought back to his own country. He wants to die there. Most of his internal organs don’t work anymore and he is kept alive by a life-support machine.

February 6th

Jordanian officials have begun to prepare for a funeral. King Hussein was declared unable to reign and was pronounced clinically death. His son Abdallah was sworn in as a regent.

February 7th

Jordan and the whole world are mourning. King Hussein of Jordan died in the morning in Amman, surrounded by members of his family. His eldest son Abdallah was sworn in in the parliament as the new King just a few hours later. He appointed his younger half-brother Hamzah (18) as the new Crown Prince following the wish of his father.

Life and death are closely related. In Great Britain Lady Sarah, daughter of Princess Margaret, gave birth to a healthy boy, whose name is not known yet. The baby was born on February 5th.

February 8th

King Hussein’s funeral brought about 800.000 Jordanese people to Amman, who lined the route of the funeral procession. Jordanian and world dignities from about 70 countries said goodbye to the King in the throne-room at the Raghadan Palace in Amman. After a short ceremony at a mosque the King was laid to rest at the Royal Cemetery. Only the male members of the Jordanian royal family attended the funeral as according to Islamic traditions females are not allowed to attend. Queen Noor and the other female members of the family stayed in the palace. Among the mourners from all over the world were leaders from Israel, Syria, Egypt and the USA. Royal guests included King Juan Carlos of Spain with his wife Sofia and crown prince Felipe, King Harald V of Norway, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, ex-king Constantinos of Greece with his son Pavlos, the Prince of Wales, Sultan Qaboos of Oman and the crown princes of Kuwait, Saudi-Arabia and Morocco.

February 9th

Many Jordanian people come to the royal palace to condole the royal family with the death of the King. Queen Noor and other female members of the family went to the grave and held private prayers.

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has decided to postpone his activities for the International Olympic Committee at least until the meetings in March about the corruption within the IOC. Then the position of the Prince will be watched again.

Mohammed al-Fayed is still there. He is now offering an award of about $ 1.700.000 for information on the crash in which Princess Diana and his son Dodi died in August 1997. He made the offer in a quarter-page advertisement in France Soir newspaper. He wants anything that could identify a white Fiat Uno or two motorbikes, which may have been involved.

February 10th

Former crown prince Hassan of Jordan has promised his loyalty and full support to the new Jordanian King Abdallah. Prince Hassan will also help the new Crown Prince Hamzah by his preparations for his new duties.

February 11th

The Wiener Opernball (Opera ball of Vienna) seems to have been fun. There were about 7000 guests. Traditionally the ball was opened by 200 young couples (debutants).

The talk show of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, on Sky-TV has been cancelled after one delivery, because almost nobody was watching it. Sky-TV will keep on working with her.

Liechtenstein keeps on celebrating. Yesterday Princess Tatjana von und zu Liechtenstein became engaged to Philipp von Lattorff (30), son of Claus-Jürgen von Lattorff and Julia Countess Batthyány. They will marry in the St.Florian Church in Vaduz on June 5. Tatjana’s brother Constantin will marry Marie Countess Kalnóky in the middle of July in Slovakia.

A German magazine tells that Princess Sophie von und zu Liechtenstein, wife of the hereditary Prince Alois, will have her third baby in April.

February 12th

Who wants to buy a real castle? In Brumma, near Stockholm, Sweden, you can buy the 17th century Castle Ulvsunda, with a huge garden. In Plön, Germany, they are looking for someone who wants to buy the Princehouse (Prinzenhaus), which is a part of the castle of Plön. It once belonged to the royal family of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderborg-Plön. The house is more than 200 years old.

February 18th

In Cuernavaca, Mexico, Luis Reyna Corvalán y Dillon (born Cordóba April 18, 1939) died. He was the husband of Maria Beatrice Princess of Savoya (Italy). His gardener found him dead in his home. He was possibly killed by burglars, but that is not sure yet.

In Hechingen, Germany, Emanuel Prince of Hohenzollern died just two weeks before his 70th birthday. He had been ill for a while and he was in a nursing home. He has been buried last Saturday in the Castle of Sigmaringen.

Karl Archduke of Austria and his wife Francesca are going to have a third child in a few months time it is said. They deny it themselves. They already have two children: Eleonore (1994) and Ferdinand Zvonimir (1998).

February 20th

Heavy snowfall in the Alps also affected royal guests like Princess Caroline of Monaco and her husband Ernst August Duke of Hannover. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander were brought back to save grounds by helicopter from Lech, where they were enjoying their ski holidays. Prince Claus later left when the helicopter of Caroline and Ernst August picked him up.

February 21st

It seems that his chauffeur strangled Luis Reyna with the string of his bath-wrap. There should also have been a bootlace bound around his penis. Sounds like a terrible way to die.

Discussions are going on about the title Prince Edward will get when he marries Sophie Rhys-Jones. I heard that he will be earl of Cambridge, but the Observer said it will be Duke of Windsor. What is the next suggestion?

February 22nd

According to the historian Robert Torrens the French Emperor Napoleon I’s grandfather was Scottish. This William Bayn (or Buon) fled with his sons from the Scottish village Crieff in 1745. They were shipwrecked near Corsica, where the family was called “Buon e parte” (Buon and his troup). Nice story, but I thought his grandfathers name wasn’t William at all.

February 23rd

The Mexican police wants to question Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy and her daughter Asaea on the death of Luis Reyna. It also seems the body hasn’t been claimed yet, which the police thinks is strange.

Chinese archaeologists probably have found the 600-year-old grave of the founder of the Ming dynasty, Emperor Ming Hongwu, behind a 120 m long hall near the old capital of Nanjing. It has not been opened yet. They think to find there the mortal remains of the Emperor, his wife and 46 concubines.

The Japanese Prince Hitashi, the younger brother of emperor Akihito, and his wife, will pay a month visit to Europe in March. They first go to Greece, and also Germany is on the programme.

The former Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, who hopes to celebrate her 90th birthday on April 30th, has written an open letter to the Dutch people to ask them to let her celebrate her birthday in private with her family. She wrote that she is not able anymore to answer all the evidence of sympathy and heartiness.

February 24th

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands makes a three-days visit to St.Petersburg, Russia. He joined the Conference “The Future of War” and will pay a visit to Kronstad.

Beginning on September 10th Belgium celebrates the Emperor Charles V’s Year. The party starts in Ghent, the place where the Emperor was born on February 24th, 1500. There will be many exhibitions on the Emperor. Celebrations are especially held in Ghent, Mechelen and Brussels.

March 2nd

Andrew The Duke of York arrived in Vietnam for a five-day visit to promote trade and other links with Great Britain. He will visit a Royal Navy frigate stationed there temporarily, and also the Cu Chi underground tunnels, which were used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

March 3rd

On February 25th King Opoku Ware II of Ashanti died in Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana. He was born on November 30th, 1919. He was the 15th Asantehene.

Baroness Christina Silfverschiöld, daughter of Princess Désirée of Sweden, celebrated her engagement with Hans de Geer af Finspång on Valentine’s Day (February 14th). It is most likely that they will get married this summer.

March 8th

Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein has been operated on his Achilles tendon after a fall during his ski-holidays in St.Christof am Arlberg, Austria, on March 1st. He is recovering at home now.

On September 11th Sigismund Archduke of Habsburg-Tuscany is going to marry Elyssa Edmonstone in London.

March 9th

The Prince of Wales started a visit to Argentina. He laid some wreaths and joined a banquet. He made a good speech on the links with Great Britain.

On March 6th Sheikh Isa bin Sulman al-Khalifa Emir of Bahrain (since 1961) has died after a heart attack. He was born on June 3, 1933. His eldest son Crown Prince Hamad (49) was sworn in as the new Emir soon after his father’s death.

March 12th

Some genealogical stuff: Ferfried Prince von Hohenzollern (55) has planned his third marriage for next April (and some people seem not to be happy with it). His new wife will be Maja Meinert (27). In Berlin, Germany, at the end of June, Ferdinand Archduke of Habsburg is going to marry Katharina ‘Tita’ countess von Hardenberg. Some more babies are going to be born soon. Constanza Archduchess von Habsburg, who married Franz Josef Prince von Auersperg-Trautson some years ago, is expecting a child. The same counts for India Hicks, granddaughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten, and her friend David Flint Wood. They are expecting their second child in about four months time. Also pregnant is Clotilde d’Orléans, granddaughter of the count of Paris.

March 13th

Someone who was walking with his dog near the seafront at Ayr, Scotland, found 70 pages thick confidential medical records of the royal family dumped by the side of the road. The records contained information on the blood groups of some members of the royal family (including the Queen), and told details about the security arrangements for royal visits. The records were not recent and already lost since 1994. Now an inquiry has begun.

The Prince of Wales continued his South-American visit at the Falklands Islands. He is the most senior member of the British royal family to visit the Islands after the Falkland War between Argentina and Great Britain in 1982.

March 15th

Prince Pieter-Christiaan of the Netherlands has got his diploma from the University of Utrecht. Since 1993 he studied law there. The newspapers showed him together with his proud parents.

March 16th

One of the commissioners of the European Commission that resigned yesterday evening is Hans van den Broek (Netherlands). His daughter married Prince Maurits of the Netherlands in May 1998. Happily in the thick damning report on the Commission was not a word about him, so he is not to blame for the fraud and mismanagement of some members of the Commission.

In the German Filmmuseum in Frankfurt am Main an exhibition was opened on the actress Romy Schneider, who committed suicide in 1982. Until June 13th you can see about 500 photos, 50 film posters, letters, parts out of her diary, and original requisites. Of course there is also something on the films she especially became famous for: her role as Sissi (Empress Elisabeth of Austria).

March 18th

The British Queen-Mother Elizabeth should have debts from about $2.000.000. She seems to have a lavish way of living and spends lots of money on food, drinks, clothes and parties. The money she spends on horse races is on someone else’s account.

The Duke of York has suffered a minor fracture to his left foot. The injury happened when the Duke fell over as he climbed into a car after a dinner in London on Monday night.

Clotilde d’Orléans and her husband Edouard Crépy got a third son at the beginning of this month. His name is Gaspard.

March 21st

King Abdallah of Jordan has made his wife Rania a Queen. The widow of the late King Hussein, Queen Noor, will keep her title.

March 22nd

Infante Cristina of Spain and her husband Iñaki Urdangarín are going to have their first baby in October according to the Spanish royal court.

March 23rd

A government commission of the Netherlands has given a positive advice on the definitive entry of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander into the IOC. It seems the confirmation can take place in July in Seoul, Korea.

March 24th

Margaretha Kooperberg-De Jong (86) has died on March 12th in the nursing home Nieuw Lindenoord, Wolvega, the Netherlands. From 1932 to 1940 she was the governess of the later Belgian Kings Baudouin and Albert II. At the funeral on March 17th in Oldeberkoop, the Netherlands, a wreath of King Albert II of Belgium was laid on the grave. The royal family of Belgium has always stayed in contact with the old governess.

The Princely House of Liechtenstein has given up its presenting rights on ecclesiastical level. The right to appoint people in ecclesiastical functions in five of the Liechtenstein municipalities will now go to the Archbishop of Vaduz, presently Wolfgang Haas, who has been appointed by Pope John Paul II.

March 25th

Prince Ferfried von Hohenzollern has married Maja Meinert on March 19th at the registration Service in Dresden, Germany. Only some of her family members were there. They will celebrate it with other family and friends later.

March 31st

Yesterday the Danish royal court announced that Prince Joachim and his wife Princess Alexandra will have their first baby in the beginning of September. The baby is planned to be born at the Rigshospital in Copenhagen. Also expecting a baby in September is Joachim’s cousin Alexandra countess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, who married Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth in June 1998. The baby of lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Daniel Chatto finally got names. He was born on February 5th and his full names are Arthur Robert Nathaniel.

The ARD (German TV) broadcasts two royal portraits this weekend. On April 4th at 21:45h Prince Philippe of Belgium will be the subject. On April 5th at 21:55h it will be Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje. I have watched some before and they are really good.

Prince Serge of Yugoslavia should stand trial on charges of drug dealing. He is accused of buying cocaine for the purpose of furnishing third parties during soirees in Turin, Italy.

April 2nd

On April 15 Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece, son of Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Maria, will be baptized at St. Sophia’s Greek Cathedral in London. Prince William of Wales will be one of the godparents. The other godparents are the baby’s uncle Prince Nikolaos, crown prince Frederik of Denmark, Felipe prince of Asturias, crown princess Victoria of Sweden, prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, princess Alexandra zu Fürstenberg (born Miller) and someone called Doris Robbs. After the christening there will be a private dinner at Claridge’s.

April 6th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje can restart his work for the International Olympic Committee according to the Dutch government. The Prime Minister, Wim Kok, said that the crown prince can pay a contribution to the future of a new IOC.

April 7th

The last genealogical news for everyone who is interested in it. On March 15th, in Madrid, Spain, Fernando de Baviera y Mesia, a Spanish descendant of the Royal House of Bavaria, died aged 61. He was buried the next day in the presence of King Juan Carlos of Spain, his sister Margarita and her husband Carlos Zurita. On March 23 Prince Kardam of Bulgaria and his wife Miriam got their second son, Beltrán. He was born at the Clínica Ruber International in Madrid, Spain.

April 8th

The Duchess of York is to become the USA-spokeswoman for the pottery and china firm Wedgwood. She will only represent the Stoke-on-Trent firm that has a royal warrant from the Queen. She will get paid 500.000 English Pounds a year for the job.

Prince Heinrich von Hannover (37), youngest brother of Ernst August, will marry Thyra Donata Sixtina von Westernhagen (born in Oldenburg on August 14th 1973 as a daughter of Burkhard von Westernhagen and Uta Maria von Pape) on June 19 in Teistungen im Eichsfeld, Germany, where the family-estate of the bride’s family is.

The website of The British Monarchy has been updated. New is the monthly online magazine Royal Insight.

April 9th

On July 1st Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales will take part in the opening ceremony of Scotland’s first parliament for nearly 300 years.

April 12th

Accidents in the British royal family: On Saturday April 10th surgeons have operated on the left index-finger of Prince William, which he fractured before Christmas during a rugby-match at Eton College. He was operated under general anaesthetic at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary. After the surgery William went home. It was made public that princess Margaret, not seen in public since February, scalded her feet while taking a too hot bath about one month ago. The accident happened at her holiday-house ‘Les Jolies Eaux’ at the Caribean Island of Mustique. She is still recovering and is taken care of by a nurse at Windsor Castle. As she is a little older (she is 68) the burns don’t heal very quickly.

April 14th

Born on April 1st Zita, daughter of Prince Charles-Emmanuel de Bourbon de Parme and his wife Constance.

On April 11th Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, her husband Prince Claus and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander arrived in HongKong and started their eight-day state-visit to China the next day in Beijing. An earlier state-visit to China in 1989 was cancelled after the bloody student- demonstrations. Now the Dutch royals met the president of China and enjoyed a 10-course dinner at the beginning of the visit. On April 13th they opened an M. Escher-exhibition in the Forbidden City and had a meeting with Dutch people living in China. On April 14th Willem-Alexander visited the Chinese Wall.

April 15th

Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece has been baptized at the St.Sophia Greek Cathedral in Bayswater, London, today, under the eye of all of his godparents. On the right of the photo: Prince William of Great Britain.

April 17th

It has been made official that in March 1991 it was discovered that the Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander suffers from the disease of Besnier Boeck. This illness has something to do with the lungs and the defence system of the human body. It seems the disease has stopped in the first phase. The Prince needs to be controlled from time to time.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark broke the marathon record of the royals. He ran the Paris Marathon in 3 hours and 33 minutes and seems to be very fit.

April 19th

Queen Beatrix ended her state visit to China in rainy Hongkong. She spent the weekend at the country in China, and visited Shanghai on Friday. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander left on Friday and was visited during the weekend by Dutch speed skater Rintje Ritsma.

A man was arrested after jumping over the gates of Buckingham Palace. It was understood that he was arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Sibylla Ambler and her husband baron Cornelius von Dinckelage got a daughter. Madeleine Charlotte Margaretha was born in Munich, Germany, on March 15th.

April 20th

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands ended a two-day visit to Albania. She went there as the vice-chairwoman of the Dutch Red Cross. She spoke with various delegations of the International Red Cross and with the Albanian president Mejdani. She also visited some centres for refugees from Kosovo, and cried when she told on TV how she was moved by what she saw there.

Hereditary Prince Alois and Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein got another son today. His name is Georg Antonius Constantin Maria, and he was born at the Spital Grabs.

April 22nd

Queen Elizabeth II concluded her state visit to South Korea by meeting British and Commonwealth veterans of the Korean War (50’s) at a special royal garden party. In the earlier days of the visit the Queen and her husband watched a taekwondo demonstration and had tea in the cafetaria of Ewha University in Seoul. At her birthday on April 21st she was offered a 47-dish feast at the village of Hahoe, but she declined.

April 23rd

Princess Caroline of Monaco is learning the German language. She and her husband Prince Ernst von Hannover bought the house of designer Karl Lagerfeld near Paris. Caroline’s son Andrea is visiting a school in the neighbourhood.

April 24th

A poster of the painting ‘Clouds and violence’ of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, of which 8000 copies were made for selling them, was sold out within 3 hours. The proceeds were for the people in Kosovo.

April 25th

The Prince of Wales joined a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the formal founding of the Sikh brotherhood in the Royal Albert Hall in London.

James Hewitt is said to be auctioning the newspaper rights to his memoirs of his five-year affair with Princess Diana. He is talking to the Mail on Sunday and the News of the World about selling the serialisation rights for more than 500.000 pounds, the Sunday Telegraph said today. It is understood extracts from Diana’s letters will not appear in the memoirs.

April 26th

The Sultan of Selangor Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, a former school inspector and army major, has been installed as the 11th King (since 1957) of Malaysia in a glittering ceremony. Of the 13 states of Malaysia, 9 have royal families. They take turns to serve as king for a five-year term. The King is nominally head of state, but his powers are largely ceremonial. The real power lies by Prime Minister Mahathir.

April 27th

Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York has paid about $15.000 for a four-day course in Italian language. Her teacher was Michael Thomas from Los Angeles.

April 30th

In the Netherlands Queen’s Day was celebrated. A special day as former Queen Juliana had her 90th birthday. The Queen, her husband, her three sons, her sister and husband with three of the four sons (one with wife), visited Houten and Utrecht this time. They enjoyed themselves very much. Prince Claus, the Queen’s husband, stole the show. When the family had to cycle he gave lifts to nice girls, and later on made a dance with his brother-in-law Pieter van Vollenhoven. The crowd loved it.

May 3rd

King Abdallah of Jordan gave his first TV-interview on CNN. It mostly was about politics.

May 4th

Queen Beatrix, Prince Claus and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands commemorated the death of World War II on the Dam Square in Amsterdam.

May 5th

Liberation Day in the Netherlands. Prince Bernhard went to Wageningen for the commemoration of the German surrendering in 1945. In the evening Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus attended a classical open-air concert in Amsterdam in the rain.

The emir of Kuwait has dissolved the parliament and called for elections. The motive was the vote of no confidence against the minister for Islamite Affairs, who was reproached a mistake in a new issue of the Koran.

Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on claims that Sophie Rhys-Jones, the fiancée of Prince Edward, is under armed police protection. She allegedly arrived for work yesterday escorted by a police bodyguard. Reason should be that Sophie looks like killed BBC-presentator Jill Dando.

May 7th

Prince Carl Alexander von Hohenzollern seems to have recorded a song for Kosovo.

May 9th

Prince Edward of Great Britain and his fiancée Sophie Rhys-Jones seem to have a big list of presents they hope to get for their wedding, all very expensive. It is said Edward wants the title Duke of Cambridge as a present from his mother (then she should have the cheapest present of all guests).

Prince Rainier III of Monaco celebrates that he reigns his country since May 9th, 1949 – so that is 50 years now. First there was a mess in the cathedral of Monte Carlo where the Prince was accompanied by all his children and his sister Antoinette. Then there was an official lunch, followed by a big reception on the palace square, where Prince Rainier III told everyone he didn’t think of abdicating at all, so Albert have to wait a little longer. In the evening there was a huge party in the harbour with fire works.

May 10th

King Abdallah of Jordan arrived for a two-day visit in Germany. He will amongst others meet president Roman Herzog and chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

King Albert II of Belgium and his wife Queen Paola started a three-day state visit to Poland. They were welcomed by president Kwasniewski in the capital Warschaw.

After June 1st Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy is going to live together with his girlfriend Natascha Andress (Boston, USA, December 24th, 1968), niece of ex-Bondgirl Ursula Andress. They will share an apartment in Geneva, Switzerland. There relationship started in November 1997.

May 11th

In their magazine the Consumer’s Association criticized 21 British tourist attractions. On the list: Buckingham Palace (the rooms felt sterile and didn’t tell the visitors any story about the House), Windsor Castle (the state apartment’s tour failed to bring the rooms to life) and the London Tower (boring queues). I have never visited those places, so I can’t judge.

The House of Lords is to try to agree a compromise deal that should settle the immediate future of hereditary peers. The government had originally wanted to remove all of them from the Upper House in one go. But after fierce opposition, a plan has been put forward to allow 90 of them to stay on temporarily until ministers reveal how they intend to replace them. The amendment will be debated during the committee stage of the Bill.

May 12th

King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium ended their visit to Poland with a visit to Wroclaw’s university where they met Polish students who study the Dutch language.

May 13th

Queen Noor of Jordan made her first trip to another country since her husband King Hussein died in February. She visited a peace-conference in the Congress Centre in The Hague, the Netherlands. She arrived on May 12th and first had dinner with Queen Beatrix. At the conference she spoke to some people, including children, and led some meetings. In an interview on Dutch television she told that she and her family want to continue the important work of the late King Hussein. She also told she sometimes has the feeling she and the children haven’t had time yet to cope with his death.

German television broadcasted a new number of the series on German noble houses. This time Bavaria was the subject. They followed Duke Franz (modern art and charity work for Romania), his brother Max Emanuel (beer brewery, nice film on his family), Prince Leopold (racing, his friends the royal family of Sweden, his family -including light-autistic daughter Pilar), and Prince Luitpold (beer brewery, knight-feast.

May 14th

In Antwerp, Belgium, Philippe Duke of Brabant, opened the biggest exhibition ever on painter Antonie van Dijck, in the Museum voor Schone Kunsten. The painter was born in Antwerpen 400 years ago.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (almost 89) had an operation in the Academic Hospital of Utrecht to widen his trachea.

May 17th

Some genealogical stuff: Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Sicilies died in Sigmaringen, Germany, on May 3rd, Archduchess Maria Ludowika of Austria- Tuscany died in Vienna on April 17th, and Archduke Friedrich Salvator of Austria-Tuscany died on March 26th.

A friend claims that 24-year old Tom Parker Bowles, son of Camilla (the girlfriend of the Prince of Wales, and his godfather) takes cocaine from time to time. It is said (and later denied) that the Prince of Wales has phoned Tom and gave him a severe scolding. He should have told him: “You’ve been a bloody fool. Pull yourself together.” The Prince of Wales is also said to have had a frank talk to his own sons William and Harry. William and Tom are good friends.

May 19th

In Dürres, Albania, Philippe Duke of Brabant (Belgium) opened the first Belgian Red Cross refugees camp for refugees from Kosovo.

May 20th

The hour-long wedding service of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19th, will be broadcasted live on BBC, Buckingham Palace has announced. Further about 8000 people are allowed to enter the grounds of Windsor Castle to cheer the bride & groom and their guests.

After a few months work the restoration of the in 1843 heavily damaged tomb of Emperor Charles the Great (747-814) has been successfully finished art the Museum für Spätantike und Byzantinische Kunst in Berlin, Germany. Originally the Emperor was buried at the Pfalzkapelle in Aix-la-Chapelle, Germany. From 23 July the marble tomb will be shown as one of the showpieces at the exhibition ‘799 – Kunst und Kultur der Karolingerzeit’ in Paderborn.

There are still 40.000 tickets for sale for a visit to the grave (not the island were she really was buried) of Princess Diana at Althorpe House. It will open again in six weeks. The tickets of about $15 are including a visit to the Diana Museum.

Matthias Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen and his wife Christiane baptized their daughter Victoria in the church of Rüdenhausen, Germany.

May 22nd

Georg Prince of Liechtenstein, son of hereditary prince Alois and his wife Sophie, was baptized on May 13th. His godfather was his uncle Prince Constantin.

Today the wedding of Ferdinand Archduke of Austria and Countess Katharina of Hardenberg took place in Potsdam, Germany.

May 23rd

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands left the hospital of Utrecht after his successful operation.

May 24th

Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein opened the eight European Olympic Games of Small States, which are held in Liechtenstein from 24 to 29 May. Also present were Prince Albert of Monaco, and the hereditary couple of Luxembourg, Henri and Maria Teresa.

May 26th

King Abdallah of Jordan paid a visit to the Palestinian city of Gaza and had a meeting with Palestine president Yasser Arafat.

Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales are to attend the formal opening of the Welsh Assembly. After a morning service at Cardiff’s Cathedral they will travel by open carriages to the Cardiff Bay site. The formal opening ceremony will be relayed live to crowds outside and at certain venues throughout the capital. The day’s events will conclude with a star-studded open-air concert.

May 28th

In the park of Ludwigslust Castle, Mecklenburg, Germany, the tea pavilion (18th century baroque) has been restored, and the Lügenbrücke (bridge) that leads to a small island has been rebuilt. Further restorations are following.

May 29th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her husband Prince Claus made a visit to Weimar, Germany, the European cultural capital of 1999. They visited the Goethe House, made a tour through the city and met students of the musical gymnasium. Striking was the visit to Belvedere Castle where they saw the vexed exhibition ‘Aufstieg und Fall der Moderne’ on Nazi-art from the private collection of Adolf Hitler, and of art of the former German Democratic Republic.

Archduchess Astrid of Austria-Este, Princess of Belgium, opened the 9th AIDS Memorial Day in Antwerpen, Belgium.

May 30th

King Fahd of Saudi-Arabia underwent an eye-operation last Thursday and left the hospital in Riyaad one or two days later. The day after his release he was admitted in the hospital again.

June 1st

A painting of the British King George V, painted in 1931 by John AA Berrie, and stolen from the Army in 1995, was safely found back in Orford Park, Warrington, Cheshire, Great Britain, wrapped in a quilt cover. The police approached a man in the park acting suspiciously. He ran off and when the police searched for him they found the painting back.

June 2nd

Dom Duarte de Bragança (Portugal) and his wife Doña Isabel are expecting their third child in December. A German magazine says the baby of Karl and Francesca von Habsburg will arrive in the beginning of July. The full date of the marriage of actress Catherine Oxenberg (who’s mother is Princess Elisabeth of Yougoslavia) with actor Casper van Dien is May 8th.

June 4th

The Prince and Princess of Japan (don’t know which) plan to visit Thailand next month for the Thai King’s 72nd birthday.

King Jigme Singye Wangchuk of Bhutan celebrated his 25th reigning anniversary. On this occasion he gave his people television and Internet, which was forbidden in Bhutan till now. Can they finally watch my page there too!

An interesting inquiry in the Euro Business Magazine: the richest individual royal is the Dutch Queen Beatrix with a fortune of about $2 milliard, second is Jean Grand Duke of Luxemburg with only about $1,5 milliard and in third place is Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein with about $1 milliard. King Albert II of Belgium owns about $0,8 milliard. Watching the whole royal families: 1 is Liechtenstein (about $5,5 milliard), 2 is Luxemburg (about $5 milliard), 3 is Great Britain (about $4,5 milliard). Others on the list (from rich to poor): Belgium (fifth with about $4,2 milliard), Spain (about $1,7 milliard), Monaco (about $1,1 milliard), Sweden (about $0,8 milliard), Denmark (about $0,15 milliard) and Norway (a little bit poorer than Denmark). Still would like to have just a little bit of that money. Buckingham Palace gave its reaction by telling this inquiry is completely exaggerated and speculative.

June 5th

In the cathedral of Vaduz, Liechtenstein, the wedding of Princess Tatjana von und zu Liechtenstein with Philipp von Lattorff (Graz, Austria, March 25, 1968) took place. Archbishop Wolfgang Haas led the wedding. It was an intime wedding. During the service Tatjana’s brother Maximilian spoke, as well as Stephan von Lattorff, a brother of the groom. Witness for Tatjana was her brother Constantin, who is going to get married in a few weeks time.

The Crown Prince of Saudi-Arabia finished a five-nation Arab tour in Cairo with a 2-day talk on the Middle East peace with the Egyptian president.

The second big journey of Czar Peter the Great of Russia to Western Europe (1716-17) is the subject of an exhibition in Bad Pyrmont Castle, in co-operation with the State Historical Museum in Moscow. The exhibition will be held from June 6 to September 12, 1999.

June 6th

On May 29th Alexander Count of Schönburg-Glauchau and Irina Princess of Hesse married in the Pfarrkirche St. Cäcilia in Heusenstamm, Hesse, Germany. The groom was brought into the church by his sister Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis.

King Albert II of the Belgians celebrated his 65th birthday together with some hundreds of neighbours from Laken. He invited them at the Royal Palace of Laken. They got a tour through the beautiful garden and there was a party in the orangery.

June 8th

The wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19th will break with tradition by banning hats (lots of royal family members will not like this!). On the other hand an old tradition, almost never used anymore, survived: Sophie will pledge to obey Edward! 600 Guests are invited to the 45-minute service at St.George’s Chapel at Windsor (and we have to watch BBC) and some thousands of people can enter the grounds around Windsor to cheer the bride and groom and the guests. The Rt Rev Peter Nott Bishop of Norwich will lead the service, and the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, will lead the prayers.

June 9th

King Abdallah II of Jordan is enthroned formally taking over for his late father King Hussein. Abdallah and his wife Rania waived to the many subjects on the side of the road as they drove in a car through the streets of Amman. June 9th will officially be a national feastday from now on.

In the Paleis voor Schone Kunsten in Brussels, Belgium, they started the sale of the household effects of a Flemish-Brabant castle. Name and place are not told. They sell as the family failed to arrange the heritage. Weapons, furniture, silverware, Chinese and Japanese porcelain and tapestries are sold. Already sold are two paintings of Pieter Breughel the Younger, for some millions of dollars.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway graduated from Berkeley University lately. Hopefully he returns to Europe.

Another wedding (possibly May 22): Isabella Countess von und zu Arco-Zinneberg (26) married the Belgian count Alexander Stefanovich (30) at St. Martin Castle in Austria.

June 11th

Also Carl Philipp Prince of Sweden finished his school, only it was high school.

Japan’s Cabinet voted to recognize the rising sun flag and anthem to Emperor Akihito as state symbols, despite use in its militaristic past.

June 12th

Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain reportedly left for his first visit to Amman, Jordan, since he took over power on March 6th.

Thousands of people lined the Horse Guards Parade near Buckingham Palace for this years Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday (who actually has her birthday on April 21). It was an historical ceremony as a number of Grenadier Guardswomen were due to march beside their male comrades. Also the Princess Royal (Anne) broke with the rule of riding sidesaddle at state-occasions. She rode astride her horse. The Queen, with a yellow silk dress, yellow coat and hat and white gloves, came at the ceremony in a carriage followed by Princess Anne and Prince Philip. The Queen Mother, Edward & Sophie followed in another carriage.

On the occasion of her birthday, Queen Elizabeth II gave lots of birthday-honours (knighthoods). Historian Antonia Fraser who wrote some books on the British royal family got an OBE.

There is an inquiry going on on possible tax-fraud at Ritzen Koeriers (courier company), of which Prince Bernhard Jr of the Netherlands is one of the founders and joint directors. It should be about a few 10.000 of dollars.

June 13th

BBC broadcasted the Royal Wedding Interview with Edward and Sophie. They were interviewed by Sue Barker at Bagshot Park. It was especially on their lives before the wedding and the plans they have made for the future. It is obvious they do not want to have children immediately after the wedding. They plan to go on with their jobs and furnish their home further and create a nice garden. They were also asked about Princess Diana. Sophie said she was very flattered to be compared with such a beautiful woman, but is a totally different personality.

June 14th

A Spanish weekly magazine announced that Crown Prince Felipe will get engaged to a certain Gabriela Sebastian de Erice (26), witness for Tatjana of Liechtenstein at her wedding, on June 24th. Of course another rumour about a girl, but still interesting. Gabriela’s father is Jose Pedro Sebastian de Erice, the Spanish ambassador in Germany. She works for an American bank in London, England. Both the royal family as her family denied the rumour officially.

June 15th

At the dinner, which will be held after the wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, the guests have to get their food out of the dishes their selves. Probably only the Queen, Prince Philipp and the Queen Mum will get their food from a servant.

June 16th

Ready for the royal wedding Saturday (19th)? Some more to come: the civil wedding ceremony of Eudes Duke of Angoulême and Marie-Liesse de Rohan-Chabot will take place on June 19th in Dreux, the religious wedding will take place on July 10th in Antrain-sur-Couesnon. Prince Tassilo of Ratibor and Corvey will marry countess Clarissa of Toerring-Jettenbach on July 4th.

Some more royal babies: Sophie Princess of Romania is expecting her first child. Carl-Alban Count of Schönburg-Glauchau and his wife Juliet expect their second child.

June 17th

At a service held in Stary Sacz, Poland, on the 12th day of his visit to the country, Pope John Paul II canonized the 13th century Hungarian Princess Kinga, who was known for charity. About 650.000 people attended the service.

June 18th

Yesterday Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange took the oath as a member of the IOC at the beginning of their general member’s meeting. He promised not to get involved in political and commercial influences and carry out the Olympic ideals. The meeting will last 4 days. Today he visited the United Nations Memorial Service in Pusan where 117 Dutchmen are buried who lost their lives during the Korean War (1951-53). Later this week he will meet the Korean president Kim Dae-Jung.

June 19th

Some hours before the wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones the Queen announced the titles the bride and groom will wear from now on. Surprisingly Prince Edward will be His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex (a title used for the last time in the 11th century by King Harold who was killed in the Battle of Hastings in 1066), and Viscount Severn (an 18th century title). He will inherit the title Duke of Edinburgh after the death of both his parents. Sophie will be styled Her Royal Highness the Countess Wessex. When the couple gets children they will not be dubbed Royal Highnesses was announced, the Queen in consultation with the bride and groom decided this.

Prince Heinrich of Hannover and Thyra von Westernhagen married in the St.Andreaskirche in Teistungen, Germany. The bride came at the church in a beautiful decorated carriage, accompanied by horsemen. She wore a simple, long, cream dress, with long veil, and a little black cross on a necklace. One of the guests was Heinrich’s brother Ernst August who didn’t bring his wife Caroline with him.

Henri d’Orléans Comte de Paris died at his domicile in Dreux, France, during the civil wedding ceremony of his grandson Eudes with Marie-Liesse de Rohan-Chabot. He had been ill since Friday evening and therefore wasn’t able to attend the service. It was noticed by the people who watched the wedding that the Countess of Paris was there, but not the Count himself. The civil wedding took place at the domain of the royal chapel Saint-Louis. The new count of Paris is the oldest son Henri, Comte de Clermont.

June 20th

Edward and Sophie left for their secret honeymoon place in the middle of the night after their wedding reception. They smiled and waved as their car pulled away with red-heart-shaped helium balloons tied to it. Guests at the reception told that also members of the royal family had taken turns to serve themselves at the buffet. Meanwhile Madame Tussauds in London is due to put a wax figure of Sophie on show with a copy of the wedding dress.

June 21st

The new-created Earl and Countess of Wessex (formerly known as Edward & Sophie) are just taking a four-day honeymoon at Balmoral, because of their busy working schedules. Yesterday afternoon they flew to Scotland by helicopter. Before they had an informal champagne brunch at Bagshot Park hosted by Sophie’s parents, Christopher and Mary Rhys-Jones, and attended by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince William of Wales received a ‘sensible’ car (heard it is a Volkswagen) for his 17th birthday today. He already could drive the motorbike. Now he is 17 he is also allowed to drive the car on public roads. But first he needs to pass his driving test.

June 23rd

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands reopened the renovated Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. There’s a new oval wing, designed by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. The first exposition is based on the collection of painter Vincent van Gogh’s brother Theo.

Queen Elizabeth II is to appear live in an Internet broadcasting when she attends the opening of the Scottish Parliament on July 1st. The project has been organized by the Parliament and software giant Microsoft. Viewers will be able to select their own shots of the ceremony and see background material.

A German magazine tells that Catherine Oxenburg married Caspar van Dien, forgetting to get an annullement of her marriage with Robert Evans whom she married in 1998 (she left him after only 10 days marriage).

June 24th

King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia left his country for medical checks in China. He will be abroad for about two months.

The lavish palace of the Roman Emperor Nero is being reopened to the public after 20 years of restoration (costs about 4.000.000 dollars). The 150-room palace was called the Golden House because of the amount of gold leaf adorning many parts of it. The site in Rome was abandoned in the Middle Ages, and robbers hurrowed into the ruins to remove statues. But traces of many of the original paintings and mosaics can still be seen now.

June 28th

Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris was laid to rest in Dreux. The ceremony was attended by members of the high European nobility (amongst others Felipe of Spain). The religious wedding of his grandson Eudes on July 10th will go on, but will be an intime family wedding.

June 30th

Prince Konstantin of Bulgaria and his wife Maria expect twins; it will be their first children. They married in 1994.

July 1st

Queen Elizabeth opened the first Scottish Parliament since 1707. She said Scotland was stepping across the threshold of a new constitutional age. A variety of guests saw the Queen unveil a gift of a silver mace for the new Parliament.

The Diana Museum at Althorp is open again for July and August. There are still lots of tickets available.

July 2nd

The Viscount and Viscountess Linley have got a son, who was born in London’s Portland Hospital yesterday and has not be named yet (which can be done in Britain until six weeks after the birth).

July 3rd

Another 19th June marriage: Prince Vincenz von und zu Liechtenstein, who divorced Helene de Cossé-Brissac, remarried Roberta Valeri Manera in Venice, Italy, in the St. Marie-de-Lys church.

Also married is Count Wolfgang de Limburg Stirum. He married Martine Eykerman at Saint Etienne’s Church in Ohain, Belgium.

July 7th

The Emir of Kuwait has appointed Crown Prince Sheik al-Sabah again as Prime Minister, despite the victory of the opposition during the elections of last Saturday.

July 8th

At night the biggest auction ever held in Europe took place. It was the sale of Rothschild art treasures looted by the Nazis in 1938 in Vienna, Austria, as Jewish capital. Christies’ London sale of works once owned by barons Nathaniel and Albert von Rothschild raised 56,7 million English pounds, three times its estimated value. Under the sold pieces of art were a 16th century prayer book and a Louis XVI commode.

July 9th

Princess Alexia of Greece married Carlos Morales Quintana in the Saint Sophia Orthodox Church in London. Present were eight Queens, amongst others Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and three Kings. Many royal guests showed up including members of the royal houses of Denmark, Spain and Sweden. Prince Frederik of Denmark had the company of Xenia Princess zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (27) and Danish magazines see a new relationship in it: don’t believe it!

Some more marriages: Constantin-Christian Count von Berckheim (42), cousin of Prince Joachim zu Fürstenberg, married Esperanza Sobrina de Santiago (39) in Aigen near Salzburg, Austria. A cousin of Anton-Wolfgang Count Faber-Castell, Nadine von Kölichen (30) married Christoph Pöppinghaus (38) in the Martin Luther Church in Stein near Nürnberg, Germany.

July 11th

The Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward) is to deliver talks to tourists about the rebuilding of Windsor Castle that was burned down partly in 1992. He will take part in a series of four lectures in which he will detail the work that went on after the fire. The lectures have been organised by the earl’s Ardent TV production company in association with a travel company. The lectures are being held at the Theatre Royal in Windsor.

July 14th

The celebration of the National Feastday in France amongst others showed the traditional military parade. Among them 500 infantrymen of the Moroccan Royal Guards. French President Jacques Chirac therefore got assistance of King Hassan II of Morocco.

The Prince of Wales joined dozens of stars at the Royal premiere in London of ‘Episode I-The Phantom Menace’ the latest Star Wars offering.

July 15th

Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel is set to be crowned the first British ‘King’ since George VI in 1937, it has emerged. The tiny island of Bardsey off the Lleyn Peninsula is set to restore its crowned head of state. Although the Welsh royal lineage died out with Owain Glyndwr 500 years ago, Bardsey had its own King until 1927. Schoolchildren are making Mr. Terfel a crown after members of the island’s trust decided to grant him the title.

July 16th

Tassilo Metternich-Sándor, Prince von Ratibor und Corvey, Prince zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, married Countess Clarissa zu Toerring-Jettenbach on July 4th in the St.Peter & Paul church in Winhöring, Bavaria, Germany.

July 17th

Prince Constantin von und zu Liechtenstein married Countess Marie Kàlnoky in a very private ceremony in Csicsó, Slovakia. Archbishop Wolfgang Haas led the ceremony in the little village church. About 260 guests attended the wedding, which got almost all people living in the small village on their feet.

The Royal Albert Memorial in London -a statue of Prince Albert (1819-1861) who was the husband of Queen Victoria of Great Britain- has been damaged. Two men have been arrested for break off some fingers and damaging a crown and a sceptre. The statue had just been reopened last October after a four-year restoration.

On Öland, Sweden -near Solliden, the summer residence of the Swedish royal family- a 35-year old Danish psychiatric patient has been arrested for stalking. He sent letters to crown princess Victoria, thinking he was engaged to her.

Prince Bernhard Jr. of the Netherlands wants to sell the Internetshop he started with some other people about four years ago.

July 18th

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia started his summer-holidays. With eight airplanes he flew to Marbella in Spain. It is the first time in 5 years the King leaves his country. The airplanes contained a big staff, for whom 200 rooms in the best hotels of Marbella were reservated. The King himself and some of his family members stay in his own palace near Marbella.

July 19th

The legendary Bernstein-room from the czar palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, should be reconstructed. A company from Essen, Germany, offered about $ 3,5 million for that. The valuable wall lining was a gift from King Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia to Czar Peter the Great in 1716. In 1945 the wall lining disappeared and despite a big search it has never been found back.

July 20th

In the hospital of Vöcklabruck, Upper Austria, the first child of Prince Ernst August of Hanover and Princess Caroline of Monaco was born. The daughter’s name is Alexandra. Both mother and daughter are in good health.

On July 8th Maria Teresita, 4th child and first daughter of Alexander Afif Prince of Saxony-Gessaphe (Heir of the royal house of Saxony) and his wife Gisela, was born.

Carl Christian Prince of Hohenzollern, son of Prince Johann Georg and Princess Birgitta of Sweden, and Nicole Neschitsch married on July 9th or 10th in Munich, Germany.

The Castle of Versailles, near Paris in France, will be restored the next 10 years. Special attention will be paid to a good security system. Also the garden will get a facelift.

Victor Emmanuel di Savoia, Heir to the Italian throne, wants to go to the European Court in Strassbourg to protest against violation of human rights. He says it is not fair that the male descendants of his father King Umberto II and his grandfather King Victor Emmanuel III still can’t go back to Italy. They went into exile in 1946 when Italy became a republic. The Italian National Assembly voted for ending the exile in December, but the Italian Senate is still debating on the subject.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark announced that Christian VII’s Palace, part of Amalienborg, will be opened for the public until August 8th. Since 1996 it had been restored.

An archaeological dig to find the final resting place of the British King Alfred the Great of Wessex (+899) is getting under way at a car park. He is thought to have been buried in front of an altar at Hyde Abbey, Winchester, Great Britain. The abbey is believed to have been near a site now occupied by the River Park Leisure Centre in the city of Winchester. Archaeologists are confident that they can locate the grave, but are not so sure any remains will be found.

July 22nd

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has arrived at the Dutch Antilles for a work visit. He landed at Curacao, and in the weekend he will open the Koninkrijksspelen (Kingdom Games) at St.Maarten. He will fly back to the Netherlands on Monday evening.

Princess Caroline of Monaco and Baby Alexandra left hospital in a four-car convoy together with Ernst August Prince of Hannover. They returned to Auerbach Castle in Grünau, Austria, where they were also staying just before the birth of Alexandra. According to a nurse the baby has dark brown hair and looks like her mother. Soon after the birth Ernst August tried to hit some photographers who came to close to the hospital room of his wife Caroline. The day after the birth Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the happy grandfather, arrived to watch the baby.

July 23rd

King Hassan II of Morocco died because of a heart attack at the age of 70.

July 25th

In Rabat, the capital of Morocco, King Hassan II of Morocco was buried in the mausoleum where his father rests since 1961. The King was born in Rabat on July 9th 1929 and reigned since 1961. Hundred thousands of mourning and emotional people were standing along the 3 kilometre long road to the mausoleum to say goodbye to their King. Under the guests who attended the funeral were King Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. The new King will be Hassan’s oldest son, who will reign as King Mohammed VI. The new King seems to be liberal and stands open for new things (read modernization). He doesn’t speak English and doesn’t have the charisma of his father, which may be a problem. He was born in 1963.

July 26th

Carl Christian Prince of Hohenzollern married 35-year old Nicole Neschitsch in Kreuzpullach, Bavaria, Germany. They will get their first child in three months time.

The baby son of the Viscount and Viscountess Linley’s name is Charles Patrick Inigo Armstrong Jones.

Sebastian Knecht, grandson of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, has married to Donatella Dugaginy.

July 28th

The Spanish newspaper El Pais says that the new Moroccan King Mohammed VI married last Friday to the Berber woman Amina, who is of Saharian origine (from Tafilalt). There has not been made an official announcement. It is Moroccan tradition that a new King marries just before he officially ascends the throne.

July 29th

Last week Prince William of Great Britain passed his driving tests in one time. Now he can drive the new VW-golf he got for his 17th birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Dressed as an old man, in traditional clothes and with a beard, King Abdullah of Jordan walked around in the free trade zone of the industrial town of Zarqa. He said he was a TV reporter. His PR-chef acted as his cameraman. The King asked people about their lives and they told him about their complaints and troubles. After five hours the management of the free trade zone came to ask what he was doing there as no TV-team had asked for permission to film in the zone. Then the King made himself known. The audience cheered loudly.

In the north of Iraq a farmer discovered a more than one meter high stele of the Assyrian King Sanherib. It is only the third stele of the king ever found in the world. The other two were found outside Iraq. The stele contains 26 lines of cuneiform written text, which deal with rules for the construction of streets and houses in the Assyrian capital Ninive. Sanherib was a great conqueror who lead the Assyrian conquests in the 8th century BC and destroyed the biblical town of Samaria.

July 31st

Lord ‘Lucky’ Lucan disappeared in 1974 on the night the nanny Sandra Rivett was found battered to death. Now, 25 years later, the Lord’s son George Bingham has been denied the right to take the missing peer’s title, the Lord Chancellor’s office has said. George Bingham had applied to take up his father’s place in the House of Lords, which has been vacant since his father vanished.

August 4th

Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain celebrated her 99th birthday. She hosted a lunch for her daughters Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, and also grandchildren and great-grandchildren were joining the party at Clarence House, the London residence of the Queen Mother. Two salutes -41 guns then 65 guns- thundered across London. The Queen Mother made her traditional walk about in a sunshine yellow outfit and was greeted by cheers of many people. She received bouquets and gifts. After the Welsh Guards marched past Clarence House and played ‘Happy birthday to you’ the Queen Mother rode in a golf buggy to meet more crowds before going inside her house again.

August 5th

The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles go on holiday together with the Prince’s two sons William and Harry. They are going to sail on the Mediterranean Sea.

August 6th

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark seems to have a new girlfriend. According to the German newspaper her name is Kirstin Ödum (24) and she studies in London. Frederik visits her as much as he can. The Danish Billed Bladet say they went on vacation to France together and her name should be Bettina Odum (23). What’s in a name!

August 8th

The Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Germany, has been blotched with text. The offenders are still unknown. The text was a protest against the clearing of the occupied Gutmann Villa in Potsdam, which will be sold soon. The text was removed from the Palace as soon as possible.

Schlössernacht (night of the palaces) in Potsdam on August 21st. Palaces and parks will be open between 5:00pm and 2:00am. There will be lots of music and food. The past centuries will be evoked.

August 13t

According to a newspaper there is something going on between Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Her parents should have asked him to prolong his visit to Stockholm to go to a party with Victoria, and he should have agreed.

Princess Caroline of Monaco and Prince Ernst August of Hannover gave a party at their house near the Austrian village of Grünau in honour of the solar eclipse last Wednesday. Two guards received the instruction to remove the photographers Horst and Alfred Sternberger, who were beaten by the guards while Prince Ernst August was watching.

August 14th

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden sealed the completion of a bridge with a hug and a kiss. The 7,8 km long bridge over the Öresund between the Danish capital Copenhagen and the Swedish town Malmö finally connects the two countries over land. Now also Scandinavia is connected with the European continent. The Danish Queen Margrethe II and the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf will open the bridge for cars and trains on July 1st, 2000.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opened the exhibition ‘Onder den Oranjeboom’ (Under the Orange tree) at the Oranienburg palace in Oranienburg, Germany, which reopened its gates with this excellent exhibition after a few years of restoration. The Queen and her husband Prince Claus were welcomed by more than 2000 people, including some Dutch (and myself). Under the invited guests who were able to attend the opening in the palace was Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia. The exhibition will stay in Oranienburg until November 14th. From December 16, 1999, until March 20, 2000, the exhibition can be seen in Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

August 15th

A Greek-Cypriot man has threatened the Prince of Wales with a harpoon during the Prince’s vacation in the Mediterranean Sea area. The Prince was unhurt.

Although it rained some 500 people attended the reception in the garden of Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein, on the National Feastday. The hosts of the reception were Prince Hans Adam II, his wife Princess Marie, Hereditary Prince Alois and his wife Sophie, and Prince Maximilian. Hans Adam II in his speech said that this was the last National Feastday of this millennium. He also declared again that he soon after the start of the new millennium will appoint Prince Alois as his regent.

August 16th

The Oranje-Nassau Museum in Baarn, the Netherlands, is going to move to Het Loo Palace in the future.

On a charity ball the Princess Royal, Anne, wore a dress she already wore in 1973 at a party in Berlin, Germany.

Prince Stephan Leopold zur Lippe and his wife Maria will get their third child in October. They already have two sons: Bernhard Leopold (1995) and Heinrich Otto (1997).

August 22nd

Prince Faisal bin Fahd (54), the oldest son of King Fahd of Saudi-Arabia, has died of a heart attack. He died in the afternoon of August 21st in Riyadh’s King Faisal Hospital hours after he was admitted with heart problems. Prince Faisal was not in line for the throne. King Fahd’s younger brother Abdallah is heir to the throne. Prince Faisal was Minister of Sport. Arab dignities, including the Jordanian crown prince Hamza, arrived in Riyadh for the funeral on August 22nd. King Fahd didn’t return from his holiday-house in Spain for the funeral of his son.

August 24th

The leaked final report into the car crash in which Diana Princess of Wales died on August 31st 1997, is due to come out later this month. It reportedly clears the photographers who were following the car of manslaughter. However it criticises Dodi Al-Fayed for his handling of the security arrangement.

August 25th

Two people died. Anne Princess of Bavaria née de Lustrac, widow of Prince Heinrich of Bavaria (1922-1958), died in an accident in Milan on August 16th. She was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, on September 28th, 1927. Her late husband Prince Heinrich was a half-brother of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, who’s son Franz is now the Duke of Bavaria. Prince Anthony Radziwill, first cousin of John Fitzgerald Kennedy jr, died on August 10th. He was buried on August 13th in Easthampton.

August 27th

King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi of Buganda (45 or 43) married Sylvia Nagginda Luswata (38) in the Anglican Cathedral of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. It was the first royal wedding in 50 years in the country. The 600-year old Kingdom of Buganda came to an end in the 60’s, but was restored a short time ago by the president of Uganda, although now the Kingdom only has a ceremonial function. The groom lived in England for years, didn’t finish his study at the University of Cambridge and had several jobs, before returning to Uganda. The British-born bride lived the last 20 years in the USA where she was educated to be a public relations expert. She was an employee of the World Bank. The bride and groom invited some thousands of guests to join their wedding party. Some ten thousands of people were invited for a reception in a sports stadium. The people in Uganda were thrilled to have this wedding in their country. Now they wait for the first child. The King already has a child with a former girlfriend, which relationship never has been official, although everybody knew about it.

August 28th

Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra of Denmark became the proud parents of a healthy boy. He was born in the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen at 11:52am. The baby weighs 2655 grammes and his length is 48 cm. Prince Joachim himself cut through the umbilical cord Billed-Bladet said.

In the Netherlands there are many speculations about a new girlfriend of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander. He should want to marry a Miss Herzog, who’s parents live in Argentina, but are German. A former potential wedding candidate, jonkvrouwe Vanessa Loudon married today with Janus Smalbraak, a friend of Willem-Alexander. They married in Leende, and had invited about 1600 guests for a party on De Valkenhorst, which was transformed into a Magic Eastern Dessert Kingdom (party in the oasis).

August 30th

Thousands of people placed flowers at the gates of London’s Kensington Palace and Althorp House to commemorate the eve and night of the second anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. There were fewer bouquets than last year. No official ceremonies are planned to mark this day. The royal family will be at Balmoral castle, and will attend a church service on Sunday. Meanwhile singer Elton John said during a concert in Leeds, Great Britain, that it should be about time that there will come a monument for Princess Diana. He got the applause of about 10.000 people who visited his concert after he said it.

The Dutch play ‘Wilhelmina. Je Maintiendrai’ about the life of the late Queen Wilhelmina, broke all after-war records, by attracting 125.000 visitors during the first theatre-season. It is now beginning its second season.

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his girlfriend, yet named by a newspaper as Maxima Herzog from Argentina, joined the wedding of Vanessa Loudon and Janus Smalbraak together last Saturday according to the same newspaper. How does this sound: Crown Princess Maxima or Queen Maxima; never heard such a combination before!

August 31st

Saxony and the royal house of Saxony (Wettin) have come to an agreement about compensation after two years of negotiations. For 23,6 million DM Saxony buys more than 1000 pieces of art, among them the throne of King August the Strong, many paintings, furniture and Meissner porcelain. The Wettin family has the right on about 15000 pieces of art from Dresden’s collections. The pieces of art, which are not bought by Saxony, will be given back to the royal house of Saxony.

The newest on the new girlfriend of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. The Volkskrant finally seem to have turned up with the right name. Her name is Maxima Zorroguita, 27 or 28 years old, from Buenos Aires in Argentina. Despite other rumours she is 100% Argentinian. She has studied economics in New York and seems to work now for a bank in New York. Her father has been Minister of Agriculture around 1980 during the military regime. She thus is from a good family. She has (dark) blond hair. According to Argentinian sources, the NOS-news said, the relationship is serious. The Dutch Government Information Service denies all rumours. The newspaper tells that Maxima introduced the Prince to her family during a skiing-holiday in Bariloche, Argentina, some time ago, as her fiancé. They told the family after three days who the young Dutchman really was.

September 1st

The Government Information Service has said that Prime Minister Wim Kok has had a conversation with Crown Prince Willem-Alexander about his friendship with Maxima Zorreguieta. Supplementary information will not be given. In fact this means that the relationship has become official, a stage no other girlfriend has ever reached. New facts on Maxima. She should be 28, works for the German-British bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in New York. She has two younger brothers and a sister. Her father’s reputation in the military government has been spoken off a lot in the Netherlands and Argentina. Although he was a commoner in the government some people think he is still partly responsible for the awful treatment of people during the military regime.

The royal family of the Netherlands can be found on the Internet. The website started today.

The right spelling of the name of the new girlfriend of Prince Willem-Alexander is Maxima Zorreguieta. She is 27 years old, born and raised in Buenos Aires. She studied in New York and found work afterwards at the Deutsche Bank (German Bank) in New York. She works in financial public relations. Her father, Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta, was vice-secretary of cattle breeding, and Secretary of State of Agriculture from 1979 to 1981. Although it was during the military regime he was a commoner in the government and not a service man. He is now President of the Centro Azucero Argentino (Union of Sugar Producents in Buenos Aires) and director of the Banco Commercial del Norte. He is (according to the Internet) also in the direction of the Forum Consultivo Economico e Social and the Fundacion Vasco Argentina Juan de Garay. Maxima’s mother’s name is Maria del Carmen. They have 5 children. The parents met Willem-Alexander during a skiing-holiday in San Carlos de Bariloche in the beginning of August. The Dutch press fall upon this relationship, which seems very interesting for them. That is why I have news every day at the moment.

September 2nd

Princess Alexandra of Denmark and her baby son (still without a name) have left the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. The press got the possibility to shoot some pictures.

The Earl of Wessex has attacked the way he is treated by the British media. “They hate anyone who succeeds.” He found Hollywood a ‘breath of fresh air’, he told the New York Times. ‘There was a much greater openness and willingness to take us for what we are here. Over there there’s more baggage.’ Prince Edward is in Los Angeles on business for his TV-production company Ardent Productions.

September 3rd

Máxima Zorreguieta is a catholic. Yesterday the Argentinian television broadcasted the first video-shot of Máxima. De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper published the first good photos of her (shoot from the video-tape). A good recent photo of Máxima can be sold to a Dutch gossip-magazine for about $20.000. The Dutch television broadcasted the video-shots in the evening, after a ‘war’ between two channels about the right to broadcast first: as the commercial channel said they had bought the rights for the Netherlands, the public channel decided not to go too far to avoid a process in court and broadcasted the shots about one hour after the commercial channel. Prime Minister Kok told the press that he hopes, now the Dutch know what Máxima looks like, the press will stop the publicity to give the couple the chance to find out what they want. The prime minister said that he had already said that there was nothing to expect soon.

French judges have dismissed the charges against nine photographers and a motorcyclist in the 1997 car crash, which killed Princess Diana. Investigating magistrates found that chauffeur Henri Paul was mainly to blame because he was drunk. Mohammed el-Fayed, father of Diana’s friend Dodi, is to appeal against the decision. Diana’s brother Earl Spencer said he respects the court’s decision. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

The Prince of Wales and his sons William and Harry witnessed a military display at RAF Wattisham, Suffolk, at the official launch of the Army’s Newest Brigade – billed as the most powerful airborne fighting unit the nation has ever produced. It had been formed as a result of the Strategic Defence Review.

September 4th

In the Sint-Pieterabdij in Ghent, Belgium, there will be an exhibition of paintings from the time of Emperor Charles V, from November 6th until January 30th, 2000. It is called ‘Carolus. Karel V 1500-1558’. In the same city, in the Museum voor Schone Kunsten in the Citadelpark, will be an exhibition called ‘Mise-en-Scène. Keizer Karel en de verbeelding van de 19de eeuw’ (Emperor Charles and the imagination of the 19th century).

September 5th

Princess Michael of Kent says she is disappointed, but is confident her son Lord Frederick Windsor assured her he will never take cocaine again. He was seen snorting the drug at a party in West London last June. Confronted by reporters, he confessed that he had experimented with cocaine.

In Cairo, Egypt, an American bodyguard of Prince Turki bin Abd el Aziz of Saudi Arabia has been given one year in prison for punching an Egyptian chef.

September 7th

Prince Philippe of Belgium was in London, Great Britain, to open the exhibition on the painter Anthonie van Dyck, which could be seen in Antwerpen, Belgium, before. It can be seen now at the Royal Academy. More than 100 paintings are shown. Van Dyck amongst others was painter at the court of the British King Charles I.

September 8th

In an interview (?) in the Rotterdams Dagblad (a newspaper) Jorge Zorreguieta, the father of Maxima, can imagine that in the Netherlands a discussion has begun about his role during the military regime in Argentina. He worked on the Ministry of Agriculture from 1976 to 1981. He says he doesn’t feel responsible for the things that happened during the General Videla regime. He said he just dealt with agriculture. Zorreguieta told that he is very proud of the friendship between his daughter and the Dutch crown prince Willem-Alexander, who he calls a very nice boy.

September 10th

At about 3:30pm the Belgian King Albert II and Queen Paola announced the engagement of their oldest son, Philippe Duke of Brabant (39), with jonkvrouwe Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz (born Uccle, Belgium, January 20th, 1973). The marriage will take place on Saturday December 4th in the St.Goedele and St.Michielscathedral Brussels. On Monday September 13th the fiancée of the crown prince will officially be represented to the press and the public. The Belgian government has already given her approval to the wedding. On Thursday the first rumours about a coming engagement showed up in the Belgian newspapers, which continued with the story on Friday. Soon afterwards the engagement was announced, but it is obvious it was supposed to become public some weeks later. Philippe and Mathilde seem to have known each other already for about three years. The dark-haired Mathilde comes from an old Flemish noble family. Her parents are jonkheer Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz and countess Anna Maria Komorowska. They live in the very small village of Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, near Bastogne, near the Luxemburg border. Mathilde is the oldest of five children. She was followed by Marie-Alix (1974 – car crash in Brussels 1997), Elisabeth (22), Hélène (almost 20) and Charles-Henri (14). Mathilde went to primary school in Bastogne, followed the secondary school at the Institut de la Vierge Fidèle in Brussels, and studied speech therapy. She has her own practice in speech therapy in Brussels. Also her sister Elisabeth, with who she lives together, is a speech therapist. Mathilde has travelled a lot, should be socially moved, loves modern and classical music, and loves nature. She is said to speak French, Dutch, English and Italian. According to people who know her she is charming, serious, full of energy and very obliging.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark will finish his work as first secretary at the Danish Embassy in Paris this month. There will be a press-meeting on September 28th at 4:00pm in Det Danske Hus at the Champs-Elysées 142, in Paris.

September 11th

Christina Silfverschiöld, daughter of Princess Désirée of Sweden married today to Baron Hans de Geer af Finspang in the Lagmansered Church in Koberg, Sweden. The bride’s aunts, and uncle King Carl XVI Gustaf with family attended the wedding.

Princess Mafalda of Hesse is five months pregnant. The father is her new Italian lover Ferdinando Brancchati. She has already two daughters with her second husband, whom she divorced in 1997. Also Mafalda’s sister Elena seems to be pregnant. The magazine didn’t tell who the father is. Elena is still unmarried.

September 12th

Visibly weak King Norodom Sihanouk (76) told his country Cambodia via TV that his health is failing and he may not have long to live.

September 13th

In the afternoon Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz, the fiancée of Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium, was introduced to the Belgian and the international press at Laken Castle. After some photos were taken with parents, brothers and sisters, the press got the chance to ask the couple several questions, which they answered in Dutch, French and even Italian. Both Philippe and Mathilde seemed to feel a little bit strange. They told the press they were delighted that the people in Belgium agreed with their relationship. Prince Philippe said that noone had introduces them to each other and that they were not coupled by someone. Philippe told he immediately knew that she was the one he had been looking for when he met her three years ago. Mathilde said that she had thought very carefully about her choice, but although she has given up her work now, she is very happy with Philippe and is looking forward to the future. After the interview the couple made a walk in the garden of Laken Castle followed by the exciting press. Afterwards even the press was introduced for a drink (but without bringing cameras). King Albert II said that he was very happy his son has found his big love, and that now only prince Laurent has to find someone. Nothing however was said about an eventually abdication of the King, of which has been heard some rumours. At the end of the afternoon Philippe and Mathilde left Laken Castle in Philippe’s Porsche. They stopped a while in front of the gate to give the people who were standing there the chance to see their new princess. They cheered loudly and the couple waved enthusiastically. Mathilde seemed very spontaneous and natural.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (88) will undergo an operation at the Academic Hospital in Utrecht again at the end of the week. Doctors will replace the tube in his trachea for an other model.

The Prince of Wales paid a moral-boosting visit to the British troops in Kosovo today. He witnessed first-hand the work of the British peacekeepers and their reconstruction efforts. He met a wide range of personnel. He also was going to meet Kosovans in the capital Pristina, but that appointment was cancelled due to security.

September 14th

Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and her husband Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth have become the proud parents of a healthy boy. He was born at 10:40am in the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. He weighs 3125 grammes and his length is 51 cm.

September 15th

A 178-diamond and pearl necklace worn by Princess Diana at her last official engagement is set to be auctioned on December 16th in New York.

The activities on the inside of the St. Michiels and St. Goedele Cathedral in Brussels, Belgium, where Prince Philippe and Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz will marry on December 4th, – which should normally not end until the spring – will be finished already before the wedding.

September 16th

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has been operated on his trachea. He will be in hospital for some days. He is doing very well the doctors said.

September 17th

The Belgian royal family is not amused at all and says it is an encroachment on their privacy. The AIDS-Telephone broadcasts commercials on wireless-stations with the help of famous Belgians. With these commercials they will show that the use of condoms is still alive. However an advertisement in the newspaper De Morgen, telling ‘Zet ‘m op Filip’ (Go for it, Philippe), went too far. It settles the unspoken question how the sexual life of Crown Prince Philippe and his fiancée Mathilde is.

Princess Caroline of Monaco gets $ 50.000 compensation from the magazine ‘Gala’, which has violated her private life by publishing photos of her on her yacht and in church.

With the discovery of an armour, countless statues of warriors and helmets in the grave of the first Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuang, who died in 210 BC, China has made an important archaeological discovery. The 2200-year-old objects are of an exceptional quality. The porcelain statues have green-painted faces, and vivid-coloured bodies in seven colours.

The foreign office has dismissed claims by Mohamed al-Fayed that security services caused the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi al-Fayed. They say there is not a shred of truth in his story.

Mohamed al-Fayed has demanded an inquiry into what the security and intelligence services know about the death of Princess Diana. He believes that she and his son Dodi were murdered by the secret services of France and Great Britain. He also believes that chauffeur Henri Paul was not drunk but was acting under orders from the secret services. Mr al-Fayed made his allegiations in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today.

September 19th

Princess Alexandra of Hannover was baptized at her father’s hunting lodge Auerbach near Grünau, Austria.

September 20th

Yesterday the Prince of Wales attended a service in Westminster Abbey, London, to honour the British airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain in 1944.

Yesterday Bua Kitiyakara, the mother of Queen Sirikit of Thailand died, aged 89.

The Prince of Orange is busy showing his country to his girlfriend Máxima Zorreguieta. They spent the weekend on the Island of Schiermonnikoog in the north of the Netherlands together with some others. Real Dutch – they went on a cycling tour on the island, which didn’t seem to be very common for Máxima.

September 21st

Prinsjesdag in the Netherlands: a live report.

Rectification: Máxima was not with the group Prince Willem-Alexander spent some days with on the Island of Schiermonnikoog. It was told in a newspaper but they weren’t correct according to the royal house and the owner of the hotel where the prince stayed.

The countess of Wessex is writing to all her public relations clients to reassure them it is business as usual. It follows press speculations that Queen Elizabeth II was to tell Sophie to choose between royal duties and her career. Sophie writes that she is totally committed to Rhys-Jones Public Relations. And she stresses that she has the full support of Buckingham Palace.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has left hospital in the morning. They say he is doing fine.

September 22nd

The Duchess of Kent is said to be considering a boycott of the Royal Box at Wimbledon next year after tennis chiefs banned her from taking children there. She usually presents the winners’ trophies at the annual event. John Curry, Wimbledon’s chairman, says it is Wimbledon’s policy not to allow children to be in the Royal Box. He apologised for any unintentional hurt this may have caused the Duchess.

A chair used by Bonnie Prince Charlie on his way to the Battle of Culloden has fetched about $ 5000 at auction. The oak chair was borrowed from the Earl of Moray’s castle in Forres near Inverness, Scotland, as the Prince drank in a tavern in 1746. The son of the current Earl of Moray has bought the chair at a Sotheby’s auction in Billingshurst, West Sussex. He said: “We will be a bit more careful before we lend anything again.”

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said a permanent memorial to the late Princess Diana is to be built in the shape of a fountain in a royal London park.

September 23rd

Malaysia installed its 11th King Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah at the Istana Negara Palace in Kuala Lumpur.

King Albert II of Belgium suffers from acute sciatica. He has to postpone his activities for some days at least.

The next few months Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and his Mathilde will visit all 10 Belgian provinces. They start on October 21st in Luxemburg and go to West-Flanders on October 25th. Finally on March 23rd, 2000, the province of Limburg will be able to welcome the new Belgian Crown Princess.

The son of Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra of Denmark will be baptised in the Fredensborg Slotskirke (Castle Church of Fredensborg) on November 6th at 11:00am.

September 25th

Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and his fiancée jonkvrouwe Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz (with engagement ring) together started the website of the Fund Prince Philippe yesterday. The press came in force to get a glimpse of Mathilde.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her husband Prince Claus will pay a three-day visit to Bulgaria in two weeks on invitation of the Bulgarian President Stoyanov. They amongst others will visit the parliament in Sofia.

Princess Ann-Mari von Bismarck died on September 22nd in Marbella, Spain. She was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 26th, 1907, and thus 92 years old. She was the widow of Otto Prince von Bismarck (1897-1975).

September 26th

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia is returning home after spending several months in Spain.

September 27th

The wedding of Philippe and Mathilde will be solemnized on December 4th as already was said. The civil marriage will take place in the Town hall of Brussels at 10:00am, and the religious marriage at 11:00am at the St.Michiels- & St.Goedele Cathedral in Brussels. At about 1:30pm a lunch is held in the Royal Palace in Brussels, and at 6:00pm the reception at Laken Castle begins. Already on November 13th the couple hosts a festive evening at Laken Castle with guests out of all groups of people and from all Belgian provinces.

According to The Sunday Telegraph Prince William of Great Britain is going to work at farms in Argentina and Australia for one year after his exams at Eton in June 2000. 26-year-old Edward van Cutsem, son of one of the Prince of Wales’s friends, will accompany him. Afterwards William is probably going to study at Bristol University.

September 28th

Philippe and Mathilde have expressed their wish that people shouldn’t give them personal gifts, flowers or telegrams for their wedding. They hope people will donate money instead to the Fund Prince Philippe or one of the funds the new Belgian Princess will establish.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and former German president Richard von Weizsäcker have opened the newly built part of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Before there was a meeting in the Westerkerk nearby.

September 29th

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia left Spain, where he stayed for 2 1/2 months in Marbella, and returned to his own country. Seven airplanes were on the airport of Malaga to return the king and his household of 400 people. Two other airplanes carried 200 tons of luggage and a part of the royal suite.

The baby of Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg has been named Friedrich Richard Oscar Jefferson, official first name is Richard after his maternal grandfather.

At 2:10am Cristina Infante of Spain Duchess of Palma de Mallorca gave birth to her first son at the Teknon Hospital in Barcelona, Spain. The baby is 53 cm tall, and weighs 4030 grammes. His proud father Iñaki Urdangarín told that the baby has blond hair like his mother and that they will name him Juan after his grandfather. He himself cut the umbilical cord. The godparents of the baby will be Infanta Elena and Mikel Urdangarín.

It is rumoured in Luxembourg that Grand Duke Jean will abdicate at the mid of November.

September 30th

An exhibition with 14 articles of dress of the late Princess Diana will be opened at the Kensington Palace in London tomorrow. American collector Maureen Rorech-Dunkel bought the dresses. The exhibition will be shown until March. From 2001 the dresses will become a part of the collection of royal festive clothing.

16 Inca graves were discovered in the 500-year old Sacsuahan temple that overlooks the town of Cusco, Peru. The graves contain skeletons likely from the royal Inca families. Near the bodies archaeologists found clothing, pottery and jewels.

October 1st

Karim Aga Khan IV, the spiritual chief of the Islam, and his wife the Begum Inaara (former Gabrielle Thyssen), who married in 1998, will get a baby in March 2000. He has one married daughter and two sons from a previous marriage. She has a seven-year-old daughter with Prince Karl-Emich zu Leiningen, whom she divorced in 1998.

Paris Match and Bunte gave more information on the christening of the little Princess Alexandra von Hannover, which took place on September 19th. She has been baptized as a protestant with the names Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Maryam Virginia. Her godmothers were Alexandra Princess zu Leiningen née Princess von Hannover (sister of Ernst August, former sister-in-law of the Begum Inaara mentioned above), her halfsister Charlotte Casiraghi, Ulrike Umschneider, Maryam Sachs (a Moslem woman) and Virginia Gallico. Godfathers were George Condo and Eric Maier.

Former British royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke (34) is going to marry her childhood sweetheart Charles Pettifer later this month, The Mirror says. It is said the Prince of Wales and his two sons are invited.

October 2nd

Yesterday Princess Cristina of Spain left the hospital with her new baby Juan, named after both grandfathers and Cristina’s grandfather.

October 3rd

Police are investigating an alleged theft at Buckingham Palace, Scotland Yard has said. The News of the World told “fabulous jewels and heirlooms” were looted, including a necklace belonging to the Princess Royal. A police spokeswoman said: “It is not an accurate story. The items which are stolen are items of intrinsic value, but not highly valuable.”

A special operations police officer allegedly linked to Buckingham Palace has been arrested in connection with bribery and conspiracy charges for one week. The officer was arrested at Gatwick airport. The Mail on Sunday claims the case relates to the selling of security details about the Royal Family.

October 5th

According to the Sun Newspaper Prince William of Great Britain has invited several male and female friends to a Millennium Eve Party at Windsor Castle. It is said he promised them a night they’d never forget, with the possibility to ‘sleep’ in the castle that night.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Prince Henrik and Crown Prince Frederik are at 3:00pm at the opening of a Gobelin-exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris, France, on October 8th. The exhibition shows the 17 Gobelins (tapestries) made as 50th birthday present for Queen Margrethe II. The Gobelins, made between 1988 and 1999 deal with Denmarks history. The exhibition will be in Paris until November 20th. Between December 17th, 1999 and February 2000 they will be shown in the Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany. Around the Queen’s 60th birthday (April 16th, 2000) they are in the Riddersal of the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark.

October 6th

The Prince of Wales has visited survivors of the Paddington rail crash of yesterday in St.Mary’s Hospital, London. He also met staff that deals with the emergency.

Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria, for a three-day state visit. They were welcomed by president Stoyanov and music. After a visit to the parliament, they visited the Saint Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral, where beautiful orthodox music was played. Later at the day there was a meeting with Prime Minister Kostov. In the evening a state banquet took place. Tomorrow they are going to visit the Rila Monastery.

Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, who lately finished his work in Brussels for the European Committee, will start the study Master of Business Administration at the INSEAD Institute in Fontainebleau, France, in January 2000. Also his brother Johan Friso has studied there for a while.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain only finished 89th in a list of the 100 most influential British women, compiled by Good Housekeeping magazine, after a survey. The list is led by Elisabeth Murdoch, managing director of Sky Networks, and in second place Baroness Jay, the Labour Party’s leader in the House of Lords.

October 7th

In the presence of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, after the Bastille in Paris the biggest Opera in Europe, has been reopened. It burned down in January 1994. The King and Queen watched the first performance: Puccini’s Turandot.

The telephone exchange of the Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway, had to work up more than 2000 phone calls the past two weeks. The people who called wanted to be connected with King Harald V. Nobody succeeded so far. The calls are the result of a message on mobile phones in western Norway, in which all Norwegians were asked to honour their King with a personal phone call. The phone-number of the palace is mentioned plainly. When the phone-terror goes on, the Royal Court wants to ask for the Police’s help.

October 8th

Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands finished their state visit to Bulgaria today by visiting Bourgas. Yesterday evening the Royal Couple offered their hosts a ballet of the Nederlands Danstheater (Dutch Dance Theatre). For the reception afterwards 30 lackeys were flown in from the Netherlands.

October 9th

The Duke of Kent and South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki led wreaths for the victims of the Boer War, to mark the war’s centenary. In this war 70.000 people perished, many in British-run camps. It was the first time black people killed on both sides have been honoured. In a speech the Duke of Kent criticised the “dreadful abuses” against black people and Afrikaners in the war. He said: “Never again the disregard of rights of black South Africans”.

October 10th

On September 25th Princess Marie-Louise von Baden married Richard Baker in Salem, Germany.

October 11th

This morning also Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain visited the scene of the Paddington rail disaster.

On October 20th Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and King Harald V of Norway, together with the presidents of Finland and Iceland, will inaugurate ‘The Nordic Embassies’ in Berlin, Germany. The five Nordic countries have built an interesting and beautiful complex in the centre of Berlin for their embassies.

October 12th

King Mohammed VI of Morocco travelled to Casablanca, his first step on an 11-day tour to several Moroccan provinces, to promote development in the country.

October 13th

Today the Dutch TV-channel RTL4 starts broadcasting a series on the House of Oranje-Nassau (Netherlands). In six deliveries several members of the royal family will be presented. In order this will be: Prince Bernhard Sr, Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince Claus, Princess Irene, and the married couple Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène. The series will give old and new material and interviews with Oranje-specialists. Might be interesting.

October 15th

The Duchess of York celebrates her 40th birthday. In an interview in The Mirror last week she told she feels happier than ever before. She said that she and Andrew Duke of York are the happiest divorced couple in the world. They still live in one house together with their children. About the Queen she said that she prefers not to meet her, but that she is a great grandmother for her daughters.

The hotel schools of Koksijde, Wemmel and Namen (all in Belgium) have the honour to serve at the wedding reception of Prince Philippe of Belgium and his Mathilde on December 4th at Laken Castle.

October 16th

Former British royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke (34) married Charles Pettifer (34) at her family estate on the outskirts of Crickhowell, Wales. The Princes William and Harry attended the wedding.

This morning at 8:30am was born in the Fatima Hospital in Sevilla, Spain, Cayetana, daughter of Don Francisco Rivera Ordoñez and Doña Eugenia Martínez de Irujo y Fitz-James Stuart (of the Dukes of Alba).

Yesterday morning just after 10 o’clock Archduke Karl of Austria and his wife Francesca became the proud parents of a baby girl, born a little too late in the Diakonissenspital in Salzburg, Austria. Her name is Gloria, her length is 52 cm, and she weighs 3,7 kg.

It seems the Duchess of York speaks out all her frustrations to the press on the occasion of her 40th birthday. In an interview with The Times she has accused the Prince of Wales of abandoning her after years of friendship. She said they have not spoken to each other for more than a year. She also claims that she is banned from seeing the princes William and Harry. The Duchess also told the paper that she would like another baby and suggested that the Duke of York and she may one day remarry.

October 17th

The Princess Royal will be present at a service at St.Mary the Virgin Church in Reading, England, in memory of the victims of the Paddington rail crash. She will meet bereaved families and friends.

October 18th

The Sunday Times reports that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is planning to offer her daughter Anne the Princess Royal a new title. The Princess should gain a new Scottish title in an attempt to demonstrate the Royal Family’s deep commitment to Scotland. The paper suggests the title would be the Princess Lyon, based on the old Scottish spelling of lion. In Scotland the Lord Lyon King of Arms presides over the college of heralds, and so the title is thought to reflect Scottish tradition. The paper also suggests that the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will become a working palace, with the Princess Royal living in it for at least two months a year, and Prince Charles also spending part of the year there. The reason for all this is simple: research by Buckingham Palace has found out that the Royal Family looses popularity in Scotland.

October 19th

Chinese president Jiang Zemin has been given a full ceremonial welcome at the start of his historic visit to Great Britain. Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh met him at London’s Horse Guards Parade. Afterwards they went by carriage to Buckingham Palace, where the president will stay during his visit. In the evening at the banquet the Queen praised the president for the way Hong Kong was handed over.

Today an unofficial biography about Queen Paola of Belgium was released. The book by Mario Danneels (18 years old) is titled ‘Paola. Van ‘la dolce vita’ tot koningin’ (Paola. From ‘la dolce vita’ to Queen). Most interesting detail is that Danneels tells that some people have told him that King Albert has a daughter out of a relationship he had some 30 years ago. No name of the mother or the daughter is mentioned. The daughter should be an artist and lives in London, Great Britain, where her father visits her from time to time. The palace gives no comment.

Prince Talal and Princess Ghida of Jordan are the proud parents of a baby boy since Friday October 15th. His name is Hussein.

On Thursday Willem-Alexander the Prince of Oranje will attend the funeral of ex-president Nyerere of Tanzania. He replaces his father, Prince Claus, for who the trip will be to exhausting.

An odd story: a French fake-count, Arnaud de Poligny, has bamboozled the upper class for about 20 years. He had a big circle of acquaintances, including Olivier Giscard d’Estaing (brother of the former French president), some African presidents, Nancy Reagan and King Fahd of Saudi-Arabia, who asked for his advise. Even the fake-count’s wife, Marie-Laurence, whom he married in 1986, believed she had married a real count. Not earlier than in the beginning of the 90’s there grew suspicion at the French treasury and thereafter also at his friends and wife. In 1995, after he had divorced his wife, the fake-count and his two children fled to the Bahamas. In 1997 they had to flee to Vancouver, Canada, where he lived quite a sober life. After a little car accident two months ago the fake-count was caught by accident. The children were reunited with their mother in France. Meanwhile the fake-count has been released from prison, with the promise that he will not leave the Canadian territory. By the way, the real name of the count is Patrick Campion, born in 1950 as the son of a French grocer from Biarritz. To be continued …?

October 20th

The Belgian royal palace let know they give no comment to gossips. They say the story about an illegitimate daughter of King Albert (a woman named Delphine). Her mother should be a noble woman who is married to a Belgian industrialist) is an ill gossip. The palace says these gossips mean a split with the Belgian tradition to respect the private life of well-known people.

James Hewitt, the ex-lover of the late Diana Princess of Wales says that she told him she believed that the British government knew about their affair. In an interview on BBC radio 4 he said that because of the security surrounding her it would be foolish to imagine that people weren’t aware. He also added that he believed that Buckingham Palace had known about the affair – but did nothing to stop it.

Queen Noor of Jordan ended her tour promoting land mine awareness by visiting amputees living near the Angkor Temple, Cambodia.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, and King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden, together with the presidents of Finland and Iceland, have opened their united Embassy in Berlin, Germany, today.

People from the archaeology section of the Belgian University of Ghent have laid bare a permanent frozen Scytho-Siberian grave of a king. In the grave from the 4th century BC there were twelve harnessed horses. In the sepulchral chamber all organic material has been kept because of the permanent frost. The Scythes were nomadic people.

October 21st

Prince Philippe of Belgium and his fiancée Mathilde have started their ‘Blijde Inkomst’ (Happy Entrance) in the province of Luxemburg. They landed in Bastogne by helicopter and were welcomed by schoolchildren and about 4000 people, who were gathered in spite of the cold. In Arlon the couple joined a lunch with 10 young people, and later visited a 100-year-old school in Virton. At the end of the day they visited the Abbey of Orval. The people were very enthusiastic everywhere, Mathilde smiled all the time and was clearly the most important person this day. Prince Philippe just walked behind her and looked very proud and caring. They got lots of flowers and presents.

In Romania there is a fight about new history books. In a new schoolbook is said that Prince Vlad Tepes (better known as Count Dracula), who lived in the Middle Ages, is the example of a leeching vampire in films and on television. Some people in Romania want the history book to be burned. Don’t know why, as the news I read didn’t give more details. In Romania the old communistic way of teaching teaches children the heroic deeds of heads of state of their country.

King Albert of Belgium’s probably illegitimate daughter is mentioned as Delphine Boel, born in 1968, officially as the daughter of industrialist Jacques Boel, and Sybille Baronesse de Selys Longchamps, who divorced later.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has received the Flying Doctors Award 1999 for his efforts for the work of medics in Africa, like the Flying Doctors.

October 23rd

The Prince of Wales didn’t show up at an official Chinese state banquet in honour of the Queen last Thursday. Press speculates why not. It is said the Prince boycotted the event to show his contempt for China’s human rights record, some others newspapers state he was motivated by his support for the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader in exile. Officially the Prince had a private engagement that kept him from the banquet.

October 24th

A Dutch florist has grown a tulip that is named after the British Queen Mum. The purple-blue-pink tulip should grow next spring in the gardens of Glamis Castle, Scotland, where the bulbs of the tulip were planted.

Sunday Express reports that the Queen is to move her court from Buckingham Palace to Scotland for up to half the year.

October 25th

Prince Philippe of Belgium and his fiancée Mathilde visited Bruges on their second Happy Entrance in the province of West Flanders. They were welcomed on the market square by some 7500 enthusiastic people. Thereafter they had lunch in Koksijde, and visited Poperinge where Mathilde’s uncle is the major. There were about 4000 people.

The lion stairs of the town hall of Brussels, which lead to the hall where Prince Philippe will marry his Mathilde (civil), will be renovated very urgently.

Thousands of Australians living in Great Britain are voting on whether the Queen should stay as their head of state. More than 20.000 are expected to make their choice either by post or in person over the next two weeks.

Sotheby will auction the fountain pen King Edward VIII used to sign away the British throne in December 1936.

The Duchess of York is given an award by a cancer centre in California, USA, for her encouraging positive, healthy lifestyle.

In the Daily Telegraph the Earl of Wessex has spoken out to silence the critics who claim a conflict of interest between his wife’s public relations career and her royal status.

October 26th

The Earl of Burford has been ejected from the House of Lords. The earl, who as heir to the Duke of St.Albans, is not entitled to speak in the Lords, leapt on the Lord Chancellor’s seat. He attempted to make a speech blaming the European Union for plans to reform the Lords, but was shouted down by peers. Peers vote tonight on the Third Reading of the House of Lords Bill.

Three Egyptian princesses (names not known to me) have begun a lawsuit to get back the Tahira Palace in Cairo, Egypt, which was nationalized by the Egyptian government in 1952, when it was the property of the mother of the princesses. The palace now is the favourite shelter of the Egyptian president Mubarak, but it seems he has to leave the palace quite soon.

October 27th

The House of Lords in Great Britain have agreed to the ending of a 700-year old tradition with the axing of hereditary peers’ rights to sit and vote, after hours of emotional debate. Peers approved the passage of the House of Lords Bill by an overwhelming 221 votes to 81. Earlier opposition peers’ leader Lord Strathclyde urged Tories to abstain. MPs will now consider the changes made by peers during its passage.

After 25 years Lord Lucan has finally been declared officially dead The Times reports. They say his family has been granted full probate by the High Court, allowing his will to be dealt with. Lucan went missing following the murder of family nanny Sandra Rivett in 1974, who was beaten to death. He allegedly tried to murder his wife apparently mistaking the nanny for Lady Lucan after a family row.

A survey among British children gives the interesting answer that they think that the Queen drinks wine all day long. Better off being Prime Minister Tony Blair, who the children describe as a kind of God.

October 28th

The visit of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to Groningen on Tuesday November 2nd, when she will open the restored hall of the central railway station and pay a visit to the art Academie Minerva, will be shown live on the Internet from 11:45 to 14:15 Amsterdam time.

Prince Philippe and his fiancée Mathilde visited the province of Waals-Brabant. After they met the governor and a Belgian minister at the Castle of Belloy, they visited Wavre. In Louvain-la-Neuve the couple had lunch with some students of the local university. Outside one of the regular visitors of this site (Tanguy) waited, and he mailed me yesterday to tell me that he shook the hands of both Prince Philippe and Mathilde. After Louvain-la-Neuve also Nivelles was visited, where the couple was shown a company and a restored church. Again thousands of people were standing along the streets. The last visit before the wedding takes place will be in Vlaams-Brabant next Thursday.

Is someone busy trying to destroy the Belgian monarchy? Latest gossips in the Belgian illegitimate child campaign: Prince Laurent shouldn’t be the son of King Albert, but the son of Queen Paola and a Spanish noble man. Why then does Laurent look that much like King Albert?

October 29th

The House of Lords of Great Britain has elected 15 hereditary peers as office holders, allowing them to keep their seats. The 15 will be among the 92 allowed to stay on after the state opening of Parliament next month.

October 31st

Prince Laurent of Belgium is angry because the Belgian government gives his brother Crown Prince Philippe and his sister Princess Astrid extra money, and he doesn’t get extra. He is especially angry because he had to read this news in the press.

Lord Lucan’s widow may take her son to court to recover personal family papers she fears will be used in a book. It is the latest twist in a family rift, which began in 1982 when her three children left home to live with an aunt. Lady Lucan plans to write a book about her (late?) husband. But son George is trying to steal a march on her.

Yesterday The Prince of Wales took his son Prince William to a foxhunting outing at the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire. Prince Harry followed the hunting on the back of a motorcycle. The newspapers in Great Britain were full of criticism. Foxhunting has become an intensely political issue in Britain.

November 1st

Emperor Akihito of Japan had lunch with German chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Schröder pays a visit to Japan.

King Harald V of Norway and his wife Queen Sonja welcomed USA president Bill Clinton when he arrived at the royal palace in Oslo. Clinton is in Norway for a peace conference on the Middle East to commemorate the death of Israeli Yitzhak Rabin a few years ago.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark arrived in New York to close a promotion of modern Danish culture. She will attend the final of the Carl Nielsen Competition for young musicians and is going to visit a number of exhibitions of young Danish artists. She will return home on the 3rd of November.

November 2nd

Queen Beatrix visited Groningen, a town in the north of the Netherlands. She reopened the restored railway station from 1896. After that she walked to the Academie Minerva (an art academy) where she watched an art exhibition. Some hundreds of people of all ages were there to see their Queen.

Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss von Plauen died in Sweden on October 29th, after loosing the battle against cancer. He was married to Annifrid Lyngstad, former member of the Swedish popgroup ABBA.

November 3rd

Last night a 16th century castle in Gross Germersleben near Magdeburg, Germany, was burned down. It took hours to put the fire out. The damage is millions of dollars. It is not known yet how the fire started. The monumental castle recently had been restored, and was supposed to be changed into a hotel.

Princess Margaret of Great Britain’s former husband, the Earl of Snowdon, is to be made a life peer so he can stay in the reformed House of Lords, Downing Street has said. The photographer, made a hereditary peer a year after he wed the Queen’s sister in 1960, will become a baron.

A handbag containing confidential royal telephone numbers and an undeveloped film on the Prince of Wales and his sons has reportedly been stolen from Tiggy Legge-Bourke. The bag was taken from the open front door of her car in London.

November 4th

Prince Philippe of Belgium and his fiancée Mathilde paid their last visit of the Blijde Inkomst (Happy Entrance) before their wedding takes place. In the province of Vlaams-Brabant they visited a sugar refinery in Tienen in the morning. Then they visited Leuven. In Sint-Stevens-Woluwe they had lunch in a restaurant where people with a handicap get an education in serving. At the end of the afternoon the couple made a walk through the scenic area Torfbroek in Kampenhout.

A month long party in Thailand started to celebrate the 72nd birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. To start the festivities the King sailed on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok to the Temple of the Sunrise. 52 decorated boats sailed by 2082 rowers in traditional Siamese costumes followed the royal boat. Along the shores of the river were standing ten thousands of people, while millions of Thai people watched the ceremony on television.

November 5th

In the St. Pieters Abbey in Ghent, Belgium, the big exhibition ‘Carolus, Charles V, 1500-1558’ was opened. It follows the story of the Emperor’s life. It also sketches the spirit of the 16th century.

In Cameroon the 60.000 members of the Babete tribe have chosen the 6-year-old Sob Ngoumbo Soumo as their new King. He was chosen out of the 24 children of his father King Soumo I who died in August last year. Until he is 18 his mother and the notables of the tribe will reign for him.

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands was chosen again as chairwoman of the Standing Commission of the International Red Cross.

Lord Montague of Oxford (67), who became a life peer in 1997, has died of a heart attack after collapsing during a debate on business in the House of Lords.

The results of the first elections for hereditary peers have been announced today, exactly 394 years after Guy Fawkes (in 1605) tried and failed to blow up the House of Lords. From the 646 hereditary peers only 92 will stay on. Last week already 15 were chosen, amongst others the Countess of Mar, whose title already exists since 1115. The only other persons who are sure of their place right now are the Lord Chamberlain, head of the royal household, and the Earl Marshal, who takes care of the ceremonial events. In the House of Lords further the about 500 life peers will stay on, as well as the 26 Lords spiritual (archbishops and bishops) and he 24 Law Lords (the highest judges in the country).

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain seems to be certain to remain head of state in Australia after tomorrow’s historic constitutional referendum, opinion polls have suggested.

In a book named ‘Predictions’, released yesterday, some very intelligent people give predictions for the next millennium. One of the predictions is that Prince Harry will be the first member of the British royal family in space. This event should take place in 2010.

November 6th

The little Danish prince was baptized this morning at the Fredensborg Slotkirke. The baby was finally named: Nikolai William Alexander Frederik. His godmother was Alexandra Princess of Denmark, his mother (which is quite normal in Denmark). His other ‘godparents’ (in Denmark people have only one godmother or godfather) were Crown Prince Frederik, Nicola Baird (Princess Alexandra’s sister), Camilla Flinth (a friend of Alexandra) and Peter Steenstrup (a friend of Prince Joachim). Among the 150 invited guests were many members of the Royal Family of Denmark (except for Princess Benedikte and her family, they were represented by Count Friedrich-Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth), and many of Princess Alexandra’s family members.

Australian voters say ‘no’ to dropping the monarch, thus Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The Australian republicans have conceded their defeat. Some 54 % said yes to the monarchy. Only in the state of Victoria voters, with a very small majority, choose for a republic.

A policeman accidentally fired his gun when he was emptying it in a secure area inside St. James’s Palace, London, Great Britain. Nobody was hurt and noone has been in danger. The Palace is the London residence of the Prince of Wales. and it is close to Clarence House where the Queen Mother lives.

November 7th

Prince Pieter-Christiaan was the fourth Dutch Prince who finished in the New York marathon. In 1992 his cousin Willem-Alexander ran this marathon, and in 1994 Pieter-Christiaan’s brothers Maurits and Bernhard.

Juan, the son of Infanta Cristina of Spain and Iñaki Urdangarín, will be baptised at the Palacio de la Zarzuela on December 12th.

The Observer claims that the Prince of Wales has indicated that he wants British voters to decide on the future of the monarchy in Great Britain by referendum. However, a spokeswoman of St.James’s Palace denies that the Prince has said something like this, and says the claim is a pure speculation.

November 8th

Yesterday Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh started a three-nation tour in Ghana. Tribal leaders welcomed them. The Queen praised the country as leader of continental renaissance, at the parliament. Today she was greeted by a crowd of around one and a half million people in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. In the evening the Queen and the Duke were guests of honour at a state banquet.

In March 2000 Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje will preside the Second World Water Forum in The Hague, the Netherlands. Policy makers and scientists will speak there about problems as pollution, annoyance, deficiencies and water destruction.

November 9th

The Danish Crown Prince Frederik visited the World Expo Exhibition in Hannover, Germany. The Danes have four pavilions on the exhibition, like islands surrounded by water. The Crown Prince celebrated the opening of the pavilions with Danes, workmen and guests. It is likely that the Danish royal family will visit the Expo on June 27th, 2000. The Crown Prince said he was already looking forward to it.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh renewed their friendship with former South African president Nelson Mandela on the first day of their visit to South Africa. They were formally welcomed by the present president Thabo Mbeki at the Union Building in Pretoria. A 21-gun salute sounded nearby. They already heard a 21-gun salute when leaving Ghana in the morning.


Paul Burrell, the former butler of the late Princess Diana of Wales, has told on CNN Princess Diana would still be championing her favourite causes of landmines and Aids if she were alive. He said Princess Diana was realizing her ambitions in a strong and positive way in which she could help people. He also said he had no knowledge of any plans for her marry Dodi al-Fayed, but said he was a kind man and she was very happy.

November 11th

Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss Count von Plauen (49 years old) was buried in Härslöv, Sweden. Present were King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, an old schoolfriend of Prince Heinrich, and his wife Queen Silvia, who were accompanied by their son Prince Carl Philip. Prince Heinrich leaves behind his wife Annifrid (former ABBA-member), whom he married in 1992, his twin daughters Henriette and Pauline (22 years old) and his ex-wife Mette.

At various places in Belgium the end of World War I was commemorated. King Albert II of Belgium laid flowers at the grave of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels. Crown Prince Philippe is to attend the ceremony in Flanders Field, and the Last Post at the Menengate in Ypres.

Hundreds of hereditary peers have sat in the House of Lords for the last time after the Government’s Lord reform bill cleared its final hurdle. Some were close to tears as they left the chamber for the last time. The 92 elected hereditary peers are to stay until further reforms are agreed. A Royal Commission on the future of the Lords is expected to propose the introduction of elected peers.

November 12th

Emperor Akihito of Japan celebrated his 10th year on the throne today with a parade and a feast for the people. The celebrations broke with old traditions of exclusivity and starchy sphere. Also rock music was on the programme. An official ceremony was there for 1300 dignitaries at the National Theatre in Tokyo. Some thousands of people waited in front of the royal palace in Tokyo to pay an homage to the Emperor and his wife Empress Michiko.

November 13th

1500 Guests, among them 1000 commoners, were invited for the engagement party at Laeken Castle, Belgium, of Prince Philippe and his fiancée Mathilde. The guests were spread in different feast halls and the Winter garden of the castle, where tables with chairs and long buffets waited. The parents, sisters and brother of Mathilde arrived. Also King Albert II and Queen Paola, Queen Fabiola, Princess Astrid with husband Lorenz and the oldest three children Amedeo, Maria-Laura and Joachim, and Prince Laurent attended the evening. Philippe and Mathilde, the last one in a royal blue cocktail dress with interesting necklace, arrived just after 7:30 in the evening. They had to do the opening dance together on ‘Wonderful tonight’ of Eric Clapton, sung by the famous Belgian singer Raymond van het Groenewoud, with Toots Thielemans on mouth organ. The royals switched from room to room all evening.

On December 4th jonkvrouwe Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz will become Princess of Belgium for life. She also will become Duchess of Brabant. Her father and uncle will become counts.

The Duchess of York is due to tie a giant ribbon around the Survivor’s Tree on the site of the Oklahoma City bomb explosion of 1995, which killed 168 people, in memory of the children who died. The Duchess’s charity has supported a new paediatric unit at the hospital.

Some 61% of the British people think the Prince of Wales should marry Camilla Parker Bowles. But 78% don’t want her to become Queen.

November 14th

Grand Duke Jean of Luxemburg celebrated his 35th anniversary on the throne. He followed his mother Grand Duchess Charlotte on November 14th, 1964.

At the engagement party Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz, the fiancée of Prince Philippe of Belgium, who is already a speech therapist, has told her professor that she will continue her study psychology at the university of Louvain-la-Neuve, She said she hopes to do her practise next year.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her husband Prince Claus arrived at Curacao for a 12-day visit to the Dutch Antilles. They were welcomed with lots of ceremony and people. A children’s choir sang for them.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh laid wreaths at a memorial service in Durban, South Africa, to remember the soldiers who died in the Great War. It was the first time in 16 years that the Queen didn’t lead the national mourning in London. The Prince of Wales replaced his mother at the Remembrance commemorations to Britain’s war dead at the Cenotaph in London. The Queen Mother didn’t attend as she was suffering from a slight chill, Buckingham Palace said.

The Duke of York has spoken on TV of how his experiences in the Falkland conflict changed his life. “There were a great many sharp edges as there are on all young people and it knocked a couple of corners off”. The Duke was 22 when he was sent to the Falklands as a helicopter pilot. He added: “War teaches more about yourself than you actually want to learn- well, it certainly taught me”.

November 15th

The Koningsfeest (King’s Day) in Belgium was celebrated with the traditional Te Deum at the Basilica at the Koekelberg in Brussels.

Queen Beatrix will meet Governor Saleh at Curacao. Later she will start the first broadcasting of the Caribbean news on the World channel. This evening she and her husband Prince Claus will attend a presentation on 500 years written history of Curacao.

Queen Elizabeth II is flying to Mozambique for a one-day state visit on the final leg of her African tour. She and her husband will meet President Joaquim Chissano. It is the Queen’s first visit to Mozambique, which is the newest member of the Commonwealth.

9-year-old Farah Aljadir of the Netherlands, who suffers from a skin disease, will drink tea with King Mohammed VI of Morocco today at his palace. The visit is arranged by the Foundation ‘Make a Wish’, which tries to fulfil wishes of children who are ill.

November 16th

According to The Sun the Prince of Wales has invited (horse-riding) friends and neighbours to a Millennium party. They are supposed to bring their own drinks. Camilla Parker Bowles is going to cook with the help of some friends.

Luxemburg linguist Guy Berg has discovered an epic from the Middle Ages, which was believed to have disappeared. It is a handwriting on vellum, named the ‘Codex Mariendalensis’, and it is a poem of almost 6000 stanzas, who describe the life of Princess Yolanda of Vianden. The Codex is the first literary work in the moselfränkische language.

The oil-painting “Portrait of a Pomeranian Prince” by Lucas Cranach, which had disappeared after World War II and was found back in 1994 in Vienna, will be shown at the National Museum in Stettin, Poland.

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands started a three-day-visit to Great Britain. He met the Prince of Wales for tea at York House. In the evening he had dinner with the Duke of York and his own brother Prince Johan Friso, who works in London. Tomorrow he’ll visit some projects of the Prince of Wales’s Trust.

The hurricane Lenny, which goes through the Caribbean area, could disarrange the visit of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to the Windward Islands of the Dutch Antilles. The Queen is planning to visit St.Maarten on Wednesday.

King Juan Carlos of Spain has called for full democracy and respect for human rights in a speech at an Ibero-American summit in Cuba.

November 17th

A 41-pearl necklace, which is said to have belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette of France, has been auctioned in Geneva, Switzerland, for about 1,5 million dollar.

In traditional pomp and pageantry Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain opened the reshaped Parliament. The Queen read the legislative plans for the forthcoming parliamentary session.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is not be to visit the island of Sint Maarten, as the hurricane Lenny will pass the island today. She will fly to Bonaire for a visit and return to Curacao. Yesterday evening she unexpectedly paid a visit to the Michielsbaai where the hurricane had caused some damage earlier that day. People were very happy with the visit. The Queen noticed some of Lenny as she became wet by a high splashing wave.

November 18th

I read at that Pieter van der Byl, husband of Charlotte Princess von und zu Liechtenstein, died in Fairfield, South Africa, on November 15th.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will have a day rest. Tomorrow she will go to Aruba, where she was supposed to go next week. She hopes she can visit Sint Maarten later on during her Dutch Antilles trip.

November 19th

National feastday in Monaco on the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of Prince Rainier III. The Prince appeared on the balcony with children and grandchildren. Also present were Princess Caroline and Prince Ernst August with their 4-month-old daughter Alexandra.

November 20th

Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands visited Aruba. On a reception of Prime Minister Eman the Queen expressed her sympathy with the people at the Dutch Antille- Islands Sint Maarten (where 3 people died), Saba (10% of the houses are destroyed) and Sint Eustatius. She said to find it difficult to celebrate as her thoughts were with the people there.

The Hohenzollern vault at the Dom of Berlin, Germany, has been reopened today, after 3-years of restoration. The 97 sarcophags are shown for the first time together in the 500-year existence of the vault. Lately only a few sarcophags were shown. The Dom used to be the Hohenzollern court’s church. The Hohenzollern reigned Germany as Emperors from 1871 to 1918 and were Kings of Prussia and electors of Brandenburg before. The Dom hopes also the sarcophag of King Friedrich Wilhelm I (1688-1740) of Prussia will be transported from the Mausoleum in the Sanssouci Park in nearby Potsdam.

Thai censors ban previews and posters for “Anna and the King” as they find them disrespectful to the Thai monarchy. The film itself may be banned also.

Downing Street has quashed claims that the British government is planning to overturn a 300-year-old law preventing Roman Catholics ascending the British throne. Former Tory secretary Lord Forsyth of Drumlean is proposing changes to the 1701 Act.

November 21st

The Dutch version of the musical ‘Elisabeth’, about the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, went through its first night in Scheveningen, the Netherlands. Among the guests was Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.

In Monte Carlo Prince Albert of Monaco presented the prizes for the best athletes of the century to the Dutch Fanny Blankers-Koen and American Carl Lewis.

Today Queen Margrethe II of Denmark moves from Fredensborg Castle to the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, her winter residence.

On December 2nd a ball will be held in Laeken Castle to celebrate the wedding of Prince Philippe of Belgium and Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz. Lots of nobility (many from the Gotha) are invited. Unfortunately no press will be allowed to cover it for the public.

Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands will visit Sint Maarten today, and Sint Eustatius and Saba tomorrow, to watch the damage after the hurricane Lenny their selves.

November 23rd

King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium started a 3-day state visit to Portugal.

Mentioned on the newest guest list for the Belgian royal wedding of the year: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and husband, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden with Queen Silvia, King Harald V of Norway and Queen Sonja, the Prince of Wales, Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje, Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Dipendra of Nepal, and Prince Naruhito of Japan with his wife.

November 24th

33-year-old Samantha Tabell, mother of three children, ran up bills of more than $7000 after claiming to be the daughter of Camilla Parker-Bowles. She was charged with fraud and dishonestly gaining benefits by the court in Brisbane, Australia. It heard that she persuaded a limousine firm that she was Camilla’s daughter. The firm also arranged bodyguards, hotels, flights and a secretary.

Buckingham Palace has rejected suggestions that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain might relinquish her duties. The denial followed comments from the Duke of Edinburgh interpreted as a hint that the monarch might choose not to rule throughout her old age. Prince Philip told royal biographer Douglas Keay it was better to retire ‘while you are still capable’.

King Albert II of Belgium cancelled some of his appointments on the second day of his state visit to Portugal because he suffers from gout. Queen Paola visited the Penna Palace in Sintra alone.

November 25th

Born this morning at 8:40 at the Hospital da Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa in Lissabon, Portugal, Diniz de Santa Maria Francisco João. He is the son of Dom Duarte Duke of Braganca, pretender to the Portuguese throne, and his wife Isabel de Herédia. He will be baptized in February 2000 in Oporto.

Leka King-in-exile of Albania received sentence in absentia of three years in jail for his part in a 1997 deadly rally.

On December 18th little Richard Count von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth will be baptized. His Danish family will not be there because they are busy.

Prince Heinrich of Hessen, younger brother of head of the house Landgrave Moritz, died on November 18th. He has been buried on November 22nd in Kronberg. He was born in Rome in 1927.

November 26th

Little Arch Duchess Gloria of Austria will not be baptized on December 9th, but in January in Salzburg-Morzg if everything goes well. She was taken to hospital on November 12th after she became very ill. She was diagnosed meningitis. After four days the danger for life was happily gone.

Prince Konstantin-Assen of Bulgaria and his wife Maria got a son and a daughter on November 20th. It seems they are named Umberto and Sophia.

Buckingham Palace says Princess Margaret of Great Britain is resting and recovering after being taken ill. A spokeswoman denied a report that the Queen’s 69-year-old sister may have suffered a minor stroke. A doctor was called to Kensington Palace on Tuesday evening when the princess had collapsed. She may not be able to fulfil next week’s official engagements.

December 1st

In a poll by BBC News Online India’s first woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has been voted the greatest woman of the last 1000 years. She pushed ahead of Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain to win by a large majority.

Queen Elizabeth II is set to reopen the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. The opera house has been closed for 30 months because of refurbishing.

December 4th

Full live coverage of the wedding of Prince Philippe of Belgium and Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz.

December 6th

The Dutch historian Kikkert has declared in an interview that Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje has given an interview to a newspaper in 1995, which wasn’t published according to the Government Information Service and the newspaper. Kikkert says that the Crown Prince has said that he doesn’t care too much about a possible ending of the monarchy in a united Europe. He also should have said that he isn’t really interested in religious affairs.

The viewing figures for the wedding of Philippe and Mathilde are lower than expected, as the amount of people who came to Brussels to watch the wedding live. In total some 3.237.000 Flemish people watched the 13-hour-long broadcasting on Flemish television, which by average attracted some 600.000 people. Some 1.700.000 people watched the ceremony in the cathedral.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has reportedly spent almost 9000 English pounds buying Christmas puddings from a supermarket (and not from Harrod’s as usual) as festive gifts for her staff. The 1411 puddings will be rewrapped in silver foil and a royal crest added.

December 7th

Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah from Kuwait (70 years old) headed for the USA for medical care. He recently had colon surgery.

December 8th

Another show of Prince Claus of the Netherlands at this year’s presentation of the Prince Claus Prizes at the Palace at the Dam in Amsterdam. He showed up without tie. Although the speech he was supposed to give was handed over on paper to the people attending the presentation, Prince Claus gave an improvised speech. Queen Beatrix, who attended also, was mentioned in the speech, which made her laugh and she seemed to feel quite embarrassed by it. The theme of this year’s prizes was ‘Create space for freedom’.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark has been voted Dane of the year for the third time in succession by an opinion poll by Gallup. Frederik is in Greenland right now to prepare himself for the 5-month expedition that will begin on February 1st. He will stay there until December 22nd.

The Hungarian government plans to ring in the millennium by restoring the royal crown of Saint Stephan to its former role as the Hungarian state symbol.

There is a special service planned for July 2000 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain, which is on August 4th, 2000. Seems a little too early to me.

December 10th

Media reports say that Princess Masako of Japan has shown signs of pregnancy after more than six years of marriage. We’ll see if it is another rumour.

Magazines report that the Hon. Charles Armstrong-Jones, the grandson of Princess Margaret of Great Britain, has been baptized in the royal chapel at St. James’s Palace lately.

A Flemish nationalist says the civil wedding of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde is not valid as it was held in Flemish, French and German – the three official languages in Belgium. He says that according to the language-laws in the country the use of German language in Brussels is forbidden.

December 11th

Indian officials have agreed to open the Taj Mahal for night visits by tourists. For the last 15 years the monument has closed at 7pm because of security threats. But visitors to Uttar Pradesh will now be able to see the Taj Mahal on nights with full moon. The State Tourism Minister said it was a millennium gift to the world.

Dom Diniz de Braganca will be baptized in Oporto on February 5th, 2000.

December 12th

The son of Princess Cristina of Spain and Iñaki Urdangarín y Liebaert was baptized Juan Valentin de Todos los Santos at the royal chapel at the palace in Madrid. He was named Valentin after an uncle of his father’s grandmother Ana Berriochoa, St. Valentin who was beheaded in 1861 in Asia.

Japan is eagerly waiting to discover this week whether or not Crown Princess Masako is pregnant.

In Brussels Princess Astrid of Belgium attended the drawing for the European Championships Football 2000, which will be held in Belgium and the Netherlands.

December 13th

Readers of The Big Issue magazines have voted the Prince of Wales ‘Hero of the Year’. Hailed as a maverick that is unafraid to tackle the Government he tops the publication’s annual Heroes and Villains poll. The Prince told the magazine that he was delighted and touched to be chosen by Big Issue readers as their hero of the year.

December 14th

In Vienna, Austria, the Hungarian writer Count Peter Esterházy de Galántha has received the Austrian State Prize for European literature. His work is said to be a gentle subversion against all order. As Hungarian cult-figure of his generation he places the search for mental-moral autonomy in the centre of writing. Amongst the earlier winners of the prize are Vaclav Havel and Salman Rushdie.

From this year on Prince Bernhard and Princess Juliana of the Netherlands will not send Christmas cards anymore. It has become too hard for them to sign hundreds of wishes personally.

King Juan Carlos I of Spain attended the handover-ceremony by the USA of the Panama Canal, which has been American since 1903. In 1977 US-President Jimmy Carter, who was present at the handover, signed a treaty that said that the Canal would be Panamese officially at December 31st, 1999.

The French magazine Paris Match has to pay 150.000 French francs for a renewed publishing of the kiss-photos of Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed.

December 15th

Princess Caroline of Monaco has gained a partly success against paparazzi-photos. A German court has decided that publishing private photos of Caroline’s children will not be allowed anymore to protect the children from photographers.

December 16th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her family (except for Princess Juliana) will celebrate the New Year in India. They will be there from December 26th to January 3rd.

Prince Rainier III of Monaco has been operated in his country. A cardiac examination before showed problems with the artery of the abdomen. The palace states that he is fine now.

December 17th

A necklace worn by Princess Diana on her last public engagement in June 1997 has been sold in New York for about $550.000. The pearl and diamond piece, made by London based royal jewellers Garrard’s, was bought by an American collector.

On Ellingen Castle, Germany, the engagement of Princess Désirée of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (25) and Florian Count von und zu Hoensbroech (30) was celebrated. They are planning to get married next year, after Princess Désirée has finished her studies at St. Andrew’s, Scotland.

December 18th

Sotheby’s in London has auctioned The Moritzburg treasure of the Kings and Electors of Saxony for 7.196.000 German Marks. Just for the end of World War II the sons of the last king Friedrich August III had buried the treasure in the wood to hide it for the approaching Russian Red Army. In 1996 hobby treasure-diggers found it back. 143 pieces of the treasure were auctioned; most of it was bought by German art-dealers.

On December 28th King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will open the Museum Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) in the cellars of the Royal Palace in Stockholm. It will show the Swedish history since the 13th century.

December 19th

German television (ARD) broadcasts three new documentaries in the series of German Royal Houses. On Monday December 20th at 15:15 Anhalt is the subject, the next day at the same time Castell-Castell, and on Wednesday December 22nd at the same time Hannover.

The Sunday Telegraph says that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is going to withdraw her endorsement of Harrods department store next year. Royal Family lawyers may sue store’s boss Mohammed Al-Fayed. The Queen is angry about allegations he has made against the Duke of Edinburgh, claiming that the Duke was linked to Princess Diana’s death.

December 20th

A man armed with a sword, an axe and two knives was wrestled to the ground by police within yards of Buckingham Palace. The man drove into a cordoned-off area between two police vehicles outside the palace railings yesterday evening. Dressed in black military-style clothing, he was taken to a police station.

43-Year old Francisco Manoel from Lissabon, Portugal, threatens to bring Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to court to force her to give him her DNA-material. According to the Sunday Telegraph he wants to prove that he descends from Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington. Manuel’s great-grandfather Marcos Manuel should have been born out of this 1833-relationship on the Isle of Wight in April 1834. Further Manuel says it has been proven that Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter Beatrice has destroyed her mother’s notes after the Queen died.

December 22nd

The Liechtenstein princely family announced the engagement of Prince Maximilian, second son of reigning prince Hans Adam II, with Angela Brown, who was born in Bocas del Toro, Panama, as daughter of Javier Francisco Brown and Silvia Maritza Burke. Angela Brown is an American fashion designer. The couple will get married in New York on January 29th, 2000.

On December 18th little Count Richard von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth was baptised in the Danish way in the chapel of Berleburg Castle, Germany. His mother Alexandra née Princess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg was his godmother. The supporters were Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Princess Märtha-Louise of Norway, Prince Philipp von Hessen, Countess Andrea von Pfeil-Haag, and Nadine Keltaneh-Farah.

Great Britain will build a children’s playground based on the adventures of the eternally youthful Peter Pan to commemorate the life of Princess Diana. Work will start in January 2000 near her former London home in Kensington Gardens. The project manager said that the playground will commemorate her love for children.

December 24th

This morning the Prime Minister of Luxemburg announced in the Parliament that Grand Duke Jean will abdicate in September 2000. The Prime Minister read a letter of the Grand Duke, which said that he was “in the conviction that by the dawn of a new millennium, and after 35 years of reign, it seems wise to me to retire”. His oldest son Henri will succeed Grand Duke Jean.

In his Christmas message King Albert II of the Belgians thanked everybody who has competed in the joy of the wedding of his son Philippe with Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz. The King further said: “The Queen and I have thought back to very happy times, but also to the crisis we went through now 30 years ago. Together we’ve managed to bring about a deep bond of love and unity. Some time ago this crisis was brought back to our memories. We don’t wish to talk about it further. It belongs to our private life.” It is said it is a clear reference to the reports about the King’s supposed illegitimate daughter Delphine.

Prince Laurent of Belgium visited deprived people in Brussels on Christmas Eve bringing them soup. He was dresses as Santa Claus, and believe me that he looked funny.

The royal crown of St. Stephan causes sensation in Hungary. The plan of the Prime Minister to bring the crown and the crown jewels from the national museum to the building of the Parliament has evoked the anger of the opposition. They say the Prime Minister disuses the crown for his own glory. The crown of St. Stephan is regarded as the symbol of Hungarian unity.

December 25th

In her Christmas speech Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands asked to respect the privacy of her and her family. She says the question for openness is justified, but when commerce makes liberty to a public possession, it threatens to violate the right to have a personal sphere of life.

December 26th

Because of heavy hurricanes in Europe amongst others the windows and roofs of the Versailles Palace in France were damaged. Further thousands of trees in the park were uprooted.

December 27th

The authorities in Thailand have banned the new film ‘Anna and the King’ saying it insults the country’s monarchy. The film portraits the relationship between a Thai king and an English governess. Thailand’s censorship board says the film was historically inaccurate and made jokes at the monarchy’s expense. It said removing the offending scenes would cut the film to just 20 minutes.

December 29th

The Prince of Wales is to champion the Marie Curie Cancer Care as its president. He is taking over from the Duchess of Kent, who is scaling down her public commitments. The Queen Mother has been the charity’s patron for 45 years.

December 30th

The Imperial Household Agency announced that Crown Princess Masako of Japan had a miscarriage. Doctors had diagnosed the miscarriage as the Princess underwent a pregnancy test. They performed an operation on the Princess who is in good condition but remains in hospital for observation.

A survey was held in France to find out who was the most beautiful woman of the century. In first place came actress Romy Schneider, who became famous for playing Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the Sissi-films, followed by Princess Grace of Monaco née Kelly. In 7th place was Princess Diana of Wales.

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