Royal News 2000

Last modified: 3 January 2001

Archived royal news from my old website for the year 2000.

January 1st

The Kingdom of Tonga was the first Kingdom in the world to enter the new millennium.

The Princess Royal, as usual, was the busiest member of the royal family of Great Britain in 1999. She undertook 1138 official engagements, 228 while on official overseas tours. The Prince of Wales appeared at 1018 engagements, 461 of the in the UK. The Queen attended 981 engagements, and the Queen Mother managed 114.

Also the Norwegian Royal Family has an official homepage now.

January 2nd

Doña María de las Mercedes de Borbón y Orléans Countess of Barcelona (mother of King Juan Carlos of Spain) died in the Residencia de La Mareta in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, at 15:00 local time, of a heart stagnation, surrounded by her family. She was born in Madrid on December 23rd, 1910, and thus just had celebrated her 89th birthday. Since 1993 she was the widow of Don Juan de Borbon, Count of Barcelona, a son of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. In the evening her body has been brought to Madrid where people can say goodbye to her in the chapel of the Royal Palace.

During the opening of the Millennium Dome in London even Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh joined the singing of Auld Lang Syne standing and holding hands. Earlier the Queen surprised everybody by kissing the Duke on the sheek for the first time ever since their marriage more than 50 years ago in public.

Emperor Akihito of Japan, Empress Michiko and Crown Prince Naruhito greeted the crowds in front of the imperial palace in Tokyo. The Emperor said he prays for happiness in Japan for 2000.

January 3rd

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will celebrate Queen’s Day 2000 on April 29th, as April 30th is on a Sunday, in Katwijk and Leiden.

During a walk in Cardiff, Wales, Prince William made jokes with the girls along the road about a millennium hangover. Further he shook hands and wished many people a happy new year.

In Spain there will be seven days of mourning for the mother of King Juan Carlos. Flags will hang half-mast on public buildings.

January 4th

Doña María de las Mercedes de Borbón y Orléans Countess of Barcelona was buried today at the Panteon de Reyes del Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial. She was buried next to her husband with all honours of a Queen, although she has never been.

The King of Tonga appointed Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata as Prime Minister.

January 5th

The Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad says Máxima Zorreguieta joined the Dutch royal family at their millennium trip to India. It was not confirmed.

January 6th

The Prinzenhaus (Prince’s House) in Plön, Germany, once belonging to the Schleswig-Holstein family, will be handed over to the German Foundation Historical Buildings today. Also the garden goes for free to the foundation, which will be obliged to upkeep the complete building, which was built between 1744 and 1751.

January 7th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh will pay a 2-week visit to Australia at the end of March, Buckingham Palace has announced.

January 10th

A 5 pounds coin to celebrate the Queen Mother’s centenary is available to the public. The cupro-nickel coin depicts the Queen Mother with her signature, the dates 1900 and 2000, and flag-waving crowds. It is available for 9,95 pounds. Gold and silver limited editions follow in May.

January 11th

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is to begin his 3500 km dogsled expedition to Greenland today that is expected to last at least 4 months. He held a press conference in Copenhagen before leaving. The official department from Qaanaaq will be on February 10th.

January 12th

The annual list of the worst dressed women by fashion guru Mr. Blackwell rates Queen Elizabeth II as number 3, behind singers Cher and Celine Dion. Mr. Blackwell singles the Queen out as a particular fashion frump, asking if HM is the Palace’s Christmas tree or just a royal clown.

January 13th

A memorial service was held to commemorate the death of Doña María de las Mercedes, mother of King Juan Carlos of Spain. Many royals attended the service, which marked the end of a period of mourning. Under the guests were Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Konstantinos and Queen Anne Marie of Greece, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Queen Noor of Jordan, the Prince of Wales, Crown Prince Hamzah of Jordan, Prince Albert of Monaco, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, King Simeon of Bulgaria, King Michael of Romania and the Countess of Paris.

Harrods has lost a Royal Warrant it held for more than 40 years. Buckingham Palace says the warrant, awarded by the Duke of Edinburgh, would not be renewed when it expired at the end of the year. The move was because of declining trade between the Duke’s household and the store.

In an interview Princess Stéphanie of Monaco has said she feels shadowed by certain press, which makes life hard. She said she has once thought about giving up her title and live anonymous.

In July a road race expected to attract 20.000 runners is being launched in aid of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Organisers want to turn the 10 km. Memorial Road Race, expected to take place in London, into an annual event.

According to the Dutch newspaper NRC the Dutch royal court is making preparations for the wedding of Crown Prince Willem Alexander with Máxima Zorreguieta, which news seems to be circulating at the royal court. A date for an engagement shouldn’t be set yet. It is said she is going to learn Dutch and about the Netherlands. The report also says that Máxima joined the family in India after Christmas. The Government Information Service denies all reports, telling they are absolutely not true.

January 14th

The Prime Minister of the Netherlands denied that there are concrete engagement plans between Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta. He again said that they are very good friends. He admitted that there are preparations going on for a longer stay of Máxima in the Netherlands, and said Máxima was with the Dutch royal family in India. A rumour I heard is that Crown Prince Willem-Alexander travels to New York every two weeks.

January 15th

Yesterday Prince Ernst August of Hannover did it again! According to Kenian authorities the “Prügelprinz” has beaten up a German disco-owner at the island of Manda, so badly that the man was brought to the intensive care of a hospital. The Prince, who has a villa at the nearby island of Lamu, should have been angry about the noise the disco produced.

January 16th

Prince Ernst August of Hannover has admitted fighting with the German in Kenia. He left Kenia for London today.

January 17th

King Abdullah II of Jordan has brought an incognito visit to a hospital in the town of Zarka for three whole hours. He heard the complaints of the patients about long waiting times, etc.

January 18th

Inquiries will be held to find out what happened exactly between Prince Ernst August of Hannover and the German disco-owner in Kenia. Meanwhile some tabloids have become worried about Princess Caroline. Some family member should have said that he beats her too.

A fountain is to be built in Central London in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Diana Memorial Committee has confirmed after a meeting. The location and design of the memorial have yet to be decided.

Prince Philippe of Belgium and Princess Mathilde continued their Happy Entrance by visiting the province of Liège. They first visited a revalidation centre in Fraiture, and after that visited Liège, Verviers and Sankt-Vith.

January 19th

Simoneta, daughter of Infanta Pilar of Spain, gave birth to her third child, María, in Madrid on January 17th. She already had two sons. The baby was called after Simoneta’s grandmother, the Countess of Barcelona, who died earlier this month.

The Government Information Service has confirmed that Máxima Zorreguieta gets lessons about the Netherlands.

The police of Antwerpen, Belgium, received some threatening letters in connection with the Happy Entrance of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde on Monday in the province of Antwerpen. The threats are regarded serious and special safety-measures will be taken.

January 21st

Dom Diniz de Bragança will be baptised in the Sé of Oporto, Portugal, on February 19th at 12:00 noon. His godparents will be his uncle Sebastião de Herédia and his fathers niece Princess Anna Cecilia de Bourbon. Afterwards there will be a reception in the Pálacio da Bolsa in Oporto.

January 22nd

Wilhelm, son of Prince Stephan Leopold and Princess Maria zur Lippe, was baptised today in the chapel of Detmold Castle.

Prince Rainier III of Monaco, his daughters Caroline and Stéphanie, Prince Ernst August von Hannover, and Princess Caroline’s children Andrea, Charlotte and Pierre, were present at the Circus-festival of Monte Carlo.

January 24th

The Belgian butcher Hubert Schoenmakers is making a musical about Queen Astrid of Belgium (1905-1935). He receives all help from the Belgian royal court, and has been able to search the archives. The musical will open with the wedding of Queen Astrid with King Leopold III.

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium were in Antwerpen for their second Happy Entrance of 2000. They were received in the province house and made a walk through the centre of Antwerpen. In the afternoon they visited Herentals and Lier. Everywhere were thousands of people.

January 25th

In several Kenian newspapers big advertisements were placed by Prince Ernst August of Hannover in which he stated not having injured the German disco-owner, and that he must have received the injuries from someone else.

In his New Year’s speech for the prominents of Belgium, King Albert II asked to work towards a better image of Belgium in other countries by modernizing of institutions and by depoliticising. More than once the King explicitly mentioned the role of Prince Philippe in this process.

January 26th

The Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad published the first sharp photo of Prince Willem-Alexander and his girlfriend Máxima, taken in New York last week when they left a restaurant. It is said Prince Willem-Alexander visits Máxima almost every week.

A photographer took photos of a topless Zara Phillips, but there is not a magazine that wants to publish the photos. Princess Anne’s daughter was pictured in Australia where she stays at friends of her mother and where she works for a sport-firm right now. Zara Phillips will return to Great Britain soon.

January 27th

King Albert II of the Belgians will undergo neuro-surgery at his spinal column on Saturday in the Hospital of Our Lady in Aalst, Belgium. He will continue work.

On December 14th Prince Heinrich of Hannover and his wife Thyra became the proud parents of a son, who was born in Göttingen, Germany. He was named Albert Thilo Ludwig Arndt.

On January 18th Arch Duchess Gloria of Austria was baptised in Mrozg, Austria. Godmother was Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis.

January 28th

Buckingham Palace has denied press-rumours about a bad health of the Queen Mother.

January 29th

Prince Maximilian von und zu Liechtenstein and Angela Brown married today in New York.

37 % of the people in the Netherlands think there is a big chance Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will marry Máxima Zorreguieta soon. The same poll tells us that Prince Claus is the most popular member of the Dutch royal family, followed by Princess Juliana, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Queen Beatrix.

The one-hour-long spinal column surgery on King Albert II of the Belgians was successful. The King will be recovering in hospital for some days, before going home.

January 30th

Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and her three children had to leave their chalet in Auron, French Alps, where they live some months a year. Last night a fire broke out in the cellar of the house because of a short-circuit. Happily the damage was not very big. The Princess and her children slept in a nearby hotel for the rest of the night.

February 1st

Until June 25th there is an interesting exhibition in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, called ‘Een Koninklijk Museum’ (A Royal Museum). It gives an image of the collection of the Rijksmuseum in which the royal collection and the first Dutch King Louis Napoléon (who was king between 1806 and 1810) are in the centre of interest. The museum opened its doors on September 15th, 1809.

Despite of all threats of the European Union to break all business/government-relations with Austria, when the extreme party of Jörg Haider becomes a part of the government, the Dutch Prime Minister said it is no problem that Queen Beatrix goes to Lech, Austria, for her yearly skiing-holiday.

February 2nd

The Government Information Service of the Netherlands officially stated that Máxima Zorreguieta is the girlfriend of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander. Before she was only called a good friend. Máxima has lessons in Dutch language in New York.

Prince Rainier III of Monaco underwent surgery. A part of one of his lungs was removed. It is said the operation went very well.

King Albert II of the Belgians left the hospital of Aalst, Belgium, this afternoon. He still needs some weeks rest it is said.

Animal rights campaigners have accused Sophie the Countess of Wessex of being cruel and out of touch. The Countess bought a fox-fur hat while in the Swiss ski resort of St Moritz, because of freezing temperatures. A spokesman of Buckingham Palace said that she had no intention of upsetting anyone.

In August and September Buckingham Palace will open its doors for the public. Several rooms can be visited. This year’s highlight will be the ballroom, the biggest room of the palace, which was finished by Sir James Pennethorne in 1856 for Queen Victoria.

February 3rd

The Duke and Duchess of York are to send their daughters Beatrice and Eugenie to Aiglon College, a mixed boarding school in a small village in Switzerland. Princess Beatrice will start in September 2000, her sister Princess Eugenie follows one year later. The Duchess is expected to move to Switzerland so the princesses can then become day pupils, not boarders.

King Albert II of the Belgians and Queen Paola have planned a state visit to the Netherlands this spring.

February 4th

The Society of Editors-in-Chief in the Netherlands want to make agreements with the Government Information Service about giving information on the Dutch royal family. When the directives are not given the media runs the risk that the government interferes.

February 5th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands left for her yearly 2-week skiing-holidays in Lech, Austria, despite of the political situation in Austria and many people refuse to go there for their holidays now. Even the Austrian television-news mentioned the arrival of the Queen, who is of course a head of state, although it is only a private visit.

In the Globe-Theatre in London the biggest permanent exhibition on William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was opened. It exists of a museum and a theme park. Shakespeare wrote several plays about Kings and Princes (Hamlet, Macbeth).

Prince Rainier of Monaco’s recovery from lung surgery is very satisfactory, the palace says.

February 6th

Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and his wife Sibilla are expecting their second child in May.

New Zealand will eventually dump the monarchy because a head of state on the other side of the world (12.000 miles away) is ‘absurd’ the Prime Minister Helen Clark has said. However a New Zealand republic would not be on her agenda because there are more important things to address.

February 7th

Queen Rania of Jordan has written a children’s book about her late father-in-law King Hussein. The fable, which is written in English and Arabic language, is called ‘A Gift of the King’.

February 8th

Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein had declared in his New Year’s interview on Radio Liechtenstein that the year 2000 was meant to be the year of the decision in connection with the issue of the Constitution, which has been topical since 1992. But now the Prince and Prince Alois, heir to the throne, wish to take more time for a direct dialogue with the population without any pressure of time, and extend the decision phase until autumn 2001. The programme for the future, the foundation for the Principality in the third millennium, doesn’t only deal with the issue of the Constitution, but also with other issues that are important to the country.

One in every three Dutchmen thinks Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands shouldn’t have gone to Austria for her skiing-holidays, because of the political situation there.

February 9th

Prince Pavlos of Greece and his wife Maria are expecting their third child in August 2000.

The Prince of Wales has postponed a visit to Vienna following the inclusion of the far-right Freedom Party into Austria’s government. A Foreign Office spokesman said the prince’s decision follows the postponement of a British trade fair in the Austrian capital in May.

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium visited the province of Hainault during their Happy Entrance-tour. In the morning thousands of people waited for them in Tournai. Afterwards the princely couple visited Mons and Marchienne-au-Pont. At the end of the day they were received at Acoz Castle, which belonged to Princess Mathilde’s family until one century ago.

On Friday the exhibition ‘Unknown Russian Treasures’ is opened in the Nikolaus Church in Berlin, Germany. About 1600 pieces of art from the former brilliant hall of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia, will be shown until June 17th. Usually they are kept in the treasure rooms of the Cremlin in Moscow.

February 11th

The expedition Sirius 2000 has started today from Qaanaaq, Greenland. At 13:00 members Soren Bredvig Nielsen and Krester Mathiasen left, 15 minutes later followed by Torsten Forsberg and Steen Broen Jensen. At 13:30 Michael Bank and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark left. The 650 people who live in Qaanaaq all said goodbye and wished them all good for their long trip. The expedition is expected to arrive in Daneborg at June 10th. The members hope to travel about 20 km a day. They travel together with their 39 sleigh-dogs.

February 12th

Last night Prince Rainier III of Monaco underwent a new lung surgery, after it was found out he suffered of pneumothorax. Two drains were placed in his chest. The palace said everything went well.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain needs to make a choice if she will break a 600-year old tradition by signing the first important law of the 21st century with the help of the computer. It is a law that says that electronic signatures get the same status as written signatures.

Archduchess Catharina of Austria and her husband Count Massimiliano Secco d’Aragona are expecting their first child in July.

February 13th

The Sunday Times comes with an interesting story, if it is true or not. They tell that the Prince of Wales wants to change his first name, Charles, when he will become a King. He doesn’t want to be associated with his two 17th century namesakes, King Charles I who was beheaded, and King Charles II who had several illegitimate children. He wants to become King George VII – after his fourth name (his full name is Charles Philip Arthur George).

The Duke of Kent attended a ceremony in Dresden, Germany, to mark the 55th anniversary of the Allied bombing of the city during World War II. The Duke will present a 7,6 metre high gilded orb and cross, made in London, for the top of the dome of the former Frauenkirche – the Lutheran cathedral. The original was destroyed in the devastating raid of 1945. The Duke read a lesson during the ceremony in the cathedral. Also present was the chancellor of the German federation Gerhard Schröder.

On February 24th Felipe Prince of Asturias will visit the Spanish pavilion at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. The Prince is honorary chairman of the Spanish Committee Hannover 2000.

February 14th

Prince Bernhard Sr. of the Netherlands will be in the University Medical Centre Utrecht for a few days. As planned some adaptations are done to the tube that was placed in his trachea in 1999.

French newspapers tell that Princess Caroline of Monaco is pregnant again, six months after the birth of her first child with Prince Ernst August of Hannover, and will get the baby in August. The royal court of Monaco says the reports are absolutely not true.

February 16th

On Sunday a man obsessed with the Princess Royal was held after trying to drive through the gates of her home at Gatcombe Park estate, Gloucestershire, Great Britain. He has been charged with harassment of police officers between November 1997 and last Sunday. He has already tried to enter the estate several times since 1997, and was sent to a secure hospital in June 1997, but obviously that didn’t help.

After more than 250 years the princely family of Thurn und Taxis is going to leave its residence St.Emmeram Castle, in Regensburg, Germany. The castle is under protection of the Historic Buildings Bureau and has about 500 rooms. The castle is even bigger than Buckingham Palace. The family and the municipality want to change the castle into a congress hotel, and they plan to build a municipality hall in the garden. One of the wings already is an old people’s home since 1999. The family probably is going to move to Prüfening Castle on the outskirts of Regensburg.

February 17th

Last weekend Prince Umberto and Princess Sofia of Bulgaria were baptized in the San José de la Montaña Church in Madrid, Spain. The godparents of Prince Umberto were Ramón Ros Bigeriego and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria. Princess Sofia’s godparents were Felipe Prince of Asturias and Maria Gortazar Ybarra.

The army is unveiling plans for a massive musical extravaganza in tribute to the Queen Mother. The performance will take place on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle on July 27th. The Queen Mother is hoping to celebrate her 100th birthday on th. Bands from across the world will join the celebrations with up to 600 pipers and drummers scheduled to take part. At least one member of the royal family is expected to attend the tribute.

February 18th

King Letsie III of Lesotho (David Mohato Bereng Seeiso) (38) married Miss Karabo Anna Mots’oeneng (23) from South Africa in a lavish ceremony in the national soccer stadium at the capital Maseru, Lesotho. The bride wore an eight-kilo heavy white dress with a seven metres long train. Among the 40.000 guests attending, were former president Nelson Mandela of South-Africa, and members of the royal families of Luxembourg, Swaziland and Nepal. Outside the stadium hundred thousands of spectators stood along the roads when the couple passed by in an open car. The festivities held on for the whole weekend.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands returned home after his operation. It is said he is doing very well.

Queen Silvia of Sweden paid a private visit to a project for street-children in a children’s day centre in Essen, Germany. The infant welfare centre of Essen was very pleased with her visit.

February 19th

The Duke and Duchess of York and their daughters Beatrice and Eugenie celebrated the Duke’s 40th birthday with a ride on the London Millennium Wheel. They were the first members of the royal family who tried the Wheel. They came out smiling and told that they had enjoyed the 30-minute ride in the 137 metres high Wheel.

Dom Dinis de Santa Maria Miguel Gabriel Rafael Francisco João de Bragança was baptised today at noon in the Sé Cathedral in Porto, Portugal, by Armindo Lopes Coelho, Bishop of Porto. About 700 people were invited. Among the guests were Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, the Countess of Paris, Jean Duke of Vendôme, Eudes Duke of Angoulême, Diane Duchess of Württemberg, Fleur Duchess of Württemberg, Joseph Arch Duke of Austria, Prince Charles of Bourbon-Sicilies, Prince Casimiro of Bourbon-Sicilies, Prince Kyrill of Bulgaria, Dom Luis de Orléans e Bragança and Dona Teresa de Orléans e Bragança. Afterwards there was a reception at the Palácio da Bolsa.

The Duke of York said in a 40th birthday interview that the aims to see the best for his children’s future. ‘One must learn from the failures and build on the successes in life’, Prince Andrew said.

Prince William will celebrate his 18th birthday in June with a big disco-party at the Highgrove estate of his father. It is said he had a big fight with his father, because William wasn’t allowed to celebrate the party in a London nightclub.

February 20th

Commotion in Norway: the art student Jill Moursund used amongst others Crown Prince Haakon’s head for her art work. One of the pieces of art showed him naked lying next to a naked woman. The furious royal family has ordered to remove the unrespectful art from the exhibition, which will be opened this week at the Kunstindustrimuseum in Oslo. Jill Moursund says she didn’t intend to harm and doesn’t understand the commotion, she was just making art as exam-project for the Statens Handverks- og kunstindustriskole. She also used Leonardo di Caprio.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that a member of staff has been sacked a month ago after allegedly making remarks about poisoning the Queen’s food. The woman was employed as a probationary kitchen porter. According to the newspaper reports the woman boasted she could easily slip cyanide into one of the Queen’s meals. The incident is said to have take place at Sandringham.

The Princely family of Liechtenstein is going to summon Germany for the court of the United Nations at The Hague, Netherlands. They claim compensation for the Liechtenstein estates and castles, which came into German hands after World War II.

The Emir of Dubai has instructed Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum to arrest the beggars in Dubai. The reason for that is the yearly shopping festival in March, which always attracts hundred thousands of people.

February 21st

Last weekend Queen Beatrix ended her disputed skiing-holidays in Austria and returned to the Netherlands.

An American company announced it is going to sell a silk with pearls evening-dress of the late Princess Diana of Wales, which they had bought for $ 36.000, for charitable aims – but in about 4 million pieces of each 2 square millimetre. Each piece will be sold for $ 25. The proceeds, they hope for $ 100 million, will go to children in the Third World countries.

February 23rd

Tomorrow Prince Rainier III of Monaco will leave the hospital after two lung-operations, and will return to his palace, it has been announced.

On the fourth of what the Palace has called ‘theme days’ Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Princess Royal have met some of Great Britain’s voluntary workers in London. The Queen told Victim Support the organisation would simply not exist without its volunteers.

The Prince of Wales has given one of his strongest public speeches in support of the Commonwealth at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. He said: “For me the Commonwealth is something rather special and worth cherishing. It is as old as I am, but somewhat less battered and so has been present throughout my life”. The Prince praised the voluntary nature of the Commonwealth and its diversity.

February 24th

In company of Princess Stéphanie and Prince Albert Prince Rainier III of Monaco left the hospital. Before leaving for the palace he showed himself to the press and talked a while with the medical staff.

Dr. Otto von Habsburg was guest of honour at the festive celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Charles V in Gent, Belgium.

Felipe Prince of Asturias watched the work on the Spanish pavilion at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, and promised to come back with his father in the summer. He also went to Bonn to open an exhibition at the Bundeskunsthalle on the occasion of the 500th birth anniversary of Emperor Charles V (1500-1558). The exhibition, which is called ‘Macht und Ohnmacht in Europa’ (Power and impotence in Europe), shows pieces of art from international collections.

A funny blunder of the Duke of Edinburgh. Yesterday he was invited to a soccer match of Arsenal, one of England’s best soccer teams. The Duke came and thought the name of the club was Dreamcast – as that was the name, which stood on the shirts of the players – but unfortunately for him, this only is the name of the shirt-sponsor of Arsenal.

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium attended the first performance of the Charles V Oratory, composed by Dirk Brosse – to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Emperor Charles V.

February 25th

At the Town hall of Brussels the cultural year 2000 was officially opened in presence of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium. Together with eight other European cities, Brussels is European cultural capital. After that the Prince and Princess attended a session at the European Parliament.

The border between crazy and normal depends of factors of power. Someone who has the power can unpunished do what he wants. That is what is the theme of the exhibition ‘Gestoorde Vorsten’ (Crazy monarchs) at the Museum Dr Guislain in Gent, Belgium.

On his official Caribbean tour the Prince of Wales met victims of domestic violence in the Help and Shelter Centre in Georgetown, Guyana, and spoke to the battered women privately about their problems. He also saw a self-help initiative in one of the poorest areas of the city and visited a rum distillery.

February 26th

Queen Joanna of Bulgaria, the mother of King Simeon II, has died in Estoril, Portugal, aged 92. She was born as Princess Giovanna of Italy and married King Boris III of Bulgaria (who died in 1943) in 1930. Except for King Simeon, she has a daughter Maria Luisa.

The Prince of Wales travelled to a remote area of Guyana to visit schools being founded by the British government.

February 28th

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will take care of the introduction and the closing word of a 13-partite documentary series about the water problematic in the world. The Dutch television will broadcast the series ‘Water – Elke druppel telt’ (Water – each drop counts) from March 20th. The goal of the series is to show how various, but at the same time how vulnerable our first vital need is.

February 29th

The Prince of Wales visited Trench Town, Jamaica, the rough shanty native town of reggae legend Bob Marley. He also established a youth business trust and checked out a marine laboratory and schools.

The Ducal House of Saxe-Meiningen and the Art Collections of Weimar – the city of Weimar tells they don’t know anything about this – agreed about the after World War II expropriated works of art of the Ducal House. Pieces of art, which are important for Weimar, will now be permanently accessible for a broad public. In 1951 the Art Collections had taken over the expropriated personal property of the Ducal House from the Feste Heldburg. Among the properties were works of art, which were already registered, in the Register of National valuable works of art in 1927.

March 1st

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium visited East-Flanders during their Happy Entrance tour. In Aalst they visited an education centre. In Gent the governor, mayor and thousands of people greeted them. In the afternoon the couple attended a disaster training in Sint-Niklaas. Rumours about an eventually pregnancy of Princess Mathilde, which followed after the release of photos in the press on which she hold her hand on her belly, were discussed by the people. But it is said that Princess Mathilde said: “People shouldn’t believe everything”.

A newspaper in Kiel, Germany, reports that the federal government of Schleswig-Holstein wants to sell the castle of Kiel and establish media business in the castle. Besides the castle should stay a place where cultural events take place.

The royal cabinet says King Mohammed VI of Morocco is planning to travel to Spain for a one-day private visit with King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

March 2nd

Queen Joanna of Bulgaria was buried in Estoril, Portugal. The ceremony was attended by her children and grandchildren, Vittorio Emanuele Prince of Savoy, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, Infante Elena of Spain, Infante Cristina of Spain, Jaime de Marichalar, Infante Pilar of Spain, Infante Margarita of Spain, Dom Duarte de Bragança and his wife Isabel and Princess Alexia of Greece and some French royalty.

Prince Claus of the Netherlands has cancelled a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, because he is troubled by the after effects of the radiation for his prostate cancer one and a half year ago.

March 3rd

From May 23rd to May 26th Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan will pay a visit to the Netherlands during their 2-week European tour.

March 5th

Sultan Qaboos of Oman was awarded the Leadership for Peace Award on Saturday by the American Jewish Committee for promoting regional peace.

Mohamed al-Fayed’s claim that Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi al-Fayed chose an engagement ring in Monte Carlo a week before they died, has been branded a ‘myth’ by their bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, who survived the fatal car-crash in 1997. He has written that in his new book, serialised in the Daily Telegraph.

Children of a primary school expecting to meet Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain in the Australian outback town of Bourke are given a crash course about who she is, after the head teacher found out that many of his pupils hardly knew about their Head of State. The school is due to play host later this month.

The yearly carnival procession in Aalst, Belgium, showed several floats with the Belgian royal family as subject. There was attention for Philippe and Mathilde, but also for King Albert II and Prince Laurent.

March 6th

The mother of Emperor Akihito of Japan, Empress dowager Nagako, celebrated her 97th birthday privately with her family. She withdrew from public life in 1989 after the death of her late husband Emperor Hirohito.

A rare lizard has forced organisers of Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain’s visit to Australia to abandon plans to start the trip in the national capital Canberra. The endangered lizard lives near the airport and concern for it has delayed plans to widen runways to allow the Queen’s airplane to land. There must be a 90-day consultation period before any changes can be made. The Queen will now start her trip in Sydney on March 17th.

Printed portraits of Princes of Mecklenburg, from the collection of the library of the University of Rostock in Germany, are shown in public for the first time. They are part of an exhibition of printed notebooks, which will be opened on Thursday at the Monastery of the Holy Cross. The about 50 most rare pieces are from the 16th and 17th century.

March 7th

It was announced by the Spanish royal court that Infante Elena and her husband Jaime de Marichalar expect their second child in September of this year.

Ritzen Koeriers, the company of which Prince Bernhard Jr. of the Netherlands is the joint founder and owner of, has affected an arrangement with the Public Prosecutor in Amsterdam. The courier company was suspected of fraud with social bonuses.

The Court of Justice of Magdeburg, Germany, since today hears the case of Prince Ernst August of Hanover who wants some 10.000 hectares of family property in Saxe-Anhalt back. The former property consists of land and wood and some buildings. The prince also wants to get back some works of art. An earlier bid for another court was turned down. The Prince however states that his grandfather’s land was expropriated because of ground reforms and measures taken by the Soviet army, and that his grandfather didn’t resign.

Mohamed al-Fayed has lost a legal bid to prevent the Daily Telegraph printing extracts from the book by Trevor Rees-Jones, princess Diana’s former bodyguard.

March 8th

The Royal House of Liechtenstein launched a discussion platform in the Internet. Those interested are invited to proffer their suggestions and opinions concerning the discussion around the new Constitution at It is also possible to put questions to Prince Hans-Adam II and Prince Alois, heir to the throne. Apart from the discussion rounds at the Vaduz Castle, the Royal House also seeks an on-line discussion with the population and therefore initiated a forum for discussions in the Internet. The first homepage of the Royal House allows making suggestions concerning the planned constitutional alterations, to raise topics concerning the future of Liechtenstein, to ask questions and to express opinions. Prince Hans-Adam II is the first Liechtenstein Head of State to use the Internet as a means of communication. At the website the population is invited to discuss his constitutional suggestions.

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde were for their one but last Happy Entrance in the province of Namur. Although the weather was very rainy about 4000 people came to see them. The couple was received at the provincial house and even appeared on the balcony in the pouring rain. There also was a meeting with representatives of societies, women’s organisations and handicapped people. There was also a reception at Namur Castle. Near Dinant they made a boat trip at the Meuse River.

March 10th

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will become the patroness of the Special Olympics 2000 for mentally handicapped people, which will be held in Groningen, the Netherlands, from May 27th to June 4th.

March 11th

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven at 14:00h officially announced the engagement of their second son Bernhard (30) with Annette Sekrève (28) in the Queen Wilhelminahall at Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn. There were a lot of reporters and photographers gathered to get information and photos of the couple. Bernhard and Annette met in Groningen where he studied economics and she labour psychology. Since more than two years they live together on a houseboat on the Amstel River in Amsterdam. Annette Sekrève works as a staff consultant at the municipal taxes in Amsterdam. The civil wedding will take place on July 6th, and the religious ceremony on July 8th. The exact place will be revealed later. This evening the couple will celebrate their engagement with their family at home.

March 13th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will be joined by the Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister and more than 1000 schoolchildren for a celebration on Commonwealth Day. Violinist Vanessa Mae will serenade the 2000-strong congregation at Westminster Abbey. Representatives of the 54-member states wearing traditional dress will carry flags of the Commonwealth.

March 14th

The Prince of Wales is meeting some of the 2.000 students attending the recruitment fair at the Wembley Arena in London, England, which marks the conclusion of the first year of the Army’s ethnic minority recruitment campaign. The Prince will also see a photo exhibition of the historical contribution Caribbean, Asian and African soldiers have made.

Today Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands talked with fourteen Indian Dutchmen about the state visit of Emperor Akihito of Japan to the Netherlands at the end of May. Former victims of the Japanese occupation of Dutch India (now Indonesia) in World War II say that Japan has not made good enough the grieves they have. Last February the Japanese government spoke out their regrets about their behaviour in Dutch India in World War II. The former victims also find that the 400th anniversary of the relations with Japan has been celebrated too enthusiastic.

March 17th

The Second World Water Forum started today in the Congress Centre in The Hague, The Netherlands. Until Wednesday thousands of people from all over the world will discuss water problems. The openings speech was disturbed by six demonstrants, who came down from the balcony on ropes. They protested against the privatisation of water and the building of a weir in Spain. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, chairman of the forum, asked them to express their arguments in a well-bred discussion. Thereafter the crown prince declared the forum open with an improvised speech.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain arrived in Canberra, Australia to begin a visit, which comes four months after Australians voted to retain the monarchy. She will visit rural areas as well as major cities, including Sydney and Perth, during the 16-day trip. Among the more remote destinations are Alice Springs and the former Victorian gold-mining settlement of Ballarat. The Duke of Edinburgh arrived separately from the Bahamas. The official schedule of the tour begins on Saturday with a function at the Government House.

On March 7th the 49th Imam of the Ismaelians, the Aga Khan (63), and his wife the Begum Inaara have become the proud parents of a son, named Aly Muhammad. The Aga Khan has three children from his marriage to Princess Salima: Zara, Rahim and Hussain. The Begum has a daughter, Theresa, from her marriage to Prince Karl-Emich zu Leiningen.

March 18th

The 110-year-old marble statue of ‘Queen Louise on her deathbed’ in the park of Neustrelitz Castle, Germany, will be restored. From May 2000 the statue will stand on its former place together with the Louise Temple.

March 19th

King Mohammed VI of Morocco headed for Paris, France, today to lobby for Moroccan membership in the European Union.

Elizabeth The Queen Mother of Great Britain handed out individual shamrocks to the Irish Guards in London at a special ceremony celebrating the regiment’s centenary year. She presented the plants to officers and new recruits from wicker baskets. She also took the salute of the regimental parade at Lancaster House.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh have been greeted by about 500 people at the first public appearance of their Australian tour. The couple attended a service at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Canberra. The Queen also met a traditional Aboriginal didgeridoo player.

March 20th

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan greeted Pope John Paul II in their palace in Amman. The Pope arrived for the first leg of an historic seven-day trip to the Holy Land tracing the footsteps of Moses and Jesus. Prince Hassan later showed the Pope the monastery at the Nebo Mountain, where Moses is supposed to have seen the Promised Land.

A man has been charged after a security alert disrupted the visit of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to Australia. The man, posing as a security officer, was armed with a homemade explosive device and an eight-inch kitchen knife. He was arrested outside the Sydney Convention Centre shortly before the Queen was due to attend a lunch there.

Prince Claus of the Netherlands has been admitted in the General Hospital Barmbek in Hamburg, Germany. He will be examined on the consequences of the last x-ray treatment for prostate cancer he received last autumn. The Prince didn’t feel well lately, and now undergoes a control to find out if everything is really all right.

March 21st

The Duke of Edinburgh may have contaminated a vat of Australian cheese with a visit to a cheese factory at Wagga Wagga, 30 miles southwest of Sydney. The Duke didn’t give himself the time to dress himself in sterile clothes -as he said he’d only stay for four minutes inside- and entered the sterile production area at the plant in his suit. A camera crew, a security man and a sniffer dog followed him. If tests show the cheese worth about $750 can be saved, the cheese makers say it may be marketed as Prince Philip cheese.

March 22nd

The Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, announced that Queen Rania will give birth to her third child at the end of September. She and King Abdullah II already have a son, Hussein (5), and a daughter, Iman (3).

In the beginning of May Máxima Zorreguieta is going to move from New York to Brussels, Belgium, where she is going to work for the new Belgian branch of the German Bank, the bank she worked for in New York also. It is said she has already found a nice apartment, and has said goodbye to her colleagues in New York. Máxima has discussed her plans with the royal family of the Netherlands. Belgium should have been chosen as her new residence to secure some freedom she might not have in the Netherlands.

Prince Claus of the Netherlands left the hospital in Hamburg. It is announced there is no reason to be worried about his health. Queen Beatrix visited her husband yesterday.

Three girls have been sexually assaulted in their bedroom at Aiglon College in Chesieres-Villars, the $10000-a-year school which Princess Beatrice of York is due to attend in September of this year.

The Dutch Christian Democratic Party says it also should be possible for children to inherit the noble title of their mother. Now a child is only permitted to bear the noble title that is coming from their father.

March 23rd

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium made their last Happy Entrance in the province of Limburg. In Hasselt about 6000 people were waiting for them. The couple also visited Peer and Maaseik, where they watched an exhibition on the water control in the Meuse valley. The visit ended in Tongeren where the archaeological excavations in the basilica were watched.

An Austrian police officer wants to charge Prince Ernst August of Hannover for big insults. He says the Prince amongst others called him an asshole (Arschloch).

March 24th

Sunnyi Melles, the wife of Prince Peter of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, received the ‘Satyrknöpfe’, which according to the legend comes from the coat of famous German writer Goethe. The button is given to a very important actor. The German actor who owed the small button before died last January. Sunnyi Melles is especially successful as member (since 1980) of the Münchener Kammerspielen.

March 26th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain should apologise to Aborigines for their past treatment by British colonists, the leader of the Australian Democrats has said. The Australian premier has held back from apologising to Aborigines, expressing ‘regret’ instead. Buckingham Palace said an apology from the Queen would be ‘very much a matter for the Australian authorities’.

March 27th

According to the Sunday Times the richest Briton of the past 1000 years, to the present day value of their belongings, was William de Warenne Earl of Surrey, who owed about 182 billion British pounds. An arrow killed the earl in 1088. He got lots of rewards from King William I of England for his loyalty to the king who conquered England in 1066.

March 28th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje will pay a 9-day visit to Japan in April as a part of celebrations to mark the 400 years of Japanese- Dutch relations.

March 29th

A tomato has been thrown at Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh during a walkabout in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. The tomato brushed the rim of the Duke’s panama hat and landed about six feet from the royal couple in the crowd. Teenagers probably threw the tomato from behind a tree.

March 30th

King Mohammed VI of Morocco appointed the country’s first female royal adviser. The plan to give women more rights sparks an angry debate.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain made royal history when she went live on radio in the Australian outback to answer children’s questions. She urged children on the Alice Springs School of the Air to log on to the Buckingham Palace website. To the question what she thought on Australia and its people the Queen replied that she had enjoyed ‘meeting and talking to so many people over the past 10 days’.

Prince Albert of Monaco was present at the men’s final of the World Championship Figure Skating in Nice, France.

March 31st

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain witnessed a classroom fight during a visit to a school in Busselton, Western Australia. A 3-year-old turned and hit a classmate just as the Queen entered their classroom. The hit classmate burst into tears. The fighter then demanded, ‘What’s your name?’ to the Queen twice in succession. He didn’t receive a reply!

Senior Labour MP Tony Wright has said the controversy over the newest members of the British House of Lords underlines the need for further reform of the Upper Chamber. He said he feared ministers would like to shelve further Lords reform. Also Viscount Cranborne former Tory leader in the House of Lords has attacked on the award of a peerage to party Treasurer Michael Ashcroft, which he thinks is an affront to the dignity of Parliament. Current Tory leader in the Lords, Lord Strathclyde, said the row was being exploited to conceal Government moves to pack the House with Labour peers.

April 1st

Prince William of Great Britain and four friends participated in a bar karaoke competition in a Northern England hotel, singing YMCA of The Village People. It is said they brought the house down. The Prince was in Durham with 41 other Eton-pupils for a school field trip.

April 2nd

In a television programme the Dutch historian Van der Dunk pleaded for a scientific research into the past of the father of Máxima Zorreguieta. Voices are also heard telling Máxima should disassociate herself from her father. Máxima’s father was minister of agriculture during the bloody Argentinian junta of President Videla.

Since today 150 emperor lime-trees connect the local museum at Gottorp Castle with the ethnological section at the Hesterberg, giving back some old glory to the former Princes Garden (Fürstengarten) of Gottorp. The new avenue is called Schleswig-Holstein-Allee.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh are so embarrassed at the amount of swearing in modern plays that they have stopped going to the theatre, Sunday Telegraph reports. In an interview the Duke told that he and his wife feel uncomfortable because every time a swear word is uttered during a play; the audience will look at them to see their reaction.

April 3rd

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Henrik and three staff members landed by twin-otter from Greenland Airlines in the middle of nowhere to visit their son Crown Prince Frederik and his expedition members in the north of Greenland. During the 2 1/2 hour stay they talked with Frederik, had some coffee and cacao, and were invited on a short sledge ride on two sleighs.

A French archaeological team has discovered a 4000-year old pyramid in Sakkara, south of Cairo. The pyramid probably is of Queen Ankh-sn-Pepi, wife of Pharaoh Pepi. The sepulchral chamber includes a stone with texts of special prayers to protect the death.

A survey of a Dutch television programme tells us that most Dutchmen think that Queen Beatrix should abdicate when she turns 65 in three years. About 35 % of the questioned people think the Queen takes too much distance from her people. About 70 % of the Dutch think Crown Prince Willem-Alexander is ready to become a King. The most popular members of the royal family are Prince Claus and Princess Margriet.

April 4th

King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium arrived in the Netherlands for a three-day state visit. They were welcomed at Valkenburg airport near The Hague by Queen Beatrix and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje. In the afternoon the Belgian royal couple laid a wreath at the monument on the Dam Square in Amsterdam. Afterwards they sailed by boat to the KNSM-island in Amsterdam, together with Princess Margriet. In the evening the traditional state banquet was held in the Palace on the Dam.

Princess Mathilde of Belgium was in London, England. After a meeting with the Prince of Wales at St James’s Palace, she visited sick children in the hospital at Great Ormonde Street. The children there are fighting against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

A new British film on Princess Diana of Wales will be made, based on a bestseller biography on the princess. Actress Faye Dunaway will play a royalty-journalist of the British royal family.

The parliamentary standards watchdog, the Neil Committee, is beginning its inquiry into the conduct of peers. It will decide whether members of the House of Lords should be governed by a code of conduct and be obliged to register all their outside earnings. Lord Neill of Bladen will also look at disciplinary procedures and investigate machinery and penalties. A consultation paper is being published in the first stage of the inquiry.

April 5th

A local Romanian court has ruled that a state company must return the Savarsin Castle and its surroundings back to King Michail I of Romania. The company has 15 days to appeal the ruling. The King bought the castle in 1943. After the King had left the country it became a hospital, a private residence of late dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu and since 1989 it has been used for high-level tourism.

King Albert II of Belgium visited the Organisation against chemical conduct of war in The Hague, and declared in favour of signing the treaty about this question. After the visit he met with his wife Queen Paola and the prime minister of the Netherlands at the Binnenhof, the governmental centre of the Netherlands. Later at the day the couple visited the Amsterdam Arena, where soccer team Ajax houses.

Last night three drunken men were arrested in Amsterdam. One of the men wore a big wreath of flowers around his neck. After a short inspection it was found out that it was the wreath King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium had laid at the monument on the Dam Square the day before.

Wales’s ‘Elgin Marbles’ are coming home to mark the 600th anniversary of the last Welsh rebellion. The Pennal Letters of Owain Glyndwr (ca.1354-1415/16), the last Welsh national to claim the title Prince of Wales, are being lent to the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth by the Archives Nationales in Paris, France. Dating from 1406 and written in Latin Owain Glyndwr had sent the letters to the French King Charles VI seeking his support. The letters are named after a village near where Owain Glyndwr held his parliament.

Camilla Parker Bowles today covers The Mirror in swimsuit. She was secretly photographed on the island of Mauritius.

Prince Ernst August of Hannover sued British American Tobacco. The company now needs to remove posters for Lucky Strike cigarettes. The posters show a crumpled cigarette-box with the text: “Was it Ernst? Or August?”

April 6th

The historical Stadtschloss (City Palace) of Potsdam, Germany, once designed by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, will be rebuild, the municipality council decided yesterday evening. The second residence of the royal house of Prussia, made of red sandstone, has been destroyed and burned down in a British air raid in April 1945. The façades stayed but were fully removed in 1959 against the wish of the people.

King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium closed their state visit to the Netherlands, together with Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, by visiting ‘s-Hertogenbosch. They made a boat trip through the canals and visited the North-Brabant Museum. Thousands of enthusiastic people cheered and carried colourful balloons. The King and Queens received lots of flowers and gifts.

Maximilian Count of Bentheim-Tecklenburg has become engaged to Marissa Fortescue, daughter of the Hon. Seymour Fortescue and Mrs. Benjamin Bonas.

April 7th

Thom de Graaf, leader of the Democratic Party of the Netherlands (one of the governing parties), said in an interview on the Dutch news that the authority of Queen Beatrix needs to be curtailed. She should no longer be a part of the Government, but only the Head of State, and she should no longer be the chairwoman of the State Council. He says the Queen now sometimes becomes involved in political choices, which don’t have ministerial responsibility. That’s why he thinks the Queen also cannot play a role anymore in the formation of a new cabinet. He also wants to curtail the number of members of the royal house. De Graaf summons Prime Minister Wim Kok to talk about the issue with the Queen herself and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, before the last one takes over the throne. To change the position of the monarch a changing of the constitution is necessary.

The Consumer’s Association has claimed visitors to many leading British tourist attractions are being ripped off. Buckingham Palace came bottom of a survey of 300 tourist attractions carried out by the organisation. The survey described the Queen’s London home as sterile and inhuman. Canterbury Cathedral was also singled out for criticism – it was said by the Association to be ‘grasping’ for making visitors leave via a gift shop.

April 8th

In the Netherlands there came lots of reactions to the monarchal attack of the democrat leader yesterday. The Christian Democrats and the Liberal party say such changes would “amputate” the monarchy and they say it’s no modernisation. The leader of the Christian Democrat Party say the attack means a serious shortage to the dedication of the Queen. Also the labour party says to be satisfied with the functioning of the Queen, but doesn’t rule out a discussion about the monarchy in the 21st century. The vice-chairman of the State Council, Tjeenk Willink, says he doesn’t see the need to restrict the authority of Queen Beatrix. He says there is even more reason to think of a widening of the role of the Queen. He sees two fundamental functions for her: symbol of national unification and guarantee democracy. Both functions are under pressure right now and at such a moment you can’t fumble on it. Only the left (green) party reacted with enthusiasm to the statements of the democrats.

April 9th

Next month Prince Laurent of Belgium will take the oath as a senator. The Prince will be the 7th member of the Belgian royal family who becomes a senator.

Dutch Democrat leader Thom de Graaf says he is bewildered about the unbusinesslike reactions to his interview about the monarchy. He says it is apparently hard to detach the discussion from the question if the Queen works hard. De Graaf says that he respects and appreciates the Queen a lot, but he mentions that many people do not dare to think about the royal house. He thinks the Queen can do no wrong, but should leave decision-making to the Parliament and the cabinet.

Princess Zahra Aga Khan and her husband Mark Boyden are expecting their first child.

April 10th

Three prominent members of the Dutch labour party want to start a discussion inside the party about the abolition of the monarchy and the question if the country should get a chosen president. According to them citizens by order of other citizens fill all functions in turns. They say there is no reason to make an exception for the function of head of state. The suggestion will be discussed at the Party Congress later this year.

For the first time a huge light spectacle has been organised at the temple of pharaoh Ramses II and Queen Nefertari in Abu Simbel, Egypt. The computerised spectacle shall enlighten the four giant statues in the colours in which they were painted once. Most paint has disappeared now because of the erosion. The spectacle of light and sounds is meant to promote Egyptian tourism.

New Zealand is to drop the honorific titles of knight and dame in favour of a homegrown honours system, Prime Minister Helen Clark has announced. The change to a fully New-Zealand-based honours system has the approval of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The prime minister said: “The time has come to move on. Knights and Dames do seem to be a bit of a throwback to the past”. The change will come into effect before the Queen’s birthday honours on June 5th.

A public meeting is being held to discuss the proposed sale of a mountain range, the Black Cuillins, on the Isle of Skye. The head of the Clan MacLeod has said he is putting them up for sale with a 10m British pounds price tag. He claims he has been forced to sell to pay for repairs to the family’s Dunvegan Castle. Highland Council, which has called the meeting, says the mountains are an international landmark and should be acquired for the nation.

April 11th

At a meeting last night the inhabitants of the Isle of Skye and the Highland Council called for more research to establish whether the mountain range, the Black Cuillins, belong to John MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. So legal moves are considered to stop the clan chief from selling. No public body is expected to offer the 10m British pounds asking price.

Togbui Ngoryfia Olatidoye Kosi Cephas Bansah King of Hohu Ghana, who lives in Ludwigshafen, Germany, wants to marry for the third time. After two unsuccessful marriages in Germany, the 51-year-old King says to have found the love of his life in his girlfriend Gabriele Jung. The couple met five years ago, when Gabriele Jung came to the King’s workshop to let her car fixed. The King is reigning his people by fax and Internet after having finished work in the afternoon.

Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands finally gave a reaction to the monarchy discussion. He says he has no objection against a discussion about the future of the monarchy. But he thinks the Queen should stay a member of the government.

Another monarchy survey in the Netherlands. According to a news programme 27 % of the Dutch wants the Queen to have less political power, 65 % says it is fine like it is, and 6 % even says the Queen should get more political influence. 40 % is in favour of a discussion about the monarchy, as 48 % doesn’t like the idea. 15 % of the Dutch questioned wants a republic, 68 % wants to keep the monarchy. Some 75 % of the Dutch appreciates the way the Queen functions. Finally 44 % thinks hereditary succession is out of date, while another 44 % thinks hereditary succession is all right.

April 12th

Queen Fabiola and Prince Laurent welcomed King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan at the Laeken Castle, Belgium. The Jordan royal couple pays a two-day-visit to the country. King Albert II and Queen Paola who were supposed to welcome them, were not present, and the state dinner in the evening was cancelled. On Thursday the Jordan King will visit Waterloo, and later on meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chairman of the European Committee Romano Prodi.

Prince Rainier III of Monaco officially appeared in public for the first time after his operations in December and February. Together with his grandsons Andrea and Pierre Casiraghi he watched the football-match between Monaco and Nantes.

The Queen Mother has become a citizen of Volgograd in a ceremony marking her past work on behalf of the wartime population of the Russian city. Along with her later husband, King George VI of Great Britain, she helped organize aid for the citizens of what was then Stalingrad. Receiving the award in London, she told the city’s mayor that she had greatly admired the ‘fortitude’ of the people. Thousands died during the lengthy Nazi siege of Stalingrad.

April 13th

In the afternoon Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, who came back from their skiing-holidays in Switzerland, visited the hospital and talked with Queen Paola. King Albert II is said to do fine. Today no visitors were allowed at his bedside at the intensive care of the Hospital of Our Lady in Aalst.

Prince Laurent of Belgium has criticized the unbridled capitalism, the policy of the former Prime Minister Dehaene and some concrete companies. The Prince said that Belgium, thanks to them, will have the Euro but no ecology or justified distribution. He also pleaded for a top-500 of environmental conscious companies. He spoke as chairman of his environmental institute. In Belgium now the question is if a member of the royal house can do such social and political pronouncements. It is said not to be against the Constitution, but it is not according to royal tradition. Only the King could call to account the Prince on request of the Prime Minister.

This year Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is asked to arrange an exhibition with pieces of art out of the depots of the Amsterdam City Museum.

King Albert II of the Belgians underwent a two-and-a-half hour quadruple by-pass operation in the Hospital of Our Lady in Aalst. Pain in his chest started yesterday afternoon, and the King consulted his doctor. He was taken to a hospital in Brussels for some medical tests. First it was said he was extremely tired lately. Soon after midnight it was clear the King had heart problems. The operation was needed to prevent for an infarct. It is said the King does fairly well all things considered. Queen Paola has been with him in the hospital. The King surely needs to stay in hospital for about 10 days.

April 14th

Princess Marie of Liechtenstein, wife of Prince Hans Adam II, already celebrated her 60th birthday today.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark already got some flowers for her 60th birthday on Sunday.

In the morning King Albert II of the Belgians has left the intensive care of the Hospital of Our Lady in Aalst. Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt was the first visitor, followed by Prince Philippe, Princess Mathilde and Princess Astrid.

Last Saturday María, the daughter of Simoneta Goméz-Acebo y de Borbón and José Miguel Fernandéz y Sastron was baptized. She was born in January.

April 15th

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark invited 1200 guests for a ballet at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. Among the noble and royal guests were her own family (except for Crown Prince Frederik), her sisters with husbands and children, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Duke of Edinburgh, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will give an interview on the Dutch television on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of her accession to the throne. The interview has been broadcasted before the discussion about her political role started. It will be broadcasted on television on April 28th. Her role as a Queen is one of the items Queen Beatrix talks about.

While King Albert II of the Belgians has started revalidation today at the hospital, his wife Queen Paola, Prince Philippe -who celebrated his 40th birthday today -, Princess Mathilde, Princess Astrid and her husband Prince Lorenz, visited him. Many people bring flowers to the hospital for the King. Further Prince Laurent named a sailing ship in Antwerp, while Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde did the same in Oostende. Prince Philippe received many congratulations for his birthday.

April 16th

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark celebrated her 60th birthday today. The day started with a service in the church of Christiansborg Palace. Around noon the Queen appeared on the balcony of Amalienborg Palace. At 3:00 in the afternoon she started a carriage ride from the Amalienborg Palace to the Town hall of Copenhagen with escort of the Regiment of the Garde Husars. Between 50.000 and 100.000 people were standing in front of the balcony and along the route to cheer their Queen. In the evening some 350 guests were invited for a gala in the great hall of the Christiansborg Palace.

April 17th

On June 21st the Channel Island Jersey issues some post stamps on the occasion of the 18th birthday of Prince William of Great Britain. The stamps show the Prince on skies, playing polo and in evening dress. The fourth one shows him with Caernarvon Castle in Northern Wales, at least that was what the designer thought. After publishing the designs in a newspaper it was found out soon the castle on the stamp is the nearby Beaumaris Castle.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Queen Silvia were in a hurry on Saturday to pick up their children from the airport of Copenhagen. Their Ferrari and the cars, which followed them, a Rolls Royce and another Ferrari, rushed over the motorway with a speed of 240 km an hour it is said. The King has stated he drove too fast and made his excuses to the Danish people, but says he drove by far not as fast as it is said. But the police tell their cars couldn’t even keep up with the cars of the King.

April 18th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje arrived in Japan for a one-week visit on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Japanese-Dutch relations. He arrived near the place where the Dutch sailing ship ‘De Liefde’ (love) reached Japan on April 19th, 1600. The Prince and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan were present at the opening of the Holland Week in Oita later at the day.

The Serb government has complained by the United Nations for not being notified about the visit of Queen Noor of Jordan to Kosovo. They say that the fact that they weren’t notified violated the Serbian sovereignty.

April 19th

After 200 years a mystery is solved. A DNA-test on the heart of a little 10-year-old boy who died of tuberculosis imprisoned in the Temple of Paris, France, on June 8, 1795, proved it is of Louis XVII, the son of King Louis XVI of France who was beheaded in 1793. The DNA of the heart has been compared with the DNA of his mother Queen Marie-Antoinette and some other family members by researchers from Louvain, Belgium. Louis de Bourbon Duke of Anjou announced the results at a press conference, where next to the press also members of the French nobility were present. During the past 200 years several people have stated that Louis XVII had escaped during the French Revolution, married and had children. Descendants of these people now say they are sure the results of this DNA-test are false and that they keep on believe they descend from Louis XVII.

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje enjoyed some old Dutch games at the market in Nagasaki, Japan, at the start of the Edo Sanpu, a modern version of the court travels to the Japanese dignitaries Dutch merchants made in the 17th century. The modern Edo Sanpu uses three buses, which will drive through Japan.

April 20th

During a meeting in Nagasaki, Japan, Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan both held a speech. The Prince of Oranje said he hopes the celebration of 400 years Japanese-Dutch relations will not close Japanese eyes for the dark pages of World War II so that the relationship can straighten out, be strengthened and be renewed. He said to be sure that the people of Nagasaki, who suffered themselves so much during this war, would understand.

A new inquiry in the Netherlands says if the country will become a republic Prime Minister Wim Kok will have the best change to become the President. He got 28% of the votes. Queen Beatrix only got 3 % and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje only 2 % of the votes of the people questioned for this inquiry.

April 21st

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain celebrated her 74th birthday at Windsor Castle together with the Duke of Edinburgh. Children and grandchildren are expected on Sunday.

King Albert II of the Belgians has left hospital in the afternoon. He said goodbye to the medical staff and went home. Revalidation at home at Laeken Castle will take some more weeks.

An interesting story on Dutch TV-text. In the 60’s the British royal family almost became homeless. At the time the Government considered to expel the family from Buckingham Palace to save money, as the family had a huge amount of expenses. They were thinking of asking the family to look for an own residence and pay for it their selves, also for costs of staff and maintenance. The Prime Minister finally abandoned the plans and an arrangement with the family was made.

April 24th

At a press conference at the end of his Japanese trip Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje gave his opinion on the monarchy-discussion in the Netherlands at this moment. He said: “The monarchy is an institute that keeps up with the times. Exactly that is the power of the Dutch model. Otherwise it would have been abolished a long time ago.” He also indicated not to aspire a ceremonial role as a King. He said that his host Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan sometimes must have been jealous at him because of what he can and may do. Today Prince Willem-Alexander also said goodbye to Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Masako. The last one appeared in public for the first time after her December-miscarriage.

83 % of the Dutch people is in favour of a possible marriage between Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta. About 59 % thinks it is not necessary to find out what her father’s role was during his period as Minister of Agriculture. Just 17 % says her father cannot be allowed to attend the wedding, although 50 % says Máxima should publicly take distance from her father’s past and political actions. The new research appeared during the Easter weekend in which Máxima visited her family and friends in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Haakon Crown Prince of Norway spent three days in the snow around Easter in the high north of Norway with the Sami-people. He saw a stadion snow scooter cross (and of course tried a scooter himself), played a kind of hockey game and attended a concert of Mari Boine. The visit was highly appreciated by the people.

April 27th

Bernhard Prince of Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, and his fiancée Annette Sekrève have announced their civil wedding will take place in Utrecht on July 6th and the religious wedding in the Dom Church in Utrecht on July 8th.

Prince Claus of the Netherlands will be absent at the Queen’s Day celebration on Saturday and also at the commemoration ceremonies for World War II on May 4th and 5th. His health doesn’t permit to attend long meetings. At the moment the 73-year-old prince has to contend with intestine complaints and pain in his back.

April 28th

The Germans handed over the remaining parts of the Bernstein-room, a mosaic and a commode, to the Russian president Putin in the throne room of the Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg. The room, once called the eight miracle of the world, was given to Czar Peter I of Russia in 1716 by King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia, and disappeared in 1942 from the summer palace of Tsarskoie Selo, where it had been since 1755.

April 29th

Queen Beatrix and her family, except for Prince Claus, celebrated Queen’s Day in Katwijk and Leiden. For the first time Annette Sekrève, the fiancée of Prince Bernhard, was present. Despite of the rain the royal family was surprised with lots of music, dance, singing, games and of course presents. Thousands of people stood along the route. In an unexpected speech at the end of her visit Queen Beatrix thanked all people who organised the celebrations on Queen’s Day in the Netherlands for the past 20 years. She said Queen’s Day is always a great pleasure for the family. Along the route there were many banners with texts about Prince Claus and of course Máxima. It was said on television Máxima was in the Netherlands today.

April 30th

In a television interview Bruno Tobback, a Flemish Member of Parliament, pleaded for abolition of the political power of the Belgian King. He also criticised the Queens Fabiola and Paola, and Princess Mathilde, for not speaking Flemish well.

May 1st

The Daily Mail reports Camilla Parker Bowles is not invited at the party, which will be held on June 21st at Windsor Castle. The party celebrates the 100th birthday of the Queen Mother, the 70th birthday of Princess Margaret, the 50th birthday of the Princess Royal, the 40th birthday of the Duke of York and the 18th birthday of Prince William.

Princess Christina of the Netherlands is going to record a cd with Christmas carols this year, together with winners of the Princess Christina Contest and the Metropole Orchestra. The cd will be for sale in November. In December the Princess will sing some of the songs on Dutch television.

May 2nd

Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg gave birth to twins at the Maternité Grande Duchesse Charlotte in Luxembourg City today. The boy and girl are named Léopold and Charlotte. Mother and babies are in good health.

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveiled the National Canadian Liberation Monument in Apeldoorn to commemorate the Canadian soldiers who were killed during the liberation of the Netherlands.

In a television interview, which will soon be broadcasted, James Hewitt says he feels he let down the Army and the monarchy by having an affair with Diana Princess of Wales. He says to feel very guilty and that it would have been much easier if he’d been killed in the Gulf War, for everyone concerned.

May 3rd

At the Soestdijk Palace Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has taken off a march-past of 150 foreign war-veterans. Those veterans were flying in the bombers that dropped food above the Netherlands in 1945, at the end of World War II.

The Prince of Wales passed the night at the Monastery Vatopedi at the holy mountain Athos, in northeast Greece, accompanied by four bodyguards. The Prince ate together with the monks and attended the nightly prayers. As women are not allowed to set foot on the mountain, Camilla Parker Bowles, who cruises at the Aegean Sea with the Prince, had to stay on board of the ship.

May 4th

In the evening Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje attended a rememberance service at the New Church in Amsterdam. After the service they laid a wreath at the monument on the Dam Square and there were two minutes of silence to commemorate the deaths of World War II.

The Historical Museum in Hannover, the Bomann Museum in Celle and the Regional Museum in Braunschweig are planning to follow the track of the Welfs. Many members of the House of the Welfs (the Royal House of Hannover) have left their marks in Lower Saxony, the region of Germany where the museums are. The aim of the project is to trace these marks and reveal the significance of the Welfes in the history of the region.

May 5th

Yesterday the Daily Mirror published parts of an interview the Duke of York gave to Tatler Magazine, in which it will be published in the June edition. The Duke of York granted the interview to promote the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a charity he is representing as chairman of its campaign against child abuse. Amongst others the Duke is looking back on the enormous pressures that destroyed his marriage, the endless invitations and requests to perform royal duties, as well as a demanding naval career away from home, and acknowledges he is partly to blame himself for not asking for help of his family and not noticing the bells ringing that something was wrong, until it was too late. He says he and his wife once calculated they only saw each other 40 or 50 days a year at one stage, so it wasn’t surprising what eventually happened. The Duke also explained that remarrying his former wife remains a possibility. He doesn’t rule it out and he doesn’t rule it in. But if it happens they both will be determined not to make nonsense of it again. The couple is still living together at Sunninghill, together with their two daughters, and that benefits all of them the Duke says.

May 6th

The Volksunie (Popular Union) in Belgium says they don’t longer want children of a King to become a senator by law. They also plead for less power of the King, like not confirming laws and not having influence on the formation of the government anymore. Prince Philippe as well as Princess Astrid are senators by law, and Prince Laurent will take the oath at the end of this month.

It is said the Duke of Edinburgh is absolutely against a remarriage between his son Andrew, the Duke of York, and his former wife Sarah. Reactions from royal experts in newspapers also indicate that the royal family will not be happy when it should come to a marriage between the Duke and Duchess of York.

May 7th

Near Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn the last national march-past for Canadian war veterans was held. Princess Margriet of the Netherlands took it off. Also her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven was present. More than 300.000 people were standing along the route to watch the 4000 war-veterans pass.

May 8th

On a press conference in Tokyo, Emperor Akihito unexpectedly said to regret the grief World War II caused in the Netherlands. He thinks it is unfortunate that the war damaged the history of good relations between Japan and the Netherlands. He said his heart hurts when he thinks about all the victims the war made and that even now people suffer pain because of their then experiences. The expressions of the Emperor come two weeks before the Japanese imperial couple pays an official visit to the Netherlands.

In Jerez de la Frontera King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain surprisingly took part in the 15-minute silence to commemorate the death of journalist Lopez de Lacalle on Sunday morning, and to demonstrate against the violence of the ETA. The ETA, the national movement of the Basque people, killed the journalist.

May 9th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain inaugurated the first new footbridge across the River Thames in London for nearly a century. The Millennium Bridge links St Paul’s Cathedral and the new Tate Gallery for modern art. However the bridge is not finished yet and will not be open to the public until June.

May 10th

The former cook of the Zorreguieta family, Mrs Pacifio-de Monges, arranged a book full of recipes from the family, together with Dutch television-cook Lonny Gerungan. The recipes show the normal food of the family, but also party food. The book is dedicated to Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta. The book also contains the story of Máxima’s life. Big business!

Richard MacDonald, the principal of the Swiss Aiglon College, is in prison on suspicion of abusing his own children. In March it was reported that an unknown man sexually assaulted three teenage girls at the school. Princess Beatrice of York is to attend the College in September.

Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is to embark on a 55-day tour of Latin America at the end of May in a move to drum up investments.

May 11th

Infanta Cristina of Spain and her husband Iñaki Urdangarín are expecting their second child in November.

After the nearby bridge Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain also opened the Tate Modern Gallery in London. The building is the largest modern art gallery in the world.

According to the German ‘Bild’ newspaper the police investigates a possible drug offence against hereditary prince Heinrich zu Fürstenberg. During a house search in his house in Donaueschingen, Germany, it seems evidence has been found. It is said he bought two kilograms of cocaine in Rome, Italy.

May 12th

Yesterday Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (88) underwent surgery in the Academic Hospital in Utrecht. Amongst others a small part of the small intestine was removed. This morning it was said he had some problems with the two hours narcosis. In the afternoon Queen Beatrix visited her father. In the evening it was confirmed he suffers of neurological problems after the operation. Although it is rumoured the Prince had a stroke, the royal house doesn’t want to confirm awaiting further check-ups. The Prince is on the Intensive Care.

The BBC has been condemned after it said it would not broadcast the 100th birthday pageant for the Queen Mother in July. The pageant will involve 5000 people from the charities of which the Queen Mother is a patron and a 1000-strong military parade. A spokeswoman said the BBC was spending £1m on a series of birthday tributes.

May 13th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje opened the renovated Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. He lit the Olympic flame. The stadium was built for the Olympic Games of 1928. Some years ago protests against a demolition saved the stadium, and a renovation began.

Prince Bernhard can’t complain about the attention he gets from his family. Queen Beatrix, Princess Margriet, Pieter van Vollenhoven, and the Princes Maurits, Bernhard, Pieter-Christiaan and Floris visited him today. The condition of the Prince is stable now. He breathes independent but needs some support for his blood pressure. On Monday the doctors want to repeat some examinations.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway gave an interview in which he told about the relationship with his girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby

May 14th

In the morning Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visited the town of Enschede, where yesterday afternoon a fireworks warehouse caught fire and some 100-ton of firework exploded. It is feared about 20 people have died, including some fire fighters and there are more than 400 people wounded, of which some 60 are still in hospital. Several blocks of houses are fully swept away and 2000 people had to be evacuated. Together with Prime Minister Wim Kok Queen Beatrix visited the distressed area. Afterwards she visited the homeless victims in a sports-hall and tried to comfort them. She also spoke with relief assistants, who also came from nearby Germany and Belgium. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh sent a message of condolence to Queen Beatrix to express their profound shock after the tragedy.

Stamps featuring four generations of the Royal Family of Great Britain are being issued to commemorate the 100th birthday of the Queen Mother. The Royal Mail is producing a sheet of four stamps featuring portraits of the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and Prince William.

May 15th

Princess Tatjana von und zu Liechtenstein and her husband Philipp von Lattorff became the proud parents of Lukas Maria. The little boy was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, on May 13th.

May 16th

The royal palace in Norway has installed a live web camera on the palace square on the occasion of the national feastday tomorrow.

King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain pay a state visit to Belgium. Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde were on the airport of Brussels to pick them up. At the royal palace King Albert II and Queen Paola welcomed them. One scary incident: a man climbed over the fences and hurried to King Albert II. The man was arrested and it turned out to be a former Spanish priest who had been trying to attack the Pope in Portugal some years ago, and had served seven years in prison for that offence. The Kings and Queens later went to the town hall of Brussels where they appeared on the balcony. In the evening a state dinner was held in the Laeken Castle.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands is doing a little bit better step by step. Doctors have more confidence in a recovery. The Prince is conscious and reacts well on questions.

May 17th

The man, who was arrested in Brussels yesterday, is accused of attacking King Albert II of Belgium, and of slapping a policeman.

ITV is to broadcast the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday pageant live. The move comes after the BBC turned down screening the event live.

May 18th

A guard of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden, was shot dead at the inner court of the palace. It seems another guard accidentally hit him.

The royal couple of Spain spent their last evening in Belgium watching a Middle-Ages costume play, amongst others featuring Emperor Charles V, on the Big Market in Brussels. Tomorrow before leaving they will visit the King Baudouin Memorial.

In the evening it was announced the health of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has suddenly gotten much worse. Queen Beatrix arrived in hospital in Utrecht shortly after the Government Information Service announced the news.

May 19th

Last Wednesday Humeyra Ozbas (83), the granddaughter of Turkey’s last Ottoman Sultan Vahdeddin (who went into exile in 1924 and died in 1926), has died of a heart attack at her home in the Aegean resort of Kusadasi. She was the only member of the Ottoman dynasty to be allowed back into Turkey during the early years of the republic. Humeyra Ozbas was the daughter of Ismail Hakki and Ulviye Sultan and married to Halil Ozbas, who is still alive. A son, a daughter and four grandchildren survive her.

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje participated in the 3-kilometer silent walk through Enschede to commemorate the victims of the firework- warehouse explosion a few days ago. About 100.000 people, much more than expected, also participated in the emotional walk. After the walk the Prince drove to Utrecht to visit his grandfather.

Queen Beatrix stayed with her father in the hospital until 3:30 in the night. Her sister Princess Irene stayed until late in the morning. Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands visited Prince Bernhard in the afternoon. At the end of the afternoon also Princess Christina arrived from abroad. The situation of the Prince is a little bit better now. He seems to have had a calm night. Yesterday he suddenly had problems breathing. Today he breathes himself again. Prime Minister Wim Kok said that at the moment there is no reason to cancel the state visit of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan next week.

The Crown Prince of Dubai won Egypt’s first 100-kilometer horse race, beating out his two sons. His horse Falah crossed the desert in 5 hours and 34 minutes.

May 21st

Romantic novelist Dame Barbara Cartland died at the age of 98. She died in her sleep after a short illness. She wrote 723 books with estimated sales of 1 billion copies in 36 languages. Her first novel appeared in 1925. She married twice. Her daughter Raine became the stepmother of Diana Princess of Wales. Barbara Cartland leaves two sons, one daughter, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

May 22nd

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands is slowly recovering. The doctors hope he can leave the intensive care later this week.

Princess Ehrengard of Prussia gave the starting shot for the World Championships pile-sitting in the Heidepark Soltau.

May 23rd

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan started their four-day-long state visit to the Netherlands. They were welcomed by Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus. First they laid a wreath at the Monument on the Dam Square in Amsterdam, cheered by some thousands of people. Later they visited the Van Gogh Museum. In the evening a state banquet in the Palace on the Dam was held, where both Emperor Akihito and Queen Beatrix held speeches in which they both referred to the victims of World War II.

May 24th

Dame Barbara Cartland has been buried in a cardboard coffin in the grounds of her Hertfordshire mansion, Camfield Place, in a private ceremony attended by family and close friends.

Prince Alexandre de Merode has retired from all his functions in the International Olympic Committee. He stays a normal member. Since 1964 the Prince is a member of the IOC. He was chairman of the Medical Commission since 1967. He was member of the general committee between 1980 and 1990, and was for eight years one of the four vice-chairmen.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan visited a school for disabled children in the morning. Thereafter they had lunch in The Hague, amongst others with Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands. They also paid a visit to the Palace of Peace. Besides some demonstrators it stayed quiet.

The health problems Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands had last Thursday were caused by a piece of a bridge-construction broken off from his teeth. That piece entered his gullet. After the discovery it was removed.

Princess Caroline of Monaco lost a lawsuit against the publishing of a photo of her in swimming-suit, because the photo was taken in a public swimming pool.

May 25th

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands left intensive care. He now stays at the medium care in the same hospital in Utrecht.

Christina Baroness Silfverschiöld and her husband Hans de Geer af Finspång, who married in September 1999, are expecting their first child in September. Christina is the daughter of Princess Désirée of Sweden and Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld.

Yesterday-evening after a phone call with IOC-president Juan Antonio Samaranch, Prince Alexandre de Merode decided to stay on as the chairman of the Medical Commission of the IOC.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan went to Leiden in the morning and to big fright of the Japanese security they talked to people who were there to see them. They visited the town hall of Rotterdam, made a walk in the town and had lunch in the World Trade Centre. About 2000 people cheered the imperial couple and Queen Beatrix who accompanied them. In the evening the couple visited Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn, where Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven received them.

May 26th

The Sirius 2000 expedition celebrated the 32nd birthday of Crown Prince Frederik at Nanok Station, Greenland. They had a resting day, played cards, drank coffee, etc. In the beginning of June they hope to reach Daneborg, and mid June Mestervik.

Prince Machari Ibn Abdel Aziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia died earlier this week of an illness. He was one of the 44 brothers of King Fahd.

I finally managed to translate the interview Crown Prince Haakon of Norway gave on May 13th, concerning his relationship with Mette-Marit Tjessem Hojby. Thanks to Maria for her help.

Dr Richard Wiseman, lecturer in the paranormal, is to install ghost-busting equipment at Hampton Court Palace. The hunt is on for the ghost of Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII of England. She was accused of adultery and executed at the Tower of London in 1542. The young queen’s ghost is still said to haunt the gallery at Hampton Court Palace where she tried to beg for the King’s mercy.

May 27th

Don Gonzalo de Borbón y Dampierre, a cousin of King Juan Carlos I of Spain, died in the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland, of leucemia.

May 30th

The Dutch Parliament gave permission for the marriage of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Van Vollenhoven, and Annette Sekrève. This means the Prince will keep the right of succession to the throne. The couple’s civil marriage will take place at the Paushuize in Utrecht on July 6th, the religious wedding in the Dom Church in Utrecht on July 8th.

May 31st

Today the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, was opened. Public will be welcome from June 1st to October 31st, 2000. Several royal visitors are expected. Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands plan a visit on June 6th, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh on June 8th, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden on June 14th, on June 15th Prince Rainier III of Monaco with Princess Caroline and Prince Ernst August of Hannover, and on August 11th Queen Rania of Jordan.

Prince Laurent of Belgium took the oath as a senator by law. In his speech the Prince gave his vision at the milieu of living and underlined ecology, social fairness and economy. When he welcomed the Prince the chairman of the Senate warned him to be careful when he holds speeches.

During the research for the documentary “Hitler in Belgium” the Belgian television-programme “Histories” found some unpublished documents. Until now it was known that at the very end of June 1940 King Leopold III of Belgium let know Hitler – via intermediaries – that he was willing to meet him. In the German archives the documentary-makers found a telex dated June 22nd, 1940, the day of the French capitulation. Probably King Leopold III had wanted to follow the example of French marshal Pétain, and reign in a part of Belgium with the permission of the Germans.

June 1st

On May 30th, 11:30 in the evening, the Expedition Sirius 2000 finally arrived in Daneborg. Until June 6th they can take a rest. Only Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Michael Banks will fly to Mestervig with sleighs and other equipment, from where it will be flown back to Denmark. All members of the expedition will fly to Qaanaaq on June 6th. The dogs will stay in Daneborg with the Sirius Patruljen. Finally on June 10th the six members of the expedition leave for Thule Air Base and will fly to Denmark from there. They will arrive at Kastrup, the airport of Copenhagen in the morning of June 14th.

June 3rd

The Prince of Wales gave a party on the occasion of the 60th birthday of King Konstantinos II of Greece. Amongst others Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, her sister Benedikte with her husband Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and King Harald of Norway were present. The most remarkable fact of this party was that both Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Camilla Parker Bowles came. Camilla was officially introduced to the Queen for the first time and they had a 10-minute conversation.

In Oostende, Belgium, Queen Fabiola unveiled a statue of the late King Baudouin of Belgium at the dyke in front of the former little royal palace.

June 4th

The Prince of Wales took the salute from British and French Dunkirk veterans for the last time. Veterans associations from both nations have chosen the 60th anniversary of the evacuation to officially disband. The Prince further visited the Little Ships which made the pilgrimage across the Channel on Friday. The Prince of Wales also watched an airdrop by hundreds of British and French troops to mark the capture of Pegasus Bridge on D-Day and also opened a new museum to commemorate the event.

The British police arrested four members of the Movement Against the Monarchy in front of Buckingham Palace. Last month the MAM, on her website, asked its members and sympathizing people to show a bare bottom. They hoped for thousands of people to show up in front of Buckingham Palace, but finally only four (one drunk) came of which only one showed his bare bottom.

June 6th

Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje visited the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. They had a look at the Dutch and the German pavilion and a theme park.

In France the Duke of Edinburgh unveiled a monument dedicated to soldiers killed in the D-Day landing in Normandy exactly 56 years ago.

Both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal have dismissed fears over genetic manipulated food expressed by the Prince of Wales. The Duke of Edinburgh among others said that GM food would cause less environmental damage than grey squirrels. The Princess Royal later played down her part in the royal rift a bit, saying she was keeping an open mind on the benefits of danger.

June 8th

The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. It was the first time the couple visited Germany together officially. Other royals also plan to visit the Expo 2000. Until now it is said King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden come on June 14, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium on June 22, Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark on June 27, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain on July 19, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan on August 11, Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand on August 12 and last but not least King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway on September 6.

June 9th

Princess Ragnhild of Norway celebrated her 70th birthday – together with her husband Erling Lorentzen and her three children and four grandchildren – with a party at Bygdøy Kongsgård. About 80 guests were invited. Among the guests were King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Märtha.

June 10th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Prince Claus, Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Philippe & Mathilde, Grand Duke Jean, Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte, Hereditary Grand Duke Henri and his wife Maria Teresa of Luxembourg were among the people who attended the opening match of the European Championships Football in the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium. The EC is held in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Princess Madeleine of Sweden celebrated her 18th birthday.

June 11th

St James’s Palace is to report the News of the World to the Press Complaints Commission for publishing a set of pictures of Prince William at Eton. The paper will be reported for alleged intrusion after printing pictures of the prince running and playing sports. A palace spokeswoman said the privacy of Prince Charles’s sons at school was of paramount importance. She said the princes should be free to go to school without interruption.

Scotland Yard confirmed that a small cannabis plant (hashish) was found in the kitchen of Buckingham Palace. It is said Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is furious and wants to find out who is responsible for it. The plant was discovered after a report of a member of staff.

June 12th

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden attended some festivities that marked the 450th anniversary of Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

The Sun reports that the Duchess of York is invited to Prince William’s 18th birthday party at Windsor Castle on June 21st, and thus joins her former husband and her two daughters. The Duchess of York hasn’t been on an official royal guest list since the funeral of the Princess of Wales in September 1997. Buckingham Palace didn’t yet confirm the report.

An inquiry by the British newspaper The Guardian shows that the British royal family never has been so unpopular as at this moment, especially among the younger people. 44 % thinks the country will be better off without a monarchy. Almost 50 % of the Britons want Prince William to succeed his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.

The Prince of Wales pays a two-day visit to Northern Ireland. The Prince will carry out engagements in towns across Northern Ireland, including a garden party at Hillsborough Castle.

June 13th

Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra attended the opening of an exhibition in Hamburg-Altona, Germany. The exhibition ‘Danmark til Hamborg- Dänische Kultur zu Gast 2000’ (Denmark to Hamburg-Danish culture as a guest 2000). The exhibition tells about the work made in Altona by the Danish architect Christian Frederik Hansen (1756-1845). This part of Germany was a part of Denmark in that time.

June 14th

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark returned to Copenhagen after five months. He and the five other members of the Sirius 2000 expedition finished their great journey through the north of Greenland, from Qaanaaq to Daneborg, two weeks ago. A few days before they left Greenland, Frederik told in an interview: “It’s going to feel very strange to be back in Copenhagen. I haven’t decided yet how long I will stay there.” Frederik will join the Danish air force to earn a pilot’s license. He also plans to visit the Olympic Games in Sydney later this year. The Danes by the way hope their future King will finally settle down. Just after the members of the expedition arrived in Copenhagen in the morning Jonathan Motzfeldt, the premier of Greenland, announced that a big area in the north of Greenland, southern of Perry Land, from now on will bear the name Kronprins Frederiks Land (Nuna Kunngissaq Frederik = Crown Prince Frederik’s Land). He said that several parts of Greenland are named after Kings, but that Frederik is the only one who has ever set foot in the area that bears his name.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was discharged from hospital and is back home again at Soestdijk Palace. Further revalidation will take place there. The Government Information Service announced that the Prince hopes to pass his holidays in Italy as usual and wants to take up his duties after the summer holidays.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden were cheered by some hundreds of people during their visit to the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. The King opened the Swedish pavilion. The royal couple also visited the German pavilion.

June 15th

Cheered by about 1000 people Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Prince Albert, Princess Caroline and Prince Ernst August of Hannover arrived at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. They were welcomed with music. After a visit to the German pavilion they had lunch. In the evening there was a party at Celle Castle, for which 200 people were invited. It is reported that Prince Ernst August of Hannover drank too much alcohol and collapsed. He was brought to hospital in Celle and afterwards to Hannover.

The first historical building of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany) Castle Foundation has been restored completely. Castle Hohenzieritz, where Queen Luise of Prussia died in 1810, will be handed over officially on July 19th, the day the Queen died. Already on June 25th the castle will be opened for the public. The castle was built halfway the 18th century.

June 16th

Empress Dowager Nagako, the 97-year-old widow of Emperor Hirohito of Japan who died in 1989, died in an Imperial Palace medical facility (at her residence Fukiage-Omiya Gosho) on Friday afternoon at 4:46 (Japanese time) after suffering breathing difficulties since Wednesday. She fell into a coma on Friday morning (Japanese time) after her blood pressure dropped. She hadn’t been seen in public officially since 1987, and she has been sitting in a wheelchair since 1980.

On the 5th place of the newest list of the richest people in the world we find Prince Al-Walid Bin Talal Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, with about 10 billion dollars.

An inquiry is under way after a royal police officer accidentally fired a shot on board of the royal train of Great Britain. Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh were asleep in a separate carriage when the incident happened yesterday morning.

June 17th

Prince William of Great Britain has given an interview in which he gave written answers to Press Association questions. He thanked the media for letting him enjoy his school days without being followed by cameras. He is grateful to the media for helping protecting his privacy, and hopes he can enjoy the same freedom at University. He said he is going to study history of art in one year. He first takes a year off. He also said he feels uncomfortable with media attention. The Queen meanwhile has approved a request by Prince William not to be called His Royal Highness. The Prince would normally assume the HRH title on his 18th birthday on Wednesday. But in discussions with his father he suggested it would be more appropriate to adopt the title once he undertook solo public duties.

Nicholas Knatchbull, the 19-year-old great-grandson of the late Lord Mountbatten, was arrested on Thursday with a quantity of cannabis, believed to have a street value of about 25 dollars. He was arrested at Eton along with a male and a female friend.

Thousands line up at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to sign the condolence book for Empress Dowager Nagako who died yesterday.

Members of the Royal Family of Great Britain gathered at the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony – Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday. The Queen Mother’s carriage led the procession along The Mall. The Queen took the salute at the military on London’s Horse Guards. The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Kent took part mounted on horseback.

The Turkish media is very angry after the German magazine Bild says Prince Ernst August of Hannover has piddled against the front of the Turkish pavilion at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. The Turks want him to apologise. The Prince himself left hospital again after collapsing at the party after the visit to the Expo 2000.

June 18th

The Sunday Times wrote that the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles are thinking of marrying in a Scottish church. Unlike the English Anglican Church, the Scottish church allows divorced people to remarry in church. Also the Princess Royal remarried in Scotland in 1992.

June 19th

Prince Ernst August of Hannover is accused by head editor Anne-Kathrin Berger of Bild Magazine of making phone calls to the editorial office on Sunday, after Bild wrote about him piddling against the Turkish pavilion at the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. Berger said she was asked to record the phone calls that were very offensive and threatening.

June 20th

The Prince of Wales and his girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles have stepped out together to attend a semi-official engagement. In London they hosted a private dinner in aid of the Prince’s foundation.

June 21st

100 guests were invited for the dinner at Windsor Castle, and another 700 people were invited for the ball afterwards, The big royal birthday party was held at Windsor Castle to celebrate this year’s special birthdays: the 100th birthday of the Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the 70th birthday of Princess Margaret, the 50th birthday of Anne Princess Royal, the 40th birthday of Andrew Duke of York and the 18th birthday of Prince William. Prince William however missed the party because he has an A-level exam tomorrow. Among the guests were lots of royals: most members of the British royal family, some German relatives of the Duke of Edinburgh, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, King Konstantinos II of Greece, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Princess Benedikte of Denmark and her husband Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein- Berleburg. Also invited were the Duchess of York and Andrew Parker Bowles, former husband of Camilla Parker Bowles (who did not attend herself).

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange visited the European Championship match between the Netherlands and France in the Amsterdam Arena. They saw the Netherlands win.

June 22nd

Prince Charles Napoleon announced that he is going to run for mayor of Ajaccio, the Corsican city where his family is originally from.

Prince Philippe of Belgium visited the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. The Belgian press said he was an example for how royals should behave (in connection with Prince Ernst August of Hannover who was not well behaved).

The Duke and Duchess of York have delayed sending Princess Beatrice to Aiglon College, Villars, Switzerland. The school was hit by a sex scandal recently. In the meantime the Princess will go to St George’s School in Ascot, England.

June 25th

The Prince of Wales unveiled a blue plaque on a house in Belgravia, London (2 Wilton Crescent), that was once the home of his favourite and highly influential great-uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten – who was killed by an IRA-bomb in 1979. Mountbatten’s two daughters Patricia Countess Mountbatten of Burma and Lady Pamela Hicks, and several of their children and grandchildren also attended the simple pavement ceremony.

Bild Magazine reports that the high nobility in Germany keeps Prince Ernst August of Hannover at a distance, being very angry about his recent behaviour. The magazine quotes amongst others Prince Michael of Prussia and Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. They say the Prince gives the nobility a bad name. Nobility is supposed to function as an example for other people.

June 27th

Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark visited the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany on the national day of Denmark. More than thousand people waving with little Danish flags cheered them.

The Lord Mayor of London, Martin, gave a banquet in the historical Guildhall, the town hall of London, to start the celebrations around Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s 100th birthday. 500 people were invited. The Queen Mother attended herself and was very pleased with the painting she got as a birthday present.

June 28th

New guidelines on newspaper coverage of Prince William of Great Britain after he leaves Eton at the end of this week are outlined by the Press Complaints Commission. They urged continued co-operation between editors and the Palace to avoid a free for all and continued restriction as the prince is entitled to privacy like any other public figure. PCC’s chairman Lord Wakeham also warned that endless intrusion over Prince William’s future girlfriends would make his life a misery. Papers should check facts and consider the impact of wrong or intrusive tales. Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales have issued a joined statement welcoming the new guidelines and say “Lord Wakeham’s speech underlines the importance of personal privacy for all young people. It also recognises the special position of Prince William and the legitimate public interest in him.”

The British royal family has made savings of more than £5m on official royal travel and maintenance of occupied royal palaces in 1999-2000, annual reports say. Savings were made by reduced use of aircraft and more helicopter flights.

British Cabinet Office Minister Mo Mowlam has apologised for any hurt caused in suggesting the British royal family might move out of Buckingham Palace and live in a less expensive and more modern accommodation. She said she supported a modernised monarchy and palaces open to the public as public museums and galleries. Two days ago an interview appeared in a magazine in which Mowlam said that “If people want a monarch of the new century they should have a palace of the new century.”

Prince Ernst August of Hannover defended himself, placing a huge one-page advertisement in the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung (newspaper) which costed him about 30.000 dollars. He said he has piddled when he visited the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, but not against the walls of the Turkish pavilion nor in the Turkish area around the pavilion. He said he and his family are big admirers of the Turkish culture and country.

June 29th

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands celebrates his 89th birthday today with his family at the Palace of Soestdijk. He is said to watch the semi-final of the European Championships football between Italy and the Netherlands this evening. Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje is present at the match dressed in a suit, but with an orange coloured vest (waistcoat) and tie, so he looks a bit like a normal supporter of the Dutch team.

The opening tomorrow of a playground and an 11-kilometres-long foot-path through Kensington Gardens named after the late Diana Princess of Wales, shall not be attended by a member of the British royal family. They were sent invitations, but they didn’t accept.

June 30th

The first official memorial to Diana Princess of Wales has opened in London’s Kensington Gardens. The Memorial Committee arranged a refurbished children’s playground and a seven-mile walk through London parks. Diana’s godchild Domenica Lawson, aged 5, opened the Peter Pan play area. The Prince of Wales was said to have a prior engagement. The Princes William and Harry didn’t attend for personal and private reasons.

On June 25, Prince Guillaume and Princes Sibilla of Luxembourg presented their twins, born on May 2nd, at the font of Saint Michael’s Church in Luxembourg City. They were baptised Léopold Guillaume Marie Joseph and Charlotte Wilhelmina Maria da Gloria.

July 1st

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden opened the tunnel and the bridge over the Øresund. Also Prince Henrik and Queen Silvia were present. For the first time in history Denmark and Sweden have a direct road-connection, before you had to take the boat. Foot-passengers were already able to make use of the road since Whitsun. After today also the train and cars can make use of the connection. An 8-kilometres-long tunnel starting from Copenhagen-Kaastrup airport ends on an artificial island in the middle of the Øresund, and from there an 8-kilometres long cable-span bridge connects the artificial island with Malmö in Sweden.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opened the event Simmer 2000 (Summer 2000) in Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands that has its own language (Frisian) and culture. 12.000 people attended the huge opening show in the capital Leeuwarden. In the next few weeks lots of small events have been organised. Some ten thousands of emigrants from all over the world are expected to return to their homeland for a few weeks.

Princess Mathilde of Belgium passed the second license of her psychology studies at the catholic university of Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve with distinction.

For the first time in the history of the British monarchy female guards protect the monarch. The four female soldiers that will do their duty in front of Buckingham Palace until July 20th, are from the Australian contingent that guards Buckingham Palace in Australian Week.

The Duchess of Gloucester, honorary president of the Lawn Tennis Association, presented 65 of past and present Wimbledon tennis champions a specially created crystal plate. The Champion’s Parade on the Centre Court featured amongst others John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and 1931 winner Sidney Ward.

Next round in the ‘Piddle-affair’. Bild magazine placed a counter-advertisement in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and said the photo they published was unmistakable. Prince Ernst August of Hannover afterwards placed another big advertisement in the European edition of the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, in which he admitted having piddled against the Turkish pavilion, but without the intention to harm the Turks. He said to be very sorry. Meanwhile the city of Hannover issued they will find out if they can charge the Prince for the piddling.

July 2nd

Tennis greats Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe faced each other in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in a charity event hosted by the Duke of York in aid of an NSPCC’s campaign to stop child abuse. The event also showed a mixed doubles match featuring Russian star Anna Kournikova. John McEnroe won the single match. The Duchess of York watched as the Duke of York and their daughters Beatrice and Eugenie presented trophies to both players.

A poll for the Mail on Sunday claims the British Royal Family is more popular with the British people than at any other time in the past decade. It says 71% of the people are happy with the Queen’s performance as monarch and 75% said Buckingham Palace should remain the family’s official residence. But 55% thought the Royals are out of touch with life in Great Britain today and 64% said they should receive less cash. Meanwhile another newspaper claims that the Prince of Wales told his friends he hates Buckingham Palace and that the palace will never be the official royal residence when he is the King.

The Princess Royal has inspected the burnt out hostel in Childers, Australia, where 15 backpackers, among them Australians, Britons and Dutchmen, died some more than a week ago. She laid a bouquet of white flowers at the memorial to those who died in the fire. Survivors said they felt very privileged the Princess had taken the time to come to the scene of the fire and meet them.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain fired six servants who are under investigation for allegedly stealing 72 bottles of champagne meant for the Royal birthday party on June 21.

July 4th

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands will not attend the official parts of the civil nor of the religious wedding of his grandson and namesake Prince Bernhard and his fiancée Annette Sekrève. He is still recovering from the complications he suffered after his operation.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is to get a pay freeze for the next 10 years. The Civil List, paid by taxpayers for the upkeep of the British Royal Family, will remain at £7,9m a year until 2010.

July 5th

The wedding of Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and Annette Sekrève can be watched live both days on the site of the Dutch television.

On July 8th Groningen, the town where Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and Annette Sekrève met each other during their studies, comes up with special ‘congratulations’ to the pair. After paying you can climb the 251 steps of the tower of the cities pride, the St Martin’s Church, with a glass in the hand. On the top the glass will be filled with orange liqueur.

July 6th

The civil wedding of Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and Annette Sekrève took place at Paushuize in Utrecht.

The Dutch television showed parts of video shots made of Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje, Máxima Zorreguieta and her parents last weekend in Prague, Czechia, by reporters of a Dutch gossip magazine. On one of the, mostly very vague shots, Willem-Alexander and Máxima were even hugging each other. One of the reporters even managed to talk with Máxima pretending to be a Dutch tourist who didn’t know the way. She told Máxima spoke the Dutch language very well. The Dutch magazine pretends to know the couple and her parents talked about the contract of ‘ marriage.

July 8th

The religious wedding of Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and Annette Sekrève took place in the Dom church in Utrecht.

Another royal wedding took place in Ellingen, Germany. Princess Désirée of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach married Count Florian von und zu Hoensbroech in the local St. Georg Church. The bride wore a beautiful silk dress with a 4 metres long train. The veil was a very old (from 1804) heirloom brought into the family by grand duchess Marija Pavlovna of Russia. Her father, Prince Wilhelm Ernst, gave Desirée away to the groom. After the 2-hours long service, attended by 450 guests, the bride, groom, pages and bridesmaids left in a carriage with two horses in front of it, to the Ellinger Sommerkeller, where the reception was held. Among the guests were Archduchess Regina of Austria, Prince Rasso of Bavaria and the Prince zu Fugger Babenhausen. Already on Friday evening there had been a soiree for which 220 guests were invited.

Even the Queen Mother will receive a birthday card from her daughter for her 100th birthday, like all other Britons who reach that age. It is said the Queen Mother is already looking forward to receive it.

Prince Albert of Monaco took part in the European Championships bobsleigh starting on the big market square in Groningen, the Netherlands. He even posed for a photo session. Why does he always come to Groningen when I am not home!

July 9th

Mohamed al-Fayed has written to the British royal family to say they are welcome to shop at his London store Harrods, but without the Duke of Edinburgh. Earlier this year the Duke announced his intention to withdraw his Royal Warrant, because of a decline in his trading relationship with the store.

July 10th

Euro Business Magazine published a list of the 200 richest women in the world, according to them. Among them Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who should have about £ 2,1 billion, and Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, who seems to have about £ 1,9 billion.

July 11th

The British royal family, out in force, joined Queen Mother Elizabeth – who was dressed in pink – at St Paul’s Cathedral in London for a thanksgiving service in celebration of her 100th birthday. The Queen Mother will be 100 on August 4th. Among the 2500 people present were centenaries from all over Great Britain who share her 100th birthday year. Also royalty from a number of other European Countries honoured the Queen Mother. Among them were King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, Felipe Prince of Asturias, King Konstantinos II and Queen Anne Marie of Greece, King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania and Carlos Hugo Duke of Parma.

Six months after the attack on a German disco owner at the Kenian island of Lamu the Public Prosecutor in Hannover demands a fine of about $ 500.000 from Prince Ernst August of Hannover for bodily harm, insulting and threat.

A Saudi Princess is appointed to a top job in the Education Ministry. She is just the second woman to hold a high government post.

July 12th

Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia died aged 72 in Oplenac, Serbia – where he lived the past few years – after a long and serious illness. He had been divorced from Princess Margarita of Baden and was married to Linda Bonney. From his first marriage he has a son and a daughter, both married and each parent of a daughter. From his second marriage he has two sons. Tomislav was the second son of King Aleksandar I of Yougoslavia. His brother Petar II was the last Yougoslavian king. The funeral will take place in Oplenac, in the Mausoleum of the Royal Family Karadjordjevic, on July 16th in presence of many members of the family.

Sibylla Ambler, daughter of Princess Margaretha of Sweden, and her husband Cornelius Baron von Dincklage, are expecting their second child at the end of August or the beginning of September. They already have a daughter, Madeleine, who was born in March 1999.

July 16th

Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia was buried in the family’s mausoleum in Oplenac, Serbia, in presence of many members of the family. The head of the family Crown Prince Alexander and his family came by private airplane from London.

July 17th

Queen Sofia of Spain was lightly wounded during a visit to Brazil. A monkey on the stairs of the hotel where she was staying attacked her.

The Emperor Haile Selassie I Foundation says it plans to hold the official funeral of the late Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in November, 25 years after his death. The foundation says it needs up to £1m to organise the ceremony and is calling for donations for a reburial. The Emperor was murdered in 1975 after being deposed in 1974. His remains were put in a makeshift grave and exhumed in 1992, when they were placed in a tomb.

July 18th

The British TV-channel ITV plans to make a film about the life of Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, opened the new British Embassy in Berlin, Germany, being the first reigning British monarch to perform such a ceremony. The new embassy was built on the site of the former embassy that was destroyed towards the end of World War II by air raids. Afterwards the Queen had lunch at Bellevue Castle with the German Chancellor of the Federation and visited the Reichstag where the government resides since one year.

The Times says the Press Complaints Commission has received a letter from the private secretary of the Prince of Wales saying he does not intend to marry Camilla Parker Bowles and that they feel uncomfortable about all speculations. The letter follows a newspaper claim that the Prince is in talk with the Church of Scotland about remarrying in Scotland.

The Bahraini princess Meriam al Khalifa (19) who used forged documents and a marine uniform to flee her country and marry US Marine Jason Johnson two weeks later (November 1999) in Las Vegas, must face charges of illegally entering the USA.

July 19th

Today the pageant to mark the 100th birthday of Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain took place at London’s Horse Guards. The Queen Mother – dressed in light pink – arrived in an open carriage with the Prince of Wales at her side. Among the 12.500 people who attended the event were also Princess Margaret and Princess Anne. 7000 people took part in the 90-minute spectacular, among them many children. The event included military bands, a fly-past and a parade of the century to reflect the Queen Mother’s life. At the end of the pageant the Queen Mother made a short speech thanking all people who were present. In the evening there was a reception at Clarence House.

July 21st

On the Belgian national feastday King Albert II, Queen Paola, Queen Fabola, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde assisted at the traditional Te Deum in the Saint Michel and Sainte Gudule Cathedral in Brussels. Princess Astrid and her husband Lorenz were present at the Te Deum in Genk, and Prince Laurent went to Arlon. In the afternoon the whole family was present on the palace square for the military parade.

July 24th

The cd with 21 songs, which was issued because of the Belgian musical ‘Astrid’ about the life of Queen Astrid (1905-1935), was presented. The musical shall be performed from 24 August 2000 in the CC in Hasselt, Belgium. A small exhibition called ‘De Parels van Astrid’ (The pearls of Astrid) can be seen at the CC in Hasselt from 1 to 4 September, 2000.

New speculations about a pregnancy of crown princess Masako of Japan followed a cancelled engagement. The Imperial court denied the rumours and said the princess just has problems with the summer-heat.

July 25th

In Jordan an airplane with 14 parachutists on board crashed. Some tens of others had already jumped from the plane. It was shortly rumoured that Crown Prince Hamzah of Jordan had been on board and had already jumped out of the plane, but that news was later corrected.

Thousands of people said goodbye to Empress Dowager Nagako of Japan, who died a couple of weeks ago.

Count Ingolf of Rosenborg represented the Danish royal family during the first joint commemoration of the battle of Istedt, Germany, 150 years ago. About 1000 Danes and people from Schleswig-Holstein were present at the wreath laying on the graves of the soldiers who died during the battle and the monument in Istedt. In 1850 64000 soldiers from Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein fought a bloody fight against each other.

July 27th

Felipe Prince of Asturias opened the huge theme park Terra Mitica (Mythical Land) in Benidorm, Spain. In the theme park visitors can go back to the Antiquity.

July 29th

On July 4th the descendants of Carl Naundorff have presented a request to the municipality of Delft to get permission to open his grave in the Kalverbos in Delft, the Netherlands. The family want the mortal remains to be researched to prove that he was really Louis XVII, the son of King Louis XVI of France and his wife Marie Antoinette. They continue saying that Louis XVII escaped to Germany and took the name of Carl Naundorff, although some months ago a DNA-test on a heart proved Louis XVII has died in the Bastille in Paris aged 10. Carl Naundorff died in Delft in 1845. The grave has been opened already once before in 1950. A bone out of the grave was later examined and a DNA-test on it showed that Carl Naundorff wasn’t Louis XVII. Naundorff’s descendants name their selves De Bourbon and live near Paris, where the present pretender Charles Louis Edmond, great-grandson of Naundorff leads the Institut Louis XVII. They don’t want to believe their ancestor lied.

July 30th

A portrait by John Wonnacutt spanning four generations of the Royal Family of Great Britain is to be unveiled on August 4th, the 100th birthday of Queen Mother Elizabeth. The painting depicts the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Princes William and Harry. The portrait was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and painted in five sections. The work involved each of the Royals sitting on seven occasions.

July 31st

Prince Ernst August of Hanover entered an official protest against the DM 1,2m fine at the district court in Springe, Germany. Waiting for him is an action that accuses him of bodily harming, insulting and threatening a German hotelier and disco-owner on the Kenyan island of Lamu in January 1999.

August 2nd

Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian antiquities official, has called for a new effort to solve the mystery of how pharaoh Tutanchamon died. Dutch researchers believe the young pharaoh suffered from a disease, which left large fatty deposits on his hips. But the Egyptian said a power struggle over succession, not obesity, was most likely to blame for his death. Egyptian scientist Nasry Iskander wants to see if DNA analysis of tissue material might help solve the mystery.

August 4th

Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain celebrated her 100th birthday.

The whole princely family of Monaco was present at the yearly traditional Red Cross Gala in Monaco. About 950 people, many of them well known, paid hundreds of dollars a person to attend the dinner and the dance at the Salle des Etoiles at Monaco’s Sporting-Club.

The Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway is open for public tours for the first time since 1920. Even before the summer tours began on June 25th, all 26.000 tickets had been sold for the season that runs through the middle of August. The newly restored, 158-room palace overlooks Oslo’s main street.

August 7th

The court of justice in Berlin, Germany, announced they dismissed an objection of Prince Ernst August of Hannover against a decision of the court of justice in Magdeburg. Some months ago that court decided that the Prince doesn’t get back the Hanoverian family property in Sachsen-Anhalt that was expropriated after 1945. The former property exists among others of two castles, a monastery and 10.000 hectares of arable land.

Little Count Richard von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth, son of Count Jefferson-Friedrich and Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, took his first footsteps. And he is only 11 months old!

August 8th

An inquiry among 500 waiters by the Italian magazine Ristorante shows an interesting result. The waiters think the table manners of rich and prominent people are worse than the table manners of factory-workers. They pick their noses, put their elbows on the table and are very noisy. Many nobles are stingy. Happily there are some exceptions: the Duchess of York is a very respected guest.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark started his training as a pilot.

August 9th

Rahim, son of the Aga Khan – who is the spiritual and worldly leader of the Ishmaelites, has to deliver up his driving license. The police forced him to stop speeding on his motorcycle after a pursue through Hamburg, Germany. He drove 160 km an hour where only 100 km an hour is permitted.

August 10th

Even Prince Laurent of Belgium showed up on the list of Belgian paedophiles the Luxembourg journalist Jean Nicolas wanted to publish on the Internet. Yesterday the court of justice in Namur, Belgium, banned the publishing of the list in the magazine L’Investigateur and on the Internet. The magazines were already on their way to the subscribers and now the Postal Services try to stop the sending. Inquiries showed that most people on the list have nothing to do with child abuse. The list was based on the “tell tales line” that was set up at the start of the Dutroux-affair.

August 11th

Last Thursday King Mswati III of Swaziland (32) wed his fiancée Senteni Masango (18) at a traditional Kuteka ceremony witnessed by members of the two families at the Ludzidzini Royal Palace. Senteni Masango is the King’s seventh wife. He didn’t attend the wedding ceremony himself. The bride is named Inkhosikati (princess) La Masango now. The wedding comes weeks before the annual Reed Dance, a traditional pageant at which the King customarily picks a new bride from a bevy of bare-breasted maidens that dance for him. The King selected his newest wife at last year’s reed dance. Next to his seven wives the King still has one fiancée, Angel Dlamini. He appears to follow the footsteps of his father, King Sobhuza II, who had over 70 official wives when he died in 1982. Senteni Masango was the centre of an uproar this year when a Swaziland newspaper revealed that she had been kicked out of two schools for absence and indiscipline.

In 1963 the Duke of Argyll used four photos to get a divorce. On one of the photos, taken in 1956, his wife had oral sex with a man without a head. The Duke stated his wife had 88 lovers among them even members of the government and of the Royal Family of Great Britain. It was now revealed by the British TV-transmitter Channel 4 that the man without head was the actor Douglas Fairbanks jr.

Charles James Spencer-Churchill Marquess of Blandford has been cleared of stealing two pairs of sunglasses and a stick of deodorant from the London shop Harvey Nichols. The jury took just an hour to return its verdict. The Marquess said he simply forgot to pay as he was thinking of his coming vacation. The Marquess is an ex-drug addict and has 21 previous convictions, including theft and assaulting a policeman. His father disinherited him from the Blenheim Palace estate in 1994.

A newspaper on Barbados says voters will soon decide if the nation will drop Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain as the head of state and become a republic.

August 12th

Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his wife Maria have become the proud parents of a son. The boy, who was named Achileas-Andreas, was born at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in New York City, USA.

Organisers of the Olympic Games of Sydney have come under fire from monarchists for including an attack on Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain in their official programme. It carries an essay by ardent republican writer Robert Hughes which calls the decision to keep the Queen as head of state “ludicrous”. The article has prominent billing on the cover of the souvenir programme, which has gone on sale nationwide. Monarchists say it must be withdrawn.

August 13th

The Sunday Telegraph reports that Imran Khan will disclose this week that the late Princess of Wales asked him to act as ‘marriage broker’ with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan in May 1997, when she visited him and his wife Jemima Goldsmith (a good friend of the Princess) in Pakistan. Imran Khan says that Diana had been involved with Dr. Khan for two years and that she had wanted to marry him. He thinks her relationship with Dodi Al Fayed was just a summer romance, possibly a calculated tactic to make Dr. Khan jealous and persuade him to marry her. Imran Khan said that before the fatal car crash, he had planned to fly to London to talk with Dr. Khan. The documentary in which Imran Khan tells this will be shown tomorrow on Channel 5 television in Great Britain at 8pm.

August 14th

The Russian Orthodox Church canonized the last tsar of Russia, Nikolaj II, and his family. The unanimous decision was made at a Bishop’s council meeting in Moscow. The family was shot dead by a Bolshevik firing squad in the night from 16 to 17 July, 1918, in Yekaterinburg.

August 15th

The Princess Royal celebrated her 50th birthday. She is expected to mark the milestone privately with her family. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is to host a reception at Windsor Castle on November 30th as an appreciation of her daughter’s work.

August 16th

At the National Feastday in Liechtenstein yesterday as usual the Liechtenstein princely family invited the Liechtenstein people to the castle grounds. It was announced that prince Alois and his wife Sophie expect their fourth child.

Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his wife Princess Benedikte of Denmark announced the engagement of their son Gustav with Elvire, daughter of Hervé Pasté de Rochefort and Hélène Rodocanachi. Elvire Pasté de Rochefort was born in Paris on March 13th, 1968. Gustav and Elvire both work in London. The marriage will take place in Paris in the Spring of 2001.

Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, sister of Gustav, is preparing for the Olympic Games in Sydney next month. She is reserve for the national Danish equestrian team.

On September 15th the Wartburg near Eisenach, Germany, will be placed on the list of world cultural heritage of the Unesco. The castle is an eminent monument from the feudal period in middle Europe.

Belgian Wendy van Wanten, whose real name is Iris Vande Kerckhove (she is a singer/sex symbol), gave birth to a son named Clement this morning at the Henri Serruys Hospital in Oostende, Belgium. She choose for an underwater birth. The father is unknown, but one of the possibilities mentioned is one of her good friends, Prince Laurent of Belgium.

August 17th

Prince William of Great Britain has proven himself to be one of the most academically successful members of the Royal Family. He gained an A-grade in Geography, a B in History and a C in Biology at his A-level exams at Eton. After one year relaxing amongst others in Australia, the prince will start a four-year MA (Honours) course in the history of arts at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in the autumn of 2001.

August 18th

On August 14th Prince Hashem of Jordan graduated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. His mother Queen Noor, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, Crown Prince Hamzah, Princess Raiyah and Princess Iman attended the graduation.

August 20th

The Russian Orthodox Church has canonised Tsar Nikolaj II of Russia and his family at the Christ-Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. Grand Duchess Marija Vladimirovna, her son Grand Duke Georgi Michailovich and her mother Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna attended the ceremony.

The holy right hand of King Stefan I of Hungary was brought from the Basilica of St Stefan to the building of parliament in Budapest. About 25.000 people were watching the short journey through the city. It was one of the highlights during the commemoration of the first millennium of Hungary. It is 1000 years ago that King Stefan I brought the Christian faith to Hungary. He reigned the country between 1000 and 1038.

August 22nd

House Doorn in the Netherlands, where German Emperor Wilhelm II spent the last 20 years of his life in exile, is forced to close its doors in January 2001. The Dutch government stops subsidizing House Doorn that has been a very interesting museum for years. The government thinks the museum is not special enough and has not much to do with the Netherlands. I have visited the museum once and thought it was very interesting and it is really terrible that it has to close its doors.

The rebuilding of the City Palace in Potsdam, Germany, should start in 2004, a local newspaper says. The hope is that many people donate money to cover the very expensive project.

Collins Dictionaries have published the results of a poll of people most likely to make a mark in the new Millennium. The list is lead by Prince William of Great Britain. He is seen as a star of the future. On the list were further present and future celebrities, like little baby Leo Blair, who even beat his father, the present British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

August 23rd

In the south of Bulgaria archaeologists found parts of a palace that probably belonged to a Thracian King. The building that once had three floors is from the 5th or 4th century BC. The parts were found under a medieval castle near the village of Perperek, about 300 kilometres south east of Sofia. Earlier archaeologists probably found the grave of a Thracian leader from the 5th century BC near Starosel, about 150 kilometres east of Sofia. The Thracians were people who lived in the south of present Bulgaria around that time.

Experts found lavatories and jails under a tower at the edge of the Taj Mahal in India. The tower was built after 1631 by the Mogul Shah Jahan for his most beloved wife. The lavatories and jails most likely were used for the convicts that built the Taj Mahal.

August 25th

At Berleburg Castle Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg presented his fiancée Elvire Pasté de Rochefort.

August 26th

Mohamed Al-Fayed says he will disclose new information about the car accident that killed Princess Diana of Wales and his son Dodi. He has pledged to speak out on the eve of the third anniversary of their deaths.

August 27th

Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his wife Maria showed their newborn son Achileas-Andreas. The little prince was born on August 12th.

August 29th

Egypt’s highest appeals court is to hear the Egyptian princesses Ferial, Fawzia and Fadia, the daughters of the late King Farouk of Egypt. They have to tell their argue for ownership of the presidential palace and some land.

August 30th

24 Musea in the Netherlands, like Palace Het Loo, have protested against the stopping of the governmental subsidy to Huis Doorn that endangers the survival of the museum.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has invited several Dutch artists to sing on the Queen’s Day concert in 2001. She wants to bring an homage to the Dutch chanson.

In a videotape at a Washington press conference Mohamed al-Fayed told he is taking legal action against the US government to obtain “secret” documents about the deaths of Princess Diana of Wales and his son Dodi. He said the files are kept secret at the request of the British secret services. He again repeated his claim that the couple were murdered in 1997.

There was a small fire on board of the Jumbo VI, the yacht of Prince Bernhard sr. of the Netherlands, which has its berth in the Italian seaside place Porto Ercole at the moment. The prince was not on board when the fire broke out.

August 31st

American Intelligence bodies have denied that they spied on Princess Diana of Wales. Any suggestions that the CIA has any information on her death is totally unfounded.

Crowds of people have made their way to Kensington Palace in London to commemorate the death of Princess Diana of Wales. Mourners, some of whom had camped out overnight, have placed flowers and candles at the Palace’s gates to mark the third anniversary of her death.

September 1st

Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands officially opened the new golf-links Lage Vuursche in Den Dolder. He was accompanied by his father Prince Claus.

The school of Amedeo and Maria-Laura, the eldest children of Princess Astrid of Belgium and Prince Lorenz of Belgium Archduke of Austria-Este started again today. Their parents brought them to the Sint Jan Berchmans College.

Friedrich Wilhelm Prince zu Wied, head of the house of Wied, died in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada, on August 28th.

September 2nd

Frances Shand Kydd, mother of the late Diana Princess of Wales, has spoken publicly for the first time about the death of her daughter. She told the Daily Express she was told about the death an hour before it was made public. She was not asked to go to Paris to collect the body and was not consulted on the funeral arrangements. She was also never telephoned by a member of the Royal Family offering support and sympathy.

St James’s Palace said Prince William of Great Britain is on an educational trip on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. He is working on a project involving the National Geographic Society. He will stay at Mauritius for a few weeks.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother, the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry were present at the 183-year-old Highland Games in Scotland, which featured Highland dancing, music and sports.

On September 18th, the Earl of Wessex will receive a special award at Boston University for his work as a TV producer.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway bought an apartment on the Ullevalsveien 67 (upper floor) near the centre of Oslo for about 5 million Norwegian crowns. He is going to live there together with his girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem-Hoiby and her three-year-old son Marius. Mette-Marit was born on August 19th, 1973, as daughter and youngest child of Sven Hoiby and Marit Tjessem, who divorced later. Mette-Marit’s son Marius was born in January 1997.

September 3rd

Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden paid a 3-day visit to the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. On Friday they visited the Swedish pavilion and enjoyed a concert in the evening in the Feasthall of the Herrenhäuser Gardens. Yesterday they saw a performance of the play Faust. Today they paid a private visit to the Expo 2000.

Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia began a monthlong trip that will combine vacation with appearances at the United Nations and OPEC summit in Venezuela.

In an interview in the Sunday Express Frances Shand Kydd, mother of the late Diana Princess of Wales has attacked Mohamed al-Fayed for his conspiracy theories about her daughter’s death. She slammed “fantasy theorists” who continued to claim Diana and Dodi al-Fayed were murdered. She had found no shred of evidence of a conspiracy against the couple.

September 4th

Yesterday Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden confirmed to the Swedish newspaper “Expressen” that Daniel Collert is her boyfriend.

September 5th

The Times reports that Trevor Rees-Jones, the bodyguard who survived the car crash in which Diana Princess of Wales died, has taken up the post of deputy head of security for the United Nations in Suai, East Timor. He started his new job already on August 4th.

Rumours are going on that soon an engagement of Felipe Prince of Asturias and Princess Carolina of Bourbon of Parme will be announced. Today a serious Dutch newspaper took over the gossip press story of the past summer. The secretary of Princess Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld, sister of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and mother of Carolina, came up with an official announcement hours after the appearance of the newspaper, telling the story was absolutely not true.

September 6th

Prince Claus of the Netherlands celebrated his 74th birthday today. He stayed home with his family. It was announced the prince will be there on Prinsjesdag on September 19th and that he and Queen Beatrix will visit the Dutch Antilles again in the beginning of 2001.

The Duke and Duchess of York brought their daughter Beatrice to St George’s School in Ascot, Berkshire, Great Britain, this morning. Princess Beatrice started secondary school on the 9000 British pound-a-year girl’s school near her home in Sunningdale today.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway visited the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, on the Nations Day of Norway. After a short speech he visited the Norwegian pavilion.

September 7th

The Prince of Wales has announced a new architecture scholarship commemorating murdered black youth Stephen Lawrence, who was an A-level student working at an architects’ firm when he was killed by racists in 1993. The Prince was speaking at an inaugurat London lecture dedicated to Stephen. He said he hoped his foundation would help increase the proportion of black and ethnic minority practitioners in the field of architecture.

September 8th

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark finished his basic pilot’s education at Flyvestation Karup faster than expected. His father Prince Henrik pinned on the wings on Frederik’s uniform under the eye of Queen Margrethe and Prince Joachim. On September 13th Frederik and Joachim leave for Australia. Until September 18th they will visit the Olympic Games in Sydney, and again from September 24th to 29th, when they will meet their aunt Princess Benedikte and her daugther Nathalie, who is reserve of the Danish equestrian team. From September 19th to September 23rd Frederik and Joachim will travel through Australia.

Princess Haya of Jordan will compete for Jordan at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. She is a member of the equestrian team. She was chosen in the team just a few weeks ago. At first she didn’t manage, but now she is a member of the team after all. Another competitor is of course Iñaki Urdangarín, the husband of Infante Cristina of Spain who is a player in the successful Spanish handball team. Princess Märtha Louise of Norway can still only dream about competing, but is in Sydney as supporter of the Norwegian team both weeks.

September 9th

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium arrived in New York for a four-day visit that is meant to improve the image of Belgium and to promote Belgian products. Some days ago the couple gave their first interview. To the big disappointment of the Belgian journalists it was given (written) to the New York Times. In the interview the couple mostly talked about the good things of Belgium. Prince Philippe also said that Mathilde is a wonderful wife.

This afternoon Infante Elena of Spain and her husband Jaime de Marichalar became the proud parents of Victoria Federica. She was born in the Clínica Rúber Internacional in Madrid by caesarian section at 13:00 local time. She weighs 3.530 grammes and is 53 centimetres tall. The baby was named after the late Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain and Queen Frederika of Greece. Queen Sofia was the first visitor just minutes after the birth. She was soon followed by Infanta Cristina, Princess Alexia of Greece and Princess Irene of Greece.

Archaeologists have discovered two hidden tombs thought to be those of the secret granddaughter of King George III of Great Britain and her niece. The find was made in St Peter’s parish church in Carmarthen, Wales, during re-tilling of the floor. One of the tombstones carries the name of Charlotte Dalton – a descendant from George III’s supposed secret first marriage with Hannah Lightfoot. The find may explain why the monarch donated an organ to the church.

September 10th

About 0:55 local time Prince Guillaume and Prince Sibilla of Luxembourg had a car accident at the motorway A10 close to Briis-sous-Forges near Paris, France. Two other cars were involved in the accident. Prince Guillaume was taken to the Hospital Henri-Mondor in Créteil. His condition is said to be critical. He has a fracture of the skull and is in a coma. Princess Sibilla was brought to the hospital in Evry with a broken leg. Grand Duke Jean and his wife Joséphine-Charlotte immediately travelled to France after hearing about the accident.

September 11th

Princess Christina of the Netherlands presented her cd “My Christmas Album” in the Hotels of Oranje in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The cd contains 18 international Christmas carrols sung by the princess in the seven original languages. The princess herself helped with all aspects of the production, including the lay out. She told the press she has enjoyed the recording very much. She started singing on an early age and says now the moment has come to come out as she and her voice are ready for it now. The cd goes on sale on October 2nd, one month earlier than originally was planned. The people’s interest in the cd is enormous: more than 200.000 cd’s are already ordered. Part of the proceeds will go to the Princess Christina Contest – some of the former winners can be heard on the cd. On September 14th, in the same hotel as the cd-presentation, the princess will record the television concert that will be broadcasted on the Dutch television in December.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden stops hunting for elks in Västergötland, Sweden. The population of elks in the area is too small.

The condition of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg is still serious but stable.

September 12th

Hereditary Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg decided to return from Sydney, Australia, after hearing about the terrible car accident of his youngest brother Guillaume and his wife Sibilla. Henri was present at the Olympic Games as a member of the International Olympic Committee.

September 13th

People Magazine mentioned Prince William among the best dressed men in the world.

Infanta Elena of Spain and her husband Jaime de Marichalar presented their daughter Victoria Federica to the press.

September 14th

Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark arrived in Fredericia, Denmark, with their yacht Dannebrog for the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the town. They among others visited the Brande Höjskole and the queen unveiled a sculpture of Björn Nörgard.

September 15th

Prince Harry of Great Britain celebrated his 16th birthday at Eton College. His father, the Prince of Wales, refused to receive an exceptional position in the benzine crisis and cancelled some official and private appointments to save some benzine.

Famous Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti said to be very surprised about the singing qualities of Princess Christina of the Netherlands. He listened to the cd during an interview with a Dutch journalist.

September 16th

The Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, started. Princess Haya proudly carried the Jordan flag into the Olympic stadium.

September 18th

Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg left the hospital in Evry late in the afternoon.

September 19th

The Grand Ducal court in Luxembourg announced the throne ceremony will be postponed to October 7th. On that day Grand Duke Jean will abdicate and Grand Duke Henri will be sworn in in a ceremony at the Cathedral of Our Lady in Luxembourg City. The events planned for September 23rd and 24th are postponed to spring. The critical state of Prince Guillaume requires the presence of his parents, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, in Paris, France, in the next 5 to 10 days. Prince Guillaume is very seriously injured at his head and suffers also from other very serious injuries.

Prince Ernst August of Hannover has become reconciled with the Austrian policeman he is said to have abused in November 1999 at the Austrian border.

September 23rd

Researchers of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, have found a royal letter with the handwriting of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt in the coffin of a mummy in Berlin, Germany. In the letter a Roman citizen is granted examption of taxes. According to the researchers Cleopatra herself wrote down one sentence on the letter: “This has to happen like this.” The handwriting, dating from 33 B, is considered to be the first handwriting of Cleopatra ever found.

Prince Hubertus von Hohenzollern, youngest son of Prince Johann Georg and Princess Birgitta of Sweden, and his girlfriend Ute König married in the Sant Marc Chapel of the Bellver Castle on the Spanish Island of Mallorca. The civil wedding seems to have taken place several weeks ago in Germany. The bride is five months pregnant.

September 24th

Her former private secretary, Patrick Jephson has written a book about Princess Diana of Wales: “Shadows of a Princess”. Extracts of the book appeared in The Sunday Times today. In the book he claims the British royal family forced the princess to become a scheming rebel who lied, plotted, indulged herself in alternative health therapies, sweets and rude humour, and sacked off staff compulsively. She is also said to have had the need to draw attention to herself. Jephson also writes the princess scorned the royal family as “the Germans”. Buckingham Palace had hoped to stop the book, but strong representations of Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales failed. Patrick Jephson himself has denied his book will hurt Prince William and Prince Harry, saying they would learn nothing new which was harmful.

The Earl of Snowdon, the former husband of Princess Margaret of Great Britain, divorced for the second time. He married his second wife Lucy in 1978, after divorcing Princess Margaret. His wife Lucy asked for divorce after it was revealed that the Earl had a child with another woman.

September 25th

A press communiqué from the Luxembourg grand-duchal court concerning prince Guillaume of Luxembourg’s state seems to say that his condition has improved a bit.

The Duchess of York’s former dresser (1988-1997), Jane Andrews, was arrested on Wednesday after her boyfriend was found stabbed to death in their appartment near London on Monday. She appeared before Court today and was remanded in custody for one week.

September 26th

Yesterday Princess Haya of Jordan participated in the equestrian individual show jumping event at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. She competed against 75 top competitors around the world. To her own big disappointment she only came in a 68th place and didn’t qualify for the final.

This morning at 2:22 local time Queen Rania of Jordan gave birth to her second daughter, who was named Salma, at the Al Hussein Medical Centre in Amman. Salma weighs 3,3 kilogrammes and was instantly given the title of princess by her father. Both mother and child are doing well according to the royal palace.

After visiting the Olympic Games in Sydney Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium arrived in Japan on Sunday for a four-day visit after being invited by Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Masako. Yesterday they visited the national museum in Tokyo and had dinner at the royal palace in the evening together with Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Princess Sayako.

The Duchess of York and some other ex-employers of Jane Andrews have been quizzed by the police who are investigating the death of Miss Andrews’ boyfriend. Detectives visited the Duchess at her home in Sunninghill, Berkshire.

Archaeologists in Honduras have found what they believe could be the remains of one of the rulers of the Mayan indian dynasty. The skull, femur and other bones are encrusted with jade and were found on top of a tomb not far from the ancient Mayan city of Copan. Experts believe the tomb was set in a courtyard used for ritual ceremonies. The tomb is one of several found by workmen repairing a local road.

September 27th

At the Van Praetlaan a part of the wall around the Royal Property in Laeken, Belgium, fell down. Fragments of the wall lie on the busy road to Brussels.

September 29th

Queen Rania of Jordan left hospital with her newborn daughter Salma.

In Dillenburg, Germany, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands unveiled a statue of her forefather Prince Willem of Oranje (1533-1584), who was born at the Castle of Dillenburg that was destroyed at the end of the 18th century. The bronze statue, made by Eva Broschek, got its place next to the Wilhelmsturm (William’s Tower) that was built on the spot of the former castle in 1875.

In his first TV interview Prince William of Great Britain has said he and his brother Harry felt their mother’s trust was betrayed by her private secretary Patrick Jephson, who has written a book about her. He said the book, which gives details about the late Princess Diana’s private life, was exploiting her.

September 30th

Iñaki Urdangarín, the husband of Infante Cristina of Spain, won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney with the Spanish handball team of which he is the captain. They beat the team of Yougoslavia with 26-22. Among the public were his wife Cristina, son Juan, Queen Sofia of Spain and Felipe Prince of Asturias. Iñaki had already said he wanted to stop playing handball after the Olympic Games.

During a short meeting of the International Olympic Committee it was decided by lot that Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje has to resign as a member of the IOC in 2007.

On September 14th Baroness Christina Silfverschiöld, daughter of Princess Désirée of Sweden, and her husband Hans de Geer af Finspang became the proud parents of a daughter, who has not gotten a name yet.

October 1st

Yesterday Prince Maximilian zu Bentheim-Tecklenburg married Marissa Fortescue in the chapel of Rheda Castle in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany. The service was held in German and English. Afterwards there was a huge reception at the Castle.

The christening of Victoria Federica de Marichalar y Borbón is due for October 11th at the Palacio de la Zarzuela. Godparents will be Felipe Prince of Asturias and Ana de Marichalar.

October 2nd

Prince William of Great Britain arrived in Chile. He will start a 10-week-long character-building expedition with 110 other young people in Patagonia, in the south of Chile. In the first week the young people will learn survival techniques and how to operate radio equipment before joining teams of volunteers to carry out community projects, scientific research and adventure tourism. Social projects include building a fire station, local bridges and fixing the wooden houses of old people who live in the region. A part of the adventure tourism will include a kayak expedition in the wilds of the Chonos Islands.

Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg left the intensive care. It seems he is no longer in a coma. It is said his condition shows a constant improvement, but it is not known if he is going to recover fully from his very serious injuries.

October 4th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje received the Dutch Olympic medal winners at the Palace Noordeinde. Yesterday the team arrived home in the same airplane as the Prince of Oranje. The Dutch team won 25 medals (of which 12 gold), an absolute record for the country.

Arrangements are being made to rebury the remains of the last Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Sellassie, who died in 1975. His remains were exhumed eight years ago. Since they have been preserved at a mausoleum in Addis Abeba.

The search for the famous, since 1945 disappeared, Bernstein room of the Russian Czars continues. Polish experts are now looking for it with radar equipment. They hope to find the room in unknown underground rooms underneath the Bolkow Castle in Jelenia Gora, Poland.

Japanese officials say Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Masako will be tested for tuberculosis at the hospital of the royal palace after a palace employee catched the disease.

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden left military service after 402 days. He joined the army on August 30th, 1999. He served at the coastal artillery in the regiment KA1 at Vaxholm. He was the commander of the amphibious battalion on the troop transport boat Stridsbat 90.

October 5th

The Spanish royal couple invited Queen Beatrix, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg Archduchess of Austria and several other representatives of the countries Emperor Charles V once ruled for the opening of an exhibition on Emperor Charles V in Toledo, Spain, today. After a service in the cathedral of Toledo and a banquet the exhibition was opened in presence of the guests mentioned. Also Felipe Prince of Asturias was present.

October 6th

Prince Claus of the Netherlands was again admitted in the Allgemeines Krankenhaus Barmbek in Hamburg, Germany. He had to cancel his trip to Toledo yesterday and the trip to Luxembourg tomorrow. He was reported to hospital on Wednesday and the check-up ran out. He is said to return home tomorrow. He underwent a small urologically operation.

Palace officials have officially said Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg is no longer in a coma and has recovered conciousness to such an extent that he recognises visiting members of his family. Medical staff also say the prince shows no sign of suffering any kind of permanent paralysis.

October 7th

Luxembourg has a new Grand Duke.

October 9th

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands escaped being taken as a hostage in the night from 3 to 4 March, 1975. More than 40 men from the Moluc Islands who lived in the Netherlands wanted to capture Soestdijk Palace and had made preparations for months. They were armed and had some 500 men more in the background who could eventually help. Their goal was to speak with the Queen and force the Dutch governement to take the side of the Moluc people in the conflict with Indonesia. The 40 men were halted about 30 minutes from the Palace in that night. Coincidently the police arrested the two men who had to get the transport. Further the Dutch Security Service had heard something, most likely because of betrayal by one of the people who knew about the plans.

The new president Kostunica of Yougoslavia opened the door to a return home for the Yougoslavian royal family, exiled in Great Britain since World War II. He has insisted that the Belgrade White Palace shall be handed back to the royal family. He let know that he wants a referendum on the return of the House of Karageorgevich (although not as Kings). But aides have given a warning that giving back the palace to the family would set a dangerous precendent, as many other families would demand the return of their property seized by the state during World War II. Crown Prince Aleksandar of Yougoslavia said at his London home that it had always been his dream to return to his homeland, but he would do so only in the proper way. He hasn’t received an official invitation yet. The Prince first visited his homeland in 1991 and then half a million people lined the streets to greet him.

October 10th

Another success for Princess Caroline of Monaco against the press. The German magazine Gala has to pay her DM 200.000 for harming her personal rights.

October 11th

Victoria Federica de Todos los Santos de Marichalar y Bórbon was baptised in the chapel of the Palacio de la Zarzuela by the archbishop of Madrid, another archbishop and the chaplain of the Palacio de la Zarzuela. Present were King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia, Infante Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarín with their son Juan, Margarita and Pilar (the two sisters of King Juan Carlos) with most of their children, Queen Anne Marie of Greece, Princess Irene of Greece, Don Carlos and Doña Ana de Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and several other members of both families. Godparents of Victoria Federica were Felipe Prince of Asturias and Ana de Marichalar.

Crown Prince Aleksandar of Yougoslavia and his wife Katherine will go to Belgrade, Yougoslavia, on Sunday to congratulate the new president Kostunica.

A proposal for Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to jointly pray with Pope John Paul II during a Vatican visit next week is dropped.

October 12th

A new inquiry by the Dutch television tells us 70% of the Dutch people is in favor of the monarchy, 13% wants a republic. Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje passed his father since the last inquiry several months ago, and got 36% of the votes now as the most popular member of the Royal Family. His father got 31%. About 67% of the people think Willem-Alexander is ready to ascend the Dutch throne.

Security has been intensified around Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and his girlfriend Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby after fears reportedly surfaced that he may be the target of kidnappers. A Norwegian weekly magazine claims key figures in Oslo crime circles planned to nab him last autumn. Security cameras were installed in the apartment complex in Oslo where he lives at the moment and also in the apartment he is about to move in. Police reportedly remain concerned that his girlfriend maintains links to people with criminal records.

The neurological state of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg is still improving. In the coming weeks the doctors are taking care of the bones the prince broke and are busy with his revalidation. Princess Sibilla and the parents of Prince Guillaume continue to stay with him every day.

The past few days Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg have paid visits to France and Germany. In Paris that they visited on October 9th and 10th, they have had lunch with President Jacques Chirac. They further watched the Manet exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay. They have been to Berlin yesterday and today. After a reception at the Luxembourg Embassy they met President Johannes Rau and had lunch with him at the Bellevue Castle. The Grand Duke went to the Reichstag (parliament) and together the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess visited the Brandenburger Tor.

October 14th

A spokesman of the Saudi-Arabian government has said that a member of the royal family of Saudi Arabia was on board of the airplane that was hijacked by two Saudi-Arabians today above Cairo, Egypt. The plane was on its way from Jeddah to London. After landing in Iraq the hijacking ended in the evening.

Prince Ernst August of Hanover has apologised to the chef of Bild magazine for insulting her on the telephone after the magazine had written that the Prince had piddled against the wall of the Turkish pavilion at the Expo2000.

October 15th

A British tabloid reports that Father Frank Gelli, curate at St Mary Abbots Church near Kensington Palace, has revealed Princess Diana of Wales asked if he could conduct her wedding ceremony with Dodi el-Fayed in the weeks before she was killed in August 1997.

It is said Princess Stephanie of Monaco started singing again and is recording a new cd at her own house. Halfway the 80’s she had a short singing carreer. Her biggest hit (as far as I know) was a song called “Ouragan”.

October 16th

The British magazine Star names Lord Frederick Windsor the most desirable bachelor of Great Britain.

Prince Albert of Monaco finally managed to be named in the French edition of Who’s Who. The reason he wasn’t named in it before was simple: he didn’t fill in the application form earlier.

Since yesterday Crown Prince Alexander of Yougoslavia is visiting Yougoslavia together with his wife Katharina. They have met the new president Kostunica and his wife. Everywhere the royal couple shows up they are greeted by thousands of enthusiastic people who carry photos of the royal family and old Yougoslavian flags.

Lars Petter Forberg, chef of the royal court, under pressure following months of intense and unusually critical media coverage of the royal family, reportedly confirmed a royal engagement during a meeting today with the heads of major newspapers and television stations. But the crown prince stressed later in the afternoon that “we’re not engaged yet.” Haakon and his girlfriend, Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, made a rare appearance together in a local Oslo park, strolling hand in hand in a somewhat bizarre walk that attracted hordes of reporters. Haakon said the pair didn’t want to hold any sort of press conference there and then, adding that “we really just want to tone all this down.” He warned against anyone jumping to any conclusions regarding an eventual engagement. Palace officials later toned down their earlier statements and said they certainly didn’t mean to make any engagement announcement. In fact, admitted the top palace spokesman, “we are not aware that Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby have decided to get engaged.” On the meeting with the press it was said the couple hadn’t set a date yet and it is not clear if the engagement will take place before or after the New Year (the Norwegian magazines have guessed about the date the past week). It is said Mette-Marit is going to meet the press before the end of the year.

October 17th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Italy yesterday for a four-day-visit. Yesterdayevening a dinner was held for them. Also filmstar Sophia Loren and writer Umberto Eco were invited. Today the Queen, dressed in black with a small veil, was received for a 20-minute meeting by Pope John Paul II in his study. It was the fourth time the Queen visited the Vatican. The last time she was there was 20 years ago.

October 19th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain spent the final day of the state visit to Italy sampling Milan’s cultural and business life. Together with the Duke of Edinburgh she viewed Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco The Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie complex. The Queen also visited a design centre while the Duke of Edinburgh attended a telecommunications trade fair. Last night a concert in the Queen’s honour was held at La Scala opera house.

October 23rd

Prince Claus of the Netherlands underwent an urological operation at the Barmbek Hospital in Hamburg, Germany, last weekend. He complained about pain during a private visit in Hamburg and was taken to hospital. A temporary stoma was placed. According to the doctors the complaints are the result of a ray treatment after an earlier operation. The Government Information Service says the prince is recovering well.

For the first time in history the Christmas speech of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will also be shown on the television this year. On December 25th the Queen’s speech can be seen on television and heard on the radio at the same time.

October 24th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje has started a three-day-visit to Morocco. At the airport of Rabat he was greeted by Prince Rashid, the brother of King Mohammed VI, and children of Dutch people who live in Morocco dressed in traditional Moroccan costumes. He has paid a visit to the Royal Mausoleum in Rabat. He will also visit a mosque in Casablanca, talk with Dutch people and businessmen, and visit drinking-waterprovisions.

The opposition at Barbados says the proposed referendum on whether to keep Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain as their symbolic leader is too vague.

The Times reports that the Prince of Wales suggested five years ago that Catholics should be able to ascend to the British throne. He made the remarks in a private conversation with politicians Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown after they had attended the funeral of Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin, according to a serialisation of Mr. Ashdown’s diaries in the newspaper. Mr. Ashdown claims the Prince said: “I really can’t think why we can’t have Catholics on the throne.”

October 25th

Clothes worn by Diana Princess of Wales go on display this week at Kensington Palace together with the original sketches, patterns and embroidery.

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje visited the town of Al Hoceima during his visit to Morocco, that is broadcasted extensively on the Moroccan television. In Al Hoceima the Prince met a remigrated Moroccan who had lived in the Netherlands and visited some industries set up by remigrants. In the evening he was received by King Mohammed VI at the Royal Palace in Casablanca, where he also met Prince Moulay Rachid again and also the three sisters of the King.

October 26th

Jorge Zorreguieta, the father of Máxima (girlfriend of the Prince of Oranje), said in an interview in the Argentinian weekly magazine Noticias that he refuses to renounce his role in the last Argentinian dictatorship. He says he is not impressed by the criticism he gets in the Netherlands.

October 27th

The Duke of York has told how he was once disciplined at prep school, but that his parents had never hit him. He said he received one “sanction” at school and was unsure smacking was the right action to take against a child. He says he has ruled out smacking his own two daughters.

October 28th

Prince Claus of the Netherlands was released from hospital and arrived back home at Palace Huis ten Bosch.

October 29th

The palace church of Wittenberg, Germany, after one year of restoration, got back its 18 metres high spire on top of the totally 88 metres high tower of the church.

October 30th

Prince Maurits van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and his wife Marilène, who married in May 1998, expect their first child at the end of April 2001.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark paid a private visit to the Ballet Centre in Hamburg, Germany. She watched the ballet “Messias” of John Neumeier and later went behind the scenes to speak with the performers. She also visited the ballet boarding school and attended the exercises.

October 31st

A French court has rejected a request by Mohamed el-Fayed to revive charges against photographers over the death of Diana Princess of Wales and his son Dodi. A ruling that nine paparazzi and a photo agency motorcyclist bore no legal blame for the crash was upheld. Judges said the crash was the fault of driver Henri Paul who had been drinking. Mr el-Fayed said pursuing photographers forced Henri Paul to speed.

November 1st

Prince Frederic of Anhalt, husband of ZsaZsa Gabor, was arrested. After a thunderstorm the electricity in his house in the USA had fallen out. The prince tried to open the electronic gate to his house with a screw driver as he wanted to leave by car. However neighbour actress Nastassja Kinski saw him and called the police thinking he was a burglar.

November 3rd

Former ambassador Mourik has said he is going to sue Jorge Zorreguieta for infringing human rights. Leader of the Democrats, Tom de Graaf, said that the government should discourage Mr Zorreguieta to attend a wedding between his daughter Máxima and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje. Prime Minister Wim Kok said at the end of the day that he will not allow any member of his cabinet to give an opinion about Jorge Zorreguieta as long as there is nothing known about a wedding.

Prince Claus of the Netherlands underwent a small operation at the University Medical Center in Leiden. Doctors placed a drain in one of his kidneys. The operation was necessary because the prince had problems urinating after his operation almost two weeks ago in Hamburg, Germany. After the operation in Leiden the prince returned home.

November 4th

After a restoration the Vittoriano in Rome, Italy, was reopened by president Carlo Ciampi. The Vittoriano on the Piazza Venezia is a huge marble monument for Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of a united Italy. The 81-metres-high monument was unveiled in 1911, but was closed after a bomb attack in 1969.

The car used by King Edward VIII of Great Britain and Wallis Simpson to elope to France in 1937 is up for sale at auction. The Canadian-built 5.3-litre Buick will be sold at the International Classic Motor Show in Birmingham. It is expected to fetch a high price and the new owner will receive the registration document “HM the King”. It is thought to be the only royal car to pass into private hands.

Queen Ingrid of Denmark, mother of Queen Margrethe II, is seriously ill. Her condition has deteriorated during the past few days. She lies in her bed in her house next to the Fredensborg Palace. According to the royal court the situation is not alarming. Queen Ingrid is still eating and receives visitors, but the doctors keep a close eye on her condition. She is not believed to suffer from a special disease, but she is old, tired and weakened. Her three daughters are gathered in her house, but it is said they had planned to meet there a long time ago and were not summoned because of the present situation.

November 5th

The Duke of York is to assume an international role promoting British exports overseas when he leaves the Royal Navy.

Hundreds of thousands of people attended the reburial ceremony of Ethiopia’s last Emperor, Haile Sellassie, who died in 1975 under mysterious circumstances. His remains were found in 1992 buried under a toilet in the Imperial Palace, and reburied in the Taeka Negast Baata Mariam Geda Church without ceremony. Today the Emperor was reburied in the Holy Trinity Church in Addis Abeba in a huge ceremony.

Prince Maurits and Prince Pieter Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven ran the New York marathon. Prince Maurits finished as 4391st in 3:37:19. Prince Pieter Christiaan arrived in 3:44:02 as 5624th runner.

The Duke of Edinburgh visited Robbeneiland in South Africa where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for years. He gave some 100 offenders the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

November 6th

The condition of Queen Mother Ingrid of Denmark has worsened today and her heart function is influenced. Crown Prince Frederik arrived from Australia in the morning, coming back much earlier than planned, and drove straight away to the Fredensborg Palace to visit his grandmother. Princess Benedikte who had gone back to Germany immediately returned to Denmark when her mothers condition worsened. Next to Queen Ingrid’s three daughters also all her grandchildren were expected to come to see their grandmother today. The last ones to arrive were Princess Theodora and Prince Philippos of Greece with their father. Only Prince Henrik is not in Denmark now. He is in Paris, but if the situation makes it necessary he can be at Fredensborg within a few hours.

Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain broke her collar bone last Friday in a fall at Clarence House when she was unattended. She was found by a member of her staff and treated at home. She has cancelled her engagements for the time being.

The British Virgin Islands have dropped the birthday of the Prince of Wales as a holiday in favor to the birthday of the first chief minister of the territory.

Prince Frederic of Anhalt has charged the American producer of Viagra. He claims $10.000.000 compensation. The 56-year-old adoptive prince says that the potency pill has made him impotent.

November 7th

At 16:27 local time 90-year-old Queen Ingrid of Denmark died at the Kancellihuset (Chancellery) next to the Fredensborg Palace, northern from Copenhagen, after a short illness. She was surrounded by her three daughters and her ten grandchildren.

November 8th

The Danish royal court has announced four weeks (until December 4th) court mourning. All royal engagements are cancelled. Queen Ingrid will be buried on Tuesday November 14th next to her husband King Frederik IX in the new royal family vault at Roskilde Cathedral. Today at noon 3 x 27 gunsalutes were fired from the Sixtus Battery in Copenhagen, from the Kronborg Castle and from a naval ship in the Sont between Denmark and Sweden. In the late afternoon the coffin of Queen Ingrid covered with her royal standard was carried by her six grandsons, Jefferson-Friedrich Count von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth and Carlos Morales from the Kancellihuset to the chapel of the Fredensborg Palace. They were followed by Queen Margrethe, Princess Benedikte and Queen Anne-Marie and all the other family members. Members of the court lined the short route with lit torches. Afterwards a private ceremony was held in the chapel. At Amalienborg square, at Fredensborg Palace and Graasten Palace people light candles and lay flowers. On Friday the coffin will be transported to the church of the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, where people can say goodbye to her until Monday.

Queen Maria de las Mercedes of Spain (1860-1878), the wife of King Alfonso XII, was reburied at the Cathedral of la Almudena. Before she was buried at the Escorial.

A man has damaged the nose of the statue of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands next to the Big Church in Apeldoorn with a pile. The muddled man was arrested.

November 10th

The coffin of Queen Ingrid of Denmark was brought by car from the chapel of Fredensborg Palace to the Church of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. Her children and grandchildren followed in other cars. Many people were standing outside the church with torches.

Scientists from Egypt and Japan plan to carry out a DNA-test on the mummy of the pharaoh Tutanchamon. They want to solve the mystery around his descent.

November 11th

Last Thursday Prince Harry of Great Britain has undergone a minor operation at a local hospital after chipping a bone in his left thumb while playing football at Eton College. The accident happened more than one week ago but he wasn’t operated earlier because at first it was thought to be only a minor injury.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has underlined the religious significance of the Millennium by inviting Archbishop George Carey of Canterbury to preach at Sandringham in a special Christmas Eve service. It will be broadcasted to the nation live on the BBC. The morning service, which will be held at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, is a reflection of the Queen’s belief that the true millennium celebrations belong to Christmas 2000 as much as to New Year’s Eve 1999. The service will be led by Canon George Hall, rector of Sandringham, and the congregation will include most members of the royal family, estate workers and Sandringham residents.

November 12th

A new art museum was opened in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, in presence of Prince Hans Adam II, Princess Marie and Hereditary Prince Alois. In six halls paintings from the princely collections are shown. The paintings are from several centuries. The building itself is very modern and caused quite a lot of criticism in the country.

After three years of restoration the 13,5 metres high equestrian statue of King Friedrich II of Prussia took its original place again at Unter den Linden in Berlin.

About 30.000 Danes went to the church of Christiansborg Palace this weekend to say goodbye to Queen Ingrid of Denmark, who died last Tuesday.

November 13th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has forbidden to use mobile telephones in the royal residences of Buckingham Palace, Sandringham and Balmoral. Servants are not allowed anymore to use the phones during their work. Lately there were several incidents when phones started ringing during state banquets and other official events.

November 14th

Queen Ingrid of Denmark was buried at Roskilde Cathedral. After a sermon in the church of Christiansborg Palace in the morning the coffin was carried out of the church and was taken on a carriage pulled by four horses to the central railwaystation while the members of the family were walking behind the carriage. Along the route some 75.000 to 100.000 Danes were standing, many throwing roses on the coffin. From the central railwaystation the coffin, the members of the family and some of the guests travelled to Roskilde by steam-train. At Roskilde Cathedral the Bishops of Roskilde and Copenhagen waited to lead the procession into the cathedral. At the end of the emotional service Queen Ingrid was buried next to her husband, King Frederik IX. There the family was able to say goodbye to her for the last time and lay wreaths. After the ceremony a private reception was held for the closest family. Among the more than 600 guests many royals were present to pay Queen Ingrid the last honours. Next to members of the Danish royal family (also many Rosenborgs), also Count Sigvard and Count Carl Johan Bernadotte (brothers of Queen Ingrid), King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philipp and Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Princess Lilian of Sweden and many other members of the Swedish royal family, King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, Queen Sofia of Spain and Infanta Elena of Spain, Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Ernst August of Hannover with Princess Caroline, the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Prince Hashim of Jordan, Princess Irene of Greece, Prince Michael of Greece, Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and Queen Anne of Romania were present.

November 15th

Queen Fabiola, Prince Philippe, Princess Mathilde, Princess Astrid and her husband, and Prince Laurent were present at the Te Deum on the Day of the Dynasty (Koningsdag) in the basilica on the Koekelberg in Brussels. The Te Deum, a prayer for the dynasty that is yearly held, is discussed. The Belgian government, the first one in 50 years without a Christian partner, underlines the disestablishment between church and state, and therefore puts in question the presence of representatives of the state at this catholic celebration. The government is now looking for possible alternative celebrations. The Te Deum was introduced in 1866 in the first year of the reign of King Leopold II.

Princess Zarah Aga Khan and her husband Mark Boyden had their first child today. Daughter Sara was born in Geneva, Switzerland.

Prince Eudes of France Duke of Angoulême and his wife Marie-Liesse expect their first child in May 2001.

Archduke Sigismund of Austria-Tuscany and his wife Elyssa expect their first child in April 2001.

November 16th

Harold Brown, a former butler to Princess Diana of Wales, has been arrested over the alleged theft of a one million English pounds wedding gift. He has been questioned about the jewel-encrusted model ship, a gift from the Emir of Bahrain in 1981, which vanished from the princess’s apartment at Kensington Palace days afer her death in 1997.

Jewelry of the Begum, the last wife of the late Aga Khan, was auctioned in Geneva for about $5 million. The Begum, who died in July, left her complete fortune to the Aga Khan Foundation, that helps poor people in Africa, India and Pakistan.

The Duchess of York has bought the Château Fazy in the village of Russin, near Geneva, Switzerland. She plans to live there with her two daughters when they are attending school over there.

November 18th

Last Thursday afternoon the rare 13.000 English pounds MV Agusta motorbike belonging to Viscount Linley has been snatched from a parking place in Bruton Lane in Mayfair, London, by thieves. Police believes the motorbike was taken by three men and loaded into the back of a van. The grey and red motorbike has a unique plate engraved with a personal inscription.

November 20th

The Press Complaints Commission has censored OK! magazine for publishing unauthorised photos of Prince William of Great Britain. The photos show the prince hiking during his expedition in Chile. The photos were taken with a telephoto lens and break rules agreed with the press on covering Prince William after he left Eton College.

Sensation in Great Britain this weekend. A newspaper showed a photo of Queen Elizabeth II wringing the neck of a wounded pheasant during a hunting party last Saturday. Anti hunting groups are furious. Queen Elizabeth II herself doesn’t seem to care. On Sunday she went to church wearing a hat with pheasant feathers.

November 21st

A permanent exhibition from the Hermitage of St Petersburg, Russia, was opened in London. The Prince of Wales opened the Treasures of Catherine the Great exhibition at Somerset House. The collection will be made up of 500 works which will be rotated from the Russian museum. In return for the art, the Hermitage will receive part of the entrance fee and profits from any sales.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has become the latest train passenger to be hit by the continuing rail delays. She was due to take a train service from London to Cambridge on Thursday but has been forced to travel by car. The 45 minute journey is currently taking up to two hours. They don’t want to risk disappointing anyone by having to cancel any of the engagements.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and president of the German federation, Johannes Rau, have opened an exhibition about the German-Dutch relations in the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn, Germany.

The 250-years-old rococo ceiling from Antonio Bossi in the White Hall in the residence of Würzburg, Germany, has been restored after more than a year and can be admired again in all its glory. Two years ago the Bavarian Castle Administration had noticed moisture damage and parts of the ceiling had come down. Also the walls of the hall will be restored in the coming year.

November 22nd

Last weekend Jorge Zorreguieta and his wife Maria del Carmen, the parents of Máxima, visited the Dutch royal family. The Government Information Service has confirmed this today. A Dutch magazine wrote that the parents of Máxima had dinner with Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus on Saturday and thereafter slept at the Palace Noordeinde. On Sunday it is said they were at Het Loo and met Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven. Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok said that no new stage in the relationship between Máxima Zorreguieta and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje has started. He also said that it is normal that parents of two people who have a relationship meet after a while.

Today King Juan Carlos I of Spain reigns over Spain for 25 years. The Spaniards who had planned to celebrate this were instead mourning the assassination of a former Minister of Health, who was shot dead on Tuesday night, most likely by the ETA. The King used his official speech in parliament to express his grieve over the latest killing and he called for unity to overcome terrorism. Later the jubilee was marked with military and regiments parading through Madrid in ceremonial dress along a route lined with armed soldiers.

November 23rd

The European Court of Human Rights says the Greek government didn’t have the right to seize the properties of King Constantinos II. It says the seizure infringed citizen’s rights to peaceful enjoyments of possessions. Now the Court is going to look how the loss of the land, buildings and goods can be compensated. If he doesn’t get his properties back, the King demands about $ 0,7 billion as compensation.

The people in Great Britain are to get an extra bank holiday on June 3, 2002, to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, it has been announced. And the Spring Bank Holiday, due to fall on May 27, will move to June 4 to allow four days of celebration.

November 26th

Last week the Dutch government decided not to do anything to forbid the royal boar hunting. Today hundreds of people demonstrated against the yearly hunting parties in front of Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn.

November 28th

Thieves have stolen two and a half tons of lead, worth about $ 400 from the roof of Buckingham Palace’s police control room. The lead, which had been removed from the palace roof by builders, was being stored on pallets above the police room for safe-keeping. But when workmen arrived with a crane to collect the lead, it had disappeared.

November 29th

Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven underwent an operation on his left ankle in the Amsterdam Medical Center. He had troubles with the ankle because the fracture he contracted after a fall during the skiing holidays in the beginning of 1999 never fully healed.

November 30th

Prince Maurits van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and his pregnant wife Marilène opened the exhibition “Maurits” in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

December 1st

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby are finally engaged. This morning King Harald V announced the engagement. At a press conference in the afternoon Crown Prince Haakon said that he and Mette-Marit are together since about one year and one week and that they love each other so much that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. Haakon gave Mette-Marit the engagement ring his grandfather King Olav V gave to his Märtha, and his father King Harald V to his Sonja. The couple said that Mette-Marit will continue studying social anthropology at the University of Oslo. They want to live at Skaugum. The wedding will take place on August 25th, 2001, in the Domchurch of Oslo.

In Brussels Princess Mathilde of Belgium finally introduced the Princess Mathilde Foundation. Each year a prize of about $ 10.000 will go to a project that helps vulnerable people.

December 2nd

The Danish royal family has announced that they will celebrate Christmas 2000 at the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. The plan was to celebrate Christmas at Grasten Castle like in 1999, but after the death of Queen Ingrid the family decided not to do that.

With a weddingdinner in the Bagatelle restaurant in Oslo, Benedikte Ferner, daughter of Princess Astrid of Norway, celebrated her marriage to Mons Einar Stange that took place earlier today. The whole Norwegian royal family, including Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, was present. After a long party at an hotel in Oslo the groom was arrested for trouble a woman. He spent his wedding night in a police station. After paying some money he was able to leave the next morning. He said he had been drunk and didn’t know anymore what he had done that night.

December 3rd

In a BBC programm Frances Shand Kydd, the mother of Diana Princess of Wales, has spoken of her long journey through grief following her daughter’s death. She told she was able to come to terms with the tragedy because of her strong faith (she converted to Catholicism six years ago). She said her daughter’s funeral had been difficult to deal with because it was such a public event.

At Gut Skaugum the Norwegian royal family and the family of Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby came together in the afternoon. The official engagement photos of Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby were taken.

December 4th

A huge political row looms after the Oxford College has been asked to accept Prince Azim, a son of the Sultan of Brunei. The approach was made by the British government even though the Sunday Express says the boy is insufficiently qualified.

December 6th

Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein and his wife Sophie became the proud parents of a son, Nikolaus Sebastian Alexander Maria, who was born in the Spital in Grabs, Switzerland, early in the afternoon.

At 22:50 this evening Infanta Cristina of Spain gave birth to her second son in the Clínica Teknon in Barcelona. Her husband Iñaki Urdangarín cut the umbilical cord. The little Pablo Nicolás weighs 3800 grammes and is 54,5 centimeters tall.

A plan to close down bars for workers at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle is being considered. The bars offer out-price drinks to staff. Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Peat, has put forward plans to shut the bars down and save money, The Sun reports. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said staff were being consulted, but no decision has been made yet.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain delivered her annual speech – written by the government – to the House of Lords outlining government plans for policy making in the coming months at the state opening of parliament.

December 8th

The Prince of Wales played a starring role in tonight’s 40th anniversary episode of the most popular and oldest British soap Coronation Street. Footage of him meeting cast members featured as a news bulletin in a storyline about attempts to save the street’s famous cobbles. The Prince agreed to the idea after visiting the soap’s Manchester set today. Before the show he said: “I will make sure I watch the programme tonight and make sure I get the video as well.”

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands opened the exhibition “De Voorstelling” in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. She was invited to arranged the whole exhibition herself, which she has done very well. She came to the opening together with her husband Prince Claus, her three sons, nephew Floris and Princess Annette.

December 9th

Infanta Cristina of Spain and her newborn son Pablo Nicolás left hospital and the first photos of the baby were taken. The godparents of the little baby will be Princess Alexia of Greece and Prince Kubrat of Bulgaria. A date for the christening hasn’t been mentioned yet.

December 12th

In Rome, Italy, Queen Silvia of Sweden and Princess Astrid of Belgium received a prize for their dedication to the vulnerable people in the world. The prize was given to them by the Foundation Together for Peace, a humanitarian organisation.

December 15th

The West African Emperor Abukari II, who reigned the powerful Mali-empire in the 14th century, reached America two centuries before Christopher Columbus did. Malinese scientist Diawara says this. In 1311 Abukari II should have renounced his rights to the throne and he should have made a voyage of discovery sailing off the coast of the present country of Gambia with 2.000 boats. Diawara says he reached the present country of Brazil in 1312. Diawara bases his theory on Egyptian writings about the voyage of Abukari, announcements of Columbus himself about black merchants he met in America and the analysis of golden spearheads Columbus collected.

December 16th

This morning the official engagement of Constantijn Prince of the Netherlands , the third son of Queen Beatrix, and Laurentien Brinkhorst (born Leiden 25 May 1966) was announced. The couple knows each other already for a long time and has a relationship for 5 years. Laurentien’s father, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst – who is the present Minister of Agriculture of the Netherlands – has been a good friend of the Queen since college days. The same counts for her mother, Jantien Heringa. Laurentien works in Brussels, Belgium, for the pr-office Adamson BSMG as the vice president strategic corporate communications. She started the job in February, before she worked in Brussels for another company since 1992. During the half-hour-presentation at Huis ten Bosch, the residence of the Queen in The Hague, in the afternoon the couple answered some questions. Prince Constantijn asked his Laurentien to marry him a few weeks ago. She was asked to come home with a little lie and there she found the house full of flowers. He asked her to marry him and after a crying-fit she said yes. Constantijn told Laurentien is the perfect woman for him; she is intelligent, strong and has a very warm heart. Laurentien started blushing after he said this. The wedding will take place in the middle of 2001. Now the prince will first concentrate on getting his diploma at the INSEAD in Fontainebleau next week.

December 17th

Prince William is the most popular member of the British royal family a poll for News of the World found today. It also says that the Countess of Wessex is the most useless. Close behind her were her husband, the Earl of Wessex, the Duchess of York and the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince William won the poll just before the Queen Mother and the Princess Royal. Queen Elizabeth II came in fourth place.

December 18th

With the signing of a grand-ducal decree at 16:00 in the Grand-Ducal Palace in Luxembourg City by Grand Duke Henri Prince Guillaume officially became the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The ceremony was attended by members of the family and the Luxembourg government. In his speech Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume said he wants to utilize his college days to prepare himself for the responsibilities that wait for him. He thanked his parents and grandparents for their confidence in him and said they are a great example for him how to serve the country. Finally he confirmed that he is going to serve the country in the interest of the country and the people to guarantee them justice, solidarity and welfare. One hour after the ceremony there was a thanksgiving service in the Cathedral of Our Lady and when the new Hereditary Grand Duke arrived with his parents people applauded for him. At 18:00 a reception was held at the Grand-Ducal Palace. Guillaume will become a member of the Council of State and join economic missions abroad – the first next April to Korea. Tomorrow he will be officially named President of the Kraizberg Foundation.

December 19th

Australian monarchists are disappointed because the Australian government has decided to issue bank-notes without the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on it.

A gambler from Wales, convinced Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will abdicate by the end of 2001, has placed the largest royal bet ever taken, a leading British bookmaker said. The gambler stands out to win $106.100 if the Queen steps down by December 31, 2001, having placed a $3650 bet at odds. The bookmaker said betting on the Queen’s abdication is fairly common, though no one has ever dared to stake so much. It usually doesn’t attract more than $15 or $30.

December 21st

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is starting to sound more like some of her trend-setting young subjects. An Australian researcher analysed the Queen’s Christmasspeeches from the 1950s through the 1980s. He found that Royal vowels are drifting towards the standard southern British accent exemplified by female BBC Broadcasters. Writing in Nature Magazine he adds that the cockney accent is also an influence.

The state of health of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg is still developing positively. He is making such a big improvement that he will be able to celebrate Christmas at home with his family.

Queen Rania posed together with her three children. It is the first official photo – if we don’t count the photos taken after her birth – with Princess Salma on it, who was born in September.

December 22nd

Zara Phillips, the daughter of the Princess Royal, had an accident while driving her Land Rover on an unclassified country road between Bourton-on-the-Water and Ford, Gloucestershire, shortly before 7am. The car clipped a wall and landed upside down. Zara, who was driving alone, suffered minor facial injuries, but did not need hospital treatment.

Queen Elizabeth II will go online on Christmas Day, as her seasonal message is seen for the first time on Royal Insight, the official royal news site. From 3pm the site will have video, audio and text and will carry the message from the moment it is available to television channels. The message will then remain online, with other Royal seasonal greetings.

Prince William of Great Britain arrived home after a 10-week stay in Patagonia, Chile, as a member of the Operation Raleigh expedition. He helped rebuild a village, teached children English in a local school, acted as a radio DJ and even cleaned toilets. After having to camp out with 14 other volunteers on a cold schoolroom floor, William said: “The first thing I’m going to do is soak in my bath for a couple of hours and then have a sleep – I’ll probably sleep for a couple of years.”

Yesterday Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands finished his studies as Master of Business Administration at the INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. Queen Beatrix and Laurentien Brinkhorst attended the presentation of the diploma.

December 25th

Early in the evening Princess Märtha Louise of Norway read the fairytale “Manndattera og Kjerringdattera” in a children’s programme on the Norwegian television.

Queen Beatrix held her first Christmas speech on television from Palace Huis ten Bosch. The broadcasting attracted 1,6 million viewers. The Queen for all talked about hope, love and faith. She also mentioned the engagement of her son Constantijn recently.

December 28th

Rached and Hamdane, sons of Sheikh Mohammad ben Rached al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence, are going to enter the Military Academy of Sandhurst in Great Britain in 2001.

A man has been arrested after paragliding on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. No members of the Royal Family were in the building at the time of the incident which happened about 1pm. Police says he had been tracked by a police helicopter during his descent. It is said the man is 36-year-old Australian Brett De La Mare, an author who is hoping to publicize his unpublished novel. He has been involved in similar stunts elsewhere.

December 29th

Yesterday a small tumour has been removed from the left side of the chest of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands at the University Medical Centre Utrecht. Doctors say the operation went well. The tumour will be examined further. Prince Bernhard returned home to Palace Soestdijk this morning. The Prince had discovered the tumour himself two weeks ago and before Christmas he was examined.

December 30th

Among the people who receive an honour from Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain were two former members of staff. Tiggy Legge-Bourke, former nanny to the Princes William and Harry, has been honoured becoming a member of the Royal Victorian Order. The Prince of Wales’s former press secretary, Sandy Henney, became a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order.

The more than 200 policemen of the Guardia Civil who have been brought into action to protect King Juan Carlos I of Spain and his family during their holiday in the winter-sports resort Baqueira in the Spanish Pyrenees, are protesting against their bad work-circumstances. They have to sleep with 20 men in one room in old apartments. Further they have to take care of their own food. They get money for food, but they don’t receive enough as the village is very expensive.

One thought on “Royal News 2000

  1. A very busy year! Princess Caroline’s husband made a fool of himself, lied about it and got caught! Prince Charles will become George Vll eventually, a lot of babies were born, Prince Azim isn’t ready for Oxford, Maxima married her prince and became a queen, the pretenders are still trying to become French royalty, there was a lot of traveling by all the world’s rulers, Camilla will be Princess Consort during Charles’s/George Vll’s reign, and William Windsor hasn’t met his wife yet! A wonderful summary of the this year, thank you!

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