Royal News 2008

Last modified: 8 January 2009

Archived royal news from my old website for the year 2008.

January 1st

King Juan Carlos I of Spain celebrated New Year with the Spanish ISAF troops in Herat, Afghanistan, yesterday. He told the troops: “I have instructions from my family to congratulate you and thank you.” He saw the New Year at the Spanish Embassy in Kuwait with Emir Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah of Kuwait.

In her New Year’s speech Queen Margrethe II of Denmark said: “We’re living in a society that is becoming richer and richer and we’re forgetting that we’re responsible for each other. But we are responsible for each other – this is one of the principles our society is based on. Perhaps we were better at understanding this when there was less to go around. Now it’s easier to let someone else take care of the problems as long as they don’t affect us. We are then shocked by news of misfortune concerning children and the elderly.” She also said to take responsibility for looking after the environment.

In his New Year’s address King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand called for unity among the Thai people and responsible behaviour./p>

January 2nd

For the fifth consecutive year the Princess Royal was the hardest working British royal in 2007. She undertook 613 engagements. The second hardest working royal was the Duke of York with 556 engagements, followed by the Prince of Wales with 498. Queen Elizabeth II of Great-Britain undertook 440 engagements – more than in the past three years – while the Duke of Edinburgh cut his duties back to 380. The Earl of Wessex carried out 362 engagements and the countess of Wessex 147 engagements, a bit limited because of her pregnancy. The Duchess of Cornwall carried out 193 engagements, but couldn’t undertake any duties for a while because of an operation. Prince William of Wales carried out 16 engagements and prince Harry of Wales 12 engagements.

Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand died at 2:54am of abdominal cancer at Siriraj hospital in Bangkok where she had been receiving treatment since 15 June 2007. Her condition worsened on Tuesday night. The princess was 84 years old and was born at London on 6 May 1923 as daughter of Prince Songkla and his wife Mom Sangwal. The funeral will take place at the Grand Palace where she lies in state at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall. The bathing rituals this afternoon were presided over by King Bhumibol Abdulyadej and Queen Sirikit. 100 day of court mourning has been declared, while the mourning period for Thailand will be 15 days. The royal rites will take place until 9 January. The princess was the sister of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, as well as the previous king Ananda Mahidol who died in 1946. She married twice and has one daughter, who survives her.

About 79.600 well-wishers gathered at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo today to hear Emperor Akihito of Japan’s new year address. He prayed for the happiness of Japan and for world peace. He said: “I feel pleased to celebrate the New Year with you. At the beginning of the year, I wish for the happiness of our nation and peace in the world.” The Emperor and his family appeared at the glassed-in balcony of Chowa Den seven times during the day.

January 3rd

Six new pictures of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium and their three children were issued together with a short letter in which they wished everyone lots of happiness in 2008. In the letter the couple says: “At the start of this new year we want to look back on 2007, to focus on what’s ahead of us. We would like to do this by sharing some photos of what’s most precious to us: our children, our family.” They furthermore said: “For 2008 our family will of course look forward to the birth of our fourth child in spring.”

Myanmar has reopened the Thiri Zeya Bumi Bagan Golden Palace at Bagan. The palace is one of the four ancient palaces rebuilt after 1988. The palace originally was built by the first ancient king of Myanmar King Anawratha. The country hopes to attract more tourists to promote the development of tourism in the country.

January 4th

Prince William of Wales will join a class of 11 students at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, on Monday to start a four-month attachment in the Royal Air Force. Group Captain Nick Seward said that it is important that the prince, as future head of the armed forces, understands the “ethos and history” of the RAF. In the early summer Prince William will start an attachment with the Royal Navy.

January 5th

A survey by Sigma Dos for El Mundo newspaper carried out last month shows that 82,9% of the Spanish people feels the monarchy is consolidated in Spain. 13,1% thinks it isn’t. King Juan Carlos’ monarchy gets a mark of 7,89 out of 10.

The Nepalese parliament unanimously passed the Nepal Trust bill on Friday to nationalize the property of the late King Birendra of Nepal. A committee has been set up to manage the funds generated from the nationalization of the royal property.

A website containing information on royal music (nha nhac) at the courts in central Vietnam in feudal times was launched today. The musical style has been listed as world heritage by UNESCO. The website was made by the Theatre of Hue Traditional and Royal Arts.

January 6th

The earl of Snowdon has co-operated on a biography about his life by Anne de Courcy in the past four years. Anne de Courcy has been allowed acccess to the earl’s letters and paper and got permission to interview family and friends. The earl said: “I am now happy for people to know about my life and I want to put the record straight on some things.” The earl married Princess Margaret of Great Britain in 1960 and the couple divorced in 1978. The biography, which hasn’t gotten copy approval, will be published in June.

January 7th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales the jury were told by a personal friend of the princess, Rodney Turner,that the relationship between Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed was already over at least two weeks before the car crash. Furthermore it was revealed that the princess’s ‘true love’ Dr Hasnat Khan, with whom she had a two-year affair, wants to break his silence and give a written statement. Yesterday the inquest also heard that the apartments of the princess at Kensington Palace might have been bugged. Security expert Grahame Harding searched her rooms four times in 1994 and at one occasion a signal was found. However it could have been equipment in another room.

A poll by Maurice de Hond says that 50% of the Dutch wishes Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to give up her role as member of the government. They want her to have a ceremonial function only.

2000 people demonstrated in the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal, to protest against the decision of the parliament to abolish the monarchy and create a republic. The demonstratoors were closely watched by the police, but there were no reports of violence.

Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain has been appointed deputy commander-in-chief of the Bahrain army by his father, who is the supreme commander. Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmad al-Khalifa has been removed as defence minister, and was appointed commander of the army. Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdullah al-Khalifa is interim defence minister.

January 8th

The Thai government plans to spend some $9 million on the royal cremation rite of Princess Galyani Vadhana. Most money will be spent on a pyre, which takes at four months to be build. A date for the cremation hasn’t been set yet, but it will take place after the 100-day mourning period of the royal court.

January 9th

The RVD released five new pictures of the princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane of the Netherlands. The pictures were taken by the Prince of Orange on 5 January 2008 at Villa La Angostura, Argentina. The release is a thank you from the prince and princess Maxima because the argentinean media left them pretty much in peace after the photo session in Buenos Aires on 22 December 2007.

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales her former bodyguard Ken Wharfe said that he thinks that the security team protecting the princess contributed to her death as they were too hostile to the paparazzi photographers. He said that the security should have gone for a brief photo moment with the princess and Dodi al-Fayed. Ken Wharfe also said that the Squidgygate tapes from 1989 were probably made by the surveillance service GCHQ. Ken Wharfe also told that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain didn’t support the princess’s work with Aids and leprosy and had asked her why she didn’t get involved with something more pleasant.

King Juan Carlos of Spain celebrated his 70th birthday with a family celebration at home on 5 January. Today a big dinner with 450 guests was held at the El Pardo palace. Before dinner the king said: “I want to be king for all Spaniards. All have contributed to … supporting the path of the Crown.” He also told about his “pride at all that we have achieved together, confidence in the future, in our youth … (and) renewed determination to continue working as king with the same passion and commitment, in the service of Spain for all Spaniards.”

Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, daughter of the Sultan, received her Bachelors of Arts degree with Honours in international studies from Kingston University, London today.

January 10th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales alternative therapist Simone Simmons said that the Duke of Edinburgh had written the princess ‘cruel and disparaging’ letters. She says to have seen two letters from 1994 and 1995. Mr John Johnson, personal bodyguard of Dodi al-Fayed, told via video-link that the princess and Dodi al-Fayed had only been window shopping in Monte Carlo and didn’t visit the Repossi jewellery store. Mohamed al-Fayed’s press spokesman Michael Cole however stated that although it would never be sure if the bought ring was meant to be an engagement ring, Dodi al-Fayed had told him a month before the crash that he was together with princess Diana and that ‘there will never be another woman for me’. He also said that the couple had plans to buy a house in Malibu. Next week former royal butler Paul Burrell is going to appear at the inquest.

January 11th

Swedish scientists want to exhume the remains of King Karl XII of Sweden. They hope to solve the mystery of who killed him in 1718 during the invasion of Norway. He was shot, but it is not clear if the bullet was fired from the Norwegian or the Swedish side. The researchers say they might be able to tell after examining bone fragments around the bullet hole in the skull. The king is buried nowadays in Stockholm. They haven’t received authorization for the exhumation yet.

January 12th

The funeral service of Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria was held this afternoon at the Stephansdom in Vienna, Austria. The service was led by Archbishop Edmond Farhat. One of the officiants was Father Paul Habsburg. Afterwards the archduke was buried next to his parents at the nearby Kapuzinergruft. Among the mourners were the wife, children and grandchildren of the deceased as well as his three surviving siblings and other family members. Furthermore the funeral service was attended by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg, Princess Astrid of Belgium and Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este, Prince Hans Adam II and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein, Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, Duke Friedrich of Württemberg, Margrave Max and Margravine Valerie of Baden, the Duke of Bragança, Prince Alexander of Sachsen, Prince Karl zu Schwarzenberg.

According to a death announcement in Le Figaro today the famous celebrity hairdresser Alexandre de Paris recently died. His real name was Louis Alexandre Raimon. He did the hair of various princesses on their wedding day like Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess Irene of the Netherlands and several French princesses. Among his customers were furthermore the Countess of Paris, the Duchess of Windsor, the Begum Aga Khan, and filmstars like Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Romy Schneider, as well as Maria Callas.

January 13rd

Hasnat Khan, former boyfriend of Diana Princess of Wales, has spoken for the first time about his secret love affair with the princess which started in 1995. He gave an interview to the newspaper The Mail on Sunday. Hasnat Khan recently seperated from his wife of 18 months, has left London and currently spends some time in Pakistan with his family. He will start soon as head of a cardiac hospital in Malaysia. He said that he found the princess a very normal person with great qualities but also some personal drawbacks. He said that he thought she did great work for the country and for people all over the world. He says that he doesn’t want to testify at the inquest into Diana’s death and that he has nothing to add to his 2004 statement at the Lord Stevens inquiry.

January 14th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales former butler Paul Burrell said that he doesn’t believe in the theory that the princess was murdered on the orders of the royal family. He also doesn’t consider Dodi al-Fayed as the one she should marry, but that her relationship with him was ‘fresh, new and exciting’ for the princess. He thinks however that she was still thinking of her former boyfriend Hasnat Khan about whom she had been much more serious.

Prince Vincenz von und zu Liechtenstein died unexpectedly of a heart attack at his home near Graz, Austria in the night from Sunday to Monday aged 57. He was born at Graz on 30 July 1950 as the eldest child of Prince Heinrich and his wife Elisabeth née Archduchess of Austria. On Saturday he had attended the funeral of his uncle Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria. Prince Vincenz was a politician for the ÖVP. Prince Vincenz is survived by his two daughters by his first wife, Adelheid and Hedwig. He was also divorced from his second wife with whom he had no children.

The Greek royal house today announced that Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his wife Marie-Chantal expect their fifth child in early July. It will be the ninth grandchild of former King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

January 15th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales her former lawyer Maggie Ray said that the princess in October 1995 claimed to her lawyers that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain would abdicate in April 1996 and that the Prince of Wales would take over. The princess told Maggie Ray that she believed that the crown should go to her son Prince William under regency of the Duke of York. The late Lord Mishcon made a note of the meeting. During the meeting at Kensington Palace the princess told him and her new sollicitors Maggie Ray and Sandra Davis that she feared there was a plot to kill her.

January 16th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Paul Burrell told at the inquest today that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain told him weeks after the princess’s death that Diana had been over-excited about the relationship with Dodi al-Fayed and had been concerned about the future because of the relationship. Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker criticised Mr Burrell for copying private letters of Diana Princess of Wales without her permission to keep for their historical importance.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand presided over a Buddhist rite to mark the 15th day after the passing of Princess Galyani Vadhana this afternoon at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Starting on 19 January foreigners who will pay their respects to the late princess at the Grand Palace will receive a copy of her biography in English.

January 17th

The Duchess of Cornwall became a grandmother for the second time yesterday. Her daughter Laura, who is married to Harry Lopes, had her first child at a London hospital. The baby was named Eliza. A spokesman of Clarence House said that the Duchess has been to see her granddaughter this morning.

Prince William of Wales has made his first solo flight in a light aircraft today at Cranwell, Lincolnshire. He said that it had been an amazing feeling and that he couldn’t believe it when the instructor told him that he would fly solo. The prince is hoping to graduate with RAF wings in April.

Bunte magazine reports today that Daniel Terberger and his wife Elizabeth Duchesss in Bavaria had their second child some time ago already. Ottora Elisabeth Victoria Lucia was born on 13 December 2007.

January 18th

In an interview on Dutch television tonight, on the occasion of her 65th birthday, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands said she has never thought it to be a problem to live in the shadow of her sister Queen Beatrix. She said: “I am not someone who is very ambitious and I am also not someone who likes to be the leader”. The princess was born in 1943 in Ottawa, Canada, and tells: “I love the people, I think it is a wonderful country. Great, all this space they have there.” She says she still has a special bond with the Canadian WW II veterans who liberated the Netherlands: “I find it very important that we are thankful to these people and that we honour them.” The Princess is not thinking of retiring yet. She said that becoming a grandmother “is a complete new phase in live. It is a very emotional moment if a grandchild is born”. Tomorrow, on the actual birthday of the princess, she and her family and friends are present at a special ballet performance by Introdans at the Orpheus Theatre in Apeldoorn. Another celebration will be held at the Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam together with her then 70-year-old sister Queen Beatrix. Today the Royal Court opened a 65th birthday page with two new portrait photos of the princess which can be downloaded in high quality (click portretfoto’s). You can also sign the congratulations register (felicitatieregister).

January 19th

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands celebrated her 65th birthday today with a ballet performance at the Orpheus Theatre in Apeldoorn. She was accompanied by her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven, her sister Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, her four sons and daughters-in-law, Prince Friso and Princess Mabel, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, as well as by Prince Carlos and Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme. The Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima weren’t there as they travelled back to Argentina for Princess Maxima’s father’s 80th birthday. The evening was attended by about 650 guests.

January 20th

Prince Tu’ipelehake and Princess Kaimana Tu’ipelehake of Tonga and their driver were killed in an accident in July 2006. They drove a Ford explorer. On Wednesday Prince Mailefihi Tu’ipelehake of Tonga and Tuna Fielakepa, mother of Princess Kaimana Tu’ipelehake, filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. They blame the company for the vehicle’s high center of gravity contributed to its tendency to rollover and flip and say that the problem was made worse by an underinflated front right tire. Another similar lawsuit was already filed against Ford motor Co. seven months ago by the sons of the deceased couple.

January 21st

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales it was revealed that driver Henri Paul was more than three times the French limit for driving. The blood alcohol level found in his blood was 1,74g of alcohol per litre of blood. Bar staff from the Ritz Hotel in Paris says he drank only two liqueurs that night. Pathologist Professor Robert Forrest said that the blood alcohol level is more consistent with five large glasses.

On the occasion of the 4th birthday of Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway the Norwegian royal court released a few photos as well as a video. Princess Ingrid Alexandra 4 years old

January 22nd

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Father Anthony Parsons confirmed that former royal butler Paul Burrell approached him in 1997 and mentioning the name of the Princess of Wales asked whether it was possible for a Muslim to marry a non-Catholic at his church. Fr Parsons and his colleagues didn’t think he was very serious. He didn’t inquire further as the princess died shortly afterwards.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway had to cancel an official visit to Chile after falling ill with an acute case of stomach flu. Crown Prince Haakon is left for Chile alone today.

January 23rd

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Trevor Rees, who was the only one to survive the crash. He says to remember very little from the night of the crash. He only remembers leaving the Ritz Hotel and seeing photographers, and then being at the tunnel where the crash happened. He said that if he had known that Mr Henri Paul had been drinking, he would have stopped him driving. Mr Rees denied being part of a conspiracy to cover-up the princess’s murder. Mohamed al-Fayed claims that Mr Rees is pretending that he is suffering from memory loss. Reuben Murrell, head of security at Villa Windsor near Paris from Mr al-Fayed, says that Mohamed al-Fayed ordered him to claim that Princess Diana was pregnant with Dodi al-Fayed’s child and that they planned to live together at Villa Windsor. He said now that the princess and Dodi al-Fayed had visited the villa, but that the princess didn’t look very interested.

January 24th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales her private secretary from 1990 to 1996 Patrick Jephson said that Princess Diana had felt very isolated after her marriage. Hermany pleas for help were simply ignored. He told that the princess was obsessed with astrology and even consulted a clairvoyant to enhance her personal development.

The Belgian royal family will receive 13,3 million euros in 2008. King Albert II of the Belgians gets 10,2 million euro, Queen Fabiola 1,472 million euro, Prince Philippe 940.000 euro, Princess Astrid 326.000 euro and Prince Laurent 318.000 euro.

January 25th

Five-week old Viscount Severn, son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, was rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London yesterday afternoon. The Countess of Wessex stayed overnight to await test results. Buckingham Palace said today that the baby had suffered a minor allergic reaction which was not life-threatening and not serious.

January 28th

Since today the Prince of Wales is the eldest heir to the throne in British history. The previous record holder was Edward Prince of Wales who became King Edward VII in 1901 upon the death of his mother Queen Victoria.

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale said that Princess Diana thought the yacht she cruised the Mediterranean with on with Dodi al-Fayed was being bugged by Mohamed al-Fayed. She also said that she thought that the relationship of her sister with Dodi al-Fayed wouldn’t have lasted much longer. However she had thought there was a strong possibility that she might have married Hasnat Khan. She also told that former royal butler Paul Burrell had been given a box containing sensitive documents who haven’t been seen since.

Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme refuses to pay the former lawyers of her and her ex-husband. The three lawyers Jurriën Pen, Peter Nicolaï and Frits Kemp. Her present lawyer Germ Kemper says that they should have helped the princess and her ex-husband pro deo at that time. He also claims that the lawyers never sent bills to the couple. Mr Kemp however says: “Back then the Princess lived in a French castle, wore expensive jewelry, came to Amsterdam per airplane and stayed in a hotel. Then I take that the bills will be paid.”

January 29th

A man who carried an axe in a crowd of people waiting for Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain last May has been jailed. The judge said he could have endangered the public if police officers had had to open fire to protect the Queen. He was given a three-year sentence for having an article with a blade, 18 months for breaching an anti-social behaviour order and another 18 months for having an article with a blade and one of going equipped for theft, relating to a different incident.

On the website of the Dutch royl family you can congratulate Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands with her 70th birthday on 31 January.

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam and his second wife Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar had their second child yesterday. Their daughter was born at 4.21pm. The birth was marked with a 21-gun salute.

January 30th

Princess Lilian of Sweden was rushed to hospital yesterday afternoon. She suffered a bout of food poisoning. Palace spokeswoman Nina Eldh said this morning that the princess was feeling well again and would return home later today.

The Prince of Asturias celebrated his 40th birthday today. On the occasion a set of pictures was released.

A replica of the railway carriage used by Queen Victoria of Great Britain to travel between Windsor and Ballater will be on display at the Victorian exhibition in Ballater Tourist Information Centre starting at Easter. The original carriage is kept in the National Railway Museum in York.

January 31st

Hampton and Littlewood auctioneers in Exeter, Great Britain, sold an 82-year-old letter written by the late Queen Mother of Great Britain for £300. In the three-page letter, written at Balmoral to her dressmaker in London Elizabeth Handley Seymour, she expresses her concern at the high cost of her clothing.

Three new pictures of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands taken by Anton Corbijn were released by the Dutch royal court.

Despite protests of several political parties the royal families of Denmark and Norway will attend the Olympic Games at Beijing, China, this summer. The political parties wish a royal boycott because of the human rights situation in Tibet and China. The Norwegian royal palace said to the newspaper Aftenposten: “The Royal Highnesses, the King and Queen, and the Crown Prince will represent Norway at the Olympic Games in Beijing, but the programme is not set yet. Respect for Human Rights is important, and the Norwegian authorities are dealing with the problem through an ongoing dialogue with the Chinese.” Also Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark intends to attend the opening ceremony. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that he feels politics and sports shouldn’t be mixed, and that it would be strange if the Crown Prince did not attend since Denmark is sending its athletes. A spokesperson for the royal family acknowledged this statement and said: “The Royal Family has a tradition of participating at the Olympic Games, and the Crown Prince’s participation at this year’s games is a demonstration of his interest in sport and his support for the Danish athletes.” Earlier this week the Free Tibet campaign group urged the Prince of Wales not to attend the games. A Clarence House spokeswoman said: “There are currently no plans for the Prince of Wales to attend the Olympics. He has not been invited to attend.” The Prince only attended the games in 1976 in Montreal to see his sister the Princess Royal participating.

February 1st

Queen Beatrix and Princess Margriet of the Netherlands celebrated their 70th and 65th birthday with a festive performance at the Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam late this afternoon. Among the about 1000 guests were no foreign royals. Almost the whole royal Dutch family with exception of the children of Princess Christina showed up. Also the Duke of Parma, former husband of Princess Irene, was present as well as Tjalling ten Cate, boyfriend of Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme. The royals arrived by boat and walked the about 200 metres to the entrance of the theatre cheered by tens of onlookers. Among 150 students from Dutch academies and conservatoria of the arts performed in a programm with highlights from dance, opera, orchestra and chambermusic, jazz and electronical art presented by Ivo Niehe. Of course the programme started with a birthday song. Played were compositions of Béla Bartok, Franz Liszt and Mozart, and a choreography of Jiri Kylian was danced. Also a bigband performed playing jazz. The show ended with six little violinists playing another birthday song. After the show Queen and Princess met with the students, before they headed for the reception. Queen Beatrix thanked them for the phantastic performance and the great feast.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, issued a decree today appointing his eldest son Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as Crown Prince of Dubai. The decree will go into effect immediately. By another decree of today Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum were named as Deputy Rules of Dubai.

On 1 April 2008 auction house Christie’s in Amsterdam will sell 450 items from the art collection of the princes of Liechtenstein. The family has too little space to keep the art. Among the items are furniture, paintings, sculptures and watches from four centuries. One of the most valuable pieces is a pair of globes of Willem Janszoon Blaeu who worked for the Dutch East Indies Company.

February 3rd

The daughter of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam and his second wife, who was born on 28 January 2008, was named Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah binti Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah. In a statement the parents and further family thanked everybody who send their congratulations upon the birth. Yesterday photos of the princess were issued.

February 5th

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden has registered to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup. He will make his debute on 20 April at Knutstorp.

February 6th

The magazine Party was fined €3000 for publishing photos of Princess Maxima of the Netherlands and her daughters Amalia and Alexia on the beach in Wassenaar in June 2007. The magazine also needs to pay the costs of the lawsuit. The court in Amsterdam judged that although the members of the royal family has to accept that their pictures are being taken in public, but that they don’t have to accept that pictures taken during private activities are published in magazines.

A spokesman of the family announced today that the Duke of Parma has been diagnosed with ‘a limited form’ of cancer. He was already treated with medicines by professor Michael Marberger in Vienna, Austria, and by Professor José Baselga in Barcelona, Spain, which went very well. The second phase of the treatment – about 7 weeks of x-ray-treatment – will start this month at the Dutch Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital in Amsterdam.

About 30 Royalist parties have gathered today in Kathmandu, Nepal, to work out a strategy to reinstate King Gyanendra. They hope to run against the pro-republic alliance in the elections on 10 April. Present Home Affairs Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula however stated: “People now hate the monarchy and no one can defend the king. The handful of people who do so are merely putting their efforts into a futile job.”

February 7th

Grand Duke Henri of Luxemburg received the Baillif Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Order of Malta in Rome today from Grand Commander Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg received the Dame Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion. Also Archduke Carl Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria received orders.

Moroccan authorities arrested a 26-year-old Moroccan engineer from Casablanca today for steeling the identity of Prince Moulay Rachid on Facebook. Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. The arrested man posted the pictures of the prince and participated in chats in his name. A police source said that information about the activities of the royal family could only be obtained via the national news agency MAP, and that the family doesn’t have a website or blog.

In an interview to Japanese journalists from the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper King Gyanendra of Nepal said that the decision to end the monarchy “doesn’t reflect the majority view of the people. This isn’t democracy.” He told the journalists that it is only the people who have the right to choose the fate of the monarchy.

February 8th

Robert Brown, who claims to be the illegitimate son of the late Princess Margaret of Great Britain and Peter Townsend has won the right to apply to read the royal wills of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother. Judges said he was entitled to a hearing of his claim and that the family court should examine whether it was appropriate to block the wills.

The 78th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta Fra’ Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie died in Rome yesterday. Grand Commander Baillif Fra’ Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto has been sworn in as lieutenant ad interim of the Order of Malta. A new Grand Master will be elected later on.

Archduke Guntram of Austria (Tuscany branche) was involved in an accident while driving to his flying lessons at Jaguël airport in Uruguay on his motorcycle. He was seriously injured and taken to Cantegril Hospital in Maldonado where he underwent surgery. He is kept in a coma.

February 9th

The funeral service of 78th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta Fra’Andrew Bertie will take place in the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome, Italy on 16 February. After the ceremony he will be buried at the church of Santa Maria del Priorato. The state funeral will take place on 8 March. Until 16 February he will be lying in state at the chapel of Santa Maria del Priorato.

February 10th

The Dutch royal family arrived in Lech yesterday for their yearly skiing vacation. Today the traditional photosession was held. The family posed and answered some questions of the press. The children played in the snow merry-go-round and the eldest children showed that they could ski. Little princess Ariane didn’t enjoy the photosession very much. According to Princess Maxima she caught a cold and slept bad. Princess Alexia started crying also because she thought it was too cold. According to Princess Maxima the family will puzzle and play games like any other families on vacation and she will cook herself. After the photosession Queen Beatrix and her friend Renée Smith Röell went skiing. Photos Royal Portraits

February 11th

Louis Caron, an antiquarian from the Montreal-area in Canada, is set to auction a set of letters written by Queen Victoria of Great Britain at Windsor Castle to Lily Wellesley, wife of a former dean of Windsor, between 1866 and 1887. In one of the letters the Queen expresses her deep sorrow over the death of her Scottish aide John Brown. The letters are expected to sell for more than $20,000.

February 12th

It has emerged that more than £6m of public money has been spent investigating the death of the Princess of Wales since 2003. Lord Justice Scott Baker said that bills for the hearing are £3.7m while the previous Metropolitan Police investigation cost £3.7m.

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Lord Fellowes, former private secretary of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and brother-in-law of Princess Diana, denied that he could have played a part in arranging the car crash. He said he was at a talk in Norfolk that evening. Mohamed al-Fayed had stated that Lord Fellowes had co-ordinated a conspiracy by by commandeering a section of the British embassy in Paris to send messages to GCHQ shortly before their deaths on 31 August 1997. Lord Fellowes also said that the rooms of Queen Elizabeth II were regularly checked for bugging devices only to provide reassurance.

In an interview to the magazine Foraldrakraft Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has told that she suffers from a condition that makes it difficult to recognise familiar faces. She said: “I find it very hard to remember names and faces, and that is a big drawback in my capacity. I really try to learn names and faces but they just do not stick.” According to an expert the condition is known as prosopagnosia.

Prince Boris Petrovitch-Njegosh of Montenegro and his wife Véronique Canas da Silva had a daughter. Milena was born at Les Lilas near Paris on 11 February at 4am. Mother and daughter are doing fine. The family is very happy with the new addition.

February 14th

Nina Eldh, spokeswoman of the Swedish royal court said today that the royal family is sueing the German magazines Alles für die Frau, Schöne Woche and Neue Post for publishing fake pictures and stories about them. They will be represented by German lawyer Matthias Prinz. The lawsuits were filed in December 2007.

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan has been urged by palace officials to visit his parents more often. Emperor Akihito complained in 2006 that he and his wife had few opportunities to meet their granddaughter Aiko. The Crown Prince said then he would try to arrange more visits. Shingo Haketa, the head of Japan’s Imperial Household Agency, said yesterday: “I think the emperor and the empress are concerned as the number of visits to the Imperial Palace has not increased.”

The coronation celebrations of King Georg V of Tonga will be held from 30 July to 3 August 2008. On 30 July will be a Taumafakava or a Royal Kava Ceremony at Pangai Lahi followed by fireworks. On 31 July a royal luncheon will be held followed by a government reception and by a dinner hosted by Crown Prince Tupouto’a Lavaka. The coronation ceremony itself follows in the morning of 1 August at the FWC Centenary Church in Salone. In the evening a coronation ball will be held, as well as a charity concert, block party and fireworks at Nuku’alofa. On 3 August there will be a combined church service at Pangai Lahai. The King has personally invited royal families in Europe and Asia, like Japan, Great Britain, Norway, The Netherlands, Monaco, Thailand and Bhutan, as well as the Maori King and representatives of other countries.

The Prince of Venice has apologised for seeking compensation from the Italian state for the 56 years of exile of the Italian royal family. The Prince asked for 90 million euros, while his father demanded 170 million euros. In an interview to ANSA the prince said: “I am sorry for the unpleasantness caused. Italians were right to react the way they did. Italy does not need this extra problem. I don’t want to create a problem for Italy.”

February 16th

The Prince of Orange has sold his house at the Noordeinde 66 in Den Haag. He lived there from 1995 to 2003.

February 18th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Mohammed al-Fayed told that he believes that the princess and his son Dodi al-Fayed were murdered. Part of the conspiracy he says were prime minister Tony Blair, MI5, MI6 and the British ambassador to France. He claims that Princess Diana had told only him that she was pregnant and that the couple were engaged. The Sun newspaper said today they have a video tape on which Paul Burrell confesses he lied to the inquest. Lord Justice Scott Baker told the court: at the inquest: “This is something that’s certainly being investigated.”

A multilated body found buried in the garden of Hulton Abbey in Staffordshire, England during the 1970s has been identified as being Sir Hugh Despenser Jr who was executed as a traitor in 1326. He was rumoured to be the gay lover of King Edward II of England. Anthropologist Mary Lewis says she has uncovered compelling evidence of the true identity. The remains bear the hallmarks of having been hanged, drawn and quartered.

The Dutch royal court issued family photos of Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven with their three children. The photos were taken in the autumn of 2007 at the Vondelpark in Amsterdam by Frank van Beek.

February 19th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Melissa Henning, US assistant to Dodi al-Fayed said that the couple told her during a dinner weeks before they died that Princess Diana feared she would be killed. Ms Henning said: “She had felt the Royal Family did not want her around any more. She thought they felt she was a threat to them and they would prefer not to have her around. She felt it would be an accident and it would only happen when the boys were not with her because the boys would never be harmed.” Ms Henning said she contacted Mohammed al-Fayed about the conversation after the crash.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the premiere of the film The Other Boleyn Girl at the Odeon Cinema in London. Afterwards the couple met the cast of the film including Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson who play the sisters Anne and Mary Boleyn. They were excited to meet the couple. The film is based on the novel by Philippa Gregory, to whom the Duchess of Cornwall said she had read the book and had loved it.

The library at Lambeth Palace in London has obtained a copy of the execution warrant for Mary Queen of Scots for £72,485. The warrant was signed by Queen Elizabeth I of England. Mary Queen of Scots was executed in February 1567. The original warrant was lost shortly after the execution.

It was announced today that Princess Margarita de Bourbon will marry her boyfriend Tjalling ten Cate in a civil ceremony in May 2008. The couple expects their first child in \ August 2008.

February 20th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Sir Richard Dearlove, former chief of MI6, gave evidence. He said that the allegations from Mohammed al-Fayed that MI6 was involved in the death of Princess Diana last week were personal and that he came to the inquest to deny them. He called Mr al-Fayed’s allegations ‘absurd’. He said that Mr al-Fayed’s immigration status nor the Princess’s interest in landmines in Angola had been of any interest at all for MI6. The Princess wasn’t bugged nor eavesdropped. He also said that the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have never been involved in MI6. He told that during his 38-year career at MI6 lethal force had never been authorised. Mr Dearlove was in the USA at the time of the accident, but had been in contact with his colleagues by phone. Other MI6 employees are due to give evidence from 26 March 2008 out of the view of the public.

February 21st

De Volkskrant newspaper today reports about a research by their journalist Anet Bleich about former prime minister Joop den Uyl. According to the research Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was involved in a second bribery scandal in 1976 with US aircraft manufacturer Northrop. Mr Den Uyl covered up the scandal. By doing so he protected the position of Queen Juliana and kept Prince Bernhard out of jail. If the scandal had become public Queen Juliana might well have been forced to resign, which could have been the end of the Dutch monarchy as Queen Beatrix wouldn’t have taken the throne under such circumstances. For her research Ms Bleich was allowed to use the personal archives of Mr Den Uyl.

February 22nd

King Albert II underwent a cataract-surgery on his right eye this morning at the University Hospital Antwerpen. The operation went very well. The King was allowed to go home in the afternoon.

Former royal butler Paul Burrell has been asked to return to the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales. He is to explain discrepancies between his evidence given at the inquest recently and comments published by the Sun newspaper based on a video recording of Mr Burrell they obtained. In a statement from his lawyers Mr Burrell says he didn’t conceal anything relevant or tell untruths during the inquest.

Fouad Mortada was sentenced to three years in prison by a Moroccan court for setting up a Facebook account in the name of Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco. Despite an appeal to the Prince for clemency the court found him guilty of falsifying data and imitating the prince without consent. He also was fined for 10.000 dirhams. Mr Mortada said he set up the account mid-January out of admiration for the prince. Mr Mortada’s family said they would appeal.

February 23rd

Princess Madeleine of Sweden participated in the vasaloppet cross country ski race on Saturday and ended in about 900th place. She completed the 30 kilometer race in 2 hours 22 minutes and 19 seconds. Princess Madeleine said: “Conditions were good and I have had fun on the track.” She was the third member of the royal family to complete the race after her father King Carl XVI Gustaf and her brother Prince Carl Philip.

In his birthday interview Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan has said he will try to visit his parents more often so they can see their granddaughter Princess Aiko more often. He said about his wife Crown Princess Masako: “She is slowly getting better but still needs treatment. She still has her ups and downs but is doing her best to participate in more activities.” He said that his wife is helping him in various aspects and that he will firmly support her in the future also. About his daughter Princess Aiko he ssaid that she has grown physically and mentally at Kindergarten in the past two years. She will enter elementary school in April. He said she has become interested in kanji and writes various kinds of kanji.

February 25th

Japanese media today report that Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko might cut back their activities because they are both suffering from health problems. On Saturday Crown Prince Naruhito said: “I think it is necessary for those around them to consider making more time for them to rest and take it easy.” The Imperial Household Agency declined to comment.

February 26th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales an MI6 manager told that MI6 didn’t keep files on Princess Diana and of Dodi al-Fayed. She said that they kept a card on Mohammed al-Fayed created in the 1980s when he was subject of a Department of Trade inquiry into his takeover of the House of Fraser group. She had thoroughly searched the files of MI6 as part of the previous investigation by Lord Stevens. There were two messages in the system related to the crash but they were dated 5 november 1997, which was after the crash.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has worked on the production of a CD with hymns which will be released this week. The CD is called Sorgen og gleden (Sorrow and joy). The Crown Princess says she uses hymns to calm herself before travelling as she is not fond of flying. She chose the hymns herself and wrote liner notes to tell why she has chosen them. On the CD she also reads from the Old Testament. The CD was recorded at the old Kulturkirken Jacob in Oslo in January.

February 28th

It emerged that Prince Harry of Wales is working as Joint Terminal Attack Controller in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, since 14 December 2007. Details leaked out in the Australian magazine New Idea and picked up by other press after 10 weeks on the front line. Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff of the British Army said: “I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us”. He says he now has to consider whether to pull Prince Harry out of Afghanistan immediately. He said that Prince Harry had been fully involved in operations and has run the same risk as everyone else in his battlegroup. UK media and a few overseas media had agreed with the army only to cover the story about Prince Harry in Afghanistan after his return. In exchange they would get photos and an interview. In the interview given before leaving for Afghanistan Prince Harry said he sometimes wished he was not a privileged well-known royal. He hoped that he would just be treated as ‘a normal officer’. He told: “I think dressed in the same uniform as numerous other people, thousands of other people in Afghanistan will give me one of the best chances to be just a normal person. That will be massively important for me, it could be a turning point.” He said to hope that his mother would have been proud of him serving in Afhganistan. He admitted that when he wasn’t allowed to go to Iraq he had considered leaving the army. He said: “But yes, you know William and I have said numerous times that there’s a lot of opportunities that we miss out on as well as we also got a lot of chances – for who we are.”

February 29th

Prince Harry of Wales has been withdrawn from Afghanistan amid concerns for his safety after it leaked out that he had been serving in the army in Afghanistan since December 2007. A statement by the army says: “This decision has been taken primarily on the basis that the worldwide media coverage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan could impact on the security of those who are deployed there, as well as the risks to him as an individual soldier.” The army had contingency plans ready for him in case his stay would leak out. Harry would normally have returned to Great Britain in a few weeks. Brigadier Andrew Mackay, Commander of Task Force Helmand, said Harry had been “deployed in the field, conducting operations against the Taleban” at the time of the decision. He has seen service both in the south of Helmand and in the north. More recently he took part in a major operation to disrupt Taleban lines of communication.” During a visit to Windsor Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain said that she believed her grandson had done “a good job in a very difficult climate.”

March 1st

Prince Harry of Wales returned home today. He landed at RAF Brize Norton Airport in Oxfordshire, Great Britain, late this morning. He was met by the Prince of Wales and Prince William of Wales. Prince Harry told the press: “I wouldn’t say I am a hero. The bravery of the guys out there was humbling.” He also said to be disappointed that publicity from foreign media has ended his tour. The Prince of Wales said to be pleased about his son’s return and praised the efforts of all armed forces personnel. He told that he had found it quite difficult to keep his son’s stay in Afghanistan a secret. He also said: “I feel particular frustration that he was removed unexpectedly early because – apart from anything else – he had been looking forward to coming back with the rest of his regiment.” He also said to be incredibly proud of Harry. In an interview before leaving Afghanistan Prince Harry said that he enjoyed being in Afghanistan and away from the British media. He hopes to get another chance and said: “I don’t want to sit around Windsor, because I generally don’t like England that much and it’s nice to be away from all the press and the papers.” General Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the army, however said that there is no immediate prospect of Prince Harry going anywhere else.

On Thursday evening the VTM broadcasted a programme with Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium. The couple cooperated in the programme Levenslijn about secure transport for children. The prince visited a school and the princess a rehabilitation centre. Furthermore they gave an interview in which Princess Mathilde told that she still finds it hard to cope with the death of her sister Marie-Alix and her grandmother in a car accident in 1997.

March 2nd

Senior Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Karim claimed today that he knew that Prince Harry of Wales was in Afghanitan within weeks of his arrival. The Taliban however didn’t manage to find their target. Mr Karim said: “He is our special enemy. Our first option was to capture him as a prisoner, and the second, to kill him.”

March 3rd

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Hasnat Khan in a written statement to the hearing said that Princess Diana ended their two-year-relationship shortly after her first two holidays with the al-Fayed family. Mr Khan said: “She was very down-to-earth and made everyone feel at ease, but she was always flirtatious with everyone.” He told: “We had a normal sexual relationship and I have no reason to believe that she was ever unfaithful to me.” He said that they had discussed marriage but that none of them ever proposed. He said that he didn’t think she would ever have converted to the Muslim faith, although she read about it. Mr Khan said Princess Diana respected Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, but disliked the Duke of Edinburgh, although she didn’t fear him. He didn’t think that she would have married Dodi al-Fayed that quickly after meeting him. He also said that she always had been very careful in taking the pill, so he didn’t think she could have been pregnant. He believes her death was an accident.

The April issue of Tatler magazine, which is going on sale this week, has Princess Eugenie of York on the cover. Eugenie did a photoshoot for them on the occasion of her 18th birthday on 23 March. In Tatler magazine Princess Eugenie said to be very close to her sister Beatrice: “Like all sisters we have silly arguments about unimportant stuff, but we do love each other to death.” She calls her parents “the best divorced couple I know. They just always went out of their way to make us feel loved and secure.” About Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain ‘Supergran’ she says: “Truly one of the most amazing women ever. She is also very funny….All I can say is that she has this air of magic about her. And she is incredibly wise. What doesn’t she know?!” Princess Eugenie is planning a small birthday celebration with her family at Windsor Castle over the Easter weekend followed by a night out clubbing with her friends.

March 5th

The Duchess of York has been hired by ITV as ‘fat-fighting guru’ for their new programme which provissionally is titled The Duchess in Hull. The Duchess will attempt to improve the eating habits of the Sargerson family from Hull.

March 6th

Crown Princess Margarita of Romania and her husband Prince Radu opened the photograph exhibition ‘Romanian Queen Marie in Istanbul’ at the Dimitri Cantemir Romanian Culture Institute in Istanbul. The exhibition includes 39 photographs of the Queen who visited Istanbul in 1928, and will be open until March 14.

March 7th

Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker ruled today that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh don’t have to give evidence at the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales. A spokeswoman said that Mohammed al-Fayed is very disappointed about this decision. Scotland Yard has said that former royal butler Paul Burrell will not face a perjury probe until after the inquest. Mr Burrell last week refused to return from the USA to be questioned at the inquest a second time. He can’t be forced to appear.

March 9th

The British army is investigating a soldier who offered photographs of Prince Harry of Wales during Christmas in Afghanistan to the Sun newspaper. The newspaper was bound by the agreement between the Ministry of Defence and the media concerning Prince Harry’s stay in Afghanistan and it is understood they informed the army. They only published the photos after Prince Harry was back in Great Britain.

Queen Sirikit of Thailand was admitted to the Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok this morning. She had fever and a bad cough, and was diagnosed with a cold and bronchitis. She will undergo tests at hospital and remain under observation for a few days.

The House of Roman Emperor Augustus has opened to the public today at the Roman Forum in Rome, Italy. The house was found about 50 years ago and has since been restored. The Rome authorities have spent nearly 2m euros preserving the four Augustus rooms – thought to comprise a dining-room, bedroom, an expansive reception hall at ground-level and a small study on the first floor. The rooms show wonderful frescoes in vivid shades of blue, red and ochre. Because of the delicacy of the frescoes no more than five visitors at a time will be able to enter the rooms.

March 10th

The New Idea magazine has apologised for breaching a worldwide media embargo by publishing the fact that Prince Harry of Wales was serving in the army in Afghanistan. A spokesperson said: “We did not knowingly breach any embargo and were not party to any agreement for a media blackout on the story. However, and more importantly, we do acknowledge that our actions in publishing the story can be reasonably viewed as insensitive and irresponsible.”

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales police statements of paparazzi photographers were read to the inquiry. They refused to appear in person or via video link. Serge Benhamou said that he thought that driver Henri Paul was not his usual self and must have been drinking. He also admitted to have taken photos of the car after the crash. He said he took pictures without thinking and afterwards fell quite bad about it. In the statements the photographers admit not to have assisted by helping the people in the car. They also acknowledged to have been more persistent and aggressive than usual in the pursuit.

March 11th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales police statements of paparazzi photographers were read to the inquiry. Paparazzo Romuald Rat told that the driver of the car in which the princess was seated had taken too many risks. He said: “I did not understand why the Mercedes suddenly drove so quickly, since everything had gone so well during the day and a normal chauffeur knows that is not the way that you shake someone off.” He said that driver Henri Paul had been mocking the photographers outside the Ritz Hotel.

Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein has withdrawn all art that is loaned to German museums and exhibitions. With the decision he protests against the political attacks on Liechtenstein after it was revealed German intelligence had paid millions to a former employee of the princely bank of Liechtenstein to obtain stolen information about German bank clients. Because of the decision an exhibition at the Neue Pinakothek Museum in München which was to go on display on 25 May has to be cancelled.

A Frenchman of Palestinian origine was sentenced to three months in jail by a Jordanian court. The man insulted King Abdullah of Jordan and the country of Jordan during a row in a five-star hotel in Amman.

Pro-monarchists in Nepal have launched an election manifesto today to save the monarchy from abolition by holding a referendum. They pro-monarchists think that a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy is the only reliable alternative for Nepal. Elections will be held on April 10.

March 12th

Princess Annette van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven gave birth to a healthy son at 8.30am at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis in Amsterdam. Benjamin Pieter Floris van Vollenhoven weighed 3250 gramms. The parents let know: “We are very happy and very grateful with the birth of our third child and the brother of Isabella and Samuel.” Benjamin is the eight grandchild of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven.

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales the police statement of eyewitness Clifford Goorovadoo was read. He said that the photographers at the scene wouldn’t let the arriving police officers through. He said the photographers didn’t offer any help to the victims.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden celebrated her name day today. She was cheered by people at the courtyard of the palace in Stockholm who gave her flowers and other presents.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has completed her basic training with the Danish Home Guard. The training included learning how to use a weapon, sleeping outdoors and assisting the police in search and rescue operations, as well as knowledge about first aid. Now the crown princess will be allowed to serve with the guard.

March 13th

The Norwegian royal court announced that Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and her husband Ari Behn expect their third child mid October 2008. They already have two daughters: Maud Angelica born in 2003 and Leah Isadora born in 2005. The Princess is doing fine and a normal pregnancy is expected. The baby will be the fifth grandchild of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway.

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales movie producer Barbara Broccoli, a friend of Dodi al-Fayed, by written statement told Dodi al-Fayed had arranged to visit the set of the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies at Pinewood Studios in Middlesex, Great Britain, on 1 September 1997. He told her on 30 August 1997 via telephone that he had to tell her something very important on 1 September.

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy has announced his candidacy in the elections on 13 and 14 April for the list Values and Future. He will try to get one of the six seats in the Chamber of Deputies for Italians living outside Italy but in Europe. In a press conference the prince said: “I vote on the centre-right [of Silvio Berlusconi], and if I am elected I will be close to their representatives, whether they lose or win.” He was critizised because the monarchy should be beyond parties, but the prince told: “We cannot keep saying how good it was before 1946. We have to look to the future without forgetting the past.”

March 14th

Prince Albert II of Monaco celebrated his 50th birthday today. The square in front of the royal palace was packed with about 5000 people. The Prince was accompanied by his sister Princess Stéphanie. In a speech to the wellwishers the prince said to appreciate their support very much and urged his people to work alongside him to secure the future of Monaco. Mayor Georges Marsan wished the prince a happy birthday in name of all people of Monaco. There were rumours that the prince today would announce his engagement to his girlfriend Charlene Wittstock, but that didn’t happen. Point de Vue last week reported that the Prince will marry his girlfriend in September.

Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven registered the birth of his son Benjamin Pieter Floris van Vollenhoven at the Stadsdeelkantoor Amsterdam Oud-Zuid this morning. In the afternoon the first pictures of father and son were released. They were taken at the hospital by Frank van Beek.

March 15th

Princess Aiko of Japan has finished kindergarten today. Her parents Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan attended the graduation ceremony at Gakushuin Kindergarten. The princess will enter Gakushuin Primary School in April.

Dom Eudes de Orléans e Bragança married Patricia Annechino Landau at Rio de Janeiro today. The wedding was attended by about 900 guests, among them many royals.

March 16th

An unnamed British royal who has been the target of an alleged sex and drugs blackmail plot has been interviewed by Scotland Yard for 45 minutes. He told Scotland Yard detectives that the royal family had given him “immense support”. About the affection of the affair on his family he said: “I can’t really adequately describe the effect it’s had mentally on myself and my family. Excruciating pain and unbelievable amounts of anguish. It’s been unbelievably stressful on people who I work with, on my friends, my family.” He said his standing in public life has been hugely damaged as his name was widely named on the Internet. Ian Strachan and Sean McGuigan face trial in April. They deny the charges. Prosecutors want the trial to be conducted behind closed doors.

March 17th

During the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales Michael Faux, former bodyguard of former royal butler Paul Burrell, said that Mr Burrell told him that he had removed an engagement ring from the body of the princess in the mortuary in Paris after her death. It is claimed Mr Burrell planned to hurl the ring, some other jewelry and papers belonging to the princess from the cruise liner Saga Rose out to sea in January 2003. Mr Faux also said to have seen Mr Burrell burning documents some with Buckingham Palace letterheads late in 2002.

March 18th

The High Court today rejected a bid of Mohamed al-Fayed to make Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh give evidence at the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales. Mohamed al-Fayed reappeared before the coroner of the inquest today to explain why he lied to the jury about having won a negligence case involving his company Fulham Holdings. He only won an appeal 10 days after his claim. Mohamed al-Fayed stated it was a mix-up.

After almost six months and 252 witnesses the hearings during the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales have come to an end. Now it is up to the jury to deliver its verdict.

A constitutional court in Karlsruhe, Germany, rejected a complaint of Princess Caroline of Monaco concerning the publication of a report and photographs in the German magazine 7Tage about the leasing of the Kenian home of her and her husband. The court ruled that prohibiting the publication of such photos was a restriction of freedom of the press. Those rights do also cover reports about the “normalcy of everyday life,” provided they were useful to forming an opinion about matters of general interest. the court also rejected a complaint about a publication about the illness of the late Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The court however affirmed a ban on photos showing Princess Caroline skiing in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The photos were published by the magazine Frau im Spiegel.

March 19th

In the new TV-season ITV1 will show a two-part documentary series following the Duke of Edinburgh. ITV said today in a statement: “Cameras have followed the duke over the past year, producing a fascinating chronicle of the solo portfolio that HRH has carved out for himself.”

A Moroccan man jailed to three years for pretending to be Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco on Facebook has been given a royal pardon. He was released from jail in Casablanca yesterday evening. Fouad Mourtada’s brother told the press that his brother is in good health and delighted to be free again.

Archaelogists plan to resume excavations this summer near Yekaterinburg in the southern Urals where the remains of a boy and a young woman were exhumed last July, assumed to be Tsarevich Alexej and Grand Duchess Maria. Sergei Pogorelov said: “There are plans to resume the excavations…to find items belonging to the Romanov family. This will make it clear whether the remains belong to the tsar’s children.” They haven’t found sponsors for the research yet.

March 20th

Today it was revealed that the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales so far costed almost £ 3 million. Since July 2007 £ 1,3 million has been spent on lawyers and legal services, and almost £ 1 million on IT and video. The costs for March are not included yet.

March 21st

The Duke of Castro, one of the members of the Bourbon-Two Sicilies family claiming family leadership, died at France yesterday. He was 81 years old. His wife died in 2005. The Duke is survived by his two daughters Beatrice and Anne, his son Charles and six grandchildren.

March 22nd

A photo secretly taken of Emperor Meiji of Japan by a student on 16 May 1911 at a graduation ceremony at the Imperial Japanese Army accounting school in Shinjuku Ward in Tokyo has been made public for the first time. There are very few known photographs of the camera-shy emperor. The photos were taken by Noboru Ando who reportedly secretly asked a professional photographer to take a pictures from the second floor of the school building. His son Tsuneo Ando now donated copies of the photograph to several places like the Togo Shrine in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo.

It was announced today that Egyptian and European archaeologists discovered a giant statue of Queen Tiy, wife of the 18th dynast Pharaoh Amenhotep III, around the site of the massive Colossi of Memnon twin statues. The statue is 3,62 metres high. The archaeologists also found two sphinx representing Queen Tiy and Pharaoh Amenhotep III and 10 statues in black granite of the goddess Sekhmet. Culture minister Faruq Hosni expects that the statues will be shown in public next year. He says that they will be joined by two 15-metres-high statues excavated in recent years in an open air museum behind the Colossi of Memnon.

March 23rd

Queen Sirikit of Thailand was released from hospital after two weeks of treatment for bronchitis and a cold. In a statement the palace said she still suffers mild coughing but is doing well. Doctors have advised her to refrain from public activities until she has made a full revocery.

March 24th

Empress Michiko of Japan is suffering from gastroesophageal regurgitation, a stomach problem, the Imperial Household Agency announced today. They said the disease often causes heartburn and is thought to be triggered by stress or other factors such as the tightening of the body by a kimono sash. The empress is taking medicines. She has had pains in her chest and back and coughing for a few years, but the diagnose was only made after an endoscopic examination in January. The Agency says they might advice her to reduce her official duties.

March 25th

A 45-year-old man has been jailed for four months for insulting Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. He was also found guilty of threatening and insulting the police and members of the Salvation Army. The court didn’t find him guilty of threatening the Queen.

The first elections ever were held in Bhutan on Monday. The elections ended more than 100 years of absolute monarchy and make the country a democracy. Voters could vote on two political parties. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck remains head of state and will keep much influence, but the National Assembly with 47 seats will be able to remove him with 2/3 majority. The elections were an initiative of the royal family. The Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party, led by royal family member Jigme Kinley, won the elections. They took 44 of the 47 seats in the new parliament. The People’s Democratic Party won 3 seats. The new parliament is thought to be sworn in within the next two months.

Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, who is trying to get back Konopiste Castle, saw her case rejected by the High Court in Czechia today. Her lawyer has made known that they are going to appeal, and if that fails the case could be taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

March 26th

Several private letters written by King Juan Carlos to the Prince of Asturias in 1984 and 1985 when the prince was studying in Canada have been published in a new book called El Príncipe y el Rey by José García Abad. The letters contain fatherly advice. The King among others wrote: “You need to appear animated even when you are tired; kind even when you don’t feel like it; attentive even when you are not interested; helpful even when it takes an effort.” A spokesperson for the royal family today said to be very surprised.

March 27th

An Nepalese investigation committee has accused the royal family of Nepal of misusing funds belonging to the National Trust for Nature Conservation. The committee – the report was written by Maoist former rebels now in the government – says the royals spent large amounts of the trust’s money on travels abroad, lavish parties and health check-ups abroad for several years. The report also says that the royals are still using computers and cars belonging to the trust.

March 29th

The yearly Rose Ball was held at Monaco. This year’s theme was La Movida. Guest of honour was film director Pedro Almodóvar. Present were Prince Albert II of Monaco, his girlfriend Charlene Wittstock, Princess Caroline of Monaco and her children Charlotte and Pierre Casiraghi, Prince Ernst August von Hannover, baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy, as well as her children Jean-Leonard and Mélanie.

Belgian newspapers reported on Wednesday that Count Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz, the father of Princess Mathilde of Belgium, was hospitalised and is in a coma. Later on Wednesday the royal palace in Brussels confirmed that the count is in the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht and that he is undergoing tests. Today Count Henri d’Udekem d’Acoz confirmed to several newspapers that his brother is in a deep coma and that they don’t know exactly what is wrong. The whole royal family has been visiting the hospital.

Telma Ortiz Rocasolano, sister of the Princess of Asturias, gave birth to a daughter yesterday at a hospital in Madrid, Spain. The father of the baby is Enrique Martin Llop.

March 31st

Lord Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker has started his summing up in front of the jury of the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales. He said that jurors found that the Princess and Dodi al-Fayed died accidentally. They said that many of the conspiracy theories suggested by Mohamed al-Fayed are without foundation and that there is ‘not a shred of evidence’ that the Duke of Edinburgh ordered the princess’s death, nor that MI6 was involved. The jury now has been given five options for a verdict: unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of following vehicles), unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the Mercedes), unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of following vehicles and Mercedes), accidental death or open verdicht. The jury is likely to be sent out to consider its verdict later this week.

April 1st

Lord Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker on his second day of summing up in front of the jury of the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales said that the evidence former royal butler Paul Burrell gave was clearly ‘not the whole truth’. He said that all of Mr Burrell’s testimony couldn’t be discounted and he asked the jury to ‘proceed with caution’. The Coroner also urged the jury to question the reliability of four other witnesses, two of them claiming to have been near the tunnel when the car crashed, the other two being the late photographer James Andanson and John MacNamara, former head of security of Mohamed al-Fayed. The Coroner also asked the jury to consider the role alcohol had played in the crash. The inquest was shortly halted the Coroner received an email from Paris referring to a possible sample from the body of driver Henri Paul. After a break the Coroner the Coroner told the jury – after they had been able to read a translation of the email – that the email gave information in very broad terms and that it seems very doubtful that it contains anything new.

Yesterday a press conference was held at the Province House in Leeuwarden to announce the programme for Queen’s Day 2008 on 30 April in Makkum and Leeuwarden. The members of the Dutch royal family present are: Queen Beatrix, the Prince of Orange, Princess Maxima, Prince Friso, Princess Mabel, Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien, Princess Margriet, Pieter van Vollenhoven, Prince Maurits, Princess Marilène, Prince Bernhard, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, Princess Anita, Prince Floris and Princess Aimée. Princess Annette will not come because she recently gave birth to her third child.

The auction of 1000 objects – all together in 430 lots – from the possession of the princely family of Liechtenstein at Christie’s in Amsterdam brought in 5,4 million Euro. That was twice as much as expected. A pair of globes by from Willem Janszoon Blaeu were sold for 793.850 Euros. After the auction Prince Hans Adam II said: “We are very happy about this result. Christie’s made possible that pieces of art collected by the House of Liechtenstein over the centuries have found new owners, wo value these objects as much as my family and me. The proceeds of today’s auction will benefit the Liechtenstein Collection, which concentrates mainly at European art from the Renaissance to the 19th century. From 2011 there will be more exhibition space available at the Liechtenstein Museum in the Stadtpalais in the Bankgasse [Wien] – which general reorganisation has started in July 2008 – which will make it possible to present more of the 1400 stored paintings for a broad audience.

April 2nd

Lord Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker concluded his summing up in front of the jury of the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales this morning. Afterwards he sent the jury out to consider its verdicts. He told the six women and five men: “You have listened to a vast amount of evidence with, if I may say so, obvious care and great commitment.” All members of the jury have recieved an inquisition form to record their verdict on. They are also expected to add narrative conclusions.

Four British royals made it to the GQ list of best-dressed men in Great Britain. Prince Harry ended on place 12, the Prince of Wales on place 25, the Duke of Edinburgh on place 33, followed on place 34 by Prince Michael of Kent. The list is led by actor Daniel Craig.

On 24 April a collection of royal artifacts from James C. Russo’s Russian and British Royal Objects Collection will be auctioned at Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, Texas, USA. Among the pieces that are auctioned are an Imperial Faberge heart-shaped sterling silver clock from 1891 – a gift fromTszar Alexander III to his wife Maria Feodorovna on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary – a Napoleon III gold and diamond snuffbox, a traveling Birmingham silver tea set in case, a Russian Empress Alexandra Imperial porcelain Easter Egg with box, a Tsar Alexander I diamond and enamel Imperial presentation bracelet with box and a portrait miniature of King George V. Proceeds of the Princess Diana lots will benefit the Russo-Cointreau Foundation.

April 3rd

The Prince of Orange, Princess Maxima, Princess Margriet, Pieter van Vollenhoven, Prince Bernhard, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, Princess Anita, Princess Irene and Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme attended the memorial service for Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema at the parish church of Wassenaar. Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, also know as the Soldier of Orange, died at Hawaii on 26 September 2007. There were among others speeches and readings by actor Rutger Hauer, Prince Pieter-Christiaan and the Prince of Orange. The last in his speech remembered the fact that Mr Hazelhoff Roelfzema closely knew five generations of Orange-Nassau family members. After he fled to England after the beginning of World War II Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema became a pilot in the British RAF and landed at the Dutch cost several times to pick up people and bring them to England. In 1945 he became aide-de-camp of Queen Wilhelmina and he lifted the later Queen Beatrix and her sisters on Dutch soil after five years abroad. He was a close friend of Prince Bernard, and was befriended even with the younger generation. In 1980 he was also King of Arms at the inauguration of Queen Beatrix.

Budgetminister Luc Frieden confirmed yesterday evening that 384,54 hectares of woods and pastureland around the grand ducal residence was sold to the Luxemburg state for 6.152.605 Euros on 21 March. The fence around the woods at Colmar-Berg will be removed in the coming weeks and the woods will be disclosed. The woods at Grünewald were not sold, but will also be disclosed.

April 4th

Buckingham palace announced that the Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London yesterday afternoon for assessment and treatment for a chest infection. He is being treated by Professor John Cunningham. The Duke’s programme for today and for the weekend has been cancelled. He already had to cancel several engagements this week due to a heavy cold.

The jury at the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales has retired for the weekend. They have failed to reach a decision in three days of deliberations. They will return to court on Monday.

Mr Prachanda of the Nepalese Maoist party today threatened to punish King Gyanendra of Nepal if he doesn’t vacant the palace in Kathmandu after the polls on April 10. He said that if the king ‘has some wisdom then he has to go’.

April 5th

Eight Moroccan rights activists were set free yesterday after receiving a royal pardon. They had been jailed for chanting anti-monarchist slogans on Labour Day demonstrations in 2007. Also nine others who were given suspended sentences were pardoned.

A fire has badly damaged the Moncalieri Castle in Italy. The fire broke out this morning. The first estimated damage is 10 million Euros, but it is to early to say what the exact damage is. Cause is probably short circuit. Firemen are still at the castle. Damaged are among others the room where in 1849 the proclamation took place, the mirror room, the bedroom of Queen Mary Adelaide of Sardinia, the bedroom of King Vittorio Emmanuele I of Italy and the cabinets.

April 6th

The Duke of Edinburgh was discharged from hospital at 1.30pm and is recuperating at Windsor Castle now. When leaving hospital the Duke thanked the staff before walking to the waiting car and smiling and waving to the photographers. Royal officials stressed that his stay in hospital was a precaution, not an emergency. Buckingham Palace says that engagements on Monday have been cancelled and that future diary dates will be decided upon on a day-to-day basis.

Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan and their daughter Princess Aiko visited Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko today at the imperial palace. They also visited the imperial couple on March 26. In the days between the two visits the crown princely family had been on a skiing trip to Nagano Prefecture. The chief of the Imperial Household Agency in a press conference on 27 March quoted the imperial couple as saying that the skiing trip would be “good for the recovery of Crown Princess Masako”.

April 7th

The jury of the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi al-Fayed made known their verdict late this afternoon. With a majority of nine to two they say the couple was unlawfully killed due to the gross negligence of driver Henri Paul and the paparazzi following them. The jury also specified that the drink-driving of Mr Paul and the lack of seatbelts contributed to their deaths. In a statement Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales said: “We agree with their verdicts and are both hugely grateful to each and every one of them for the forbearance they have shown in accepting such significant disruption to their lives over the past six months.” They also thanked Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker for his unfailing courtesy and former bodyguard Trevor Rees for giving evidence. They further said: “Finally, the two of us would like to express our most profound gratitude to all those who fought so desperately to save our mother’s life on that tragic night.” Mohamed al-Fayed refuses to accept the verdict. In a statement he said that the verdicts will come as a blow to his many supporters around the world. He said: “For 10 years I have endured two police investigations. The French and the Scotland Yard inquiries were wrong. These inquests prove it. They said it was an accident and their findings are now dismissed.” With the verdict the six-month inquest – which costed an extimated £10 million – has come to an end.

Jesper Boldsen, a forensic scientist from the University of Southern Denmark today said that he and other scientists have been unable to recover usable DNA from bodies which are said to be of King Knud the Holy and his brother Benedikt. They are buried at Odense. Examinations of the bodies however indicate that the two certainly belonged to the uppermost crust of society as they show no signs of having performed manual labour. The scientists hope to continue the study of the two bodies for another 10 to 15 years as technology might be much more developped by then.

Prince Tomihito of Japan was released from hospital in Tokyo today after undergoing surgery to remove throat cancer on March 14. The Imperial Household Agency says the prince has recovered after the operation and regained his voice four days after the surgery.

April 8th

Mohamed al-Fayed has said today although he doesn’t approve 100% he accepts the verdict of the jury at the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi al-Fayed. In an interview at ITV he said he will abandon his legal battle for the sake of Princess Diana’s sons: “I’m a father who has lost his son and I’ve done everything for 10 years. Now, I accept the verdict but with reservations. I’m leaving the rest for God to get my revenge, but I’m not doing anything any more.”

Max Soltmann and his wife Princess Xenia zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg had their second child on Sunday 6 April. Their 2-year-old son Ferdinand got a little sister. The name is not known yet.

April 9th

Scotland Yard today confirmed that police are considering whether to investigate former royal butler Paul Burrell for alleged perjury. An unidentified person has filed a complaint. Yesterday Lord Justice Scott Baker, coroner at the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales, had said yesterday he wouldn’t ask for launching a perjury investigation.

A high resolution copy of the only surviving copy of the death warrant of Mary Queen of Scots will be on display at Blairs Museum of Catholic Heritage near Aberdeen in Kincardineshire, Scotland. Lambeth Palace Library bought the copy recently for more than £70,000.

Paul Druker, former husband of Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium, died on 1 April aged 70, after a serious illness. He was born on 1 November 1937 as son of Maurice and Rita Druker. He married Linda Martin who died in 1974. With her he had three daughers Jennifer, Julie and Rachel. In 1981 he married Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium at Florida, USA, but they already split up after a few weeks. He is survived by his daughters and his present wife Susan Davidson, her two sons, and several grandchildren.

Delphine Boël, illegitimate daughter of King Albert II of the Belgians, says in her autobiography “Cutting the Umbilical Cord” which is to be released on Saturday that she is no longer obsessed about the fact that her father doesn’t accept her as his daughter. She says she has now said what she has to say.

April 10th

The Danish Parliament “Folketing” has agreed to give Marie Cavallier Danish citizenship when she marries Prince Joachim of Denmark on 24 May. Only the Enhedslisten didn’t agree. The parliament welcomes the new princess in Denmark and wish her and Prince Joachim all the best for their future together. Also the new monogram of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie was released today. It was designed by Prince Joachim with the help of royal arms painter Ronny Andersen.

Rolf Berntsen, stepfather of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, died today at the Sørlandet Hospital in Kristiansand. He was 75 years old.

Princess Aiko of Japan was accompanied by her parents Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan at the entrance ceremony at Gakushuin Primary School in Tokyo today.

A dagger used by 17th century Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan was sold today for $3.3 million at Bonham’s in London. On the curved-tip blade of the dagger a royal emblem and date inscribed suggest the dagger might have been made in 1630 for the emperor’s 39th birthday.

April 11th

Prince William of Wales received his wings today from his father the Prince of Wales at a graduation ceremony at RAF Cranwell. Prince William spent the past four months at the RAF and learnt to fly Tucanos and Squirrel helicopters during an intensive training programme. He now will spent three more weeks with the RAF visiting a number of other bases to complete his attachment. He will bgin his attachment with the Royal Navy at the beginning of June.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, cabinet members and their spouses offered food to 144 monks at Dusit Mahaprasat Throne Hall this morning to mark the 100th day of mourning for Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand. The Prime Minister and his wife also had an audience with King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand at the Grand Palace in Bangkok to join the merit-making ceremony for the late princess.

April 12th

The Tower of London has been covered by a canvas for a £2 million facelift which will take three years. The canvas that will cover the facade will show a collage of scenes from the history of the 950-year-old White Tower. The wall hanging was unfurled during a ceremony yesterday.

Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven had surgery on Thursday at the Academisch Medisch Centrum in Amsterdam. A piece of his intestine was removed because of a benignant stricture. The operation went well and the prince is expected to have to stay in hospital for about one week. De Telegraaf today says that he has Crohn disease.

Salman Khurshid, a congress party leader, spoke in London today at the launch and reading of his play Sons of Babur. He said to hope that his play on Mughal history will lead to the return of the remains to India of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar who died in 1862. The emperor spent his last days in Myanmar.

April 13th

King Gyanendra of Nepal today issued a message to his people on the occasion of the new Nepali year: “Beloved countrymen, we extend best wishes for peace, good health and prosperity of all Nepalis, living in the country and abroad. The enthusiastic participation of the Nepalese people in the Constituent Assembly elections, through which they have emphatically reiterated their firm resolve not to compromise the nation’s existence, independence and integrity under any circumstance is a source of satisfaction for us. Along with peace and democracy, may the New Year inspire us all to uphold our legendary wisdom in ensuring that our national pride, its distinctive values and identity remain uppermost.” This might be his last message as a King as results of the elections of last Thursday are slowly starting to come in.

April 14th

A jury was told at the first day of the trial at the Old Bailey in London that a member of the British royal family was blackmailed by Ian Strachan and Sean McGuigan after two men filmed his senior aid snorting cocaine and accusing his boss of performing a gay sex act on him. He also said that another royal had ‘flashed his willy in his face’ in a toilet. Strachan and McGuigan threatened to make the video and audio files public unless they were paid £50,000. For legal reasons the names of the member of the royal family and his senior aid will not be mentioned.

According to royal accounts released this week the 70th birthday parties of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway in 2007 contributed to an annual deficit on the royal accounts. They spent 5,4 million Norwegian crowns to celebrate. The palace reported an overall deficit of 10,5 million crowns for 2007. The palace received 137 million crowns in funding. Energy costs have been cut, and the deficit will be covered by a capital account. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit ended up with a surplus of 462.000 crowns, with a budget of 12,6 million crowns.

April 15th

The private christening of Viscount Severn, son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, will take place at the private chapel at Windsor on 19 April 2008. One official photo will be released after the christening. He will wear a replica of Queen Victoria’s daughter’s christening gown which was worn at subsequent royal christenings. It is the first time this gown has been worn by a member of the Royal Family and was commissioned by The Queen.

The costs of the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales have topped £12.5 million according to new figures. £4.5 million was spent on the coroner’s investigation, while a further £8 million was spent on the Metropolitan Police investigation.

Prince Philippe de Ligne became engaged to Laetitia Rolin. Prince Philippe de Ligne is a son of Prince and Princess Wauthier de Ligne, and a grandson of Princess Alix de Ligne née Princess of Luxemburg. Laetitia Rolin is a daughter of Mr and Mrs Jean Rolin.

April 16th

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde had a second daughter and fourth child at 4.50am at the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht. She was named Eléonore Fabiola Victoria Anne Marie. The child weighs 3210 gramms and is 50 cm tall. The princess and her daughter are doing fine. Godparents will be Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Claire of Belgium and Count Sébastien von Westphalen zu Fürstenberg.

Prince William of Wales has been attacked by a number of politicians for using a Chinook helicopter of the RAF to fly to the Isle of Wight on Friday for the stag party of his cousin Peter Phillips. On the way to the Isle of Wight he picked up his brother Prince Harry at the Woolwich army barracks near London. The Ministry of Defence has said however that the sortie had been planned as a part of his training. They say: “Having spent a week under instruction with a Chinook helicopter squadron Prince William flew a legitimate training sortie which tested his new skills to the limit. The flight involved negotiating the “busy London flying lanes,” before “making a water crossing and an approach to a civilian airfield.”

Rolf Berntsen, since 1994 stepfather of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, was buried today. The funeral service at Oddernes kirke in Kristiansand was attended by Marit Tjessem, her children and stepchildren, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway with Marius Borg Høiby and Princess Ingrid Alexandra.

Prachanda, leader of the Maoist party that won the Nepalese elections, told an Indian tv-channel yesterday: “I think within one month all these things should be cleared and I hope and I expect that within one month we will organize the first meeting of the first assembly and that first meeting should abolish the monarchy.” He says he doesn’t think that there will be a demand for a ceremonial monarchy.

April 17th

HQ pictures of the members of the Dutch Royal House were published on the website of the family. The photos were made by Frank van Beek on 1 February 2008 at the celebration of the 70th birthday of Queen Beatrix and the 65th birthday of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.

During a question hour at the Belgian parliament several Belgian politicians have asked for a cut in the apanage of Prince Laurent of Belgium. They also wanted to know whether the prince used his apanage for buying a villa in the south of Italy in 2002. Prime Minister Yves Leterme said: “Juridically seen there are no conditions for royals who receive an apanage.” He also said that it is up to the parliament to ask for changes of the laws. Most Belgian political parties have said they want the government to limit apanages to the king, widow of the former king and the heir. Mr Leterme also said that the profits of the GRECT foundation of which Prince Laurent is the president and founder is being used to finance projects, and that thus its profits don’t go to the prince.

During the British royal blackmail trial in London a female royal aid said to have been stunned to receive several threatening phone calls last Summer from men who wanted to blackmail her boss of having had gay sex with an employee and taking drugs. She said that she knew the allegiations weren’t true.

Egyptian archaelogists have discovered that the tomb of pharaoh Seti I in the Valley of Kings is bigger than thought. The crypt turns out to be 136 meters long. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt said: “[This is] the largest tomb and this is longest tunnel that’s ever found in any place in the Valley of the Kings. And we still did not find its end until now.” The tomb is the biggest one in the Valley of Kings. During the recent excavations they also found clay vessels, fragments of the painted wall reliefs and an ushabti figure.

April 18th

The first pictures of Princess Eléonore of Belgium with her parents, her sister and her two brothers were released today.

On the occasion of the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales this year a new biography is to be published next month accompanying an exhibition at Windsor Castle. The 120-page book features 270 illustrations and a note from the prince as 5-year-old to his grandmother. The images are from the Royal Archives, the Royal Photograph Collection and the Prince’s personal collection. Also some of the prince’s favourite paintings from the Royal Collection are shown in the book. The exhibition at Windsor Castle will be open from 16 to 22 May.

Prince Harry of Wales has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant, because he has completed two years in the Army.

During the British royal blackmail trial in London a friend of the blackmailed royal said that the royal had told him to do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect his family. This friend helped Scotland Yard setting up a sting with an undercover policeman. He thought that the plot may have been made in a feud between two boyfriends one of them being suspect Ian Strachan.

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the independent Czech state, the Czech coronation jewels will be on display at the Vladislav Hall at the Castle of Prague from 19 to 29 April. Yesterday the five politicians and two church dignitaries, including president Václav Klaus, opened the crown chamber in the St Wenceslas chapel at the St. Vitus Cathedral. The jewels have been stored there since 1971. The last time they were on display was five years ago.

April 19th

James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor Viscount Severn was christened today at the private chapel of Windsor Castle. The service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the Rt Rev David Conner. The son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex wore a replica of the satin and lace royal christening gown, which was made in 1841 and had been used for every royal christening until this one. The new robe was commissioned by the Queen to preserve the original. The godparents were Alastair Bruce, Duncan Bullivant, Tom Hill, Denise Poulton and Jeanye Irwin. The ceremony was attended by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh. One picture of little James with his parents was released after the private christening.

The Ministry of Defence issued a statement after News of the World criticized Prince William of Wales for touching down at a field in Berkshire belonging to the Middleton family on 3 April. The Ministry says the prince had permission to land an helicopter there as part of his attachment to the RAF. They say that the Chinook helicopter landed for 20 seconds and that noone got on or off.

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden was unhurt after an accident during a testrace in his Porsche at the Knutstorp racetrack in the south of Sweden this morning. He was preparing for qualifying for the Porsche Carrera Cup. The prince left the car unhurt and also the car didn’t seem to suffer much damage.

Prince Emanuele Filiberto, who took part in the Italian parliamentary elections last weekend, didn’t manage to get one of the six seats in the Chamber of Deputies representing Italians living in Europe but outside Italy. He only received 4457 votes, which was 0,439%. He recieved among others 1600 votes from Italy, 800 from Belgium, 400 from Germany and 69 from Spain.

Mr Prachanda, leader of the Maoist party, said that King Gyanendra of Nepal should be allowed to leave his palace with dignity and live as a common citizen. He said he would be happy to hold talks with the King. He also said: “Even after he leaves the throne he should be allowed to continue with his business affairs or other activities, including engagement in politics in future if he so desires.” On Wednesday senior Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said that they want to respectfully remove the monarchy.

April 20th

Magali Margriet Eleonoor van Vollenhoven, daughter of Prince Floris and Princess Aimée van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven, was christened at the chapel of Palace Het Loo this afternoon. She was christened by the Rev. Anne van der Meiden. Her godparents were Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven, Pieter van Voorst Vader, Magali Söhngen and Loes Korthals. The first one wasn’t present because of surgery one week ago. Among the guests were the whole Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven family, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Prince of Orange with Princess Alexia, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien with their three children, as well as Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme.

April 21st

Prince Philippe of Belgium registered the birth of his daughter Princess Eléonore at the municipality house in Anderlecht late this morning. From the mayor of Anderlecht, Mr Gaëtan Van Goldsenhoven the Prince received a huge teddybear for his daughter. Outside tens of people waited to congratulate the Prince. In the afternoon the prince, Princess Mathilde and little Princess Eléonore left the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht after a short press conference. Prince Philippe said that there is now a very nice balance in the family, two boys and two girls. The couple hasn’t discussed a fifth child yet. Prince Philippe furthermore thanked the hospital staff for the good care and also thanked his wife for the wonderful gift, almost on his birthday. Princess Mathilde told that Eléonore is a calm baby. The other three children can’t wait until they’re home. Princess Elisabeth behaves like a real mother. Asked about the health of her father Princess Mathilde said that his neurological condition is stable, but that he is slowly getting better.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall unveiled the Queen Mother Memorial Gates at Glamis Castle. They were met by a crowd of about 200 people. The gates are of wrought iron and feature the coat of arms of the Queen Mother, who spent much of her childhood at the castle. The Prince of Wales said: “Like many here, I suspect, I miss my grandmother every day.”

Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales today visited the Defence Medical Services Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Surrey. They met patients undergoing treatment and patients with limited mobility. The princes also joined patients and staff in a discussion about next month’s City Salute Appeal which is aimed at raising support for British troops.

Ministers want to change the British succession law. They want to give women equal rights to succeed the British throne, ending the rule of primogeniture. The change would not affect the current line of succession, but would mean that if Prince William had a daughter and then a son, his daughter would become Queen. A previous attempt to change the law ten years ago failed.

King Gyanendra of Nepal has denied reports that he will go into exile. A statement from his press office says that recent foreign media reports are “totally fabricated and unfounded.” The Maoist party, which won the elections, has said that Nepal is going to be declared a republic soon and that the King has to accept it. They have urged the King to step down from office himself.

April 22nd

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has appointed Prince William of Wales a Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. A spokesman for Clarence House said Prince William was “delighted and honoured” at the appointment. He will receive his insignia by the Queen during a service at Windsor Castle in June. Prince William will become the 1000th Knight in the Register.

During a state banquet on the occasion of the state visit of the Hungarian president to Belgium Queen Fabiola of the Belgians was caught on camera telling about her five miscarriages. She said to a woman sitting on her table: “Myself I lost five children. You learn from such experiences. During my pregnancies I had problems every time, but do you know, eventually I find that life is beautiful.” It is the first time she talked about it in public.

The Louvre and the Friends of the Louvre have acquired a diamond brooch of Empress Eugénie of France last week. The brooch was originally planned to be auctioned by Christie’s at New York on April 15, but the auction was cancelled at the final our. The Louvre negotiated afterwards about a private sale with the agreement of the owner. They paid 6,72 Million Euros. President of the Louvre, Henri Loyrette, said: “The crown jewels are important among the nation’s treasures and we are thrilled to see the brooch of Empress Eugénie returning to France.” The brooch is one of the last intact pieces of the French crown jewels that were sold by the French republican government in the 19th century.

April 23rd

It has emerged that during his one week Chinook helicopter training Prince William of Wales made in total five ‘pleasure trips’. Apart from using the helicopter to fly to the stag party of Peter Phillips at the Isle of Wight, and landing at Kate Middleton’s parents’ house in Berkshire, he also made training flights to a wedding in Hexham, Highgrove and Sandringham. RAF officials admit that there was a ‘degree of naivety’ in allowing the flights, they said that the prince broke no rules and that there wouldn’t be any punishments.

Mayor José Antonio Barroso of Puerto Real, province of Cádiz, might face charges after he called King Juan Carlos of Spain ‘a son of a lecher’ and ‘corrupt’ at a republican gathering on 16 April. The prosecutor of the province of Cádiz announced today that he will open an investigation into the statements.

60% of the Dutch think that 30 April should stay a national feastday, also after the Prince of Orange has taken over the throne. The TNS Nipo poll also said that 34% doesn’t care, while 5% thinks that 30 April should become a normal day. 37% of the people questioned put out the flag on 30 April.

Simeon Hassan, son of Kitin Muñoz and Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, was christened in an orthodox service at the Saint Ivan Rilski chapel of the royal residence of Tsarska Bistritsa in Borovetz, Bulgaria. His godparents were Princess Irene of Greece and King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and according to some reports also former King Simeon of Bulgaria. The King of Morocco couldn’t attend, but sent a representative.

Prince Oupa Moilwa of the Bahurutshe royal house appeared before the Magistrate’s Court in Randburg today. The prince is married to Princess Ntantoyesizwe Zulu and paid 114 cows as ilobolo for her in 2002. He so far paid R700 for the maintainance of his 9-year-old son with a former girlfriend. But the former girlfriend turned to court in 2005 saying it costs her R5500 a month to maintain the child and that is the amount of money the prince should pay to her. The Prince says that he can only afford to pay R1600 a month as his salary as salesman at a motor dealer in Johannesburg is R7500 a month. The hearing was postponed to 22 May as the former girlfriend thinks the offer of R1600 is far too little.

According to researchers, who recently analysed the tombs and artifacts found there, one of three royal Macedonian burials excavated in 1977 at Vergina, Greece held the body of the halfbrother of Alexander the Great instead of the body of Alexander the Great’s father Philip II. This may mean that some of the artifacts found in the tomb originally might have belonged to Alexander the Great himself, as his halfbrother is thought to have claimed his helmet, shield and silver crown after Alexander’s death.

April 24th

Today 475 years ago Prince William of Orange was born at Dillenburg, Germany. DelftTech now is making a 3D reconstruction of his assassination on 10 July 1584 by Balthasar Gerards. They will put all available information in the reconstruction, like eyewitness reports and drawings of the murder. Director Willem van Spanje says he is curious to find out if Balthasar Gerards indeed killed the prince, or that the murderer was someone else.

April 25th

General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff of the British Army, has ended all hope for Prince Harry of Wales to return to the front line in Afghanistan today. In an interview he said: “There may well be some point in the future where it will be appropriate to deploy him somewhere but that is not going to happen any time soon.”

A picture of Princess Maxima of the Netherlands wearing glasses is not allowed to be published in the Netherlands. The photo was made by an Argentinean photographer at the hotel in Buenos Aires where the princess stayed during her official visit to Argentina last week. According to the Government Information Service the photo was made during a private moment. It wasn’t known that the princess wears glasses.

DNA tests and x-ray studies of the bones of two Viking women found at the 22-metre long Oseberg ship which was found in 1904 in the south of Norway have dispelled suspicions that one of the women was a maid sacrified to accompany her Queen in the afterlife. The bones show the elder woman had cancer. Per Holck, professor of anatomy at Oslo University said: “It is a terminal cancer so I’m pretty sure that was the reason for her death.” She also suffered from Morgagni’s syndrome. The younger woman had a broken collarbone, but that had been healing for weeks and was no part of a ritual execution. Mr Holck said: “We have no reason to think violence was the cause of death. The fracture could have been caused by stumbling or whatever. She could have been seriously hurt, got brain damage. But this fracture alone is no sign of killing.” There are still more questions than answers. There was for example not enough DNA to tell if the two women were related.

April 26th

On the occasion of the 41st birthday of the Prince of Orange tomorrow the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble has revealed a video on their website of their performance during the state visit of Queen Beatrix, the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands to India on 25 October 2007. Prince Willem-Alexander is shown in the video as percussionist.

Prince Sébastien of Luxemburg was confirmed at the Roman Catholic church today. The celebration took place at Ampleforth College in York, Great Britain, where Grand Duke Jean of Luxemburg finished his secondary school education.

April 28th

Delphine Boël, illegitimate daughter of King Albert II of the Belgians, and her partner Jim O’Hare had their second child today around 2.00pm. Their son is called Tobias. Mother and son are doing fine.

16 experts led by the Japanese Archaeological Association have been granted a 2 1/2 hour visit to the 5th century Gosashi tomb in February. It is thought that the tomb is the resting place of Empress Jingu, wife of the 14th Emperor of Japan. It was the first time that scholars have been allowed inside a royal tomb outside an official excavation led by the Imperial Household Agency. There is hope that other guarded graves in Japan might also soon be open to independent study. There are some 896 sites in Japan said to contain remains of members of the imperial family. Archaeologist Koji Takahashi said: “The main achievement of the occasion was that for the first time we could enter to do research.”

April 29th

The British government said to have no immediate plans to scrap the law that gives males precedence in the line of succession to the British throne. The Attorney General’s office said such a move would be complex: “We are ready to consider arguments in this complex area, but there are no immediate plans to legislate. To bring about changes to the law on succession would be a complex undertaking involving the amendment or repeal of a number of items of related legislation, as well as requiring the consent of the legislatures of a number of nations of the Commonwealth.”

April 30th

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has decided that her sons Frederik and Joachim, their wives and children will get the title count(ess) af Monpezat in addition to their existing titles. The new title will pass on to future generations in the male line.

The Dutch royal family celebrated Queen’s Day at Makkum and Franeker in the Province of Friesland. Only Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven, were absent because of health reasons. Queen Beatrix, Princess Maxima, Princess Laurentien and Princess Anita were all dressed in pink, Princess Aimée in yellow. Highlight was when Princess Maxima and Prince Willem-Alexander went speedskating in Franeker, and a salsa dancing Queen Beatrix, Princess Laurentien and Princess Anita in Makkum. Photos Bernard Rübsamen MakkumPhotos Bernard Rübsamen Franeker

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden celebrated his 62nd birthday today. He received gifts and flowers in front of the royal palace in Stockholm. The King, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine as well as Princess Lilian appeared on the balcony of the royal palace.

Prince William of Wales paid a secret three-hour visit to British troops at Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Monday. A spokesman said today that he flew a military transport plane for part of the journey to Kandahar. He received permission for the trip from Queen Elizabeth II of great Britain and the Prince of Wales.

Autumn Kelly, fiancée of Peter Phillips, has recently been accepted into the Church of England. By renouncing her Roman Catholic faith Peter Phillips remains in line of succession to the British throne after their marriage. She had been given pastoral advice in Windsor for several months before deciding to convert. The convertion was confirmed by Buckingham Palace.

A fire broke out at the Ganina Yama cathedral complex near Yekaterinburg, Russia, this morning. More than 300 square metres of the complex has been engulfed. The fire started in a two-storied building on the premises of the complex. The cathedral was built on the former site of an old mine where the remains of Tsar Nikolaj II and his family were initially buried.

May 1st

American researchers have confirmed that bone fragments of a boy and a girl that were found in the Sverdlovsk area, Russia, in 2007 belong to Tsarevitch Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia. Governor of the Sverdlovsk area Eduard Rossel said: “It has been confirmed that they are indeed the children. We have now found the entire family. The main genetic laboratory in the United States has concluded its work with a full confirmation of our own laboratories’ work.”

About 60 Hawaiian activists sealed the gates of the Iolani Palace at Hawaii with chain-link locks yesterday and hung yellow signs saying “Warning! No trespassing. This is private property”. The activists say they reclaim land of the Hawaiian monarchy that was stolen during the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom more than 100 years ago. After a few hours the conflict was peacefully resolved and the palace grounds reopened.

May 2nd

Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau is to become the first Chief Executive Officer of The Elders, a group of eminent individuals convened by Nelson Mandela to use their wisdom, independent leadership and experience to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems. She will leave her current job at the Open Society Institute and start her new job on 1 July. She will be based in London, Great Britain.

Ian Strachan and Sean McGuigan were jailed for five years after being found guilty of a blackmail plot against an unnamed member of the British royal family. The men demanded £50,000 cash for a set of recordings featuring remarks of a royal employee about gay sex and the use of cocaine.

In an interview in the newspaper B.T. today Prince Joachim of Denmark has said that his divorce from his first wife Alexandra had a huge impact on his royal and family life, also after he had met Marie Cavallier. His doubts even were the reason that he and Marie split up for a while. He hopes to avoid another divorce. He is looking forward to a new life with Marie at Schackenborg. Several wedding guests have already been confirmed: Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn, as well as Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia has left Geneva, Switzerland, today after undergoing some routine medical checks in the past couple of days. The checkups were successful and assuring. The Crown Prince arrived on Sunday evening.

May 4th

Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme and Tjalling ten Cate married at Landgoed Maarsbergen in Maarsbergen, The Netherlands, on 3 May. The civil wedding was attended by a small group of family and friends, including Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Three photos were issued on today.

May 5th

Prince Harry of Wales was among 170 members of the Household Cavalry, who serviced in Afghanistan, who receive campaign medals in a ceremony at Combermere Barracks, Windsor. Prince Harry was presented the medal by the Princess Royal. The Prince of Wales, Prince William of Wales and Harry’s girlfriend Chelsy Davy attended the ceremony. After the ceremony the soldiers paraded through Winsdor to the garrison Holy Trinity church of the Household Cavalry in Windsor. There a service was held to remember soldiers killed during their stay in Afghanistan.

May 6th

Sergej Pogorelov, head of the archaeology department of the Sverdlovsk region said that the remains of the grand duke and grand duchess of Russia that were found near Yekaterinburg in 2007 bear traces of shearing. He said that a piece of the skull believed to belong to grand duke Alexej are shorn. He also said: “In addition, in the skull that may belong to Crown Prince Alexey there is a well-preserved hole. It is possible that it is a bullet hole.” Head of the forensic medicine office of the Sverdlovsk region, Nikolaj Nevolin said that samples of the remains have been flown to Innsbruck for more tests this morning: “Part of the samples had been sent there earlier, and the other part was send today.”

Count Floris I of Holland (1030-1061) was reburied in the St Adelbert Abbey at Egmond, The Netherlands, today. A new tomb was revealed in the porch of the abbey church as well as a new memorial. In the mausoleum a few acid-free boxes hold the bones of the count and his family. Floris I wasn’t the only count of Holland buried at Egmont, but the remains of a dozen of other members of the countal family have disappeared in the early 19th century.

May 8th

A team of archaeologists from the University of Hamburg says they have discovered the palace of the Queen of Sheba in Axum, Ethiopia. They also say they have discovered an altar that may have held the Ark of Covenant. The team from the university has been investigating the origins of Ethiopia for nine years.

Oscar Magnuson, son of Princess Christina of Sweden, has been hired by furniture chain EM to design furniture for them. Oscar Magnuson is a eyewear designer for his own company Oscar Magnuson Spectacles.

May 9th

Zara Phillips has been named by the British Olympic Association as one of five riders for the British equestrian team to ride at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, in August. She will ride her horse Toytown.

Princess Beatrice of York is working for free as a personal shopper at Selfridges in London this month as part of her gap year. She will start a history degree at Goldsmiths College after the summer.

Scotland Yard today said that former royal butler Paul Burrell will not be investigated over allegiations of perjury at the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales. They say there was ‘insufficient admissible evidence’ to prove perjury.

May 10th

The Japanese Imperial Household Agency has protested against plans to rebuild the Palace Hotel Tokyo next to the Imperial Palace. They fear that the rooms of the palace hospital might be visible from the new building as the present 10-story building will be replaced by a 23-story building next year. An official said: “The hospital is used by the Emperor and the Imperial family. We must give utmost consideration to their privacy.”

May 13th

Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, 14th Emir of Kuwait, died today aged 78. As a crown prince he automatically became the new emir when his cousin died on 15 January 2006. However because of poor health he was removed from power on 23 January 2006.

May 15th

Princess Anita van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven is expecting her second child in October or November 2008. She and her husband Prince Pieter-Christiaan already have a daughter, Emma, who was born in November 2006.

A remark made by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands during her state visit to Estonia makes clear that she doesn’t intend to step down from the throne yet. She reported that several state visits are already planned for the coming two years. She also said that she has a full agenda for the coming years.

On Monday Telma Ortiz Rocasolano, sister of the Princess of Asturias, asked the court of justice in Toledo to forbid media to make photographs of her and her partner Enrique Martín Llop as she is not a public figure. She sued no less than 50 media outlets. Today a judge ruled that despite her wishes she is a public figure. Telma Ortiz Rocasolano was ordered by court to pay 50.000 Euros in judicial costs.

Count Rodolphe de Limburg Stirum became engaged to Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria, daughter of Archduke Christian of Austria and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxemburg. Count Rodolphe was born on 20 March 1979 as the eldest son of Count Christian de Limburg Stirum and Countess Colienne d’Oultremont.

May 16th

Coroner Niels Lynnerup and sculptor Bjørn Skaarup have used a terracotta technique to recreate the faces of King Svend II Estridsen of Denmark and 12th century Queen Sofie, who are both buried in Roskilde cathedral. It is planned to put the creations on display at the National Museum in the future. Archaeoligist Else Roesdahl of Aarhus University said to believe that the reconstructions add life to Danish History: “There unfortunately aren’t any portraits of the kings and queens from that period.”

May 17th

Today Peter Phillips, son of the Princess Royal, married Autumn Kelly from Canada at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Autumn Kelly, in a ivory duchesse satin dress with a Chantilly lace bolero designed by Sassi Holford, arrived in a maroon Bentley and was right on time at church. About 200 onlookers cheered when she arrived in the rain. Autumn Kelly was given away by her father and walked down the aisle to the Prince of Denmark’s March by Jeremiah Clarke. During the moving ceremony which was led by the Right Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, the hymns sung included Now Thank We All Our God. There were readings from Patrick Kelly, halfbrother of the bride, who read from Chapter 3 of St Paul’s letter to the Colossians and Prince Eugenie of York who read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. After the ceremony the couple drove away in a carriage. There were six bridesmaids – the groom’s sister Zara Phillips, friend Jacqueline Aubie, friend Susannah Toynbee, the groom’s halfsister Stephanie Phillips, the bride’s halfsister Jessica Kelly and the groom’s goddaughter Rosie Bush – dressed in sage green strapless gowns designed by Vera Wang. Among the 300 guests were Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and Tim Laurence, Mark Phillips and his wife Sandy, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry of Wales, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex with daughter Louise, Viscount and Viscountess Linley with children, Lady Sarah Chatto and Daniel Chatto with children, as well as the Earl and Countess of Ulster, Lady Davina and Gary Lewis, Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman, Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella Windsor. Prince William of Wales didn’t attend as he was in Kenya for the wedding of a friend. Also the girlfriends of Prince William and Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Chelsy Davy, were present, as well as Zara Phillips’ boyfriend Mike Tindall. 70 guests had turned up from Canada including the parents of the bride Brian Kelly and Kitty, stepfather Ron Magas, twinbrother Chris, brother Kevin, uncles Ken and Bill McCarthy, aunt Colleen Galley. The party after the wedding was held at Frogmore House, Windsor. The dinner existed of Cornish crab and Welsh lamb, followed by coffee mousse and sugared doughnuts. After that guests could dance on the music of a live blues band. The couple reportedly sold their wedding report to Hello magazine for £500,000. BBC: royal wedding in pictures

National Day in Norway today was held in unusual cold and snowy weather. Despite of the weather Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit and their children watched children passing their home at Skaugum. Later on the crown princely couple and their daughter Princess Ingrid Alexandra, as well as King Harald V and Queen Sonja appeared on the balcony of the royal palace in Oslo to see the children’s parade.

An announcement by grandmother baroness Sybille de Sélys Longchamps in the French newspaper Le Figaro today reveals that the baby of Delphine Boël, illegitimate daughter of King Albert II of the Belgians, and James O’Hare wasn’t named Tobias but Oscar. Oscar was born in Brussels on 28 April 2008.

May 18th

Princess Irene of Greece had a two and a half hour surgery at the Ruber International Clinic in Madrid today. She fell on 15 May during a visit to Athens, Greece, and broke two toes. Queen Sofia of Spain returned to Spain earlier from Greece to be with her sister.

May 19th

Thames Valley Police says claims that a car carrying Prince Harry of Wales in London was driving recklessly are being examined. They say they received a complaint on Wednesday.

According to a report in a Nepalese newspaper it is stated that King Gyanendra of Nepal has written a formal letter to the Maoist Party in which he says “he will leave the Narayan Hiti Royal Palace before 26 May 2008.” The Nepalese Constituent Assembly is to decide on the fate of the monarchy on 28 May. It is expected that the country will become a republic.

May 20th

Telma Ortiz Rocasolano will appeal against a court decision that media was allowed to publish pictures of her.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit have bought a summer retreat the royal palace confirmed today. They have bought Flatholmen in an outlying area of the archipelago outside Risør. The property – which was valued for sale at 8 million Norwegian crowns – consists of an island with a small summer house, a boothouse, piers and a private sandy strand. The palace didn’t reveal what the couple paid for the property.

Prince Ernst August of Hannover has appealed at a German court against the verdict in which he was fined £350,000 for assaulting a German at a Kenyan nightclub eight years ago. He has produced five new witnesses including four Kenyans and hopes that it comes to a retrial. The witnesses today were heard behind closed doors at court in Hildesheim. The Prince’s lawyer Hans Wolfgang Euler said: “The witnesses will declare that my client was not drunk and that he did not have any objects in his hands.”

May 21st

The christening of Amelia Morales y de Grecia, daughter of Carlos Morales Quintana and Princess Alexia of Greece, will take place on 7 June 2008 at the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Remedios in Yaiza, Lanzarote.

May 22nd

Clarence House announced that a non-cancerous growth has been removed from the face of the Prince of Wales. Clarence House didn’t want to say when the routine procedure had taken place, but it is thought it took place today after the prince met the Dalai Lama. Clarence House said that the growth was removed at Clarence House: “It was a routine and minor matter. It was done here.”

In the programme ‘Joachim & Marie – hjemme på Slottet’ – broadcasted by the Danish tv-channel TV2 Prince Joachim of Denmark has said that his sons Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix mean a lot to him. He said he told them about Marie Cavallier step by step. They are both very happy with his choice. He said that if they would have objected he wouldn’t have married Marie Cavallier on Saturday. In an interview to the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten Prince Joachim and Marie Cavallier say they met during a hunting party in Denmark in the autumn of 2002, but only were in touch once or twice until Prince Joachim visited Marie in Paris in 2005 and fell in love. In the past months Marie has been travelling between Geneva and Denmark. She said: “I haven’t seriously started to learn Danish, because the language teachers are in Copenhagen.” She right now is reading books about the history of Denmark. Marie has converted to the Lutheran church before the wedding, as is traditional in the Danish royal family. They said they also hope to have children together one day.

May 23rd

A portrait of the late Queen Mother and her daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, painted in 1936 by Charles Edmund Brock, will be auctioned by the auction house Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh on May 29. The artist painted eight versions of the portrait. Six versions were destroyed and one hangs in Buckingham Palace. The eight portrait is now being sold by the family of Mr Brock who say that they feel that they can’t look after it any longer. The painting, which is valued at £50,000, has gone on display today along with a letter Queen Elizabeth wrote on 13 November 1933 to commission the work.

King Gyanendra of Nepal and his wife Queen Komal have left the Narayanhity royal palace at Kathmandu for his summer residence Nagarjuna palace yesterday evening. It could be the last time the King leaves the palace. On Tuesday the constituent assembly of Nepal will be sworn in. On Wednesday the assembly will hold its first meeting. According to the Maoist party Nepal will then become a republic soon and the royal family will be asked to leave the palace for ever.

May 24th

Prince Joachim of Denmark married Marie Cavallier at Møgeltønder church this afternoon. Hundreds of people stood outside the church to cheer the couple. Prince Joachim arrived in church with his sons and best men Nikolai and Felix at the Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark’s March) by Jeremiah Clarke. He wore the gala uniform of the infantry with several Danish decorations. Marie Cavallier entered church with her father Alain Cavallier at Grand Choeur of Théodore Dubois. She wore an off-white wedding dress made of 19th century inspired Calais lace with flower patterns in raised satin stitch. The dress, designed by David Arasa and Claudio Morelli from fashion house Arasa Morelli, was lined with ivory silk faille from the silk fabric maker Buche in the Loire Valley, France. The bodice consists of finely embroidered lace. The train was three meters long. The tulle with lace bordered bridal veil is kept in place by a tiara that belongs to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and originally belonged to Princess Dagmar of Denmark, who in 1922 married Jørgen Castenskiold. The bridal bouquet contained winter barley from the fields of Schackenborg and myrtles from Fredensborg Palace, as well as white French lillies, cream-coloured roses, pistachio- coloured greenery, and green Camellia leaves. Bridesmaid was Agnete Windfeldt Arnø, a friend of the bride. The page boys were Malte Steenstrup and Tanguy Peretti. The ceremony was led by bishop Erik Norman Svendsen. During the ceremony bride and groom exchanged hand made rings in eighteen-carat gold. Prince Joachim received a plain gold band, while Marie received a plain gold band studded with six small brilliant-cut diamonds round the band. After the wedding a reception took place at the Ecco Centre. Another reception and a wedding banquet took place at Schackenborg Castle. Among the guests were the Danish royal family, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Carina Axelsson, Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Princess Alexia of Greece, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Tatiana Blatnik, Princess Theodora of Greece, Prince Philippos of Greece, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie af Rosenborg, Countess Marina af Rosenborg and Count Valdemar af Rosenborg, as well as Marie’s parents Alain Cavallier and Mrs Christian Grassiot with husband, her grandmother baronne de Sairigne, her brothers Gregory Grandet with Cécile Christen, Charles and Edouard Cavallier. Marie’s other brother Benjamin Grandet and his family due to illness of his daughter Sasha, who was to be a flower girl. Furthermore “James Bond” Sir Roger Moore and his wife were present. DR: Marie & Joachim. Kongeligt bryllup den 24. majPictures by Royal Portraits 1Pictures by Royal Portraits 2Pictures by Madeleine Glindorf 1Pictures by Madeleine Glindorf 2

May 25th

Today it was claimed that in September 2007 the Duke of York has sold his house, Sunninghill Park, in Ascot, for £15 million to Kazakhstan tycoon Kenes Rakishev. This is said to be £3 million more than its estimated price tag. The house had been on the market for five years and had been a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson in 1986. A spokesman for the Duke of York said: “The sale of Sunninghill Park was a straight commercial transaction. There were no side deals and absolutely no arrangement for the Duke of York to benefit otherwise or to commit to any other commercial arrangement. Any suggestion otherwise is completely false.”

Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, says he believes he has identified the site where Pharaoh Cleopatra is buried. In November a team of 12 archaeologists and 70 excavators will start to search for the entrance of the tomb at the site of the Taposiris Magna temple near Alexandria. Mr Hawass said they found tunnels with statues of Cleopatra and coins bearing her face. They also found a bust of Mark Antony, Cleopatra’s Roman lover, who also might be buried in the same tomb. They committed suicide together in 31BC.

May 26th

On the occasion of his 40th birthday Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark appeared on the balcony of Amalienborg in Copenhagen at noon today, together with Crown Princess Mary, Prince Christian and Princess Isabella, as well as Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark. Hundreds of Danes braved the pouring rain to cheer the prince and his family. A surprise party was organised in the evening on board of the royal yacht Dannebrog at the Øresund. Family members and friends attended the party. Pictures by Royal Portraits

A poll held by Capacent/Urban on the occasion of the 40th birthday of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark show that only 20% of the Danes thing it is time for him to become a king. But 56% say that Crown Prince Frederik is someone they would like to have as a friend. They think he is intelligent and down to earth. Nearly 50% said that Queen Margrethe II of Denmark should abdicate.

The Liechtenstein princely court announced today that Prince Constantijn and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein had their second son and third child on 18 May. Benedikt Ferdinand Hubertus Maria was born at Vienna, Austria.

May 27th

A rare portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain has been discovered in the private collection of the Duke of Buccleuch at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, Great Britain. The portrait shows the Queen with her father King Henry VIII, her siblings King Edward VI and Queen Mary I, and the king’s jester Will Somers. The painting is a copy of an original painting thought to be painted in the early 1550s.

May 28th

During the first meeting of a special assembly elected in April Nepal was declared a republic today just before midnight. Only four of the 564 members of the assembly present voted against the proposal to strip King Gyanendra of his title and last power and ask him to leave the palace within 15 days. Also the other members of the royal family have been stripped of their titles, privileges and responsibilities. The assembly ordered the government to turn the Narayanhity royal palace into a national museum. 28 May will become Republic Day.

The Danish supermarket chain Netto will sell four dual postcards showing reproductions of aquarelles by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, together with a royal monogram and envelopes. The money goes to the royal lifeguard which celebrates its 350 anniversary next month. The aquarelles show the four palaces the lifeguard is serving.

Forbes has named Prince William of Wales the hottest young unmarried royal under 35 in the world. Prince Harry of Wales ended in second place, followed by Zara Phillips and Princess Beatrice of York. Charlotte Casiraghi ended in fifth place.

May 29th

A rare portrait of the late Queen Mother with her daughters Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret of Great Britain, painted by Charles Edmund Brock in 1936, was sold at auction by auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh for 90.000 British pounds. The portrait was bought by a fine art broker.

The flag with the royal seal was removed from the Narayanhity royal palace in Kathmandu, Nepal, this morning. The flag was replaced by the national flag.

Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia opened a small temporary exhibition ‘The Emperor and Europe’ at Doorn Castle, the Netherlands. Also his uncle Prince Christian Sigismund of Prussia was present.

Zahi Hawwas, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, said today that a 3500-year-old mummy tht was found in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor will be moved to the Egyptian Museum tomorrow to undergo DNA tests and CT scans. Archaeologists believe the mummy is of Pharaoh Thutmose I. Also two female mummies, found in 1817, will be transported to the museum.

According to new archaeological research Stonehenge, England, might have served as a burial ground for much longer than believed. Researchers say that the cremation burials found at the site might represent a single elite family, probably even a ruling dynasty. There are only few burials in the earliest phase, but they say that the number grows larger in later centuries. Burials might have taken place at the site between 3000 BC and 2500 BC.

May 30th

A Nepalese government panel has begun to collect details of assets and properties of former King Gyanendra of Nepal today. Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel said the royal palace will become a museum: “No one really knows what items are there in the palace as it was closed for the public so far. We have formed a committee to collect the details of all these within 10 days. All items will be catalogued so they can be displayed in the museum.” The government today also issued a formal letter to former King Gyanendra Shah and the palace secretariate to vacate the palace within 15 days. A palace official said that the former king is preparing to move to his private home in Kathmandu. The home secretary said that Crown Princess Himani moved to a priate home in Kathmandu very early this morning.

May 31st

The 40th birthday of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark was celebrated with a huge dinner and party in the Orangerie at Fredensborg Palace. About 140 family members and friends were invited. Among the guests were Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden with her boyfriend Daniel Westling, Prince Philippe of Belgium, Prince Nikolaos of Greece with his girlfriend Tatjana Blatnik, Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg with girlfriend Carina Axelsson, Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth, Prince Philipp and Princess Laetitia von Hessen and the Duke and Duchess of Castro. Photos: Royal Portraits

On the occasion of their 10th wedding anniversary Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven and their three children Anna, Lucas and Felicia posed for pictures at the Apenheul in Apeldoorn yesterday. Tonight a party took place at the Supperclub in Amsterdam. Present were several members of the Dutch royal family among others the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima.

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden has secured his first five points in the Porsche Carrerra Cup by ending in 11th place at the race in Karlskoga today. The Prince told the press: “I had hoped to be able to claim a point sometime during the season, but that it should happen this early was not something I had counted on.” King Carl XVI Gustaf attended the races.

June 2nd

Prince William of Wales has begun a two month attachment with the British Royal Navy today. His training will be split into two phases. In the first phase he will undertake short training in a variety of Royal Navy and Royal Marine establishments. He will initially be stationed at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. During the second phase he will be deployed on operations in the Type 23 Frigate HMS Iron Duke.

A list of Celebrity Hat Wearers made by Luton’s millinery and hat-making industry is topped by Zara Phillips this year. Mr Philip Wright said: “Zara has opted for the more masculine but highly-fashionable trilby and fedora hat styles, together with some of the neat, chic, 1920s-inspired designs. But she’s also gone for some fairly extravagant styles which are both fashionable and fun.”

Former King Gyanendra of Nepal has accepted the lawmakers’ decision to strip him of his title. He also accepts that he is to leave his palace. He told the envoy sent by Prime Minister of Nepal Girija Prasad Koirala on Monday: “I welcome the formal proclamation of republic by the constituent assembly and am ready to leave the palace. But I am saddened by the reports in the media about my departure.”

June 3rd

Queen Fabiola celebrated her 80th birthday already with a family party at Laken Castle. Two books were published on the occasion of her birthday: ‘Konigin Fabiola. Vrome vorstin in een vluchtige wereld’ by Ralf De Jonge (publisher: Uitgeverij Manteau/Standaard Uitgeverij), as well as ‘Koningin Fabiola. Een meisje van 80’ by Brigitte Balfoort and Joris De Voogt (publisher: Van Halewyck).

Sheikh Nasser bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi died in a helicopter crash above the Arabian Gulf last night. He was the brother of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan, President of Abu Dhabi. Funeral prayers were be performed at the Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Mosque in Al Bateen.

June 4th

The government of Nepal has decided to allow former King Gyanendra to move to the Nagarjun Palace outside Kathmandu. The move will be temporary. It was said that the security of Gyanendra will be provided by the paramilitary armed police force.

June 5th

Former King Michael of Romania returned to Peles Castle today. The castle was returned to him by the government in 2007. The former King was welcomed by a few hundred people. He said that his return rights an historical wrong and says that his family will maintain the main palace as a museum while they will live in a smaller palace on the estate.

A 4000-year-old ‘missing pyramid’ was unveiled at Saqqara today by Egyptian archaeologists. According to Zahi Hawass, chief of the antiquities of Egypt, said that it appears that the pyramid was built by Pharaoh Menkauhor in the 5th Dynasty (2465 BC-2325 BC). He is quite convinced based on the estimated date of the pyramid, although no cartouche with the name of a pharaoh was discovered. It is believed the pyramid was discovered already in 1842, but was never seen again. Also the discovery of part of a ceremonial procession road from the Ptolemaic period was announced.

June 6th

On the national day of Sweden King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia started the celebrations by opening the gate of the palace in the morning. Afterwards they celebrated the day in Södertälje, Crown Princess Victoria took part in the celebrations in Kungälv. In the evening the King, Queen, Crown Princess and Princess Madeleine drove in a carriage to the open air museum Skansen in Stockholm.

June 7th

Prince Karl Emich zu Leiningen married religiously Isabelle Gräfin von und zu Egglofstein at the Klosterkirche am Burgberg in Pappenheim today. The service was led by Wolfgang Popp. Their civil wedding took place in Amorbach last September. After the wedding a party was held in the garden of the old castle of Pappenheim. Among the guests were Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, the Duke and Duchess of Angoulême, Duke Eugen and Duke Alexander von Württemberg, Prince Albrecht von Hohenzollern, Hereditary Prince Carl Ferdinand and Hereditary Princess Elna-Margret zu Bentheim und Steinfurt, Hereditary Prince Maximilian and Hereditary Princess Marisa zu Bentheim-Tecklenburg, Fürst and Fürstin Fugger von Babenhausen, and other nobles. Hochzeit in der gräflichen Familie

Amelia Morales y de Grecia, daughter of Carlos Morales Quintana and Princess Alexia of Greece was christened at the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, in Yaiza (Lanzarote), Spain. Her godparents were Prince Philippos of Greece, Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Miguel Angel Morales Quintana, Luz Hernãndez Hernández, Dolla Nomikos, Mr and Mrs Dirk Duden. Among the guests were King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Tatiana Blatnik, Princess Theodora of Greece, Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina of Spain, Pablo Nicolás and Irene Urdangarín.

June 9th

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini is to marry his 20-year-old fiancee Zola Mafu within a few days, a spokesman of the royal house said today. Zola Mafu will be his sixth wife and it is planned that she will have her own palace. The couple already has a child born in 2005.

June 10th

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden has won a prestigious design competition for his graphical proposal for Martha’s Vineyard Museum in the USA. During Spring 2007 the prince studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and during that time submitted his proposal under a pseudonym. After finishing his studies the prince was commissioned to develop a design program for the museum, which is intended to be used in its marketing and communication activities. The Prince said: “It is a great honor to win the prize for best design proposal for Martha´s Vineyard Museum. I am very happy and proud of the prize.”

Archaeologists announced today that they have discovered the remains of an Aztec palace once inhabited by Emperor Montezuma in the heart of Mexico City. Pieces of a wall and a basalt floor were found during a routine renovation project. Excavations are bing planned beneath several parts of the Museum of Culture.

June 11th

Zara Phillips has withdrawn from the British Olympic equestrian team for Beijing because of an injury of her horse Toytown. He was hurt during training. In a statement Zara Phillips said: “I am very disappointed not to have the opportunity to ride at the Olympic Games and feel that Toytown deserved his chance to go.”

John Ambler, husband of Princess Margaretha of Sweden, died at Banbury, Oxfordshire, Great Britain, on 31 May 2008. He was born on 6 June 1924. His cremation in Banbury was only attended by immediate family. John Ambler and Princess Margaretha had already been separated for some years. They had three children.

The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, together with their three daughters, travelled to Argentina today to visit Princess Máxima’s father Jorge Zorreguieta. Mr Zorreguieta underwent a knee surgery and the family wanted to support him. They will stay in Argentina for a few days.

King Gyanendra and Queen Komal of Nepal have left the Narayanhiti palace in Kathmandu this evening. The couple left in a Mercedes for the Nagarjun palace in the outskirts of Kathmandu. Crown Prince Paras and his family reside at Nirmal Niwas, the private home of King Gyanendra. The government has allowed the mother and grandmother of King Gyanendra to stay in Narayanhiti palace, which will become a national museum. In a press conference, a few hours before leaving the palace, the king said: “I would like to live in my Motherland and contribute in whatever way possible to the greater good of the country and peace in this land.”

Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei failed to turn up for a court hearing. Mr Justice Peter Smith issued an arrest warning hinting that the prince would be denied bail if he is found. He is thought to have fled to France or Monaco. Today should have been the start of a five-day court hearing into whether the prince breached the court order by the Privy Council. In November the Privy Council ordered the prince to hand over the New York Palace Hotel, the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, three homes in London and Paris and the trust fund in a case against the Brunei government. The government accuses the prince of having transfered £8 billion from the government into his own Amedeo Development Corporation during the 13 years the prince was minister of finance.

June 12th

A huge party was held at Bucharest and Sinaia from 10 to 12 June on the occasion of the 60th wedding anniversary of King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania. Also Princess Margarita and Prince Radu, Princess Elena and her husband Alexander Phillips Nixon and her two children were present. Most events during the three days of festivities were private, including events at the Elisabeta Palace and Peles Castle. Two events were public. About 1000 people were invited for a concert of the National Philharmonic Orchestra George Enescu at the Ateneul Român in Bucarest on 10 June. Among the guests were Queen Sofia of Spain, Archduke Karl of Austria, Archduke Lorenz of Austria Prince of Belgium, Archduke Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, King Simeon and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria, Landgrave Moritz von Hessen, Margrave Maximilian and Margravinne Valerie von Baden, and the Duke of Bragança. During the concert compositions by George Enescu, Franz Liszt, Edvard Grieg and Giuseppe Verdi were played. Afterwards a cocktail was being held. Today a book about their 60th wedding anniversary written by Princess Margarita and Prince Radu was presented to the couple at the National Historical Museum in Bucarest.

June 14th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain’s official birthday was celebrated today with the annual Trooping the Colour parade. Thousands of people joined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the military spectacle at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, London. Behind the carriage of the Queen and the Duke were the Prince of Wales, Princess Royal and the Duke of Kent on horseback. The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester watched the parade from a room in Horse Guards building. After the parade the family went back to Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast from the balcony.

Princess Eléonore of Belgium was christened late this morning at Ciergnon Castle. Her godparents were Princess Claire of Belgium, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Graf Sebastien von Westphalen zu Fürstenberg. The private christening was attended by almost the whole Belgian royal family, a few familymembers of Princess Mathilde, as well as by Prince Guillaume of Luxemburg, Archduke Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria. Not present was Princess Mathilde’s sister Elisabeth who gave birth to her first child a couple of days ago.

Two Irish pubs in New York (McSorley’s) and Ireland (Sean’s Bar in Athlone) are offering DNA tests tomorrow to find descendants of the 5th-century Irish King Niall of the Nine Hostages. Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin have found that as many as one in 12 Irish men could be a descendant of Niall.

June 16th

Prince William of Wales was officially installed as 1000th Royal Knight of the Garter today in a ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. He walked next to his father, the Prince of Wales, in the traditional procession of the knights down the castle hill to the chapel for the annual church service. During the service Prince William was officially installed as Royal Knight by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. At an investiture in the Throne Room at Windsor Castle earlier today the Queen officially presented Prince William with the regalia including a blue garter, sash, robe or mantle and star. He was accompanied by two supporters who assisted during the investiture: the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.

The press service at Mainau announced that Count Björn Bernadotte af Wisborg, eldest son of the late Count Lennart Bernadotte af Wisborg and Countess Sonja Bernadotte af Wisborg, has become engaged to his longtime girlfriend Sandra Angerer on 13 June. Count Björn and the 31-year-old fiancée met each other more than four years ago during the social-pedagogical studies in Rorschach and Switzerland. Both work now on the island of Mainau.

Four days after King Gyanendra moved out of the Narayanhiti Palace the Nepalese government has held its first public function at the palace and has declared the building a museum. According to officials it will take months before the museum is ready to be opened.

June 17th

A photosession with almost the whole Belgian royal family took place in the garden at Laken Castle.

A referendum was being held at Tuvalu at the end of April asking voters whether they wished to have a president as head of state or maintaining a constitutional monarchy. Results show that 1260 people voted in favour of a monarchy, while 679 were against the monarchy.

June 20th

Daniel Westling, the boyfriend of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, is moving to a rental apartment in the area of Drottningholm palace outside Stockholm. On 1 July he is to move to a one-bedroom apartment in the Pagebyggnaden building. Crown Princess Victoria lives in the Sjöflygeln wing of the palace, a few hundred meters from the new apartment of her boyfriend. The move has been confirmed by the royal court.

June 21st

Yesterday evening Alejandra de Borbón, daughter of Alfonso de Borbón and Marisa Yordi, married Bosco Ussía at the Concathedral of Santa María in Guadalajara, Spain. The wedding banquet was held afterwards at the Monasterio de San Bartolomé de Lupiana.

Prince Charles-Philippe d’Orléans, Duc d’Anjou, married Diana Álvares Pereira de Melo, Duchess de Cadaval, in the cathedral of Evora, Portugal, today. The bride, in a dress by Carolina Herrera, was given away by her godfather the Duke of Bragança. Among the bridal children were Doña Maria Francisca de Bragança, Diego and Almudena Dailly. Among the guests were several members of the French royal family, as well as Doña Infanta Pilar of Spain, Beltrán Gomez-Acebo and his wife Laura Ponte, Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco, the Duchess of Bragança, Dom Henrique of Bragança, the Duke and Duchess of Castro, Crown Prince Kardam and Crown Princess Myriam of Bulgaria, Prince Serge and Princess Eleonore of Yugoslavia, Princess Teresa de Orléans e Bragança, Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis and her daughters Maria Theresia and Elisabeth, Prince Fayçal Bey and Princess Janina of Tunisia, Princess Anne of Bourbon-Two Sicilies with her daughter.

June 22nd

Mikael Rosanes and his wife countess Camilla af Rosenborg had their fourth child together. Their third son Theodor was born on 19 June at 1.29pm.

Prince Ludwig of Bavaria celebrated his 95th birthday wit a reception at the Schlossgaststätte Leutstetten this morning. Food and drinks were served. Among the visitors were his son Prince Luitpold, the mayor of Starnberg Ferdinand Pfaffinger and others. Music was played by the Musikverein Penzing.

Hereditary Count Ignaz and Hereditary Countess Robinia zu Toerring-Jettenbach had their third daughter on 18 June. They have named her Elisabeth.

June 23rd

National Day in Luxemburg was celebrated yesterday and today. On Sunday Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the town of Vianden. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume celebrated in Esch-sur-Alzette. Afterwards the Grand Duke, Grand Duchess, Hereditary Grand Duke, Prince Louis of Luxemburg and Tessy de Nassau, and Princess Alexandra of Luxemburg attended the traditional fireworks in Luxemburg town late in the evening. Today the family attended the Te Deum in the cathedral of Luxemburg, as well as the traditional military parade. In the evening a gala took place at the grandducal palace in Luxemburg.

Enriqueta Rodríguez Figarredo, the maternal grandmother of Princess Letizia of Asturias, died at the Hospital Gregorio Marañón in Madrid yesterday afternoon. She was 89 years old. She was admitted to hospital on Saturday. Princess Letizia cancelled her engagements for today. The cremation today was among others attended by the Princess and by the Prince of Asturias.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden have set off today for a five-day study tour through the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard on board of the Swedish research vessel Oden. After four days they will fly by helicopter to Ny-Alesund to visit the headquarters for Norwegian Arctic studies. Afterwards they will travel to Longyearbyen where Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway will join the group for some sightseeing and a visit to an international seed bank. All three are royal patrons of the International Polar Year.

June 24th

The engagement of Count Rodolphe de Limburg Stirum and Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria was officially celebrated at Releghem (Zemst), Belgium on 21 June 2008. The Parents and some of the siblings of the engaged couple were present as well as their grandparents Countess Madeleine d’Oultremont, Grand Duke Jean of Luxemburg and Archduchess Yolande of Austria. Today the pictures of the event were released.

Prince Sifiso Zulu was arrested yesterday and charged with two counts of culpable homicide. According to a police spokeswoman investigations revealed that the prince was the driver of the car that was involved in a car accident last March that claimed two lives and injured 10 people. After the crash it was unclear who had been driven the car. The Prince, who had fled the scene, claimed not to have been the driver. Prince Sifiso Zulu was released on bail yesterday after having appeared in the Durban Regional Court. The case has been postponed to July 18 to await further investigations.

June 26th

Two 13cm long hand grenades have been found in the attic of Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, today during works on Christian IX’s palace. The grenades were removed by an army bomb disposal team. Police thinks the grenades might have been there already since the German occupation in WW II.

Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe and his wife Nadja Anna expect their first child together at the end of the year, the Hofkammer at Bückeburg announced today.

June 27th

Official accounts show that the British royal family has cost the British people £40m during the last financial year from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. This is £2m more than the previous 12 months. This means that the monarchy costs 66p per person in Great Britain. The Queen’s civil list has increased by £500,000 to £12.7m. Officials say that more money was spent on official overseas trips – the most expensive one being the trip to the USA last year – and palace maintenance. The costs of royal travels rose by £600,000 to £6.2m.

Forensic experts from Russia have confirmed today that the remains found in July 2007 near Yekaterinburg, Russia – which are believed to belong to Alexei and Maria, two of the children of Tsar Nikolai II of Russia – were burnt and afterwards soaked in sulfuric acid to disfigure the bodies and prevent identification. Expert Viktor Zvyagin says: “It has been established that the remains belong to a boy of about 12-14 years old and 150 cm tall and a young woman aged 17-19 and 159 cm tall.” DNA analysis has been done in Russia and the USA. Mr Zvyagin said: “The results of the examination are being assessed by investigators and will be made public in the second half of July.” The Sverdlovsk Region has allocated $55,000 to continue excavations at the burial site, it was announced yesterday. Archaeologists have already said they plan to resume the excavations this summer.

June 28th

A commission appointed by president Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan in April to find the bodies of former president Mohammad Daud Khan and his relatives killed in April 1978 in a communist coup has been successful. Today Mahmoud Ghazi Daud, grandson of the former president, announced that recently two mass graves with in total 28 bodies were found. He said: “We recognised by their shoes and clothes that the graves belonged to the deceased Daud Khan, his family and cabinet members.” Mohammad Daud Khan was a cousin and brother-in-law of the last king of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah. He overthrew his cousin in a coup in 1973 and declared Afghanistan a republic with himself as president.

June 29th

Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece gave birth to her fifth child today at 6.45am at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California, USA. The baby weighed 4000 gramms. Mother and son are doing fine. The name of the baby isn’t known yet. He is the ninth grandchild of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, and the eleventh grandchild of Mr and Mrs Robert Miller.

June 30th

The private income of the Prince of Wales rose to more than £16m in the last year according to accounts of Clarence House. That is an increase of 7%. Clarence House says that the amount of CO2 generated by the activities of the prince fell because of a switch to green electricity supplies and further reduction in travel-related emissions. The Prince also cut down the costs of his official travels by air and rail and his personal costs.

Althorp, the childhood home of Diana Princess of Wales will be opened again from 1 July to 31 August. The opening will mark its 500th anniversary as the house was built in 1508 and since 20 generations of Spencers have lived there.

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium and their four children visited the Zoo in Antwerpen today. A spokesperson for the royal palace said: “The Zoo was open to the public on Monday and the princely couple visited the Zoo like any other family. Philippe, Mathilde and the children were especially interested in the show of the sea-lions.”

July 1st

Crown Prince Paras Shah of Nepal has left Nepal today, and flew to Singapore. He didn’t want to comment whether he would return to Nepal. According to the newspaper Naya Patrika his wife and children are to join him after two weeks, when he has found a home and a school for the children. But the newspaper says he will return to Nepal afterwards.

Princess Caroline of Hannover (Monaco) has lost a case against the German magazine 7 Tage at the Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe. The court allowed the publication of a photo of Caroline and her husband Prince Ernst August in Kenya, because it was part of an article that could lead to a discussion of public interest.

A replica of the golden gate to the Versailles Palace, France, will be inaugurated on July 8 after two years of work. The original gate was built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in the 1680s and was torn down during the French Revolution. President of the palace monument, said that the gate provides an essential element of Versailles, historical identity. Private donors have contributed several millions of euros to rebuild the gate.

July 2nd

The police has taken 17 people from the luxurous Conrad Hotel in Brussels, Belgium, after a maid from the Philippines had escaped the hotel and had informed the police. It is alleged that they had been enslaved and had been held captive for eight months. The employer was the widow of a senior royal from the United Arab Emirates with her four daughters. The police said yesterday that they have been questioning several members of the royal party, but that no charges have been brought. The investigation will be continued. According to the Belgian media the servants had to work 24 hours a day for £80 a month, were not allowed to leave the hotel and had their passports taken away upon arrival in Belgium.

Sheikh Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, brother of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan of the United Arab Emirates, has been convicted by a Swiss court for assaulting American Silvano Orsi with a steel-buckled belt in a luxury hotel bar in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr Orsi had declined a bottle of champagne in August 2003. Afterwards the sheikh had tried to kiss him. He was assaulted when he protested. According to the sheikh he had an argument with Mr Orsi after someone had called him gay. The Sheikh was found guilty of inflicting bodily harm with the use of a dangerous object. He was ordered to pay a fine of 10.000 Swiss francs. If he fails to pay he will have to spend 100 days in prison. If he is involved in another infraction in Switzerland during the next three years he might be fined for 540.000 Swiss francs. Testimonies from two former hotel employees were taken into account. According to his lawyer the sheikh might appeal.

Crown Prince Paras Shah of Nepal’s relative Abhinesh Shah, told the press that the Crown Prince is not moving out of the country. He says that the Crown Prince is looking for a good school for his children. As guardians he and his wife will spend a lot of time in Singapor, but the children might return to good schools in Nepal when they get older. Mr Shah also said that the good medical facilities in Singapore would be useful for the Crown Prince, who suffered an heart attack some months ago.

July 4th

Prince Hashem bin Al Hussein and Princess Fahdah Hashem of Jordan had their second daughter today. The girl was named Rayet Al Noor.

July 5th

An auction of 700 lots of royal letters, photographs and artefacts from the former royal servant William Tallon at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester, Essex, Great Britain, fetched £444,634. That was about twice as much as expected. Mr Tallon had been in service of the royal family for 52 years and he kept every letter, card and invitation he ever received. Mr Tallon died last November. A note in which the Queen Mother asked her aide to pack gin and Dubonnet sold for £16,000. A minitiature portrait of the Queen Mother fetched the highest price of £30,000. A note from Diana Princess of Wales written after the birth of Prince William fetched £5,000, and a combination of seven letters of Princess Diana fetched £15,000.

The Information Department of the Prime Minister of Brunei Darussalam’s office has officially launched the official website for the 62nd birthday of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam. The website contains news and information on the celebration, a gallery of portraits, royal birthday songs and a greeting section. The celebrations will take place on 14 and 15 July.

Archaeologists of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities have uncovered something that could be a royal complex of 13 tombs of different shapes and sizes. The complex was found near Abydos in southern Egypt and could be dated back to 3000 BC. Inside they have found ancient wooden coffins with human bones inside, as well as ivory objects similar to pieces used for playing chess.

July 6th

This weekend King Mswati III of Swaziland attended the funeral of Princess Sibongile Promise Magongo of Swaziland. The 38-year-old princess was killed by a shot in the head outside her home in Louisville, Mpumalanga, Sout Africa, on 21 June. She was killed in front of her daughters aged 8 and 17. The princess was the chief wife of Prince Tikhontele Dlamini, Swaziland’s representative in South Africa. The police thinks the execution could have been a professional hit. King Mswati III left today for a four-day state visit to Uganda.

July 7th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has hosted a dinner party at Buckingham Palace tonight in honour of the Aga Khan, The Aga Khan paid a seven-day visit to Great Britain on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his succession to the title of 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims last year.

July 8th

Prince Harry of Wales and 26 military colleagues of his Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals Regiment visit Lesotho to rebuild the Thuso Centre for severely disabled children. The work comes at the end of a southern African expedition of five weeks that the regiment has undertaken during recent weeks. Prince Harry joined the group for the final two weeks as they travelled through Botswana and Namibia before reaching Lesotho. The group will work on the centre over the next three weeks. Money for the work on the Thuso Centre was donated by the Burnaby Blue Foundation and by Prince Harry’s foundation Sentebale.

July 10th

The private secretary of the Prince of Orange, Jaap Leeuwenburg, has confirmed that the prince and his wife Princess Maxima of the Netherlands plan to buy a bungalow at Mozambique. Plans, made together with some good friends, already exist for two years. Newspapers say the house is to be built on the island of Inhaca. The project is said to exist of a luxurious hotel, luxurious bungalows, supermarket, hospital and shops. The project is also aimed at helping the local people by taking care of sanitation and schools.

July 11th

A photo session with the Prince of Orange, Princess Maxima of the Netherlands and their three daughters took place at the Horsten estate in Wassenaar this morning. The family arrived by bicycle, after which photos were taken at the tea pavillion. On the press conference after the photo session the couple said Princess Amalia is doing well at school and likes to play with her friends. She starts to understand that she is different from other children. Princess Maxima helps at school herself, and little Princess Alexia also very much looks forward going to school herself. Prince Willem-Alexander mentioned to be very happy about the coming transparent costs of the royal house. The couple also talked about their plans to build a bungalow at Mozambique, but didn’t want to reveal the location. The couple mentioned that they don’t feel very safe in Argentina, as the behaviour of the argentinean press is very threatening, especially for the children. Photos Royal Portraits

During a press conference before leaving to Spain Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan mentioned the health of his wife Crown Princess Masako and said: “I ask you to understand that Masako is now making her utmost efforts (to recuperate) with help from people surrounding her, and to watch her with gentle patience.” He also said to hope that they can visit a foreign country together in the future: “As Masako is still under medical treatment, a visit to a foreign country needs to be deliberated cautiously.” Crown Prince Naruhito will be in Spain from 16 to 22 July and will visit Madrid, Toledo and the Expo 2008 at Zaragoza.

German Lukyanov, lawyer of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia today announced that he has lodged an appeal at the presidium of the Russian Sumpreme Court on behalf of the Grand Duchess. He said: “It raises the issue of overturning the ruling of the Russian Supreme Court’s panel of judges dated November 8, 2006, and sending the case for the rehabilitation of the tsar’s family back for a new trial.”

July 13th

King Harald V of Norway won the world championship for classic eight-meter boats at Hankø, Norway, this weekend. He sailed a 1930s vessel called Sira, which was once owned by his father King Olav V.

July 14th

Prince Edzard zu Wied had to appear in court in München today for dealing drugs and possession of cocaine. According to his girlfriend Petra U. they were being blackmailed. When their blackmailer was arrested he told the police they could find drugs at the house of the prince. The police thereafter found 21 gramms of cocaine. The lawsuit continues.

July 15th

Kedah celebrated the golden jubilee of the reign of its Sultan, Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah today. The celebrations started yesterday with special prayers and reading of the Yasin followed by a thanksgiving feast at the Zahir Mosque. Today the jubilee celebration was declared and a jubilee parade was being held at the town square. The Sultan took part in the parade on a ‘ship’ escorted by three elephants, nine horses and three contingents comprising government officers and school bands. About 50.000 people lined the streets to see the procession. Commemorative stamps were issued to mark the event. A feast for the people will be held at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium on 19 July. On 22 July a special banquet will be held for which several royals have been invited, among them the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, and the monarchs of other Asian states. A water sports festival will be held at Tanjung Chali on 1 and 2 August, and on 8 August a float procession will take place. The programme will end on 25 August when there will be a tattoo performance and exhibition by the army at the Darul Aman Stadium.

July 16th

Countess Maria Josepha von Hardenberg was buried at the Städtischen Friedhof in Donaueschingen, Germany, yesterday. She had died at Baden-Baden on 7 July. She was born as daughter of Prince Max Egon zu Fürstenberg and his wife née Countess Wilhelmine von Schönburg-Glauchau on 23 April 1922. She is survived by her children and grandchildren. Her husband Count Günther von Hardenberg died in 1985. Just hours after having attended the funeral Princess Teresa zu Fürstenberg née Princess zur Lippe died suddenly at Werenwag Castle in Beuron, Germany. She was born at Vienna, Austria, on 21 July 1925. She is also survived by her children and grandchildren.

One day before the 90th anniversary of the assassination of Tsar Nikolai II of Russia and his family, it was announced by Vladimir Markin, spokesman of the Investigations Committee of the Russian prosecutor’s office, that DNA tests have revealed that the bones found near Yekaterinburg on 29 July 2007 belong to Tsarevich Alexei and his sister Maria. He said: “The combination of anthropological and genetic evidence suggests that the remains of seven people [found in 1991 and 2007 near Staraya Koptyakovskaya road] are family.” The remains have been examined by 22 experts from 12 different laboratories. Tests are still being continued and the DNA will be compared by forensic experts to the DNA taken from the shirt that the Tsar was wearing during a failed assasination attempt in Japan in 1890. Several related European royal families have agreed to provide DNA samples needed for the additional tests. Mr Markin said: “Results and a final conclusion will be got in the near time.”

July 17th

Airport officials said today that Crown Princess Himani of Nepal and her three children Purnika, Kritika and Hridayendra have left Nepal by airplane this afternoon. They took a flight to Singapore. They were accompanied by a royal relative. Crown Prince Paras of Nepal already left Nepal two weeks ago to search for a house and schools for his children.

July 18th

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan signed the first copy of the country’s first constitution today using a wooden pen dipped in golden ink. The event formally turns the absolute monarchy into a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy.

July 19th

Lady Rose Windsor married George Gilman this afternoon at the Queen’s Chapel near St. James’s Palace in London today. The bride wore a dress designed by Franka Couture and a tiara that belonged to Queen Mary of Great Britain. She was accompanied into church by her father, the Duke of Gloucester. Bridesmaids were the groom’s nieces Lily (3) and Alice (9), and the pageboy was 5-year-old Jesse Grylls. The service was conducted by the Rev William Scott. Readings were held by Lady Rose’s godparents the Earl of Wessex and Lady Sarah Chatto. Among the guests were the Princess Royal – wearing the same outfit as at the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana in 1981 – and her husband Tim Laurence, Peter and Autumn Phillips, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Lady Sarah Chatto with her husband, Lord Frederick Windsor, Lady Gabriella Windsor, and Kate Middleton.

Prince Alfonso von Thurn und Taxis married Countess Anna von und zu Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg at Vienna, Austria, today.

July 20th

Prince Henrik of Denmark left hospital today. He was admitted to Aarhus hospital on Friday for a minor shoulder surgery. His shoulder had been painful already for some months.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and their children Ingrid Alexandra and Sverre Magnus posed during a photo session at Flatholmen island near Risør, Norway, where they bought a new summer house. Crown Prince Haakon celebrates his 35th birthday today.

July 21st

Not such a happy national day in Belgium this year, as a week ago the prime minister Yves Leterme sent in the resignation of his cabinet. On Thursday King Albert II of the Belgians let know he doesn’t accept the resignation. He has appointed three politicians to try to find a solution. Yesterday evening the celebrations started with a concert at the Paleis voor Schone Kunsten in Brussels. This morning King Albert, Queen Paola, Queen Fabiola, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde attended the te deum at the St. Michael and St. Gudule Cathedral in Brussels. Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz attended the te deum at the St. Salvators Cathedral in Brugge, and Prince Laurent and Princess Claire at St. Aubain Cathedral in Namen. In the afternoon the whole family attended the military marchpast in front of the royal palace in Brussels. In the evening they seperately visited several activities around town.

Archaeologists believe they have found the walls of the lost abbey at Scone Palace. So far they have unearthed skeletons, bits of pottery, oyster shells and an old coin. Archaeologist Peter Yeoman told: “One of the most important things we have found so far is the outline of the abbey church and cloister. We have used ground- penetrating radar to produce an amazing outline of the abbey in the north transept trench. Individual pieces of buttresses and columns have been picked up on a plan, and we have tested it this year with limited excavations. Before the abbey was created, there was an older church on site.” The team is also examining Moot Hill where the Scottish kings were crowned.

July 22nd

Prince Ferdinand-Joseph de Lobkowicz died at Brussels, Belgium, on 20 July. He was born at Ipamu, Belgian Congo, on 17 December 1955 as son of Prince Christian de Lobkowicz and his wife Marie-Thérèse née Countess von und zu Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg. The funeral will be held at the abbey church of Notre-Dame de la Cambre in Brussels on 25 July.

July 23rd

The coronation of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan is to take place on 6 November 2008, two years after his father abdicated. The coronation will be followed by two days of celebrations at the Changlingmithang stadium in Thimphu.

Nepalese soldier, Lal Bahadur Lamteri, claims in the Nepalese newspaper Naya Patrika to have been an eyewitness to the royal palace massacre in Nepal in 2001. He says that Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal didn’t kill his family and even was killed before the rest of his family. He says that Crown Prince Paras arrived at the dinner party that night accompanied by a person wearing a Dipendra look-alike mask. He says that this person shot the family. The soldier was a junior army staff member at the Naryanhiti Palace in 2001.

July 24th

Princess Woizlawa-Feodora Reuss and the Freistaat Sachsen have reached a settlement in their fight about restitution of the real estate of the Reuss family that got lost in the expropriation after World War II. The princess, who has been fighting for years, will receive back Thallwitz Castle in Saxony, which used to be owned by Prince Heinrich XLV Reuss. It is unclear if the restitution includes the houses on the castlegrounds. Last June the Verwaltungsgericht in Gera dismissed a request of the princess to reopen the case about returning real estate in Gera. Reason was that the verdict of 2005 wouldn’t have been different despite of newly found documents which are said to proof that Prince Heinrich XLV was a british citizen and couldn’t have been expropriated by the Soviet occupation troops. The court had decided in 2005 that Prince Heinrich XLV was legitimately expropriated after World War II.

July 26th

Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark, as well as Princess Benedikte of Denmark with her eldest daughter with husband and children took part in the yearly photosession at Gråsten Castle today. Photos Royal Portraits

In a statement released today by the Imperial Household Agency a team of physicians asks consideration for from the press when handling issues related to Crown Princess Masako of Japan’s health. The statement says: “There is a possibility that repeated questioning on matters such as the reasons why Crown Princess Masako is not accompanying the crown prince on overseas visits will aggravate the medical condition of Crown Princess Masako.” They say that such questions “not only undermine the efforts made by Crown Princess Masako but also could give the impression that she is being criticized for not making adequate efforts. Giving words of encouragement to those receiving treatment for a psychological condition should be avoided. It could not only delay recovery but also aggravate their medical condition.” About her current condition they said: “She is trying her best while suffering from an illness. Compared with the period when the doctors commenced her treatment, the difference is amazing.”

July 27th

The Ministry of Defence said that Prince William of Wales has been involved in a second drugs operation. He was on board a Lynx helicopter which chased a speedboat suspected of shipping cocaine from South America. No drugs were found and the crew was passed on to Colombian authorities. The prince was involved in a cocaine seizure earlier this month also. The prince is currently serving on the HMS Iron Duke in the Caribbean. He is spending five weeks on the frigate as part of his Navy placement aimed at preparing him for his future role as head of the armed forces.

July 26th

The Dutch royal court issued a new family photo of Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven with their children Isabella, Samuel and Benjamin. The photo was taken by Frank van Beek.

July 29th

Yesterday evening a spokesman for King George Tupou V of Tonga announced that the king will relinguish many of his powers. This move will end a near-absolute monarchy. The statement said that the King, who sees himself as “an architect of change”, “is voluntarily surrendering his powers to meet the democratic aspirations of many of his people.” Furthermore it said: “His majesty wishes to ensure that the monarchy is fully prepared for elections in 2010 under a revised voting system granting the majority voice in parliament to the people.” The King will be crowned later this week.

July 30th

Auctioneer Charles Hanson sold a 50-inch pair of bloomers, which once belonged to Queen Victoria of Great Britain, today for 4500 British pounds. The pair of pants were sold by a British family. The buyer was an anonymous Canadian. The Queen’s 66-inch bust chemise was sold for 4000 pounds, and her nightdress for 5500 pounds.

The Supreme Court of Cambodia today announced that it has uphold the judgements of the Court of Appeal which sentenced Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia to 18 months in jail and a compensation of $ 150.000 to the Funcinpec Party over the case of breaching of trust. A spokesman of the Prince’s party NRP said in a reaction that the court is biased and has injustice.

July 31st

Prince William of Wales is to undertake a final series of military secondments in the autumn to complete his year of familiarisation of the British armed forces. He will work with The Central Staff, including the Chief of Defence Staff, at the Ministry of Defence in London, Great Britain. Forthermore he will undertake a series of non-operational visits to Special Forces and a non-operational attachment to the Army Air Corps.

King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians, Queen Fabiola of Belgium and Princess Astrid of Belgium attended a commemoration service at the Church of Our Lady in Laken to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the death of King Baudouin of the Belgians.

August 1st

King Siaosi Tupou V was crowned as 23rd monarch of Tonga at the Centenary Free Wesleyan Church in Nuku’alofa today. He was anoined with oil and later on crowned by the Anglican Archbishop of Polynesia Jabez Bryce. Rituals that involved touching the king were also performed by him. When the king was crowned 21 salutes were fired and the church bells were tolling. The Archbishop wished the king “a long and glorious course of ruling a temporal kingdom wisely, justly and religiously”. Hymnes were sung by a big choir and and performed by an orchestra. When the King left church he was followed by his mother Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho, who wore the royal cloak she also wore at her husband’s coronation in 1967. Among the about 1000 guests in church were Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Maori King Tuheitia with Makau Ariki Atawhai and Prince Whatumoana Te Aa, Princess Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck of Bhutan, King Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi and Masiofo Filifilia Tamasase of Samoa, and Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand. After the ceremony a luncheon was held at the royal palace, followed by traditional dancing, fireworks and an open-air charity concert. There were also three separate coronation balls; one for the VIPs, one for lesser VIPs and one for regular guests. The King was installed as a King in an ancient Tongan ceremony, Taumafa Kava, two days ago. The coronation costed more than $2.5 million, including $418.000 for the royal robes, $37.000 for the newly minted scepter and 1000 new chairs with the monogram GVT in gold letters. In the coming week King Siaosi (George) Tupou V will visit the five outer island groups of Tonga.

In Monte Carlo the yearly Red Cross Ball was held at the Sporting d’Été Club. Prince Albert II was accompanied by his sisters Princess Caroline and Princess Stéphanie, as well as by his brother-in-law Prince Ernst August of Hannover. Also Prince Albert’s girlfriend Charlene Wittstock attended.

King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia accompanied his parents former King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Monineath Sihanouk to Beijing where the last two will have a routine medical checkup. They are also scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on August 8. King Norodom Sihamoni will stay in China for two weeks.

On July 25th, at 9.45am, 68-year-old Kapeliele Faupala was installed as the new king of Wallis at the place Malae Sagato Soane. He succeeded Tomasi Kulimoetoke, who died on 7 May 2007. The ceremony was attended by about 2000 people. The new king was chosen by members of the traditional council of ministers.

August 5th

Yesterday a 75-year-old man informed the police that Fürst Heinrich zu Fürstenberg called him names and ill-treated him. Earlier on Monday morning the man had parked his car in Donaueschingen. Shortly afterwards the Fürst parked his car so close to the one of the man, that he couldn’t drive away anymore. The couple waited until the fürst came back. According to the man the fürst was angry that he still hadn’t driven away and called him names. When the man said something about it, he was hit with a brief-case. The police has started a search for witnesses.

August 6th

The London Evening Standard wrote today, quoting unnamed medical sources, that the Duke of Edinburgh was diagnosed with prostate cancer while being treated in hospital for a chest infection last April. In a statement, Buckingham Palace announced that they were authorised by Prince Philip to “confirm that the claim made by the Evening Standard that he has received a ‘diagnosis of prostate cancer’ is untrue”. The statement further says: “We believe that the Evening Standard’s front page story today titled ‘Prince Philip Defies Cancer Scare’ is a serious breach of Prince Philip’s privacy.” Therefore the palace will ask the Press Complaints Commission to intervene.

The head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass said in a statement that Egyptian scientists are carrying out DNA tests on the two mummified fetuses that were found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922. They hope to find out if the two female fetuses between five to seven months in gestational age, are indeed offspring of the Pharaoh. Mr Hawass said they hope to determine Tutankhamun’s family lineage, which has long been a source of mystery. The tests are part of a wider programme to check the DNA of hundreds of royal mummies to determine their identities and family relations and could take several months.

Prince Emmanuel de Merode was named the new director of Virunga National Park by the Congolese wildlife authority ICCN. He will start his new job on August 13 after being sworn in by the Military Tribunal in Goma. One year ago the worst mountain gorilla massacre ever was recorded in the park.

August 7th

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein of Jordan today carried the torch of the Olympic flame on one leg of the run through the streets of Beijing.

This week’s Billed-Bladet carries an interview with Hereditary Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and his girlfriend Carina Axelsson at Graasten castle on the occasion of the 40th birthday of Carina on 5 August. She said that it had been fun that the magazines so far thought that she was 6 years younger than Gustav, while in fact she is five months older. Her full name is Carina Lynn Axelsson, she grew up in Santa Cruz, California, USA, and is the eldest of three children of a Swedish father and a Mexican mother. The couple has been together for 6 years, and lives together at Berleburg castle since three years. They met at a dinner with friends in Germany. Carina said she has been warmly welcomed by Gustav’s family.

Gorakh Shumsher Rana, son-in-law of the assassinated king Birendra of Nepal, is to remarry later this year to Dipti, niece of former royalist prime minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand. The three-day wedding celebrations will start on 8 December. The groom survived the massacre in the royal palace in Nepal, in which his wife Princess Shruti of Nepal died. The couple had two daughters.

August 8th

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, was attended by several royals. Among them were King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg with their youngest children Princess Alexandra and Prince Sébastien, the Princess Royal, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Prince Philippe of Belgium, Infanta Pilar of Spain, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein of Jordan, King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia and his parents former King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Monineath Sihanouk of Cambodia, Princess Nora of Liechtenstein, and Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand. Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum of Dubai carried the flag of the United Arab Emirates into the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony. Later on also Princess Benedikte of Denmark, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Sofia of Spain and Infanta Cristina of Spain as well as Crown Prince Haakon of Norway will attend a part of the Olympic Games.

The London Evening Standard newspaper has issued an unreservedly apology to the royal family. On Wednesday the newspaper reported that the Duke of Edinburgh had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. In the apology it said that the duke was “not suffering from any such dondition”. It furthermore said: “We unreservedly apologise both to him and to his family for making this distressing allegation and for breaching his privacy.” Buckingham Palace has accepted the apology. The Press Complaints Commission says the matter is now settled.

Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia said today to the Mekong Times newspaper he will not sign any request for King Norodom Sihamoni to pardon his half brother Prince Norodom Ranariddh. He said he could only consider such a request if the prince had served 2/3 of his 18 months jail-term.

August 9th

Several members of royal families are taking part in the Olympic Games in Beijing in the coming weeks. Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg is a member of the Danish dressage team and also takes part in dressage individually. Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum of Dubai takes part in the shooting competition (skeet), sheikh Ahmed Al-Maktoum of Dubai also takes part in the shooting competition (men’s trap and double trap). And Sheikha Maitha Al-Maktoum of Dubai will take part in the -67kg category of taekwondo. Sheikha Latifa al-Maktoum of Dubai is taking part in the individual jumping (equestrian) competition. Prince Abdullah Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia takes part in both the individual as the team jumping competition. Also several nobles are on the list as far as I could see. Anna von Harnier is a German judoka in the category -63 Kilograms. Maria von EssenRoline Repelaer van Driel, who is a rower in the women’s eight for the Netherlands, to my knowledge is a Dutch jonkvrouwe. The list also contains Swedish equestrian Maria von Essen, and Namibian athlete Hans Christian von Lieres und Wilkau, both without specific competition mentioned, so they are probably reserves.

Crown Princess Francine of Montenegro née Navarro died at Paris on 6 August 2008 after a long battle with critical illness. She was 58 years old. She is survived by her husband Crown Prince Nikola II of Montenegro, her children Boris and Altinai, as well as her daughter-in-law Véronique and her granddaughter Milena. The funeral is to take place in private at Paris. A memorial service will take place early September.

Today’s Svenska Dagbladet announced the engagement of Sophie Ullens de Schooten Whetnall and Michel van Dyck at Patmos on 26 July 2008. The fiancee is a daughter of the late Charles Albert Ullens de Schooten Whetnall and Countess Madeleine Bernadotte.

August 12th

On Sunday vandals have damaged the tomb cover of King James III of Scotland in the bell tower of Cambuskenneth Abbey near Stirling. The stone was cracked in a similar accident earlier this year, and has now been split completely in two. Historic Scotland appeals for information. Head of collections of Historic Scotland, Richard Welander, said: “We regret that vandalism has caused further damage to the already fragmentary remains of the blue marble stone which was once the cover for the tomb of King James III. The stone, which used to be in the nave of the ruined abbey church has been kept on the ground floor of the bell tower for many years in order to keep it as safe as possible while still allowing visitors to see an interesting and significant piece of Scottish history. We have reported the latest incident to the police and would encourage anyone with information to contact them so appropriate action can be taken.”

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Maktoum of Dubai (United Arab Emirates) ended in 7th place in the men’s double trap competition (shooting) during the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Two days ago he was 30th in the men’s trap competition. He was 19th after one day, but lost ground on the second day. At the Olympic Games in 2004 he won the gold medal in double trap and was fourth in trap.

August 13th

Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg won an Olympic bronze medal with the Danish team in dressage today. She was the best horserider of the Danes on her horse Digby, with an 8th individual result. Nathalie was loudly cheered by her mother Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and Prince Philippos of Greece. She received the medal from her uncle, honorary IOC-member King Constantine II of Greece.

Princess Lilian of Sweden was taken to hospital in Stockholm yesterday evening at 6.15pm after a fall in her apartment at Djurgården, Stockholm. She broke her hip. The princess underwent a successfull surgery today and is now resting. Considering the circumstances she is doing well.

Sheikh Talal Nasser al-Sabah of Kuwait, who was sentenced to death for drug trafficking, said that he has appealed to the Emir of Kuwait to grant a pardon. He also says that senior members of the royal family of Kuwait are lobbying for him with the Emir. The sheikh, who is the nephew of Emir Jaber al-Sabah of Kuwait who died in 2006, was also found guilty of laundering the proceeds and of illegal possession of two pistols and a shotgun. The sheikh denies to be a drug dealer, but admits being a drug-addict.

August 14th

Princess Eugenie of York passed three A-levels. She achieved an A in art and English literature, and a B in history of art. She attended Marlborough College in Wiltshire. In a joint statement her parents the Duke and Duchess of York say: “We are delighted by Eugenie’s achievements. She has worked extremely hard towards these justifiably fantastic results.” Eugenie is planning a gap year before starting university. Her sister Beatrice will start studying history at Goldsmiths, University of London, in September.

Hanson’s Auctioneers will sell a pair of stockings of Queen Victoria of Great Britain on 3 September. They are expected to fetch £200.

A Belgian archaeologistic team has unearthed a colossal marble head of a Roman Empress in Sagalassos, Turkey. The head is thought to be of Emprss Faustina the Elder, wife of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. It was found 6 metres from the spot where last year an Hadrian statue was discovered.

August 15th

Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria was seriously injured in a car crash at 2.50pm today. The car crashed into a tree on the N-1 highway at El Molar near Madrid. He and his wife Miriam were trapped in the car and were taken out by the firebrigade. Crown Prince Kardam was taken to the Doce de Octubre hospital in Madrid by helicopter. A spokesman says he was seriously injured. Reportedly he has serious head and hand injuries. The hands probably have to be amputated. Crown Princess Miriam was taken to La Paz hospital in Madrid reportedly with a broken elbow and several bruises. Family arrived at the clinic in the evening.

China’s largest Qing Dynasty mansion, the Prince Gong Mansion, will open on 20 August for the first time after a two-year renovation. The mansion was build in 1776 and is one of 20 royal mansions from the Qing Dynasty to left standing. It is a fine example of ancient Chinese architecture.

August 16th

Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum of Dubai (United Arab Emirates) ended in 22nd place in the men’s skeet competition (shooting) during the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. He was 8th after one day, but lost ground on the second day.

Yesterday evening a native Hawaiian sovereignty group took over the grounds of Iolai Palace, the residence of the last monarch of Hawaii, for the second time this year. The gates were locked by about dozen men. They wore t-shirts saying ‘security’ and posted signs that read ‘property of the Kingdom of Hawaiian Trust’.

August 17th

According to the spokesperson of former King Simeon II of Bulgaria, Galiya Dicheva, the medical condition of Crown Prince Kardam remains critical. However his breathing and vital signs have improved. Crown Princess Miriam is in stable condition. A doctor from the Doce de Octubre hospital where Kardam was transferred to, said on Saturday: “The condition of the patient could not be defined until he is in a coma. I can only say he has suffered a heavy brain trauma.”

Sheikha Latifa al-Maktoum of Dubai (UAE) ended on the 54th place in the qualifications of the individual jumping competition at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Her horse was named Kalaska de Semilly. Prince Abdullah al-Saud of Saudi Arabia and his horse Obelix ended on the 60th place in the same competition.

August 18th

Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria is being kept in a artificial coma, so that he can be pain free. He suffered a severe brain-scull trauma and both his hands are severely damaged. According to doctors of the Doce de Octubre Hospital in Madrid both his hands are motionless, and reports mention that he has lost two fingers.

Afghan authorities said today that two mass graves that were found recently indeed contain the remains of nine relatives of former president Mohammad Daud Khan of Afghanistan. In April Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, appointed a commission to locate the body of Mohammad Daud Khan, member of the Afghan royal family. They still work to identify the 29 bodies that were found. The body of Mohammad Daud Khan hasn’t been identified yet. Among the identified bodies are the bodies of his wife, son, two daughters, his sister, an 18-month- old grandchild. They were identified through their clothing, teeth, height and other characteristics. Mohammad Daud Khan and 18 members of his family were shot dead on the night of 27-28 April 1978.

August 19th

Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg ended in 15th place in the final of the individual dressage competition at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

August 20th

At the end of July the Oslo District Court received a letter from Jorn Lepsøy, claiming the inheritance of King Haakon V Magnusson of Norway who died in 1319. He demanded that a DNA sample should be taken from the body of the king who is buried at the Akershus in Oslo, so he could proof that he descended from the king, who according to history died without male heirs. The Oslo District Court ruled however that he was too late to claim the inheritance. They said “In accordance with the inheritance law the right to claim inheritance expires if the heir does not demand his right within 10 years after the testator dies.”

Carla Royo-Villanova, wife of Prince Kubrat of Bulgaria, told the press yesterday that she and her husband are very worried about the condition of Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria. There is no news and it is not known how the situation will evolve. Kardam’s wife Miriam underwent surgery. The family is very concerned. Due to a special request made by the family there hasn’t been any new information published. Newspapers say that the accident took place because Kardam didn’t slow down his Jaguar on the stretch, which is known as the dark hole.

Yesterday the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco upheld the conviction and two-year-sentence of Edith Delgado. On 5 July 2006 Ms Delgado speeded in her car and caused an accident in which two members of the royal family of Tonga were killed. Ms Delgado has been free on bail since August 2007 and is scheduled to return to court on 27 August.

Forbes published its yearly list of richest royals in the world. On top of the list is King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand with a fortune of $35 billion. He is followed by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nayhan of Abu Dhabi with $23 billion and King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia with $21 billion. The richest European monarch, Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, is 6th on the list with $5 billion, followed by Prince Albert II of Monaco in 9th place with $1,4 billion, and in 12th place Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain with 650 million.

August 21st

Countess Feodora af Rosenborg will marry Morten Rønnow at the townhall in Copenhagen on 8 September. They expect their first child early February 2009. It will be Feodora’s second marriage. She first married Eric Patte in 2004, but the couple split already in 2005.

Nine of the thirteen wives of King Mswati III of Swaziland chartered a plane to go on a shopping trip to Europe and the Middle East last week. Today hundreds of Swazi women marched through the streets of the capital, because they think the money could have been spent better. The women said that a quarter of the nation lives on food aid. The march was organised by the non-governmental organisation Positive Living.

August 22nd

The Spanish royal palace said today that the Princess of Asturias had surgery on her nose last week to fix a breathing problem. It was said the septorhinoplasty was carried out by palace medical staff to fix a deviated septum (wall between the left and right sides of the nose).

Sheikha Maitha al Maktoum of Dubai made her debute at the Olympic Games today in Beijing. She lost both her fights, the first one against the world champion taekwondo. Sheikha Maitha, who was kicked in the head, said: “It’s a dream and a nightmare at the same time. I couldn’t wait until it was going to happen. And now I can’t believe it’s over. I think I performed well for what my background is and my experience.”

Fürst Karl zu Schwarzenberg and his former wife Countess Therese zu Hardegg remarried civilly at Murau on 25 July, after a 20 year separation. The secret wedding was only attended by their daughter Anna Carolina and her children.

August 23rd

In today’s Le Figaro the engagement is announced between count Dominik von Coudenhove-Kalergi and Princess Adelheid von und zu Liechtenstein. He is the son of the late count and late countess Hans-Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi. She is the youngest daughter of the late Prince Vincenz von und zu Liechtenstein and Mrs Hélène de Cossé Brissac-Byloff.

In a statement the Foreign Ministry of Thailand has said that Forbes magazine is wrong in listing King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand as the world’s richest royal. They say: “The Crown Property Bureau has clarified that the report is inaccurate and inconsistent.” The Foreign Ministry says that the $35 billion mentioned by forbes includes vast property holdings as part of his netto worth, although the land and other assets belong to the Crown Property Bureau. The statement says that the Crown Property Bureau is an institution ‘which essentially belongs to all Thais’ that owns and manages the assets of the monarchy, and the assets are not the personal wealth of the king.

August 25th

A Belgian archaeologistic team has unearthed parts of a giant sculpture of Roman Emperor Marcus Arelius at an archaeological site in Sagalassos, Turkey.

August 26th

A sword has been sold at auction by auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh today for £19,000. The sword is said to have belonged to Bonnie Prince Charlie, and was part of a collection of armour at Crosby Lodge in Carlisle. Silver specialist Colin Fraser said: “The sword displays the Royal Cypher and other symbols in gilt to the blade and shows Charles’s opinion of being the rightful heir to the Scottish throne.”

August 27th

From 14 to 16 November Thailand will be in mourning because of the royal cremation of Princess Galyani Vadhana, who died on 2 January. The royal crematorium will be open to the public from September 7 and people can visit the crematorium each Sunday. There are three daily tours.

August 28th

A slice of the 1981 wedding cake of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer was sold for £ 1200 at auction at Dominic Winter Auction House in South Cerney, Gloucestershire, Great Britain. The slice, decorated with the royal coat of arms in icing, was preserved in clingfilm by Moyra Smith, member of the household of the Queen Mother. The buyer was a private collector from Great Britain, who wanted to remain anonymous.

The prison term of Edith Delgado, who was sentenced to two years in prison for causing an accident in which two Tongan royals were killed, was postponed yesterday until after the confirmation of the conviction of the state court of California becomes formal. She has approximately five months left to serve. Ms Delgado will return to court on 23 September.

August 29th

King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary today with a cruise on the royal yacht Norge in the Adriatic and Mediterranean, together with children and grandchildren. The cruise was set to start off the coast of Croatia. In an interview King Harald V said about his wife: “She has meant everything to me. I was a completely different person when I married her 40 years ago. Apart from anything else I was extremely shy, but with her help, I got over it.” Queen Sonja said her most important task is to support her husband and to help to put the spotlight on Norway. About his father, King Olav V, King Harald said: “Things have been simpler and much happier for us, since we have each other. King Olav was a lonely man.” Kongehuset: wedding video

August 30th

The Swedish royal court has confirmed that Prince Carl Philip of Sweden inherited the Ökenäs estate in Källvik, Södermanland, from the previous owner who died last summer. The 19th centuryestate consists of a manor house and some smaller buildings.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested 31-year-old Takeshi Yamamoto yesterday for allegedly posting an Internet threat to kill Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan. The man posted the message “I will kill the crown prince” through his home computer August 13. He now says it was just an hoax. The man is accused of obstructing public duty by causing the police to unnecessarily thighten up security around the palace where the crown princely family lives.

September 1st

Scotland Yard announced that a man has been arrested yesterday morning over the theft of a camera with photos of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton during their holiday on the caribbean island of Mustique. The camera belonged to Kate Middleton’s sister Pippa, and is said to have been stolen in London. The Sun newspaper was approached by two men who tried to sell the photos for £50,000 . The newspaper informed the police. The police bailed the man to return in September.

Prince Friedrich-Alexander zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Wallerstein married Isabella Bonelli at the Basilika Maria Loretto in Loretto, Austria, on Saturday. The wedding was led by Father Denis Borel csj, with assistance of among others Priest P. Paulo Habsburg. After the wedding there was a reception on the Basilika square. In the evening there was dinner and party at the former abbey court in Gumpoldskirchen. Among the guests were members of many princely houses, including the Liechtenstein princely family.

September 3rd

A pair of stockings from Queen Victoria of Great Britain was sold at auction in Derby by auctioneer Charles Hanson. They were bought for £8,000 by the Ruddington Framework Knitters’ Museum in Notthingham. They were listed for between £150 and £200.

Crown Princess Miriam of Bulgaria was discharged from hospital yesterday. Only shortly beforehand she was informed about the critical condition of her husband, Crown Prince Kardam.

Lalla Bahia of Morocco, one of the wifes of the late King Mohammed V of Morocco, died today. The funeral will take place tomorrow after the afternoon prayers in the Moulay El Hassan Mausoleum in Rabat.

September 4th

During their vacation in Australia Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary with their children Christian and Isabella posed in an official photosession in the gardens of the Government House in Sydney. They are to return to Denmark in the next few days. Crown Prince Frederik told the press that Prince Christian’s english is improving. Crown Princess Mary said that the children had been able to play with their cousins: “They had such a wonderful time together,” she said. “It has been a long time since we were all together.”

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway will start a part-time leadership course at the Norwegian School of Management in Oslo this autumn, the Norwegian royal court confirmed today.

The secretary of Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Mariëtte Helmann, today announced that Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme gave birth to a baby girl at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis in Amsterdam on 3 September 2008. Julia Carolina Catharina is perfectly healthy and weighs 3325 gramms. The baby’s father, Tjalling ten Cate, will give notice of the birth today. The couple is very proud and grateful.

September 5th

The Government information service issued a serie of photos of Prince Friso and Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau with their daughters Luana and Zaria on the occassion of their 40th birthdays. The photos were taken by Jeroen van der Meyde at the Molendriegang Leidschendam, The Netherlands. Prince Friso is patron of the Vereniging De Hollandsche Molen (the Dutch Mill).

The Danish newspaper B.T. reports that Prince Waldemar zu Schaumburg-Lippe will marry Austrian vet and lawyer Gertraud Antonia Wagner-Schöppl on 20 September 2008 at Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna, Austria. The bride was born in Salzburg, Austria, as daughter of Adolf and Edith Schöppl, from a viennese metal industrial family. She was previously married to Helmut Wagner and is the mother of Mario-Max Prince Schaumburg-Lippe, who was adopted by Princess Helga zu Schaumburg-Lippe some years ago.

September 6th

King Mswati III of Swaziland attended a huge celebration in the national stadium in Mbabane on the occasion of his 40th birtday and 40 years of independency from Great Britain. The king arrived traditionally dressed in a new BMW, one of 20 bought for the occasion. The festivities included traditional dancing and Zulu drumming, as well as a military parade. About 20.000 people were present.

September 8th

Henry Wako Muloki, kyabazinga of Busoga, one of the five kingdoms of Uganda, died on 1 September of throat cancer, aged 87. He was the son of Busoga Isebantu Ezekiel Tenywa Wako Zibondo and Yunia Nakibande. He was buried today in a state funeral. The golden coffin was carried by a team of uniformed police officers, and followed by over 20 traditionalists wearing kanzus and carrying spears. A five-hour requiem service was held at Jinja, after which the king was buried next to his wife Alice who died in 2005, his parents and his deceased son David Wako Muloki. During the 20-minute burial ceremony he received a 17-gun salute. Part of the funeral was attended by President Museveni of Uganda and his wife.

Morten Rønnow and Countess Feodora af Rosenborg married at the town hall in the centre of Copenhagen. The bride wore a knee-length black-white dress by Mummi. When leaving the town hall the couple shortly danced on the town hall square. After the wedding there was a lunch at Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen. The wedding was attended by the parents of bride and groom, the groom’s brother and the bride’s sisters with husbands, as well as by colleagues.

September 10th

Princess Bajrakitiyabha of Thailand has become a goodwill ambassador in Thailand for the UN Development Fund for Women. She was asked to become an ambassador in recognition of her work in advancing women’s rights in Thailand. During her inauguration ceremony she joined the UN Say No to Violence against Women campaign. The princess is the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn of Thailand. She graduated from Cornell University and works as an assistant public prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice in Thailand.

September 11th

Reigning Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein has caused some uproar in Germany. In a letter to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, which had requested a painting from the princely art collection for its new exhibition, he said not to be able to lend the work to the museum because he is still in dispute with the German authorities about another painting in a German museum which was confiscated without compensation after WW II by the Czech communists. He says that “Germany is not inclined to orient itself along the principles of international law,” and therefore he is not able “to allow any loans from our collection into Germany.” In the letter he also says that in 200 years Liechtenstein had survived the first and second Reich, and that the Third Reich didn’t have the chance to annex Liechtenstein. He said to “hope we will survive a fourth.” The Jewish Museum said that the comparison is intolerable. The princely office said in a statement that Prince Hans Adam II didn’t intend to compare the Third Reich with modern Germany.

Prince Konstantin of Bulgaria has told the Spanish press today that his brother Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria is to be taken out of his artificial coma in the next few days. He furthermore said that the family is beginning to have some hope that Kardam’s condition is going to improve. Konstantin also said that his brother lost two fingers in the accident, and that they were not amputated later on. On doctor’s advice Crown Princess Miriam hasn’t visited her husband yet.

September 12th

Mohamed Erraji will appeal against his two-year prison sentence for allegedly criticising King Mohammed VI of Morocco on his online blog. He also was given a fine. Mr Erraji was accused of “lacking respect towards the king and the royal family.” He is said to have spoken out against state-funded programs in the region, among them projects sponsored by royals. He claimed that the projects were not well run. The court of appeal in Agadir decided that Mr Erraji is to be released during the appeal.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a member of Malaysian royalty, has been arrested at his home today under the Internal Security Act. He was charged with sedition and defamation for linking deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the murder of a Mongolian model. A close friend of Najib Razak has been charged with the murder of the woman. Raja Petra Kamaruddin is the founder of the Malaysia Today Website. Yesterday the government had said that they would lift a ban on this site.

The first pictures of Julia ten Cate with her parents Tjalling ten Cate and Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme were released today. The photos were made by Martine Berendsen, who also made the wedding pictures of the couple earlier this year.

Hereditary Prince Heinrich and Hereditary Princess Priscilla zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn had a daughter. Eleonora was born at Milan, Italy, on 11 September.

The succession of the late Isebantu Kyabazinga of Busoga, Henry Wako Muloki, is said to be very complicated. There are several candidates. At the moment James Christopher Mutyaba Nkono is the acting Kyabazinga. He is from one of the three chiefdoms that have never ruled Busoga and can’t appoint himself as Kyabazinga. He told the press: “There are just too many issues to sort out here – managing the succession process is not an easy job because there are also issues to do with many people from one family seeking to become candidates. The Kyabazinga is chosen by the Busoga hereditary chiefs. ” There are several candidates, of which the candidate from Bugabula, William Gabula Nadiope IV, seems to be the most favoured one. Among the other candidates is the deceased’s youngest son Edward Wambuzi Muloki, as well as Patrick Izimba Gologolo of Kigulu. Candidates have undergone cultural rituals in the past days, which are necessary to become the Kyabazinga. Six of the eleven Busoga hereditary chiefs, who are not eligible for the election as Kyabazinga, want to move a motion to increase the number of candidates to eleven. The royal chief of Luba, Juma Munulo, says that there was a constitution review process before Muloki’s death, which made a resolution to that effect.

The children of the late Kyabazinga of Busoga, Henry Wako Muloki have gone to a High Court over a succession fight. Three sons, Prince Fred Mukunya Muloki, Prince John Nyiro Muloki and Prince Dennis Muloki wanted to block a planned installation of their youngest brother Prince Edward Columbas Wambuzi as Zibondo. A zibondo is the royal chief of the Bulamogi chiefdom in Busoga. Prince Edward was chosen by his sister Rebecca Muloki and five members of the Zibondo council in Bulamogi. Prince Fred Mukunya Muloki however was arrested by the police when he was on his way to the installation, and was only released after the installation of Prince Edward had been finished.

September 14th

In a MSN Entertainment poll on the ocassion of his 24th birthday Prince Harry of Wales won the title of the coolest British royal. With 42% he beat his cousin Zara Phillips (35%), his brother Prince William of Wales (15%), and his cousins Princess Beatrice (4%) and Princess Eugenie (4%) of York. 35% of the more than 3000 people questioned would love to spend a night out with Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy, followed by Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall with 33%, where 28% would prefer to go out with Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton. 62% of the people questioned thinks Prince Harry should be allowed to return to the front. 49% thinks the finest moment of Prinec Harry is carrying on the charity work of his late mother, and 44% mentions his service in the army. 72% mentioned him wearing a Nazi outfit to a party his most infamous moment. Prince Harry spends his birthday tomorrow on regimental duties in Canada.

In an interview in the newspaper Expressen Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden says she is still “hoping for the day” when she can announce her engagement. She says to understand the interest, but “I hope people will trust my judgement concerning the day.” Victoria also defended her father, who according to rumours is not in favour of an engagement to Daniel Westling. Victoria said: “What is written then becomes a truth, even if it isn’t. It’s really unfair to daddy.” The interview was given in Beijing, where the Crown Princess attended the Paralympics.

September 15th

Infanta Leonor of Spain has started kindergarden at the Colegio de Santa Maria de los Rosales in Madrid. Leonor proudly told the photographers: “I start the big children’s school today.”

The Spanish police said in a statement on Saturday they have detained a man on suspicion of throwing a Molotov Cocktail into the garden of the house of Infanta Cristina of Spain in Barcelona. The device slightly damaged a car. Infanta Cristina and her children were not at home at the time of the incident. According to the police the man is obsessed by the royal family and has underwent psychiatric treatment for some years. He claims that King Juan Carlos of Spain is his father. He was expected to appear in court today.

Clarence House announced that Prince William of Wales is to train as a full-time pilot with the RAF Search and Rescue Force. The Prince, who has spent time with the Navy and Army last year, said he wants to “I now want to build on the experience and training I have received to serve operationally, especially because I was not able to deploy to Afghanistan this year.” He also said: “”It has been a real privilege to have spent the past year understanding and experiencing all aspects of the British Armed Forces. The time I spent with the RAF earlier this year made me realise how much I love flying. Joining Search and Rescue is a perfect opportunity for me to serve in the Forces operationally, while contributing to a vital part of the country’s emergency services.” Prince William will begin 18 months of search and rescue training in January.

September 16th

The parliamentary year was traditionally opened with royal presence today in both the Netherlands and Sweden. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was accompanied by the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima (in purple), Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien and Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, as well as Pieter van Vollenhoven. They drove in carriages from Palace Noordeinde to the Knight’s Hall in The Hague. After speech of the throne they drove back to the palace, and appeared on the balcony. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden was accompanied by Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. A short speech by the King was followed by an inaugural speech of the Prime Minister.

Prince Cyrus Pahlavi is to produce a film about his grandmother Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, together with Edward Bass and First Line Entertainment. The Princess supported Iranian women’s rights before the Islamic revolution of 1979.

September 17th

The Schaumburg-Lippe family has issued a statement that they take distance from the wedding between Prince Waldemar zu Schaumburg-Lippe and Dr. Gertraud-Antonia Wagner-Schöppl on 20 September 2008, and won’t attend the wedding. The announcement, which was signed by almost all adult members of the family, says: “We attach value to the establishment, that the self-exaltation of the bridal couple, which is out of place and exaggerated, has nothing to do with our manners. We point out that we won’t recognise or accept Mrs Dr. Wagner-Schöppl or her son, the adopted Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe, as members of our family.” The statement

September 18th

A Moroccan Court of Appeal has cancelled a two-year jail sentence that was given to blogger Mohamed Erraji for critizising the Moroccan royal family. Family members said he had been arrested on 5 September and got a 10 minute trial without defence lawyer. The Court of Appeal said the case was not acceptable, and declared the case abandoned.

September 19th

Jason Fraser, a British celebrity photographer, has been convicted by a Court of Appeal in Paris, France, yesterday for invasion of privacy by making pictures of Dodi al-Fayed and Diana Princess of Wales on a yacht shortly before their death in 1997. Another court had found Mr Fraser not guilty in 2006. Mr Fraser was ordered to pay Mohamed al-Fayed 5000 Euros in damages. Both Fraser and the publisher of the weekly magazine France Dimanche which published the pictures were fined Euros 3000 each.

September 20th

The civil wedding of Prince Aimone of Savoy-Aosta, Duke of Apulia and his long-time fiancée Princess Olga of Greece took place on September 16 at the Italian Embassy in Moscow, Russia. The religious wedding will take place of the Island of Patmos, Greece, on 27 September 2008.

Prince Waldemar zu Schaumburg-Lippe married Gertraud Antonia Wagner-Schöppl at the palace chapel of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. The wedding was to take place at 5.00pm, but the bride arrived half an hour too late in a white carriage with two horses in front. The bride wore a dress from Brautsalon Klagenfurt with a skirt of light-creme taffeta silk, a bodice with gold decoration and a tulle train. She furthermore wore a long veil and a diademe. The bridal children Anna Ermakova, Victoria and Sophie threw rose-leafs on the way to the altar. The witnesses of bride and groom were the daughter of the groom Princess Eleonore-Christine zu Schaumburg-Lippe, Count Endre Esterházy, Michaela Ferling-Faltlhauser, Sieghardt Rydzewski and the bride’s son Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe. During the evangelical-reformed service (the bride converted), led by Dutch Rev. Mrs Boon, Countess Christine Esterházy and Anja Glüsing sang. Bridesmaids Anna and Victoria handed over the golden rings to the couple. After the wedding a gala-dinner and a showprogramme took place at the nearby Parkhotel Schönbrunn. During the evening the good wishes from royal houses were read to the guests. At midnight the couple cut the wedding cake, also to celebrate the 52nd birthday of the bride. Among the guests were Princess Teresa zur Lippe, Count Wolf-Engelbrecht von Auersperg and Countess Verena von Auersperg-Rotterdam, Angela Ermakova, Princess Grace of Monaco’s cousin Christa Mayerhofer-Dukor-Wlaschek, and Danish royalty-journalist Bodil Cath.

September 21st

The police of Swaziland announced tonight that two people were killed when the bomb, which they had planned to plant on a bridge near one of the royal palaces outside Mbabane, exploded prematurely on Saturday night. A third man, from South Africa, was arrested. He will be tried for treason.

September 23rd

Four letters by Diana Princess of Wales to her former nanny Mary Clarke are to be auctioned at Reeman Dansie Auctions in Colchester on 30 September. They are expected to fetch up to $18,000. One letter, written some years before Diana’s marriage to the Prince of Wales, Diana wrote that she had briefly considered the Prince of Wales as a possibly suitable mate for her older sister Sarah. In a letter written when being engaged since six months she writes that the engagement is far too long. The auction house is also selling a 1937 three-page letter from Wallis Simpson to her cousin Lelia, written in Austria during her honeymoon with the Duke of Windsor. Also letters by the Queen Mother, Earl Spencer are being auctioned.

BBC Leeds producer Tony Parker found unknown footage of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The film was among material that came in after a request for war footage. The video shows footage of the christening of the Hon. Michael Knatchbull, who was born 1950 as second son of Lord Mountbatten’s eldest daughter Patricia. Queen Elizabeth is his godmother. Dr Victor Don, doctor of the Knatchbull family, filmed the event.

An opinion poll by Herald/Nielsen among 1400 people shows that 52% of the Australians support a republic, while 40% doesn’t, and 8% didn’t decide.

Princess Iniga von Urach née Princess von Thurn und Taxis died at her home in Aufhausen am Starnberger See, Germany, on 17 September, aged 83. She died of cancer. The funeral service took place today at the Wallfahrtskirche St. Maria Himmelfahrt in Aufkirchen am Starnberger See. She was buried at the local cemetery afterwards. She is survived by her children, grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

September 24th

Gerald Ward, one of the six godparents of Prince Harry of Wales, passed away unexpectedly aged 70. He collapsed on Sunningdale golf course, Berkshire. Mr Ward took a great interest in the life of his godson.

Princess Beatrice of York has started her life as a student today. She will be studying for a BA in the History of Ideas at Goldsmiths College in London. It is a three-year course. The study combines the broader study of history with a focus on the nature of ideas and their role in history.

The Petit Trianon, in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, is about to reopen after a $7,8 million restoration.

Archaeologists have identified a tomb from the Ming Dynasty in the Sanshan area in the suburbs of Nanjing, China, to be the tomb of Princess Qingbao, youngest daughter of Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Dynasty. Although the tomb had been robbed, a they found a stele with her title and name. The stele is now in the Nanjing Municipal Museum.

September 25th

Count Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz died this afternoon at the Neurological Centre William Lennox in Ottignies. He was 72 years old and the father of Princess Mathilde of Belgium. He fell ill early this year and was in a coma for two weeks in March/April. It is reported he was in hospital in Ottignies since early August when he was diagnosed with thrombosis. Late last week his situation deteriorated, and his wife spent all day on his bedside since. Count Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz is survived by his wife Anne, four of his five children, and by five grandchildren.

Prince Michael Andreevich Romanoff died at Sydney, Australia, in the early morning of 22 September, aged 88. He suffered a heart attack earlier this month. He is survived by his wife Giulia, his stepson Daniel, and by his siblings Andrew and Olga. The funeral service will take place at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul at Strathfield, Sydney, on 30 September. The funeral will take place at the East Suburbs Memorial Park in Botany.

September 26th

The Egyptian council of antiquities announced archaeologists have found a huge 3000 year-old red granite head at Tell Basta, northeast of Cairo. It is believed the head is of Pharaoh Ramses II. It has belonged to a colossal statue that once stood in the area on a site that was dedicated to the cat-goddess Bastet. Two years ago a large statue of the wife and daughter of Ramses II were found in the same area.

The identification of the remains of the imperial family of Russia will be delayed because of the identification of the 88 plane crash victims at Perm, Nikolai Nevolin, head of the forensic laboratory in Yekaterinburg, said today. He said: “The lab staff are working round the clock, and on weekends. The comparison of the genetic profile of Nikolai Romanov’s DNA with the genetic profile of bone fragments will be carried out after the identification the crash victims is over.”

September 27th

Prince Aimone di Savoia-Aosta, Duke of Apulia, married Princess Olga of Greece religiously today at 5.30pm at the Church of Panagia Diasozousa at the Greek island of Patmos. The ceremony was led by Archimandrite Andipas Nikitaras. Among the small amount of guests were the parents and siblings of bride and groom, their nephews and nieces, Queen Sofia of Spain, King Constantinos II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Princess Irene of Greece, Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy, Prince Casimiro and Princess Maria Cristina de Bourbon.

The coffin with the body of Count Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz was transferred from Ottignies to Losange Castle yesterday afternoon. A death announcement in several Belgian newspapers today reveals the funeral service will take place at the St. Pierre Church in Bastogne on Tuesday morning, followed by a private burial at the cemetery of Lutrebois. Prince Philippe has cancelled several engagements early next week, and also Queen Paola of the Belgians has cancelled her engagement on Tuesday morning.

Prince Michel Feodorovitch Romanoff died at Paris on 22 September 2008, aged 84. He was a son of Prince Feodor Alexandrovitch of Russia and Princess Irene Paley. He is survived by Princess Mercedes Romanoff and her daughter Tatiana. The funeral service will take place in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky at Paris on 30 September.

September 28th

Prince Norodom Ranariddh returned to Cambodia after 18 months in exile today after his brother King Norodom Sihamoni pardonned him on Thursday. He was met by over 100 supporters at the airport. A spokesman said the prince is planning to keep a low profile as he contemplates his next political activities.

September 29th

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway gave birth to her third daughter at 12.53 today at home in Lommedalen. The baby, who was named Emma Tallulah, is 53 cm tall and weighs 3700 gramms.

The 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales on 14 November will be celebrated with two parties it was confirmed today. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will host an event at Buckingham Palace in honour of her son’s birthday. It is likely that British and foreign dignitaries will attend. A private party will take place at Highgrove, Gloucestershire. It is likely family and friends will attend. The Royal Mint already issued a £5 crown for the occasion. The parties are expected to take place in the week of the prince’s birthday.

September 30th

The Norwegian royal court issued two pictures of Emma Tallulah Behn, made by her father Ari Behn. One shows the baby with her two sisters Maud Angelica and Leah Isadora.

Count Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz, father of Princess Mathilde of Belgium, was buried today at the cemetery of Lutrebois, near Losange Castle where the family lives. Before there was a two-hour funeral service at St Peter’s Church in Bastogne. The widow Countess Anne d’Udekem d’Acoz was accompanied by her son Charles-Henri, daughters Mathilde, Elisabeth and Hélène, sons-in-law Prince Philippe of Belgium and Margrave Alfonso Pallavicini, as well as grandchildren Princess Elisabeth and Prince Gabriel of Belgium. The funeral was attended by King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Princess Astrid, Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium, Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, Prince Guillaume of Luxemburg and Archduchess Anna Gabriela of Austria. Also the deceased’s brothers Count Henri and Count Raoul d’Udekem d’Acoz were present.

A special one-off comedy show in aid of The Prince’s Trust will help to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales. The show, called We Are Most Amused, will be performed at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Wednesday 12 November only. Stars as Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese and Robin Williams will go on stage. The show will be a mix of live stand-up and comedy sketches. The PRince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will attend the show. ITV1 will broadcast the event afterwards. Tickets will go on sale at 10.30am on 1 October.

Four letters of Diana Princess of Wales to her nanny Mary Clarke were sold by Auctioneers Reeman Dansie in Colchester for a total of £21,100. A letter from 1978 was sold for £9,200 to a Swiss collector, a letter written a few weeks before the wedding in 1981 went for £2,200, a letter in which the princess mentioned feeling ill during her pregnancy with Prince William raised £8,000, and a letter thanking her nanny for sending her and the Prince of Wales an engagement card fetched £1,700. A letter written by the Duchess of Windsor during her honeymoon in 1937 was bought for £11,200 by a US collector.

The funeral for Prince Michael Andreevich Romanoff was held today at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in Strathfield, Australia. The Prince was Protector and Grand Prior of the Sovereign Order of Orthodox Knights Hospitalier of St John of Jerusalem. Many members of the Order attended the funeral service and took part in it, carrying the coffin out of the cathedral. The funeral was followed by a service at St James’s Anglican Church in Sydney. During the service his family recalled that he took to the Australian lifestyle with passion. Despite his immersion in Australia, Prince Michael remained a royal, speaking with a slight British accent. Professor David Flint, leader of the Australian monarchists, recalled: “A great many people invent titles for themselves. Michael had the highest of titles but he was always too humble to use it.”

In Hello! magazine of 30 September Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece for the first time present their youngest son Aristidis Stavros. The magazine has a 17-page report with pictures taken at the family’s 18th-century mansion.

October 1st

The Russian Supreme Court today declared Czar Nikolai II of Russia and his family to be victims of political repression. A court spokesman said that the court’s presidium accepts the appeals of the Romanoff family to rehabilitate the Czar and his family. The family’s lawyer German Lukyanov said the decision was based on law and said no politics were involved. He said: “In the end this will help the country, this will help Russia understand its history, help the world to see that Russia observed its own laws, help Russia in its development to become a civilized country.”

The election of the Kyabazinga of Busoga has been postponed from 3 to 31 October 2008. After a meeting earlier this week the hereditary chiefs said they were not ready yet for the exercise.

October 2nd

King Harald V of Norway opened the Norwegian parliament today by reading the speech from the throne with the government plans for the coming year. He was as usual accompanied by Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.

Prince Azim, a son of the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, has quit the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst after only one week. He started to skip morning drill, telling other cadets he wanted out, and two days later packed his things and left.

Former King Gyanendra of Nepal has appeared in public for the first time since the monarchy in Nepal was abolished. He visited a Hindu temple in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu on the occasion of the Dashain festival.

October 3rd

The Princess Royal unveiled the newly-restored tomb of King Edward II of England at Gloucester Cathedral today. The monument had become damaged by damp, and the £100,000 restoration meant extensive structural work. The restoration was part of the 700th anniversary of Edward II’s accession to the throne.

Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia has won a legal battle against the French TV channel France 3. Two years ago the TV channel in a documentary accused the prince of having had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks against the USA in 2001. The Court of Appeal on Thursday rejected an appeal of the channel on a verdict by the Court of First Instance. The channel has to pay the prince compensation and make an apology at the beginning of its main news bulletin within one week.

Last night, days after returning from exile in Malaysia, Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia has announced he will quit politics after 17 years. During a dinner at a hotel in Phnom Penh he said: “I am no longer an opposition party leader. I met the king this morning (Thursday) and I told him that I quit politics.” He said he would choose one of his deputies as the new leader of the Norodom Ranariddh Party.

October 6th

Buckingham Palace said today that Prince and Princess Michael of Kent will have to pay commercial-rate rent for their apartment at Kensington Palace for the first time. From 2010 they will be charged £120,000 a year to keep the apartment. They have used the apartment since 1979 paying little rent. Since 2002 they used it rent free. Since they sold Nether Lypiatt in 2006 they have used the apartment permanently. 2002 Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain promised to cover the £10,000 a month cost for them for up to seven years. The apartment also houses an office the prince uses for his charitable work.

On 7 June 2009 Danes are to vote in a referendum on the order of succession to the throne, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced today. He said: “We want equality in Danish society, also concerning the Danish throne. As things stand today, boys precede girls. We feel that girls should have equal rights. It isn’t an issue right now that Prince Christian is the first-born child and heir. But we thought it was appropriate to change the law at a point where it wasn’t about a particular person and instead about the principle.” The referendum will be held in connection with the elections for the European Parliament.

October 7th

Queen Margrethe II, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and Princess Benedikte of Denmark attended the opening of the Danish parliament today.

October 8th

Clarence House announced today that Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales are planning to ride in the off-road motorcycle event Enduro Africa 08 in Africa later this month. The princes will divide the funds they raise by taking part in the rally between UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Sentebale.

The Japanese police have released a British tourist today who has shocked people by swimming naked in the moat of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Yesterday the police chased the man around the palace for two hours, while the man dived into the moat and pelted the police with stones. A police spokesman said: “We decided to hand the man over to his friend without charging him as we concluded that his act was based on mental instability.”

October 9th

About 5000 people lined up in front of the house of former King Gyanendra of Nepal today to seek his blessings on the 10th day of the Dashain festival. People queued more than one hour to greet their former king. The former king and his wife Komal applied a tika to the foreheads of the people with red vermilion paste.

October 12th

Christine Grahame, a member of the Scottish parliament has called for the remains of Mary Queen of Scots to be returned to Scotland. Queen Mary was buried at Westminster Abbey, London, shortly after her execution in 1587. Mrs Grahame is to make a motion to the Scottish Parliament later this week. According to Westminster Abbey her body was buried there at the express instructions of her son.

Thousands of soldiers for the first time performed a rehearsal in preparation for the funeral procession of the late Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand. About 5000 soldiers will take part in six processions on 15 November. The cremation ceremony will take place on 14 to 19 November. The royal urn of the late princess will be carried on the Phra Maha Pichai chariot, and will be brought to the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang. More rehearsals will follow in the coming weeks.

October 13th

The 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales is to be marked by BBC with a 90-minute documentary called “Charles at 60: The passionate Prince”. A film crew got unprecedented access to the prince for a year. The documentary will show an insight into the work of the prince at home and abroad. It will also highlight the causes he is closely involved in. The footage was among others filmed at the royal residences Clarence House, Highgrove and Birkhall.

October 14th

Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece opened her latest clothing store at Sloane Street in London, Great Britain, today. She was accompanied by her husband Crown Prince Pavlos, their five children, as well as her mother-in-law Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

October 15th

Christie’s at Paris yesterday auctioned nearly 600 lots from the succession of the late Count and Countess of Paris. The collection consisted of important silver, paintings, furniture, miniatures, works of art and jewels. These objects reveal precious and personal memories of the French Royal Family, notably of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette as well as other members of French royal family and numerous related foreign royals. The total proceeds of the auction were € 2.383.050, three times as much as estimated beforehand. The top piece was a portrait of Louis-Philippe 1st Count of Paris as a child by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, which was sold to an American collector for € 108.500. A handkerchief embroidered by Queen Marie-Antoinette at the Temple was sold to the Fundacion Museo de la Moda in Chile for € 97.700.

Prince Aimone of Savoy-Aosta, Duke of Apulia, and his wife Olga née Princess of Greece expect their first child at the end of April. The couple lives in Russia, but has also bought a house in Apulia.

Crown Princess Miriam of Bulgaria told the press that the condition of her husband Kardam remains critical but stable. She said her children are aware of their father’s condition. Unlike was said in earlier reports, Crown Prince Kardam still remains in the hospital he was taken to after the car accident two months ago.

October 17th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has given her permission to open the gardens of Buckingham Palace for public tours for the first time. The ticket tours are meant to help pay for repairs and maintenance to the palace and its grounds. The tours will only run in April, May and June when the Queen is not in residence.

During excavations at Hampton Court Palace archaeologists have found a low stone wall from a 14th century timber-framed hall buried beneath the grass in Base Court and traces of a fire. It is known that King Edward III paid for the hall to be rebuilt by his master carpenter after a fire in 1353. It is thought that the king might have been responsible for the fire.

Fürstin Marilis zu Windisch-Grätz née Serra di Carafa died at Rome, Italy, on 15 October. She was 87 years old. The funeral service took place today at the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà in Campo Santo Teutonico at Vatican City. Since 1976 she was the widow of Fürst Maximilian zu Windisch-Grätz. The couple had two daughters and two sons, who survive her, as well as several grandchildren.

Archaeologists say they have found an underground passage beneath the imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill in Rome. The corridor matches the description of the passage where Roman Emperor Caligula was murdered in the year 41 as given by Rome historian Suetonius.

October 18th

Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales and 80 other riders have set off on a 1000 mile charity motorbike ride from Port Edward to Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The pirnces aim to raise £250,000 for the charities UNICEF, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Sentebale. The off road bike rally Enduro Africa 08 will take 8 days. Prince William explained: “The main reason why we’re doing it is Harry and I had an idea last November to take part in this rally because it’s a mixture of adventure and charity. The key being the money raised today goes towards three absolutely brilliant charities.” Prince Harry said: “It’s going to be very challenging and we’re expecting to fall off many a time, every day.” Prince William said: “This is a great way of doing something different. This is a way of raising money and showing support in a much more challenging way.”

Prince Ludwig of Bavaria died yesterday afternoon at Leutstetten Castle aged 95. He was born at Nymphenburg Castle on 22 June 1913 as son of Prince Franz of Bavaria and Princess Isabella von Croy. He was a grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III. In 1950 Prince Ludwig married his cousin Princess Irmingard of Bavaria. He is survived by his wife, his son Luitpold with wife and by five grandchildren.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan and their three children Crown Prince Naruhito, Prince Akishino and Sayako Kuroda visited an imperial photo exhibition called “Empress and her children” at the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo today.

October 20th

Crown Princess Mette-Marit suffered a slight concussion during her visit to the Ukrain today. This morning she fell of some stairs during a meeting at the hotel with the organization All-Ukrainian Network. After an examination she was told to spend the next two days resting in bed. The Crown Princess has cancelled most of her programme, which was scheduled to last until Wednesday morning. The visit to the Ukrain was part of a trip for UNAIDS.

An anonymous bidder paid almost £14,000 for a signed black-white photograph of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The photo was given to comedian Bob Hope in 1972, shortly before the Duke’s death. The photo was among 800 items of Bob Hope that were auctioned in Los Angeles, USA, this weekend.

On the occasion of her 74th birthday Empress Michiko of Japan gave some written answers to questions by the press. About the health of her daughter-in-law Crown Princess Masako she said “that the Crown Princess is a precious person for the Crown Prince as well as for our entire family and there is no change in my earlier words that I will “continue praying for the full recovery of the Crown Princess, and will watch over her and give her my support.” Empress Michiko said about her granddaughter Princess Aiko that she “sometimes think that perhaps the way we perceive and what we find amusing may be quite similar.”

King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand attended the ceremony to raise the seven-tiered White Umbrella to the summit of the royal funeral pyre of Princess Galyani Vadhana at Sanam Luang this afternoon. The ceremony is one of the pre-funeral ceremonies for the funeral of the Princess in November.

October 21st

Countess Sonja Bernadotte died early this morning at a hospital in Freiburg, Germany, after a long illness. She was 64 years old and had suffered of breast cancer for many years. In 1972 she married Count Lennart Bernadotte who died in 2004. She leaves five children and three grandchildren.

October 22nd

Prince Ludwig of Bavaria was buried in private this morning at Andechs, after a service at the Abbey church. A requiem for the prince will take place at the Theatiner Church in München on 6 November 2008. The Bavarian royal family will observe mourning for four weeks from the day of death until 14 November.

October 23rd

Crown Princess Mette-Marit has been put on sick leave for the next two weeks after returning home from the Ukrain on Wednesday night. On the last day of her visit Crown Princess Mette-Marit visited a Scandinavian School in Kiev. About the accident she said: “It was plain and simple an accident. I stumbled on some stone stairs, fell and hit my head.” She said also to have suffered some other pains after the fall and wasn’t feeling very well. She was very sorry about the interruption of her long-planned trip.

A funeral service for Countess Sonja Bernadotte will be held at the castle church at Mainau on Saturday. About 150 members of the family, friends and representatives from economics, politics and culture are expected to attend. The funeral itself is to take place in private next week. The countess will be buried next to her husband Count Lennart. A condolence book can be signed already at the castle church.

October 24th

Grand Duke Jean has undergone surgery on his right hip at a hospital in Brussels. He was operated by Dr Etienne Willemart and received an artificial hip. There were no complications, and the Grand Duke has already started rehabilitation.

October 25th

A memorial service for Countess Sonja Bernadotte af Wisborg was held at the castle church at Mainau. About 200 people attended the service, among them members of the families Baden, Württemberg, Bavaria and Thurn und Taxis as well as nobles from the Baden-Württemberg region. Her eldest son Count Björn in a short speech praised her mother’s life work, and said even on her deathbed she had told her children “to stay cheerful”. After the service the coffin of the countess, covered with pink roses was carried out of the church by her sons Björn and Christian, sons-in-law Romuald Ruffing and Philipp Haug, by her stepgrandson Stephan Straehl and by Volkmar Th. Leutenegger, vice-president of the Lennart Bernadotte Foundation.

Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales arrived at Port Elizabeth yesterday after an eight-day motorcycle trek through a part of South-Africa. They were welcomed at a hotel by local people and a Xhosa band. Trip organiser Simon Smith said: “They were both fantastic riders and didn’t run from anything. They asked us to treat them as one of the group and that’s what we did.” He said that Prince Harry won the spirit of the day award on day three, because of pulling one of the other riders out of a river.

Zara Phillips, daughter of the Princess Royal, broke her collarbone after a fall at the crosscountry course at the Pau Horse Trials at Pau, France, today. Her horse Tsunami II stumbled on landing at fence 15. The mare broke a neck vertebra and had to be killed. Zara Phillip’s spokesman said she was devastated by the death of her horse.

October 27th

Prince Harry of Wales is to undertake selection to become a helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps. Next month he will attend a four-week programme at Middle Wallop in Hampshire, England. Earlier this month Prince Harry passed the initial Pilot Aptitude Tests at RAF Cranwell. If he is successfull in the selection programme, Prince Harry is to start an up to two and a half years flying training in January 2009.

October 28th

Mun Patanotai, minister of communication of Thailand, said that the government of Thailand is considering spending up to 14 million dollars on technology to block websites that insult the monarchy of Thailand. He said: “There is a growing number of websites that attack the monarchy, and the ministry is consulting to buy a blocker. More than 80% of these websites are from overseas.” He added that his ministry had recently received more than 1000 complaints about these websites.

October 29th

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has appointed Marianne Engel as lady-in-waiting and private secretary of Princess Marie of Denmark from 16 November 2008.

October 30th

Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales attended the premiere of the 22nd James Bond film Quantum of Solace at the odeon in London yesterday night. The princes had asked for the premiere to be a charity gala for the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes. They met 200 invited servicemen, veterans and their families who were lining the red carpet. Inside they met the cast and the crew of the film. The film’s premiere in Paris tonight was attended by King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan, with their daughter Iman.

November 1st

Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène, Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven, and their children Anna, Lucas, Isabella and Samuel opened the exhibition SpeelGoed op Het Loo at Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn today. The exhibition shows toys of the Dutch royal family from Queen Wilhelmina to Princess Amalia. One of the top pieces is a doll house which was presented to the Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane in November 2007. Photos: Royal Portraits

In an interview to the Swedish radio programme Ekots lördagsintervju, Queen Silvia of Sweden talked about her commitment to children and children’s issues since her marriage. She said to hope that Sweden will make it illegal to look at child pornography, like it is already the case in Norway and Denmark.

Grand Duke Jean of Luxemburg has left the hospital in Brussels, Belgium, where he had surgery on his hip. He returned to his house at Fischbach. He will continue his rehabilitation in Luxemburg.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, who will be crowned on 6 November received the sacred Dhar Nye-Nga – an arrangement of silk scarves in the five primary colours representing the five elements – from the holy Machen at the Puna Dewai Chenpoi Phodrang today in presence of His Holiness the Je Khenpo. The ceremony took place at the inner sanctum of the machen Lhakhang. The Dhar Nye-Nga is received by a new King of Bhutan before is coronation.

November 2nd

;p>Queen Sofia of Spain celebrated her 70th birthday with a private family gathering at the Zarzuela Palace. Before the dinner she attended a classical concert conducted by Zubin Mehta, which was also attended by Queen Noor of Jordan and former King Simeon of Bulgaria. On Thursday the newspaper El Pais published extracts of the new biography ‘The Queen Up Close’ written by Pilar Urbano, in which Queen Sofia was quoted as being against the word marriage to describe same-sex unions and criticizing gay pride marches. She is also quoted as being against abortion and euthanasia. On Friday the royal palace issued a statement in which they said that Queen Sofia deplores the inexactitude of the remarks and her deep respect for all people who are suffering, hounded or persecuted. However author Pilar Urbano reaffirmed the accuracy of the remarks, defending the Queen’s right to express her opinions.

Benjamin van Vollenhoven, youngest son of Prince Bernhard and Princess Annette van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven, was christened this afternoon at the chapel of Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn. The service was led by the Rev. Anne van der Meiden. The godparents of Benjamin were Prince Floris van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven, Claudine Verhulst-van der Ven, Isabel Schouten-van Eys and Claire Folkerts-Drabbe. The Dutch royals attending were Queen Beatrix, Princess Máxima with her daughters, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien with their children, Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven, Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène with their children, Prince Pieter-Christiaan, Prince Floris and Princess Aimée with their daughter Magali. Photos: Royal Portraits

November 3rd

Doctors have adviced Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway to take another two weeks of sick leave. She fell during a visit to the Ukraine on 20 October.

Guangxu, one of the last Emperors of the Qing dynasty, who died 1908, was killed of arsenic poisoning it was announced today in a report by a committee in charge of the Qing dynasty. Forensic experts tested two strands of hair taken from his body, and compared the hair with that of his wife and a Qing official. The arsenic the hair contained was more than 2000 times higher than of normal people today. Arsenic was also found in his stomach and clothes. Tests on the body started in 2003 and were carried out by the China Institute of Atomic Energy and the forensic laboratory of the Beijing police. China Central Television plans a documentary on the subject.

November 4th

Yesterday evening the Royal House of Baden and the government of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, have ended the long fight about art treasures and Salem Castle. Baden-Württemberg will pay the family 58 million Euros. The castle area where the margrave and his family live will not be sold.

November 5th

The government of Thailand has declared three days of national mourning from 14 to 16 November during the cremation ceremony for Princess Galyani Vadhana. The cremation will be held from 14 to 19 November. The royal crematorium at Sanam Luang is almost finished after seven months of construction.

November 6th

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned early this morning as fifth Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) of Bhutan at a ceremony at the Tashichhodzong fortress in the capital Thimphu. The Lhasang Tashi Raykong ceremony was performed by monks of the Zhung Dratshang in the royal altar room next to the chamber of the golden throne. The raven crown was handed over to Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck by his father former king Jigme Singhe Wangchuck, who abdicated two years ago. Being only 28 years old, the King is the youngest monarch in the world. members of the royal family of Bhutan and dignitaries from 32 countries attended, among them the president of India, Pratibha Patil and Sonia Gandhi and her family. There will be two more days of national celebration.

After a hearing in San Mateo County Superior Court, California, USA, yesterday Edith Delgado, was taken into custody again to serve the remainder of her two-year sentence. She was found guilty of causing a crash that killed two members of the Tongan royal family in July 2006.

November 9th

Prince Nils von Sachsen (Saxony) married Jedida Taborek yesterday afternoon at Moritzburg, Germany. Among the guests were the groom’s father Prince Rüdiger von Sachsen with his partner Sabine Renner, his brothers Daniel and Arne with girlfriends, Princess Iris von Sachsen with her daughter Xandra, Prince Dedo von Sachsen, Prince Mauricio and Prince Georg von Sachsen. In the evening there was a party at the Ballsaal Orpheum in Dresden.

November 10th

This morning the Danish royal court announced that Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark expect their first child together early May 2009. It is expected that the birth will take place at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.

According to a poll by Daily Telegraph/YouGov on the occasion of the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales only 17% of the people who were questioned want the Duchess of Cornwall to become a Queen. 42% thinks the Prince of Wales should succeed Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, while 35% thinks Prince William should be the next king. 68% said to think that the Prince of Wales should have the right to speak out publicly on controversial issues, while 24% was against. More than half of those polled thinks the Prince of Wales is doing a very good or pretty good job.

For the first time in five years Crown Princess Masako of Japan joined an official welcome ceremony at the imperial palace, when King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain arrived for a state visit. The Spanish royal couple was greeted by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. A state banquet took place this evening.

Lawyer German Lukyanov said today: “Currently a case is being put together for the recognition of all unrehabilitated members of the Romanovs’ Imperial House who fell victim to the Bolshevik regime as victims of political persecution.” The Russian Supreme Court recently rehabilitated Tsar Nikolai II of Russia, as well as his wife and children.

November 11th

This afternoon the long-awaited book “Juliana & Bernhard. Het verhaal van een huwelijk, 1936-1956” (Juliana & Bernhard. The story of a marriage, 1936-1956) by Cees Fasseur was presented. The book tells the story of the first 20 years of marriage of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Mr Fasseur was given exclusive access to the parts of the royal archives dealing with this period, including papers on the role of faith healer Greet Hofmans, who had big influence at court in the early 1950s.

The 90th anniversary of the end of World War I was marked today. At Douaumont, France, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg attended the solemn ceremony together with French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife. In Brussels, Prince Philippe of Belgium replaced his father – who was on a state visit to India – at the traditional ceremony.

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a new pyramid, Zahi Hawass, antiquities chief of Egypt said today. As the only pyramid of a Queen missing, is the one of Sesheshet, mother of Pharaoh Teti, it is thought the pyramid is hers. The pyramid was found about two months ago in the desert near Saqqara, south of Cairo. It is planned to enter the burial chamber within two weeks.

November 12th

On the occasion of his nearing 60th birthday a comedy show called “We Are Most Amused” was held at the New Wimbledon Theatre in London. The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and the Princes William and Harry attended the show. Stars appearing in the show were among others Rowan Atkinson, Andrew Sachs, Robin Williams, Eric Idle, Joan Rivers, Alistair McGowan and Amanda Holden. The show was hosted by John Cleese. After the show the royals met with the cast.

In a BBC documentary to mark his 60th birthday, that was aired tonight, the Prince of Wales was asked if he took pleasure from his role of Prince of Wales. The Prince answered: “Well, I don’t know. Bits of it. It’s something I feel I must do to help as many other people as I possibly can in this country.” He added that when he becomes king he will have to give up some of his pet projects and campaigns. He hopes that his sons will take up some things, if they are interested.

During a visit to the headquarters of the Prince’s Trust in London, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain said to be “enormously proud” of her son, The Prince of Wales’s, achievement in setting up the Trust in 1976. She said: “For Prince Philip and me there can be no greater pleasure or comfort than to know that into his care are safely entrusted the guiding principles of public service and duty to others.”

Emma Tallulah Behn, youngest daughter of Ari Behn and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, will be christened at the chapel of the royal palace at Oslo on 20 January 2009 at 2.30pm. Afterwards there will be a reception at the palace.

The one year jail sentence of 18-year-old Yassine Belassal for offending King Mohammed VI of Morocco, has been suspended, but not overturned, by a Moroccan court. Instead of “God, the Nation, the King”, he had written “God, the Nation, Barcelona” on a blackboard at his school, to honour his favourite football club. FC Barcelona. His lawyer said in court that no offence was intended.

November 13th

Tonight Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain hosted a gala evening at Buckingham Palace in London on the occasion of the 60th birthday of her eldest son, the Prince of Wales. The event was attended by British and European royals. A champagne reception was followed by a recital by the Philharmonic Orchestra in the ballroom of the palace. Afterwards a dinner took place, where Balmoral salmon and venison was served. Among the guests were King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Sonja of Norway, Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, the Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, former King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, former King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria, Princess Margarita of Romania and Radu Duda, Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia, King Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain, Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan. A birthday portrait of the Prince of Wales by photographer Hugo Burnand was released today, showing the prince in formal uniform of the Welsh Guards.

Queen Rania of Jordan received the first YouTube Visionary Award, which was awarded to her by video-sharing website YouTube for her efforts to help prevent Muslims and Arabs from being stereotyped. In April the Queen launched her own internet channel on YouTube. Her office says that thusfar the videos were watched nearly three million times, and they received more than 43.000 messages from people from all over the world.

November 14th

The six-day cremation ceremony for the late Princess Galyani Vadhana, sister of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, began this late afternoon at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The ceremony today was only a short initial ceremony, in which the king lit candles and incense. Saffron-robed Buddhist monks chanted prayers. The actual cremation will take place tomorrow, while other rituals will last until Wednesday. According to the Royal Household Bureau at least 1,5 million people have paid their respects to the princess.

November 15th

The celebrations for the 60th birthday of the Prince of Wales ended tonight with a star-studded dinner at Highgrove, hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall. Among the guests were Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and many celebrity friends like Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson, Sir David Frost, Dame Judi Dench and Joanna Lumley. Also the Duchess of Cornwall’s former husband Andrew Parker Bowles was present. Main performer of the evening was Rod Stewart, who is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust.

The King’s feast in Belgium today was overshadowed by criticism about the 6% rise of the royal dotations in 2009. This year the feast marked the 15th anniversary to the throne of King Albert II. In the morning the whole royal family, apart from Queen Paola who was ill, attended the Te Deum at the cathedral of Brussels. In the afternoon the family attended an academic session at the parliament. In the evening the royals attended a party with more than 600 Belgian youths aged 15.

Thousands of Thai gathered today for the cremation ceremony of the late Princess Galyani Vadhana, who died early January. More than 2000 soldiers marched along in three processions, in which the urn containing her remains was carried from the grand palace to the specially built crematorium at Sanam Luang. In the late afternoon King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand placed sandalwood bunches at the crematorium and then conducted a ceremonial royal fire placement. At 10pm the King and Queen placed the royal fire in the royal crematorium, as guards from the three armed forces fired cannons. Meanwhile a group of court musicians performed classical Thai music.

November 16th

Today started with classical music renderings, traditional masked khon dancing and grand shadow plays at Sanam Luang. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn collected the remains. Afterwards processions brought the remains of the late Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand to the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall where the royal family received the ashes. Later on the urn was moved to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The royal family received the ashes. On Monday a royal merit-making ceremony in dedication of the late Princess will take place at the Throne Hall. On Tuesday the golden urn housing the remains will be moved to the Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall. The ashes will be moved to the Rangsi Vadhana Memorial at Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram on Wednesday.

November 17th

Four boys aged 16 and 17 have been arrested shortly after the end of the 60th birthday party of the Prince of Wales at Highgrove. They were caught in the grounds of Highgrove early on Sunday. The teenagers have been bailed to attend Stroud Police Station on 16 December, on suspicion of trespassing Crown property.

November 19th

Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven had their second child today at 1.32am. Pieter Anton Maurits Erik van Vollenhoven was born at the Medisch Centrum Haaglanden, location Westeinde at Den Haag. He weighed 3745 gramms.

Israeli archaeologist Ehud Netzer of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem said today that he thinks to have found the 2000-year-old remains of two limestone sarcophagi, that were held by a wife and daughter-in-law of the biblical king Herod. According to him these findings support his claims that another sarcophagus he found in 2007 at the same site had been the tomb of Herod himself.

November 20th

A series of unseen photographs of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain on holiday in the 1970s are to be auctioned on Monday at auctioneers Reeman Dansie in Colchester. The phtos are being sold by a private collector. Also a unique album of photographs of the Queen and her sister Princess Margaret as young girls are up for auction. The album belonged to Sidney Cumper, footman and page of Queen Mary, and also contains signed photos of the Queen, Queen Mary, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and the Princess Royal.

Members of the Kuwaiti parliament yesterday blamed squabbles in the ruling Al-Sabah family for the political crisis in Kuwait in the past decade. The crisis paralyses development of the country. A debate about a third dissolvement of the parliament within three years will take place in two weeks. Today a deputy said members of the parliament have asked to meet with the Emir of Kuwait to avert this.

November 21st

According to official figures that are to be published next week, the Duke of York spent almost £130,000 during 16 trips as an ambassador for British trade abroad last year. The expenses cover hotels, transport, dinners and other entertainment, but exclude air travel.

Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven officially registered the birth of his son Pieter van Vollenhoven at the town hall of The Hague this morning.

A screaming mummy, found in 1886 and now located in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, might be Pentewere, who is suspected of plotting the murder of his father Pharaoh Ramses III. The body was examined this year by American archaeologist Bob Brier.

November 22nd

The Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands and their daughters Amalia, Alexia and Ariane enjoyed the entry of St. Nicholas at Wassenaar today. Photos by PPE

November 23rd

Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa, second son of the King of Bahrain, and popstar Michael Jackson have reached a settlement. The Sheikh went to High Court in London, Great Britain, last week because Michael Jackson owed him $7 million. The sheikh paid for legal costs, travel and other expenses of Jackson in 2005 and 2006. Furthermore the sheikh said Jackson also failed to honour a contract to record a new album, write an autobiography and produce a stage play. Jackson’s lawyers say there was no valid agreement with the sheikh, and that payments were intended as gifts, not as part of a business agreement.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia travelled to the USA today to undergo some medical check-ups.

Sheikh Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates appealed to a decision of the Geneva cantonal criminal court today to overturn his conviction for assaulting an American with his belt in a hotel bar in August 2003. In July the court decided to fine the sheikh for $9,820.

November 24th

Several British royal memorabilia were sold upon auction by auctioneers Reeman Dansie in Colchester today. The auction made £80,200. Mervyn Wycherley, chef of the late Diana Princess of Wales, made thousansd from the sale of his collection of royal notes and letters. A birthday card he had received from her fetched £1,300, and a Valentine’s card to him fetched £1,200. A note to him praising his cooking during the honeymoon fetched £1,000. A ring worn by the late Duke of Windsor in honour of his wife, inscribed “Darling Wallis” and her date of birth, was sold for £10,200 to a mystery bidder. A piece of the wedding cake of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer sold for £260, while a piece of the cake of the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips made just £100.

November 27th

The Government Information Service released the first picture of Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven with his newborn son Pieter van Vollenhoven. The photo was taken by Frank van Beek.

November 28th

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark flew out of Thailand today by in a small private plane after a four-day visit that marked 150 years of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Thailand. The couple was kept informed about the situation in Bangkok. However they continued their activities as planned. The airports of Bangkok are closed because of violent protests against the government of Thailand.

The Count of Paris and the Duchess of Montpensier announced the engagement of their eldest son Prince Jean of France, Duke de Vendôme, with Philomena de Tornos y Steinhart. Prince Jean was previously engaged (2001) to Duchess Tatjana von Oldenburg.

November 29th

On the occasion of his 43rd birthday Prince Akishino spoke about his joy to see his son Prince Hisahito growing up healthy. He said: “It seems the scope of Hisahito’s interest and activities are expanding. He is playing actively outside and running around.” He added that his daughters Mako and Kako sometimes play with their cousin Princess Aiko in the Imperial garden. His wife added that Hisahito “has increased his vocabulary and greeted his grandparents by expressing his feelings with his words and gestures.”

Raja Perempuan Besar Perlis, Tengku Budriah Tengku Ismail, passed away at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Malaysia, yesterday at 3.47am. She was 84 years old. She was wife of Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail, Raja of Perlis, who died in 2000. Her husband was King of Malaysia between 1960 and 1965. She was buried at the Royal Mausoleum in Arau today. As a mark of respect, flags will be flown at half-mast for three days beginning on the day of her death and all public and entertainment functions were postponed.

November 30th

It emerged that Princess Eugenie of York had stayed at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai only four days before the terrorist attack on the hotel. She visited India as part of her gap year travels. Eugenie and some schoolfriends left for a trip to Central Asia two weeks ago. They were still in India when the attack occured. Princess Eugenie herself said to be “very shaken up” at the thought what might have happened when she had stayed at the hotel longer. She is permanently accompanied by a police protection officer during her travels. Eugenie’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain in a statement on Friday said: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the attacks that occurred in Mumbai. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died and with those who have been injured.”

December 1st

Fürstin Nadja Anna zu Schaumburg-Lippe gave birth to a daughter at 7.07 this morning in a women’s clinic in München, Germany. She and her husband Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe named their daughter Felipa. At birth she was 48 cm tall and weighed 3170 gramms. Mother and daughter will leave hospital in a few days. In a press statement the couple said: “We are grateful and happy. Felipa is the most wonderful Christmas gift.”

December 2nd

Grand Duke Henri of Luxemburg is refusing to sign a bill that legalizes euthanasia for ‘reasons of conscience’, it emerged on Monday. The Luxemburg government today announced that they are planning to strip the Grand Duke of his power to sanction laws.

December 4th

Officials said today that they have identified the body of President Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan, who was killed in a coup in 1978. A small golden Quran the President had received from the King of Saudi Arabia, and which was found next to the body, helped authorities to identify the body, as well as teeth molds. The body was among the bodies discovered in two mass graves at the Pul-e-Charkhi area near Kabul six months ago.

December 5th

On the occasion of the 5th birthday of Princess Amalia of the Netherlands on Sunday, the Government Information Service issued nine new photos of her, and her siblings, as well as some new official portraits of her parents. They were taken by Robin Utrecht in August 2008.

On 10 December Christie’s will auction off the Wittelsbach Diamond during its London sale of jewels. The Wittelsbach Diamond – a rare 35,56 carat blue diamond – was presented by King Felipe IV of Spain to his daughter Infanta Margarita Teresa in 1664. The diamond is expected to fetch as much as 9 million pounds.

Emperor Akihito of Japan cancelled several appointments in the past three days after having been diagnosed with an irregular pulse. His blood pressure rose on Tuesday night, but is normal again. He cancelled appointments to have a check up and take rest. According to the Imperial Household Agency he complained about chest pains already two weeks ago. The Emperor is said to resume part of his work today.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand was unable to deliver his birthday speech on the occasion of his 81st birthday yesterday, because of a minor illness. He usually delivers a speech on the eve of his birthday, which is broadcasted live on radio and later on on television. The King’s son Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn represented him yesterday at a birthday reception for government officials and Thai people. In name of his father, the Crown Prince said that the King hoped that the well-wishers would receive happiness, physical strength, courage and mental strength to fulfil their duty for the country and the public.

Dr. Michael Cobble, research director at the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, said today that experts from the USA are certain that the remains found at the first burial site near Yekaterinburg in 1991 were the authentic remains of Tsar Nikolai II of Russia and his family. Three types of DNA were examined and compared with the DNA of members of the family. The researchers are 100% certain.

The administrative court in Potsdam, Germany, announced today it has dismissed a claim by Fürst Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth for the return of a a 7,224-hectare tract in Brandenburg. He claimed that the Nazis stripped his late grandfather of his rights of ownership in July 1944. The court ruled that the land was expropriated as part of a land reform, and that the persecution of the 3rd Fürst zu Solms-Baruth by the Nazis didn’t result in the loss of his fortune. Fürst Friedrich in a statement said to be very disappointed about the decision of the court. The ruling is said to be appealed.

December 6th

Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria married Count Rodolphe de Limburg Stirum at Mechelen in Belgium today.

According to a statement by the Royal Household Bureau the fever of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand was still fluctuating yesterday, although he started taking fluid meals, after being unable to take food and medicines because of an infection in his throat.

December 8th

The European Court of Human Rights announced today that Princess Caroline of Monaco has sued the German magazines Frau im Spiegel and Frau Aktuell for breaching her privacy. Between 2002 and 2004 one of the magazines published photos of her and her husband Prince Ernst August of Hanover skiing in St. Moritz and stories about the deteriorating health of her father, Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Princess Caroline argues that the photos and article are an infringement of her right to privacy.

In a letter on his website former King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia said today that his health is deteriorating. Although his Chinese doctors told his wife that he should be taken to hospital in case of an emergency, he said he prefers to die at home. He also said that his doctors have increased examinations from once a week to many times a week.

December 9th

His doctors have adviced Emperor Akihito of Japan to reduce his activities in the coming month. Medical checks showed he suffered from an inflamation and bleeding in the stomach last week. A spokesman for the Imperial Household Agency said that the cause might be mental stress.

In a written statement on the occasion of her 45th birthday, Crown Princess Masako of Japan said to be very happy that she was able to make her first official appearance in five years in November. She attended the welcoming ceremony for the Spanish royal couple. She said: “It was my first attendance at such a ceremony in a while, and I am delighted and truly grateful that I was able to take part in the ceremony with the support of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.” She added: “I was worried sometimes that it wouldn’t be possible for me to complete all the preparations for the Crown Prince’s trips abroad and for our move, but I’m relieved that I could manage thanks to the help of all the people around me, including agency officials.” The Crown Princess had to cancel birthday events on Tuesday because of a fever.

December 10th

Nobel prizes were handed out in Oslo and Stockholm. In Oslo King Harald V and Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit attended the presentation of the Nobel peace prize to former president Martti Ahtisaari of Finland. Also Prince Friso and Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau were present, as Princess Mabel works closely with the former president. The other Nobel prizes were presented in Stockholm, where the presentation was attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine.

The Government Information Service announced today that Prince Floris and Princess Aimée van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven expect their second child early July 2009. Their daughter Magali was born in October 2007.

The Government’s auditor said today that the royal palaces in Great Britain are crumbling because of cuts in the money allocated to repair them. The palaces need urgent work. That would cost £32m. The National Audit Office has urged the Culture department and the Royal Household’s property section to talk about which repairs are most urgent and how they can be funded.

A poll by Gallup for Post Danmark, in which 1114 people were questioned from which known Dane they’d like to receive a Christmas, shows that most people would like to have a Christmas card from Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Second was Crown Prince Frederik, and Crown Princess Mary ended in third place.

The 17th century Wittelsbach diamond fetched a record $ 24,3 million at auction at Christie’s in London.

King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia has appointed his halfbrother Prince Norodom Ranariddh as his chief advisor.

December 11th

Prince Harry of Wales will be trained as an army helicopter pilot, Clarence House announced in a statement today. They said: “If Prince Harry qualifies as an Army Air Corps pilot, he will, like any officer, be available for operational service wherever the AAC flies.” The Prince will start training next month. He has passed a four-week selection process of the Army Air Corps.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her family will spend Queen’s Day 2009 (30 April) in Apeldoorn, it was announced today.

The Luxemburg parliament voted almost unanimously today to change the constitution, so that Grand Duke Henri of Luxemburg will no longer have the right to approve laws adopted by the parliament. The second vote will follow in three months time, after which the change will be official.

December 12th

CNN website users have voted Queen Rania of Jordan as the most inspirational leader featured on CNN’s “The Spirit of …”.

At a press conference on Thursday grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency, Shingo Haketa, said: “His Majesty appears to be worried about the issue of future Imperial succession, which he has constantly had on his mind, as well as various matters involving the Imperial Family.” He however didn’t want to become more specific. He furthermore said that Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are not dissatisfied with Crown Princess Masako’s failure to sufficiently perform her official duties. He said that he thinks that the imperial couple is worried about news reports that attribute the Crown Princess’ adjustment disorder partly to stress arising from the Imperial Family. He said that the imperial couple feels deeply hurt by such news reports. Mr Haketa said that the agency is considering cutting down the schedule of the Emperor for the coming weeks.

December 15th

In Norway a photosession was held at Skaugum. King Harald and Queen Sonja as well as the crownprincely family are to spend Christmas at Kongsseteren. Princess Märtha Louise and her family are celebrating with her family-in-law at Lommedalen.

On 16 December the site is to go online. This is to become the place to be for audiovisual material on the Dutch royals. It will start with 250 videos, mainly of Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima with their children, but will extended in the coming years. Also live tv-broadcasts will be shown here, starting with the Oranje Jaaroverzicht of the NOS: Het Huis van Oranje in 2008 (The House of Orange in 2008) on 16 December (10.02pm-10.53pm). In the future also events like Queen’s Day, Prinsjesdag, christenings, etc. as far as broadcasted by the NOS, will be shown live here. Furthermore the site will contain an agenda of the royal house and RVD-messages.

December 16th

The court of appeal in Paris today confirmed the 10-year jail sentence of Prince Nayef al-Shaalan of Saudi Arabia for his involvement in a cocaine smuggling group. It also added a seven million euro fine to the sentence. The Prince himself again failed to show up at trial. The court of appeal has issued a warrant for his arrest.

The Imperial Household Agency announced that Emperor Akihito of Japan will not hold his annual birthday press conference next week due to his health problems. He will release comments for his 75th birthday instead.

December 17th

The laptop of the Duchess of York was stolen during a burglary at a studio in Hertfordshire, England, last Thursday. An aide had brought the laptop there so the pictures could be downloaded. The Duchess is said to be devastated. A source said: “The laptop contains pictures of her family and friends as well as snaps taken on her recent travels. They are personal images taken by the duchess and she desperately wants them back.” The police say it is unlikely those responsible realised it belonged to royalty when they took it, but warn they may try to access the material it contains.

Zahi Hawass, chief of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, told Discovery news: “We can now say that Tutankhamun was the child of Akhenaten.” A few months ago Mr Hawass discovered the missing part of a broken limestone block in a storeroom of the archaeological site at El Ashmuneim. The reassembled limestone has become “an accurate piece of evidence that proves Tut lived in el Amarna with Akhenaten and he married his wife, Ankhesenamun.” Hawass also said: “The block shows the young Tutankhamun and his wife, Ankhesenamun, seated together. The text identifies Tutankhamun as the ‘king’s son of his body, Tutankhaten,’ and his wife as the ‘king’s daughter of his body, Ankhesenaten’.”

December 18th

A visitor’s book signed by Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was auctioned at JP Humbert in Towcester, Northamptonshire, England, today. It was sold for £1,600. The auction house said to come from a private vendor in Northamptonshire, who acquired it from a headmaster of the Haile Selassie school in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. The book also contains about 200 photos of the Emperor with other heads of states. Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said: “It sold to a private collector and will be the jewel in his crown because he has spent a lifetime researching the slave trade in Ethiopia and the life of Haile Selassi. For him to get a book with his signature and all those images is quite unprecedented and the opportunity of a lifetime.”

December 22nd

Former royal butler Paul Kidd has been sentenced to at least six years in prison for child abuse offences. He served Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the late Queen Mother for nine years between 1977 and 1984, and some of the offences were committed while working in the royal household. Mr Kidd pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent assault and six counts of sexual activity with a child. He also admitted possessing more than 18.000 indecent images of children and making these images.

December 23rd

Queen Silvia of Sweden told the Swedish news agency TT that there will not be a grand birthday party on the occasion of her 65th birthday today. She said: “We are going to meet in the evening with the family and Princess Christina and her family.” She has no plans to retire: Sometimes I think that I would like to have more time for myself and my family and I would also like more time to travel around Sweden. I have mixed feelings on retirement and sometimes I think it would be nice. But, on the other hand, I feel that I have so much more to give of my experiences.”

Despite of his health Emperor Akihito of Japan appeared three times to greet the 18.000 well-wishers at the Imperial Palace today. It was the first time in about two weeks that he was seen in public. In his reflections upon his 75th birthday the Emperor said: “I appreciate the concern for my health that many people have shown. I feel there has been an improvement in my condition lately, compared to a while back.” He also referred to the health of Crown Princess Masako: “At a time when the Crown Princess is suffering from illness, it is only natural that our whole family support her. Both Her Majesty and I earnestly wish for the health of the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess, and hope to continue to support the two of them, who will be assuming weighty positions in the future.”

December 24th

In his speech on Christmas Eve King Juan Carlos of Spain showed his concern about the economic crisis in the world. He asked for “more efficiency and competitiveness”, to return to sustainable growth. He said that unfortunately there is no magical recipe to end the crisis. The King also called for unity in the fight against terrorism.

In his Christmas speech King Albert II of the Belgians urged the political parties in Belgium to form a new government as soon as possible and respond to the financial crisis in the world. It is the third political crisis in Belgium in one year. He also referred to the dispute between Flanders and Wallonia. He said: “I sincerely hope that, despite the difficulties, the work will continue in a constructive spirit and with essential discretion. It is a vital issue for our country and for the well-being of everyone.”

December 25th

In her traditional Christmas speech from the music room at Buckingham Palace Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain spoke about her concern over the economic crisis in the world. She also referred to the terrorist attacks in the world. Shown was among others footage of Prince Harry of Wales presenting awards to 10 children of courage, and private footage of the Prince of Wales as a little child.

The British royal family traditionally spent Christmas Day at Sandringham in Norfolk. They attended the service at St Mary Magdalene Church today. Queen Elizabeth II was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, theDuchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales, the Princess Royal, Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Peter and Autumn Phillips, Zara Phillips, Daniel and Lady Sarah Chatto. About 2000 onlookers greeted them.

In her Christmas speech Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands talked about the relationship between the generations. She said that the younger generation no longer see the need to care for the elder people, although there are more and more elderly people.

In his Christmas speech King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden urged to stay positive in a world plagued by climate problems and economic crisis. He said: “Even the financial crisis can promote something positive.” Apart from the crisis he especially mentioned young people who are involved in issues affecting them, and people working with integration.

December 26th

At 8.00pm on Christmas Eve Hereditary Princess Elna-Margret zu Bentheim und Steinfurt gave birth to her first child at a hospital in Münster, Germany. Her husband Hereditary Prince Carl-Ferdinand returned with wife and son to the castle in Burgsteinfurt just after 11.00pm on the same day. The birth of Jonathan Alexis Viktor took place without any difficulties and mother and child are doing fine. The baby was 53 cm tall and weighed 3760 gramms. The flag waved on top of the castle on 25 December.

December 28th

On his website former King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia has disclosed that Chinese doctors have diagnosed him with cancer for the third time. Doctors are optimistic about his treatment, as the cancer is situated in a part of the body which will allow relatively simple and easy treatment. The former King’s return to Cambodia, which was planned in February 2009, therefore has been delayed.

Tuanka Ja’afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, head of the Negri Sembilan state (Malaysia) died yesterday aged 86. He was taken to hospital on Saturday, because he complained about an headache and dizziness. He died a few hours later at the intensive care. He is survived by his wife Tuanku Najihah Tunku Besar Burhanuddin, three sons and three daughters. Tuanku Ja’afar was the 10th King of Malaysia between 1994 and 1999, and ruled Negri Sembilan since 1967. The funeral will take place on Monday at the Seri Menanti royal cemetery. His remains were driven to Istana Besar Seri Menanti, Kuala Pilah, today with police escorts.

December 29th

New pictures were released of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium and their four children Elisabeth, Gabriel, Emmanuel and Eléonore.

Prince William of Wales, who grew a beard in recent weeks, became runner-up in the annual Beard of the Year Award behind Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Welsh singer Sir Tom Jones.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) says it is looking at claims that the Earl of Wessex struck a labrador with his walking stick at the Sandringham estate. There were complaints after pictures of the Earl showed up holding a stick over a black labrador. A spokesperson of Buckingham Palace said: “It has not been determined that he did strike the dog. He broke up the fight with the dogs and pictures show him waving his stick around. We cannot confirm, however, whether he struck the dog.”

60-year-old Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir has been proclaimed the new Yang Di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan today at the throne room of the Istana Besar Seri Menanti. He was appointed from among the Putera Yang Empat (Four Princes) in accordance with the state constitution in a simple ceremony.

December 30th

Dagmar Heine née Princess zu Schaumburg-Lippe died on 24 December 2008. She was widowed Kalau vom Hofe. There will be a private funeral. She is survived by her daughters Tatjana Kalau vom Hofe-Glende and Carolin von Boehn, their husbands, and by five grandchildren.

December 31st

The Prince of Wales beat his sister the Princess Royal this year. For the first time in many years she is no longer the hardest working British royal. The Prince of Wales carried out 560 engagements, the Princess Royal 534. However the Princess Royal carried out 299 official visits, opening ceremonies and other engagements, while the Prince of Wales only carried out 166. The Prince of Wales carried out 193 investitutures, meetings and audiences, the Princess Royal 74. The Prince of Wales had 106 overseas engagements, the Princess Royal 52. 82-year-old Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain carried out 417 engagements (440 in 2007), and the 87-year-old Duke of Edinburgh 354. The Duke of York carried out 293 overseas engagements, mainly as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. Prince William of Wales carried out 24 engagements in 2008, and his brother Prince Harry 17, including 2 overseas engagements.

In his New Year’s speech tonight King Harald V of Norway recalled among others the 60th anniversary of the UN Human Rights Declaration in 2008: ‘All men are born equal’. The king in his speech said: “If we had really taken this to heart, the King said, the world woul have looked different from how it looks today. I want to use this last day of the year to reflect over what it is that link us human beings to each other.” He further mentioned the financial and the climate crisis.

In his New Year’s speech King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand called on the Thai people to be careful in their thinking and actions so the country will become a peaceful and happy nation. He said: “Happiness and progress are very much desired by people. But only when everyone acts carefully and is always keenly aware of what they are thinking can those aims be achieved.” The King also expressed his appreciation for the loyalty shown by Thais who participated in the royal funeral rites for his sister Princess Galyani Vadhana. Traditionally the King also designed a greeting card for the New Year for his people. The card shows the King sitting in a chair with his two dogs.

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