Royal News 2009

Last modified: 3 January 2010

Archived royal news from my old website for the year 2009.

January 1st

Like every year the five waka poems by Emperor Akihito of Japan and the three waka poems by Empress Michiko of Japan on the occasion of the end of the year were published. Also the New Year pictures and a video of the Japanese royal family were released. They were taken in December 2008.

Prince Albert II of Monaco spent the New Year at Puerto Montt in Chile. He will start a three-week trip to Antarctica on Saturday and hopes to come back on 21 January. He is scheduled to reach the South Pole on 14 January. Prince Albert will visit various research centres and observation posts. The palace said he aims to view the impact of global warming. He already visited the North Pole in 2006.

January 2nd

Royal security officials have started an investigation after detailed plans of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, the official Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, were found near a footpath in Roseburn, Edinburgh. They were found by someone walking her dog, who gave them to the Scottish newspaper The Daily Record. The newspaper in the meantime has handed over the plans to the palace. The drawings of the architect show the royal mews. They also include details of the services of the building. A spokeswoman for the palace said last night: “We acknowledge this has been a security breach which we are taking very seriously and are currently investigating.”

The Japanese royal family showed up for their annual public New Year’s welcoming at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo today. Also Crown Princess Masako of Japan attended.

January 3rd

Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla died at London, Great Britain, yesterday morning. He was the ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, one of the states of the United Arab Emirates. He was interred today at the Umm Al Qaiwain cemetery. The funeral service at the Grand Mosque in Umm Al Qaiwain was among others attended by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan, President of the UAE, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

January 6th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain agreed to create a joint household for Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales. The household has been created with the support of the Prince of Wales. The household has offices in St James’s Palace and remains closely linked with the household of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House. The household is headed by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, private secretary of the princes since March 2005. Also Helen Asprey, personal private secretary, and Miguel Head, assistant press secretary work at the office, and are supported by a small team. Sir David Manning has been appointed as part-time advisor with the princes and the household.

January 7th

Emperor Akihito of Japan marked the 20th anniversary of his accession to the throne today with a visit to the grave of his father Emperor Akihito at the Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji, Tokyo. He was accompanied by his wife Empress Michiko. Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako held a small private observance at the Imperial Palace.

January 8th

Zahi Hawass, chief archaeologist of the antiquities department of the Egyptian government said today that Egyptian archaeologists have found the remains of a mummy thought to be that of Queen Seshestet, the mother of Pharaoh Teti, the first king of the sixth dynasty.

January 9th

Four new pictures of the children of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands were released by the Government Information Service. Prince Constantijn himself took photos of his children Eloise, Claus-Casimir and Leonore in August during their vacation in Italy.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia arrived in Morocco today after spending more than a month in the USA for medical tests.

January 11th

News of the World has published a video diary, filmed at an airport departure lounge waiting for a flight to Cyprus to go on manoeuvres, in which Prince Harry of Wales calls one of his colleagues at the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst a ‘Paki’. In the video he is also heard calling another cadet a ‘raghead’. He also made a faked call to his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, as the Commander in Chief of the British Army, in which he said: “Granny I’ve got to go, send my love to the Corgis and Grandpa. I’ve got to go, got to go, bye. God Save You … yeah, that’s great.” In a statement from St James’s Palace Prince Harry has apologised for using offensive language. The statement says: “Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause. However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon. There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend.”

January 12th

Queen Fabiola of Belgium underwent planned surgery in the past days. She was admitted to the university hospital at Liège on Thursday, and was released from hospital on Sunday. The palace doesn’t want to say what kind of operation the queen underwent. According to the Belgian media she had surgery on her thyriod gland, under hypnosis because of her age.

January 13th

Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla has been named as crown prince of Umm Al Quwain by the new ruler of Umm Al Quwain Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla. The decree issued by Sheikh Saud took effect today.

January 14th

Yesterday evening Prince Albert II of Monaco reached the South Pole after a cold two-day-long cross-country ski trip across Antarctica. After a brief ceremony the Prince visited the US Amundsen-Scott base near the pole. He is expected to visit 26 international bases during his trip. The trip is aimed at raising awareness about global warming. He is expected to be back in Monaco on 22 January.

Countess Isabelle von Loë née Princess zu Salm-Salm died at Kevelaer, Germany, on 10 January. She was born at Potsdam on 13 February 1903 as daughter of Fürst Emmanuel zu Salm-Salm and Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria. In 1925 she married Count Felix von Loë who died in WW II in 1944. She is survived by six of her seven children, 23 grandchildren and 65 great-grandchildren. The funeral service will take place at the Marienbasilica at Kevelaer on 19 January. She will be buried afterwards at the catholic cemetery at Weeze.

January 15th

Russian investigators have closed an investigation into the massacre by the Bolsheviks of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family in 1918. Itar-Tass news agency quotes investigator Vladmir Solovyov, who has conducted the inquiry for 15 years, as saying: “Today I signed an order to close this criminal case. We have no information which would suggest that those [bodies] were not the royal family. Their bodies and the cause of their death have been identified.” Mr Solovyov said that the results of the investigation will be presented at a conference early March.

January 17th

Queen Fabiola of Belgium again was admitted to hospital yesterday evening. She was taken to the St. Jan Kliniek at Brussels with pneumonia. According to the palace there is no reason to worry. She is said to be able to leave hospital within a few days.

January 19th

The Belgian royal palace announced this afternoon that the health situation of Queen Fabiola is serious, but stable. They say she needs further treatment. Queen Fabiola is at the intensive care.

The Australian writer Harry Nicolaides was sentenced to three years in prison today for insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand and the crown prince in his 2005 novel Verisimilitude. The offending passage in the novel is just a few sentences long and describes the turbulent marital relations of its fictional prince. The fiction book only sold seven copies. Nicolaides said to the press: “This can’t be real. It feels like a bad dream.” He also said: “I would like to apologize. I have unqualified respect for the king of Thailand.”He also said he had not intended to insult him. He was sentenced to six years, but the term was reduced because he had entered a guilty plea, the judge said.

The funeral service of Countess Isabelle von Loë took place at the Marienbasilica at Kevelaer today, followed by the funeral at the catholic cemetery at Weeze. Pictures (by Marianne van Dam)

January 20th

Emma Tallulah Behn, daughter of Ari Behn and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, was christened at the chapel of the royal palace at Oslo this afternoon. She wore the christening gown made by Princess Ingeborg of Sweden in 1920. The service was led by the local vicar from Lomedalen parish, Gunnar Næsheim. Her godparents were Marianne Solberg Behn who carried her granddaughter to the font, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Princess Alexia of Greece, Christian Udnæss, Carl Christian Christensen, Anbjørg Sætre Håtun and Sigvart Dagsland. There was a reception at the royal palace after the christening. Pictures and information

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands showed up at an appointment today with a brace around her right wrist. The Government Information Service said that she has an inflamed wrist, but that it is already getting better.

January 21st

The Belgian royal palace announced that the health situation of Queen Fabiola has slightly improved.

New photos taken in June 2008 during a family vacation at Svalbard, and a video, were released on the occasion of the 5th birthday of Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway. Video

January 26th

Obviously Prince Harry of Wales and Chelsy Davey now really split up. It is claimed they decided to split because their lives were heading in separate directions. Prince Harry is said to be ‘gutted’ about the end of his relationship. He wants to focus on his training for helicopter pilot. Chelsy Davey will complete a postgraduate law course at Leeds University later this year, and wants to start working as a sollicitor. The couple met in March 2004.

A group of members of parliament thinks that Buckingham Palace should open to the public more often than 63 days a year. That way they would raise much-needed funds. The Keeper of the Privy Purse however says that access has to be restricted because the palace is frequently occupied by the royal family and other dignitaries.

January 27th

Retired senior detective Cliff McHardy claims in a local newspaper interview that unidentified conspirators allegedly attempted to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh during an official tour in Australia on 29 April 1970. A wooded log was put on a railway track during a ride from Sydney to Orange. The incident happened near the town of Lithgow in the Blue Mountains. An accident was avoided because the train driver travelled unusually slowly. The log became stuck underneath the front wheels, but the train managed to come to a halt after 200 meters.

The Belgian royal palace today announced that the health situation of Queen Fabiola remains serious, but stable. The treatment takes longer than thought. The stay at the intensive care has been extended.

A 25 meter high purple beech tree planted for Queen Marie Antoinette of France more than 200 years ago at the palace of Versailles was felled on Friday by a fierce winter gust. The 223-year-old tree, planted in 1786, survived the French revolution and a severe storm in 1999.

January 29th

Today Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was awarded with the International Prize Bonino 2009 in recognition of her commitment to dyslexia issues at Messina, Italy.

Emperor Akihito of Japan will cut back his official duties after suffering stress-related health problems in December 2008, the Imperial Household Agency announced. He will cut down the number of speeches, reduce the audiences for foreign dignitaries and hand over responsibility for some palace rituals to officials. The changes are also to benefit Empress Michiko, who also has suffered from health problems in the past year.

King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia was given the Battle Against Hunger for 2008 Award of the World Food Programme. Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zainal Alireza received the award on behalf of the king at a dinner in Davos, Switzerland, that was attended by representatives of various government organisations and corporations.

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy has teamed up with designerRaimondon Ciofani to create the clothing line ‘Prince of Italy’. The garments bear the arms of the Italian royal family. Ciofani designed the clothes to the instructions and style of Emanuele Filiberto. Prince Emanuele Filiberto said: “I have always been very demanding about clothes and I told myself I would like to wear the clothing I created.” The clothes will be available in selected shops this summer.

At Magdeburg a coffin was presented to the press yesterday. It was discovered already in November 2008 in a royal vault at the Dom of Magdeburg. On the coffin it says: “The born rests of Queen Edith are in this sarcophagus”. Archaeologists say the body might be of Queen Edith, born Princess of England, who died in 946. Her grave was moved at least four times, probably the last time in 1510. Edith was married to Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor. They will continue carrying out tests. After the discovery the coffin was brought to the university hospital in Halle and underwent computertomography.

January 31st

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is to relaunch her website with the help of the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The website which was launched 12 years ago, is to become more user friendly and relevant to modern-day society. On 12 February the website will be significantly improved and expanded when the Queen will link up with search engine Google. A senior royal source says: “The new website is going to look significantly different. We have completely rebuilt the site for a new media environment in the 21st century. We are putting up archive material that has never been seen before. The site has a new navigation system and there is a lot more video and more integration with YouTube. We have integrated the royal diary with Google maps. This means that if you hover on, say Birmingham, it will throw up all the past royal visits to the city – at the moment going back to 2005 – as well as future royal visits for the next two weeks. This will be called: ‘Royal family in my area’ and we hope it will prove very popular with the public. People will be able to enter the member of the Royal family and the date to get the information they need.”

The health situation of Queen Fabiola of Belgium has slightly improved, the Belgian royal palace announced today.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands celebrated her 71st birthday today. She is now almost the eldest head of state ever of the Netherlands. Only King Willem III reigned until his death at the age of 73. Queen Juliana handed over the throne to her daughter Queen Beatrix on her 71st birthday. The Dutch still trust their queen. According to a poll by the TV- programme EénVandaag 80% of the Dutch trusts their queen, where 81% trusts the heir, the Prince of Orange. 38% of the people questioned thinks Queen Beatrix shouldn’t abdicate yet, while 32% thinks the Prince of Orange should become the King within two years. Most popular member of the royal house is Princess Máxima with 32%, followed by the Prince of Orange with 15% and Queen Beatrix with 12%.

February 1st

Prince Zebulon Zulu was shot and seriously injured when he left an ANC election rally in Nongoma today. Unknown assailants shot at him and two passengers in the car. Also the passengers were seriously injured.

February 3rd

The health situation of Queen Fabiola of Belgium again has slightly improved, the Belgian royal palace said today. However she remains at the intensive care.

The Duke of Edinburgh missed his third royal engagement in eight days today. The Duke pulled a back muscle while carriage driving at Sandringham last month, and doctors have told him to take it easy until he has recovered. A spokeswoman of Buckingham Palace said: “A lot of engagements involve standing for quite a long time and they can often last anything up to an hour. He’s making a decision on a day-to-day basis about whether he’s going to attend engagements. His advice has been to rest his back for a period of time and he’s doing that each day. He’s been advised to rest as long as possible and avoid standing for too long.”

Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak celebrated his 25th reigning anniversary today. He ascended the throne, after the demise of his uncle Sultan Idris Almutawakkil Alallahi Shah II, as the 34th sultan of Perak on 3 February 1984.

February 5th

Countess Feodora af Rosenborg and her husband Morten Rønnow had a daughter, Caroline-Mathilde Margrethe. She was born by Caesarian section at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen on 1 February. The baby was named after Feodora’s grandmother Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark.

At a press conference on the occasion of his trip to Vietnam next week Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan today defended his wife. He said: “Masako is making efforts to perform as many official duties as possible. Please watch her with warmth and take the long-term view. Masako is still under treatment for her illness. It is necessary to make a cautious decision looking at travel distances, the period of stay and the events to attend.”

The government of Thailand has set up a special website. The website urges people to inform on anyone who criticises the Thai monarchy. Also an internet security centre has been set up to coordinate the blocking of websites who offend the monarchy. On its first day the centre banned almost 5000 websites.

February 6th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh have cancelled a state visit to an unknown location in March because of “other commitments”, Buckingham Palace said. They state age or health are not the reasons for the cancellation. According to several newspapers the destination of the five-day state visit was Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

February 8th

Prince David Bagrationi-Mukhraneli married Princess Anna Bagrationi-Gruzinsky today at the Cathedral of St. Trinity in Tbilisi, Georgia. The wedding will hopefully unite the two branches of the Georgian royal family, that both claim to be the rightful heirs to the throne. 3000 guests were invited for the ceremony, including Mikhail Saakashvili, president of Georgia.

February 9th

Today the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands will return to Chile after spending three days at Rothera Station, the base of the British Antarctic Survey. The princely couple arrived on Friday, after having stayed two days in Chile, where they visited the famous Tyndall glacier at the national parc Torres del Paine. Tomorrow they will fly back to the Netherlands, where they are expected to arrive on Wednesday. The couple visited Antarctica on invitation of the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research. On a special part of the Dutch royal website the prince kept a weblog. There is also a photo gallery, as press had to stay home.

Queen Fabiola of Belgium has left the intensive care unit at the St Jan Clinic in Brussels today. She has to remain in hospital for further treatment.

Princess Lilian of Sweden has been taken to hospital today after a fall at her home in Stockholm. She injured a leg. A spokeswoman for the Royal Court said: “She is doing well under the circumstances.”

A Thai professor from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Ji Ungpakorn, has fled to Great Britain. He said today not to believe that he would receive a fair trial in Thailand. He was charged last month over a book about the military coup in Thailand in 2006, and is facing 3 to 15 years in prison for allegedly insulting the Thai monarchy. In the book he indirectly questioned the role of the palace in politics during the military coup. The professor holds dual citizenship, Thai and British.

The 37-year-old Baron Karl-Theodor von und zu Guttenberg has been appointed the new Minister of Economic Affairs of Germany today. His predecessor Mr Glos resigned last weekend. The new minister is a son of Baron Enoch von und zu Guttenberg and Countess Christiane von und zu Eltz. His paternal grandparents were Baron Karl Theodor von und zu Guttenberg and Princess and Duchess Rose-Sophie von Arenberg. Karl-Theodor is married to Countess Stephanie von Bismarck-Schönhausen and has two daughter, Anna and Mathilda.

February 10th

Buckingham Palace announced today that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will donate an unspecified sum of money to the Victorian Bushfire Fund, that has been launched by the Australian Red Cross , the state Premier of Victoria and the federal government. The money will be used to help victims of the worst wildfires in the history of Australia.

A court in Benesov, Czechia, today rejected a request by Princess Sophie von Hohenberg to return the contents of the castle of Konopiste to her family. The court ruled that her grandfather Maximilian wasn’t the owner of the contents at the time of his death. In 1921 the Czech Republic took possession of the castle. The court said: “The constitutional court has ruled several times that it is impossible to widen the interpretation of the law of restitution that applies to property seized when Communist rule began in February 1948.” Jaroslav Broz, lawyer of the Princess, said she will appeal to the decision.

February 12th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has relaunched the website of the British monarchy today. The website will showcase the latest new media features like Google maps integrated with the Royal Diary, the royal Channel at YouTube, a password protected media centre and a new search function. It is more user-friendy and has an accessible design. It also contains rarely seen videos and documents from the Royal Archives, as well as expanded information on the Commonwealth Realms and a section on royal animals.

British media report that Prince Harry of Wales has to attend an army equality and diversity course after having been reprimanded for using racist comments against colleagues. The Ministry of Defense said investigations into the afffair are now over, and that the prince has been formally disciplined and the offence added to his military record.

Grand Duke Henri of Luxemburg has cancelled all his activities due to bronchopneumonia, including a state visit to Vietnam which was set to take place next week. According to the grand ducal court he is recovering now, and will start working again as soon as possible.

February 13th

The Dutch public buildings service announced today that the Dutch government has decided that Soestdijk Palace will also be open for the public in 2010. It is not known yet, what will happen to the former residence of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands afterwards. The palace has been temporarily open since December 2006.

The only survivor of a plane crash on Thursday afternoon was named today as Alexander Kahane, one of the richest people of Austria and former husband of Countess Catharina von Meran. His two pilots died in the crash at Engadin airport near Samedan, Switzerland. The Falcon 10 airplane, that came from Vienna, Austria, slipped during the landing at 4.14pm and crashed into a wall of snow. The front of the airplane was completely destroyed. Mr Kahane broke some ribs and suffers from injuries on his hands and legs. His family hopes that he can start working again within a few weeks.

February 14th

Tonight a royal banquet took place to celebrate the silver jubilee of Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. The banquet among others was attended by the King and Queen of Malaysia, as well as by the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, and most other Malaysian rulers.

February 15th

From Kensington Palace in London, Great Britain, it was announced that: “It is with very great pleasure that Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Mr and Mrs Barry Winkleman announce the engagement of Lord Frederick Windsor to Miss Sophie Winkleman.” Lord Frederick Windsor proposed to his girlfriend of two years on 14 February, Valentine’s day. A wedding date hasn’t been set yet, but the wedding will take place later this year. Lord Frederick Windsor works as a banker at JP Morgan. Sophie Winkleman was born at London on 5 August 1980 as daughter of Barry Winkleman and Cindy Black, a children’s author. From the previous marriage of her father to Evelyn Pollard she has a half-sister, TV-presentator Claudia Winkleman. Sophie is an actress.

February 16th

The Dutch royals arrived in Lech, Austria, for their yearly wintersport vacation this weekend. Today they took the time to pose for the press. Queen Beatrix was accompanied by the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima and their three daughters Amalia, Alexia and Ariane, as well as by Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien with their children Eloise, Claus- Casimir and Leonore. Pictures Royal PortraitsPictures PPE

February 17th

The newly released website of the British royal family is already facing lots of criticism. Problematic is for example the royal diary section, where official engagements are being listed one day after they are actually happening. The website is also only viewable by Windows users, and also doesn’t have adequate search engine optimization. Criticizers also say that the website is hard to navigate.

February 18th

The Information Commissioner has ruled that private letters between the late Diana Princess of Wales and the British government are to be kept secret. A request from October 2006 to make the letters public was rejected because they were “of a personal nature”, and were unrelated to government business.

The Egyptian Minister of Culture, Faruq Hosni, said today that the Egyptian crown jewels will be displayed to the public at the Royal Family Museum of Jewellery at Alexandria somewhere in the future. The museum itself is restored at this moment, and it is not known when the exhibition will actually open. The jewels have been in the vaults of the Central Bank since the fall of the monarchy in 1952.

February 19th

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark completed an additional training at the officer school of the Home Guard. She was awarded afterwards the rank of lieutenant in the Danish Home Guard and will be attached to the Total Defence Region Copenhagen. The Home Guard is the voluntary military unit concerned with domestic defence. The crown princess was trained in the art of command, security and surveillance.

February 20th

Queen Fabiola of Belgium has left the Sint-Jans Clinic in Brussels this afternoon. She was admitted to hospital on 16 January with bronchial pneumonia, and was in the intensive care unit until 9 February. Queen Fabiola has returned to Stuyvenberg Castle where she will recover further.

The tax authorities in Germany have asked Prince Maximilian von und zu Liechtenstein, second son of Prince Hans Adam II, to pay taxes on the investment gains of a family foundation that was set up in 1993 and was closed in 2003, the LGT Group said in a statement. The prince lived in Germany in 1999 and again since September 2001. According to the statement he didn’t get any payments from the foundation when living in Germany. He received a credit from the foundation in September 2001, over which he had no liability to taxation. The Prince’s lawyers dispute the tax authorities’ view as the money of the foundation wasn’t the prince’s own money, but from the family, and are working with them on a solution. In the statement Prince Maximilian said: “I have always fulfilled my tax duties in Germany to the best of my knowledge. If, contrary to my conviction, it turns out that I owe taxes to the German state, I will meet my obligations promptly.”

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia has left for the USA again for follow-up medical checks. He had just spent six weeks recuperating in Morocco after having had medical tests in the USA from 23 November 2008 to 9 January 2009.

February 21st

The Australian author Harry Nicolaides was freed from prison in Thailand after a royal pardon. Some weeks ago he was jailed for three years for insulting the crown prince in a novel. Mr Nicolaides said that he was asked to kneel before a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej when he was informed about his release.

The government of Swaziland released a report on Friday which says that about 42% of the pregnant women in Swaziland are HIV positive. The country has the highest AIDS rate in the world. AIDS activists are blaming King Mswati II for hardly doing anything to spread prevention messages and promote the use of condoms and testing on HIV. They also say that he is giving a bad example with having 13 wives.

February 23rd

In a 49th birthday press conference on Friday Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan said to be pleased that his wife Crown Princess Masako is now able to carry out more public duties. He said: “Masako and I are both pleased that she is becoming able to carry out public duties that she could not before. She has a tendency to overwork when she is in relatively good physical condition. Her doctor has told me that she needs to take careful steps so that her condition does not regress by pushing herself too hard.” However he expressed his concerns for the health of his father Emperor Akihito. Several birthday pictures and a video were released.

Princess Lalla Amina of Morocco, a sister of the late King Mohammed V, died this morning at Meknès. The funeral will take place tomorrow at the Moulay El Hassan Mausoleum at Rabat.

February 24th

Just before 2pm the Swedish royal court officially announced the engagement of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling. The wedding will take place in the early Summer of 2010. Upon the wedding Daniel Westling will invested as Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. It has not yet been decided where the couple will make their home. A press conference will take place this afternoon at 5pm. At 1pm a meeting with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and the Cabinet was held at the Royal Palace in Stockholm in presence of King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria. Olof Daniel Westling was born at Örebro, Sweden, on 15 September 1973, as son of Olle and Eva Westling. He has one elder sister, Anna Westling Blom. Daniel grew up at Ockelbo. After secondary school he studied sports and health at Lillsved, Stockholm. After his military service he worked in the field of social care for elder people and children with special needs. Since 2000 he has operated several fitness centers in Stockholm. His interests are athletics, ice-hockey, football, golf and other outdoor activities.

In a video King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden announced the engagement of his daughter Crown Princess Victoria: “Dear Swedes, at home and abroad. Yes, this is how I tend to begin my speeches on radio and TV when there is something I wish to convey. And, as you may have guessed, there is something very special I would like to convey: namely, the public announcement today of the engagement of Crown Princess Victoria and Mr Daniel Westling. In the past years we have of course got to know Daniel and have understood that he is a young man who works hard and takes life seriously. That is why it is especially gratifying to extend you a welcome. It was with pleasure that I gave my consent and, in line with the constitution, accepted the consent of the government. It is of course a special day for us but it is also a special day for Sweden.” In the video he was sitting around a table with Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling. Also Queen Silvia praised Daniel Westling: “We welcome Daniel into our family with open arms. I view him as a man who is humble yet decisive, as well as judicious and wise. You are full of energy, considerate and will make a wonderful husband for Victoria. We have full confidence in you and your choice, Victoria, and I will do everything to support you. A new chapter is now being written and I am very pleased.” Crown Princess Victoria said: “With Daniel by my side I feel secure. You have probaby noticed in recent years that I have seemed stronger and happier. And now the time has come to begin preparations for starting something of our own and creating a family.” Daniel Westling said in his turn: “I will do everything I can to live up to the expectations. The Crown Princess and I have found each other and our love has grown strong over the years. I want to thank the King and I want to thank the Queen. It is my task to act as a support for the Crown Princess and the important work she does for Sweden.”

At the press conference in the late afternoon in the blue salon at the newly renovated apartment of Victoria’s grandmother Princess Sibylla at the Royal Palace Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden revealed that Daniel Westling proposed to her on a beautiful winter day out at Drottningholm, in the outdoors. Daniel Westling said he kneeled to ask her, and was a bit nervous as he was hoping for a “yes”, but wasn’t 100% sure. But Victoria, of course, said yes. Victoria told the reporters: “It was a friendship that grew and became love.” She said it never said “click” as it did with her parents when they met. Their long relationship has given them the chance to really get to know each other and they both needed time. Daniel has gotten used to the idea of how life will be in the future. Daniel said he will remain owner of his Stockholm-based gym business, but will no longer be involved in the day- to-day running of it. He said to feel strong and secure with Victoria on his side. About Victoria Daniel said: “She has an enourmously big heart. And we have a personal chemistry between us which is working perfectly.” He has felt the support and warmth of Victorias parents from the very beginning and has also become close to Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. Victoria said to feel very secure with Daniel. They have lots of fun together and she is always happy when visiting her parents-in-law at Ockelbo. Video and (Swedish) text press conference

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling celebrated their engagement with a dinner at the Royal Palace in Stockholm with their parents, after they had visited Princess Lilian, who is still at the Sophiahemmet in Stockholm. At the dinner also Princess Madeleine and her boyfriend Jonas were present.

The Danish Parliament has voted in favour of a new law on the succession to the Danish throne. Apart from the republican Enhedslisten, who gave in a blank vote, all parties voted in favour of the proposal to change the law on the succession to the throne. On 7 June the Danish people will vote in a referendum.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has unveiled a national monument dedicated to the late Queen Mother in central London today. A bronze statue of the Queen Mother forms the centrepiece of the monument and incorporates the existing statue of her husband King George VI on The Mall. The ceremony was also attended by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Also members of the Bowes-Lyon family were present. In a personal tribute the Prince of Wales praised his darling grandmother’s vitality, unbounded courage and determination, as well as her irrestistible and irrepressible sense of mischievous humour. He also said: “At long last my grandparents are reunited in this joint symbol, which in particular reminds us of all they stood for and meant to so many during the darkest days this country has ever faced. Today we remember them both with joy mingled with sadness, but also intense gratitude for the role they performed with such consummate grace and inspiration.”

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia underwent a successful operation in New York yesterday. It wasn’t revealed what kind of operation it was. The operation continues the medical tests and treatment for the crown prince.

February 25th

This morning an airplane of Turkish Airlines flying from Istanbul to Amsterdam, with 127 passengers and 7 crew members on board, crashed just before the landing at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam, the Netherlands. There are at least nine deaths and many wounded. Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, arrived in the early afternoon. He is president of the Research Council for Safety, which will investigate the crash. Queen Beatrix sympathizes intensely with the victims and their families. She keeps herself informed about the situation all the time.

In a new poll by Novus Opinion for TV4 it shows that 83% of the Swedes supports the engagement of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden to Daniel Westling. Only 6% thinks Daniel isn’t the right choice.

February 27th

In a poll by Sifo for the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet among 1000 Swedes, one third of the respondents said that King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden should abdicate in favour of his daughter Crown Princess Victoria when he reaches the retirement age. Among women of 30-49 the call for abdication was even 44%. Despite of this result the king has the full support of most respondents. 45% wants that the king remains head of state of Sweden. Crown Princess Victoria is much more popular than her siblings. Two third of the respondents thinks she is the best. Prince Carl Philip only got 2%. 70% of the respondents doesn’t care if the future heir is male or female.

The Narayanhiti palace at Kathmandu, Nepal, has opened to the public today almost eight years after part of the royal family, including King Birendra, was shot down there. The grand main hall can be visited, as well as the king’s bedroom, banquet halls and guest rooms. Among the main attactions is the gold-crafted ceremony throne. A Mercedes Benz former King Gyanendra’s grandfather received as a gift from Adolf Hitler will go on display later on. Although the building where the royal family was killed was demolished, bullet holes are still visible in the walls of buildings nearby. The opening ceremony was held yesterday. Prime Minister Prachanda said: “The opening of the palace as a museum symbolizes the victory of the people in their long struggle against feudalism.” He also said to hope that his government would start a fresh inquiry into the palace massacre. Today people queued for hours to visit the palace.

February 28th

The handbag of Zara Phillips, daughter of the Princess Royal, was stolen from her car yesterday evening in North Kensington, London. A spokeswoman of the Metropolitan Police said: “Property from the vehicle was found in the street and handed in to police.” Some jewellery was missing, but Zara’s passport was recovered. The handbag was found in a hedge near the crime scene.

Narayan Kaji Shrestha Prakash, deputy leader of the Maoist party, told the media today that five ruling parties in Nepal have hold a meeting to approve a pledge by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda earlier this week. The Prime Minister pleaded for a new investigation into the palace massacre which took place at the Narayanhiti Palace in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 1 June 2001. King Birendra of Nepal and nine family members were killed in the shooting. The parties have agreed today to immediately form an advisory committee which would guide the government into instituting an inquiry commission.

March 2nd

Former King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia says in a letter on his website that he is showing progress in his fight against cancer, but that he needs to prolong his stay in Beijing, China for further treatment. He wrote: “Today I went to hospital to have it checked with modern equipment (PET Scan) and saw that this cancer has shrunk.”

March 3rd

The Npower Renewables company has taken the decision that it will no longer continue developing an hydro scheme for Windsor Castle. An £1m hydro-electric plant at Romney Weir on the River Thames was due to supply about one-third of the electricity at Windsor Castle. The company said that over the past six months it “became apparent that there were still significant challenges in making this project a viable asset within Npower Renewables’ rapidly expanding portfolio”. The Environment Agency is now searching for a new partner. A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said that the reasons for the decision are understood. She said: “We would be interested in considering another partner if they were to suggest looking at the hydro-electric scheme in the future.”

The Duchess of York attended the premiere of the film “The Young Victoria” in London. She was accompanied by her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York. The Duchess is a co-producer of the film. Princess Beatrice plays a small role in the film as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. The young Victoria is being played by Emily Blunt, while Rupert Friend is her husband Prince Albert.

Crown Princess Masako of Japan has made her first solo public appearance outside the imperial palace in three years today. She visited an exhibition of devices invented by housewives in a department store in Tokyo.

A team of Japanese archaeologists from Waseda University have found a 3000 year-old tomb at Saqqara, Egypt, Mr Zahi Hawass of the antiquities department of Egypt said today. The team believes the tomb belongs to a granddaughter of Pharaoh Ramses II from the 19th dynasty, Isisnofret. Inside the tomb was a broken limestone sarcophagus bearing her name and the title “noble woman”, as well as three mummies and fragments of funerary objects. Mr Hawass however thinks the tomb rather dates from the 18th than from the 19th dynasty, because of the style of construction. He said many women in old Egypt were called Isisnofret.

March 4th

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Emma Pernald have decided to take a break, after a relationship of ten years, Emma told the Swedish newspaper Expressen. Emma said: “We’ve decided to take a break. It was a mutual decision. I’m not going to comment as to why or on other details.”

Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven had to end his skiing vacation at Seefeld in Austria prematurely. During a skiing tour on Monday he fell and bruised a few ribs. He was taken to hospital in Innsbruck, from which he was released on Tuesday. He afterwards travelled back to the Netherlands. The prince had just started his vacation. As a member of the military police he had helped at the site of the airplane crash at Schiphol Amsterdam last week.

March 5th

Mr Zahi Hawass of the Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities said today that a team of Egyptian and European archaeologists has found two statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III at Luxor. The first statue is made of black granite. The second statue depicts the Pharaoh in the shape of a Sphinx.

March 6th

Six love letters from the Prince of Wales to Janet Jenkins were put up for sale on eBay yesterday. The Prince met Janet in 1975 when she was a receptionist at the British consulate in Montreal, Canada. In a letter from 1980 he tells of his frustrations with the press and fear of marrying the wrong girl. He wrote: “My new private secretary is horrified by the idea of ladies in hotels during foreign visits. I shall just have to get married as soon as possible and then all these people might relax a little! I still think my solution of marrying a girl from each Commonwealth country is the best one.” The letters have a starting prince of £25,000. It is thought Janet sold the letters to US collector Alicia Carroll.

Hundred couples from all over Japan, who mark their golden wedding anniversary in 2009, might receive an invitation for a one-hour tea-ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on 10 April, on the occasion of the 50th wedding anniversary of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. The Imperial Household Agency is also planning to invite grand stewards and other close aids who served at the palace after the wedding for a 30-minute meeting with the Imperial Couple.

March 7th

Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Apulia, and his wife Olga née Princess of Greece, had their first child at Paris, France today. The baby was called Umberto.

March 8th

Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand has announced that the country is to restore the titles of knights and dames to its honours system. The titles, which are linked to the British honours system, were dropped in 2000. Mr Key said that restoring the titles would recognise service given to New Zealand. According to him Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain approves the move. He says the changes will be finalised in time for the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June.

March 9th

Seven Thai policemen arrested webmaster Chiranut Prempreecha of the online newspaper Prachatai on Friday, because a reader of the website posted a comment insulting the monarchy. The comment wasn’t deleted for several days. She was charged with violating the Computer Crime Act, and afterwards released on bail. The arrest came just hours after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had promised to revise the strict laws on critisizing the Thai royal family.

Prince Amedeo of Savoy has titled his newborn grandson Umberto Prince di Piemonte.

March 10th

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark had surgery at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen today. He had torn his splint-bone while sleighing with his children Christian and Isabella during a recent skiing vacation in Switzerland. He will leave hospital tomorrow. Plaster bandage will remain around his leg for the next six weeks.

March 12th

Crown Princess Victoria celebrated her name day together with her fiance Daniel Westling. Both he and Queen Silvia of Sweden proudly watched while Crown Princess Victoria received name day wishes and gifts outside the royal palace in Stockholm. The army’s drum corps provided the music. It was Daniel Westling’s first official engagement after the engagement. In the evening a grand banquet was being held at the royal palace.

March 13th

For the first time since the death of his mother Diana Princess of Wales, Prince William of Wales spoke of the “emptiness” he has felt on Mother’s Day since she died. He spoke at a reception for the Child Bereavement Charity, of which he has just become a patron. Princess Diana attended the charity’s launch 15 years ago. Prince William said: “Today I am incredibly proud to be able to continue her support for your fantastic charity, by becoming your royal patron. What my mother recognised then – and what I understand now – is that losing a close family member is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can ever endure. Never being able to say the word ‘mummy’ again in your life sounds like a small thing. However, for many, including me, it’s now really just a word – hollow and evoking only memories. I can therefore wholeheartedly relate to the Mother’s Day campaign as I too have felt – and still feel – the emptiness on such a day.”

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand spent two days at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok for a routine check-up. He was able to leave hospital today. He left in a motorised wheelchair and was greeted outside by a large crowd. The results of the check-up wasn’t released.

The Prague Municipal Court will likely continue the prosecution of Prince Hamid bin Abdal Sani of Qatar. The Prince was earlier convicted by a Czech court to 2,5 years in prison for sex with underaged and juvenile girls in 2005. At the end of February the Czech verdict was declared not valid by the prosecutor’s office of Qatar. The case was held in Czechia despite of the fact that the Minister of Justice of Czechia had decided to hand over the prosecution to Qatar. The lower court and the municipal court thought the minister’s decision was illegal, but the Supreme Court said a minister was allowed to take such a decision. Now the Qatar court has halted the prosecution, the prosecution can be continued in Czechia.

March 14th

The Imperial Household Agency yesterday revealed the programme for the 15-day visit of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan to Canada and Hawaii starting on 3 July. The couple will arrive in Ottawa on July 3. Official events will start on July 6. Toronto will be visited on July 8, Victoria, British Columbia, on July 10, and Vancouver on July 12. They will fly to Hawaii on July 14. The trip won’t included a visit to Pearl Harbor. The Grand Master of ceremonies said: “The visit to Hawaii is not designed for the respose of the souls of the war dead.”

Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia has said in remarks in the Okaz newspaper that the condition of his brother, Crown Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia, is “excellent and very reassuring” after a successfull operation in New York last month. He said: “The crown prince is in the best condition and he is in good health, all that remains to be done is the completion of simple procedures for him to leave the hospital soon.”

On Friday a 33-year-old man from Malaysia has been fined by a Malaysian court for insulting the Sultan of Perak on the Internet. The man pleaded guilty to charged brought under the Multimedia and Communications Act. Five other people pleaded not guilty and face trial.

March 16th

Major General Håkan Pettersson, Chief of Military Staff, has been appointed as “wedding planner” for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling. His role includes being the chair of the planning and too, together with the different departments of the Royal Court, design the wedding that the Crown Princess and Daniel Westling wish to have.

An Austrian team has researched the remains of what they say is Princess Arsinöe. Arsinöe was the younger sister of Pharaoh Cleopatra of Egypt. She was put to death in 41BC on the orders of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, as she was regarded a rival. Her grave at Ephesus, Turkey, was opened for the first time in 1926. Hilke Thuer of the Austrian Academy of Sciences is sure that the remains are Arsinöe’s. Research revealed that the remains indicate that Arsinöe’s mother had an “African” skeleton. Mrs Thuer said: “It is unique in the life of an archaeologist to find the tomb and the skeleton of a member of Ptolemaic dynasty. That Arsinöe had an African mother is a real sensation which leads to a new insight on Cleopatra’s family and the relationship of the sisters Cleopatra and Arsinöe.” The discovery means that also Cleopatra herself might have been of mixed race, although Cleopatra and Arsinöe had different mothers. The documentary “Cleopatra: Portrait of a Killer” will be broadcasted on BBC One at 9pm on 23 March 2009. The documentary will also deal with the discovery.

March 17th

Princess Medeferiashwork Abebe, wife of the late Crown Prince Asfawossen of Ethiopia, died on Sunday aged 84. The funeral ceremony took place today at the Trinity Cathedral in Addis Abeba today. Present were members of the family, dignitaries and members of the Rastafarian community. She will be buried next to her mother Wosenyelesh Mengesha. She is survived by her children.

The remains of president Mohammad Daud Khan of Afghanistan, a member of the royal family, and his brother Mohammad Naeem Khan have been reburied today after a state ceremony at the palace in Kabul. His remains were found back last year. They had been missing since he was killed in a 1978 coup. The ceremony was attended by members of the Khan family. The remains of the two men were flown afterwards to a hill southwest of Kabul where they were buried with the remains of 15 other relatives that were killed in the coup. They were already reburied on Monday.

March 18th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has opened the Keukenhof in Lisse today by baptising a new tulip called Spring Garden. The 60th annual international flower show will be opened from 19 March to 21 May. This year the show commemorates the 400th anniversary of the founding of New Amsterdam (now New York) by Henry Hudson on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. Among others a reproduction of the Statue of Liberty made with 53th flowers is exhibited.

Former King Simeon of Bulgaria launched his official website today.

March 19th

Prince Jean of Luxemburg married his longtime girlfriend Diane de Guerre in the Statenzaal of the townhall in Roermond, The Netherlands. Family and friends attended the wedding, among others Prince Guillaume of Luxemburg, youngest brother of the groom. Diane de Guerre was born in 1962 as daughter of Claude de Guerre and Countess Eugénie Wolff-Metternich.

The civil wedding of Prince Jean of France and Philomena de Tornos y Steinhart took place today at the townhall of the VIIth arrondissement at Paris. The religious wedding will take place at the cathedral of Senlis on 2 May. The wedding was attended by the count of Paris and his wife, the duchess of Montpensier, the duke and duchess of Angoulême, Princess Marie of Liechtenstein and other members of the French royal family. A short reception took place after the wedding at the inner garden of the townhall.

March 20th

Queen Margrethe II has created the costumes and sets for a film based on the fairytale “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen, she revealed on a press conference today. It was her fascination with Andersen that got her involved in the project, she said. It is the first time she worked on a film, but she has designed costumes and decors for ballets in the past. The film is due out in autumn.

The Italian royal family released the first picture of Umberto, son of Prince Aimone and Princess Olga of Savoy, who was born on 7 March. Picture Umberto

Dutch authorities will return the head of Badu Bonsu II, leader of the Ashanti tribe, to Ghana. He is to be buried in his homeland. The king was executed by Dutch colonists in the 1830s. The Leids Museum, which stored the head in a jar of formaldehyde, said to hope he will now have a dignified burial. In 2008 Ghana filed a request for the return of the head.

March 21st

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark started their official visit to the USA a bit later than planned. When they were boarding their fligth at Copenhagen airport, a man was heard saying: “I can’t believe that with so many security guards around, they haven’t found the bomb that I have in my suitcase.” The princely couple was immediately evacuated, and the passengers had to leave the plane. The man was arrested. After an extensive search, in which nothing was found, the plane with the princely couple on board could leave with a few hours delay.

At the 60th Anti-Tuberculosis National Convention at Tokyo, Emperor Akihito on Wednesday revealed that he suffered himself from tuberculosis in 1953, and recovered only in 1957 after having taken medicines.

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy and his dancing partner Natalia Titova won the final of the Italian version of Strictly Come Dancing. They got 75% of the votes by telephone. In his speech the prince said: “The victory is above all for the Italians who discovered me.” He had entered the contest “with the aim of letting Italians get to know me”.

March 22nd

In an interview to the Austrian newspaper Kurier 87-year-old Lisa Lanett, a granddaughter of Archduke Otto of Austria (1865-1906), has told that she had an affair with US president John F. Kennedy after 1942. On 29 September 1945 their son Tony (Antonio) was born. Lisa said didn’t want to marry John F. Kennedy, although he asked her. She had already been divorced once; in total she married six times. Her son Tony was adopted by Lisa’s mother Charlotte and her second husband Richard Böhler. Lisa Lanett told her son Tony Bohler about his father about 30 years ago. Tony says he hasn’t been busy with his father a lot, but he would be interested to know for sure if John F. Kennedy is his father. Therefore a DNA-test would be needed, and it is unlikely the Kennedy family would agree with that. Tony lives in California, is divorced and has two sons.

March 23rd

The wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling will take place at the Storkyrkan in Stockholm on 19 June 2010. The date 19 June has traditionally been a day to get married in the Swedish royal family. Crown Princess Victoria’s parents married on 19 June 1976. Also King Oscar I (1823) and King Karl XV (1850) married on 19 June. King Oscar II and his bride arrived in Sweden on 19 June 1857 after their wedding in Germany.

March 24th

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has given an interview to the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine. She said to find her family very important. When she looks at her children, she sees their “unlimited freedom and joy of life. I’d like to have that experience again. That boundless freedom of childhood is so wonderful.” She said that she would have loved to have more time with her mother, who died after an heart operation in 1997. Her own children only know her from photos and stories. Crown Princess Mary says there is nothing she can do about it, but tries “to believe she is with us.” About raising her children she said: “Naturally, I do things my own way but I’m certainly influenced by my mother’s way of doing things. She is a part of me. My mother would do anything for her children. And that’s how I am too. I’d do anything for them. That’s what real love is. Unconditional love.” Mary said she wants her children to be “happy and positive individuals, with self-esteem and self-confidence.” She said: “We hope they will have the strength to make the right choices in life.”

The Imperial Household Agency said today that Empress Michiko of Japan has hurt her left knee when she fell while playing tennis at the Imperial Palace early February. After a detailed examination on Monday it turned out she had injred the posterior cruciate ligament. The injury doesn’t hinder her mobility, but it will take about six months to recover fully. The injury doesn’t require surgery. Official duties and activities will be decided depending on the Empress’s condition. She will not undertake an engagement at Tochigi on Thursday, because it is a long-distance trip.

March 25th

The Duchess of Cornwall has cancelled her engagements for the coming two days. She has acute bronchitis, and cancelled on medical advice. A spokeswoman from Clarence House said: “The Duchess has asked that the cancelled engagements are rearranged for another date.” Decisions about further engagements will be taken on a day-by-day basis.

In a meeting with the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Raj Nath Singh, yesterday former King Gyanendra of Nepal, according to sources, has said that he is not in favour of reinstating the Nepalese monarchy in any form. Gyanendra however also defended the monarchy: “The Institution of Monarchy in Nepal was completely different than in the manner it is and was being portrayed in each and every Nepali household currently. The Institution was not completely wrong though it ruled for long period of time.”

March 26th

The Danish royal court released new official photos of the royal family. They were made in January at a new year’s reception at the Knight’s Hall of Christian VII’s Palace in Copenhagen. For the first time also Princess Marie appears on the official photos.

Princess Luise of Prussia died at Bückeburg Castle, Germany, on 23 March. She was born at House Glienicke at Berlin on 23 August 1917. She was the only daughter of Prince Friedrich Sigismund of Prussia and Princess Marie Luise zu Schaumburg-Lippe. She was named after her maternal grandmother, Princess Louise of Denmark. She was married from 1942 to 1949 to Hans Reinhold (1917-2002), with whom she had one son. Since the late 1950s Princess Luise lived at Bückeburg Castle. She was the last member of the Hohenzollern family alive who was born during the reign of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. Princess Luise will be buried at the family cemetery at Schlosspark Glienicke in Berlin.

March 27th

The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has opened talks with Buckingham Palace about the abolishing the 1701 law that prevents members of the British royal family marrying Roman Catholics. If they do, they are removed from the line of succession. He also is said to be in favour of changing the succession laws. Currently male members of the royal family take precedent over female members. Today members of parliament were to vote on reforming laws proposed by member of parliament Evan Harris to allow Roman Catholic succession to the throne. The Prime Minister will not support his legislation, but will wait until after negotiations before introducing his own legislation in 2010. The government has already said that changes would be a complex undertaking.

Crown Princess Margarita of Romania celebrated her 60th birthday with a huge celebration. Yesterday more than hundred guests wre received at the Cec Palace in Bucharest. Today a trip was made to the Royal Domain of Sinaia, where Pelesh Castle and Pelishor Castle were visited. Tonight a gala performance was being held at the National Opera in Bucharest. Apart from many members of the Romanian royal family, attending were among others Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, Archduke Lorenz of Austria, Prince of Belgium, and members of the Austrian imperial family.

March 29th

King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia has issued a royal order two days ago, appointing his younger brother Prince Naif bin Abdul-Aziz aas second deputy prime minister with immediate effect. Prince Naif said to be very proud of the confidence given to him by the King. The Prince yesterday evening was sworn-in at King Abdullah’s palace in Riyadh.

Prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, a younger brother of King Abdullah, has questioned the appointment of Prince Naif biN Abdul-Aziz as second deputy Prime Minister or Saudi Arabia. Prince Talal says that King Abdullah should clarify what is meant with the nomination. He said that the nomination gives the impression that Prince Naif will become Crown Prince if something happens with Crown Prince Sultan, who has serious health problems. He thinks the appointment of Prince Naif as Crown Prince should be decided by the Allegiance Council.

March 30th

Grand Duchess Maria of Russia has sent a request to the Prosecutor General’s Office in Russia to exonerate members of the Russian imperial family, Romanov chancellery director Alexander Zakatov said today. The request concerns among others Grand Duke Michael, Grand Duchess Elena and the Grand Dukes Sergej, Ioann, Konstantin and Igor.

In an interview to the Singapore-based New Paper, former Crown Prince Paras Shah of Nepal, for the first time has spoken openly about the 2001 royal massacre in which nine family members were killed. He said that Crown Prince Dipendra, who killed his family members and afterwards himself, had three reasons to kill his own father and other family members. Dipendra was angry at a failed arms deal. Secondly he was very unhappy about his family rejecting his choice of bride, and thirdly he was unhappy about the decision of his father to end absolute monarchy in Nepal. Paras Shah said not to believe that the Crown Prince was drunk and shot his family in an impulse, as he didn’t smell of alcohol. According to him Dipendra already talked about “bring down the ivory tower” of the monarchy a year before the massacre.

Burglary charges against six monarchists who tried to take over the Iolani Palace at Hawaii on August 15, 2008, have been dismissed, because of lack of evidence. James Akahi, leader of a Native Hawaiian sovereignty group, still faces burglary charges.

March 31st

According to German scientists the Egyptian Queen Neferteti might not have been as beautiful as thought. The famous bust suggests that the sculptor at that time might have smoothed creases around her mouth and made her nose more beautiful. The bust of Neferteti, which was found at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt in 1912, is housed in the Altes Museum in Berlin. Alexander Huppertz, of the Imaging Science Institute in Berlin said today that the bust was probably commissioned by Neferteti’s husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten, to represent her according to his own personal perception.

April 1st

On 27 March Prince Carl Philip of Sweden launched his cutlery series CPB 2091 at the Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm. The series has been produced by hand by silversmiths at the Mema/ GAB’s factory in Eskilstuna. Prince Carl Philip was commissioned to think “new and contemporary” in designing a new cutlery. Prince Carl Philip said: “It’s been an amazing challenge and I’m proud of the result. It’s great to work with silver as a material, not only because of its special sound and lustre, but also because it ages so beautifully. It’s been a dream assignment to have the chance to design a product that so many people have a connection with – after all we use cutlery every day.” The cutlery set is the first product to be launched under the CPB brand.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia has left an hospital in New York late on Tuesday, after having underwent surgery in February. The royal court said that he had “completed the required period following the successful surgery that was performed on him”.

April 3rd

Prince Ernst August von Hannover has been released from the Schenk Sanatorium in Schruns, Austria. The prince was admitted to the hospital after a fall on an icy street when leaving his car on 26 March. He had surgery on the same day, conducted by Dr. Christian Schenk. He suffered a laceration of his quadriceps knee ligament of his right knee. He also bruised his right forearm. He is on his way of recovery, the hospital said.

Suwicha Thakho was sentenced to ten years in jail by a court in Bangkok, Thailand for insulting the monarchy. He altered digital images of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and other members of the Thai royal family, and posted them online.

April 6th

The sale of Salem Castle and cultural treasures of the House of Baden by the Grand Ducal family von Baden to the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, has become official this morning. The minister of finance Willi Stächele, the minister of science Peter Frankenberg and Hereditary Prince Bernhard von Baden signed the agreement. The family sold the castle and treasures for 57,8 million Euros: which is 25,8 million Euros for the castle, 17 million Euros for the treasures, and 15 million Euros for the family. The castle will remain open to the public. Also the boarding school Salem doesn’t have to move. The agreement ends a more than 90 year fight about the ownership of the property. It is thought a renovation of the castle will cost Baden-Württemberg another 47 million Euros. In a statement Hereditary Prince Bernhard von Baden said to be happy that the castle won’t loose its character. It said: “To save the future of the castle, we have given up part of the history.”

April 7th

On April 5 Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, an half-sister of King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck of Bhutan, married Dasho Phub Wangchuck Dorji at the Motithang Palace in Bhutan. The ceremony was performed by His Holiness Gyalse Trulku. The wedding was attended by the King, the former king with his four wives, the paternal grandmother of the bride and other members of the family. Today a reception and dance took place at the Terma Linca. The couple met in high school.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai revealed that two of his endurance horses, he competes himself, have tested positive to prohibited substances during routine controls at his stables in Dubai. A spokesman for the Sheikh says he has “banned” himself, while the International Equestrian Federation (FIS) – of which his wife Princess Haya is president – has decided how to proceed. He is also undertaking his own investigations which he will share with the FIS.

A Faberge Museum (Russian National Museum) is to open at Baden-Baden, Germany, on May 9. It will house the collection of Russian tycoon Alexander Ivanov, existing ofs 3000 pieces, said to be worth around $1.5 billion. The building of the museum costed about $22 million. Mr Ivanov said the inaugural exhibition will feature the best works from the collection.

April 9th

In a press conference this evening at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest, Prince Radu of Romania has announced he will run in the Romanian presidential elections of November 2009.

April 10th

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan today celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a tea party for 101 couples who were married around the same time. Already early in the morning well-wishers ligned up in front of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to sign books of congratulation. In the morning several ceremonial meetings were held at the Imperial Palace with members of the Imperial family and 51 guests attending. In an interview prior to the wedding anniversary Emperor Akihito said to look forward to meeting the other couples. The couple thanked each other for their continued support over the past 50 years. Emperor Akihito said: “Taking all matters calmly in her stride, the Empress has always been a great support for me, first when I was Crown Prince, and subsequently as Emperor, in fulfilling my duties,” Emperor Akihito said in expressing his gratitude to Empress Michiko. If there is something that I would like to present to the Empress on the occasion of our 50th wedding anniversary, it would, this time, be a Citation of Appreciation and Gratitude. She has truly made great efforts over these 50 years. I know that during these years there have been many sad times and many difficult times, but the Empress has borne these well with fortitude. I am greeting our 50th wedding anniversary with true feelings of appreciation and gratitude,” and “I should like to express my deep appreciation to all those people who have supported the Empress and myself over the 50 years of our marriage.” Emperss Michiko said: “The path of 50 years has been long and at times challenging, but as His Majesty has always sought the right path with sincerity and shown me the way, I have been able to walk together with His Majesty up to this very day. I would like to offer Him a Citation of Appreciation and Gratitude. I feel that it is somehow not enough. Still, a Citation of Appreciation and Gratitude with all my heart.”

On the occasion of the 50th wedding anniversary of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan an exhibition is held at the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo from 7 to 19 April. It will afterwards be on display at the stores in Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sendai and Sapporo. Apart from 120 travel photographs of the couple and commemorative items, also the sokutai court dress worn by the Emperor and the kimono worn by the Empress at their coronation are on display. Only in Tokyo the wedding coach can be seen, in which they rode their wedding parade.

April 12th

The wedding between Lord Frederick Windsor and Sophie Winkleman is to take place at the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace near London on 12 September 2009. A reception for 400 guests will take place at the Great Hall of Hampton Court Palace in the late afternoon.

April 13th

On 18 April the Duke of Edinburgh will become the longest serving consort in the history of Great Britain. Thus far the record was 57 years and 70 days, set by Queen Charlotte, who was married to King George III.

April 14th

The Supreme Court of Anquities at Egypt said today that archaeologists will start excavating next week. Excavations will be carried out at three sites near the Mediterranean, that last month were identified during a radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna near Alexandria, Egypt, as part of a search for the tombs of Pharaoh Cleopatra and her Roman lover Mark Anthony. Last year archaeologists found the head of a statue of Cleopatra and a mask believed to be Mark Anthony near the temple.

April 15th

A piece of the 1871 wedding cake of Princess Louise of Great Britain and the Marquis of Lorne will go on sale at the spring Antiquities for Everyone fair at the NEC in Birmingham this week. It is being sold by antiques dealer John Shepherd for £145. It is thought to be the only surviving piece of the wedding cake. It is wrapped in parchment and delicately tied with string.

April 16th

Thousands of well-wishers cheered Queen Margrethe II of Denmark today. The Queen appeared on the balcony of Amalienborg in Copenhagen on the occasion of her 69th birthday. She was joined by her husband, children and grandchildren. A rare photograph of the proclamation of King Edward VII’s ascension to the throne in 1901 has been discovered by a parishioner of St Thomas Church in Exeter. The hand-coloured photo was restored. The original photograph now will go to the West Country Studies Library, while a copy will hang in the church.

Kenneth Halliday, a scrap metal dealer from Dalkeith, was jailed by Edinburgh Sheriff Court for five months. Mr Halliday sold one of two propellers stolen from the Royal Yacht Britannia. He was originally charged with theft.

April 17th

Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales are to begin new phases of their helicopter training with the Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps. Prince William has completed the refresher phase of his course in March. The rest of 2009 he will take part in the Multi Engine Advanced Rotary Wing course at RAF Valley in Anglesey. In 2010 he will continue his training with the Sea King Operational Conversion Unit. Prince Harry will finish the Fixed Wing Phase of the Army Pilots’ Course at RAF Barkston Heath at the end of April. He has undertaken his first solo flight on 2 March. In May he will continue to be assessed right up to graduating onto the Squirrel helicopter at DHFS at RAF Shawbury. If he successfully completes the elementery helicopter flying programme in October, he will progress onto the Operational Training Phase at the School of Army Aviation at Middle Wallop, which will last another six months.

In an interview to the Nepali TV-station Avenues Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda of Nepal has said that there might be a link between the killing of the Nepalese royal family at the Royal Palace on 1 June 2001, and the helicopter crash in November 2001 in which Princess Prekshya died. Mr Prachanda didn’t say whether his government would also order a new investigation into the crash.

April 18th

Great Britain will issue new stamps on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the accession to the throne of King Henry VIII of England. The stamps will be released on Tuesday and feature six contemporary portraits of Tudor Monarchs: Henry VII, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Edward VI, Jane Grey and Mary I. Alongside four additional stamps illustrating significant people and events from the period will be issued.

April 19th

Crown Princess Masako of Japan performed her first official duty outside Tokyo in 15 months. Together with her husband Crown Prince Naruhito she attended a greenery event at Yokohama today.

April 20th

Recently autochromes from the early 1900s were found in a cupboard at Exbury House in Hampshire. They were taken by banker Lionel de Rothshild, who was an enthusiastic amateur photographer, and were found by his grandson Lionel de Rothschild. The pictures offer a unique insight into the Edwardian life. A selection of the autochromes will be shown in an exhibtion at Exbury House from May 1.

The Prince of Wales has written a book called “Harmony” about man has become “dangerously disconnected” from nature. The work, published by Harper Collins, is expected to be published in 2010 and will also be turned into a children’s picture book in 2011.

Publisher Cappelen Damm has announced that Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Elisabeth Samnøy will write a series of books called “The Angel School”. The first book in the series will be published in October 2009.

Penguin Group has announced that in 2010 they will release memoirs by King Abdullah II of Jordan. The book is called “The Last Best Chance: An Intimate Account of the Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril.”

In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand claims that King Bhumibol Adulyadej knew about the military coup of 2006, and did nothing to stop it. He said thatgenerals and privy councilors briefed the King about their plans to remove Thaksin prior to the military coup. Thai officials deny the claims.

Archaeologists searching for the graves of Pharaoh Cleopatra of Egypt and Mark Antony have made a few important discoveries. During a radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna near Alexandria a female skull was found. It will be tested by scientists, whether it is Cleopatra’s skull, as well as a complete body found in a stone coffin. Zahi Hawass of the Supreme Court of Antiquities said this could be the most important discovery of the 21st century.

April 21st

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden started a three-day state visit to the Netherlands. Their last state visit to the country was in 1976, when Juliana was still the Queen of the Netherlands. Theme of the 2009 state visit was the confirmation and continuance of the good relationship between the Netherlands and Sweden. The Swedish royal couple was welcomed today at Rotterdam Airport by Queen Beatrix, who also took part in the welcoming ceremony at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. In the evening Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander, Princess Máxima and Pieter van Vollenhoven were present at the state banquet. Interview with the Swedish royal couple, April 16th, 2009Pictures Royal Portraits

Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven had surgery today at the Academisch Medisch Centrum in Amsterdam. A piece of his intestine was removed because of a benignant structure.

Australian Nasra Alshamery was sentenced to two years in jail for insulting the Emir of Kuwait last December. Her lawyer said she had denied all charges, and says there was a misunderstanding between members of the family and an airport official. They will appeal to the verdict. The husband of Mrs Alshamery has asked the Emir for a pardon. He and his wife originally are Kuwaiti and emigrated to Australia in 1999.

Archaeologists from Egypt have found carvings at four ancient temples in the Sinai. They hope the inscriptions will shed a fresh light on one of the darkest periods of the history of the pharaohs. The Hyksos people invaded Egypt during the 12th dynasty and ruled from 1991 to 1802 BC. Their monuments and records were destroyed after they left the country.

April 22nd

Several members of the Dutch royal family accompanied the Swedish King and Queen on the second day of their state visit to the Netherlands. Princess Maxima accompanied Queen Silvia to the Keukenhof in Lisse. Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima accompanied the Swedish royal couple to the University of Leiden. At the government lunch and the contra performance in The Hague Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander, Princess Máxima, Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven were present. Royal Portraits: Keukenhof and MauritshuisRoyal Portraits: LeidenRoyal Portraits: Contra performance

The Spanish royal household announced today that Infanta Cristina and her family will move to Washington, USA. Her husband Iñaki Urdangarín will become the head of a unit of the Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica. He joined the board of Telefonica International in 2006. It is not known when they will move. The magazine Hola says they will live there for at least two years.

April 23rd

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden ended their three-day state visit to the Netherlands today. Queen Beatrix accompanied them during the whole day. In the town of Delfzijl, in the very north east of the Netherlands, they visited Groningen Seaports and BIO MCN. Then they took the royal buss to Groningen. They had lunch at the Province house, and then visited the University of Groningen and met students Scandinavian Studies. At the end of the afternoon the official farewell ceremony took place at Groningen Airport.

The Swedish government announced today that it will hand over the use of Haga Palace near Stockholm to Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her fiancé Daniel Westling. The royal court said: “The Crown Princess appreciates the generous offer and looks forward to living in Haga Palace together with her husband to be Daniel Westling.” After their wedding the The government has used the palace since 1966.

On 26 October Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir will be installed as the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan, one of the Malaysian states. He was proclaimed the new Yang di- Pertuan Besar on 29 December 2008 after the death of his uncle Tuanku Ja’afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman. 26 October has been declared a state holiday. From 2010 14 January will become a state holiday to celebrate the birthday of Tuanku Muhriz.

In a statement former King Michael of Romania announced his support for his son-in-law Prince Radu, who has candidated for the presidential elections later this year. He said: “Through the participation of a member of the Royal Family in democratic elections to elect the Head of State, my family wishes to attempt to unite and rehabilitate the Romania of today through dedicated service to our nation and her people. I have every confidence that Prince Radu can shoulder this important responsibility and this noble goal.”

Count Carl Piper was shot in the head on Tuesday outside the school of his daughter in the centre of Stockholm, Sweden. He is severely wounded. His girlfriend was with him, and managed to call for help. Yesterday the ex-wife of the count was arrested. It is thought she hired someone to shoot her former husband. Also this man has been arrested.

April 24th

The Prince of Wales will appear in a film that will tell the stories of 12 people who helped saving Jewish people from the Nazis in World War II. In the series “The Rescuers: Heroes of the Holocaust” the Prince praises his “very remarkable” paternal grandmother Princess Alice of Greece. She hid Jewish people at the royal palace in Athens.

April 25th

Count Björn Bernadotte af Wisborg married Sandra Angerer civilly today at Mainau Castle. The religious wedding will be held at Mainau on 7 May. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will be present at a gala-dinner at Mainau that evening.

April 27th

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican at the start of their two-day visit to Italy. They were greeted by an honour guard of the Swiss Guards and a Vatican nobleman before the meeting. The Pope presented the couple with an honorary medal and a drawing of the St Peter’s Basilica. The Pope received a set of plates with paintings of plants from the Highgrove estate.

Despite of huge abdication rumours in the Netherlands and in the Belgian, German and Argentinean press on Friday and on Monday the days passed without anything happening. The Prince of Orange today celebrated his 42nd birthday at home with his wife and children. In 1980 Queen Juliana abdicated on the 42nd birthday of her daughter Beatrix.

April 28th

Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, who is to celebrate his 70th birthday on 30 April, today already celebrated with a performance at the Beatrix Theatre in Utrecht. Among the guests were most members of the Dutch royal family, as well as Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium. PPE picturesPictures Royal Portraits

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy announced today that he will head the list of candidates of the UDC party (Christian Democrats) for north-west Italy in the June European elections. He said: “It’s the realisation of a dream after the end of the exile. I want to make myself useful to my country. The UDC is a party of the centre, far removed from the extreme left and right, with which I share the same Christian values on family and life.” UDC Leader Lorenzo Casa said: “Emanuele will be a big surprise to Italian and European politics. He is an extraordinary person.”

April 29th

Prince Turki bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia has said that the last operation of his father, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, in February was successful, and that his father is now “healthy”. He is to leave New York and return to Morocco today, where he will recover further from his last surgery.

April 30th

What was supposed to become one of the best Queen’s Days ever in the Netherlands, turned into a nightmare for the Dutch royal family, the audience and others present. After a wonderful morning at the Oranjepark in Apeldoorn, the royal family toured the Loolaan from the park to Palace Het Loo in an open bus, waving and enjoying the historical procession on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Queen Juliana. Just after passing the Loolaan and turning into the direction of the avenue leading to Palace Het Loo, a car drove with high speed through the audience, and speeded over the crossing into the direction of the bus with royals. The car fortunately drove straight into the Naald, a monument erected in honour of Queen Wilhelmina. The royal family was immediately driven to the Palace. On the square people wounded were helped at once. Soon afterwards the programme for the rest of the day was cancelled, which also meant that the march-past, people were very much looking forward to as also the newest generation of the royal family was to appear, was cancelled. The 38- year-old driver was arrested, and taken to hospital with serious injuries, and had surgery. At a press conference in the evening it was said that he had said that he had wanted to attack the royal family itself. In total two women and three men died, and 13 people were injured (including the driver), some of them seriously. Among the injured people were three children aged 9, 15 and 16. In a television address on television on Thursday afternoon Queen Beatrix, looking very shocked, offered sympathy to the victims and their relatives. Queen’s Day celebration in many places in the Netherlands were cancelled or shortened, and flags were lowered to half-mast. PPE pictures (warning: some are shocking)Pictures by Royal Portraits

Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece opened a new clothing shop for children in Beverly Hills. It is her third shop in the USA. Among the guests at the opening were actresses Sharon Stone and Minnie Driver.

May 1st

The death toll of the attack on the Dutch royal family on Queen’s Day in Apeldoorn yesterday has risen to seven today. Early in the morning the driver of the car died. In the afternoon also a military policeman died of his serious injuries. According to the police the attacker was acting alone. An act of terrorism has been ruled out, after his house in Huissen was searched. No weapons or explosives were found in the house. The death of the attacker means the end of the criminal investigation against him, but the investigation will continue to try to find out what happened exactly. The man had recently lost his job and was to leave his apartment because he couldn’t afford the rent anymore. Royal Portraits

A couple has been arrested on Sunday for having sex on a grass bank outside Windsor Castle. Despite of tourists and people at the castle watching, the couple only stopped their sexual activities when the police arrived. Thames Valley Police says the couple was arrested and have been given a written warning about outraging public decency. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was present at the castle, but Buckingham Palace didn’t want to comment on the incident.

May 2nd

Queen Beatrix, the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima, Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven today visited hospitals in Zwolle, Amersfoort, Utrecht, Tilburg and Arnhem. They met with seven of the victims of Thursday’s attack in Apeldoorn, and their families. An eight victim still remains in critical condition. Today it was announced that the attacker died of brain damage. There was no trace of alcohol in his blood, but there were signs that he had used marijuana recently, which however could have been up to two weeks ago.

The Duke of Vendôme today married religiously Philomena de Tornos y Steinhart at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Senlis, France. The bride wore a gown designed by Christian Lacroix, a 200-year-old veil and a family tiara. After the wedding a reception took place at Chantilly Castle. PPE pictures

English Heritage has reconstructed the pleasant garden that Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester created at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, Great Britain, over 400 years ago to impress Queen Elizabeth I of England. The Queen first visited in 1575. The garden will be opened for the public today. Visitors can experience the sights, scents and sounds of the garden as it was back in 1575. A 5 metres high marble fountain is the centrepiece of the garden.

May 3rd

In a short meeting with the press before handing out the World Press Photo 2008, Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands told the press that the whole Dutch royal family witnessed the terrible drama on Queen’s Day and that they are all shocked by what happened. He said however he wishes that Queen’s Day will not be changed. The family wishes to remain accessible and open.

The 63-year-old Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, is in a stable condition after a 10-hour open heart surgery at the Stanford University Medical centre at Palo Alto, USA. A leaking valve for ‘mitral regurgitation’ was repaired during the surgery. He will have to stay in hospital for about three weeks.

Two christenings this weekend. Yesterday, Caroline-Mathilde Margrethe af Rosenborg, daughter of Countess Feodora af Rosenborg and Morten Rønnow, was christened at the Marmorkirken in Copenhagen. Her godmother was Countess Sussie af Rosenborg, and the baby’s aunts Countess Camilla and Countess Josephine af Rosenborg were among the sponsors. Today Jonathan, son of hereditary Prince Carl Ferdinand zu Bentheim und Steinfurt and his wife Elna-Margret was christened at the chapel of Burgsteinfurt Castle. His godparents were Prince Philipp von Urach, Hereditary Prince Emmanuel zu Salm-Salm, Dr. Garnet Kasperk and Claudia Nemnich.

May 4th

Princess Marie of Denmark gave birth to a healthy baby boy today at 4.57am at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. The baby is 49 cm tall and weighs 3032 gramms. Mother and son are doing fine. Prince Joachim was present at hospital all the time and cut the umbilical cord himself. The baby’s names will become known at the christening. At noon 21 salutes could be heard from the Battery Sixtus at Holmen, Copenhagen, and from Kronborg Castle.

Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands for the first time after Queen’s Day appeared in public. In Amsterdam they remembered the death of World War II. In his speech, mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, said: “This year we are especially happy with the presence of Queen Beatrix.” This lead to a huge applaus of the 20.000 people gathered on the Dam Square.

May 5th

Former King Constantine II of Greece is to undergo an elective cardiac surgery for calcific aortic stenosis with valve replacement using a bioprosthesis and a single-vessel bypass. The surgery is scheduled for 29th May at the Wellington Hospital, London.

May 7th

Princess Marie of Denmark and her newborn son left the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen at 1pm. She was accompanied by her husband Prince Joachim and her father Alain Cavallier. The little prince slept peacefully wrapped in a grey woollen wrap. Hardly visible was his dark hair. Many people waited in the hall of the hospital and outside to catch a glimpse of the new Danish prince. Princess Marie told the press that the name will be a secret until the christening, and that the baby will be raised bilingual.

Count Björn Bernadotte married Sandra Angerer in a religious ceremony at the church at Mainau island. The service was led by Dieter Schunck. The bride, who was given away by her father Hans Angerer, wore a creme-coloured Duchesse-silk dress in Empire style with Italian lace and a short train. The dress was designed by the Swiss designer Eva Michaela Fröhli. The bride wore a modern tiara, but decided not to wear a veil. In the evening also Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was present. Among the wedding guests were apart from the brother, sisters, half-sister Birgitta and brothers-in-law of the groom, also Hereditary Prince Bernhard and Hereditary Princess Stephanie von Baden, and nobles from the area, as well as prominent politicians and German celebrities. Tomorrow a big gala will be held on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of the late Count Lennart Bernadotte. There will also be a memorial concert for his late wife Countess Sonja, who died a few months ago. Among the guests will also be Queen Silvia of Sweden.

May 8th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven attended a memorial service for the six victims of the attack on the royal family on Queen’s Day. The memorial service took place at the Orpheus Theater in Apeldoorn, and was attended by around 1200 people including surviving victims, family, dignitaries and aid workers. Several thousand people followed the service on big screens on the market square in Apeldoorn. Shortly after the end of the service it became known that a seventh victim died as a result of the attack. Her 14-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old girl were released from hospital on Friday.

Queen Rania of Jordan has registered at the social network Twitter to mark the first visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Holy Land and some Arab countries. He started his eight-day visit today in Jordan. Queen Rania’s Twitter

May 9th

Prince and Princess Akishino of Japan arrived in Vienna, Austria, today at the start of a two-week tour through Europe. They will visit Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

May 10th

Late April a video was broadcasted by the American television channel ABC showing Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nayhan, an half-brother of the President of the United Arab Emirates, participating in the torture of Mohammed Shah Poor, a grain dealer from Afghanistan. The sheikh and the grain dealer had a disagreement. In a statement issued today it says that all papers in the case have been handed over to the public prosecution office, which has launched an investigation. All people involved are held and banned from travelling abroad. The President today also sacked two of his brothers, Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed and Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, from his cabinet. They were replaced by their brothers Sheikh Saif bin Zayed and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed. It is not known if there is a connection with the torture case.

May 11th

On the occasion of the 5th wedding anniversary of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark six pictures were released. Two pictures show the couple, two show Crown Prince Frederik, one shows Crown Princess Mary, and there is one portrait showing the couple with their children Christian and Isabella.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will visit Greenland from 27 May to 1 June. It will be a scientific visit focused on climate changes. The three heirs to the throne will see what the climage changes mean for Greenland and its inhabitants.

May 13th

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden today celebrated his 30th birthday. Many well-wishers with flowers and presents gathered outside the royal palace in Stockholm to greet the prince. Carl Philip made an appearance outside the palace together with his parents and sisters, wearing his marine uniform. A military band played “Oh Värmland Thou Art Beautiful”, and afterwards played a traditional Swedish birthday song, led by King Carl XVI Gustaf himself.

May 14th

More than 50 notes and photographs sent by Queen Mary of Great Britain to her friend Mrs Kate Rube and her daughter between the early 1900s until the 1950s are expected to fetch more than £1,000 at auctionat Dorset’s Duke’s of Dorchester on 30 May. The notes give a rare insight into the life at the royal palace. Mrs Rube’s great-granddaughter Ann Wilton is the one who sells the notes and photographs.

May 15th

A wooden desk from 1683 which once belonged to Queen Hedvig Eleonora of Sweden was discovered in the possession of a family in southern Sweden. The desk will be auctioned by the Uppsala Auktionskammare auction house on 3 June. It is expected to fetch at least 300.000 Swedish crowns (about $38,000). The desk is the second known item that survived the fire that destroyed the original Tre Kronor royal palace in Stockholm in 1697. The other surviving item was the silver throne of Queen Kristina. The auction house calls the discovery “a sensation” and “invaluable”.

May 16th

The Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure last night received a letter containing death threats against Queen Fabiola of Belgium. The letter was written in poor French on behalf of a so far unknown organisation. They threaten to kill the Queen with a crossbow bolt during the military parade on the National Day of Belgium on 21 July. In the letter it is said that Queen Fabiola poisoned her late husband King Baudouin, because he had an affair with the late Yugoslav leader Tito.

Archaeologists have discovered an about 2000-year-old palace that belonged to the Roman Emperor Trajan near the village Zavoi in the Caras-Severin county in Romania. It was probably built in the first Dacian-Roman war. Archaeologists expect to find so far unknown information about the Daco-Roman culture.

May 17th

National Day in Norway traditionally was celebrated with a children’s parade in front of the Royal Palace in Oslo in the morning. The whole royal family watched from the balcony of the palace. In the early morning Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and their children greeted children from schools from Asker at the main gate of the Skaugum Estate. In the afternoon King Harald V and Queen Sonja visited the Grünerløkka area in Oslo.

May 19th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands revealed two statues of her late parents Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard at the garden of their residence Soestdijk Palace.

May 21st

The condition of Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria has improved slightly. According to reports he has already uttered his first words. It will take much longer to recover from the severe injuries he suffered in a car crash in August 2008, but this first words are an encouraging sign.

May 22nd

The 16-page final will of King Louis XVI of France has been found in a private collection in Boston. French letter expert Gerard Lheritier also found a manuscript written by the king’s brother, the Count of Provence. The will was written the day before he fled Paris in 1791. The document, titled “Declaration to the French” had been missing since the French Revolution.

May 23rd

Hereditary Prince Hubertus von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha married Kelly Rondestvedt civilly at Callenberg Castle, Coburg, Germany, on Thursday. The religious wedding took place in Coburg today.

The whole Spanish royal family gathered at Barcelona for the first Holy Communion of Juan and Pablo Urdangarín, sons of Iñaki Urdangarín and Infanta Cristina of Spain. Also Prince Kubrat of Bulgaria was present.

May 26th

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit and their children will temporarily move to the royal palace in Oslo. Their residence Skaugum is to be renovated.

A chauffeur of the British royal family has been suspended today. It is thought he allowed undercover reporters to access sensitive areas of Buckingham Palace without passing through the security checks. He was filmed while he showed two journalists around in a garage containing royal cars. The reporters claim that they paid the chauffeur for the tour, and said they had been left alone long enough to plant a bomb, if they had wanted to. A spokesperson of Buckingham Palace says: “Obviously, the allegation will be investigated and the individual concerned has been suspended pending an investigation. Any security matter is taken very seriously.”

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia said today that Crown Prince Sultan has recovered from surgery. He said the Crown Prince will return to Saudi Arabia in the next six weeks. The Crown Prince is currently resting in Morocco.

May 27th

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden have arrived on Greenland today. Until 1 June they will take part in a research expedition, and have a look at the effects of climate changes and global warming on Greenland and its people.

Daniel Westling, the fiancé of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, underwent a successful kidney transplantation today at the Karolinska Hospital in Solna, Stockholm. It was said he has had a non-hereditary kidney disease from birth. He received a new kidney from his father, who is also recovering well. Crown Princess Victoria, presently on Greenland, phoned with him after the surgery took place, the royal palace said. The couple had agreed in advance that the Crown Princess would travel to Greenland. The operation was not announced beforehand. It was also not publicly known that Daniel Westling had kidney problems.

The wedding is only in one year, but already now the former music teacher of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Ingemar Thorell, has composed the processional music for her wedding to Daniel Westling. The composition is for organ and violin. The title of the piece of music will be The Crown Princess’s Bridal March. Mr Thorell was influenced by traditional folk music from the province of Dalarna. He has sent a demo to the palace and hopes Crown Princess Victoria will approve the composition.

The first holy communion of Victoria Federica de Marichalar, daughter of Infanta Elena of Spain, was held at the Dominicos Church in Alcobendas, Spain, today. The ceremony was attended by her parents, brother, paternal grandparents King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, Infanta Cristina with husband and eldest sons, as well as by other family members.

May 28th

The Belgian federal police on Tuesday night arrested and questioned a 63-year-old Belgian man from Koksijde, originally from Scotland. He denies having sent a letter containing death threats against Queen Fabiola of Belgium almost two weeks ago. The man’s house was searched for over four hours. He was released yesterday evening after further questioning.

Shintaro Ishihara, who heads the Olympic bid committee of Tokyo for the Summer Olympics of 2016, said today: “It will be absolutely necessary to solicit kind help from the imperial family for the benefit of the Japanese people and for the history of Japan. We plan to make a formal request through the government in the days ahead.” He said that they will ask Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan to present its bid to members of the International Olympic Committee on 1 October. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain are supporting the bid of Madrid.

May 29th

The christening of the son of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark, who was born on 4 May, will take place at Møgeltønder Church on 26 July at 5.30pm. Prince Joachim and Princess Marie married in the same church one year ago.

Former King Constantine II of Greece underwent a successful aortic valve replacement and single aortocoronary bypass surgery at the Wellington Hospital in London today. He is recovering in the intensive care unit without any cardioventillatory support.

In a speech yesterday King Siaosi Tupou V of Tonga has said that it might take two years to reform the semi-feudal political system of the country. Previously the government said the reforms would be introduced in 2010.

May 30th

Sixty letters written by Grand Duchess Olga of Russia, the youngest sister of Czar Nikolaj II of Russia, to her sister Grand Duchess Xenia between 1916 and 1920 will be auctioned in London next week. Estimated is that they are worth $150,000. The letters are being described as “unseen and unread outside the immediate family”.

May 31st

A team of Japanese archaeologists, led by Professor Hideki Harunari, from the National Museum of Japanese History think they have identified the final resting place of Queen Himiko, who ruled the Yamatai kingdom in the third century. The researchers presented their evidence today at the 75th annual meeting of the Japanese Archaeological Association. The burial mound in the town of Sakurai will likely never be excavated. The Imperial Household Agency doesn’t give permission, as Emperor Akihito is descending from the Queen.

June 1st

The Brazilian imperial family confirmed that 26-year-old Prince Pedro Luiz was on board of an airplane of Air France that is believed to have crashed in the Atlantic Ocean. The airplane, carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members, is thought to have crashed between Brazil and the coast of Africa after hitting stormy weather four hours after the start of the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Shortly afterwards, late on Sunday evening Brazilian time, an automatic message was sent reporting electrical faults. The airplane hasn’t been found yet. The prince had been on vacation at his family in Brazil, and was on his way back to Luxemburg, where he worked at a bank.

17-year-old Manohara Odelia Pinot has returned to her parents in Indonesia. The former model says her husband, Tengku Temenggong Mohammad Fakhry, a prince from Kelantan, Malaysia, treated her as a sex slave. She says he raped, tortured and abused her. The family says they will press charges against the prince. They will also blame the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia for trying to cover up the alleged abuse. Manohara Odelia Pinot managed to escape her husband’s family this weekend when they were in Singapore, where her father-in-law underwent medical treatment. The Kelantan royal family hasn’t commented. Manohara Odelia Pinot has filed for a divorce, her mother said.

June 3rd

Former King Constantine II of Greece has been discharged from the intensive care unit of the Wellington Hospital in London. He is recovering well from the cardiac surgery that took place on 29 May.

June 4th

Grand Duke Jean of Luxemburg was admitted to a hospital for a few days of observation. The Grand Duke has problems with the circulation of the blood.

Daniel Westling, fiance of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, was released from the Karolinska hospital last night. He was afterwards driven to the Drottningholm Palace. Doctors are very surprised how fast he recovered from his kidney transplantation surgery.

The constitutional court in Czechia has rejected a complaint by Princess Sophie von Hohenberg. The Princess among others claimed the return of the Konopiste Castle, which was owned by her great-grandfather Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, who was assassinated in 1914. Both the courts in Benesov and Prague, as well as the Supreme Court decided against the Princess. They said she didn’t clearly specify what property she wanted back, as she listed land and real estate based on dates from the 1920s. The lawyer of Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, Jaroslav Broz, says that they are prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

June 5th

Only days after she took a cheap flight from Madrid to London to visit her brother former King Constantine II of Greece, Ryanair launched an advertising campaign in which Queen Sofia of Spain appeared with the slogan “Fly like a monarch” and “Queen Sofia flies low cost”. The half-page advertisement was published in the Spanish press last week. Ryanair announced it would donate € 5000 to a charity of the Queen’s choice, to show their gratitude. The Royal Palace in Madrid said to be annoyed and surprised, as Ryanair hadn’t asked for permission to use the Queen’s name. They say: “They are making improper use of the Queen’s image. We are not going to get involved with this advert or any donation coming from the improper use of the image of Doña Sofia.” A spokesman said today that the palace wants to take legal action. Ryanair stopped the campaign immediately. Ryanair says: “We apologise if this caused Queen Sofia any offence. We simply wanted to thank the queen for travelling with us. We didn’t highlight it. We simply thanked her.”

Professor Hisashi Owada, the father of Crown Princess Masako of Japan, received two honorary degrees, in art and in law, from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Professor Owada is president of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands. Professor Owada’s wife, Mrs Yumiko Owada, was also present.

June 6th

At 10am Princess Madeleine of Sweden opened the south gates to the Royal Palace in Stockholm on the occasion of national feastday. This year’s theme is the Bicentenary 1809, to mark the 200th anniversary of the separation of Finland from Sweden. Yesterday the exhibition about this theme at the palace was opened by King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Crown Princess Victoria celebrated national feastday at Skänninge, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia visited Eskilstuna. In the evening the family attended celebrations at Skansen, Stockholm.

Today almost the whole Dutch royal family, apart from Prince Friso and Princess Aimée, visited the exhibition about Queen Juliana at Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn. Queen Beatrix was to open the exhibition on 30 April, Queen’s Day, but because of the attack on the family that day, the opening was cancelled. The family also received about hundred people who had been busy with the organisation of Queen’s Day. Also this meeting would normally have taken on 30 April.

June 7th

Prince Edward Colombus Wambuzi was installed today as the new Kyabazinga of the Busoga Kingdom, Uganda. The ceremony took place at the headquarters of the kingdom in Bugembe. Seven of the eleven hereditary chiefs who choose the Kyabazinga didn’t turn up for the ceremony. Prince Edward Colombus Wazumbi’s election on 31 October was controversial. A legal battle is still going on.

June 8th

Yesterday a majority of the Danes voted “yes” in a referendum about a change of the succession law. They wish that the monarch’s firstborn child, whether it is a boy or a girl, will become the heir to the throne. Changes to the law of succession must be passed by two successive parliaments, and confirmed by a referendum in which at least 40% of the electorate must vote. On Sunday about 59% of the electorate showed up. 45,8% of the electorate (85,4% of the real voters) voted in favour of a change of the succession law. 7,9% voted against, and 5% voted blank. 41,3% didn’t vote at all.

Grand Duke Jean of Luxemburg has returned to Fischbach Castle after having spent several days in hospital. The doctors say the medical check-up was satisfactory.

June 9th

A forensic expert today said that a medical examination confirmed Manohara Odelia Pinot was physically abused. Manohara claims her husband Tengku Temenggong Tengku Mohammad Fakhry, prince of Kelantan, abused her during their marriage. Her lawyer said today: “The medical examination has been completed and the result confirmed that there is physical abuse all over her body. Her story has proven to be true.” Manohara today formally lodged a written report on the abuse with the Indonesian police. Apart from her husband, she has named six others, including the Sultan of Kelantan and his wife, as accomplices.

Silvano Orsi has lost his court battle at the supreme court in Switzerland already on 26 May. Sheikh Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi was convicted in July 2008 for hitting Mr Orsi in the face with a belt after Mr Orsi declined a bottle of champagne the Sheikh offered him in a hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2003. A court of appeal in Geneva quashed the conviction of inflicting bodily harm in March 2009, because the belt was not a dangerous object. Mr Orsi afterwards appealed to the Federal Tribunal to reinstate the conviction, which was rejected today. Mr Orsi is ordered to pay 2000 Swiss francs in court costs. Mr Orsi now wants to bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

June 10th

King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan today celebrated the 10th anniversary of the King’s accession to the throne. They drove through the streets of Amman today, cheered by thousands of Jordanians. The main ceremony took place in Amman Stadium. Queen Rania wore the same dress she had worn at the accession to the throne. 12.000 to 15.000 Jordanians attended the ceremony, as well as several members of the royal family. During the ceremony air shows took place over Amman, and a documentary was screened in the stadium.

China has announced it will start a new excavation near Xian on Saturday to find more terracotta warriors. It will be the third excavation in this pit since the first army of warriors and horses was found in 1974. China hopes to unravel the many unresolved mysteries of the pit.

June 11th

Prince Henrik of Denmark celebrated his 75th birthday today. Already yesterday he and Queen Margrethe II invited their guests for a lunch on board of the royal yacht Dannebrog. In the evening there was a concert of the DR Symfoniorkestret. Today, in the early morning, Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe II greeted well-wishers from a window of the castle, wearing nightwear. Later on a parade with the Kongelige Livgardes Musikkorps, the Garderhusarregimentets Hesteskadron, the Prinsens Musikkorps and the Danske Soldaterforeningers Faner was held outside Fredensborg Castle. Birthday guests attended a lunch at the Orangery of Fredensborg Castle, and in the evening a gala dinner was held at the castle itself. Apart from members of the Danish royal family among others also Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, Prince Dimitri and Princess Dorrit Romanoff, the Duke and Duchess of Orléans, the Duke and Duchess of Castro, Prince Wilhelm and Princess Ilona zu Schaumburg-Lippe were present. PPE pictures: Early morning serenadePPE pictures: Musical paradePPE pictures: Gala dinner

According to a poll by Rambøll for the newspaper Jyllands-Posten only 29,8% of the Danes think Prince Henrik of Denmark has done a good job as Prince Consort. 30,7% thinks he even has done a poor job. 44,6% thinks Prince Joachim of Denmark is doing a good job. According to the poll Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is the most popular royal. She received an approval of 81,3%. With 80,4% Crown Prince Frederik is a bit less popular than his wife Crown Princess Mary who got an approval of 82,2%. Princess Marie only scored 36,6%.

Former King Constantine II of Greece has left the Wellington Hospital in London today. He had cardiac surgery on 29 May. He is doing well, and looks forward to visit Greece again as soon as possible.

June 12th

The Prince of Wales has refused to appear in a BBC documentary to mark the 40th anniversary of the ceremony that invested him with the title Prince of Wales. Several family members will be interviewed for the documentary. The documentary will cover the two days before the investiture aas well as the event itself.

The sentence of Nasrah Al Shamery, who was given a two-year sentence in jail in April for insulting the Emir of Kuwait, has been suspended. She is to return to Australia, where she and her family live. Mrs Al Shamery had lodged an appeal in court only last week.

Tengku Temenggong Tengku Mohammad Fakhry, prince of Kelantan, Malaysia, denied that he has abused his wife Manohara Odelia Pinot, who returned to her native country Indonesia some weeks ago. She told media she had been abused by her husband. On Thursday the prince filed a police report against his wife and her mother for making false allegiations, his lawyer said today.

June 13th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain celebrated her official birthday today with the traditional Trooping the Colour parade in London. She took the salute during the military parade at the Horse Guards parade ground. Later on she and many family members watched the traditional flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands reopened the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. The palace underwent extensive renovation and restoration of the interior in the past 3 1/2 years. On Sunday the palace is open again to the public. After the renovation of the outside of the palace, it will also be used again for state visits. The palace will show a presentation of the activities.

June 15th

Prince Ernst August of Hannover appeared in court at Hildesheim, Germany, today. In a one-hour-long statement, read by his attorney Hans Wolfgang Euler, the prince says he did hit Kenyan hotel owner Josef Brunlehner, but he denies he used anything else but his hands. The prince himself had asked for a retrial in the hope to have the charge and sentence reduced. In 2004 he was convicted of causing serious bodily harm and fined € 445.000. The hotel owner said the prince had punched him with a metal ring and shouted abuse at him.

June 18th

Archduke Otto of Austria fell from the stairs at his home in Pöcking am Starnberger See, Germany last weekend. He was admitted to hospital in Murnau with head injuries. A spokesman says he is recovering well and is expected to leave hospital later this week.

June 19th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Dimitri Medvedev, president of Russia, opened the new Hermitage museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The museum is a dependance of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Also the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands were present. Tomorrow the museum will be open for the public. The first exhibition is called “At the Russian Court. Palace and Protocol in the 19th Century”. It displays more than 1800 items from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Carlos Morales Quintana, the husband of Princess Alexia of Greece, was questioned today by a judge at the Canary Islands, Spain, a statement from the Canaries High Court said. He had to give evidence to the judge for five hours about influence-Peddling. Carlos Morales Quintana is an architect. So far 21 people, including politicians and businessmen, have been questioned this month at Lanzarote, Canary Islands, for alleged involvement in the corruption affair. Prosecutors say kickbacks were paid for municipal contracts.

June 21st

Today, on their national feastday, Greenland celebrated the expansion of its powers of self rule, after having been ruled by Denmark for 300 years. The celebration in the cathedral at the capital city of Nuuk was attended by Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, who wore traditional Inuit costumes. Queen Margrethe II haded over the self-rule documents to Josef Motzfeldt, the chairman of the parliament of Greenland. In a referendum in November 2008 the Greenlanders made known their wish for more autonomy.

June 22nd

In a press conference in Washington, USA, Reza Pahlavi, shah-in-exile of Iran, today warned for the consequences for the Middle East and the rest of the world if the popular uprising in Iran is crushed. He urged media and Western governments to stand strongly alongside the protest movement in Iran. He said that the defeat of the protest movement would threaten global stability and could even lead to nuclear war. The movement protests against the outcome of the presidential elections 10 days ago.

June 23rd

On the occasion of National Feastday Grand Duke Henri of Luxemburg has granted his daughter-in-law Tessy de Nassau the title Princess of Luxemburg with the style of Royal Highness. His grandsons Gabriel and Noah have become Prince of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness. The Grand Duke’s 18-year-old daughter Alexandra has become chevalier in the Order of the Golden Lion of the House of Nassau.

In a letter published on his website former King Norodom Sihanouk says he has been treated successfully for cancer for the third time. Last December he announced he had cancer again, B-cell lymphoma. He was treated in China.

June 24th

Earl Spencer and his former wife Caroline were denied a blanket ban on publicity in the media about their battle for a divorce settlement at the High Court, Mr Justice Munby ruled yesterday. The hearing was expected to last all week, but today it became known that the couple and their lawyers have opted to settle the divorce out of court to avoid details of their lives being revealed in the press. The couple has already been granted a decree nisi in March 2007. The decree absolute hasn’t been granted yet, because the couple so far hasn’t agreed about the division of their assets.

June 25th

Australian Nasrah Al Shamery, who spent six months in jail in Kuwait for insulting the Emir of Kuwait, claims she was brutally beaten and starved during her imprisonment. She was sentenced to two years in jail, but was released from prison after she appealed to the ruling. She returned home to Australia last week. Mrs Al Shamery denies she has ever insulted the Emir.

June 26th

Amnesty International urged Thailand today to open the trial of Darunee Charnchoengsilpakul. The political campaigner and supporter of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was charged with lese-majeste in July 2008. Judge Prommas Phoo-sang on Tuesday decided to ban media and public from attending the trial for reasons of national security. Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific director of Amnesty International, says: “When a judge closes the doors on a trial it significantly raises the risk of injustice taking place.” The trial will resume on 28 July.

Chancellor Alexander Zakatov said at a press conference today that Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, her mother Grand Duchess Leonida and her son Grand Duke Georgi want to return to Russia. They wish to be able to take part in cultural and charity events, to strengthen the Russian civil society. They also want to work on the development of legal bodies.

June 29th

Princess Alexia of the Netherlands celebrated her 4th birthday on Friday. Today she started Kindergarten. Her parents the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima broguht her to the Bloemcampschool in Wassenaar, together with Princess Amalia who already attends the school. As the summer vacation will already start in two weeks, Alexia will for now only attend two days to get used to school a bit.After the Summer vacation she will attend school regularly.

The Danish royal court has released several cute pictures of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie with their newborn son, and the princes Nikolai and Felix. They were taken by Steen Brogaard.

Accounts of Buckingham Palace show that the costs of the British royal family have increased from 66 to 69p per person in the financial year 2008/2009. The total costs of the monarchy have increased by £1.5 million to £41.5 million. The total costs of the Queen’s Civil List were £13.9 million in 2008. The royals spent £6.5 million on travels. The most expensive journeys were the overseas tours of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Westminster Abbey in London will undergo its first major building work for 250 years. The £23m development is hoped to be completed by 2013, the year of the 60th coronation anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

July 1st

Princess Christina of the Netherlands has become a grandmother for the first time. Her eldest son Bernardo Guillermo and his wife Eva Prinz-Valdes had a daughter, Isabel Christina, already on 13 April, the family announced today. They civilly married in March 2009, and will marry in church in September. 31-year-old Eva Prinz-Valdes is a senior editor at Harry N. Abrams in New York. The couple met in 2005.

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxemburg finished his studies in political science at the university of Angers, France. He started his studies in 2002 in England, then studied in Switzerland, and since 2007 in France.

Last weekend Archduchess Walburga of Austria was chosen as the new president of the political party Europäische Frauenunion (European Women’s Union).

July 2nd

King Abdullah II of Jordan has named his eldest son Prince Hussein as Crown Prince as of today.

Archduke Otto of Austria has been released from hospital after a two-week stay and is back home at Pöcking am Starnberger See, Germany. A spokeswoman said he is on the way of recovery. He was injured on his head after a fall at his house.

July 3rd

The Norwegian royal court today released new pictures of the crown princely family with their new family addition, the four-month-old labradoodle Milly Kakao. The photos were taken at Bygdø Kongsgård at Oslo on 27 June. Picture gallery

July 5th

Prince Floris and Princess Aimée van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven had their second daughter today at 2.50pm at the VU Hospital in Amsterdam. Eliane Sophia Carolina weighed 4050 gramms. The couple is very happy with the birth of their healthy daughter. The couple already had a daughter, Magali, who was born in 2007. Eliane is the tenth grandchild of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven.

July 6th

Former King Simeon of Bulgaria has announced today that he will resign as leader of the National Movement for Stability and Prosperity. He is taking the responsibility for it that his political party lost in the recent elections in Bulgaria.

July 7th

The body of Prince Pedro Luiz de Orléans e Bragança was identified one week ago. The prince died on 1 June in an Air France airplane crash above the Atlantic Ocean. He was buried yesterday afternoon at the Cemitério de Vassouras at Rio de Janeiro, next to his grandfather Prince Pedro Henrique de Orléans e Bragança. A private mass, led by the abbot emeritus of the Mosteiro de São Bento, D. José Palmeira Mendes assisted by Padre Jorjão, was attended by family and friends.

July 8th

This morning Prince Floris van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven registered the birth of his daughter Eliane Sophia Carolina at Amsterdam. Prince Floris said that the name Eliane means “sun”, and that his newborn daughter is the sun in their house. The grandparents have already seen their new granddaughter, apart from Pieter van Vollenhoven who is on vacation. The RVD today also released two pictures of the prince and his two daughters Magali and Eliane.

July 10th

Buckingham Palace launched their own Twitter account, @BritishMonarchy, after several weeks of testing. The account has been set up as a news service and will provide details of royal engagements and information about the activities of the members of the British royal family. Neither Queen Elizabeth II nor other members of her family will Twitter personally.

The Duke and Duchess of Vendôme (France), who married early May, announced that they are expecting their first child.

July 12th

Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced today that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh are planning to visit Canada officially in 2010 for the 25th time since 1953. The last visit was in 2005. Details and dates haven’t been announced yet.

July 14th

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden celebrated her 32nd birthday today. She appeared outside Solliden Palace at the Island of Öland together with her fiancé Daniel Westling, and by her parents King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. Wearing a lilac summer dress she received cheers and gifts from the many well wishers. Daniel Westling said he is doing well after his kidney transplant. Later on several artists peformed at the Borgholm sports ground.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan have completed a 13-day visit to Canada. This morning a reception was held at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. They were cheered by many people, mainly Japanese Canadians. Their visit marked the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Canada. Their visit took them to Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria.

July 15th

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan have arrived at Hawaii, USA yesterday for a three-day visit. After arrival they visited Kapiolani Park. Today they visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater, where they laid a wreath in honor of the people who are interred there. Afterwards they attended a state luncheon and a Waikiki banquet celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation.

Queen Rania of Jordan was appointed as Honorary Global Chair of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative. She was appointed as a recognition of her efforts to promote access, quality and innovation in education all over the world. In her new function she will continue to advocate on behalf of girls who are denied an education. Queen Rania said to be very honoured to be appointed.

July 18th

Umberto, son of Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Apulia, and Princess Olga of Greece, was christened today at Giuggianello, Lecce, Italy today. His godparents were Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy (represented by Princess Bianca of Savoy) and Carlo Radicati di Primeglio. The ceremony was led by the parish priest of Giuggianello and Prince Alexander of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Pictures and article

Prince Gabriel de Orléans e Bragança married Luciana Guaspari at the Igreja da Imperial Irmandade de Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro in Rio de Janeiro.

July 20th

The yearly photo session of the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands with their daughters Amalia, Alexia and Ariane took place at the beach of Wassenaar this morning. Pictures: Royal PortraitsPictures: Royal Press Europe

Asylum has been granted in Great Britain to a married Saudi Arabian Princess who has an illegitimate child with a British man she had met while visiting London. She gave birth secretly in Great Britain. The Princess told the judge she would face the death penalty when returning to Saudi Arabia. She remains anonymous.

July 21st

The Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure last week again received a death threat, in which someone said he wanted to kill Queen Fabiola with a crossbow on National Day. Despite of the threat she appeared with the rest of the Belgian royal family at the celebrations today. At the end of the military parade she took an apple from her handbag to provocate the person who threated her, a reference to William Tell. Because of the threats security was tightened this day than in previous years.

The Malaysian prince Tengku Temenggong Tengku Mohammad Fakhry is suing his wife Manohara Odelia Pinot for claiming her husband tortured her during their one-year marriage. He filed a defamation suit in the High Court of Malaysia, and seeks $30m in damages from her and her mother. Earlier he also petitioned for a divorce.

July 23rd

The Netherlands has returned the remains of the 19th century Ashanti King Badu Bonsu II to Ghana. Today the declaration of transfer was signed by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen and Ahante-tribal chief Etsin Kofi II in The Hague. The transfer took place in presence of a delegation of Ahanta-tribal chiefs, among them a great-great- grandson of Badu Bonsu II. The tribal chiefs performed a short ceremony. Badu Bonsu II was handed over by his own people to the Dutch rulers after he had killed two Dutch envoys in 1838. The king was sentenced to death and hanged. His head was removed, put in formaldehyde, and taken to the Netherlands, where it was part of the academic collection of the Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum. The tribal chiefs will return to Ghana with the head on Friday.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia today flew to Morocco to pay a visit to Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. The Crown Prince left Saudi Arabia for medical treatment in November 2008. He hasn’t returned home since. The King wishes “to visit and inquire after the health of Crown Prince Sultan”, it was reported from Saudi Arabia. Afterwards he will take a short vacation.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar of Nepal said that the Nepalese government will restore the house at Tribhuvan Sadan, in which King Birendra and his family were killed for eight years. King Gyanendra, Birendra’s brother, after the massacre ordered the demolition of the house. Only one small brick wall remains now.

July 25th

A 24-year-old Dutchman, better known as the Vegan Streaker, was arrested last Monday on suspicion of planning to attack Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, because she wears fur. Action might have been taken on the basis of a tip by his former girlfriend. The animal rights activist was released today as the public prosecution department didn’t find evidence that he really planned an attack.

Prince Christian zu Schaumburg-Lippe married Lena Giese at Glücksburg Castle shortly after noon. The civil wedding already took place on Friday. Among the guests were Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe, as well as members of the families Schaumburg-Lippe and Schleswig-Holstein. The groom is a grandson of Princess Feodora of Denmark. Pictures: Royal Press Europe

July 26th

In the late afternoon the son of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark was christened at the church of Møgeltønder. He received the names Henrik Carl Joachim Alain. His godparents are Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Benjamin Grandet, Charles Cavallier (half-brothers of Princess Marie), Britt Davidsen Siesbye and Christian Scherfig. Among the guests were apart from the closest family, among others also Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg with his girlfriend Carina Axelsson, Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth with their children, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and his girlfriend Tatiana Blatnik, Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie af Rosenborg, Countess Marina af Rosenborg, Count Carl Johan and Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg, Michael Iuel and his wife Désirée née Princess zu Schaumburg-Lippe. Pictures: Royal PortraitsPictures: Royal Press Europe

July 28th

Saudi Arabian media say Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud is doing well. Second deputy prime minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud has told the Cabinet that the Crown Prince is convalescing at his residence in Agadir, Morocco.

July 29th

The Association of the Romanov Family has decided it is not the right time to appropriate money for the reburial of the remains of Tsarevich Alexej and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia right now in this time of crisis, a spokesman for the family said today.

July 30th

The attorney of the Dutch government will send letters to several Dutch media and to the Associated Press because they breached the privacy of the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands and their three daughters during their vacation. Several media published pictures of the family during their skiing holiday at Villa La Angostura in Argentina. That is not allowed according to the Dutch mediacode.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco celebrated his 10th anniversary on the throne today with parades and fireworks. Yesterday he therefore pardoned 24.865 prisoners and commuted 32 death sentences.

Ayesha Gayatri Devi, Maharani of Jaipur (India) died at Jaipur yesterday. She was 90 years old. The funeral took place today at the cremation grounds of the royal family in Jaipur. The Maharani had been admitted to hospital with stomach and respiratory problems about ten days ago. She was born in 1919 as a member of the royal family of Cooch Behar and in 1939 she became the third wife of the Maharajah of Jaipur, Sawai Man Singh. She was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, and supported education for women. she became a member of parliament in 1962 and was reelected twice.

July 31st

The German publishing house Klambt has to pay 400.000 Euro in damaged to Princess Madeleine, the court of appeal in Hamburg decided today. The judge ruled the Princess had been the subject of a campaign of “reckless” gossip. Magazines of the publishing house had published articles with a wide range of false information and claims about Madeleine’s life and living habits. The judge ruled the articles, published between 2000 and 2004, were “unequivocally untrue”, and said that the damages awarded was an attempt to create a “major inhibiting effect” on the other gossip press. A lower court had previously rewarded the Princess 300.000 Euro. The Swedish royal family will donate the money to charity.

August 1st

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain arrived at Mallorca for their annual summer vacation, only two days after a bombing by the ETA killed two policemen on the island. King Juan Carlos told the press that he feels “happy and safe” on the island, but also said: “We must go on and on hitting them [ETA] in the head and we must fight to stop them.”

August 3rd

The Moroccan magazines TelQuel and Nichane have been banned, after having commissioned for a survey on the 10-year anniversary of the accession to the throne of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, togethre with the French newspaper Le Monde. The Interior Ministry said that the magazines had been seized for violating the media code in Morocco. The magazines insist that the results of the survey were positive, and that 91% of the people questioned had said they were positive or very positive about the reigh of King Mohammed VI.

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum of Dubai has been banned by the International Equestrian Federation from riding endurance races for six months. The Sheikh also has to pay $ 4200 in fines and legal costs. The Sheikh’s horse Tahhan had twice failed doping tests early this year. Horse trainer Abdullah bin Huzaim has admitted he gave the horse drugs without knowledge of the Sheikh, and has been banned for a year and fined also. The FEI is still looking into another doping case. The horse of Sheikh Hamdan – a son of Sheikh Mohammed – also tested positive in January.

August 5th

The Prince and Princess of Asturias and their daughters Leonor and Sofía posed for pictures during their vacation at Mallorca. Picture gallery – PPE

Princess Irene of the Netherlands celebrated her 70th birthday today in private. Yesterday evening a documentary about her was shown on Dutch television. She said that the most difficult thing about being a princess for her was the separation between the people and herself. In daily life she uses the name Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld, and says it makes a big difference whether she answers the phone as Princess Irene or Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld. She says she is only a princess when she has to be, when it fits with the family or special occassions.

Sheikha Hissa bint Salman Al-Khalifa, mother of King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, died today. Funeral prayers will be held tomorrow at the Sheikh Isa bin Salman Mosque in Manama, Bahrain.

A team of Bulgarian archaeologists say they have found the tomb of a Bulgarian Princess in the courtyard of the St. Peter and St. Pavel church in the town of Veliko Turnovo last week. The princess was found wearing luxurious clothes and excellently crafted jewellery. The archaeologists think the grave dates back to the 14th century, or maybe even earlier. The excavations on the site started in June. The discovered artefacts will be exhibited at the history museum this autumn after having been restored.

August 6th

The Dutch Government Information Service today confirmed that they are taking the American news agency Associated Press (AP) to court, on behalf of the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima. The lawsuit will take place on 14 August. The service says AP has broken the Dutch mediacode, by distributing pictures of the couple and their children during their vacation in Argentina. Last week the Government Attorney sent several letters to Dutch media and AP, who had published the pictures. The Dutch media promised not to publish such pictures again. AP however didn’t think they did anything wrong.

Prince Aristidis-Stavros of Greece was christened today at the Aghioi Anargiroi monastery at Ermioni, Greece. Among the guests were Queen Sofia of Spain and her daughters Elena and Cristina with children, as well as Cristina’s husband Iñaki Urdangarín.

August 7th

Italian Archaeologists think to have found the remains of the villa in the Roman city of Falacrine, northeast of Rome, where Emperor Vespasian was born. He was emperor from 69 to 79 AD. The villa clearly belonged to a wealthy family.

August 8th

Prince Philippe of Belgium returned from his vacation in France to visit the old people’s home “Kannunik Triest” in Melle, Belgium. Nine occupants died in a fire on Thursday evening. The Prince talked to other occupants, family members of the victims and people who helped rescueing. The prince appeared with a beard. Belgians are curious to find out whether this is a vacation-look, or that he will keep it a bit longer.

The Durban magistrate’s court has postponed the trial of Prince Sifiso Zulu to 16 September yesterday. The prince’s car was involved in a hit-and-run accident in which two people were killed and ten people were injured. The prince faces seven charges, but denies he was driving the car.

August 9th

Jewellery worth about $16 million has been stolen from a Saudi Arabian princess on the Italian island of Sardinia. The thiefs gained entry to her hotel in Porto Cervo, and ripped the safe from the wall, in which the jewellery was kept. The Italian police is investigating the theft.

August 11th

The Swedish royal court this morning announced the engagement of Princess Madeleine with her longtime boyfriend Jonas Bergström. The Swedish government has approved the marriage at an extraordinary meeting today. King Carl XVI Gustaf had already given his approval to the couple. An engagement dinner, attended by both families, will be held tonight at Solliden. Jonas Bergström was born at Danderyd on 23 January 1979, as third son of Claes and Elisabeth Bergström. He has two elder brothers: Peder and Ted. Since 2006 he works as an associate lawyer for a law firm in Stockholm. At the press conference at Solliden Castle in the late afternoon Princess Madeleine proudly showed her engagement ring to the press. Jonas Bergström proposed to her on 12 June during their vacation at the Italian island of Capri. The couple met for the first time when Madeleine only was 17 years old, but their relationship only started a couple of years later. They have been a couple for more than seven years now. Jonas said he fell for Madeleine’s “beautiful blue eyes and her wonderful laugh”. Madeleine said about Jonas that she also loved his eyes and said: “He is also the nicest person in the world, a wonderful friend.” She said: “Getting engaged feels like a natural step”. They have been able to ask for advice from Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling, who became engaged earlier this year. A wedding date hasn’t been set yet, but it is thought the wedding will take place late 2010 or early 2011. After the wedding Jonas Bergström will become Duke of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.

On Saturday evening Prince Laurent of Belgium was admitted to a hospital on the Italian island of Sardinia, where he was on vacation with his family. Already upon arrival on Wednesday he had a fever and was coughing, but his situation became worse on Saturday. He and his family flew back to Belgium on Sunday evening, where the prince was taken to the Saint Luc Hospital in Brussels. It was feared that he might have the swine flu, but it turned out he has a pneumonia. He is doing well now and is expected to be able to leave hospital soon. He got the illness from his daughter Princess Louise, who is doing fine again after a bronchopneumonia.

August 12th

Prince Laurent of Belgium has left hospital today. He drove home with his wife Princess Claire.

August 14th

Today the rule nisi of the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands against the American press agency Associated Press took place at court in Amsterdam. In a statement read by their lawyer Henk Jan Boukema the princely couple said that they feel that their family life is being damaged very much by the publication of holiday pictures of their family. They said: “It causes unacceptable pressure on our children.” The court ruling is expected in two weeks.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is one of the six new candidates for the membership of the International Olympic Committee. The prince and the other five candidates – from Oman, Nigeria, St. Lucia, Burundi and Sweden – will be up for election at the IOC session in October in Copenhagen. He is to replace Danish IOC-member Kai Holm. Frederik says he will avoid mixing politics and sports.

Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al-Maktoum of Dubai has been suspended of riding in horse endurance races for ten months. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5000. In January his horse tested positive for anabolic steroids. His father was recently also banned for six months after one of his horses failed drug tests.

August 18th

Fürst Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein has angered German Jews. In an interview to the Liechtenstein newspaper Liechtensteiner Volksblatt he said: “We and Switzerland saved many people, especially Jews, with banking secrecy. Germany should clean up its own act, and think about its past.” He noted that some Jews had been able to fled with the help of their bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The general secretary of the German Central Council of Jews, Stephan Kramer, said: “It is historically incorrect for him to portray Liechtenstein as a merciful helper of the Jews.”

No less than seven members of the Pahang royal family of Malaysia are recovering from swine flu. Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Isandariah Sultan Iskandar – wife of Tengku Mahkota Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah -, her five children and her sister Tunku Mariam Zaharah Sultan Iskandar were admitted to the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Kuantan, Pahang, on Friday. They were expected to be discharged from hospital today.

August 19th

Forbes magazine published its yearly list of most powerful women in the world today. The list is headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. There are also three royals in the top 100. The highest ranked royal is Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain on place 42. Queen Rania of Jordan is ranked on place 76, while Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates is ranked 95th.

August 20th

Two men who had stolen a memory stick with holiday pictures of Prince William of Wales and his girlfriend Kate Middleton from the car of Kate’s sister Pippa in London on 29 August 2008 have been sentenced today by the Kingston Crown Court. The two men said they had found the memory stick in a gutter, but admitted the theft. They had tried to sell the pictures to the newspaper The Sun. They both have to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, and each have to pay £125 court costs.

The federal government announced this week that the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg will receive €155 million. The foundation is planning an investment plan to restoration and improvement of some of the properties that are under its care. Included are the New Palace in Potsdam, Babelsberg Palace and Charlottenburg Palace. A spokesman of the foundation said yesterday: “This money means not just the restoration of the palaces, but also the improvement of the experience the visitors who come to the grounds. We hope that the renovations themselves will attract visitors. These are the biggest restorations happening right now in Germany and by leaving the buildings open to the public, we hope the guests can appreciate what restoration means.” The state of Brandenburg has contributed another €53 million, while the city of Berlin contributed €24,5 million.

August 22nd

The Swedish royal court announced that the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling on 19 June 2010 will be officiated by Archbishop Anders Wejryd. He will be assisted by leading court clergyman and retired bishop Lars-Göran Lönnermark, Bishop of Lunds Stift Antje Jackelén and canon Åke Bonnier of the Stockholms domkyrkoförsamling.

August 25th

An official visit to Libya by the Duke of York early September has been cancelled. Reason is the hero’s welcome Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi received when returning to tripoli last week.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway yesterday visited the Norwegian troops in Afghanistan. It is not known which bases he visited, and for security reasons the visit was only announced after the visit had ended.

August 26th

King Mohammed VI of Morocco was admitted to the Royal Palace clinic, where he is treated by Professor Abdelaziz Maaouni. He is suffering from a rotavirus infection and digestive signs and acute dehydration. According to the Ministry of the Royal Household, Protocol and Chancellery his health condition is not worrying. The king is said to need a five day convalescence.

August 28th

The Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands have won their court case against the American press agency The Associated Press. AP is no longer allowed to sell four images of the princely couple and their children during their skiing holiday in Argentina at the end of July. The couple said to be happy about the verdict. AP however is disappointed and is reviewing the ruling and thinking of further steps. The court ruled that the Dutch royal Mediacode of 2005 “can’t be regarded as a binding agreement”, but that the Dutch royal family has the same right to privacy as other people. The court ruled that AP has to pay the court costs and ordered AP to pay € 1000 for each further publication of the images.

On the occasion of the 10th birthday of Prince Nikolai, the Danish royal court released a series of pictures.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia has been taken to hospital in Jeddah after suffering minor wounds in a suicide bombing. The bomber had approached the sheikh claiming he wanted to give himself up as a terrorist. While he was being searched he detonated his explosive vest. The Sheikh in recent years led the campaign of his father, Sheikh Nayef – an halfbrother of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia – against al-Qaeda terrorists. King Abdullah visited his nephew in hospital soon after the attack. The Sheikh was released from hospital soon afterwards.

Daranee Charncherngsilapakul, a 46-year-old Thai woman, has been jailed for 18 years for insulting the Thai royal family. She was convicted on three counts and sentenced for six years on each count. She had been making speeches during three rallies in favour of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in June and July. The woman testified that she didn’t intend to insult the monarchy.

A treasure trove full of jewels that was found in the Swedish government archives has been returned to the family. The items were deposited at the Swedish embassy in Saint Petersburg in 1918 by Grandduchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia. They were smuggled to Stockholm later on. The grandduchess died in 1920 without telling anyone. The trove was only found back last year when the foreign ministry moved its archives. The items are to be auctioned off by Sotheby’s in London in November 2009. The treasure includes about 60 jewel-encrusted gold and silver cigarette cases and cufflinks by Faberge and Bolin. They are thought to be worth around $ 2.8 million.

August 29th

A real royal wedding took place at Andechs monastery in the south of Germany today. Prince Lukas von Auersperg married Princess Alice of Bavaria early in the afternoon. Witnesses were Princess Auguste of Bavaria, Cordula Rommel, Benedikt Wressnig, Count Felix zu Clam-Martinic, Freiherr Maximilian von Heine-Geldern and Constantin Gussich. Flower children were Princess Odilia of Bavaria, Valerie, Elisabeth, Marie-Blanche, Louis, Maximilian Terberger and Prince Leopold of Bavaria. Among the guests were Duke Franz of Bavaria, Duke Max and Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria with their four younger daughters and three son-in-laws, Prince Leopold and Princess Ursula of Bavaria, Prince Manuel and Princess Anna of Bavaria, Prince Rasso and Princess Therese of Bavaria, the Duke and Duchess of Bragança, Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis and Princess Alix de Ligne, as well as members of the families Croy, Arenberg and Liechtenstein. After the wedding a reception took place at the monastery. The wedding dinner and ball were held at Leutstetten Castle.

August 30th

King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Laeken Castle with a garden party for couples who married on the same day as them, 2 July 1959. Also invited were couples who married on 22 September 1984, 4 December 1999 and 12 April 2004. Reason was that also the 25th wedding anniversary of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, 10th wedding anniversary of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde and the 6th wedding anniversary of Prince Laurent and Princess Claire were celebrated. The guests were amused with theatre. The royal couples were accompanied by the four children of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde. Unfortunately an accident overshadowed the celebrations. Two guests were severely injured and two others slightly injured when two horse-drawn carriages, on their way to the reception in the glass house, collided when horses that were pulling one of the carriages started galloping out of control.

Two burglars tried to break into a house in Shropshire that is shared by Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales, who are both trainig at the RAF base in Shawbury. The two princes weren’t home. The property is under 24-hour armed guard. The robbers were arrested within seconds and cautioned with conspiracy to commit burglary. It is thought they were not aware of it who lived in the house.

The man who tried to kill Sheikh Mohammed bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia earlier this week came from Yemen, the minister of foreign affairs of Yemen said yesterday. Online al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing and says that Abdullah al-Asiri had flown on the plane of the Sheikh from Yemen.

September 1st

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg underwent surgery at the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc at Brussels, Belgium. The surgery was performed by Professor Jacques Donnez, a gynaecologist. The long planned operation went well and without complications. When she returns home she will need several weeks of rest.

The Kingdom of Rwenzururu has been officially recognised by the government of Uganda. The coronation of Prince Charles Mumbere will take place on 19 October 2009, President Museveni of Uganda announced on Sunday during the 25th anniversary of South Rwenzori Diocese at St Paul’s Cathedral in Kasese.

September 2nd

The Danish tv-channel DR last night aired a documentary on the occasion of the 10th birthday of Prince Nikolai of Denmark. The documentary shows an active boy, who has lessons in tennis, piano and French, and plays the bass.

Philip Williams, a senior officer of the Metropolitan Police has said that the phones of Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales might have been hacked into by Clive Goodman, a reporter of the newspaper News of the World. There is no evidence to back the claims, but it was suspected. The allegiations haven’t been brought up during the investigation into Goodman in 2007, when he was jailed for hacking voicemails of royal aides.

Prince Radu von Hohenzollern-Veringen has withdrawn from the Romanian presidential race, he announced today. He said: “I withdraw with regrest, but with hope for the future.” He says he lacks broad support from the political establishment and other groups in Romania.

September 3rd

Two new three-generation photos of King Harald V, Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway were released. They were taken on 28 August 2009.

King Albert II of the Belgians has appointed Count John Cornet d’Elzius as advisor of Prince Philippe as of 1 September 2009. He was already his advisor from 2000 to 2004.

Former King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia has returned to China after a stay in Cambodia. In China he will have routine medical tests and treatment. The King was diagnosed with cancer for the third time this year.

September 4th

Three investigations of the attack on Queen’s Day 2009 in Apeldoorn were presented this afternoon. The motive of Karst Tates will never be known, it was said. Shortly after the attack, policemen talked to the attacker. He said he intended to hit the royal family, but it isn’t clear if he also wanted to kill them. He called the Prince of Orange a fascist and a racist. It is thought he didn’t know there were people standing on that part of the crossing, but he also didn’t do anything to prevent hitting them. He had surveyed the area earlier that day, but at that time there was no public standing on that spot. If there had been no public, the attacker likely would have hit the royal bus. On Thursday Fred de Graaf, mayor of Apeldoorn, said that he will not again invite the royal family to visit Apeldoorn on Queen’s Day, and he also thinks the royal family wouldn’t feel much for the idea either.

September 5th

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg has left hospital this morning, and has returned to Berg Castle, where she will work on her recovery.

Bernardo Guillermo, eldest son of Princess Christina of the Netherlands, married Eva Prinz-Valdes religiously at the Our Lady Queen of All Saints Church in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Their daughter Isabel Christina, who was born on 13 April 2009, was christened during the wedding ceremony. The civil wedding already took place in March 2009. Among the wedding guests were both parents of the groom Jorge Guillermo and Princess Christina, Nicolas Guillermo, Juliana Guillermo, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Princess Marilène van Oranje-Nassau van Vollenhoven, Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme and Tjalling ten Cate, Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme and Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme. PPE Pictures

Hereditary Prince Carl-Christian zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich married Countess Christina Douglas religiously at the Marienstiftskirche in Lich, Germany. The service was led by pastor Sven Kießling and pastor Adelheid Groten. Witnesses were Countess Nathalie Hoyos, Celina von Luttitz, Caroline Liljenqvist and Prince Christian-Albrecht zu Sayn-Wittgenstein- Hohenstein. Afterwards a reception took place at Lich Castle. Among the guests were Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Prince Stephan and Princess Maria zur Lippe, Hereditary Prince Heinrich Donatus and Hereditary Princess Floria-Franziska von Hessen with children, Fürst Albrecht and Fürstin Marie-Luise zu Castell-Castell, Fürst Franz-Alexander von Ysenburg, Hereditary Prince Alexander von Isenburg, Hereditary Prince Carl-Ferdinand and Hereditary Princess Elna-Margret zu Bentheim und Steinfurt with son Jonathan, Fürst Alexander and Fürstin Gabriele zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, Fürst Philipp and Fürstin Leonille zu Stolberg-Wernigerode, Fürst Wolfgang-Ernst and Fürstin Leonille zu Ysenburg und Büdingen, Prince Maximilian and Princess Sophie zu Ysenburg und Büdingen with their children, Princess Felizitas zu Ysenburg und Büdingen, Prince Metfried and Princess Felicitas zu Wied, as well as many direct family members of the bridal couple. The couple already married civilly at the Thonetschlössl in Vienna, Austria, on 13 December 2008. Their son Louis was born on 5 September 2008. The bridal couple lives and works in Vienna.

Prince Edouard de Ligne de Tremoïlle religiously married the Italian actress Isabella Orsini at the church of Antoing, Belgium today. The civil wedding took place at Antoing on Wednesday. Expected was that the bride’s godfather, Italian president Silvio Berlusconi would come to the wedding, but he was too busy with his work. Zimbio: pictures

September 6th

Prince Hisahito of Japan celebrated his third birthday today. According to the Imperial Household Agency the healthy prince is 94 cm tall and weighs 13,6 kilo. He likes lively activities, like riding a tricycle, playing ball and chasing. The Agency further said he recently learnt to eat and change clothes by himself.

September 7th

Fragments of the relics of Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna of Russia were transferred to the St Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow today. In a ceremony led by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the relics were placed on the icon stand in the centre of the church. They will be placed in a shrine bearing her image. Since 1921 the relics were kept in the Cathedral of St Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem. The Grand Duchess founded the Convent in Moscow in 1909.

September 8th

The engagement was announced between Count Christian Bernadotte and Christine Stoltmann. The couple became engaged during the summer holidays in Sweden. The couple met two years ago. Count Christian studies philosophy and sociology at the University of Konstanz. Christine Stoltmann works as a nurse in Münsterlingen, Switzerland. She was born at Duderstadt, Germany, in November 1977. The marriage will take place in the Summer of 2010.

September 11th

Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor became the parents of a second son on 8 September. The baby was born at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, Great Britain. The Italian website, that seems to have connections with Lady Nicholas Windsor’s family, says the baby’s names are Leopold Ernest Augustus Guelph.

September 12th

Lord Frederick Windsor married actress Sophie Winkleman today at the Chapel Royal of Hampton Court Palace near London. The chapel was decorated with white and pale pink flowers including roses and jasmine garlands. The bride wore a dress of silk duchesse satin and silk taffeta designed by Roza Couture with a three-metre train. The bridesmaids were Matilda Thykier, Eloise Taylor, Iris Goldsmith, Countess Tatiana Szapary, Matilda Hubble and India Balfour. Lady Gabriella Windsor read from the Song of Solomon. In the late afternoon a champagne reception took place at the Great Hall of the palace. Among the 400 guests were Princess Eugenie of York, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Lady Helen Taylor, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, Laura Lopes née Parker Bowles and singer Bryan Adams. On Sunday the bridal couple took the plane to Los Angeles, where Sophie is soon to start a new filming job. Pictures: Getty Images

September 13th

The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands ended their visit to New York today. They visited New York on the occasion of the celebration of NY400, which is held to commemorate 400 years of friendship between the Netherlands and the USA. The visit focused on the area of Battery Park and the Hudson River. The princely couple among others also visited the military academy West Point, Albany, Ground Zero and Governors Island. They also attended the Four Freedom Awards ceremony and several dinners. Highlight of the US visit was the couple’s visit to the White House in Washington, where the couple was officially received by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Also president Barack Obama shortly came in to greet the princely couple.

September 15th

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden opened the parliamentary session at Stockholm today. He was accompanied by Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. The session began with a service at the cathedral of Stockholm. Afterwards the family drove by carriage from the royal palace to the Swedish Parliament. In the evening the family attended a concert at the Royal Opera House.

Also in the Netherlands the parliamentary year was opened. Queen Beatrix, the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima travelled in the golden carriage from the Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal in The Hague. Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien, Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven came in another carriage. After returning to the palace the family briefly appeared on the balcony, loudly cheered by the public.

September 16th

Ulrich Habsburg-Lothringen and his daughter-in-law Gabriele have lodged a complaint against the Austrian constitution. They say it is a shame that members of the imperial family of Austria are not allowed to become candidates in presidential elections. They say this law is against the equality of rights law and the right to free and democratic elections. The lawyer of the two family members, Mr Rudolf Vouk, said: “We are awaiting an answer from the government within four weeks.” All members of the former imperial family of Austria, also the ones who married into the family, are included in the law that was made after the fall of the monarchy in 1918. The law also includes all royals from other families with the Austrian nationality.

September 17th

Several Dutch politicians have urged the government to cut the royal budget by 20% or freeze the apanages of the Dutch royal family, to set an example in these times of financial crisis. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende however said: “We have just agreed on the terms of the royal budget. In good times their allowances grow with the salaries of the civil servants, in other times they take a cut.” He also said that two trusts used by Princess Christina of the Netherlands will soon move away from Noordeinde Palace, the office of her sister Queen Beatrix. The Princess has put the money she inherited from her parents in the Daffodil and the Crocus Trust, which are based in Guernsey. So far she used Noordeinde Palace as its seat.

In the past week several magazines reported that the marriage of Princess Caroline of Monaco and Prince Ernst August of Hannover is over, and that the couple are seeking a divorce. The French magazine Paris Match wrote that Princess Caroline had moved back to Monaco and had left the couple’s residence in Fontainebleau near Paris. The princely palace of Monaco has denied the rumours today and say: “The information is absolutely false and baseless.”

September 18th

Today the 1094-page book “Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother: the Official Biography” by William Shawcross was published. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain asked Mr Shawcross herself six years ago to write the official biography about her mother. He was given access to the thousands of letters the Queen Mother wrote during her lifetime and he received unrestricted access to the Royal archives at Windsor Castle. The biography among others reveals that the Queen Mother suffered from colon cancer in 1966 and was successfully treated. It also reveals that the Queen Mother thought that King Edward VIII was “bemused with love” when he abdicated in 1936, and that nobody could persuade him to reconsider his decision to give up the throne and marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. The biography further reveals that Princess Margaret of Great Britain has destroyed letters from the late Diana Princess of Wales in a bid to protect the British royal family.

About 800 Nepalese monarchists demonstrated in the streets of Kathmandu today. They carried a petition, which they said was signed by more than two million people. They demand a formal referendum to decide on the fate of the monarchy before the new constitution of Nepal is completed. They think the people should be consulted about the move of the country from a Hindu monarchy to a secular republic.

September 20th

Pieter Anton Maurits Erik van Vollenhoven, the son of Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven was christened today at the chapel of Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn. The service was led by Ds. E.C. Roos. The godparents were Pieter van Vollenhoven, Prince Maurits van Oranje-Nassau, van Vollenhoven, Jonkvrouw Anouk van Doorn and Mrs Sandra Chollet. The christening was attended by most members of the family apart from Queen Beatrix, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima and the children of Princess Christina. The christening decoration will be on display at the chapel of Palace Het Loo until 27 September. Pictures: Marianne van Dam

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand underwent a second check-up in four days at the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok. The King arrived at the hospital late on Saturday. He also visited the hospital on Wednesday for a routine check-up. According to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva there is no need to worry: “There is no problem with His Majesty’s condition. From my chats with doctors, there is nothing to be concerned about. The medical panel will issue a statement this evening.” The royal household announced that doctors said that the King was suffering from a fever, fatigue and loss of appetite. He is being treated with intravenous drips and antibiotics.

King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia has returned to Cambodia. He arrived in Beijing, China, on 3 September to accompany his parents former King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Norodom Monineath, who went to China for medical tests.

September 21st

Princess Máxima of the Netherlands has been named the new Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon of the United Nations. Mr Ban said: “Your extensive knowledge and expertise makes you a perfect choice for this important undertaking. You will be able to work for the well-being of so many people who need our hands, who need your hands and who need the United Nations.” He said to hope that Máxima’s advocacy will make a tremendous difference.

The Thai royal household office issued a statement about the condition of King Bhumibol Adulyadej saying: “In the past 24 hours His Majesty had less fever but he still has a loss of appetite. The medical team is still giving him antibiotics and nutrients.”

September 22nd

The Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra Mrs Ogilvy and Prince Michael of Kent are to sell family treasures worth an estimated £1 million at auction at Christie’s in London in November 2009. The silverware, paintings, jewellery and furniture belonged to the previous Duke of Kent, Prince George, and his wife Marina.

September 23rd

Valery Giscard d’Estaing, former president of France, has denied rumours that he once had an affair with Diana, Princess of Wales. His novel called “The Princess and the President” about a romance between a French leader and Princess Patricia of Cardiff is to be published next month. The heroin is clearly based on the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Giscard d’ Estaing said: “I invented the facts, but not the places or the interiors. It is a novel where Princess Diana is the main character. I tried to bring her back to life as she was when we met. Let’s not exaggerate things. I knew her a bit in a climate of trust.” He said that the princess however had given him the idea for the book, and that the inscription of the book, “Promise kept”, was meant for the late princess.

Princess Eugenie of York has started her studies at the University of Newcastle today. She will take a three year Combined Studies degree in English literature, history of art and politics.

Prince Dominik von und zu Liechtenstein died on 20 September at Vienna aged 59. He was the eldest child of Prince Karl Alfred von und zu Liechtenstein and Archduchess Agnes of Austria. The funeral will take place at Vaduz on 2 October 2009.

September 24th

King Mohammed VI of Morocco had his Aston Martin flown from Rabat to Great Britain to get it repaired. He chartered a Hercules transporter from his air force for the transportation to Cranfield. A truck took the car to the workshop of Aston Martin in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

The Thai royal household bureau said today that King Bhumibol Adulyadej is recovering and is eating more. He no longer has a fever and has been given physical therapy to help him regain strength.

Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy is to stand trial on bribary charges. The proceedings will begin on 21 December at Potenza, Italy. In June 2006 the Prince spent a week in jail and a month under house arrest. He was questioned back then over allegiations of rigged slot machines installed in casinos with back-handers. He was also thought to have supplied glamorous East European escorts to Mafia mobsters. Prosecutors in Rome soon dropped the case, but prosecutors in Potenza continued the probe, and decided now that there is enough evidence to send the prince and five others, including his private secretary Gian Niccolino Narducci for trial. The judge thinks the prince should be tried for conspiracy to commit crime and corrupting public officials. The prince’s lawyer said: “My client regrets this decision but he expected nothing less – however he remains confident that the truth will emerge in the face of such painful accusations. There is very little consistence to these allegations.”

Prince Ertugrul Osman Effendi of Turkey, who would have been the Sultan if Turkey still had been a monarchy, died of kidney failure in a hospital in Istanbul yesterday, aged 97. He was born in Istanbul in 1912. In Turkey he was known as the “last Ottoman”. He was the last surviving grandson of Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Turkey, who ruled from 1876 to 1909. The family was expelled from Turkey in 1924 and the prince moved to New York in 1933. He returned to Turkey in 1992 for a visit and was granted Turkish citizenship in 2004. He married secondly in 1991 Zeynep Tarzi Hanim Efendi, a member of the royal family of Afghanistan.

September 25th

Count Christian af Rosenborg, a cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, has been diagnosed with throat cancer. He is being treated at the hospital in Gentofte, Denmark. The royal court doesn’t want to give more information at the moment.

September 26th

The Count and Countess of Paris were married religiously today at the église Saint-Jean-Baptiste de l’Uhabia at Arcangues, France. The bride wore a purple dressThe count of Paris and Micaela Cousiño y Quiñones de Léon married in a civil ceremony at Bordeaux on 31 October 1984. The count was granted an annulment of his first marriage to Duchess Marie-Therese von Württemberg by the Catholic Church in February. Most family members of the couple didn’t attend the wedding as a token of protest. Among the about 130 guests were the Duke d’Anjou and the Duchess of Cadaval, the countess d’Evreux, Prince Alexandre and Princess Lea of Belgium. The witnesses of the groom were the Count de La Panouse, the Duchess of Segorbe née Princess Maria da Gloria de Orleans e Bragança and the Duke d’Uzès. The witnesses of the bride were the Countess de Bourbon Busset, the Duchess de Magenta and Marquess Michel d’Arcangues. PPE Pictures

Prince Ertugrul Osman Effendi of Turkey was buried in the garden of the mammoth Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul today. His funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners, among them Turkish state ministers, artists and media. Even the family of the deceased were stunned about the huge crowd of mourners.

September 29th

The Duchess of York has signed a contract with a major American company that will turn her six more recent children’s books into films that will run as a series. The Duchess didn’t reveal the name of the film company yet.

In a statement the Royal Household Bureau of Thailand said that the overall condition of King Bhumibol Adulyadej has improved. They say that a chest X-ray found that lung inflammation has reduced.” The doctors continue to treat the king with antibiotics and nutrients intravenously. The king’s temperature returned to normal on 22 September, but returned a few days later. The fever is lower now, the statement said.

September 30th

The annual budget for 2010 of the Spanish royal family has been frozen because of the recession. Like in 2009 they will receive 8,96 Million Euro.

Archaeologists believe they have found the fabled rotating banqueting hall of Roman Emperor Nero in the remains of the Golden Palace on Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy.

October 1st

In an interview last week in the Norwegian magazine Massiv Ari Behn, husband of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, sounds rather depressing, and says that generally he is chronically depressed. He says his daughters help him to stay positive, and that his family is the finest in the world. He fears most that he won’t manage to raise his daughters to be independent, wise individuals with critical empathy and a sense of reality. He says also he is difficult as a husband.

The civil wedding of Igor Bogdanoff and Amélie de Bourbon-Parme, illegitimate daughter of Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parme and Laure Le Bourgeois, took place today at the townhall of the 16th arrondissement in Paris, France. The party is to take place at Chambord Castle on Saturday.

October 3rd

Karl-Philip Prinzhorn married Countess Anna von und zu Eltz at the parish church at Altaussee, Austria, today. The bride’s parents are Count Alexander and Countess Maria von und zu Eltz. The groom is the son of Thomas Prinzhorn and Countess Therese zu Hardegg, and a stepson of Fürst Karl von Schwarzenberg.

Princess Thobile Dlamini of Swaziland, daughter of Prince Sobandla, married Linuyisa Magagula at the Summerfields Botanical Gardens in Swaziland today. Bridesmaid was the bride’s sister Princess Bhekiwe. The couple already has a daughter, Lamlela, who acted as flower girl.

Queen Fatima Al-Shifa Al-Sinousi of Libya, one of the wifes of the late King Idris Al-Sinousi of Libya, died today at hospital in Cairo, Egypt. She will be buried at Medina, Saudi Arabia. She was born in 1911. She and her husband had to leave Libya in 1969, and both never returned.

October 5th

Prince William Nadhiope Gabula IV has been elected as the new Kyabazinga of the Busoga Kingdom, Uganda, a year after the death of the previous Kyabazinga, Henry Wako Muloki. He was elected by nine of the eleven royal chiefs in Jinja town, the other two royal chiefs didn’t attend the election. Edward Columbus Wambuzi, the late Kyabazinga’s son, took over the office after his father’s death, but now has to hand it over. The election was however held in defiance to a court decision that the election shouldn’t be take place until all cases regarding the legality of the election of Edward Columbus Wambuzi were concluded. The enthronement of Prince William Nadhiope Gabula IV is set to take place at Bugembe on 26 October.

October 6th

The Luxemburg Grand-Ducal court issued new official pictures of the Grand-Ducal family on the occasion of the 9th throne jubilee of Grand Duke Henri.

October 7th

The engagement was announcement between Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme, eldest son and heir of the Duke of Parma and Princess Irene of the Netherlands, and Annemarie Gualthérie van Weezel. The marriage is to take place in 2010. Annemarie Cecilia Gualthérie van Weezel was born in The Hague, Netherlands, on 18 December 1977 as daughter of Hans Gualthérie van Weezel and Ank de Visser. At the moment she is parliamentary editor for the NOS television in The Hague. Her father was a Dutch politician and is a former Dutch ambassador in Luxemburg.

October 8th

After a lengthy debate in the Second Chamber about the costs of the monarchy, following weeks of criticism, the Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende came with a few proposals. He said that in the future only members of the royal family who receive an apanage of the government – presently Queen Beatrix, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima – should be allowed to use the government plane and other transportation for private use for a certain amount of hours. Now also other members of the Royal House can make use of it. He also wants to see if it is possible that the right of the royals to donate without paying taxes, can only be limited to the monarch, the heir to the throne and eventually their partners. It became also clear that the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima are not going to quit the building project in Mozambique, where they are building a new vacation house. Balkenende says he has always been informed well by them about the situation.

Scientists who have researched the “cursed blood” disorder that afflicted the descendants of Queen Victoria of Great Britain in the 19th and early 20th century say in the journal “Science” that they have found the identity. They say it was probably a severe form of the blood clotting disorder haemophilia B. They examned DNA samples from the skeletal remains of the Russian Imperial family. The research was led by Dr Evgeny Rogaev of the University of Massachusetts.

October 9th

Princess Ariane of the Netherlands was admitted to the Gelre hospital in Apeldoorn on Thursday evening with an infection of the bronchial tubes. She was released from hospital this morning. Her mother Princess Máxima stayed with Ariane the whole night and cancelled an appointment today.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark was choosen a member of the International Olympic Committee this morning on the last day of the 121st IOC-session in Copenhagen, Denmark. 77 members voted in favour of him, nine members said no, and six members didn’t vote. He received the congratulations from other members and was even hugged by his now double colleague the Prince of Orange.

October 10th

The Thai Royal Household Bureau said today that the general condition of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is stable. He is also starting to eat and sleep better.

Albania announced yesterday that it wants to have the remains King Zog of the Albanians and Mother Theresa returned to Albania. King Zog is buried at the Thiais Cemetery near Paris, after he died in exile in France. If his remains would be returned, he would be reburied at the private cemetery of the royal family near Tirana.

October 11th

Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands celebrated his 40th birthday today. A big private party with noble and royal friends took place at Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague on Saturday. The Dutch royal court released new pictures of the Prince and his family.

King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians attended the canonisation of five new saints at the Vatican today, including the Belgian priest Damiaan. They were received by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday and also had a brief meeting with him after the canonisation on Sunday.

Prince Moulay Rachid, brother of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, fell ill on a flight from Casablanca to Paris. Afterwards he was admitted to a hospital in Paris for the necessary medical examinations. His condition is said to be “stable and not giving rise to any concern”. The nature of his illness wasn’t announced.

October 12th

Rumours that Prince Kiril and Princess Rosario of Bulgaria have marital problems has been confirmed by the Prince’s father former King Simeon II of Bulgaria. The couple has already been living separated for some time, but are not considering an official divorce. The couple married in 1989 and have three children.

October 13th

A book written by Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein was published by Frank P. van Eck Verlagsanstalt in Triesen, Liechtenstein. The book is called “The State in the Third Millennium” and is written in English.

October 14th

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg appeared in public again for the first time after her gynaecological operation a few weeks ago. She briefly appeared on the side of her husband Grand Duke Henri for an official picture at the first day of the state visit of Mary McAleese, president of Ireland. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume accompanied his father and the Irish guests.

October 15th

An official of the Royal Household Bureau today said that the health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand is improving. The official said: “His Majesty’s condition is improving and he does not need further medical treatment other than physical therapy which may take a long time. Now what he simply needs is exercise to help ease fatigue.”

October 16th

It was revealed today that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her family will celebrated Queen’s Day 2010 in the province of Zeeland. They will visit the village Wemeldinge and the town Middelburg. The day before the Queen and other member of the family will reveal a monument to remember the victims of the attack on Queen’s Day 2009 in Apeldoorn.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco arrived in Paris, France, on Wednesday for a private visit. He visited his brother Prince Moulay Rachid who was taken to hospital in Paris a week ago, but was released from hospital after three days. Already on Sunday it was announced that medical check-ups revealed his health is normal. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and his wife Carla Bruni hosted a reception in honour of the King at the Elysée. The reception was also attended by the King’s siblings Prince Moulay Rachid, Princess Lalla Meryem, Princess Lalla Asmaa and Princess Lalla Hasna.

October 18th

The Royal Household Bureau last night said that the lungs of King Bhumibol Adulyadej are still inflamed, and that the doctors administered a new dosage of antibiotics. His fever has lessened and he has been able to eat and sleep well.

October 19th

In Uganda 56-year-old Charles Wesley Mumbere officially became the new Iremangoma (King) of Rwenzururu during rituals at the palace in Kasese last night and this morning. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda was present and addressed the parliament of Rwenzururu today. The kingdom was recently restored by the president, who says traditional institutions are restored in areas where the people ask for it. Charles Wesley Mumbere inherited the title from his father on 19 October 1966, but was banned in 1967. The coronation could take place now because the kingdom was recognised by the Ugandan government. He lived in the USA for nearly 25 years.

October 20th

According to a new book called “Royale Rejser-bag kulisserne med de kongelige” (Royal Travels-Behind the Scenes with the Monarchy), by John Lindskog, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will hand over her position to Crown Prince Frederik on her 70th birthday (16 April 2010), and retire to France with her husband. She would be the first Danish monarch to abdicate. In a reaction the Danish royal coursts says that the Queen has no plans to abdicate. The Queen herself has said several times in interviews in the past that she would never abdicate.

On the occasion of her 75th birthday today Empress Michiko of Japan has written down her thoughts looking back over the past year. Thoughts by Her Majesty

October 21st

Queen Fabiola of the Belgians will not appear in public anymore in the near future. According to the royal palace she isn’t ill, but still tired. They say she needs rest and is still recovering from the pneumonia she suffered in January. She last appeared in public on 31 July.

October 23th

The Duchess of York has sold the TV and merchandising rights to her children’s books. The buyer is HandMade Films. It is thought the Duchess sold the rights to pay off her debts.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej made his first public appearance since he was hospitalised on 19 September. Doctors pushed his wheelchair at the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok. Today was a public holiday to commemorate the death of King Chulalongkorn of Thailand. The King also paid homage to his late parents and visited an exhibition about his mother in the hospital. Before returning to his hospital room he also visited a bookstore. The Royal Household Bureau says that his health is “stable”.

Karl-Theodor Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg will become Minister of Defence in the new German government of Angela Merkel. Since February 2009 he was Minister of Economic Affairs.

October 26th

Tuanku Muhriz ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir, was installed as the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan (Malaysia) today in the Balairong Seri (throne room) of the Istana Besar Seri Menanti. He was proclaimed the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Besar on 29 December 2008, two days after the death of his uncle. The royal regalia were put up in the compound of the Istana Besar Seri Menanti by 99 ceremonial guards on 22 October, and in that night a tahlil session and reading of the Yasin were held at the Tuanku Munawir Royal Mosque there. The “Raja Kita” exhibition was held on 24 October, followed on 25 October by the royal bathing ceremony. A concert was held today. A royal dinner will be held tomorrow at the Dewan Banquet in the Istana Besar Seri Menanti. And on the 28th there will be a people’s feast and a dinner with the people. Other festivities like fireworks and a cultural carnival take place on October 29, while a float procession will take place on 30 October. The installation was attended by the Crown Prince and Crownprincess of Brunei Darussalam and the Crown Prince of Kelantan. The Dewan banquet was among others attended by the Sultans of Brunei, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Terengganu and Selangor, as well as by the crown princes of Kelantan and Perlis.

The District Administrative Court in Sofia decided that wood can be cut in the Forest Estate in Borovets, that was restored to former King Simeon II of Bulgaria and his sister. The royals had appealed when the court banned the wood-cutting early October.

Archduchess Gabriela of Austria has been appointed by President Saakashvili as the new ambassador of Georgia to Germany. The appointment has still to be approved by the Georgian parliament. The archduchess holds the Georgian nationality, and has been teaching in the Academy of Arts in Tbilisi since 2001.

October 27th

Prince Hermann Otto zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich “Hermann Otto Solms” has been chosen as one of the new vice-presidents of the newly chosen German Bundestag (Parliament).

October 28th

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands today presented her first children’s book “Mr Finney en de wereld op zijn kop” (Mr Finney and the world upside down) in Rotterdam. The book was illustrated by Sieb Posthuma. The book is to be the first in a series of books about Mr Finney. The main theme of this book is the environment.

October 30th

King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway have been vaccinated against the swine flu, the royal court in Norway confirmed. Sven Gjeruldsen of the royal court said: “This has been done as they meet many people via their work.”

Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand told the audience outside the Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok today that her father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand is doing well. She said: “I wanted to tell everyone that the king’s condition has significantly improved. I think soon he will regain his strength and return to the palace. He has no fever and is continuing to get physical therapy. He can stand up and walk with a walker. He practises walking every day.”

92-year-old Prince Mikasa of Japan, an uncle of Emperor Akihito, was hospitalised in Tokyo today after he was diagnosed as having suffered a minor cardiac arrest. He is expected to stay in hospital for about one week. He was also hospitalised in June for acute heart failure.

November 1st

Queen Margrethe II, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary have started a state visit to Vietnam. They will among others visit the former family home of Prince Henrik, who spent the first five years of his life in Vietnam, which was then called Indochina. In 1950 he returned to complete secondary school in Hanoi.

Two people have been arrested by the Thai police for allegedly spreading false rumours about King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand’s health. A former stock trader was charged with feeding false information through a computer system, undermining the national security. The other person arrested posted a message on the health of the King on a website. The king is in hospital since half September.

November 2nd

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have started an 11-day tour to Canada. They will visit four provinces and eleven communities. The visit starts in Newfoundland and Labrador where the couple will stay until 4 November. From 4 to 6 November they will visit Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and from 6 to 9 November they are in British Columbia. Ottawa and Petawawa, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec will be visited from 9 to 12 November.

Prince William of Wales is to make his first overseas trip next year. From 17 to 19 January 2010 he will visit Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand. Afterwards he will pay a three-day unofficial visit to Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. In Wellington he will open the Supreme Court building.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej made his second public appearance this evening since he was hospitalised six weeks ago. He was accompanied by family members and several nurses.

November 3rd

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands have started a four-day state visit to Mexico. They will spend two days in Mexico- City. On the third day they will visit the province Guanajuato. On the last day they will visit the pyramids and ruins of Teotihuacan.

Philipp von Lattorff and his wife Tatjana née Princess von und zu Liechtenstein had their sixth child on 30 October 2009. Sophie Katharina Maria was born in Goldgeben/ Hausleiten, Austria. They already had Lukas (* 2000), Elisabeth (* 2002), Marie (* 2004), Camilla (* 2005) and Anna (* 2007).

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nayhan of Abu Dhabi was re-elected as president of the United Arab Emirates for a second five-year term yesterday. The president and the vice-president are chosen by the Supreme Federal Council, made up of the rulers of the seven emirates of the UAE.

A third person was arrested for spreading false rumours about the health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the Thai police said. He was posting false information on the Internet.

November 4th

Queen Silvia of Sweden, together with the Royal Court Parish and Chief Court Chaplain Lars-Göran Lönnermark, has compiled a book with about hundred prayers. The book “Drottning Silvias bönbok” will be published at the end of November. King Carl XVI Gustaf has also contributed with photographs.

The new government of Bulgaria has filed a court claim against former King Simeon II of Bulgaria today. They want to have back all the forest in the Rila Mountain that the country returned to the former king in the past years. They also want 5 million levs ($3.77 million) in compensation for trees that have been cut down in these forests. The agricultural ministry says that the intend to protect the state’s interests.

November 5th

Tengku Temenggong Mohammad Fakhry, prince of Kelantan, has won a defamation suit against his soon ex-wife and mother-in-law for alleging he had sexually abused his wife. The women failed to file a defence, the Prince’s attorney said.

November 6th

The princely palace has filed suit against American private detective Robert Eringer. Mr Eringer claimed in an interview to the magazine Paris Match last week that he has run a service called the “Monaco Intelligence Service” from 2002 to 2007. He said that he reported directly to Prince Albert II of Monaco, whom he claims to have met in 1991, and infiltrated local media on his behalf. Mr Eringer has filed suit in California and is accusing Prince Albert II for wrongful contract termination. The princely palace has denied the story.

Prince Mikasa, uncle of Emperor Akihito of Japan, has left hospital. He underwent a week-long treatment for minor heart trouble. He is in good condition, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud caught the swine flu, but says he is feeling well again and has made a full recovery. He only discovered he had the swine flu after undergoing medical tests, he says.

Princess Stephanie von Hohenzollern, daughter of Prince Ferfried and his former wife Angela Wepper née von Morgen, and Martin Haag, whom she recently married, had their first child, Konstantin, likely on 1 November.

November 8th

In a recently discovered letter from 15 August 1955 written by the late Princess Margaret of Great Britain to the then Prime Minister Anthony Eden, the Princess writes that she wouldn’t see her boyfriend Peter Townsend until October. She wrote: “I am not going to see him during this time but in October I shall be returning to London, and he will then be taking his annual leave – I do certainly hope to see him while he is there. But it is only by seeing him this way that I feel I can properly decide whether I can marry him or not.” She thought to be able to inform him about her decision by November 1955. It was always thought that Princess Margaret had decided not to marry Peter Townsend under pressure and because Queen Elizabeth II, the court and others opposed. In a statement on 31 October 1955 Princess Margaret finally decided, saying: “Mindful of the Church’s teachings that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before others.”

November 9th

The Constitutional and Electoral Commission of Tonga has, in its final report to propose a new system of government, recommended that the monarchy should be stripped of its powers to select. The King and the Privy Council should no longer be a part of the Executive. A new system of government is to be introduced in Tonga in 2010.

November 10th

The Norwegian royal palace said today that Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit have signed on to the social networking site Facebook. They are already keeping people uptodate about their activities via Twitter. Facebook: KronprinsparetTwitter: Kronprinsparet

The tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun of Egypt will undergo a five-year cleaning and restoring project, Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said. During the first two years the causes of deterioration will be determined. Afterwards will follow three years of implementation. It is not known yet how long the tomb will be closed for the public.

November 11th

Property from the late Prince George, Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent and their families are being sold at Christie’s in London on 20 November 2009. The lots that are being sold

November 12th

17-minute 3D reel of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has been found back by the son of one of the two cameramen. It had gone lost in the national archives. Cameramen Bob Angell and Arthur Wooster, who are still alive, were invited by Queen Elizabeth II last year to obtain contemporary 3D footage at a garden party at Buckingham Palace and the Highland Games. The old and new scenes, all in colour, will be shown at Channel 4 on Monday in the documentary “The Queen in 3D”. Free 3D glasses can be collected at Sainsbury stores.

Emperor Akihito of Japan commemorated the 20th anniversary of his enthronement. Tens of thousands of well-wishers gathered outside the Imperial Palace to cheer the Emperor. The anniversary was commemorated with parades, concerts and speeches. On 6 November Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko already held a press conference at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. In the interview the Emperor said to be concerned that the Japanese people will forget their past. He also said that his late father, Emperor Hirohito had opposed that Japan entered World War II, and was in favour of peace. Emperor Akihito said: “He had taken to heart the importance of maintaining peace. It is my perception that the events that led to war must have been contrary to what he would have wished.” Address of the EmperorPress Conference

Japanese archaeologists believe to have found the Yamatai palace of warrior Queen Himiko near the city of Sakurai, which was the former Japanese capital of Nara. Queen Himiko died around 248AD. The building is almost 300 square metres big. Hironobu Ishino, director of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Archaeology said: “A building cluster that is placed in such a well-planned manner is unprecedented in Japan at that period in time.” Nearby there is a huge traditional keyhole-shape tomb, which could be Himiko’s grave.

November 14th

The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands and their daughters Amalia, Alexia and Ariane attended the arrival of St Nicholas in Scheveningen today. PPE PicturesRoyal Press Europe Pictures

November 15th

Queen Fabiola of the Belgians appeared in public again today for the first time since July. She attended the traditional Te Deum in the cathedral of Brussels on the occasion of the King’s Feast. Also other members of the Belgian royal family attended.

November 16th

Queen Silvia of Sweden’s prayer book was launched at the Royal Chapel in the Royal Palace of Stockholm today. The book is a collaboration between the Royal Court Parish and the Verbum Publisher. The book contains prayers for various occasions and even new prayers that have been written especially for the book. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has taken pictures for the book. 10 Swedish crowns from the sale of each book is donated to support vulnerable children.

Two Dutch journalists of the TV-programm “Undercover” have exposed security flaws at Palace Noordeinde, work palace of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Posing as workers for a renovation company the two managed to enter the grounds of the palace on October 22 without any problems. They had a fake bomb in their car. The two journalists walked around freely and managed to enter the stables. The case will be investigated. Dutch politicians are shocked by the weak security.

November 17th

Kitín Muñoz, husband of Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, presented his new book “El Moussem de Tan Tan” at the Casa Árabe in Madrid, Spain, today. Among the guests was Princess Irene of Greece.

November 18th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain opened the Parliament today. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh. The State Opening of Parliament is the most colourful event of the parliamentary year. Queen Elizabeth arrived by carriage, wearing her crown.

Yesterday jewels that once belonged to the Russian imperial family were sold at auction at Sotheby’s in Geneva, Switzerland. A sapphire and diamond brooch and a pair of clip earrings from Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna was sold for $ 478.215, which was three times as much as estimated.

November 19th

Never-seen-before pictures of the British royal family, probably taken by a member of the staff of Buckingham Palace in 1951, are being sold at auction in Colchester, England, next week. Among the photos are pictures of Prince Charles and Princess Anne as small children. Prince Charles is shown sitting on a statue of a stag, while his parents and grandparents are watching.

Several royals arrived in Stockholm for a two-day-visit on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, hosted by Queen Silvia of Sweden. Today’s jubilee concert was attended by among others King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Beatrix of the Netherands, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg, Queen Paola of the Belgians, Queen Sofia of Spain, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia. Also Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine attended, both with their fiancés.

In Monaco national day was celebrated today. Absent was Prince Ernst August of Hannover, husband of Prince Caroline, adding to recent rumours that the couple has split up. The family attended the traditional thanksgiving mass in the cathedral of Monaco, before appearing on the balcony of the princely palace.

Prince Jean d’Orléans, Duke of Vendôme and his wife Philomena announced the birth of their son Gaston. He was born in Paris early this morning.

November 20th

Heirlooms of Prince George, Duke of Kent, and his wife Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, realised £2.080.713 today at auction at Christie’s. The highest price was paid for a pair of mahogany hall benches, that fetched £187.000. Two William IV silver wine coolers fetched £121.250. A red silk chair and footstool that were used by the Duke of Kent during the coronation of King George VI of Great Britain in 1937, despite of all the interest, failed to match its reserve price.

The Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima announced today that they will sell the holiday villa in Mozambique once it has been completed. There has been lots of criticism on the villa in the parliament and from the people. The couple had hoped to help the development of the local population by taking part in the building project. They don’t wish that the negative publications about their participation will overshadow the favourable developments of the area.

At the age of 63 the former King of Nepal, Gyanendra, has been given his first passport, the government said on Friday. The government said they issue a diplomatic passport to all former head of states and heads of government, so they also issued one to the former king. They say they had received a formal request a few weeks before. As head of state the king didn’t need travel documents in the past.

November 24th

Archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has presented a project for recreating the 10th century palace of Tsar Simeon I The Great in Veliki Preslav, Bulgaria. A replica of the palace will be build of light materials. Furthermore the restoration and preservation of the remains of the real palace and the royal basilica will be continued.

November 25th

The lawyers of Infanta Elena of Spain and Jaime de Marichalar announced today that the couple has filed for a divorce and have both signed the divorce papers “of mutual agreement” earlier this week. The couple “maintains a fluid dialogue on all matters relating to the common interest of their children.” They also both “testify to the affection and regard that the family of Her Royal Highness the Infanta holds towards Don Jaime, as has been clear over the last two years.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain is launching a new bid to put an end to the ancient succession laws in the country, which ban Catholics from becoming a monarch. The Act of Settlement dates from 1701. Brown said the law is outdated. He thinks most people recognise the need for change. He also likes to reform so that male heirs no longer have priority in the royal line of succession.

The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands have bought two hectare of land on the edge of a lake in Villa La Angostura, Argentina, earlier this year. It is not clear if the couple is going to build a new vacation home there or that it is an investment.

November 26th

The first pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Vendôme and their newborn son Gaston were taken at their appartment in Paris. Also the Duke’s mother, the Duchess of Montpensier, was pictured with her grandson.

November 27th

Elizabeth “Lizanne” Kelly LeVine, the last surviving sibling of Princess Grace of Monaco, died of cancer on Tuesday at the Quadrangle retirement home in Haverford, USA, aged 76. She was married to Donald C. LeVine, who died in 2000, and had two children: Grace (who died in 1999) and Chris. She is survived by her son and by three grandchildren.

November 28th

The auction house Lyon & Turnbull from Edinburgh, Scotland, will auction heritage items belonging to two Sikh Kings on 9 December. A velvet jacket and matching shoes of Maharajah Duleep Singh are hoped to be sold for£75.000-100.000. Also on sale will be a portrait of Maharajah Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), father of Duleep Singh.

November 29th

Prince Alexander of Belgium, brother of the Belgian kings Baudouin and Albert II, died very suddenly this afternoon at his home in Rhode-Saint-Genèse, Belgium. The cause of death was pulmonary embolism. The prince was born on 18 July 1942 as eldest child of King Leopold III of the Belgians and his second wife Lilian Baels. He married 1991 Lea Wolman.

Princess Ferial of Egypt died in hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, after a long battle with stomach cancer. She was born in 1938 as daughter of King Farouk of Egypt and his first wife Farida. Princess Ferial will be buried in Egypt. She is survived by her daughter Yasmine, who was born in 1967 from her marriage to Jean Pierre Perreten.

November 30th

Archduke Otto of Austria was granted an audience by Pope Benedict XVI today at the Vatican. His last visit had been in 2006.

December 1st

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark returned home this morning after a two-day visit to the Danish troops in Afghanistan, and learnt about their situation in the country. She said to be very proud of the people who represent Denmark in Afghanistan.

Princess Aiko of Japan celebrated her 8th birthday today, and in the afternoon visited her grandparents Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. She is attending the second year at the Gakushuin Primary School, where she takes care of the goldfish in her class. She likes going on field trips with her class. Furthermore she enjoyes playing the piano and violin, baseball, jumping rope, calligraphy, composing poems and practicing writing kanji characters. Birthday pictures

Treasures of the Russian Imperial family sold for £7 million, more than seven times the pre-sale estimate, at Sotheby’s in London yesterday. On sale were cigarette cases, Snuff boxes and cufflinks, once belonging to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia.

Princess Ferial of Egypt’s funeral took place at the Al Rifa’i Mosque in Cair, Egypt this evening, after her coffin was flown in from Switzerland, where she died on Sunday. Her brother former King Fouad II and his children attended the ceremony. After the funeral prayers her coffin was placed in the burial chamber of the mosque.

December 3rd

The Duchess of York and her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie attended the premiere of the film “The Young Victoria” in Los Angeles. The film was co-produced by the Duchess. The film tells about the first years on the throne of Queen Victoria. It will be in the cinemas from 18 December.

December 4th

Prince Alexander of Belgium was buried today in a side chapel next to the royal crypte in Laken, after a funeral service at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk in Laken. The funeral was attended by Princess Lea of Belgium and her two children and son-in-law, Salvador Moncada and Princess Esmeralda of Belgium with their two children, King Albert II and Queen Paola, Queen Fabiola, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, and Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium. The funeral was also attended by Grand Duke Henri of Luxemburg, Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, Archduke Carl-Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria, Archduke Rudolf of Austria, Archduchess Yolande of Austria and Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy. Royal Portraits: Pictures

The Norwegian royal court has introduced a children’s section of the royal website. This way they want to inform children, especially about the age of 10-11, about the monarchy. King Harald V and Princess Ingrid Alexandra are shown in the opening video. Children are welcomed by Ronja, one of the dogs of the King. Apart from information the website also contains drawings by children and videos. The royal website was recently also extended with a version in Sami language. Children’s pages

Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau has started twittering about her public activities. Mabel van Oranje

December 5th

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand addressed the Thai people on the occasion of his 82nd birthday. He thanked the Thai for their support during his hospitalisation and urged his people to work for the good of the country. He said: “My happiness and goodness will be preserved if our nation has prosperity and security with calm.” He left the Siriraj Hospital in a wheelchair today for a one-hour trip to the Grand Palace for a ceremony and the address. He was accompanied by his wife Queen Sirikit. The King is in hospital since September 19 and the Thai people are very worried about his health. According to the Royal Household Agency he is receiving physical therapy after having suffered of pneumonia, fatigue and fever.

December 6th

Via her lawyers Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has issued a warning to newspapers not to publish paparazzi pictures of her and her family. Paddy Harverson, spokesman of the Prince of Wales, said that the royal family has a right to privacy during everyday private activities.

December 8th

The Swedish royal court today disclosed the new mirror mongram of Crown Princess Victoria and her fiancé Daniel Westling. The monogram was designed by Vladimir A. Sagerlund, the heraldic artist of the state archives. Yesterday the court announced that the public service broadcaster Sveriges television will host the television, radio and internet broadcast of the wedding. The Monogram

It is expected Crown Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia will return to the country soon, after having spent more than a year in the USA and Morocco for treatment and recovery.

December 9th

Crown Princess Masako of Japan celebrated her 46th birthday today. In a written statement she says: “I would like to continue my efforts to recover, with the help of people around me. Under the guidance of my doctor, I have been doing my best, step by step, to regain my health, mentally and physically.” She said to be very happy with the support of her husband, parents-in-law, and other people. The Crown Princess is suffering from a stress-related illness already since about 2003.

Today the executive board of the IOC has nominated six new members for election at the IOC general assembly in Vancouver, Canada in February. The list includes Prince Faisal bin Hussein of Jordan, brother of King Abdullah II of Jordan. His half-sister Princess Haya is already member of the IOC.

December 10th

US-President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize Award today at the City Hall of Oslo, Norway. He was accompanied by his wife Michelle. He received the award for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. Of special importance was his vision and work for a world without nuclear weapons. The festivities were as usual also attended by King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. Nobel Lecture of Barack Obama

Monseigneur Yves Le Saux, Bishop of Le Mans, today opened the cause of beatification of Empress Zita of Austria, who died in 1989. Her son Archduke Rudolf was present. Three of the Empress’s sisters were nuns at Solesmes, in the diocese of Le Mans. She herself was also allowed by the Pope to spend three months a year within the nuns enclosure.

December 11th

Yesterday King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine of Sweden attended the presentation of the Nobel Prizes in Stockholm today. Also Jonas Bergström, the fiancé of Princess Madeleine was present. Today the King and Queen hosted a dinner for the Nobel Prize winners at the royal palace in Stockholm. Nobel Prize PresentationNobel Dinner

Prince William of Wales has completed his 12 month Advanced Rotary training course at RAF Shawbury. He says to be “looking forward” to begin the next stage of his training, which will help to convert his flying skills to focus on those needed to become a Search and Rescue Pilot early next year.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia returned home today after having spent more than year in the USA and Morocco for medical treatment and recuperation. Upon his return he said: “I feel happy and exulted and am delighted as I meet the King and the loyal Saudi people.” Hundreds of well-wishers, including King Abdullah of Saud Arabia, were at the airport of Riyadh to welcome the Crown Prince.

December 13th

Buckingham Palace has denied claims of the Mail on Sunday newspaper that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will passing on a substantial part of her duties to her grandson Prince William of Wales, due to her age. The palace says the news is “total and utter fabrication”. Although Prince William is gradually taking on more engagements, the palace says his focus remains at first on his military career.

Today an Islamic court in Malaysia has ordered Indonesian Manohara Odelio Pinot to return to her husband Tengku Temenggong Mohammad Fakhry, Prince of Kelantan, and solve their marriage problems within 14 days of an oath which the prince will take on 3 January 2010. She also has to repay a debt of more than $ 325.000 within 30 days of the oath. The prince hopes his wife will return to him. If Manohara doesn’t return she can be declared “disloyal”, which means that the prince is not obliged to pay her maintenance.

December 14th

The first official three-day trip of Prince William of Wales to New Zealand from 17 to 19 January 2010 will be a chance for him “to learn the ropes”, a royal official told the BBC. The prince will represent his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and open the new supreme court building in Wellington. The tour that will be rather relaxed, and will be charted on the Prince’s social networking sites Bebo and Facebook. Afterwards he will make an unofficial trip to Australia from 19 to 21 January, and carry out several engagements in Sydney and Melbourne.

December 15th

The Prince of Wales attends the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in Denmark. Today he held a speech about his vision on climate change and environmental issues. He told the people at the conference: “The eyes of the world are upon you and it is no understatement to say that, with your signatures, you can write our future.” He also warned that the planet is at a point of crisis.

December 16th

Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra, Tengku Temenggong of Kelantan (Malaysia) is challenging his eldest brother’s decision to remove his membership in the Kelantan Council of Succession in September. The council is responsible for confirming the succession to the Throne and Sovereignty of Kelantan and for determining whether there is a vacancy in the throne by reason of the prolonged absence from the state of the reigning Sovereign. Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra is the third son of the Sultan of kelantan. His brother is regent since May, as the Sultan has been in hospital in Singapore since then. Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra’s lead counsel said on today that the decision is inconsistent with the constitution of Kelantan. He says that as the regent was appointed by the council, he didn’t have the power to make the decision. The health of the Sultan is getting better now, and it was said today that the state government will bring him back home for further treatment in a local hospital.

December 18th

The Spanish royal household issued the yearly Christmas cards of the family.

Yesterday the Norwegian royal family gathered in front of a gingerbread-house in the royal palace in Oslo for the yearly Christmas photo session. While the men all wore suits, Queen Sonja and Crown Princess Mette-Marit wore costumes. Christmas photos at the palace

The Danish royal family attended several events on the occasion of the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Change Conference that was held from 7 to 18 December. Especially the crown princely couple was present at events, and hosted a reception at the Christian VIII’s Palace on 14 December. Crown Prince Frederik used a Fisker Automotive hybrid car to travel to an event on 15 December. On 16 December Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik hosted a gala performance at the royal theatre, and on 17 December they hosted a state dinner at Christiansborg Palace. Also Prince Joachim and Princess Marie were present, as well as Princess Benedikte. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden also spent a few days at the conference last weekend.

On Friday evening both Princess Máxima of the Netherlands and Prince Laurent of Belgium kicked off annual Christmas actions of radio stations. Princess Máxima locked up three radio DJs in a glaze house on the market square of Groningen. She paid to hear two of her favourite songs: “Woman” of the Dutch rock singer Anouk, and “7 Seconds” by Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry. In Belgium Prince Laurent attended the start of Music for Life by the radio station Studio Brussel. He wished to hear “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. The proceeds of both actions will go to the support programmes of the Red Cross to fight malaria.

King Albert II of the Belgians has announced that he opens up two appartments near the castle of Ciergnon for two homeless families. The announcement follows a political discussion about the lack of available places for homeless people and asylum seekers in Belgium.

The Bulgarian National Assembly has imposed a moratorium on transactions involving the agriculture land and forests of the former Bulgarian royal family, either returned to the family or given as compensation. The moratorium will remain in force until the adoption of a special law which is to regulate the status of the property. Former King Simeon of Bulgaria in a statement condemns the moratorium as illegal and unconstitutional. He said that the action “showed a disregard for the rule of law and was a flagrant violation of the Constitution of Bulgaria.”

December 19th

The Duke of York has made a surprise visit to the British troops in Afghanistan. He arrived in Camp Bastion, Helmand province, on Thursday evening. On Friday he also visited Lashkar Gah and Kandahar. The Duke said to be “hugely impressed” by the work of the British troops in Afghanistan.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, their three children, children-in-law and three grandchildren spent the day in Kodomonokuni, Children’s Land, in Yokohama to mark their golden wedding anniversary. The park was opened in 1959 in commemoration of the imperial couple’s marriage. Granddaughter Princess Aiko couldn’t participate due to a cold.

December 20th

Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, has helped design, develop and test a collection of equestrian clothing for sports outfitter Musto. The collections includes jackets and fleeces and will be presented in 2010. It is due to go on sale in August 2010. The collection will carry Zara’s British eventing number, 176, as logo. Zara Phillips will receive a designer royalty for her work. She is a brand ambassador of the company and appeared in some of their advertising.

According to the Arabian Business journal of the United Arab Emirates Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia is the wealthiest Arab of 2009. His fortune is estimated $ 18 billion. The magazine says the figures have been confirmed by the Prince’s private office.

December 21st

The Information Commissioner has ordered the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to release more than 100 letters and memos written by members of parliament and members of the Royal Household about public subsidies paid for the upkeep of the palaces of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The decision follows a ruling under Freedom of Information laws. The Commissioner said that disclosure of the documents would ‘increase transparency and accountability’ in the awarding of grants to the Royal Household. Politicians and press have criticised the lack of transparency over the public money given to the British royals.

The website of the Belgian Monarchy got a new design and is available in four languages: Dutch, French, German and English. Information can be found about the monarchy today, the royal family, its history, and about palace and heritage. Also some frequently asked questions are being answered. The website also includes a short genealogy of the family.

The Royal Household Bureau said that King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has fully recovered from his illness, but will remain in hospital for a while for added recuperation. The King was admitted to the Sriraj Hospital in Bangkok on 19 September.

40-year-old Sheikh Issa bin Zayed Al-Nayhan of Abu Dhabi, an half-brother of the president of the United Arab Emirates, has gone on trial on torture charges. The torture of an Afghan man five years ago was videotaped and surfaced last year in a lawsuit in the USA by the Sheikh’s former business associate. The trial started in October, and the Sheikh pleaded not guilty. The defense of the Sheikh says that a combination of drugs, including medicines for heart and back condition, left the Sheikh disoriented and impaired. A drug expert testified on the issue today. A verdict is expected on 10 January 2010.

The urn of Prince Dedo of Saxony, who died on 6 December, was interred at the family vault of the Hohenzollern family in the Kloserkirche Hedingen in Sigmaringen. His urn was placed next to his brother Gero, who died in 2003. Several members of the Saxony and Hohenzollern families attended the service.

December 22nd

Prince William of Wales spent a night on the street near Blackfriars Bridge in London last week together with Seyi Obakin, chief executive of Centrepoint. Prince William has been the patron of the homeless charity since 2005. He said: “I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets.”

On 11 December Prince Josef Emanuel of Liechtenstein, son of Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha, took part in the sovereign’s parade at the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst in Great Britain. He passed out as an overseas cadet.

December 23rd

In a statement issued by the Imperial Household Agency on the occasion of his 76th birthday, Emperor Akihito of Japan says: “My health is now better than it was last December, and I would like to spend the coming year as I did this year (with a lighter schedule and fewer functions), and I will try not to give people cause for concern.” The Emperor expressed his concern for people affected by the financial crisis and the outbreak of swine flu.

December 24th

In his Christmas speech King Juan Carlos of Spain called for the unity of all Spanish people to “overcome tensions and differences” following the values of the Constitution “to strenghten the internal cohesion and the international image of the country” and “to make economy grow up again to create jobs as soon as possible”. He also remembered the victims of terrorism and their families.

December 25th

In her Christmas speech Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain said that 2009 has been “a difficult year for many, in particular those facing the continuing effects of the economic downturn.” She also expressed her sadness at the casualties suffered by the British troops fighting in Afghanistan. The biggest part of the speech however dealt with the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth, which according to the Queen is “an organisation without a mission”.

Queen Beatrix pleaded for charity, compassion and concern in her yearly Christmas speech. She warns for the individualisation of the community and said that modern ways of communication seem to connect people closer, but behind the scenes there is a safe distance. She says that nowadays even neighbours are unknown, and people communicate via quick short messages, instead of conversation.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in his Christmas speech expressed optimism for 2010. He said: “Hopefully everyone who is unemployed today will soon have a safe work place to go to.” He also referred to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the United Nations’ Child convention, as well as to the recent climate summit in Copenhagen. Of course he told to be excited about the engagements of his daughters Victoria and Madeleine, and thanked the Swedish people for their encouragement and support of the royal family.

December 28th

The office of former King Constantine of Greece announced the engagement of Prince Nikolaos of Greece and his longtime girlfriend Tatiana Blatnik. No further details were announced yet.

December 30th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has expressed her appreciation to Jasper Schuringa, who helped overpowering a Nigerian man who tried to blow up an airplane travelling from Amsterdam to Detroit on 25 December.

December 31st

The Duchess of Cornwall became a grandmother again. Her daughter Laura, married to Harry Lopes, gave birth to twin sons on 30 December 2009. Louis and Gus were born in a London hospital. Clarence House announced today: “The whole family are thrilled and the Duchess is absolutely delighted by the news. Mother and sons are doing well.” Laura already had a daughter, Eliza, who is 23 months old. Laura’s brother Tom has a two-year-old daughter, Lola.

Professor Salvador Moncada, husband of Princess Esmeralda of Belgium, received a “knights bachelor” honour according to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain’s New Year Honours List of this year. He was honoured because of his services to science. He is listed as director of the Wolfson Institute of Biomedical Research of the University of London.

In his New Year’s speech King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand stressed the importance of working for the common good. He said that people should dedicate themselves to carrying out the tasks they have before them to the best of their ability. He also thinks they should perform the tasks with full concentration and awareness of what they are doing and should think carefully and conduct themselves properly in all endeavours. The King says that the Thai people must recognise that to serve the public interest is a goal everyone should work to achieve. The King thanked the people for their concern for his health.

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