Royal News December 2021

Last modified: 9 January 2022

1 December

Princess Aiko of Japan, the daughter of the Emperor and Empress, turned 20 today and reached adulthood. In a statement she let know: “From now on, I would like to engage sincerely with each duty as a member of the adult imperial family and help the imperial couple as much as possible.” She is currently studying Japanese language and literature at Gakushuin University. It is expected she will hold a news conference in mid-March.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands have announced that, because of Covid-19, they have postponed the state visit to Greece, that was to take place from 13 to 15 December.

Princess Stéphanie of Monaco has launched her new perfume called “Princesse de Coeur“. The proceeds of the 800 bottles, that cost 395 Euro each, are going to the charity Fight Aids Monaco. LM Perfums describes the perfume as “one of those rich, deep scents that wraps you in elegance and softness”.

Flora Vesterberg, granddaughter of Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Mrs Ogilvy, has been appointed as an Ambassador of the Young Patrons’ Circle of the V&A Museum in London.

2 December

On the occasion of the 50th birthday of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark a number of events are to take place late January 2022 and in the beginning of Februar 2022. Among others two exhibitions about her life and work will be opened, and there will be a gala banquet at Rosenborg Palace. The programme.

The Duchess of Sussex has won the appeal of a privacy battle against the Associated Newspapers Limited over the publication of a letter to her father Thomas Markle Senior. The Associated Newspapers Limited are very disappointed and consider to appeal at the Supreme Court. In the decision the Court of Appeal says: “The Court of Appeal upheld the judge’s decision that the duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter. Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.” In a statement the Duchess said that the decision was “a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right”.

4 December

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands has tested positive for Covid-19. She had herself tested because of mild complaints of a cold. She is at home in isolation.

5 December

The coming-of-age ceremonies of Princess Aiko of Japan were held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo today. She first visited the sanctuaries of her family’s ancestors and Japanese gods to offer her prayers. Afterwards her father, Emperor Naruhito, awarded her with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown. Later on she greeted her parents and with them took part in a photo session. On the occasion Aiko was dressed in a formal white dress with jacket, and for the first time wore a tiara. After having visited her grandparents Emperor emeritus Akihito and Empress emerita Michiko she returned to the main palace, while waving to the people gathered outside. In the palace a reception took place.

In a special episode of the “Time to Walk” podcast-series of Apple Fitness+ the Duke of Cambridge has spoken about his Christmas memories. He also spoke about his memories of his grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh, his three favourite songs and other themes.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida of Thailand have laid the foundation stone for the construction of a statue of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Chaloem Phrakiat King Bhumibol Adulyadej Park in Bangkok.

Nicholas de Roumanie Medforth-Mills and his wife Alina-Maria have announced on social media that they’re expecting their second child in Spring 2022. Their daughter Maria-Alexandra was born in November 2020.

7 December

In connection with the 18th birthday of his eldest daughter Catharina-Amalia, The Princess of Orange King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has established a personal flag for her, that also will be used by her younger sisters Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane, as soon as they have reached their 18th birthday. Amalia has also been appointed as Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands and Knight in the House Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau. Also several new photos were released on the occasion.

After a meeting on 6 December the advisory panel on imperial succession in Japan has come with two proposals to ensure the survival of the imperial dynasty. The final report will appear at the end of the year. As already thought the two ideas will be: allow female members to keep their royal status after marriage, and to allow males from former branches of the imperial family to regain imperial status through adoption by the imperial family. If that doesn’t solve the succession issue, the alternative would be to allow males from former branches to become members of the imperial family through law.

8 December

During a special meeting of the Council of State The Princess of Orange has been introduced to the Council of State by her father King Willem-Alexander, who is chairman of the council. Amalia held her first speech.
The video
The text of her speech (in Dutch)
Photos by Royal Press

In a virtual meeting with the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights, as a patron of the NSPCC, The Countess of Wessex has warned that companies like Facebook and WhatsApp present “new and very dangerous threats to our children”. She said that the internet officers “positive opportunities” to speak to other people online, but she also warned against the “horrific abuse” and said this could have “devastating consequences and severe long-term repercussions” on the mental health of children and their families.

The cremation of Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia was cremated during a ceremony at Botum Park in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. His half-brother King Norodom Sihamoni lit the fuse. Also the King’s mother Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk was present. His body arrived in Cambodia on Sunday by a charter flight from France, where he died on 28 November, aged 77. Prince Norodom Ranariddh used to be the country’s first Prime Minister and president of the National Assembly.

Sussex police is looking for a man who was captured on CCTV footage after a break-in at Arundel Castle on 21 May. several historic items were stolen, including rosary beads of Mary Queen of Scots and seven gold coronation cups. Police already arreted a 45-year-old man, who has been released under investigation.

9 December

On the occasion of her 58th birthday Empress Masako said that she hopes that her daughter Princess Aiko will ‘grow step by step” in fulfilling her imperial duties successfully. In a statement she remembered: “The 20 years since Aiko’s birth seem to have been both long and fleeting, but I am deeply moved by the many memories that come to mind. It is hard to believe that little Aiko is already an adult. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has warmly watched over her growth.”

10 December

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, as well as Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden attended an adapted Nobel Prize ceremony in the Blue Hall in the city hall of Stockholm. See the ceremony.

Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov received the Nobel Peace Prize today for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia, respectively. Their Majesties The King and Queen and His Royal Highness The Crown Prince were in attendance during the award ceremony at Oslo City Hall. Also the winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, the UN World Food Programme, was honoured during the ceremony. The executive director David Beasley gave a speech. See the ceremony.

The Danish royals have decided to cancel the New Year’s receptions on 1, 4 and 5 January 2022 because of Covid-19. There will be a possibility to send a digital New Year’s greeting to the Queen and the other royals via the royal website.

Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco has appointed Laurent Anselmi as his Head of Cabinet as off 17 January 2022. Anselmi is currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Principality. The previous Head of Cabinet, Georges Lisimachio, who held the position since 2006, will retire.

11 December

Happy that Princess Alexia has returned home for the holidays, the Dutch royal family published a photo on the social media.

Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway has visited the base of the Norwegian Air Force in Bodø. She flew in an F-16 and saw large parts of northern Norway from the air. Before her visit she had to undergo a thorough medical examination at the Department of Aeronautical Medicine. In November Ingrid Alexandra already visited the Hunter Troops in Rena. She is expected to make several visits to the Armed Forces in the future.

13 December

Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar of Sweden wish everybody a good St. Lucia from the Haga Palace.

14 December

The real estate agency TSC is offering the Villa Austria in Pöcking for rent on Immobilienscout. The historical villa from 1901 has 19 rooms and is situated on a plot of almost 6.000 square metres near Lake Starnberg in the South of Germany. The former Austrian Crown Prince Otto and his wife Regina acquired the property in 1954, and it remained their home until his death in 2011. After 2014 the house was rented to the software company Lobster, that however will move out next year. Several parties are interested already. It remains the property of the descendants of Otto and Regina.

15 December

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has tested positive for Covid-19. She is currently isolating at Frederik VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg, Copenhagen. Thus far none of the other family members have tested positive.

The British Queen Elizabeth II held an audience with the Sultan of Oman at Windsor Castle.

In the Cour d’Honneur at the Prince’s Palace in Monte-Carlo Princess Gabriella and Hereditary Prince Jacques of Monaco helped their aunt Princess Stéphanie and their cousins Camille Gottlieb and Louis Ducruet to present Christmas presents to 727 young Monegasques from 5 to 12 years old.

The New Year’s wishes of the Jordan royal family.

16 December

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

As usual the Spanish royal court released both the Christmas card of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia as the one of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

The Norwegian Royal Family has announced that, due to Covid-19, the 18th birthday celebrations of Princess Ingrid Alexandra on 21 January 2022 have been postponed. A gala dinner was planned at the Royal Palace and also the Norwegian government was to mark the day.

After having been in contact with a person that later tested positive for Covid-19 Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has gone into quarantine, although he doesn’t have any symptoms.

The Duke of Cambridge has answered questions of young cancer patients at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

The British Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled the traditional pre-Christmas lunch for her family, that was planned to take place next Tuesday. Also last year the lunch was cancelled because of Covid-19.

Former King Constantine II of Greece has been hospitalized in a private hospital in Athens, Greece. He is suffering from pneumonia and pulmonary edema. He is receiving exygen and according to his doctors he is responding well.

Reports by the newspaper “De Telegraaf” that, despite of all the corona restrictions, Princess Amalia of the Netherlands this Saturday celebrated her 18th birthday with around 100 guests in the garden of Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague were partly confirmed. The Governement Information Service has informed that 21 people had been invited and that not everybody turned up. Right now people in the Netherlands are only allowed to receive four people a day at home, which includes the garden. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has informed the parliament in a letter about the party and wrote: “Amalia turned 18 last week, an important moment in her life. On Saturday, a last minute party was organised in the grounds behind the palace. Everybody was vaccinated and was tested. King Willem-Alexander has admitted to Rutte, that it wasn’t right to organise the party.

17 December

The celebrations in connection with the 50th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark have been postponed because of Covid-19. The majority of the arrangements will now be held in late Summer 2022. They will attempt to carry out individual arrangements including the meeting of the Council of State, a reception at the Danish Parliament and a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of the Queen’s parents King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid in Roskilde.

Photos of the 114th National Day Celebrations at Thimphu Tashichhodzong, Bhutan.

18 December

The Belgian royal family released the family photo that is on the royal Christmas card this year.

19 December

On the fourth Advent Sunday the Swedish royals posted this cute video of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar in the Palace Church.

Grace, the dog of the Danish Crown Princely Family, has become the mother of two cute babies.

20 December

The British Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled plans to celebrate Christmas in Sandringham. She will stay in Windsor, where relatives will visit her. It is a personal decision and a precautionary measure.

King Juan Carlos of Spain had to go into quarantine after his meeting with tennis player Rafael Nadal on Saturday. Nadal tested positive after returning to Spain this Monday.

Princess Madeleine of Sweden, her husband Chris O’Neill and their children Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne have received this year’s Christmas trees from forestry students at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The family has travelled from the USA to celebrate Christmas with Madeleine’s family.

Prince Dom Antonio de Orleans e Bragança (Brazil) was hospitalised in Rio de Janeiro for treatment of respiratory problems. He is doing well and the expectation is that he will be able to leave hospital next week.

21 December

Mr Justice Moor of the High Court in London has signed off the divorce settlement between Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid of Dubai and Princess Haya of Jordan last month. He is to pay his ex-wife more than £251.5 million, and has also been ordered to pay £5.6 million a year to each of his two children, Al-Jalila, and Zayed, to support their luxury lifestyle in the UK. He will also have to pay for their security in the UK, where they live, as they need to be protected against him. They have a house in London and a country estate in Egham, Surrey.

The memoirs of the Duke of Kent, “A Royal Life”, are to be published in May 2022 by Hodder & Stoughton. The book is based on conversations between the Duke and royal historian Hugo Vickers, and will include never before seen photographs from the collection of the Duke himself.

It is reported that former King Constantine II of Greece has left the intensive care station and is doing better. The hope is that he will be able to leave the hospital in a few days.

22 December

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg and their son Prince Charles wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with new pictures.

Sir Timothy Laurence, the husband of Princess Anne, has tested positive for Covid-19. This means that he and his wife, who has gone into isolation, will not be able to visit Queen Elizabeth II with Christmas.

The Norwegian royal family has released their annual Christmas photos, that were taken at Bygdø Royal Farm. King Harald V and Queen Sonja plan to spend Christmas on the farm. On Christmas Eve they will join Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit at Skaugum Estate.

During the lockdown in the Netherlands the exhibition “The Golden Coach” at the Amsterdam Museum can be seen online.

23 December

A thanksgiving service for the Duke of Edinburgh is to take place at Westminster Abbey in London in the Spring of 2022.

It was confirmed that the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as other family members, will visit the Queen on Christmas Day.

The Christmas photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by Alexi Lubomirski was released. It is the first time a photo has been published of their daughter Lilibet Diana, as well as the first photo in ages of their son Archie.

Queen Silvia of Sweden celebrated her 78th birthday.

Prince Daniel of Sweden missed the last engagement of the year of the Swedish royal family on Monday as he was ill. He was having a cold, the royal court said today, and mentioned he was doing fine again.

Princess Madeleine of Sweden has been appointed as Honorary Vice-President of the World Childhood Foundation. She has been involved in the organisation, founded by her mother Queen Silvia, since many years. She has been member of the board of Childhood Sweden and a honorary member of the board of Childhood USA since 2016.

The Danish royals decorated Marselisborg Castle where Queen Margrethe will celebrate Christmas with the Crown Princely Family. Prince Joachim, Princess Marie and their children stay in Paris and wished everybody merry Christmas from there.

The monegasque princely court gave an update about the health of Princess Charlène. They say she “is recuperating in a satisfactory and reassuring manner, although it may take a few more months before her health has reached a full recovery”. Her husband and children are to visit her during the Christmas holidays. Earlier this week Charlène on her Instagram released the photo on the Christmas card of the family.

Emperor emeritus Akihito of Japan celebrated his 88th birthday. He is the longest living emperor on record, it was informed. He has said he is happy to see his granddaughter Princess Aiko, who turned 20 early this month, growing up. Only a small birthday celebration will be held. Because of Covid-19 he no longer goes outside except to conduct research on goby fish at a biology research institute inside the Imperial Palace twice a week and to visit the Imperial Household Hospital. He makes morning walks with his wife Empress emerita Michiko.

The first Christmas speech of this year was the one by Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein. The text can be found here. However it was surprisingly King Harald V of Norway who sent his Christmas wishes first. Not a speech, but a simple wish to the Norwegians, as as he said “Christmas this year is once again not quite as we had foreseen”.

24 December

Several Christmas speeches were broadcasted today:
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg
The King of Spain
The King of the Belgians
Her Majesty Margareta of Romania

ITV broadcasted the carol service “Royal Carols: Together At Christmas” that took place earlier this month at Westminster Abbey. Surprisingly the Duchess of Cambridge played the piano during Tom Walker’s song “For Those Who Can’t Be Here”. The full performance can be watched here.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her family visited the Solna Fire Station this morning. On behalf of the royal family they thanked the fire brigade for their work. Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar offered gingerbread for the Christmas Eve shift.

On Christmas Eve Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has read the Christmas gospel during her Christmas greeting from the Royal Chapel, which was broadcasted by SVT. She read the passage from the Bible (Luke 2:1-20) about the birth of Jesus.

25 December

More Christmas speeches today:
The British Queen
The King of the Netherlands

Belgian TV broadcasted the traditional Christmas concert at the Royal Palace in Brussels that was recorded a few days ago. King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and their four children posed in front of the Christmas tree.

Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway presented their new dog Molly Fiskebolle.

26 December

A 19-year-old man, who was arrested for trespassing on Christmas morning, turned out to be in the possession of a crossbow. He has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He has not entered any buildings.

Many royals mourn the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

27 December

A surprise from Belgium as the engagement of Princess Maria Laura, daughter of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, with William Isvy was announced. The couple plans to get married in the second half of 2022 in Brussels.

28 December

The website of the Luxembourg Grand-Ducal Family has been extended with a German and English version.

A team of researchers, involved in finding the body of King Richard III of England in 2012, have published the results of their inquiry into the disappearance of Richard III’s nephews Edward and Richard, who are said to have been murdered by their uncle to prevent them taking the throne. They claim Edward might have smuggled to Coldridge in Mid Devon and lived under the name of John Evans. They have found historic documents with Yorkist symbols and an effigy of this person. “The story of the Princes in the Tower may need to be rewritten”, lead researcher John Dike said to the newspaper “Daily Telegraph”.

The journal Frontiers in Medicine has published the study of the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I of Egypt. With the help of computed tomography the mummy has been scanned. Dr Sahar Saleem, professor of radiology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cairo has told BBC: “We got to see the face of the king that has been wrapped for more than 3,000 years.” They think he was about 1.69 metres tall and died around the age of 35, although he was in a good condition.

29 December

Princess Kako of Akishino has turned 27. As usual the Japanese imperial court released a bunch of nice photos of the princess.

The year 2021 of the Romanian royal family in review.

30 December

On 3 January 2022 PostNord will issue a new jubilee sheet with three postage stamps in connection with the 50th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. The stamps show her in 1972 and in 2021, the third stamp shows the royal coat of arms.

In 2021 the British senior royals still have undertaken 59,5% of the amount of engagements in 2019, mainly because of Covid-19, Canadian researcher Patricia Treble concluded. They however undertook 2,065 duties, which was 35% more than in 2020. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of York have stepped back as senior royals, while others have reduced their workload because of their age. In 2021 Queen Elizabeth II undertook 182 engagements, The Duke of Cambridge 227. Princess Anne tops the list with 381 engagements, while The Prince of Wales did 371.

31 December

Several New Year’s speeches were held today:
The King of Norway
The Queen of Denmark
The Sovereign Prince of Monaco

The new year’s wishes from Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.

In his New Year’s interview with the newspaper “” Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein asked the people of his country to continue to persevere this winter and if possible be vaccinated against Covid-19. He considers wearing compulsory masks, also for young children, sensible.

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