Royal News January 2021

Last modified: 7 February 2021

1 January

In his New Year’s speech, recorded on video because of Covid-19, Emperor Naruhito of Japan thanked medical staff involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He also sent his condolences to people who have lost family and friends to the virus in Japan and across the world. He said that he and his wife are looking forward to meeting people again once the situation has improved. The annual New Year gathering on 2 January has been cancelled. They however received New Year’s wishes from politicians, ambassadors and diplomats today, keeping distance and using masks.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has been vaccinated against COVID-19 today. The Queen will receive a follow-up vaccination in approximately three weeks.

The Duchess of Cornwall has launched the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room on Instagram. The first season will be opened on 15 January. The site says: “Join The Duchess of Cornwall in The Reading Room; discover new books & meet the extraordinary people who create them.”

At the end of the year Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein gave a New Year’s interview to Radio Liechtenstein. One of the topics was of course the impact of Covid-19 on the family.

The desktop calendar for January 2021 from Bhutan is there!

Grand Duke George of Russia and his partner Rebecca Bettarini, who recently was baptised in the Russian Orthodox Church as Victoria Feodorovna, gave a joint interview to the magazine Point de Vue.

Several blogs have created royal overviews for 2020:

2 January

On Wednesday the public prosecutor’s office in Wels, Austria, will accused Prince Ernst August of Hannover sr. of committing a punishable act in a state of intoxication. He could therefore face a prison term up to three years. According to experts he was not sane at the time of the crime he committed in July 2020. Ernst August is said to have fought violently against police officers, and even injured one, after having called the police because he felt threatened by a couple. Afterwards Ernst August was admitted to the regional hospital in Vöcklabruck. Upon returning home he is said to have come to the police in Scharnstein to complain about police violence and outside the office threatened a policewoman. He also is said to have damanged a dining room window of a property of the Duke of Cumberland Foundation and threatened people working there. The lawyer of the Prince, Malte Berlin, is convinced of the innocence of his client.

David Lascelles, The 8th Earl of Harewood has finally given up the way he pronounces the name of his estate Harewood House near Leeds, Great Britain. For centuries the family stuck to the pronounciation of Har-wood. Most people already said Harewood, with an ‘e’, but often taxi drivers for example wouldn’t know where Har-Wood House was.

3 January

A 29-year-old man has been arrested after breaking into the Tokyo residence of Emperor Naruhito of Japan. He reportedly spent two hours at the residence before being discovered. He was caught by the Imperial Guard near the residence of Princess Yuriko. He managed to gain access via the entrance gate of the unguarded guesthouse.

4 January

The 95th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will be celebrated with a new commemorative £5 coin. The coin will feature the royal cypher “EIIR”, and the words “my heart and my devotion”, referencing part of her 1957 Christmas broadcast.

A kitchen assistant to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has been sentenced to eight months imprisonment after stealing royal memorabilia and personal belongings from staff and The Duke of York worth up to £100,000 from Buckingham Palace between November 2019 and August 2020. He sold items via eBay. The items stolen including signed pictures of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and a photo album of the banquet held for the state visit of US-president Donald Trump.

Princess Marie of Denmark shared photos of a winter walk at Schackenborg with her dog Cerise.

5 January

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has decided to cancel already all garden parties for 2021 as Covid-19 makes planning impossible.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has broken her tailbone in a fall at Uvdal, Norway, just before Christmas, when she was getting off a ski lift. She spent one night in hospital before returning home.

6 January

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain presided over the traditional Pascua Militar ceremony on the Plaza de la Armeria in front of the Royal Palace of Madrid. The ceremony was followed by a reduced reception inside the palace, where the King presented military decorations and gave a speech.

Frank Floessel and Tessy Antony de Nassau, ex-wife of Prince Louis of Luxembourg, on New Year’s Eve announced their engagement with a photo on Instagram. Today they confirmed the news to Royal Central and RTL Today.

It is winter in Denmark. Fredensborg Palace is surrounded by snow.

The yearly Christmas concert from the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium, can finally be watched online. The royal family can be seen at the start, and later on there are special performances by Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore.

The King and Queen of Malaysia visited flood victims in Pahang. The Queen also continued a tradition she started when she was still the Tengku Puan Pahang each time floods occurred in Pahang. Also this time she cooked for 128 flood victims at the Sri Damai public hall.

8 January

New pictures were released upon the 10th birthday of Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine of Denmark, taken by Franne Voigt. They also have their own monograms now, created by graphic designer Charlotte Søeborg Ohlsen with specialized assistance from graphic designer Mads Quistgaard and graphic designer Cecilie Kirkeskov Knudsen.

9 January

Buckingham Palace has announced that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh today have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Aroyal household doctor had administered the vaccine at Windsor Castle.

Unusual: snow in Madrid. Even the royal palace in Madrid was covered with snow.

11 January

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand has been admitted to the Phramongkutklao Hospital. During her morning walk on Monday she tripped and injured both of her ankles badly. She will surely not be able to work for two months.

On Friday also King Salman of Saud Arabia received the vaccin.

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said of Oman announced in a royal decree that he is establishing a specific and stable mechanism for the transfer of the governing authority and a mechanism to appoint a crown prince. Thus far the country never had a crown prince. The previous sultan Qaboos named his preferred successor in a sealed envelope to be opened after his death should the royal family disagree on the succession line.

12 January

Sheikh Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said has been appointed the Crown Prince of Oman by his father Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said of Oman. The new crown prince was born in 1990 and has since August 2020 been the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth of Oman. Previously he was the second secretary at the Omani embassy in London. He studied political science at Oxford University in Great Britain.

13 January

In Norway King Harald V, Queen Sonja and Princess Astrid have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

14 January

The husband of Infanta Cristina of Spain, Iñaki Urdangarin, on 13 January has left the women’s prison in Brieva and is now in a reintegrationcentre in Alcalá de Henares. He will be able to spend more time outside the centre and will only need to go there to sleep.

Queen Nanasipau’u and Prince Ata of Tonga have finally returned to Tonga. They were among the Tongans repatriated from New Zealand. They had been in New Zealand since the lockdown started.

King Abdullah II, Crown Prince Hussein and Prince El Hassan of Jordan have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI were among the first people to receive the Covid-19 vaccin in Vatican City.

15 January

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden have received the Covid-19 vaccin.

16 January

The new Crown Prince of Oman has announced his engagement to his first cousin Sayyida Meyyan bint Shihab al Said.

The eldest halfbrother of King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia, Prince Norodom Yuvaneath died in the USA today. He was the eldest son of King Norodom Sihanouk and his second wife Princess Sisowath Pongsanmoni. He is survived by his second wife and five children.

19 January

In the privacy case of the Duchess of Sussex against the Mail on Sunday (Associated Newspapers Limited) her lawyers have said in a hearing at the High Court in London they hope a trial in October 2021 is not needed. They hope for a Summary Judgment. They called the publication of the letter (2019) written to her father Thomas Markle in August 2018 a “triple barrelled invasion”. Thomas Markle has stated that the Mail on Sunday misrepresented the tone and content of the letter. He however doesn’t think the letter was an attempt at a reconciliation, and she didn’t ask how he was doing. The statement of her friends in People made him change his mind over talking publicly about the letter.

The 45th head of the Royal House of Turkey, Prince Dündar Ali Osman Osmanoglu Efendi, died on 18 January 2021 in Damascus, Syria, aged 90. Since 2017 he was a widower. He will be succeeded as head of the family by his 88-year-old brother Harun.

20 January

A new family portrait of Reigning Prince Albert II and Princess Charlène of Monaco and their children Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella has been released. Copies of the photo, taken by Éric Mathon, will be sold in two souvenir shops in Monaco. The money raised from the sale will go towards humanitarian projects in Monaco.

In an interview with the magazine “People” Princess Charlène of Monaco addressed the criticism of her new haircut. She said, that it was her decision, and told: “I wanted it for a long time, the style pleases me.” Her children love her new style.

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand has underwent surgery at the Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital for her ankle injuries. Rumours are that her injuries weren’t caused by a fall, but because she was attacked by her brother King Vajiralongkorn.

Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen of Austria had their fourth child, and fourth daughter, Cecilia, on 15 January 2021. She is a sister of Maria-Stella, Magdalena and Juliana.

Grand Duke George of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini announced their engagement. The wedding date is not set yet, but they hope to get married religiously in Autumn 2021. Rebecca, who converted to the Russian Orthodox faith in 2020 as Victoria Romanovna, will be Princess Romanoff and have the predicate of Serene Highness.

Unfortunately the Dutch royalty forum All Royal Things (previously All Things Royal) will soon disappear. A member however has started a new forum (which is still under construction). If anybody is interested:

21 January

In Liechtenstein Reigning Prince Hans Adam II. and Princess Marie received the Covid-19 vaccin.

23 January

Maria-Alexandra de Roumanie Medforth-Mills was christened at the Royal Cathedral of Curtea de Arges.

24 January

Princess Athena of Denmark celebrates her 9th birthday in Paris, France. New pictures, taken by her mother Princess Marie, have been released.

It turns out that James Middleton gave his sister and brother-in-law, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a black cocker spaniel puppy shortly before their dog Lupo died in November 2020. It is not know what the name of the puppy is.

On Friday the organization Girls Not Brides announced that Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau will move from her role as Chair of the Board of Trustees in the course of 2021, depending on the search for a new Board Chair. She believes that after ten years is is time to make space for fresh leadership. She will however become a Global Champion for the organization and continue to fight for the ending of child marriage.

Countess Eloise of Orange-Nassau is to write a book, likely with tips about food, clothes and jewelry, the publisher CLF Media announced on Saturday. She will ask for the help of her many Instagram-followers. The book is to be publised in June 2021.

Producer SF Studios and the sales agency REinvent International Sales last week revealed the teaser of the period drama “Margrete – Queen of the North”. Trine Dyrholm plays Queen Margrethe I of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The betrothal ceremony of Grand Duke George of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini (Victoria Romanovna) has taken place in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma, Russia, today at noon.

25 January

At Sotheby’s property from the family collection of the late Countess Mountbatten of Burma will be auctioned on 24 March 2021 in London. Over 350 lots, including jewellery, furniture, paintings and art will be sold. The sale is predicted to raise 1,5 million pounds. According to the family the sale will honour their mother’s wishes and celebrate her memory.

26 January

The Greek Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, has disclosed the plans of the Greek government for the Royal Palace of Tatoi. The former summer palace of the Greek royal family and its gardens is to be redeveloped. Cafés, restaurants and a five-star hotel with a spa, with environmentally friendly infrastructure, are to be opened on the property. The palace itself will become a museum or centre of royal Greek history. The palace hasn’t been used for over 50 years. The costs are expected to be approximately 130 million euros.

77-Year old Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia, former Prime Minister of his country, is planning to return to political life and once again wants to take up the leadership of the royalist party Funcinpec.

Princess Leonille zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn fell from the roof, being on the run for the police. The Munich police were called to an apartment building last weekend because of an illegal party. They caught several guests inside the house, and two on the roof, among them Leonille. While she tried to flee from the police, she lost her footing while climbing. She was apparently barefoot and drunk. She fell four metres deep and suffered a serious injury to the lumbar vertebra. She has been taken to hospital.

A translation of the interview of Grand Duke George of Russia and his fiancée Rebecca Bettarini can be found here.

27 January

On 26 and 27 January Prince Albert II and Princess Charlène of Monaco, and their children Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, were present at the traditional celebrations for St Dévote, the patron saint of Monaco and protector of the princely family.

People Magazine will publish a new 100-age quarterly magazine “People Royals”. The first issue will be released in early March. The magazine will cost $ 12,99. Although it will be heavily focused on the British royal family, it aims to cover royal families from all over the world. Its first cover star is the Duchess of Cambridge.

28 January

The embargoed 1969 BBC-documentary “Royal Family” for several days was available on YouTube. After a copyright claim by BBC the video is no longer available.

29 January

During a video conference with parents and the headteacher of Roe Green Primary School in North London, the Duchess of Cambridge has admitted that she finds parenting during the lockdown exhausting. Her math skills are -5, and her husband has been her greatest support. She also cuts her children’s hair herself, to her children’s horror. She said also that parents should look out for their own mental health.

In Belgium a virtual New Year’s reception was held for the authorities of the country. Both the Prime Minister and King Philippe of the Belgians held a speech.

30 January

King Harald V of Norway was successfully operated for an injured tendon in his right knee in the Rikshospitalet in Oslo, Norway, on Saturday morning. He will be on sick leave until 14 February. Crown Prince Haakon will act as a regent.

British metal detectorist Kevin Duckett has made a sensational discovery in a field near Market Harborough, Northamptonshire. He unearthed a two-and-a-half inch jewel that turns out to be the centrepiece jewel of the lost crown of King Henry VIII of England. The jewel is worth up to 2 million pounds and now is at the British Museum in London. After abolishing the monarchy in 1649 Oliver Cromwell ordered the crown to be melted down.

31 January

The Duke of Cambridge has called for an end to the racist abuse aimed at footballplayers, both in the stands and on social media. He is the president of the Football Association.

Six active royal women from the ruling families in the Gulf region are featured on the cover of Vogue Arabia February 2021 to convey a powerful message of unity, solidarity, friendship and sisterhood. They are Sheikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Sheikha Intisar Al Sabah, Sayyida Basma Al Said, Sheikha Reem Al-Thani, Princess Lamia bint Majed Saud Al Saud and Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum.

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