Royal News November 2020

Last modified: 12 December 2020

1 November

Copyright: Bhutan Royal Court

The desktop calendar for November 2020 of the royal family of Bhutan shows a lovely picture of Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck and his little brother Gyalsey Ugyen Wangchuck. The two sons of the King and Queen of the country were photographed at the Dechencholing Palace in commemoration of the 12th coronation day of their father on 1 November. Other pictures were shared on Facebook.

In cooperation with the organisation VOW For Girls of Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau Crown Princess Miriam of Bulgaria – designing as Miriam de Ungria – has designed “I Don’t” rings. 100 % of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to VOW to help child marriage to end.

King Harald V of Norway has been reported fit for work and will start working again. He had heart surgery on 9 October. Crown Prince Haakon has acted as crown prince regent.

2 November

King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand surprisingly answered a short question to Jonathan Miller, correspondent of the British tv-channel “Channel 4” after having presided over a ceremony to change the costume of the Emerald Buddha statue on Sunday evening. When asked what he would say to the anti-government protesters, the King first said: “No comment”. But then changed his mind and said: “We love them all the same. We love them all the same. Thailand is the land of compromise”. Also Queen Suthida is being heard saying something. The King and Queen mixed with thousands of supporters in the street after the ceremony in the Grand Palace.

Hon Nanaia Mahuta has become the first female Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand. She is a daughter of Sir Robert Mahuta, niece of the first Māori Queen Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu and a great-granddaughter of the revered Princess Te Puea Hērangi. She is a tribal member of Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Manu.

On 4 December the Fryske Akademy, the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and the Willem Lodewijk Year 2020 organise a one-day symposium in memory of Stadtholder Willem-Lodewijk. The symposium takes place in the Orange Hall of the Town Hall of Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, and will be held in Dutch. Who wants to participate, either in person or through livestream, can sign up here. Who can’t wait: the Nassau-Lecture by Professor Dr. Hanno Brand of the Foundation Nassau and Friesland will be held online on 11 November 2020 at 5.30pm. You can either watch on Facebook or via Streampool.

3 November

The Spanish Prosecutor General has opened a second investigation against King Juan Carlos. He was already investigated for his role in the contract to build a high speed connection in Saudi Arabia in 2008, for which he allegedly received a payment of 100 million dollar. The new investigation researches the use of credit cards by King Juan Carlos and several family members, supposedly Queen Sofia and some grandchildren, between 2016 and 2018.

4 November

The Prince of Wales in an interview with the magazine Vogue has spoken about his lifelong commitment to sustainable fashion.

5 November

The crown which was at the top of the Royal Dais of Queen Malagasy, Ranavalona III, today returned to Madagascar. Since 1910 the crown was presered at the Musée des Armées françaises at Les Invalides in Paris, in France. The French colonists had taken this symbol of power to France in 1897. The president of Madagascar on 3 November announced the restitution by France of the crown afer several months of negotiations between President Andry Rajoelina and President Emmanuel Macron. France had initially offered to loan the piece on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the independency of the country. The crown presently is at the Antananarivo Palace in Manjakamiadana, which will be reopened on 6 November after a fire ravaged the palace on 6 November 1995.

6 November

Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, the eldest son of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and Queen Sibongile MaDlamini died in the early morning of Friday at his Northwold, Johannesburg apartment, at the age of 50. According to the newspaper “Daily Sun” he died under mysterious circumstances. His body wass found by security staff in the afternoon after neighbours had discovered a locked door and a broken window. They had heard noise in the apartment in the early morning already.

8 November

Crown Prince Fumihito of Japan has officially been proclaimed the first in line of succession to the Chrysanthemum throne. The ceremonies had been planned to take place on 19 April and postponed due to Covid-19. It was the last ceremony in a series of events held following the abdication of Emperor Akihito on 30 April 2019. Several events had to be cancelled. During the about 15-minute “Rikkoshi no rei” ceremony at the Matsu no Ma stateroom of the imperial palace in Tokyo in the morning Emperor Naruhito proclaimed his brother the Crown Prince of Japan. As an answer Crown Prince Fumihito said to continue to fulfill his duties. He also inherited a sword that is passed down by crown princes. On behalf of the guests Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide held a speech to congratulate the Crown Prince. The ceremony was attended by just over 50 guests, among them adult members of the imperial family and the heads of the three branches of government. Participants wore face masks and kept distance from each other. In the afternoon the Crown Princely couple had an audience, “choken no gi”, with the Emperor and Empress.

Despite of Covid-19 the British royals participated in the service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, on Remembrance Sunday. Present were Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Royal, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, as well as the Duke of Kent.

Nicholas de Roumanie Medforth-Mills and his wife Alina-Maria became the parents of a daughter. Maria Alexandra was born on 7 November 2020 at 8.05pm at the Polizu Hospital in Bucharest. They are both doing well.

9 November

Thieves have raided the Paris home of a 47-year-old Saudi princess on avenue Georges-V, in the 8th arrondissement. Upon returning to her apartment on 5 November – she hadn’t been around since August – it turned out bags, watches, jewelry and furs worth about 600.000 Euro were missing. The princess was in a shock and hospitalised.

11 November

On Armistice Day the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended a service at Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the unknown warrior. The Earl and Countess of Wessex travelled to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, to remember the day.

The new issue of the British magazine Country Life carries a birthday message from Prince Charles.

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice, opened a new Prince of Venice restaurant in Westwood, Los Angeles.

If anyone missed the Dutch lecture about Stadtholder Willem Lodewijk at the Historisch Centrum Leeuwarden tonight, see here.

There is an interview with the Prince and Princess von Isenburg in the Austrian magazine Schlossseiten.

12 November

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Oscar Kylberg have presented their new collection of tableware under the name of “NJRD”.

13 November

A new public garden has been opened at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, the official residence of the Queen in Scotland. Visitors to the palace and the people of Edinburgh can freely enjoy the garden on Abbey Strand year round.

In a statement Princess Mako of Akishino has spoken about her wedding plans with Kei Komuro: “We are irreplaceable to each other — someone to rely on during both happy and unhappy times. So a marriage is a necessary choice for us to live while cherishing and protecting our feelings”. They said they think it is a “necessary” choice for them to get married. However it is “still difficult to announce something specific at this time”. Both families will be consulted. The couple got engaged in September 2017. The wedding was originally to take place in November 2018.

A mirror once owned by Queen Marie-Antoinette of France has sold at auction at East Bristol Auctions in the UK for £10,000. The buyer was an anonymous UK-based collector. Previously it had been hanging in the bathroom of a British family for 40 years. A silk shoe that belongs to Marie-Antoinette was to go up for auction at the Palace of Versailles, France, on 15 November.

15 November

The Royal Court at the Channel Island of Jersey has ruled that the Duchess of Castro, who lives in Monaco, hasn’t disclosed enough details of the wealth of her mother Edoarda Crociani to BNP Jersey. Camilla’s advocate Olaf Blakeley states, that his clients doesn’t know the location of many of her mother’s assets.

17 November

This morning the police in Berlin, Germany, has arrested three suspects for the theft of art in the Dresdner Green Vault in November 2019. Apartments in Berlin-Neukölln were searched early in the morning. The suspects were to be brought before the investigating judge later on the day. Two other suspects are still on the run, but the police has some indications where they might be.

18 November

Court papers in the court case between the Duchess of Sussex and Mail on Sunday reveal that the Duchess of Sussex had help of Jason Knauf, press secretary at Kensington Palace, in writing a letter to her father Thomas Markle. She also authorized a person to discuss the existence of the letter with the authors of “Finding Freedom“.

19 November

Monaco celebrated its national day in a smaller form. The service in the cathedral was followed by a small ceremony in the courtyard of the Princely Palace, without the usual onlookers. There was no concert in the evening. Both the Te Deum and the ceremony were broadcasted online.

King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway have gone into quarantine, after an employee of the court was diagnosed with Covid-19. The Queen is in quarantine as a result of close contact with the person in question. The King is in self-imposed home quarantine. Also 14 members of staff have gone into quarantine. The royal couple are asymptomatic.

20 November

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary at Windsor Castle. They among others received a colourful card created by their great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Cambridge.

The Duke of Cambridge has said that he is welcoming the independent investigation into the Panorama interview of journalist Martin Bashir with his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales. He says the investigation is a “step in the right direction” and might help discovering the truth behind the interview. A source close to the Duke of Sussex says that he is getting regular updates on the BBC-inquiry.

21 November

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, who are expecting their first child, have moved into Frogmore Cottage, Windsor. The house is the private residence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. According to a spokesman of Buckingham Palace any arrangements about the house are a matter for them.

Princess Michael of Kent has been diagnosed with Covid-19 three weeks ago. She and her husband, who tested negative, went into quarantine at their home at the Kensington Palace in London. According to their spokesperson she tested positive after their housekeeper fell ill. She suffered from extreme fatigue and had fevers.

22 November

The Monegasque Princely Court released several cute photos of Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.

The chefs in the royal kitchens at Buckingham Palace have shared their recipe for the traditional Christmas pudding.

23 November

In a statement the Spanish Casa Real has announced this evening that King Felipe VI of Spain has gone into quarantine after having been in contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19. They met on Sunday, and the person tested positive on Monday. The official activities of the King have been suspended for ten days. Queen Letizia, the Princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofia will continue their activities.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sadly had to announce the death of their nine-year-old dog Lupo.

Clarence House has limited replies on Twitter after the fourth season of the Netflix-series “The Crown” was released. The new season among others deals with the marriage of The Prince of Wales and his first wife Diana, and Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Both were attacked by Pro-Diana fans for their behaviour on their own social media. It is unclear if the move is connected to the release of “The Crown”. Just to remind you: “The Crown” is fiction, partly based on things that have happened in reality.

The Reservicing of Buckingham Palace has entered a new phase of works in the Picture Gallery. The almost 200-year-old roof is being replaced and ageing pipes, wires and other essential infrastructure removed. It is part of a ten-year-programme of works to update the palace’s essential services.

The Ruler of Dubai is allowed to build a six bedroom building on his Scottish Highland estate. The Highland Council had refused his proposal in June after local residents objected. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum appealed with the Scottish government and won their final approval. The design of the new house however has been altered, and the property will only have six instead of nine bedrooms. The Sheikh bought the estate more than 20 years ago.

24 November

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark celebrated their 12 1/2 year wedding anniversary (copper wedding). Their daughter Princess Athena took the photo. They celebrated in private. The couple got married on 24 May 2008 in Møgeltønder, Denmark.

Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia has tried to get back the Huis Doorn, The Netherlands, where his great-great-grandfather Emperor Wilhelm II spent the last 21 years of his life. In September 2014 the Prince’s lawyers, Eversheds, wrote letters to the Dutch government to get the castle, the complete inventory, the surrounding land and two farms back, the German newspaper “Welt” reported on 20 November. The Dutch government in May 2015 replied that they didn’t see any reason to do so. Nothing was heard of the family ever since. A spokesperson for the family told the German weekly “Der Spiegel”, that they consider this matter to have been settled for five years. In 2012 the Dutch government by the way withdraw their government subsidy for the museum. Some volunteers saved the museum, which was turned in to a place of remembrance of the First World War, and the subsidy was restored in 2017. The threat of closure of the museum had been the reason for the family to try to get the castle back.

25 November

In an opinion piece written for the “New York Times” the Duchess of Sussex has revealed that she had a miscarriage in July 2020. In the article she writes about her feelings about the loss, but also about the struggles many have with Covid-19. She also called for tolerance and compassion. According to a source of tv-channel BBC she and Prince Harry wanted to talk about it, as miscarriage is common, but often not spoken about.

The Danish royal house has announced that Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will celebrate Christmas with her son Prince Joachim and his family at Schackenborg this year. The crown princely family will celebrate Christmas together at home at Amalienborg, Copenhagen.

26 November

The King and Queen of Norway have returned from quarantine and will return to work on Friday. They have both tested negative.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden have gone into quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19. They are both experiencing milder flu symptoms and feel well under the circumstances. Their children Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel quarantine with their parents. Other members of the Swedish royal family were tested, as they had met on Friday at the funeral of Queen Silvia’s brother Walther Sommerlath, but tested all negative.

King’s Day will take place on 27 April 2021 in Eindhoven. Brainport Eindhoven is to develop a program for a broad audience that fits within the Covid-19 measures at that point.

Princess Olympia of Greece is modelling this season’s Capucines bags from Louis Vuitton.

27 November

The Duchess of Cambridge has presented the five biggest insights in the biggest ever study on the early years of children. They are the results of the “Five Big Question’s on the Under-Fives” survey by The Royal Foundation and Ipsos MORI that took place a few months ago. Since her marriage the Duchess has been involved in the subject.

The Japanese Imperial Household Agency has announced that the annual New Year’s greetings at the Imperial Palace have been cancelled due to Covid-19. It is the first time the event has been cancelled since 1990, when the country mourned Emperor Hirohito, the grandfather of the present Emperor.

King Felipe VI of Spain has tested negative for Covid-19.

28 November

Queen Mathilde of the Belgians gave an interview to several Belgian media on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of her own foundation. She spoke about her social engagement, her work also during the Covid-19 crisis and Christmas. She and her family this year wil celebrate in private. See also here.

David Flint Wood and India Hicks announced their engagement in the Daily Telegraph and The Times today. They have been together for about 25 years, have four children and a foster son. She is the daughter of David Hicks and Lady Pamela Mountbatten, daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

29 November

Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and their children Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar wished everybody a happy first advent. A video and several photos were released.

The Christmas tree in front of the Noordeinde Palace is there! 13 Metres high and full of lights and baubles. See here for a video.

People in the United Kingdom are being invited to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022 by planting a tree. The campaign is called The Queen’s Green Canopy and will be officially launched in 2021.

Chicago, USA, based auction house Hindman will sell the wedding tiara of Princess Eugenia of Greece at auction on 7 December 2020. The tiara originally was in the collection of the Imperial Family of Austria, and was inherited by descent through the Radziwill family. Eugenia married Prince Dominik Radziwill in 1938. The tiara contains numerous old mine, rose and mixed cut diamonds, however the seven main diamonds have been removed and replaced with paste by a previous owner. The worth is estimated 6,000 to 8,000 US Dollar.

30 November

Copyright: Keld Navntoft, The Royal House, 2020

As off 1 December until Christmas Eve the fifth digital Christmas calendar of the Danish royal family can be followed on the family’s Instagram profile and website. This year presents again a tale about Her Majesty The Queen’s handcrafted elves. In this year’s Christmas tale, The Queen sends the Elf Girl out on a journey through the realm to find her two siblings, with whom the Elfin Family has not celebrated Christmas for a hundred years. The Elf Girl’s siblings settled down in the Faroe Islands and in Greenland, respectively, during Christian the 10th and Queen Alexandra’s big Royal Tour in 1921 – and no one has seen them since. The Christmas journey of the Elf Girl becomes an encounter with both Faroese and Greenlandic Christmas traditions, myths and legends interwoven with stories about the Royal Danish House through the ages.

During the press conference on the occasion of his 55th birthday Crown Prince Fumihito of Japan said that he approves of the wedding plans of his daughter Princess Mako and her fiancé Kei Komuro. He said also: “I believe they are not in a situation where many people understand and rejoice over their marriage plan.”

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