Masks, Nobel and Christmas photos

Sorry to let my frustrations go … but honestly, I find royalty watching during the Covid-19 pandemic sometimes rather depressing. It is kind of a double feeling. On one hand one wants the royals to adapt their lives just like everybody else does. Their exemplary role probably even makes them stick to the rules more than their fellow countrymen. Mistakes are easily made as we have seen with the Dutch royals, who travelled to Greece in October 2020, while a few days earlier the Dutch government had asked Dutch people not to travel for the time being. OK, they were using the relatively safe government plane, but that was not the point … if the people have to stay home, the royals surely should.

Royalty watching also makes clear the big differences between countries. To me it seems some royals might stick to the rules a bit too much. Especially the Spanish royals have hardly been seen without a mask since Summer 2020, even if, as far as I know, it hasn’t been necessary anymore for a while in open spaces where distance can be observed, so posing with masks while others are quite a few metres away seems a bit too much to me. Working for a press agency I really have enough of seeing some people with masks only, while I, as many others, have also been shaking my head for the seemingly lack of rules in the Scandinavian monarchies. My colleague from Spain last week was shocked to see that in the Netherlands even the royals place their masks on the table, when they are seated during an event. In Spain that is not allowed.

What I find really difficult to bear, is that there have been so little events that one can really enjoy. I have enjoyed the overload on photos from Luxembourg, especially from little Prince Charles, since his birth in May 2020. I have overall enjoyed still seeing official pictures, even some photo sessions. 2021 there finally were some great royal weddings again, and even a few more than wonderful state visits. Everything started to look brighter for a while. But now there seem to be more corona-cases than ever before, and everybody talks about receiving boosters (or like in my case, not yet), suddenly all the fun is gone again. Several state visits were cancelled, other events were downgraded, there were even some new royals with Covid-19, most recent Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

While in 2020 the Nobel Prize ceremonies could only be held online, there were high hopes that they could take place somewhat more normal this year. They did, but not the way we would all have loved. When tuning in to watch the ceremonies online today, it turned out that both Queen Sonja of Norway, as well as Crown Princess Victoria and Queen Silvia of Sweden had opted for dark colours. Even more: no gala gowns or tiaras in Sweden and the men were wearing normal suits. At least Queen Silvia gave it a bit of an effort with a long blue floral dress. But as much as I like Victoria’s black cocktail dress, and especially her hair-do, I don’t want to see it during the Nobel Prize events! At least there were a few guests, including the moderator of the event, who choose nice coloured clothing.

As it seemed to get better I had booked a trip by plane to Denmark for half January 2022 to enjoy the 50th Throne Jubilee of Queen Margrethe II. Unfortunately she has just cancelled her New Year’s receptions, and I fear her jubilee celebrations will follow. I might be too scared to travel anyway … I haven’t cancelled anything yet, but I likely will. And I had such high hopes, after her 80th birthday celebrations were cancelled for April 2020.

I don’t mind keeping distance, or wear masks, but don’t want to be reminded of it online all the time. While I certainly hoped not to see any masks on royal Christmas cards this year, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall today published this year’s Christmas card photo. The photo was taken during Royal Ascot and shows them wearing … right … masks! (scroll down) At least his son Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, and his family know exactly what royalty watchers really want to see and have opted for a lovely family photo taken in Jordan earlier this year. Maybe not very Christmassy, but at least it makes me smile. And that is something that, in these times, we need even more often than usual.

Let’s hope that everything will finally be back more or less to normal next year.

Photo & Copyright: Kensington Palace

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