Monday, September 15, 2014

Royal Profile: Prince Daniel of Sweden

Prince Daniel of Sweden was born 15 September 1973 in Sweden as the son of Ewa Westlind and Olle Gunnar Westling{Source}. He has a sister, Anna {Source}.

The future Prince Consort attended schools in Sweden, including Rabo Primary School, Perslunda School and Hammargymnasiet upper secondary school {Source}. He graduated upper secondary school in 1991 {Source}.

During his summers, he would work at a home for the elderly{Source}. Prince Daniel was also a member of the Swedish military group 114 in Gävle {Source}. After completing his military service, he worked at a centre for children with special needs {Source}. In 1994, he moved to Stockholm, Sweden to study at the Gymnastics Federation's Folk High School {Source}.During his time at Gymnastics Federation's Folk High School, he studied the youth recreation leader programme {Source}.While studying there, he worked for a fitness company, and after completing his education, he continued to work for the company full time{Source}.

In 1997, he created his own fitness consulting company {Source}. He opened his own fracise gim Master Training shortly thereafter {Source}. The future Consort started up the company Balance in 2006 {Source}. Since becoming the heir's consort, he has given up his business practices as required by law {Source}.

Prince Daniel partakes in many activities in his spare time, many of which are sports related. He is an avid skiier and golfer{Source}. Some of his passions and favorite activities include: social issues, health, sport and entrepreneurship, and enjoys going to the theatre {Source}.

Prince Daniel met his would-be bride in 2001, when he was hired as her personal trainer{Source}. Reportedly, in the beginning, King Carl XVI Gustaf was against his heir's budding romance with her trainer, however, eventually he warmed up to the relationship {Source}. After his engagement was annouced to the future Queen of Sweden, he began tutoring sessions in several languages including English, French and German, Swedish history and political science {Source}. Upon their engagement, royal watchers and the Swedish people began to speculate what-if any-title he would receive upon marriage. It was decided by the Swedish courts that he would receive the male equalivent of Crown Princess Victoria's titles-making his official title  His Royal Highness Prince Daniel of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland{Source}. On 19 June 2010, he became the first future male consort in Swedish history{Source}.
Over the years, Prince Daniel has "collected" many national and international honors. Upon marrying into the Swedish Royal Family, he was granted the honor of knight of the order of the Seraphim {Source}. Prince Daniel holds numerous honors, both domestically and abroad {Source}{Source}{Photo}. In addition to Sweden, he holds orders from Estonia, and Finland {Source}{Photo}

On 17 August 2011, his life changed once again, when he and his wife announced that they were expecting their first child {Source}. Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary of Sweden, Duchess of Östergötland was born 23 February 2012 {Source}.

The Swedish National Archives published an account of Westling's ancestors, most of whom were farmers in the province of Hälsingland {Source}.In June 2010, genealogist Björn Engström published Daniel's ancestors as far back as to the 14th century, and showed that Daniel shares some ancestors in the region of Stora Kopparberget with noble families living today, among these Svinhufvud{Source}.His paternal grandfather Anders Andersson (1900–1980) adopted the surname of Westling from his mother{Source}.

He is the 2nd commoner to marry into the royal family, breaking traditions of royals marrying royals. His mother-in-law was the first.

Since becoming a prince, he has undertaken many patronages, some of which includes International Society of Nephrology, World Transplant Games 2011, UEFA Women's EURO 2013,  patron of the initiative 'Make A Healthy Heart Your Goal' campaign partnership for UEFA Women's EURO 2013 {Source}{Source}{Source}{Source}.

The future Swedish consort has visited Russia, The USA on solo official capacity visits {Source}{Source}{Source}. He shares a birthday with Queen Letizia of Spain & Prince Harry of Wales.

Royal Profile: Queen Letizia of Spain

Queen Letizia of Spain was born Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano on 15 September 1972 and is the daughter of Don Jesús Ortiz Álvarez and Dona Paloma Rocasolano Rodriguez{Source}. The future Spanish Queen has two sisters: Telma Ortiz Rocasolano ( 1973) and Érika Ortiz Rocasolano (1975-2007){Source}.

She began his studies in Oviedo, in the public school La Gesta and later at the Institute Alfonso II{Source}. At age 14, she moved with his parents and sisters to Madrid, where she completed her school at Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu{Source}. She received a degree in Information Sciences, Journalism industry, Complutense University of Madrid{Source}. She holds a Master of Audiovisual Journalism from the Institute of Journalism Media Studies{Source}. During her studies, Letizia worked for the Asturian daily newspaper La Nueva España and later for the newspaper ABC and the news agency EFE{Source}. She was awarded the Larra Prize by the Madrid Press Association to the year's most outstanding journalist under 30{Source}.

She got engaged to Alonso Guerro Pérez after a 10-year courtship, they were civilly married in 1999, and divorced in 2000 {Source}. Her engagement to HRH The Prince of Asturias was announced on November 1, 2003{Source}.. The religious ceremony was held on May 22, 2004 at the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena in Madrid{Source}. It was the first royal wedding in this cathedral, which was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993{Source}. She donned the same diamond and platinum tiara that Queen Sofia wore at her wedding to King Juan Carlos{Source}. After the wedding, she moved with her new husband to his residence, a 3,150 square metres (33,900 sq ft) palace built within the Zarzuela Palace grounds{Source}. With the King of Spain, she has two daughters{Source}:
Her primary duties are to raise her daughters and support the institutional work of the Prince of Asturias. Therefore, she takes care personally of her daughters, the Infantas Leonor and Sofía, and seeks to harmonize her duties as a mother and her work alongside the Prince of Asturias at certain official events. Since 2007 she has her own agenda, which takes place in the framework of the official activities of the Royal Household of His Majesty The King, and of the Secretariat of His Royal Highness The Prince of Asturias.
Her main areas of work are children and youth, and, most especially, areas related to their education and health. The world of disability is another of the Princess's interests. Throughout these years, she has provided institutional support for different groups within Spanish society, ranging from visually impaired people to those affected by hearing impairments or by autism spectrum disorders, to name only a few.
In September 2010, the Princess assumed the Honorary Presidency of the Spanish Association Against Cancer and of its Scientific Foundation. She has maintained contact with the military by attending Armed Forces Day, presenting Combat Flags to certain Units, and presiding over a Flag Oath ceremony of the Royal Guard. The future Spanish Queen supports Spanish designers, from couturiers such as Felipe Varela and Lorenzo Caprile to Zara and Mango.
In 2006, Letizia received some unfortunate attention over a 'wardrobe malfunction' (a gust of wind blew her skirt up while greeting a crowd atop the Juan Luis Galiardo Theater).
Her interests include: the cinema, the theatre, literature and sports such as ski, sailing (since her wedding to the Prince) and hunting. She hold honors from Spain, Argentina, Chile, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lebanon, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal and Romania.Other Honors she holds are:

  • Favourite Daughter of Oviedo (Hija Predilecta de Oviedo, 2007)
  • Adoptive Daughter of Ribadesella (Hija Adoptiva de Ribadesella, 2004)
  • 'Lazo de Dama' of the Royal Masterhood of Cavalry of Seville, 2008. 
Together, they also represented Spain in other countries: the Princess has traveled along with the Prince to Jordan, Mexico, Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the United States of America, Serbia, Brazil, Uruguay, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, China and Portugal. She also greeted, along with other members of the royal family, international dignitaries. Such as when the Pope visited Spain for World Youth Day 2011
Letizia also attended foreign royalty gatherings in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, for the silver wedding anniversary of The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, as well as the 40th birthday celebrations of The Prince of Orange.

Royal Profile: 30 Facts about Prince Harry of Wales

  1. His full name is Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor{Source}.
  2. He is the second son of Prince Charles of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales.
  3. He has an older brother, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge.
  4. His stepmother is Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall.
  5. His sister-in-law is Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge.
  6. His first nephew is Prince George of Cambridge.
  7. He is the stepbrother of Laura Lopes and Tom Parker-Bowels.
  8. He is the stepuncle of Lola and Freddy Parker-Bowels and Eliza, Gus and Louis Lopes.
  9. At birth, he was 3rd in line for the British present, he is 4th, and with the birth of his second niece or nephew next year, he will be 5th.
  10. He was born at 4.20pm on 15th September, 1984 at St Mary's Hospital{Source}.
  11. He weighed  6lb 14oz at birth{Source}.
  12. On 21st December 1984, Prince Henry Charles Albert David was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. 
  13. His godparents were {Source}:
    1. The Prince Andrew (his paternal uncle)
    2. The Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (his paternal second cousin)
    3. Lady Vestey
    4. Mrs. William Bartholomew
    5. Bryan Organ
    6. Gerald Ward
  14. He began his education at Mrs. Mynors School in 1987 until 1989{Source}. 
  15. After attending Mrs Mynors School, Prince Harry became a pupil at Wetherby School in London, from September 1987. 
  16. In September 1992, Harry joined his older brother William at Ludgrove School{Source}. 
  17. He then attended Eton College from September 1998 where he took his GCSE’s and A Levels{Source}.
  18. After completing his A Levels, Prince Harry took a gap year during which he visited Australia, Argentina and Africa, where he made a documentary about the plight of orphans in Lesotho{Source}.
  19. Prince Harry entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005{Source} . 
  20. He successfully completed a 44-week training course as an Officer Cadet, before being commissioned in April 2006 as a Second Lieutenant in the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals){Source}.
  21. During this period, Prince Harry co-founded the charity Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in memory of their mothers (Sentebale means ‘Forget me not’) to support orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho{Source}.
  22. In February 2008, Prince Harry completed more than two months service with the British Army in Helmand province, Afghanistan, as a ‘Forward Air Controller’ for NATO forces{Source} .
  23.  On 13th April 2008, Prince Harry was promoted from Second Lieutenant to Lieutenant.
  24. In January 2009, he began a two-and-a-half year training course to become a fully operational, full-time Army Air Corps helicopter pilot. He remains an officer in the Household Cavalry during the training period{Source}.
  25. Prince Harry’s principal residences are at Clarence House in London and Highgrove in Gloucestershire.
  26. A new Household Office was set up at St James’s Palace, London, for Prince Harry and for his brother, Prince William, in January 2009 to reflect their growing public lives.
  27. The Prince is currently Patron of a number of charities and organisations (including Sentebale) and he holds two honorary military appointments (in the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force){Source}.
  28. The Prince focuses much of his charitable activity around the Princes’ Charities Forum, a grouping of organisations with which he and his brother have close links and which assists in promoting ideas and joint initiatives to the benefit of all the members {Source}.
  29. He shares a birthday with Prince Daniel of Sweden and Queen Letizia of Spain.
  30. He is godfather of two boys:
    1. Frederick "Fred" Pettifer (born 2001) (son of his former nanny, Alexandra Shân "Tiggy" Legge-Bourke)
    2. Jasper Dyer (born 2012) (son of close friend and former former royal equerry Mark Dyer)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Royal Recap of The Royals You Love: September 8-14, 2014


-Queen Paola celebrated her 77th birthday on Thursday.

-Noblie Elisabetta 'Lili' Maria Rosboch von Wolkenstein, Archduchess of Austria-Este celebrated her 27th birthday on Monday.


-Count Friedrich Richard Oscar Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth celebrated his 15th birthday on Sunday.


-Albert II, Prince von Thurn and Taxis, Princess Gloria von Thurn and Taxis & Princess Elisabeth von Thurn and Taxis attended the wedding of Princess Maria Theresia von Thurn und Taxis and Hugo Wilson on Saturday {Photos}.

-Princess Maria Theresia von Thurn und Taxis married Hugo Wilson on Saturday{Photos}

Great Britain

-The Prince Charles of Wales, Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge & Prince Harry of Wales attended the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony on Wednesday {Source}

-The Prince Charles of Wales, Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Beatrice of York, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Michael of Kent & The Lady Gabriella Windsor attended a memorial service for Mark Shand on Thursday {Photos}

-The Prince Charles of Wales met with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and visited Majeurs Chesterfield London on Tuesday {Source}. On Wednesday, the future monarch met with the outgoing and incoming  Chiefs of the General Staff, met with the Chief Executive of Historic Royal Places, the Landscape Designer and Landscape architect, met with the winner of the Prince of Britian Achiever of the Year Award,  met with the Minister of State for the Community and Local Government and Minister of State for Transport, attended a Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry Reception for Veterans Employment, met with the outgoing and incoming Commanding Officers of the 4th Battalion The Rifles {Source}

-Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall met with the outgoing and incoming Station Commanders and Group Captain of Royal Air Force Halton on Wednesday {Source}

-The Prince Andrew, The Duke of York attended a luncheon for the Vietnam-UK Bussiness Network for the Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, attended a meeting on Apprenticeships with representatives of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, met with The Sultan of Yohyakarta and attended a Financial Services Dinner at Admiralty House on Monday {Source}. On Wednesday, the British monarch's second son attended a board meeting and luncheon for The Outward Bound Trust, and visited HMS GANNET Serch and Rescue Flight {Source}

-The Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex  opened Enterprise South Liverpool Academy, unveiled a WWI Memorial to the Founding Fathers of the British Leigon, and visited Royal Fleet Auxillary Orange Leaf and Fort Victoria at Cammell Laird Shipyard on Monday {Source}.

-Sophie, The Countess of Wessex opened the Sanctuary at Thames Hospice, and held a dinner for The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation on Wednesday {Source}

-The Princess Anne, The Princess Royal attended a Citizens Advice 75th Anniversary reception and Awards Dinner  on Monday {Source}. On Tuesday, the Queen's only daughter opened the new l'Arche House, opened the Flats for the Frail and Elderly, attended a luncheon at the Merchants' Hall, visited women involved in the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier Project and engeineering and viewed the Charrier at Rosyth Royal Dockyard, and held the Chancellor's Dinner for the University of Edinburgh {Source}. On Wednesday, the second child of Queen Elizabeth opened the Redrow Builders Show Home, visited the North West Save the Children to mark the 50th anniversary, and visited David Moss Boatbuilders at Skippool Creek {Source}

-Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge opened the Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building at University of Oxford China Centre on Monday {Source}.

-Prince Harry of Wales attended the Invictus Games Driving Challenge, and The Invictus Games Welcome Reception on Tuesday {Source}.

-Princess Beatrice of York  attended Annual Charity Day Hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC at BGC Partners, INC on Thursday {Photos}. On Saturday, The Duke of York's eldest daughter attended the Markus Lupfer presentation during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015{Photos}.

-Princess Eugenie of York attended the men's final on Day 15 of the 2014 US Open on Monday {Photos}. On Thursday, the Queen's second to youngest granddaughter attended Annual Charity Day Hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC at BGC Partners, INC {Photos}. On Sunday, she was back in England to attend The Jaguar Land Rover Invictus Games Closing Concert {Photos}

-Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester opened John Jay Centre, opened the restored Peniculk House, and visited Dryden Aqua Limited on Tuesday {Source}. On Wednesday, the Queen's cousin met with the chairman and chief executive of the Japan Society {Source}.

-Birigitte, The Duchess of Gloucester opened the community link footpath at Ford Park Commuinity Group, visited St. Mary's Hospice to mark its 25th anniversary and open the Cavendish Wing, and visited Owen Jones Oak Swill Baskets on Wednesday{Source}

-Princess Alexandra of Kent, The Hon. Lady Ogilvy officially opened the new offices of the New Bridge Foundation on Wednesday {Source}.


-Princess Kiko celebrated her 48th birthday on Thursday.


-Andrea Albert Pierre Casiraghi attended the wedding of Princess Maria Theresia von Thurn und Taxis and Hugo Wilson on Saturday {Photos}.

-Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet attended the 27th 'Biennale des Antiquaires' Pre Opening at Le Grand Palais on Tuesday {Photos}.


-King Felipe VI & Queen Letizia attended a luncheon in honor of the President andMrs. Varela Castle of the Republic of Panama on Monday {Source}.

-King Felipe VI presided over the opening of the Judicial Year 2014/2015 in the Palace of Justice on Tuesday {Source}. On Friday, the Spanish monarch visit the Spanish General Motors Plant and met with the Organization of World Sailing Championship{Source}{Source}. On Saturday, the Spanish King met with sailors of the Laser Class and visited the racing area of the World Sailing Championship{Source}.

-Queen Letizia chaired the Council of the Royal Board on Disability on Tuesday {Source}.

-King Juan Carlos I attended a meeting of the World Cup FIBA ​​Basketball 2014, between teams from Spain and France on Wednesday {Source}.

-Doña Victoria Federica de Marichalar y Borbón celebrated her 14th birthday on Tuesday.

Royal Profile:Count Friedrich Richard Oscar Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth

Count Friedrich Richard Oscar Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth was born 14 September 1999, the first child of Count Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth & Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Countess von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth {Source}. He has one younger sister, Countess Ingrid Alexandra Irma Astrid Benedikte von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth{Source}. He is one of three grandchildren (soon to be four! His Aunt Princess Nathalie announced she was expecting baby #2 last month in February 2015)of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Richard, the 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg{Source}

His christening took place in Germany in December 1999{Source} and the following were named as his godparents{Source}:
  • Gustav, Hereditary Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (maternal uncle)
  • Prince Nikolaos of Greece & Denmark (maternal 1st cousin 1x removed)
  • Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (maternal 3rd cousin 1x removed)
  • Prince Philipp of Hesse (his mother's cousin)
  • Countess Andrea of Pfeil-Haag (his father's cousin)
  • Nadine Kettaneh-Farah (a family friend)

He was named for{Source}:
  • Friedrich: possibly for his mother's cousin, Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark, only in the Geman spelling?
  • Richard: His maternal grandfather
  • Oscar: no idea
  • Jefferson: his father

During his younger years, the family resided in Paris, France making frequent trips to Germany and Denmark to visit family. In 2013, the family moved to Germany{Source}.He is not a member of the Danish Royal Family, does not perform any official duties nor is in line for the throne due to his mother not being raised in Denmark per her great-grandfather's requirements. However, he is distantly in line for the British throne and related to most of Europe's present monarchs. He likely speaks French, Danish and German. He does participate in the annual family photo calls (Summer 2013, he is the one in the blue shirt) and official family events (such as the christening of his 2nd cousin Prince Henrik and wedding of his maternal aunt), but other than that he does not perform any official duties or functions for the Danish monarchy and little is known about him.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Royal Profile:Princess Kiko of Japan

Princess Kiko was born 11 September 1966, the eldest daughter of Kazuyo & Kawashima Tatsuhiko {Source}. She is the wife of Prince Akishino, the second son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan{Source}. She became the second commoner to marry into the imperial family; her mother-in-law, the Empress, was the first in 1959. She is also known as Princess Kiko, as she was affectionately called "Kiki" by friends and relatives in her childhood{Source}.

She spent her youth traveling the world as her father earned his PhD from University of Pennsylvania and later taught there. She spent her preschool days in the United States when her father received a PhD in Regional Economy from the University of Pennsylvania and later taught there{Source}. Princess Kiko attended elementary and high school in Vienna, Austria, when her father became the chief researcher at The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, where he studied spatial science and NGO activities{Source}. The future princess became fluent in English and German. She participated in the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) in 1987 and continues to be a supporter of the program. She received her undergraduate degree from the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Letters of Gakushuin University in 1989{Source}. Kiko subsequently began graduate study in psychology at Gakushuin and completed the first part of the doctorate in 1995{Source}. She completed her PhD at Ochanomizu University in 2013

She was chosen as one of the Young Global Leaders for 2007, drawn from a poll of 4000 candidates{Source}.

Prince Akishino first proposed marriage to Kawashima Kiko on 26 June 1986 while they were both undergraduates at Gakushuin{Source}. Three years later, Imperial Household Council announced the engagement{Source}. The wedding took place at an exclusive shrine at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on 29 June 1990{Source}. The Imperial Household Economy Council had previously granted the prince permission to establish a new branch of the imperial family and the Emperor granted him the title Akishino no miya(Prince Akishino) on his wedding day. Upon marriage, his bride became Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino, known informally as Princess Kiko{Source}.

The engagement and marriage of Prince Akishino to the former Kawashima Kiko broke precedent in several respects{Source}. First, at the time, the groom was still a graduate student at Gakushuin and married before his older brother, Crown Prince Naruhito{Source}. Additionally, the princess was the first woman from a middle-class background to marry into the imperial family{Source}. Unusual for the time, their engagement and marriage were romantically based, rather than arranged{Source}.

Princess Akishino completed her post-graduate studies in psychology in between her official duties and received her master's degree in psychology in 1995{Source}. She is known for her continuing interest in deaf culture and the Deaf in Japan. She learned Japanese sign language and she is a skilled sign language interpreter. She attends the "Sign Language Speech Contest for High School Students" held every August, and "Praising Mothers Raising Children with Hearing Impairments" every December. In October 2008, she participated in the "38th National Deaf Women's Conference."She also signs in informal Deaf gatherings.

The princess suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis aggravated by child-nursing, a symptom common among middle-aged women, her doctor said on 14 December 2007.

Since 1997, Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko and their children have maintained a principal residence on the grounds of the Akasaka Palace in Motoakasaka, Minato, Tokyo. The couple have two daughters and one son{Source}:
  • Princess Mako (23 October 1991)
  • Princess Kako (29 December 1994)
  • Prince Hisahito (6 September 2006) 

Princess Akishino often accompanies her husband to attend a wide variety of official events within Japan. These events include the Summer and Winter National Sports Festivals, Arbor Day events and school graduations. The couple is also called upon to meet with important overseas visitors to improve diplomatic relations{Source}.

The Prince and Princess have made numerous official visits to foreign countries{Source}. In June 2002, they became the first members of the Imperial Family to visit Mongolia, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. In October 2002, they visited the Netherlands to attend the funeral of the Prince Claus of the Netherlands. In September 2003, the Prince and Princess made goodwill visits to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa, again, the first time ever members of the Imperial Family had visited these countries. In March 2004, the Prince and Princess returned to the Netherlands for the funeral of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. In January 2005, they visited Luxembourg to attend the funeral of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. In January 2006, they visited Indonesia for a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Indonesia. From October to November 2006, they visited Paraguay to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japanese emigration to that country.

Princess Akishino has also assumed the role of Patroness of the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, succeeding the Late Princess Chichibu in June 1994. She also plays an active role in the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Royal Profile: Queen Paola of Belgium

Queen Paola of Belgium was born 11 September 1937 as Paola,Princess Ruffo di Calabriaand the youngest of seven children of Prince Fulco Ruffo di Calabria and Countess Luisa Gazelli {Source}. She grew up in Rome, Italy, and completed her secondary education in Latin and Greek{Source}.

On 2 July 1959, she wed Prince Albert de Liège{Source}. Together, they have two sons and a daughter, as well as6 granddaughters, and five grandsons {Source}:

Although the Constitution does not provide a particular official role for the Queen, she has always played a role in the public life of the country. As Queen of Belgium, she acted both alone and alongside her husband {Source}. Particular areas of interest of Queen Paola are social and cultural organizations{Source}. During her time as Belgian's Queen, she deployed the organization called the Queen's Charities to offer help to citizens who are struggling to cope with financial hardship in their daily lives and often turn to her as a last resort, the organization is now headed by Queen Mathilde, her daughter-in-law{Source}. In 1992, shortly becoming Queen officially, the Queen Paola Foundation was set up to provide her with the oppertunity to focus on the issue of interration and training for young people, based on three themes{Source}:

Meaningful support offered to agencies providing help to young people struggling to be included in the main social networks.
  • The Queen Paola Prize for Education (launched in 1997) seeks to highlight and reward innovative schemes undertaken by educationalists from all academic levels and networks. 
  • The School of Hope (set up in 1999): this initiative lends support to schools operating in a disadvantaged social and economic environment. 

In April 2002, she was named Honorary President of Child Focus{Source}. Her cultural activities primarily focus on several areas: Heritage, Crafts,Contemporary art, and Music{Source}

In her private life, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, enjoying nature, reading, traveling and listening to music{Source}.