Friday, January 31, 2014

Royal Profile: Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands

Princess Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of The Netherlands was born at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn on 31 January 1938 as the  first child of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard{Source}. At her birth, she held the titles of Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau and Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld{Source}. She has three younger sisters:
  • Princess Irene (1939)
  • Princess Margriet (1943)
  • Princess Christina (1947)

In May 1940, she and her family fled to the United Kingdom during the outbreak of WWII {Source}.  Her father  and grandmother remained in England, while she, her mother and younger sister continued on to Canada where they would be safer{Source}. Her second younger sister, Princess Margriet, was born in Canada in 1943{Source}.  In August 1945, the entire family returned to The Netherlands{Source}. Her youest sister,  Princess Christina was born in The Netherlands in 1947{Source}. 

The future Queen of The Netherlands attended schools in Canada, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, France and Belgium {Source}. While residing in Canada during WWII, she began attending nursery and primary school{Source}. Upon her return to The Netherlands in 1945, she attended De Weklplaats, Kees Boeke's Progressive School {Source}. In April 1950, she   entered the Incrementum, part of the Baarns Lyceum, where she passed her school-leaving examinations in arts subjects and classics in 1956{Source}. After passing her school-leaving exams, she began attending  Leiden University, where she was a member of the Leiden Women Students' Association{Source}. In her first years at university, she attended lectures in sociology, jurisprudence, economics, parliamentary history and constitutional law{Source}. Later she also attended lectures on the cultures of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, international affairs, international law, history and European law{Source}.In the summer of 1959, she passed her preliminary examination in law{Source}.While at university, the Princess visited various European and international organisations in Geneva, Strasbourg, Paris and Brussels{Source}. In 1961 she obtained a combined degree in law and other subjects, including sociology and economics{Source}.



On 28 June 1965, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard announced the engagement of Princess Beatrix and the German diplomat Claus von Amsberg in radio and television broadcasts{Source}. Before the wedding could take place, parliament had to be asked for permission and in autumn 1965, the two houses of parliament passed a bill consenting to the marriage, and granted Claus von Amsberg Dutch citizenship {Source}. Princess Beatrix married Claus von Amsberg on 10 March 1966{Source}. On the same day, Claus von Amsberg received the title of Prince of the Netherlands and the designation Jonkheer van Amsberg{Source}. The royal couple took up residence in Drakensteyn Castle in Lage Vuursche, where the Princess had lived since 1963{Source}. They lived at Drakensteyn Castle until 1981, when they moved into Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague{Source}. Since her abdication, Princess Bearix has resided back at Drakensteyn Castle{Source}. Together, they have three sons and eight grandchildren{Source}:

  • Prince Willem-Alexander of Oranje (1967) (now King Williem-Alexander)
    • Princess Catharina-Amalia of Oranje (2003)
    • Princess Alexia of The Netherlands (2005)
    • Princess Ariane of The Netherlands (2007)
  • Prince Friso of Oranje-Nassau  (1968-2013)
    • Countess Luana of Oranje-Nassau (2005)
    • Countess Zaria  of Oranje-Nassau (2007)
  • Prince Constantijn of The Netherlands (1969)
    • Countess Eloise of Oranje-Nassau (2002)
    • Count Claus-Casimir of Oranje-Nassau (2004)
    • Countess Leonore  of Oranje-Nassau (2006)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Royal Profile: Prince Felipe of Asturias

Prince Felipe  Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos of Asturias was born as the third child and only son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia on 30 January 1968{Source}. He has two sisters{Source}:
  • Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo
  • Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca
He was named for{Source}:
  • Felipe: in memory of the first Bourbon to reign in Spain
  • Juan: His paternal grandfather, the Count of Barcelona
  • Pablo: His maternal grandfather, King Paul (Pablo in Spanish) of Greece
  • Alfonso: His paternal great-grandfather, King Alfonso XIII of Spain
His godparents were{Source}:
  • Juan de Borbon, Count of Bareclona (paternal grandfather)
  • Queen Victoria Eugenia (paternal great-grandmother) 

He attended the Santa Maria de los Rosales School until 1984{Source}. He completed his secondary education, made the last-equivalent school at University Orientation Course-in Lakefield College School in Canada course in 1985{Source}. From September 1985 to July 1988, he undertook military studies at the General Military Academy of Zaragoza, where he served Pledge of Allegiance on October 11, 1985{Source}. He continued his military training at the Naval School of Marín and the General Air Academy in San Javier successively receiving in the month of July 1989 the offices of lieutenant of Infantry, Lieutenant Junior Grade and Lieutenant Aviation Weapon{Source}. From October 1988 to June 1993 he studied at the Autonomous University of Madrid, where he graduated in law, also studying various subjects in the degree of Economics in order to complete their training in this area{Source} In September 1993 he began a Masters in International Relations at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (Washington DC) graduated on May 26, 1995{Source}.

He began his public duties when he proclaimed his allegence to his father on 22 November 1975 {Source}. He recieved the titles of Prince of Asturias, along with the Prince of Girona and Prince of Viana on  22 January 1977 {Source}. In 1981, he received the Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece  {Source}.  On his 18th birthday in 1986, he swore before parliement loyallty to the king, to faithfully perform funtions, observe and enforce the Constitution and laws, and rights of the citizens and the Autonomous Communities, assuming the fullness of its institutional role as successor to the Crown {Source}.

On 1 November 2003, his parents announced his engagement to commoner journalist,  Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano  {Source}. The religous ceremony took place on 22 May 2014 in Spain  {Source}. Together, they have two daughters:
  • Infanta Leonor (31 October 2005)
  • Infanta Sofia (29 April 2007).

Royal Profile: Prince Hashem bin Al Abdullah of Jordan

Prince Hashem bin Al Abdullah of Jordan was born 30 January 2005, the youngest child and second son of King Abdullah & Queen Rania of Jordan{Source}. He has an older brother and two older sisters{Source}.


At the present time, he is second in line for the Jordian throne after his older brother.

Because he is so young, he is not regularly seen attending to public duties, like most young royals. However, during a 2009 working visit to the US, he was spotted out and about with his mother and siblings {Photos}. Also in 2009, he attended an air show which was organized by the military in cooperation with the British Embassy to celebrate his father's 10th anniversary of his succession to the throne {Source}. In June 2009, he along with his parents, attended the awards ceremony for the 2009 King Abdullah II Award for Physical Fitness awards in which his sister won 4th place {Source}.






Royal Profile: King Abdullah II of Jordan



Prince Abdullah bin Al-Hussein (now King Abdullah II of Jordan) was born 30 January 1962 the eldest son of King Hussein and his 1st wife, Princess Muna al-Hussein{Source}. He has one older half sister from his father's 1st marriage, two younger full brothers, and two younger full sisters, as well as 4 younger half sisters, and 3 younger half brothers{Source}.

Under the 1952 Constitution, he was considered heir to his father, but due to the unstable times in the 1960s, his father named his brother, King Abdullah's uncle the heir{Source}.

The future king attended to his education at various institutions around the world{Source}. He attended St. Edmund's School in Hindhead, Surrey, England from 1964-1975{Source}. After that, he moved on to Eaglebrook School and then to Derrfield Academy in the United States{Source}. Upon graduation, he went back to England to attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he graduated in 1980, and was subsequently commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and served as a troop commander in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars {Source}. After two years in the military he returned to school, to study Middle Eastern Affairs in a Special one-year studies course at Pembrooke College, Oxford University{Source}. In 1987, he moved to the United States to attend the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C{Source}.Upon his return to Jordan, he would serve in the Jordanian forces and would be promoted to Major-General in 1998{Source}.


Unsure of his eldest son's capabilities as King, his father consider arranging for the throne to pass to his brother then to his son in the 1980s, however, in 1992, something changed his mind{Source}.On his deathbead, on 25 January 1999, he made it clear he wanted his eldest son to inherit the throne{Source}.Therefore, that is what happened{Source}. Upon the death of his father on 7 February 1999, Prince Abullah became King Abullah II{Source}.

Throughout the King's reign there have been many improvements to Jordan. Since his ascendance to the throne, Jordan's economy has grown, and quality of Life of the people of Jordan over all has improved{Source}. In 2008, King Abdullah began his Decent Housing for Decent Living campaign in which all Jordanian citizens, and even Palestinian refugees, will be guaranteed high quality residential housing with easy access to community needs such as health, education, and community activities. The King announced on 2 March 2007 municipal elections in Jordan and in 25 November 2006 in his parliament address, told the parliament to work on reforms of the press and publication law. King Abdullah II has worked for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, attending the Arab Summit in 2002, OIC conferences and having several summits with US, Israeli and Palestinian delegations to find a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
For his personal life, he married Rania al Yassin on 10 June 1993. They have two sons and two daughters:
  • Crown Prince Hussein (born 28 June 1994)
  • Princess Iman (born 27 September 1996)
  • Princess Salma (born 26 September 2000)
  • Prince Hashem (born 30 January 2005)

On his personal time, he enjoys sky diving, rally racing, scuba diving and science fiction

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Royal Recap of the Royals You Love: Jan 20-26, 2014

Bhutan

-Princess Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck celebrated her 32nd birthday on Thursday.

Belgium

-King Philippe & Queen Mathilde attended the 44th Edition of the World Economic Forum on Tuesday {Photos}. On Thursday, they attended the session, The Millennial Challenge, during the 44th Edition of the World Economic Forum {Photos}

-Queen Mathilde celebrated her 41st birthday on Monday.

-Prince Laurent attended the 92nd Edition of the European Motor Show for Cars and Motorcycles on Tuesday {Photos}

Denmark

-Queen Margrethe II,Henrik, Prince Consort &Prince Felix attend the handball match between Denmark and France for the European title on Sunday {Source}

-Crown Princes Frederik  attended the opening ceremony of the 7th World Future Energy Summit on Monday {Photos}. On Tuesday, the future Danish King visited the Shams 1 Solar Power Plant {Photos}

-Princess Marie attended the opening of the Syddansk Universitets Børnesprogskonference (Southern University Child Language Conference) on Monday {Video}

-Princess Athena celebrated her 2nd birthday on Friday.

Great Britain

-The Prince Charles of Wales & Camille, The Duchess of Cornwall visited King's College Hospital on Wednesday {Photos}

-The Prince Charles of Wales  attended the kick off ceremonies the 2014 Sport Relief Mile at Dumfries House on Tuesday {Source}. On Wednesday, the future monarch attended a leadership reception hosted by The Prince’s Trust at The Royal Courts of Justice {Photos}

-Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception and concert to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of I CAN, a children's charity  on Tuesday {Photos}

-The Princess Anne, The Princess Royal arrived on the Isle of Man for a one-day visit on Tuesday {Video}. On Wednesday, she spent the day visiting South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England {Photos}

-Prince Harry attends a press conference to welcome home his Walking with the Wounded South Pole Challenge teammates on Tuesday {Photos}

-Sophie, The Countess of Wessex celebrated her 49th birthday on Monday. On Wednesday, she opened the new Livity School building {Photos}

-Zara Anne Elizabeth Philips Tindall & Michael James Tindall announced the name of their baby girl, Mia Grace Tindall on Wednesday {Source}

German
Prussia

-Prince Carl Friedrich, Hereditary Prince & Prince Louis Ferdinand celebrated their 1st birthday on Monday.

Jordan

-King Abdullah II  held a meeting with “...a delegation from the United States Congress and Senate...” on Monday {Source}.

-King Abdullah II & Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein visited the Royal Jordanian Air Force on Monday {Source}

Japan

-Prince Akishino & Princess Kiko presided over a send off/farewell/good luck ceremony for the Japanese athletes participating in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games on Monday {Source}

Liechtenstein

- Elisabeth Marie Angela Tatiana von Lattorff celebrated her 12th birthday on Saturday.

Monaco

 -Prince Albert II attended a ceremony to honor members of the Sûreté Publique de Monaco (public safety hence law enforcement) on Tuesday {Source}

-Prince Albert II & Princess Charlene attended the Sainte-Devote ceremony on Sunday {Photos}

-Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Princess Stephanie & Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet attended Day 6: Gala performance of the 38th International Circus Festival de Monte Carlo on Tuesday {Photos}

-Princess Charlene attended the presentation of the book "KZN Land of Dreams" she wrote a foreword for on Friday {Photos}. On Saturday, she celebrated her 36th birthday.

-Princess Caroline celebrated her 57th on  Thursday.

-Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi participated in the 2014 Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique on Wednesday {Photos}

-Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet attended the Didit show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2014 on Wednesday {Photos}

The Netherlands

-King Williem-Alexander opened the newly renovated Bovaghuis on Tuesday {Photos}. On Wednesday, the Dutch King attended a ceremonial minting of the new Dutch Euro coins {Photos}

-King Willem-Alexander & Queen Maxima welcomed the President of France to The Netherlands on Monday {Video/Photos}

-Princess Beatrix attended the 17th Edition of the Balletgala Dansersfonds on Monday {Photos}

-Princess Laurentien participated in Nationale Voorleesdagen (National Reading Day) on Wednesday {Photos}.

Norway

-Crown Prince Haakon & Crown Princess Mette-Marit attended the Årets Forbilde (Role Model of the Year Award) on Monday {Video}

-Crown Princess Mette-Marit attended the session, The Millennial Challenge, during the 44th Edition of the World Economic Forum on Thursday {Photos}

-Princess Ingrid Alexandra celebrated her 10th birthday on Tuesday.

Spain

-King Juan Carlos I met with two retired civil guards and their wives on Monday {Source}. On Tuesday, he received the Credentials of the Ambassadors of Singapore, Namibia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania, Jamaica, Rwanda, Iceland, Laos, Togo, Nepal, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Benin and Samoa  {Source}

-King Juan Carlos & Queen Sofia attended a meeting with the President of the Repbulic of Columbia and his wife on Wednesday {Source}

-Prince Felipe of Asturias & Princess Letizia of Asturias opening of the 34th edition of the International Fair of Tourism FITUR on Wednesday {Source}

-Prince Felipe of Asturias  participated in the closing meeting of the VII Foro de Liderazgo Turístico de Exceltur on Tuesday {Source}

-Princess Letizia of Asturias participated in a meeting with members of the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer on Monday {Photos}. On Friday, Spain's future Queen Consort presided over opening of the 1st International Congress of School Uncommon Diseases {Source}

Sweden

-King Carl XVI Gustaf & Queen Siliva attended a concert by Little Academy and students from the University College of Opera on Tuesday{Source}

-King Carl XVI Gustav met with 14 year old Simr as part of the charity My Big Day (Similar to the US's Make-A-Wish Foundation){Source} and met with several Swedish Civil Contingencies {Source} on Wednesday. On Friday, he headed to the Philippines with the Swedish branch of the World Scouting Program {Source}

-Queen Silvia attended a presentation of scholarships from Queen Silvia Jubilee Fund on Wednesday {Source}

-Crown Princess Victoria attended a concert and Choir Festival by students from Frost and Royal College of Music on Thursday {Source}

-Crown Princess Victoria & Prince Daniel attended a meeting of the Crown Princess Couple's Foundation on Monday {Source}

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Royal Profile: Princess Charlene of Monaco

Princess Charlene Lynette of Monaco (born Charlene Lynette Wittstock) was born 25 January 1978, the eldest child and only daughter of Mike and Lynette Wittstock in Zimbabwe{Source}. She has two younger brothers, Sean and Gareth {Source}. She and her family re-located from Zimbabwe to South Africa when Charlene was 11 years old {Source}.

The future Princess of Monaco attended local schools in Benoni, South Africa, but left school to peruse her passions for swimming.
She developed a passion for swimming at a very early age {Source}. In 1996, at 18, she won the South African Championship {Source}. In 2000, her team came in fifth at the Sydney Olympic Games {Source}. That same year, she won the gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the "Marenostrum" international swimming meeting in Monaco {Source}.  This is when she met Prince Albert for the first time; he was presiding over the international competition {Source}. In 2002, she won three gold medals at the swimming World Cup (50m and 100m crawl, 4x100m relay) and the silver medal during the Manchester Commonwealth Games (4x100m medley relay) {Source}. In 2007, she ceased competing after qualifying for the Beijing Olympics {Source}.

Growing up in Africa heightened her awareness of problems linked to childhood {Source}. She has frequently accompanied His Serene Highness on his travels to support charitable works, even prior to their engagment and marriage {Source}. Since 2009, she has been Honorary President of Ladies Lunch Monte-Carlo {Source}. Since 2010, she has been associated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation {Source}. She regularly participates in fund raising events for charities such as AMFar {Source}. On the 27th of May 2011, H.S.H Princess Charlene was appointed as a Global Ambassador of Special Olympics {Source}.  On 8th of July 2011, Princess Charlene has been appointed as a co-patron of the Giving Organisation Trust, a group of South African charities that deals with issues ranging from AIDS among underprivileged children to the protection of the environment {Source}. Since June 2012, Princess Charlene has been the patron of AS Rugby Monaco {Source}. Since November 2012, She has been Honorary President of the MONAA association {Source}.

In her free time, the Princess Consort of Monaco enjoys reading (especially biographies, and books of South African ethnic poems), surfing, hiking and contemporary art {Source}.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Royal Profile: Princess Athena of Denmark

Princess Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat was born 24 January 2012 as the fourth child and first daughter of Prince Joachim and second child and only daughter of Princess Marie {Source}

Due to the 2008 Succession Act, which made Denmark's monarchy an absolute primogeniture monarchy (absolute primogeniture=boys and girls have equal rights to the throne and younger brothers do not displace older sisters), she is in line for the Danish throne and will not be displaced by any possible younger brothers. 

She was christened in May 2012{Source}, with the following as her godparents:
  • Gregory Grandet (maternal uncle)
  • Edouard Cavallier (maternal uncle)
  • Carina Axelsson (her father's cousin's girlfriend)
  • Julie Mirabaud(friend of her parents)
  • Diego de Lavandeyra (friend of her parents)
  • Henriette Steenstrup(friend of her parents)
It is likely that she will begin her education as her elder brothers did before her, she will likely attend nursery school at the Garnison Church and Krebs. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Royal Profile: Princess Caroline of Hanover

Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite of Hanover, Hereditary Princess of Monaco was born 23 January 1957, the eldest of three children to Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace of Monaco. She was very aware of her responsibilities from early on in life. "I was raised with a sense of duty, obedience and… guilt," she once said of her childhood. "What I had to do always came before what I wanted to do."{Source}.

She attended local schools in Monaco until her upper education years, when she was sent to St. Mary's School, Ascot{Source}. She received her French Baccalaureat with honors in 1974 {Source}. She attended The University of Paris: Sorbonne VI from 1974-1977, when she received a bachelor's degree in Philosophy, with minors in psychology, biology{Source}.  During her youth she took ballet lessons at the Marika Besobrasova School of Dance in Monte-Carlo and studied both piano and flute{Source}.


She has been married a total of three times. The first of her three marriages was to Philippe Junot, shortly after graduating Sorbonne{Source}. This marriage ended childless and in divorce three years later{Source}. Her second marriage was to Stefano Casiraghi on 29 December 1983{Source}. Together she had three children with Casiraghi{Source}:

  • Andrea Albert Pierre Casiraghi (1984)
  • Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi (1986)
  • Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi (1987)
Sadly, Stefano would die while their children were fairly young in a tragic boating accident{Source}. She would marry a third time, to Prince Ernest Augustus IV of Hanover, with whom she has one child:
  • Princess Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Maryam Virginia of Hanover (1999)
After the tragic death of her mother in 1982, Princess Caroline began taking a more active role as de facto First Lady of Monaco. Prior to this, she was appointed by her parents as President of the Monegasque Comittee for the International Year of the Children in 1979{Source}. Since April 1983, she has been the Honorary President of the Guides de Monaco, which became the l'Association des Guides et Scouts de Monaco in 1992{Source}. In December 1982, her father appointed her as president of the Garden Club of Monaco, President of the Organizational Comittee of the Festival of Monte-Carlo Arts (later renamed  Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo (Springtime Arts of Monte-Carlo){Source}. Her father also appointed her as President of the Princess Grace Foundation{Source}. In 1985, she re-created Monaco's ballet company from the ground up{Source}. In 1988, she was appointed president of the Prince Pierre Foundation{Source}.  In 1992 she was appointed the President of the Artistic Board of the Prix International d'Art Contemporain (International Contemporay Art Prize){Source}. In April 1993, Princess Caroline was appointed the President of l'AMADE Mondiale (Association Mondiale des Amis de l'Enfance) or (Worldwide Association of Children's Friends){Source}. On December 2nd, 2003, UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura has appointed The Princess of Hanover as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of Her personal commitment to the protection of children and the family, and of her contribution to the promotion of UNESCO's programmes for the education of girls and women{Source}. 



The Princess also holds many international organizations to heart, many of which involve children or the disabled {Source}. She extended her High Patronage to the Peter Le Marchant Trust' located in England, which organizes free barge trips for the handicapped{Source}. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Royal Profile: Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway

Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway was born on 21 January 2004 the elder of the two children of The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway {Source}. She has one older half-brother from her mother's side, Marius Borg Høiby {Source}.

On 17 April 2004, she was christened with the following as her godparents{Source}:

  • The King of Norway (her paternal grandfather)
  •  Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (paternal aunt)
  • Marit Tjessem (her maternal grandmother)
  • Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark (close friend of her parents who is also a distant cousin)
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (close friend of her parents who is also a distant cousin)
  • Prince Felipe of Asturias (close friend of her parents, who is also distantly related)
Just before her second birthday, she began attending a day-care centre {Source}. At the age of 6 years and 8 months, she began attending Jansløkka elementary school, which she currently attends{Source}.

Even at her young age, she has already participated in several official duties{Source}. She normally joins other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of the Palace to greet the annual children’s parade on 17 May, Norwegian Constitution Day{Source}. She has also attended the traditional ski jumping tournament at Holmenkollen in Oslo{Source}.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Royal Profile: Sophie, The Countess of Wessex

Sophie, The Countess of Wessex was born Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones  on 20 January 1965, the only daughter and second child  of  Christopher Bournes Rhys-Jones and the late Mary Rhys-Jones{Source}. She has an elder brother David{Source}. 

While a youngster, her family relocated from Oxford to Kent, where she began attending Dulwich College Prepatory School{Source}. She then moved on to Kent College for Girls and West Kent College to complete her education{Source}. 

Upon completing her education, she began a career in public relations, where she worked for various firms, including Capitol Radio, The Quentin Bell Organisation and MacLaurin Communications and Media {Source}. She also briefly worked in Switzerland, where she worked as a ski representative, before she spent a year traveling and working in Australia{Source}. In 1996, she returned to England, where she opened her own public relations agency, R-JH Public Relations, which she ran with a business partner until 2001{Source}. In 2002, she resigned from her public sector life in order to focus full time on royal duties and working for The Firm{Source}.

During a tennis event in 1993, she met The Prince Edward, and shortly thereafter they began dating {Source}. After 5 1/2 years of dating, in January 1999, they announced their engagement{Source}. The wedding took place six months later on 19 June 1999 at St. George's Chapel {Source}. The morning of the wedding, her future mother-in-law announced new titles for her youngest son and new daughter-in-law, they were to be known as TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Viscount and Viscountess Severn{Source}. Together, they have two children, both of whom are in line for the throne and bear styles of children of an Earl rather than the traditional styles of HRH Prince/ss of Wessex{Source}:
  • The Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor (2003)
  • James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn (2007)

The Countess of Wessex carries out a variety of offical engagements on behalf of her patronages and Queen Elizabeth II, both in the UK and abroad {Source}. She remains comitted to promoting work and needs of organizations that promote children and young people with sensory, learning and communications disabilities{Source}. She is also active with The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme{Source}. Some of these organizations include{Source}:
  • Dyslexia Action
  • Mencap
  • The National Autisic Society
  • The Royal College of Speech Language Therapists
  • Vision 2020
  • Disablility Initative
  • Childline
  • Women in Business Group
  • Girl Guiding UK (president since 2003)
  • Tomorrow's People
  • Royal Bath and West Show (Show President in 2010, Vice Patron since 2011)
  • Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO) 
  • The Border Union Agricultural Society Bicentennial Celebration (2013)
She also holds numerous military appointments {Source}. In 2007, she became Royal Colonel of the 5th Battalion The Rifles {Source}. She has visited "her" battalion in both Germany and Afghanistan while they were on international deployments {Source}. She is also Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of Army Music and Queen Alexanda's Royal Army Nursing Corps {Source}. She frequently meets with military families and personnel whenever possible {Source}. In 2006, she was appointed Sponsor of HMS Darling and in 2008, Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Wittenring {Source}. She also holds two military appointments in Canada as Colonel-in-Chief of   The South Alberta Light Horse and Colonel-in-Chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment {Source}.

The Countess is a keen sportswoman, and in her spare time, she enjoys walking, running, ridding, sailing, tennis and reading{Source}

Royal Profile: Queen Mathilde of Belgium

Queen Mathilde of Belgium was born on 20 January 1973and is the daughter of the Count and Countess Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz {Source}.

She was educated in Belgium, attending primary school in Bastogne, and attending the "Institut de la Vierge Fidèle" {Source}. From 1991-1994, she studied to be a speech therapist at the "Institut Libre Marie Haps" in Brussels, graduating magna cum laude{Source}. Upon graduation, she embarked on a professional career as a speech therapist, setting up a practice in Brussels{Source}. In 1999, she returned to school for a masters degree in Psychology at the Catholic University of Louvain, graduating cum laude in 2002{Source}.

Queen Mathilde has taken patronage of many organizations, especially children. In 2000, just a short year after marrying into the Royal Family, the "Fund Princess Mathilde" was created{Source}. In addition, Princess Mathilde has given her patronage to several associations dealing with issues of concern to vulnerable people{Source}.She also attaches prime importance to educational subjects, the empowerment of women and supports projects to fight illiteracy{Source}. In May 2002, she was a member of the Belgian delegation at the UN Conference on Children in New York{Source}.Since 2009, Princess Mathilde has been the Honorary President of UNICEF Belgium{Source}. She has been on several humanitarian missions to countries including Niger and Mali {Source}. She is an UNICEF and UNAIDS special representative for their world campaign for orphans and other vulnerable children affected or infected by HIV/AIDS, and has visited Tanzania, China and Senegal on their behalf{Source}.  Queen Mathilde was also a UN emissary for the International Year of Microcredit 2005 and visited in that capacity projects in China, Mali, India and Washington/USA{Source}. In 2007, the Princess became a member of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum{Source}.

She married Prince Philippe of Belgium, The Duke of Brabant on 4 December 1999, thus becoming Princess Mathilde of Belgium, The Duchess of Brabant{Source}. Together, they have four children together, all of whom are titled and in line for the Belgian throne:{Source}
  • Princess Elisabeth, The Duchess of Brabant (2001)
  • Prince Gabriel (2003)
  • Prince Emmanuel (2005)
  • Princess Eléonore (2008)

Queen Mathilde often accompanies her husband abroad for various duties, mostly to promote Belgium for its commercial and economical interests{Source}.

In her spare time, she enjoys classical music, playing the piano, playing tennis, swimming, and enjoing nature and open-air activities{Source}. She is also a fan of literature{Source}. She speaks several langugages, including French, Dutch, English, Italian and some Spanish{Source}.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Royal Recap of the Royals You Love: Jan 13-19, 2014

Belgium

-King Philippe attended the inauguration of the 92nd European Motor Show for Cars and Motorcycles on Wednesday {Photos}

-Princess Claire celebrated her 40th birthday on Saturday.

Denmark

-Crown Princess Mary inaugurated the Royal Copenhagen’s new head office and grant-giving ceremony on Wednesday {Photos}

Great Britain

-The Princess Anne, The Princess Royal attended the MSc Occupational Therapy and MSc Physiotherapy End of Course Conference {Source} and visited the Saltaire Brewery {Source} on Tuesday

-Sophie, The Countess of Wessex visited 7th Frimley Brownies on Wednesday {Photos}


-Zara Anne Elizabeth Philips Tindall gave birth to a 7 pound, 12 oz baby girl on Thursday {Source}.

-Princess Michael of Kent celebrated her 69th birthday on Wednesday.

Japan

-Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko,Crown Prince Naruhito,Prince Akishino& Princess Kiko attended a lecture given by a top researcher during the annual Kosho Hajime No Gi (Ceremony of the First Lecture) event on Friday {Photos}

Jordan

-Queen Rania drops in on one of the short training courses held by the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA) on Tuesday {Source}

Liechtenstein

-Marie Theresa von Lattorff celebrated her 10th birthday on Saturday.

Luxembourg


-Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Prince Guillaume,Hereditary Grand Duke & Princess Stephanie,Hereditary Grand Duchess held audiences on the occasion of the New Year and attended a gala performance of  West Side Story on Wednesday {Photos}{Photos}

-Prince Felix & Princess Claire announced they are expecting their first child due in June 2014 on Tuesday {Source}

Monaco

-Prince Albert II & Princess Charlene attended the inauguration of the "...newly restored Tabernacle at the Église Notre-Dame-des-Neiges on Monday {Photos}

-Prince Albert II attended the Fortune Forum Champagne Reception on Wednesday {Photos}

-Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Princess Stephanie & Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet attended the opening performance of the 38th International Circus Festival on Thursday {Photos}

-Prince Albert II, Princess Stephanie, Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet & Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb attended Day 4 of the 38th International Circus Festival on Sunday {Photos}

-Princess Stephanie, Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet & Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb attended the opening performance of the 38th International Circus Festival on Friday{Photos}

-Princess Stephanie & Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet  attended Day 3 of the 38th International Circus Festival on Saturday{Photos}

-Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi visited the Cartier exhibition at the ‘Grand Palais’ on Monday {Photos}

-Baroness Elisabeth Anne de Massy celebrated her 67th birthday on Monday.

-Mélanie-Antoinette Costello de Massy celebrated her 29th birthday on Saturday.

-Christian Louis de Massy celebrated his 65th birthday on Friday.

-Antoine de Massy celebrated his 17th birthday on Wednesday.

The Netherlands

-King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima, Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet & Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven hosted a Nieuwjaarsontvangst (New Year reception) on Tuesday {Photos}

-Princess Laurentien visited the Vakantiebeurs on Wednesday {Photos}

Norway

-Queen Sonja viewed the exhibition entitled, 1814: Spillet om Danmark og Norge, at the Norsk Folkemuseum at Bygdøy on Tuesday {Source}.

Spain


-King Juan Carlos I received credentials from Ambassadors representing the countries of Kuwait, El Salvador, Croatia, Guatemala, Cuba, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Venezuela, Austria, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Croatia, among others on Wednesday {Source}

-Queen Sofia & Princess Letizia of Asturias presided over the delivery of the Orden Civil de la Solidaridad Social on Tuesday {Source}

-Don Iñaki Urdangarín y Liebaert, Duke of Palma de Mallorca celebrated his 46th birthday on Wednesday.

-María de las Mercedes Fernández-Sastrón y Gómez-Acebo celebrated her 14th birthday on Friday.

Sweden

-King Carl XVI Gustaf opened the 2014 ski-SM and SM-week on Thursday {Source}

-Queen Silvia presided over a board meeting of the Queen Silvia's Foundation Care About the Children on Wednesday {Source}

-Crown Princess Victoria  awarded the 2014 Tobias Prize on Wednesday {Source}

-Crown Princess Victoria & Prince Daniel visited the Homework Foundation on Thursday {Source}.

-Prince Carl Philip attended the Svenska Idrottsgalan (Swedish Sport Gala) on Monday {Source}{Source}. On Tuesday, the third in line for the Swedish Throne presented scholarships from the Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian Sports Foundation {Source}

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Royal Profile: Melanie-Antoinette de Massy de Lusignan

Melanie-Antoinette de Massy de Lusignan was born 18 January 1985 in Monaco as the daughter of Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy and {Source (ed note: this website claims she is the daughter of  Bernard Alexandre Baron Taubert Natta, when she is not)} Nicolai Vladimir Costello dit de Lusignan {Source}. She is the niece of Christian Louis de Massy  and cousin of Antoine de Massy.

She grew up in Monaco, attending The International School of Monaco, obtaining the International Baccalaureate in 2005. Melanie is a prominent business woman in Monaco, she is presently Agribras’ Head of Investor Relations{Source}. She is an advisor for Giersch Ventures, a financial advisory boutique, and a co-founder with Luiz Macambira of The Macmas Group, an investment advisory, real estate development and event promotion group{Source}.. She sits on the Committee of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and of the Monte Carlo Country Club {Source}. Other than the Tennis event in April and appearing on the balcony with the family during the National Day celebrations in November, she rarely performs public duties. In 2012, she appeared at the Monaco Against Autism event with her mother {Photos}, as well as several other events throughout the year {Photos}. She is a frequent attendee of the Bal de Rose  (2008, 2009, 2012)and Red Cross Ball (2006, 2007, 2011, 2012). In 2013, she along side Princess Charlene, she attended the 2nd day of the Monaco Petanque Masters 2013 event {Photos}. She also attended Day 1 of the event with the Princely Couple {Photos}. In June 2013, she represented the Princely Family at the SOS Animal Gala in honor of Princess Antoinette of Monaco in Spain {Photos}

 She is fluent in French and English, as well as speaking some German and Italian{Source}.

With the death of her great-uncle in 2005, she lost her place in the line of succession for the Monégasque throne, however, she and her immediate family remain in the "pool" of familial collaterals eligible to be selected for the Crown in the event of the extinction of the descendants of Prince Rainier.

Royal Profile: 19 Facts about Princess Claire of Belgium

  1. Claire Marie Coombs (aka Princess Claire of Belgium) was born Princess Claire was born in Bath, Somerset, Englandon 18 January 1974 {Source}
  2. She is the daughter of Nicole (Mertens) Coombs and Nicholas Coombs {Source}.
  3. Princess Claire has two siblings, elder sister Joanna and younger brother Matthew {Source}.
  4. She has a niece named Emma {Source}.
  5. When she was three years old, her family moved to Belgium, settling in Wavre{Source}. 
  6. She attended primary and secondary school at the Institut de la Providence in Wavre{Source}. 
  7. She was interested in drawing, painting, music and horse-riding{Source}.
  8. She was an active member of a youth movement (the Guides), and sang in the local choir, with whom she played an active part in the Pope's visit to Brussels{Source}
  9. Princess Claire frequently travels to England to visit her grand-parents on her father's side and friends{Source}
  10. Her grandmother on her mother's side of the family lives in Chaumont-Gistoux{Source}.
  11. Having completed her humanities, she studied as a surveyor{Source}.
  12. She completed her training with a period of work experience at "Brone & Oldenhove" in Wavre and qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1999{Source}.
  13. At one time, "Brone & Oldenhove" then offered her the possibility of becoming a partner{Source}.
  14. Princess Claire has dual nationality, Belgian and British, and trained at the Antwerp office of a chartered surveyors' firm{Source}.
  15. She married Prince Laurent on 12 April 2003 in Brussels{Source}
  16. Miss Claire Coombs was raised to Princess of Belgium, on the day of her marriage, by Royal Decree of April 1st 2003{Source}.
  17. Together, they have three children{Source}:
    1. Princess Louise Sophia Mary of Belgium (2004)
    2. Prince Nicolas of Belgium (2005)
    3. Prince Aymeric of Belgium (2005)
  18. Unlike her sisters-in-laws, Queen Mathilde and Princess Astrid, she does not have a defined role in the monarchy {Source}.
  19. She is patron of the Brussels Choral Society{Source}

Friday, January 17, 2014

Royal Profile:María de las Mercedes Fernández-Sastrón y Gómez-Acebo

María de las Mercedes Fernández-Sastrón y Gómez-Acebo was born 17 January 2000 and is the daughter of Doña Simoneta Luisa Gómez-Acebo y de Borbón and granddaughter of Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz, Dowager Viscountess de la Torre{Source}. She has two siblings{Source}:

As she is not technically or is technically a minor member of the Spanish Royal Family (pending on if you see her grandmother's abdication prior to the adaption of the constitution and define "descendants of King Juan Carlos I" as his sisters and their descendants as well), little is known about her nor does she perform public duties, one can assume she lives a fairly normal life of a 14 year old.

Royal Profile: 31 Facts about Christian Louis de Massy

  1. Christian Louis de Massy was born 17 January 1949
  2. He is only son of Princess Antoinette of Monaco, Baroness de Massy and her husband, Alexandre-Athenase Noghès. 
  3. He has two sisters, Elisabeth Anne (1947) and Christine Alix (1951-1989).
  4. He has one niece and two nephews-K. Sebestian Knecht de Massy, Baron Jean-Leonard Taubert-Natta and Melanie-Antoinette Costello de Massy.
  5.  He is first cousins with Prince Albert II of Monaco.
  6. He is the only biological nephew of Prince Rainier III.
  7. Upon his birth, his surname was his mother's last name Grimaldi, due to the dynasty and the fact that his parents were not married at the time. 
  8. When his parents married shortly before his 2nd birthday in December 1951, his uncle granted his mother the title Baroness de Massy as a wedding present. 
  9. Thus, she immediately changed her children's last name from Grimaldi to de Massy. 
  10. Also at the time of his birth, his uncle was unmarried and childless, and the succession laws only allowed for males to succeed the throne, so Christian's mother and father were allegedly scheming to stage a coup d'état in order to see Christian succeed his uncle. 
  11. However, when his uncle married American actress Grace Kelly in April 1956, the possibility of Christian acceding the throne became remote, and even more so with the births of his cousins Princess Caroline, Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie in 1957, 1958 & 1965.
  12. Even while his mother was alive, Christian was refered to a Baron de Massy, as a title when this is not such the case. 
  13. His mother was given the title, not him. He is not entitled to it at all in any way, shape or form unless his cousin, Prince Albert decides to give him the title Baron de Massy. However, to date, that has yet to happen. Therefore, Christian is simply known as Chrisitan de Massy, who's cousin just so happens to be the sovereign prince.
  14. Upon his uncle's 21st birthday in 1944, Christian's grandmother and mother renounced each renounced her rights to the throne in favor of Prince Rainier. This did not change until the succession laws changed in 2002, allowing Princess Antoinette and her legitimatized decedents rights to the throne among other changes to the constitution. 
  15. However, in 2005, his mother, elder sister (his younger sister died of leukemia in 1989), daughter, two sons, two nephews, niece, and two great-nieces lost their succession rights with the death of Prince Rainier as they were no longer "direct and legitimate" descendants of the reigning Prince. However, if for some reason the "direct and legitimate" line should fail, Christian and his family could be selected by Monaco's National Council to ascend the throne to avoid being reverted back to France after 700+ years of being independence.
  16. Christian was raised primarily in the small French Riviera town of Enze, just outside of Monaco.
  17. During the 1960s he was a student at Instut Le Rosey in Switzerland (where he was expelled and his uncle had previously attended) and the Downside School in the UK. 
  18. He also briefly attended The University of Cambridge, but never graduated.
  19. Christian's professional life has led him in multiple directions. 
  20. He has held professions such as race car driver, tennis player, among other crazy professions. 
  21. Presently, I *believe* he works for Monaco's transportation department, but I'm not sure doing what type of job or in what capacity.
  22. His personal life, like that of his mother, cousins and sisters, has been very turmoil. 
  23. Christian has been married 4 times, and has three children and four grandchildren{Source}. 
  24. His first marriage took place in 1970, in Argentina{Source}. 
  25. This marriage resulted in the birth of his 1st child, Laetizia de Massy (who is mother of his 4 grandchildren). However, in 1978, they were divorced. His daughter married Jonkheer Thomas de Brouwer, has four children and resides in Belgium{Source}. 
  26.  His second and third marriages were also fairly short-lived and did not result in any issue, wife #2 was Anne Michelle Lütken from 1982-1987, and wife # 3 was Julia Lakschin from 1992-1995{Source}. 
  27. His last marriage, and his longest, was to Cécile Gelabale in 1996{Source}. 
  28. Together with Cécile, he adopted a son, Brice Souleyman Gelabale-de Massy who was born in 1987 in Cécile native Guadeloupe.
  29. He and Cécile  are also the biological parents of future Monégasque tennis great Antoine de Massy, who was born in January 1997{Source}. 
  30. Christian is not a regular at major family events (such as National Day), but makes appearances as enthronement, funeral (behind Princess Caroline, at the funeral of his mother) and wedding (seen here in the 3rd row second to the left on the far left of the photo next to his sister who is wearing Red) ceremonies.
  31. In the 1986, he wrote a controversial book about the Princely Family, entitled Palace: My Life in the Royal Family . It is available for sale on Amazon.com.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Royal Profile: Princess Michael of Kent

Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz (aka Princess Michael of Kent) was born 15 January 1945, the daughter of Baron Günther Hubertus von Reibnitz (of German descent) and his Hungarian wife, Countess Maria Anna Carolina Franziska Walpurga Bernadette Szapáry von Muraszombath, Széchysziget und Szapár. She has a much older sister, Margarita, who was born almost 21 years to the day before her sister.

She has been married twice, firstly to English banker Thomas Troubridge, in the early 1970s. That marriage did not last. They were separated in 1973, and divorced by 1977, and the marriage was annulled by the Catholic church in 1978. A month after the annulment took place, she wed in a civil ceremony in Vienna, Austria to Prince Michael of Kent, who was the youngest son of Prince George, Duke of Kent. Upon marriage, she assumed the style and title of HRH Princess Michael of Kent, the female equivalent to her husband's title; because she was not born a princess, she is not entitled to be styled Princess Marie Christine. After receiving Pope John Paul II's permission, the couple later married in a Roman Catholic ceremony on 29 June 1983, at the Archbishop's House, London.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have two children, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter:
  • Lord Frederick Windsor, born 6 April 1979; married, 12 September 2009, Sophie Winkleman
    • Miss Maud Elizabeth Daphne Mariana Windsor (2013) 
  • Lady Gabriella Windsor, born 23 April 1981 

She and her husband never received any money from the government to fund their public duties. Nevertheless, Prince and Princess Michael represented the Queen at the independence celebrations in Belize and at the coronation of King Mswati III of Swaziland. Her husband also supports a large number of different charities and organisations, and she supports him in this work. The Kent Family have had the use of a 5 bed, 5 reception room at Kensington Palace for many years. Prince Michael's cousin Queen Elizabeth, had been paying their £120,000 rent annually from her own private funds with the couple paying the nominal amount of £70 per week. However, in 2008, it was announced Prince and Princess Michael would be required to begin paying rent of £120,000 a year.

Princess Michael of Kent has attended several Catholic related events over the years, including Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit to the UK in 2010, where she was personally involved in the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman during the Pope’s visit.

Princess Michael's primary royal duty is to support her husband when he is called upon by his cousin to perform duties. However, on the occasion she represents the Firm on her own. She represented her 1st cousin in law, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh during the launching ceremony of the Green Pilgrimage Networkthat was organized by Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) in Italy in 2011.

Over the years she has led a variety of careers ranging from interior designer to author. The Princess is an accomplished author, having penned three books, Crowned in a Far Country: Eight Royal Brides, and Cupid and the King – Five Royal Paramours and The Serpent and The Moon.

Prior to her Royal Marriage, she was an interior decorator. In a report from The Observer’s Pendennis column in 2007, she began decorating again with her original company SZAPAR DESIGNS. She also served as President of Partridge Fine Art for a few years. In 2008, she became a consultant for the Swiss art gallery, Galerie Gmurzynska.

Like most royals, she has not led a life without controversies. She has made claims against her cousin in law, stating to an American fashion magazine that she had "more royal blood in her veins than any person to marry into the royal family since Prince Philip". She is also reported to have said she was "probably the first tall person to marry into the clan" (also true if males are discounted; Princess Michael stands about six feet (1.83 m) tall). The Queen reportedly has referred to her as "Our Val", a reference to the warrior-like Valkyries, and – sarcastically – as "a bit too grand for" the rest of the royal family. In 2004, she was in New York, NY USA, in a restaurant where she allegedly told a group of black diners to "get back to the colonies" when complaining about their noise. This was an accusation she denied, though it made headlines around the world. Her account of the story was that she remarked to one of her fellow dinner guests that she would be glad to go back to the colonies in order to escape her noisy neighbors. She later described her accusers as a "group of rappers". This was untrue; the group consisted of an investment banker, a music mogul, a reporter, a television fashion correspondent, and a lawyer. In 2005, she gave a series of interviews to promote her book, in one interview where she claimed that the British media were "excited" by Prince Harry's decision to wear a swastika for a fancy dress party because "of the ownership structure" of the British press. She claimed that the press would not have been so concerned had he worn a hammer and sickle, which "stands for Stalin and gulag and pogrom and devastation". In 2005, she was taken by News of the World after their reporter, Mazher Mahmood gained her confidence and claimed that she made numerous self-indulgent remarks, including referring to her 1st cousin 1x removed’s former wife as “bitter” and “nasty”. She also created a controversy when she heard of the research of Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth that seemed to indicate that rank among female baboons is hereditary, the Princess said, "I always knew that when people who aren’t like us claim that hereditary rank is not part of human nature, they must be wrong. Now you’ve given me evolutionary proof!"{Source}

Royal Profile: Princess Mako of Akishino

Princess Mako of Akishino was born 23 October 1991 as the eldest child of Fumihito, Prince Akishino & Kiko, Princess Akishino { Source ...