Saturday, January 31, 2015

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}:

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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Royal Profile: King Felipe VI of Spain

King Felipe VI of Spain 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:
  • Princess Leonor of Asturias (31 October 2005)
  • Infanta Sofia (29 April 2007).

Royal Profile: 10 Facts about Prince Hashem bin Al Abdullah of Jordan

  1. Prince Hashem bin Al Abdullah of Jordan was born 30 January 2005{Source}. 
  2. He is the youngest child and second son of King Abdullah & Queen Rania of Jordan{Source}. 
  3. He has an older brother and two older sisters{Source}:
    1. Crown Prince Hussein (1994)
    2. Princess Iman (1996)
    3. Princess Salma (2000)
  4. At the present time, he is second in line for the Jordian throne after his older brother. 
  5. During a 2009 working visit to the US, he was spotted out and about with his mother and siblings {Photos}. 
  6. 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}. 
  7. 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}.
  8. He is reportedly the 44th-generation direct descendant of prophet Mohammad.
  9. He shares a birthday with his father and King Felipe VI of Spain.
  10. His paternal grandparents are Princess Muna al-Hussein (1941-) and King Hussein bin Talal.

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 25, 2015

The Royal Recap of The Royals You Love: January 19-25, 2015

Bhutan

-King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck celebrated Chunyipai Losar with the people of Lhuntshe on Wednesday {Photo}.


-Princess Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck celebrated her 33rd birthday on Friday.

Belgium

-King Philippe & Queen Mathilde hosted a reception for members various European institutions on Tuesday {Source}. On Wednesday, they arrived in Switzerland for the World Economic Fourm {Photos}

-Queen Mathilde celebrated her 42nd birthday on Tuesday.

Denmark

-Princess Athena celebrated her 3rd birthday on Saturday.

Germany

-Prince Carl Friedrich & Prince Louis Ferdinand celebrated their 2nd birthday on Tuesday.

Great Britain

-The Prince Charles of Wales visited the Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK on Tuesday {Source}

-The Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex & Sophie, The Countess of Wessex visited Tomorrow’s People Social Enterprises on Tuesday {Photos}.

-Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall attended the launch of the 2015 children's short story writing competition 500 words,  and met with BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show presenter, Chris Evans on Tuesday {Photos}

-Sophie, The Countess of Wessex celebrated her 50th birthday on Tuesday.

-The Princess Anne, The Princess Royal visited The Carers’ Resource Bradford office on Thursday {Source}


-Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge opened the new Kensington Leisure Centre and joined a coffee morning staged by the organisation Family Friends on Monday {Source}

France

-Princess Hélène Sybille Irène of Orléans celebrated her 14th birthday on Saturday.

Japan

-Crown Prince Naruhito visited the Gakushuin Women's College and Graduate School to talk to students about study abroad opportunities on Wednesday {Video}

-Crown Prince Naruhito & Crown Princess Masako visited the Yamatane Museum of Art in Tokyo to view the special 15th memorial exhibition, Higashiyama Kaii and Four Seasons in Japan  on Monday {Video}.

Jordan

-Queen Rania visited the Al Badia Society for Women’s Development on Tuesday {Source}.
Liechtenstein

-Elisabeth Maria Angela Tatjana von Lattorff celebrated her 13th birthday on Sunday.

Monaco

-Prince Albert II, Princess Stephanie & Miss Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet attended the 39th International Circus Festival de Monte Carlo Awards Ceremony on Wednesday {Photos}.

-Prince Albert II & Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi attended the final day of the 83rd Monte Carlo Rallye de Monte Carlo on Sunday {Photos}

-Prince Albert, Baroness Elisabeth Anne de Massy & Melanie-Antoinette de Massy attended the Saint Sébastien, Patron Céleste de la Compagnie des Carabiniers on Tuesday {Photos}

-Prince Albert II attended the World Economic Forum on Saturday{Photos}

-Princess Charlene celebrated her 37th birthday on Sunday.

-Princess Caroline attended a viewing the special exhibition, Construire une Collection on Tuesday {Photos}. On Friday, she celebrated her 58th birthday.

-Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi announced that he will participate in RORC Caribbean 600 Miles Race in February on Tuesday {Source}.

-Jazmin Grace Grimaldi attended The Cinema Society & Tod's Host The Premiere Of The Film Arcade's
& Cinedigm's Song One  on Tuesday {Photos}

The Netherlands

-King Willem-Alexander I met with the new Ambassadors of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Gambia on Wednesday {Photos}. On Friday, the first Dutch King in 100 years  participated in an "...initiative to speak out all the names of the 102,000 Dutch victims that died in or were deported from the former Westerbork Concentration Camp during World War II..."  and opened the Akoesticum {Video}{Photos}

-Princess Laurentien attended to the National Reading Day in Hoorn on Wednesday {Source}

Norway

-Crown Prince Haakon attended the World Economic Forum on Saturday{Photos}.

-Princess Ingrid Alexandra celebrated her 11th birthday on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia

-King Salman, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Prince Waleed bin Talal & others attended the funeral services of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Friday {Photos}

Spain

-King Felipe VI met with the 64th Promoción de Técnicos Comerciales y Economistas del Estado, Grupo de Ciudades Patrimonio de la Humanidad de España, and members from the Comité de dirección de la Federación Nacional de Asociaciones de Trabajadores Autónomo on Tuesday {Photos}

-King Felipe VI & Queen Letizia  attended the annual Foreign Ambassadors reception on Wednesday {Photos}.

Sweden

-Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel & Princess Estelle undertook an official visit to the US from Monday to Wednesday {Day 1}{Day 2}{Day 3}

-Prince Carl Philip  viewed the exhibition, Carl Larsson: Det Goda Livet  on Friday {Source}.

-Princess Madeleine met with the Secretary General My Big Day on Tuesday {Source}

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}.

When she married Prince Albert II of Monaco in July 2011, she became a stepmother to his two children from previous relationships:
  • Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (1992)
  • Alexandre Eric Stephane Coste Grimaldi (2003)

On 10 December 2014, she became a biological mother for the first time to twins:
  • Princess Gabriella Thérèse Marie of Monaco, The Countess of Carladès 
  • Prince Jacques Honoré Rainier, Hereditary Prince of Monaco

Breaking: Johan Ferner has died

Johan Ferner was born 27 July 1927 as the son of  Ferner Jacobsen (1885–1964), and  Ragnhild Olsen (1889–1966) {Source}.

He was married twice. His first marriage was from January 1953-1956 to Ingeborg 'Bitte' Hesselberg-Meyer, with whom he had no children. He married for a second time to Princess Astrid of Norway on 12 January 1961 {Source}. With Princess Astrid, he has the following children and grandchildren{Source}:

  1. Cathrine Ferner (1962)
    1. Sebastian Ferner Johansen (1990)
    2. Madeleine Ferner Johansen (1993)
  2. Benedikte Ferner (1963)
  3. Alexander Ferner (1965)
    1. Edward Ferner (1996).
    2. Stella Ferner (1998)
  4. Elisabeth Ferner (1969)
    1. Banjamin Ferner Beckmann (1999)
  5. Carl Christoam Ferner (1972)
He was decorated with the award of the Olympic Silver Medal (in 6m sailing) in 1952 at the Olympic Games in Finland {Source}.

Royal Profile: Elisabeth Maria Angela Tatjana von Lattorff

Elisabeth Maria Angela Tatjana von Lattorff  was born 25 January 2002 is the daughter ofPhilip von Lattorff and Princess Tatjana of Liechtenstein{Source}.

She has three brothers and four sisters{Source}{Source}:
  • Lukas Maria von Lattorff (2000)
  • Marie Theresa von Lattorff (2004)
  • Camilla Katharina Maria von Lattorff (2005)
  • Anna Pia Theresia Maria von Lattorff (2007)
  • Sophie Katharina Maria von Lattorff (2009)
  • Maximilian von Lattorff (2011)

It is likely given that she is not in line for the Liechtenstein throne due to Male-preference cognatic primogeniture.


It is likely that she speaks German, the official language of Liechtenstein.


Other than that, very little is known about the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. They tend to keep out of the limelight. She shares a birthday with Princess Charlene of Monaco.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Royal Profile:Princess Hélène Sybille Irène of Orléans

Princess Hélène Sybille Irène of Orléans was born 24 January 2001, as the third child and second daughter of Prince Charles-Louis of Orleans, Duke of Chartres and Ileana Manos {Source}. She has one older brother, one older sister, one younger brother and one younger sister  {Source}.

As her royal family is defunct, she likely leads a normal life and next to nothing is known about her. She shares a birthday with Princess Athena of Denmark.

Royal Profile: Princess Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat

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.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Royal Profile:Princess Caroline Louise Margurite of Hanover, Princess by Birth of Monaco

Princess Caroline Louise Margurite of Hanover, Princess by Birth of Monaco was born 23 January 1957 as the first child of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Princess Grace{Source}. She has two younger siblings, a sister in law, and seven nieces and nephews{Source}:

  • Prince Albert II (1958)
    • Princess Charlene (1978)
      • Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (1992)
      • Alexandre Eric Stephane Coste (2003)
      • Prince Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco (2014)
      • Princess Gabriella, The Countess of Carladès (2014)
  • Princess Stephanie, The Countess of Polinac (1965)
    • Louis Robert Paul Ducruet (1992)
    • Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet (1994)
    • Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb (1998)

She attended to her education in Monaco, England and France. She attended local primary schools before she was sent to St. Mary's School, Ascot{Source}. She received her French Baccalaureat (high school or A level) degree in 1974 with honors and continued her studies at the Sorbonne in Paris where she received a diploma in Philosophy and minors in Psychology and Biology{Source}. During her youth, she took ballet, and studied piano and the flute, as well as participated in the Girls Guides de Monaco {Source}.

She began her public duties at a young age, appearing with her parents at events. In 1979, she was appointed as President of the Monegasque Committee for the International Year of Children{Source}. In 1981, she founded the organization Jeune J'Ecoute{Source}. In April 1983, she became honorary president of the Guides de Monaco (known as Girl Scouts in the US){Source}.She is high patron of the organization Peter Le Marchant Trust {Source}. In December 1982, she was appointed as President of the Monaco Garden Club, President of the Organizing committee of the  Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo (Springtime Arts of Monte-Carlo) Festival, and became President of the Princess Grace Foundation{Source}. In 1985, she founded Les Ballets de Monte Carlo{Source}. In 1994, she was appointed as President of The Prince Pierre Foundation, having served as President of the Literary Board of The Prince Pierre Foundation since 1984{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}. In December 2003, she was appointed as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of her comittment to protect children{Source}.

Princess Caroline has been married three times. Her first marriage was in 1978, to Philippe Junot, which ended in divorce in 1982{Source}. She married for a second time to Stefano Casiraghi in 1983, and has three children and a grandson with him, but he died in 1990{Source}. She married a third time, to Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover. Her children and grandchild are:
  1. Prince Ernest August of Hanover (1983, stepson)
  2. Andrea Albert Pierre Casiraghi (1984, son)
  3. Prince Christian of Hanover (1985, stepson)
  4. Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi (1986, daughter)
    1. Raphael Casiraghi Elmaleh (2013, grandson)
  5. Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi (1987, son)
  6. Princess Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Marym Virginia of Hanover (daughter, 1999)

She is fluent in five languages-French, English, German, Spanish and Italian (six if you count the local dialect of Monaco, lang monegasque){Source}. In her spare time, she loves to ride horses, swim, go skiining and waterski{Source}. She is godmother to her niece and nephew, Louis Ducruet and Pauline Ducruet.

On 10 November 2005, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco conferred the insignia of Commander of Cultural Merit to HRH the Princess of Hanover for Her contribution to the development of the Arts and Culture in the Principality, her active involvement in the Prince Pierre Foundation, Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Opéra, Printemps des Arts, all Monegasque cultural entities over which She presides{Source}. On 3 July 2014,the Grand Chancellor of the Légion d'Honneur, conferred the insignia of Commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit upon Princess Caroline {Source}.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

BREAKING: King Abdullah ibn Abdilazīz has died

Abdullah ibn Abdilazīz was born 1 August 1924 as the tenth son of King Abdulaziz & Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim {Source}

In 1963, Abdullah was made commander of Saudi National Guard (SANG). TBeginning by 1985, SANG also sponsors the Janadiriyah festival that institutionalized the traditional folk dances, camel races, and tribal heritage{Source}.

King Khalid appointed Prince Abdullah as second deputy prime minister in March 1975, a reflection of being the second in line of succession to the Saudi throne{Source}. Prince Abdullah was pressured to concede control of SANG in return for his appointment as Second Deputy Prime Minister. In August 1977, this caused a debate between hundreds of princes in Riyadh{Source}. Prince Abdullah did not concede authority of SANG because he feared that would weaken his authority{Source}.

On 13 June 1982 when King Khalid died, Fahd bin Abdulaziz became King, Prince Abdullah became Crown Prince the same dayHe also maintained his position as head of the National Guard. During his years as crown prince, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was described as a supporter of accommodation{Source}. When King Fahd was incapacitated by a major stroke in 1995, Crown Prince Abdullah acted as de facto regent of Saudi Arabia, In May 2001, Crown Prince Abdullah did not accept an invitation to visit Washington due to U.S. support for Israel in the Al Aqsa Intifada. He also appeared more eager than King Fahd to cut government spending and open Saudi Arabia up economically. He pushed for Saudi membership in the World Trade Organization, surprising some{Source}. In August of the same year, he orderd the Saudi Ambassador to the US to return to Washington.  In 2002, he developed an Arab peace initiative, commonly referred to as the "Abdullah plan", to achieve mutually agreed-on resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict {Source}. By late 2003, after the Saudi Arabian branch of al-Qaeda carried out a series of bombings that threatened to destabilize the country, Crown Prince Abdullah together with other decision-making elites began to deal with political concerns. One of such moves was his project to promote more tolerance for religious diversity and rein in the forces of politico-religious extremism in the kingdom, leading to the establishment of National Dialogue. In the summer of 2003, Abdullah threw his considerable weight behind the creation of a national dialogue that brought leading religious figures together, including a highly publicized meeting attended by the kingdom's preeminent Shi'i scholar Hasan al-Saffar, as well as a group of Sunni clerics who had previously expressed their loathing for the Shi'i minority.

Abdullah succeeded to the throne upon the death of his half-brother King Fahd. He was formally enthroned on 3 August 2005. During his reign he had several positive initiatives. In 2005, King Abdullah implemented a government scholarship program to send young Saudi men and women to study abroad in different universities around the world for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. . He has re-shuffled the Ministry of Education's leadership in February 2009 by bringing in his pro-reform son-in-law, Faisal bin Abdullah, as the new minister. He also appointed Nora Al Fayez, a U.S.-educated former teacher, as deputy education minister in charge of a new department for female students.  He created a regulatory body for capital markets. He has promoted the construction of the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology {Source}. In January 2012, King Abdullah dismissed the head of Saudi Arabia's powerful religious police, replacing him with a more moderate cleric, state news agency SPA reported without giving reasons. He also made strides in interfaith communication, and was the first Saudi ruler to visit the Pope in November 2007 {Source}. He also made strides in his efforts with strengthening relations with other nations. 

King Abdullah followed his father's (King Abdulaziz's) path in terms of marriage in that he married the daughters of the al Shalan of Anizah, al Fayz of Bani Sakhr, and al Jarbah of the Iraqi branch of the Shammar tribe {Source}. King Abdullah had over 11 wives, and fathered more than 16 children, some of his wives were {Source}:

  1. Alanoud Al Fayez (1972-2003), 4 daughters
  2. Jawahir bint Ali Hussein, two children
  3. Aida Fustuq, two children
  4. Munira Al Otaishan, two sons
  5. Munira bint Abdullah Al Al Shaykh, at least 1 son
  6. Tathi bint Mishan al Faisal al Jarba, at least 1 son

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

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 attended until this school year{Source}. In the 2014-2015 school year, she was transferred to Olso International School {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}.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Royal Profile:Louis Ferdinand Christian Albrecht, Prince of Prussia

Louis Ferdinand Christian Albrecht, Prince of Prussia was born 20 January 2013 as the elder of the two twin sons of The Prince and Princess of Prussia{Source}.

He was baptized in June 2013  {Source}.

Very little is known about him, but it is likely he will lead a fairly normal life in Germany.

Royal Profile:Carl Friedrich, Prince of Prussia

Carl Friedrich Franz Alexander, Prince of Prussia was born 20 January 2013 as the elder of the two twin sons of The Prince and Princess of Prussia{Source}.

He was baptized in June 2013  {Source}.

Very little is known about him, but it is likely he will lead a fairly normal life in Germany.

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}.

Royal Profile: 50 Facts about Sophie, The Countess of Wessex

  1. She was born Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones on 20 January 1965 in Oxford{Source}.
  2. She was the second child of Christopher Bournes Rhys-Jones and the late Mary Rhys-Jones{Source}.
  3. She has an older brother named David{Source}.
  4. Sophie was named:
    1. Sophie: Mrs Rhys-Jones is said to have decided on the name Sophie while shopping for shoes when pregnant. Someone in the shop called out the name - and a pretty little girl turned around{Source}.
    2. Helen: after her paternal Aunt Helen, who died before she was born.
  5. She moved from Oxford to Kent while young{Source}.
  6. She began her education at Dulwich College Preparatory School{Source}.
  7. She then moved on to Kent College School for Girls {Source}.
  8. She completed her education at West Kent College{Source}.
  9. After leaving school, Miss Rhys-Jones embarked on a career in public relations working for a variety of firms, including four years at Capital Radio, as well as public relations companies the Quentin Bell Organisation and MacLaurin Communications & Media{Source}.
  10. She also worked as a ski representative in Switzerland and spent a year travelling and working in Australia{Source}.
  11. In 1996,she launched a public relations agency, R-JH Public Relations, which she ran with a business partner for five years{Source}.
  12. She met her future husband, The Prince Edward, at a tennis event in the summer of 1993{Source}.
  13. They announced their engagment in January 1999{Source}.
  14. They were wed on 19 June 1999, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle{Source}.
  15. Upon her wedding day, she became Her Royal Highness The Princess Edward, The Countess of Wessex{Source}.
  16. In keeping with the tradition of using Welsh gold for Royal wedding rings, the gold for the wedding rings of The Earl and Countess came from The Prince Edward mine in Trawnsfynydd, Gwynedd, North Wales.
  17. On the occasion of their marriage, Their Royal Highnesses founded The Wessex Youth Trust, a grant making organization to help, support and advance registered charities which provide opportunities specifically for children and young people{Source}
  18. Together, they have two children{Source}:
    1. The Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor (2003)
    2. James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn (2007)
  19. She is godmother to Alexandra Nada Victoria Mountbatten, who is her husband's 4th cousin 2x removed via Queen Victoria.
  20. She supports The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and chairs the Women in Business Group which works to promote the Award among businesses{Source}.
  21. The Countess has been the President of Girl Guiding UK since 2003 and supports the work of Tomorrow's People which works to improve opportunities to get young people into employment{Source}.
  22. In recent years, The Countess of Wessex has become involved in the world of agriculture and held the position of Show President of the Royal Bath and West Show in 2010 before becoming Vice Patron in 2011{Source}. 
  23. She is also Patron of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO) {Source}.
  24. She has accepted patronage of the The Border Union Agricultural Society for its bicentennial year 2013{Source}.
  25. The Countess has been a Global Ambassador for the International Agency for Preventative Blindness (IAPB) since 2003{Source}.
  26. In 2013 The Countess became the first ever Patron of London College of Fashion, part of the University of the Arts London{Source}.
  27. The Countess also works to support the ‘Campaign for Wool’ which was set up by The Prince of Wales and aims to promote the use of British wool{Source}.
  28. In 2001, a News of the World undercover reporter (the same guy who scammed Sarah Ferguson on videotape in May 2010) recorded the Countess making disparaging comments about certain members of the British government. News of the World didn't publish the story itself, but the tape was leaked to other tabloids, first the Mail On Sunday, and it went viral from there. It portrayed the Countess seeming to use her royal status in order to gain clientele. Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the reported comments were "selective, distorted and in several cases, flatly untrue."{Source}
  29. Sophie suffered a dangerous ectopic pregnancy in 2001.
  30. In 2003, Sophie succeeded the late Queen Mother (who died the previous year) as Royal Patron of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Sophie is only the third Royal Patron of the RCSLT. The first was King George VI, the second the late Queen Mother
  31. In 2006, The Countess of Wessex was appointed Sponsor of HMS Daring{Source}.
  32. In 2007, she became Royal Colonel of 5th Battalion The Rifles following the reorganization of the Infantry{Source}.
  33. In 2008, Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Wittering{Source}.
  34. She is Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of Army Music and of Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps{Source}.
  35. She has been given the following appointments{Source}:
    1. Member of the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II (2004)
    2. Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (DStJ) (2005)
    3. Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)(2010)
  36. The Countess of Wessex has the following medals{Source}:
    1. Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
    2. Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan (2005)
    3. Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012)
  37. She holds the following UK military appointments{Source}:
    1. Colonel-in-Chief, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (since 2003)
    2. Sponsor, HMS Daring (since 2006)
    3. Colonel-in-Chief, Corps of Army Music (since 2007)
    4. Royal Colonel of 5th Battalion The Rifles (since 2007)
    5. Honorary Air Commodore, Royal Air Force Wittering (since 2008)
  38. The Countess holds two military positions in Canada{Source}: 
    1. Colonel in-Chief of The South Alberta Light Horse
    2. Colonel-in-Chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment.
  39. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, running, riding, sailing, tennis and reading{Source}.
  40. Her mother, Mary Rhys-Jones died in August 2005 at the age of 71 from cancer {Source}
  41. Her father reportedly gets along well with Queen Elizabeth II {Source} Mr. Rhys-Jones may often be seen in the Royal Enclosure and in the carriages at the Royal Ascot {Photos spanning from 2007-2014}
  42. Like her father, she is too close to Queen Elizabeth II {Source}.
  43. Sophie is left-handed.
  44. On 14 July 1994, Prince Edward brought Sophie as his +1 to his cousin Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones' wedding to Daniel Chatto{Photo}.
  45. The Countess is privileged enough to be the only member of the Royal Family to ride in the State Limousine with the Queen at Sandringham on Christmas Day {Source}. However, in 2013, Zara Philips rode with the Queen instead as she was very near giving birth to her daughter Mia at the time.
  46. Despite being a working royal, Sophie lost her protection officers in 2011 after costs were cut {Source}.
  47. She has a sister in law named Zara {Source}.
  48. She has two nephews{Source}:
    1. Oliver Hugh Rhys-Jones (1999)
    2. Harry Christopher Rhys-Jones (2000)
  49. She has a paternal 1st cousin{Source}:
    1. Cressida Helen Rhys-Jones (1971)
  50. Her lady-in-waiting is Sarah Sienesi, who is her old flatmate {Source}

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Royal Recap of the Royals You Love: Jan 12-18, 2015

Austria

-Archduchess Zsófia Mária von Hasburg celebrated her 14th birthday on Monday.


Belgium

-Princess Claire celebrated her 41st birthday on Sunday.

Denmark

-Gustav Frederik Philip Richard, Hereditary Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg celebrated his 45th birthday on Monday.

Great Britain

-Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Clore Art Room at Barlby School on Thursday {Photos}. On Friday, she attended an event hosted by The Fostering Network {Source}

-Mia Grace Tindall celebrated her 1st birthday on Saturday.

-Princess Michael of Kent celebrated her 70th birthday on Thursday.

Liechtenstein

-Marie Theresa von Lattorff celebrated her 11th birthday on Sunday.

Luxembourg

-Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke& Princess Stéphanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess  received guests on official audience on Thursday {Source}

Monaco

-Prince Albert II attended the annual report meeting of Monaco Collectif Humanitaire (MHC ) on Wednesday {Photos}

-Prince Albert II & Princess Stephanie attended the opening ceremony of the 2015 39th International Circus Festival de Monte Carlo on Thursday{Photos}.

-Princess Stephanie attended a press conference ahead of the 2015 39th International Circus Festival de Monte Carlo on Tuesday {Photos}.

-Princess Stephanie & Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb attended day 2 of the 2015 39th International Circus Festival de Monte Carlo on Friday{Photos}. The mother-daughter duo attended day 3 together on Saturday {Photos}

-Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy celebrated her 68th birthday on Monday.

-Mélanie-Antoinette Costello de Massy celebrated her 30th birthday on Sunday.

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

-Antoine de Massy celebrated his 18th birthday on Thursday.

The Netherlands

-Queen Máxima attended the 4th annual "Taal doet meer College' on Thursday {Photos}.

Romania

-Princess Margareta attended a reception in honor of the 25th anniversary of her first visit to Romania since the ending of the monarchy on Saturday {Source}.

Spain

-Queen Letizia attend the Delivery of the National Research Awards 2014 on Thurday {Source}.

-Don Iñaki Urdangarín y Liebaert, Duke of Palma de Mallorca celebrated his 45th birthday on Thursday.

-María de las Mercedes Fernández-Sastrón y Gómez-Acebo celebrated her 15th birthday on Saturday.
Maria is the granddaughter of Infanta Pilar, thus a first cousin 1x removed from King Felipe VI.

Sweden

-Crown Princess Victoria & Prince Daniel met with the Board of Directors of the Crown Princess Foundation on Thursday {Source}

-Prince Daniel met with school children participating in the Swedish Ski Association bet “All the Snow” on Thursday {Source}

-Prince Carl Philip visited Waldemarsudde, where he viewed two exhibitions: Inspirations Matisse! and partly Contemporary Nordic Graphics - The Queen Sonja Poster Award on Thursday {Source}

Yugoslavia

-Prince Alexander & Prince Philip celebrated their  33rd birthday on Thursday.



Royal Profile: Marie Theresa von Lattorff

Marie Theresa von Lattorff was born 18 January 2004 as the third child of Princess Tatjana of Liechtenstein & Baron Philipp von Lattorff {Source}. She has an older brother and sister, and three younger sisters and a younger brother {Source}:
  • Lukas Maria von Lattorff (2000)
  • Elisabeth Marie Angela Tatiana von Lattorff (2002)
  • Camilla Katharina Maria  von Lattorff (2005)
  • Anna Pia Theresia Maria von Lattorff (2007)
  • Sophie Katharina Maria von Lattorff (2009)
  • Maximilian Maria von Lattorff (2011)
She is the 8th grandchild of Prince Hans-Adam II & Princess Marie. Due to coming from the female line, and being female, she does not presently have succession rights.

Royal Profile: Princess Claire of Belgium

Princess Claire of Belgium was born in Bath, Somerset, England on 18 January 1974. She was only three years old when her family relocated to Wavre, Belgium. She attended the Institut de la Providence in Wavre. She had a very busy schedule as a child, which included drawing, painting, music, horseback ridding, the Guides (similar to Girl Scouts or the UK's Girls Guides), and singing in the local choir. She also frequently traveled back to England to visit her parents' families. Princess Claire has dual nationality, Belgian and British, and trained at the Antwerp office of a chartered surveyors' firm.

After completing her secondary education, she studied as a surveyor, and completed a training period with
Brone & Oldenhove in Wavre and qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1999.


She married Prince Laurent on 12 April 2003. At that time, she was given the title Princess of Belgium. Together, they have three children:
  • Princess Louise Sophia Mary (2004)
  • Prince Nicholas & Prince Aymeric (2005, twins)

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  Nicolai Vladimir Costello dit de Lusignan{Source (ed note: this website claims she is the daughter of Bernard Alexandre Baron Taubert Natta, when she is not)}. 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 theMonte 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}. In 2015, she was present on the baclony during the presentation of Prince Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco & Princess Gabriella of Monaco and at their Cérémonie “des actes de naissances” *(Ceremony of birth certificates aka the signing of the birth certificates in the palace register) in December 2014 with her mother, brother and sister-in-law {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.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Royal Profile: Mia Grace Tindall

Mia Grace Tindall was born 17 January 2014 as the eldest child of Zara Anne Elizabeth Philips Tindall and Michael James Tindall {Source}. She is the thrid grandchild of The Princess Royal and 3rd great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II & The Duke of Edinburgh {Source}.

She was christened at St Nicholas Church in Gloucestershire in November 2014 {Source}{Video}. There was no announcement as to who her godparents were.

In her short life, she has been seen several times. In May 2014, she supported her father during a Celebrity Golf Classic {Photos} and at the Aviva Premiership match between Gloucester and London Irish at Kingsholm Stadium {Photos}. In August 2014, she supported her mother at the 2014 British Eventing Festival {Photos}. She also attended the annual Pre-Christmas luncheon hosted by the Queen.

As she is distantly in line for the British throne, she will likely lead a fairly normal life.

Royal Profile: Flora Alexandra Ogilvy

Flora Alexandra Ogilvy was born 15 December 1994 as the first child of James Ogilvy and Julia Ogilvy { Source }.She has one brother{ Source...