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Old 01-31-2005, 10:49 PM
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February 2005 Newsletter

THE ROYAL FORUMS NEWSLETTER - January * Volume 2/ Issue 1

It's February and love is in the air!

Whether you believe in this crazy thing called love because love is all around, or if simply can't fight the feeling for this endless love any longer, go on and let it show!

February, traditionally heralded as the month of love and romance, marked by Valentine's Day, which is celebrated on February 14 every year.

While the history of Valentine's Day is unknown, some legends have it that Saint Valentine sent the first "valentine" greeting himself to a young girl who had visited him while he was in confinement, hence our modern day tradition of giving cards to our beloved.

However the day came to be, it's a day filled with love and romance, to be reminded of your love, to fall in love all over again or to tell someone that you love them -- for the very first time.

In honour of Valentine's Day, The Royal Forums takes a look back on how Cupid's arrows have touched some of our favourite royal couples, from when they first locked eyes on each other (love at first sight?) to those fairy tale weddings that spoke to the romantic in each of us.


Princess Stephanie of Monaco (1 February 1965)

Princess Angela of Liechtenstein (3 February 1958)

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (5 February 1972)

Princess Louise of Belgium (6 February 2004)

Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein (14 February 1945)

Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg (16 February 1991)

Prince Andrew, Duke of York (19 February 1960)

King Harald of Norway (21 February 1937)

Prince Amedeo, Archduke of Habsburg-Este, Prince of Belgium (21 February 1986)

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan (23 February 1960)

Prince Ernst August of Hannover (26 February 1954)


Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Crown Princess (2 February 2002)

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg (14 February 1981)


President Stephanopoulos of Greece on a state visit to Belgium (1-3 February)

Queen Sonja and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway to visit London for the opening of the Queen Maud Expo (2 February)

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway to visit Sierra Leone (7-11 February)

Crown Prince Phillippe and Crown Princess of Belgium to Binche to celebrate Mardi Gras (February 8)

Queen Sonja of Norway to visit Antarctica/Queen Maud's Land (10-15 February)

King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia to Thailand (17-19 February)

Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium to visit Mali on a humanitarian mission (21-23 February)

Here are five threads we feel are of note and worthy of a look at:

Keeping in mind our nod to love this month, as well as our love for glittering jewels, check out our thread on Royal Engagement Rings,

A very special nod goes to a royal couple celebrating their anniversary on Valentine’s Day: On 14 February 14, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will mark 24 years of wedded bliss. To see their grand wedding, visit

2005 marks a very important year for Norway and the Norwegian royal family, which marks its 100th anniversary as an independent country and the 100th anniversary of its monarchy. Our Norwegian moderators, Mandy and norwegianne have built a very special thread in honour of this occasion, which can be found here:

Many stork visits are expected at various palaces this year, including three to the Netherlands (Mabel, Marilene and Maxima), one to Norway (Martha Louise), one to Spain (Cristina) as well as others. To make your own suggestions of baby names for these royal babies, visit

On February 6, Princess Louise of Belgium, daughter of Prince Laurent and Princess Claire, celebrates her first birthday. Take a look back at this time last year as royal watchers eagerly awaited her birth: A Daughter for Laurent and Claire:; and see for Princess Louise’s own thread full of pictures and information.

Please note: With a very big thanks to Julia and Mandy, our Royalty of the World Forum ( has been re-organized. You’ll notice new sub-forums for African and South American Royalty as well as one for the smaller European Houses.

Please also see this link,, for an amended set of Forum Posting Rules and Guidelines.

We’d also like to welcome Anna_R and Mary Shawn as Super Moderators to TRF. Mary Shawn has recently joined us while Anna_R has joined us for a while but we’ve never been able to welcome her properly! And also a welcome to Carol and Mandy who are both Administrators now.

Old 01-31-2005, 11:04 PM
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Profile Of The Month


In lieu of our usual Royal of the Month and in the spirit of love, we’re bringing you a special on how royal couples met, fell in love and those glittering weddings that have (mostly) led to happily ever after.

Love needed no translation when King Carl Gustav XVI spied Silvia Sommerlath at the 1972 Munich Olympic games, where the Brazilian-born future Queen was working as a translator for VIP guests. Their engagement was announced 12 March 1976 and they were married 19 June at Stockholm Cathedral. They are the parents to three children, Victoria, Carl Phillip and Madeleine.
Pre-Wedding Ball: King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and Silvia Sommerlath's Pre-Wedding Ball: June 1976
Wedding: King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and Silvia Sommerlath: June 19, 1976

It was in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympic games that love took the center podium for Infanta Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin, the Duke and Duchess of Palma Mallorca. Cristina, an avid sports fan herself, attended the Atlanta Games to support the Spanish athletes, including Inaki who played for Spain’s handball team (and helped the team to win bronze medals). Their engagement was announced 3 May 1997, followed by their 4 October wedding at Barcelona Basilica. They are the parents of Juan, Pablo, Miguel and are expecting their fourth child this summer.
Engagement: Engagement of Infanta Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarín: May 3, 1997
Pre-Wedding Dinner: Infanta Cristina & Iñaki Urdangarin: Pre-Wedding Reception, Oct. 1997
Wedding: Infanta Cristina of Spain & Iñaki Urdangarin / October 4, 1997

Cheering on the Danish athletes at the 2000 Sydney Olympic games wasn’t the only thing Crown Prince Frederik did during his visit Down Under. He also fell in love with Sydney real estate agent Mary Donaldson, whom he met at a pub one evening. After a rather public relationship, Frederik and Mary’s engagement was announced in October 2003, followed by a glamorous spring wedding on 14 May 2004 at Copenhagen Cathedral.
Engagement: Engagement of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson: October 8, 2003
Gala Dinner to Celebrate Engagement:
Pre-Wedding Festivities: Frederik and Mary's Pre-Wedding Festivities: May 2004
Wedding: Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson: May 14, 2004

Although they had met at a birthday party when she was only 5, it was when they met up again 15 years later that King George VI knew he had found his future wife in Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. It was the third proposal, on a walk through the woods, that was the charm. George and Elizabeth’s engagement was announced January 1923 followed by their 26 April wedding at Westminister Abbey. They had two daughters, Elizabeth II and Margaret, six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Wedding: Prince Albert, Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon - 1923

Persistence ultimately paid off for Crown Prince Naruhito who proposed three times before Crown Princess Masako would accept his request to become his wife. The couple met in 1986 at a string quartet recital but Masako, a Harvard-educated, multi-linguist focused on her career was hesitant to become a member of one of the oldest and most restrictive monarchies in the world. On 9 June 1993, in festivities that combined both Eastern and Western traditions, Naruhito and Masako, he in an 11-century court attire and she in a 30-pound wedding kimono, were married in a Shinto shrine. They have one daughter, Aiko.

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, Prince and Princess of Asturias, met in the fall of 2002 at a dinner party with journalists hosted by Pedro Erquicia, director of the TVE show Documentos TV. While Felipe and Letizia enjoyed each other’s company that evening and occasionally re-encountered each other at various events – most notably during the Prestige disaster when Felipe went to visit the site and Letizia was covering the disaster in November 2002, it wasn’t until early spring of 2003 that Felipe made a fateful phone call asking Letizia out to dinner at a restaurant in Madrid. Their engagement was announced 1 November 2003, with the couple making their first official public appearance together on 3 November, followed by their 22 May 2004 wedding at Almudena Cathedral in Madrid.
Pre-Wedding Dinner:
Wedding: Felipe, Prince of Asturias & Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano: 22 May 2004

At a party organized by mutual friends in Spain, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander met Argentinian-born Maxima Zorreguieta. Instantly entranced by the gregarious economist, Willem-Alexander visited Maxima in New York City where she was working at the time a month later. Their engagement was announced March 2001 followed by their 2 February 2002 wedding. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Orange have one daughter, Catharina-Amalia and are expecting their second child this summer.
Engagement: Prince Willem-Alexander & Máxima Zorreguieta to Marry: March 30, 2001
Pre-Wedding Dinner: Willem-Alexander and Máxima's Pre-Wedding Festivities: January-February 2002
Wedding: Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands & Máxima Zorreguieta: Feb 2, 2002

Tidying up after a Brussels dinner party hosted by mutual friends, Claire Coombs encountered Prince Laurent cleaning up and offered to help. On 19 December 2002, the engagement of Laurent and Claire was announced; they were married on 12 April 2003 at Saints Michael in Brussels. Prince Laurent and Princess Claire have one daughter, Louise.
Engagement: Prince Laurent of Belgium To Marry Claire Coombs
Pre-Wedding Concert: Laurent and Claire Pre Wedding Concert
Wedding: Prince Laurent of Belgium & Claire Coombs 2003

Love struck the (then) Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain at a young age. It was in 1939, at the age of 13, while on a visit to the Royal Naval College with her parents that the future Queen Elizabeth II met her future husband, an 18-year-old cadet named Phillip Mountbatten of Greece. After Phillip returned from his World War II services in 1945, he and Elizabeth began to spend increasingly more time together. They became engaged in 1945 but it wasn’t until 1946 that they informed her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I, who granted their approval for the marriage. Their wedding took place 20 November 1947 at Westminister Abbey. In 1997, back at Westminister Abbey, Elizabeth and Phillip celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the parents to Anne, Charles, Andrew and Edward and have seven grandchildren.
Wedding: Princess Elizabeth & the Duke of Edinburgh, 20 November 1947

Old 01-31-2005, 11:06 PM
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The late Princess of Wales played matchmaker for her new brother-in-law Prince Andrew and her distant relative, Sarah Ferguson, arranging for Sarah to attend a royal party. The matchmaking was a success and within months Andrew and Sarah were engaged. The Duke and Duchess of York were married 23 July 1986 at Westminister Abbey; they are now divorced. Andrew and Sarah have two daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie.
Engagement and Wedding:

Sister-in-law Princess Laurentien was the cupid for Prince Johan-Friso and his future wife, Mabel Wisse-Smit, who was a close friend of Laurentien’s, introducing them at a part in 2000. After a low-profile long-distance relationship that spanned The Hague, Brussels and London, Johan-Friso and Mabel’s engagement was announced June 2003 and the couple were married 24 April 2004 in Delft. They are expecting their first child this spring.

The then-Prince Juan Carlos first met a young Princess Sofie of Greece in 1954 aboard the Agamenon, a cruise organized by the Princess’s mother, Queen Frederika. The future King of Spain would meet the future Queen of Spain again at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Wurtenberg’s wedding but it wasn’t until 1961 at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent that the relationship really took off. On 13 September 1961, Juan Carlos and Sofie’s fathers issued a joint statement announcing the engagement of their children, who were married in Athens on 14 May 1962. The King and Queen of Spain have three children, Elena, Cristina and Felipe and five grandchildren with a sixth grandchild expected this summer.

At a 1965 dinner party in London, Queen Margrethe met her future husband Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, where she was attending the London School of Economics. They were married on 10 June 1967 at Holmens Kirke. Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik have two sons, Frederik and Joachim and two grandsons.

Crown Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal Miller met at a friend’s 40th birthday party in New Orleans. He proposed while on holiday in Gstaad; their engagement was announced January 1995, followed by their 1 July 1995 wedding at St. Sophia Cathedral in London, one of the biggest gatherings of royals in recent years. They have four children, Maria Olympia, Konstantinos Alexios, Achilles Andreas and Odysseas Kimon.

King Abdullah met his wife, Kuwait-born Rania Yasin at a 1993 dinner party hosted b y one of his sisters. They were married that same year in June. King Abdullah and Queen Rania have three children, Hussein, Iman and Salma, and their fourth son Hashem was born at the end of January.

King Harald and Sonja Haraldsen met thorugh mutual friends but had to wait nine years before becoming engaged, at which time King Olav V and the government gave the then Crown Prince their permission for him to marry a commoner. Harald and Sonja were married on 29 August 1968 at Oslo Cathedral. They have two children, Märtha Louise and Haakon, and have two grandchildren with a third grandchild expected this spring and a step-grandchild.
Old 01-31-2005, 11:08 PM
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In the Netherlands to celebrate the marriage of (then) Princess Beatrix to Claus von Amsberg, love struck twice when Princess Beneditke met Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. They were married on 3 February 1968 in the chapel of Fredensborg Palace. Princess Beneditke and Prince Richard have three children, Gustav, Alexandra and Nathalie and have two grandchildren, Richard and Ingrid.
Wedding: Princess Benedikte of Denmark & Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg: 1968

Marianne Solberg Behn, played matchmaker for her own son, author Ari Behn, and Princess Märtha Louise, who was friends with Marianne. Their engagement was announced December 2001, followed by their wedding at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 24 May 2002. They are the parents of Maud Angelica and are expecting their second child this spring.
Engagement: Princess Märtha Louise To Marry Ari Behn
Pre-Wedding Festivities: Princess Märtha Louise & Ari Behn Pre-Wedding Events 2002

Arguably one of the most famous love stories to royal fans and non-royal fans is the relationship between Prince Ranier III and Princess Grace. At the Cannes’ Film Festival in 1955 the young actress Grace Kelly posed for pictures with the young prince who was immediately smitten with the actress. The whirlwind Hollywood romance was culiminated in a civil ceremony on 18 April 1956 followed by a religious ceremony the following day at the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Monte Carlo. They are the parents to Caroline, Albert and Stephanie and have seven grandchildren.
Engagement: Engagement of Prince Rainier & Grace Kelly
Wedding: Prince Rainier & Grace Kelly: 19 April 1956

It was game, set, love match for the Earl and Countess of Wessex when they met in the summer of 1993 at a Real Tennis challenge. Edward was participating in the games, while Sophie was working in her role as public relations co-ordinator. While Sophie was invited back to Edward’s private residence at Buckingham Palace after the event, the relationship proceeded at a cautiously slow pace. After five years together, Edward and Sophie became engaged January 1999 and were married 19 June at St. George’s Chapel. They are the parents to one daughter, Louise.
Wedding: Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones: 19 June 1999

A discreet three-year relationship between Crown Prince Phillippe and aristocrat Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz developed after a game of tennis in 1996. An engagement was announced in 1999, much to the shock and surprise of many. They were married 4 December in a ceremony conducted in both French and Dutch. The Duke and Duchess of Brabant have two children, Elisabeth and Gabriel.
Engagement: Crown Prince Philippe To Marry Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz
Wedding: Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant and Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz: 4 December 1999

King Albert II was immediately awed by the beauty of a young Italian aristocrat, Paola Ruffo di Calabria, when he spotted her across the room at the enthronement ceremony of Pope John XXIII. He invited her to a reception at the Belgian Embassy. Six months later, on 2 July 1959 they were married. King Albert II and Queen Paola have three children, Astrid, Phillippe and Laurent and eight grandchildren.
Wedding: King Albert II & Queen Paola of Belgium 1959
Old 01-31-2005, 11:11 PM
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Paris, the city of love was the backdrop for Infanta Elena and Jaime de Marichalar’s blooming relationship. They met in 1987 while Elena was taking a course on French literature and Jaime acted as a cicerone for Elena and her friend Leticia, who was also a relative of Jaime’s. Although Elena and Jaime dated, they were not photographed together until 1993. On 23 November 1994 they became engaged and were married on 18 March 1995 at Seville Cathedral, which was the first royal wedding to have taken place in Spain in 100 years. The Duke and Duchess of Lugo have two children, Felipe (“Froilan”) and Victoria.

While working for a Danish shipping company in Hong Kong, Prince Joachim attended a party where he met the Hong Kong-born Alexandra Manley. They pursued a discreet relationship and while on holiday in the Phillippines in the autumn of 1994 Joachim proposed. Their engagement was announced to a very surprised Danish public in May 1995, followed by a winter wedding on 18 November 1995 in the chapel of Frederiksborg Castle. Sadly, at the end of September 2004, their separation with an intention to divorce was announced. They have two sons, Nikolai and Felix.

Prince Richard, son of the Duke of Gloucester and Princess Alice, met young Danish-born Brigitte Eva van Deurs while both were students at Cambridge University. They were married at St. Andrews Church in July 1972. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have three children, Alexander, Davina and Rose.

Princess Margriet met Pieter van Vollenhoven while both were studying at Leiden University. Their engagement was on 10 March 1965, followed by a wedding in The Hague on 10 January 1967. They have four sons, Maurits, Bernhard Jr., Pieter-Christiaan and Floris and four grandchildren with a fifth grandchild expected early this summer.

Prince Maurits, son of Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven, met Marilène van den Broek while both were studying at Groningen University. They were married May 1998, with the civil ceremony taking place at Het Loo Palace, Apeldoorn, followed by a church service at Grote Kerk, Apeldoorn. They are the parents to two children, Anna and Lucas, with a third child expected early this summer.

At Quart’s Festival, a popular pop/rock festival in Kristiansand, Crown Prince Haakon met Mette-Marit Tjessem-Hoiby, Kristiansand also being the future Crown Princess’s home town. On 1 December 2000, the engagement of Haakon to the single-mother was announced to some controversy in the country; nevertheless the couple persevered and were married 25 August 2001 at Oslo Cathedral. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit have one daughter together, Ingrid Alexandra, as well as sharing parenting duties to Mette-Marit’s son Marius.
Pre-wedding festivities:

More royal engagements and weddings can be found in our Something New, Old, Royal and Blue Forum:

Old 02-03-2005, 10:23 PM
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Special Surprise

Indeed love is all around and, to celebrate Valentine's Day a little bit more, The Royal Forums made a video, an ode to true and everlasting love.

Edited by Anna_R and with the valorous colaborations of Alexandria, Ennyllorac, Julia, Lena and Mandy that offered the pictures that made it possible, this is a super-romantic video made to remind everyone that love is, indeed, a wonderful gift.

Download it using the link below (it has almost 30MB ans it's compressed with WinZip)

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... That's why it's called present...
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