February 2008 Newsletter: Older Royal Couples
Today, our focus is mainly on the young generation of Royals. Who doesn’t know how Mary Donaldson met Crown Prince of Denmark in an Australian pub? Or how the tragedy of Prestige drew together Letizia Ortiz and Crown Prince Felipe of Spain? Those stories are most exciting and romantic, yet we often forget that the parents of the current Crown Princes and Princesses had no less interesting, and sometimes much more exciting tales.
Who knows whether Crown Prince Haakon would have been able to marry Mette-Marit, if his parents didn’t fight for their love in their times? And maybe the Monarchy in Sweden would not have rest so securely on the shoulders of Crown Princess Victoria, if her mother once didn’t marry Carl Gustav in a wedding that enchanted the whole nation and showed that Monarchy is not a bad thing after all.
It is also significant to have a look at the older generation of Royals at these times, when divorces are ever so often, both among Royals and ordinary people. Yet, many of the Royals have celebrated impressive Anniversaries on their way: Diamond Wedding Anniversary for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Ruby Wedding Anniversary for Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik, Sapphire Wedding Anniversary for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, Emerald Wedding Anniversary for King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit, and so many other notable dates! :twohearts:
Let us now refresh our memories with the wonderful stories of the Royal Couples, that are now happy Grandmothers and Grandfathers, and even is some cases, happy great-grandparents.
We apologize for perhaps not including all those wonderful Royal couples that certainly do deserve to be included in any list. However, we have restrictions, so fitting everyone was simply not possible.
And finally, February is the shortest month, and it is also the last month of winter. So start looking forward for more sunny days, and for next month’s newsletter.
We hope you will like this month’s newsletter,:king:
Norwegianne, Zonk and Avalon
As always, we have changes in the Moderating team. We are very pleased to let everyone know that GlitteringTiaras has agreed to join the ranks of Super Moderators. So if you have any problems, feel free to contact Glittering Tiaras and the rest of our Super Moderators (as well as Moderators and Administrators).
If you want to have a look at the complete least of our Forum leaders, have a look at this thread.
And remember, we are on constant lookout for new Moderators. If you are interested in becoming a Moderator and think you have what it takes, please send one of the Administrators (Warren, Mandy, norwegianne, Elspeth, Ennyllorac or Avalon) the information we ask in this thread.
Don't forget about our Articles venture - if you are interested in writing a royalty-connected article, please contact Mandy Ennyllorac, Elspeth, Marengo or Avalon. We will be glad to discuss your ideas.
Meanwhile, why not have a look at the articles we already have? We hope you will enjoy them!
The article editors are compiling a library of photos to use as illustrations for the articles. Since we are restricted to using photos for which we can get permission, our access to professional photos is severely limited. If any members have photos of royals which they took themselves and would like to add them to the article photo library, please contact Avalon.
As usual, we are constantly trying to make this forum a better and more interesting place. We have made a couple of new reorganizations in the Forums, in particular we have added a new sub-forum for Portuguese and Brazilian Royalty.
Also, Royal Geneology is now a Forum in its own right in Other Things Royal. Did you ever get confused trying to understand how all our favourite Royals are related? Then it’s the right place for you to visit!
You can always be in touch with the latest changes visiting this thread in the Announcement section - Forum reorganization.
We have a lot to expect in February, when it comes to the Polls. Alongside the regular Monthly poll, The Grand Picture of the Year will take place. In that poll, all winning pictures from the previous months will compete for the title of the Picture of the Year. We expect you all to participate and ensure victory for the worthies one!
Meanwhile, we have no less exciting polls running right now: you will find so many exciting historical pictures in the 2008 Official Portrait Poll. Choose your favourite and vote for it! Also, December 2007 Official Picture of the Month Poll has just closed, so you can discuss your favourite pictures and your votes.
And remember, if you want to become a Committee Member for any of the Picture of the Month Teams, contact one of the Picture of the Month Coordinators (Empress and Lady Jennifer), Picture of the Month Supervisor (Mandy) or the PoM Representative of the Committee you are interested to join.
1 - Maria-Chiara of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (2005)
5 - Juan Carlos of Spain (b. 1938)
5 - Jean of Luxembourg (b. 1921)
5 - Tomohito of Mikasa (1946)
6 - Margarita Gomez-Acebo y Cejuela (1935)
10 - Lennart of Hohenzollern (2001)
11 - Archduke Karl of Austria (1961)
12 - Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (b. 1969)
13 - Marie Louise of Bulgaria (1933)
13 - Elisabeth-Anne de Massy (1947)
15 - Marie-Christine, Princess Michael of Kent (1945)
15 - Iñaki Urdangarin (b. 1968)
15 - Alexander Karađorđević (1982)
15 - Philip Karađorđević (1982)
15 - Archduke Philipp of Austria (2007)
17 - Farah of Iran (2004)
17 - Eloize (?) Lopes (2008)
18 - Claire of Belgium (b. 1974)
18 - Marie Theresa von Lattorf (2004)
19 - Birgitta of Sweden, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (b. 1937)
19 - Kalina of Bulgaria (1972)
19 - Margriet of the Netherlands (1943)
20 - Mathilde of Belgium (b. 1973)
20 - Tassilo of Bulgaria (2002)
20 - Sophie, Countess of Wessex (1965)
21 - Ingrid Alexandra of Norway (b. 2004)
22 - Nayef of Jordan (1998)
23 - Caroline of Monaco, Princess of Hanover (b. 1957)
25 - Elisabeth Marie Angela Tatiana von Lattorf (2002)
27 - Carlos de Bourbon-Parma, Prince of Piacenza (1970)
28 - Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain (1950)
30 - Felipe of Asturias (b. 1968)
30 - Abdullah II of Jordan (b. 1962)
30 - Hashem of Jordan (b. 2005)
31 - Beatrix of the Netherlands (b. 1938)
10.01.1967 - Princess Margriet of The Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven
20.01.2001 - http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...01-a-9705.html
23.01.1999 - Princess Caroline & Prince Ernst August - January 23rd, 1999
29.01.2000 - Prince Maximilian von und zu Liechtenstein & Angela Brown 2000
31.01.1993 - Archduke Karl of Austria & Baroness Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza 1993
January 13-15, 2008 - State visit from Jordan to Morocco: January 13-15, 2008
January 22-26, 2008 - Haakon's official visit to Chile - January 22-26, 2008
January 28-30, 2008 - Official Visit from Yemen to Spain: January 28-30, 2008
05.01. - King Juan Carlos's 70th Birthday Celebrations: January 5, 2008
15.01 - Inaki's 40th birthday: January 15th, 2008
21.01 - Ingrid Alexandra's 4th birthday: pictures and articles
30.01 - Prince Felipe's 40th Birthday: January 30, 2008
06.01 - Pascua Militar 2008
11.01 - Stavanger 2008
16.01 - International conference "Investing for the Future
17-27.01 - The 32nd International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo
23-27.01 - King Abduallah and Queen Rania at World Economic Forum - Annual Session in Davos
Prince William starts flight training at RAF Cranwell
Prince Andrew on The Today Show (USA) 29 January 2008
Crown Prince Frederik - a candidate for the IOC?
Laura & Harry Lopes welcomed a daughter: January 17, 2008
Princess Galyani Vadhana is dead - 2. January, 2008
01.02.1965 - Birthday of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.
01.02.2007 - Birthday of Duchess Anna of Wurttemberg
03.02.1968 - Birthday of Princess Angela of Liechtenstein
04.02.1970 - Birthday of Princess Marilène of Orange Nassau, van Vollenhoven
05.02.1972 - Birthday of Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark
05.02.1999 - Birthday of Arthur Chatto
06.02.2004 - Birthday of Princess Louise of Belgium
06.02.1951 - Birthday of Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium
07.02.1995 - Birthday of Count Frederik of Ortenburg
09.02.1986 - Birthday of Princess Raiyah of Jordan
11.02.1946 - Birthday of Prince Katsura of Japan
11.02.1990 - Birthday of Princess Ayah of Jordan
12.02.1981 - Birthday of Prince Hussein Mirza of Jordan
13.02.1956 - Birthday of Princess Alia of Jordan
14.02.1945 - Birthday of Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein
16.02.1991 - Birthday of Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg
17.02.1954 - Birthday of Princess Marie Astrid of Luxembourg
17.02.1974 - Birthday of Crown Prince Al-Muhtabee Billah of Brunei
18.02.1951 - Birthday of Queen Komal of Nepal
18.02.1947 - Birthday of Princess Christina of the Netherlands
19.02.1960 - Birthday of Prince Andrew, The Duke of York
20.02.1978 - Birthday of Princess Prerana Rajya Laxmi Devi Singh of Nepal
21.02.1980 - Birthday of Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, the Dragon King of Bhutan
21.02.1986 - Birthday of Prince Amedeo of Belgium, Prince Imperial and Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia
21.02.1937 - Birthday of King Harald of Norway
21.02.1992 - Birthday of Count Carl Theodor of Ortenburgh
22.02.1933 - Birthday of Katharine, The Duchess of Kent
23.02.1960 - Birthday of Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan
24.02.1963 - Birthday of Prince Carlo, Duke of Calabria
24.02.2002 - Birthday of Arrietta Morales y de Grecia
25.02.1883 - Birthday of Princess Alice of Albany
26.02.1954 - Birthday of Ernst August, Prince of Hanover
28.02.2007 - Birthday of Lalla Khadija of Morocco
02.02.2002 - Wedding Anniversary of Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Maxima Zorreguieta
03.02.1968 - Wedding Anniversary of Princess Benedikte of Denmark & Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
06.02.1982 - Wedding Anniversary of Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg
10.02.1840 - Wedding Anniversary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
11.02.2006 - Wedding Anniversary of Archduke Philipp of Austria and Heather Maria Plain
11.02.2006 - Wedding Anniversary of Prince Karl-Wilhelm of Baden and Stephanie Anne Kaul
12.02.2002 - Wedding Anniversary of Stephanie, Countess von Bismarck-Schoenhausen and Karl-Theodor, Reichsfreiherr von und zu Guttenberg
14.02.1981 - Wedding Anniversary of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista
01.02.2002 - Death of Count Sigvard Bernadotte of Sweden
06.02.1952 - Death of King George VI of Great Britain
07.02.1999 - Death of King Hussein I of Jordan
09.02.1977 - Death of Queen Alia of Jordan
09.02.2002 - Death of Princess Margaret, The Countess of Snowdon
06.02.1952 - Accession to the Throne of Queen Elizabeth II
24.02.1981 - Announcement of the engagement of Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer
Prince Andrew's visit to the Unites States: February 6-15, 2008
State Visit from Spain to Egypt: February 4-6, 2008
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']State Visit to Mexico from Denmark, February 2008[/FONT]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Birthday Celebrations of Queen Beatrix and Princess Margriet[/FONT]
Bhumibol and Sirikit
Bhumibol ascended to the throne following the death of his brother, King Ananda Mahido in 1946. The young King decided to continue his education in Switzerland, to prepare himself more effectively for his new position as ruler.
In 1948, one could often see a certain young gentleman frequently visiting the Thai Embassy in Paris. The beautiful scenery of the embassy grounds was not the only reasons for those occasional visits: the ambassador had a very beautiful daughter, then only 15. The young Gentleman was King Bhumibol of Thailand and the young Lady was Sirikit Kitiyakara, descendant of King Rama V.
A few months later Bhumibol suffered a car crash, which hurt his back and incurred cuts on his face that cost him sight in his right eye. While he was hospitalized in Lausanne, Sirikit visited him frequently. She met his mother, who asked her to continue her studies nearby so that Bhumibol could get to know her better.
The romance flowered into full color and on 19 July 1949 an official engagement was announced from the King's Villa Wattana in Lausanne. When the news reached Thailand, the people were simply ecstatic. After the deprivations of wartime occupation, the nation was hungry for good news and a chance for celebration.
The couple was married on April 28, 1950. Four children would come from this union: Ubol Ratana in 1951, Maha Vajiralongkorn in 1952, Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in 1955 and Chulabhorn Walailak in 1957.
Sirikit was always the King's most trusted advisor. Following the death of his grandmother, Queen Savang Vadhana in 1956, Bhumibol had to undertake a period of service as a Buddhist monk. Sirikit was appointed regent for the period, becaming only second Queen in Thai history to be honoured in that way. She performed her duties so satisfactorily that she was later made Queen Regent.
Both Bhumibol and Sirikit are immensely popular and deeply respected in Thailand. Their birthdays are national holidays. Queen Sirikit’s birthday is also Thailand’s official mothers’ day.
They are particularly revered in the more remote and traditional parts of the country, where the monarchy is regarded as semi-divine.
Bhumibol is a painter, photographer, author, accomlished jazz musician and composer. He was the first Asian composer awarded honorary membership of the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna at the age of 32.
The King is also an accomplished sailor and sailboat designer. He won a gold medal for sailing in the Fourth Southwest Asian Peninsular Games in 1967.
The Queen’s ceaseless work in promoting tolerance and understanding for the Muslim minorities in the southernmost provinces, have made her especially popular amongst the local Muslim populace.
The Thai Royal Family is greatly respected by the majority of Thai people. But the King himself stated the Royal Family should not be above criticism. In his 2005 birthday speech Bhumibol said, "Actually, I must also be criticized. I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know. Because if you say the king cannot be criticized, it means that the king is not human".
Bhumibol and Sirikit have celebrated many anniversaries together. In 2005 they celebrated their Emerald Wedding Anniversary. 2006 was marked by the Diamond Jubilee of the King’s accession to the Throne. The state banquet for the Royal visitors, held in the Throne Hall at the Grand Palace, was attended by Royals from 26 countries. In 2007 year-long celebrations of King Bhumibol’s 80th birthday commenced.
Together the Bhumibol and Sirikit have visited every corner of their country, and wherever they went, they were most enthusiastically welcomed by their people.
Akihito and Michiko
Crown Prince Akihito met his future wife Michiko on a tennis court in Karuizawa in August 1957. Their romance resulted in the engagement, which was announced in November 1958. In accordance with the Imperial House Law, the Imperial House Council, headed by the Prime Minister, gave its unanimous consent to the marriage. Dr. Shinzo Koizumi, said of this marriage: "The Crown Prince chose her, and so did we."
The whole nation was enchanted by the traditional wedding ceremony that took place on April 10, 1959. It was one of the happiest days in the history of post-war Japan. However, there were also those, who strongly opposed the wedding. The future Crown Princess was the daughter of a wealthy buisnessman, but she was a commoner. Empress Kojun herself was strongly against her son's engagement.
Only recently a light was shred on some of the problems Michiko had. It was reported that the Dowager Empress had bullied her daughter-in-law into a nervous breakdown in the early 1960s, and as a result, the Princess had lost her voice for several months. She again lost her voice in the Fall of 1993, and although the court doctors attributed this to ‘strong feelings of distress’, it was believed to be a reaction to personal attacks by Japanese media. An article written by Sheila Johnson, "Sad Lives: A Tale of Two Princesses" reported that in the 1960s, rumors abounded that Crown Princess Michiko underwent an abortion, partly to spite her controlling father-in-law.
In spite of everything, the Crown Prince and Princess were greatly popular among the Japanese people. They welcomed their first son Naruhito in 1960. He was followed by a younger brother, Akishino in 1965, and a sister, Sayako in 1969.
The Crown Princess brought her three children up herself with loving care. She breast-fed all of them, and when the children were of school-age, she would prepare their lunch-boxes early every morning. Later, she said about her approach to child-raising: "I have consulted the Emperor on every matter and I am grateful to him for the precious advice he gave me, based on his own experiences, which was most helpful to me."
On 7 January 1989, Emperor Akihito acceded to the throne as the 125th Emperor of Japan. The Ceremony of Enthronement was attended by representatives of 158 countries, including Monarchs and Heads of State.
The Emperor and Empress did their best to be closer to their people. Their Majesties have visited all 47 prefectures and many of the remote islands of Japan. They make at least three domestic trips every year. On those trips they always visit welfare, cultural or industrial facilities to give encouragement to the local people involved. Especially concerned about welfare, they have visited more than 450 facilities for children, the elderly and the handicapped throughout the country.
They visit areas struck by major natural disasters, to console the victims and to give support to the rescue workers. In January 1995, they flew to Hyogo Prefecture after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake as soon as local conditions made it possible. On the day of the trip, by plane, by helicopter and by mini-bus, they visited several widely separated places in the disaster area from early in the morning until late in the evening.
Since the Emperor's enthronement, Their Majesties have so far made official visits to 19 countries, bringing the number of countries they have visited to 46.
Every year, following the example of his father, Emperor Showa, the Emperor himself plants and harvests rice, the traditional main crop in Japan, at the paddy-field in the Palace Grounds.
The Empress raises silkworms at the Palace sericulture centre, with the help of several staff-members, feeding them with mulberry leaves, following the precedent set in 1871 by Empress Dowager Shoken. Some of the silk thus produced is used for a revival of old textile material of historical value.
On certain days of the year determined by tradition, Their Majesties pay their respects to the Imperial ancestors at the Palace Sanctuary, and pray for the happiness and welfare of the people.
Their Majesties' interests encompass broad areas of learning and culture. They attend annual award ceremonies of the Japan Academy and the Japan Academy of Arts.
The Emperor has a keen interest in natural life and its conservation. He encourages research projects on natural life in the grounds of the Imperial estates.
For many years, the Emperor has made a taxonomic study of gobies, small fish found in fresh, brackish and marine waters. He was one of the contributors to “The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago”,the first illustrated book of all the fishes in Japanese waters.
The Emperor became one of the co-writers of "Fishes of Japan with Pictorial Keys to the Species" published in 2000.
Empress Michiko has an extensive interest in art, and is particularly well-read in Japanese classical literature. She has constantly kept up her interest in children's literature and has done work in that field herself.
The Empress loves music. She plays the piano, and is a good accompanist to the Emperor who plays the cello and to Crown Prince Naruhito who plays the viola and violin. She is occasionally heard practicing on the piano and she enjoys playing in a small chamber ensemble with her musician friends. The Empress also gives encouragement and support to Gagaku, classical court music and dance, often attending its performances by court musicians/dancers or descendants of former aristocrats.
Almost every day, the Emperor and Empress take early morning walks in the Palace woods and gardens where they can enjoy the changes of the seasons and be close to nature which they both love. On weekends they play tennis, their favourite sport, when their schedule permits.
Elizabeth and Philip
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip must be very fond of tennis, for 13 years old Princess Elizabeth and 18 years old Prince Philip first met during a tennis match in 1939. For the Princess, it was love at first sight. According to her nanny, Philip impressed Elizabeth a lot while playing tennis and she couldn’t take her eyes off him. Philip was fond of his cousin, but she was too little to really notice her as a woman. Soon however, they were to be separated for several long years, because of the break of World War II.
Philip served in the British Navy, where he was renowned for his personal courage. Elizabeth wrote long and affectionate letters to him, describing everyday life, difficulties the British people had to go through, and just sharing news and dreams. For Philip, those letters were vey important, for they gave him opportunity to know what was going in the country he was fighting for.
Elizabeth was keen to do her part in the country's resistance. By 1945 no. 230873 Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor was a trained driver and drove a military truck.
The end of the war in 1945 was not only long-waited victory for Elizabeth: she had double cause for celebrations because her Prince was returning to England.
Now it was Prince Philip’s turn to fall in love with his cousin, for upon return he found not the little girl he remembered, but a young and beautiful Lady. In 1946 Philip and Elizabeth got secretly engaged. Philip’s relatives, especially Lord Mountbatten, were enthusiastic about the union, but Elizabeth’s parents thought she was too young. Despite her gentle nature, Elizabeth always had strong will, and she managed to convince her parents that the marriage will work out. On 20 November 1947, Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were declared Man and Wife. Before the marriage Philip was required to convert from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism and renounce his Greek and Danish Royal titles. He took the name Mountbatten, and the day before the wedding, King George titled Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich.
Philip wanted to pursue his naval career for as long as it was possible, so he returned to the Navy and was stationed in Malta, where Elizabeth joined him. The 1948–1951 period can easily be called the happiest for the young couple: they were surrounded by the beauties of the island of Malta, enjoyed relatively normal life and became proud parents: their first-born son, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, their only daughter, Princess Anne was born 2 years later (Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, born respectively in 1960 and 1964 would complete the family set). But this paradise ended soon.
During a Commonwealth tour the Queen learnt of her Father’s death: she was now Queen.
The Queen accepted her new postion with a grace and dignity, and with that dignity she reigns up to this day. Sh has rarely given interviews; her views on political issues are unknown. Her courage, however, is quite well-known: during a trip to Ghana in 1961, there were fears for the Queen’s security and she was asked to keep her distance from the then President Kwame Nkrumah, who was a target for assassins. She pointedly refused. Harold Macmillan wrote on the occasion that "the Queen has been absolutely determined all through. She is impatient of the attitude towards her to treat her as a … film star. She has indeed the heart and stomach of a man." A similar thing happened in 1964, when Her Majesty was invited to visit Quebec. Amidst the separatist threats, there were fears for the Queen’s safety, and she was strongly advised to cancel the tour. However, the Queen’s Private Secretary replied that "the Queen would have been absolutely horrified to have been prevented from going because of the activities of extremists." But perhaps most notably, during the Trooping the Colour in 1981 there was an apparent attempt on the Queen’s life: six rounds of blanks were fired at her from close range as she rode sidesaddle on her horse Burmese. Her only reaction was to duck slightly and then continue on her way. The House of Commons of Canada was so impressed by this display of courage and dignity that it passed a motion praising her composure.
The Duke of Edinburgh has supported the Queen for almost 60 years. He has his own agenda and carries out his own separate engagements on behalf of the Queen, both at home and abroad. Prince Philip is the hardest-working consort of the Monarch in the world, even at this age.
However, he is perhaps better known not for his work, but for his so called gaffes: a typical example of his sense of humour, which is often deemed insensitive, can be displayed by his comment to a driving instructor in Scotland. The Duke asked: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?"
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are busy and proud grandparents. They have eight grandchildren of different ages and the newest arrival to the family, James Viscount Severn, is exactly 30 years younger their eldest grandson, Peter Phillips (who is incidentally the first of their grandchildren to get engaged).
The Queen and Prince Philip have celebrated a number of important anniversaries. Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Golden Jubilee, marking the 50th anniversary of her accession to the Throne. On December 20, 2007 the Queen became the oldest Monarch in the English History, surpassing the previous record belonging to Queen Victoria. Another significant anniversary was celebrated on November 19, 2007, when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip became the first Monarch and Consort to celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
The Queen has stressed for more then one occasion what an important place her husband occupies in her life, in particularly she said:
“He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”
Beatrix and Claus
On May 6, 1965 the ‘Daily Mail’ published paparazzi pictures of Crown Princess Beatrix walking hand in hand with an unknown man. He was quickly identified as Claus von Amsberg, a German diplomat. Claus and Beatrix met at the wedding-eve party of Princess Tatjana of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse.
After the revelation, the couple was forced to take a decision and they announced their engagement. This caused a lot of upheaval in The Netherlands as Klaus was a German, had been a member of the Hitlerjugend and served in the Wehrmacht. The government requested a historian to look into the past of Claus and only after it was discovered that Klaus served in Italy, never took part in any fighting and not even a trace of anti-Semitism was found, did the Parliament decide to give permission for a wedding.
The couple married on March 10, 1966, under the protests of WWII victims and anarchists. Protests included the memorable slogan "Geef mijn fiets terug" (Give me back my bicycle), a reference to the memory of occupying German soldiers confiscating Dutch bicycles. A smoke bomb was thrown at the wedding carriage causing a violent street battle with the police.
Despite these difficulties, the marriage would be a happy one and three sons were born within three years. The family lived in Drakensteyn Castle where they tried to protect their private life from the prying eyes of the public. That worked for some time, but in 1980 Beatrix succeeded her mother Queen Juliana and the family moved to The Hague. With these changes the pressure on his family became much bigger: Prince had more ceremonial duties and seemed to suffer from the lack of ‘real’ work. In 1982 the Prince was committed to the hospital for 'complaints of depressive nature’. It would take him several years to overcome his depression.
Claus had a rocky beginning, but as time went on he became one of the most popular members of the Dutch Monarchy.
In 1984 the government decided to use the competences of the Prince and he was installed as inspector-general of development aid. He also got a function in the Board of the Dutch Bank and became chairman of the export platform of the Ministry of Traffic. However in 1991 the depressions returned and the Prince also started to suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
During the last years of his life he suffered from several illnesses. In 1998 an operation for prostate cancer was successful but he got an infection when he was radiated in 2000. In 2001 a kidney was removed and he started to have troubles with the other kidney. On October 6, 2002 the Prince died from ammonia and the consequences of Parkinson disease. He was buried 9 days later in Delft.
For Beatrix, the death of her husband was a terrifying experience. She lost not only the man she loved, but also her most trusted friend and adviser. Beatrix would often say that Claus was the best advisor she ever had and she consulted almost everything with her husband. Despite this, Beatrix managed to control herself during the funeral. Hundreds of camera lenses zoomed to maximum to see the watery eyes of the Queen.
This is only in public though. Avi Primer, a close friend of Claus and Beatrix, said on the German television that Beatrix still can not talk about Claus without tears in her eyes.
Harald and Sonja
Crown Prince Harald first met Miss Sonja Haraldsen at a party hosted by a mutual friend in June 1959. Miss Haraldsen had stayed away from all social gatherings after her father died suddenly in early March 1959, and this was the first time after he died she went to a party. When the Crown Prince graduated from the Military Academy in August 1959, he invited her as his date for the graduation ball, and two photographs of them together were taken. From then on, Miss Haraldsen was a “public secret”, and had to learn to live with journalists and photographs that would go to any lengths to get pictures of her.
King Olav wanted Harald to marry a Princess of royal blood, it was feared that the marriage of the Crown Prince and commoner would be very controversial. Because of this opposition to Sonja’s non-royal status, Harald and Sonja had been dating for nine years. Eventually, Harald made it clear to his father that he would not marry anyone else, if he weren’t permitted to marry Sonja. This would in effect put an end to the rule of his family and most likely monarchy in Norway as he was the sole heir.
In 1968, King Olav announced the couple's engagement.
The decision to be taken by the King was not only a family matter, but also an affair of state that could have implications for the future of the monarchy.
A very heated political debate took place in the Kingdom as many argued about the future of the monarchy and the effect marriage to a commoner would have, but the couple was given a warm reception by the Norwegian people, who immediately accepted Miss Haraldsen as their next Crown Princess.
The wedding was held in Oslo Cathedral on 29 August 1968. The newlyweds were received with great jubilation by people throughout the country. They had more causes for celebrations, when in 1971 the first child of the couple, Princess Märtha Louise, followed by the heir, Crown Prince Haakon in 1973.
Following the wedding, Sonja started carrying out her share of official duties on her own. She has travelled extensively in Norway and abroad in her capacity as Crown Princess and, later, as Queen.
In 1988 Sonja established the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. It was originally for pianists, but in 1995 the competition became only for singers. Queen Sonja’s School Award was established in 2006 and is awarded to schools who have "demonstrated excellence in its efforts to promote inclusion and equality".
An avid sailor, Harald represented Norway in the yachting events in the Olympic games several times during his Crown Prince years, and carried the Norwegian flag at the opening parade of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. With his sailing crew he won World Championship bronze, silver and gold medals, in 1988, 1982, and 1987, respectively.
King Olav V was not only a respected Sovereign; he was truly loved and seen as an unifying symbol of Norway. When he died in 1994, the whole country mourned him. Crown Prince Harald became King Harald V and Queen Sonja became Norway’s first Queen in 53 years. The Ceremony of coronation was seen as a strictly national event. King Harald V was dressed in full uniform of Army General, Queen Sonja was in a white dress, embellished with pearls. Instead of a tiara and in accordance with the simplicity of the ceremony, Queen Sonja wore not a tiara but a “kokoshnik”, as did Princess Martha, also dressed in white. The Norwegian Crown Jewels were also in the altar, although were not used in the ceremony.
The new King and Queen managed to bring the Royal Family closer to the people. Harald and Sonja have made numerous visits in Norway and everywhere they went, large crowds gathered to greet them. Their Majesties have made numerous State Visits throughout the world.
The King and the Queen devote a great deal of time to visiting disadvantaged groups as well as social institutions for children, the elderly and persons suffering from mental disabilities.
The Queen is also concerned with conditions for refugees and immigrants. She has taken active part in large-scale initiatives to raise funds for international refugees, and spent time in the 1970s visiting Vietnamese boat refugees in Malaysia, among others.
There is a remarkably good relationship between the Norwegian Royal Family and the other European Royal Families, powerfully exposed during the celebrations of the sovereigns’ Silver Jubilee and 60th birthdays, as well as at the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon with Miss Mette-Marit.
The King remains highly respected in Norway, and will, without doubt, find a place in the future, similar to the one his father had, in the hearts of the Norwegians. As for Queen Sonja, she is arguably one of the most beloved Queens Norway ever had.
Henrik and Margrethe
In 1996 Prince Henrik published his autobiography in French, Destin Oblige, which was translated into Danish. In that biography he mentions his first meeting with his wife, back in 1965. He was attending a dinner party hosted by some friends. He had been informed that the Danish heir to the throne would be present, and therefore anticipated that the evening would be fairly dull. Henri therefore vowed that he would try to leave as soon as he could, to avoid the boredom. At dinner he was seated next to the "dull" heiress, and discovered that she wasn't dull at all. Quite the opposite.
Henri and Margrethe would have several meetings in the time that followed - outings with mutual friends, outings on their own, in the restaurants and nightclubs of London. Eventually they discovered that the attraction between them had matured into love. Henri mentions that it was easy for him to think about a Frenchman in London being in love with a Danish girl. He found it much more difficult to imagine what made the heir to the Danish throne fall in love with him. Henri agonized over making the right choice in terms of marriage. He wondered if the heir to the throne could truly follow her own heart in terms of picking who she wanted to marry, and would he be accepted by the Danes? He did not want to be the cause of Margrethe's abdication.
He eventually proposed at a St. John's Eve celebration in Denmark , and the answer was positive. The official engagement came in October 1966 and they were married in June 1967. Henri Laborde de Monpezat became Prince Henrik of Denmark.
Henrik chose to give his wedding speech in Danish. He has later acknowledged that this was one of his worst ideas, as it aired on television, and he wasn't very familiar with the pronunciation of the language at the time. Learning to speak Danish was a process that took many year, and was made more difficult by the fact that he spoke French at home with his wife and later with his children. He spoke French with them, to give them the ability to be bilingual - with the consequence that his own Danish suffered.
In May 1968 the heir to the throne, Prince Frederik was born. A year later, Prince Joachim followed and the family was complete. As his wife was fairly busy, even more so after her father died, it was Prince Henrik who would oversee his sons' upbringing. Prince Joachim mentioned that spending time with his father was a fascinating experience, while Crown Prince Frederik jokingly mentioned in his speech to his parents at their Silver Wedding anniversary that there is an old saying about punishing those we love - and the princes had never doubted the love from their father. Prince Henrik himself mentions that he believes in a firm and guiding, but loving hand, from parents to ensure that the children are guided onto the right path in life.
In 1984, the Danish government acknowledged the part played by Prince Henrik - and gave him his own allowance, separate from his wife's.
The queen is an accomplished and critically-acclaimed painter, and has held many art shows over the years. It is often said that were she not the queen, she could easily make a living as a professional artist.
In 1974 Henrik and Margrethe purchased a rundown castle close to Henrik's parents' winery. Since then they have spent summers there, and Henrik produces wine that is sold all over the world.
They also work together in more intellectual endeavours - in 1981 they translated a book by Simone de Beauvoir from French to Danish together.
As a couple they have lived their lives publicly and it would have been difficult to sustain their own relationship, their family and their duties to Denmark through all these years, had it not been for immense devotion, care and love they have for each other. They have been through some thick and thin together, for example, Margrethe's medical emergency giving birth to Frederik when Henrik feared for her survival, deaths in their families, relentless royal duties, no doubt the normal parental worries about their children. But they went through the good and the bad times with a care and love for each other.
On June 10, 2007 Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik reached a rare milestone, rare not only for Monarch and Consort, but also for ordinary people: they celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary.
Henri and Maria Teresa
While studying social sciences at the University of Geneva Maria Teresa met a fellow student who turned out to be Henri, Crown Prince of Luxembourg. For four years they both carried on similar studies, working sometimes in the same study groups. Henri and Maria Teresa soon understood that their feelings are much more then just friendship. Henri proposed, despite strong opposition from and disapproval of Henri’s mother, Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte, who believed her son must marry a fellow Royal.
The wedding of the Cuban-born Maria Teresa and the Crown Prince of Luxembourg was one of the most romantic weddings, and the day chosen for the wedding only underlined it: they were married on February 14, on St. Valentine’s Day. That same year their welcomed their first son and heir, Prince Guillaume. Four more children would complete the happy family, with the arrival of Prince Felix, Prince Louis, Princess Alexandra and Prince Sebastien. Now, Henri and Maria Teresa are already proud grandparents as well, for their third son Louis and his wife Tessy already have 2 sons, Gabriel and Noah.
Not everything was smooth in their Heaven though: in 2002 Grand Duke Henri expressly identified himself with a press conference called by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, which was aimed to discuss with journalists her relationships with her mother-in-law, Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. During the interview, it was revealed that Maria Teresa had very distant relationships with her Josephine-Charlotte. The latter would sometimes pointedly upset Maria Teresa with insensitive comments, and occasionally referred to her as ‘that Cuban’.
Perhaps because of her own problems with mother-in-law, Maria Teresa acted most gracefully when it emerged that her third son Louis and his girlfriend Tessy were expected a child. Henri and Maria Teresa’s attitude, their support and understanding greatly helped the young couple, and after their first son Gabriel was born, they were confident enough to marry. By all accounts, Henri and Maria Teresa developed close friendship with Tessy and welcomed her into their family.
Maria Teresa and Henri were always interesting in solving social and human problems. As a matter of fact, interest in social problems was one of the factors that drew them together back in their university years. As a student, Maria Teresa was a member of a group in Geneva, which took care of the residents of retirement homes. She also taught children in a Geneva classroom. Being multilingual (she freely speaks Spanish, French, English, German, Italian and Luxembourgish), she could directly speak to many social groups and minorities. This was to be especially useful after her marriage, because 37% of the population of her new country were immigrants, mostly from other parts of Europe. In 2006, the Grand Duchess received the Path to Peace Award from a Holy Sea Foundation for her "relentless contribution to humanitarian causes."
After nearly 27 years of happy marriage, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess are still very much in love, which can be seen by their tender attitude towards each other. St. Valentine was apparently quite generous towards them!
Carl Gustav and Silvia
During the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany in 1972, The Crown Prince met Miss Silvia Renate Sommerlath. She was working at the Games as an interpreter and hostess. In a later interview, the King explained how it just "clicked" when they met.
After the death of King Gustav VI Adolf on 14 September 1973, Carl Gustav was enthroned on 19 September that year.
He and Silvia announced their engagement on 12 March 1976 and were married three months later, on 19 June in Storkyrkan Cathedral in Stockholm. It was the first marriage of a reigning Swedish monarch since 1797. If he had married Silvia during the reign of his grandfather, King Gustav VI Adolf, he would have lost his position as Heir to the Swedish throne. This was due to the inflexibility of his grandfather, who believed that Royalty must marry Royalty.
In celebration of the forthcoming wedding of the King and the soon-to-be-Queen, Silvia, the internationally famous pop group ABBA performed the song Dancing Queen on Swedish television the night before the ceremony, although the song was not actually written for Queen Silvia.
Though initially cool to the idea of a commoner queen, the Swedish people and the press quickly warmed to Queen Silvia and soon began publishing admiring articles about how easily she fit into the country's expectations of a Queen. A Swedish newspaper noted in 1994, on the occasion of the Queen's 50th birthday, she had revived the popularity of the monarchy. "With Silvia, the republic died. You could put it that way. Even if Silvia's arrival was like kicking someone lying down. Or hitting a guy with glasses. The guy with glasses was mostly to be found with the Social Democrats. A few lines in the party manifesto, ever more vague over the years. It has always been there, but nobody has ever done anything to implement it."
The King and Queen of Sweden have three children: Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeline. Prince Carl Philip was born Crown Prince, however after the Swedish Constitution was changed and cognatic primogeniture was adopted, his older sister became the heir. This was said to have caused the King’s displeasure, who believed the changes should have been put into use with the next generation.
In 2003, Queen Silvia told a Swedish reporter that she and the royal family would like to be more open to contact with magazines and newspapers but that false articles about the family's lives – including photograph montages purported to show the Crown Princess and Princess Madeleine with their "secret" babies had made them wary. As she told the Swedish news agency TT, "If a person is hurt too much, the natural reaction is to withdraw. That is a pity, because I really think our children are very natural and open toward other people and toward journalists."
Despite this, the Swedish Royal Family still has very open and friendly relationships with the Swedish press.
Queen Silvia is involved in numerous charity organizations, especially in the area of disadvantaged children, and has made several public statements about human rights and the sexual exploitation of children. She was a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation in 1999. She also works actively for handicapped, among other things as the Chairman of the Royal Wedding Fund and Queen Silvia's Jubilee Fund. In 1990, she was awarded the prestigious German prize "Deutscher Kulturpreis" for her work for the handicapped. The Queen is also an honorary board member of The Mentor Foundation International, which works against drug use in adolescents and young adults. She is also the Patroness of the "Queen Silvia Fund" operated by the World Scout Foundation which raises funds for Scouts with disabilities.
Her commitment for the work with dementia and the care of elderly people at the end of life is also well known and respected. On her initiative, Silviahemmet was established in Stockholm. It works to educate hospital personnel in how to work with people suffering from dementia, and also initiates research in the area.
The Queen also has brought the subject of dyslexia into the public arena in Sweden. For many years, it was widely rumored that the King has dyslexia. Journalists noted that he misspelled his name when signing his accession document, and in 1973, when visiting a copper mine, he misspelled his name when signing it on a rock wall. In an interview on Swedish television in 1997, the condition was admitted publicly when the Queen addressed the issue. "When he was little, people did not pay attention to the problem," she said. "He didn't get the help he needed."
The King is probably best known as the presenter of the Nobel Prizes each year. He also hands over the Polar Music Prize.
The King is passionate about the environment, technology, agriculture, trade, and industry. In 1994, he delighted Swedes by reportedly saying, in response to the clubbing of baby seals in neighboring Norway, that a prime minister who couldn't take care of baby seals couldn't be very good at taking care of a country.
On his initiative, an international symposium on the environment is held regularly. He is the protector of the Swedish Royal Academies, and takes active part in the proceedings of a few of them.
In 2005 The King held a personal and passionate speech about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which led to the death of over 500 Swedes.
The future of the Swedish Monarchy didn’t look too bright when Silvia and Carl Gustav married, but they worked as a team and managed to turn Monarchy into a strong institution that is close to people and fulfils their expectations.
Juan Carlos and Sofia
In the summer of 1954, Queen Frederika of Greece organized a cruise on the Agamemnon Yacht, with the purpose of putting together ten younger members of the royal European houses. It was during this cruise that Princess Sophia of Greece, then 15 and Don Juan Carlos de Borbón, then 16, first met.
But it would take four years so that Juan Carlos confessed to his friends, at the wedding of Isabel de Würtemberg and António de Borbón Dos-Sicilias: «Princess Sophia of Greece... she enchants me»! Impeccably dressed in his Navy Gala uniform, the Prince spent that whole evening of July in the Althausen Castle, courting the young princess. They strolled by the castle's gardens, they danced... The dice were loaded.
After this big social meeting, the couple got together again during the sailing competition at the 1960 Olympic Games, in which Doña Sophia participated as backup of her brother, Constantine. Because of that, the Kings of Greece organized a dinner in their boat. Doña Sophia summarizes the meeting: “Together with don Juan and Doña María, came Juan Carlos. He had a mustache. I said to him. "I don't like this disgusting moustache." "Really?”, - he responded, - “but now I don't know how I'm going to get rid of it." I said: "You don't know how? I do. Come with me." I took him to the boat's bathroom, made him sit, put a towel in his neck, just like in a barber's shop, got a razor, lifted his nose and took it away. And he let me do it!"
In 1961, during a celebration in the Beau Rivage Hotel of Lausanne, Juan Carlos threw a small box in the air, saying: "Sofi, catch it!" The King - as Queen Sophia has said herself in numerous occasions never formally asked "Will you marry me". Inside the box, there was an engagement ring. He then came to the princess and just said: "Now, we will get married, okay?"...
The engagement was announced on December 12th, 1961.
And, at ten in the morning on that May 14th, 1962, Don Juan Carlos waited for his bride. Forty-five thousand red and yellow carnations, brought specifically from Valencia and Cataluña, adorned the interior of the temple.
Princess Sophia, before entering the cathedral saluted her people as in a farewell... Meanwhile, the Tatoi Chaplain conducted a choir of 300 voices that started to sing the Halleluiah of Haendel.
The princes were married by two church rites. The first, Catholic, happened at the San Dionisio Cathedral. The second, Orthodox, happened an hour later at Saint Mary's Cathedral and was authorized by Pope John XXIII. Doña Sophia, moved emotionally during both ceremonies, had to use Juan Carlos handkerchief several times.
The Archbishop Printesi posed the question and Don Juan Carlos, replied loud and clear "Sí," the Princess, with a more tender voice answered: "Malissa" (yes in Greek).
After the reception, the couple went away on their honeymoon, which lasted four months. It started in the Aegean Islands and ended in London. When they returned, they went to live in la Zarzuela, a little palace on the outskirts of Madrid, where they were able to live as a family. According to an interview given to Spanish TV, Juan Carlos could not forget what his grandfather, Alfonso XIII, once told him: "he was only able to eat hot food, when travelling around Spain, because at the Royal Palace the kitchen was so far from the dining-room, that the food always got there cold!"
In 1963, the first of their three children, Infanta Elena María Isabel Dominica de Silos de Borbón y Grecia, was born, followed, two years later, by Infanta Cristina Federica de Borbón y Grecia, and, finally in 1968, by Prince Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia.
Both King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia are immensely popular in Spain. The people have greatest respect for the King, who they credit for keeping democracy in the country, and they are very attached with their Queen, who has tirelessly worked for her adopted motherland ever since she said that ‘Mailssa’.
Albert and Paola
Donna Paola Margherita Maria Antonia Consiglia Ruffo di Calabria was invited to the inauguration of pope John XXIII. There she met a young man she thought was very charming. That young man was Prince Albert of Belgium. Albert was most impressed by Donna Paola as well, for Paola was hailed the leading beauty in Europe.
Paola that she knew nothing about Belgium at the time she met Prince Albert. She had vaguely heard about king Baudouin, but never about her future husband. The only thing about Belgium she knew well was Tintin: Paola said she enjoyed the whole collection.
Albert and Paola liked each other from the start but both were very shy and it took them a while to get to know each other. When Albert eventually proposed, she never hesitated a moment. When Paola arrived in Belgium, she was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the Belgian people and vowed to do her best to serve them.
Albert and Paola married on July 2, 1959 in Brussels. Paola was so overwhelmed with emotions; she had to reach for her handkerchief for several times.
But Paola’s first years in Belgium were lonely. She had to learn two new cultures and two new languages, which was difficult for her. Paola missed Queen Astrid, Prince Albert’s mother, for she though the late Queen could comfort, help and guide her on her way. Cold and wet Belgian weather, so unlike to the one Paola was used to, was another problem. Albert proved to be a caring husband though and he gradually made her used to the Belgian weather by walks in the Ardennes. Those walks triggered Paola’s love for nature and gardening.
Paola once said that she loves Belgian people, and would love them even she weren’t a Queen of Belgium: according to her, they are discreet, humble and they like celebrations. She added that she herself feels very much Belgian and her heart lies in Belgium.
Albert and Paola have 3 children, Philippe, Astrid and Laurent, and 12 grandchildren (including the yet unborn child of Princess Mathilde). In her 2006 interview, Queen Paola also talked about the joy of being a grandparent. She said that as a young parent, you are more responsible, like and actor in a play. But as a grandparent, you can show more tenderness and you are spectator in the play.
At the start of her marriage Paola and Albert wanted as much privacy as possible, but they were constantly chased by paparazzi. Their marriage had known problems, which became quite apparent after the revelation that King Albert allegedly has an illegitimate daughter and unfounded rumours that Prince Laurent is not Albert’s biological son. But despite this, Paola and Albert managed to solve all problems and, as Paola said in the interview, “…are very happy and often say to each other that they are really made for each other”.
Have a look at some of the grand Anniversaries and Jubilees the older Generation of Royals had. As usual, we apologize for not providing the whole, much more impressive list, but TRF is relatively young for that.
Carl Gustav and Silvia’s Silver Wedding 2001
60th Birthday Celebrations of King Carl XVI Gustaf
Queen Silvia's 60th Birthday Celebrations - December 2003
King Carl Gustaf's 30th Jubilee as King - September 2003
King Carl Gustav's 50th Birthday Celebrations 1996
King Carl Gustav's Birthday - 30 April 2004
King Carl Gustav's Birthday - 30 April 2003
Diamond Wedding Celebrations - November 2007
Lead-Up to the Diamond Wedding Anniversary: 20 November, 2007
Queen Elizabeth - the oldest Monarch in British History: 20 December 2007
Prince Philip's 85th Birthday: 10 June 2006
Queen Margrethe II - Silver Jubilee - January 14, 1997
Queen Margrethe's 60th Birthday Festivities
Prince Henrik's 70th Birthday 2004
Harald & Sonja Silver Wedding Anniversary August 1993
60 Birthday Celebrations of King Harald V. of Norway
70th birthday celebrations of Queen Sonja
Sonja & Harald's 60th anniversaries in 1997
King Juan Carlos's 70th Birthday Celebrations: January 5, 2008
30th Anniversary of King Juan Carlos' Enthronement
The Netherlands :dutchflag:
Silver Jubilee of Queen Beatrix
Birthday Celebrations of Queen Beatrix and Princess Margriet
Other :thaiflag: :belgiumflag: :luxflag:
King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Diamond Jubilee, June 2006
Henri and Maria Teresa’s Silver Wedding Celebrations
Queen Paola´s 70th birthday; September 11, 2007
Birthday celebrations for Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - 2006 and 2007
We want to thank Anna_R and Marengo , who both contributed to writing this newsletter. :flowers:
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Zonk, Norwegianne & Avalon
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