Royal News 2001

News Royal News

Last modified: 1 January 2002

Archived royal news from my old website for the year 2001.

January 2nd

Doctors treating Princess Margaret of Great Britain are expecting results of medical tests they hope will help to diagnose her illness. Princess Margaret is resting at Sandringham after being bedridden over the Christmas and New Year period. It was said her condition would prove to be physical rather than mental. The Princess is expected to stay at Sandringham for the foreseeable future.

More than 70.000 people came to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo where Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan greeted the crowds from the balcony. The Emperor made a New Year’s speech in which he said to hope for peace and happiness for the Japanese and the world.

In Amman, Jordan, Princess Maqbula, was buried. Princess Maqbula was the youngest daughter of King Abdullah I of Jordan from his second marriage to Princess Suzdil Hanum. She was born in Mecca in 1917 and married her distant cousin Prince Hussein bin Nasser in 1943. They had one son, Zeid, who himself has four sons.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will celebrate this year’s Queen’s Day on April 30th in Meppel and Hoogeveen.

January 3rd

Iran and Pakistan are fighting for a 2500-year-old mummy that has been found in the west of Pakistan one year ago. An Italian archeologist says that it is the mummy of Princess Rudomona, sister of Cyrus the Great. The sarcophagus contains an inscription that confirms that. It is also decorated with old Persian symbols. Now Iran has sent a team of archeologists to Pakistan. Iran says the mummy is part of the cultural heritage of the country and demands that Pakistan gives the mummy back.

Tests carried out on her suggest Princess Margaret of Great Britain may have suffered a further minor stroke, a Buckingham Palace statement has said. She already suffered a mild one in February 1998 on the Island of Mustique. Her condition is not life-treatening. She remains at Sandringham for further nursing care.

January 4th

The tumor that was removed out of Prince Bernhard’s body was malignant one. According to the doctors the whole tumor was removed and they say there are no indications that there is more. The removal was the 50th operation in 89 1/2 year the Prince lives.

January 6th

The Prince of Wales has fractured a small bone in his left shoulder. He was thrown to the ground when his horse jumped unexpectedly during a ride with the Mey Nell Hunt in Derbyshire. Doctors put his arm in a sling and believe the injury will heal itself. The Prince is resting at home at Highgrove.

January 7th

Police were called to Windsor Castle on New Year’s Eve after complaints from people celebrating on the streets below. It is alleged that royal guardsmen pointed what looked like rifles at passers-by while shouting “Happy New Year”. The incident is being examined by the Army.

Queen Elizabeth II has told well-wishers that her sister Princess Margaret is getting better. She made the comment to members of a crowd of about 100 people who gathered as she left church at Sandringham.

January 10th

Princess Margaret of Great Britain has been admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London following a deterioration in her health. Her condition continued to give cause for concern and she has suffered a severe loss of appetite. She is expected to undergo tests which should determine whether she did suffer a minor stroke as suspected last week.

January 11th

With the placing of a four metres high obelisk the restoration of the sepulchral monument for Prince Willem of Oranje (1533-1584) approached its completion after more than four years. The restoration was necessary because the marble was affected by salt-crystals. In the spring the restoration will be finished.

Today Princess Vera Constantinovna of Russia died in Valley Cottage, New York City aged 94, being the oldest member of the Romanov family alive. Princess Vera was born in April 1906 as the youngest of the nine children of Grand Duke Constantin Constantinovitch and Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg. Her father died in 1915, one of her brothers died in 1914 at the front and three other brothers were killed in a mine at Alapaievsk in July 1918. Vera escaped the Russian Revolution with her mother and some of her siblings. They first settled in Germany with the German family of her mother. Later Vera moved to the USA where she lived for years in an apartment of the Tolstoy Foundation in New York City. She has never been married.

January 12th

This evening Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje took part in the silent walk through Volendam, the Netherlands, that was held to commemorate the victims of a terrible fire that broke out in a pub in Volendam in the first hour of the year 2001. 10 Young people died, 180 were wounded – of them 118 are still in hospital (49 at the Intensive Care) in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Princess Margaret of Great Britain has made an enormous improvement her lady-in-waiting, Lady Glenconner, has said after she visited her in hospital. The Princess is now eating small meals. Lady Glenconner added that they had tea and that the Princess ate chocolate cake. Over the past few days both Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto have visited their mother several times.

January 13th

More than 100 museums and cultural institutes in Berlin and Brandenburg take part in the Prussia-jubilee 1701-2001. According to “Prussia 2001” only authentic places of Prussia-history have been invited. Highlights are the exhibition “Prussia 2001 – a European History” in Berlin- Charlottenburg and the presentation “Marks. A Voyage of Discovery through Brandenburg – Prussia” in Potsdam.

At 3pm Prince Nikolaus, youngest son of Hereditary Prince Alois and Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein, was baptised in the Cathedral of Vaduz by Archbishop Wolfgang Haas. Godfather of the little Prince, who was born on December 6th, was Alexander Hereditary Prince von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny, cousin of Sophie.

January 14th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain helped steady her mother who lost her balance on the last step of the gates of St Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham after attending the church service. There were gasps of concern from a crowd of 300 well-wishers who had gathered outside, but Buckingham Palace later confirmed that the Queen Mother was unhurt.

Old ambassador at the Unesco, Mourik, has officially lodged a complaint against the members of the Argentinian military regime of Videla at the court of justice in Arnhem, The Netherlands. Among the members is Jorge Zorreguieta, father of Máxima, who was Minister of Agriculture at that time. Mourik holds the members responsible for crimes against humanity and torture. This way he tries to prevent that the Netherlands and the Royal House will be connected with an old member of such a regime by means of a marriage, in this case Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta.

On Wednesday the palace museum at the Oranienburg Palace, near Berlin, will be opened. During a concert the invited guests can walk around through the feast hall and the other rooms. Pieces of art from the history of the palace, among them paintings and furniture, can be seen from now on. The Oranienburg Palace was built for Louise Henriette, first wife of the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, in 1651. Around 1700 it was enlarged by their son Friedrich I, who became the first King in Prussia in 1701.

January 15th

Today at 1pm Princess Vera of Russia was buried at the Novo De Veevo Russian Orthodox Cemetary after a service in the Russian Orthodox Church in Spring Valley, New York.

On Wednesday Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark will hand over design-“art” from his own country to the Hamburg Museum for Art and Industry. The visit is the final highlight of the cultural year “Denmark to Hamburg”. The most spectacular thing Frederik will hand over is a handmade luxuruous mahogany kayak by Jorgen Samson and Ole Gibsholm of the Firm Madsen & Struer Sprintboats Denmark.

On January 12th the first Habsburg baby to be born in Hungary in more than 50 years has been delivered in Budapest. Eilika, the wife of Archduke Georg, youngest son of Dr Otto von Habsburg, gave birth to a 3,8 kg girl. Mother and daughter are both healthy and in excellent condition. The name of the little girl has not been announced yet.

January 17th

Bad news for the British royal family. MP’s have backed an almost total ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales in the last of three Commons votes. MP’s voted by 387-174 for the ban following an impassioned commons debate on the Hunting Bill. The Bill will now go to the House of Lords for consideration.

January 18th

The civil wedding of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and his fiancee Laurentien Brinkhorst will take place on May 17th in The Hague. The religious wedding will take place on May 19th at the Grote Kerk in The Hague.

With a festal celebration and a service at the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Berlin and Brandenburg commemorated the coronation of the first Prussian King Friedrich I exactly 300 years ago. At the same time it was the opening of Prussia 2001. Also the Head of the House of Prussia, Prince Georg Friedrich, was present. More than 100 museums will have exhibitions in the coming months that show the various aspects of this period. Further there will be many municipal celebrations and festivals.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is considering opening the grounds of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Holyroodhouse Palace for free pop concerts to celebrate her 2002 Golden Jubilee. The concerts could reflect popular music of the Queen’s 50-year reign and feature artists like the three surviving Beatles, Cliff Richard, Shirley Bassey and Vera Lynn. The key event marking the 50th anniversary will be a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on June 4th.

Princess Margaret of Great Britain is to leave hospital on Saturday after making good progress. She will return to Kensington Palace before going to Sandringham on Monday to continue her rest and recuperation.

January 19th

Paul Burrell, Princess Diana of Wales’s former butler, was arrested yesterday at his Chester home by officers from Scotland Yard. He was being held in a Cheshire police station, was questioned and was released today. He was held on suspicion of theft of missing clothes belonging to the late Princess and a jewel encrusted model boat.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will visit Russia from June 5th to June 8th. The state visit should have taken place in 1998, but had to be cancelled because of President Boris Jeltsin’s health. It will be the first Dutch state visit ever to Russia. In the 70s when she was a princess Beatrix and her husband Prince Claus paid a visit to Russia.

January 20th

In the evening Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands arrived at Sint Maarten, one of the islands of the Dutch Antilles. She will pay a four-day visit to the islands of Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

Pablo Nicolás Sebastián Urdangarín y de Borbón, the son of Infanta Cristina of Spain and her husband Iñaki Urdangarín, was baptised at the Palacio de la Zarzuela by Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, in presence of the Spanish royal family. His godparents were Prince Kubrat of Bulgaria and Princess Alexia of Greece.

In the Church of the Monastery in Bronnbach, Germany, Duke Paul of Oldenburg married Pilar Méndez De Vigo y Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg today. The witnesses were Duke Christian of Oldenburg for the groom and Princess Sibilla of Luxemburg for the bride. On this cold and freezy day the church, as usual, was not heated, and several guests confessed they wore extra clothes under their festive clothes. Among the more than 300 guests were many royals with as most important ones Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium. Further among others members of the families of Oldenburg and Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg were present, next to the Margrave of Baden, Hereditary Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his fiancee Elvire Pasté de Rochefort. After the service there was a short reception at the Bernhard Hall of the monastery. In the evening a huge ball was held.

January 21st

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain marked the death of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria 100 years ago at a special service. Also the Duke of Edinburgh attended. the Queen Mother attended the morning service while steadying herself with two walking sticks. Prayers were said at St Laurence Parish Church near Sandringham. There was also a service at St George Chapel, Windsor, to commemorate Queen Victoria’s death.

Unidentified vandals, believed to be youth, entered the former royal estate at Tatoi, Greece, yesterday and broke or bent nine marble crosses on the graves of members of the royal family. Among the four graves on which the cross was broken was the one of Queen Olga of Greece, great-grandmother of King Konstantinos II. The graves of King Pavlos and Queen Frederika were not damaged.

January 22nd

The National Railway Museum of Great Britain has launched an appeal for funds to preserve the last surviving royal railway carriage used by Queen Victoria. More than £ 50.000 is needed to clean and repair textiles and materials which Queen Victoria chose for the London & North Western Railway carriage. The carriage, withdrawn from service in 1902, is on display at the York Museum.

January 23rd

The Swedish men’s magazine Slitz chose Princess Madeleine of Sweden among the 100 sexiest Swedish women. She actually came in 5th place. Meanwhile the gay magazine QX voted her brother Prince Carl Philip the sexiest man in Sweden.

January 26th

Prince Sixte-Henri of Bourbon of Parma has been hospitalised in Santa Rosa, Argentina, following a serious car accident in which at least one person died. The prince has fractured his hip and a collar bone, and also has a fracture of the skull. He is in serious but stable condition.

The Scottish University St Andrews has become extremely popular among starting female students. Most likely the cause is the arrival of Prince William of Great Britain who will start studying history of art at this university after the summer holidays. The university has seen a 44% increase in applications, about 90% is thought to be from female fans of Prince William.

Thom de Graaf, leader of the Dutch Democrat Party, has said that the Dutch government can’t stop Jorge Zorreguieta from attending an eventual wedding of Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and his daughter Máxima, but because of the sensitiveness there should be a strive for such a presence of Jorge Zorreguieta that doesn’t give offence. Nobody is benifited by a revival of the wedding of Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus in 1966 with smoking bombs and fights. According to De Graaf the presence of Jorge Zorreguieta already comes up with the engagement. He said: “I think to remember that the parents of Prince Claus didn’t attend the engagement either.” (Netty: the mother of Prince Claus was indeed not there; his father had already died long before the engagement). How the protocol exactly has to pass off is the business of the court and the cabinet together. De Graaf further said according to him the relationship itself between Willem-Alexander and Máxima is not a problem for anybody.

January 27th

In the Hospital Cantonal in Geneva, Switzerland, the 94-year-old last Queen of Italy, Marie-José, died. She had been hospitalised since December 27th and died of a lung oedema. She was born on August 4th, 1906 as the daughter of King Albert I of Belgium and Elisabeth Duchess in Bavaria. In 1930 she married the later King Umberto II of Italy, who died in 1983. In May 1946 they became the last King and Queen of Italy, and were forced to leave the country after only one month of reigning. The monarchy was abolished. Out of the unhappy marriage one son and three daughters were born. The former Queen Marie-José further leaves several grand- and great-grandchildren. The burial most likely will take place on Thursday or Friday at the Abbey of Hautecombe, Savoy, France.

On January 24th Princess Victoire of Bourbon of Parme, aged only 43, died of cancer at the American Hospital in Neuilly, France. She had been divorced from Baron Ernst-Alexis von Gecmen-Waldeck, and is said to have been remarried to Carlos Rodrigues in 1995. She leaves her parents, Prince Michel of Bourbon of Parme and Yolande de Broglie-Revel, as well as her daughter Tatiana (married and mother of two sons) and her son Nicolas. She will be buried next to her sister Inès (who died in 1981) on January 29th after a service at the Église Saint Martin de Crespières near Paris.

January 28th

Police says they were called out to a late night disturbance involving Zara Phillips, daughter of the Princess Royal, and her boyfriend jockey Richard Johnson. Zara was said to be in tears after the row with Richard Johnson during a night out with another jockey and his girlfriend. Buckingham Palace sources have dismissed the incident in Gloucestershire as a teenage tiff between Zara and Richard Johnson.

In a Belgian television programme about royalty it was said Princess Esmeralda of Belgium (44 years old) and her husband Salvador Moncada expect their second child. Their daughter Alexandra Léopoldine was born in August 1998, four months after the wedding of her parents.

January 29th

Former Queen Marie-José of Italy will be buried at the Abbey of Hautecombe, Savoy, France, next to her husband on Friday.

The exhibition “De Voorstelling” that was arranged by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam already greeted 100.000 visitors. The exhibition can be seen until February 4th.

An older member of the Democrat Party in the Netherlands has said that according to him Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje has to renounce his rights to the Dutch throne when he will marry Máxima Zorreguieta. He says the politicians take up a too careful position in this matter.

January 30th

The Queen’s Bedroom at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, where Queen Victoria of Great Britain died on January 22nd, 2001, has been recreated as it was when she passed away. Her bed has been decorated with palms and flowers and for the first time personal artefacts are being put on public display. The room was regarded by Queen Victoria’s family as a shrine which they visited for moments of quiet contemplation whenever they returned to Osborne House. The former royal residence reopens tomorrow after extensive, interior restoration and refurbishment in the Durbar Wing.

Prince Sixte-Henri of Bourbon of Parma has been transferred to an hospital in Buenos Aires. His condition is still said to be serious. Two persons were killed in the car accident that happened on Wednesday January 24th.

January 31st

On February 13th Sotheby’s in Amsterdam will put up a painting by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands for auction. The painting “Spring” that was painted in 1931 is thought to bring in about $2500.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands celebrated her 63rd birthday evening with family and friends at the Stedelijk Museum on her exhibition “De Voorstelling”. Prince Claus was present, still having health problems, and was the first one to leave again. The Queen arrived by royal bus together with Prince Constantijn and his fiancee Laurentien Brinkhorst, Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta. It was the first time ever Willem-Alexander and Máxima were seen in public together in the Netherlands. Happily smiling they left the party. Outside press and interested people waited for them. They were loudly cheered.

February 1st

In the evening there has been a fire in the right wing of Laeken Castle, the residence of the Belgian royal family. The fire-brigade was able to put out the fire within 30 minute, but the damage is huge. About 200 m2 of the rofing-cover went up in flames. King Albert II, Queen Paola, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, who were in the castle at the time of the fire came outside to watch the fire-brigade putting out the fire. The cause of the fire is not known yet, but over the past few days repair work on the roof of the wing had started.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, his fiancee Mette-Marit, his sister Princess Märtha Louise, Prime Minister Stoltenberg and the Bishop of Oslo took part in a huge demonstration and torchlight procession organised to show the disgust of the Norwegian people towards racism after a 15-year- old Norwegian-African boy was killed by six neo-nazi’s last week. 40.000 people (nearly 1% of all Norwegians) came to the demonstration, which was the largest demonstration held in Norway since 1946.

February 2nd

Her son, her three daughters, grand- and great-grandchildren said goodbye to the last Queen of Italy, Marie-José, who was buried next to her late husband King Umberto II at the Abbey of Hautecombe, Savoy, France. Many royals were present, among others King Juan Carlos of Spain, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Prince Albert of Monaco, and former Empress Farah of Iran.

February 3rd

An inquiry by a leading Dutch newspaper and a Dutch newsreel for the television says that 81% of the Dutch people don’t object to an eventual marriage between Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta (another leading newspaper says it is even 89%). 66% of the people say that Jorge Zorreguieta, the father of Máxima, should be able to attend the wedding (the other newspaper says 58%). Almost 50% of the Dutch think Máxima should take distance from the political past of her father in public.

On the Dutch television Shimon Samuels, director international affairs of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said that Jorge Zorreguieta should take distance of his past in public and should express his regrets to the victims of the Videla regime. Of the 30.000 people who disappeared during the regime 1/3 was of Jewish origine. He says that Jorge Zorreguieta, as Minister of Agriculture at that time, is an accomplice. “If he doesn’t express his regrets unequivocally, he defiles the esteem of the Dutch royal house. That is a shame!”

February 4th

Hundreds of people have visited Queen Victoria of Great Britain’s last resting place, the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore, Windsor, 100 years after her burial. Lengthy queues were formed at the site, which is rarely open to the public.

February 5th

A decision to allow the exiled Italian royal family to return to Italy may be granted amid the discovery that the head of the family, Prince Vittorio Emmanuele, addressed the president of Italy properly. He has called President Campi “our president, the president of all Italians”. The Italian government has formally asked the Council of State to rule favourably on the return of the Italian royal family on the grounds that it now no longer represents a royal house. A public opinion poll taken last week showed that 74% of the Italians surveyed were in favour of allowing the Savoy family back, although 54% fell that they should be asked to swear allegiance to the republic, something Vittorio Emanuele refuses. The family was sent into exile following a referendum on the future of the Monarchy in June 1946 and until now male descendants of the last King Umberto II are still not allowed to enter Italy.

February 7th

Prince William attended a star-studded dinner at Somerset House on the occasion of the 10th birthday of the Press Complaint’s Commission together with his father, The Prince of Wales, and his girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles. It was the first time they appeared in public together. Some 600 people were invited to the party. Also the Duke of York was present.

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has started a two-week journey to Zimbabwe and South Africa. The visit is a private one and he is said to be healthy enough to travel without extra medical escort.

An Internet survey by a this week’s British eve magazine among 3000 women shows the Prince of Wales in the top 20 of “real men who have lived a little”. James Bond star Pierce Brosnan won the survey.

February 8th

Bulgaria’s Constitutional court has ruled that King Simeon II of Bulgaria cannot run in the next presidential election. There is a clause in the Bulgarian constitution that says a presidential candidate must live in the country for five years before the election and must have spent at least six months in Bulgaria in each of those five years. King Simeon has paid several visits to Bulgaria since his first return in 1996, but never more than for a few weeks. On January 23rd he returned to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, to live there in the old royal palace of Vrania and has said he wants to stay there for a long time.

February 9th

The earthquake that devastated western India in January brought an abrupt end to one of the country’s oldest royal dynasties, wrecking three important palaces full of treasures and ruining the Jadeja family which ruled the province of Kutch for more than 900 years. The 182nd inheritor of the territories, 60-year-old Pratvirajshree Jadeja III who had just succeeded his brother three weeks ago, says he will have to retire to Bombay with his wife Pritivedi, born a princess of Tripura.

February 10th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has appointed Elizabeth Blackadder at the post of Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner, a post unique to Scotland that was first created 300 years ago during the Stuart dynasty. Elizabeth Blackadder is the first female painter laureate to hold the post.

Former King Simeon of Bulgaria has denounced last week’s ruling by the Constitutional Court in Bulgaria that he cannot run in the next presidential election. Opinion polls show that King Simeon of Bulgaria should have been the only serious rival for sitting president Petar Stoyanov.

Last Wednesday Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Prince Henrik and Crown Prince Frederik arrived in Thailand for a state visit. On Thursday the Queen opened an exhibition on four centuries of relations between Thailand and Denmark. In the evening the family was received by King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. Today the family visited Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand together with Princess Sirindhorn and enjoyed a journey to an elephant conservation centre. They fed the elephants fruit by hand and later mounted elephants for a short ride. Crown Prince Frederik filmed his family from the back of the elephant. The state visit will end on Tuesday.

February 12th

Two Dutch photographers of gossip magazines were arrested last Saturday when they wanted to shoot photos of Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and his girlfriend Máxima Zorreguieta at the wedding of jonkheer Hugo Loudon and Marleen de Bruyn at Middachten Castle, the Netherlands, which is private property. The two were held for several hours and were released after paying a small fine.

Princess Margaret of Great Britain will not be making her annual trip to the West Indies on the advice of her doctor, Buckingham Palace has said. Princess Margaret has been advised that she needs more rest. It was also said she would not be undertaking official engagements for the near future.

Yesterday at 18pm the mother of Prince Henrik of Denmark, Renée de Laborde de Monpézat née Doursenot, died at her house “le Cayrou” in Albas, France. She was 92 years old. The father of Prince Henrik died almost three years ago. Prince Henrik will leave Thailand in the afternoon and will fly to Paris and from there travel to Albas.

The painting “Spring” by the late Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was sold at Sotheby’s for about $ 11.000 to a Dutch private person.

February 13th

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand had a busy week. Today he received Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium in Hua Sin near Bangkok. Prince Philippe is the head of a Belgian trade mission that is in Thailand since yesterday. On Monday the princely couple first visited the royal palace, a temple and a silk-museum in Bangkok.

Princess Caroline of Hanover (Monaco) had a skiing accident. She fell after another skier collided with her at the Hexenboden, a 1922 metres high mountain near Zürs am Arlberg, Austria. The Princess was transferred to the valley and from there she was flown by helicopter to a private clinic in Schruns. She had to be operated as her knee ligaments were torn. According to the doctors the operation went well, although it will take some time before everything is better again. After the operation she was flown back to the five-star hotel in Zürs where she stays together with her husband Prince Ernst August of Hanover and their daughter Alexandra, who stayed at the hotel at the time of the accident. Princess Caroline is expected to have to extend her stay in the area while she undergoes physiotherapy.

February 14th

On behalf of Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands, Eef Brouwers head of the Government Information Service, has said that the prince is not a homosexual but a heterosexual. Normally the GIS doesn’t speak out about the private life of the Dutch royal family. This exception has been made because Prince Johan Friso doesn’t like the continuing rumours about his sexual preferences. The prince keeps his private life far from the press and it has been years ago that he has been seen with a girlfriend. That he has never been caught with one however doesn’t say anything Brouwers said. He advised to pay more attention to Johan Friso and women (as if Johan Friso would like that better).

A garden and children’s nature centre dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales has been opened in Paris, the city where she died in 1997. The centre in Marais is a former school, restyled as a medieval French garden and environmental workshop.

On the Dutch television Mauricio Goyenechea, a good friend of the Zorreguieta family, has said that Máxima will not marry when her father will not be allowed to attend the wedding. He also said Jorge Zorreguieta will never apologise for participating in the Videla government. By doing that he would take up a role he has never played. He didn’t know the details about what happened in Argentina.

February 15th

Today a bill concerning the granting of permission to Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst has been sent to the Dutch Parliament. When legal permission will be granted (which is very likely) Prince Constantijn will remain a member of the Royal House and Laurentien Brinkhorst will become a member of the royal house at the moment of marriage. The government is intending to declare by Royal Decree that the surname of eventual children born from this marriage will get the name Van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg. At the same time it will be stipulated that these children will bear the hereditary title Count(ess) van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer (Jonkvrouwe) van Amsberg. The civil wedding between Prince Constantijn and Laurentien Brinkhorst will take place on May 17th at the Old Town Hall in the Javastraat in The Hague. It will be conducted by Mr. Deetman, mayor of The Hague. The religious ceremony takes place on May 19th in the Great or St Jacobs Church in The Hague and will be lead by Ds. ter Linden.

An attic sale is to take place on June 19th at Althorp, the ancestral home of the late Diana Princess of Wales. Her brother Earl Spencer is to sell more than 300 items from the Althorp lofts in order to create more space. The sale of items including furniture, paintings, porcelain and books is expected to raise about £2m, which will be put back into the estate. No personal items belonging to the late Princess of Wales will be included.

Renée de Laborde de Monpézat née Doursenot, the mother of Prince Henrik of Denmark, was buried at the churchyard of St Etienne Church in Albas, France, this afternoon. Prince Henrik, Queen Margrethe II and their sons Frederik and Joachim attended the funeral. Joachim was one of the bearers of his grandmother’s coffin. Princess Alexandra decided to stay in Hong Kong with son Nikolai. Prince Henrik and Crown Prince Frederik will stay in France. Queen Margrethe II and Prince Joachim will return to Denmark tomorrow. Prince Joachim will carry out his mother’s engagements on Saturday. Queen Margrethe II sprained her ancle after the funeral.

February 16th

The Count of Paris announced the engagement of his son and heir Prince Jean (35) with Duchess Tatjana of Oldenburg (26), daughter of Duke Johann of Oldenburg and Countess Ilka of Ortenburg. The engagement had already taken place in family circles at the end of December 2000. The wedding most likely will be in the autumn. The couple has met in Paris seven years ago. Tatjana’s older sister Eilika married Archduke Georg of Austria in 1997.

An 11-year-old boy has run away to London to ask Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to protect him from school bullies. Police found the boy from Nottingham outside Buckingham Palace after he vanished from school. He used his knowledge of a Monopoly Board to find the palace on what was his first visit to London.

February 18th

Princess Eugenie of York has successfully passed her common entrance examination for St George’s School, Windsor. She now is at Coworth Park preparatory school in Surrey, which she will leave this summer. She is expected to be a day girl at St George’s School for the next two years. Zenouska and Christian Mowatt, grandchildren of Princess Alexandra of Kent, are already pupils at the school.

An appeal is being launched to pay for a radar search for the lost grave of Katherine, daughter of King Edward IV of Great Britain, who was as was found in old documents buried at St Peter’s Church, Tiverton, Devon, in 1527. It is not exactly known where in the church she was buried. It is hoped that ground penetrating radar will confirm her grave lies beneath the later tomb of a local merchant. It is possible her original tomb could have been destroyed by King Henry VIII because of his paranoia about rival branches of his family. Katherine was married to William Courtenay Earl of Devon, who spent many years in the Tower of London as a prisoner.

February 20th

From a publication of the Chinese historian Jia Yinhua, it seems the last Emperor of China, Pu Yi, was a homosexual. The news was made known in the newspaper The Straits Times. The eunuch Sun Yaoting told that Pu Yi had a relationship with a “handsome eunuch with red lips and white teeth” during his boyhood within the walls of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

February 25th

The Japanese government is very angry at the German newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. On the front of yesterday’s weekend magazine of the newspaper was a photo of Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and his wife Masako. On the trousers of the Crown Prince the text “Tote Hose”, which means something like impotent, was printed. The article inside was about the end of the Japanese monarchy now it seems the Crown Prince and his wife don’t get children.

February 26th

Last Saturday the daughter of Carl Peter Archduke of Austria and his wife Alexandra was baptised Antonia Maria Zita Josepha Kaspara Marcus d’Aviano at the Saint Michel’s Church in Luxembourg. Her godparents were Prince Carl Christian von Wrede, Hayo Willms and Arch Duchess Myriam Mrs Corcuera. Antonia was born on December 31st, 2000.

You can order a free 88-pages magazine about the accession to the throne of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg last October. At the same time you can also order a nice booklet in French, English or German about the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg. This booklet has good information and very nice photos.

February 27th

The citizenship of the exiled Royal Family of Yugoslavia has been restored. The Yugoslav Parliament on Tuesday voted out a 1947 bill that stripped the royal family of both its Yugoslavian citizenship and the property it owned.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung has apologised to Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan for the text on the photo of the hereditary royal couple of Japan in the paper’s Saturday magazine.

February 28th

In Magdeburg, Germany the Otto the Great year with the device “In the foot-steps of Otto the Great” was opened. The year has an extensive programme with which Saxony-Anhalt wants to celebrate the importance of Otto I (912-973) for the unity of Germany and Europe. Highlights are the Emperor’s Journey from May 11 to August 26, and the exhibition Otto the Great, Magdeburg and Europe in the Kulturhistorisches Museum in Magdeburg.

In Cairo, Egypt, Princess Hind Shams el-Din Al-Fasi, wife of Prince Turki bin Abdel Aziz – a brother of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, was convicted of theft and sentenced to three years in prison. Two members of her staff were sentenced respectively to two and three years for helping her. Neither the princess nor her assistants were present at the court when the verdicts were handed down. They can appeal. In December 2000 the princess had ordered jewelry worth $ 1.3 million from a famous jeweller’s in Cairo. The jewelry was delivered but the princess never paid for them. Last year, a Cairo court convicted and sentenced Princess Hind to one year in prison for failing to pay a $2.5 million debt to her husband’s Egyptian adviser. She never served the time. The prince and princess moved into the three upper floors of the Cairo Ramses Hilton hotel in 1983 following a dispute between the prince and his brother, King Fahd.

March 1st

From March 31st the play “Hendrik and Wilhelmina” can be seen in the Dutch theatres. In the play written by Ton Vorstenbosch, Vorstenbosch himself plays Wilhelmina. The play takes place in the period 1920-1934.

March 2nd

Model Lauren Bush, daughter of Neil – brother of President George Bush of the United States, denies rumours that she is involved with Prince William of Great Britain. She told she has heard about him a lot and their families are friends, but she has never met him and also never sent him a sexy e-mail. She also says she is sure that he is a really nice person and she thinks he is very good-looking.

In a book about the Argentinian ex-dictator Videla that will be issued this week is written that Jorge Zorreguieta was one of the influential Argentinians who incited the militaries to commit a coup d’état in 1976. He thus played a minor role, but was involved in the preparations because of his big influence in the agricultural sector. According to the writers of the book Zorreguieta knew from the beginning about the violations of human rights by the Videla Regime.

March 3rd

Prince William of Great Britain has left for Africa. He will spent about 3 1/2 months in Africa to study conservation and work on safari. He will be joined by a group of his friends.

March 4th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange will arrive in New York today for a two-day-visit. On Monday he will open an exhibition about the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and the Deltse School in the Metropolitan Museum in New York and will visit the Exchange on Wall Street and the Dutch Club. On Tuesday he will fly to Boston, if the snow-storm that is expected in New York tomorrow doesn’t prevent this.

March 6th

During his visit to New York having a talk with the press, Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange pointed out to them that there was a letter in the Argentinian newspaper La Nación from a reader about the book that was issued last week about former President Jorge Videla. he asked the press to be more careful when consulting their sources about Jorge Zorreguieta. The Prince by the way later said he didn’t know that the letter he referred to was written by Jorge Videla himself.

March 7th

Surprised Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands calls the statements from the Prince of Orange about Jorge Zorreguieta unwise and has made a phonecall to the Prince this morning to ask him not to make any more statements. Kok says the Prince obviously couldn’t resist the temptation to make some personal remarks, but that the mentioning of the letter by the Prince doesn’t mean that the Prince agrees with the contents of the letter.

In a short phonecall with the Dutch television programme NOVA Jorge Zorreguieta said he of course regrets the cruelties of the dirty war in Argentina. He also said he thinks that Videla has sent the letter to the newspaper La Nación to clear up a confusing situation. Zorreguieta further told that because of family circumstances he can’t say anything at the moment, but will come back to the subject later.

March 8th

Yesterday the Parliament of the Dutch Antilles has agreed with the intended wedding of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst unanimously. No member of the Parliament objected to the wedding. The leader of the PNP-party said his party also has no objections to a possible wedding of Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta.

The Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family surrenders to the restitution of their complete art and cultural property in Thüringen, Germany and have signed an agreement about the property with Thüringen. According to the secretary of the Thüringer Wissenschaftsstaat, Aretz, also real estates like the Friedenstein Castle in Gotha will stay property of the state. However the Head of the House, Prince Andreas, gets the use of the castle whenever he wishes for parties, receptions, etc. The Coburg Trust also retains the copyright for most of the art the state of Thüringen received. As a settlement for the renunciation, because the state of Thüringen doesn’t have the money to pay for the compensation, the Coburg Trust also receives land worth about $ 7.500.000. The property they have lost is worth about $1 billion.

March 10th

Over the past four days Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark has continued his pilot’s education at the air-base Skrydstrup. He got instruction to fly an AWACS-airplane.

The Attorney General has called for a repeal of the 300-year-old ban on Roman Catholics ascending the British throne. “I don’t like any form of discrimination”, Lord Williams told the Daily Telegraph. He also said he would welcome a debate on the monarch’s official position as head of the Church of England: “It is healthy to have a debate about this in a community that now has many different faiths in it”.

Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary today. Because of the health problems of Prince Claus the couple celebrated privately at home.

Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain has had her shoes disinfected before watching two of her horses race at Sandown Park, Surrey. She had to cross a disinfected mat to comply with measures to combat foot-and-mouth disease. She later took to the stands to watch the horses race.

March 11th

In his new book “50 Ways to a Healthy Heart” heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard has said according to him the life of Diana Princess of Wales could have been saved if she had been taken to the hospital immediately after the accident, instead of after more than one hour. Passer-by Dr Frederic Maillez said the Princess was in the best shape of the four victims including the surviving bodyguard. The internal bleeding she died of could only have been stopped by surgery very shortly after the incident. Several doctors have reacted to Barnard’s statements. Some agree with him, but there are also many doctors who say it had been impossible to save her life.

According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo Felipe Prince of Asturias will marry Eva Sannum in the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid in June. Most likely it is another rumour, not based on any real facts. The same article mentions that 62% of the Spanish people are in favour of a marriage between Felipe and Eva.

March 12th

Today Zoran Zivkovic, Federal Minister of the Interior of Yugoslavia has officially presented Certificates of Citizenship to Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and his family. The ceremony was a result of the recent repeal of the 1947 Decree that illegally abolished the citizenship and confiscated the private property of the Royal Family. The ceremony was held this morning at the Claridge’s Hotel, London, Great Britain, where Crown Prince Alexander was born in 1945. The Crown Prince said it was an emotional and historical moment for him and his family. They wish to help bring renewed prosperity to Yugoslavia and its people, who go through difficulties right now. The Crown Prince, his wife and two youngest sons plan to move to Belgrade in the next few months, perhaps at the Old Palace. The youngest son will continue his study in the USA. The Crown Prince and his wife will work with government on financial and humanitarian needs.

March 13th

Johnson, the Deputy Head of the Island of Saba, Dutch Antilles, has said that Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta can marry at Saba if they want. Also Máxima’s father will be welcome. Johnson doesn’t think the Royal Family will accept the offer, but at least he wants to show that Saba is very royalistic.

The Princess Royal has been fined £400 after she admitted speeding at 93 miles (148 km) an hour in her Bentley on a dual carriageway last August. She also had her licence endorsed with five penalty points (if you have twelve you will loose your licence in Great Britain). The Princess Royal had spotted the police car which booked her near Gloucester, but had assumed it was there to escort her. Lawyers wrote to Cheltenham magistrates to plead guilty on the Princes’s behalf.

Researchers of the Russian Academy of Science have cleared the cause of death of Jelena Glinskaya (+1538), wife of Czar Vassili III, and of Anastasia Romanova (+1560), first wife of Czar Ivan IV. They were both poisoned with mercury. Hairs and bones were tested for heavy metals. The remains also showed an extraordinary concentration of lead and arsenic. Those poisons most likely came from cosmetics and medicinal salves, that used to be enriched with heavy metals in the Middle Ages.

March 14th

A man has been arrested after security scare involving the Earl and Countess of Wessex last night. The alert happened as the couple were attending a ballet premiere at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in Islington, London. Police say a man lurched towards the couple and was pushed away by a protection officer. The man is not believed to have been armed.

March 15th

The Prince of Wales has announced a £ 500.000 aid package for farmers hit by the foot-and-mouth disease crisis. He said six charities would benefit from the hand-out to easy the plight of farmers under severe strain from the dreaded outbreak. The British government has welcomed the donation. Later today the Prince was matched by the Duke of Westminster, who is one of Britain’s biggest landowners.

To the Danish gossip magazine Billed Bladet Bettina Ødum announced that she has ended her relationship with Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. The two met in a cafe in Paris almost two years ago. Bettina now wants to concentrate on her newest job, after having been fired by the magazine “The Rumour” recently.

March 17th

The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have been forced to cancel a garden party on the lawns of their stately home for 200 fellow diamond wedding couples because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak. The Duke married the Hon. Deborah Freeman-Mitford on April 19th, 1941. They sent a letter yesterday postponing the event, which had been due to take place on April 19th. They plan to reconvene in June if the emergency is over.

March 21st

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has donated the painting “African Landscape by Night” he painted in 1977 for the auction of the Quality of Life Gala that will be held on Saturday. The proceeds of the gala will go to the research into childhood lymphoma. Also a statue of Queen Wilhelmina made by Kees Verkade will be auctioned.

March 22nd

The wedding of Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Elvire Pasté de Rochefort, which was scheduled to take place on May 12, has been postponed indefinitely because of practical problems regarding logistics, accomodation and security of the guests. Several representatives of royal houses were planning to travel to Paris to attend the wedding. The private secretary of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, mother of the groom-to-be, emphasized that the wedding has not been cancelled, but only postponed. The couple still plans the event to take place in Paris.

March 23rd

The Dutch Council for the Crown has laid aside the charge of ex-UNESCO ambassador Mourik against the members of the Argentinian government between 1976 and 1983, among them Jorge Zorreguieta. They say not to have any time to prosecute facts that have happened such a long time ago.

March 24th

The painting “African Landscape by Night” by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has been auctioned for about $50.000.

Arch Duchess Zsófia of Austria, daughter of Arch Duke Georg of Austria and his wife Eilika, was christened in the Matthias Church in Budapest, Hungary. The baby wore a family christening gown, made by an Hungarian tailor in 1950 for Zsófia’s aunt Andrea, the oldest sister of her father. Zsófia’s godmother, Queen Sofia of Spain, was represented by Antonio Bellver, who is the Spanish ambassador in Hungary.

March 26th

According to some experts from the British Museum in London Cleopatra wasn’t the beautiful woman we all think she was. After examining eleven statues, of which at first was believed they showed another Egyptian Queen, they concluded she was in real small, corpulent and ugly. And she urgently needed to see a dentist.

Palace Het Loo, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, has decided to cancel the exhibition “Royal Cattle at Het Loo” and hold it next year, because of the foot-and-mouth disease in the country. During the exhibition with paintings of pet animals cows, sheep, goats, horses and poultry were supposed to walk around on the grounds in front of the palace. It was also the intention to have several events with presence of animals during the exhibition.

The postponed programme to celebrate the accession to the throne of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg last October, will be made up on April 6th. In the afternoon the Grand Ducal couple shall officially be welcomed. Highlight in the evening is a performance of the French singer Patricia Kaas. On April 7th there is a huge ball for which many royals are invited. Expected to come are amongst others Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, the Prince of Wales, Prince Felipe of Asturias and Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange.

March 28th

From June 17th to August 12th the Royal Palace in Oslo opens the doors of restricted areas for its second summer of receiving visitors. This years also souvenirs can be bought. The long-year renovation of the palace has finally ended now. The renovation has costed $55 million, which has led to many protests from the Norwegians. Queen Sonja herself has been very active during the project. One of the highlights is the dining room in which wall papers with scarcely clothed dancing girls can be seen again after having been hidden for about 100 years. After closing its doors in August King Harald and Queen Sonja are finally expected to move into their new residential quarters on the top floor of the left wing of the palace. They still live at Gut Skaugum in Asker near Oslo, were they live since 1968. Now that will be the new home of Crown Prince Haakon and his fiancée Mette-Marit and her son. The photo by Jiri Havran shows the King’s Office at the Royal Palace. Other photos can be seen here.

March 29th

There are strong rumours about an upcoming engagement of Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta. This evening a commercial TV-channel brought the rumours based on the fact that Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands has seperately received the chairmen of all polical parties in the Second Chamber this afternoon. He should have told them that a royal engagement can be expected soon. When the news is true I expect the official engagement to be announced this Saturday (or on Friday), if not we just have to wait somewhat longer.

The monarchy in the Netherlands is quite unpopular at the moment. According to a poll among 400 Dutch, which was done for a Dutch TV-channel by Ivomar, only 62% of the Dutch people still support the Dutch monarchy. For a year that was 87%. It is not known how much influence the Zorreguieta-case has had on the public opinion. 2/3 of the people questioned say that Jorge Zorreguieta should attend his daughter’s wedding.

In Helvoirt, the Netherlands, the 300-year-old Zwijnsbergen Castle was heavily damaged after a huge fire broke out last night. The occupants of the castle managed to escape.

Princess Margaret of Great Britain has suffered a minor stroke on Tuesday afternoon officials at Buckingham Palace have said. It is not known if the stroke is more or less serious than those she suffered recently. the Princess is receiving nursing care at Kensington Palace.

The Government Information Service of Liechtenstein has announced that Prince Constantin von und zu Liechtenstein died at the Hospital in Grabs yesterday. The Prince was 89 years old and lived in Liechtenstein since 1945. He leaves a wife, a daughter and two grandsons.

March 30th

Princess Margaret of Great Britain is said to be feeling positive and had a comfortable night after suffering her third minor stroke in three years on Tuesday afternoon. The stroke left her paralysed down her left side. Since then she has received intensive physiotherapy at Kensington Palace, but it is not known if she has recovered movement since.

At 18:00 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will make a speech on television and radio. Most likely she will announce the engagement of Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta. Afterwards Prime Minister Wim Kok gives a press conference. At 19:00 there is an official meeting at Palace Noordeinde in The Hague and it is expected the engaged couple will be presented then. Political sources say Willem-Alexander will ask permission for his marriage from the Dutch government. They also tell that Jorge Zorreguieta, after long talks with both families, will not attend the engagement nor the wedding of his daughter.

This evening at 18:00 the engagement of Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta was announced on television by Queen Beatrix. All about the engagement can be found here.

Prince Pedro of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies, Duke of Noto, married his longtime girlfriend Sofía Landaluce y Melgarejo in the chapel of the Puerto de Hierro Club in Madrid, Spain today. The ceremony was led by Marco Álvarez de Toledo y Marone, grandson of Infanta Cristina of Spain. Jaime, the 8-year-old son of the bride and groom, served as a page. Among the guests were Felipe Prince of Asturias, Infanta Elena, Jaime de Marichalar, Infanta Margarita with her children María and Alfonso Zurita and many other royals. The couple already has a son, Jaime, born in 1993.

April 1st

A poll by a Dutch TV-channel says 93% of the people questioned find Máxima Zorreguieta the right partner for Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange. 90% of the Dutch were impressed by her Dutch at the press conference last Friday. Although the newly engaged couple seems to be very popular, most Dutch want to keep Beatrix as their Queen at this moment.

The Countess of Wessex has opened her heart to the News of the World newspaper to deny rumours about her husband’s sexuality. In an interview she says Prince Edward is definitely not gay. She says that when they met, she put the rumours down to the fact that he was working in the theatre and so people presumed he was gay. The Countess of Wessex tells the paper: “I can tell you he’s not gay. I never believed it – so it wasn’t something that crossed my mind when I met him. “How I’d love to be able to go out and sing from the rooftops: it is not true. I want to prove it to people, but it’s impossible to do that.” Sophie also says she would consider having IVF treatment in order to have children, if that was necessary, adding: “I think if I was going to have five or ten (children), I should have started an awful long time ago. “But if I’m lucky enough to have any, one of each would be nice. I certainly don’t think I have left it too late.” She also defends fox hunting, saying: “Hunting is supporting a whole fraternity. It’s part of the countryside and the people that work in it. It’s not about rich people going out for fun.”

Dr John Burton, Coroner for the Royal Household in Great Britain is fighting for a change in the law which could prevent an inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales. He has been campaining for 20 years to change the law. At present an inquest must be carried out when a body is returned to Great Britain following a death abroad.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and his fiancée Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby announced that they are planning a year-long tour of Norway after they are married. They say they want to learn more about Norwegian people and places and give the people a chance to get to know them.

April 2nd

Buckingham Palace has defended the Countess of Wessex over a newspaper “sting” in which she allegedly slighted senior Royals and top politicians. Prince Edward’s wife Sophie was allegedly duped by a News of the World undercover reporter posing as an Arab sheikh interested in hiring her PR firm. Sophie is said to have made inappropriate remarks about the Queen, Queen Mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, the Prince of Wales, Camilla Parker Bowles, Tony and Cherie Blair and William Hague. The Palace dismissed the story and claimed inaccuracies. A statement said: “All members of the Royal Family risk tittle-tattle, misinformations and – from time to time – wholesale inaccuracy. ” The Palace said it was untrue the Countess had deeply upset the Queen or that Edward was furious. Suggestions she had been disrespectful to the Queen or Queen Mother were untrue, it said, nor did she say Charles and Camilla would marry after the Queen Mother died. Remarks attributed to the Countess about political figures were “selective, distorted and in several cases, flatly untrue”, said the Palace. It is understood Sophie has written to those allegedly slighted by her claimed indiscretion. The editor of the Mail on Sunday, which published a story on the “sting”, said: “We stand by our story. ” It is thought unlikely the Countess will refer the episode to the Press Complaints Commission.

April 3rd

In the western dessert of Egypt the tomb of the wife of Pharaoh Gad Khensu Eyuf Anich, ruler of the Bahriya oasis from 589 to 570 BC, was found. Egyptian functionaries say more than 100 golden amulets were found in the tomb, more than ever has been found in the past. Except for the amulets the tomb also contained the mummy itself, a limestone coffin and other jewellery. The tomb of the Pharaoh himself had been found in 2000 at the oasis of Bawiti, 400 km west from Cairo.

April 4th

Great Britain already have them, and now The Netherlands should have them too: doubles of the members of the Royal Family. At least that is what the Dutch section of the World Look-alike Club thinks. Soon they want to organise the first Orange elections. The club is for all searching for doubles of Queen Beatrix, Prince Claus, Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta. Also look-alikes of Prince Johan Friso, Prince Constantijn and his fiancée Laurentien Brinkhorst are most welcome. By the way election doesn’t mean you will have any royal obligations.

The Countess of Wessex has been branded ‘naive’ by the public relations industry magazine PR Week after being caught in an alleged tabloid sting. The magazine said Sophie Windsor had demonstrated she was unable to follow her own advice after her off-the-record comments about the Royal family found their way in to a Sunday tabloid. According to the magazine, the blunder may cost her own public relations business R-JH dearly as it would not inspire confidence in potential clients.

April 5th

More than half the population of Norway believes it would be right and proper to hold a referendum in 2005 – the year of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the independent Norwegian monarchy – on the dissolution of the monarchy. But the majority of people also think Norway’s royals should hold on to their jobs. The market research agency MMI carried out two opinion polls on the monarchy, one published in the weekly gossip magazine Se og Hør (See and Hear) and the other appearing in the daily tabloid Dagbladet. Some 45 percent of those questioned for Se og Hør said they didn’t want a referendum on the future of the monarchy in 2005. Asked whether Norway should maintain status quo or become a republic, 68 percent backed the royal alternative, while 22 percent thought their time was up. Favourite royal was King Harald, who polled 27 percent of support, followed by Crown Prince Haakon, who got 24 percent. Princess Märtha Louise came next with 23 percent. Queen Sonja and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, Prince Haakon’s fiancée, didn’t make it into double figures polling three and one percent respectively. But MMI survey for Dagbladet produced quite different results. This was carried out after the controversial romance of Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn hit the headlines and revealed that support for the monarchy had falled back to 59 percent.

It is up to a next Dutch Cabinet to decide whether Jorge Zorreguieta will be allowed to attend the coronation of Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange as King of the Netherlands. That was the outcome of a debate in the Dutch parliament about the engagement of Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta. The left wing parties also want to keep him away from family events in the future. Prime Minister Wim Kok pointed out that Jorge Zorreguieta can’t be stopped from attending normal family meetings. Kok is convinced the persons concerned will deal with this sensible. In a motion the Second Chamber let know that they don’t object the wedding of Willem-Alexander and Máxima. There are only a few members who have objections against the wedding. The Second Chamber praises the way Wim Kok has arranged the engagement.

A commercial Dutch TV-channel reports that Máxima Zorreguieta’s mother, María del Carmen Cerruti, in 1987 still fully agreed with the Argentinian military regime that ruled between 1976 and 1983. That year she signed a statement in which the army was praised for their battle against the left opponents of the regime. The statement wasn’t published until 1989 when it appeared in three newspapers.

April 6th

Finally Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa have made their official entrance in Luxembourg, after most events were postponed last September because of the terrible car accident of the Grand Duke’s youngest brother Guillaume. This afternoon the Grand Ducal couple and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume made a walk through the centre of Luxembourg City. Without barriers on the site of the road the thousands of people standing along the road were able to come close to their new Grand Duke. Also the press from home and abroad had to fight their way to the Grand Ducal Family. In the evening there was a huge concert of the French singer Patricia Kaas, after which the day was closed with an enormous firework.

April 7th

Prince Harry of Great Britain is on crutches after putting his foot through a glass door. The Prince was at a private party with friends when the accident happened. Someone came rushing through the door and Harry put out his foot to stop it swinging back, but his foot went through a pane of glass. After the accident Harry needed several stitches in the cut – just above the shoeline on his right foot.

The row over the Countess of Wessex has raised questions about how the Royal Family is funded. Minister of Consumer Affairs Kim Howells told the Daily Telegraph that the royal family had always been “a bit bonkers”. He said taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be used to fund many of their activities.

Almost all European heirs to the throne, excluded The Prince of Wales, were present at the ball Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg gave on the occasion of the accession to the throne of Henri last October. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway took his fiancée Mette-Marit with him, Prince Philippe of Belgium brought with him his wife Mathilde, and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein came with his wife Sophie.

Former King Simeon II of Bulgaria will lead the National Movement for Simeon II during the parliamentary elections on June 17th. He promisses better circumstances to live in and the fight against corruptions. If his party will win the elections Simeon II can’t become the president as the constitution says only someone who has lived in Bulgaria for more than 6 months each year in the past five years can become the president. But Simeon II would be able to become the prime minister. The chances of Simeon II are quite good, as the Bulgarian people seem to have enough of the present government.

April 8th

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg invited their royal guests for a walk through the city. The only heir who didn’t attend the walk was Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. He had left by car early in the morning, apparently without telling anybody he had left.

The Countess of Wessex is to step down from her job as a partner/chairman in R-JH Public Relations, the company she started together with Murray Harkin in 1997. She said she would resign, but hoped to stay in business. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has voiced her support for the Countess’s wishes. The Countess herself said she was deeply distressed by being tricked into making unguarded remarks to a reporter posing as an Arab sheikh. Also Murray Harkin has resigned. The News of the World has published transcripts of the so-called Sophie-tapes in today’s newspaper – they show the Countess didn’t call anyone names.

April 9th

Buckingham Palace is considering new guidelines on how members of the British Royal Family conduct themselves in business. The row over the Countess of Wessex has raised doubts over whether members of the Royal Family can pursue a commercial carreer.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark underwent a minor knee surgery at the hospital of Aarhus. After leaving the hospital she will take up residence at Marselisborg Castle in Aarhus. She also will celebrate her 61th birthday there on April 16th.

Rumours that King Fahd of Saudi Arabia had died, have been denied by a high Saudi Arabian official. He said the royal court is very surprised about the rumours and that the king is doing fine.

April 10th

In a Dutch weekly magazine Minister of Agriculture Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst – a good friend of Queen Beatrix – has said that he thinks the Queen shouldn’t have an involving political role. According to him a head of state should only play a ceremonial role. He thinks the royal house has a function as a binder in the society. He says not to be a monarchist and thinks the sovereignty entirely should be in the hands of the Dutch people. Brinkhorst has also said he will abstain himself from voting in the cabinet council when the issue concerns the appearance of his daughter Laurentien – who will marry Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands on May 17th/19th.

The Dutch Parliament has agreed with the wedding of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst. Only five members of parliament abstained themselves from approval, because they say they don’t want to cooperate with an institute (the monarchy) they don’t agree with.

Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta will visit the capitals of all 12 Dutch provinces later this year, to give the people the chance to meet them.

Members of the British Parliament have called for a register to be set up for Royal Family members to declare their business interests. A House of Commons motion, backed by 59 MP’s, was tabled after suggestions that the Countess of Wessex could have used her royal links to win personal relations business.

The Queen Mother was today named Oldie of the Century at a ceremony in London in the annual awards. The ceremony was organised by the Oldie magazine and was held in central London.

April 11th

After a two-year treasure hunt by a Scottish-led salvage team has ended in a success. They believe they have found the final final resting place of the Royal Mail steamer, codenamed Britannia, 3000 feet beneath the sea. The steamer was torpeded by a German U-Boat in 1916 while crossing the Mediterranean, when she was on her way from England to India. The 158 passengers and crew lost their lives. On board were extremely valuable gems and jewellery for the 300-strong harem of Jagarjit Singh Maharaja of Karpurthala in the Punjab. He himself was to have joined the ship at Port Said and thus escaped the sinking. He died in 1949. The exact location of the wreck of the steamer is being kept secret.

In the New Church in Delft, the Netherlands, the four-year restoration of the sepulchral monument for William the Silent Prince of Orange was officially finished in presence of Queen Beatrix. A vault in the church is the last resting place of the Royal Family of the Netherlands.

In the Chancellery of the Dutch Orders in The Hague, Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange opened the website www.lintjes.nl. The website describes how someone can be proposed for a royal disctinction. Visitors of the site also get information about the history and background of the Dutch decorating system.

April 12th

Yesterday Princess Juliana of the Netherlands was taken to hospital after a fall at Palace Soestdijk. After a check up it was diagnosed nothing was broken, and she was able to go home again.

After their religious wedding at May 19th Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst will make a ride through the centre of The Hague. Before the ride they will first appear on the balcony of Palace Noordeinde.

April 14th

Prince Michael of Kent has been defended for making a series of foreign trips which have led to him and his wife being dubbed the “Rent-a-Kents”. He was reported by The Sun newspaper to have made 24 foreign trips over seas within 15 months. The journeys were allegedly paid for by trade groups, charities and firms. But the prince’s private secretary said the trips were legitimate working visits.

April 15th

Prince Maurits van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and his wife Marilène have become the parents of a healty daughter who weighs 3620 grammes. The parents are very happy with their daughter who was born this morning just after 8 ‘o clock at home in Amsterdam. She will be baptised Anastasia Margriet Josephine, but will be known as Anna. Her last name will be Van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven. Unlike her parents she will not bear a title and not be a member of the Royal House of the Netherlands, but of course she will be a member of the Royal Family. Anna is the first grandchild of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven, and is the second great-grandchild of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.

April 16th

The Imperial Household Agency has announced that Crown Princess Masako of Japan appears to be pregnant. A team of agency doctors constantly monitoring the Crown Princess’s health since her 1999 miscarriage is confident that she has again conceived.

The first photos of Anna van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven were issued.

April 19th

At the official website of the Dutch Royal Family you are able to congratulate Prince Maurits and Princess Marilène with the birth of their daughter Anna. I am sure they will be delighted to find so many international wishes in the guestbook.

April 21st

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain celebrated her 75th birthday quietly at Windsor Castle together with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh. Other family members were not expected to join them: the Prince of Wales is on holiday in Scotland, the Princess Royal and Prince Andrew are abroad and Prince Edward keeps silent after the recent Sophiegate. The Queen made a morning ride in the grounds of Windsor Castle accompanied only by her groom. At noon the birthday was marked by 41 and 62-gun salutes in Hyde Park and at the Tower of London.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain chose her favourite picture of herself for a stamp. The photograph was collected from Buckingham Palace at 8am on Friday, was flown to Gibraltar and was on sale 10 hours and 24 minutes later there. People queued for more than one hour to buy one of the stamps, made to mark the Queen’s 75th birthday. The record of producing the world’s fastest stamp will be submitted for the Guiness Book of World Records for confirmation.

Prince Philipp zu Stolberg-Wernigerode and Countess Caroline von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee married civilly in the townhall of Wernigerode. The religious wedding will take place at Wolfegg Castle in May.

April 22nd

Prince and Princess Akishino of Japan will attend the wedding of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst on May 19th. It is the first time the couple attends a royal wedding abroad. The Japanese parliament has given them permission to go. Prince Akishino has visited the Netherlands a few times about ten years ago, but never officially. His wife never visited the country. The couple will arrive on May 17th and will have dinner with Queen Beatrix that evening. Prince Constantijn and Prince Akishino know eachother personally. From the other royals on the guestlist for the wedding only Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, his fiancée Mette-Marit and his sister Märtha Louise are known to the public at the moment.

Last night a wall at the outside of the historical Saumur Castle in the Loire Valley fell down. The cause is most likely the heavy rainfall in the past weeks, which should have made the ground on which the castle was built weaker. Pieces of stone came down on four houses at the foot of the hill on which the castle is built. Three people were wounded and 25 people had to be evacuated.

April 23rd

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her family will not celebrate Queen’s Day in Hoogeveen and Meppel on April 30th and also not elsewhere. The risk that the many expected visitors – more than usual because of the appearance of Máxima Zorreguieta, fiancée of Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje – could spread the foot-and-mouth disease is said to be too high. Hoogeveen and Meppel are located quite close to the area where most foot-and-mouth disease cases in the Netherlands have been found over the past weeks. The Queen and her family will now visit Hoogeveen and Meppel on Queen’s Day in 2002.

The wedding of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst will cost the municipality of The Hague about $500.000. This doesn’t include the costs for security (police) and the present the municipality wants to offer the couple. On May 19th The Hague organises a street and a dance festival, a barbecue for 1000 inhabitants of The Hague and a reception for the international community of The Hague.

The political party of ex-King Simeon II of Bulgaria will not be allowed to take part in the elections in Bulgaria in June.

April 24th

Harold Brown, former butler of Diana Princess of Wales and present butler of Princess Margaret of Great Britain at Kensington Palace, has been charged with four counts of theft from the estate of Princess Diana. He is charged with stealing a jewel daffodil motif, a ring, a model dhow and base, a bangle, earrings and £ 1200 in 1997. He is due to appear before the Magistrates’ Court in London tomorrow.

After a few-day working visit to the island of Aruba Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta will celebrate their engagement there with her family and friends. They will return to the Netherlands before Queen’s Day. The interest of the Argentinian press is quite big.

Meanwhile the national Committee “Mars op de Oranje’s” (COMODO) will offer a reward for the person who manages to throw a cake at a member of the Royal Family of the Netherlands. Who succeeds gets a wooden charter and a bottle of oranjebitter, the anti-monarchical action group writes in her newsletter. They have declared the month of April as International cake month. In the past among others a Dutch and a Swedish minister have been victims of a national cake group.

33-year-old King Mswati III of Swaziland seems to be seriously ill. He hasn’t been seen in public for weeks and noone knows what is going on. He even missed the always spectacular celebration of his birthday last week. It has been suggested the king was poisoned. Against the rules Queen Mngomeluzu had made him breakfast the morning of the day the King complained about serious pain in his stomach during a festival for girls from all over the country at the palace. The ten professional cooks who cook for the King have all been fired last week. The Queen has left for London together with two children. But now it is thought he is seriously ill. It is said he has been examined in Pretoria and also in Mbabane by a special medical team sent by Libian leader Ghadaffi. According to the latest rumours he has now left for China to receive treatment.

April 25th

Despite of what was said before Justice didn’t do a house-search at Argenteuil Castle, where Princess Liliane of Réthy, the widow of King Leopold III of the Belgians, lives. Early in the morning the Castle was visited by some people who asked to give them a diary, which was handed over voluntary. It was a Chamber-Commission that investigates the murder at the first Congolese prime minister Lumumba in 1961 that wanted to have a look in the diary of colonel Weber who worked in the rebellious Katanga in that period and was an adviser of the prime minister of Katanga. The colonel had close ties with King Leopold III and now serves Princess Liliane at Argenteuil Castle. The Commission had sent the colonel several written requests, but didn’t get the diary. Now the diary has been handed over to the Commission.

The new founded Nationaal Oranjecomité has announced that Willem-Alexander and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta will receive a national present when they marry. The present will exist of a present for the couple and an amount of money for a good cause. All ideas are welcome.

The Prince of Wales has had to be disinfected before being allowed into Ottawa for an official tour. Before stepping on to a red carpet, the royal visitor trudged over a special mat laced with chemicals to ensure he was not bringing foot-and-mouth disease from the UK. Charles also had to ensure his clothes and those of the royal party were “properly laundered” and that no meat products were brought on the plane for the six-day trip.

April 26th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has visited the foot-and-mouth disease area in the province of Gelderland, together with Minister of Agriculture Laurens Jan Brinkhorst. She talked with the stricken farmers in the area and got information about the measures taken, the activities, etc. Afterwards she also talked with several assisting people.

The choice of the first fifteen so-called People’s Peers to sit in the British House of Lords has attracted widespread criticism. There had been expectations that ordinary members of the public would be chosen from the 3166 names put forward. A labour Member of Parliament said the peers should have been elected and it was an establishment stitch-up.

On April 23rd the Duke and Duchess of Angoulême (Eudes and Marie-Liesse) became parents of a daughter, Thérèse. She was born in Cannes, France, where her parents live and is a granddaughter of Henri Count of Paris and his first wife Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg. Little Thérèse will be baptised at the Royal Chapel of Saint-Louis in Dreux in July.

April 27th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje celebrated his 34th birthday at home in The Hague together with his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta and friends. The couple returned yesterday after staying a couple of days in Buenos Aires with Máxima’s family and friends.

On Sunday the fourth and last wife of Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China (who died in 1967), died at her home in Changchun, Province of Jilin. Li Yuqin married Pu Yi in 1943 when she was only 15 years old, and divorced him in 1958. She had lived in Beijing until 1963 and then moved to the Province of Jilin, where she worked in a library.

April 28th

In Bulgaria the Supreme Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling barring former King Simeon II of Bulgaria from contesting in the June 17 general election. On Monday the city court of Sofia had decided the National Movement for Simeon II didn’t meet the requirements for registration for the election. Simeon II now only can participate if he joins another political party. According to his secretary he is already talking with other parties. According to the polls Simeon II could win 40% of the votes.

April 29th

Princess Margaret of Great Britain is understood to have suffered some loss of vision after her most recent stroke in March. Buckingham Palace says it is hoped that the impairment, which has developed gradually, may be temporary. The Princess is staying with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, where full nursing care is available to her.

Elizabeth Buchanan, the assistent private secretary of the Prince of Wales, has had her address book and correspondence stolen from her car in Surrey. Buckingham Palace confirmed the theft, but said no confidential royal or Palace numbers were in the address book.

Unexpectedly Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands attended a service at a church in Oene, in the foot-and-mouth disease area. Afterwards she drank coffee with the church-goers.

April 30th

A very unusual Queen’s Day in the Netherlands. Although most other celebrations took place, Queen Beatrix didn’t visit two towns/villages in the country as she usually does, because of the foot-and-mouth disease that broke out some weeks ago close to the places she was going to visit. Queen Beatrix, Prince Claus, Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta, Prince Johan Friso, Prince Constantijn and Laurentien Brinkhorst, Prince Maurits, Princess Marilène and their newborn baby girl Anna all visited former Queen Juliana, who celebrated her 92nd birthday at home at the Soestdijk Palace.

The late Princess Grace of Monaco was chosen the most elegant woman ever by the Woman’s Journal. Also Diana Princess of Wales was present on the list, that was full of filmstars.

May 2nd

At Palace Noordeinde in The Hague Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and his fiancée Laurentien Brinkhorst received a ring, a wedding present from the Association of Gold- and Silversmiths. The ring was the winning design by Dago Hoyer in a contest. On May 15th the couple will give a television interview on the channel Nederland 2. It will be broadcasted between 21:20 and 21:53.

May 3rd

The Bulgarian electoral commission has – on the last day of registration – withdrawn its objections to the National Movement for Simeon II (that supports the former King Simeon II) taking part in next month’s parliamentary elections. The formal head of the movement will now be a little-known politician, Vessela Draganova. The move comes amid signs that the movement enjoys strong support. Opinion polls suggest the movement is set to capitalise on Bulgarians disillusionment with post-communist politics and stands a good chance of winning the election. A poll on Thursday in a newspaper shows that if the elections were held now, 43,2% of the voters would back the National Movement for Simeon II.

May 4th

A garden to mark Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 is being redesigned after staff at Windsor Castle expressed concern that it was being built on their car park. The Duke of Edinburgh, who has been involved in the project from the start, has now decided to redesign the garden. Under the original plans staff would have been asked to park at a nearby sports centre. This prompted safety fears for women walking to and from their cars alone.

Lady Antonia Fraser, who has written several books on (British) royalty, has been robbed by raiders at her home in West London one week ago. She was not injured but was left deeply shaken. It is thought she wsa threatened with an iron bar by the robbers who made off with expensive jewellery.

The Danish Royal website has been redesigned and looks much better now. Only the text is still in Danish, but an English version is coming before the end of the year it is said.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje attended the memorial service for the victims of World War II at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Later they laid a wreath at the monument at the Dam Square.

May 5th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands received a delegation from Meppel and Hoogeveen, the places where Queen’s Day was supposed to have taken place on April 30th. Among them the oldest inhabitant of the Netherlands, Mrs van Andel, who hopes to turn 111 on June 29th. In the evening the Queen attended the liberation concert at the Amstel River in Amsterdam.

May 6th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje started a three-day-visit to the 1100 Dutch UN-militaries at the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark visited the Danish UN-troops in Asmara.

The vampire Dracula, Prince Vlad of Walachia, gets his own themepark that is based on the legend about this prince from the Middle Ages. Rumours go that the park will come next to the famous castle of Bran, Dracula’s castle. Also his birthplace, Sighisoara, might be chosen.

May 7th

At 1:40pm local time the Belgian royal court officially announced that Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde attend their first child halfway November. The couple and their families are very happy. Later in the afternoon Philippe and Mathilde held a press conference in the Royal Serres of Laken Castle and confirmed the news personally. The couple said to be very curious for their first baby and can hardly wait until it is born. They don’t care whether it will be a boy or a girl. Princess Mathilde said she feels very well at the moment, although she is tired quicker, but she hopes to do her exams at university in June.

Little Prince Nikolai of Denmark had his first official engagement. He opened the new Duplo-railway in Legoland. His parents were allowed to come with him. Nikolai was made a honorary citizen of Legoland and got a little lego-car to play with.

All members of the Danish royal family have declined an invitation to attend the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen next Saturday.

May 8th

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden arrived in Belgium for a three-day state visit. They were accompanied by Crown Princess Victoria.

Heiligenstedten Castle near Itzehoe, Germany, is to be auctioned because the owner is not able anymore to pay the costs. The value is estimated to about $ 4.000.000.

Prince Alexander of Bavaria died in München on May 6th. He was 77 years old.

Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and his fiancée Laurentien Brinkhorst will give a private party for friends and aquaintances at the Palace at the Dam Square in Amsterdam on Saturday.

Student Society Albertus Magnus from Groningen is preparing a musical about Máxima Zorreguieta. In June 2002 the play will be performed in the Stadsschouwburg in Groningen. The motive for the musical is the 105th anniversary of the society. At least 50 students will co-operate. The musical will for all be comical and romantic. Also Máxima’s life as a student, the proposal and the wedding will be subject of the play. Her father and the Argentinian Videla-regime will not be mentioned.

May 9th

This afternoon Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta paid a visit to the Keukenhof in Lisse, The Netherlands – the well-known flowergarden. It was their first official appearance together since the engagement. Máxima, in a darkblue lady’s suit, said she finds the Keukenhof “super”. Willem-Alexander and Máxima planted a royal lime-tree and visited a windmill. The Keukenhof had 25.000 visitors, which is much more than on a regular day.

Early this morning Archduke Sigismund of Austria Grand Duke of Tuscany and his wife Elyssa became the proud parents of a son, Leopoldo Amedeo. Amedeo was born in Glasgow a few days later than planned.

From 7 to 9 May Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg have paid their first royal state visit abroad to Spain. Next to several official receptions, the pair also had some cultural engagements, mostly accompanied by some members of the Spanish royal family. They among others opened an exhibition with paintings of Ricardo Macarrón, that includes two paintings of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte.

The reigning Japanese political party LDP is creating a working-group that is going to check if it should become possible that women inherit the Japanese throne.

The Danish gossip magazine Ekstra Bladet reports that Crown Prince Frederik has attended the bachelor’s party of Peter Heering, one of his best friends, who is going to marry on May 19th. At the party in Kokkedal that was organised by Carl-Mar Möller, Frederik and the groom-to-be were pulled through the mud lying naked on a mattress hanging behind a tractor. He also took part in some other bizarre rituals as a (naked) fight with water pistols. According to Möller the Crown Prince liked it a lot.

May 10th

Dr. Otto von Habsburg, head of the Habsburg family, and his wife Regina celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in Nancy, France, where they also married in 1951, together with their children and grandchildren. In the morning there was a thanksgiving service at the Église des Cordeliers, attended by 224 invited guests. Afterwards the guests went to the garden of the Ducal Palace, while the celebrating couple was cheered by a crowd in front. In the afternoon there was a reception at the town hall that for this occasion was decorated with white and red flowers, the colours of the house of Habsburg. Among the guests were Prince Jean of France Duke of Vendôme, the Duke and Duchess of Bragança, Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Italy with his wife Marina, Princess Sumaya of Jordan, the Duke of Hohenberg and a representant of the Royal House of Morocco.

May 11th

Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and his fiancée Laurentien Brinkhorst and their parents were officially received by the Dutch Cabinet at the Catshuis – the official residence of the Dutch Prime Minister. On the official guestlist for the wedding on May 19th in The Hague, we can find several royals: former King Constantinos II of Greece, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Princess Astrid of Belgium, Arch Duke Lorenz of Austria- Este, Prince Laurent of Belgium, Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, Prince and Princess Akishino, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Marit Tjessem-Hoiby, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and one prince and four princesses from Jordan with partners (most likely some children of Prince Hassan). The wedding will be broadcasted also on the Internet by the NOS. Also the tv-interview that is given on May 15th can be seen from May 15th (22:00 local time) until May 16th (24:00 local time).

Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis blamed herself in a television interview in the talkshow Friedman. She talked for about half an hour about religion, sex and aids. She among others said that the people in Africa do have AIDS because they like to have sex. She mentioned that how warmer the climate in a country, the more people have sex. The Princess said about abortion that it is murder, and that a woman normally doesn’t want an abortion, but mostly is forced by the man. About sex she said that sex is only for making children, not for fun. The people in Germany are very shocked by what they call racial and stupid utterances. Princess Gloria herself now keeps silent.

Adoptive Prince Frederik von Anhalt and his wife since 15 years, filmstar Zsa Zsa Gabor, are getting divorced. Some days ago the Prince told his wife he has made a 19-year-old medicine student, who is his girlfriend since about one year, pregnant. The prince says to be very happy he will finally become a father.

May 12th

From now on Prince Laurent of Belgium will be placed on the Civil List, which means he will get an income to cover the costs for his official tasks. The money is also meant to pay for staff and costs for parking his car. He will get about $ 300.000, which is the same his sister Astrid gets. Until now the Prince only had an income from the Koninklijke Instituut voor Duurzaam Beheer van de Natuurlijke Rijkdommen (has something to do with environment/ nature), which he will loose now.

May 13th

Máxima Zorreguieta can’t receive a tulip with her name, as there is already a Máxima tulip. Instead the Keukenhof decided to name the route she and her fiancée Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje walked on May 9th the Máxima-route. The route will be marked by orange crowns that will be painted on the road.

May 14th

Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan received an honorary degree of the faculty of theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. They honour him as a forerunner and builder of bridges between Christianity, Judaism and Islam. According to Prof Dr Ottmar Fuchs it is the first time in history that a religious Muslim becomes a doctor in the christian theology. In his speech Prince Hassan underlined the bitter necessity of the dialogue between the religions.

Sigvard Bernadotte Count of Wisborg, the almost 94-year-old uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has lodged a complaint to the European Court of Justice in a try to receive his title back. He says: “I was born as a prince, and I want to die as a prince. Once a prince, always a prince.” The complaint is addressed to the Kingdom of Sweden. In 1934 Sigvard married a German commoner, Erika Patzek, and as a result the then King Gustaf V – Sigvard’s grandfather – took away his title and place in the line of succession. Various other attempts to receive his title back failed. Sigvard divorced Erika Patzek in 1943, remarried and divorced Sonja Robbert with whom he has one son, and now he is married to Marianne Lindberg.

May 15th

One month after officials said Crown Princess Masako of Japan showed signs of pregnancy, the Grand Master of the Princess’s household this afternoon announced in a rare press conference that Crown Princess Masako is three months pregnant. The baby will be born at the end of November or in the beginning of December. The Japanese hope they will get a son, who would be the first royal male born to the royal family since 1965.

After the wedding Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst will live in London. Constantijn starts working for the consultancy firm Booz Allan Hamilton in London, and Laurentien will work for the same company she worked for in Brussels, Adamson BSMG. An interview with the couple was broadcasted on the Dutch television today.

May 16th

Several Dutch political parties want a smaller Royal House. The ministerial responsibility should only count for the head of state and his/her family, one or two direct heirs to the throne and former head of states. After the entry of Laurentien Brinkhorst and Máxima Zorreguieta the Dutch Royal House will have seventeen members. The cabinet works on a motion to modernise the monarchy and the parties want to have their ideas in it.

Former royal aide to the Duchess of York, Jane Andrews, has been jailed for life after being convicted of murdering her lover Tom Cressman with a cricket bat then stabbing him at their home last September. She claimed it was self-defence, but Old Bailey prosecutors said she took revenge after he refused to marry her.

May 17th

The civil wedding of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst took place in The Hague. During a talk with the chairwoman of the Second Chamber afterwards Queen Beatrix accidentely made known that Máxima Zorreguieta, who celebrated her 30th birthday today, has got the Dutch nationality today. It was confirmed later by the Government Information Service. In Norway the National Day was celebrated. A children’s parade in which all the city schools were represented marched up Oslo’s main street to the Royal Palace, where they were received by the Royal Family standing on the front balcony, waving to the crowd. For the first time also Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby, the fiancée of Crown Prince Haakon, was present.

May 18th

Prince Maximilian and Princess Angela of Liechtenstein became the very proud parents of a son today. He was born in London and will be baptised Alfons Constantin Maria.

On CBC Radio Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley once again called on Canada to break its historic ties with the British monarchy. He made similar comments in 1997. Mr Manley argued it’s time to have a Canadian as a Head of State. He also said even if Canada keeps Queen Elizabeth II in her ceremonial role, Prince Charles should not be allowed to become the country’s King. The head of state ought to be a person who is Canadian, who reflects Canadian diversity and who is chosen by Canadians. He predicted there is a good chance that Britain itself, will decide to get rid of the monarchy in the next few years.

May 19th

The religious wedding of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Laurentien Brinkhorst took place in The Hague.

At 13:00 Hereditary Prince Philipp zu Stolberg-Wernigerode married Countess Caroline zu Waldburg-Wolfegg-Waldsee in the Parish Church St. Katharina in Wolfegg. The marriage was consecrated by Bishop Dr. Gebhard Fürst, who was assisted by the vicar of Wolfegg, Otto Schmid and the evangelical priest Reeve from Gedern. Afterwards the photos were made at the Castle of Bad Waldsee. Finally there a dinner for only 34 guests was held at the Waldburg, whereafter the younger generation went on partying in the cellar of the Waldburg. About 400 most royal and noble guests, among them Felipe Prince of Asturias, attended the wedding. Yesterday evening a bridal soiree was held at Schloss Wolfegg. After the reception there was a huge dinner in the hall followed by a party and dance.

Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands thinks the Royal House of the Netherlands can be cut down. He doesn’t say how many members there should be. He says he works on a bill that arranges the restriction of the Royal House.

In an exclusive interview with some Belgian newspapers Prince Philippe of Belgium Duke of Brabant has said he sees Belgium as a model in solving conflicts in the world. According to Philippe the Belgians also should be a model for the expansion of the European Union. He says Brussels is a meeting point for cultures, where intellectuals from all over Europe come to think and discuss. The capital can and should be an example for other countries. He sees it as his duty to build bridges between the communities.

May 20th

In a rock in the Egyptian oasis of Baharija archaeologists have found the grave of the mother of the Pharaoh Nas I. The newspaper Al Akhbar mentions that with the new discovery in total seven graves of members of the family of Gid-Khin-Su, the ruler of Baharija, have been found. They are about 2500 years old.

May 21st

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta will marry in Amsterdam on February 2nd. The civil and the religious wedding will both be held on this day. It is not known yet where the marriage will be held exactly. Máxima Zorreguieta after her wedding will become Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Oranje-Nassau, Mrs van Amsberg. She will keep the Argentinian nationality next to the Dutch one. The fact that Máxima will not have the title Princess of Oranje leads to speculations that she will not be styled Queen but only Princess after Willem-Alexander ascends the Dutch throne. On July 3rd the First and Second Chamber will decide about giving consent to the wedding. When they agree, which is very likely, Máxima Zorreguieta will become a member of the Royal House.

An appeals court in Qatar has sentenced 19 people to death, for a failed coup attempt in 1996. Among them is a cousin of the Emir of Kuwait.

May 22nd

On the occasion of the wedding of Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta a special Euro-coin will be issued. It is unknown who will design the coin and what the value will be.

On a press conference it was made known that Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark will be best man of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway on August 25th. Mette-Marit choose her friend Linda Tanevik as her maid of honour. Little Marius will attend the religious wedding, but it is not known yet what kind of a role he will play. It was announced Crown Prince Haakon will lead his bride himself at the aisle in the Oslo Domchurch. Mette-Marit’s weddingdress will be Norwegian-designed, but it was not revealed who the designer is and what the dress will look like.

Prince Dimitri Romanov confirmed to a Danish news agency that Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia will be reburried at St Petersburg in the foreseeable future. After her death she was interred at the Cathedral of Roskilde, Denmark.

Yesterday at 18:22 Princess Marie Esmeralda of Belgium gave birth to her second child at the Portland Hospital in London. The boy will be named Leopoldo Daniel. He weighs 3.145 kg and is 55,5 cm long. Mother and baby are both doing well the Princess’s husband Professor Salvador Moncada said.

May 23rd

A majority, 54% of the Dutch want Máxima to become a Queen when Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje ascends the throne. 25% want her to stay a Princess. 67% of the people questioned think it is allright that she stays a Roman Catholic. This was the result of a poll by a big Dutch newspaper.

Buckingham Palace has rebutted reports of a rift between the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. Reports claim that the Duke labelled Charles “precious and extravagant” and lacking in the dedication and discipline needed to make a good king. But a spokeswoman said the Duke has said no such thing, and that those are remarks made by a reporter and have been wrongly attributed to the Duke.

May 24th

TV and pop stars have performed for the Duke of Edinburgh at a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London to mark his 80th birthday (which will be on June 10th) and to celebrate 45 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Among the performing stars were Shirley Bassey, Lionel Richie and Spice Girl Mel B.

The Danish magazine Billed Bladet has published a letter written by Hervé de Rochefort, father of Elvire Pasté de Rochefort – the fiancée of Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. Mr. de Rochefort writes that the date of the wedding was postponed by the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg family, because Elvire refused to sign the wedding contract that was handed over to her last February. The contract was not in favour of Elvire at all and infringed her general rights according to her father. They want her to get a huge amount of money (several millions) in case of divorce. The families are busy right now making a new contract that will satisfy all persons involved. At the moment the couple is on an early honeymoon to the USA, the Caribean and the Virgin Islands.

May 25th

The planned reburial of Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia has caused disharmony between the descendants of the Empress and the Princes Nicholas and Dimitri Romanov who are not descending from her. The Empress’s great-great-grandson Paul Kulikovsky learned about the reburial from the Danish press. On behalf of 20 descendants of the Empress he therefore has written a letter to both Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Dimitri Romanov to ask for an explanation. They are not against her reburial in St Petersburg at all, but they can’t accept that they weren’t informed about the details of the arrangements. If they don’t get any information they however will oppose the return to St Petersburg.

May 26th

Prince Ernst August of Hannover has decided to take his eldest son Ernst August from the Malvern School, Wales, after one of his friends was sent away after having used cannabis. It is said Ernst August didn’t take cannabis himself. Ernst August will go to a German school now. His younger brother Christian will stay at Malvern.

May 27th

Dr Otto von Habsburg and his wife Regina went on celebrated their golden wedding the past couple of days. Last Thursday they celebrated at the chapel of Grassalkovich Castle in Gödöllö near Budapest, Hungary, together with their sons Karl and Georg and their families and their daughters Gabriella and Walburga. Guests were among others aristocrates, politicians, diplomats and businessmen. Archbishop Jozsef Szendi celebrated the mass. On Friday they celebrated again in Antau, Austria, where the couple said yes again. Karl and Georg attended also this time, withouth their families. Many people in costumes and soldiers in traditional uniforms (including Esterhazy husars) paid tribute to the couple. Bishop Paul Iby celebrated the mass and Dr Otto von Habsburg himself held a speech. And today, before going back home to Germany, the couple celebrated at Mariazell where they made a carriage ride. Salutes were shot and several thousands of people, including soldiers of traditional regiments, greeted the couple. The couple was received at the gate of the basilica by the archabbot of Pannonhalma, Asztrik Varszegi, and the bishop of Banja Luka, Franjo Komarica, who also celebrated the mass, that was attended by the children and grandchildren of the couple. Five children and four children-in-law read the nine pre-prayers in nine different languages.

May 28th

Prince Moulay Hicham, second in line of succession in Morocco, doesn’t see democracy in his country yet, he told the Spanish newspaper El País. The Prince lives in Paris and was already a critic of the regime under King Hassan II. Already in 1996 he urged for reforms of the Moroccan monarchy and he still thinks they are very necessary. He said that the monarchy needs to resist the powers that work against democracy. Only that way the monarchy can become a symbol of unity of the country and function as an arbitrator. The prince thinks the monarch should for all have a symbolic function and should act as a mediator instead of reigning.

Newspapers report the Duke of Edinburgh has written a letter of apology to the Prince of Wales over reports that he described his son as unfit to become a king. The Duke made clear he had never made the comments published in a newspaper last week. He also phoned his son to reassure him that he had not authorised his friends or associates to make the damaging comments on his behalf either. The Prince of Wales is said to have accepted his father’s apology.

The Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull, a godson of the Prince of Wales, has entered an exclusive rehab clinic to break a drug habit. Nicholas has a history of drug taking. Last June he was cautioned by police after being caught with cannabis. Half a year earlier he and three pals were arrested when police found ecstasy and cannabis in his car. The news he is in a rehab clinic came after he failed to appear at Ashford magistrates court in Kent on Wednesday to answer charges of speeding and reversing on a motorway. He pleaded guilty by letter. Nicholas was banned from driving for six months and was fined.

May 29th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visited her husband Prince Claus again at the Barmbek hospital in Hamburg, Germany, where the prince underwent surgery yesterday. His left kidney was removed. After his last operation one year ago he had problems with the kidney and with the drains that were placed in it some time ago. The right kidney took over its function already, so there was nothing against removing the left one. He does quite well now and has been out of bed already again today. If everything goes well he will leave hospital next week.

Researchers have found two heads in the tomb of King Jaime I of Aragón (1205-1276) at the Monastery of Problet. Gentechnology has to show which head is the real one. In 1837 the monastery was plundered and afterwards the bones were placed back in the tombs. In the King’s grave a skull with a hole in it was laid, because he was killed by an arrow in his head. Later another skull was laid in the tomb, because it fitted more with the other bones. It is possible both skulls are the wrong ones.

May 30th

Buckingham Palace has announced the Prince of Wales will attend his father’s birthday on June 10th.

A Japanese newspapers writes Emperor Akihito of Japan will not visit South Corea during the Worldchampionship football (soccer) next year. Japan and South Corea organise the event together and it was hoped the Emperor would make a gesture. It is said the Japanese government fears the reaction of the South Coreans during the visit. Japan occupied South Corea between 1910 and 1945.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Oslo for a three-day state visit to Norway. Crown Prince Haakon met them at the airport. They were welcomed by King Harald V and Queen Sonja at the royal palace. A 21-gun salute was fired from a canon at a nearby medieval fortress. A full military parade was waiting as well, with the King’s Guards assembled in full force to play and perform drill routines. Queen Elizabeth was then to inspect the Guards before heading into the Palace for tea. In the evening there was a state banquet with 200 guests at the royal palace. Tomorrow’s program featurs a visit to the local Oslo elementary school Bolteløkka, a reception at Oslo’s City Hall, visits to two exhibitions, a luncheon at Akershus and an evening banquet at the British Embassy.

June 1st

Princess Madeleine of Sweden graduated from high school at the Enskilda Gymnasiet in Stockholm. When she came out of the school her parents, Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Lilian were waiting for her.

June 2nd

At about 22:40 local time yesterday evening 29-year-old Crown Prince Dipendra has shot dead at least 8 members of his family with two automatic rifles in a sitting room at the Palace Narayan Hity in the capital Kathmandu after a dinner and afterwards committed suicide in the temple by shooting a bullet through his head. At the hospital, the Crown Prince had a feeble pulse, but the 9 mm bullet had gone right through his head. Surgeons operated on him. According to the Nepali Times Crown Prince Dipendra was left brain-dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in hospital early this morning and is only kept alive with a life support machine. Shocked palace staff rushed the dead and wounded to the Royal Nepal Army Hospital in Chauni, where most were declared dead on arrival. The deaths are King Birendra (55) and Queen Aishawarya (51), their son Prince Nirajan (22), their daughter Princess Shruti (24, died in the hospital), King Birendra’s sisters Princesses Sharada and Shanti (60, died in hospital), the King’s cousin Jayanti and his brother-in-law Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah. Other members of the royal family, Prince Dhirendra and Princess Sruti’s husband Gorakh, were critically wounded. According to reports the royal family had gathered Friday night for a large family meeting to discuss the Crown Prince’s marriage and said the crown prince wished to marry the daughter of a former government minister but the queen had objected. The number of death has not yet been confirmed. King Birendra reigned Nepal since 1972. Prince Gyanendra (53), King Birendra’s middle brother, was in Pokhara and tried to fly back, but the Super Puma helicopter sent to fetch him at midnight Friday had to turn back due to bad weather. He finally flew in from Gajuri at six in the morning and landed at Chhauni where the 11-member Royal Privy Council was about to meet. The Raj Parishad is expected to deliberate on the succession and announce the new king later Saturday. Meanwhile, in the city Kathmandu residents gathered in small groups at street corners. Near the Royal palace, by mid-morning a quiet mass of about 10,000 grim-faced people had come together to find out what had happened to their king and queen.

In the afternoon Crown Prince Dipendra was declared the new King of Nepal by the Raj Parishad, the privy council of Nepal. A five-day period of national mourning was declared.

The bodies of King Birendra, his daughter Shruti and son Nirajan, on simple bamboo poles, and Queen Aishawarya on a bronze palanquin, were carried eight miles on the shoulders of Brahmin priests clad in white vests and loin cloths through Kathmandu to the Pashupatinath Temple at the side of the Bagmati River, while armed troops lined the streets and tens of thousands of Nepalis followed the funeral procession. “Long live our king. Our king and our nation are dearer to us than our lives,” shouted people that followed the funeral procession, led by Prince Gyanendra, dressed in military white. As darkness fell Hindu priests prepared the bodied for cremation inside tents and wrapped them in red cloth. They were laid on stone pyres decked with garlands of marigolds and sandalwood. One by one, the pyres were lit with torches (the king at 21:46 local time) as dignitaries looked on and a military honor guard saluted. Their ashes are to be scattered along the holy river.

Public prosecutors in Germany have charged Prince Ernst August of Hannover with insulting and attacki photographer Sabine Breuer at an arts festival in Austria last summer. He is accused of insulting her before kicking her in the thigh. He could be fined $ 400,000. He has disputed the charges and his lawyers have filed an objection to the prosecution. The prince will now attend a verbal negotiation before the court case which will be held in the town of Springe near Hannover.

June 3rd

Prince Claus of the Netherlands has left the hospital Barmbek in Hamburg, Germany. He is back home at Palace Huis ten Bosch.

The woman King Dipendra of Nepal wanted to marry has been named as Devyani Rana. Her father, Pashupati Rana, is a former minister, and her mother, Usharaje, was a daughter of the last Maharaja of Gwalior, India. The Rana family ruled Nepal until 1951. At the time of the royal massacre Devyani Rana seems to have been in India to attend the cremation of a family member. Masses of Nepalese people are having their heads shaved as a mark of respect to their murdered royal family. Having your head shaved is a traditional Hindu way of showing the state of personal mourning. The people of Nepal can’t believe King Dipendra killed his family members. They think of a plot from his uncle Gyanendra, whose son is the only member of the family at the palace who survived unwounded. This son, Paras, is widely described as a violent and dangerous man, who has shot several people dead in brawls. Prince Gyanendra issued a statement on Sunday that only served to confuse matters by saying the royal killings were the result of “accidental” automatic weapons fire at the palace. He said the victims were seriously injured and later died in hospital. The three injured family members – Gorakh Bikram, Princess Shruti’s husband; Komal Shah, Prince Gyanendra’s wife; and Prince Dhirendra, the king’s youngest brother – remain at the military hospital, where they are in stable condition. Meanwhile, the body of Bodh Kumari Shah, mother of Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah, husband of Princess Sharada, both of whom were killed on Friday in the palace, was cremated today at the Aryaghat in Pashupatinath Temple. She had suffered a massive heart attack after learning the news of her son and daughter-in-law’s death, said family sources. The last rites of Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah and Princesses Sharada and Shanti were also performed early today at the Aryaghat with due honours and rituals.

June 4th

King Dipendra of Nepal died at 3:45 local time in the military hospital in Chhauni, and his uncle Dhirendra, the youngest brother of King Birendra, also died in hospital at 5:57pm. At 10:30 local time, Gyanendra, the younger brother of King Birendra, who had already been named regent for Dipendra, was declared King of Nepal. At 11:00 he appeared at a palace enthronement ceremony in Nasal Chowk in Hanuman Dhoka palace, the former royal palace in the old quarters of Kathmandu, his head shaven in a traditional show of respect for the dead, before he put on the crown topped with a large cream-color plume. It was the second time in history that he was crowned. In November 1950, the then Rana prime minister had made him king at the age of four after King Tribhuvan and King Mahendra secretly left Kathmandu for India to return in February 1951 to restore the House of the Shahs in Nepal. Not counting Gyanendra’s brief kingship then, he is the 12th Shah king of Nepal in a dynasty that stretches back to Prithvi Narayan Shah, the unifier of modern Nepal. He rode a horse-drawn carriage to Narayanhiti Royal Palace past cheering crowds as cannons boomed in the air, although thousands of protesters were chanting slogans against the succession of King Gyanendra in different parts of the city. The Nepali people, who worship their King as Lord Vishnu, don’t consider Gyanendra a Lord Vishnu at the moment. They suspect Gyanendra of seeking a return to absolute monarchic rule. Later today the Nepalese government has declared a curfew in Kathmandu, covering the funeral of King Dipendra, as thousands of angry mourners demand an explanation to the royal massacre. Police fired on protesters, killing at least two persons and wounded tens of people. The newly crowned King Gyanendra addressed the nation in a short speech at 21:00 local time over state-owned Nepal Television. In the speech, he announced that a three member committee has been formed to investigate the Friday night carnage in the Royal Palace and bring the facts to the public. The committee is to be chaired by Chief Justice Keshav Prasad Upadhyaya. The other two memebers of the committee are to be Tara Nath Ranabhat, the Speaker of the House of Representative (Nepalese Lower House) and Madhav Nepal, the leader of the main opposition. In the speech, he also officially declared his wife, Komal, as the new queen. Dipendra’s body was taken through the streets of Kathmandu in an open vehicle to the Pashupati cremation grounds, and at 19:30 local time, a brahmin Achyut Prasad Acharya lit the pyre of the late king. Meanwhile, several injured royal family members have been moved out of intensive care to a VVIP unit at the army hospital in Chhauni, Nepal Television announced Monday morning. King Gyanendra’s wife Princess Komal, King Birendra’s sister Princess Shoba, late Princess Shruti’s husband Kumar Gorakh Rana, and King Birendra’s cousin Keytaki Singh have been moved out following improvements to their conditions. Royal Families from all over the world have expressed their sympathy to the surviving members of the Royal Family. They are all very shocked. Several royal families were friends of the murdered King and Queen of Nepal.

Princess Madeleine had a graduation party near Stockholm for about 160 friends.

June 5th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje started a four-day-visit to Russia. After arriving in Moscow they were received by President Putin at the Cremlin. Queen Beatrix said to hope that the state visit will contribute to the continuance of the good relations between Russia and The Netherlands. Putin also showed his guests around in the Cremlin. In the afternoon Queen Beatrix laid a wreath at the monument for the unknown soldier. In the evening a state banquet was held. Moscow got 10.000 tulip-bulbs as a present from the Netherlands.

The doors of the Royal Palace in Kathmandu have opened to allow an investigation into the fatal shooting of 10 members of the royal family. The third member Madhav Kumar Nepal, leader of the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal, who had agreed to be on the panel, later withdrew after objections from within his party on a procedural issue.

June 6th

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visited the Duma where she talked with the chairman and some members of the Russian parliament. She wasn’t allowed to have a look in the parliament itself as there was a session going on. Meanwhile Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange opened a photo exhibition about AIDS at the Sacharov Institute. He also met Derk Sauer, a Dutch journalist who set up a press centre in Moscow about ten years ago. In the afternoon Queen and Prince met the Dutch community at the Puschkin Museum.

A Dutch teacher has lodged a complaint against the naturalization of Máxima Zorreguieta. He thinks it is not fair that she didn’t have to pass all procedures to get the Dutch nationality, while his own fiancée still is waiting for permission to come to the Netherlands.

A witness claims Nepal’s Prince Dipendra served drinks to his family moments before shooting them with a machine gun. The witness, reported to be a member of the Nepal royal family, claims Dipendra mixed one of his cousins a drink, and the assembled relatives chatted as they waited for dinner. At about 9 p.m., Dipendra slipped out of the gathering and then appeared minutes later in combat gear, carrying an Uzi submachine gun and an M16 assault rifle. He is said to have walked into a room where his father, the king, was sitting and shot him with one of the automatic weapons. The witness “could see the king’s face with utter astonishment on it”. The relative is then quoted as saying that after killing his father, Dipendra sprayed machine-gun and rifle fire through the sitting rooms for 15 minutes. “He said nothing at all throughout the whole episode, and there was no expression whatever on his face,” the relative was quoted saying. “He just fired indiscriminately.” At one point Dipendra’s mother, Queen Aishwarya, and his younger brother, Prince Nirajan, followed him into the garden. “That’s when they got shot,” the relative said. He said that when Dipendra moved back inside his uncle, Prince Dhirendra, pleaded: “‘Put the gun down; you’ve done enough damage” which is when he was shot. As he lay bleeding, the relative said, Dhirendra urged one of the women who tried to help him to reach into his pocket for a mobile phone to call for outside help, but she was unable to do so because she had been shot in the arm and shoulder. Another woman was shot also. Finally, Dipendra went out to the garden again, and more shots were heard. “That must have been the time he was shooting himself,” the relative said. Once the prince stopped firing and the rooms had fallen silent, the relative said, “people got together and there was somebody saying, ‘This one’s dead, that one’s alive.'” The witness’s account, given by the relative in a joint interview with The Washington Post and the Times of London, shed no light on what Dipendra was thinking or feeling as he prepared to kill. The witness said that there was no discussion of the prince’s wedding plans or romantic life at the Friday night gathering, no arguments overheard between Dipendra and his parents that evening, and no sign before the shootings that anything was wrong. “Why he did it, we may never know, but this is actually what happened,” the relative said. “It was a routine Friday night, and it all went wrong.” According to the relative of the eyewitness, Paras Shah, the 28- year-old son of the new King Gyanendra, played an important and even heroic role in the evening’s events, moving quickly to hide some teenagers behind a sofa as the shootings started and arranging to have army trucks take the wounded survivors to a military hospital because no ambulance was available. However some palace sources told that the crown prince and his mother had sharp words that night over the young woman that Dipendra wanted to marry – Devyani Rana, the daughter of a prominent Nepali businessman and the granddaughter of an Indian maharaja. Witnesses said the king and queen told Dipendra he could marry Devyani Rana but if he did so Nirajan would take his place as crown prince, according to a member of the State Council, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A commission of four historians who research the murder of the Congolese president Lumumba in 1961 by order of the present Belgian parliament, say the Belgian government Eyskens was involved in the fall of the President in 1960. At the end of 1960 King Baudouin has been told about the agreement between Prime Minister Tschombe of the Congolese Province of Katanga and General Mobutu to have Lumumba killed. Belgium should have paid $ 1.000.000 to get rid of Lumumba, who was anti-Belgium. After the fall of Lumumba they kept on urging to have him arrested and there have been several plans to kill him.

June 7th

In the morning Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje left Moscow. They first visited Nizhny Novgorod at the Wolga river where they were offered bread and salt, the traditional welcome present. After laying a wreath at the monument for the victims of World War II they visited an training-institute for journalists that is supported by The Netherlands. Afterwards they left for St Petersburg and there they visited the Hermitage museum. There Queen Beatrix re-opened the Marquee Hall by lightening the lights. The Netherlands gave money for the restoration of the hall.

Prince Achileas Andreas of Greece, the youngest son of Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his wife Maria, was christened at the Orthodox St Sophia Cathedral in London. His godparents were Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, Prince Alexander of Fürstenberg, Infanta Elena of Spain, Princess Rosario of Bulgaria and Veronica Touts. Next to the immediate family the christening was also attended by Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Ernst August and Princess Caroline of Hannover, Prince Kirill of Bulgaria and model Elle MacPherson.

Dr Rajiv Raj Shahi, the son-in-law of the late Prince Dhirendra and a military doctor, says he watched in horror as Crown Prince Dipendra opened fire. Dr Shahi said that the killings were carried out within a span of 90 seconds, as Dipendra darted in and out of the Billiards Room where the gathering of about two dozen members of the royal family and wealthy friends was being held, killing a few relatives each time. Dr Shahi’s account is the first on- the-record witness version of the events since the massacre last Friday night. The doctor escaped bullets by jumping out of the way. He said Dipendra started to appear that he was intoxicated, really drunk. He started to stammer and quarrel. It was a family gathering, so we decided to escort him away. Me, Prince Nirajan and the new king’s son, Paras Shah, escorted him to his bedroom. About 9 pm I heard a burst of gunfire. I thought it was somebody playing a prank. There was shouting and I heard someone say, ‘His Majesty has been shot’. Being a doctor, I ran toward His Majesty. I took off my coat and pressed it against his neck where he was bleeding. (The king) said: ‘I have been shot in the stomach also’. My father-in-law (Prince Dhirendra) tried to stop the then-Crown Prince. He was shot at point-blank range on his chest. Dipendra came in a second time with an assault rifle. He shot three more people, went out again and came back in. By this time, Princess Shruti had moved to near her father. He then shot at Princess Shobha, Princess Shruti and His Majesty again. From what I gathered, Queen Aiswarya went to confront the crown prince with what he had done,” Shahi said. Prince Dipendra killed his mother. Prince Nirajan came in the centre to save his mother. He was shot in the back,” Shahi said. He said others told him that Crown Prince Dipendra then stood on a footbridge some distance away from where the queen and Nirajan lay dead. This was where the prince shot himself in the head with a pistol.

Without further comments the wedding of Prince Jean of France Duke of Vendôme and Duchess Tatjana of Oldenburg was postponed. The wedding was supposed to take place on September 29 in Chartres, France, and it is said it will now take place in Spring 2002.

Heiligenstedt Castle in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, wasn’t auctioned as there was nobody who wanted to buy the castle.

French photographer Jacques Langevin has been placed under judicial investigation for invasion of privacy. He photographed the wreckage of the car in which Diana Princess of Wales was killed in August 1997. The photos were impounded by police soon after the crash.

June 8th

The now 2-member committee has finally begun its inquiry into the Nepalese royal massacre. It is expected the findings from the probe will be submitted on Sunday.

An archive of 260 personal letters from the future King Edward VIII of Great Britain to Freda Dudley-Ward, his first and long-time love, have fetched £34,500 at auction. The collection was bought by Barry Davies for his wife Christine, who co-produced the television programme Edward on Edward. The Prince of Wales, who later chose to abdicate, rather than do without Wallis Simpson, later Duchess of Windsor, met “Fredie” early in 1918. In the letters, he swears never to marry anyone except her, says he wants to die young and declares the monarchy is “out of date”.

Nepal’s monarchy today disavowed the account of royal witness Army Capt. Rajiv Shahi to the murder of Nepal’s king June 1 and said it was launching an investigation into his actions, a move that perplexed and alarmed many Nepalis who have waited anxiously for an explanation of the palace massacre. Shahi who is married to a Nepali princess and was at the royal palace when King Birendra and eight members of his family were gunned down, told journalists Thursday that the king’s son, Crown Prince Dipendra, had committed the murders and then killed himself. But today, angry palace officials said they had not known about or approved his statement, and there were unconfirmed reports that Shahi had been detained and may face a court-martial. Although Shahi’s public presentation was reported today in the independent Nepali media and by foreign news agencies, the government ordered state-run TV, radio and newspapers not to report it and they obeyed, according to officials at state news outlets. Sources close to several survivors confirmed today that Shahi had acted without palace approval, and they said his account squared with what they had witnessed. The palace’s abrupt disavowal of Shahi’s statement and the possibility that he may be punished for it have raised concern that the new monarch, King Gyanendra, is trying to quash dissent and assert power over Nepal’s elected government. The disavowal also raised concern about a possible split between the army, which was loyal to the late king, and the new monarch. Shahi, an army doctor, could not have addressed the media at the military hospital without approval from his superiors, analysts said. But today, the army published full-page ads in all major newspapers congratulating Gyanendra, the late king’s brother, and pledging to serve him loyally. The ads warned that “misleading” information had come out about the murders, and it said the army remained “alert and disciplined” in the face of any threats to national security.

June 9th

On the final day of her Russian state visit Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visited the Vaganova Ballet Academy and the Pavlovsk Palace in St Petersburg. At the palace, where her ancestor Anna Pavlovna Grand Duchess of Russia, wife of King Willem I of the Netherlands, spent most of her youth, she received a copy of a youth portrait of Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna. Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje visited the Medical Military Academy and the juridicial institute Prokuratura. In the afternoon they returned to The Netherlands.

Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium attended the women’s Grand Slam tennis final at Roland Garros, Paris, France, in which American Jennifer Capriati beat Belgian Kim Clijsters.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands no longer is the patroness of the Dutch Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The Society finds it improper that hunting as a sport is still allowed at the royal estates and that members of the royal family take part in the hunting themselves.

June 10th

The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated his 80th birthday at Windsor Castle. He attended a thanksgiving service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. During the service the Dean of Windsor praised the Duke’s “loyalty, encouragement, inspiration and sheer stickability”. The service was followed by a private reception and family lunch at Windsor Castle. Around 500 guests attended the service and reception, including former King Constantinos II of Greece. Fifty royals, including 17 from Germany, attended the lunch at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth II said in her speech she wished her husband a happy birthday and told him that she can’t believe he is 80.

20-year-old Filippa Princess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn married 35-year-old Italian Vittorio Mazzetti d’Albertis. On Friday the civil wedding took place at the neogothic Sayn Castle. On Saturday the bridal soiree took place there also for which some 200 family members and friends were invited, among them many nobles. The religious wedding took place at the Abbey Church St. Marien in Sayn today. In the afternoon a reception was held in the Castle gardens. The dress of the bride was made in Florence, Italy, and the veil comes from a Russian ancestor of the bride.

A powerful probe commission investigating the massacre at the Royal Palace began its third day of investigations Sunday morning. The two members of the commission have already inspected the site of the shoot-out at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace and interviewed royal survivors and doctors at a hospital where they are undergoing treatment and gathered forensic and other evidence. Today the high-level commission has asked for four more days to finish up its work. Sources said collating testimonies, testing forensic evidence, cross-checking facts, analysing them will take till Thursday, 14 June. The report is then expected to be formally presented to the Royal Palace and then released over the weekend. The Commission members are aided by two supreme court judges and have been working out of the heavily-guarded Parliament Secretariat inside Singha Durbar. Since government offices are closed, no visitors are allowed to enter even the main gate of Singha Durbar.

June 11th

Reza Pahlavi II, Shah in exile of Iran, announced with pain and deep sorrow the tragic passing away of his sister, Princess Leila Pahlavi, after a lenghty illness. Princess Leila was born on March 27th, 1970, as the youngest child of Shah Mohammed Reza and his wife Empress Farah, and died in London, England.

Prince Jean of France, Duke of Vendôme, announced his marriage to Duchess Tatjana von Oldenburg, which was supposed to take place on September 29th in Chartres, France, has been cancelled for personal reasons. Jean and Tatjana have decided to end their engagement. It is rumoured Prince Jean came under pressure from his relatives to avoid marrying a protestant. Prince Jean is known as a very strict Catholic, and Duchess Tatjana is a strict protestant. Although it seems that they agreed to bring their children up in the Catholic faith, there might have been more problems that had to do with religion. The Count of Paris, Jean’s father, is quoted by The Times as saying that a marriage is an indissoluble undertaking and a union that will last for a lifetime.

June 12th

Yesterday a police officer guarding Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain accidentally discharged his weapon at Buckingham Palace as it was being checked in at the end of a shift, Scotland Yard said. No-one was hurt and the officer involved will continue to work at the palace, but has been temporarily withdrawn from firearms duty.

The Government Information Service says that Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, has skin cancer. He will be operated at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital on June 21st. Mr. van Vollenhoven has cancelled all his engagements.

June 13th

Princess Leila Pahlavi died at the Leonard Hotel, West End, London. Her body was discovered by staff of the hotel on Sunday evening. Former Empress Farah Pahlavi, Leila’s mother, issued a statement in Paris on Monday evening saying the princess died in her sleep and that she had been very depressed for the past few years. Time hadn’t healed her wounds, that were caused by the flight from Iran and the death of her father, Shah Mohammed Reza, shortly afterwards. Scotland Yard said a post-mortem examination failed to reveal the cause of death, but there were no suspicious circumstances. Police is now awaiting the results of toxicology reports. They also searched Leila’s personal belongings to establish wether she had left a note. Newspapers say she died of a fatal overdose of sleeping tablets. The funeral is expected to take place in Paris.

June 14th

Two weeks after the mass murder of Nepal’s royal family, a high-level official inquiry has concluded that Crown Prince Dipendra killed his father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, and three aunts in cold blood before shooting himself. Six other members of the royal family are still in hospital. The two-member commission led by the Chief Justice Keshab Prasad Upadhaya and the House Speaker Taranath Ranabhat presented the findings to King Gyanendra on Thursday evening. An hour later, Ranabhat presented a summary of the findings live on television and radio at a raucous press conference at the parliament secretariat. Rifles, magazines, cartridges and clothes were on display. Most details confirm early media reports about a drugged and drunk prince going berserk with automatic weapons, mowing down family members.The 200-page report was the outcome of the commission’s extensive interviews with royal survivors in hospital and other eyewitnesses, examination of hospital records, lab analyses, ballistic and forensic evidence. There were more than 60 specialists who helped in the seven-day investigation headquartered in the heavily guarded parliament secretariat. See for a summary of the report at Synopsis of the High Level Committee Report on the Royal Palace Incident.

This afternoon Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta have paid a short visit to Amsterdam. Together with mayor Job Cohen they visited the townhall and the Wester Church. It is possible this will be the locations for their wedding that will take place on February 2nd, 2002.

June 16th

Two days ago the coffin with the late Princess Leila Pahlavi was transferred to Paris where former Empress Farah of Iran, her son Shah-in-exile Reza II Cyrus and his wife Yasmine said goodbye to her, as did her brother Ali Reza and sister Farahnaz. Today Princess Leila was buried at the cemetary of Passy, Paris, next to her maternal grandmother Farideh Diba, who died last December. Among the 3000 mourners who attended the funeral were also royals: Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, former Queen Anne Marie of Greece, Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy Prince of Naples and his wife Marina, Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy Prince of Venice, Princess Ira of Fürstenberg, the Duke and Duchess of Orléans and the Count of Evreux.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain had to hide under an umbrella when she rode in her carriage to the annual Trooping the Colour parade to celebrate her official birthday. The carriage was followed by the Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Kent and the Princess Royal, who all rode on horses. Another carriage rode the Queen Mother, Earl and Countess of Wessex to the parade. The 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards marched through inches of rainwater in front of Queen Elizabeth II and about 8000 spectators at the Horse Guards Parade ground. The Queen Mother and several other members of the royal family watched the parade from the shelter of the Duke of Wellington’s office overlooking the Horse Guards. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery soldiered on with a 41-gun royal salute from nearby Green Park. Unfortunately the weather forced the Royal Air Force to cancel a flypast over Buckingham Palace. After the parade the Queen and other members of the family appeared briefly n the palace balcony.

The Nepalese government has said it will not make any further investigations into Crown Prince Dipendra’s motive for killing his family.

June 17th

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden returned home after having spent two months at the marineship HMS Carlskrona. He came on board at Muscat, Oman, on April 28th. His parents and sisters welcomed him. Carl Philip said he was very happy to be at home again, although he loved the time he spent on board.

According to a poll by the Dutch royal tv-program “Van Koninklijke Huize” Máxima Zorreguieta 26% mention her the most popular member of the Royal House of the Netherlands (although according to me she will not be a member until her weddingday). Queen Beatrix finished in second place with 24%, while Princess Margriet got 18% of the votes. With 37% Prince Claus still leads the popular male royals list, followed by Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje with 30%.

June 18th

The only two-month-old National Movement for Simeon II has won the Bulgarian elections on Sunday with an overwhelming majority. The party won 43,05% of the votes and thus 120 of the 240 seats in the Bulgarian parliament, which was just one seat short of sealing an absolute majority in parliament. The party who has former King Simeon II of Bulgaria, who ruled the county as a boy king between 1943 and 1946, as one of its leaders – although he officially didn’t run for parliament – promised to transform Bulgaria in 800 days with a radical liberal reform program to attract foreign investment, slash taxes and root out corruption. The party now will begin negotiations on a coalition government. King Simeon has said that he supports a broad coalition government with those who share his priorities. It is said it is likely that King Simeon remains behind the scene and will choose to remain without an official position. Under Bulgarian law, however, he could become prime minister if he wants.

In Sweden the celebration of the 25th wedding anniversary of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia started this afternoon with a boat trip at the Mälär lake to the Vikingtown of Birka. The boat trip ended in Mariefred and the guests were walking or driven to their hotels nearby. In the evening a huge ball with the theme renaissance/Middle Ages was held at Gripsholm Castle. The about 120 invited guests wore historical inspired costumes. Among the guests were the Norwegian Royal Family, Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark (who had arrived with the royal ship the Dannebrog earlier today), Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje with his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Felipe Prince of Asturias, Prince Albert of Monaco, Archduke Lorenz of Austria, Princess Benedikte of Denmark with her husband Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, former King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece. Prince Carl Philip of Sweden was there also, but was hiding for the photographers.

Two photographers cleared of contributing to Princess Diana’s death have been placed under investigation on charges of invading the privacy of Dodi Fayed. The case stems from a complaint by Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi’s father, said a lawyer for the photographers. Al Fayed contends the two men invaded his son’s privacy when they photographed him on August 31, 1997, the night of the fatal crash. The two photographers, Serge Benhamou and Laszlo Veres, were among nine photographers and one motorcyclist cleared in September 1999 – and on appeal last October – of causing the three deaths. Judge Herve Stephan ruled that alcohol, drugs and excessive speed – all on the part of the driver – had caused the crash, and said that the photographers’ behaviour, while severely criticised by witnesses, did not constitute a crime under French law. But Judge Stephan never explored the charge of invading privacy, and the appeals court ruled that the charge should be investigated. The case involves only pictures of Dodi Fayed because of all the victims, his family is the only one that has made the claim.

June 19th

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden visited Trosa. Their guests took the boat from Östra Ågatan and visited the Askö marine laboratory. The visit was a little bit overshadowed by the accident of Máxima Zorreguieta, the fiancée of Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje. She slipped at the wet rocks and was taken to hospital in Stockholm. She turned out to have broken her leg just above her right ankle. In the evening she, Willem-Alexander and Queen Beatrix returned to the Netherlands by plane, missing the last events of that day. In the late afternoon King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia received a tribute outside the Palace. In the evening a huge final concert took place in the garden of the Drottningholm Palace, for which also the people could buy tickets. About 300 guests were invited. Also King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain were attending the gala concert in which Swedish top artists and Spice Girl Mel C. performed.

June 21st

In a moving ceremony at the once notorious Villa Pauly yesterday afternoon, Grand Duke Henri presented his father Grand Duke Jean with the Croix de la Résistance. The order of merit of the Conseil national de la Résistance CNR is normally only given posthumously, but for members of the grandducal family there sometimes was made an exception. Also Grand Duchess Charlotte and her husband Prince Felix once received this order of merit. Grand Duke Jean said that it was a great honour to receive the medal.

June 22nd

This afternoon Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta visited the cabinet council and met the members of the Dutch Cabinet. Prime Minister Wim Kok and Vice-Prime Ministers Els Borst and Annemarie Jorritsma explained to the couple how the cabinet council works. On July 3rd the couple will visit the Senate and the Second Chamber, who on that day meet in the Ridderzaal in The Hague to discuss the Act of Consent for the wedding. Yesterday it was made known that mayor Job Cohen will solemnize the civil wedding of Willem-Alexander and Máxima.

Pieter van Vollenhoven left the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital in Amsterdam after doctors removed some skin tissue yesterday. The skin tissue will be examined further. Lately it was found out the husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands has a kind of skin cancer.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will mark her Golden Jubilee next summer with a three-month-tour of the United Kingdom. There will be visits to all the countries and regions of the United Kingdom between May 1st and August 5th. The focal point of the celebrations will be a four-day holiday weekend from June 1st to June 4th, as was already announced earlier.

June 23rd

Prince Bernhard of Baden married Stephanie Kaul in a religious ceremony at Salem Castle. Yesterday the civil marriage also took place at Salem Castle. One of the witnesses was Marie Louise, Bernhard’s elder sister. Among the about 200 guests were Queen Sofia of Spain, King Constantinos of Greece, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxemburg, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxemburg, Prince Ernst August and Princess Caroline of Hannover, Duke Max Emanuel in Bavaria, Duke Carl of Württemberg and Landgrave Moritz of Hessen. After the wedding the couple left for a short honeymoon. The destination remained a secret till the end, even to the bride.

Already yesterday afternoon Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxemburg visited the town of Esch where they were received by many enthusiastic people. Back in Luxemburg City the festal changing of the guards in front of the grand-ducal palace took place. There was lots of music in the streets the whole evening. At 22:00 a torch-light procession to the Place Guillaume and thereafter also a military parade took place, the last also passed the stand with the grand-ducal family. The evening ended with the traditional huge fireworks above the city. This morning a military parade in presence of Grand Duke Henri was held and the new banner of the Luxemburg army with the monogram of Grand Duke Henri was shown. Afterwards the Grand Duke, Grand Duchess and their children Alexandra and Sébastien attended the “Te Deum” at the cathedral of Our Lady. Concerts and animation went on in the streets until the evening.

Máxima Zorreguieta had surgery on her right ankle this morning at the Haagse Rode Kruis Hospital after an examination showed the ankle was broken on two places. A metal plate was attached to her ankle with screws. Most likely the plaster around the ankle can be removed in eight weeks. In the afternoon she returned to Palace Huis ten Bosch, where she lives at the moment.

June 25th

The King of Swaziland has declared a state of emergency that allows him to jail people who make fun of him. It also eliminates bail for many crimes and prevents newspapers from challenging publishing bans. The government of King Mswati III issued the decree without giving an explanation for the move. King Mswati III has come under increasing criticism over the past year for his authoritarian rule and muzzling of the press.

June 26th

300 Years after the start of the building of the New Palace in Schleissheim near München, Germany, the palace can be seen in its full glory again. After restoration the splendid residence of Elector Max Emanuel of Bavaria can be visited again.

Knud Count Holstein-Ledreborg, husband of Princess Marie Gabrielle of Luxembourg (a sister of Grand Duke Jean), died yesterday evening after a period of illness at the age of 81. The burial service is scheduled for June 30th at the chapel of the Ledreborg Castle. Until 1990, when he handed over the family estate to his daughter Silvia, he was the owner of one of Denmark’s most beautiful and famous castles, Ledreborg.

Some of the most splendid pieces of art from the princely collections of Liechtenstein will return to Vienna, Austria, after 58 years. They will be shown at a private museum at the baroque Liechtenstein Garden Palace in Vienna from Easter 2003. At the beginning of 1945 the collection was transferred to Vaduz Castle Liechtenstein because of the danger at the end of World War II. Since they were only shown at two exhibitions.

Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje has been interviewed about the Srebrenica-drama by the Dutch Institute for War Documentation. It is said he was interviewed because he visited the Dutch troops (Dutchbat) in Zagreb, Croatia, just before and after the drama that took place in 1995 and has been talking to soldiers at that time. The Institute researches the fall of Srebrenica in which thousands of Muslims were killed by the Serbians when they occupied the town. The Dutchbat, working for the United Nations, were in Srebrenica to protect the town for the Serbs.

The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles kissed eachother in public for the very first time. Camilla Parker Bowles officially received the Prince as he arrived at a charity reception at London’s Somerset House. The Prince kissed her on both cheeks.

June 27th

About 2100 veteran military men and former members of the Dutch resistance paid a tribute to Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in the garden of Soestdijk Palace, on the occasion of his 90th birthday on June 29th. From a jeep the Prince inspected them. Also Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje was present. Prince Bernhard told he said five years ago that he hoped to make it to this year’s tribute and is happy he really made it. He has told his doctors he wants to go on another five years and that he thinks they want to help him with that.

June 28th

The Government Information Service says in the skin tissue from Pieter van Vollenhoven that was removed one week ago no spread of cancer cells was found. The doctors call the prognosis hopeful.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain spent £ 3m less of taxpayers’s money in 2000/01 than in the previous year, the Royal Family’s first-ever annual spending review shows. The Queen spent £ 35m of tax income during the period. The large reduction mainly reflected a cut in travel expenditure from £ 8,6m to £ 5,4m since the 1999-2000 period.

Queen Modjadji V of the Bolobedu, born in the forests of Ga-Modjadji, South Africa, died in hospital in Pietersburg today, aged 64. She succeeded her mother as the Rain Queen in 1982. She belonged to a dynasty of female rulers (modjadji) who were entrusted with the knowledge of the secret rituals of rainmaking. The matriarchal dynasty commanded respect among even its more martial neighbours, the Zulus and the Swazis. Queen Modjadji V had two daughters, but none of them survived their mother.

June 29th

Her personal secretary announced that Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parma, eldest daughter of the Duke of Parma and Princess Irene of the Netherlands, and her boyfriend Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn got married in a civil ceremony in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on June 19th. The wedding was attended by members of their families and some friends. The religious wedding will take place later this year, but a date hasn’t been revealed yet.

In a television interview on the occasion of his 90th birthday Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands says he hopes to live another five years. He has still so much to do and he wants to finish things. He has an enormous desire to survive. He admits he is probably the only Dutch who likes to go to hospital, because he knows they treat him well and he gets a few days rest. He still likes to work and thinks he would become crazy if he couldn’t work anymore. However he says he is not afraid of the death. About his wife Princess Juliana, he said that there is taken care of her 24 hours a day by two women. The doctor visits her regularly. She watches television a lot and sometimes goes out. The last time she was doing allright was during the journey to Africa with children and grandchildren on their 60th wedding anniversary. After she broke her hip, it all went worse quickly. Her memory is ‘zero’ and sometimes she doesn’t recognise people anymore. He further talked about the Lockheed affair and says he has a clean conscience. He did something with the best intentions and did something very stupid, which was quite naief.

A £ 3m fountain in memory of Diana Princess of Wales is to be built in Hyde Park, the British government has announced. The fountain is due to be completed by the summer of 2003, after a design competition open to water engineers, architects, artists and ecologists. It will not include a statue or any figurative representation of the late Princess. The fountain will be paid for by public funds, partly met by the sale of official commemorative coins. The site has been chosen after advice from a committee headed by Princess Diana’s close friend Rosa Monckton. The group included landscape designers, architects and art experts.

June 30th

Today Princess Arriana zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg married Dixon Boardman, 30 years her senior, at the Roman Catholic Church de la Encarnación in Marbella, Spain. Her dress was designed by Emmanuel Ungaro. Several royals and nobles attended the wedding. Arriana is the daughter of Prince Alfonso and his second wife, actress Jackie Lane.

July 1st

Despite of her pregnancy Princess Mathilde of Belgium successfully passed her second license psychology exams at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve.

July 2nd

The civil wedding of Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta will take place at the Beurs van Berlage. The religious wedding will take place afterwards at the Nieuwe Kerk also in Amsterdam. It will be the first marriage ever solemnized at the Beurs van Berlage. In the Nieuwe Kerk no marriages have been celebrated anymore since about 50 years.

The Government Information Service denies speculations that Princess Juliana of the Netherlands has the Alzheimer Disease. They say she suffers from a serious form of loss of memory, that occures more often by elder people.

July 3rd

In the Ridderzaal in The Hague the States General in a joint session of the First and Second Chamber has given consent to the marriage of Willem- Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta. 15 of the 225 members voted against the wedding and the Socialist Party (7 members) didn’t even appear at the session, as they are against the monarchy. Most of the members who didn’t give their consent object to the past of Máxima’s father. At the Binnenhof about 60 people demonstrated against the quick way Máxima was granted the Dutch nationality. They have tried for years to get their partner to the Netherlands. Later in the afternoon Willem-Alexander and Máxima met the members of the First and Second Chamber in the Ridderzaal. Outside about 200 people cheered the couple loudly. In a statement Prime Minister Wim Kok repeated that it will not be decided if Máxima becomes a Queen or just a princess until Willem-Alexander ascends the Dutch throne. He however expects that she will become a Queen.

The Sultan of Malaysia has bought the most expensive house ever sold in Britain for a staggering £70 million. Crown Prince Abdullah inspected his palatial 30 bedroom, 24 bathroom home, in Windlesham, Surrey, for the first time on Monday. The mansion has five swimming pools, a shooting gallery, squash courts, gym, bowling alley, cinema and floodlit tennis courts with underfloor heating. It will cost an estimated £1 million a year to maintain. The Sultan is a polo fanatic and is thought to have bought the property because his own team often competes at the nearby Queen’s Guard Polo Club, in Windsor, Berkshire. He has played polo with his friend the Prince of Wales. The Sultan will use Updown Court for entertaining on trips to the UK.

Queen Komal of Nepal was discharged from hospital last week after treatment for bullet wounds she suffered at the royal massacre one month ago. Meanwhile the Royal Palace has fired the four bodyguards and two orderlies who served in the special division that protects the royal family.

July 4th

Today Jorge Zorreguieta, the father of Máxima, appeared for a thruth commission that researches the disappearance of 2000 people during the Videla regime. The mother of Lidia Amigo, the daughter of Zorreguieta’s predecessor as undersecretary of agriculture, who was kidnapped and disappeared in 1976, accuses Jorge Zorreguieta that he hasn’t done anything to save the life of her daughter. At the court of justice in La Plata, Argentina, Jorge Zorreguieta says he knew of the disappearance and told he remembers that he has called a military man to get information, but that man couldn’t help him further. He can’t remember anymore if he promised to help with the search for Lidia Amigo.

A Russian sculptor has made a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales to be erected in Moscow. Zurab Tsereteli, president of the Russian Academy of Art, sculpted the bronze statue portraying Diana standing in a ruffled evening gown and tiara. The statue is to be installed in a modern art museum in central Moscow later this month.

In Edinburg Anne The Princess Royal was installed as a Royal Lady of the Thistle in recognition of her work in flying the royal standard north of the border. Senior royals, including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales – going under his Scottish title of the Duke of Rothesay – also took part in the ceremony at a packed St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile. The Princess Royal and her husband Commander Tim Laurence arrived at the cathedral side by side after making the five-minute journey by car from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the Royal Family is staying this week. It is the first time the couple have appeared in public before the cameras since news of an alleged rift was reported. The Princess has so far refused to comment on rumours that she and her husband, who married in December 1992, were leading separate lives.

July 5th

The Chamber has decided Prince Laurent of Belgium gets a yearly donation of about $ 300.000 starting on July 1st.

July 6th

The British royal family has reached agreement among themselves on new rules for royals who run their own business, Buckingham Palace has said. Guidelines will be made public next week following an inquiry by the Lord Chamberlain, Lord Luce. The palace would not comment on alleged disagreements during the inquiry.

The Queen has given permission for the first time for tourists to visit her garden during tours of Buckingham Palace. Paying visitors will be able to take the 450 metre walk along the south side of the royal garden, described as a “walled oasis in central London”. From there visitors can see the 19th century lake and the previously unseen west side of the Palace. The garden will be open as part of the annual summer opening of the Palace, which begins next month. The opening of the garden follows the decision to allow visitors to see the Palace ballroom, which is 37.5m long and 18m wide. It opened last year. The Palace opens to the public from 4 August to 30 September.

Forza Italia, the party of Silvio Berlusconi, has introduced a bill to the Italian Senate that would enable the royal family to return to Italy. They aim at the abolishing of the 1946 article in the Constitution. A similar bill failed in 1997.

July 7th

Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands seems to have a girlfriend. Her full name is Mabel Martine Wisse Smit. After a report in the newspaper De Volkskrant, the Government Information Service said she belongs to the close circle of friends of the Prince, which as the Dutch know from other GIS statements is more or less a confirmation of the relationship. The news was confirmed by friends of Mabel Wisse Smit to De Volkskrant. Mabel Wisse Smit was born in Pijnacker, The Netherlands, on August 11, 1968. She studied political science at university in Amsterdam. Afterwards she worked for the United Nations in New York. She now is the Executive Director of the Open Society Institute in Brussels, Belgium – a representative office of the Soros Foundations Network – where she is linked to already since the foundation of the institute in 1997. Mabel Wisse Smit is also involved in the organisations War Child and Press Now. One of her specialities are donor partnerships and she also is specialised on the Balkan area (Albania, Bosnia, Yugoslavia). She speaks Dutch, English, French and Spanish. She and Prince Johan Friso know each other already for a while, but it is said the relationship started about one year ago. Mabel Wisse Smit is a good friend of Laurentien, the wife of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, and was one of the members of the bridal staff at their wedding last May. She lives in Amsterdam.

In an interview the Prince of Wales told the Daily Mail when he was asked about his plans “you can’t be certain about anything. I don’t know.” His comments may be interpreted as a sign that marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles is not now inconceivable. St James’s Palace said the interview didn’t amount to a statement about the future plans of the couple.

Senior members of the British Royal Family have approved guidelines for royals working in private business. Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales ae anxious to ensure royal status is not exploited. Royals are to be allowed to undertake official engagements alongside – but separately from – professional work. The guidelines follow a review by a palace committee led by the head of the Royal Household, Lord Luce.

July 8th

The medieval Transylvanian city of Sighisoara has won the right to host a Dracula Land themepark. Sighisoara beat rival Romanian cities to host the project that is expected to be completed in 2003. Sighisoara is the birthplace of 15th century Prince Vlad the Impaler, said to have inspired the mythical bloodsucking vampire’s tales.

July 9th

King Letsie III of Lesotho and his wife Queen Karabo, who married in February 2000, expect their first child in October.

The first official guestlist for the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby has been published by the Norwegian court. On the list: Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra of Denmark (only attending on Thursday and Friday), Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg with their children, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden with their children, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Willem-Alexander Prince of Oranje and Máxima Zorreguieta, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. It is expected a more complete guestlist will be published later.

July 10th

Maria del Carmen Cerruti Zorreguieta visited her daughter Máxima this weekend. She left the Netherlands today. She among others paid a visit to Amsterdam.

July 11th

Crown Princess Masako of Japan has carried out a shinto ritual yesterday that has to provide a painless delivery of the baby she expects in November/ December.

July 12th

King Simeon II of Bulgaria has been named as the country’s next prime minister. He will form Bulgaria’s next government after his party won a landslide victory in last month’s elections. The decision was announced by the party’s floor leader in parliament, Plamen Panayotov, after a meeting with President Petar Stoyanov. “With great emotion but with my typical sense of responsibility, and having in mind the trust that the voters gave me on June 17, I accept this proposal,” Simeon said after his party named him to be the next premier. Mr Stoyanov said he would hand Simeon a mandate to form a new government on Sunday, and the former monarch would have another week to come up with a new Cabinet. The chairman of parliament, Ognyan Gerdzhikov, said he would call an extraordinary session on July 24 to vote in the new Cabinet.

The Yugoslav government has allowed the royal Karadjordjevic family to move back into their ancestral palaces after decades of exile. The White Palace (Beli Dvor) and the Old Palace (Stari Dvor) in Belgrade were handed over for use to Crown Prince Aleksandar and his family. The move by Yugoslavia’s new pro-democracy authorities is part of their promise to restore the rights of the royal family, which was banned from the country by the Communists when they took power after the Second World War. Crown Prince Alexander will now establish his home in the Palace and work in the best interests of all the people regardless of their ethnicity or religion.

King Michael of Romania and his wife Anne will return to Romania and spend the Summer there. They might be joined later on by some of their grandchildren.

July 13th

Tuesday in the late afternoon, on the Crown Prince’s 56th birthday, a reception will be held at the Palace of the Federation in Belgrado, Yugoslavia, where a decision by the Federal Government granting the right to use the Dedinje Palace Complex will be presented to HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Yugoslavia. The Crown Prince and his wife Katherine will arrive at Belgrado airport halfway the afternoon.

Society jeweller Jan Havlik is accused of handling a model dhow, a diamond daffodil motif and a bangle and a pair of earrings from the estate of Diana Princess of Wales. He was bailed to appear before the magistrates next Wednesday.

July 14th

Yesterday Elvire Pasté de Rochefort confirmed the end of her engagement to Hereditary Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg to the Danish press. She said the press has it all wrong about the money issue in the wedding-contract and inferred that the situation was the other way around. Today Gustav confirmed the rupture but won’t comment on the reason for breaking up. “We are still on speaking terms, but it is time to move on.” A short statement from both families will be released on Monday through the law firm Osborne Clarke.

The Princess Royal is under pressure from human rights campaigners to reveal if she, as a member of the International Olympic Committee, voted for Beijing to host the 2008 Olympic Games. The Chinese capital stormed to victory in an IOC vote yesterday. The Princess Royal voted for Great Britain but is is not known which city she voted for.

On July 19th the lawsuit against Hereditary Prince Heinrich zu Fürstenberg begins at the court of justice in Villingen. In May 2000 the police undertook a raid at his house after some Italian members of the Mafia had been arrested for dealing cocaine and heroine in Germany. The Prince is said to have bought cocaine from them and partly have it handed over to other people in the 1990s.

July 16th

Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange has written a letter to the ethical commission of the International Olympic Committee about promisses candidate chairmen made about compensations of expenses, after he had heard that in some cases promisses to delegates were made about compensations of about $ 50.000 a year. He hopes the commission will have a look at this aspect of the electoral programme. On Sunday the letter was discussed in the Olympic Parliament.

July 20th

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark arrived at the harbour of Sønderborg with the royal yacht Dannebrog. She travelled further to Gråsten Castle for a 16-day stay. In the following days the whole family, except for Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his family, will arrive too to celebrate their vacation at Gråsten Castle. Thus the tradition of Queen Ingrid to bring the entire family together during the summer will be continued.

July 21st

On the National feastday of Belgium King Albert II, Queen Paola, Queen Fabiola and Prince Laurent attended the Te Deum at the St Michiels and Ste Gudule Cathedral in Brussels. When leaving the royals were cheered and received flowers and presents from the people outside. Crown Prince Philippe Duke of Brabant went to the Te Deum in the Église Sint-Pieter in Louvain, while Princess Astrid and her husband Lorenz attended the Te Deum in the Chapel of Saint-Sang in Bois-Seigneur-Isaac. The traditional military and civil march-past took place between the Place Royale and the Palace of Justice in Brussels. Princess Mathilde didn’t take part in the celebrations. She has reduced her activities because of her pregnancy.

73 % of the Danish people think Princess Alexandra of Denmark does her job very good. With this result she beats Crown Prince Frederik for the first time as the most popular member of the Danish royal family. Only 54 % thought he was doing a great job. Also Queen Margrethe II passed her son, also getting 73 %. In fourth place came Prince Joachim with 45 %, followed by Prince Henrik of whom only 19 % thinks he does a great job.

July 22nd

Last week Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark as well as Prince Henrik of Denmark took part in the World Championships Dragon sailing in Hornbaek, Denmark. Crown Prince Frederik and his team managed to come into a sensational second place in the second race on Monday, but they were disqualified because they passed a line on the wrong side. In the final rankings Crown Prince Frederik and his team came in 24th place and Prince Henrik came in 74th place. 78 Boats competed in the World Championships. The Danes were quite impressed by the achievements of their Crown Prince at his first World Championship and also Prince Henrik told the press to be very proud of his son.

Also Felipe Prince of Asturias spent the weekend sailing. He took part in the Breitling Balearic Islands regatta at Mallorca. He and his team won the three-day event topping last year’s winner, King Juan Carlos himself.

July 24th

King Simeon II of Bulgaria was officially appointed prime minister of Bulgaria by the Bulgarian parliament.

July 25th

A new official guestlist for the Norwegian wedding says also the Prince of Wales, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Prince Albert of Monaco will come to the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Højby. A Luxembourg newspaper says the grand-ducal couple of Luxembourg will also attend the wedding. Taken off the official list is Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium. Some Norwegian newspapers also mentioned the Prince of Asturias, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and King Juan Carlos of Spain as guests.

July 26th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain expressed her sympathy for those affected by the foot-and-mouth crisis on a visit to a disease-hit area in Northumberland/ She met farmers, business leaders and residents and she was surprised how people had managed to cope with the effects.

July 30th

The Duke of York has ended his 22-year career with the Royal Navy with a farewell speech on the HMS Ark Royal. He addressed 600 servicemen and women in a traditional ‘dining out’ farewell on board the aircraft carrier. He said: “For some of us this is a sad day. This is my last day serving as one of Her Majesty’s Officers”. “What I have enjoyed over the last 22 years has been the remarkable change in the way that we do our business.”

July 31st

The Queen Mother is suffering from “mild heat exhaustion” and has been advised to rest, Clarence House says. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will stand in for her mother tomorrow laying the foundation stone of a memorial to the colonial war dead in London.

Yesterday Count Alexander von Schönburg-Glauchau and his wife Irina, born Princess of Hessen, became the parents of a little girl who got the name Maria-Letitia. She was born at the Virchow Clinic in Berlin, Germany.

August 1st

The Queen Mother was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London where she had a blood transfusion for anaemia.

Yesterday Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz von Mecklenburg-Schwerin died in Hamburg-Blankenese. He will be buried in Glücksburg. Friedrich Franz was born at Schwerin Castle on April 22nd, 1910. He and his wife Karin-Elisabeth von Schaper didn’t have children. With him the Mecklenburg-Schwering family became extinct in male line. His younger brother Christian Ludwig, who died five years ago, left two daughters. Also a far cousin Woizlawa Feodora, born in 1918, who married Heinrich I prince Reuss, is still alive.

August 2nd

The Queen Mother has left hospital in the afternoon and will spend the night at Clarence House recovering. She is due to celebrate her 101st birthday on Saturday and to travel to Scotland next week for her annual stay. She hopes to be able to take part in a public appearance on Saturday to acknowledge her well-wishers.

August 3rd

The Prince of Wales had an accident during a charity polo match in Cirencester in which he was playing alongside his two sons. There was a skirmish around the goal area and the prince fell of hs horse, hitting the ground awkwardly. He was unconscious for a short while. He has been taken to a local hospital and from there by ambulance to the Cheltenham Hospital, where he will stay the night.

Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme and her husband Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn will celebrate their religious wedding at the 15th-century Sainte-Marie Cathedral in Auch, France, on September 22nd. In the beginning of July the couple bought Bartas Castle in Saint-Georges, that once belonged to the poet Saluste-du-Bartas. The couple already married civilly on June 19th in the Hotel The Grand in Amsterdam.

August 4th

Security surrounding the Queen Mother’s birthday celebrations were stepped up following a car bomb attack in Ealing yesterday that is being blamed on dissident Irish republican groups. Dedicated fans who spent the night outside Clarence House were among the first to celebrate the Queen Mother’s 101st birthday. In the morning the Queen Mother greeted around 7000 well-wishers outside Clarence House. She walked out using two sticks and was followed by her corgies. The Band of the Grenadier Guards marched past playing Happy Birthday. Tens of children presented balloons, drawings and flowers to the Queen Mother, before she was driven in a buggy to meet her well-wishers gathered outside. At noon the Queen Mother returned home while the Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute. Later the Queen Mother came outside again to see the march-past by the King’s troops, and was joined by several members of the family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret (in a wheelchair), Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew with his daughters, Princess Anne with Tim Laurence and her children Peter and Zara, Lady Sarah Chatto with husband and children, and the Prince of Wales. The last one had been discharged from hospital early in the morning and said that everything was allright with him. At night the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret visited a ballet at the Royal Opera House in London, watching a performance of “The Dream and A Month in the Country”. A crowd cheered and sang Happy Birthday as the Queen Mother stepped out of her car in front of the Royal Opera House. Tomorrow Queen Elizabeth II will travel to Balmoral for her summer holidays. The Queen Mother will leave for her castle in Scotland on Monday.

The British government announced that the Queen Mother will be commemorated with awards for care for the elderly. People who work with elderly people, like doctors and nurses, will be chosen for Queen Mother Awards for efforts to help pensioners return home after a time in hospital. The first cash awards will be made to teams in July 2002.

August 8th

The Prince of Oranje surprised the people in Sneek by taking his fiancee Máxima Zorreguieta with him on an official visit, something that had only been officially told to the authorities in Sneek the day before, despite rumours. The couple arrived at 11:00 in the morning on the royal yacht De Groene Draeck with Willem-Alexander steering, and were welcomed at the Kolmeersland S – an island in a lake near Sneek – by burgomaster Hartkamp and the provincial governor. Willem-Alexander and Máxima visited the sportscentre of the 150 year old Royal Watersports Union Sneek. Afterwards they sailed to the startship with the Frisian States yacht “Friso” followed by tens of small and big boats. Unfortunately because of the heavy wind the Prince of Oranje wasn’t able to start the annual races on the final day of the Sneekweek. After the lunch on the startship the couple made an extra trip passing the thousands of people on the side of the water.

August 11th

The assets of Prince Gefri Bolkiah of Brunei are being sold to pay off his creditors. He has been accused of appropriating billions from the public purse. The sale includes 8.500 slabs of marble, a jumbo jet simulator, two fire engines, hundreds of chandeliers, two gold-plated toilet paper holders, Louis XIV chairs and forklift trucks.

August 13th

The Countess of Paris celebrated her 90th birthday at Eu Castle surrounded by almost all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Also Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg attended the mass and the party.

August 14th

Prince Claus of the Netherlands has been admitted to the Amsterdam Medical Centre today. His right kidney doesn’t function well, which has led to a worsening physical condition. In May the left kidney of the prince has been removed. The admission at the AMC aims to keep the right kidney functioning.

August 15th

In his speech on the National Feastday of Liechtenstein Prince Hans Adam II said that after almost 10 years the struggle about the new constitution finally has come to an end. The Princely House agrees with the newest Constitution Proposal of March 1st, 2001, after many negotiations with the government and members of the Parliament. Now the Parliament needs to give his approval, and also the people of Liechtenstein will be able to vote in a referendum. The Prince also said that a rejection of the Constitution could lead to a huge internal political crisis.

During excavations for the enlargement of the museum Tower of David in Jerusalem the Israelian archeologist John Seligman has found walls that might belong to the Palace of King Herodes. The palace was destroyed by the Romans more than 2000 years ago. Now the stones will be examined by researchers.

August 16th

American archeologists have found a huge burial monument in Mongolia. The walls are more than 3 kilometers long and four meters high. In the complex the graves of Mongol nobles were found. It is thought it might be the burial place of Dzenghis Khan, the 13th century founder of the Mongol Empire. He conquered a huge area that stretched out from Eastern Europe to China. After his death in 1227 he was buried on a secret place and all workmen were killed after the burial.

August 17th

Paul Burrell, the Princess of Wales’s former butler, appeared before the Magistrates in Central London today. He was charged with three accounts of theft of articles belonging to the Princess, the Prince of Wales and Prince William. He is accused of stealing 342 items including letters, photographs, nightwear, CDs and a writing desk, that were allegedly stolen on or before June 30th, 1998 from Kensington Palace. Paul Burrell has denied stealing things and said they were given to him. He was told to return to court again in October.

August 19th

Prince William of Great Britain’s decision to study at St Andrews University has resulted in every place being filled for the first time in 20 years. Prince William is due to arrive there next month to begin his History of Art course.

Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby celebrated her 28th birthday. After a service at the chapel of the Royal Palace, she and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway celebrated the birthday at home. Family and friends came to congratulate Mette-Marit, among them Princess Märtha Louise and her boyfriend Ari Behn.

August 22nd

According to a poll by ICM for the newspaper the Guardian about 43 % of the British public want the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles to marry. 32 % is against a marriage. ICM interviewed 1004 adults, aged 18 and over, across the country.

August 25th

The fairytale wedding between Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby took place in Oslo, Norway, today.

August 27th

After four years of speculations about an eventual relationship between Felipe Prince of Asturias and Norwegian model Eva Sannum the Spanish Government Information Service made an announcement saying: “It is normal that two friends appear in public together and let themselves being photographed on a wedding”. The announcement came after Felipe and Eva were photographed together on the wedding ball of Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby last Saturday.

August 28th

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway weren’t on board of the royal yacht K/S Norge when it arrived in Denmark the day after the wedding. Today it was found out where they stayed yesterday. Haakon and Mette-Marit were spotted at the Steigenberger Park Allee Hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany, where they spent the night in a doubleroom, as there was no suite available for them. They have flown to New York now.

August 29th

Prince Claus of the Netherlands left hospital this morning. The doctors are satisfied about his health. However the Prince will not be present at Prince’s Day on the third Tuesday of September.

August 30th

From today on the website of the Dutch Royal Family a virtual tour throught Palace Huis ten Bosch is possible. You can view the official rooms. The start coincides with the opening of the Orange Hall by Queen Beatrix this afternoon.

The Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure writes that Princess Lilian of Belgium, widow of King Leopold III, is very ill and suffers from an incurable heart disease. The newspapers quotes court circles. It is said her health got worse quickly over the past few days and an American cardiologist should have been called to Argenteuil Castle. Princess Lilian hasn’t been seen in public anymore recently.

One of the most valuable jewelry collections of the world can be seen in New Delhi since yesterday. It is the first time the 18th to the 20th century jewelry of the Indian princely dynasty of Nizam can be seen. It exists of about 200 items among them rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. The most valuable item in the collection is a more than 184 carat diamond, one of the biggest in the world.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway were spotted eating at a French bistro in New York. It is said they only stayed one night in New York at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and then flew to the Caribean.

September 1st

Princess Désirée zu Schaumburg-Lippe married Danish noble Michael Iuel today at Glesborg Church in Denmark today. He is the youngest son of Niels Iuel (1924-2001) and Jonkvrouwe Sylvia van Lennep (1932-). Among the 180 guests were Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark, Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie of Rosenborg.

September 2nd

Yesterday the Belgian newspaper De Standaard wrote Crown Princess Mathilde of Belgium is expecting twins. They base the story on the inquiry of the Cabinet of Justice about the subject. They say that in case of twins the first born will be the heir to the throne. The Royal Palace denies having given the order to research this. Today the newspaper La Derniere Heure quotes Count Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz, father of Mathilde, saying the news is double nonsense.

September 4th

The Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta started their Happy Entrances tour through The Netherlands in the province of North Brabant. In the morning their helicopter landed in Breda, where the tour started at the Castle of Breda with a lecture about municipal co-operation. Thereafter they were driven to the church where several of the Prince’s ancestors were buried and made a walk through the town. After Breda they travelled to Tilburg where the subject was young, flashing and quick. In ‘s-Hertogenbosch they took the boat through the town. Finally they went by train to Eindhoven, where they watched art at the design academy. All together about 60.000 people stood along the route and the couple got hundreds of nice presents, including a Máxima barbie doll.

September 5th

Today King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden were paying a visit to the wildlife bird reserve in Varberg, where they were greeted by about 500 people. At the start of the visit a 16-year-old boy threw a strawberry cake into the face of the King. The boy immediately was arrested by the bodyguards. The king made light of the incident, laughing and even patting the boy on the back asking if he was OK after the rough treatment he got from bodyguards. After the King cleaned his face and changed clothes the programm continued.

September 8th

A competition is to be held to decide the design of the memorial fountain for Diana Princess of Wales, which is to be built in Hyde Park in London. It will be unveiled in 2003. The Royal Parks Agency says it is looking for a work of art which is fresh and imaginative.

September 9th

Today the office of King Konstantinos II of Greece announced that Princess Alexia of Greece and her husband Carlos Morales Quintana expect their first child in late February. The King and Queen Anne Marie say they are eagerly looking forward to the birth of their fourth grandchild.

The Queen Mother has attended a service at Crathie Church near Balmoral, joined by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Recently her health has been the subject of much speculation, since she was diagnosed as suffering from anaemia shortly before her 101st birthday. Concern mounted when the Prince of Wales cancelled a trip to Jordan with Camilla Parker Bowles last week. Last week there even were some rumours that she had died.

Yesterday Alexandra-Nadejda Chrobok, daughter of Princess Maria-Luisa of Bulgaria and Bronislaw Chrobok, married Jorge Champalimaud Raposo de Magalhães at the Church of St António in Estoril, Portugal. Among the guests were the Duke and Duchess of Bragança. Her father led Alexandra to the altar.

September 10th

In Sakkara, Egypt, Japanese archeologists have discovered a sepulchral chamber with fragments of at least 15 statues. One of them, a sphinx figure sitting between two lion’s paws, bears the name of Pharaoh Cheops. It is the first proof of a Cheops-culture during the 26th dynasty (2620-2580 BC).

The Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta paid their second visit of acquaintance today. They visited Amsterdam and were received by burgomaster Job Cohen at the town hall while some thousands of people cheered them. Geert Mak, a writer, gave a lecture called “Bird’s-eye view above Amsterdam” about Amsterdam’s history. Afterwards the couple visited the Hollandsche Schouwburg, the theatre from where in World War II ten thousands of Jews were taken to the Dutch transit camp Westerbork. Máxima Zorreguieta was very moved. From there an historical tram took the couple through town to the building of the Nederlandsche Bank. On their way they visited an old people’s home, a children’s creche and a market. The day ended with a circular trip by boat through the canals of Amsterdam.

September 11th

Eight small marble statues are stolen from the tomb of Eurydice, grandmother of Alexander the Great, who died in 365 BC. The statues are women’s figures, flowers and sphinxes.

The fountain pen used by King Edward VIII of Great Britain to sign away his life as King has fetched £5,750 at auction. An anonymous bidder put in the final offer by telephone to Bonhams & Brooks in Knightsbridge, London. The pen, a Waterman’s “Ideal-Desk Model”, was still in its original box. Edward’s signature on the Instrument of Abdication on December 10, 1936, sealed the end of his 325-day reign, freeing him to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson. Also sold at the auction was a collection of seven issues of the Daily Mirror from the last few days of the abdication crisis of 1936. Bundled with an Edward VIII souvenir book, they went for £51.75 to an anonymous buyer.

September 12th

After the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington yesterday many heads of state sent their condolences to the USA. Among them were Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Harald V of Norway and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. The King and Queen of Sweden, Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Lilian today attended a special tribute for the victims at the Swedish Parliament. In the evening Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Henrik attended a memorial service at Copenhagen Cathedral.

Yesterday the Duchess of York was on her way to the World Trade Center to attend a breakfast meeting of her charity organisation “Chances for Children” on the 101st floor of the WTC when the first airplane hit one of the towers. Her cab was stuck in a traffic jam in Manhattan. The Duke of York was on his way to Atlanta when his airplane returned to London. King Abdullah II of Jordan was on his way to the USA, where he was going to speak President Bush about the situation in the Middle East, but returned to Jordan after hearing from the tragedy. Yesterday afternoon the Norwegian royal court confirmed that Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit had travelled to New York for their honeymoon, but that they were elsewhere in the USA now on a quiet place far from the attacked places.

Because of the attacks in the USA yesterday the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta cancelled their visits to the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen today and tomorrow. Also Princess Alexandra of Denmark cancelled a visit to Bosnia for the Danish Red Cross.

September 13th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain ordered a special Changing of the Guards ceremony at 11:30am at Buckingham Palace today in honour of the victims of the US tragedy. A military band played the US national anthem followed by a two-minute silence and sombre music. The Queen was represented by the Duke of York. Also the US ambassador attended, while more people than usual stood in front of the gates of the palace to pay tribute to the victims. King Harald V, Queen Sonja and Princess Märtha Louise of Norway attended a memorial service in Oslo Cathedral. The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet today said that Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit are safe at Montauk, Long Island, together with Mette-Marit’s son Marius, who must have travelled to them later on as he didn’t join them in the first days of the honeymoon.

September 14th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain broke off from her holiday in Scotland to attend a special service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London at noon for relatives and friends of the victims of the US attacks. The very emotional service was also attended by the Duke of Edinburgh, who read a lesson, and the Prince of Wales. Thousands came to the cathedral to express their solidarity and pain.

September 15th

The Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta attended a memorial service for the victims of the US attack at the Dom Church in Utrecht this evening.

September 16th

The Duke and Duchess of York and their daughters have visited the American embassy in London to pay their respects to the victims of the terror attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. They were accompanied by the American Ambassador William Farish and his wife Sarah. The Duke and Duchess signed the book of condolence and then laid bouquets at the Roosevelt Memorial, pausing to talk with the Ambassador while other mourners looked on. Last week the Duchess has started a charity, the 911 Fund, to help counsel the children affected by the disaster.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway arrived back in Norway by airplane with the first plane from the USA to Oslo. Yesterday already Prince Laurent of Belgium arrived back in Belgium. He was in Boston at the time of the tragedy.

September 17th

On Thursday two castles in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will be put up for auction in Berlin, Germany. One castle is in Vollratsruhe, the other one is Ranzow Castle for which the bid will start at 595.000 DM.

September 18th

Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day) in the Netherlands was very sober this year because of the US-tragedy. This year no gala uniforms were worn and there was no music. Although Queen Beatrix, the Prince of Orange and prince Johan Friso used the Golden Carriage for their ride to the Ridderzaal in The Hague, they stopped at the US embassy for 15 seconds to pay their respect. Many people were gathered there and lots of flowers had been laid in front of the embassy. Due to his health prince Claus wasn’t there. Máxima Zorreguieta and princess Christina followed the procession through the window of the Cabinet of the Queen near the Ridderzaal and waved to their family members. Prince Constantijn, princess Laurentien, princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven were present in the Ridderzaal, where also all members of the First and the Second Chamber were present. Usually several members of some left-wing parties stay away because they are against the monarchy, but because of the US-tragedy it was decided all members would be present. After the ceremony the usual balcony scene at the Noordeinde Palace was shorter than usual.

King Harald V, Queen Sonja, crown prince Haakon, crown princess Mette-Marit and princess Märtha Louise of Norway today appeared on the balcony of the royal palace. The Royal Guard who were in Edinburgh at the time of the wedding to take part in a show, greeted the crown prince and crown princess and showed the royal family the show they performed in Edinburgh.

September 19th

The Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta continued their tour through the Dutch provinces in Gelderland. Due to the US-tragedy the couple had asked to keep the visit sober. It is said some acquaintances of Máxima Zorreguieta, who worked in New York for several years, are still missing. The couple arrived in De Klomp and from there they went to the Eusebius Church in Arnhem. Several works of art were admired before they climbed the tower where the mayors of Arnhem and Nijmegen talked with them about their cities. On their way to Zevenaar the royal bus was pelted with two eggs. The man who did it was arrested. In Zevanaar a very disputed railway was discussed. Finally they couple arrived at the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek where the story of the Battle at Arnhem in September 1944 was told and where WWII-veterans and young people were present.

The website of the Dutch Royal Family states that there will be no drives anymore at the estate of Het Loo. Hunting stays necessary to keep the balance between the various functions of Het Loo and to avoid overpopulation. The necessary shooting of wildlife will be done by individual hunters and no longer in groups or during drives.

The opening of the Parliament in Sweden took place in presence of King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, crown princess Victoria, prince Carl Philip, princess Madeleine and princess Lilian.

September 21st

Prince William accompanied the Prince of Wales on a day of visits in Paisley, Glasgow and Edinburgh. He didn’t attend Fresher’s Week at Fife university this week, which is designed to give new students a chance to get to know their way around before term officially starts. On Monday prince William will begin at St Andrews University.

One year after the serious accident near Paris Prince Guillaume of Luxemburg is home again with his family. The prince will continue his revalidation at home in Contern.

Emir Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah of Kuwait has suffered a brain haemorrhage and was flown to London for treatment at the Cromwell Hospital after King Fahd of Saudi Arabia had sent an escort hospital plane. Before leaving a source at the Kuwait hospital where the Emir was being treated said he is in stable condition. Kuwaiti television reported that the Emir was admitted to hospital today for “routine tests.” In London his condition was described as serious but stable after a period in semi-comatose state. Sheikh Jaber, 75, was not known to have any serious illnesses. He has ruled Kuwait since 1977.

September 22nd

After the civil marriage that took place in Amsterdam on June 19th, Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme, eldest daughter of the Duke of Parma and Princess Irene of the Netherlands, married Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn at the Sainte-Marie Cathedral in Auch, France. The procession left from Bartas Castle, the new residence of the couple, to the cathedral, where the ceremony took place at 10:30 conducted by the archbishop of Auch, Monseigneur Fréchard, assisted by Monseigneur Baehr, former bishop of Rotterdam. Margarita arrived at the cathedral in a blue Rolls Royce. When leaving the cathedral bride and groom were waited for by tens of guests who formed a lane of honour and threw rice and rose-leafs to the couple. In the beginning of the afternoon the couple invited their 200 guests for a reception at the cultural centre Cuzin in Auch. Later in the afternoon and in the evening some 170 guests attended a party at Bartas Castle in Saint-Georges. Among the guests were the mother, brothers and sister of the bride. The Duke of Parma was absent officially because of traffic flight problems, as he had to come from the USA. Prince Constantijn, Princess Laurentien and Prince Pieter Christiaan came from the Netherlands.

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway celebrated her 30th birthday. The celebrations were started yesterday with a private banquet in Galleri Nygarten for the royal family and guests. Early in the afternoon today there was a boat tour and concert at the fabled home of the late Norwegian violinist Ole Bull and a walk along Bergen’s historic waterfront. There also was a royal pomp and ceremony in Haakonshallen in Bergen, where King Harald and Queen Sonja hosted a birthday party for their daughter. In the evening, Märtha Louise’s friends were invited to “afters” at Gamlehaugen, the King’s official residence outside Bergen. The palace said the birthday celebrations in Bergen were private affairs. Because of the US-tragedu the princess decided to drop the dancing after the banquets yesterday and today. Among the guests were Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, prince Laurent of Belgium, prince Nikolaos of Greece, princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth, Astrid and Sophie Ullens de Schooten, Count Flemming and Countess Ruth af Rosenborg, Princess Astrid Mrs Ferner and Johan Martin Ferner with some of their children. Also prince Ali of Jordan was invited, but had to cancel his trip. Of course Märtha Louise’s boyfriend Ari Behn was among the guests too.

September 23rd

Around 4000 people were gathered on the approach to St Andrews University to watch the arrival of Prince William of Great Britain who will start a 4-year History of Art MA (Honours) course. The Prince of Wales dropped his son off at the medieval clock tower entrance. Inside the prince was greeted by the University Principal, the President of the Students’ Association, the registrar and the warden. Today he was settling into his halls of residence and tomorrow he will start the course. “I just want to go to university and have fun” he told before his arrival at the university, “I want to go there and be an ordinary student.”

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is making a donation to the fund for victims of the US-attack. Buckingham Palace said that the Queen was deeply affected by last week’s atrocities. It is believed the unclosed donation will go to the World Trade Center Disaster Fund.

Anastasia Margriet Josephine van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven, daughter of Prince Maurits van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and his wife Marilène was baptised today at the Obrecht Church in Amsterdam in an oecumenical service. She is registered in both the protestant and the catholic church. Her godparents were Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and Caroline van Weede-van den Broek.

September 24th

A delegation from Afghanistan’s anti-Taliban Northern Alliance has left for Italy to consult with the exiled Afghan King Mohammad Zahir Shah and are expected to ask him to lead their force. The 86-year-old king has lived in Rome since he was overthrown in a 1973 coup by his nephew.

In the latest line of ‘Who Wants To Be..’ specials, the American tv-channel FOX showed ‘Who Wants To Be A Princess?’ this evening. During the two-hour pageant, 30 women from across the United States vied for the favour of a “dashing young European prince” whose identity remained a secret until he selected the winner at the end of the show. The lucky lady was presented with a one-of-a-kind three-karat diamond and platinum necklace worth $40,000. While the prince looked on from a silhouetted royal box on the stage, the hopefuls participated in a swimsuit fashion show, a display of semi-formal attire and a revealing round of questions that disclosed their personalities and inner dreams, that included questions like “What is the most erotic moment you ever had”, “Would you go to a nude beach” and “Would you have sex with a friend, if you’re boyfriend wouldn’t know about it?”. After each segment, the prince dismissed some of the ladies as he narrowed down the field. When only five remained, he stepped into the spotlight to select his winner and adorned her neck with the necklace. The prince turned out to be Italian Don Guglielmo Giovanelli Marconi, born in Rome on June 7, 1967, as son of Don Carlo Giovanelli and Maria Elettra Marconi, daughter of Marquess Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the wireless telegraphy. He picked out a girl called Tavania Gulla. Initially the program was going to focus on finding a suitable girl, bringing her to the country from which the chosen prince came, teaching her both the history of the country and the history of his family. The team involved at the beginning of the program actually travelled to Europe and interviewed several princes among them Prince Jean of France Duke of Vendôme, Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, Prince Hubertus zu Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha and Prince Bernhard of Baden. Afterwards they would visit the castles owned by these families. The second part of the program involved the history lesson. But after it was said that Germans all had Nazis ties, FOX decided to change the plans and came up with a more spectacular show which didn’t have to do anything with royalty or nobility anymore, except for the prince.

September 26th

The Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta continued their tour through the Netherlands with a visit to the Province of Utrecht. Afer visiting Kattenbroek in Amersfoort where they made a tour in a small train, they went to Huis ter Heide where they visited a location of the Week of the Landscape. At the Revius Lyceum in Doorn they were welcomed by hundreds of students and attended a short lesson in Spanish, during which the couple answered some personal questions. Then the couple cycled from Langenbroekerdijk to Wijk bij Duurstede with a stop at a fruitcultivation company.

With a tour along castles the Region of Hanover wants to give a look into the history of the Welfen family to commemorate the 371st anniversary of the birth of Electress Sophie of Hanover(1630-1714). On October 14th the Marienburg near Schulenburg, the University and the Leine Castle in Hanover, as well as Landestrost Castle in Neustadt am Rübenberge and the Welfen Castle in Hann. Münden invite people for a tour in history. Visitors of the Castles will be rewarded with a commemoration stamp.

September 27th

Just days after arriving at St Andrews University Prince William of Great Britain complained about a television crew that tried to film him at university. It has emerged the TV cameramen were working for Ardent Productions, the television firm the Earl of Wessex established in 1993. The crew says they didn’t attempt to film William and that it had been given permission to film by the press office. Prince Edward said he was unaware of the film crew’s activities, but apoligised for what happened.

September 29th

Ardent Television has agreed to hand over to Buckingham Palace all the footage shot by its crew at St Andrews University. Prince Edward has seen the material and says there are no shots of Prince William on it.

September 30th

Yesterday Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit started their tour through Norway. They start with a five-day visit to the three provinces Oppland, Sør-Trøndelag and Møre og Romsdal. They left from Oslo by royal train. Yesterday they visited Lillehammer, Ringebu, Hundorp, Kvam and Dombås in Oppland. Mette-Marit held her first speech and in Kvam 7-year-old Jonas Bø Cassel crowned crown princess Mette-Marit after he had sang a song for the couple with a group of children. On Sunday morning the couple continued their visit in Sør-Trøndelag. Mette-Marit wore a traditional dress when the couple arrived in Berkåk where they enjoyed breakfast at a youth centre. After breakfast they visited the municipality of Renneby where they visited a local market and attended the church service at Innset church. They also visited Meldal.

October 1st

21-year-old Princess Filippa zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn died when the Winnebago camper van she was travelling in with four other people collided with a maintenance lorry at the M5 near Clevedon, Somerset, Great Britain, on Sunday morning. She died instantly at the scene after sustaining horrific head injuries. Photographer Roberto Sisini died later on in hospital. The driver of the van was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries. Two women were treated for cuts, bruises and shock in hospital. They were later released. The party was believed to have been travelling back from a photo-shoot in Cornwall at the time of the accident. Filippa had just started working for the Italian advertising photographer Roberto Sisini a couple of weeks ago and this was her first trip abroad for him. Filippa was a fashion photographer and model and only last June she had married to Italian Count Vittorio Mazzeti d’Albertis. They lived in Florence. The Princess’s husband was not travelling with his wife at the time of the crash. Filippa’s mother, Countess Gabriela, told a German newspaper: “Not everyone is as lucky as to have had an angel on earth for 21 years. God lent her to us, now he has taken her back. She was taken from us at the height of her happiness.” Prince Alexander zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, father of Filippa, travelled to England to formally identify his daughter and to take her body home. The private funeral will take place in Montegemoli, Province of Pisa, Italy on Saturday. On October 12th there will be a mass in the Abbey Church of Bendorf-Sayn, the same place where she married last June.

From the first of next year King Harald will no longer be exempt from value added tax and import duties, and will pay surcharges on gasoline, cars and alcohol just like the citizenry of Norway. King Harald himself pushed for an end to the special arrangement exempting the royal house from duties, signaling the end of, among other things, the duty-free royal gas pumps at the palace and the Skaugum estate. The palace will be compensated for the offer to pay duties, with an additional $ 338,000 per year allocated for their new expenses, the daily Dagbladet reports. The duty free status has applied to the king, queen, family of the crown prince, and Princess Märtha Louise, Princess Ragnhild, and Princess Astrid, though not their children.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit carried out her first official duty as a member of the royal family, opening the Vormstad open-air childcare center in Trøndelag this morning. Children had the starring roles in the preparations for the royal visit. The local mayor and commissioner had to take a back seat as five-year-olds Susann Johansen and Fredrik Damli presented Mette-Marit with a floral bouquet and walked with the crown princess from her limousine. The children presented Mette-Marit with a gift for her son Marius, and said that they had hoped he too could have made the trip. The couple also made a small boat trip.

The grandson of Mohammed Zahir Shah says the former king of Afghanistan doesn’t intend to return to Afghanistan to rule the country himself in the event the Taliban regime is toppled, but would agree to serve as unifying figurehead. The former king has reached an agreement with the Northern Alliance group aimed at replacing the Taliban rulers. They have called for a traditional grand council of Afghan leaders.

October 2nd

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was admitted to hospital in Nairobi, Kenia, on Monday evening. He was on his way to South Africa by plane when he got breathing problems. The plane made a intermediate landing. Doctors treat him with antibiotica. He suffers from an infection of the of the bronchial tubes and will have to stay in hospital for a couple of days.

“Overijssel, surprisingly versatile” was the theme of the visit of the Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta to the province of Overijssel. The visit started in Diepenheim where the couple was told about the development of the country-side. During the walk through the small town they saw art and met some artists. In Zwolle Willem-Alexander and Máxima visited the Isala clinics with special attention for the Sophia Hospital, where Máxima was permitted to hold the 4-week-old premature born Suzanne. Further the couple visited the Scania factory. In Deventer the couple finished their visit. In the historical centre they visited the Deventer gingerbread shop and made a tour to the Berg Church in a landauer carriage. There they talked to victims of the firework disaster of Enschede in 2000 and of the foot-and-mouth disease crisis last year.

The Folketing, the Danish Parliament, was opened in presence of Queen Margrethe II, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra.

October 3rd

Amsterdam announced that there will be a huge party for 50.000 people on the evening before the wedding of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta that will be hosted by the National Orange Committee. Further the city is still looking for ideas for the festive programme and the decorations in Amsterdam. After the wedding the couple will make a ride with the Golden Carriage via Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Spui, Singelgracht, Muntplein, Rokin and the Dam square. At the balcony of the Palace at the Dam square the balcony scene will take place. The party afterwards is private.

October 8th

Today’s visit of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta went to the province of Zuid-Holland. After being received in Dordrecht, they travelled to Kinderdijk where they made a boat tour along the famous row of windmills. Then the bus took them to Schoonhoven where they visited the only school in The Netherlands where you can learn to be a goldsmith, jeweller or clock-maker. The tour was finished in Gouda, where they were led through the Sint Jans Church with its wonderful historical stained glass windows on which a lot of Dutch history can be seen. Meanwhile it was made known that the postponed visits to Groningen and Drenthe will take place on November 7th and 15th.

October 10th

The Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta visited the Province of Friesland. They arrived by airplane at the airport of the capital Leeuwarden. With the royal bus they then were taken to the Provincial House where they were greeted by the provincial governor and the mayor of Leeuwarden. Outside children from the first Máxima School in the Netherlands cheered the couple and gave Máxima flowers. At the Van Hall institute the couple helped making orange icecreams. The next stop was the 11-towns-race bridge at Gytsjerk. On the tiles of the bridge are the photos of thousands of speed skaters who once skated the 200-kilometers-long 11-towns-race, included the photo of the Prince of Orange who skated the race in 1986. Máxima was presented with a pair of Frisian wooden speed skates. In Aldtsjerk the couple looked at a demonstration of typical Frisian sports: kaatsen, skûtsjesilen (sailing) and fierljeppen (pole-jump). The rules of the games were explained by sportsmen. Afterwards a short visit to the mound of Hegebeintum was made. Back in Leeuwarden they visited a homeless centre. Finally they made a boat trip on the States Yacht through the canals of Leeuwarden to the Harmonie (cultural centre) where they were received with the song ‘De Bugel fan Looft den Heer’ sung by Rients Gratama and Maaike Schuurmans. At the reception the couple got an old photo of Queen Wilhelmina in her youth that will go to the Royal House Archive. The Prince of Orange closed with a speech to thank Friesland for the warm welcome in which he also said: “With our thoughts we are with the events in Afghanistan. Actually we all got hurt on September 11th. It is a very difficult time.”

October 11th

Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands is back home at the Soestdijk Palace after having spent a week in hospital due to an infection of his bronchial tubes.

Mayor Giuliani of New York has returned a gift of $ 10.000.000 to a Saudi Arabian prince. The money was donated to help the relatives of the victims of the US-attacks on September 11th. Giuliani didn’t like it that the prince had said to dislike the policy of the USA with relation to the problems in the Middle East.

October 12th

It was officially announced that King Mohammed VI of Morocco got engaged to 24-year-old Salma Bent El Haj Abdelhamid Bennani today at the Royal Palace in Rabat. The marriage will take place in the beginning of 2002. It is the first time that a Moroccan sovereign issues an official communiqué about his marriage and the identity of his wife. Salma Bennani is originally from Fès and works for the Omnium Nord-Africain, the main private company in Morocco – the royal family of Morocco is one of the shareholders. She is informatica engineer.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark attended a memorial service for the victims of last week’s crash of a SAS-airplane at the airport of Milan, Italy, in which 118 people died. The airplane was on its way to Copenhagen. Next to Italian and Danish victims, there were also some Norwegian and Swedish victims. King Harald V of Norway attended a memorial service at the Cathedral in Oslo, while Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Lilian attended a service at the Cathedral in Stockholm.

October 13th

The marriage of Princess Ines of Bourbon-Two Sicilies to Nobile Michele Carrelli Palombi was celebrated today at the Santa Leocadia Church in Toledo, Spain. The bride was given away be her father and wore the wedding dress that had been worn by her mother, Princess Anne of France, at her own wedding in 1965 with a 17th century coral tiara that had been presented to her by the family of the groom. The reception was held afterwards at the Cigarral de Santa María, one of the biggest restaurants outside the city of Toledo, on a terrace overlooking the city followed by a dinner. 350 members of the family and friends were invited, including Infanta Alicia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Countess of Paris (grandmothers of the bride), the King and Queen of Spain and their children with partners and the Duke and Duchess of Bragança.

October 14th

Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis got the ‘Prize of the Offended Spectator 2001’, which is presented by Augustus Hofmann Publishing. She got it for her “Extraordinary impudence” on television in the ARD-talkshow Friedman. In the talkshow she said about the AIDS-problematics: “Africa doesn’t have those problems because the contraceptive. The blacks just like it a lot to have sex.”

October 15th

The Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta visited the city of Rotterdam. The day started in a suburb where they heard the programme for the day. Thereafter they saw an exhibition about Rotterdam between 1918 and 1940 and had a conversation with young people from Rotterdam. They had lunch on a boat on the Maas River and saw a fleet show. When they arrived at the harbour of Delfshaven a shanty choir sung for them. They walked through the harbour before taking the historical horse-tram to the centre of Rotterdam passing music and dance demonstrations. Finally they arrived at the Coolsingel where they met a delegation of the summer carnival. Then they entered the town hall and unexpectedly appeared on the balcony as a last greeting to the city.

Some New Zealand media organizations carried out reports today that the 82-year-old King of Tonga, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, had passed away. The Tonga Broadcasting Commission said that this is incorrect information, which was confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office that said that the King currently resides at ‘Atalanga, the Royal Resident in Auckland, New Zealand. One month ago the King travelled to Australia to officiate at various activities of the Tongan communities there and from there he went to New Zealand for his routine medical check. The King and Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho will remain in Auckland until they return to Nuku’alofa on October 25.

October 17th

Today the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta visited the newest and 12th province of The Netherlands, Flevoland. They arrived in Almere where at the central railwaystation a model was shown of the plans for the new centre of the city. After waving to the public the couple took the train to Lelystad, meanwhile passing the natural area the Oostvaardersplassen where they saw some wildlife. In Lelystad they first had a look in the Nieuwe Land Poldermuseum about the history of Flevoland with findings of the soil and the fight against the water. From the museum they walked to the Batavia-wharf, where they admired the building of a replica of “De 7 Provinciën” ship. Thereafter they visited the already finished “Batavia” ship. Before they had lunch inside the cabin of the captain together with representatives of the trade and industry they were welcomed with salutes. The ships are build with the help of old techniques. The couple also visited the ID-Lelystad, an agricultural examination institute that at the moment also examines packages and envelopes with white powder received in the Netherlands (happily without finding anthrax), but also deals with the mad-cow disease and the foot-and- mouth disease. Finally they went to Schokland, a former island and got a small tour.

The two-day auction “Of Royal and Noble Descent ” conducted in six sessions today and yesterday at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam raised a total of about $ 445.000, much more than was thought before. Over 1300 lots were auctioned comprising furniture, paintings, ceramics and silver. The items came from 31 royal and noble families from Germany, Austria and Russia, among others Saxony, Hohenzollern, Thurn und Taxis, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst and Radziwill. The highest price of the first day was paid for a French Louis XV salon suite from about 1740 ($ 130.000). There was also much demand for a series of life-size portraits of various members of the Quadt zu Wykradt family. The four auctioneers were led by Duke Philipp von Württemberg, managing director of Sotheby’s Germany. He said: “This sale captured the imagination of thousands of people”.

October 19th

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester announced the engagement of their son Alexander, the Earl of Ulster, with Dr. Claire Booth, the 23-year-old daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert Booth. She is a medical practitioner. The Earl of Ulster is a captain in the King’s Royal Hussars.

Máxima Zorreguieta, fiancée of the Prince of Orange, has caused a car accident yesterday evening on a forbidden road. She had just left Palace Huis ten Bosch in the direction of the centre of The Hague, when another car came from the side she was turning to. Both cars were badly damaged and the other driver was taken to hospital with a broken leg. Máxima was unhurt, but quite shocked. As Máxima seems to have used the road as a quick drive out from the Palace, the other driver most likely used the road as a quick alternative for another permanently overloaded road nearby. The almost forgotten road through the Haagse Bos (wood) is used quite a lot as a royal route although it is officially forbidden, also for them, to use the road. For the moment it is the question who had right of the way, which seems not to have been Máxima. The only witnesses were in the security car that followed Máxima, who was in her car alone. The police let Máxima blow to check if she had drunk something, but that was not the case.

October 22nd

Today’s destination of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta was the most southern province of Limburg. In Roermond they were received at the town hall by governor Baron van Voorst tot Voorst and the mayor. Explained were the net-works in the neighbourhood. From Roermond the couple went by bus to Hulsberg to watch an old carre-farm where they got an explanation about the boundary-crossing health care in the area. In Maastricht the couple visited the Natuurhistorisch Museum with its recently unearthed skull of a mosasaurus. Further they followed a vocal class at the Maastricht School of Music. Finally they made a short walk on the Vrijthof in Maastricht and drove to the market square in an old car in front of thousands of enthusiastic people. The pair was told about the history of the city and the province. The visit ended in the town hall.

According to a press scenario of the royal palace in Brussels, Belgium, the first photo of the baby of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, will not be issued until three days after the birth. Princess Mathilde is due to give birth to her first child in November.

The Earl of Wessex is to stop making TV programmes about the Royal Family, the chairman of his production company Ardent says.

October 23rd

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain have started their second state visit to the Netherlands. The first one took place in March 1980 to then Queen Juliana. In the afternoon they laid a wreath at the national monument on the Dam Square together with Queen Beatrix and the Prince of Orange. Later on at the Palace at the Dam Square also Prince Claus, Prince Bernhard, Máxima Zorreguieta and Prince Carlos of Bourbon of Parme were present. In the evening a banquet was held. Preceding the banquet both King Juan Carlos and Queen Beatrix sharply spoke out against terrorism. They plead for an international tackling of terrorism.

October 24th

Prince Albert of Monaco gave New York’s mayor Rudolph Giuliani a check for $ 710.000 to be contributed to the relatives of the victims of the World Trade Center disaster.

King Juan Carlos of Spain visited the Internation Court of Justice in The Hague. He said: “Peace should be a way of living, and not something to long for.” In the evening he and Queen Sofia opened a Picasso exhibition at the Haags Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. Also Queen Beatrix, Prince Claus, the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta were present.

Graham Burrell, brother of Paul Burrell former butler of Diana Princess of Wales, has been questioned over the alleged theft of antique from the home of the princess. He is suspected of handling stolen goods. He was released on bail until late November.

October 25th

The Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta paid a visit to the province of Zeeland. The couple was welcomed in Yerseke in the building of the research institute NIOO/CEMO and was told about the research of life in salt and brackish water. Thereafter they got an explanation of two fishermen on a fishing boat. The tour went on to Zierikzee, a look at the Oosterschelde with an explanation about and a visit to the Delta Works. In Kamperland they visited a vacationpark for young kidney-patients. At the end of the day the capital Middelburg was visited. After a walk they talked to some business women from the province at the town hall.

Today Soraya, former wife of the late Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran, died at her home in Paris (8th arrondissement). Her body was found this morning by the charwoman. Soraya was born in Ispahan on June 22, 1932, as the daughter of Khalil Esfandiary-Bakhtiari and German Eva Karl. On February 12th, 1951 she married Shah Mohammed Reza, but they divorced in 1958. They didn’t have any children together. After her divorce Soraya mainly lived in Europe.

In the Dom Church in Utrecht King Juan Carlos of Spain received an honorary degree in jurisprudence of the University of Utrecht, because of the role he played in Spain’s transition from a dictatorship to a democracy. The King said to share the prize with the people of Spain.

October 26th

Yesterday evening at 21:58 Princess Mathilde of Belgium gave birth to a daughter, who will receive the names Elisabeth Thérèse Marie Hélène. The baby is named Elisabeth after Prince Philippe’s great-grandmother who was a queen with lots of character and did a lot for the country. Godmother will be Countess Hélène d’Udekem d’Acoz and godfather will be Amadeo Prince of Belgium Archduke of Austria-Este. Mother and baby are doing superb according to a doctor. The baby, who will be second in line of succession after her father, weighs 2.930 kg and is 49,5 cm tall. She was born at the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht with caesarian section, as she laid in the wrong position and also the ombilical cord was twisted around her neck twice. At the press conference at 1:30 this morning Prince Philippe told that he was present at birth himself – his wife phoned him at 18:30 when he was in a meeting and told him to come home immediately – and gave his daughter her first bath. He says she has a few blond hairs, has a round face and is very lovely. He hopes of course that the baby looks like him, but also said that it is maybe better for her that she looks like her mother. They knew since June that they would become the parents of a daughter. King Albert II of Belgium was the first visitor last night and visited again later today with Queen Paola, who was in Italy at the moment her granddaughter was born. Also the parents of Princess Mathilde came to the hospital. At noon 101 salutes were fired at the Warandepark in Brussels to celebrate the birth of the little princess. At 18:00 22 representatives of the Belgian government, parliament and court have officially noticed the birth of the princess and signed the ‘official report of the delivery of Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde’, which is an old tradition. Princess Mathilde will have to stay in hospital for at least five days. By the way Princess Elisabeth has already got her own official website.

Crown Princess Masako of Japan has celebrated the beginning of the ninth month of her pregnancy with a ceremony that will assure a delivery without problems.

King Gyanendra of Nepal appointed his son Prince Paras Shah as hereditary prince of Nepal today.

Paul Burrell, former butler of Diana Princess of Wales, has appeared in court today charged with the theft of 342 items allegedly stolen from Kensington Palace. He faces three counts of theft. He himself maintains that the items were given to him by the princess. Paul Burrell must return to Bow Street magistrates court next month after the case was adjourned.

October 28th

Today at 18:00 the first photos and a short video of Princess Elisabeth of Belgium were released.

October 29th

At 15:00 Prince Philippe of Belgium officially gave notice of the birth of his daughter Elisabeth at the town hall of Anderlecht. It was also announced that Cardinal Danneels will baptise the little princess.

Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana Princess of Wales, is to marry again on December 15th in a quiet family ceremony at Althorp. He will marry his long-time girlfriend Caroline Hutton, who was previously married to Matthew Freud, whom she divorced last year and with whom she has two sons. They first met when they were students at Oxford. Earl Spencer has three daughters and a son from his previous marriage to Victoria Lockwood, whom he divorced in 1997.

Princess Margaret of Great Britain has been admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London for tests. She is expected to stay in hospital for a few days but there is no cause for concern.

October 30th

Máxima Zorreguieta, the fiancee of the Prince of Orange, was the first foreign ‘royal’ to pay a visit to the newborn Belgian princess Elisabeth and her mother at the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht.

October 31st

The Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta stayed close to home this time, visiting their residence The Hague. They were received at the museum in Scheveningen where was told about the culture and identity of The Hague and her inhabitants. The couple also met representants of the Indian community. After a short walk the royal bus took them to the Hofstadcollege, a secondary school. During the lunch, prepared by students, the couple talked with teachers and students. The tour was continued with a walk from the Emma- monument to the Theatre Zwembad De Regentes, where a cultural program full of music, poetry and plays was shown.

November 1st

The Prince of Orange and his fiancee visited the province of North Holland. They were welcomed at the Provincial House of Haarlem. In a classical car they drove to the town hall where they were present at a meeting of the youth council of the municipality. By royal bus they went on to the Zuidersluis in IJmuiden where the Prince of Orange unveiled a commemoration plaque for the 125th anniversary of the Northsea Canal and then the couple attended a part of the celebrations at the ferry Queen of Scandinavia. Afterwards they sailed on the canal to the Zaanse Schans, and met a foreign womengroup in Zaanstad. Then the royal bus went on to Alkmaar, where they made a short boattrip to the Weigh-house and the famous cheese-market. By open carriage they were driven to the town hall where the visit ended.

Princess Margaret of Great Britain left hospital after tests for a suspected stomach complaint after having abdominal pains. She wore a headscarf and dark sunglasses as she was escorted from the hospitalto a people carrier.

November 2nd

Armed palace guards have blocked off parts of the capital of Tonga amidst growing alarm over the health of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV. Last week he returned from New Zealand where he had heart treatment. Yesterday the king appeared frail when he was taken to the legislative Assembly in a wheelchair to close Parliament. The publisher of the Times of Tonga newspaper said the armed guards could be trying to keep noisy vehicles away from the Nuku’alofa Palace where the King is staying.

November 3rd

Several hundreds of people stood outside the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht when Princess Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth left hospital at 15:25. They were shown out by tens of nurses and doctors. After photos were taken in the hall of the hospital the two princesses and Prince Philippe left for Laeken Palace. In front of the palace some more photos were taken together with the grandparents. Also inside there was a small photo session, after which there was an informal meeting with the press. Prince Philippe is said to want more frankness to the press. He told the press that he had dressed his daughter himself at the hospital this afternoon. Princess Mathilde wants to rest a bit longer before taking up her duties again. Little princess Elisabeth has to get used to her new environment and to the dog of her parents.

November 4th

Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, third son of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, participated in the New York marathon. It was his fourth marathon, and the third in New York. He told the press before: “This time it is different. In fact I wasn’t even going to participate, but after September 11th I decided to go after all. As a gesture of sympathy and concern.” He finished 3453th in 3 hours 38 minutes and 1 second.

November 6th

In a memorial service at the American Church in Paris about 800 people, among them tens of royals, said goodbye to Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiary, former wife of Shah Mohammed Reza of Iran. She will be buried at the family vault in Munich, Germany, where also her brother Bijan, who died one week after Soraya, will be interred.

At Mainau Island Countess Sonja Bernadotte received the golden state medal of the Free State of Bavaria. Since 1982 she is president of the German Garden Society and she was decorated for her work in horticulture and care for the land in Bavaria. With lots of engagement she managed to get harmony between many aspects of horticulture and conservation of nature. And she also found new ways to improve the vital quality.

November 7th

One of the last visits of the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta brought the couple in rainy Groningen. Hundreds of people waited for the couple in front of the decorated town hall, where they were welcomed. Inside they heard about the developments in the province. After a short appearance on the balcony the couple walked to the Academy Building of the University of Groningen where they talked to students and university people. By open carriage they then were driven to the Groninger Museum where they had a look at the collection. By bus they then drove to Café Hammingh in Garnwerd where they met young representants of the agricultural sector. Then a visit was paid to the asylum seekers centre in Winsum where they had a look in the house of Afghan people. Finally they attended a lecture in the coach-house of Borg Verhildersum in Leens about the Dutch Shallows as a natural area.

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan were welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh upon arrival in Great Britain. Amid hi-tech security the royals travelled to Windsor Castle in carriages escorted by the Household Cavalry in full ceremonial uniform. At the Windsor Castle banquet Queen Elizabeth II spoke of need for tolerance in her first reference to Islam since raids began in Afghanistan. She told King Abdullah II that extremisme must not be allowed to succeed.

After continuing rumours about a fourth pregnancy Princess Stephanie of Monaco officially denied via the princely court of Monaco that she is pregnant. Yesterday the German television had an interview with Louis, brother of Stephanie’s boyfriend Franco Knie, who said that Stephanie was pregnant.

Lords leader Lord Williams of Mostyn has announced that the remaining 92 sitting hereditary peers are to lose their rights to stay in the Upper House. Under new plans for reform of the House of Lords there will be 600 members. 120 will be elected with 120 independent members appointed by a commission. The rest will be nominated by the main political parties. Peers were told the number of law lords and bishops would be reduced to 16.

November 8th

Queen Mother Elizabeth of Great Britain opened the Field of Rememberance at Westminster Abbey. She planted a cross bearing a scarlet poppy in tribute to those who lost their lives in the service of their country. Using two walking sticks, she then stood for a short open-air service, and also met war veterans.

The Prince of Wales was hit round the face with a bunch of roses by a 16-year-old female anti-war protester. He had just laid a wreath to commemorate the Baltic State’s independence at the Freedom monument in Riga, Latvia, and was chatting to people in the crowd when the incident happened. The girl was arrested.

It became known what the national wedding present for the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta will be. Next to something ‘for house and garden’ they get an Oranjefonds (Orange fund). The money that will be donated to the fund is meant for initiatives that bring the various cultures in The Netherlands closer to each other. Furthermore singers Marco Borsato and Sita recorded a song “Lopen over Water (Walking on Water)”. The presents and the song will be presented to the couple during a huge party at the Arena in Amsterdam in the eve of February 1st, 2002, that will be broadcasted on television live.

November 9th

Prince Bernhard van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven and his wife Annette expect their first child in the beginning of May 2002. Prince Bernhard is the second son of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven. The couple married in July 2000.

November 10th

Alina Lebedeva remains in custody in Riga after being charged with endangering the life of the Prince of Wales for her anti-war protest. She faces up to 15 years in jail for slapping the Prince in the face with a bunch of carnations two days ago. The police is probing if she was ‘pushed’ into the attack. Her family begged the Prince of Wales for help. Today the Prince of Wales has defended the girl. Palace officials say the incident didn’t affect the prince. St James’s Palace officials described the episode as a trivial incident and said they trust the Latvian authorities will take this into account when looking into the case.

Princess Liliane de Réthy, widow of King Leopold III of the Belgians was taken to the Saint-Luc Hospital in Brussels. She was brought to the intensive care having problems with her bronchial tubes, but it was said there is no need for concern.

November 12th

It was officially announced Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands expect their first child in the beginning of June 2002. The couple married in May this year and already told in an interview before the marriage that they would like to have three children.

Last weekend the Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta spent some days in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to visit her parents and to do some shopping, among others in a shop for wedding gifts called l’Interdit.

Princess Prekshya Shah of Nepal, a sister of Queen Komal and the late Queen Aishawarya, has been killed when the helicopter she travelled in crashed into Rara Lake in western Nepal shortly after takeoff. Four other people were also killed, one person seems to have survived. Princess Prekshya was the wife of late Prince Dhirendra, the younger brother of King Gyanendra, who was killed during the massacre at the palace last June. The couple had separated after Dhirendra gave up his royal title and moved to London to marry a British woman.

Alina Lebedeva, the 16-year-old Latvian anti-war protester who slapped Prince Charles with a flower, has been released from custody pending trial. The police said the decision to release the high school student was influenced by reports that the Prince of Wales had called for leniency for her. No trial date has been set yet. She faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail if convicted.

Yesterday Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway started a four-days visit to the province of Østfold, thus continuing their tour through Norway. The couple visited Rømskog and Ørje. Crown Princess Mette-Marit took the controls of a 140-year-old steamboat that still plies the Ørje River. Local residents lined the river banks with torches and lit bonfires to light the dark afternoon. They were then treated to grilled moose meat and wild mushrooms from the local forest, accompanied by local children’s and gospel choirs. Today they were in Aremark where they among others visited the Aremark and Halden Bicycle Motorcross club, where they got a little BMX bike for son Marius.

November 13th

David Viscount Linley and his wife Serena are expecting their second child in May 2002. They already have a two-year-old son, Charles. The baby will be the fourth grandchild for Princess Margaret of Great Britain.

A few boots of Empress Elisabeth of Austria with the year 1845 on the sole will be auctioned for a good cause on December 1st. The silver shoes are expected to fetch about $ 50.000 for the restoration of a building of the Evangelic Church in Stuttgart.

November 14th

The Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta visited the city of Utrecht today. The tour started with a short walk through the Pijlbuurt, one of the quarters of Utrecht. In the community centre the people told about the safety problems in the area and the way residents try to solve these problems theirselves. In the Central Museum they met illustrator Dick Bruna, worldfamous for his Nijntje books, who showed the couple the permanent exhibition about his work. Also tens of toddlers were invited. At the University for Art and Science students performed a show full of music, video, theatre and fashion (including bridal gowns). Finally after a walk the couple talked with people from Utrecht in the town hall about social, economical and spatial developments in the city.

Yesterday Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway continued their Norway tour with a visit to Frederikstad. The visit attracted lots of children. Three- year-old Elise Lindberg managed to worm her way through the legs of security guards before ending up safe and sound in Mette-Marit’s arms. Elise’s big sister, five-year-old Stine, wanted in on the act too and also received a warming hug. Also Haakon ended up embracing the local children who lined the streets with their parents. The couple also visited a kindergarten in Rade, near the Swedish border. Today in Skiptvet they got lots of presents, from flowers to football clothes for Marius. In the Spydeberg area the couple visited the old and the new power station at Solbergfoss and a day centre for psychical patients.

Yesterday Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands arrived in Romania for a three-day state visit. President Iliescu met the Queen at the airport of Bucarest and afterwards at the presidential Cotroceni Palace. For the state banquet in the evening also former King Michael of Romania, his wife Anne, daughter Margarita and her husband Radu Duda were invited. Today Queen Beatrix gave a press conference in which she talked about her visit to Romania. Also some more personal things were said. She told to be very happy to become a grandmother for the first time. She is also very happy with the way The Netherlands welcomes Máxima Zorreguieta. Telling about the happy years she and her husband and children spent at Drakensteijn Castle before she ascended the throne, she said to hope that also Willem-Alexander and Máxima will be able to have such a period.

November 15th

The last day of the tour through the Netherlands brought the Prince of Orange and his fiancee Máxima Zorreguieta to the province of Drenthe. After arrival at the Drents Museum and a talk about the developments in the province the couple paid a visit to the former camp Westerbork. In World War II more than 100.000 people were deported from Westerbork to concentration camps. In Dwingeloo the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy was visited. In Ruinen a walk in the village centre was made and a visit was paid to a bus equiped for population research to breast cancer. At the end the couple attended an informal meeting with the mayors in Drenthe and for each municipality two inhabitants. A press conference about the tour followed. Máxima Zorreguieta told the tour was quite fatiqued. “You jump from one subject to another, and then also in another language, which is sometimes very difficult. I am happy the heavy program has come to an end. But it was a phantastic introduction.” Of course she doesn’t know everything about the Netherlands now and she says it might even cost a whole life to learn to know the country. It is not something you do in 16 days. Willem-Alexander and Máxima told they are happy Queen Beatrix gives them the time to establish their own family. Máxima has seen that there are more differences than resemblances between Argentina and the Netherlands. She also told that her parents can hardly believe what is happening to their daughter in the Netherlands. They have watched the first visits of the tour on video and Máxima also gave them some souvenirs from the Netherlands. The restrictions in her private life are sometimes very hard to accept and to understand. Being asked where she would like to live most after having seen all corners of the country, Máxima answered: “There where Alexander lives.”

At the last day of her state visit to Romania Queen Beatrix arrived at the airport of Timisoara, where she was welcomed with a traditional bread and salt ceremony. She visited the Roman-orthodox cathedral of Timisoara and a daycare centre for mentally handicapped people. At the centre she was asked if she was Miss Holland. A male from the Queen’s military staff was set to work and had to crochet. The Queen returned to the Netherlands in the evening.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has been greeted by cheering crowds on her first visit to Londonderry, Northern Ireland, since 1953. She opened a community centre in the mainly protestant Waterside area, and later also the new Lagan Valley Island Complex at Lisburn. She also met the First and Deputy First Minister at Hillsborough Castle. It is also believed the Queen is set to make a historical visit to Dublin, Ireland, soon to herald a new era in Anglo-Irish relations. It would be the first time a British monarch has visited in nearly 80 years.

A 16-year-old boy has been charged after throwing a cake in the face of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. He could face up to four years in jail for the alleged attack at a nature reserve. He has been charged with ‘lese-majesty’, which is treason or the taking of liberties. Two of his friends are charged with participation. The boy says he was targeting authority in general, not the king.

November 16th

The Spanish royal court announced that Princess Cristina of Spain and her husband Iñaki Urdangarín expect their third child in May 2002.

The Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta attended the opening of the exhibition ‘Ja, ik wil’ (Yes, I do) in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. The exhibition about Dutch royal weddings between 1791 and 2002 can be visited until January 20, 2002.

Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiary, former wife of Shah Mohammed Reza of Iran, was buried at the Westfriedhof (cemetery) in München, Germany, today. Only three members of the family were present for this private burial.

Crown Princess Masako of Japan went for one of her last medical check-ups before the birth of her child expected as early as next week and being feverishly awaited across the country. She was accompanied by her husband Crown Prince Naruhito. It was the seventh regular checkup at the hospital since the announcement of her pregnancy this spring. After the checkup the Imperial Household Agency said that she is in good condition. Whether the baby is a boy or a girl imperial tradition dictates that Emperor Akihito names any children of his eldest son and heir. The baby will be given a name composed of two Chinese characters. The name will be formally announced one week after birth.

November 19th

Little Princess Alexandra of Hannover stole the show on the National Day of Monaco today smiling and waving to the crowds. She took part in the celebrations together with her parents, grandfather Prince Rainier III and Prince Albert. The celebrations took on a solemn tone this year as international tensions and instability cast an inevitable shadow over the annual event. Prince Rainier later addressed the people of Monaco, explaining this year’s sober celebrations as a sign of solidarity with the victims of the September 11 attacks.

The Public Prosecutor is not going to prosecute Máxima Zorreguieta for the car accident she was involved in last October. According to the Public Prosecutor the accident wasn’t her fault. The driver of the other car should have given her right of way, and he also drove too fast on a road that officially only is to be used by destination traffic (like traffic from and to Palace Huis ten Bosch), but they are not going to prosecute him.

The Prince of Wales has cancelled royal duties after injuring his eye sawing a tree at the weekend. He got sawdust in his left eye while working in the garden of his Highgrove residence. He received treatment at the nearby Cirencester Hospital. He is expected to recover in the next couple of days.

November 20th

The driver of the car involved in the accident with Máxima Zorreguieta says she is responsible for causing the car accident last October. The collision took place at the drive out of Palace Huis ten Bosch. According to the Public Prosecutor the man should have given Máxima Zorreguieta right of way, because she came from the right. According to the driver it wasn’t an equal crossing, but a drive out. In that case he would have had right of way.

In Tonga, recent foreign media reports of the declining health of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV have been received with bemusement and some concern by local authorities. The reports, which suggested King Tupou may have been about to die, have since been proven false, with the King making a series of public appearances. Many in Tonga see the rumours as an example of unreliable and unprincipled journalism.

November 21st

Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah King of Malaysia has died this morning at the age of 75 in Gleneagles private hospital in Kuala Lumpur. In 1999 he had been chosen King for a period of five years and had a ceremonial task. Since 1960 he had been Sultan of Selangor, being one of the nine traditional leaders to take turns in the figurehead role. He had been on treathing and kidney support machines since the implant of a heart pacemaker in Singapore two months ago. He returned to a hospital in Malaysia last Sunday. If a Malaysian monarch dies in office, the title automatically goes to the deputy, and the sultans meet to choose a new number two. Mizan Zainal Abidin Sultan of Terengganu has been acting king since the King was admitted to hospital in early October. King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah is survived by his 29-year-old wife, Siti Aishar, whom he married in 1990, ten sons and four daughters from four marriages. A seven-day mourning period is declared.

Princess Simone zur Lippe-Biesterfeld died in The Hague today. She was born Simone Arnoux in Paris in 1915 and had two sons, Stephan and Thilo, from her first marriage to Vollrath von Watzdorf, whom she divorced in 1951. In the same year she married Prince Aschwin zur Lippe-Biesterfeld, younger brother of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, in London. Prince Aschwin died in The Hague in 1988.

Alina Lebedeva, who attacked the Prince of Wales in Riga lately, has sent him a letter of apology. She apologised to the Prince and thanked him for his understanding and forgiveness. Latvian prosecutors are still considering charges of threatening “health and life of a high official.”

November 22nd

King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah’s remains were blessed at the national mosque and laid in state in the throne room at the royal palace in Kuala Lumpur, where the doors were opened to the public. Thousands of people were filing past the coffin. The body then was wheeled through Kuala Lumpur in a procession and military salute. His remains were then delivered to his neighbouring home state of Selangor, where more ceremonies were held, including the proclamation of his son, Sharafuddin Idris Shah, as the new sultan of Selangor.

November 23rd

The Governmental Information Service confirmed that Máxima Zorreguieta is orientating on the protestant belief, but she will stay a roman catholic for now. She might become a protestant later on, but that is not sure. Bishop van Luyn of Rotterdam has given her dispensation for some catholic obligations to make it possible for Máxima to marry in a protestant ceremony. The reformed emeritus-clergyman Carel ter Linden will conduct the service. The Roman Catholic church will recognise the marriage. If the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta will get children, they will become protestants.

Belgian sources say that Princess Elisabeth of Belgium will be baptised privately at Ciergnon Castle on December 9th.

November 25th

As the birth of the baby of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan comes near, preparations for its delivery as well as ceremonies following the birth are nearly complete. All medical preparations have been made for the birth. Medical staff have been on duty around the clock since Tuesday at Togu Palace, the residence of the couple. In addition, a ritual sword to be bestowed from the Emperor to the baby has been prepared by the Cultural Affairs Agency. The sword will be given in a ceremony called “shiken,” which will be conducted on the day of the birth or the next day.

November 26th

Sporting legends have joined the Earl of Wessex at St James’s Palace to unveil the Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay route accross the United Kingdom. The relay will herald the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games and celebrate the 50-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. It will pass through 500 towns and cover more than 5.000 miles in 50 days.

November 27th

At a meeting with Oslo’s Editors Association discussing the divide between private and public spheres Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway told journalists that they should have a more careful relationship with her son Marius. “Journalists and photographers can cross lines with the crown prince and with me. I might be a bit angry then and there, but that isn’t so important. For Marius it is a completely different matter,” she said. She explained that a four-year-old boy doesn’t understand what is happening when an impolite photographer suddenly appears and takes pictures of him when is alone, something which had happened several time recently. Crown prince Haakon joined the appeal, though he felt that it was impossible to form concrete rules about what was public and private for the royal family in relation to the press. He said that he hopes that Marius will not be photographed when he is alone.

November 28th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Duke of Edinburgh have paid a visit to the set of the British soap serie EastEnders and were separately escorted around the set by actresses Barbara Windsor and Wendy Richard. The couple also took tours at the set of the children’s programme Blue Peter, the BBC TV Centre, and the channels ITN and CNN.

Despite of the approaching birth of their third grandchild Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan started a four-day visit to Mie yesterday. Today they worshipped at Ise Shrine, one of the most important Shinto shrines affiliated with the imperial family. It was the third time since the Emperor ascended the throne in 1989 that the couple visited the shrine. Dressed in a morning suit, the emperor offered a sacred “sakaki” tree bough and worshipped after being purified by a priest at the main sanctuary of Ise’s Outer Shrine. The empress, wearing an ivory-colored dress, followed suit.

November 29th

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US-president George Bush have joined some 800 friends and relatives of the estimated 80 Britons who were killed in the US-attacks on September 11th, at a national service at the Westminster Abbey in London. The Queen, paying her personal respects, was laying a posy of white roses and lily of the valley entwined with herbs, on the Abbey’s Memorial to Innocent Victims, just outside the Great West Door.

Alina Lebedeva, the Latvian schoolgirl who attacked the Prince of Wales with a carnation is to be charged with hooliganism. She faces up to two years in prison if convicted. The Prince of Wales asked authorities to treat the 16-year-old leniently.

Paul Burrell has been committed to stand trial. He is charged with three counts of theft which relate to 302 items belonging to Diana’s estate, 22 items belonging to Prince William and four items belonging to the Prince of Wales. The trial is due to start on January 10, 2002. He was remanded on conditional bail.

November 30th

Princess Sophie von Hannover née Princess of Greece was buried at the cemetery in Schliersee, Germany, today. She died in a nursing home in Neuhaus near Schliersee on November 24th. Princess Sophie was born at Mon Repos, Corfu, on June 26, 1914, as the fourth and youngest daughter of Prince Andreas of Greece and Princess Alice von Battenberg. In 1930 she married Prince Christoph von Hessen who was killed in an air crash in 1943. In 1946 she married Prince Georg Wilhelm von Hannover. She had five children from the first and three children from the second marriage. She had fourteen grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. The Duke of Edinburgh is said to be “very saddened” by the death of his last surviving sister. He was not attending the funeral but is expected to be present at a memorial service in January. Other members of the Royal Family, including the Earl of Wessex, who was the Princess’s godson, are also expected to attend the memorial service.

Crown Princess Masako of Japan entered the hospital at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo at 23:25 local time to have her first child. Palace officials said she was “showing signs” that she was ready to give birth.” Television networks interrupted regular programming to follow the progress of Masako’s limousine as she headed for the hospital accompanied by Crown Prince Naruhito and her mother.

December 1st

Crown Princess Masako of Japan gave birth to a baby girl at 2:43 p.m. local time at the Hospital of the Imperial Household in Tokyo. The news of the birth was immediately conveyed to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko by the emperor’s grand chamberlain. The baby is 49,6 cm tall and weighs 3.102 kg. According to the Imperial Household Agency, both mother and baby were in good condition. Crown Prince Naruhito said that he was relieved and happy that both mother and child are healthy and from now on, he and his wife would like to pray for the happiness of the child and watch over her. The baby is the third granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. She hasn’t been named yet. Imperial tradition says that Emperor Akihito will name any children of his eldest son and heir. She will also get a formal name chosen by the Emperor. Both names will be formally announced one week after birth. The birth itself will be followed by a series of elaborate rituals to wish the baby a healthy life. Hours after the event, the Emperor – via a messenger – presented to the newborn a specially commissioned protective ceremonial samurai sword with a crimson case lined with white silk and embossed with the imperial seal. He noticed that she will also get a hakama, a ceremonial skirt that was once part of traditional court dress for women. After she will be released from hospital in one or two weeks time the baby girl will occupy a room formerly used by Princess Sayako, sister of the crown prince. The Western-style room, located on the first floor of the Crown Prince’s Palace, underwent a major renovation in August. Under the present Japanese law, only males are allowed to assume the throne. The last reigning empress was Gosakuramachi, who ascended in 1762. The lack of male heirs prompted some people to call for a revision of the law so that women can also be in line to the throne. About 60 anti-imperialists on Saturday demonstrated in Tokyo against the celebrations over the birth, but most people were very happy for the couple that they had finally got a child. Following the joyous news an estimated 20,000 people flocked to the palace on Saturday evening to see entertainers, sports stars and other celebrities welcome the latest addition to the royal family.

Jorge Zorreguieta, the father of Máxima, knew about the disappearances during the Videla regime in Argentina, at least that can be concluded from a book of correspondent Jan Thielen “Zorreguieta. A biographical Sketch”. The Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad published some extracts of the book today. Thielen has spoken with Jorge Zorreguieta regularly over the past 1,5 years. In the book Jorge Zorreguieta is quoted saying: “I am not crazy. If I now would admit I knew about it, I would make myself an accomplice.” The book further tells that the Prince of Orange understands the past of his future father-in-law. Zorreguieta has spoken with the prince about the history of Argentina.

December 3rd

Emperor Akihito of Japan and his wife, Empress Michiko, visited their youngest granddaughter in hospital yesterday. The Emperor said that the baby seemed very healthy and that they are very glad. Since yesterday thousands of Japanese entered the palace grounds to sign their names at long tables adorned with cloths of red, blue, green and white embroidered with gold thread. At least 5,000 people took part in a lantern-light parade beginning from the palace on Sunday evening.

December 4th

Four Swedish teenagers have been convicted of high treason for throwing a cream cake at king Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. They threw the cake in his face during a royal visit to Varberg a few months ago. The boys were all fined after being found guilty in the first Swedish treason case in modern times. The teenagers said their attack was a protest against the Swedish monarchy. The pie-thrower was fined 100 days’ wages and his accomplices were each fined 80 days’ wages. In this case one wage was set to 30 Swedish crowns.

In an interview on the occasion of her newest exhibition 32-year-old Delphine Boël admitted she is the illegitimate daughter of King Albert II of the Belgians. She said: “He has said it himself, didn’t he? Yes, so I am a daughter of King Albert II.”

December 6th

The Countess of Wessex was was rushed from her home at Bagshot Park, Surrey, to the King Edward VII Hospital in London by air ambulance after feeling unwell overnight. She underwent a two-and-a-half hour emergency operation following the discovery of an ectopic pregnancy and the surgeons had to remove the foetus from her fallopian tube. Doctors said if the condition had continued undiagnosed, it could have been life-threatening. Her condition was described as comfortable following the operation. The Earl of Wessex was at her bedside after the lengthy operation. During the operation he had been to Buckingham Palace to inform his family about it.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway attended the tree-lighting ceremony at Trafalgar Square in London, Great Britain. Thousands of people filled the streets to catch a glimpse of the Crown Princess as she lit the tree. She also held a speech in english. The people of Norway have annually donated a tree to London since 1947.

A court at Springe, Germany, has sentenced Prince Ernst August of Hannover to eight months’ probation and fined for attacking and insulting a German photographer and beating the owner of a hotel in Kenya. The Prince had appealed against earlier fines totalling about $ 1.500.000 for a series of offences. The court added the probation sentence, finding him guilty of dangerous bodily harm for kicking the photographer in the rear, but it reduced the fines to about $ 250.000 and ordered him to pay part of it to the victim, Sabine Brauer, whom he also insulted during the attack in the Austrian city of Salzburg in August, 1999. The judge said he had decided to suspend the prison sentence because the prince had not misbehaved since insulting colleagues of the photographer at Germany’s Bild newspaper by telephone last June. Prince Ernst August himself didn’t show up at court.

December 7th

The name of the baby girl of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan was made known today. The baby was ritually bathed in a cedar tub by a lady-in-waiting while auspicious texts, written in classic Chinese literary style and wishing the baby good health and fortune, were read aloud by a male courtier and two male courtiers in ancient robes mimicked shooting traditional Japanese long-bows to ward off evil spirits. After the naming ceremony the name was brought by an imperial messenger to the palace of Crown Prince Naruhito and made public. Then the baby’s birth and name were formally announced at three Shinto shrines on the imperial palace grounds. Finally, the baby’s name and title were announced to the Imperial Household Agency, which manages the royal family’s affairs. They announced that the princess’s name will be Aiko, which means ‘Child of Love’. “The crown prince and princess virtually decided on the name,” an Imperial Household Agency official said. “The emperor then officially presented the name to the couple.” She will be titled Princess Toshi, which means ‘She who respects others’. The names, written on traditional Japanese “washi” paper by the Emperor himself, were presented to Crown Prince Naruhito and later placed by Princess Aiko’s pillow in the hospital inside the palace grounds were she was born on Saturday.

Prince Edward has spoken of his trauma over his wife’s ectopic pregnancy. He said Sophie is as well as can be expected, but is still in some discomfort. He told reporters that as her pain reduces, so the relief increases. “It was a traumatic experience. We are delighted it’s now been sorted out.” He added the events of the last 24 hours had been one of the most painful things which could ever happen. He also thanked well wishers. Later today from her hospital bed the Countess of Wessex spoke of her sadness at her ectopic pregnancy. But she remains optimistic they can still start a family. “I’m obviously very sad – but it was just not meant to be,” she said, “but there will be other chances.” She also thanked members of the public and the media for their sympathy.

December 8th

Crown Princess Masako and her daughter Princess Aiko left hospital for their royal residence. The Crown Princess holding the baby in her arms, with Crown Prince Naruhito at her side, emerged at the hospital entrance to bid farewell to doctors and nurses lined up there. Princess Aiko was asleep in her mother’s arms wrapped in a white blanket. They travelled from the hospital to their own palace, just 15 minutes away. Princess Aiko rested in an infant car seat placed between her parents on the back seat of the limousine. The crown princely couple opened the windows of the car to smile and wave at the thousands of people along the route.

December 9th

At 15:00 Princess Elisabeth of Belgium was baptised in the chapel of Ciergnon Castle. The private ceremony was led by Cardinal Godfried Danneels and was only attended by family members. Among them godfather Amedeo, eldest son of Princess Astrid of Belgium, and godmother Countess Hélène d’Udekem d’Acoz. 14 Members of the “Scala” children’s choir sang 6 songs a capella during the baptism in the three national languages of Belgium and in Latin. All songs, except for the lullaby “Kindlein mein, schlaf doch ein”, were religious songs: “Canticorum Jubilo” (Georg Friedrich Händel), “Rorate Caeli” (Gregorian song), “Cantate Domino” (Dietrich Buxtehude), “Maria, die zoude naar Bethlehem gaan” and “Magnificat” (Pascal Krebs). The castle is one of the favourite countryside residences of the royal family in the Ardennes.

December 10th

Andrée van Es, former chairwoman of a republican political party, is one of the advisers of Máxima Zorreguieta. She advices her about the cultural and social life in the Netherlands. The Government Information Service says that in a democracy it should be possible that a republican guides the future wife of a crown prince. “This way the introduction becomes as large as possible.”

Prince Johan Friso, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands and several of their cousins with wives, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium attended a dinner at La Hulpe Castle near Brussels one week ago. Officially the host of the dinner were a former Dutch minister and his wife, but the Prince of Orange and his fiancée Máxima Zorreguieta welcomed the guests together with them. Also Máxima’s parents, brothers and sisters attended the dinner. Among the 80 invitées there were several members of the Royal Household also.

Princess Aiko of Japan was registered in the imperial family registry today. The princess’s name Aiko, and the names of her father and mother, as well as the time, date and place of her birth were registered at the Imperial Household Agency’s Archives and Mausolea Department, located in the Imperial Palace grounds.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Lilian attended the presentation of the Nobel Prizes in Stockholm. King Harald V of Norway, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Märtha Louise attended the presentation of the Nobel Prize for peace to Kofi Annan and the United Nations at the City Hall in Oslo.

The Countess of Wessex has left hospital with Prince Edward shortly after noon. She said she is feeling “much better”.

December 11th

At the Palace at the Dam Square in Amsterdam Prince Claus of the Netherlands presented the yearly $ 100.000 prize of the Prince Claus Foundation to the Rotterdam Summer Carnival and to Peter Minshall from Trinidad who designes carnival processions. The ceremony was also attended by Queen Beatrix, the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta. Prince Claus had problems in formulating his sentences. He said: “I hope that next year you will hear a more intellectual speech. Not something you’ll cry about, but something you’ll laugh about.” Later on the Governmental Information Service announced that the prince has difficulty with his sight and will undergo an operation soon.

December 12th

Tuanka Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail, sultan of the smallest of the nine states of Malaysia, was voted the new King of Malaysia today after a meeting of the nine sultans of the states of Malaysia that was held behind closed doors at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur. He will be king for the next five years. He is the successor of King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah who died in November. Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu state was chosen as deputy king. An official swearing-in ceremony is to take place on Thursday, followed by an inauguration pageant in the coming months. Each of the state rulers takes a turn on the throne for five years, however each sultan is allowed to be king only once. The king’s role is largely ceremonial in Malaysia, and the power to govern resides with the federal Parliament and the prime minister.

December 13th

This morning at 9:00 the Norwegian court announced the engagement of Princess Märtha Louise with Ari Behn. In the afternoon a press conference followed at the royal palace in Oslo and it was announced the wedding will take place in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on May 24, 2002. Ari’s parents and siblings were invited to the palace this afternoon. The engagement rings with lilies and hearts were designed by Ari Behns maternal grandfather and artist Andreas Solberg. While Ari Behn declared he thought Märtha Louise was the most sexy woman of Norway already long before he met her, Märtha Louise said it was only love at third sight. Ari and Märtha Louise said they would like to live in the country side not too far from Oslo and have a few children. Märtha Louise said the only negative thing about Ari is that he has absolutely no technical skills. It is not thought that Ari Behn will become a prince. Ari said when he asked Märtha Louise to marry him on Thursday morning at Kongsseteren he went down on his knees and gave her white lilies. Märtha Louise and Ari were introduced to each other by Ari’s mother, who had met Märtha Louise during a course. Only nine months ago the relationship became known to the public. Ari Behn accompanied Märtha Louise to the birthday party of Crown Princess Mette-Marit in August, and was also present at the religious wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit one week later. He was also taking part in Princess Märtha’s 30th birthday celebrations in September. Over the past two weeks Princess Märtha Louise accompanied her mother to a clinic in Switzerland while Ari Behn left for Pakistan to make a documentary about Afghanistan natives living in the border area. He came back on Monday, while Princess Märtha Louise came home on Sunday. Ari Mikael Behn was born on September 30, 1972 in Aarhus, Denmark, as the eldest son of Olav Bjørshol and Marianne Rafaela Solberg Behn. His parents are divorced now and both have a new partner. He has one younger sister, Anja, and a younger brother, Espen. Ari has lived in Denmark, England, Northern Norway (and Moss in the south) and Ghana, and now lives in Majorstua, Oslo. He is a writer (in 1999 his book ‘Trist som faen’ was published), journalist and tv-producer. He is fond of travelling, sports and culture.

A new inquiry by the Dutch royal tv-programme “Van Koninklijken Huize” says Máxima is the most popular female member of the royal family. She got 38% of the votes. Queen Beatrix came in second place with 15% and third was Princess Juliana with 14%. From the male members Prince Claus got 45% while the Prince of Orange only got 19% of the votes. In third place it was Prince Bernhard with 15%. 73% of the people questioned said they prefer the monarchy above a republic, while only 13% voted for a republic. 72% said they weren’t tired of Máxima yet, despite of the Máximania in the Netherlands at the moment. 77% of the Dutch wouldn’t mind if one of the Dutch princes or princesses was homosexual.

The struggle of succession between the descendants of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany got a juridical ending. The court of justice in Stuttgart decided Prince Georg Friedrich is the legitimate heir and is also the legal heir of Hechingen Castle and property in Bremen, Lower Saxony and Berlin (Villa Monbijou), and several pieces of art. In his will his grandfather Prince Louis Ferdinand had appointed him heir in favour of his father’s elder brothers (who married morganatically), who didn’t agree with this decision. According to the laws of the family a prince has to marry equally, which means he has to marry into another royal/princely family or a family that is regarded as equal.

Yesterday a special birthday celebration took place at Kensington Palace to mark the forthcoming 100th birthday of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. She will celebrate her 100th birthday on December 25th. Many members of the Royal Family attended the celebration, including Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the Prince of Wales and Princess Margaret. They watched a special military parade by the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, of whom Princess Alice has been Colonel-in-Chief for more than 60 years. A few years ago Princess Alice has withdrawn from public life.

December 14th

On a press conference at Zarzuela Palace the Prince of Asturias announced the end of his relationship with Norwegian model Eva Sannum. He said they had decided to end their relationship “freely, with mutual accord and jointly”. He stressed that the decision had not been made due to pressure reported have been put on them by King Juan Carlos or the government. He said the romance had ended “for strictly personal and particular reasons” and that “each one will follow their own path in life.” He said that Miss Sannum was “cared for, admired, and respected” by him and that he hoped their friendship would continue. He said: “We have received the support and understanding of both families over the past year”. “The relationship simply did not prosper and that’s all there is to it,” he said. “There is no other reading of this.” Over the past months there had been intensive discussions about whether he should be allowed to marry her or not. However in the past few weeks they were not seen together anymore which led to speculations the relationship had ended.

December 15th

Earl Spencer, brother of the late Diana Princess of Wales, married Caroline Freud née Hutton today at a quiet family ceremony at his Althorp home. A civil ceremony at 4 o’clock was followed by a blessing at 7 o’clock in the family chapel. The service was conducted by a close family friend. Members of the Eton College choir kindly sung the anthem “Lullay my Liking” and traditional Christmas carols. Just 80 guests were invited to the wedding. Neither Prince William nor Prince Harry turned out for their uncle’s second wedding. The Earl’s four children from his first marriage attended as well as the bride’s two sons from her first marriage. The bride wore a full-length red gown and stunning colett diamonds once owned by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Following the brief service the couple and their guests sat down amidst red roses and ivy in the estate’s Picture Gallery for dinner. The menu was provided by the Northamptonshire Estate and the wines came from South Africa.

Alina Lebedeva, the girl who slapped the Prince of Wales across the cheek with a carnation some weeks ago, has been told she will not be going to prison. A spokesman for the Latvian prosecutor general’s office said they had dropped charges of assault and hooliganism against her. They said she had apologised to the Prince and was a good student. However, she could still be prosecuted as a minor. Sanctions she could face include being sent to a special reform school or doing work in the community.

December 16th

Today Alois Konstantin Prince zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg celebrated his 60th birthday. The day started with a mass in the chapel of Kleinheubach Castle and later on a concert took place in the Marble Hall. Yesterday the Prince, who is married to Princess Anastasia of Prussia, received hundreds of guests, among them many royals and nobles. Among them were King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxemburg, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven, the Duke and Duchess of Bragança, Princess Eilika zu Leiningen and Princess Benita zu Schaumburg- Lippe. After going out hunting in the afternoon, a banquet was held at the Marble Hall in the evening.

December 20th

41-year-old Princess Buniah al-Saud, a niece of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, was arrested on Tuesday and spent a night in the Orange County Jail charged with beating her Indonesian maid, Memet Ismiyati, and pushing her down a flight of stairs. She was also charged yesterday with theft and with dealing in stolen property. Investigators said she stole $ 6000 worth of electronics equipment and furniture from her former chauffeur, Mohammed el-Biyadi. She had given the property to a neighbour and written a contract to sell it. All the property was returned to Mr el-Biyadi, who had receipts showing the items were his. She was freed on a $ 50.000 bond and told to surrender her passport and to not have any contact with the maid. The princess has been living in Orlando while studying English. Her lawyer, Bud Bennington, said during the hearing she would return to Washington. Princess Buniah could receive up to 15 years in prison if convicted of felony battery. She faces an additional 10 years in prison for the theft and stolen property charges. Police contacted the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington after Princess Buniah told them she had diplomatic immunity and embassy officials backed her claim.

December 22nd

The Beurs van Berlage where the Prince of Orange and Máxima Zorreguieta will celebrate their civil weddding ceremony will be accessible on February 3rd, 2002, so that the people can see the hall, with all decorations and all chairs like the day before. It is not known if the Nieuwe Kerk, where the religious ceremony will take place, will also been accessible.

On January 1st, 2002, King Albert II of the Belgians will get a female deputy cabinet-chief, 36-year-old Chantal Cooreman. She works already at the cabinet of the king for several years.

In a radio interview Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, the head of the English Catholic Church, has said that the constitution should change in the near future so members of the British Royal Family can marry Catholics. He said politicians should look at the issue because it was ‘rather odd’ anomaly. “A member of the Royal Family can marry probably anybody, except for Roman Catholics”, he said.

December 23rd

Yesterday night Don Jaime de Marichalar Duke of Lugo was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Gregorio Marañon Hospital, accompanied by his wife Infanta Elena of Spain, after suffering a reduction in blood supply to the brain (ischemia) while he was exercising. He felt ill while he was working out on a stationary bicycle at a gym. Doctors performed several tests and are keeping the duke under observation to determine the best treatment. He is connected to a respirator and is close monitored. Today doctors said he was in serious but stable condition and that he is suffering “paralysis of the left side of the body.” The evolution of the brain injury will be defined within 48 to 72 hours. Queen Sofia of Spain and Infanta Cristina came to the hospital early on Sunday, and so did three of the five Marichalar bothers.

December 25th

Princess Alice, dowager Duchess of Gloucester, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain’s aunt, celebrated her 100th birthday today and joins the Queen Mother as the Royal Family’s second centenarian ever. As is traditional she got a congratulatory telegram from the Queen.

Burglars broke into the villa of Prince Laurent of Belgium in Tervuren near Brussels this evening, ransacking the place and making off with watches and jewelry. “They took everything” Prince Laurent was quoted: “I don’t have anything left. My whole house is torn up. They broke everything.” The prince was reportedly visiting a sick friend in hospital when the burglars forced their way into the house. A Royal Palace spokesman said it was the first time that a royal residence had been burgled. A spokesman for the local public prosecutor’s office in charge of the investigation said the burglars might not have known the prince lived there. “It was a break-in like any other”.

December 26th

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has fractured two ribs after suffering a fall at Marselisborg Palace. A spokesperson reports the injury is not serious and will require just a few days’ bed rest. After the fall, Queen Margrethe II was rushed to hospital where x-rays revealed a fracture in two ribs on her left side. A palace spokesperson confirmed that she will go on with her traditional annual speech as scheduled on New Year’s Day. She also plans to attend other upcoming official engagements on her calendar.

December 27th

In Budapest Archduke Georg of Austria and his wife Eilika announced that they expect their second child in June 2002. They already have a daughter, Zsófia, who was born in January 2001.

December 28th

Don Jaime de Marichalar Duke of Lugo left the intensive care unit of the hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid. According to the doctors his health makes good progress but they can’t tell if he will recover completely. They say he has a 75% chance of recovery from the brain ischaemia. They say they are still trying to determine what caused the attack and say the Duke will undergo further tests in an effort to determine the cause. Today the Duke has made exercises of passive rehabilitation in his bed before leaving the intensive care unit, but later he could go down to the gym, where he began with the active rehabilitation. He still is partially paralysized on his left side. For reasons of security four rooms in a section of the hospital have been made available for him.

December 29th

Jeltje van Nieuwenhoven, chairwoman of the Dutch Chamber, says in an interview in the newspaper De Telegraaf today that it is about time that the royal house will be modernised. She says that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands should get more space to express her own opinions and declares that for example ministers should no longer be responsible for the Christmas speech of the Queen. Also the person who forms the Cabinet should no longer be appointed by the Queen. She also said that Máxima Zorreguieta’s parents should be able to see the wedding of their daughter on television in The Netherlands.

December 30th

Most people believe the privileges enjoyed by the British Royal Family should be curbed, a survey by the Observer newspaper suggests. Some 57% think the £ 8,9m annual Civil List should be reduced to £ 5m or less. Also 69% of the 3692 people quizzed said younger royals ought to be allowed to set up their own businesses, though without any money from taxpayers. 82% said the monarch should pay inheritance tax.

At the Royal Palace in Brussels Belgium has handed over the chairmanship of the European Union to Spain in presence of King Albert II of the Belgians, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Prince Philippe Duke of Brabant.

The Queen Mother had been forced to miss church again this morning. The Queen Mother has not attended any of the Christmas services at Sandringham this year, being absent already with Christmas itself. Today the Prince of Wales told members of the public outside the church the Queen Mother was suffering from a chill. Royal watchers said it was the first time they could remember the Queen Mother not attending any of the traditional Christmas church services on the royal family’s estate in Sandringham. Canon George Hall, rector of Sandringham, mentioned the Queen Mother in his prayers during the service today. He also mentioned Princess Margaret – who has also not attended church over Christmas. On Christmas Day the Countess of Wessex, had made her first public appearance since she lost her unborn baby.

December 31st

Queen Elizabeth II is inviting people born on February 6, 1952 – Accession Day – to special Golden Jubilee garden parties. Those people could attend one of the two garden parties the Queen is hosting in London and Edinburgh. Some 3000 British citizens are thought to have been born on that day and up to 3500 places are being made available. Applicants must send copies of their birth certificate to local Lord Lieutenants’ offices by February 15, 2002.

Queen Elizabeth I has won the title of Britain’s greatest ever monarch. She topped a poll of more than 10.000 people by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme with 31% of the votes, 4% ahead of the present Queen Elizabeth II. Medieval monarch Alfred the Great, finished third with 26% of the votes. King Henry II finished fourth with 9%. Queen Victoria was last with 7%. Oliver Cromwell, who toppled the monarchy in the seventeenth century, received a large number of nominations but was deemed ineligible to make the final shortlist of five because he was never King.

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