For loyalists of the British monarchy 2009 might be most remembered for what did not happen. The long listened for wedding bells for Prince William and Kate Middleton did not ring, though Lord Freddie Windsor did tie the knot after a St Valentine’s Day in engagement. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh also gained a place in royal history as the longest serving British consort, passing the mark set by Queen Charlotte, consort of King George III. Royal wedding watchers had plenty to get excited about in the Kingdom of Sweden however where engagements were announced for Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine; breaking hearts all over the world no doubt. In Japan the Emperor and Empress celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary.
In April there was tragedy in the Netherlands when a man attempted to crash his car into the bus carrying Queen Beatrix and the Royal Family killing and injuring a number of people in the crowd before he himself died of his own injuries. In Romania King Michael I endorsed the presidential bid of his son-in-law which, as most expected, ended in failure. In Denmark Prince Joachim and Princess Marie brought a new Danish prince into the world in May. In Belgium the dowager Queen Fabiola was faced with the first in a string of death threats, which she met with courage and humor on a tense occasion. In the summer disaster befell the Imperial House of Brazil when Prince Pedro Luis died along with over 200 others when their plane crashed into the Atlantic.
Charlotte Casiraghi, granddaughter of Princess Grace of Monaco, gave the world a scare when she was involved in a car accident in Italy which she thankfully escaped with only minor injuries. The Kingdom of Denmark voted to abolish male primogeniture and in July King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. In Russia rumors of a Romanov restoration began to circulate with one government official saying such a proposition had been discussed inside the walls of the Kremlin.
In September Princess Maria Christina of Bourbon-Parma passed away, Archduke Rudolf of Austria turned 90-years-old and the Prince and Princess of Orange visited New York to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first Dutch colony in North America. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, set to lose his role in politics for refusing to sign a euthanasia bill was honored by Pope Benedict XVI. The heir to the throne of the Ottoman Empire passed away at the age of 97 and Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma became engaged in October. The French Prince Jean of Orleans announced the start of a campaign for royal restoration in France on his part.
In November Prince Henrik of Denmark visited his boyhood home in Vietnam with the rest of the Danish Royal Family, nearby the kingdoms of Cambodia and Thailand broke diplomatic relations and rattled sabers over a long standing border dispute and monarchists and many others were killed in the streets of Iran in a government crackdown following protests over election results. The King of Tonga announced he was giving up his authority in government to become a more symbolic constitutional monarch and another Commonwealth island monarchy, St Vincent and the Grenadines, voted in a referendum to remain a monarchy under Queen Elizabeth II rather than become a republic. In Spain the Infanta Elena announced her long expected divorce, Prince Alexandre of Belgium passed away and this last month the heir of the Orleanist pretender to the French throne had his first child. The Crown Prince and Princess of Belgium celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary and the King of Thailand celebrated his birthday after a long stay in the hospital that gave his people quite a scare.
So, once again, a rather mixed bag for the monarchies of the world. There were threats, there were victories, births and deaths, wedding bells for some and continued silence for others. Good news seemed to abound most in the Scandinavian monarchies with new life beginning and new marriages planned. The British continue to ‘wait and see’ expecting a development soon. So, in a nutshell, that was the royal news of 2009 and this has been ...... The Mad Monarchist.