Saturday, June 16, 2012
Royal News Roundup
On the continent, HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark hosted a state visit by President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China to strengthen Sino-Danish ties. Oddly enough I could find no stories about people protesting this visit. Since pro-democracy groups in Britain protested the King of Bahrain and the King of Swaziland having lunch at Windsor Castle a few weeks ago, I was just certain there would be an even bigger uproar of the leader of a single-party dictatorship with nuclear weapons and a million-man army being treated as an honored guest. Oh, wait, that wouldn’t happen because the EU needs money from China. What was I thinking? Also looking to strengthen ties, HM Queen Beatrix began a state visit to Turkey this week. The Netherlands and Turkey have had cordial diplomatic relations dating back to 1611. And, down in sunny Monte Carlo, TSH Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco rubbed elbows with stars of the small screen at the 52nd Monte Carlo Television Festival. Meanwhile, in Sweden, the King was insulted in a novel way; by an inscription on a counterfeit coin (accusing the monarch of having low moral fiber). Republicans in Sweden obviously have too much time on their hands.
In the Far East, TM the Emperor and Empress of Japan as well as TIH the Crown Prince, Crown Princess and other members of the Imperial Family attended the funeral ceremonies for HIH Prince Tomohito of Mikasa on Thursday. Down in the Kingdom of Malaysia the loyal people of Johor came out in droves to show their support for their Sultan who was criticized for spending a substantial amount of money to bid for the WWW1 car registration plate. He announced his victory in the bidding via Twitter. The Sultan used his own money to buy the plate and not a cent from his taxpayer-funded allowance which is used for social welfare projects and his foundations. Sultan Ibrahim was moved by the show of support from his people and addressed those who first criticized him by saying, “Engage your brain before shooting your mouth”. Truer words were never spoken. In the Middle East, 500 college students are set to benefit from a new initiative set up by Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa which will provide financial assistance to Bahraini students short on funds for their education. Finally, in Saudi Arabia, a petition is being circulated to ask King Abdullah to lift the ban on women driving cars. They also thanked the King for all the restrictions he has removed against women so far in his reign (I thought that was nice) but so far, less than 600 have signed the petition.