Saturday, October 20, 2012

Royal News Roundup

The first of the two biggest royal news stories this week came from the Far East where HM the “King-Father” Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia died in a hospital in Peking after years of deteriorating health. The King presided over Cambodian independence from France before trying to remain neutral in the war engulfing Vietnam. Overthrown in a US-backed coup by one his generals (while out of the country) the King was kept under house arrest for the most part during Pol Pot’s reign of terror. In the aftermath of the Vietnamese invasion that expelled the dictator the King was restored in a UN-backed referendum. He was the only Southeast Asian royal to regain his throne once it was lost and the last surviving leader from the decades of conflict that gripped Indochina. The body of the late King was escorted to the Royal Palace with all of the pomp and ceremony Cambodia could muster and will remain there for the next three months before his burial ceremony. King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great of neighboring Thailand, himself in increasingly poor health, sent his condolences to the Cambodian people on this sad occasion. Virtually no one in Cambodia has known a world without King Sihanouk in it.

Happier news prevailed in India with a low-key royal wedding by a couple better known for their celebrity status than royal origins. On Tuesday HH Prince Saif Ali Khan of Pataudi married his girlfriend of five years Kareena Kapoor in Bombay. It is the second marriage for Prince Khan who inherited the title of Nawab of Pataudi upon the death of his father (a famous cricket champion) last year. Kapoor may not be from a princely family but she is from ‘Bollywood royalty’ with a family that has long been famous in the film and entertainment industry.

Finally, in Europe, the biggest royal story of the week was also the best kind; a happy royal romance with the wedding of HRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy. It was a fairly casual and low key affair, starting at the Grand Ducal Palace and then, in a small but smart procession the dashing duke and his cute countess moved on to the Grande Threatre de la Ville de Luxembourg for their civil wedding ceremony. Among the royal guests besides the immediate Grand Ducal family of Luxembourg were Her Majesty Queen Fabiola of Belgium, still serene and stately even in a wheelchair, along with other royals from Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Romania. Britain was represented by Prince Edward and Countess Sophie and there were royals from beyond European shores from Morocco, Jordan, Japan and elsewhere further afield. With the wedding made official, the Hereditary Grand Duke became the last European royal heir to marry and the Countess became Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg, becoming a citizen of Luxembourg as well as her native Belgium. We join all those loyal subjects of the Grand Duke and all the other fans of the House of Luxembourg in sending congratulations to the happy couple and wishing them all the best in their life together. The religious ceremony is being held this morning and there will be many more celebrations, fireworks and all the best that Luxembourg can boast on this most happy occasion.


  1. One thing missed was King Mohammed VI of Morocco visiting Jordan, and a Syrian refugee camps where refugees chanted "Long Live Morocco". Right now, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are trying hard to avoid being dragged into the war in Syria.

    The only way for justice to prevail is for Assad to be overthrown, especially after its crimes during the war in Lebanon and subsequent occupation, from which Christians suffered the most.

  2. He would be the perfect replacement for Castro. Cuba needs a gov't that fits its nature. And as the only Altantisist hispanic country in the Caribbean, it needs a govt that will save it from the squalor of the other isles and South America. Cuba should really be a principate to protect its interests and culture. And who better than a Duke who is the son of a Cuban mother with noble Spanish heritage.


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