Saturday, May 26, 2012

Royal News Roundup

In Southeast Asia, HM the King of Thailand, who has been in frail health for some time, was considered strong enough by his doctors to travel outside Bangkok for the first time since 2009. The 84-year-old monarch left the city by car to visit Ayutthaya and pay his respects to the 16th-century Thai heroine Queen Suriyothai who famously sacrificed her life in defense of her husband during a time of internal turmoil and a Burmese invasion. The King also inspected new irrigation projects, received a gift of land from the family of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and was treated to a folk dance spectacle before returning to the hospital in Bangkok. In the Middle East, the Emir of Qatar called on the State of Israel to “take a positive step in favor of peace and coexistence” and not to bet on leaders against their people. It is believed this was a reference to Israeli concerns over the possible toppling of the Syrian government. Meanwhile, in Paris this week, HM Queen Rania of Jordan spoke at the OECD Forum 2012 about the economic and social challenges rising from the global economic crisis. And, Prince Abdul Aziz, third son of HM King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, is suing the city of Los Angeles, California to build a ‘mega-mansion’ opposed by the local neighbors. One resident likened it to “building a Wal-Mart in our neighborhood”. Oh, the horror.

On the southern European front, TM King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain recently marked 50 years of marriage but, alas, there were no large celebrations for the occasions and rumors have been running thick about alleged infidelities on the part of the King and an increasingly isolated Queen Sofia, only exacerbated by the decision of the government to forbid her to attend the Jubilee celebrations in London. The speculation revolves around the 46-year-old German businesswoman Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein who was reportedly “shocked” by the allegations of an affair with the King and who has now left Spain for the Principality of Monaco. And speaking of Monaco, Charlotte Casiraghi now seems to be trying to keep her distance from her new role as the “face” of Gucci. According to a French celebrity journalist known for keeping up with the Casiraghi crowd, Charlotte is too intelligent to wish to be known as a model and accepted the job offer simply as a way to help finance her quite expensive hobby of equestrian competition. It was also announced this week that Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco have filed a £ 300,000 lawsuit against the Sunday Times for libel after the paper printed stories claiming that the Prince had turned a blind eye to rampant corruption in Monaco and had basically bribed Princess Charlene into marrying him. The Princely couple are seeking compensation for the damage done to their reputation and that of their country as well as an injunction against repeating such lurid gossip. I hope they succeed.

The Scandinavian royals have had a busy week. In Denmark the firstborn daughter of TRH Prince Joachim and Princess Marie was formally christened Princess Athena Marguerite Francoise Marie at the start of this week. Across the Baltic in Sweden, royals gathered for the christening of Princess Estelle, daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Princess Maxima of The Netherlands, both experienced in such matters, were in attendance. The proud mother was overcome with emotion at the baptism and later the family all posed for some special portraits with the latest edition to the Swedish Royal Family.

The Dominion of Canada has been ever-present in royal news this week. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall began a visit to Canada on Monday and on Wednesday, as part of the Jubilee celebrations, members of the world famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police took the place of the usual Queen’s Life Guard in standing watch outside Buckingham Palace. A senior member of the British Household Cavalry had gone to Canada some time ago to familiarize the Mounties with the ceremony and procedures of the changing of the guard and standing guard at the palace. The broad Stetsons were quite a change from the usual plumed helmets, but the 15 Mounties carried out every move flawlessly and were quite impressive. This was the first time that a civilian non-British security force has ever guarded the Queen. The special relationship between the Royal Family and the famed Mounties goes back to the reign of King Edward VII who, in 1904, granted them the prefix of “Royal” to their name.

HM the Queen attended the Chelsea Flower show this week. Deputy Prime Minister and chief twerp Nick Clegg (one of the two teenagers running the British government these days) also said this week that a firstborn daughter to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would become queen, even if sons were forthcoming, saying that the proposed changes to the succession were already effectively in place. He said it really didn’t matter that there has been no actual legislation passed on the subject as of yet (why let a little thing like that get in the way?) and that since the meeting in Australia, all had been decided. Other Commonwealth Realms have yet to pass legislation changing the rules of succession as well and there is some concern that, particularly in Australia, republicans may take advantage of the occasion to try to abolish the Australian monarchy altogether.


  1. Legislation must be passed in all 15 Commonwealth nations, for there to be a change in the laws of succession...once again, Mr Clegg talks out of his cludgie.

  2. What I find hilarious is that the yet unborn Daughter will be Queen... er, how do you figure? Wat if they never have a Daughter? An if they do and its the third born after two sons do you skip the sons just to let the girl be in charge? Its just politically correct pap.


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