In the Far East, local royals in Indonesia gathered in Bau-Bau for the biannual Festival Kraton Nusantara. The members of the former Butonese kingdom of Wolio hosted members of some sixty other local formerly ruling houses from across the Indonesian archipelago to keep alive traditional culture. Meanwhile, on the north shore of Borneo, people are preparing for the wedding this weekend of Princess Hajaj Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, the daughter of Sultan who will marry Penigran HajI Muhammad Ruzaini on Thursday. And from southeast Asia to northeast Asia, royal fans are rejoicing as a South Korean TV station announced on Tuesday that they will be producing a sequel to the smash hit historical-drama “Jewel in the Palace” which was a big success across Asia. A timeline has been set up but there is still no word on who will be directing or starring in the new project but even some TV officials from China said they were interested in investing in the new show. The series follows the legendary life of an orphan turned cook in the royal kitchens of the Joseon dynasty who becomes the first female physician at the royal court. Meanwhile tensions continue to rise between the most powerful republic and the oldest monarchy in East Asia as Red Chinese naval forces have carried out live-fire exercises in the South China Sea and while mobs in China attack anything Japanese. In Japan, Japan Airlines announced on Friday it was stopping all flights to China because of the growing hostility over the disputed islands in the East China Sea. Already the dispute over the Senkaku islands have forced Japanese businesses in China to close and China currently buys 20% of all Japanese exports.
In Spain, where is had not been a good year for the monarchy overall, there was a happier occasion as HRH the Princess of the Asturias celebrated her fortieth birthday (though you could hardly tell it). The happy day was marked by the release of a new series of photographs of the Prince and Princess of the Asturias and their two daughters. Meanwhile, HM King Juan Carlos has been dealing with continued attacks in the media as well as trying to hold the kingdom together during the economic crisis which many separatist groups are trying to use to their advantage. On the new website for the Spanish monarchy, the King posted a letter directed at dissidents in Catalonia saying, “In these circumstances, the worst thing we can do is to divide forces, encourage dissent, chase rainbows and deepen wounds…” This statement came after a large pro-independence rally in Catalonia. Over in Monaco, Prince Albert II attended the annual Monaco Yacht Show while Princess Charlene was turning heads in Paris at a special exhibit where her own tiara is among the items on display.
The Queen of The Netherlands
To the north, in The Netherlands, HM Queen Beatrix read her Speech from the Throne on Tuesday at the Knight’s Hall in The Hague as the new session of the Dutch parliament began. The budget for the Queen is set to be reduced by some 5,000 euros in the next budget though with elections coming up shortly, the next government may have other plans. In her remarks the Queen reaffirmed Dutch support for the euro and for a policy of austerity in response to the European debt crisis. The Dutch Royal Family put on a cheerful face on Prince’s Day as they waved to crowds from the balcony of Noordeinde Palace. However, the Queen’s youngest son is still being missed as he remains comatose in a London clinic following a ski accident in Austria. There had been some talk that Johan Friso was showing no signs of any possible improvement and might be sent back to The Netherlands, essentially to die at home rather than in an English hospital. Further to the north, the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark visited Brazil. In Norway, the Royal Family remains in mourning for the late Princess Ragnhild whose funeral will be held at the Palace Chapel on Friday, September 28. Across the border in Sweden, the Royal Family (yes, all of them) attended the opening of the Swedish parliament on Tuesday.
The Duchess of Cambridge
And, for the House of Windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are wrapping up a resoundingly successful jubilee tour which saw the royal couple visit Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Australia and other areas. They were charming, friendly and focused on the job at hand in spite of the righteous indignation surrounding photos of the Duchess being published by an increasing number of disreputable publications around Europe. The Royal Family is taking legal action in France where the photos were first made public but since that time they have also been published in Italy, Ireland and Denmark as well as being all over the internet. It also came out this week that the Duchess of York will be suing “News of the World” over the phone hacking scandal and that the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will soon be making a visit to Australia.