Saturday, March 2, 2013

Royal News Roundup

Not a great deal of big news to report this time. Perhaps a slow news week or perhaps the headlines were too full of coverage on the last day “in office” for Pope Benedict XVI that little else was reported on. That was certainly the big news, the Pope leaving the Vatican but, having already commented on that, here is a short rundown on some royal events that made the papers:

Beginning, as usual, in the lands of Eternal Asia, the former Crown Prince of Nepal remains in critical condition in hospital in Bangkok, though doctors report some slight improvements. Family members have gone to be at his side and the former King Gyanandra cut short a trip to Simara to return to the capital, presumably because of the condition of Crown Prince Paras. Royalist groups in Chabahil held a “pooja” at Ganesthan Temple calling for a speedy recovery for the former royal heir. Elsewhere, the King of Tonga visited New Zealand this week where he was greeted by native Maori warriors and in The Philippines, President Aquino issued a stern warning on Tuesday to the elderly Sultan of Sulu that he would face the “full force of the law” unless the gunmen operating in his name withdrew from Malaysia. However, the 74-year-old Sultan Jamalul Kiram III held a press conference of his own, defiantly stating that the standoff with the forces of the Kingdom of Malaysia would continue until his demands are met, though he also insisted that his forces would not initiate any violence with the Malaysians but that they are prepared to defend their “lives and aspirations”. On Friday, three days after passing the extended deadline for the Filipino forces to leave, Malaysian police moved in on the group and a skirmish broke out, resulting in several casualties. Malaysian authorities regained control of the area but some of the gunmen reportedly escaped, promising to continue the fight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia has authorized security forces to take “any action” to eliminate the threat from this group.

On the European front, in Great Britain it was announced this week that Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are set to become grandparents for the first time with the news that Lord Frederick Windsor and wife Sophie Winkleman are in a “family way”. The couple live in Los Angeles where Lord Frederick is a financial advisor and Sophie is an actress. Back home, in keeping with tradition, the new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was received at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to formally pay homage to HM the Queen. It was also announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Ireland next year and this week Prince Harry made the trip down to the south African Kingdom of Lesotho to check up on the work being done by his charity there. Prince William is also keeping up with his rescue-pilot duties, coming to the aid of a stranded pair of walkers in freezing conditions in Snowdonia after being reported missing by a friend. In more unfortunate news, HM the Queen had to cancel a planned to trip to Swansea for St David’s Day after coming down with gastroenteritis. We wish Her Majesty a speedy recovery.

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