Monday, July 14, 2014
Royal News Roundup
In the Low Countries, King Philip and Queen Mathilde held a special reception for the Belgian soccer team, the “red devils” and in France, on Saturday, Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg held the christening of their new addition, Princess Amalia of Luxembourg, with aunt Princess Alexandra as godmother and Claire’s older brother Felix as godfather. In Spain, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia visited their neighbor Portugal, meeting with the President and First Lady. After returning home, the King paid tribute to the Spanish soccer star Alfredo Di Stefano who passed away recently, the King saying that he “admired” the former player and coach.
The little Principality of Monaco made a number of headlines last week when New York businessman Adam Hock sailed into the Port of Hercules on the yacht of a billionaire Canadian friend of his, all set to attend the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix in late May as well as the celebrity birthday bash of Naomi Campbell at the Billionaire Club in Monte Carlo. However, the night after his arrival, the captain of the yacht informed him that he was ordered out of the country by Prince Albert II himself. Why? It probably has something to do with the fact that Hock assaulted princely nephew Pierre Casiraghi in New York in 2012, sending him to the hospital. Hock’s friends tried to intercede for him but the Sovereign Prince would have none of it, Hock had to go and was threatened with immediate arrest if he set foot in Monaco again. His lawyer complained of course but, thankfully, it did the sucker-punching rat no good as the Prince still has final say on what goes on in Monaco and he can expel anyone from the country as he pleases. In this case, well deserved I would say. In Paris last week, niece and new mom Charlotte Casiraghi fell from her horse in a jumping competition, still managing to look glamorous doing it (not many can pull that off). Save perhaps for a bruised bottom, no harm was done and Charlotte later appeared at Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday.
Outside Europe, the Emir of Qatar held talks with the Kuwaitis as part of the on-going efforts to decrease tensions between the two gulf states. Qatar has been on the ‘naughty list’ with many of the Arab monarchies for using their powerful news network, Al Jazeera, to generate sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood and rebel forces in the region. In the UAE, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi spoke out that the President of the country, his brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, is in good health despite rumors to the contrary. He also gently chastised social media for spreading such rumors. In related news, the Sultan of Oman announced plans to travel to Germany both for a vacation and for medical examinations. Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, secondary wife of the Prime Minister of the UAE and daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, donated $500,000 to aid the South Sudanese refugees flooding the Gambella region of Ethiopia while in Jordan, Queen Rania and daughter Princess Iman held a feast for orphans at the Royal Palace, a special evening meal during Ramadan. Earlier in the week, the Princess also joined her mother in visiting a care center for the elderly.