Royal News: Wednesday 23 July 2014

Expatica: Belgian king asks centre-right leaders to form government

Expatica: Dutch national day of mourning for MH17 victims Wednesday

Daily Mail: I’ll meet them on the stairs! French President Francois Hollande stands two steps higher than lofty King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain as he greets them in Paris
Fox News Latino: Spain’s Felipe VI, France’s Hollande to give Europe “new impetus”
Getty Images: King Felipe VI Of Spain On Official Visit In France
Hello: Queen Letizia is the picture of elegance on French visit

Times of India: Thai princess meets Nobel laureate Amartya Sen
Wall Street Journal: Thai King Approves Interim Constitution
Z News: Thailand Princess wanted to study in Tagore’s Shantiniketan

United Kingdom
BBC: Queen’s horse Estimate tests positive for morphine
BBC: ‘Fair Rosamund’ well to be restored at Blenheim Palace
BBC: Does Leicester’s Richard III centre live up to the hype?
BBC: Prince Charles visits Glendelvine squirrel sanctuary
BBC: Birthday celebrations for Prince George
BBC: In pictures: Prince George’s first year
CNN: Prince George at one: Profile and protection
Daily Mail: As Royal mother-of-two dazzles on Spanish beach… How Sophie got red hot at 49
Daily Mail: A year in the life of a prince: As George turns one FEMAIL takes a look at his first year in pictures (prepare to coo)
Daily Mail: Queen’s Gold Cup winning racehorse tests positive for morphine after ‘eating contaminated food’
Daily Mail: A guest list fit for a prince! The Queen joins Harry, Zara and Kate at Kensington Palace (and Granny Middleton is there too)
Daily Mail: New throne, Camilla? The Duchess of Cornwall gets the giggles as she is offered a seat on a Scottish bakery manager’s knee
Daily Mail: How a year has fluttered by: Prince George’s meeting with a butterfly captured in new pictures released to mark him turning one
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: Prince George’s First Birthday
Edinburgh Reporter: The Duchess of Rothesay visits The Assembly Rooms
Evening Standard: Prince George plays with butterfly in new pictures released to celebrate young Royal’s first birthday
Express: Queen’s horse which won at Royal Ascot tests positive for banned substance morphine
Express: Prince George effect! Toddler shifts attitudes to Royals as new official photos released
Express: Great granny is guest of honour as Prince George enjoys jam sandwiches on 1st birthday
Express: ‘He was most taken by it’ Prince Charles given toy squirrel as birthday present for George
Getty Images: Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Getty Images: The Duchess Of Cornwall Attends The Fashion Festival In Edinburgh
Getty Images: Prince George Of Cambridge Turns 1
Getty Images: (FILE) Prince George Of Cambridge Turns One
Guardian: Richard III visitor centre in Leicester opens its doors to the public
Guardian: Prince George in dungarees: why his retro style rules
Hello: The Queen and the Countess of Wessex to attend Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony
Hello: Kate and birthday boy Prince George visit the Queen and Prince Philip ahead of party
Hello: Guests arrive at Kensington Palace for Prince George’s first birthday
Hello: Prince George birthday: celebrations begin at Kensington Palace
Mirror: Prince George’s busy birthday – and a really royal party
Mirror: Happy Birthday Prince George: 12 things we’ve learned about the royal tot in his first year
Mirror: Prince George’s Birthday: The 50 reasons why we love the world’s most famous baby
Mirror: Going solo: Kate Middleton to visit Malta on first foreign royal tour without Wills
Mirror: One turns one: Prince George’s fun-filled first year in pictures as he celebrates his birthday
Prince of Wales: The Sights and Sounds of Scotland – Holyrood Week
Prince of Wales: Holyrood Week: Day Two
Telegraph: Kate’s style hits and misses
Telegraph: Queen’s racehorse tests positive for morphine
Telegraph: Prince George’s first birthday: Queen and Prince Harry attend ‘low key’ party at Palace
Telegraph: The royals who love jazz
Telegraph: Duchess of Cambridge is related to Beatrix Potter
Telegraph: Obituary – The 11th Marquess of Sligo
USA Today: Prince George is king of the world on first birthday

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Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant


Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (Elisabeth Therese Maria Helena) was born on October 25, 2001 at Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht, Brussels, Belgium. She is the oldest of four children of King Philippe of the Belgians and Queen Mathilde (née Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz). Elisabeth has two brothers and a sister: Prince Gabriel (born 2003), Prince Emmanuel (born 2005), and Princess Eléonore (born 2008).


Princess Elisabeth with her parents; Photo Credit –

On July 21, 2013, Elisabeth’s grandfather King Albert II abdicated in favor of her father who became King Philippe of the Belgians. Belgium had changed its succession law in 1991 to absolute primogeniture where the succession passes to the eldest child of the sovereign regardless of gender. Males and females have equal succession rights. This means that Elisabeth is the heir apparent and comes first in the line of succession as the eldest child. She is expected to become the first Belgian Queen Regnant.  Elisabeth automatically became Duchess of Brabant, the title used by the female heirs to the Belgian throne and the wives of male heirs.

Belgian royal family

July 21, 2013 on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Brussels; Front: Princess Eléonore, Prince Gabriel, the new heir to the throne the Duchess of Brabant (Princess Elisabeth), Prince Emmanuel, Back: Queen Mathilde, King Philippe, Photo Credit: BBC, via AFP

Princess Elisabeth is currently a student at Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege in the Marolles district of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The children of Elisabeth’s aunt Princess Astrid  attended this school. Instruction is in Dutch. This is the first time that a future Belgian monarch’s education began in a language other than French. Two of Elisabeth’s siblings, Prince Gabriel and Princess Eléonore, also attend Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege.

In 2011, nine year old Princess Elisabeth gave her first public speech (in Dutch) at the opening of a children’s hospital named after her, the Princess Elisabeth Children’s Hospital in Ghent, Belgium. Her speech was short, and even giving a speech was very unconventional for young royals. Princess Elisabeth said: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very happy that I can give my name to this new children’s hospital today. Together with you, I hope that many children will find help here. I know they can count on your daily commitment. The Princess Elisabeth Children’s Hospital now gets a special place in my heart.”


Princess Elisabeth giving her speech, with her parents;

On July 5, 2014, Princess Elisabeth along with her cousin Princess Louise, daughter of Prince Laurent of Belgium, were bridesmaids at the wedding of their cousin Prince Amedeo of Belgum, Archduke of Austria-Este in Rome, Italy.  Prince Amedeo is the son of the princesses’ aunt, Princess Astrid.


Princess Elisabeth on the right with her cousin Princess Louise on the left at the wedding of their cousin Prince Amedeo

Read more about the Belgian Royal Family here!

Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg


Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg (Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie) was born on November 11, 1981 at the Grand Duchess Charlotte Maternity Hospital in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. He is the eldest of five children of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and Cuban born María Teresa Mestre y Batista-Falla, and the heir to the Luxembourg throne. Guillaume has three brothers and one sister: Prince Félix (born 1984), Prince Louis (born 1986), Princess Alexandra (born 1991) and Prince Sébastien (born 1992).


The Princely Family in 2009; Photo Credit –

Prince Guillaume attended Lorentzweiler Primary School in Lorentzweiler, a small town in Luxembourg. He then completed his lower secondary education at Lycée Robert-Schumann Luxembourg in Luxembourg City, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Guillaume completed his secondary education at Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland where he passed his French Baccalaureate in 2001.

From September 2001 until August 2002, Guillaume underwent officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom. He was commissioned as an officer in the Luxembourg Army in December 2002 and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In June 2009, Guillaume was awarded a Bachelor degree with distinction in Humanities and Languages with a specialization in Political Science at the University of Angers in France. He is fluent in Luxembourgish, French, English, German and Spanish.

Prince Guillaume is interested in politics, economics, and philosophy. His favorite books
include biographies and historical novels. He enjoys music, both classical and modern,
and plays piano and guitar. As a child, he sang in a boys’ choir, the Pueri Cantores Choir of Luxembourg. While in school in Switzerland, he was a singer in the school rock band and participated in several school plays. Guillaume loves sports, particularly football (soccer), tennis, skiing, swimming and water sports.

Guillaume became Hereditary Grand Duke in 2000 when his father acceded to the throne upon the abdication of his grandfather, Grand Duke Jean (born 1921).  The Hereditary Grand Duke is a member of the State Council (Conseil d’Etat), composed of twenty-one citizens citizens which advises the Chamber of Deputies, the legislature of Luxembourg, in the drafting of legislation.

Prince Guillaume participates in the administration and fundraising of the following organizations:

Prince Guillaume, first met Countess Stéphanie de Lanoy, (born 1984 in Ronse, East Flanders, Belgium to a Belgian noble family) when they were introduced by friends in Germany eight years before they married. They did not see each other until they met again about five years later and that was when they fell in love. Guillaume proposed to Stéphanie three weeks prior to announcement of their engagement on April 26, 2012.  The couple were married in a civil ceremony at the City Hall in Luxembourg City, on October 19, 2012. Their religious wedding took place on October 20, 2012 at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City.

Guillaume_civil wedding

The couple exiting Town Hall after the civil marriage; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Guillaume_religious wedding

Photo Credit –

Read more about the Princely Family of Luxembourg here!

July 23: Today in Royal History

Beatrice And Henry

Wedding of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom and Prince Henry of Battenberg (see below for who’s who in the photo); Photo Credit –

July 23, 1212 – Wedding of Beatrice of Hohenstaufen & Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Wikipedia: Beatrice of Hohenstaufen
Wikipedia: Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor

July 23, 1339 – Birth of Louis I, King of Naples
Wikipedia: Louis I, King of Naples

July 23, 1503 – Birth of Anne of Bohemia & Hungary
Anne was the wife of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor and mother of fifteen children. She died before becoming Holy Roman Empress.
Wikipedia: Anne of Bohemia & Hungary

July 23, 1873 – Wedding of Maria Theresa of Portugal & Karl Ludwig of Austria
Maria Theresa and Karl Ludwig were the parents of Elisabeth Amalie, who married into the Liechtenstein princely family and became the mother of Franz Josef II, Prince of Liechtenstein.
Wikipedia: Maria Theresa of Portugal
Wikipedia: Karl Ludwig of Austria

July 23, 1885 – Wedding of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, to Prince Henry of Battenberg, at St. Mildred’s Church in Whippingham, Isle of Wight, England
Wikipedia: Prince Henry of Battenberg
Wikipedia: Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom

THE BACK: (L-R): Prince Alexander of Bulgaria, brother of the groom; Princess Louise of Wales; Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine; Princess Victoria of Wales; Prince Franz Joseph of Battenberg, brother of the groom

THE MIDDLE: (L-R): Princess Maud of Wales; Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine; Princesses Marie Louise and Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein

THE FRONT: (L-R): Princesses Victoria Melita, Marie, and Alexandra of Edinburgh and bridal couple

July 23, 1892 – Birth of Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, in Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia
Wikipedia: Haile Selassie

July 23, 1952 – King Farouk of Egypt deposed by military coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Farouk is famous for saying, “In a few years there will be only five kings in the world — the King of England and the four kings in a pack of cards.”
Wikipedia: Farouk of Egypt

July 23, 1961 – Death of Mrs. Higashikuni Morihiro, formerly Princess Teru, at the Imperial Household Agency Hospital
Princess Teru was the eldest sister of Emperor Akihito.
Wikipedia: Princess Teru

July 23, 1986 - Wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Wikipedia: Sarah, Duchess of York
Wikipedia: Prince Andrew, Duke of York

July 23, 1999 – Death of King Hassan II of Morocco in Rabat, Morocco; buried at the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco
Wikipedia: Hassan II of Morocco

July 23, 2007 – Death of Mohammed Zahir Shah, last king of Afghanistan, at the presidential palace compound in Kabul, Afghanistan; buried at Maranjan Hill at the presidential palace compound in Kabul, Afghanistan
Wikipedia: Mohammed Zahir Shah

Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein

Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein

Prince Alois Philipp Maria of Liechtenstein was born on June 11, 1968 in Zurich, Switzerland. He is the eldest son of Prince Hans-Adam II and Countess Marie Aglaë Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. At the time of his father’s accession in 1989, he became The Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein.

Raised at Vaduz Castle, Prince Alois attended primary school in Vaduz-Ebenholz and graduated from the Liechtenstein Gymnasium 1987. He then enrolled in the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Upon being commissioned as a second lieutenant, he served with the Coldstream Guards in London and Hong Kong for six months. Following his military service, Prince Alois enrolled in the University of Salzburg in Austria, earning his Master’s Degree in 1993. He subsequently worked for an accounting firm in London from September 1993 until May of 1996.

photo: Corbis

photo: Corbis

On July 3, 1993, Alois married Duchess Sophie in Bavaria, at the Vaduz Cathedral. Sophie is the daughter of Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria, and Countess Elizabeth Douglas. They have four children:

- Prince Joseph Wenzel (1995)
- Princess Marie-Caroline (1996)
- Prince Georg (1999)
- Prince Nikolaus (2000)

The couple initially settled in London before returning to Liechtenstein in 1996, where Prince Alois began working for the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation, which oversees and manages the various assets of the Princely Family.

On August 15, 2004, Prince Hans-Adam II appointed Alois as his “permanent representative for exercising the sovereign powers due to him, in preparation for his succession to the throne.” Alois now performs all his father’s duties both within the principality and internationally, however Hans-Adam remains Head-of-State.  (source: The Princely House of Liechtenstein)

Alois and Sophie at the Dutch Investiture, 2013.  Photo: Daily Mail

Alois and Sophie at the Dutch Investiture, 2013. Photo: Daily Mail

Read more about the Princely Family of Liechtenstein Family here!


Royal News: Tuesday 22 July 2014

Getty Images: Belgium Royals National Day Of Belgium 2014

Telegraph: Why the world went wild for King Tut

Multiple Monarchies
AllAfrica: Morocco: HM King Mohamed VI Congratulates King of Belgium On National Day
Gulf Times: Emir, PM send National Day greetings
Morocco World News: Morocco King extends condolences to Dutch Monarch on Malaysia Airlines plane crash

BBC: MH17 plane crash: Dutch sadness turns to fury
Dutch News: Air disaster has left a ‘deep wound’ in Dutch society, says king
Dutch Royal House: Brief statement by His Majesty the King after the gathering of next of kin of the air disaster victims on Monday, 21 July 2014, Nieuwegein
Expatica: Dutch king shares national anger over MH17 disaster
FemaleFirst: Dutch King Sends Condolences to Air Crash Victims
Guardian: MH17: Dutch king Willem-Alexander meets grieving relatives in Utrecht

Daily Mail: Letizia is stealing your thrift crown, Kate! Stylish Spanish Queen wears her faithful snakeskin stilettos at royal reception
Getty Images: Spanish Royals Receives “Ruta Quetzal BBVA 2014″ Youth Group
The Local: Queen’s selfie shows new side of royals

United Arab Emirates
Horsetalk: FEI’s Princess Haya honored at Aachen

United Kingdom
BBC: Duchess of Cambridge to make solo trip to Malta
BBC: Magna Carta Island in the River Thames goes on sale
Daily Mail: Flying solo at last! The Duchess of Cambridge set for her first foreign tour alone as it is revealed that she will visit Malta in September
Daily Mail: Kate to Make Solo Visit to Malta
Daily Mail: From London to Westeros! Tourist films Queen’s Guard playing Game of Thrones theme tune at Buckingham Palace
Daily Mail: Fancy living on your own private island… in Berkshire? Historic spot on River Thames where King John signed Magna Carta on sale for £4m
Daily Mail: How a year has fluttered by: Prince George’s meeting with a butterfly captured in new pictures released to mark him turning one
Daily Mail: A year in the life of Prince George
Daily Mail: Prince Harry reveals he ‘hates’ Twitter’s invasion of privacy
Daily Mail: Harry Tells Young to Back Invictus
Daily Mail: Street Party For George’s Birthday
Daily Mail: A special look back at the birth of Prince George
Daily Mail: ‘I hate Twitter!’ Prince Harry reveals he loathes social networking site… as he launches digital media drive at an east London school
Daily Mail: Search and rescue pilot, Prince William, in action
Daily Mail: Jazz Show for Charles and Camilla
Daily Mail: Charles Joins Jools for Jazz Event
Daily Mail: Camilla rides again! Duchess of Cornwall gets on motorbike and sidecar made famous by the Two Fat Ladies
Daily Mail: Camilla In Tribute To Volunteers
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: The Duchess of Cambridge will visit Malta
Evening Standard: Royal family throws private party for one-year-old George, the ‘Prince of Cuteness’
Expatica: British royals thank adoring world as Prince George turns one
Express: Bogus Marine lived on Army base just yards from the Queen
Express: The Duchess of Cambridge to go on engagement abroad without Wills and Prince George
Express: A piece of history for sale: Magna Carta Island up for grabs for just £4m
Express: Prince George effect! Toddler shifts attitudes to Royals as new official photos released
Express: Gorgeous George: Toddler’s style flies off the shelves
Express: ‘I think you all understand’: Prince Harry confesses to hating Twitter and Facebook
Express: Top 10 facts about Georges
Express: Happy birthday Prince George! Ten facts about our future king as he celebrates turning one
Getty Images: (FILE) Prince George Of Cambridge Turns One
Getty Images: Prince Harry Attends An Invictus Games Initiative At Bethnal Green Academy
Getty Images: Prince George Of Cambridge First Birthday
Guardian: Prince George at one: style icon, globetrotter, ‘toddler with the best hair’
Guardian: Judith Weir prepares to be a radical master of the Queen’s music
Hello: Prince George birthday: Prince William and Kate release charming family portrait
Hello: Duchess of Cambridge will make first solo overseas trip to Malta
Hello: Prince Harry reveals “I really quite hate Twitter” as he meets Invictus Games digital champions
Hello: Queen Elizabeth II ‘to attend Prince George’s first birthday’
ITV: Royal lego birthday party for Prince George
Malta Today: Princess Kate to visit Malta for Independence celebrations
Metro: Prince George celebrates his first birthday with a trip to see the butterflies at the Natural History Museum
Metro: Legoland Windsor celebrates Prince George’s first birthday in typical Lego style
Mirror: The Queen set to join the celebrations at Prince George’s first birthday party
Prince of Wales: Holyrood Week: Day One
Telegraph: Prince George in pictures
Telegraph: Prince George’s first birthday: don’t send gifts for the future king
Telegraph: Why the royals love jazz
Telegraph: Prince of Wales sock maker doubles production
Telegraph: Prince Harry: I hate Twitter
Telegraph: Queen expected to attend George’s birthday party

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July 22: Today in Royal History

Prince George of Cambridge with his parents; Photo Credit –

July 22, 1210 – Birth of Joan of England, eldest daughter and third child of King John, in Gloucester, England
Joan was the eldest daughter and third child of King John and Isabella of Angouleme. She married King Alexander II of Scotland but they had no children. Joan died in London while on a visit to her brother Henry III. She was buried in the convent church at Tarrant Crawford, Dorset.
Wikipedia: Joan of England

July 22, 1274 – Death of Henry I, King of Navarre
Wikipedia: Henry I, King of Navarre

July 22, 1298 – King Edward I of England combines bowmen and cavalry to defeat William Wallace’s Scots at the Battle of Falkirk
Wikipedia: Battle of Falkirk

July 22, 1447 – Wedding of John II, King of Castile & Isabel of Portugal
John and Isabel were the parents of Isabella I, Queen of Castile.
Wikipedia: John II, King of Castile
Wikipedia: Isabel of Portugal

July 22, 1461 – Death of King Charles VII of France at Mehun-sur-Yèvre, France; buried at Saint Denis Basilica near Paris
Wikipedia: Charles VII of France

July 22, 1478 – Birth of Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy, husband of Queen Juana of Castile, in Bruges (Belgium)
Philip reigned with his wife as Philip I. After his death, his wife refused to part with his body and had it transported as she traveled. It was not buried for a couple of years.
Wikipedia: Philip the Handsome

July 22, 1535 – Birth of Katarina Stenbock, third wife of King Gustav I of Sweden, in Torpa, Västergötland, Sweden
Wikipedia: Katarina Stenbock

July 22, 1746 – Death of Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain, Dauphine of France
Wikipedia: Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain, Dauphine of France

July 22, 1816 – Wedding of Princess Mary, daughter of King George III of Great Britain, and Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, her first cousin, at the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace
At age 40, Mary married her first cousin William, son of her father’s brother. Mary was the last of George III’s children to die (in 1857) and was a favorite aunt of Queen Victoria.
Wikipedia: Princess Mary of Great Britain
Wikipedia: Prince William, Duke of Gloucester

July 22, 1832 – Death of Napoléon II, son of Napoleon Bonaparte, at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria; originally buried in the Kapuzinergruft in Vienna; his remains were transferred to Les Invalides in Paris, but his heart remains at the Herzgruft in the Augustinerkirche in Vienna, and his viscera remains at the Ducal Crypt in Stephansdom in Vienna
Wikipedia: Napoléon II

July 22, 1848 – Birth of Adolf Friedrich V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in Neustrelitz (Germany)
Wikipedia: Adolf Friedrich V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

July 22, 1896 – Wedding of Princess Maud of Wales, daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, and Prince Carl of Denmark, later King Haakon VII of Norway, at the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace
Wikipedia: Maud of Wales
Wikipedia: Haakon VII of Norway

July 22, 2002 – Birth of Prince Felix of Denmark, son of Prince Joachim of Denmark, at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark
Full name: Felix Henrik Valdemar Christian
Wikipedia: Prince Felix of Denmark

July 22, 2013 – Birth of Prince George of Cambridge, son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, England
Wikipedia: Prince George of Cambridge

Royal News: Monday 21 July 2014

Expatica: Belgian king urges speedy formation of new government
Getty Images: Belgium Royals Preparations Ahead Of National Day Of Belgium 2014

Hello: Happy birthday Crown Prince Haakon: 10 facts about the future king of Norway
Norway Today: Crown Prince Haakon celebrates his 41st birthday
The Local: Prince Haakon of Norway celebrates 41st birthday

United Kingdom
BBC: Prince George photograph marks first birthday (video)
BBC: In pictures: Royal first birthdays
Daily Mail: Life through a Royal lens: 87 years of intimate family pictures dating back to 1927 mark Prince George’s first birthday on Tuesday
Daily Mail: Prince William takes helicopter rescue job a few miles from home: Duke of Cambridge’s new role will allow him to be a hands-on dad
Express: Gorgeous George: Toddler’s style flies off the shelves
Express: Prince George puts his best foot forward as Queen prepares to be birthday guest of honour
Express: Prince Andrew bytes back
Express: The lovable Prince George grasps at the chance to be Royal scamp
Hello: Prince George’s first birthday photographer: ‘He’s quick on his feet’
Mirror: The Queen set to join the celebrations at Prince George’s first birthday party
National Post: Prince George’s first year in photos: From first portrait to first steps
Telegraph: How ‘Georgous’ won our hearts
Telegraph: Happy birthday to a very bonny Prince

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Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan

photo: Zimbio

photo: Zimbio

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan

Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan was born on February 23, 1960 at the Tokyo Imperial Palace. He is the eldest son of Emperor Akihito and Michiko Shōda. He has a younger brother, Prince Akishino, and a younger sister, the former Princess Nori. Born during the reign of his grandfather, Emperor Hirohito, Prince Naruhito was second in line to the throne.

He was educated at the Gakushūin (or Peers School) in Tokyo from the age of 4, and went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Gakushūin University in 1982. He then studied at Merton College at Oxford University in the UK before returning to Gakushūin University, earning his Master’s Degree in history in 1988.

photo: Imperial Household Agency

photo: Imperial Household Agency

In 1986, Prince Naruhito first met Masako Owada at a tea held in honor of Infanta Elena of Spain, and by all reports, was instantly smitten with the beautiful and intelligent Masako. Despite disapproval from the Imperial Household Agency, and Masako leaving Japan for several years to study abroad, the two continued their relationship. Initially, Masako refused the Crown Prince’s proposals, as it would mean giving up her career and conforming to the very strict guidelines of the Imperial Household. However, he finally convinced her and she accepted his third proposal in December 1992. Their engagement was announced in January 1993, and the formal engagement ceremony held that April. Finally, On June 9, 1993, Crown Prince Naruhito and Masako were married in a traditional ceremony at the Imperial Shinto Hall in Tokyo. Following the ceremony, and a change into more contemporary attire, the newly married couple processed through the streets of Tokyo. They reside at the Tōgū Palace, on the Akasana Estate, and they have one daughter:

- Aiko, Princess Toshi (2001)

Aside from many official duties, the Crown Prince serves as Honorary Vice-President of the Japanese Red Cross and Honorary President of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation. He is also an active supporter of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. He undertakes many official visits internationally, and often represents the Emperor at royal weddings and other events. He is very interested in water conservation and serves on the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century, and is patron of the Global Water Partnership.

Naruhito with his wife Masako, and daughter Aiko, 2014.  photo: Japan Times/AP

Crown Prince Naruhito with Crown Princess Masako, and daughter Princess Aiko, 2014.   Photo: Japan Times/AP

Read more about the Japanese Imperial Family here!

July 21: Today in Royal History

Leopold I, King of the Belgians; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

July 21, 987 – Death of Geoffrey I (Greymantle), Count of Anjou in Marçonm (France)
Wikipedia: Geoffrey I of Anjou

July 21, 1824 – Death of Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, Rama II of Thailand in Bangkok
Wikipedia: Buddha Loetla Nabhalai

July 21, 1831 – Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, uncle of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, ascends to the throne of Belgium
Wikipedia: Leopold I of Belgium

July 21, 1858 – Birth of Maria Christina of Austria, second wife of King Alfonso XII of Spain, at Židlochovice Castle in Brno (Czech Republic)
Wikipedia: Maria Christina of Austria