Royal News: Friday 22 August 2014

Italy
Royal Blog: Granddaughters Princess Irene awaiting baptism

Japan
Japan News: Emperor Showa’s annals completed after 24 years

Morocco
Hello!: Happy birthday King Mohammed VI of Morocco: 10 facts about the royal

Multiple Monarchies
Hello!: Will Europe’s royals take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Saudi Arabia
Daily Mail: Pictured: The playboy Saudi prince who was robbed of $300,000 in his 10-car Paris convoy by AK47-toting gang – despite having cars full of armed bodyguards

Sweden
The Local: Spotify founders win ‘Expats of the Year’

UK
ITV: Prince Charles sends letter to Newcastle fan’s father
BBC: Prince Charles promotes Wales at Nato summit
3news: Judi Dench, Benedict Cumberbatch join BBC’s Richard III
Cambridge News: Cambridge prepares for a royal visit from Queen Elizabeth (the First)
Telegraph: Antonio Carluccio: Prince Charles wrote to me after Neal Street closed
The Northern Echo: Cuddly Katie’s air ambulance adventures could entertain Prince George

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.

King Juan Carlos I of Spain

photo: The Guardian

photo: The Guardian

King Juan Carlos I of Spain

King Juan Carlos I was the reigning King of Spain from November 22, 1975 until his abdication on June 19, 2014. He was born Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias, Infante of Spain, on January 5, 1938 in Rome, where the family had settled after the monarchy was overthrown in 1931 and Spain became a Republic. His parents were Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona (son of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg) and Princess María Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. He has three siblings:

Despite the family living in exile, Juan Carlos was permitted to return to Spain in 1948 to attend school. After graduating from the San Isidro Institute in Madrid in 1954, he joined the Army, receiving his officer training at the Military Academy of Zaragoza. This was followed by a year with the Navy and then another year with the Air Force, after which he attended Complutense University in Madrid, studying law and international relations.

photo: AFP

photo: AFP

Juan Carlos married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark on May 14, 1962 at the Church of Saint Dennis, in Athens. Sophia is the eldest daughter of King Paul of the Hellenes and Princess Frederika of Hanover. (You can read more about the wedding here!)  The couple took up residence at Zarzuela Palace, and have three children:

King Juan Carlos being sworn in as King of Spain photo: EyeOnSpain.com

King Juan Carlos being sworn in as King of Spain.  photo: EyeOnSpain.com

On July 21, 1969, General Franco formally named Juan Carlos as his successor, giving him the newly created title ‘The Prince of Spain’. Franco died on November 22, 1975 and Juan Carlos was proclaimed King by the Cortes. He was formally sworn in on November 27th. While many expected the new King to continue with Franco’s policies and government, Juan Carlos instead began implementing changes and reforms. In 1977, Spain held its first democratic elections, and the following year saw the institution of a new Spanish Constitution.

King Juan Carlos addressing the nation, February 23, 1981. photo: BBC

King Juan Carlos addressing the nation, February 23, 1981.  photo: BBC

Deemed by some to be his greatest accomplishment was his handling of an attempted coup in 1981. When the democratically elected members of the Cortes (Spanish parliament) were taken hostage, the King addressed the nation, calling for the law to be upheld and the government to continue. The coup attempt quickly fell apart, and within 18 hours, the Cortes was back in control. The King’s strong stance and forceful speech led to a surge in popularity and support of the monarchy.

In the later years of his reign, the King was plagued with several health issues, as well as several personal matters which proved problematic for the monarchy. Most prominent has been allegations directed as his son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarín, for diverting public funds for personal use through one of his companies. Later, the King’s daughter, Infanta Cristina, was also charged with tax fraud and money laundering. In 2012, while Spain was in the midst of a financial crisis, the King went on a elephant-hunting trip to Botswana. The trip became public knowledge when the King was injured and a special plane was flown to return him to Spain. He was quickly vilified in the media for the lavish trip, estimated at costing more than 2-years average salary in Spain, while many Spaniards were suffering at home. The presence of a reported mistress on the trip also caused significant discord at home. All of these events took a strong personal toll on the King, as well as the Spanish monarchy as a whole.

King Juan Carlos formally signing the abdication into law, June 18, 2014. Photo: Hello

King Juan Carlos signing the abdication into law, June 18, 2014.  Photo: Hello

In June 2014, despite earlier denials from the Palace, King Juan Carlos announced his intent to abdicate in favor of his son, Felipe. On June 18th, the King signed the law granting the abdication which would take effect just after midnight. The following day, his son was formally sworn-in as King Felipe VI. Cortes.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía photo: The Telegraph/Reuters

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía.  photo: The Telegraph/Reuters

Read more about the Spanish Royal Family here!

 

August 22: Today in Royal History

King Leopold II of Belgium and Marie Henriette of Austria; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

August 22, 1350 – Death of King Philip VI of France at Nogent-le-Roi in Eure-et-Loir, France; buried at St. Denis Basilica near Paris
Wikipedia: Philip VI of France

August 22, 1358 – Death of Isabella of France, wife of King Edward II of England, at Castle Rising in Norfolk, England, buried at Grey Friars Church in Newgate, London, England
Wikipedia: Isabella of France

August 22, 1485 – Death of King Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field; Henry Tudor becomes King Henry VII of England
Wikipedia: Battle of Bosworth Field
Wikipedia: Richard III of England
Wikipedia: Henry VII of England

August 22, 1642 – English Civil War begins when King Charles I of England calls Parliament and its soldiers traitors and raises his standard against the Parliamentarian Army in Nottingham
Wikipedia: English Civil War

August 22, 1658 – Birth of Johann Ernst IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in Gotha, Saxe-Gotha (Germany)
Wikipedia: Johann Ernst IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

August 22, 1705 – Wedding of King George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach at Schloss Herrenhausen in Hanover (Germany)
Wikipedia: George II of Great Britain
Wikipedia: Caroline of Ansbach

August 22, 1853 – Wedding of King Leopold II of Belgium and Marie Henriette of Austria
Wikipedia: Leopold II of Belgium
Wikipedia: Marie Henriette of Austria

August 22, 1860 – Birth of Eleonore of Reuss-Köstritz, second wife of Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, in Trebschen, Prussia (Poland)
Full name: Eleonore Caroline Gasparine Louise
Wikipedia: Eleonore of Reuss-Köstritz

August 22, 1878 – Death of Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies, fourth wife of Ferdinand VII of Spain, at Le Havre, France; buried at the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real in Spain
Wikipedia: Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies

August 22, 1893 – Death of Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha at Reinhardsbrunn Castle in Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Germany); buried at Moritzkirche in Coburg (Germany)
Ernest was the brother of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband.
Wikipedia: Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Royal News: Thursday 21 August 2014

Belgium
Royalblog: Belgian King Philip gets ice buckets ready

Netherlands
DutchNews: State pays €460,000 to use land for king’s Greek villa security fence
Global Post: Outrage over 461,000-euro fence at Dutch king’s holiday home
MSN News: Dutch spend 461,000 euros to fence off king’s Greek holiday home
NLTimes: KING’S GREEK VILLA COSTS TAXPAYERS EXTRA €500K ANNUALLY
Royalblog: Granddaughters Princess Irene awaiting baptism

Norway
Norway Post: Private schools for Royal children

United Kingdom
ChronicleLive: Prince Charles sends personal letter to MH17 victim Liam Sweeney’s father
Daily Mail: Princess Beatrice visits Edinburgh hospital to open state-of-the-art body scanner that will treat children with cancer
Inside The Games: Prince Harry and Earl of Wessex to support British National Paralympic Day

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King Mihai I of Romania

King Mihai of Romania

King Mihai I of Romania was born on October 25, 1921, in a chalet on the grounds of Peleş Castle in Sinaia, Romania. He is the only child of King Carol II and his second wife, Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark. When he was just four years old, his father renounced his own right to the throne, and Mihai became heir apparent to his grandfather, King Ferdinand. Upon the King’s death on July 20, 1927, Mihai took the throne as King of Romania. Because of his age (not yet 6 years old), a regency council was established, led by Mihai’s uncle, Prince Nicolae.

In June 1930, in a coup d’état engineered by Prime Minister Iuliu Maniu, Mihai’s father returned to Romania, declared his earlier renunciation invalid, and was proclaimed King by the Romanian Parliament on June 8th. Mihai was ‘demoted’ to Crown Prince. However, unhappy with King Carol II’s actions and policies, on September 6, 1940 another coup d’état took place, this time under Prime Minister Ion Antonescu, and Carol was forced to formally abdicate. Mihai was once again King of Romania.

King Mihai in 1947. photo: Wikipedia

King Mihai in 1947. photo: Wikipedia

In November 1947, while in London to attend the wedding of two his cousins, Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, King Mihai first met his future wife (and second cousin, once removed), Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma. She is the daughter of Prince René of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Margaret of Denmark. There was some matchmaking going on, with the King’s mother trying to get the couple together, as well as some help from Anne’s cousin, the future Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg. According to the King, he proposed a week later and the couple were engaged. Wanting to inform his government before making any official announcement, he returned to Romania.

On December 30, 1947, he was summoned to Bucharest to find his palace surrounded by troops loyal the Communist regime. With threats of bloodshed, and according to the King’s own account, a gun to his head, he was forced to sign a document of abdication. Four days later, he was forced to leave the country. In March of 1948, he publicly announced that his abdication was invalid, as it had been forced upon him, and that he remained the rightful King of Romania.

Meanwhile, plans were still underway for Mihai’s wedding to Anne. The couple had reunited in Switzerland, and were facing one of the biggest obstacles in their upcoming life together – religion. Anne was Roman Catholic while Mihai was Orthodox. A dispensation was sought from the Pope, who insisted that Mihai promise any children would be raised Catholic. The King would not, and could not, make this promise as it would violate the Romanian constitution, and the Pope refused to sanction the marriage. But the couple, with the support of most of their families, vowed to marry anyway. (Years later, in 1966, they a second wedding in a Roman Catholic church in Monaco.)

On June 10, 1948, Mihai and Anne were married in an Orthodox ceremony held in the throne room of the Royal Palace in Athens. Attendants included Mihai’s cousin Sophia (now Queen Sofia of Spain) and his uncle, King Paul of the Hellenes. Noticeably missing were the bride’s parents. Because of the religious differences, Anne’s uncle Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma had issued a statement refusing to condone a wedding which went against the wishes of the Pope. He also forbade her parents from attending. However, her maternal side of the family did attend and her mother’s brother, Prince Erik, Count of Rosenborg, gave her away. Upon the marriage, and despite Michael having lost his throne, Anne took the title of Her Majesty The Queen of Romania. The couple first lived at his mother’s home, Villa Sparta, in San Domenico, Italy before moving to Switzerland in 1949. Two years later they moved to England where they remained until returning to Switzerland in 1956. They have five daughters:

King Mihai worked as a commercial pilot and worked for an aircraft equipment company. It would be 43 years before he set foot on Romanian soil again. In December 1990, the King was given permission for a 24-hour visit. However, this ended up being cut short and he was forced to leave early. He visited again 1992, but the mass outpouring of crowds and supporters concerned the current government and he was banned again for several years. Finally, in 1997, the Romanian government restored Mihai’s citizenship and in the following years, several properties were returned to the royal family. The King and Queen now live primarily at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest, and their country home, Săvârșin Castle, in Transylvania. They also have a home in Switzerland.

King Mihai and Queen Anne waiving from the Elisabeta Palace, 2001. photo: Guardian/AP

King Mihai and Queen Anne waiving from the Elisabeta Palace, 2001. photo: Guardian/AP

In the years since returning to Romania, King Mihai has been active in the promotion of Romania around the world, but has not made any overtures toward restoration of the monarchy. He has, however, made changes to the House Laws to ensure the succession of the current royal family. In 2007, he established the Fundamental Rules of the Royal Family of Romania, in which he changed the line of succession to allow his daughters to succeed (until then, women were excluded). He named his eldest daughter as Crown Princess and Custodian of the Romanian Crown, and his heir as Head of the Royal House of Romania.

King Mihai and Queen Anne at his 90th birthday celebrations, with Queen Sofia of Spain. photo: Russian Imperial House

King Mihai and Queen Anne at his 90th birthday celebrations, with Queen Sofia of Spain.
photo: Russian Imperial House

Read more about the Romanian Royal Family here!

 

August 21: Today in Royal History

Tsar Peter III of Russia and Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst (Empress Catherine II “the Great”); Photo Credit – Wikipedia

August 21, 1643 – Birth of King Afonso VI of Portugal at Ribeira Palace in Lisbon, Portugal
Wikipedia: Afonso VI of Portugal

August 21, 1745 – Wedding of Tsar Peter III of Russia and Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst (Empress Catherine II “the Great”) in St. Petersburg, Russia
Wikipedia: Peter III of Russia
Wikipedia: Catherine II “the Great”

August 21, 1765 – Birth of King William IV of the United Kingdom at Buckingham House in London, England
Full name: William Henry
Wikipedia: William IV of the United Kingdom

August 21, 1813 – Death of Sofia Magdalena of Denmark and Norway, wife of King Gustav III of Sweden, at Ulriksdal Palace in Sweden; buried at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, Sweden
Wikipedia: Sofia Magdalena of Denmark and Norway

August 21, 1858 – Birth of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, son of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, at Schloss Laxenburg, near Vienna, Austria
Wikipedia: Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria

August 21, 1930 – Birth of Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom, daughter of King George VI of the United Kingdom, at Glamis Castle in Glamis, Angus, Scotland
Full name: Margaret Rose
Wikipedia: Margaret of the United Kingdom

August 21, 1963 – Birth of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in Rabat, Morocco
Wikipedia: Mohammed VI of Morocco

Royal News: Wednesday 20 August 2014

Monaco
Prince’s Palace: H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco travels to Nanjing and Beijing
Royalblog: Prince Albert II promoting Monaco in China

Multiple Monarchies
Royalblog: Ice Bucket Challenge for Dutch & Belgian Kings

Netherlands
Royalblog: Princess Beatrix patron of Dutch Windmills

Norway
Hello: Princess Ingrid of Norway starts first day at new school on proud mum Mette-Marit’s birthday
Hello: Happy birthday Crown Princess Mette-Marit: 10 facts about the royal
Norway Today: The first day for Princess Ingrid Alexandra at the private school
The Local: Princess Ingrid starts her first day at new school

Parma
Royalblog: Parma commemorates its late Duke, Carlo Ugo

Qatar
Daily Mail: ‘Drunk’ Belgium diplomat specialising in protocol is arrested for tearing full-face veil off a Qatari princess

Rome
Guardian: Mausoleum of Augustus stands derelict on anniversary of emperor’s death
Wales Online: On the 2,000th anniversary of his death, Emperor Augustus might have some words of advice for autocrats around the world

Saudi Arabia
Greek Reporter: Saudi Prince Interested in Buying Greek Island Dia

Serbia
Royal Family of Serbia: HRH Crown Prince Alexander II remarks on the occasion of the Centenary of the Battle of Cer
Royal Family of Serbia: Prof. Predrag Palavestra, member ofthe Crown Council dies

Spain
Daily Beast: Will Scandal Sink the Spanish Royal Family?

Swaziland
Voice of America: Swaziland Media Muzzled in Africa’s Last Absolute Monarchy

Thailand
United Nations News Centre: Thai law on defaming monarchy has ‘chilling effect’ on free expression – UN rights office

United Kingdom
BBC: Prince Edward to unveil WW1 Liverpool Pals memorial
Daily Mail: New baby joy to cheer Camilla
Express: Prince Philip aide to face trial on historic sex charges
Hello: Duchess Kate lookalike shuns lawyer job and dreams of going professional
Liverpool Echo: Earl of Wessex to officially unveil Liverpool Pals’ memorial
USA Today: What’s the story on Prince Harry’s new gal? Gossips are agog!
Vogue: Why Catherine Isn’t A Fashion Follower

Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar

photo: The Qatar Consultancy

photo: The Qatar Consultancy

Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar

Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned is the wife of Sheikh Hammad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar, and mother of the current Emir, Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

Sheikha Mozah was born on August 8, 1959 in Al-Khor, Qatar. Her father, Nasser bin Abdullah Al Missned had publicly advocated for fairer distribution of wealth in the small nation of Qatar, which brought about his imprisonment at the hands of the Emir (the father of her future husband). Despite this, while attending Qatar University, she met and became engaged to the Crown Prince of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. (Mozah would eventually earn her Bachelor’s Degree from Qatar University in 1986). She became his second wife in 1977 when the couple married. They have seven children:

Sheikha Mozah with her husband on an official visit to Spain, 2011 photo: Zimbio

Sheikha Mozah with her husband on an official visit to Spain, 2011.  photo: Zimbio

When her husband became Emir in 1995, Sheikha Mozah took a very public and prominent role in the country. Unlike most wives in Middle Eastern monarchies who remain quietly in the background, she has used her profile and position to raise awareness of important issues. With her husband, she established the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and serves as the Chairperson of the Board. She serves as President of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Vice-Chairperson of the Supreme Education Council, Chairperson of the Silatech initiative, and Chairperson of the Arab Democracy Foundation. Since 2003, she has worked with UNESCO as a Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education.

Internationally, Sheikha Mozah often represented her husband at major royal functions, and accompanied him on most state visits. She is considered by many to be one of the most glamorous and fashionable royals in the world, and remains a visible member of Qatar’s royal family, often seen supporting her son, the current Emir.

Sheikha Mozah, with Princess Lalla Samla of Morocco, and Prince Albert of Monaco, 2013 photo: Popsugar

Sheikha Mozah, with Princess Lalla Samla of Morocco and Prince Albert of Monaco, at the investiture of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, 2013.  photo: Popsugar

Read more about your favorite royals here!

 

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar (1995-2013)

photo: AFP/Getty Images

photo: AFP/Getty Images

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar (1995-2013)

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was Emir of Qatar from 1995 until 2013. He was born in 1952 in Doha, the son of Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar from 1975-1995.

Following his initial education in Qatar, he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, graduating in 1971. Returning to Qatar, he took up several positions in Qatar’s military and government, being named Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense. He was named Crown Prince in 1977, and led Qatar’s Supreme Planning Council.

In 1992, his father handed over much of the day-to-day responsibility to Hamad, while remaining Emir and Head of State. However, while his father was out of the country, Hamad staged a coup in June 1995, overthrowing his father and declaring himself the new Emir of Qatar. During Hamad’s reign, Qatar saw a significant growth in natural gas production and more prominence on the world stage. He was a primary contributor to the establishment of the Al Jazeera news network, and established the Qatar Investment Authority. The QIA holds assets of over US$170billion, with investments in several major corporations – including Royal Dutch Shell, Volkswagen, and the Harrods Group – as well as real estate holdings around the world.

Sheikh Hamad on a state visit to the UK, 2010. photo: Zimbio

Sheikh Hamad on a state visit to the UK, 2010.  photo: Zimbio

Sheikh Hamad traveled extensively, promoting diplomatic ties with countries both within the region and elsewhere. He spent a significant amount of time in the United Kingdom, having several private properties there. He was typically accompanied by his second wife, Sheikha Mozah, who has taken on a much more public role than his other wives who, in keeping with tradition, are seldom seen in public.

On June 25, 2013, after eighteen years as Emir, Sheikh Hamad publically announced his abdication in favor of his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa. Read more about the abdication here.

Sheikh Hamad has three wives and a total of 24 children.

His first wive is Sheikha Mariam bint Muhammad Al Thani, his first cousin. They have eight children:

  • Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
  • Sheikh Sheikh Fahd bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
  • Sheikha Aisha bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
  • Sheikha Mashael bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
  • Sheikha Fatima bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
  • Sheikha Rawdah bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
  • Sheikha Hussah bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
  • Sheikha Sara bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

His second wife is Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. They married in 1977, and have seven children:

His third wife is Sheikha Noora bint Khalid Al-Thani, his first cousin. They have nine children:

Sheikh Hamad and Sheikha Mozah with The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, 2010. photo: Zimbio/Bauer Griffin

Sheikh Hamad and Sheikha Mozah with The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, 2010. photo: Zimbio/Bauer Griffin

Read more about your favorite royals here!

 

August 20: Today in Royal History

Prince Alfred, son of King George III of the United Kingdom; Photo Credit – http://www.royalcollection.org.

August 20, 1752 – Birth of Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt, wife of Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in Darmstadt (Germany)
Wikipedia: Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt

August 20, 1783 – Death of Prince Alfred, son of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Windsor Castle, buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
The ninth and youngest son and fourteenth child of George III and his wife Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Alfred was probably a “blue baby” and was always in delicate health.  He died a month before his second birthday and was buried in the royal vault at Westminster Abbey.  He was transferred to the new Royal Tomb House at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor shortly after his father’s burial there in 1820.
Wikipedia: Prince Alfred

August 20, 2003 – Birth of Prince Gabriel of Belgium, son of King Philippe of the Belgians, in Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht, Belgium
Full name: Gabriel Baudouin Charles Marie
Wikipedia: Prince Gabriel of Belgium