Category Archives: Breaking News!

The Duke of Edinburgh to retire from public engagements

Photo Credit – Wikipedia, Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons 07778373486

Sudden news of a Royal Household staff meeting scheduled for the morning of May 4, 2017 caused a night of speculation regarding the health of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.  In addition to staff in London, staff from Windsor Castle, Sandringham, and Balmoral were called to an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace in London.   In the morning, Buckingham Palace released the following announcement:

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of The Queen.

Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen. Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.

The Duke of Edinburgh is Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated, although he will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.

Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.

Prince Philip will celebrate his 96th birthday next month and has been supporting his wife in her duties since their wedding 70 years ago. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family.  Like his wife, Prince Philip is a great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria, but through her daughter Princess Alice who married Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine.  Prince Philip carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family.  He had carried out an engagement on May 3, 2017 at Lord’s Cricket Ground to open a new stand where he joked that he is the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”.

In 1956, Prince Philip founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which recognizes young people for completing a series of self-improvement exercises modeled on Kurt Hahn’s solution to the “Six Declines of Modern Youth.”  The program now exists in 144 countries.  In recent years, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex have taken on most of the duties related to the program.

Prince Philip will accompany Queen Elizabeth II today, May 4, 2017, to a service for members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace. Afterward, they will host a luncheon for those attending the service.

The remaining engagements for Prince Philip on Buckingham Palace’s Future Engagements:

  • 9 May 2017: Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will visit Pangbourne College, Pangbourne, Reading, Berkshire, to celebrate its Centenary.
  • 14 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh will present the prizes for the DAKS Challenge Trophy, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
  • 15 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, Chartered Management Institute, will attend the President’s Dinner at Banqueting House, Whitehall
  • 16 May 2017: Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will give a Garden Party.
  • 17 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Honorary Cormorant, will attend the Cormorant Club’s 70th-anniversary Reception, at the Royal United Services Institute, Whitehall, London, SW1.
  • 18 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, the Pakistan Society, will attend a Dinner marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of Pakistan, at Mansion House, London, EC4.
  • 19 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, will hold a Dinner at Frogmore House, Home Park Windsor.
  • 21 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel, Grenadier Guards, will attend the Regimental Remembrance Service at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London, SW1.
  • 22 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel, Grenadier Guards, will attend the First Guards Club Dinner, at the Cavalry and Guards Club, London, SW1.
  • 22 May 2017: Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will visit the Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
  • 22 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel, Grenadier Guards, will hold a Regimental Council Meeting at Buckingham Palace.
  • 24 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, will hold Receptions for young people who have achieved the Gold Standard in the Award, at Buckingham Palace.
  • 30 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, the Air League, will hold a Reception at St. James’s Palace.
  • 31 May 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, London Youth, will hold an afternoon Reception at Buckingham Palace.
  • 1 June 2017: Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will give a Garden Party.
  • 7 June 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, will hold a Reception at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.
  • 8 June 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Honorary Member, Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers, will attend a Dinner at 1 Great George Street, London, SW1.
  • 13 June 2017: Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend Evensong at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace to celebrate the Centenary of the Companions of Honour.
  • 14 June 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, Plan International UK, will hold a Reception to mark its 80th anniversary, at Buckingham Palace.
  • 16 June 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel, Grenadier Guards, will hold the Senior Colonel’s Conference at Buckingham Palace.
  • 19 June 2017: Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend a Service for the Order of the Garter at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
  • 27 June 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Honorary Fellow, Zoological Society of London, will present The Prince Philip Award for Contributions to Zoology, at ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London NW1.
  • 30 June 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Member, The Coaching Club, will attend a dinner at the Visitor Centre Restaurant, Sandringham House.
  • 3 July 2017: The Duke of Edinburgh, Honorary Member, Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow, will attend a Reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the Prince Philip Prize, at Trades Hall, 85 Glassford St, Glasgow.
  • 4 July 2017: Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will give a Garden Party.
  • 12 July 2017 to 14 July 2017: Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will host The King and Queen of Spain during their State Visit to the United Kingdom when they will stay at Buckingham Palace.

Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, husband of Princess Désirée of Sweden, has died

Baron Niclas and Princess Désirée at the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 2013.

The Swedish Royal Court has announced that Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, the husband of Princess Désirée of Sweden, died today, April 11, 2017. He was 82 years old.

Princess Désirée is one of the older sisters of King Carl XVI Gustaf. The couple married in June 1964 and have three children – Otto (1965), Christina-Louise (1966) and Hélène (1968) – and several grandchildren.

Swedish Royal Court – Official Announcement (in Swedish)
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Désirée of Sweden, Baroness Silfverschiöld

New Swedish Baby: Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia expecting second child.

Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia and Prince Alexander. Photo: royalcourt.se

The Swedish Royal Court has announced that Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are expecting their second child in September 2017.  The Swedish Royal Court’s announcement quoted the couple:  “We are happy to announce that we are expecting a child, a sibling to Prince Alexander. We are looking forward to welcoming a new little member to our family.” Their first child Prince Alexander was born April 19, 2016.  Prince Carl Philip, the second of the three children of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, married the former Sofia Hellqvist on June 13, 2015 at the Royal Chapel in the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

 

Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, husband of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, has died

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, head of the House of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and husband of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, died at his home, Berleburg Castle, in Bad Berleburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany late on March 13, 2017 at the age of 82. Princess Benedikte is the elder of the two younger sisters of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Prince Richard underwent surgery for treatment of prostate cancer in 2003 and previously, had undergone treatment for skin cancer.

The announcement from the Danish Royal House via Tommy Paulsen, Private Secretary of Princess Benedikte, gave no cause of death: “It is with great sadness that I, on behalf of Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte, have to announce that His Highness Prince Richard has died. His Highness died suddenly at the castle in Berleburg last night, Monday, March 13. Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte, after a short stay in Denmark, returned home to Berleburg Tuesday morning.”
Kongehuset: Pressemeddelelse: Hans Højhed Prins Richard er afgået ved døden

At the wedding of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1966, Prince Richard met his future wife, the second of the three daughters of King Frederik IX of Denmark. The couple married at the Fredensborg Palace Church in Denmark on February 3, 1968. Richard and Benedikte had one son and two daughters. Because their three children were not raised in Denmark, they are not in the line of succession to the Danish throne.

Prince Richard was active in a number of conservation programs including a project to reintroduce European bison on his 30,000-acre estate. See NPR: German Prince Plans To Put Bison Back In The Wild.

Breaking News: Prince Louis and Princess Tessy of Luxembourg granted a divorce

Photo Credit –  © Cour grand-ducale de Luxembourg

The divorce of Prince Louis and Princess Tessy of Luxembourg was granted today in a London court.  A decree nisi was issued, citing “unreasonable behavior” as the reason for the divorce.  In England, it is a minimum of six weeks before the decree absolute is granted, formally ending the marriage.  At this point, there has been no formal statement from the Grand Ducal Court regarding Princess Tessy’s royal style or titles.

The Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg had announced on January 18, 2017 that Prince Louis and Princess Tessy of Luxembourg were planning to divorce. The press release from the Grand Ducal Court said, “Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess regret to announce that Prince Louis and Princess Tessy have decided to divorce. In these painful circumstances, they rely on the understanding of all and ask to respect the privacy of the couple and their children.”

Prince Louis is the third son of the four sons and the third of the five children of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Teresa.  Prince Louis and Tessy Antony had a son Gabriel in March 2006 and were married six months later on September 26, 2006. At the time of the wedding, Prince Louis relinquished the rights of succession for himself as well for any of his descendants. He retained his royal style and title, but his wife simply took on the surname ‘de Nassau’. A second son Noah was born in September 2007.  In 2009, Tessy was created HRH Princess Tessy of Luxembourg, Princess of Nassau and Princess of Bourbon-Parma, and their sons were made HRH Prince Gabriel of Nassau and HRH Prince Noah of Nassau.

Breaking News: Infanta Cristina of Spain Acquitted, Her Husband Found Guilty

Infanta Cristina, the sister of King Felipe VI of Spain, and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, outside a court in Mallorca, Spain in June 2016. Photograph: Cati Cladera/EPA

On February 17, 2017, Infanta Cristina of Spain was acquitted of tax fraud and money laundering and her husband Iñaki Urdangarín was found guilty of embezzling about 6 million euros in public funds for sporting events through his nonprofit foundation and of political corruption by using his former title of Duke of Palma de Mallorca as the husband of the Infanta Cristina. Urdangarín was sentenced to six years and three months in prison.

Infanta Cristina is the second daughter and the second of the three children of former King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Queen Sofia.  King Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 in favor of his son King Felipe VI of Spain.  In 1997, Infanta Cristina married Iñaki Urdangarín, a professional team handball player, a member of the Spanish Olympic Handball Team in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, winning bronze in 1996 and 2000, and serving as team captain in 2000.  The couple has three sons and one daughter.

In early 2011, allegations were made against Urdangarín regarding misappropriation of public funds through his Nóos Institute. He took a leave of absence from his position with Telefónica in Washington, DC, and the family returned to Spain in 2012. After it was discovered that large sums of money were transferred to several foreign accounts, it was announced that he would no longer take part in any official functions of the Spanish royal family. In early 2012, he began testifying before the courts in response to the allegations. He, along with several others, were investigated and were charged with embezzlement, fraud, breach of trust, forgery, and money laundering.  Infanta Cristina was also charged with tax fraud and money laundering in mid-2014. The trial began in January 2016.

In June 2015, King Felipe VI of Spain formally stripped his sister, Infanta Cristina, of her title of Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. Neither the Infanta, nor her husband are permitted to use the title any further.

Breaking News: Lord Snowdon, former husband of the late Princess Margaret, has died

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon with Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson at the White House in 1965; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, the husband of the late Princess Margaret, the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II, died peacefully at his home on January 13, 2017 at the age of 86.  Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret married on May 6, 1960 and divorced in 1978.  The couple had two children, David Armstrong-Jones, who will succeed his father as 2nd Earl of Snowdon, and Lady Sarah Chatto.  In 1978, Lord Snowdon married Lucy Mary Lindsay-Hogg and they had one daughter, Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones.  His second marriage ended in divorce in 2000.

Breaking News: Zara Phillips Tindall, Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, loses her baby

Zara and Mike Tindall; By Land Rover MENA – The All-New Range Rover | Global Reveal, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32378011

Zara Phillips Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall have lost their baby.  The pregnancy was announced on November 30, 2016.  The baby was due in late spring of 2017 and would have been Queen Elizabeth II’s sixth great-grandchild. The couple’s spokesperson said, “Very sadly, Zara and Mike Tindall have lost their baby. At this difficult time, we ask that everyone respects their privacy.”   The couple has one child, Mia Grace Tindall, born January 17, 2014.  Zara Phillips Tindall is the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter Princess Anne, The Princess Royal and her first husband Mark Phillips.
BBC: Zara and Mike Tindall lose their baby

Breaking News: Queen Silvia of Sweden hospitalized on her birthday

Queen Silvia of Sweden; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

On her 73rd birthday, Queen Silvia of Sweden, the wife of King Carl XVI Gustaf, was admitted to Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Sweden.  The Swedish Royal Court said, “The Queen has been taken to the hospital late last night. The Queen has had a cold for a time and during Friday evening became dizzy. The Queen is still in the hospital for observation and tests and feels well considering the circumstances.”  Queen Silvia fell ill at Drottningholm Palace where the Swedish Royal Family had gathered for Christmas.  Apparently, Queen Silvia became ill during the Drottningholm Palace Theatre’s concert in the Drottningholm Palace Church.  Her daughter Princess Madeleine accompanied her mother to the hospital and stayed with her during the night.  At the present, there is no more information about Queen Silvia’s condition or how long she will be hospitalized.  
Expressen: Drottning Silvia har förts till sjukhus

Update 12/25/16: Queen Silvia was released from the hospital on Christmas morning. The Swedish Court also confirmed that Queen Silvia was admitted to Danderyd Hospital and not Karolinska Hospital.
Expressen: Drottning Silvia är hemma från sjukhuset

Another baby for Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall

photo: David Hartley/REX/Shutterstock, source: The Daily Mail

photo: David Hartley/REX/Shutterstock, source: The Daily Mail

It’s been announced today that Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall are expecting a second child in the late spring of 2017. The baby will be the 6th great-grandchild for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, and the 4th grandchild for The Princess Royal and her former husband, Mark Phillips.  Zara and Mike already have one daughter, Mia Grace, born in January 2014.

Telegraph: Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and husband Mike ‘thrilled’ to be expecting second child

Daily Mail: Another royal baby! Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall announce they are expecting their second child