Sunday, September 30, 2012

Luxembourg: New Photos Released

The Grand Ducal family has released two new photos of Crown Prince Guillaume and his fiancée Stéphanie ahead of the October wedding, as well as the official monogram created especially for the occasion.
The photos, showing the happy couple, were released late on Tuesday, the same day that Luxembourg's State Council sanctioned the new law granting the Belgian countess the Luxembourg nationality.
The State Council argued that the Luxembourg nationality would allow Stéphanie to even further identify with her role as wife of the Crown Prince and future head of state, as well as the Luxembourg people.
Next up is the judicial Chamber commission, which will finalise the text before it will be voted on by the Chamber of Deputies in its first session following the summer break.
The monogram, meanwhile, shows a blue and orange GS, with both letters intertwined under the house's crown.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Spain: The King and the Crisis

MADRID — With Spain mired in an economic slump, many Spaniards are questioning their king, long revered for his role in bringing democracy to the nation but now being scrutinized for his deluxe lifestyle and opaque fortune.
An accident this spring, when the king broke his hip while elephant hunting in Botswana, exposed a rarefied world of business contacts and set off an unusual public outcry over why the Spanish monarch, Juan Carlos I, was off on a pricey African safari during a time of national hardship.
The episode led to an unusual royal apology, but the collateral damage has left the king, 74, recalibrating his monarchy. He has stepped up his public appearances, embracing his role as an international business booster and conciliator amid rising fury over government-imposed austerity measures intended to help shore up confidence in the country’s finances.
“The monarchy will continue as long as the people want a monarchy,” the king said on a swing through New York last week, part of a palace strategy to meet with top opinion makers to help promote confidence in Spain.
Europe’s economic crisis has politicians and struggling taxpayers from Belgium to England openly weighing the costs of subsidizing royals. Unlike other European monarchs, Juan Carlos came to the throne after the death of the dictator Gen. Francisco Franco in 1975 with virtually nothing, and has worked hard to generate his own fortune beyond the annual 8.3 million euro budget, or $10.7 million, bestowed on the palace by the Spanish government.
The king is widely valued in business circles for acting as a sometime deal maker and economic ambassador for his nation, but how he has amassed his substantial personal wealth remains secret. The Spanish royal family’s wealth has been estimated at up to $2.3 billion, a sum that supporters contend was inflated by the inclusion of government properties.
To promote Spain’s businesses and help repair his image, Juan Carlos took the controls this month of a cutting-edge NH90 helicopter during a visit to a Eurocopter manufacturing plant in Albacete. On Thursday, he inaugurated a new Barcelona container terminal.
It is all part of his campaign to advance “Brand Spain,” as the king put it in response to written questions, another palace step to demonstrate openness. His message for Spanish business, he added, is straightforward: “Export, export and export.”
Juan Carlos’s peripatetic role as a business diplomat and deal maker was brought into the limelight after the safari, which was subsidized and organized by Mohamed Eyad Kayali, a Syrian construction magnate.
The two longtime friends had worked together on a $9.9 billion bullet-train contract that the monarch helped broker last autumn for a Spanish consortium in Saudi Arabia. Leveraging his friendship with the Saudi king and other royals, Juan Carlos outmaneuvered a French bid.
Supporters and advisers to the palace insist the king does not receive commissions on the deals he mediates or promotes.
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©Getty Images

Lausanne: Exhumation of Yugoslav Royal Graves

Yesterday in the presence of several descendants of Prince Regent Paul and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia, their remains and those of their son Prince Nicholas were exhumed from their grave in Lausanne, Switzerland.

After a religious ceremony, the three caskets are to head to Oplenac, Serbia, site of the Karageorgevic Crypt, where they will rest for all eternity.

The family decided that this would be a private event, and only descendants of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Grand Duchess He;len Vladimirovna of Russia, along with members of the Karageorgevic family were invited.

Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, Catherine Oxenberg, Nicholas Balfour
and Prince Michael of Yugoslavia.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Serbia: State Funeral for the Prince Regent and his family

Culminating a 20-year long campaign to rehabilitate the historical image of Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia, his family announced recently (privately at first), that his remains and those of his wife Princess Olga and their son Prince Nicholas will be transferred from Switzerland to the Royal Family's Crypt at Oplenac. There they will rest for eternity in the company of other Karageorgevichs.

Princess Elizabeth, with the support of her brother Prince Alexander, has led an admirable campaign to gain the rehabilitation of her much-maligned father. Prince Regent Paul was a patriot and an Anglophile who as Regent of Yugoslavia found himself surrounding by the tentacles of the Central Powers. He had to walk a steady line in a turbulent era for Europe in general Yugoslavia in particular.

His enemies in London went to great lengths to malign his image and for decades the perception of Prince Regent Paul was that he cozied to Hitler and the National Socialists. Other family members, like Count karl Theodor zu Toerring-Jettenbach, were also falsely accused of Nazi sympathies.


History has now been accurately written and the valiant stand of Prince Regent Paul patriotically restored.

Prince Regent Paul died of leukemia in 1976. He put up a galant defense against this virulent illness and all throughout he never wavered in wishing not to be a burden to those around him. He was buried in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he has rested for nearly 40 years.

Princess Olga remained in Paris while a widow. She died there in 1997 aged nearly 94. She was buried with her husband and son in Lausanne.

Prince Nicholas of Yugoslavia, Paul and Olga's second son, died tragically in 1954 while en route to visit his aunt Princess marina, the Duchess of Kent.

On 6 October 2012 a true patriot will return to his homeland!

 Prince Regent Paul and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia.

Prince Nicholas of Yugoslavia.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tatoi Palace on the "for sale" list

In Greece, the debt laden government has announced a group of state owned buildings will be put up for sale, among them is the Palace of Tatoi. The Palace had been home to the Greek royal family before they fled the country in 1967 and the Hellenic Republic was proclaimed in 1974. When the family fled, the Greek government seized the royal family’s property without giving the King compensation. HM King Constantine sued in the European Court of Human Rights saying that because his ancestors had obtained the property through legal means and it was inherited through the generations, it was his personal property. While the court officially sided with him, the judgment was for compensation of less than 1% of the palace’s value.
The Greek royal family is now based in London but that is never “home” according to HM Queen Anne-Marie: “When I think of ‘my home’ it is the Tatoi. It is such a lovely place. Our residence in London will never be regarded as anything other than ‘home away from home.’” The palace grounds include 40 outbuildings, stables, and a cemetery where Greek royalty since 1880 has been buried. The Greek population appears to be mixed on the idea of offloading the royal palace which may make a sale difficult. In addition, the palace has fallen into extreme disrepair which could also affect the sale. There is no word if the King and Queen of the Hellenes are interested in re-purchasing the property.
©Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

+ Princess Ragnhild of Norway (1930-2012)

Princess Ragnhild of Norway, Mrs Lorentzen, eldest sister of King Harald V, passed away in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 16 September.

CNN) -- A French magazine has been fined for publishing topless photographs of Britain's likely future queen, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and ordered not to distribute the magazine in print or online, a French court ruled Tuesday.
The court ordered Closer magazine to hand over the original photos to the royal family within 24 hours of the ruling and to pay them 2,000 euros (about $2,600).
The magazine must pay a further 10,000 euros a day if it is late in handing over the photos.
And a French prosecutor opened a preliminary criminal investigation into the incident, the Nanterre prosecutor's office said Tuesday.
Catherine and her husband, Prince William, the second in line to the throne, "welcome the injunction that's been granted. They always believed the law was broken and that they were entitled to their privacy," the palace said.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Berlusconi Smack in the Middle of it!

What I fin amazing is the utter level of hypocrisy...Silvio Berlusconi who claimed that photos of his private alcohol, drug and prostitute-filled parties were a violation of his does not respect the privacy of others...what a stronzo!


ROME (AP) — An Italian gossip magazine owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi published a 26-page spread of topless photos of Prince William's wife Kate on Monday despite legal action inFrance against the French magazine that published them first.
Chi hit newsstands on Monday, featuring a montage of photos taken while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on vacation at a relative's home in the south of France last month. They included the 14 pictures published by the popular French magazine Closer, which like Chi is owned by Berlusconi's Mondadori publishing house.
But the Chi spread ran the whole sequence of photos as the couple sunbathed on a terrace, including one shot of the princess putting sun cream on her backside that didn't appear in Closer.
The couple is hitting back hard against the publication of the images, which William's St. James's Palace called a "grotesque" invasion of their privacy.

UK – Royal Photo Scandal Widens

ROME -- An Italian gossip magazine owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi published a 26-page spread of topless photos of Prince William's wife Kate on Monday despite legal action in France against the French magazine that published them first.
Chi hit newsstands on Monday, featuring a montage of photos taken while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on vacation at a relative's home in the south of France last month. They included the 14 pictures published by the popular French magazine Closer, which like Chi is owned by Berlusconi's Mondadori publishing house.
But the Chi spread ran the whole sequence of photos as the couple sunbathed on a terrace, including one shot of the princess putting sun cream on her backside that didn't appear in Closer.
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