King Juan Carlos of Spain at 6.12 PM local time in Madrid signed the law arranging for his abdication in the Salón de Columnas in the Royal Palace in Madrid. As soon as the law is published in the Official Bulletin of State his son Felipe is the new King of Spain.
The short ceremony in the palace was full of emotion. The law was read and than signed, and countersigned by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. After the law was signed, the old King and the new King changed places, while Juan Carlos received a thunderous applause and hugs from his granddaughters the Infantas Leonor and Sofia.
Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands on Thursday concluded a very succesful 3 day visit to Sint Maarten where she inaugurated the Kingdom Youth Parliament, held in the occasion of the bicentenary of the Kingdom the Netherlands. 50 Youth from the 4 countries of the Kingdom and representatives of the islands Bonaire, Statia and Saba attended and presented their former Queen with a joint declaration in the closing session.
The youngsters invited Princess Beatrix to aid them with the start of a Kingdom YouTube channel by recording a videoclip. The surprised Beatrix did not turn down the request but suggested they send her "a long letter" detailing their plans and ideas. "I have never done anything like it", she said, underscoring why it would have an impact if she did.
The islanders showed their disagreement with the title change for the former sovereign, who is a princess again after stepping down as Queen one year ago. In the Caribbean part of the Kingdom the British custom of bestowing a title along the lines of Queen Mother is much preferred. "To us she is the Queen and she will always be the Queen", a St Maarten resident said.
(C) Royalblog, Hans Jacobs; photos: (c) RB Marius Cirtiu
Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlène are scheduled to pay an official visit to The Netherlands, the Dutch Government Information Service announced Monday. The sovereign prince of Monaco will visit on June 3 and will inaugurate an exhibition devoted to his mother, the late Princess Grace.
The exhibit 'Grace Kelly, style icon and Princess of Monaco' will open June 5th at the Het Loo Royal Palace Museum in Apeldoorn. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will accompany the princely couple, and will host a dinner in their honour later that day at the Apeldoorn Palace.
An ancient sea battle off Heligoland, an island off the coast of present day Germany, brought the Crown Princesses of Norway and Denmark together in Kristiansand, Norway to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Mette-Marit’s presence was evidence of the close bonds between Norway and Denmark and of both royal houses, the Danish royal web site said.
In 1864 Prusian, Saxon, Austrian and other troops of the German Confederation invaded Denmark and the Duchies ruled by its Kings, Schleswig and Holstein. It was a juggle for power, over access to the Baltic sea, for dominance and over a liberal constitution versus an autrocratic regime.
Prussia was in the ascend, getting ready to invade France only 6 years later and founding the German Empire; Denmark had seen better days. There had been uncertainty over the successor to Frederik VII, and an earlier war over the two Duchies.
The Danes stood little change against its powerful neighbour and its allies; at sea on May 9, 1864 a battle was won, but on land the Duchies were lost and on May 12 Denmark asked for a cease fire.
The wounded and dead of the sea battle were brought to Kristiansand, itself under Danish rule only 50 years earlier. The dead were buried in Norwegian soil and are remembered annually. This time, by royal representatives as well.
Queen’s Day became King’s Day. The date changed but the program and activities remained the same. The Dutch Royal Family under new King Willem-Alexander still came out in full force to celebrate the monarch’s birthday (April 27) and was warmly welcomed in De Rijp and Amstelveen.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima had a surprise for the thousands waiting in Amstelveen, a city of 89,000 wedged between Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam. They brought their 3 daughters Princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane, who had skipped the earlier morning outing in nearby De Rijp.
The King had already said he considered his brood still too young for the taxing 2 times 2 hours walk about. Ahead of King’s Day the court kept mum about the princesses participation, although a shirt appearance could be expected as demonstration of a new era. As it was, they took part for about half an hour, and reappeared again on stage at the end of the Amstelveen visit.
In days leading up to the highly popular Dutch national day much thought and speculation was given to a possible new formula for King’s Day, but the King casted doubt about possible changes when he publicly asked the question ‘why change a winning formula’.
Former queen Beatrix was seen in a new role, as she no longer needed to lead the royal walk about in which along with he royal couple and their daughters no less than 11 members of the House of Orange took part. The only person missing was Princess Mabel, widow of Prince Friso.
Poland is a popular royal destination. Or so it seems. The Luxembourg grandducal court on Thursday announced an upcoming State Visit by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa to Poland 7-9 May. Details of the visit will be announced at a later date.
The State Visit comes one week ahead of the Official Visit to the former Eastern Bloc-country by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, May 12-14. They will promote Danish business interest in Poland, Europe's most rapidly growing economy.
Serbian Crown Prince Alexander II send out his annual Easter Message. “I am joined by my wife Crown Princess Katherine, sons Hereditary Prince Peter, Prince Philip and Prince Alexander in wishing that this Holy Day remind us that we are all God’s children and that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a call to find within ourselves what is good, for our sake and for the sake of general salvation.”
“We pray to the Lord to give us strength and wisdom to overcome all pain and trouble. We pray that we will work together for the benefit of Serbia and everyone in our country for present and future generations. We pray during these days for peace, recovery and progress”, the Serbian Crown Prince wrote.
“Let Easter resurrect in us the noblest virtues that will make us endure as nation and as people. These are qualities of love for our neighbours, justice for every wrong, peace for the troubled, strength for the weak, help for the poor and needy, and unity to enable us to live and work together”, he continued.
“My wife and sons join me in extending our warmest wishes, and we do so in the very same spirit of Easter. Christ is Risen!”, Crown Prince Alexander II concluded.
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has approved the design of a new 2 euro coin, the Dutch Staatsblad announced. The coin shows the King and his mother and predecessor, now Princess, Beatrix. The coin, which is legal tender in the eurozone, will be brought into circulation in May.