Jordanian Royals At Paris 007 Premiere
The King and Queen of Jordan took time off from affairs of state to walk the red carpet in Paris, for the premiere of the new 007 movie, “Quantum of Solace.”
Joining them was their eldest daughter, Princess Iman.
Dressed in a champagne dress and white cardigan, the 12 year old princess seems to have taken after her mother in terms of style and in looks. The Queen herself looked every bit the fashionista in a salmon colored, sleeveless dress.
The royal trio mingled with Daniel, his striking fiancee Satsuki Mitchell, Bond girl Olga Kurylenko and new Bond nemesis Mathieu Amalric.
Some royal watchers noted it was odd for a King and Queen to attend a movie premiere, especially one that is not in their country. Perhaps this is something new, as royals increasingly are seen as celebrities and jet setters, as well as heads of state.
Queen Sofia’s Controversial Statements On Gay Marriage
A new biography on the Queen of Spain has sparked controversy over her comments about same sex marriage.
The book, “The Queen, Close Up!” by journalist Pilar Urbano – which coincides with the Queen’s 70th birthday – quotes Queen Sofia criticizing the issue.
“I can understand, accept and respect people of a different sexual orientation but why do they feel proud about being gay? Should they ride on a parade float and come out in protests? If all of those of us who aren’t gay came out to protest we would halt traffic.
“If those people want to live together, dress up like bride and groom and marry, they could have a right to do so, or not, depending on the law of their country, but they should not call this matrimony, because it isn’t. There are many possible names: social contract, social union”.
Gay and Lesbian groups in Spain are asking the Queen to retract her statements.
Referring to Prince Felipe’s marriage to divorced journalist Letizia Ortiz, the State Federation of Gays, Lesbians and Transsexuals president Antonio Poveda said: “Many mothers of gays and lesbians are going to ask why the queen understands that the prince would marry a divorced woman, but she can’t understand why other mothers wouldn’t want that same happiness of marriage for their children.”
Late on Thursday, Spain’s Royal Household released a statement on behalf of the Queen saying she made the comments in a private forum.
It said she “profoundly” regretted the lack of precision in the words attributed to her and the “ill-feeling and upset” they may have caused.
Spain has been allowing gay marriages since 2005. Although it is a predominately Catholic country, less than half practice the faith.
The Queen’s comments come after her husband, King Juan Carlos, spent years walking a thin line between political involvement and neutrality.
William & Harry Attend 007 Premiere
Just days after returning from their trek across Africa, Princes William and Harry both attended the premiere of the latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, in Leicester Square in London. The royal duo looked sharp in their matching tuxedos, most likely making their female fans swoon at the sight of that.
It was a time for the brothers to see the new 007 movie, but also honor those who really are at Her Majesty’s Service.
Before entering the theatre, William and Harry met with the dozens of war veterans who waited outside for the royal brothers.
The aim was to raise more than £500,000 from the evening for two military charities, The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.
“The princes chose these two great causes because they are linked to Remembrance Day, but most importantly because they want to make the point that this is a film about a British action hero, but the money is going to our country’s real heroes who put their lives in the line of fire day in, day out, in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said a Clarence House spokesman.
William and Harry spent thirty minutes chatting with the servicemen and women while the stars of the new James Bond film waited patiently inside.
Once the princes got to the stars, there was a lot of joking and charming.
Prince Harry noticed Daniel Craig was wearing a sling, who injured himself doing his own stunts. Harry asked him, “What the hell happened to you? Tough day in the office?”
This is the first royal engagement William and Harry attended together. This is also their first movie premiere attendance since going to the Spiceworld premiere in 1997. That they went to with their father, Prince Charles.
King of Morocco Builds Up El Jadida Port
King Mohammed VI spent Tuesday helping build up the port city of El Jadida, 190 km south of Rabat. The works were a university campus, a new port facility and a wastewater plant. All three cost millions of dollars.
The first stop for the King was to the university site, where the university of Chouaib Doukkali was extending its campus. The extension will include a multidisciplinary university, a national school of trade and management (ENCG), a national school of applied sciences, and creating new study tracks (engineering, offshoring, and tourism). The new campus will have a capacity of 1,134 beds.
Next, King Mohammed moved on to the port site, where he launched developmental works for fisherman, many whom do traditional fishing.
This project will help modernize hosting and marketing infrastructure of traditional and coastal fishery in the city and promote the port’s competitiveness, notably through endowing it with a modern hall that respects international hygiene standards, in addition to various facilities for fish wholesalers.
Financed by the department of Fisheries, the project is expected to improve the living and working conditions of fishermen, as it provides for literacy classes and awareness raising actions.
After the port, the King lastly went to lay the foundation stone for a wastewater pretreatment plant and an ocean outfall. Both are meant to clean up the coastline of El Jadida in addition to the seaside station of Sidi Bouzid, as part of efforts to make El Jadida an important tourism destination through environment-friendly programs.
The plant and outfall cost a total of $41 million.
Anti-Monarchist Websites To Be Blocked In Thailand
The Thai government announced plans to block websites they deem inappropriate and offensive, on Monday.
Those websites include any that criticize Thailand’s revered King, Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The communications ministry has received more than 1,000 complaints about Web sites that are deemed offensive to the royal family, minister Mun Patanotai said, but declined to give details about them, saying the issue is “sensitive.”
“Revealing them would encourage Internet users to visit them,” Mun told reporters, adding that the ministry’s gateway will initially target mostly sites that violate lese majeste laws. “But it can also monitor and block pornographic or terrorism-related sites.”
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, but has severe lese majeste laws, mandating a jail term of 3 to 15 years for whoever “defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir to the throne or the Regent.” Actual prosecutions are relatively rare.
“There is a growing number of websites that attack the monarchy, and the ministry is consulting to buy a blocker that costs between 100 and 500 million baht (2.8 and 14 million dollars),” said Mun.
“More than 80 percent of these websites are from overseas,” he added.
Thailand made headlines around the world last year when it blocked the popular video-sharing website YouTube after clips appeared to mock the King.
80 year old King Bhumibol is extremely popular in Thailand, and is seen as rock in a country that has been experiencing political turmoil recently.
Anti-government and pro-government groups clashed in Bangkok in the past month. Anti-government groups wear yellow to symbolize their loyalty to Bhumibol.
The royal family has been trying to remain neutral, but a few weeks ago, Queen Sirikit attended the funeral of a young protestor who died in the clashes.
A Royal Visit For Peru
The King and Queen of Spain are on a three day state visit to the South American country of Peru.
The meaning of this trip is to strengthen bilateral alliances between the two nations.
Upon arriving in the capital of Lima, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were greeted by President Alan Garcia and his wife Pilar Nores.
After being welcomed, President Garcia privately met with the King as well as the ministers, vice ministers of foreign affairs and ambassadors from both countries. Once the meeting ended, the strategic association agreement was signed between the two countries.
The point of the association agreement is to increase ties between Spain and other countries. Already, Spain has signed the agreement with Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.
“The bilateral relations between Peru and Spain will be stronger and much more intense after a strategic alliance agreement is signed between both countries,” said Peru’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Antonio García Belaunde.
García Belaunde explained that this was the main reason the King and Queen came to Peru, stating this agreement would open the doors to political discussion, assistance and advice between the two nations.
According to Spanish sources, the strategic association alliance is a pact that favors the development of institutional, political and economic relations and speeds up the processing of other agreements still pending.
After their three day stay in Peru, Juan Carlos and Sofia will go to El Salvador for the 18th Latin American Summit. There, talks will be about the global financial crisis, but also youth and development.