Japan’s Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko went on the second stop of the Danube region tour Wednesday. They arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria and were greeted by President Georgi Parvanov and his wife, Zorka.
The point of this official visit was to mark 50 years of Japanese- Bulgarian relations.
President Parvanov had already been to Japan back in January to celebrate the two nation’s bilateral ties.
For this visit, Akishino and Kiko will stay until May 16th before moving on to another European country. Already, the couple laid a wreath at the Bulgarian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, along with the Parvanovs’.
The royal couple will also visit several museums and sights during its stay, including the golden-domed Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia and the Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
They would also meet with Bulgarian students studying Japanese, Sofia’s mayor, Boyko Borisov, and the former King of Bulgaria, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, who is now the prime minister.
Later on Friday, Akishino and Kiko will visit a Thracian tomb in the south of Bulgaria.
Thursday May 14th is the 5th anniversary of the marriage between Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, nee Mary Elizabeth Donaldson.
The couple will be having a private celebration at home. But, royal fans worldwide could enjoy the new photos of Frederik and Mary, and their two children, which were released this week.
The pictures show a happy couple very much inlove, contrary to the rumors and books that have been going around in the last year. In fact, a book came out this week saying the royal marriage is on the rocks.
Whether or not the stories are true, royal watchers will always look back to May 14th, 2004 when an Australian commoner became the next Queen of Denmark.
Mary wore a simple Uffe Frank gown with a long, flowing train. Frederik wore his military uniform, and won the hearts of millions when he appeared to be teary eyed as Mary walked down the aisle, escorted by her father.
After saying their vows, and pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds spontaneously kissed each other as just before they went up the aisle to leave Copenhagen Cathedral.
The fairy tale story began nearly four years earlier during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Both Frederik and Mary were at the Slip Inn one night, and began chatting with each other. Mary was unaware at the time that she was talking to a prince.
After hitting it off, Frederik and Mary conducted a long distance relationship, before Mary moved to Europe in 2001. She later moved to Denmark in 2002, and a year later was officially engaged to the heir to the Danish throne.
Since her marriage to both her husband and to Denmark, Mary has shown a tremendous work ethic by getting involved in various charities and foundations. She set up The Mary Foundation in 2007 to help those in need. Late last year, a Danish women’s magazine named her Woman of the Year due to her balancing work and motherhood.
When it comes to being a mother, Crown Princess Mary has been keeping it as normal as possible for her two kids, Prince Christian, 3 1/2, and Princess Isabella, 2. She and Frederik have insisted on raising the young children on their own, rather than turning to nannies.
With the birth of a new addition to the Danish royal family earlier this month, Frederik and Mary have hinted on having more children.
But will that come? The rumors of a rocky marriage continue to attract attention. Some royal watchers felt the recent photos of the crown princely couple looked staged rather than naturally happy. Neither Frederik, Mary or any other royal family member has responded to the rumors at all.
Till then, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary will continue to do their work as the next King and Queen of Denmark. They have two children to raise, duties to perform and countries to officially visit. They have a job to do, and it is best to do that work by holding their heads up high rather than be beaten down by stories.
The home of Norway’s crown princely family will be undergoing some home improvement.
Skaugum Palace, which is right outside of Oslo, has been dealing with moisture and rotting problems for a while. There also will be a demolition of the balcony and windows as the palace gets a facelift.
During this time, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit and their three children will reside in Bygdøy, in the Norwegian capital.
Skaugum was given to Haakon and Mette-Marit as a wedding present by King Harald and Queen Sonja, who also lived there after their 1968 marriage.
The palace goes back a long way. The first “real tenants” was the Prince Olav and Princess Martha of Sweden, who received this place in 1929 as a wedding gift from minister Fritz Wedel Jarlsberg. A year later Skaugum caught fire, but the couple decided to rebuild it and managed to finish in 1932. Since then, the crown princely couples of Norway received this house as a wedding present.
Skaugum palace has 140 rooms, a large garden and several acres of fifteen facilities for livestock and agriculture.
Relatives of Swedish Royal Family Demand Return of Titles
Sweden’s royal family, the Bernadottes’, will be having a lot to adjust to over the next year. For one, they will be accepting a new member to their family when Crown Princess Victoria marries Daniel Westling in June 2010.
When that happens, Westling will known as Prince Daniel.
But there are some relatives to the Bernadottes’ who are not at all happy with this.
According to Sweden’s Expressen newspaper, there are cousins to King Carl XVI Gustaf who wish to be recognized as princes again.
They lost their titles when they married commoners, and they believe it not right for Westling to be elevated to a prince, when he is a commoner himself.
“It is unfair to make Daniel Westling to the prince when the king refused my father Lennart to get his birth record,” says Jan Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg, the son of Prince Lennart. Lennart lost his title when he married an accountant in 1932. He died in 2004 without ever being called a prince again.
Now his son wants to be called a prince. Jan Bernadotte recently wrote a letter to the King.
“Dear cousin,” he says that he is pleased that Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling should marry. But,
“You rejected my request without any comment. In light of the above, I have now decided to follow the example Sigvard and from now on I will also call me Prince, the birth record, which I legally would have had if not the above the errors committed in 1932. ”
“If you can do Daniel Westling to Prince – as I do not mind – you should first give back the titular title of prince to those who unjustly lost the title,” says the now Prince Carl Johan Bernadotte. “In light of this, it is unfair to give Daniel a prince title.”
Prince Carl Johan was asked if his life has changed now since he calls himself a prince.
“Not in any way, except that I have to print new business cards.”
The man who was originally supposed to be the heir to the Swedish throne turns 30 years old today.
Prince Carl Philip celebrated his birthday in a low-key style. He granted no interviews and wanted no big celebrations. The Prince did however appeared with his family at the Royal Palace court to greet several hundred Swedes who had gathered to wish him a happy birthday.
When Carl Philip was born, it was he who was supposed to be the heir over his older sister, Victoria. But a change to the succession law in 1980 granted the throne to the eldest child. That meant Victoria was the heir, and not her brother.
That didn’t seem to bother Carl Philip. He’s been able to lead a quieter, more private life because of the law change.
He has studied graphic design, took an interest in race car driving, and earlier this year, designed a set of utensils.
Currently, the Prince is studying at Alnarp Agricultural University after inheriting a farm last year. He is learning about land surveying, plant production and forestry.
Carl Philip is also right now single after splitting with Emma Pernald in March after 10 years of dating.