The Sovereign Prince of one of the smallest countries in the world paid a visit to another microstate Wednesday. Prince Albert II spent the day in San Marino, a tiny country located in the Apennine Mountains in northeastern Italy. He was there to strengthen ties between that country and his.
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It was a snowy day when the Prince arrived. But that didn’t stop anything. Albert was greeted by the Captains Regent, Francesco Palmieri Mussoni and Stephen, on the Square of Liberty and has received military honors. He later received the insignia of Knight Grand Cross dell’Ordiene Equestre di Sant’Agata.
Afterward, Prince Albert laid a wreath at the War Memorial for all wars.
The Prince then sat down with Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Antonella Mularoni, the Minister of Industry, Marco Arzilli, the Minister for Tourism Fabio Berardi, and finally the Cultural Minister, Romeo Morri. The delegation discussed ways for the two countries to boost relations.
San Marino is one of several microstates in Europe, Monaco included. It has a population of just under 30,000, the smallest for the Council of Europe. It considers itself to be the oldest state in the world, having been founded in the year 301.
Princess Aiko, the only child of the Japanese Crown Princely couple, returned to school Monday after missing several days last week because of anxieties brought on by bullies.
Aiko was brought to Gakushuin school by her mother, Crown Princess Masako in time for the fourth period classes, according to the Imperial Household Agency.
Last week, the Agency said that the 8 year-old royal felt stomach pains due to being “treated harshly” by the boys in her second grade class. It was a rare moment for the IHA to reveal anything private about the Imperial family.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway finalized their official visit to Malaysia Wednesday. They spent their last two days promoting their country and social awareness, as well as touring some of Malaysia’s landmarks.
Royal Press Europe/Albert Nierboer
Yesterday, Haakon was present at the seminar “Malaysian-Norwegian Forum of Competence” in Kuala Lumpur. In his opening speech, he talked about how the two nations had strong connections due to petroleum-related activities. The Crown Prince voiced how he wished that cooperation would continue in other fields.
Haakon then visited the Petronas Towers and the national petroleum company of Malaysia with the same name. The towers were the world’s tallest buildings when construction was done in 1998.
Joining him was wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit. She had just come from a gender equality seminar, where the discussion was on how women can overcome obstacles in society. The Crown Princess pointed out that the family gives a woman support. “Family friendly policies are a prerequisite for women and men to combine work and family. If we are to meet today’s challenges, women and men must be able to take part in family and working life on an equal footing. Family-friendly policy is vital, both for production and for reproduction.”
The Crown Princely couple also attended an award ceremony for Malaysian students, held by the communications company, DiGi. The students had to develop solutions for energy-efficient mobile communications and renewable energy for poor communities in Malaysia. Haakon also gave a speech there.
“Preserving the environment on our planet can be regarded as the greatest team building session the world has ever seen. Everybody has a role to play. We must all pull together at the national and international level, governments and businesses, cities and small communities alike. Then we can hope for a greener future.”
Later, the Crown Prince went to the Berjaya University College of Hospitality. There, students held a cooking competition by trying to create the best dish featuring Norwegian salmon, Malay style.
On Wednesday, Mette-Marit opened an exhibition of Norwegian architecture. She emphasized the importance of looking beyond national borders for inspiration.
“Seeking inspiration from other countries is extremely important. Traditionally, Norwegian architects have traveled widely in order to learn from others. Today, Norwegian architects are also contributing to the international architecture scene through lectures, seminars and exhibitions, and by winning awards and competitions abroad,” she said.
While that was happening, Haakon was at a seminar on sustainable forestry and climate before going to the company facilities of Jotun and Aker Solutions.
Finally, the royal couple were given a guided tour of Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur before ending their trip and returning to Norway.