Philippe & Mathilde End Indian Trip
As the Belgian Crown Princely couple wrap their week-long economic mission to India, they leave behind strengthened business ties between the two countries. Their visit took them to Pune and Mumbai, and they got a good glimpse of India along the way.
BELGA PHOTO/DIRK WAEM
In Pune on Wednesday, Crown Prince Philippe presided over the signing of the business agreement between a trade and investment agency in Antwerp, and a Pune Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture. The deal is meant to allow collaborations with firms in the two cities.
While that happened, Princess Mathilde met with local schoolchildren. Some of the little girls who were there to see her were dressed in Disney-like princess dresses.
Later, Mathilde went to the Gandhi National Memorial Society in the Agakhan Palace.
After Pune, the couple headed for Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. There, the Crown Princess attended the “Day of Hope” celebration, which was organized by the National Domestic Workers Movement. A non-governmental organization (NGO), the movement marks “Day of Hope” with the children of domestic workers and child domestic workers from Mumbai and Thane districts.
In the evening, Mathilde and Philippe rubbed shoulders with Bollywood stars in the likes of Anil Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, during a fashion show, which showcased the latest in Indian style.
On Friday, the couple’s last official day in India, business and trade agreements by four Belgian and four Indian firms in the aerospace and technology sectors were signed. The Crown Prince personally witnessed these signings, which seemed to top off the week-long economic mission. It tightened the already close ties between the two countries. Belgium is India’s third biggest EU trading partner, after Germany and the United Kingdom.
Queen Anne-Marie Remembers Childhood With Big Sister Margrethe
In an interview with the Danish magazine, Billed Bladet, Anne-Marie, the former Queen of Greece, reflected on her childhood as the youngest sister of the future Queen of Denmark.
“Sometimes it seemed [Princess] Benedikte and I knew enough that she was a little tough, but we have surely also irritated her,” said Anne-Marie.
The interview is part of the celebrations marking Queen Margrethe II’s 70th birthday next month. Queen Anne-Marie revealed to Billed Bladet that recently her sister visited her and her husband, the former King Constantine of Greece, at their home outside of London. But unfortunately, the two women did not spend a lot of time together because Margrethe had the flu.
Anne-Marie also remembered the fun times she, Margrethe and Princess Benedikte did as children.
“We all loved to dress up, and my sister was absolutely the person who took the lead. She decided what to wear, and if anyone had imagined something else, one might as well forget it. It was not shut up, pace and direction, she managed it all, and had also a fantasy without equal. She could dress up in the strangest way of absolutely nothing.”
Anne-Marie’s memory reflects Margrethe’s talents for the arts and designs. To the this day, the Queen designs costumes for ballets and films.
Anne-Marie is the youngest daughter of the late King Frederik XI and Queen Ingrid. She was born in 1946, a year after the Nazis left Denmark. She first met the future King of Greece when she was thirteen. They later met again two years later and it was then Crown Prince Constantine asked Anne-Marie’s parents for her hand in marriage. The couple wed in 1964, just two weeks before her 18th birthday.
Three years later, Anne-Marie fled Greece when a counter-coup set up by her husband failed. The monarchy was then abolished in 1974, but Anne-Marie and her husband maintain the titles of King and Queen of Greece out of courtesy.
Monaco’s Royals Glam Up for Rose Ball 2010
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe
The royals of Monaco dressed to the nines for the 2010 Monte Carlo Rose Ball on Saturday evening, an event which kicks of the tiny principality’s social season.
Prince Albert II, his big sister Princess Caroline and longtime girlfriend Charlene Wittstock turned up for the gala. Also in attendance were Caroline’s two oldest children, Andrea, sporting newly cut hair, and Charlotte whom dazzled in her Chanel haute couture gown.
Their brother, Pierre, also showed up with girlfriend Beatrice Borremo.
This year, the theme for the ball was Morocco. From the decor by Jacques Grange to music by Rachid Taha, there was something to remind guests of the North African Kingdom.
It was Princess Caroline’s idea to have Morocco as the theme, probably to reflect current relations between the two countries.
In fact, a member of Morocco’s royal family, Princess Lalla Joumala, was at the Ball.
As one of the most illustrious and prestigious events in the world, the Rose Ball benefits the Princess Grace Foundation.
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UAE Sheikh Missing After Plane Crash
The brother of the leader of the United Arab Emirates is still missing after his glider went down over an artificial lake in Morocco Friday. Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the managing director of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund which is owned by Abu Dhabi.
“Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed al-Nahayan…was in a crash of a glider which was airborne in Morocco. The pilot was rescued and is in good condition. The search for His Highness is still continuing,” WAM, the UAE’s state news agency, said in a statement.
The search could be difficult because of recent heavy rains that have risen water levels.
The glider went down near the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Dam, which forms the fake lake. It is located near the Atlantic coastal town of Skhirat, south of the capital city of Rabat.
Sheikh Ahmed was likely spending time at one of his family’s homes in Morocco, a place where he owns several properties.
Al Nahyan is in his early 40s, and is the younger brother of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Forbes magazine once ranked him as number 27 in its world’s most powerful people list. Despite his wealth and power, Sheikh Ahmed has been described as “elusive” and gives very few interviews.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the wealth fund he runs, has not responded to any of the media’s requests for comments.