Charlene Wittstock Talks Jealousy, Friendships in Interview
The fiancee of Monaco’s Prince Albert II sat down with the British magazine, Tatler, to discuss her future as Princess of the tiny principality. In the magazine, Charlene Wittstock revealed a lot that many royal watchers were not expecting.
For one thing, Ms. Wittstock said she experienced some “jealousy” from Monegasques.
“Of course I’ve been subject to jealousy, but that comes with the territory. Although I have met some wonderful people since I’ve been living in Monaco, I regard them all as acquaintances. I only have two people I consider friends here.”
“The people I mixed with in Monaco didn’t relate to my South African mentality or humor.”
Quite frank for someone who is to marry the sovereign of Monaco next July.
Charlene also told Tatler that she hopes to modernize the principality by opening a Starbucks, and a shoe store from Manolo Blahnik.
She also talked about a rather embarrassing moment when she appeared by Prince Albert’s side at a Red Cross Ball one year.
“I was used to living in a swimsuit and totally clueless about fashion,” Charlene said. “The day of the ball, I had been playing volleyball all day on the beach and didn’t think about getting ready until late in the afternoon.
“I borrowed a green dress from a friend, fixed my hair myself and painted my nails red. I looked like a Christmas tree.”
The issue of Tatler is to appear on British newsstands this week.
Happy 5th Birthday to Infanta Leonor!
October 31st marks Spain’s Infanta Leonor’s 5th birthday. Although this is a big milestone for her, there are no official photographs of her. Unlike so many other royal families, the Spanish are chosing to keep Leonor out of the limelight as much as possible. This despite that she would likely succeed her father, Prince Felipe, as Queen of Spain one day.
The Infanta will celebrate her birthday with friends and family at Palacio de la Zarzuela.
To see pics of Leonor through the years, click here!
Source: Europa Press
Prince Carl Philip Presents Children’s Fund Grants
Taking time away from his agricultural studies at university, Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip gave out the Lilla Barnets Fond children’s fund research grants at the Swedish Society of Medicine in Stockholm on Thursday. Carl Philip is patron of the fund, so it was his duty to give out the awards.
The winners for 2010 were: PhD student Elisabeth Stoltz Sjöström, Umeå; Professor Fredrik Serenius, Umeå; PhD student Eva Hell, Stockholm; Professor Jens Schollin, Örebro; Researcher Changlian Zhu, Gothenburg.
The Prince gave a short speech, saying how proud he was that his country has a long history of researching babies and pioneering discoveries into their health and development.
Lilla Barnets Fond supports medical research and the development of care for newborn babies in Sweden.
Source: Swedish Royal Court, Svensk Damtidning
Prince Alwaleed Denies Support for Ground Zero Mosque
Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal recently told the newspaper Arabian Business that he is against the building of a mosque near Ground Zero, site of the 9/11 attacks in New York. The Prince, one of the world’s wealthiest men, denies any involvement or financing, something some American news outlets reported in recent weeks.
“I heard and saw a lot of news about me being associated with it and this is all wrong. We did not finance this thing,” Alwaleed said in an exclusive interview.
“I say that I am against putting the mosque in that particular place. And I’ll tell you why. For two reasons: first of all, those people behind the mosque have to respect, have to appreciate and have to defer to the people of New York, and not try to agitate the wound by saying ‘we need to put the mosque next to the 9/11 site’.
“The wound is still there. Just because the wound is healing you can’t say ‘let’s just go back to where we were pre-9/11′,” he said. “I am against putting the mosque there out of respect for those people who have been wounded over there.”
Prince Alwaleed added: “More importantly, the mosque is not in the best location, the mosque has to be in a dignified location. It can’t be next to a bar or a strip club, or in a neighbourhood that is not really refined and good. The impression I have is that this mosque is just being inserted and squeezed over there. So I am personally against putting the mosque over there…”
“I believe that Christians have the right to build churches where they want and Jews have the right to put synagogues where they want and Muslims have the right to put a mosque where they want. But you have to take care and respect the dignity of those New Yorkers who have been hit badly. Ten years ago is nothing when you talk about history.”
The Prince also said he believes the wounds from 9/11 will take about 30 years to heal.
“For sure, the wounds are so deep. What I’m saying is, it’s been a decade right now, and I would evaluate things at being at a standstill. They did not improve dramatically but they didn’t worsen. You see pockets of deterioration from people who don’t want things to advance,” he said.
“I don’t want to exaggerate and say things are falling apart, they are not. Most governments are pragmatic, most people are logical. There are pockets of extremism in Israel, in the US and in the Muslim world. But we have to fight them with reason, with logic and with compassion. We can’t just say ‘go to hell,’ we cannot do that.”
The full Arabian Business interview will be online by tomorrow, October 31st. Click here to check out the publication’s website.
Source: Arabian Business
Haakon & Mette Marit Visit the Big Apple
Since Thursday, the Norwegian Crown Princely couple have been in New York, mainly to mark the 100th anniversary of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. But Haakon and Mette Marit had so much more on their agenda that there was rarely a spare moment in their two day visit.
Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
First off, Their Royal Highnesses got busy Thursday morning by meeting with the press. When asked how do they keep their 10 year love alive, Haakon replied jokingly, “take a weekend in New York!”
After the press conference, things got started for the couple by going to the IPI Policy Forum discussing “From Crisis Development: Recovery and the Millennium Development Goals”. The Crown Princess sat in the audience as Haakon participated in a panel along with UNDP leader Helen Clark and Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea.
The panel discussed the implementation of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) in the context of crises such as those seen in Haiti and Pakistan and how the global community can help ensure that goals are met in areas that face major humanitarian challenges.
After that, Haakon met with the United Nations’ Development Program while Mette Marit went to see the exhibition Why Design Now, which has five Norwegian artworks in it, at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
The couple reunited at another museum, The New Museum, to see the exhibit Free, which focuses on artwork from around the world by non-established artists. By mid-afternoon, they were watching the children’s opera Max and Moritz at the Lower Manhattan Arts Academy. They then went to the Scandinavia House for the opening of the exhibition Nordic Models + Common Grounds. The exhibit displayed the latest in Nordic art, design and architecture, and will be part of the commemoration of the Scandinavia House for its 10th anniversary.
Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images
Early Friday morning, Haakon and Mette Marit visited Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 attacks. The Norwegian architect group, Snøhetta, are in charge of designing the museum pavilion, which is to be part of the memorial park.
The Crown Prince then went to the exhibition Race to the End of the Earth at the American Museum of Natural History, while his wife did her role as UNAIDS representative at the Cylar House, Housing Works. The House has a medical clinic and treatment center in addition to 36 apartments. The kitchen – the Works Catering – earn money for the project while giving users the house valuable job training. The house is named after one of Housing Works’ founders, Keith D. Cylar, who died of AIDS in 2004.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit were both visiting several of the apartments in the house and the kitchen where she received a briefing on the job training that takes place there.
For lunch, the couple were at the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce Gala Luncheon on the Occasion of the Norwegian-American Trade Award to Snøhetta. The Crown Princess gave a speech as she presented the award:
“One of the main characteristics of Snøhetta is the importance attached two context and landscape, and achieving harmony between two buildings and their surroundings. Close collaboration with artist has been of crucial importance in their wine of projects, and they operate with great success in the interface between art, culture and business. Snøhetta also strives to produce two designs that are eco-friendly, sustainable and of high quality.”
At night, Haakon and Mette Marit finally got around to celebrate the centenary of the American-Scandinavian Foundation.
Sources: Kongehuset.no, Dagbladet, The Royal Forums
Albert & Charlene Travel to Japan
On Wednesday, Monaco’s ruler Prince Albert II and his fiancee Charlene Wittstock, went to Japan together where the Prince took part in a couple of function regarding environmental issues. This was the first time the engaged couple went on an official visit together – something Charlene will do a lot of when she becomes a Princess next July.
AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye
In the city of Nagoya, Albert attended a dinner reception hosted by Japan’s Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto for the ministeral segment of the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The next day, both Albert and Charlene went to the event, “Monaco and Marine Protected Areas” which was on the sidelines of the Conference. Senior officials from nearly 200 countries met to set new goals for 2020 to fight animal and plant extinctions after they missed a goal for a “significant reduction” in losses of biological diversity by 2010.
For Friday, the couple went to Tokyo, where they met with Princess Takamado at the BirdLife International banquet. BirdLife is an international organization for the protection of birds, their habitats and global biodiversity conservation.
It is believed the Prince and his fiancee will meet eventually with Empress Michiko. That may occur on the last day of their trip, Monday, November 1st.
Princess Takamado was born Hisako Tottori. She married Prince Takamado, a cousin of Emperor Akihito, in 1984.
Source: The Royal Forums