Belgian Royal Family Gathers for Princess Louise’s First Communion
On Thursday, nearly the entire Belgian royal family gathered for the first communion of Princess Louise, the daughter of the controversial Prince Laurent. Although the Prince has been banned from participating in royal activities, he is of course not banned from family events.
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The Belgian royals went to the small parish of Sainte-Catherine Bonlez, a district of Chaumont-Gistoux in the province of Walloon Brabant for the Catholic ceremony for the seven year old. Princess Louise wore a pink dress with matching shoes and headband. She arrived with the other youngsters making their first communion.
Her parents, Laurent and Princess Claire came with their twin boys, Prince Aymeric and Prince Nicholas. Also there were King Albert II, Queen Paola and Queen Fabiola, who is still holding strong in her late age.
Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde came with their son Prince Emmanuel. Princess Astrid attended with her husband and youngest daughter.
It is not exactly known how the King or the rest of the Belgian royals treated Prince Laurent, but according to RTBF TV, King Albert supposedly did not salute his son. One wonders if the King is still angry over his youngest son’s careless behavior this year or was simply making a public statement as a monarch.
Source: De Standaard
King Juan Carlos Leaves Hospital After Knee Surgery
The King of Spain had knee surgery over the weekend, after suffering from pains related to sports injuries. Doctors gave 73 year old King Juan Carlos an artificial joint as a result. On Sunday, the smiling monarch emerged from Madrid’s San Jose clinic on two crutches.
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“The surgery was concluded with success under epidural anaesthesia and involved carrying out a total artheroplasty of replacing the joint,” said a statement by the San Jose Clinic in Madrid.
“The King is now feeling well and will stay under observation for the next 24 hours before being transferred to a floor where he will begin specialized physiotherapy.”
There has been concern about the health of Juan Carlos since his operation last year to remove a benign tumor from one of his lungs. He has noticeably appeared older and tired during public duties, making some wonder if the King will soon abdicate in favor of his son, Prince Felipe.
While there are no plans for King Juan Carlos to do so – Queen Sofia once insisted he will reign until his death – he is getting frustrated about what the Spanish press is saying about his health. On May 30th, he had an outburst when journalists asked about how he was feeling after news of his knee surgery was revealed.
“I am feeling terrible, as you can see,” the King said.
“What you like to do is kill me…This what you in the press are doing.”
Japanese Crown Princely Couple Tour Tsunami Site
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During the weekend, Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako went to Iwanuma in Miyagi prefecture to see close-up the damage done as a result of March’s tsunami after the 9.0 earthquake that struck the country.
Since the devastation, the couple have been visiting evacuees from the area at evacuation sites in Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture. This was the first time they have gone to the places where many lost their lives or their homes.
They met with Iwanuma mayor Tsneaki Iguchi who informed the royals about the damage. At one point, Naruhito and Masako bowed during their tour, as if they had prayed for those who lost their lives.
There was some concern whether the Crown Princess would accompany the heir to Iwanuma because she has been attending school with the couple’s daughter, Princess Aiko. Aiko has been experiencing anxiety due to bullying last year and Masako has been going to her daughter’s classes since then.
Apparently, Masako was able to go to Iwanuma because Aiko was off from school.
Source: Reuters, TV-Asahi