March 31, 2015 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Philippe & Mathilde Visit New York

Posted in: Belgium

This past Wednesday and Thursday saw Belgium’s Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde on an economic mission to New York City. They were in the city to broaden ties between their country and the United States.

Belgium USA 208x300 Philippe & Mathilde Visit New York

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Their first stop was to Ground Zero, where the couple laid a wreath sent by the Belgian King and Queen in remembrance to those who lost their lives on 9/11. Philippe and Mathilde were given a briefing on the reconstruction of the site by Bill Baroni, the deputy executive director of the Port Authority.

Next, the royals went to Central Park to pose for the press. After that, they stopped by a food cart to eat Belgian waffles, of course!

Later in the day, Mathilde stopped by the Le Pain Quotidien. Thought to be French bakery by many locals, it is actually Belgian, and it was there that the Princess met with Belgians living and working in the Big Apple.

“It was so convivial! She was interested in how life is here, in how Belgians are doing,” said Sofia Vandaele, a general manager for the W Hotel downtown. “She was very engaged.”

On Thursday came the signing of economic agreements, overseen by Crown Prince Philippe at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

Source: Wall Street Journal Blog, Royal News Examiner


Crown Prince Naruhito’s Visit to Germany

Posted in: Japan

Last week, Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito paid a three day visit to Germany as part of marking the two countries’ 150 years of diplomacy. Even though that was the main part of the trip, Naruhito used the opportunity to thank Germany for helping Japan which is still recovering from its massive earthquake and tsunami back in March.

Japan Germany 300x243 Crown Prince Naruhitos Visit to Germany

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“I offer my gratitude for the various kinds of assistance, including the dispatch of a rescue team, and condolences expressed by Germany,” the Crown Prince was quoted by the Imperial Household Agency as telling German President Christian Wulff.

Naruhito also met with Chancellor Angela Merkel in which the two discussed nuclear energy. Germany is looking to dismantle its nuclear sector following the meltdown of Japan’s nuclear plants following the natural disaster.

“In Japan, too, interest in renewable energy is growing,” he said in response to Merkel’s briefing, according to Japan’s Imperial Household Agency.

As part of his visit, Naruhito also met with Norbert Lammert, president of the German Parliament, toured museums and met with German schoolchildren.

The Crown Prince’s wife, Crown Princess Masako, did not accompany him to Germany, which may come as a disappointment to some royal fans. Many were delighted to see her visit earthquake evacuees and tour damaged sites following the disasters, which was probably the most appearances she had made in years.

But, it likely was not on the agenda for Masako to go to Germany. Perhaps she’ll make more appearances in the future as she recovers more from her stress-induced mental illness.

Source: Japan Times, Mainichi

Princess Madeleine Talks About WCF, Returning to U.S.

Posted in: Sweden

The Swedish royal court recently published an interview with Princess Madeleine where she briefly discussed working for World Childhood Foundation in the United States. The Princess has been living in New York City for well over a year, and while the reasons for that are not fully clear, this interview is likely an attempt to ease criticism that Madeleine is wasting tax payers’ money by doing little but shop and have fun.

Princess Madeleine WCF 300x201 Princess Madeleine Talks About WCF, Returning to U.S.

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First, she was asked what she does for WCF, which was set up by her mother, Queen Silvia in 1999 to give children better childhoods around the world.

“I am a project administrator at Childhood’s office in New York,” Madeleine began. “Every day is slightly different, but if I were to describe a day at the office it would involve fairly normal office work. I arrive at the office in the morning, go through my e-mails, read reports, communicate with the projects or deal with any other tasks on my desk for the day. I sometimes attend meetings with various companies in order to try to build new corporate contacts so that Childhood can grow in the US.”

Next, Madeleine described project visits, which it has been reported by WCF is something she often does.

“You can always read about a project, but getting out and meeting the children who receive help or hearing directly from the enthusiasts who run the projects is completely different. It’s fantastic being able to hear their stories and to listen to them when they talk about their day-to-day work, their setbacks, but also their many successes and the progress they’ve made. That gives me the energy to want to do more and get involved more.”

The Princess also confirmed that by the fall, she will be returning to New York to continue working and expanding WCF. However, it is unknown when she will return to Sweden and perform any royal engagements as it is expected of any royal of any country.

Source: Swedish Royal Court