December 22, 2014 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Albert & Charlene Mix Work and Honeymoon in South Africa

Posted in: Monaco

Monaco’s newlyweds Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene have been busy since last weekend’s weddings. Instead of honeymooning privately, the couple have been in Charlene’s home country of South Africa for an International Olympic Committee meeting in Durban. Since both are former Olympians, it is understandable that those two will be there.

Albert Charlene South Africa 223x300 Albert & Charlene Mix Work and Honeymoon in South Africa

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Tuesday saw the couple meet with President Jacob Zuma at the IOC meeting. He congratulated them on their wedding.

“She has again done us proud by bringing us the royal in-laws from Monaco,” Zuma said in welcoming Charlene.

“We usually say you can’t get a wife free of charge, you must pay lobola — the cattle,” Zuma joked.

The next day, Albert and Charlene lunched with Zuma and one of his wives, Thobeka Madiba Zuma at the Presidential residence in Durban.

On Thursday, Their Serene Highnesses held a wedding reception at the luxury Oyster Box restaurant and hotel in Umhlanga outside of Durban. Guests included Zuma and Bishop Desmond Tutu, and everyone was entertained by Zulu performers.

Upon leaving the reception, Albert and Charlene took time to pose for the media and even share a kiss for the photographers.

The couple’s stay in South Africa this week is part business, part honeymoon. They are having private time when they are not meeting with dignitaries or attending IOC meetings.

The rumors that the Prince might have fathered a child during his five year courtship with Charlene have yet to die down. It is being reported that Albert already took a paternity test but it is unknown when the results will be revealed. Despite the friendly appearances in South Africa, behind the scenes, Charlene is supposedly being convinced by the Prince to stay married to him.

Because of the rumors, Prince Albert’s playboy ways, and Princess Charlene’s seeming unhappiness during the Roman Catholic wedding ceremony on Saturday, many are wondering if the legend of the monks who cursed the Grimaldis’ – the family that rules Monaco – is real. The curse is said to be that the family will never see a happy marriage.

Judging by the marriages of Albert’s parents and two sisters, perhaps there is something going on.

Sources: AFP, AP, ABC News

William & Catherine Wrap Canadian Visit

Posted in: United Kingdom

Friday saw the nine day official visit to Canada wind down for Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. It can be said that the tour was wildly successful as seen by the large crowds gathering to see the royal couple.

William Catherine Yellowknife 300x226 William & Catherine Wrap Canadian Visit

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After conquering (figuratively) Ottawa, Quebec and Prince Edward Island, William and Catherine headed northwes to Yellowknife, in the Northwestern Territories. Although Yellowknife is a remote location and has a small population, the royals once again saw large crowds, about five feet deep.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were treated to native dances by the indigenous people of the area, or First Nations as Canadians call them. They also received a demonstration of street hockey. Despite being dressed in a suit and shiny shoes, Prince William took a try with the hockey stick with the locals. His wife was the one who dropped the hockey ball, but declined to play. Catherine told Gloria Francis, age 16, “I would have taken a shot if I wasn’t in heels,” gesturing to her designer shoes. After the game, the couple got red jerseys with “Cambridge” written across the back.

Afterward, William and Catherine paid a visit to a youth parliament in Yellowknife before flying to the edge of the tundra to have a campfire visit with more local youths.

Later, in what many in the British press called a “second honeymoon”, William surprised his wife with an evening spent on a secluded island with no one but themselves to absorb the Canadian wilderness and what they have seen and experienced during their tour.

Wednesday was supposed to be a day off for the Duke and Duchess, but they chose to go to Slave Lake in Alberta, where they took a look at the town 80% devastated by wildfires back in May. They visited local families and emergency personnel including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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Later in the day, the couple flew to Calgary. It was there that perhaps the defining moment of the whole Canadian tour occurred. Upon arriving at Calgary airport, the Duke and Duchess were greeted by 6 year old Diamond Marshall. Diamond, who has Stage 4 cancer, ran excitedly towards the royals and handed Catherine a bouquet of flowers. Little Diamond’s one wish was to meet a princess, and the one she met – in a way, Catherine can be considered to be a princess – gave her a big hug, sparking comparisons to the late Princess Diana.

Also at the airport, William and Catherine were given custom-made Smithbilt white cowboy hats since they have entered Canada’s cowboy country. Some royal watchers were disappointed that the two didn’t put on the hats right there.

But they did wear their gifts later in the evening at the BMO Centre for the Stampede rodeo wearing western style clothes – button down shirts, jeans, large belts and boots. The couple enjoyed a rodeo that included a child riding a sheep. Later, they ate dinner with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

William Catherine Cowboy hats 300x193 William & Catherine Wrap Canadian Visit

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On Friday, the last for the couple in the Great White North, they were once again in Calgary, this time taking part in the Stampede’s massive parade. Part of the parade included 850 horses, bands and floats, cowboys and clowns, and local First Nation people in traditional regalia riding beaded horses.

About 300,000 people gathered to see William and Catherine, but many were disappointed that they didn’t get a good glimpse of them. Some complained that the vehicle carrying the royals rolled by too quickly. They expected the Prince and his wife to be in an open air carriage.

Additionally, the couple had a rude interruption when a woman broke through the crowd to come rushing up to the car and attempted to throw presents at the car window. No one was harmed.

Thus completed William and Catherine’s nine day tour of Canada. It was indeed a success, especially for new royal Catherine. She handled the long and demanding tour as though she was doing such appearances all her life. Clearly, the Duchess has adjusted to royal life perfectly.

Her Royal Highness will demonstrate more of her adjustment when William and Catherine head to Los Angeles, California later on Friday to spend three days in the city. They will be promoting British charities, businesses and entertainment as they rub shoulders with Hollywood royalty.

Sources: Calgary Herald, Toronto Sun, USA Today,