April 1, 2015 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Princess Letizia Pays Visit to Sport Organization for the Handicapped

Posted in: Spain

On Wednesday, Spain’s Princess Letizia stopped by Handisport, an not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the  handicapped integrate socially through sports. Handisport is located in Llucmjaor on Mallorca, one of the Balearic islands.

letizia handisport 212x300 Princess Letizia Pays Visit to Sport Organization for the Handicapped

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Dressed in a flowing chiffon salmon dress, Letizia was welcomed by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Carlos Delgado plus the President of the Foundation Handisport, Cristina Martin, the founder of the Foundation, Rafael Winckelmann, and the mayor of Llucmajor, Joan Jaume Mulet.

The Princess was then introduced to a couple of those who have benefited from Handisport. One of them was European golf champion for disabled persons Sebastian Lorente of Spain. He demonstrated for Letizia how he is able to stand by the use of a machine and therefore play golf.

Established in 2006, Handisport seeks to make sports available for everyone, including those with mental and physical disabilities.

Letizia is also on Mallorca to begin the annual summer vacation with the rest of the Spanish royal family. Already Queen Sofia and Infanta Elena are there, and Infanta Cristina and her family will arrive tomorrow. Letizia’s husband, Prince Felipe, is currently in Peru for the presidential inauguration but he will come to Mallorca later this week along with King Juan Carlos.

Source: El Mundo, ¡Hola!

Danish Royals Attend Memorial Service for Norwegian Massacre Victims

Posted in: Denmark

As a sign of solidarity with their fellow Scandinavians, the people of Denmark officially remembered Wednesday the victims of the dual attacks in Norway. A memorial service was held at Copenhagen Cathedral in which Queen Margrethe II, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary were in attendance. Originally, the plan was to hold the service at a Norwegian Seaman’s Church, but that was too small for the many people who wanted to come.

Denmark Memorial 300x199 Danish Royals Attend Memorial Service for Norwegian Massacre Victims

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None of the royals spoke during the mass, but Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen did. He said: “At one moment it can feel as though everything we know, being torn away below us. Our faith in the good in people. Our hope for a life of joy, optimism and love for our family and loved ones. Our ideal of an open, secure and democratic society. The attacks on 22 July in Norway was such a moment. My heart froze to ice.

“Norway is in mourning. And today we take care with Norway.”

Rasmussen went on to talk about how the Danes show compassion towards Norway, their “brother country” as the Prime Minister put it. “We see the attack as an attack on our brothers and sisters – as an attack on ourselves,” he explained.

During the service, Frederik and Mary got teary-eyed. Even the Norwegian ambassador to Denmark got emotional.

Today’s mass came just as news of a Danish woman, Hanne Anette Balch Fjalestad, was confirmed as one of the victims of the Utøya shootings. Her daughter was also on the island, but survived.

The total of deaths from the dual attacks by a far-right fanatic stands now at 76.

Sources: The Royal Forums

Monaco’s Royal Couple Suing French Magazine

Posted in: Monaco

Monegasque royal newlyweds are suing the French magazine L’Express for publishing stories “incorrect facts about their private life” in the days leading up to their wedding earlier this month.

Albert Charlene 210x300 Monacos Royal Couple Suing French Magazine

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The magazine published stories on its website, saying Charlene Wittstock – now Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene – tried to flee Monaco a few days before her lavish nuptials. She supposedly learned that Prince Albert II might have fathered another child out of wedlock.

According to L’Express,  Charlene’s passport was confiscated by officials when she tried to board a one way flight to her home of South Africa.

Although the reports were rejected by the Prince and many high ranking officials in Monaco, they were picked up by numerous news outlets.

Even on the day of her civil wedding, Charlene denied the rumors, claiming that it was nothing  but “vicious gossip and empty rumours”.

“It’s all lies,” she said to Vogue magazine.

Her father, Michael Wittstock, has denied the stories. “I am so disappointed that people believe in this nonsense,” he said.

The reason for the lawsuit is because, as the couple claimed, the  magazine “gave credibility to these unfounded rumors by publishing them. “

On the day of their religious ceremony, however, the Palace admitted that Prince Albert was to undergo a paternity test. Whether that test actually took place is not yet known.

Source: Sky News, Independent (South Africa), Royal News Examiner

Crown Princess Mette Marit’s Personal Grief During National Mourning

Posted in: Norway

On Monday, tens of thousands of Norwegians marched for unity and held a rose vigil in response to the dual terror attacks on Friday. In Oslo alone, 150,000 people took to the streets along with government officials and members of Norway’s royal family.

Mette Marit Martha Louise1 300x196 Crown Princess Mette Marits Personal Grief During National Mourning

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Crown Prince Haakon was part of the Oslo march and he spoke ”of a street being filled with love,” 

He added: ”We have the power to meet hate with togetherness. We have chosen what we stand for.”

Earlier in the day, King Harald V and Queen Sonja joined Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg for a moment of silence at Oslo University.

The Norwegian royals have been very active in supporting and grieving with the nation, but it has not been very easy for one member.

Haakon’s wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, has a connection to the shootings on Utøya island. Her step-brother, Trond Berntsen, was among the dozens killed by Anders Behring Breivik. Berntsen, age 51, was an off duty policeman who was working as a security guard for the Labor Party summer camp on Utøya. It is believed he was the second person Breivik shot.

Source: AP, Telegraph

Norweigan Royals Attend Memorial Services and Meet the Injured

Posted in: Norway

As Norway continues to mourn the 93 people who were killed in the dual attacks on Friday by a far right zealot, its royal family has been reaching out and grieving along with the rest of the country. Sunday saw the adult members attend church services in memory of those who died and were injured.

Norway Domkirken Mass 300x199 Norweigan Royals Attend Memorial Services and Meet the Injured

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Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja, along with their daughter Princess Martha Louise and her husband Ari Behn, went to Oslo Cathedral at 11am local time for the “mass of grief and hope” service. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and several other high ranking members of Norwegian politics also attended.

The Bishop of Oslo, Ole Christian Kvarme, officiated at service, and started by quoting the poet Nordahl Grieg: “We are so few in this country, every fallen are brother and friend”.

The Prime Minister spoke about unity during this difficult time, saying”If a man can see so much hatred, think so much love we can all see together.”

Also at 11am local time, at Norderhov Church in Ringerike, the Crown Princely couple attended a similar mass not far from Utøya, the island where nearly one hundred young people were massacred. Walking hand in hand with her husband Haakon, Mette-Marit looked visibly upset as she went to the church that included family members and survivors of the shooting.

Bishop Laila Aasen Dahl Tunsberg spoke of what she called the disastrous Friday:

“The future was attempted stolen from us. It was inconceivable many young people who lost their lives. Today we are gathered to silence and contemplation in prayer.”

Mette Marit comforts survivor 300x216 Norweigan Royals Attend Memorial Services and Meet the Injured

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Just as they simultaneously attended memorial masses, the royals simultaneously visited nearby hospitals. The King and Queen went to Ullevål hospital while Haakon and Mette-Marit went to Ringerike Hospital. Both couples met with the wounded, their families and the hospital staff.

“I think I speak on behalf of all of Norway when I say that we will stand together behind you,” Crown Princess Mette-Marit told the victims.

“It is important to say to those who experienced it that everyone in Norway wants to be supportive. They were asked in an extreme situation,” said the Crown Prince.

After their visit, King Harald and Queen Sonja went to the site of the downtown Oslo bombings to see firsthand the destruction of the government buildings. The couple were briefed on the injuries from the blast and met with the police.

Also showing their support were Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. They attended a memorial service at a Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Stockholm also on Sunday morning.

Sources: Kongehuset, Aftenposten, BT.no


Norwegian Royals Comfort and Mourn With Nation

Posted in: Norway

Norway Royals Utoya 300x223 Norwegian Royals Comfort and Mourn With Nation

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A day after the worst attacks in Norway since World War II, its royal family came out to comfort and mourn with the people.The once placid country is reeling after a bomb attack in downtown Oslo and a shooting of a youth political summer camp on the nearby island of Utøya. About 92 people were killed and the number is expected to rise. The suspect behind the dual attacks is said to be a far-right extremist.

Late last night, King Harald V made a televised speech saying, “Freedom is more powerful than fear” and encouraged Norwegians to stand together.

In the afternoon, the King, Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon along with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, went to a hotel in Sundvolden, where the survivors and their families of the shooting on Utøya island were staying. Those royals spoke to and comforted the people who witnessed the shooting. The island was where the worst of yesterday’s attacks happened, and those who were killed were teenagers and young adults.

Ingrid Sverre candle lighting ceremony 195x300 Norwegian Royals Comfort and Mourn With Nation

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Later at 6pm local time, Their Majesties and Haakon went to Oslo Cathedral to light candles in memory of those who died. This time they were joined by Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Marius Borg Høiby, Princess Ingrid Alexandra and Prince Sverre Magnus. The Crown Princess was reportedly unable to hold back tears as she lit the candles and was comforted by Marius.

After that, the family – all dressed in black – went outside for a memorial where flowers and Norwegian flags were set up outside the Cathedral. Ingrid Alexandra and Sverre Magnus held hands as they observed the makeshift memorial. At one point, the Prince picked up a note that his parents read aloud to him.

It’s nice that the royal family show participation,” said James Strande who was in the Cathedral when the royal family arrived. “I think that means a lot to those who have lost someone. For us personally, this is one of the ways we can show our compassion.”

Tomorrow morning, the entire royal family – including Princess Martha Louise and husband Ari Behn – will attend a memorial service at Oslo Cathedral.

Sources: Aftenposten