This past Friday saw Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel go to the Raoul Wallenberg Square in Stockholm to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Friday remembered the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945.
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Victoria and Daniel met with Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General, who gave a speech at the ceremony. At the beginning of it, he greeted the royal couple by saying, “Your Royal Highnesses, Victoria and Daniel, and the little one”.
But there wasn’t much room for humor during the commemoration. Annan urged those in attendance not to forget the millions who died in the Holocaust. Swedish Speaker Per Westerberg said “We humans need good role models. Role models who fights evil and gives us hope and courage.”
“It was Raoul Wallenberg’s courage, ingenuity and drive that saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from death in Hitler’s gas chambers,” Westerberg added.
The Crown Princess placed a lit candle jar at the center of the square to remember both those who died and Wallenberg’s bravery.
Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who orchestrated the survival and rescue of thousands of Jews in Budapest during World War II. Wallenberg was captured by the Soviet Union, however, and no one knows what happened to him.
When he was asked why he risked his life to save Budapest’s Jews, he said, “I had no choice.”
Tonga’s Prince ‘Ulukalala celebrated his engagement on January 20th in Sydney, Australia. The 27 year old Prince who is second in line to the throne to due to marry 25 year old the Hon. Sinaitakala Fakafanua.
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The engagement celebration follows a traditional Tongan ritual known as Faitohi in July 2011. Held at “Siatapu”, Ma’ufanga Nuku’alofa, the ritual is where a man courts and woos a woman. It basically is the Tongan way of announcing an engagement.
Prince ‘Ukukalala is the son of Crown Prince Tupouto’a Lavaka and Crown Princess Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho while Sinatakala is the only daughter of Princess ‘Ofeina-‘e he-Langi Fakafanua and the late Lord Fakafanua. The two are second cousins.
The couple will wed on May 4th 2012.
The announcement of the upcoming nuptials raises the question on how Tonga’s royals will manage to keep their blood blue as the number of eligible families shrink in the South Pacific nation. The way it used to be is that the heir to the Tongan throne of the Tu’i Kanokupolu dynasty kept its royal status by marrying members of the royal family to the descendants of the earlier dynasties, the Tu’i Tonga and the Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua.
That is no longer done and these days, there are fewer and fewer noble families to marry with. The Tongan royals now have to either marry their relatives or break with tradition and marry commoners – something most royals in the world are doing.
Sources: Taimi Online, Click Tonga Today
Monegasque Princely Family Marks Sainte Devote Celebrations
On Thursday, Monaco celebrated the feast day of its patron saint, Devote. The celebrations are a big part of the tiny principality’s heritage, so its Princely family would obviously take part in them.
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In the evening, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene – who marked her 34th birthday Wednesday – lit a fisherman’s boat on fire with torches on the beaches of Monaco. With them was Albert’s sister, Princess Caroline and her youngest daughter, Princess Alexandra.
This is done to commemorate the burning of a ship on the beach of Monaco, when the captain was caught after stealing the relics of Sainte Devote. Burning a fisherman’s boat has been a tradition since Prince Louis II began it in 1924.
The next morning, there was a mass held at the cathedral. Albert and Charlene then appeared on the palace balcony before the bishop and Monegasque priests.
One should remember that during her July 2nd wedding ceremony, Charlene placed her bouquet at the shrine of Sainte Devote. That is part of the tradition in Monaco.
For future reference, Albert and Charlene will be traveling to the United States in late February to attend the Academy Awards. Keep an eye out that day to see how the Princess of Monaco lights up the red carpet!
Sources: Pure People
Joachim & Marie Leave Hospital with Newborn Daughter
Three days after she came into the world, Denmark’s newest Princess was taken home by her parents, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, from Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.
The media and well-wishers gathered at the hospital’s lobby to cheer for the latest addition to the Danish royal family. Marie looked well rested while Joachim appeared to be ecstatic.
“She has a good appetite and zest for life,” said the proud father.
Joachim also told reporters that his new daughter looks like Marie, whom said it was too early to say. However, the little girl has Marie’s dark hair.
The baby was asleep in her mother’s arms and one reporter suggested she be named “Sleeping Beauty”.
During her hospital stay, Princess Marie was visited by her parents, her in-laws, and her two stepsons – Princes Nikolai and Felix from Joachim’s previous marriage. Even the couple’s 2 1/2 year old son, Prince Henrik paid a visit and got to meet his little sister.
The new Princess is the eighth grandchild of Queen Margrethe II and Henrik, the Prince Consort. She is also tenth in line to the Danish throne.
Her name won’t be revealed until the day of her baptism, which has yet to be announced.
Already, Danish bookies are betting the princess would be named after one of her grandmothers. After all, big brother Henrik is named after his paternal grandfather!
With the 42nd World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland, many of the world’s who’s who are gathering there to discuss ways to make the world a better place. Among them are a few of Europe’s royals – the Norwegian Crown Princely couple, Belgium’s Princess Mathilde and Dutch Princess Mabel.
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Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit are in Davos mainly to promote Haakon’s Young Global Leaders (YGL), which he has been involved in since it’s beginnings in 2005. But Mette-Marit took the time to chat with the press and explain to them why she recently set up her own Twitter account.
“I think Twitter is a fantastic opportunity to spread information about the exciting projects taking place around the world, especially driven by young people,” she said.
The Crown Prince does not yet have his own Twitter account, but said he might start one. “I think I’m quite active as I am. We’ll see if I get my own account. We have the joint account. Maybe I have my own later if I want.”
In addition, Mette-Marit praised Microsoft founder Bill Gates for donating nearly $1 billion to the GAVI Alliance, which gives vaccines to people in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We’re very concerned about global health. And now, Bill Gates once again placed a very good focus on this health care,” said Mette-Marit.
She also mentioned how exciting Davos can be as it draws people from all over the world to participate. “It was incredibly exciting to hear their perspectives on the world situation today. And I could have the opportunity to give them advice on how to use the World Economic Forum to promote their projects.”
Meanwhile, Princess Mathilde of Belgium is at Davos. She sat alongside the Norwegian royals during Angela Merkel’s speech Wednesday.
Also at Davos is Princess Mabel, the wife of Holland’s Prince Friso. She also has a Twitter account and has been tweeting her experiences at WEF. Among them, listening to U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon point out that thousands of women still die in childbirth worldwide. Mabel voiced her dismay over that, saying “These are unacceptable, unnecessary deaths.”