Spanish Royals Mark Pascua Militar 2012
Madrid witnessed its annual military parade on Friday, which represents the end of the December holidays and starts the political new year in Spain. This year’s Pascua Militar is also the first for the new Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, as well as the newly appointed Chief of Staff of Defense, Admiral Fernando García Sánchez.
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King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia came out for the military parade, which took place on a sunny afternoon. Past Pascua Militars were on rainy days, but this day was a stroke of luck for them. The King and his heir were in military uniform while the royal women were in formal dress. Both the Queen and the Princess tend to wear similar colors during this event.
The national anthem was played, followed by a 21 gun salute. His Majesty then reviewed the royal guard.
Inside the royal palace, at the Hall of Gasparini, the royals greeted the guests. They were: the institutional officials and the heads of the Defense Staff, the Royal and Military Order of San Fernando and San Hermenegildo, Civil Guard and the Brotherhood of Veterans.
The King then gave a speech where he paid tribute to Spain’s fallen soldiers and their families. He also urged the Armed Forces and Civil Guard to “uphold the principles of discipline, hierarchy and unity,” which, “with the duty of political neutrality and union” are “essential” to the tasks assigned to them.
He also talked about the current economic crisis. “I have the certainty that as you have done in the past exemplary way, you know get the most out of resources allocated and to be very careful in the use and maintenance of the media.”
“Thanks to your reputation, the result of your excellent staff training and high demand, our young people are attracted to the military profession,” King Juan Carlos said.
The tradition of Pascua Militar goes back to 1782 to the reign of King Carlos III. It is always held on the Feast of Epiphany, January 6th.
Source: ¡Hola!, Diez Minutos
British Royal Trio Attend Sun Military Awards
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry, were at the Sun Military Awards Monday night. It was a night to honor British troops for their service to the United Kingdom.
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William and Harry wore tuxedos, while Catherine looked amazing in a black velvet strapless Alexander McQueen gown. She also wore an impressive necklace that was a wedding gift from a not-yet revealed person.
The trio chatted with servicemen and women at the Imperial War Museum before the actual ceremony. It was then Harry gave a speech where he both praised the troops and talked about his military career. The 27 year old Prince had spent the past several weeks in the United States learning to fly Apache helicopters.
He said: “I am a young Army officer, a serving soldier. Like my brother, I share many of the same hopes, the same aspirations to go on operations, and the same fears as all those who serve our Queen and country.
“By an accident of birth, though, it falls to 564673 Captain Wales humbly to express – on behalf of my comrades-in-arms and people up and down the country – the admiration we feel for the extraordinary men and women we honor here tonight.”
He added: “It’s often said of our armed forces that they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Well, I don’t entirely buy that. Ordinary people don’t run out under withering enemy rocket and heavy machine gunfire to rescue a wounded comrade.
“Ordinary people don’t brave monsoon conditions dangling on a winch line to rescue 13 people, each in turn.
“For that matter, ordinary people don’t put their lives on the line for distant folk, such as the Afghans, who need our help and are now turning their country round because of it.”
Harry also spoke warmly of the families of the troops.
“The strength and courage it must take to see your husband or your wife, your father or mother, son or daughter, head off into the unknown – and to support them doing it – I can hardly even imagine,” he said. “So, to our amazing, brave families, I know I join every single service man and woman in saying from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
The Sun Military Awards, or Millies as Britons call it, were also attended by soccer star David Beckham, along with sons Brooklyn and Cruz, Gordon Ramsay, Jimmy Carr, and Frank Lampard.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg were also there. They held a reception at 10 Downing Street and Clegg said this to the troops: “You shouldn’t just be proud of the servicemen and women with you in your work, and you shouldn’t just be proud on behalf of your families and communities but I hope you do also know that you make the whole nation very, very proud indeed.”
Source: Telegraph, Daily Mail
Prince William to be Deployed to Falklands
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It was announced Thursday the Prince William, second in line to the British throne, will spend six weeks next year deployed to the Falklands. His Royal Highness will be doing search and rescue duties, as he already does in the RAF.
The RAF said in a statement Flight Lieutenant William Wales, as he is known in the military, would “complete a routine deployment to the Falkland Islands as part of a crew of four personnel during February-March 2012″.
“This deployment forms part of a normal squadron crew rotation and will form part of Flt Lt Wales training and career progression as a search and rescue pilot within the RAF.”
Having the Prince in the Falklands during that time will come on the 30th anniversary of the 74 day Falklands War, where Britain and Argentina battled over the chain of islands.
Some say having the future King of the U.K. in the Falklands would show the country’s further insistence that they own those islands.
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner once said her country’s sovereignty is “non-negotiable”. In June, she also called Britain a “crude colonial power in decline”.
Meanwhile, Prince William is said to be very pleased over his deployment. He had often spoke of not having his status prevent him from being treated like any other serviceman.
However, his wife, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge will not be able to join him. The couple will experience a six week separation.
Source: Sky News
Prince Harry Arrives in U.S. for Helicopter Training
Britain’s Prince Harry arrived Friday morning in southern California to the Naval Air Facility at El Centro near the Mexican border. He is to be in the States for two months to complete his training in order to be qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot.
Click here to check out Prince Harry pics at Daylife.com
The Prince is one of 20 British military students who will divide their time between El Centro and the Gila Bend Auxiliary Air Force Base in Arizona. They will be trained on firing missiles, rockets and cannons from the Apache, which is used by British forces in Afghanistan.
Harry spent 10 weeks in Afghanistan from December 2007 to February 2008, and he has expressed desire to return to the war torn country.
However, that decision belongs to the Prime Minister. When Harry went to Afghanistan the first time around, there was a media blackout about his deployment until an Australian magazine and the American news website Drudge Report revealed him fighting in Afghanistan.
Until then, the 27 year old Prince is in the U.S., where locals think it will be exciting to get a glimpse of him. Like all the other students, Captain Wales – as he is known – is free to leave the bases during downtown, but locally, he may not have much to do.
“We don’t have places for him to cruise around. He’s going to get bored. I would recommend the mall,” said Jesus Gonzalez, a local resident.
Where Harry could be spotted is Las Vegas. The media will have a field day is the party-loving Prince turned up in Sin City.
“If they want to fund it themselves and that’s what floats their boat, then yes, they can go to Las Vegas,” says the exercise director of the training session British Lt Col Peter Bullen
Sources: Hello!, Telelgraph
Crown Princess Mary Names Naval Vessel
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Crown Princess Mary spent Sunday in the town of Kalundborg, where she named the newest vessel of the Danish navy.
The vessel is called the Holger Danske, after both Denmark’s national hero and the resistance group during the Nazi occupation. A few surviving members of the group were guests of today’s event.
As part of the naming ceremony, there was a military parade and a naval band performing a few songs. Crown Princess Mary inspected the honor guard during the ceremony. She trained with the Danish Home Guard, from 2008 to 2009.
After she officially named the vessel, the Crown Princess joined its crew for a short sailing around Kalundborg’s harbor. When that was over, Mary took part in a reception at Restaurant Fjorden.
Source: The Royal Forums, Nordvestnyt.dk
Danish Royal Family Pay Tribute to Countrymens’ International Efforts
On a rainy Monday in Copenhagen, many of the adult members of the Danish royal family turned up at the Citadel for the unveiling of a monument dedicated to Danes who died while serving abroad for international efforts. 100,000 of Denmark’s soldiers have participated in peacekeeping and fighting efforts since 1949. Some returned home, others didn’t.
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Queen Margrethe II gave a speech during the inauguration of the monument: “The monument stands in its simplicity as a symbol of the efforts of Danish men and women for many years has made around the world. Here are the names of the many who paid the highest prince who gave their lives. Here we will remember them and remember that Denmark’s efforts have costs that are not made up in dollars and cents,” she said.
Afterward, the Queen laid a wreath underneath the inscription that read: “A Time, A Place, A Human Being”.
The rest of the royals in attendance – Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie – followed Her Majesty in a tour around the octagon shaped memorial. It is divided into three parts: an outer section to be used for future ceremonies, an inner part that lists the places where Danish forces were placed, and a more inner part has the list of the 107 soldiers who died while serving Denmark since 1949.
There is also an eternal flame in honor of those who fell.
This monument was unveiled on Denmark’s Flag Day.
Sadly, another name will be added to the 107 names already listed. A 22 year old soldier was killed by an explosive device in Afghanistan over the weekend.
Sources: Billed Bladet, The Royal Forums, Billed Serie