Jun 2, 2014

King Juan Carlos to abdicate

King Juan Carlos of Spain to abdicate
King Juan Carlos of Spain is set to abdicate, reveals Spanish Prime Minister Mariao Rajoy.

Juan Carlos has been the King of Spain since 1975, ascending after the death of the dictator General Francisco Franco.

Crown Prince Felipe, 45, will take over the throne as Felipe VI.

King Juan Carlos has been popular for much of his reign. He is in fact one of the most recognizable heads of state, although he has become unpopular lately, thanks to the corruption charges on his daughter and her husband.

May 21, 2014

10 Royals You Didn’t Know Where Actually Authors

Being a royal isn't just ribbon-cutting, pomp and circumstance, or royal visits.  There were also royals who were intellectuals, artists and authors. We have gathered ten popular royals who a lot of you may not know also penned critically acclaimed memoirs, touching stories, and eternal poems.




Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (1902-2004)


Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, was actually born the daughter of a Scottish duke, the 7th Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, who was then the largest landowner in Scotland. She married Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, in 1934 and bore him two sons, Prince William, who died in a plane crash in 1972, and Prince Henry, who inherited his father’s title upon his death in 1974. One of the most popular royal figure during her lifetime, she was also the longest-living member of the British Royal Family. She died at the age of 102. She penned her memoirs, The Memoirs of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, which was published in 1981. Ten years later, the revised edition, Memories of Ninety Years, was published. However, it was noted that her book contained no depth and lacked in details with regards to what happened in her life and her family. One reviewer wrote: “You walked away from each chapter with questions that were never answered.”

Queen Elisabeth of Romania (1843-1916)



Born a German princess, her father was Hermann, Prince of Wied. Her artistic leaning, which bound to eccentricity, has been noticeable since childhood. Using the penname Carmen Sylva, Elisabeth was a prolific author in German, Romanian, French and English, ranging from poems, plays, and novels to short stories, essays and aphorisms. Her most critically works included: "Sappho" and  Hammerstein," which appeared in Leipzig (1880), Les Pensees d'une reine (1882), which was honored by the Académie française with the Prix Botta, and Cuvinte Sufletesci, religious meditations in Romanian (1888).

Infanta Eulalia of Spain (1872-1952)



Infanta Eulalia of Spain was perhaps made famous for her controversial books rather than being a royal blood. The youngest child of Queen Isabella II of Spain, she authored provocative works under the pseudonym comtesse de Avila. Her work Au fil de la vie (The Thread of Life, 1911) wrote her views education, the independence of women, the equality of classes, socialism, religion, marriage, prejudices, and traditions, issues that were deemed too liberal during her time. In 1925, she wrote Courts and Countries After The War (1925), which discussed world political situation, with emphasis on the never-ending conflict between France and Germany. Her memoir, Mémoires de S.A.R. l'infante Eulalie, 1868-1931 was published in French in 1935 and in English in 1936.

Princess Helena  of the United Kingdom (1846-1923)


Princess Helena of the United Kingdom was the third daughter and fifth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Considered as the most active member of the British Royal Family during her mother’s reign, Princess Helena was hailed for taking up a hectic schedule of royal engagements in a time when it was not customary of royals to appear in public. Her marriage to Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (1865) was known to be a happy one and four of their five children survived through aduldhood: Prince Christian Victor, Prince Albert, Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise. Princess Christian, as what she was known from the time of her marriage, was an avid translator of German works, including the first biography of Prince Albert (1867), The Memoirs of Wilhelmine, Margravine of Bayreuth (1887), and First Aid to the Injured (1882). Sir Charles Grey praised the princess for the “suprising fidelity” of her work, while Saturday Review wrote that her work was “thoroughly alive, with a sound dictionary translation and a high accuracy in spirit.”

Princess Marie Louise (1872-1956)


Princess Marie Louise is the second daughter of Princess Helena of the United Kingdom and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. She was married to Prince Aribert of Anhalt, third son of Frederick I, Duke of Anhalt, in 1891, although the marriage proved sad and was annulled in 1900. An active member of the British Royal Family, she documented her life in her memoirs, My Memories of Six Reigns (1956), from the reign of her grandmother, Queen Victoria, to that of her niece, Queen Elizabeth II. Her work was praised for her vivid descriptions of the events in her life as well as for the historical value that it rendered.

Queen Marie of Romania (1875-1938)


Queen Marie of Romania was the second child and eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, second son of Queen Victoria, and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, only daughter of Czar Alexander II. Married to Prince Ferdinand of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, the couple ascended as King and Queen of Romania in 1914. Her biographer, Diane Mandache revealed that she published 34 books and poems both in Romanian and English, the most popular of which was her three-volume autobiography, The Story of My Life.

Grand  Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia (1861-1929)



Grand Michael Mikhailovich of Russia was the third child and second son of Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich, a son of Czar Nicholas I. Her morganatic marriage to Countess Sophie von Merenburg caused his banishment from Russia. His resentment to the Imperial Family was his inspiration of why he wrote the novel, Never Say Die. In the preface he wrote:" Belonging, as I do, to the Imperial Blood, and being a member of one of the reigning houses, I should like to prove to the world how wrong it is in thinking - as the majority of mankind is apt to do - that we are the happiest beings on this earth. There is no doubt that we are well situated, but is wealth the only happiness in the world?"

Prince Michael of Greece (1939-)


Prince Michael is the only child of Prince Christopher of Greece, youngest son of King George I of Greece. His father died when he was just one year old. A contributor to the magazine Architectural Digest, Prince Michael’s royal status enabled him to write about historical fictions, including The White Night of St. Petersburg, his first novel, The Empress of Farewells: the story of Charlotte, Empress of Mexico (2002) and Le Rajah Bourbon (2007)

Princess Michael of Kent (1945- )


Princess Michael of Kent is the wife of Prince Michael of Kent, youngest child of Prince George, Duke of Kent, fourth child of King George V. She was the daughter of the Bohemian nobleman, Baron Gunther von Reibnitz and the Hungarian Countess Marianne Szapary. A professional interior designer and lecturer, Princess Michael penned historical non-fictions and fictions: Crowned in a Far Country: Portraits of eight royal brides (1986), Cupid and the King (1991), The Serpent and The Moon: two rivals for the love of a Renaissance king (2004) and The Queen of Four Kingdoms (2013).

Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhaelovich of Russia (1859-1919)


Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhaelovich is the elder brother of Grand Duke Michael Mikhaelovich. A popular Russian scholar and historian, he was also an expert in botany. His published works included the 10-volume Discussions on the Lepidopterae, The Princes Dolgoruki, Collaborators to Emperor Alexander I and many more. 

May 20, 2014

18 Quotes From Queen Elizabeth II That Would Make You Even Wiser

Queen Elizabeth II has been Queen since 1952 and she's presiding 16 independent countries as their head of state with much gusto. The early part of her reign saw the decline and disintegration of the British Empire and the eventual formation of the Commonwealth of Nations. Her reign was not without trials and even personal setbacks in her family have proven critical to her reign as well. However, with her wisdom, balanced views, and political neutrality seemed to have made her a larger than life figure that's beyond reproach. Her 40th year on the throne was dubbed as "annus horribilis" due to the breakdown of her children's marriage, the burning of Windsor Castle and increased republican sentiments. But she made it through her hardest days and her Golden (2002) and Diamond (2012) Jubilee celebrations was a testimony of the overflowing love and support of her subjects. With a woman of her age and experience, there's no doubt that we could learn something or two from Her Majesty. Her are some of Queen Elizabeth's most popular lines that endure to this.

On Leadership...



On Grief...



On Peace...



Of Relations...


On Education...


On the Colonies...


On politics, governance and warfare...


On seeing and believing...


On giving birth...


On strength...


On what to eat for breakfast...


On the British Constitution...


On family life...



On sincerity to public service...




On Christmas...


May 19, 2014

Prince Harry Visits Estonia and was Surprised to See Someone He Wasn't Expecting

Prince Harry's trip to Estonia was a resounding success. The two-day royal tour was just the ideal breather for the prince after his break-up with girl friend Cressida Bonas. Here are the highlights of the prince's latest engagement.



The 29-year-old travelled to Talinn on a £143 easyJet flight. Although this is not the first time that the prince has flown on a budget carrier, this mode of transport is still unusual for a royal, especially on an official visit. Oh, well, anyway, the prince is known for his being unusual. 


Prince Charles' younger son paid his respects to Estonia's war dead on a visit to Freedom Square. More than 300 people were there to cheer the royal sensation as he arrived in the square. 


The prince was more than happy to to pose for selfies.


A little girl even got overcome by the prince's presence, so he snuggled bashfully into her father's chest after presenting a delighted Prince Harry with her Union flag.



After the wreath-laying ceremony, Prince Harry made a speech before the Estonian parliament. 

May 16, 2014

The Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes by Fiona McMarthy

The Last Curtsey: The End of the
Debutantes by Fiona
MacCarthy


Young daughters of nobles and aristocrats of the years gone by consider it a rite of passage to curtsey to the queen. However, the decline of the British Empire also meant that it has to end. 1958 was the last year when debutantes where presented at the Royal Court. Under pressure to shine, not least from their mothers, the girls became the focus for newspaper diarists and society photographers in a party season that stretched for months among the great houses of England, Ireland and Scotland.

In her book, Last Curtsey: The End of the DebutantesFiona MacCarthy looks back to the stories of girls who curtseyed that year; and showed how their lives were to open out often in much unexpected ways. MacCarthy was initially hesitant about writing about her debutante years, especially in the 1960s when she was a journalist for the Guardian. She revealed that “the debutante season was my taboo subject, an unmentionably embarrassing secret history.” She thought no one would take her seriously “once they knew I had been amongst the final group of debutantes to curtsey to the Queen.”

MacCarthy’s book was a “defence of debutantes against the cartoon image of the vacuous and flighty society.” But what has motivated MacCarthy the most to write about her experience was the fact that she was “a witness to a scene so far removed from present-day experiences, so strange and so arcane, that it is worth recording.” The book also highlights MacCarthy’s interviews with some of the last-surviving debutantes who referred to the event as “elaborate social rituals that lingered through the post-war years and the underlying concepts of elegance, good manners, belief of protocol, love and respect for the monarchy, deference towards your betters, courage, kindness and idealism, qualities which before long appeared impossibly old-fashioned.”

Prince John: The Windsor's Tragic Secret

Here is a documentary about Prince John, youngest child of King George V and Queen Mary. He was epilectic and frail and had lived in seclusion at the family's estate in Sandringham. In this short film,  let us get to know more about the sad life of this young prince and why he is called the British Royal Family's tragic secret.


Court Circular May 14, 2014

The Court Circular for May 14, 2014 has been originally posted online at the Royal Family's Official Facebook page. The Court Circular is the official record of the previous day's Royal engagements and is printed in selected British newspapers.


BUCKINGHAM PALACE

By command of The Queen, Mr. Alistair Harrison (Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps) called upon His Excellency Mr. Tesfamicael Gerahtu Ogbaghiorghis at 96 White Lion Street, London N1, this afternoon in order to bid farewell to His Excellency upon relinquishing his appointment as Ambassador from the State of Eritrea to the Court of St. James's.

CLARENCE HOUSE

The Prince of Wales, President, this morning visited the Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London (Sir David Brewer).
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall later gave a Reception at St. James's Palace to mark Their Royal Highnesses' forthcoming visit to Canada.
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