This weekend most of the heirs to the European thrones are gathered in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, and a group photo may be viewed on the Swedish royal court’s Facebook page. These meetings have become a fixture during the past decade or so, but this is, as far as I know, the first time a photo has been released. There are also similar meetings between the royal courts at different levels (the lords chamberlain, the information departments, the palace librarians, etc.), which rotate between the countries. In all cases the purpose is to give those involved an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences.
This year’s meeting takes place in the Dutch town Apeldoorn and is hosted by Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima, who will leave the group when they ascend the Dutch throne next month. The others present are Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is attending a sports engagement in Sweden in a private capacity, while the heirs to Britain and Liechtenstein (and the heiress presumptive to Monaco) do not normally attend.
The absence of the British heir and his wife will probably lead to the usual comments about the British royal family snubbing or disliking their European counterparts, but Prince Charles clearly gets along well with his colleagues and his absence is a logical consequence of how the British monarchy since the Second World War has focused its attention on the Commonwealth rather than on Europe. If this will change in the next reign remains to be seen.