Wednesday, 29 August 2018

On this date: King and Queen's golden wedding anniversary

Today the King and Queen celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Although the history of the Norwegian monarchy stretches back more than 1100 years, King Harald and Queen Sonja are actually the first king and queen to reach this milestone (King Oscar II and Queen Sophie were married for 50 years and six months, but were deposed a day after their 48th wedding anniversary).
This afternoon the King and Queen drove to the Cathedral of Oslo in the same open-top Lincoln limousine which took them there fifty years ago to attend a service of thanksgiving. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Prince Sverre Magnus, Princess Märtha Louise and her daughters Maud, Emma and Leah Behn and Princess Astrid were also in attendance. Back at the Royal Palace afterwards, the King and Queen made an unannounced balcony appearance with their children, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

Friday, 3 August 2018

On this date: Princess Christina turns 75 and retires from royal duties

Princess Christina, the youngest of the King of Sweden's four elder sisters, celebrates her 75th birthday today and has used the occasion to announce her retirement from royal duties.
Princess Christina became first lady of Sweden when her mother, Princess Sibylla, died in 1972, a position she retained until King Carl Gustaf married Queen Silvia in 1976. Since then she, unlike her three elder sisters, has continued to carry out many public engagements, but after her recent battle with leukemia she has now decided to prioritise herself and her family.
Princess Christina, who is widely considered the brainiest of the siblings, held an unpaid position as President of the Swedish Red Cross from 1992 to 2003 and is the author of an interesting book on Drottningholm Palace, Dagar på Drottningholm, which is also available in English, titled Days at Drottningholm.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

My latest articles: Norwegian golden wedding, Swedish royal dukedoms and Princess Victoria of Britain

The August issue of Majesty (Vol. 39, No. 8) is now on sale and it appears I have written almost half of it. On the occasion of the King and Queen's golden wedding anniversary later this month I write about the nine difficult years they had to wait before King Olav eventually risked giving his consent to their marriage, which everyone seemed to think might spell the end of the monarchy.
I also write about the difficult, unhappy and frustrated Princess Victoria of Britain, the sister of Queen Maud and King George V, who was not allowed to marry the Liberal Prime Minister Lord Rosebery, whom her mother Queen Alexandra treated as her maid and who ended up as a rather bitter woman who often made life difficult for others.
Finally, there is also an article on the history of Swedish royal dukedoms, which were once semi-autonomous states within the states that could become power bases but are now just honorific titles given to the ever-growing number of members of the Swedish royal family.