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Royal News

Three monarchs hospitalised
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain underwent a successful 45-minutes operation to remove a torn cartilage from her right knee at the King Edward VII Hospital in London on January 13. She left the hospital the day after, walking with the aid of a stick. She will need some rest before she can start fulfilling her engagements again. On January 14 also Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was admitted to hospital. A day later she had a four-and-a-half-hour surgery on her spinal column. She wasn't released from hospital until January 23 and still has a long revalidation ahead of her. On January 16 also Emperor Akihito of Japan was hospitalised at the University of Tokyo Hospital. Two days later a team of six surgeons successfully removed his cancerous prostate gland during a 3 hours and 40 minutes operation. He is expected to remain in hospital for one month.

A kiss …
If you may believe the media in Australia and Denmark it will not take a long time anymore until the engagement of crown prince Frederik of Denmark and the Tasmanian Mary Donaldson will be announced. This month Frederik took part in the Dragon Class World Championships in Hobart, Tasmania. Frederik arrived in Tasmania in the second week of January. Letting himself unexpectedly within days being asked by some journalists whether he would marry his girlfriend, he said: "That's hard to say--I can't reveal that anyway. We're basically just enjoying ourselves and getting to know eachother more." Frederik also talked with Mary's parents in the harbour. About one week after Frederik also Mary arrived at the airport in her hometown Hobart, where her sister Jane welcomed her. The rest of the family arrived at Jane's house very soon afterwards. Some hours later also Frederik showed up there. Only days later, on January 20, happened where all the press was hoping for. When Mary arrived at the harbour, watched by tens of journalists and photographers, she got her very first kiss in public from Frederik, which was actually to the big disappointment of most royalty watchers no more than a small peck on her cheek, but the media went crazy about it. And so after the interview of Frederik and the kiss the media is sure that the couple will become engaged very soon. A small interview of Mary's sister Patricia to the media didn't help much stopping the rumours. By the way Frederik ended in sixth place over all, but that wasn't of much interest for the media. On the last day of January both Frederik and Mary left Tasmania separately. Frederik will pay a 8-day visit to India, while Mary is said to fly back to Denmark to continue her job. We'll see what the future brings.

… an engagement …
Duchess Fleur von Württemberg announced her engagement to Count Moritz von Goëss early in January. The Duchess, a goddaughter of King Juan Carlos of Spain, was seen as a good royal candidate to marry the Prince of Asturias.

… and a wedding
In Nepal Princess Prerna, only daughter of King Gyanendra, married Raj Bahadur Singh at January 22 in a private ceremony at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace in Kathmandu that was only attended by members of the family and invited guests. The marriage was arranged by both sets of parents, a common tradition in Nepal. The wedding was called a good break from sorrow and despair after the massacre of the Nepalese royal family in June 2001 and the present unrest in the country. On January 23 the newly-wed couple rode through Kathmandu to their new house in a black carriage pulled by four white horses decked with flowers, while thousands of people lined the streets and cheered them.

Netty Leistra
Royal Watch
February 2003

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