NETTY ROYAL

Babies and Weddings

May was a nice month with several interesting royal happenings. I could write another royal wedding report, as I went to Germany to see a royal wedding there, but as there is so much baby news, I'd better write something about that also.

On May 2 very cute pictures of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and her husband Ari Behn with their newborn daughter Maud Angelica, born on April 29 at the State Hospital in Oslo, were issued. The little girl, third in line of succession to the Norwegian throne, slept during almost the whole photo-session that took place in the hospital one day before mother and daughter were allowed to go home. Later it was announced that the christening of Maud Angelica Behn will take place at the palace chapel on July 2, the day the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late King Olav V of Norway is remembered.

Buckingham Palace announced on May 6 that the Countess of Wessex expects a baby in December. The Countess lost a baby after an ectopic pregnancy in December 2001. The Earl and Countess of Wessex are said to be thrilled and excited that they finally will become parents. The Countess has to slow down on doctors' advice.

Another royal birth took place on May 8 at the royal palace in Rabat, Morocco, where Princess Lalla Salma, wife of King Mohammmed VI, gave birth to a healthy crown prince who was named Moulay Al-Hassan, after his late paternal grandfather. News of the birth was followed by a traditional 21-gun salute inside the palace grounds in Rabat. On the occasion of the birth King Mohammed VI granted amnesty to 47.988 prisoners. On May 16 the little crown prince was feted in a traditional ceremony and photos of him with his parents were released.

On May 15 Princess Alexia of Greece, wife of Carlos Morales Quintana, gave birth to her second daughter at the Centro Medico Teknon in Barcelona, Spain. The baby was named Anna-Maria, after Princess Alexia's mother. Mother and daughter left hospital three days after birth, when also the first photos were taken.

Also on May 15 Princess Ragnhild Mrs Lorentzen, sister of King Harald V of Norway, and her husband Erling Sven Lorentzen celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. They invited some family and friends for a cruise from Oslo to Kiel (Germany) and back. Unfortunately King Harald and Queen Sonja weren't able to attend, but on May 17 the Lorentzen family and also the family of Princess Astrid Mrs Ferner celebrated National Day at the royal palace. On May 16 an announcement in a Norwegian newspaper revealed that Princess Ragnhild's youngest daughter Ragnhild officially had become engaged to her long-time boyfriend Aaron Long during the cruise.

On May 17 Hereditary Prince Heinrich Donatus von Hessen married Countess Floria-Franziska von Faber-Castell at the Johanniskirche in Kronberg im Taunus, near Frankfurt am Main (Germany). The evening before a bridal soiree took place in Frankfurt am Main. Although some guests had partied until late in the night, most of them looked surprisingly fit when they arrived at church before noon on Saturday. The wedding was among others attended by Princess Caroline of Monaco with her husband Prince Ernst August von Hannover, as well as Prince Maximilian and Princess Angela von und zu Liechtenstein. Rumours that the Earl and Countess of Wessex would also come, turned out not to be true. The bride wore a simple champagne-coloured silk dress and a splendid embroidered three-metres long brocade train - a 200 year old family piece. Two pages and five bridesmaids completed the picture. The bride arrived at church on the arm of her father, Count Hubertus, and it was not until then that the press in front of the church discovered that the groom was already inside for a long time - nobody saw him arriving. After one hour the ceremony was over and bride and groom took the time to pose for the press and even kissed twice. A reception followed at the Castle Hotel Kronberg (Friedrichshof Castle) - built in order of Empress Victoria of Germany, daughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain late in the 19th century - and in the evening the dinner and ball took place there also.

Netty Leistra
Royal Watch
June 2003

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