A Gossipy Month

Magazines hardly know what to write about royalty these days. It seems summer silence is not fully over yet and it is sometimes very amusing to have a look at the magazines publishing lots of rubbish at the moment. I know many people who only say to read those kind of magazines at the hairdresser's, but most of the time they lie. Myself, I go into my magazine shop once a week just to have a look at the gossips. Not because I believe them, but because I find it amusing to see what they write. I seldom buy them. I found myself a great shop here in town where they allow you to have a look in the magazines without the necessity to buy them and I usually spend at least half an hour there. What I like most is looking at the pictures as they are often the best part of the whole magazine and sometimes you even find a new genealogical fact that way.

The German press lately was for a few days focussed on Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden who started a two-month trainee job at the Swedish Foreign Trade Bureau in Berlin on September 10th as a preparation for her future role as Queen of Sweden. The magazines were already lyrical about the fact that Victoria said at the press conference that took place on her second working day that she will make new coffee at work when there is nothing left. As if royals don't make their own coffee. And she shares a desk with a colleague, which was also regarded by the press as quite extraordinary for a princess. Unfortunately it seems the press doesn't want to respect Victoria's privacy in Berlin despite the fact that she asked them to let her have quite a normal life in Berlin and give her the chance to learn to know the city the way it is.

If you may believe the Danish press Crown Prince Frederik is about to become engaged to his Australian girlfriend Mary Donaldson, some people even say they are already secretly engaged. Since the relationship became known in November 2001 Mary is the hot item in the Danish press and they follow each step she takes. She started coming to Denmark at the end of December of last year and it is even said that she has lived in Denmark already since that time, but the media is still not sure about that. Over the past few months she has lived with Frederik at Amalienborg in Copenhagen, but in September she moved into her own apartment not far away from the palace and she even started working for a company that recently was taken over by Microsoft. If you can take that work seriously is not sure, as one week later she left Denmark to spend a short vacation with Frederik in Brazil, between his engagements in Brazil and New York. Meanwhile another crown prince, the Prince of Asturias, was linked to actress Gwyneth Paltrow. It is said in the Spanish media that the royal house confirmed that they have had dinner together with some friends. Of course most likely it was not more than that, but as Felipe hasn't had a relationship since the one with Norwegian Eva Sannum ended almost one year ago, the Spanish press starts to become very impatient.

But there is also some news that is true for sure. Prince Harry of Wales celebrated his 18th birthday on September 15 and got his own official coat of arms from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The crest incorporates an emblem from the arms of the Spencer family from his mother, the late Princess Diana. Especially for his birthday seven great pictures were taken during a photo session at Eton College by fashion photographer Mario Testino. Profits from sales of the pictures will go to the small humanitarian charity Merlin. The Thursday before his birthday Harry carried out his first solo engagements and visited sick children at Great Ormond Street Hospital and later went to visit three other charities in London working with children. In an interview published on his birthday he said to have found a mission in life and wants to keep alive the charity work of his late mother and carry forward charity work she didn't quite finish.

Unfortunately only 12 days after he had left hospital after a two-month stay, Prince Claus of the Netherlands had to return to hospital because his bronchial tubes are infected again. The 76-year-old prince is in pretty bad health and spent half of the year in hospital already and royalty-minded Netherlands fears the worst. Happily there was also something nice to tell in The Netherlands as Princess Máxima took part in her first Prince's Day and Princess Christina of the Netherlands presented her second cd, full of Broadway songs. The cd is a tribute from the New York based Princess to New York and a dedication to the memory of those who perished on September 11th, 2001. The proceeds of the cd will go to the survivors who are suffering as a result of what happened. Her first cd, a Christmas album, came out two years ago. Also Princess Märtha Louise of Norway is recording a cd with the Oslo Gospel Choir, a Christmas album which will be on sale on November 13th. Most likely the princess will also take part in the concert tour that starts at the end of November.

Netty Leistra
Royal Watch
October 2002

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