Don Juan Gomez-Acebo y de Borbon and Winston Carney welcome a child

His Excellency Don Juan Gomez-Acebo y de Borbon, Viscount de la Torre and his girlfriend Winston Carney welcomed a boy on April 4. The couple had announced they were expecting a child back in January.

Winston Carney and Don Juan

Winston Carney and Don Juan

The baby was born in the United States – where the couple primarily reside – and named Nicholas. The name has no strong family connections, although it is one of Viscount de la Torres’s middle names (his full name is Juan Filiberto Nicolas). Both mother and child are said to be doing well.

Don Juan is the eldest son of Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz and Don Luis Gomez-Acebo y Duque de Estrada. Infanta Pilar is the older sister of King Juan Carlos of Spain: baby Nicholas is her 9th grandchild. Winston Carney is an American heiress who works as an interior designer.

Many congratulations to the happy couple and their families.

The Duchess of Cornwall to accompany the Queen to the State Opening of Parliament

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday, May 8. In a somewhat surprise announcement from the Buckingham Palace, it emerged they will be accompanied by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. While Prince Charles has attended the ceremony several times before, this will be Camilla’s first-ever State Opening of Parliament.

The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall during the Diamond Jubilee Concert

The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall during the Diamond Jubilee Concert

Camilla’s invitation can perhaps be seen as a sign of growing confidence in her role, as well as a gradual transition of responsibilities from Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh, to the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Just a year ago, Queen Elizabeth appointed her daughter-in-law Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order – one of the highest honours that remain the personal gift of the Monarch.

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Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo Welcome a Boy

Andrea Casiraghi and his fiancée, Tatiana Santo Domingo are now parents to a baby boy.

Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo

Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo

The Monegasque Princely Palace announced the couple welcomed their first-born child yesterday, on March 21. According to the press release, both the mother and the baby are doing well. No further details have been released at the moment although it is expected we will get more information, including the baby’s name, in upcoming days.

Andrea is the eldest son of Princess Caroline, Hereditary Princess of Monaco and Princess of Hanover, and her second husband Stefano Casiraghi. Since Prince Albert doesn’t have a legitimate issue as of yet, his eldest sister Caroline is his Heiress Presumptive. Andrea is Caroline’s heir.  (more…)

The Duke of Cambridge appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Queen

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge has been appointed personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty.

The Court Circular stated that the Queen “has been pleased to appoint The Duke of Cambridge as a personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty” with immediate effect. His Royal Highness wore the insignia of an aide-de-camp for the first time at the St Patrick’s Day parade for the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at Mons Barracks in Hampshire.

The Duke of Cambridge wearing his aide-de-camp insignia

The Duke of Cambridge wearing his aide-de-camp insignia

A Personal Aide-de-Camp is a senior officer of the military of a Commonwealth Realm who is appointed to act as the honorary military attendant to the Monarch and/or her viceroys.

Prince William is the seventh member of the Royal Family who currently holds the appointment, the others being The Duke of Kent (Field Marshal), the Prince of Wales (Admiral of the Fleet), Mark Phillips (Captain, Retired), The Duke of York (Rear-Admiral), The Earl of Wessex (Second Lieutenant), and Sir Timothy Laurence (Vice Admiral).

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Death of Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland

The Swedish Court today announced some very sad news: Princess Lilian passed away on Sunday, March 10, at the age of 97.

She died peacefully in her home on Djurgarden in Stockholm. The Swedish Royal has been suffering from ill health for some time, and in 2010 it was announced she also had Alzheimer’s disease. Because of it, she was unable to attend the wedding of her niece, Crown Princess Victoria.

Princess Lilian, Duchess of halland

Princess Lilian, Duchess of halland

 

Following the Princess’s death, His Majesty the King released the following statement: “It is with great sorrow that I and our family announce that Princess Lilian passed away on Sunday, March 10th. Princess was much loved by our family and we all remember her as a happy, funny and witty person. She was a true joy spreader and had the ability to always create a good and warm atmosphere around her. The youngsters of our family always appreciated Princess’ happy antics and humorous manners… She was always loyal and stood up wholeheartedly for the Royal Family and for Sweden. A very dear and beloved member of the family is now gone.”

Since the Duchess of Halland was member of the Royal Family, a Royal Highness and a Princess of Sweden, she will be accorded appropriate funerals. As per established protocol, her coffin will lie in state at the Royal Chapel, followed by a funeral ceremony that is likely to be attended by representatives of foreign royal families. A procession will then progress through the city to the cemetery at Haga, where the late Princess will find her final resting place alongside her late husband, Prince Bertil.

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Pope Benedict XVI to Resign on February 28

Pope Benedict XVI will resign on February 28.  Shortly after news surfaced, Vatican released Papal Declaration announcing Benedict XVI’s decision.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Full text of Pope’s declaration

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.


From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

Unusual as the announcement may seem, Papal resignations are actually nothing new. It is part of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Easter Churches. The only condition is that the decision must be made freely and be manifested in a proper way. There are plenty of precedents too.

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Date Announced for the State Funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia

The official website of the Serbian Royal Family announced today that the state funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej will take place on May 26 of this year.

Queen Maria (left), Peter II (second left), Prince Andrej (second right), and Queen Alexandra (right)

Queen Maria (left), Peter II (second left), Prince Andrej (second right), and Queen Alexandra (right)

The late Yugoslavian Royals are to be re-buried in the Royal Family Mausoleum in Oplenac. Before the reburial, they will lay in the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Belgrade. The surprising news that the two Yugoslavian Queens and Prince Andrej are to be reburied as well was officially announced only today, along with the announcement of the date.

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Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej to be reburied in Serbia together with Peter II

It was announced today that the remains of Queen Maria and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia will be moved to Serbia. The State Funeral for the two Queens as well as Peter II of Yugoslavia will take place on May 26, 2013.

All three will be reburied in St George’s Church in Oplenac. It’s a somewhat surprising development because although the reburial of King Peter has been known for quite some time now, there were only unconfirmed reports about the reuburial for the other members of the Royal Family: back in January, adviser to President Nikolic confirmed that the delay with Peter II’s reburial was in connection with the expected transfer of the remains of of three more family members, all to be buried with the King.   (more…)

Richard III’s Facial Reconstruction Unveiled

Today, the Richard III Society officially unveiled the facial reconstruction of Richard III by the University of Dundee craniofacial identification team. The finished result is perhaps most amazing in one aspect – just how much it looks like the portraits of the late King.

The facial reconstruction (left) and a non-contemporary portrait of Richard III (right)

The facial reconstruction (left) and a non-contemporary portrait of Richard III (right)

The facial reconstruction is highly significant because there are no surviving contemporary portraits of Richard III. The reconstructed face has a slightly arched nose and prominent chin, quite similar to the portraits that were appeared years and centuries after Richard III’s death. According to Dr Ashdown-Hill, the fact most of the surviving portraits of the King are so alike in every detail (not to mention resemble the reconstructions), suggests all of them were based on a single contemporary portrait painted in the King’s lifetime.

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DNA tests confirm remains found in a Leicester car park belong to Richard III

Forensic test results announced on Monday confirmed the skeleton that had been found in a Leicester car park does indeed belong to Richard III who died in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference to applause: “Beyond reasonable doubt it’s Richard.”

Philippa Langley in one of the trenches where the remains were found

Philippa Langley in one of the trenches where the remains were found

Series of tests were carried out to determine whether the bones found buried under the floor of a medieval church belonged to the late King. The tests, along with DNA results and the collective decision of the experts, conclusively proved that the remains are indeed those of Richard III. Scientists have compared DNA sample from the bones with the mitochondrial DNA of Michael Ibsen, a Canadian-born carpenter who currently resides in Britain. Mitochondrial DNA can be inherited solely down the maternal line, and Ibsen is a direct matrilineal descendant of Anne of York, Richard III’s sister.

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