Tuesday 28 April 2015

Prince Harry invited to become head of a new secessionist nation

A group of frustrated residents from Point Cook, in Melbourne's west, want to turn their fast-growing suburb into a sovereign nation.

The residents say they are sick of being ignored by governments of all levels and are ready to secede from Australia.

Local resident Tony Hooper started the push for independence and was the first to admit it was a wild idea.

According to the ABC, they have even thought of who they would like to be their head of state: "I'd talk to Prince Harry and say 'You're limited with where you're going with the Royal family, why don't you join us?'" said Mr Hooper.

Friday 24 April 2015

Jordanian Crown Prince chaired a UN Security Council’s meeting

HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah (*28th June 1994) was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council meeting. The Council's meeting discussed “maintenance of international peace and security: The role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace”.

In his statement on behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Jordan, he said that terrorism is a disease that no country is immune from, calling on the world community to address challenges facing youths, who are the “prime victims” of extremism.

He said that while youths are most susceptible to the present situation and its consequences, they can also have the strongest impact on the present and the future. “This has been evident in the recent events in my region. As a young man, who is part of this generation, I take part in debates about the challenges facing my generation and the need to empower youth,” he told his audience.

The Prince stressed that young people are not a marginalised, but rather a targeted group.

In his address at the session, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed and thanked Crown Prince Hussein for chairing the session, pointing out that the Crown Prince has become the youngest person ever to chair a meeting of the UN Security Council. Ban said the Prince is “not yet 21 years old, but he is already a leader in the 21st century”.

Thursday 23 April 2015

The Duke of Kent visiting Melbourne

On 14th February 2015 The Duke of Kent received the Dresden Peace Prize

Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent, paid tribute to fallen soldiers in Melbourne.

The 79-year-old Prince - who is the cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia - arrived on 21st April to honour servicemen who lay down their lives at a Shrine of Remembrance.

As part of his two night stop-over in Melbourne, the Duke visited the Abbotsford Convent Trust, and was treated to a special performance by Song Room. He also paid a visit to the Synchrotron and John Monash Science School, which published this press release two days before the Duke's arrival:

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, will visit John Monash Science School on Wednesday 22 April as part of his Australian tour in the lead-up to the 2015 ANZAC Day commemoration ceremonies.
“We are honoured that His Royal Highness will tour our school” said Peter Corkill, Principal of John Monash Science School. “His Royal Highness shares a passion for the role that science and innovation play in society in addition to supporting early engagement of students to science and science related careers. This is the core underlying mission of John Monash Science School” he explained. 
John Monash Science School offers its students the ability to pursue a traditional curriculum but with opportunities to specialise and focus on contemporary areas of science, mathematics, engineering and emerging technologies. This includes specialist science subjects such as Astrophysics, Bioinformatics and Nanotechnology, university extension studies, extended research investigations and numerous science-related camps and immersion experiences both at the school and within the university. The school regularly participates in International Science and Mathematics Fairs with its partner schools in the International Science Schools Network. Its students have won several awards and high recognition for their projects, and some have even co-authored scientific papers.
While at John Monash HRH will tour the school, meet with students and be provided with a demonstration of the school’s Emerging Science Victoria program (ESV).
“ESV has been developed from earlier work by JMSS, Monash University and the Department of Education and Training to provide a virtual classroom environment. Driven by CISCO’s WebEx technology and Google Apps for Education collaborative learning platform ESV allows JMSS teachers to instruct students logged in from computers across Victoria. Our studio has multiple cameras and a green screen allowing teachers to fully utilise technology to enhance student learning opportunities” explained Mr Corkill.
The tour will also demonstrate the unique open-learning, team-based teaching environment and pedagogy employed at the school.
“In a year where we are hosting the International Student Science Fair the visit by His Royal Highness is the first of many significant events for the school over 2015. This includes the launch of Emerging Science Victoria and the Victorian Virtual Science and Engineering Fair” noted Mr Corkill.
The Duke  also spoke at a meeting of the Australian British Chamber of Commerce. His speech at the business lunch of the Australian British Chamber of Commerce can be heard here. Today he left Melbourne for Adelaide before flying on to Canberra, where he will celebrate the Anzac Day landing on 25th April.

The Duke of Kent, who 33rd in the line of succession to the Australian Crown, is a frequent guest down under. On 9th August 1969 he first arrived with his wife, Katherine Worsley, and the media then wrote: "From the minute they arrived it was clear that Australians were going to take a distinct liking to the Duke and Duchess and particularly to the elegent Duchess who charmed everyone she met. There were enthusiastic crpwds to meet them when they arrived at Fairbairn RAAF base in Canberra where they were welcomed by the Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck and Lady Hasluck and the Prime Minister, Mr. Gordon and Mrs. Gordon."

Wednesday 22 April 2015

The Queen invests Prince Philip with the Insignia of a Knight of the Order of Australia

H.M. The Queen of Australia, H.R.H Prince Philip and H.E. Alexander Downer, High Commissioner of Australia in the UK

Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen of Australia, officially invested Prince Philip with the Insignia of a Knight of the Order of Australia on 22nd April at Windsor Castle. The short investiture took place in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

It was announced on Australia Day 2015 by Prime Minister Tony Abbott that The Queen had accepted his recommendation on two new investitures of Knights of the Order of Australia, they were Prince Philip and Sir Angus Houston.

Also present at Wednesday’s investiture was Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, formerly Australian Foreign Minister and High Commissioner to the UK since June 2014.

Although The Queen was presenting her husband with the Insignia, the investiture was still a formal affair, taking place as a royal audience similar to the format where Her Majesty meets with the Prime Minister every week. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson has said that details of the conversation between The Queen, Prince Philip and Mr Downer will not be released to public, just like any other conversations that take place at a normal investiture.

Prince Philip has been honoured for his significant contribution to Australia throughout Her Majesty The Queen’s 63 year reign and at the time of announcement, Tony Abbott also said that Prince Philip’s “long life of service and dedication should be honoured by Australia.”

Insignia of a Knight of the Order of Australia
The Order of Australia was instituted by The Queen in 1975 as “an Australian society of honour for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service.” In 1983 Prime Minister Bob Hawke advised the abolition of the Knight/Dame grade of the order though in 2014, this grade was reinstated after Tony Abbott advised The Queen to reinstate this grade. Since it has been reinstated, The Queen has personally received the two dames and one knight who have been honoured.

Thursday 16 April 2015

Conference: Constitutional Monarchy in the Commonwealth Realms

The conference on Constitutional Monarchy in the Commonwealth Realms in Wellington, New Zealand, 21st - 23rd May 2015 is open to politicians, government officials, and academics from the Commonwealth Realms to discuss the ways in which the monarchy operates in their nations.

Session 1 – The Value of the Monarchy
8.40 – 9.00 Professor Ann Twomey Constitutional Matters
9.00 – 9.20 Kevin MacLeod Nationalising the Monarchy
9.20 – 9.40 Dr Jennifer Lees-Marshment Marketing the Modern Monarchy

Session 2 – Symbols of Sovereignty
10.40 – 11.00 Richard D’Apice Losing National Symbols
11.00 – 11.20 Dr Claire Boudreau The Canadian Heraldic Authority

Session 3 – Distinct Perspectives
1.00 – 1.20 Dr Cynthia Barrow-Giles The Monarchy in the Caribbean
1.20 – 1.40 Professor Jon Fraenkel The Pacific Realms
1.40 – 2.00 Jai Martinkovits Youth Perspective

Session 4 – Honours Systems
2.20 – 2.40 Dr Christopher McCreery Honours Systems
2.40 – 3.00 Professor Stephen Levine Regius Professorships in the Realms
3.00 – 3.20 Dr Karen Fox Looking Forward by Looking Back: Understanding Honours

Session 5 – The Crown’s Relationship with Others
4.10 – 4.30 Professor Janet McLean (via video) The Crown’s Settlements with Māori
4.30 – 4.50 Sir Tipene O’Regan A Māori Perspective on the Crown
4.50 – 5.10 The Cook Islands: A Realm within a Realm

7.30 Guest Speaker – Hon Michael Kirby AM CMG Conference Dinner Parliament House

Session 6 – Concurrent Workshops
9.30 –11.00 Dr Claire Boudreau Modern Heraldry Legislative Council Chamber
9.30 –11.00 Kevin MacLeod Nationalising the Monarchy Grand Hall
9.30 –11.00 Emmanuelle Sajous Honours Systems in the Realms

11.00 – 11.20 Senator Dean Smith Enhancing the Relationship Among the Realms
11.20 – 11.40 Scott Reid MP The Monarchy Going Forward
11.40 – 12.00 Simon O’Connor MP The Realms’ Claim on the Crown
12.00 – 12.20 General Discussion

Conference organisation:

Office of Simon O’Connor, Member of Parliament for Tamaki

Email: conferenceonthecrown@parliament.govt.nz
Telephone: +64 4 817 8388

60th Birthday of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg

HRH Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and HRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxemburg.

His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri, eldest son of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, was born on 16th April 1955 in Betzdorf Castle, Luxembourg. He is the sixth sovereign of the Nassau-Weilburg dynasty after the personal union between the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Kingdom of the Netherlands ended with the death of King/Grand Duke William III in 1890.

After World War I Luxembourg did not follow the unfortunate example of the German neighbours, but retained the Monarchy. In a referendum on 28th September 1919 a vast majority voted in favour of the Monarchy. Since then the grand-ducal family has preserved its legitimacy amongst Luxembourg society because it has been able to gain its trust in the most difficult moments: the resistance movement during the Second World War, of which Grand Duchess Charlotte was a central figure, is one of the most significant examples. Her return 70 years ago on 14th April 1945 set a landmark to the liberation of the country.

In addition to Lëtzebuergesch, Grand Duke Henri speaks French, English, German and has some knowledge of Spanish. He attended secondary school in Luxembourg and France, where he successfully gained his baccalaureate in 1974. He then went on to study at Geneva University (Switzerland), graduating in political science in 1980. HRH the Grand Duke was proclaimed Honorary Doctor (Humane Letters) of the Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut (USA) and Honorary Doctor in Law of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (USA). Furthermore, he was declared Honorary Doctor in economics of the University of Khon Kaen (Thailand), Honorary Doctor in politics of the University of Trier (Germany) and the University of León (Nicaragua).

In April 2012 Lieutenants Alexander von Österreich-Este and Wenceslas von Nassau graduated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where Grad Duke Henri was the guest of honour.
In 1974, Prince Henri enrolled at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, Great Britain, which awarded him his officer’s commission in 1975. Since 1989, he has been an honorary major in the United Kingdom’s Parachute Regiment. The Gand Duke commands the Luxembourg armed forces and holds the title of general.

The grand ducal couple with their children (left to right) Félix, Sébastien, Louis, Alexandra and Guillaume.
On 14th February 1981, he married Cuban-born Maria Teresa Mestre who also graduated in political science from Geneva University in 1980. Their Royal Highnesses have four sons and one daughter: Prince Guillaume (born 11th November 1981), Prince Félix (born 3rd June 1984), Prince Louis (born 3rd August 1986), Princess Alexandra (born 16th February 1991) and Prince Sébastien (born 16th April 1992).

As Honorary President of the Board of Economic Development, founded in 1977, the Prince led many trade missions throughout the world to promote the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as an investment centre. From 1980 to 1998, in his quality as Hereditary Grand Duke, he was a member of the Council of State, which enabled him to familiarise himself with the legislative machinery of the Grand Duchy.

Accession of HRH Grand Duke Henri on 7th October 2000.
On 4th March 1998, in accordance with Article 42 of the Constitution, he was appointed lieutenant representative of HRH the Grand Duke Jean. On 7th October 2000, he succeeded his father Grand Duke Jean after the latter had abdicated, thus becoming Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

The grand-duke's youngest son, HRH Prince Sébastien, also celebrates his 23rd birthday today.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Bulgarian Crown Prince Kardam has passed away

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Kardam (2nd December 1962 - 7th April 12015) and Crown Princess Miriam (*2nd September 1963)
 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, Prince of Turnovo, has passed away. He died today at 11.30am after a lung infection  in the hospital of Sanchinarro, a suburb of Madrid. He was born on 2nd December 1962 as the eldest child of King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of the Bulgarians.

On 11 July 1996, Crown Prince Kardam married Doña Miriam de Ungría y López
In 1996 he married Doña Miriam Ungria. The couple has two children, Prince Boris (*12th October 1997 in Madrid) and Prince Beltrán (*23th March 1999). Prince Boris is Bulgaria's new Crown Prince.

On 15th August 2008 Crown Prince Kardam and his wife suffered severe injuries in a car accident in a Madrid suburb. The Crown Prince suffered cranial fractures and lost both hands. His accompanying wife, Crown Princess Miriam, suffered several bone fractures, but her life is not in danger. For several months the Crown Prince was in a come and after he finally regained conscience he remained paralysed and was unable to talk.

His parents, his wife and two of his brothers, Prince Kiril and Prince Konstantin were with his, when he passed away.

Our deepest sympathies go to the Bulgarian Royal Family, which suffered another blow.

Bulgaria's Royal Family gathered to celebrate King Simeon II's 70 birthday in 2007

Queen Sofía of Spain rushed to the Bulgarian Royal Family to pay her respect to the deceased Crown Prince.

Queen Sofìa embraces King Simeon II.

Queen's Birthday 2015

While the Queen's grandson, Prince Harry, touched down in Australia and will start serving with the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) from today onwards, this year's Queen's Birthday stamps have been issued.

This year marks the 89th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II and Australia Post celebrates this royal milestone with the release of two stamps depicting the Queen at recent official engagements.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said: “Australia Post has issued Queen’s birthday stamps since 1980 following a tradition that resonates with many Australians. We trust this stamp issue will be popular with collectors and followers of royal events.”

The 70 cent stamp shows Her Majesty on the occasion of her visit to the Ebony Horse Club and Community Riding Centre in Brixton in October 2013.

The $2.75 stamp depicts the Queen at Windsor Castle in April 2014, when Her Majesty met Irish President Michael D Higgins on his historic first-ever state visit to Britain by a Republic of Ireland’s head of state.

A feature product associated with the Queen’s Birthday stamp issue is a prestige booklet showcasing selected hats from the Queen’s royal hat collection. The Queen’s Hats prestige booklet will be of great interest to collectors, those interested in all things royal and of course to milliners of all ages.

A sheetlet of five $2.75 self-adhesive stamps
Other products associated with this stamp issue include a miniature sheet, first day cover, stamp pack, sheetlet of five $2.75 self-adhesive stamps and a set of two maxicards.

The Queen’s Birthday stamps and associated products are available from 7 April 2015 at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps while stocks last.

Monday 6 April 2015

Prince Harry a hit in Australia - Queen thanks ADF

Despite the rain hundreds of people turned up on Easter Monday morning to welcome Prince Harry back to Australia.

Prince Harry has arrived in Australia ahead of a four-week placement with the Australian Defence Force.

Prince Harry sticks a poppy flower into the Roll of Honour to commemorate the fallen.

He laid a wreath later at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier in Canberra before beginning his military attachment. At the Australian War Memorial The Governor-General, The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC, and senior Government officials welcomed the Queen's grandson.

During the placement he will patrol with Aboriginal soldiers and train with the country's special forces. Prince Harry has said that he is, "tremendously looking forward" to this month-long attachment. He has trained and served alongside Australian Armed Forces on operational tours to Afghanistan; he has met them during the Invictus Games; and even trekked to the South Pole with a couple of Australian Soldiers. Those experiences reinforced the huge admiration and respect he already had for Australian servicemen and women and has stoked his enthusiasm even more to build on those relationships in the next four weeks.

He knows he will learn a huge amount from his Australian colleagues during this attachment and he is grateful to the ADF for producing such a varied and interesting programme for him.

The Queen has thanked the Australian military for welcoming Prince Harry and said he will "benefit greatly" from the attachment with the "diggers". Her gratitude was expressed in a message delivered by Harry on her behalf to Australia's Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

The Queen's message said: "I am delighted that the long and enduring association between the Australian and British armies will be joined by the military secondment of my grandson, Prince Harry.

"Together, our armed forces share skills, resources and resolve in order to uphold and defend our common values.

"In 2015, when together we commemorate the many sacrifices of our countrymen at Gallipoli a century ago, it is fitting that we can also reflect on the strength and persistence today of those common values and our professional military ties.

"I know that Captain Wales will benefit greatly from spending time with the Australian Diggers and I thank you for welcoming him into your ranks.

Elizabeth R.