Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Where have all the royals gone?

Is there any royal anywhere in Europe in their home palace at the moment?  Maybe it's the colder weather, maybe it's Christmas just around the corner but it seems that just about every royal family on the continent is on their travels.  And they're spreading themselves far and wide with even the South Pole getting a dose of blue blood.  It's the most well to do travel guide in the world.

Harry is so desperate from some time away from the adoring fans that he's packing his bags for Antarctica for a whole month - that should put talks of an engagement to Cressida on ice
Clarence House has just confirmed all the details of Prince Harry's month long trip to Antarctica where he'll be taking part in a trek to the South Pole alongside wounded service personnel from four different countries to help raise money for military charities including Walking with the Wounded.  The prince will be heading off to the coldest place on earth (well, one of them, anyway) as dad, Charles, makes his way back from the far warmer climes of India and Sri Lanka.  The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have been in India for a week now and will soon be moving on so that Charles can represent the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of State meeting in Colombo in a few days' time.
Charles and Camilla take part in a ceremony at the River Ganges on the first day of their tour of India
Meanwhile, the Dutch king and queen have spent a couple of days in Russia ahead of the Netherlands-Russia year which will run through 2014.  They enjoyed a state dinner and several business meetings as well as taking in a few cultural sights and sounds to launch some of the major art co-operations that will mark the special year.  And almost as soon as they got back home, they were off again for a tour of the Caribbean.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, at the Kremlin at the start of their two day tour of Russia
The Spanish royals aren't being left out with Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia heading off tis morning to America where they will spend four days in California and Florida marking the ties between the USA and Spain.  Letizia is obviously keen to get value for money for the biker jacket she picked up at the start of the Autumn Winter season - the thing's not been off her back for weeks now and she popped it on for the formal farewell ceremony at Barajas airport in Madrid even if it did look a bit strange alongside hubby's formal suit and tie combo.
Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia at the official farewell ceremony held to mark their departure on a tour of the USA which started on November 13th 2013
The King of Sweden is in Brazil where he's taking part in the annual technology mission which he participates in to try and drum up business for his country with other parts of the world.  He'll be there for several days.
The future's so bright, he's got to wear shades - King Carl XVI Gustaf dons sunglasses for his royal technology mission to Brazil
But there's a serious competition going on between those royal cousins in Norway and Denmark as to who can spend the most time abroad at the moment.  King Harald and his consort are just back from a visit to Turkey but Sonja's not hanging around too long as she's off to London on November 14th to open a new exhibition. Meanwhile, Haakon Magnus - who had to answer to the very grand title of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Regent while ma and pa were away in Turkey - was meant to be off on a jaunt of his own to America for the Financial Dignity Summit in Atlanta but has had to cancel as Crown Princess Mette-Marit is being admitted to hospital for surgery on her neck.
King Harald and Queen Sonja answer press questions at the end of their trip to Turkey
But Queen Margrethe and her band of merry princes and princesses aren't going to be outdone.  The queen of Denmark is in Iceland for a two day visit with Prince Henrik while Crown Prince Frederik and Mary drew the warmer straw with a visit to Mexico.  Margrethe II is marking the 350th anniversary of the birth of Icelandic philosopher, Arni Magnusson, who spent much of his career at the University of Copenhagen while Frederik and Mary are heading a business delegation to Mexico which is focusing on trade between the two countries.
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark at the start of their business trip to Mexico - they are greeted by the Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto, and his wife, Angelica Rivera
In fact, it's only the Belgian royals who have had a bit of a stay at home week.  King Philippe and Queen Mathilde managed to pop across to the Netherlands to see Willem-Alexander and Maxima for an afternoon but other than that it's been business as usual in Brussels.  But then the new king does have to get ready for his first King's Feast Day in charge - November 15th is the big event.  He may manage to pop away for a few days after that.  If there's a country in the world still unvisited this year by Europe's royals.

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