Sunday, 5 January 2014

Royal round up, week ending January 4th 2014

The Christmas holidays and New Year have been a quiet time for Europe's royals - here's a round up of all they've been up to in the week ending January 4th 2014


The Danish royals had the busiest time between Christmas and New Year.  On January 1st 2014, the whole family was at the traditional New Year banquet at the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen.  Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik hosted the event which has its roots in the 16th century but which has been changed several times in the intervening years.  

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her consort, Prince Henri, arrive at the Amalienborg Palace on January 1st 2014 for the traditional New Year's Banquet 

They were accompanied by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary and Prince Joachim and Princess Marie at the banquet which is traditionally attended by the Prime Minister and government officials.

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark at the royal family's New Year banquet in Copenhagen

The evening before, New Year's Eve, Queen Margrethe II had given her annual festive message.  In her speech this year she spoke of the importance of community and an inclusive society.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark giving her annual New Year's speech, December 31st 2013

On December 27th 2013, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henri had attended a poetry reading at the ArOS art museum.  Prince Henri read several of his own poems in French at the event.

Prince Henri of Denmark reading one of his own poems, in French, at a reading at the ArOS art museum on December 27th 2013


King Harald of Norway also delivered his annual festive message on New Year's Eve and focused his speech on the peaceful effects and legacy of the Norwegian constitution, drawn up in part by his grandfather, Haakon VII at the start of the 20th century.  He also spoke of the importance of society pulling together and of the hope and freedom that love brings.

King Harald V of Norway prepares to give his New Year's address on December 31st 2013


The Swedish royal family spent part of the wee ski-ing with Princess Estelle showing off her skills on the slopes with the help of her father, Prince Daniel.

Princess Estelle of Sweden ski-ing with her father, Prince Daniel, at the end of 2013

Estelle's mother, Crown Princess Victoria, had to be taken to hospital after she fell while ski-ing and hurt her leg.  Doctors gave her the all clear and she rejoined her family soon afterwards.


King Juan Carlos of Spain surprised many by appearing on the front cover of Hola! magazine at the end of 2013.  In a special edition to mark the publication's 70th anniversary, the king gave a special interview and posed for official photographs.

King Juan Carlos of Spain on the front cover of Hola! magazine which described him as the most influential person in the history of the publication

At the end of the week, Queen Sofia resumed her public duties after the Christmas break by visiting a music workshop in Madrid where children learn to make and play musical instruments from recycled items.  The queen saw how some of the instrument are made and heard a recital.

Queen Sofia of Spain at the recycled music workshop where director, Fabio Chavez, explained how some of the instruments are made.  The queen visited on January 4th 2013

Belgium and the Netherlands

The royal families of Belgium and the Netherlands continued their Christmas holidays away from the spotlight.

United Kingdom

Despite much speculation in the international press over the Christmas and New Year break that an announcement of a second pregnancy for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge was imminent, the festive break was very quiet for the British royal family.  The Queen attended Sunday service at Sandringham on December 29th 2013.

Queen Elizabeth II attending the church service at Sandringham on December 29th 2013

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are reported to have taken Prince George to stay with the duchess' parents for the New Year break.  And as 2013 came to an end it was announced that the Duke of Cambridge would spend the first three months of 2014 attending Camrbridge University on a bespoke course on land management to help him understand how to run the Duchy of Cornwall when it passes to him when his father, Prince Charles, acceded the throne.


Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco also gave a New Year's address in which the royal couple passed on their best wishes for a happy 2014.

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco during their New Year's address released at the end of 2013

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