Friday, 30 December 2016

The Royal A-Z of 2016...part two, I to P...

The old year is winding to an end, leaving memories of all that made 2016 what it was. There are plenty of regal highlights from the year just gone but some moments stand out above others. The Royal A-Z of 2016 looks back at the year just gone - if you missed part one, which covers A-H, you can read it here. Here's the next installment with plenty more memories, covering I to P...

I is for Invictus Games, Prince Harry's sporting event for wounded service personnel which enjoyed its second staging this year. Harry was on hand for every day of the sporting competition in Florida and spent as many hours behind the scenes talking to competitors and their families as he did watching sport. The Games were another huge success and Harry also announced this year that the next two Invictus events will take place in Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018, turning the prince's project into a regular international sporting competition with a global following. 

J is for Jean of Luxembourg who turned 95 in January and celebrated with a party attended by many of Europe's royals. The man who ruled Luxembourg from 1964 until his abdication in 2000 was joined by friends and family for the celebrations. He made it to the landmark age of 95 a few months before Prince Philip who also celebrated five years off a century this June.

K is for Kongen Nei, the film about King Haakon VII during World War Two which was premiered this year in front of the present Norwegian Royal Family. The movie was also promoted by Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Crown Princess Mette-Marit during their visit to Canada. The story of the royal decision not to collaborate with the Nazis in World War Two will be the Norwegian entry for the 2016 best language Oscar and at the end of the year it was announced it had made the shortlist of nine films being considered for an Academy Award nomination.

L is for Liam, the youngest prince in Europe as 2016 comes to an end. Liam Henri Hartmut of Nassau was born on November 28th in Geneva, the second child of Luxembourg's Prince Felix and Princess Claire.  He is fourth in line to his country's throne behind his uncle, Guillaume, his dad and his big sister, Amalia. Liam made his debut at the start of December in photos taken by his proud grandmother, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.

M is for miles, all 445 of them, cycled by the Countess of Wessex on her Diamond Challenge to mark the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Sophie took seven days to cover the distance between Holyroodhouse and Buckingham Palace with her father in law and husband waving her off and her daughter and son running in for a cuddle as she arrived back home.

(photo Kensington Palace Twitter)

N is for Nepal, visited by Prince Harry in March in a standout royal trip. Harry headed to the mountainous country to see the work going on there following 2015's devastating earthquake as well as to visit local communities, schools and hospitals. The tour was a huge success and Harry loved it so much, he stayed on to help with a rebuilding project after it was over. This was the real start of what turned out to be a landmark year for Prince Harry.


O is for Oscar, Duke of Skane, the first of two royal babies born in Sweden this year. Prince Oscar Carl Olof, second child and first son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, arrived on March 2nd 2016. Third in line to the throne from the moment of his birth, Oscar was christened on May 27th with Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Princess Madeleine of Sweden, his aunt, among his godparents.

P is for Palma de Mallorca, where the courtroom that witnessed royal history this year is situated. On January 11th 2016, Infanta Cristina of Spain, sister of King Felipe VI, walked into the dock there to become the first member of her country's modern royal family to face criminal trial. Cristina was accused of tax fraud - a charge she denied. Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin and fifteen others, are also on trial. As of the end of 2016, no verdicts have been returned.

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