Wednesday, 1 February 2017

14 royal birthdays for February

Estelle of Sweden is a February baby
(photo Kate Gabor/

Stand by everyone, it's February, it's birthday time and that can mean only one thing - a new portrait of Princess Estelle  when she celebrates at the end of the month. Calm yourselves, before we get anywhere near that we've got a plethora of parties and cards to plough through. Get that cake ready, raise a cuppa in celebration - here are 12 royal birthdays for February.

Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 52 on February 1st

Stephanie Marie Elisabeth of Monaco, Countess of Polignac was born on February 1st 1965 in Monte Carlo. She is the youngest child of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace and currently tenth in line to the Monagasque throne. That will change this year when her nephew, Pierre, welcomes his first child. Stephanie was famous for her singing, fashion and romances but is now just as well known for her charity work.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will be 45 on February 5th 

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson was born on February 5th 1972 in Hobart, Tasmania. She is the youngest child of John and Henrietta Donaldson and became Crown Princess of Denmark on her marriage to Frederik, heir to the Danish throne, on May 14th 2004.  Since then Mary has developed a reputation for taking on the tougher issues - her Mary Foundation helps those affected by domestic violence and bullying and last year she took a leading role in a major conference on women's rights. 

Princess Marie of Denmark will be 41 on February 6th 

Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier was born on February 6th 1976 in Paris. She is the only child of Alain Cavallier and Francoise Grassiot. She became a princess of Denmark on her marriage to Prince Joachim, second son of Queen Margrethe II, on May 24th 2008 and carries out a wide range of public engagements. To mark her 40th birthday last year, she gave an interview in which she famously said she hadn't spent her youth waiting for a prince to marry her. Don't mess with Marie.

Princess Louise of Belgium will be 13 on February 6th 

Royal teenager alert. Louise Sophie Mary of Belgium was born on February 6th 2004 in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. She is the eldest child of Prince Laurent, youngest son of King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians, and his wife, Princess Claire. Louise is currently 11th in the line of succession to the Belgian throne and takes part in occasional royal engagements. 

Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner is 85 on February 12th 

Let's face it, baby brother Harald is going to be getting all the birthday love but just days before he turns eighty, his sister will celebrate a milestone all of her own, Astrid Maud Ingeborg was born on February 12th 1932, the second daughter of Olav and Martha, then Crown Prince and Princess of Norway, Like her sister and their Scandinavian female cousins she had no succession rights at the time and didn't acquire them when the laws were changed. But she did act as de facto First Lady of Norway during the early part of her father's reign - her mother died before Olav took the throne. Astrid married Johan Martin Ferner in January 1961 and the couple had three children. Princess Astrid still takes part in royal events in Norway and will no doubt be cheering as Harald blows out his candles a little later in the month.

Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg is 26 on February 16th

Alexandra Josephine Teresa Charlotte Marie Wilhelmine was born on February 16th 1991 in Luxembourg. She is the fourth child and only daughter of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. Born with no rights to the throne, she entered the line of succession in 2011 when absolute primogeniture was adopted and women finally got a look in. Princess Alexandra was third in line then - she's now fifth.

Princess Christina of the Netherlands is 70 on February 18th

Marijke Christina, youngest daughter of Juliana of the Netherlands, was born at Soestdijk Palace on February 18th 1947. Born with serious eye problems after her mother contracted rubella in pregnancy, Christina was just one when Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands. She is a talented musician. She gave up her rights to the throne to marry Jorge Guillermo in 1975. The couple had four children before divorcing in 1996. Princess Christina now lives in London and Italy.

Stephanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg is 33 on February 18th 

Stephanie Marie Claudine Christine de Lannoy was born on February 18th 1984 in Ronse, East Flanders, the youngest child of Count Philippe de Lannoy and his wife, Alix. Educated in Belgium, France and Germany, she married the future ruler of Luxembourg, Guillaume, in October 2012 and has been subject to intense stomach watching ever since as royal fans await a royal baby. Stephanie can look forward to another year of pregnancy rumours as she turns 33.

Andrew, Duke of York will be 57 on February 19th 

Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Prince of the United Kingdom, was born on February 19th 1960 at Buckingham Palace, London, He is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh and was the first child born to a queen regnant for over 100 years. He was made Duke of York on July 23rd 1986 when he married Sarah Ferguson. At the time of his birth he was second in line to the throne but is now sixth. He has had a bit of a bumpy year, issuing a statement at the end of 2016 to deny a rift with big brother, Charles, but is increasingly known for his work in encouraging entrepreneurship.

Princess Leonore of Sweden will be 3 on February 20th 

How did that happens? Little Leonore is suddenly approaching the end of toddlerdom. The princess of New York, Leonore Lilian Maria of Sweden, Duchess of Gotland was born on February 20th 2014 in the Big Apple. She is the eldest child of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and her husband, Chris O'Neill. Leonore is sixth in line to the Swedish throne.

King Harald V of Norway will be 80 on February 21st 

The landmark royal birthday of February 2017 is that of the King of Norway who turns eighty on the 21st of the month. Harald was born on February 21st 1937 at Skaugum, just outside Oslo, the youngest child and only son of Olav and Martha, then Crown Prince and Princess of Norway. On January 17th 1991, on the death of Olav, he became King of Norway. Harald has always been a popular king but his support has soared in the past year after hugely successful Silver Jubilee celebrations and a speech in which the King of Norway encouraged everyone to be more tolerant and help each other. It won him praise around the world. Harald turns 80 as a beloved king.

Prince Amedeo of Belgium will be 31 on February 21st 

Sit down, there's a long name on its way. Amedeo Marie Joseph Carl Pierre Philippe Paola Marcus d'Aviano of Belgium was born on February 21st 1986 in Woluwe-Saint-Lamber. He is the eldest child of Princess Astrid of Belgium and her husband, Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and the eldest grandchild of King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians. He gained succession rights in 1991 and is currently sixth in line to his country's throne. He married Lili Rosboch in Rome in 2014 and since his last birthday. he's become a dad, welcoming Anna Astrid last May.

Katharine, Duchess of Kent will be 84 on February 22nd

Katharine Lucy Mary Worsley was born on February 22nd 1933 at Hovingham Hall, Yorkshire. She is the only daughter of Sir William and Lady Joyce Worsley. She became the Duchess of Kent on June 8th 1961 when she married the Queen's cousin, Edward, Duke of Kent, at York Minster. She retired from public life in the early 2000s and has since asked to be known as Katharine Kent or Katharine, Duchess of Kent. She will forever be best known to a whole generation as the royal who presented the Ladies Trophy at Wimbledon and let Jana Novotna weep on her shoulder.

Princess Estelle of Sweden will be five on February 23rd 

Yes, it's the birthday that makes February smile. Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary of Sweden, Duchess of Ostergotland, was born on February 23rd 2012 in Stockholm. She is the first child of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband, Prince Daniel, and has been second in line to her country's throne from birth. She will one day be Queen of Sweden. And she will also star in the now regular marvellous Estelle birthday photos that everyone will be waiting for as the end of the month approaches. That's a very happy birthday indeed.

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