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Friday, May 2, 2014

Royal Spring Babies

April Birthday Celebrants: European Crown Heads

Hurrah!! It’s been a long time since I posted an entry here, my apology to the subscribers of this blog site. I became busy with other matters and continued polishing my first book too about European Royals each weekend so this blog updating has to wait for a while.

Now, I feel it’s time to write even one entry before the month of April ends (by the time I posted this entry it's May already). I’ve been thinking about royal tots as my topic for this post because I’ve been seeing cute photos of children of the European royals around the net recently, but then I thought about other things (lol!), many things about royal history. 

I thought of posting one of the topics in my royal book about royal crime mystery – the Tragedy in Mayerling, but then, I changed my mind (haha!) and just want to post it next time.

I continued raking my  brain what remarkable topic to post as my first entry since January and puff! Upon checking the profiles of the current European crown heads, I found out, most of them have birthdays that fall in the month of April! Since it’s my birth month, I’ve got the idea of writing about these monarchs’ birthdays to highlight the beaming Spring season. I arranged them according to age in an ascending order meaning younger comes first.

KING WILHELM-ALEXANDER, NETHERLANDS – April 27 (Reign: April 30, 2013)

He is the youngest crown head in Europe at present time. King Wilhelm-Alexander was born on April 27, 1967 as the eldest son of then Princess Beatrix and Claus von Amsberg, a German aristocrat. His mother ascended the Dutch throne in 1980 following the abdication of his grandmother, Queen Juliana. Thirty three years later, Queen Beatrix would follow suit in favor of her eldest son.

Wilhelm-Alexander is the first male monarch of the Netherlands in over 100 years since the reign of King William III in the 19th century. He is married to Maxima Zorreguieta, an Argentinian, who descened from Basque nobility. Maxima worked as an investment banker in New York city before their wedding in February 2002.

The King has two siblings (all boys), but his next brother, Prince Friso, died last year, 2013, after becoming comatose for more than a year due to the head injury he suffered in a skiing accident.

The King and Queen have three daughters together: Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane. The eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, became the Heridetary Princess of Orange-Nassau upon Wilhelm’s accession to the throne.

The King studied history at Leiden University in the Netherlands and received his MA degree in 1993.

KING FILIP, BELGIUM April 15 (Reign: July 21, 2013)

Born on April 15, 1960 in Brussels, Belgium, King Filip ascended the Belgian throne last year, July 21, 2013, following the voluntary abdication  of his father, King Albert II of Belgium, due to health reasons. At 54, King Filip is the second youngest reigning monarch in Europe after King Alexander-Wilhelm of the Netherlands.

King Filip is married to Queen Matilde who was born a Countess as a daughter of Count Patrick d’Udekem d’Acoz. They have four children together: Princess Elisabeth, Prince Gabrielle, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eleanore.

Belgium is the second European monarchial country after Sweden to adopt the lineal law of succession or absolute primogeniture removing the gender discrimination of the monarch’s children in the line of succession. This change of law gives equal right to an eldest daughter to succeed and would no longer be pushed by a younger brother in the line of succession to the throne.

Princess Elisabeth is her father’s heir-apparent and takes the title Duchess of Brabant upon her father’s accession to the throne. It’s a female counter-part of Duke of Brabant, a title given to the heir-apparent of the Belgian throne.

King Filip has a degree in MA in Political Science from Stanford University, California.

GRANDDUKE HENRI, LUXEMBOURG – April 16 (Reign: October 7, 2000)

His Royal Highness, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Henri, is the current head of state of the only remaining grand duchy of Europe, Luxembourg, one of the smallest states in the world, but the second richest in terms of Gross Domestic Product per capita.

The current Grand Duke is the eldest son of Grand Duke Jean and the late Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium, eldest sister of King Albert II of Belgium, making Henri a first cousin to King Filip. He ascended the Luxembourgian throne following the abdication of his father, Grand Duke Jean, on October 7, 2000.

He obtained his Political Science degree at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and just like most male members of European royalty, Grand Duke Henri trained in the elite military school in England, the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.

While studying in Geneva, Henri met a Cuban commoner, Maria Teresa Batista-Falla, they eventually got married on February 1981 and have five children together: Prince Guillaume, the Hereditary Grand Duke, Prince Felix, Prince Louis, Princess Alexandra and Prince Sebastien.

KING CARL XVI GUSTAV, SWEDEN – April 30 (Reign: September 15, 1973)

The current Swedish King has been on the news for a couple of times since 2010 due to several controversies involving his personal life. But the King managed to dismiss the scandalous press releases and went on to unite his family in various royal events.

The King became second in line to the Swedish throne on January 1947 when he was only nine months old when his father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, died in a plane crash. In 1950, upon the accession of his grandfather, Adolf VI, to the throne, Prince Carl became the Crown Prince at the age of 4.

He ascended the Swedish throne on September 15, 1973 and married his commoner German girlfriend, Silvia Sommerlath, on June 1976. He is the first Swedish King to marry a girl from a commoner stock, had he married Silvia prior to the death of his grandfather (who declared that all members of the Swedish royal family must marry within the European royal circle only), he would never become a King of Sweden and would be stripped from his royal title and inheritance.

The King and the Queen have three children together: Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madelaine, and two granddaughters: Princess Estelle and Princess Leonore.

QUEEN MARGRETHE II, DENMARK – April 16 (Reign: January 14, 1972)

The current Queen of Denmark has been on the Danish throne since January 1972 following the death of her father, King Frederick IX. She turned 74 years old last April 16. She was not expected to ascend the Danish throne at the early part of her life, in fact, despite being the eldest among the three daughters of King Frederick, Margrethe was not recognized as the heiress presumptive until 1953.

The Danish throne maintained a Salic Law for 100 years allowing only male descendants to ascend the throne. When Margrethe was born in 1940 the heir presumptive to the throne was her paternal uncle, Prince Knaud.

In 1953, the Danish parliament effectively passed an alteration of the law on succession allowing female descendants to succeed the throne. This constitutional change made way for the young Princess to become heiress presumptive.

Queen Margrethe II is a third/second cousin to Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife, Queen Sophia, King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustav, King Filip of Belgium and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. Their common ancestors were Queen Victoria of England and King Christian IX of Denmark.

She married a French nobleman, Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, in 1967 and have two sons: Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, GREAT BRITAIN – April 21 (Reign: February 6, 1952)
The current British monarch has been on the throne for 62 years. If she will still be around by October 2015, she will surpass Queen Victoria as the longest serving British Monarch in history. She ascended the British throne on February 6, 1952 upon the death of her father, King George VI.

Did you know that she is the only world leader who has two birthdays? She was born on April 21, 1926 but as with the rest of British Monarchs since King Edward VII, the Queen officially celebrates her birthday on the 2nd Saturday of June during Ascot Party in Windsor, two of the highlights of the monarch's birthday celebration in Britain are Trouping the Colour and Flypast presentation of the Royal Air Force.

She’s one of the only two current European crown heads (the other one is King Juan Carlos of Spain) who married a fellow blood royal, her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is a true-blooded royal prince by birth (He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark). The Queen has another official title: Defender of the Faith, a title that has been held by a British Sovereign since King Henry VIII.

The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, have 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren (courtesy of Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips and Prince William). 

Though both born into the blood royals, none of their children and grandchildren married into royalty killing the traces of royal blood line in the future British royal family. The Queen is also Head of State to other countries and states w/in the Commonwealth Realms which include Australia, Canada, New Zealand and some parts of the West Indies

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