04 January 2015

Sunday Tidbits for January 4: The Holiday Greetings Roll On

Queen Elizabeth II's annual Christmas broadcast is pretty well known around the world, but many of her sovereign colleagues have a similar speech to offer this time of the year. I've thrown several of them together in today's tidbits, because they're quite interesting in comparison. Just a snippet tells you something about that monarch, I think, from their levels of expression down to their choices of teleprompters and editing vs. none of that fancy business. Also included below are other greetings for the new year and random news bits, so read on...

--King Philippe does a version of his message for the season in each of Belgium's three official languages, and this year he started off with a tribute to the late Queen Fabiola. Here's an article with some highlights in English and a video. [Deredactie]
Deredactie video
The Belgian royal family also published some new family photos for the holiday:

--Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas message was covered at the Jewel Vault along with the jewels she wore to deliver it. Also covered over there in the past week was my annual round up of her year in jewels, where we recall what was new (a ton!) and count up what was worn most often (did you know that QEII wore close to 70 brooches this year? True story). [Jewel Vault]
British monarchy video

--Queen Margrethe II looked smashing in purple for her annual New Year's speech, and needless to say it delights me that both queens regnant opted for my favorite color. You can watch the speech here, or read the text in English here. And here's a gallery of her changing looks during this speech over the years, always a fun walk through time. [YouTube, Kongehuset, BT]
Kongehuset video

--Grand Duke Henri was one of many to make note of this year of commemoration in his Christmas speech. Here's video and English text. [Wort]
Wort video

--Prince Albert II highlighted the birth of the new twins in his New Year message, video below and English translation here. [YouTube, Royal Correspondent]

--King Willem-Alexander joined Queen Máxima's side of the family in Argentina for Christmas, while his speech played at home. Here's video, the full text, or an article in English. The family also posed for a pre-holiday photocall while in Argentina. [Het Koninklijk Huis and YouTube, Dutchnews.nl, NOS]
RVD/Frank van Beek

--King Harald V gets points from me for a New Year's Eve speech delivered in a tux, though reading note cards while standing does give me some unpleasant flashbacks to high school speech class. You can view the speech here, or read excerpts in English here. [Kongehuset YouTube, The Norway Post]
Kongehuset video

--King Carl XVI Gustaf is bit of a hand talker, compared to his colleagues, isn't he? Formulate your own deep thoughts on the matter by viewing his Christmas message or reading it (in Swedish) here. [Kungahuset]
SVT video
The family also released a new photo for the new year, taken last July. And the court recently confirmed that Princess Madeleine and her family have moved from New York City back to Sweden for the time being. [The Local]
Anna-Lena Ahlström / Kungahuset.se

--King Felipe VI's first Christmas message as king was a bit more political than most, dealing with some of the big issues on his plate right now (corruption, Catalonian separation). Made for an interesting contrast, the informal family photos displayed beside him and a serious message, I thought. You can see it here or read an article in English here. [CasarealTV YouTube, BBC]
CasarealTV video

--Emperor Akihito continues greeting the new year in Japan, joining the family to greet thousands of well-wishers at the Imperial Palace. Click here for pictures. The imperial couple also releases poems for the occasion. [Japan Today, Imperial Family of Japan blog]

--And finally, the Jordanian royal family sends us greetings for 2015 via social media, naturally. [Queen Rania Instagram]

Stay tuned for Monday, we have British business to attend to...