25 January 2015

Sunday Tidbits for January 25: From Farewells to Fashion Shows

Seems we have an awful lot of royal deaths lately. That can stop anytime soon. But for the moment, that's where we must begin:

--Johan Martin Ferner, husband of Princess Astrid of Norway, passed away on Saturday. He was 87 years old. Ferner, a businessman, married Princess Astrid in 1961, and the couple had five children together. [Royal Court of Norway]
In 2012, celebrating Princess Astrid's 80th birthday: Princess Astrid and Mr. Ferner, center, the late Princess Ragnhild and husband Erling Lorentzen, left, and King Harald and Queen Sonja, right.
Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen / Det kongelige hoff

--The King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, also passed away late last week. He was 90 years old and came to the throne in 2005, though he had been the country's de facto ruler since 1995. The Prince of Wales, the Crown Prince of Norway, and the Kings of Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Jordan are among the dignitaries who traveled to Saudi Arabia to pay their respects and greet the new sovereign, King Salman. Salman was half-brother to the late king and served as crown prince; the throne currently passes between the sons of the first King of Saudi Arabia and a council exists within the large family to vote on the succession. [NY Times, Washington Post]

--With Abdullah's passing, Queen Elizabeth II is now the world's oldest living monarch. [ITV]

--On a lighter note, an excellent anecdote told by a former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia has been flying around: King Abdullah, while still crown prince, visited the Queen at Balmoral and was treated to a tour of the estate. Much to his surprise (and slight terror), the Queen took the wheel of the Land Rover herself. And that's how you welcome the ruler of a country where women aren't allowed to drive, kids. [Twitter]

--Continuing to lighten things up a bit here: Princess Athena of Denmark, daughter of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, turned three years old this week. Berlingske has some of her new photos plus a little gallery of her little life so far. [Berlingske]

--At the Danish monarchy's site, you'll find the latest engagement of Crown Princess Mary, in black and gray basics. [Kongehuset]

--Luxarazzi is shining a spotlight on the diamond and ruby necklace belonging to the lovely Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg. [Luxarazzi]

--Are you in need of a wearable portrait of the Prince of Wales? Sure you are! Vivienne Westwood's got you covered. Her recent menswear collection featured nods to the Prince's style and pictures of both Charles and the Queen. [Hello]

Stay tuned for Monday, we have matters of a Belgian sort to discuss. Prep your waffle maker for the occasion.