12 April 2015

Sunday Tidbits for April 12: All Your Birthday News, and More

I have a reaaallly long edition of Sunday Tidbits for you today, starting off with all the pertinent details for this week's celebrations of a certain royal birthday. If you don't care about the Danish party, we can't be friends anymore then just scroll down past Margrethe's face for some jewels, a smattering of other royals, and a reading recommendation:

--What's coming up this week for the main celebrations of Queen Margrethe's 75th birthday? Here's your official schedule (Copenhagen times, via Kongehuset):
  • Monday, 13 April
    • Press conference at Fredensborg Palace, 14.30.
  • Wednesday, 15 April
    • Dinner at Christiansborg Palace, 20.00, for officials of Denmark (including visiting royal guests).
  • Thursday, 16 April (Her actual birthday, in case you've lost track in the midst of this party extravaganza.)
    • Morning wake-up at Fredensborg Palace, 9.00.
    • Queen and royal family appear on balconies at Christian VII's Palace, Amalienborg, 12.00.
    • Coach ride from Amalienborg to Copenhagen’s City Hall, 12.30.
    • Official reception at Copenhagen’s City Hall, 13.00, for official Danish representatives, visiting royal guests, and the royal family. The Queen and Prince Consort will appear on the balcony afterwards.
    • Dinner at Fredensborg Palace, 20.00.
--An official guest list has not been released as of this writing, but the presence of several guests has been confirmed via official schedules - this is an ongoing list, others may be present and are just not confirmed yet:
  • Belgium: King Philippe and Queen Mathilde for the 15th.
  • Luxembourg: Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa for the 15th. (The 16th is actually the Grand Duke's birthday too, as well as the birthday of the couple's youngest child, Prince Sebastian.)
  • Netherlands: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will be present - not on their official schedules yet, but the King mentioned it in his state visit speech during last month's state visit to Denmark.
  • Norway: King Harald for the 15th and 16th, with Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit joining on the 16th. (Queen Sonja will be in New York.)
  • Spain: King Felipe and Queen Letizia for the 15th.
  • Sweden: King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia for the 15th and 16th, with Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel joining on the 16th.
  • Additionally, I'm sure we will see plenty of members of the extended Danish royal family, including the Greek royal family and the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburgs.
--TV2 and DR1 in Denmark will broadcast events, and live streams should be running; links will probably be floating about at the time.

--As far as the blog schedule goes, yes, we will have an open post, and we'll be departing from our regularly scheduled programming starting Wednesday to cover these events.

--Moving on, Crown Princess Mary marked the 75th anniversary of the German occupation of Denmark, which occurred just a week before Queen Margrethe was born. [Royalista]

--Some sad news: Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, Prince of Turnovo, died this week. The son of the former Tsar of Bulgaria was 52 years old. His health never recovered after a serious car accident in 2008, and he had been in a coma for several years. Very sad, and my sincere condolences to the family. [Hello magazine]

--Monaco's princely family marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Prince Rainier III this week. Albert and Charlene also had another joint engagement, for which Char wore some saucy shades. [Palais Princier Facebook]

Video: The service for Rainier

--Here's your jewel auction update: Christie's is offering the "Maria Christina Royal Devant-de-Corsage Brooch" for sale, a huge diamond stomacher that was a wedding gift from King Alfonso XII of Spain to his bride, Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, in 1879. Additionally, Sotheby's is offering the collection of the late Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, which includes three tiaras. I'll take the lot, please and thank you. [Jewels du Jour, Art Daily, Sotheby's]
The three Roxburghe tiaras

--If only the outfits Queen Letizia has worn lately (see here or here) were half as interesting as this cheeky little glance... [Hola]

--Prince Harry arrived in Australia for a month's assignment with the Australian Defence Force, wore a uniform, charmed the crowds, and decried the scourge of selfies. All in a day's work, really. [News.com.au]

--What happened at the Jewel Vault this week? Luscious diamond demi-parures, among other things.

--And finally, The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (the Fug Girls of Go Fug Yourself fame) was released this week. I was lucky enough to get a copy from those lovely ladies, and I have to tell you, I loved it. Here's the blurb:
“I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they’ll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next.” 
American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.
Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.
I was so impressed with the balance they managed to hit in this novel. There are nods to the real life romance of William and Kate and enough real life details (with an impressive amount of research thrown in) to make royal watchers smile, but it's still a fictional universe that draws you in, keeps you guessing, and makes you laugh. One of the best books I've read so far this year. Do pick it up! [And here's an Amazon link for ya.]

Stay tuned for the week's fun. Birthday cake for everybody!

Photos: Kongehuset.dk, and via Getty Images as indicated