08 January 2017

Princesses to Watch in 2017

Time for my annual prognostication of what to look out for in the coming year. Our big princess news areas are generally weddings and babies, but sometimes, we get a princess in the spotlight for other (usually less pleasant) reasons. So, let's get started...

by Nick Parfjonov via Wikimedia Commons
Barring any other big news (like an engagement for Prince Harry or accession for Prince Charles), the  late summer will be all about Diana this year. August 31 will mark the 20th anniversary of her death and while she still lives on the media, her coverage is nothing like you are going to see this year. It may, in fact, be the last year that we see really significant media attention for her. Don't worry, she won't disappear completely after September, but we will start to hear gradually less (except on those two occasions mentioned above). This year, I expect everyone who ever knew her will be interviewed, several new books and documentaries will be produced, and magazines around the world will feature fresh, young photos of the woman who would have been 56 this year. I suspect we could also see a recreation of the floral tributes outside of Kensington Palace, where they will be hosting a special exhibition in tribute to her beginning on Feb. 24th. At Althorp House, her brother Earl Spencer is redesigning the gardens surrounding her grave in time for the anniversary. I suspect Elton John may even release a new version of "Goodbye England's Rose." What will be most interesting to see is what her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, do to mark the occasion.

By GuitarStrummer
via Wikimedia Commons
It is now generally believed that it is only a matter of time until we get an engagement announcement for Princess Eugenie, so we could have our first Yorkie royal wedding this year. Of course, most everyone is most excited over the possibility that the most eligible prince might marry his most attractive girlfriend, but I think we may have to wait a bit longer before Prince Harry makes such a big decision on a still relatively new relationship. However, neither of them is getting younger (Harry will be 33 this year and Meghan will be 36--incidentally, did you know that she shares the Queen Mother's birthday, Aug. 4?). Plus, the anniversary of Diana's death could make her son feel like nesting, so I wouldn't be surprised by an announcement either. In the other regal lands practically everyone is married. There are some young singletons in Monaco--but you can't count on them for weddings-- and in Luxembourg. In Norway, Princess Martha is not yet divorced, but who knows what might happen there.

By Bengt Nystrom
via Wikimedia Commons
Now, the second thing everyone goes goo-goo over. Where can we expect new royal babes? Perhaps we will see a "rainbow baby" for Zara Phillips following her recent miscarriage.

I have a sneaking suspicion that we will have at least one more princeling in Sweden before the year is over; could come from either Princess Madeleine or Princess Sofia, but my money is on Sofia.

Back in Britain, Monday, January 9 is Catherine Duchess of Cambridge's 35th birthday and her youngest child will turn two this year. She herself comes from a close family of three, so perhaps another Baby Cambridge could make its debut this year. The Cambridges also are planning to make their London home their main home so that Prince George may attend the same kindergarten that his father attended.

In Spain, the ongoing prosecution of the Noos embezzlement case seems to be continually postponed, which means we may or may not get a final verdict on Infanta Cristina's involvement. She wrapped up her testimony early in 2016, and all testimony was concluded in the summer. The judgement has been postponed until some time early this year, but I am beginning to think they can postpone proceedings indefinitely. King Felipe has already stripped his sister Cristina of her ducal title. If she is convicted, she may also lose her royal status and place in the line of succession.

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