|The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their first child.|
By Christopher Neve via Wikimedia Commons
Speaking of potential new mums of the near future, the York Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie will likely be in the news again this year -- and not just because of tabloid lies about their jealousy of new cousin Meghan. Bea will be 30 years old on August 8 and I anticipate a big celebration. She's been known to enjoy costume balls (or fancy dress parties, for you Brits) in the past, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Yorks pull out all the stops for this celebration. Meanwhile, the much anticipated engagement of Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank could finally come to pass. I'd love to see a Yorkie wedding, please, please, please.
|Photo: Matt Holyoak/CameraPress|
THE JAPANESE LADIES
The women of the Japanese Imperial family will be drawing much more attention than usual as Emperor Akihito prepares for abdication in 2019. As that date gets closer, expect to see more retrospectives about him and Empress Michiko as well as a brighter spotlight on Crown Prince Naruhito, Crown Princess Masako and their daughter Princess Aiko, who currently is banned from inheriting the throne due to her female gender. Could the abdication re-trigger the national conversation about the unfair and equal treatment of women that is enshrined in Japan's constitution? Another Japanese lady will also take some headlines as Aiko's cousin Princess Mako of Akishino becomes a bride in November and, as another unfair consequence, is required to surrender her titles and her role in the Imperial Family. Come on, Japan, it's time to end these gender-biased practices.
MEANWHILE IN ROMANIA
With the recent death of Romania's last king, the oldest of his four daughters, Crown Princess Margareta, has taken on the title of "Custodian of the Crown." The Romanian government had, after decades, reached a friendly understanding with her father, but it is unlikely that the republic will continue to extend any favors to his successors. The monarchy itself is not recognized there and even if it were, Salic Law is still the guiding law of succession. In other words, neither women nor their descendants (hence Margareta, her sisters and her nieces and nephews) are barred. Furthermore, under the agreement with the late King Michael, Margareta is only permitted to retain residency for 60 days after his death. Unless a new agreement is reached, she will have to move by early February. It will be interesting to see if the princess can negotiate an agreement to stay and whether she will be granted any further recognition by the government.
|HRH Duchess of Kent|
via Wikimedia Commons
The year 2018 will mark the centenary of the assassinations of 12 members of the Romanov dynasty. The best-known massacre on July 17 murder the Tsar, his German-born wife and their five children, including the four grand duchesses known collectively as OTMA (Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia) and the hemophiliac tsarevich along with several of their loyal attendants. The next day, five more Romanovs, including the tsaritsa sister Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who was the widow of one of her brother-in-law's uncles, and four grand dukes, all cousins of the tsar. I anticipate that we will see many, many books and television programs about the Imperial Family. Here on Princess Palace, I'm planning a series of posts leading up to the July murders.
As a reminder, many of our favorite royals have been very long lived and I certainly hope for long, healthy lives for all of them (as well as for you, gentle readers). However, the average life expectancy for women in Europe is 84 years old, and a few of our royal ladies have outstripped that average. The oldest of these is, of course, Queen Elizabeth II, who at 91 is still a decade younger than the age her mother reached. As mentioned above, the Duchess of Kent will be 85 this year. On the continent King Carl XVI Gustav's oldest sister Princess Margaretha will reach her 84th birthday on Halloween.
THE BRIDE OF THE YEAR
|By Alex Lubomirski/Kensington Palace|