11 December 2010

This Week in Princesses

Wow! What a truly newsworthy week. While the Swedish royals were celebrating the Nobel Prizes, the Prince of Wales and his wife were caught up in the middle of violent student riots. Sometimes, I'll admit, royal news isn't really "news", but this week, it absolutely was.

DECEMBER 4, 2010

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 04: (L-R) Jean Rochefort, Princess Caroline of Hanover and Rodrigo Pessoa attend the International Gucci Masters Competition at Paris Nord Villepinte on December 4, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Yves Forestier/Getty Images)

Princess Caroline presented the ceremonial prize check at the International Gucci Masters Show Jumping Competition in Paris. Her daughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, competed in the tournament, but didn't get the big check.
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 04: Charlotte Casiraghi rides and competes during the International Gucci Masters Competition at Paris Nord Villepinte on December 4, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Yves Forestier/Getty Images)

Incidentally, Gucci is Charlotte's sponsor: the fashion house makes her couture riding ensembles (and presumably the matching hat for her horse!)

DECEMBER 8, 2010

ITAR-TASS: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. DECEMBER 8, 2010. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev with his wife Svetlana (C), King Albert II of Belgium (R) Queen Paola of Belgium (L) pose for photographers at a meeting. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Mikhail Klimentyev) Photo via Newscom

Queen Paola and King Albert II of Belgium officially welcomed Russian President Medvedev and his wife Svetlana on an official visit. It almost looks like the two ladies coordinated their ensembles. Did Paola (on the left) call Svetlana and tell her to wear dark blue or did they both say, "Look! We are twins!" when they met?

DECEMBER 9, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall get out of a car which was attacked en route to the Royal Veriety Performace at the Palladium on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cornwall and her husband, the Prince of Wales, were all smiles as they arrived at the Palladium for the Royal Variety Performance. However, the two had just emerged from a truly frightening experience. Their car, which was somehow separated from its security detail drove straight into a violent protest by students angry over British tuition hikes. The crowd kicked the royal vehicle, threw things at it and chanted "Off with their heads." An investigation is underway to determine why the heir to the throne didn't have sufficient protection to have prevented his car bumbling into a riot and how his vehicle was separated from the following security vehicle. Concerns are now being raised about the level of protection that will be needed at next April's royal wedding.
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: General view of broken window and thrown paint damage to Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's car which occurred en route to the Royal Veriety Performace at the Palladium on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square stands behind piles of barriers on December 10, 2010 in London, England. Thousands of protesters participated in a mass demonstration yesterday in central London as Parliament voted in favour of the coalition Government's proposals to increase university tuition fees in England. Windows were smashed on several buildings around Parliament including the treasury, as the scenes turned progressively violent. A car carrying Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was also attacked on Regent Street as they were on route to attend the annual Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the rioting students not only damaged the prince's car, but also defaced several London landmarks.

ITAR-TASS: MOSCOW, RUSSIA. DECEMBER 9, 2010. Visitors in front of an ornate portrait of Russian Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in Tretyakov Gallery. The exhibition, which marks the 300th birthday of the Russian monarch, features paintings, furniture, books, silverware, and other historical items evoking some of the atmosphere of Tsarina Elizabeth Petrovna's era. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Dmitry Serebryakov) Photo via Newscom

In Moscow, Empress Elizabeth celebrated her 300th birthday by opening an exhibition about her life and reign. The daughter of Peter the Great, Elizabeth never married, just like the English Elizabeth. The Russian Elizabeth adopted her nephew Peter as her heir and found a nondescript German princess to marry him to. It took nine years for the couple to have a child, whom Elizabeth immediately claimed. After Elizabeth's death, that frustrated German princess overthrew her husband and declared herself empress; she became Catherine the Great.

DECEMBER 10, 2010

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - DECEMBER 10: (L - R) Her Majesty Queen Silvia, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf, Crown Princess Victoria, (Back row) Prince Daniel and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden attend the annual Nobel Prize Award Ceremony at The Concert Hall on December 10, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden. Dignitaries in Norway have honored the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize , imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, with an empty chair. The award's winner is being held in a Chinese prison with China enforcing a blackout of western news coverage of the event. (Photo by Patrik Osterberg/Getty Images)

While Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philipp and the new Prince Daniel looked suitably regal at the Nobel Prize ceremony, King Carl XVI Gustaf looks angry and slouchy in this photo. All of the prizes, except peace, are presented in Alfred Nobel's native Sweden, followed by a lavish Swedish banquet. The Peace Prize is usually presented in Oslo with the Norwegian royal family on hand. This year, the Peace Prize winner, Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, is being held in a Chinese prison, so, he was honored with an empty chair in Stockholm. The Nobel Prize web site is full of great information, including a look back at Queen Silvia's Nobel gowns since 1976. (View the gowns page.) Princess Madeleine, who is now living in New York City, did not attend this year. Although she was not scheduled to be present, she is also said to be suffering from the flu.
Meanwhile, (below) the king's sister, Princess Christina, attended her 47th ceremony; setting a record!
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - DECEMBER 10: Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Laureate in Literature, and Princess Christina of Sweden, arrive to the Nobel Banquet at the Stockholm City Hall on December 10, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden. The banquet features a three-course dinner, entertainment and dancing. (Photo by Patrik Osterberg/Getty Images)

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