14 June 2017

Photo of King Harald V of Norway and the President of Palau

The Office of the President of Palau has heard my cry for help. As I wrote in late May, King Harald V of Norway granted the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, Jr., an audience at the Royal Palace in Oslo on 30 May 2017. President Remengesau was in Oslo in connection with a summit on illegal fishing. He also had a meeting with the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs Børge Brende. The two dignitaries signed an agreement on opening diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to Royal Court's information department, the news/photo agency NTB Scanpix took photos in connection with the audience, but so far no newspapers or other media have published them. A pity, I thought, as the meeting between the two heads of state was after all an historic event.

But yesterday the Office of the President of Palau published a photo of the king and president at its Facebook page.The photo is taken in the Bird Room at the Royal Palace.

Thanks to the President for being so helpful. In connection with the blogging on the President's visit to Norway, I have read lots of information about Palau and its tourist sights and have become more and more determined to visit the islands one day!

9 June 2017

President of Palau once more

Last week I wrote about the President of Palau's visit to Norway in connection with a summit on illegal fishing. President Tommy Remengesau was received in audience at the Royal Palace on Tuesday 30 May. When preparing for the article, I learnt that NTB Scanpix had taken photos of the president together with King Harald, but still I haven't seen any photo of the event published anywhere.

Fortunately the Norwegian Foreign Office had a better understanding of the historic event as a photo of President Remengesau and minister of foreign affairs Børge Brende was published on 1 June 2017 after their meeting earlier in the week. Thre press release told that Norway and Palau had signed an agreement to open diplomatic relations. Brende said: – We have many common spheres of interest, among others international co-operation on climate, environment and sea management.

In addition to King Harald and minister of foreign affairs Brende, President Remengesau also met President of the Storting (Parliament) Olemic Thommesen and Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen.

The above-mentioned summit was the first summit between the parties which had signed and ratified the Agreement on port state measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (the Harbour State Agreement) (text at Lovdata.no). According to the press release Palau has problems with illegal fishing in its exclusive economic zone. The president has personally fronted the work to achieve better control and management of the important fishing resources, and to keep (protect) the island state's marine biodiversity. The latter is also important for the country's tourist industry.

See also Norway Today 2 June 2017, Linkedin.com as well as the President's official Facebook page.

30 May 2017

President of Palau in Norway

King Harald of Norway granted today the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, an audience at the Royal Palace in Oslo. According to Royal Court's information department, the news/photo agency NTB Scanpix took photos at the event, but as far as I know no newspapers or other media have published them, and I am not willing to pay a large fee in order to publish a photo on my blog.

No published photo from the historical event is a pity, I think, as it is not every day King Harald meets a head-of-state from such a far-away country.* There is at present no information about the visit at the president's own Twitter account or the official website of the Government of Palau. But according to the Norwegian Foreign Office, President Remengesau is in Norway in connection  with a summit on illegal fishing. The president spoke at the summit yesterday, as is shown in tweets from the UN Food & Agriculture Organization's Fisheries & Aquaculture Department and Christian Laborda, former Head of Oceanic Dpt. MOFA Chile (see here and here). There is even a photo of President Remengesau together with the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, Per Sandberg (Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department FAO, is also in the photo).

So what is to tell about President Thomas E. «Tommy» Remengesau? According to the official website he is in his fourth period as President. He was Vice President of Palau from 1993 to 2001, then President from 2001 to 2009 and after a break, because in accordance with the Constitution of Palau one cannot be elected for more than two consecutive periods, he regained the top position in 2013. The president, who is born in 1956, is married and has four children and five grandchildren. His father, Thomas O. Remengesau, b. 1929, served as acting President of Palau in 1985 (then in the capacity as Minister of Justice as the Vice President was abroad and had to return to take the oath) and as President from 1988 to 1989 and was the country's Vice President from 1985 to 1988. The short presidential history of Palau is kind of brutal. The first president, Haruo Remeliik, was assassinated in 1985, while the third president, Lazarus Salii, commited suicide in 1988.

*One could argue that photos from official royal events in a public building as the Royal Palace is, should be taken by the court's own photographers and be permitted to be published freely as long as credit is given, but I guess that is just the grumpy old me ...

18 May 2017

Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth to divorce

The Danish Royal Court annunced today that HSH Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and her husband Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth have decided to divorce.

Princess Alexandra is the second child and eldest daughter of the late Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Benedikte of Denmark. Princess Alexandra married Count Jefferson at Gråsten Palace on 6 June 1998. They have two children together, Friedrich, b. 1999 and Ingrid, b. 2003. For the last three years the couple has lived in Germany.

In the press statement Princess Alexandra has given the following comment:
«Det er en utrolig svær beslutning. Vi har kendt hinanden i 30 år, men er kommet til et punkt, hvor vi må erkende, at vi er vokset fra hinanden. Vi afslutter ægteskabet, men forbliver sammen i forældreskabet. Hele familien, men naturligvis mest børnene, er – nu også efter min fars død – i en meget sårbar situation, og vi beder derfor om ro og respekt omkring den proces, vi skal igennem.»

(«It is a very difficult decision. We have known each other for 30 years, but have reached a point, where we must admit that we have grown apart. We are ending the marriage, but will stay together in parenthood. The whole family, but especially the children are – also after my father's death – in a very vulnerable situation, and we ask for quiet and respect for the process we are going through.»)
The couple has not yet made a final decision about where they will settle in the future, but the children will continue at their school in Schleswig-Holstein.

14 May 2017

President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated: Longest reigns website updated

Emmanuel Macron, who was elected President of France last Sunday, 7 May 2017, was installed as the new president in a ceremony at Élysée Palace in Paris today. At the same time Macron became the new Co-Prince of Andorra.

I have therefore updated my Longest reigns website accordingly.

11 May 2017

Funeral service for Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld

The funeral service for Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, who died on 11 April 2017, 82 years old, took place today at Erska Church at Sollebrunn in Alingsås municipality.

Attending the service were of course the late baron's widow Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld and her immediate family. King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia came directly from the celebrations in Oslo, and they were accompanied by Princess Märtha Louise, who represented the Norwegian royal house.

The Swedish Princesses Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler, Princess Birgitta and Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson and her husband Tord Magnuson and other family members were also present for the funeral service. According to Svensk Damtidning, the Danish Royal House was represented by Princess Benedikte. Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O'Neill are currently in Florida, USA, and where thus unable to attend.

After the funeral service a reception took place at Koberg Palace.

So far it has not been revealed where Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld will be buried. One possibility is the Royal Burial Ground at Haga outside Stockholm. Another possibility is the Silfverschiöld family grave in Sahlgrenska gravkoret (the Sahlgren Grave Chapel) at Tölö Cemetery at Kungsbacka south of Gothenburg. Svensk Damtidning seems to suggest the latter in an article published today: «De närmaste fortsatte sedan till familjegraven för gravsättningen och just nu pågår mottagningen hemma hos familjen Silfverschiöld på Koberg.» («The closest [family members] continued to the family grave for the funeral and just now a reception is taking place at the Silfverschiöld's home at Koberg.») It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes from Sollebrunn to Kungsbacka.

Updated on Thursday 11 May 2017 at 21:25 (more people in attendance were added, as well as information about the burial place).

9 May 2017

Official celebrations of the King and Queen of Norway

The official celebrations of the King and Queen of Norway, who both turn 80 this year, take place on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th of May 2017. The celebrations include among others a gala banquet at the Royal Palace on Tuesday evening, a cruise with the royal yacht on Wednesday and the Norwegian Government's dinner at the Opera House on Wednesday evening.

The Royal Court has released the following list of heads of state and royals attending the celebrations:

  • Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • Princess Märtha Louise
  • Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner
  • Queen Margrethe II
  • Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary
  • Prince Joachim and Princess Marie (10 May only)
  • King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia
  • Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel
  • Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia
  • Madeleine Kogevinas and Bernhard Mach
  • Desirée Kogevinas and Carlos Eugster
  • Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie
  • Prince Albert II
The Netherlands
  • King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima
  • Princess Beatrix
  • Prince Constantijn (9 May only) 
  • Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau
  • King Philippe and Queen Mathilde
  • King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia (10 May only)
United Kingdom
  • HRH The Countess of Wessex
  • Lady Elizabeth Shakerley
  • Queen Anne Marie
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal
  • Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana
  • President Sauli Niinistö and Jenni Haukio
  • President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and Eliza Reid
All in all 183 guests were present at the Royal Palace on Tuesday. When the royals greeted the people from the balcony, all the grandchildren of the king and queen were present - Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Prince Sverre Magnus, Maud Angelica Behn, Leah Isadora Behn and Emma Tallulah Behn. They were also included in the official photo which was published on Tuesday night.

In addition to the royals and dignitaries above also representatives of the official Norway were present, and surely also other family members of the king and queen. I wasn't able to watch TV when the guests arrived, so I am not able to give more details at present. Further details about the celebrations can be found at the official website. For photos of some of the guests, go here.

Updated on Wednesday 10 May 2017 at 00:05 (one link replaced).