Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Royal Baby Boom

It has just been announced that Princess Letizia of Spain and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands are expecting new arrivals in Spring 2007. This will be the second child for Letizia and the third for Maxima.

In 2005 we had a royal baby boom when it was announced within a week of each other, that Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, and Letizia were expecting new arrivals in October. Also expecting in 2005 were Maxima, Mathilde of Belgium, and Mette-Marit of Norway. The birth of a royal baby is always a joyous event but when these events occur in such quick succession one has to wonder whether there's something in the palace water.

There hasn't been a birth in the British royal family since 2004 when the family welcomed Estella Taylor, the youngest child of Lady Helen Taylor. It seems that they are lagging behind, but in the past they have had their share of baby booms. The first one in 1817 after the death of Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the future King George IV, and her son in childbirth. Surprisingly enough, amongst the 15 children of King George III, once Princess Charlotte died, not a legitimate grandchild existed. A race ensued to produce a legitimate heir to the throne, his middle aged sons forgoing their mistresses and illegitimate offspring to marry suitable brides. Eventually this effort culminated with the birth of Princess Victoria of Kent who as Queen Victoria would become the longest reigning sovereign in British history.

The second baby boom occurred in 1964 when the Queen, Princess Alexandra, Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Kent were all expecting at the same time. Princess Alexandra delivered her son James first, followed by the Queen with Prince Edward, the Duchess of Kent delivered Lady Helen Taylor (nee Windsor), and finally in May, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, daughter of Princess Margaret arrived. It is said that the four ladies made quite a sight waddling together. No succession crisis provoked these arrivals. Maybe there was something in the water?

This year Japan welcomed it's first male heir to the throne in 40 years, and a new baby princess arrived in the Italian royal family. As well, the youngest son of Queen Beatrix had his third child and another princess in the Dutch royal house is expecting a baby in November. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if Princess Mary of Denmark announced an impending arrival. She and her husband welcomed Prince Christian in October 2005 and have made no secret of wanting more children.

Regardless, let us hope that these future children arrive safely and are happy and healthy.

© Marilyn Braun 2006

Postscript: It was announced on October 26th that Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is expecting her second child in May. Am I psychic or what? ;)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Blogs Royal

Recently it seems that people are searching for royal blogs, blogs on British royalty, or blogs about specific royalty. I originally posted this on my other blog, The Royal Chronicles so I thought it would be relevant to post it again, this time updated with more blogs.

When I started Marilyn’s Royal Blog, I didn’t know whether other royal blogs existed. Blogger didn’t seem to have a very good searching option to find blogs by theme, so I didn’t have a clue where to look for them. Since then I’ve located several blogs which are either devoted to, have sections on royalty, or have a royal theme. In no particular order:

World of Royalty Blog

The Royal Journal & August Annotations

Royal Anecdotes & Aristocracy Anecdotes

Monarchio (In Italian)

The Monarchist

Swedish Royalty Insight

Danish Royal Watchers

Eke’s Royalty Blog

Royal Jewels of the World & Royal Jewels of the World 2 (Interesting sites but these haven't been updated in a while)

Celebrity Baby Blog - Royalty

The Princely Family of Monaco (Mainly in French)

King Nicholas and the Copeman Empire - Blog by ‘Englands other monarch’

If you know of any other royalty blogs, feel free to add them in your comment!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Is Princess Aiko's loss Japan's gain?

National rejoicing greeted the birth of a male heir to the Japanese Chrysanthemum throne today. The first male born to the family since 1965. The birth of the unnamed prince effectively ends any move to revise the succession laws to allow Princess Aiko, the only child of the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan to succeed. Of course it is certainly politically correct for politicians to say that the debate will continue, paying lip service to the female population of Japan, who today had further confirmation of the inequality of their sex. However, tradition trumps change and progress.

When Princess Aiko was born in 2001, eight years after the marriage of her parents, it sparked a succession crisis which seemed inevitable until it was announced in February that Princess Kiko, wife of the second son of the Emperor was pregnant with her third child. Princess Aiko as a female could not, according to the present succession laws, succeed to the throne.

Thankfully Aiko, at four years old, is too young to fully realize what she's lost. The opportunity to make a change. To be a symbol of equality to Japanese women. Her parents may be relieved that she doesn't have to shoulder the burden of such a lofty position, but as the first and only child of the Crown Prince and Princess she has been deprived of a birthright otherwise denied to her because of her sex.

Should this new child have been a girl, Aiko might still have had a chance. Now we can only wonder what might have been. The new prince is now third in line to the throne, behind his uncle, the Crown Prince and his father. The status quo has been maintained and traditionalists can breathe a sigh of relief until the next generation. One thing is for certain, we have not heard the last of this issue.

© Marilyn Braun 2006