29 September 2022

Denmark: More about the changes in titles and forms of address in the Royal Family

The Danish Royal Court announced yesterday that the royal titles of Prince or Princess for Prince Joachim's children – Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena – would be discontinued from 1 January 2023, and that they from that day on would «only» be referred to as Count or Countess of Monpezat. 

Prince Joachim's former wife, Countess Alexandra of Frederiksborg, said in a statement that «We are all confused by the decision. We are saddened and in shock. This comes out of the blue. The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them.» 

The head of the Communications Office of the Royal House, Lene Balleby, told the Danish newspaper Politiken yesterday that Prince Joachim in early May had been informed about the decision to take the royal title away from his children: «The decision has naturally had different forms during the process, and there have been different considerations, but Prince Joachim has been involved and informed about the progress.»

Prince Joachim says in a telephone interview with the Danish newspaper B.T. this morning that Balleby's comments was  «a truth with modifications». He said that he was informed about the plan to remove the titles on 5 May this year. The propisal was then that the children would lose their royal titles when they turned 25. Prince Joachim had asked for some time to think it over and possibly return with his own proposal. The decision was speeded up, and he got 5 days' notice before the decision was announced. He had no idea why the decision was speeded up. «I got five days' notice to tell my children that from next year their identity would be taken away from them. I am saddeded to see them saddened and puzzled by the decision, which takes place above their heads.» Joachim continues: «My children don't know which leg they should stand on. What should they believe? Why should their identity be taken away? Why should they be punished this way?» The prince tells that the whole family has been affected by the situation.

Prince Joachim's eldest son, Prince Nikolai, has been quoted as saying to Ekstra Bladet that «My whole family and myself are of course very saddened by it. We are, as my parents have also stated, in shock by the decision, and how fast it [the decision making] has taken.»

The reactions are strong, as most would imagine, although some of the statements seem a bit pompous and over the top. It is difficult to believe that their identity should stand or fall on having a royal title. They will need to adjust and will in time get used to it. But I think the court – and Queen Margrethe – could have handled this better, and much earlier. It is in my opinion – as I also wrote yesterday – about principles. Such decisions should not be taken retroactively. Yes, of course I agree that something had to be done about the title situation. The royal titles could not have been continued in all eternity. It is Crown Prince Frederik's line that will represent the royal house in the future, so there is no need for a bunch of princes and princesses who are not «working royals». But I think there were only two good alternatives: either the children should not have received titles from the beginning, or it should be stopped with Joachim's children so that his grandchildren would «only» be Counts or Countesses of Monpezat (yes. I know that the title was created in 2008, but this could nevertheless have been solved at the time of Nikolai's birth). Constitutionally speaking it is much more difficult to take someone's right away than to give one. If the court had had some patience, they could wait and see if Crown Prince Frederik would finally settle down and have his own family or not. If he remained a bachelor, Prince Joachim's children could then be upgraded. One can now only hope that the relations within the Danish royal family will not remain strained for too long.

UK: Queen Elizabeth II's death certificate released

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom's death certificate was published today by the National Records of Scotland.

The National Records of Scotland writes on its website today: «The Registrar General for Scotland, Paul Lowe, confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen’s death was registered in Aberdeenshire on 16th September 2022. National Records of Scotland has today published an extract from Her Majesty The Queen’s entry in the Register of Deaths. An official extract of an entry in the Register of Deaths can also be referred to as a death certificate.»

The death certificate shows that Queen Elizabeth II died on 8 September 2022 at Balmoral Castle, Ballater in Scotland, and that the exact time of death was 3.10 p.m. The cause of death was given as «old age». The document shows that the certified registered medical practitioner was Douglas James Allan Glass, a local GP, and that the cetificate was signed by the Princess Royal (Princess Anne), who was listed as the informant, and the Registrar General for Scotland, Paul Edward Lowe.

We have earlier been informed that the then Prince Charles (the Prince of Wales) and the Princess Royal were the only children present when the queen died. The prime minister was informed of the queen's death at 4.30 p.m.

Luxembourg: Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie to become parents again

The Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg announced today that the Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie are expecting their second child. The baby is expected in April 2023.

Communication du Maréchal de la Cour

Leurs Altesses Royales le Grand-Duc et la Grande-Duchesse ont l’immense joie d’annoncer que le Grand-Duc héritier et la Grande-Duchesse héritière attendent Leur deuxième enfant.

La naissance est prévue pour le mois d’avril.

Le Grand-Duc, la Grande-Duchesse ainsi que les membres des deux familles s’unissent à ce grand bonheur.

The couple's first child, Prince Charles, was born on 10 May 2020. The future prince or princess will become Grand Duke Henri's 6th grandchild.

28 September 2022

Denmark: Changes in titles and forms of address in the Royal Family

The Danish Royal Court today announced changes in titles and styles for the children of Prince Joachim – Nikolai, Felix, Henrik and Athena – coming into force from 1 January 2023:

Changes in titles and forms of address in the Royal Family

In April 2008, Her Majesty The Queen bestowed upon her sons, their spouses and their descendants the titles of count and countess of Monpezat. In May 2016, it was also announced that His Royal Highness Prince Christian, as the only one of The Queen’s grandchildren, is expected to receive an annuity from the state as an adult.

As a natural extension of this, Her Majesty has decided that, as of 1 January 2023, His Royal Highness Prince Joachim’s descendants can only use their titles as counts and countess of Monpezat, as the titles of prince and princess that they have held up until now will be discontinued. Prince Joachim’s descendants will thus have to be addressed as excellencies in the future. The Queen’s decision is in line with similar adjustments that other royal houses have made in various ways in recent years.

With her decision, Her Majesty The Queen wishes to create the framework for the four grandchildren to be able to shape their own lives to a much greater extent without being limited by the special considerations and duties that a formal affiliation with the Royal House of Denmark as an institution involves.

All four grandchildren maintain their places in the order of succession.

When it on 30 April 2008 was announced that the Danish Queen had bestowed upon her sons, their spouses and their descendants the title Count and Countess of Monpezat, it was by many people interpreted as a signal for what would happen to Prince Joachim's grandchildren some time in the future – they would not become Prince or Princess of Denmark, but those in the agnatic line would be Count or Countess of Monpezat «only». Never had I expected that the Queen would make such a drastic decision retroactively. It would have made more sense, as already mentioned, if it had only affected future descendants of Prince Joachim, or at least when Prince Joachim's children got married. They could then have «been told» not to ask for consent so that the title question would be solved this way. I would still have preferred if Prince Joachim's children would have kept their titles for life, though. Under the House of Glücksburg the children of the monarch and of the heir apparent have been titled Prince or Princess of Denmark with the style Royal Highness, while children of collaterial lines in the male line have been Prince or Princess of Denmark with the style Highness (let's ignore the exception for Prince Valdemar's children for the sake of clarity). Other royal houses have also in the past made moves to «downsize» – in 2019 it was decided that the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine no longer were members of the royal house and that they also lost the style Royal Highness, but they kept the title Prince or Princess. When Sverre Magnus of Norway was born in 2005 he got the title Prince, but was not given the style Royal Highness and did not become a member of the royal house, only of the royal family, but at least this unprecedented decision was made before he was born and not later on.

Countess Alexandra of Frederiksborg, former wife of Prince Joachim and mother of Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, have already made a statement as quoted by the Danish newspaper B.T.: «Vi er alle uforstående over for beslutningen. Vi er kede af det og i chok. Det her kommer som et lyn fra en klar himmel. Børnene føler sig udstødt. De kan ikke forstå, hvorfor deres identitet tages fra dem.» («We are all confused by the decision. We are saddened and in shock. This comes out of the blue. The children feel ostracized. They cannot understand why their identity is being taken away from them.») According to B.T. Countess Alexandra's statement is given on behalf of herself as well as of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. If this move was made now in order to avoid any future conflicts over titles under the reign of Frederik, I am not convincved that it has been very successful.

24 September 2022

Prince Gustaf (1827–1852) of Sweden and Norway remembered

Today it is 170 years since Prince Gustaf, second eldest son of King Oscar I (1799–1859) and Queen Josephine, née Duchess of Leuchtenberg (1807–1876), died of typhoid fever at Christiania Palace (The Royal Palace) in Christiania (today Oslo). If it had not been for his death, he would have succeeded his brother Carl XV (IV) in 1872 and the history of the Swedish and Norwegian monarchies would of course have been very different.

Prince Gustaf was known as a composer, having written several well-known songs (in this part of the world), including Studentsången (The Student Song) and Vårsång (Spring Song) and several marches among others.

The 170th anniversary of Prince Gustaf's death was marked today in the Palace Chapel in Oslo where there were lectures by Odd Inge Skjævesland, who has written the book Sangerprinsen. Bernadottenes svensk-norske sjarmøretappe (2018), and the architect professor dr.philos. Thomas Thiis-Evensen, who spoke about The Royal Palace as a symbol. Prince Gustaf is one of only two members of the Norwegian Royal House (House of Bernadotte and from 1905 House of Glücksburg) to have died in The Royal Palace. The other was of course King Haakon VII, who died there in 1957. The arrangement in The Palace Chapel started at 11 a.m., which was at the exact time Prince Gustaf died on 24 September 1852.

Kåre Nordstoga and Per Anders Håvelsrud played several pieces by Prince Gustaf on the organ - Mina lefnadstimmar stupa, Sorgmarch  mig sjelf tillegnad [Mourning March – dedicated to myself], Tidens flykt [Flight of time] and Aftonhymn [Evening Song] (the two first by Nordstoga, the other two by Håvelsrud), while an ensemble from the Gudlbergs Akademiske Kor (Guldberg's Academic Choir) sang Morgenhymn, Vårsång and Studentsången. The event was arranged in co-operation with the Church of Sweden.

The event was opened by Sandra Lorentzen, head of curatorial and public engagement at the Royal Collections. She took over the position in June 2022 after having spent 7 years as a curator at the art and industry museum Blaafarveværket. Lorentzen has a Master of Arts in arts history from the University of Oslo and a Bachelor of science in management science from Warwick Business School in Coventry, England. Before Blaafarveværket she has worked at institutions such as Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum in Tromsø and Stenersenmuseet (from 2021 a part of the new Munch Museum in Bjørvika) and The National Theatre in Oslo. I mention all this to stress that she is more than qualified for her position at The Royal Palace, but as I am a genealogist it is interesting to note that she is the daughter of the artists Ida Lorentzen and Ulf Nilsen. Ida is the youngest child of Øivind Lorentzen, jr. (1919–2020) and Evelyn Byrd LaPrade (1921–1972), and Øivind was of course an elder brother of Erling Lorentzen (1923–2021), who was married to Princess Ragnhild of Norway (1930–2012) from 1953 to her death in 2012).

All in all it was an interesting and enjoyable time in the Palace Chapel, and after having heard Skjævesland's lecture his book about Prince Gustaf is added to my reading list.

22 September 2022

UK: The State Funeral and the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II

The State Funeral and the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II, who died on 8 September 2022, took place on Monday 19 September 2022.

Screen shot of the order of service for the State Funeral.

Screen shot of the order of service for the Committal of Queen Elizabeth II.

Three ceremonies took place on Monday - the State Funeral, the Committal Service and the internment service. The latter was private, and we don't know how many who actually attended it or who. But we know that around 2000 people attended the State Funeral.

The State Funeral Service at Westminster Abbey was attended by heads of state and overseas government representatives, including members of many foreign royal families, governors general and Realm prime ministers, as the official website describes it. Other representatives of the Realms and the Commonwealth, the Orders of Chivalry including recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross, government, parliament, devolved parliaments and assemblies, the church, and Queen Elizabeth's patronages formed the congregation, along with other public representatives.

The State Funeral service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, David Michael Hoyle. During the Service, the Prime Minister, Liz Truss, and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, read lessons. The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields, and the Free Churches Moderator, Helen Cameron, said prayers. The sermon was given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who also gave the commendation. Finally the Dean of Westminster pronounced the blessing. The Order of Service can be read here.

The Committal service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor was supposed to take place at 4 p.m., but was delayed by at least 40 minutes. The King and Queen, other members of the British royal family and representatives of other royal families were in attendance, besides past and present members of The Queen’s Household, including members  from the private estates, as stated by the official website. Also in attendance were governors general and Realm prime ministers. 

The service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, David John Conner, with prayers said by the Rector of Sandringham, Paul Williams, the Minister of Crathie Kirk, Kenneth Mackenzie, and the Chaplain of Windsor Great Park, Martin Poll. 

Prior to the final hymn, the Imperial state crown, the orb and the sceptre was removed from the Queen's coffin and placed on the altar. At the end of the final hymn, King Charles placed the Queen's Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin. At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Parker of Minsmere (Andrew David Parker), «broke» his Wand of Office and placed it on the coffin.

When the Queen's coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault, the Dean of Windsor said a psalm and the commendation before the Garter King of Arms, David Vines White, pronounced HM Quen Elizabeth II's styles and titles.

The Sovereign’s Piper, Paul Burns, played a Lament and the Archbishop of Canterbury pronounced the blessing. The national anthem was sung at the conclusion of the Service. The Order of Service can be read here.

It was a day I will remember for ever, and I am pleased that I decided to take the day off to witness the events of the day on TV. It was a most dignified fare well of a very much belowed sovereign. The services were simple and magnificent at the same time. All the people along the route from Westminster Abbey to Windsor Castle. The procession at the Long Walk heading up to Windsor ... the removal of the crown, the orb and the sceptre from the coffin was very moving, as was listening to the national anthem being sung at the end of the service. 

A summary of the services can be read from the Court Circular 19 September 2022:

Buckingham Palace

The Coffin bearing The late Queen Elizabeth II was conveyed from Westminster Hall on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy this morning, drawn by Naval Ratings, and flanked by His Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, The King's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard and The King's Body Guard for Scotland (the Royal Company of Archers), followed by The King, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Sussex, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Gloucester, the Earl of Snowdon and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and thence to Westminster Abbey.

The Lord Great Chamberlain, the Earl Marshal, the Lord Speaker and Speaker witnessed the departure of the Coffin bearing Her late Majesty from the Palace of Westminster.

The State Funeral of The late Queen Elizabeth II was held in Westminster Abbey today at 11 o'clock.

The Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre surmounted the Coffin of Her late Majesty.

The King and The Queen Consort, The Prince and Princess of Wales with Prince George of Wales and Princess Charlotte of Wales, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice, Mrs. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Mr. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Jack Brooksbank and Mr. Jack Brooksbank, The Earl and Countess of Wessex with the Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Viscount Severn, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Mr. Peter Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Tindall, The Earl of Snowdon, Viscount Linley and The Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Mr. Daniel and The Lady Sarah Chatto, Mr. Samuel Chatto and 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Chatto, RM, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Earl and Countess of Ulster with Lord Culloden and The Lady Cosima Windsor, The Lady Davina Lewis with Miss Senna Lewis, Mr. George and The Lady Rose Gilman with Miss Lyla Gilman, The Duke of Kent, Earl and Countess of St. Andrews, The Lord Nicholas Windsor with Master Albert Windsor and Master Leopold Windsor, Mr. Timothy and The Lady Helen Taylor with Mr. Columbus Taylor, Mr. Cassius Taylor, Miss Estella Taylor and Miss Eloise Taylor, Lord Downpatrick, The Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor, The Lady Amelia Windsor, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, The Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor, Mr. Thomas and The Lady Gabriella Kingston, Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, Mr. and Mrs. James Ogilvy, Mr. Alexander Ogilvy, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Vesterberg, Miss Marina Ogilvy, Miss Zenouska Mowatt and Mr. Christian Mowatt.

Members of Foreign Royal Families and other Dignitaries, the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps and Senior High Commissioners, Heads of Mission and other Foreign Representatives attended.

The Dean of Westminster conducted the Service and pronounced the Blessing.

The Archbishop of Canterbury preached the Sermon and offered the Commendatory Prayer.

His Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, The King's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard and The King's Body Guard for Scotland (the Royal Company of Archers) were on duty.

The King's Guard was turned out with the State Colour on the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

A Guard of Honour found by the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force, with the Band of the Royal Marines was formed up in Parliament Square.

After the Service the Coffin bearing The late Queen Elizabeth II was conveyed from Westminster Abbey on the State Gun Carriage to Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner.

The Coffin bearing Her late Majesty was transferred from the State Gun Carriage to the State Hearse and thence to Windsor Castle.

The Committal Service for The late Queen Elizabeth II took place in St. George's Chapel today at 4 o'clock.

The Members of the Royal Family were present.

List of attendees

It has not been easy to compile a survey of people who attended the State Funeral at Westminster Abbey and/or the Committal Service at the St. Georges's Chapel at Windsor. I watched both events, but the cameras didn't focus much on the foreign royal families and other dignitaries. I have taken most names from various newspapers, including The Telegraph and The Guardian, but have also depended on Wikipedia and contributions on the website Nobiliana.de as well as on Twitter from Arabian Royal AgencyRodrigo, Lucas Szkopinski and Netty Leistra (Netty Royal) among others. Some only attended the state funeral, others only the committal service, while others again, like Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan only attended the reception at Buckingham Palace the day before the funeral. I have tried to focus on the royals and royal relations, but have also included some of the dignitaries, mainly from the Commonwealth and from Europe. Most of the list consist of attendees at the State Funeral, I should add. I am sure there are mistakes and important omissions - please tell if I have mentioned some who were not present. Not all the media reports have been accurate. 

The British Royal Family (and relatives)

  • King  Charles III and Queen Camilla
  • The Prince and Princess of Wales
  • Prince George of Wales
  • Princess Charlotte of Wales
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
  • The Duke of York
  • Sarah, Duchess of York
  • Princess Beatrice of York & Mr Edo Mapelli Mozzi,
  • Princess Eugenie of York & Mr Jack Brooksbank
  • The Earl & Countess of Wessex and Forfar,
  • Louise Mountbatten-Windsor 
  • Viscount Severn
  • The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) & Sir Timothy Laurence, 
  • Peter Phillips
  • Savannah Phillips (only the committal service) 
  • Miss Isla Phillips (only the committal service)
  • Zara and Mike Tindall 
  • Mia Tindall (only the committal service) 
  • The Earl of Snowdon
  • Viscount Linley
  • Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones
  • Lady Sarah Chatto and Daniel Chatto
  • Samuel Chatto
  • Arthur Chatto
  • The Duke & Duchess of Gloucester, 
  • The Earl and Countess of Ulster,
  • Lord Culloden 
  • Lady Cosima Windsor 
  • Lady Davina Windsor 
  • Senna Lewis
  • Lady Rose and George Gilman 
  • Lyla Gilman
  • The Duke of Kent
  • The Earl and Countess of St. Andrews
  • Lord Downpatrick
  • Lady Marina Charlotte Windsor
  • Lady Amelia Windsor
  • Lord Nicholas Windsor
  • Albert Windsor
  • Leopold Windsor
  • Lady Helen Taylor and & Tim Taylor
  • Columbus Taylor
  • Cassius Taylor
  • Eloise Taylor
  • Estella Taylor
  • Prince and Princess Michael of Kent
  • Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Sophie Windsor
  • Lady Gabriella Kingston and Tom Kingston
  • Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy
  • James Ogilvy and Julia Ogilvy
  • Alexander Ogilvy
  • Flora Vesterberg and Tim Vesterberg
  • Marina Ogilvy
  • Christian Mowatt
  • Zenouska Mowatt
  • The Duke and Duchess of Fife 
  • Countess Mountbatten of Burma
  • Alexandra Hooper and Tom Hooper
  • Lady Pamela Hicks
    India Flint Wood
  • Edwina Hicks

Reigning European royal and princely houses

  • King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
  • Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
  • Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sofie of Liechtenstein
  • Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
  • Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco
  • King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
  • Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
  • King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
  • King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain
  • King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain
  • King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden

Former European royal and princely houses

  • Margravine Valerie of Baden
  • Hereditary Prince Bernhard and Hereditary Princess Stephanie of Baden
  • King Simeon II of the Bulgarians
  • Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • Princess Theodora of Greece (service at Windsor only)
  • Landgrave Donatus and Landgravine Floria of Hesse
  • Prince Philipp and Princess Saskia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
  • Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
  • Princess Margarita of Romania and Radu Duda
  • Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia
Royal and princely houses outside Europe

  • The Crown Prince of Bahrain, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
  • King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan
  • The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien II
  • Prince Abdul Mateen of Brunei
  • Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan
  • King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan 
  • Princess Haya bint Hussein of Jordan (committal service only)
  • Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan (committal service only)
  • The Crown Prince of Kuwait, Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
  • King Letsie III of Lesotho
  • The Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI (King) of Malaysia, Sultan Abdullah of Pahang, and the Raja Permaisuri Agong (Queen), Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah
  • Prince Moulay Rashid of Morocco
  • The Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said
  • The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani
  • Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani of Qatar and Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad
  • Sheikha Amna Bint Mohammed Al Thani 
  • Prince Faisal bin Turki of Saudi Arabia
  • King Tupoi VI of Tonga
  • The Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Emir of Dubai


  • The Māori King, Tūheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero VII and Makau Ariki Te Atawhai

A selection of other dignitaries

United Kingdom

  • The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Liz Truss and Hugh O'Leary
  • Leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer

Former British prime ministers

  • Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds
  • Theresa May and Sir Philip May
  • David Cameron and Samantha Cameron
  • George Brown and Sarah Brown
  • Tony Blair and Cherie Blair
  • John  Major and Norma Major

Other dignitaries

  • The President of Albania, Bajram Begaj, and the First Lady, Armanda Begaj
  • The Co-Prince of Andorra, Archbishop Joan Enric Vives i Sicília 
  • The Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams
  • The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne
  • The President of Armenia, Vahagn Khachaturyan
  • The Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley and Linda Hurley
  • The Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese and Jodie Haydon
  • The President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen and First Lady Doris Schmidauer
  • The Governor-General of the Bahamas, Sir Cornelius A. Smith,
  • The Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis
  • The  Governor-General of Belize, Froyla Tzalam and Daniel Mendez
  • The Governor of Bermuda, Rena Lalgie
  • The Premier of Bermuda, E. David Burt
  • The President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro and the First Lady, Michelle Bolsonaro
  • The President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev and the First Lady, Desislava Radeva
  • The Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon, and Whit Fraser
  • Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada
  • David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada
  • The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau
  • The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland
  • The President of Croatia, Zoran Milanović and the First Lady, Sanja Musić Milanović
  • The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala
  • The President of Estonia, Alar Karis and the First Lady, Sirje Karis
  • The President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde 
  • The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen
  • The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö and the First Lady Jenni Haukio
  • The President of France, Emmanuel Macron (also Co-Prince of Andorra) and Brigitte Macron
  • The President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili
  • The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the First Lady, Elke Büdenbender
  • The President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou
  • The Governor-General of Grenada, Cécile La Grenade
  • The Secretary of State of the Holy See, Bishop Paul Gallagher
  • The President of Hungary, Katalin Novák and the First Gentleman, István Attila Veres
  • The President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and the First Lady, Eliza Reid
  • The Prime Minister of Ireland, Micheál Martin and Sabina Higgins
  • The President of Israel, Isaac Herzog and the First Lady, Michal Herzog
  • The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella
  • The Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen
  • The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness
  • The President of Kenya, William Ruto
  • The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani and the First Gentleman, Prindon Sadriu
  • The President of Latvia, Egils Levits and the First Lady, Andra Levite
  • The President of Lithuania and the First Lady, Diana Nausėdienė
  • The President of Moldova, Maia Sandu
  • The President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović and the First Lady, Lidija Đukanović
  • The Governor-General of New Zealand Cindy Kiro
  • Silvia Cartwright, former Governor-General of New Zealand
  • The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford
  • The President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski and the First Lady, Elizabeta Gjorgievska
  • The Governor General of Papua New Guinea, H.E. Sir Bob Dadae 
  • The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape
  • The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda and the First Lady, Agata Kornhauser-Duda
  • The President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa 
  • The President of Romania Klaus Iohannis and the First Lady, Carmen Iohannis
  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Denzil Douglas
  • The Acting Governor-General of Saint Lucia, Errol Charles 
  • The Governor-General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Susan Dougan
  • The Head of State of Samoa, H.H. Tuimalealiʻifano Vaʻaletoʻa Sualauvi II
  • The Captains Regent of San Marino, Oscar Mina and Paolo Rondelli
  • The Governor General of Solomon Islands, H.E. Sir David Vunagi
  • The President of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová
  • The President of Slovenia, Borut Pahor 
  • The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa
  • The President of South Korea Yoon Suk-yeol and the First Lady Kim Keon-hee
  • The President of Switzerland, Ignazio Cassis
  • The President of Tanzania, Samia Suluh
  • The Governor General of Tuvalu, H.E. Tofinga Vaevalu Falani
  • The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Tuvalu Kausea Natano 
  • The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska
  • The President of the USA, Joe Biden and the First Lady, Jill Biden

11 September 2022

Celebrations in Denmark – second day – lunch at the royal yacht and gala dinner at Christiansborg Palace

  Photo: © Wonderful Copenhagen.

The celebrations of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's 50th anniversary as regent continued today with a service in the Church of our Lady, followed by lunch at the royal yacht Dannebrog. Photos from Dannebrog can be viwed here. The royal family was present, together with the Nordich heads of state and members of the royal court.

The celebrations continued with a gala dinner tonight at Christiansborg Palace. The number of royal guests was smaller than at the Royal Theatre yesterday and at the church service earlier today. All the grandchildren and the queen's nephews and nieces and their spouses were excluded. Extracts of the guest list:

The Royal Family

  • HM Queen Margrethe II
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik
  • HRH Crown Princess Mary
  • HRH Prince Joachim
  • HRH Princess Marie
  • HRH Princess Benedikte
  • HM Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes

Nordic Heads of State

  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
  • HM Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • HM King Harald V of Norway
  • HM Queen Sonja of Norway
  • HE The President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö
  • Mrs. Jenni Haukio
  • HE The President of the Republic Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson
  • Mrs. Eliza Jean Reid

Other family

  • HE Count Ingolf of Rosenborg
  • Countess Sussie of Rosenborg

Among the other guests were members of the government, the presidency of the Parliament, the Supreme Court, representatives from Greenland and the Faroe Islands and other representatives of the official Denmark. The full list can be viewed here.

Celebrations in Denmark – second day – church service

 Photo: © Wonderful Copenhagen.

This morning members of the Danish Royal Family, the Nordic heads of state and many representatives of the official Denmark attended a church service in the Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue kirke) in Copenhagen in connection with the celebrations of Queen Margrethe II's 50th anniversary as regent.

The Danish Royal Court has issued a guest list which is not that different from the guest list at the Royal Theatre yesterday, but I note that the younger children of the Crown Prince and of Prince Joachim are now included. Extracts of the guest list:

The Royal Family

  • HM Queen Margrethe II
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik
  • HRH Crown Princess Mary
  • HRH Prince Joachim              
  • HRH Princess Isabella
  • HRH Prince Vincent
  • HRH Princess Josephine
  • HRH Prince Joachim
  • HRH Princess Marie                  
  • HH Prince Nikolai
  • HH Prince Felix
  • HH Prince Henrik
  • HH Princess Athena
  • HRH Princess Benedikte 
  • HSH Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille
  • HSH Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • HM Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes                      
  • HRH Princess Alexia of Greece
  • Don Carlos Morales Quintana                                      
  • HRH Princess Theodora of Greece
  • Mr. Matthew Kumar
  • HRH Prince Philippos of Greece
  • HRH Princess Nina of Greece  

Nordic heads of state

  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
  • HM Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • HM King Harald V of Norway
  • HM Queen Sonja of Norway
  • H.E. The President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö
  • Mrs. Jenni Haukio
  • H.E. President of the Republic of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson
  • Mrs. Eliza Jean Reid

Other family            

  • HE Count Ingolf of Rosenborg
  • Countess Sussie of Rosenborg

In addition the guest list includes members of the government, representatives of the Parliament, representatives of the royal court, representatives of the official Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The guest list in full can be viewed here.

Dean Anders Gadegaard and Bishop Peter Skov-Jakobsen officiated the church service. The program (in Danish) can be viewed here.

Celebrations in Denmark – first day

Photo: © Wonderful Copenhagen.
The celebrations of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's 50th anniversary as regent takes place this weekend. Queen Margrethe succeeded to the Danish throne when her father King Frederik II died on 14 January 1972. The 50th anniversary celebrations were of course planned to take place in January this year, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Unfortunately the death of Queen Margrethe's third cousin Queen Elizabeth II has put the celebrations somewhat in the shadow, at least outside outside the Kingdom of Denmark. Because of Queen Elizabeth's death, some adjustments had to be made to the planned celebrations.

Yesterday – 10 September 2022  Queen Margrethe, members of the royal house, the Nordic heads of states and representatives of the official Denmark attended "a commanded performance" at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. From the guest list:

The Royal Family

  • HM Queen Margrethe II
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik
  • HRH Crown Princess Mary
  • HRH Prince Christian
  • HRH Princess Isabella
  • HRH Prince Joachim
  • HRH Princess Marie
  • HH Prince Nikolai
  • HH Prince Felix
  • HRH Princess Benedikte
  • HSH Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille
  • HSH Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • HM Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes
  • HRH Princess Alexia of Greece
  • Don Carlos Morales Quintana
  • HRH Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece
  • HRH  Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • HRH  Princess Theodora of Greece
  • Mr. Matthew Kumar
  • HRH Prince Philippos of Greece
  • HRH Princess Nina of Greece

Nordic Heads of State

  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
  • HM Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • HM King Harald of Norway
  • HM Queen Sonja of Norway
  • HE The President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö
  • Mrs. Jenni Haukio
  • H.E. President of the Republic of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson
  • Mrs. Eliza Jean Reid

Other family

  • HE Count Ingolf of Rosenborg
  • Countess Sussie of Rosenborg

Among the others on the guest list were members of government, representatives of the Parliament , the court and other reprensentatives of the official Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The full list can be viewed here.

10 September 2022

UK: Accession Council, funeral date set

Some events that took place in the United Kingdom today and which I find worth mentioning:

1. The Accession Council took place at St. James's Palace in London at 10 a.m, in which the new king - Charles III  who succeded to the throne on 8 September 2022 at the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II  was formally proclaimed. The proclamation read as follows:


Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second of Blessed and Glorious Memory, by whose Decease the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is solely and rightfully come to The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George: We, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm and Members of the House of Commons, together with other members of Her late Majesty’s Privy Council and representatives of the Realms and Territories, Aldermen and Citizens of London, and others, do now hereby with one voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart publish and proclaim that The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is now, by the Death of our late Sovereign of Happy Memory, become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lord Charles the Third, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories, King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to whom we do acknowledge all Faith and Obedience with humble Affection; beseeching God by whom Kings and Queens do reign to bless His Majesty with long and happy Years to reign over us.

Given at St. James’s Palace this tenth day of September in the year of Our Lord two thousand and twenty-two.

The council was attended by members of the Privy Council, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, and senior judges and officials. In the first part of the council, the Lord President –the MP Penny Mourdant – announced the monarch's death. The clerk of the council, Richard Tilbrok, then read out the Accession Proclamation, which was then signed by the Prince of Wales (Prince William), the Queen (Quen Camilla), Prime Minister Liz Truss, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Jusstin Welby), the Lord Chancellor (Brandon Lewis) and the Earl Marshall (the Duke of Norfolk, Edward William Fitzalan-Howard), who is responsible for organising state ceremonies.

In the second part of the council, King Charles began with a declaration which read as follows:

My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen. 

It is my most sorrowful duty to announce to you the death of my beloved Mother, The Queen. 

I know how deeply you, the entire Nation - and I think I may say the whole world - sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we have all suffered. It is the greatest consolation to me to know of the sympathy expressed by so many to my Sister and Brothers and that such overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family in our loss.

To all of us as a family, as to this kingdom and the wider family of nations of which it is a part, my Mother gave an example of lifelong love and of selfless service.

My Mother’s reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion. Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life.

I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now passed to me. In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these Islands and of the Commonwealth Realms and Territories throughout the world.

In this purpose, I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose Sovereign I have been called upon to be, and that in the discharge of these duties I will be guided by the counsel of their elected parliaments. In all this, I am profoundly encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife.

I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of surrendering the hereditary revenues, including the Crown Estate, to My Government for the benefit of all, in return for the Sovereign Grant, which supports My official duties as Head of State and Head of Nation.

And in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for the guidance and help of Almighty God.

Thn the king took an oath to maintain and preserve the Church of Scotland., as required by the Act of Union, and signed two copies of the oath, which read:

I understand that the Law requires that I should, at My Accession to the Crown, take and subscribe the Oath relating to the Security of the Church of Scotland.  I am ready to do so at this first opportunity.

I, Charles the Third, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of My other Realms and Territories, King, Defender of the Faith, do faithfully promise and swear that I shall inviolably maintain and preserve the Settlement of the true Protestant Religion as established by the Laws made in Scotland in prosecution of the Claim of Right and particularly by an Act intituled “An Act for securing the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government” and by the Acts passed in the Parliament of both Kingdoms for Union of the two Kingdoms, together with the Government, Worship, Discipline, Rights and Privileges of the Church of Scotland.

So help me God.

At 11 a.m. the proclamation was then read out from a balcony above the Friary Court at St James's Palace by the Garter King of Arms (David Vines White), England's senior herald. The proclamation was also read in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, and other locations around the country.

2.Buckingham Palace issued the following statement by the Prince of Wales (Prince William) today:

On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute. So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign.

I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of The Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade. My wife has had twenty years of her guidance and support. My three children have got to spend holidays with her and create memories that will last their whole lives.

She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.

I thank her for the kindness she showed my family and me. And I thank her on behalf of my generation for providing an example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all.

My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen. I will honour her memory by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can.

By the way, we learned yesterday that Prince William had been created Prince of Wales the same day. I assume that the text will be published in The London Gazette in due time.

3. Later today the Prince and Princess of Wales together with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex together made a walkabout at Windsor to inspect the flowers and tributes. It is said that it was the Prince of Wales who took the initiative for the brothers and their spouses to do the walkabout together. While some people would say that this was to play for the gallery, I regard it as a sincere gesture. The brothers are said to have had a strained relationship for some time, so every effort to improve the relationship should be welcomed.

4. Buckingham Palace has announced that the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September at 11 a.m. The day of the funeral has been declared a bank holiday in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland by the king. Buckingham Palace has announced the following arrangements for the funeral:

The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September at 1100hrs BST. Prior to the State Funeral, The Queen will Lie-in-State in Westminster Hall for four days, to allow the public to pay their respects.

The Queen's Coffin currently rests in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle. Her Majesty's Coffin will travel to Edinburgh tomorrow, Sunday 11th September, by road, to arrive at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where it will rest in the Throne Room until the afternoon of Monday 12th September.

On the afternoon of Monday 12th September, a Procession will be formed on the forecourt of the Palace of Holyroodhouse to convey the Coffin to St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh. The King and Members of the Royal Family will take part in the Procession and attend a Service in St Giles’ Cathedral to receive the Coffin.

Her Majesty's Coffin will then lie at rest in St Giles' Cathedral, guarded by Vigils from The Royal Company of Archers, to allow the people of Scotland to pay their respects.

On the afternoon of Tuesday 13th September, The Queen's Coffin will travel from Scotland by Royal Air Force aircraft from Edinburgh Airport, arriving at RAF Northolt later that evening. The Coffin will be accompanied on the journey by The Princess Royal.

The Queen's Coffin will then be conveyed to Buckingham Palace by road, to rest in the Bow Room. On the afternoon of Wednesday 14th September, the Coffin will be borne in Procession on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, where The Queen will Lie-in-State in Westminster Hall until the morning of the State Funeral.

The Procession will travel via Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard. After the Coffin arrives at Westminster Hall, The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service assisted by The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, and attended by The King and Members of the Royal Family, after which the Lying-in-State will begin.

During the Lying-in-State, members of the public will have the opportunity to visit Westminster Hall to pay their respects to The Queen. On the morning of Monday 19th September, the Lying-in-State will end and the Coffin will be taken in Procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey, where the State Funeral Service will take place.

Following the State Funeral, the Coffin will travel in Procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch. From Wellington Arch, the Coffin will travel to Windsor and once there, the State Hearse will travel in Procession to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle via the Long Walk. A Committal Service will then take place in St George's Chapel.

9 September 2022

UK: New titles

The Norwegian Royal Family in mourning after the death of Queen Elizabeth II: The Norwegian state flag was flying at half staff from the Royal Palace balcony in Oslo today. The flag will also be flying at half staff at the day of the funeral. Photo: © 2022 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.


Upon his accession to the throne, it was confirmed that the new king would be known under his first given name Charles with the numerals III. By customary law his wife the former Duchess of Cornwall became Queen. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone after Queen Elizabeth on 6 February this year expressed her wish that «when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service». When the official website was updated late yesterday, Camilla was styled as «Her Majesty The Queen Consort», although she is entitled to the style and title «HM The Queen» or more informally «HM Queen Camilla». The title «Queen Consort» is more description rather than a formal title, and she is perhaps referred to this way to avoid creating too much confusion so soon after Queen Elizabeth II, formally known as HM The Queen, died. I suspect that some time after funeral Camilla will be referred to as HM The Queen, just like the spouses of for instance King Edward VII, King George V and King George VI did. Of course, the description Queen Consort is to stress that she is the wife of the King, not the reigning Queen.

When Charles III became King, his titles Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh and several other titles merged into the crown. It is expected King Charles' youngest brother, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex (and Forfar), will bestowed the title Duke of Edinburgh some time later, as I commented on here in March 2019.

When King Charles III succeeded to the throne, his eldest son Prince William automatically became Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Great Steward of Scotland. From earlier he had the titles Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus. This meant that yesterday Prince William was to be referred to by as HRH The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge, his style and highest titles. His wife Catherine thus became HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, and their children were to be styled HRH Prince George, HRH Princess Charlotte and HRH Prince Louis of Cornwall and Cambridge. This turned out to be shortlived, as King Charles III in his speech tonight told that he had created his eldest son Prince of Wales (and, although not expressed, also Earl of Chester, which goes hand in hand with the title Prince of Wales). So we have to get used to a lot of changes in a very short time! I have to figure out which tags I should use for the new Prince of Wales. As of now he is to be tagged William Prince of Wales, while he until his wedding in 2001 was tagged Prince William of Wales. Prior to his accession, I used the tag «The Prince of Wales» for Charles, which obviously was not a very smart idea. I guess I have to figure out how to replace this tag with «Charles Prince of Wales». And yes, I know that one shouldn't use the personal name toghether with the title, but this is the only way to differentiate between the many Princes of Wales. Anyway, as William and Catherine are now HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Princess of Wales (and all the other titles mentioned), their children should be styled as HRH Prince George of Wales, HRH Princess Charlotte of Wales and HRH Prince Louis of Wales. 

There will be no changes for TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, née Markle) and their children as of now. As explained among others by The Telegraph today, their children are now technically Prince and Princess (Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet of Sussex with the style Royal Highess), as stated by the Letters Patent of 1917. However, it was decided at the time of their birth that they should be known by their given name and surname Mountbatten-Windsor only (instead of Prince Harry's subsidiary title Earl of Dumbarton for Archie and Lady Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor for Lili). I expect that the king some time in the near future will give a new Letters Patent to regulate a new title system for descendants of the monarch.

Memorial service

Tonight a memorial service (service of prayer of reflection) for the late Queen Elizabeth II took place in St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Accession Council and Principal Proclamation

King Charles III will be will be formally proclaimed at the Accession Council at 10 a.m. on Saturday 10 September in the State Apartments of St James's Palace, London. The proclamation will be televised. Besides the official website, see also the website of the Privy Council for more details.

I will try to follow up with details about and comments on the various ceremonies and other events that take place in the days prior to the state funeral. The date has not been given yet, but The Telegraph has suggested that the funeral will take place on Monday 19 September 2022.

UK: King Charles III's address to the nation and Commonwealth

King Charles III and Queen Camilla left Balmoral Castle for London today, they day after the king's mother Queen Elizabeth II died. When they arrived at Buckingham Palace, they went out of the car and  greeted mourners outside the gates. Later the new king received Prime Minister Liz Truss in audience. At 6 p.m. local time King Charles made a televised address to the nation and Commonwealth from the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. The text of the address in full:

I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen - my beloved Mother - was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.

Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing.

That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.

Alongside the personal grief that all my family are feeling, we also share with so many of you in the United Kingdom, in all the countries where the Queen was head of state, in the Commonwealth and across the world, a deep sense of gratitude for the more than 70 years in which my mother, as Queen, served the people of so many nations.

In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples.

That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life.

She made sacrifices for duty. Her dedication and devotion as sovereign never waivered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss.

In her life of service we saw that abiding love of tradition, together with that fearless embrace of progress, which make us great as nations.

The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign. And, as every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people.

I pay tribute to my mother's memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all.

When the Queen came to the throne, Britain and the world were still coping with the privations and aftermath of the Second World War, and still living by the conventions of earlier times.

In the course of the last 70 years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths.

The institutions of the state have changed in turn. But, through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of realms - of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud - have prospered and flourished. Our values have remained, and must remain, constant.

The role and the duties of monarchy also remain, as does the sovereign's particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England - the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted.

In that faith, and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.

As the Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.

And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.

My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.

This is also a time of change for my family. I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla. In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage seventeen years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort. I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.

As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades.

Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.

With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.

I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.

In a little over a week's time we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest. In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example. On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support. They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express.

And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years.

May 'flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest'.

8 September 2022

UK: Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022)

Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland this afternoon, 8 September 2022, 96 years old. Buckingham Palace released the following statement:

«The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.»

Later in the evening today Buckingham Palace issued the following statement from the new king:

A statement from His Majesty The King at the time of The Queen's death

The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.

During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.

It all happened so fast ...  Earlier today, Buckingham Palace informed that «Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.» Following the statement, the media informed us that the Queen's children and two daughter-in-laws – the then Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall (Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland), the Princess Royal (Princess Anne), the duke of York (Prince Andrew) and the Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edwad and Sophie) – as well as the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex – all travelled to Balmoral to be at the Queen's side.

Two days ago Queen Elizabeth received the outgoing prime minister, Boris Johnson, in audience to accept his resignation and then Liz Truss to appoint her as the new prime minister. She was supposed to attend a meeting of the Princy Council yesterday to swear in the new prime minster as First Lord of the Treasury and to swear in those new members of the cabinet who were not already privy councillors, but the meeting was postponed on advice of her doctors, who said she needed to rest.

We have all observed her increasingly frail health for some time, and we knew that her death would come sooner rather than later, but still it is impossible to be really prepared for such sad news. The British nation is in mourning. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the British Royal Family and people. A reign of 70 – seventy – years has come to its end. As Prime minister Liz Truss said today: «Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. [...] Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. She was the very spirit of Great Britain – and that spirit will endure.»

The new king's title has been confirmed as Charles III. Prince William, who following his father's accession is no. 1 in the line of succession to the British throne, is now titled Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.

At the moment I find it difficult to add anything of value to what has already been said by others, but will add a few links to obituaries which have been published today:

The Norwegian Royal Family had close relations to Queen Elizabeth. The Royal Court issued tghe following statement today:
Queen Elizabeth II

The Royal Family is deeply saddened to receive the news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.

“Our thoughts are with His Majesty The King and the members of the Royal Family on the loss of Queen Elizabeth. For nearly a century, Her Majesty devoted her life to the service of the Commonwealth, following the British people through good days and bad, in times of happiness and sorrow. We also send our condolences to the British people.”

His Majesty King Harald
King Charles III will be proclaimed the nation’s new monarch at an Accession Council which will be convened at St James’s Palace in London tomorrow, Friday 9 September. Other details of ceremonies taking place in the next couple of weeks will be announced at the official website when it is up and going again. As of now we are – most understandably – only informed that «The official website of the Royal Family is temporarily unavailable while appropriate changes are made.»

Updated on Thursday 8 September 2022 at 23:58 (a couple of sentences added about the Queen's children and grandchildren travelling to Balmoral.), last time at Friday 8 April 2022 at 07.30 (corrected "Balmoral Palace" to Balmoral Palace" (a typical "think one thing and write something else" mistake ... Could have just written "Balmoral", though.)