Sunday 29 October 2023

Princess Leonor of Spain - 18th Birthday Celebrations

Princess Leonor of Spain will turn 18 on October 31st, 2023. This is an extra special occasion as it marks her age of majority. Reaching the age of majority is important to heirs to the throne as they become an adult and legally would be able to ascend the throne without a regent. Princess Leonor will now be able to act as regent. 

October 31st 
  • Swear on the Constitution at Cortes Generales (Parliament)
    • Attending: 
      • King Felipe & Queen Letizia, 
        • Princess Leonor
        • Princess Sofia
  • Swear in at Royal Palace of Madrid
    • Receive Collar of the Order of Charles III/Carlos III  (Highest Civil Honor in Spain)
    • Lunch with various government officials. 
  • Private party with family at Royal Palace of El Pardo
    • Attending: 
      • Extended Family
According to Article 61 of the Constitution, the Crown Prince/ss is required to take a oath to obey the constitution. 
1. The King, on being proclaimed before the Cortes Generales, shall take oath to carry out his duties faithfully, to obey the Constitution and the law and ensure that they are obeyed by, and to respect the rights of citizens and the Autonomous Communities.

2. The Crown Prince, on coming of age, and the Regent or Regents, on assuming office, shall take the same oath, as well as that of loyalty to the King. 

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Storting Official Dinner (Stortingsmiddag) - Main Page

Stortingsmiddag 2019
Photo: Simen Sund, Det Kongelige Hoff

Storting Official Dinner (Stortingsmiddag) is an annual dinner hosted at the Oslo Royal Palace for members of Norway's Parliament (Storting) and representatives from Norway. The dinner usually takes place in October shortly after the State Opening of Parliament. 

During the dinner the Monarch gives a speech with the President of Parliament (Sorting) giving a reply.

The first Storting Official Dinner was held in 1906 by King Haakon VII. 

Dress Code: 

  • White tie with tiaras & honors

Typically Attending: 

  • King Harald & Queen Sonja
  • Crown Prince Haakon & Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • Princess Astrid

Back to Norway - Annual Events

Thursday 19 October 2023

Princess of Asturias Awards - Main Page

Premios Princesa de Asturias 2015 2
Ruben OrtegaCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Princess of Asturias Awards (Premios Princesa de Asturias) honors individuals, entities or organizations from around the world who make notable achievements in a variety of categories. The awards are held each year at Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias in Spain.

The awards were founded in 1980 by King Felipe (then Prince of Asturias). The first awards were presented in 1981 by the newly founded Prince of Asturias Foundation. 

Asturias is a principality in northern Spain. Prince/ss of Asturias is the special title given to the Heir Apparent or Presumptive of Spain. The awards were renamed after King Felipe's accession, to reflect the new heir.


The Princess of Asturias Awards celebrations are usually spread over 3 days. 

  • Day 1 
    • Concert
  • Day 2
    • Audience with Winners
    • Awards Ceremony
  • Day 3 
    • Visit to this year's Exemplary Town


The awards initially had 6 categories, but added on three more categories shortly after the founding. 

 Category YearsRecognizing
Arts 1981-
 The work of fostering and advancing the art of film-making, theatre, dance, music, photography, painting, sculpture, architecture or any other form of artistic expression.
The work of fostering and advancing the sciences and disciplines considered humanistic activities or any activity related to social communication in any of its forms.
International CooperationIndividual or collective work, in cooperation with another or others, to develop and promote public health, universal education, the protection and defence of the environment, as well as the economic, cultural and social advancement of peoples.
 Literature The work of fostering and advancing literary creation in all its genres
Social SciencesCreative and/or research work in the field of history, law, linguistics, teaching, political science, psychology, sociology, ethics, philosophy, geography, economics, demography or anthropology, as well as in the disciplines corresponding to each of these fields.
Technical and Scientific ResearchThe work of fostering and advancing research in the field of mathematics, astronomy and astrophysics, physics, chemistry, life sciences, medical sciences, earth and space sciences or technological sciences, including those disciplines corresponding to each of these fields as well as their related technologies.
 The work of defending and advancing human rights, as well as promoting and protecting peace, freedom, solidarity, world heritage and, in general, the progress of humanity.
Careers which, via the promotion, fostering and advancement of sport and sense of solidarity and commitment, have become an example of the benefits that practising sports can bring to people.
Exemplary Town of Asturias1990-
The town, village, population center, space landscape or human group of the Principality of Asturias that has stood out in a notable way in the defense and conservation of its natural, environment, its historical, cultural or artistic heritage, in initiatives of economic and social promotion or in the implementation of communal works or other outstanding manifestations of solidarity.


Each recipient (except for Exemplary Town of Asturias) is given a diploma, sculpture created by spanish sculptor Joan Miró, a pin with the emblem of the foundation and  €50,000 (or a share of that amount if there are multiple recipients in a category).

The town or community organization that wins the "Exemplary Town of Asturias" award is given a prize of €25,000 and is visited by the Royal Family usually as part of the Princess of Asturias Awards celebrations.

Royals who have received the Prince/ss of Asturias Award

  • King Hussein I of Jordan  was given the Concord Award in 1995 for "his valuable contribution to the cause of peace in the Middle East, which has shown itself to be one of the points of conflict among humanity."

Thursday 12 October 2023

Order of the Elephant (Denmark) - Main Page

Photo: Kongehuset

The Order of the Elephant (Elefantordenen) is Denmark's highest honor. The honor has only one class, Knight. So, those given the honor are Knights of the Order of Elephant (Ridder af Elefantordenen), and can use the Post-nominal letter R.E. after their name. (Although Royal don't tend to use the Post-Nominal Letters of foreign honors.)

Who this honors is typically given to?

  • Children of Danish Monarch and their spouse, and occasionally more extended family. 
  • Foreign Monarchs, Consort, Heirs 
  • Heads of State
Danish Citizens can be given the honor, but it is given on very rare occasions. There are no non-royal Danish citizens who currently hold this honor (as of Oct 2023).

Prior to 1958, women could received the insignia of the Order but were not made knights. King Frederik IX changed this to in 1958 in connection with then Princess Margrethe's 18th Birthday, with the Women previously given the insignia retroactively made Knights. 
When is the honor given?
  • Denmark Royals
    • Per the statues of the order, the children of the Monarch are automatically knights of the Order. So, they are given the order, upon birth (or their parent's accession).
      • Children of the Monarch under age 18 are given the honor, but typically don't receive the insignia until their 18th Birthday.
    • The spouses of the children of the Denmark monarch are given the honor on their wedding day, or a few days before. 
    • Other extended members of the Denmark Royal Family may be given the honor, but is rarely seen now a days. 
  • For Foreign Royals, the honor is usually given to the monarch, consort or heir during a State Visit, which they participate in. 
  • For Extended family/Scandinavian royals, the honor may be given outside of State Visits and will may be given to more than just the monarch, consort and heir. 
When is the honor worn?

This is the higher of Denmark's two Orders. So, we normally always see the Denmark Royals wearing this honor, whenever honors are worn. The one exception is event in foreign countries or State Visits when they would wear their highest honor of the other country, if they had it. (If they don't have a honor from that country, they would wear their highest honor from home.) 

Foreign Royals would only wear this honor when attending events in Denmark. 


The Rosette of the Order is a light-blue pin worn on the lapel. This is usually just worn by man. And is worn in less formal occasions usually with a suit and tie. 

Photo: Dennis Stenild, Kongehuset 2023
Rosette worn by Prince Christian & Crown Prince Frederik

The sash of the order is of light-blue silk with Elephant badge attached at the hip. The men's version is 10 cm wide. And the women's version is 6 cm wide. The Sash is worn on the left shoulder with the elephant resting against the right hip. 

Photo: Steen Brogaard,  Kongehuset 2019
Sash is worn by both along with other honors


The collar of the Order is made of gold. It consists of alternating elephants and towers, with a large elephant dangling from the centre. The collar is the highest form of the honor. Both Denmark & Foreign Royals can wear the collar when appropriate. The collar is typically only worn on Order Days:

  • January 1st: Order of the Knights Day 
  • April 16: Queen Margrethe's birthday
  • June 28th: King Valdemar II's birthday
Or, on other extra important events like Jubilees. Since January 1st is an Order Day, we see this honor each year at the New Year's Day Gala.

Photo: Kamilla Bryndum,  Kongehuset 2018
Order of Elephant Collar is Worn by both along with other honors

Coat of Arms
The Order of Elephant Collar can be added to a Knight's Coat of Arms. (Although Foreign Royals don't typically display foreign honors on their normal coat of arms. It would only be shown in a variant for a special purpose related to that foreign honor.)

Each knight is required to send a copy of their coat of arms to the order’s secretary, who commissions an Armorial Plate. The armorial plate with the knight's coat of arms is hung in the Chapel of the Royal Orders of Knighthood in Frederiksborg Palace. 

The Knight's coat of arms is encircled by the aollar of the Order of Elephant. And includes the Royal's title and date of admission. Title and Coat of Arms are not updated to reflect the royals change in title or coat of arms. 

Orf3us, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Order of Elephant (Denmark) - Current Royal Knights

King Harald & Queen Sonja of Norway wearing the Order of Elephant Sash
Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset © 2022

Below is a list of all the current living royals who have been given the Order of Elephant honor from Denmark. 

We explain more about the Order of Elephant here.

Denmark Royals

Royal Year Reason
King Frederick IX's Reign  (1947-1973)
Princess Margrethe
(Later Queen Margrethe)
1947* King Frederik IX's Accession
(Queen Margrethe is now
Sovereign of the Order )
Princess Anne-Marie
(Later Queen Anne-Marie of Greece)
1947* King Frederik IX's Accession
Princess Benedikte 1947* King Frederik IX's Accession
Prince Ingolf
(Later Count Ingolf of Rosenborg)
1961 21st Birthday
Queen Margrethe II's Reign  (1973-2024)
Crown Prince Frederik 
(Later King Frederik)
1972^ Queen Margrethe II's Accession 
Prince Joachim 1972^ Queen Margrethe II's Accession 
Princess Alexandra
(Later Countess of Frederiksborg)
1995 Marriage to Prince Joachim
Crown Princess Mary
(Later Queen Mary)
2004 Marriage to Crown Prince Frederik
Princess Marie 2008 Marriage to Prince Joachim
Prince Christian
(Later Crown Prince Christian)
2023 18th Birthday
King Frederik X's Reign
Princess Isabella 2024^ King Frederik X's Accession
Prince Vincent 2024^ King Frederik X's Accession
Princess Josephine 2024^ King Frederik X's Accession
- - -

*Prior to 1958, women could received the Insignia of the Order. but were not made knights. King Frederik IX changed this in 1958 in connection with then Princess Margrethe's 18th Birthday. Women previously given the insignia, were retroactively made Knights. 
**For honors given for a marriage into the Denmark Royal Family, the honor were given on or a few days before the wedding. I thought it was best to list them under their titles upon marriage, instead of their maiden names. 
^ They were given the honor while children, but did/will not receive the insignia of the honor until their 18th Birthday. 

Foreign Royals

King Frederick IX's Reign (1947-1973)

Royal    Year    Position Reason/Event
Crown Prince Akihito of Japan
(Now Emperor Akihito)
1953 Heir Official Visit to Denmark
Crown Prince Harald of Norway
(Now King Harald V)
1958 Heir State Visit
Queen Sirikit of Thailand 1960 Consort State Visit
Empress Farah of Iran 1963 Consort State Visit
Princess Irene of Greece
1964 Extended Family/
In Wedding Party
Marriage of King
Constantine of Greece
to Princess Anne-Marie
 of Denmark
Prince Michael of Greece
1964 Extended Family/
In Wedding Party
Marriage of King
of Greece
Princess Anne-Marie
of Denmark

Crown Prince Carl Gustaf
of Sweden
(Now King Carl XVI Gustaf)
1965 Heir ?
Prince Hitachi of Japan 1965
Prince Albert of Belgium 
(Now King Albert II)
1968 Heir
State Visit
Queen Margrethe II's Reign (1973-2024)
Royal    Year    Position Reason/Event
Princess Christina of Sweden 1973
State Visit
Crown Princess Sonja of Norway
(Now Queen Sonja)
1973 Heir's wife State Visit
Prince Charles of UK 
(Now King Charles III)
1974 Heir State Visit
Princess Beatrix
of the Netherlands
(Late Queen Beatrix)
1975 Heir State Visit
King Juan Carlos I of Spain 1980 Monarch State Visit
Queen Sofia of Spain 1980 Consort State Visit
Queen Silvia of Sweden 1985 Consort State Visit
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway 1991 Heir State Visit
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway 1992
State Visit
Queen Paola of Belgium 1995 Consort State Visit
Crown Princess Victoria
of Sweden
1995 Heir 18th Birthday
Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece 1997 Heir to Defunct Monarchy/ Nephew Queen Margrethe's Silver Jubilee
Prince Willem-Alexander
of the Netherlands 
(Now King Willem-Alexander)
1998 Heir Queen Beatrix's 60th Birthday
Queen Noor of Jordan 1998 Consort State Visit
Empress Michiko of Japan 1998 Consort State Visit
Crown Prince Maha
Vajiralongkorn of Thailand 
Maha Vajiralongkorn)
2001 Heir State Visit
Prince Philippe of Belgium
(Later king Philippe)
2002 Heir State Visit
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg 2003 Monarch State Visit
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
of Luxembourg
2003 Consort State Visit
Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan
(Now Emperor Naruhito)
2004 Heir State Visit
Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway 2014 Heir's Wife 200th Anniversary of
Norway's Constitution
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands 2015 Consort State Visit
Queen Mathilde of Belgium  2017 Consort State Visit
Princess Ingrid Alexandra
of Norway
2022 Heir to Heir 18th Birthday
King Felipe of Spain 2023 Monarch State Visit
Queen Letizia of Spain 2023 Consort State Visit
King Frederick X's Reign (2024 - Present)
Royal    Year    Position Reason/Event

Back to Order of Elephant - Main Page

Together at Christmas Carol Service

Together for Christmas is a Carol Service held at Westminster Abbey in December. This was never been billed as an annual event, but has been described each year as a "Special Carole Service." But 2023 was the 3rd consecutive year the service was held. 

Dress Code

According to the invitation, the dress code is: “Smart (no hats)”

Royal Attendance

Royal 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Dec 8th
Dec 15th
Dec 8th
? ?
King Charles
- -
Queen Camilla
- -
Prince WilliamGave Reading - -
Princess Kate Host - -
Prince George
X - -
Princess Charlotte
X - -
Prince Louis

X - -
Prince Edward

- -
Duchess Sophie X - -
Princess Beatrice
& Edo Mapelli Mozzi
X With Wolfe - -
Princess Eugenie
Jack Brooksbank
X Just Eugenie - -
Peter Phillips
With Children - -
Zara & Mike Tindall X Just Zara - -
Lady Sarah & Daniel Chatto
X with Samuel - -
Duke & Duchess of Gloucester
X - -
Lady Rose & George Gilman
X - -
Duke of Kent
X - -
Lady Hellen Taylor
? - -
Prince & Princess Michael of Kent
X Just Prince - -
Lord Frederick &
Lady Sophie Windsor

X With children - -
Lady Gabriella &
Thomas Kingston 

X Just Gabriella - -
Princess Alexandra
- -

- -
Total 825 28 - -

Naming reflects the royal's titles as of this year (2023).
2021 -  The service was "to celebrating the incredible work of individuals and organisations across the nation who go above and beyond to support their communities."
2022 - The service paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II. 
2023 -  The service "will be a moment to thank all those who work to support babies, young children and families in our communities across the UK and a celebration of the golden opportunity that the birth of a new baby brings."

Sunday 8 October 2023

Royal Attendance at Spain National Day Parade (2005-Present)

This blog post just covers attendance at the national Day Parade, for more on the event as a whole, check here

 King Felipe's Reign

Royal 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
King Felipe X -
Queen Letizia X -
Princess Leonor X

X -
Princess Sofia X
2020 - A smaller parade due to Covid Restrictions
2021 & 2022 - Princess Leonor could not attend as she was at school in the UK
2023 - Princess Sofia could not attend as she was at school in the UK

Royal 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
King Felipe X
Queen Letizia X
Princess Leonor X
Princess Sofia X
2017 - A Spanish pilot died after his fighter jet crashed when he was returning from the military parade.

King Juan Carlos's Reign

X - Attended the parade
R - Attended the Reception only. 
Royal 2010 2011 2012 2013
King Juan Carlos X -
Queen Sofia X R
Prince Felipe X
Princess Letizia X
Princess Elena X R
Princess Cristina X

Iñaki Urdangarin X

2010 - 2011: Princess Elena and Princess Christian's children attended but were not in the stands. 
2012: Princess Elena was not seated with the Royals, but was 
2013: King Juan Carlos was unable to attend as he was recovering from hip surgery. 

Royal 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
King Juan Carlos X
Queen Sofia X
Prince Felipe X
Princess Letizia X
Princess Elena X
Jaime de Marichalar, 
Duke of Lugo
Princess Cristina X
Iñaki Urdangarin, 
Duke of Palma de Mallorca
2005 - Princess Letizia did not attend the reception due to her pregnancy.
2008-2009 - Princess Elena was separated from her husband Jaime de Marichalar. They later divorced. 

Spain National Day - Main Page

2019 National Day of Spain 11
Ministry of the Presidency. Government of Spain, via Wikimedia Commons

Spain holds it National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España) each year on October 12. 

Typical Schedule

  • 11 AM
    • Military parade at Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo with tribute to the flag
  • ? PM
    • Reception at the Royal Palace of Madrid.
Live Stream
You can watch the parade on 

Thursday 5 October 2023

Closure of The Earl & Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust

Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie have now closed The Earl & Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust. The trust was set up ahead of the couple's wedding and was previous called The Bagshot Park Charity. Then later, the Wessex Youth Trust.

The trust had been largely inactive for the last a few years. The initial funding for the trust came from the media rights for the couple's 1999 wedding. The couple did not do much fundraising beyond that. The trust issued grants to small charities twice a year, mainly focusing on children's charities.

In 2022/2023, The Earl & Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust transferred their remaining funds £110,000 to The Edinburgh Trust No2. The Edinburgh Trust No2 was founded by the late Prince Philip and supports "general charitable purposes". Mainly it is used to provide financial support to Prince Phillip's patronages.

The Edinburgh Trust No2 was handed over the Edward & Sophie after Philip's death in 2021.

From The Edinburgh Trust No2's 2021 Annual Report. Most of these orgs were patroanges of Prince Philip.

I think the decision to close The Earl & Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust was because it had served it's initial purpose to distribute the money from the wedding media rights. And that Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie wanted to shift their focus and energy supporting to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, which is a large part of their royal duties.

According to the Court Circular, the last official engagement for The Earl and Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust was a dinner held in January 2020.

Monday 2 October 2023

King Harald Speech at State Opening of Parliament (1997- Present)

Below is a list of Speeches from the Throne. For more information on the Norway State Opening of Parliament.

King Harald V

Year Norwegian
2029 - -- -
2028 - - - -
2027 - - - -
2026 - - - -
2025 - - - 170th Session
2024 - - - -
2023 -TextOfficial
2022 - Text Official
2021 - Text Official
2020 - Text Official Crown Prince Haakon read the speech acting as regent.
2019 - Text Official -
2018 - Text Official -
2017 - Text Official -
2016 - Text Official -
2015 - Text Official King Harald accidently skipped part of the speech
160th Session
2014 - Text Official -
2013 - Text Official -
2012 - Text Official -
2011 - Text Official -
2010 - Text Official -
2009 - Text Official -
2008 - Text Official -
2007 - Text Official -
2006 - Text Official -
2005 - Text - 150th Session
2004 - Text - -
2003 - Text - -
2002 - Text - -
2001 - Text - -
2000 - Text - -
1999 - Text - -
1998 - Text - -
1997 - Text - -

Royal attendance at Denmark Opening of Parliament (2005-Present)

This post just covers Royal attendance. For more on the Denmark Opening of Parliament.

King Frederik X's Reign

Royal 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
King Frederik -- - - - -
Queen Mary -- - - - -
Prince Christian -- - - - -
Princess Benedikte -- - - - -


Queen Margrethe II's Reign 

Royal202020212022 2023
Queen Margrethex
Crown Prince Frederikx
Crown Princess Maryx
Princess Benediktex
2020 - Socially distant due to the pandemic. 
Royal201520162017 20182019
Queen Margrethex
Prince Henrikx

Crown Prince Frederikx
Crown Princess Maryx
Prince Joachimx
Princess Mariex
Princess Benediktex
2016  - Prince Henrik had retired and stepped back from official duties earlier this year.
2018 - Prince Henrik had died earlier this year
2019 - Prince Joachim & Princess Marie stepped back as Working Royals earlier this year. 

Royal201020112012 20132014
Queen Margrethex
Prince Henrikx
Crown Prince Frederikx
Crown Princess Maryx
Prince Joachimx
Princess Mariex
Princess Benediktex

Royal200520062007 20082009
Queen Margrethe?x
Prince Henrik?x
Crown Prince Frederik?x
Crown Princess Mary?x
Prince Joachim?x
Princess MariePre-Weddingx
Princess Benedikte?x
2005 - I couldn't located any photos to confirm attendance
2007 - Prince Joachim & Marie's engagement was announced the day after the Opening of Parliament
2008 - Princess Marie married Prince joachim earlier this year.