Sunday 31 December 2023

King Harald of Norway's 2023 New Years Eve Speech - English Translation

Notes by Gert's Royals are in [brackets.] 

Invisible hands assist us, writes Jon Fosse, our own Nobel Prize winner in literature, in one of his poems. These invisible hands can be so many different things: Love, friendship, a belief in God, will, hope.

[Norwegian author, Jon Fosse was the 2023 Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature. Jon Fosse lives in "Grotten", the Norway’s honorary residence for artists, and was appointed Commander of the Order of St. Olav in 2005. The quote is from Jon Fosse's poem Invisible Hands (Usynlege Hender)].

We all need some invisible hands. And many of us need them a little extra now. Both here at home and in the world around us.

Tonight I want to encourage you to light candles.
A light for all who suffer in wars and conflicts.
A light for people we miss.

And a light for hope.

Hope that a better world, where we can all live in freedom and peace with each other, must be possible. Hope that what is difficult in our lives must become a little easier to live with.

For me, there is a defiant hope in this one word: We.

"We" is a small, but spacious and beautiful word. For us, it embraces us all. It is the opposite of us and them. The opposite of putting each other in boxes.

Together, we contribute to creating a good environment at school, at the workplace and in our local environment. Together, we have agreed that in Norway we must take care of each other, so that we all have the opportunity both to give and to receive during our lives. Together we create an understanding of right and wrong, so that we can behave properly towards each other and take care of the trust between us.

To bring about this community for real, we need

To listen

To speak the truth about reality

To be patient.

I strongly believe in listening. Listening gives hope for a community with room for everyone. Because something magical can happen when we actually listen to each other.

We will be seen.

We are taken seriously.

We straighten our backs.

It is almost too simple and good to be true! And it's something we all can achieve.

It worries me that many young people, but also older people in Norway today, do not feel seen, understood and counted on. I'm afraid it will create anger and frustration that could damage our community.

To each and every one of you I want to say: I don't know what it's like to be you. But I would very much like to understand. Hold on to the fact that you are a whole person for better or worse, like everyone else - especially when others forget to remind you.

Accept help when you need it.

And be helpful to others when you can.

I hope you feel that invisible hands are assisting you. Maybe not always. But that you have something or someone that gives you strength and hope. Remember you have a voice. Use it when you can!

Listening is connected with speaking the truth about what has happened, and acknowledging each other's reality.

It was also a prerequisite for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's work, which was presented this summer. There, shocking stories were told about the injustice committed against the Sami, Kven and Forest Finns through the brutal policy of Norwegianization - which lasted from around 1850 until well into our time.

[The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a government commission established by Parliament in 2018. The commission investigated the experiences of the aboriginal people (Sámi and Kven/Norwegian Finnish Peoples). Norwegianization was a official policy to assimilate aboriginal people into an ethnically and culturally uniform Norwegian population.]

People were deprived of their language, their culture, their self-confidence and their identity. For some, it cost them their lives.

And all this was done in the name of nation-building - in a Norway that at the time itself needed to build self-confidence as a nation after 400 years of Danish rule. The Norwegianization was a loss for all of us.

[The 400 years of Danish Rule refers to the union of Denmark & Norway, where the two countries shared a monarch.]

A loss of a cultural wealth that belonged - indeed belongs - in our own country. Looking with open eyes at what has actually happened is crucial for the reconciliation work that must now follow in the wake of the important [Truth and Reconciliation Commission] report.

This also applies to other relationships in life - and in conflicts in the world around us. We must acknowledge what has happened, what cannot be undone. And what we have to build on together - after all.

Listening, and speaking honestly, I think is therefore essential for a community. And then we need that hard patience.

I've lived long enough to know that things take time. Both in society, between people, and in ourselves. A great deal of lasting value has no quick fix. It has taken us generations to build the society we know today as ours, of which we are proud and feel at home.

A foundation in building society is about how equipped we are as a people and a nation to face dangers and threats. Both internal and external. Our most important protection is a robust and persistent people who can withstand a blow.

We cannot take peace and freedom, resources and common goods for granted. We must stand guard! Norway's preparedness is, when it comes down to it, the sum of each individual's resilience.

We build on this positive force all the time through good partnerships. Through strong local communities. By standing up for each other, in the belief that there is a common good. It gives me great hope, because this is something we can all be part of. Both with invisible and active hands.

But then there are areas where the last thing we need is more patience.

Many young people write to me and express concern that not enough is being done to take care of nature and our earth. Young people are giving up on adults who don't take strong enough action, and not fast enough. I share the young people's concern and their impatience. The hope is that the new goals that World Leaders have set must be followed by action.

["New goals that World Leaders have set" is a reference to COP28, the 28th annual UN Climate Change Conference that was held in the UAE. At the conference an agreement was signed by regarding climate change.]

We now need everyone's impatience before time runs out for us.

I cannot express this strongly enough.

Dear everyone,

When it's cold and dark, it's important to remember all the warmth, strength and good will that we humans share with each other on a daily basis.

It is natural for us to help each other. To comfort. Sharing.

We must cherish this good spark within ourselves.

Because this is us, this is us.

My New Year's hope is that we will be the invisible hands that hire each other.

Happy New Year!

Prince Albert of Monaco's 2023 New Years Speech - English Text

[The Speech was originally given in French. The following text is from the English Subtitles, with a few adjustments.]

Compatriots, Residences, Friends,

Only time, and the necessary benefits of hindsight, can we say we will collectively come to remember the events of this past year. 

Whether on the world stage or in our personal lives, the year will haverought its share of happiness, but also trials, tribulations and tragedies. The Princess and I want to express our support, and our deep compassion and affection for all those affected by bereavement, suffering, illness, and loneliness.

These are difficult times, and their consequences are not yet clear to see. Our country has been spared may of the upheavals affecting the world. So have a shared duty to acknowledge our good fortune, and an ambition too, to remain united, by protecting our institutional model, our social and economic achievements. 

We must also show our gratitude for these advantages by working together to pass on what we have inherited to future generations. 

For our principality, 2023 has also been a year of celebrations, with commemorations marking the centenary of the birth my father, Prince Rainier III. My family and I are delighted to have shared these moments with you. They reminded us how his reign modernized our country by making Monaco a prosperous and dynamic State, outward looking and active in the concert of the nation. 

2023 also marked the 30th Anniversary of of the principality's admittance into the United Nations, and I wanted to take this opportunity to reaffirm my dedication to multilateralism, and respect to our international commitments.

Our unity and uniqueness are our shield against the problems that today beset so many of our western societies, and I consider it my wholehearted duty to ensure that our community remains cohesive and prosperous. History is too often shown how fragile nations can be, and so in an increasingly complex and unstable world, it is vital that we stay the course. 

I know I can rely on those men and women who have been entrusted with new responsibilities. I know that I can count on the people of Monaco, or residences and our partners, all committed to playing their part in maintaining the unity which, over 700 years, and no matter what challenges we have faced, we have built our history and looked to the future. 

We cannot predict the future, but we can prepare for it. We may not foresee it, but we must create it. The year ahead haralds many challenges , but holds rich promise. 

We must continue to mobilize our efforts and devote our energy to the cause of peace, mutual acceptance and solidarity. 

Compatriots, Residences, Friends,

The Princess and I send each and everyone of you our best wishes for 2024. 

May it bring you happiness, peace, joy and good health. 

[Together with Princess Charlene, the same line repeated in 3 languages]

Bonne année [French]

Happy New Year [English]

 Bon Anu Nevu. [Monégasque]


Back to Prince Albert of Monaco's New Years Speeches - Main Page

Denmark Abdication/ Accession (2024) - Main Page

Following Prince Christian swearing allegiance to Monarch after 18th Birthday
Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset ©

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announced during her New Year's Eve Speech (Dec 31st, 2023), that she will abdicate in favor of her son, Crown Prince Frederik. Queen Margrethe has had various health issues over the last few years

Queen Margrethe of Denmark will abdicate on January 14th, 2024. This date was chosen as it is her Accession Day, having become Queen exactly 52 years earlier after her father, Frederik IX's death. 

Denmark does not have a tradition of abdication. Queen Margrethe will become the first Danish monarch in almost 900 years to abdicate, and the 2nd in Denmark's history. (King Eric III Lamb of Denmark abdicated in 1146, at age ~25, after ruling for 9 years.)

The Denmark Constitution does allow for abdication per §6 of the Act of Succession, which simply says: 

The provisions of Sections 2-5 shall apply correspondingly in the case of the abdication of a King. 

[Provisions in Sections 2 through 5 lay out the normal succession rules.] 

Official Portraits

Press Releases/ Posts

Q&A:

We will be answering some questions here.


Schedule:

Sunday Dec 31st, 2023

Monday Jan 1st, 2024
Wednesday & Thursday Jan 3rd-4th
  • Hold Official Audiences
Wednesday 10th 
  • Receive the new Ambassador of Ukraine H.E. Andrii Yanevskyi at Christian IX's Palace

Sunday, Jan 14th (Abdication/Accession Day)

Monday Jan 15th
  • 10 AM
    • Meeting at Parliament Chamber
      • Speech by Prime Minister & Speaker of the Parliament 
    • Reception in former Upper Chamber
    • Attending:
      • King Frederik 
      • Queen Mary
      • Queen Margrethe
      • Crown Prince Christian
      • Prince Joachim
      • Princess Benedikte
      • Royal Family”
Sunday Jan 21st
  • 2PM
    • Church service at Aarhus Cathedral
      • Attending:
        • King Frederik 
        • Queen Mary
        • Queen Margrethe 
        • Princess Benedikte
Titles:


RoyalOldNew
MargretheHM The Queen/
Queen Margrethe II
HM Queen Margrethe
FrederikHRH The Crown Prince/
Crown Prince Frederik
HM The King/
King Frederik X
MaryHRH The Crown Princess/
Crown Princess Mary
HM The Queen/
Queen Mary
ChristianHRH Prince ChristianHRH The Crown Prince/
Crown Prince Christian
OtherTitles will not change

Q&A Queen Margrethe of Denmark Abdication

We will be answering some questions regarding Queen Margrethe's Abdication/Crown Prince Frederik's succession here.  

Q1: Will the new King's three other children, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine, become Knights of the Elephant on his accession to the throne? 

A 1: The new Denmark monarch has historically given the Order of Elephant to all of their children when they ascend the throne. You do not need to be 18 years old to receive the Order of the Elephant.  Prince Christian, who received the honor on his 18th Birthday in 2023, was the first Denmark Heir in a century to receive the honor before their parent's accession. The last 3 monarchs all ascended the throne before their heir's 18th Birthday.

So, I would expect Frederik to keep that tradition. Unless of course he changes it. 

You can find more information on the Order of the Elephant here. And a list of the current royal knights here.

Q2: Will there be a big Coronation?

A: No. The UK is the only European Monarchy that does a Coronation anymore. The denmark accession is much simpler. There will be a council of state meeting and proclamation from the Palace Balcony. You can find out more here.

Q3: Why are events taking place at Christiansborg Palace and not Amalienborg Palace?

A: Amalienborg Palace is where the Royals live and have their offices. But Christiansborg Palace is the "Seat of Power" in Denmark. It used to be the residence of the Denmark Monarch, before it was taken over by Denmark's parliament. There are a number of reception rooms used by the monarch for official duties relating to their role as head of state.

Q4: Is there an upcoming gala event for foreign royals?

A: There will not be any Foreign Royals events in connection with the Abdication/Accession. But we would expect to see King Frederik and Queen Mary make and receive a few state visits this year. 

Q5: Is Christian a member of the Council of State?

A: Not yet, technically,as it is limited to the heir to the throne. But Prince Christian will automatically become one upon Frederik’s accession.  And he is confirmed to attend to attend the meeting on Accession Day.



Back to Denmark Abdication/Accession Main Page

Friday 29 December 2023

New Years, Birthday and Other UK Honours List - Main Page

Divisa Ord Impero Britannico
Various (Mens) Grades of the Order of the British Empire
Skukifish, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This page covers the various UK Honours list (I.e. the various lists where the honours are announced). You can find general information on Honors here.

Most UK honors are granted as part of an Honors List. The two main honors lists each year are the New Years Honors and Birthday Honours. The honours Lists are printed in The London Gazette, and usually appear online at 10:30 PM, with the list being officially published the next day. 

The honours are usually presented at one of the Group Investiture Ceremonies each year. 

Honour List

Honours Lists Reason Usual Dates Usual Honors Given
New Year's Annual Honours Last Friday in December
Or Dec 30th/31st
(See Below)
Almost All
Birthday Annual Honours On Monarch's Official Birthday
(or a few days before)
(See Below)
Almost All
Coronation  To recognise contributions to the celebration For QEII, Day before.
Almost All
Jubilee  To recognise contributions to the celebration A few months after Jubilee Celebrations,
or as part of Birthday Honors
Royal Victorian Order
Demise Following the demise of the Monarch, Consort and senior royals~ 6 months after Death Royal Victorian Order
Dissolution Dissolution of UK ParliamentA few months after Life Peerage & Knight Bachelor 
Prime Minister's Resignation Resignation of UK Prime MinisterA few months after Life Peerage,
Knights Bachelor,
Order of the Companion of Honours,
Order of Bath,
Order of British Empire
Other One off honours given outside of an Honours ListGiven at anytime Any

King Charles III's Reign

Note: Dissolution & Prime Minister Resignation Honors List are not included here.

Year New Years Honors
Birthday Honors Other Royal Honors Lists
2026 -- -
2025 -- -
2024 Friday Dec 29th, 2023- Coronation Honours were included
as part of New Years Honours
2023 Friday Dec 30th, 2022Saturday, June 17th
On Official Birthday
Queen Elizabeth Demise
2022 None given by Charles


Queen Elizabeth II's Reign
Note: Dissolution & Prime Minister Resignation Honors List are not included here.

Year New Years Honors Birthday Honors Other Royal Honors Lists
2022 Friday, Dec 31st, 2021Wednesday, June 1st
(Awarded early, ahead of
 Jubilee Celebrations)
No Platinum Jubilee
honors were awarded
2021 Wednesday, Dec 30th, 2020Monday, June 7th Prince Philip Demise
2020 Friday, Dec 27th, 2019Saturday, October 10th
(Delayed due to Pandemic)
-
2019 Friday, Dec 28th, 2018Saturday, June 8th
On Official Birthday
-
2018 Saturday, Dec 30th, 2017Saturday, June 9th
On Official Birthday
-
2017 Friday, Dec 30th, 2016Friday, June 16th -
2016 Thursday, Dec 31st, 2015Friday, June 10th -
2015 Tuesday, Dec 30th, 2014Friday, June 12th -
2014 Tuesday Dec 31st, 2013Saturday, June 14th
On Official Birthday
-
2013 Friday, Dec 28th, 2012Saturday, June 15th
On Official Birthday
-
2012 Saturday, Dec 31st, 2011Saturday, June 16th
On Official Birthday
Diamond Jubilee
2011 Friday, Dec 31st, 2010Saturday, June 11th
On Official Birthday
-
2010 Thursday, Dec 31st, 2009Saturday, June 12th
On Official Birthday
-

UK Group Investitures 2024



The royals host investitures throughout the year to officially invest everyone who received an honor in either the King's Birthday or New Year's honor lists. Investitures are usually held at Grand Reception Room at Windsor Castle, Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, or at the Palace of Holyrood. 

Regular Investitures

This list just includes the regular group investitures.  One-on-one investitures or investitures held overseas are not included. 

Right now, there is no indication that a 4th royal will be added to the roster to perform investitures. But we had added an "other" column, just in case, as it would be difficult to add it later.

Month King Charles Prince William Princess Anne Other
January

Wednesday 17th
Holyrood



Wednesday 24th
Windsor



Wednesday 31st
Buckingham Palace

February
Wednesday 7th 
Windsor
Tuesday 6th
Windsor


Wednesday 21st
Windsor
Tuesday 13th 
Windsor

- - - -
March - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
April - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
May - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
June - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
July - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
August No investitures held
September - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
October - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
November - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
December - - - -
- - - -
- - - -
Totals 0 2 5 7
Total

Notes: Windsor Castle investitures are usually held on Tuesday or Wednesday as those are the days that the Castle is closed to the public. 
--
Buckingham Palace
Windsor Castle
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Other


Monday 25 December 2023

2023 Christmas Speeches - Summary

Here is a summary of the things mentioned across the 6 European Monarch's Christmas Speeches. 

You can find each speech along with an English Translation here.

Topic BEL LUX SPAIN NLD UK SWE
Christmas Eve Christmas Day
Keywords
2023 "Dark Times""Faster, higher,
stronger
- together"

"Dark Year
in Many Ways"
Immigrants/ 
Diversity
XX X X

Peace/
Violence/
Conflict
XX X X X X
Hate/ 
Intolerance
XX
X
X
Sustainability/
Environment
XX
X X
Voting/
Elections

X

X
Future/
Next Generation
XX

X
Inflation/ Jobs
X X
Artificial
Intelligence

X
Covid

X
Christ's Birth
X X
Wars/Conflicts/Terror Attacks
Ukraine X"Middle of 
Europe"

X
X
Israel/Gaza "Middle East""Middle East"
X
X
Congo X

"Africa"
SudanX


Other




2 Swedes kill
at Football match
in Brussels
Organizations/ Events
NATO
X
X
COP28 XX
"latest climate
negotiations"
EU

X
Other
Olympics

Scouts
Other
Quote
Olympic
Motto

Inauguration 
Speech

 "Free Land"  Essay
by 
Prince Wilhelm
Good Wishes
from Royal Family
XX X

X

King Carl Gustaf's Christmas Speech - English Translation (2023)

Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

Notes by Gert's Royals are in [Brackets].

Dear Swedes, at home and abroad, all in Sweden!

Right now, Christmas Holiday is settling in many homes and in other places around our country. It gives us time to think and reflect on the past year. This is also the case here at the Royal Palace.

I remember when, many years ago, I was in South Africa in a Scout Trip. We visited one of the most vulnerable areas, outside Cape Town. Many of those who lived there lived in very poor conditions. Suddenly a boy came up to me. He was 10, 11 years old and wearing a scout shirt. The boy knew that I am also a scout. He was very proud of his nice shirt and wanted to talk about what it meant to him. He said: “When I wear it, I feel safe and at peace. Not even the toughest guys dare to walk on me.” The Scout shirt commanded respect. It symbolized healthy values.

[King Carl Gustaf is Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation and actively participates in scouting events.]

I often think about that episode and what good symbols can do for us people.

It has been a dark year in many ways. In Brussels, Swedes, on their way to a football match, proudly wearing our Swedish colours, have been killed. A terrible deed.

[In October, two Swedish football were shot and killed in Brussels, Belgium outside a stadium.]

Here at home in Sweden, many have been affected by the ruthless gang violence. Many feel a concern about social development.

At the same time, the police and law enforcement agencies work tirelessly to create a safer Sweden for all of us. They have our full support in this endeavour.

The terrorist attack on civilians in Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza brings great human suffering. It creates unrest and discord throughout the world. A peaceful development feels distant - but hope must live on.

In Ukraine, the people's struggle to defend their country against the Russian invasion continues. During the year, I met President Zelenskyj when he was visiting Sweden. We talked about the continuing difficult situation in the country. The president, like the blue-yellow Ukrainian flag, has become for many around the world a symbol of the freedom struggle of an entire people.

Blue and yellow are also the colors of our flag. The Swedish flag symbolizes our values, our freedoms, but also our obligations and our responsibility towards others. We have every right to think differently. We protect freedom of opinion, but the great freedom is based on respect and tolerance.

Our country also rests on the foundation of the rule of law. "Land must be built by law," this was King Carl XV's motto from his accession in 1859. It is originally an expression from the Middle Ages. The stanza also has a continuation that is rarely noticed: "Land shall be built by law - and not by violence".

[King Carl XV of Sweden reigned from 1859 – 1872. He helped to reform Sweden's Parliament and legal system].

Some of our laws can be perceived as self-evident today, but they are the result of the country's development, which was often preceded by long and sometimes difficult considerations. We have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, universal and equal suffrage. Added to this are other laws on children's rights, prohibition of discrimination and protection of the environment.

During this year, Sweden has come ever closer to membership in NATO. It is the biggest defense and security policy change in our country since Sweden became militarily non-aligned over 200 years ago. And it is done in broad political agreement.

[NATO - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance between member states. King Carl Gustaf spoke about this in his Speech at State Opening of Parliament this year as well.]

My grandfather's brother Prince Wilhelm wrote an essay called "Free Land" in 1941, in the middle of a burning world war. It still holds up well today. He wrote the following:

"What we want to protect is nothing but our own. We hold no grudge against anyone as little as it would occur to us to threaten someone. We are a peace-loving people who do not wish to hurt a mosquito for when, but at the same time we assert our firm desire to live in peace and independence in the way that suits us best."

The Swedish flag also symbolizes the nature that we love to enjoy. Our clean air. The vast landscapes and mountains and lakes.

Nature makes our country rich. We have refined the forest, the ore, the hydropower and the soil. With the new green technology, Sweden continues to reap success in harmony with nature.

In the latest climate negotiations, the world's countries agreed for the first time to switch from fossil fuels. It gives hope and faith in the future.

["Latest climate negotiations" is likely a reference to COP28.]

During the year, the Queen and I have once again traveled around Sweden. We have marked my 50 years on the throne. We have also celebrated that it is 500 years since Gustav Vasa was elected king and Sweden became an independent country. On the trips, we have visited many of the county museums and seen fine examples from our history. Sweden's county museums have close to four million visits each year. Historical gems are preserved here that form part of our cultural heritage and traditions.

But our history is also the people. What is done every day by each and what we do together.

Wherever you are in Sweden or abroad, I hope you have a nice, peaceful Christmas. Maybe give some extra time to care for an old friend or an elderly relative. Giving an extra thought to those who need it most. I wish you rest and strength that gives you joy and hope.

Now 2023 is coming to an end and we are looking forward to a new year. Together with my family, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2024!

Back to King Carl Gustaf of Sweden - Christmas Address Main Page

Sunday 24 December 2023

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg's Christmas Speech - English Translation (2023)

Notes by Gert's Royals are in [Brackets].

Dear fellow citizens, 

"Faster, higher, stronger - together," that is the motto of the Olympic Committee. 

It is also the common thread that runs through these past 12 months, for better or for worse. 

The war in the middle of Europe and in the Middle East, the worsening of climate change, the explosion in the number of migrants - all these upheavals have become worse and bigger. 

Many of us feel bewildered by these developments. Prices are rising, penalising those who are already economically exposed, the economy is slowing down and weighing on our businesses and the job market. Job insecurity is spreading. For all these reasons, we must show solidarity and do our best to ensure that no-one loses their place in our society. Added to this is the advances in artificial intelligence, which will make our lives easier, but also present us with many challenges.

 When things go wrong, we look for a scapegoat. This is nothing new. We've seen how, in the past, similar circumstances have been used to spread hatred and intolerance, and we've seen what that has led to. 

The trend is there and it's on the rise. If we don't react, we run the risk of it gaining the upper hand and endangering our society, which is based on respect and tolerance. Let's remain on the alert and show courage to prevent our values from being trampled. 


Dear fellow citizens, 

All these issues, and many more, were raised during this year's election campaigns. Everyone was able to form an opinion and vote. 

Today more than ever, we must remain aware of the indescribable privilege we have of living in an open democracy that guarantees freedom of thought. Because our rule of law and our democratic and humanist values can never be taken for granted. 


Dear fellow citizens, 

Yes, the world in which we live is complex. There are many problems, most of which have no simple, quick solutions. We will only find these solutions if we manage to pool our efforts and work together, without selfishness or ulterior motives. 

For my part, I'm happy to live in a country that welcomes people from 180 countries, from every corner of the globe. Of course, we have our own identity, marked by our history, and of course we want to preserve it. 

But isn't part of the heritage, that has been passed on to us, the openness we show towards what happens beyond our borders? Our refusal to surround Luxembourg with walls? This has brought us a great deal so far and will remain relevant tomorrow. We need to strengthen our ability to live together while respecting our values. 

So, allow me at this point to express my sincere gratitude for the contribution made by all those who cross the border every day to come and work in the Grand Duchy. 

During the many visits I have been able to make across the country with the Grand Duchess over the past twelve months, we have noted that the vast majority of our fellow citizens share this desire to make our diversity a strength. The Grand Duchess has made a particular commitment to the most vulnerable among us, both here and abroad. They are part of us. 

The realisation that our salvation lies in our ability to join forces was also apparent to me at the recent COP28 in Dubai, during the many discussions I had with other Heads of State and with the community of climate experts. That said, I do not underestimate the difficulty of bringing 180 countries together around a consensus. 

[COP28 is the 28th annual UN Climate Change Conference that was held in the UAE.]

Technological progress will undoubtedly help us, but it is also up to each and every one of us to make our contribution to a sustainable future that guarantees future generations a life of peace and dignity. 


Dear fellow citizens, 

2024 will be an Olympic year. I therefore hope that the Olympic truce will become a reality, and that dialogue, solidarity, mutual respect and tolerance will once again prevail. 

[Grand Duke Henri is a member of the Olympic Committee since 1998. And has served on the Olympic Solidarity Commission since 1999.]


Dear all, 

Today we are celebrating Christmas, the festival of love and peace. This is what I would like to wish you from the bottom of my heart, together with the Grand Duchess [Maria], Prince Guillaume, Princess Stéphanie and all our children. 

[He closed with the same phrase spoken in a different languages: Luxembourg's 3 official languages, plus 2 widely spoken languages.]

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année! [French]

Schéi Chrëschtdeeg an all Guddes fir d’neit Joer! [Luxembourgish]

Schöne Weihnachten und ein frohes neues Jahr!  [German]

Bom natal e feliz anno nuovo! [Italian]

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! [English]


King Philippe of Belgium's Christmas Eve Address - English Translation (2023)


Notes by Gert's Royals in [Brackets]. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are also experiencing dark times this year.

The international stage is dominated by armed conflicts and wars - in Ukraine, Congo, Sudan...

[Ukraine - Russia invasion; Congo - Decades of clashes between armed groups; Sudan - Civil War]

And in recent months we have witnessed tremendous violence in the Middle East that has shaken us to the depths of our humanity.

Our thoughts are with the many victims of terrorism and unbearable acts of war.

We must do everything we can to ensure that people around the world can live in peace. For our part, let us set the example of a society where people of all origins and beliefs build a common future together. The example of a country that fully embraces its interculturality.

The Queen and I regularly visit wonderful initiatives and organizations that were spontaneously created by Belgians with a migrant background. Their commitment to a better coexistence deserves more recognition.

Unfortunately, there is still violence in our society due to exclusion, discrimination and racism. I'm also thinking about online bullying that often takes place anonymously on the Internet. Of domestic violence. Of sexual violence that occurs in all circles.

Violence creates fear and creates a sense of anxiety and powerlessness in the face of an uncertain future - the geopolitical developments in the world, the vulnerability of our democracies and the scale of the climate challenges. Even if the conclusions of COP28 are hopeful.

[COP28 is the 28th annual UN Climate Change Conference that was held in the UAE.]

We must face this reality. But in the face of this fear and anxiety that can discourage and paralyze us - and ultimately in the face of violence itself - we can counteract with a vital force: the power of hope.

This is neither naive nor passive optimism. On the contrary: hope is an energy that we find deep within ourselves and that is revealed in contact with those who are concretely committed to a better world. And when we get involved ourselves, that hope grows even more.

The power of hope gives us confidence and leads us on a path illuminated by those who believe in the strength of democracy, in the constructive power of nuance, listening, dialogue and respect for others. From those who work for justice and social peace, who alleviate the suffering in their surroundings. And finally, those who share the successes of science with us and offer technological solutions, especially to enable the energy transition.

Our children and grandchildren are also the driving force of hope. Because every new generation carries powerful ideas to create a better future.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Our response to the world's ills will be a spirit of cooperation and not division, pursuing the common good: a sustainable world, but also a warm society. Because both go hand in hand.

Each of us can do our best to contribute to positive change that brings people together and allows us to face the future realistically and without fear.

The Queen, our children and our entire family join me in wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Back to King Philippe Christmas Speeches - Main Page

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Summary Annual Tally of Official Engagements

This tally is based on our calendar of engagements for each year. You can find all the list of engagements that I have tracked here. This page specifically only covers working royals who engagements I tracked for a full year over multiple years. 

These numbers do not in anyway represent all of the Royals' work over a given year. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that is not recorded on the Court Circular. 

Also, This is OUR count of engagements. It will be different than other people's. So, you can't compare your numbers with other peoples, as they count differently. For more on, how I count engagements and why people get different counts.


Charles & Camilla

Year 2016 2017-2022 2023 2024 2024 2025
Charles Not Tracked 462 - - -
Camilla 223Not Tracked 184 - - -

William & Kate

Year 2020-2022 2023 2024 2025
William Not Tracked167 - -
Kate Not Tracked136 - -
-
Year 2015 2016 20172018 2019
William 131
(Paternity Leave)
193 183 213
(Paternity Leave)
188
Kate 61
(Maternity Leave)
138 99 77
(Maternity Leave)
120

Harry & Meghan

Year 2015 2016 2017 20182019
Harry 112179 169 192 152
(Paternity Leave)
Meghan - 8 126 71
(Maternity Leave)

Meghan's tally includes enagements she accompanied Prince Harry on both pre-engagements and pre-wedding.

Elizabeth & Philip

Years 2016 20172018 2019 2020 2021
Elizabeth 316Not Tracked
Philip
(Post Retirement)
Not Tracked8 (+ pre-retirement) 5 3 1 0

Prince William & Princess Kate - Official Engagements (2024)


Official Engagements so far in 2024:

  • William Solo - 7
  • Kate Solo - 0
  • Joint - 0

Official Engagements are marked as:

  • (Unconfirmed) - If not officially announced, but is expected/ always attends
  • (Possible) - If not announced, but something they might/sometimes attends (& we have reason to think they will attend this year)
  • (Patronage) - If the engagement is connected to one of their patronages, the patronage is listed at the end of the entry.

January-February (W7/K0/J0)

  • Past engagements are listed at the bottom of the page
March (W-/K-/J-)
(All Month: Princess Kate on Sick Leave recovering from Abdominal Surgery
** Upcoming**

Friday 1st?

  • William
    • Attend Welsh Guard's St. David's Day Parade and present Leeks (Welsh Guards) (Possible)

Monday 11th

Friday 17th

Sunday 31st


April (W-/K-/J-)

  • -

 May (W-/K-/J-)

Monday 20th

June  (W-/K-/J-)

Friday 14th
  • Joint
    • Attend Senior Colonels Conference and Dinner at St. James's Palace (Unconfirmed)

Saturday 15th

  • Joint
    • Attend Trooping the Colour  (Unconfirmed)
      • With Children
Monday 17th
Tuesday 18th - Saturday 22nd

July (W-/K-/J-)

1st-14th

August (W-/K-/J-)

  • -

September (W-/K-/J-)


October (W-/K-/J-)
  • -

November (W-/K-/J-)

?

Saturday 10th

Sunday 11th

December (W-/K-/J-)

Date Not Announced




** Past Months Below**

January (W1/K0/J0)

Thursday 11th

  • William 
    • Visited Headingley Stadium
      • Invested Mr Robert Burrow and Mr Kevin Sinfield with the Insignia of Commanders of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
(16th- Princess Kate had planned Abdominal Surgery at The London Clinic)

(Princess Kate on Sick Leave recovering from Abdominal Surgery; Prince William has canceled official engagements during Kate's hospitalization, January 16th-29th) 

Saturday 27th

  • Joint 
    • Visit Western Marble Arch Synagogue met a Holocaust survivor and young people to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

February (W6/K-/J-)

(All Month: Princess Kate on Sick Leave recovering from Abdominal Surgery)

Wednesday 7th 

Sunday 18th

Tuesday 20th
  • William
    • Visited the British Red Cross Society

Wednesday 21st 

Tuesday 27th
  • William
    • Attend a Service of Thanksgiving  for the life of King Constantine of Greece at St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle
      • Canceled attendance due to personal reasons

Thursday 29th

  • William
    • Visit Western Marble Arch Synagogue met a Holocaust survivor and young people to mark Holocaust Memorial Day