H.R.H. Princess Maxima of the Netherlands in Den Haag

After a successful ten-day official visit to the Caribbean, H.R.H. Princess Maxima is back at work in the Netherlands.  On November 7, 2011, the princess was in Den Haag where she participated in the opening of the 2011 National Week of Money. The purpose of this important event is to teach the youth in the Netherlands how to properly manage their money.

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Tanzania: Day Two (VIDEOS)

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are currently in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania for an official visit.

On November 7, 2011, the royal couple attended a welcoming reception, held at the State House, hosted by the president of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete and his wife. Upon their arrival the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were greeted by hundreds of locals waving the British and Tanzanian flags.  After inspecting the military guard of honor the royal couple met with “…Tanzanian soldiers who had served as peacekeepers in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.”

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall also “…visited a charity workshop that employs disabled men and women in the country’s capital…” where they made some pretty cool jewelry.  According to the Press Association:

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall had a “Blue Peter moment” in Tanzania, as they raced each other to make pieces of jewelry.

Charles and Camilla sat side-by-side at a table to learn from Wonder Workshop staff how to make earrings and a necklace respectively.

The Duchess asked 28-year-old Neema Mohamedy, who sat beside her: ‘Are you going to show me what to do? I’m not normally very good at this.’

As she was handed a leather lace to thread through a blue glass ring, she said: ‘This is a Blue Peter moment.’

Wonder Workshop was set up by Briton Paul Joynson-Hicks, 40, after he kept seeing a group of polio victims begging near his office in Dar es Salaam in 2004.

After making some metal artwork himself, he thought the beggars would be able to do the same, despite their injuries, so he invited them into his workshop. Now the charity employs 33 disabled men and women who make art out of scrap metal, wood and glass.

Charles, who was given some tiny beads to thread through thin wire, said: “This is where I need my glasses.”

Noticing her 62-year-old husband was in difficulty, Camilla, 64, offered him her glasses three times. ‘Do you want my specs?’ she asked. The Prince laughed: ‘I’m not designed for this.’

And when he was handed even smaller beads by his helper Otaigo Wairoma, 27, he snorted, then said: ‘That’s not fair!’ source

In the afternoon, the Duchess of Cornwall along with the First Lady of Tanzania, Salma Kikwete, visited the WAMA Foundation and Read International while the Prince of Wales visited the Wateraid Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Feri Suburb, Kigamboni.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall making jewelry. 

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Sources: Press Association and AFP

T.R.H.s Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias Visit London, England (VIDEO)

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias are currently in London, England to promote as well as support economic relations between Spain and the United Kingdom.

In the morning the royal couple visited the International Tourism Fair World Travel Market in the Excel Exhibition Centre in London, accompanied by Secretary General of Domestic Trade and Tourism, Joan Mesquida, and the director general of the Tourism Institute of Spain ( Turespaña), Anton Barnabas.

The International Tourism Fair World Travel Market, held annually in London and offers the opportunity to meet the entire global tourism industry, to network, negotiate and conduct business. The World Travel Market offers participants the opportunity to learn the latest trends in the tourism industry in an efficient, effective and productive.

At noon, the royal couple attended a luncheon with executives from several major British tour operators represented in the Spanish market.  Also in attendance were the Heads of Government of the Canaries, the Balearic Islands and Valencia, Ambassador Spain in the United Kingdom, the general secretary of Tourism and Domestic Trade and other authorities of the Autonomous Communities.

In the afternoon, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia attended the first bilateral economic forum alongside business and political leaders of Spain and the United Kingdom held at the Landmark Hotel in London and organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Britain, in collaboration with the Chamber British Trade in Spain.

This economic forum was founded with the aim of becoming an annual platform for collaboration and discussion among participants in the trade relations between the two countries. During the meeting the following topics were discussed:

  1. Future investment in the country: How to find a solution to the economic situation current private sector
  2. Role of governments in strengthening trade relations and support growth
  3. Importance of cooperation between companies of both countries to increase competitiveness.

Later, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia awarded the accreditation to the Friends of the Spain Brand in the UK and then attended a gala dinner in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Britain, which was founded in 1886, and is a key institution in the development of economic and trade relations between the two countries. Located in London, the Chamber of Commerce offers Spanish and English companies trade promotion opportunities in both markets through a wide range of services, covering the areas of promotion, networking, information and advice, training, business development, business cooperation, logistical and administrative support.

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Source and photo courtesy of: Casa de Su Majestad el Rey

H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg Visits Vietnam: Day One

On November 7, 2011, H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg began his four-day official visit to Vietnam.  Accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Marie-Josée Jacobs, and the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Jeannot Krecké the Grand Duke and his delegation arrived the Presidential Palace where they were officially greeted to the country by President Truong Tan Sang.

Per the official site for the government of Luxembourg, Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg: 

After the official welcoming ceremony and inspection of the honor guard, the two leaders had a first exchange of views. After the meeting, a memorandum of understanding on the provision of expertise and technical assistance to the financial sector, capacity building and training was signed by the Minister of Cooperation and Action humanitarian, Marie-Josée Jacobs, and the Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh, in the presence of two heads of state.

The program of HRH the Grand Duke also included meetings with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, General Secretary of the Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong and President of the National Assembly, Nguyen Sinh Hung.

For their part, members of the Government accompanying the Head of State also had interviews with their respective counterparts. On the agenda of these meetings have primarily featured bilateral relations, economic, financial and development cooperation between Vietnam and Luxembourg.

Moreover, the foreign minister of Luxembourg spoke on EU-Asia relations at the prestigious Diplomatic Academy in Hanoi. After his presentation, he had the opportunity to have discussions with teachers and students of the Academy.

Since 1995, Vietnam is a country of Luxembourg cooperation partner, who takes the form of projects including bilateral, multilateral projects and projects implemented by NGOs in Luxembourg.

Particularly in this context that HRH the Grand Duke and his delegation visited the rehabilitation center at the hospital Bach May . This project of Handicap International Luxembourg, supported by the Luxembourg Government, aims to strengthen rehabilitation services for victims of spinal cord. This project provides training of specialists assigned to spinal unit of the hospital, which will eventually become trainers in their provincial counterparts. As a reference center, and this unit will support the development of provincial centers.

HRH the Grand Duke and the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam had the opportunity to continue their discussions at a formal dinner hosted by the President in honor of the Head of State of Luxembourg.

To mark the official banquet at the Government Guest House in Hanoi, HRH the Grand Duke, first of all congratulated Vietnam for its integration into the global economy, especially its accession to the World Trade Organization ‘which has contributed to economic growth.’  source

Tomorrow, H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri will visit the National Monument of Heroes and Marthers then travel to the cities of Hue and Ho Chi Minh City on November 10, 2011.

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H.I.M Emperor Akihito of Japan Hospitalized for Bronchitis and a Fever

On November 6, 2011, H.I.M Emperor Akihito of Japan was admitted to the University of Tokyo Hospital.  According to a spokesman from the Imperial Household Agency, the 77-year-old emperor developed a fever on Thursday.  As a result of his deteriorating condition the emperor was admitted to the hospital as “… a precaution… due a high fever and of the symptoms of bronchitis he has exhibited.  He also appears to be fatigued and has lost some resistance to fight his illness…”   

At this time it is unknown when Emperor Akihito will be released from the hospital.

Source: BBC News, Japan Times Online and Washington Post

Photo courtesy of: Daylife/Reuters