On the final day of their state visit to Oman, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands along with Their Royal Highnesses Prince Willem-Alexander of Oranje and Princess Maxima visited the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. Unfortunately, it seems that the Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands are not exactly happy campers when they saw the images of Her Majesty in a headscarf (they became all pissy about it when she wore one the first time in Abu Dhabi). Click here to read more about the “row” from BBC News.
After touring the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque the royal trio visited various Dutch expats living in Oman. Soon, it was time to leave the gulf nation. Her Majesty along with her Dutch business delegation were “…seen off at the Royal Airport by Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Abdulmalik bin Abdullah al Khalili, Minister of Tourism and His Highness Sayyid Mohammed bin Harib al Said.”
To view photos from the royal family’s last day in Oman please click the links below:
Sources: NOS, Oman Observer and Oman Tribune
Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde of Belgium was in Leuven this afternoon to met with volunteers from the Médiation de quartier par des bénévoles held at the Provincial House. This group, Médiation de quartier par des bénévoles, aims to restore communication and social cohesion among neighbors in the area. Furthermore, to promote a sense of security as well as a better quality of life in the neighborhood.
Source La Monarchie Belge
On January 12, 2012, it was announced that His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has been named patron of the World Olympians Association (WOA). The sovereign prince replaces former IOC President, Juan Samaranch, who passed away.
In a press release, WOA President, Joël Bouzou, stated that he was honored to have Prince Albert as patron of the WOA, “He is an Olympian and a true humanist who has always believed that the values of sport can change lives and can change society for the better. I can’t thank him enough for his support.”
The five-time Olympian and IOC member, Prince Albert II was unanimously approved by the WOA board members and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge.
Sources: Sports Features and Sports Pro Media
On January 12, 2012, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan along with Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Prince Akishino attended the annual New Year’s Poetry Contest held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
The theme for this year’s reading of “tanka” Japanese poems was “shore.” The Imperial family along with dozens of attendees sat silently inside a large room in the palace, as a choir of several men around a table read each of the 10 winning works in sing-song, dragged-out tones.
Source: Associated Press
Photo courtesy of Daylife/K.Nogi/AFP