Merry Christmas!


Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas/Joyeux Noël/Feliz Navidad/Glædelig Jul!  Have a wonderful day and God Bless!

~ Alexandra   🙂

Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands Delivers Her Traditional Christmas Speech. (VIDEO)

In case you were wondering why Her Majesty’s traditional Christmas speech is on You Tube a day before it will air on Dutch television, well, it seems that someone published the video by accident on the Dutch government (specifically the information service for the Dutch royal house, RVD) website and voilà!

Anyway, according to the Dutch network, NOS, someone was snooping around on the government website, found the video, uploaded it to You Tube, and then proceeded to tell everyone about it on Twitter.

Here is a rough translation of Her Majesty’s speech:

“With Christmas comes God’s light on our world and the darkness has not overcome. In the light of faith, hope and love are brought together and new people to find inspiration. “Let love connect, lets hope do life and let faith force.” That his inspirational words that have a special meaning in my family this year. The sympathy of many is to us great support.

In today’s world is own freedom for many, the highest good. People should be able to develop and shape their existence must itself. But without an individual can not develop less togetherness, solidarity and society falls apart. Now more than ever there is a need for common values as a basis for trust.

In our country were like-mindedness and connectedness traditionally anchored in sociocultural contexts. The pillarisation gave social security. But that time is over and does not return. Yet we see how even today is demanded to renewed confidence.

Trust cannot be imposed; It grows from the community itself. It requires faith in each other’s loyalty and reliability. Confidence over and over again makes the society livable.

Democracy aims conditions to govern on the basis of trust. Our Constitution gives citizens equal rights but asks us to accept as equivalent and respect others. In the rule of law is the basis for a sustainable society. This requires more than arrangements for governance and decision-making. It is mainly for attention for each other’s desires and opinions and focus on the public interest.

In openness and tolerance is an important basis for trust. Through the ages put our society the presence of strength from people with different cultural and philosophical background. Tolerance has made our country strong. The recognition of dignity and equality of every one is an essential element of a peaceful and just society. In winning trust is an ongoing challenge in the reciprocal small and in the large.

Netherlands is always open and connected to the world around us. This has led to more and more mutual dependence and involvement. The insight that our own well-being also depends on life in other countries point the look outwards. Our strength lies not in isolation but in togetherness. That is the background of international cooperation to which our country has committed itself.

The European Community has brought prosperity. But there is more than money alone; above all, Europe offers us peace. Yet it seems or dissatisfaction overshadows everything. In the crisis that afflicts us now is a climate where mistrust prevails. Liberation from those negative setting starts with the realization that Europe is not a foreign power but our own community in this part of the world. Europe, that we are for yourself! In confidence we can continue to build on European cooperation.

Who is faithful to himself lives from own conviction and ideals. But nobody lives for himself alone. We are also responsible for each other’s future, equipped for the good with a conscience that can learn voorvoelen what law and what is bad. The Earth, so says a Psalm, God has given to the people; and the people he gave to each other. The command is to accept others as dependents who are like us, people with right to exist. In humanity lies at the core of life together. Faith, hope and love are the guideline for a world based on trust.

Faith is confidence that our life has a sentence that transcends the everyday. Hope is belief that the outcome will be good even though it is not visible. Love is force that connects us to each other, which gives and forgives and that hate can overcome.

Christmas is a celebration for people of good will. Ever was their “peace on Earth” serenaded. Those words retain their value, through the ages. In that confidence I wish you blessed Christmas.”

His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain Delivers His Traditional Christmas Speech. (VIDEO)


“Good Evening,

On this Christmas Eve, as every year, I want to reflect with you on what we are concerned and also on our hopes.

Specifically, I would like to address three issues: the economic crisis, the strength of Spain as European and Latin American nation and the need to vindicate the policy as a necessary instrument to unite all forces and rush out of the crisis and the challenges ahead.

Do not think I exaggerate when I say that we live one of the most difficult moments in the recent history of Spain.

The severe economic crisis we are going through in recent years has reached an intensity, amplitude and persistence over time than anyone imagined. Citizens suffer today its rigor, which are challenging the welfare of not a few families. I think many people of all ages, but especially in many young people, who get up every day with feelings of insecurity and despair at the plight of their economies, the lack of jobs and the uncertain prospects.

We can not ignore that there is pessimism, and that its effects are felt in the quality of the social climate we live. It is also generating a detachment from institutions and towards the political role that concerns us all.

Against this pessimism, as against conformism, it find new ways and means to do some things that demand an update.

The current reality is complex and not always easy to understand or solve in the short term. Austerity and growth must be compatible. The resignations of today have to ensure the welfare of tomorrow, within a reasonable period of time so as to ensure the protection of social rights that are a hallmark of our society developed.

For our economy growing again we must bring order to our accounts and, in turn, generate incentives for wealth creation. There stimuli that are created by economic policies or fiscal policies or promoting innovation or entrepreneurship, but the first stimulus to get us out of this crisis is called trust.

During the thirty-seven years of my reign have been through several economic times really complicated that we remember well some years. Perhaps they were not as difficult as this but in any case were very complicated. And yet we knew leave them successfully and make our economy grow and improve our welfare. And we did it for many reasons but primarily because we had confidence in a project shared by all and in our ability to succeed.

Today as then, we can overcome the current difficulties with the generosity, talent and creativity of our men and women and the strength of our production system if we have confidence in ourselves and if we can also generate instances and in international markets.

Spain is part of the solution to the global crisis and should be starring in decision-making in major international forums. Latin America is a key part of us, as we are of her. The same applies to Europe. With the European Union we must continue working to overcome purely national visions and strengthen the foundation of solidarity with which we all progress in the integration process. We ensure that nothing got together, or individual rights and social, economic and welfare, or the process of economic and political integration may be threatened.

But all is not economy. However obvious it is not bad to repeat: not everything is economics. I am aware that politics today live their best times in the perception of the citizens. For this reason I want this night to claim the policy because their role is critical in ending the crisis.

I claim the largest political, to emphasize that they value their dignity and we call politics capitalized.

Which, from the government or from the opposition, pays attention to the general interest and welfare of citizens.

That, far from causing confrontation and on respect for diversity, integrating ordinary to join forces, not to divide.

The one who knows waive a portion of his own to win something bigger and better for everyone.

The seeking understanding and agreement to channel and resolve the major fundamental and collective challenges.

Which is built on the spirit of service and accommodates the principles of personal and social ethics.

Which, in short, is able to sacrifice short-term satisfaction, often ephemeral, to widen the horizon of their ambitions.

That was the biggest political inaugurate, a brilliant new integrative stage in our recent history and is the only one that has the ability to bolster confidence in our great nation, opening new doors to hope and realize that desire to excel that is claiming our society.

To achieve this, it is necessary to promote values such as mutual respect and reciprocal loyalty. These are values that more than three decades ago helped put in place a new framework for coexistence and the recognition of our plurality and under different languages, cultures and institutions of Spain. It’s time we all look forward and do everything possible to close the wounds. Will again be a success for all, citizens and institutions, based on respect for the law and democratic channels.

The Crown is well aware of the effort and sacrifice that citizens are carrying out with integrity. No effort in life is barren and neither are those who are doing it now. In this context, I want to highlight the selfless and loyal attitude of families and solidarity of many aid organizations that, with your help, both are contributing to social stability. Also, the sacrifice of all Spanish now leaving our country to achieve a better life for themselves and their families. His experience and training on his return form a major leverage effect on our economy.

Christmas symbolizes the triumph of generosity over selfishness. Generosity, solidarity and commitment are values that we all recognize, preserve and promote long these days more than ever.

Merry Christmas to all and good night.”

News Regarding Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover. (VIDEO)

On Saturday, December 22, 2012, Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover and Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco cheered on Princess Alexandra of Hanover during her performance in Le Noël de Princesse Sarah, in Monaco.

And, please click here to read more about Princess Alexandra’s recent participation in the 18th Regional Ice-Skating Championships in Briancon, France.

His Majesty King Albert II of Belgium Delivers His Traditional Christmas Speech. (VIDEO)

491px-Greater_Coat_of_Arms_of_Belgium.svgThis evening in Belgium the network, RTL, aired His Majesty King Albert II of Belgium’s pre-recorded traditional Christmas speech.

Please click here to watch his full speech.

Rough translation:   🙂

“Ladies and Gentlemen,

Firstly, I would like to speak to thousands of workers this year have lost their jobs, whether at Ford Genk, in the Walloon steel or elsewhere.I understand their bitterness and distress of their families.

This period of Christmas and New Year gives us the opportunity to reflect together on our attitude to economic hardship and job losses.

Like all European countries, Belgium has not been spared by the crisis affecting many families, even if our countries are holding up better than the European average.

How can we respond?

1. It seems to me that the first response should be to all actors of the Belgian company, to join forces to present credible answers to the challenges of the job.This includes improving the competitiveness of our businesses, the government is promoting the reduction of business costs and wage moderation.Another way is to encourage better training for young people, for example by teaching alternately, that is to say, a school attached to a teaching training.Upgrading technical education will also contribute to further improve the training.I had the opportunity to visit some technical schools and I was impressed by the quality of the training that is provided.

Promote research and implementation of innovations are ways to prepare confirmed that the jobs of tomorrow.Finally, the social partners in the fields of their own, can also play an important role in developing joint proposals for employment.

2. A second reaction of public authorities is to create the framework for an economic recovery.This implies the courage to recover gradually and sustainably, at all levels, the balance of public finances.Federal authorities are taking important decisions about it.

3. A third reaction is, in my opinion, lie at the European level that determines our national circumstances.Here it is, especially for countries in the euro zone to continue the fiscal consolidation necessary while organizing a balanced recovery should be supported by the European Union.Our government is actually enrolled in such a positive approach, both by its decisions in Belgium and advocacy in Europe.

In addition to economic policy, also make sure that our young people develop more this opening to Europe with its diversity and richness of its cultures.I am pleased about this success Erasmus exchanges for students.I was struck, during the inauguration of the new school in Laeken European to see the joy of kindergarten, primary or secondary, from across Europe, and spoke and sang in several languages.For them to participate in different cultures of our continent, is the most natural thing in the world.They symbolize the Europe of tomorrow.

4. Fourth.In these difficult times, we need a special attention to the most vulnerable.It is ironic that in a country as prosperous as ours, it is estimated that nearly 15% of the population at risk of falling into poverty.We must show solidarity and also imagination to encourage new ways of reintegration into the world of work.Belgium has committed to at least 380,000 citizens out of poverty by 2020.

5. Fifth.In these troubled times we live in, be vigilant, and let us deal with populist lucid.They are still trying to find scapegoats for the crisis, whether abroad or people from another part of the country.These discourses exist today in many European countries and also in us.

The crisis of the 30s and populist reactions this time should not be forgotten.We have seen the harm it caused to our democracies.

6. Finally, in spite of serious concern in our country, remain open to what is happening in the world, especially where we can influence.In this regard, I am appalled that the dramas of people in eastern Congo continues, with so much violence and refugees, and Congolese territorial integrity is not respected.In addition, the recent attempted assassination of Dr. Mukwege, which relieves the suffering of so many women in this region, and has received 2 years ago the King Baudouin Prize, dramatically illustrates this tragedy.All these developments can not leave us indifferent.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is all my heart that the Queen and I and our family wish you each and everyone, whatever your situation, spend happy moments with your loved ones this Christmas and New Year.”

His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg Delivers His Traditional Christmas Speech. (VIDEO)

blasonOn the evening of December 24, 2012, His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg delivered his traditional Christmas speech from the Grand Ducal Palace.

Click here to watch his full speech.


Rough translation (sorry about that):

“Dear fellow citizens,

When today we take a look back at the year 2012 while looking towards the future, many of us do with feelings mixed. Once again, this is an eventful year that is about to end, a year that has seen moments of happiness alternated at a rapid pace with events much less encouraging.   The news has been dominated by the economic crisis and, unfortunately, a number of indicators suggest already think that 2013 will not be an easy year.  Nevertheless, I hope that each of us will always remember a lot of positive moments.  So, make sure that the bad news is we do not forget the positive events.

For us personally, it is with great joy that the Grand Duchess and myself we remember the wedding of our eldest son. The warm welcome reserved for the Prince William and Princess Stéphanie us greatly affected.  A big thank you also on behalf of the couple, for your sympathy, your participation in the festivities and all your acts of kindness.   We would like to especially thank those who, through this marriage, have distinguished themselves by their work deeply committed.   The many positive reactions in our country and the positive feedback from abroad are all tokens of appreciation for their tremendous work.

I want to especially thank all our citizens who have joined enthusiastically in the festivities of the wedding of Prince William and Princess Stephanie who were willing to share with us these moments for my family and for the country.

A few days ago, we announced another good news that the engagement of our son, Prince Felix, and Claire Lademacher. It is with great pleasure that we present our best wishes to the young couple.

Fellow citizens,

Unfortunately, joys and sorrows often coexist in life. The wedding took place at a time when the good news is now rare. For us too, the economic crisis has left deep scars: closures, firing workers, questioning of social benefits and the need for conservation measures. All these ads do not remain without consequences, and primarily for those involved personally. This is a situation that none of us should be accommodated and that is a challenge for all of us.

Tonight, I would think especially for families in our country suffer from the crisis and are facing increasing financial problems. They need more than ever to us and support the welfare state!

In our society, a crisis can be an opportunity to demonstrate unity and solidarity.   Fortunately, Luxembourg can boast a long tradition of solidarity in our country, in Europe, but also vis-à-vis less developed countries. Today we have more than ever, need the solidarity practiced at all levels.

Dear all,

It is often said that the crisis is an opportunity that allows for changes and reforms. It is possible that this is indeed the case, it remains that, first of all, the crisis is what it is: an illustration of a failure which, for each individual and for the whole country, is synonymous huge losses. It is the responsibility policies and to each of us to learn from the current situation, to opt for a rational management of resources and now reduced to rethink our priorities.

In this context, accountability is a key concept. I fear that in recent years we have unlearned partly responsible for our actions. One who acts must always be aware of the consequences of their decisions for the company.  In all areas of the economy to social engagement through the world of finance and environmental protection, it is first of all to ourselves the responsibility for our actions. You can not transfer responsibility to others pointing abroad or system.

The weakening of the sense of responsibility and the common good, the general refusal to take responsibility and the predominance of research alone personal profit go hand in hand with an emphasis on indifference and risk appetite.   When the simple relationship between “receiving” and “giving” is corrupt, it will follow inevitably injustices.

In a game where almost everything is possible and much is allowed, there is little limit to creativity, with all the positive or negative consequences that entails.   However, the limits and rules are necessary, not to restrict individual freedom, but to protect society as a whole.

Acting responsibly is, for me, the first response to any kind of crisis, whether it is an economic crisis or a crisis of confidence, and can help us avoid a very large extent that such a situation does not recur.

Acting responsibly means being honest, tell the truth, even if it is unpopular, respect others, decide and consume consciously avoiding making profits at the expense of others, and therefore of society.

Finally, acting responsibly means not stop to consider the future of the country and its people with foresight.

Fellow citizens,

The communication society in which we live now invites us to act ever more quickly. The time we have to act and for which we are invited to respond continually to shorten. However, I believe that it is essential not to let ourselves be driven exclusively by emergencies and quick decisions, but must, instead, think about all the consequences of our decisions. Our aim should be not to take without thinking of any rumor, but to serve the truth in a spirit of objectivity and fairness without forgetting the people who are behind the news.

In these uncertain times, who seem marked by disorientation, I plead for a sense of normalcy.   We again need reference points, we need time and quiet to make decisions and get to the bottom of things for the information we receive.   And we need people who, in a pluralistic context, defending values. Society requires tolerance, but at the same time, the individual need guidance. Values such as respect, responsibility, honesty, love of neighbor and good living together can serve as orientation and guide us in our actions.

I am convinced that you, dear fellow citizens, are ready to do everything possible to help shape the future of our country.  Luxembourg tomorrow will be different from the one we know. However, it will also depend on our willingness to assume responsibility, to develop new opportunities for our country and focus on solidarity. Note this challenge together looking to the future with courage and confidence.

Fellow citizens,

On this Christmas eve, I wish you all and your families with the Grand Duchess, my father, Grand Duke Jean, the grand-ducal couple heir and the whole family a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!”