His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan Visits Spain: Day Three. (VIDEOS)


After a visit to the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas and the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid this morning His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Felipe of Asturias visited the Centro Principal de Control (CPC) in Majadahonda.

During their visit the crown prince and the prince examined the “…sophisticated and complex system of monitorization of all the CPC’s installations…” according to the Spanish royal court.  If you are confused as to what the heck the CPC is, well, it’s essentially a water distribution and treatment facility.

In the evening, His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito arrived at the Palacio Real de Madrid to attend a gala dinner hosted by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias.

Photo courtesy of Casa Real

News Regarding Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway.

queen sonjaOn June 12, 2013, Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway accompanied by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway attended a performance this afternoon  to celebrate the life of author, Ms. Camilla Collett.  Afterward, Her Majesty and the crown princess arrived at the Slottsparken where Her Majesty placed flowers at the statue of Camilla Collett.

If you are interested in learning more about the life of Camilla Collett please click here and/or here.

Click here and here to view photos.

By the way, if you are wondering why there is a photo of a sleeping dog in the last link, well, the crown prince couple’s cute dog, Milly Kakao, is pregnant. I have absolutely no idea why the editors of the newspaper decided to add a photo of a pregnant Milly Kakao in their article about Ms. Camilla Collett.

Photo courtesy of Kongehuset

His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium Attends the 2013 Prix Francqui.

BelgiumOn the morning of June 12, 2013, His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium arrived at the Palais de Académies in Brussels to attend the 2013 Prix Francqui.  The prize went to Professor Olivier De Schutter from the Université Catholique de Louvain and Collège d’Europe.  Professor De Schutter is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

And, that’s it.   🙂

Click here to view a photo gallery.

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia Host an Awards Ceremony at the White Palace. (VIDEO)

On June 11, 2013, Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia hosted an awards ceremony at the White Palace in Belgrade for “…the top 500 Serbian scholars from all secondary schools in Serbia” according to the official website for the royal family of Serbia.

To learn more about yesterday’s event as well as to view personal photos please click here.

News Regarding Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. (VIDEO)

According to Petra News, on June 12, 2013, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan met with:

“…170 beneficiaries of the Poverty Pockets Project Phase III implemented by the Community Centers Association and funded by the Ministry of Planning and International Coordination.  

After listening to attendees talk about their own success stories and how their economic situation has improved, Queen Rania stressed the importance of building on individuals’ and families’ qualifications and the abilities they already possess to ensure the establishment of long term and sustainable development projects.”

News Regarding HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover. (VIDEO)

On June 11, 2013, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover attended the renaming and inauguration of the building Espace Leo Ferré.  The building was renamed in honor of the late Monégasque composer and poet, Mr. Leo Ferré, who passed away on July 14, 1993, at the age of 76.

And, finally, last week the sovereign prince gave an interview with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding “…his passion for the oceans and his on-going support of the IAEA’s ocean protection activities.”  Here is what he had to say:

Where does your passion for marine protection come from?

There’s obviously some family heritage here. My great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, had an incredible vision for sciences in general but for oceanography in particular. His wonderful work in this field left us with his legacy in the form of the Monaco Oceanographic Museum. But of course this interest also comes from my father, Prince Rainer III, and the many marine protection initiatives he led, primarily in the Mediterranean Sea.

Did growing up next to the sea encourage you to protect it?

Obviously, the more you know the ocean or our sea here, the Mediterranean Sea, the more you want to protect it. Living near the sea and being exposed to it at a very young age can only entice you to learn more about it and find innovative ways of protecting it. Also the exceptional geographic situation of my country encouraged me to take a keen interest in the field of marine protection.

A year after your accession, in 2006 you founded your own foundation. What led you to this?

I was exposed to different environmental issues at a young age, but I think one of the turning points was the Post-Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 where I accompanied my father. Through attending this event, I became more aware of different environmental issues, not only concerning oceans but climate change, greenhouse gases and deforestation. Then I tried at my level and with our different organizations based here in Monaco to try to work more closely on these issues. But way before 2006, I wanted to create some kind of foundation, something more personal. I suppose after this Rio Summit I finally got the sense of urgency to do this, which had been building up over the years.

What is the main focus of the foundation?

The three main pillars are biodiversity, water and climate change. The three main regional areas that we’ve been trying to concentrate on are the Mediterranean Basin, the Least Developed Countries; this group includes a lot of African countries, and the Polar Regions. I’m very happy to see the way the foundation has developed over the last seven years. We’ve now been a part of over 230 projects in 40 different countries and have partnerships with many organizations, such as the UN Foundation, The Climate Group and the WWF.

You don’t just use your name and your title to draw attention to these issues you actually get first-hand experience of them. How important is this for you?

I think it’s extremely important. Not only to get a better knowledge of the different issues on the ground, but also to be able to meet the local populations we’re trying to help through these different programs, whether they are on land or sea. I don’t do it for myself. I do it because I’m interested and because I’m passionate about what I’m trying to achieve. But it’s also for the foundation, to get better visibility and to show that we’re following these different programs with all the attention they deserve.

How does your government support the work of the IAEA?

There is a long-standing collaboration between Monaco and the IAEA dating back to the early 1960s. We were collaborating through our scientific centre the CSM, the Monaco Science Centre, and it was decided that this cooperation could be even closer by the establishment of an IAEA marine laboratory. It’s now the IAEA Environment Laboratories that are here in Monaco. The research done there is absolutely tremendous and we’re very proud and honored to have this close partnership and it’s only going to develop even further in the future.

Why do you think it’s beneficial for the IAEA to have its Environment Laboratories here in Monaco?

We have a long history in marine sciences, so this makes us as credible as other locations that also do scientific research in this field. Because of this history and our teams of scientists at the Monaco Science Centre, we were able to establish this working cooperation with the IAEA. Also Monaco is a small country directly concerned by marine environmental problems, due to its position. Its size is an asset in testing out new environmental practices and implementing them. Furthermore, my country is apolitical. So, when we organize debates or conferences, we look to promote just a single interest, that of environmental protection. This is fundamental and lends credibility to our environmental approach on the international stage.

You also support the IAEA’s work in the field of research into ocean acidification. You led the Monaco declaration on ocean acidification in 2008. What was the purpose of this?

We wanted to draw international attention to ocean acidification. Increased CO2 emissions due to human activities represent a major threat to the marine environment. 50% of CO2 produced by humans over the last 200 years has been absorbed by the oceans. The higher the level of CO2 absorbed, the higher the level of ocean acidity. This acidification will upset the ocean balance and have a negative impact on biodiversity hotspots, the coral reef ecosystems for instance.

What was achieved by this declaration, have we moved on with our understanding of the issue?

I think the declaration and the meeting that lead to this declaration were of paramount importance. Not only to raise awareness of the issue, which very few people outside of the scientific community knew about, but also for us to get the stamp of approval from scientists from 26 different countries as to what the dangers are, to better identify the issues and to direct the research toward a better understanding of the dynamics of ocean acidification. I’m very happy to see that this declaration is considered to be a very important stepping stone towards a better awareness not only by the scientific community but by the general public as well.

Despite your efforts the seas are still being abused. Do you think this situation can really improve?

I think we are at a crossroads now and we have very little time to try to reverse these different trends that are affecting our seas and oceans – from ocean acidification to overfishing, excessive pollution and the non-treatment of different waste waters. Pressures on marine ecosystems are constantly growing, and the sustainable management of marine resources is now a major global issue. As global populations increase and most people live in urban areas that are on the coast, there is more and more pressure on the oceans. The consequences of climate change and ocean acidification further exacerbate the fragile balance of ocean ecosystems and biodiversity. My personal commitment and my Government’s policy is to work towards improving the situation.”

Interview courtesy of the official website of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

News Regarding TMs King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. (VIDEOS)

On June 12, 2013, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visited the provinces of North Brabant and Limburg in the southern Netherlands.

Whilst in North Brabant the Their Majesties visited the towns of Roosendaal, Oisterwijk, and ‘S Hertogenbosch.  In the province of Limburg the reigning couple toured the towns of Heerlen, Vredepeel, Venlo,Maastricht, and Sittard-Geleen.

Click here to view photos.

Click here and here to watch more videos.