(VIDEO) HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Attends an Award Ceremony at the Yacht Club de Monaco.

On the evening of December 20, 2016, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco accompanied by Mr. Pierre Casiraghi attended the 2016 Yacht Club de Monaco Trophée Credit Suisse Awards held at the Yacht Club de Monaco in Monte-Carlo.

During Tuesday night’s ceremony the sovereign prince presented the 2016 Sailor of the Year award to Mr. Vincenzo Onorato.  The well-known Italian sailor recently won the Melges 32 European Champion as well as the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

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(VIDEO) Members of the Dutch Royal Family Attend the 2016 Prins Claus Prijs.

On Thursday, December 15, 2016, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands and Her Royal Highness Princess Mabel of Oranje-Nassau attended the 2016 Prins Claus Prijs held at the Koninklijk Paleis in Amsterdam.

The Prins Claus Prijs is awarded annually to individuals and organizations based mainly in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean for their outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development and the positive effect of their work on their direct environment and the wider cultural or social field.

Traditionally, the Fund has presented one Principal Award and ten additional Awards. On this 20th anniversary year, the Fund is taking a somewhat different approach. It has selected a smaller number of Laureates than usual and, in addition to the Award, which is given in recognition of their excellent achievements, the Fund has created the opportunity for each of the five Laureates to support a project that they feel expands and enhances creativity in their own environment.

The winner of the Prins Claus Prijs went to writer and director, Mr. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, for his:

“…visual richness, spiritual lyricism and intellectual depth of his provocative works; for his subtle yet powerful examination of Thai realities that resonates beyond his own society; for inventing an original cinematic language that evokes a live experience of the animist sense of being, reinstating a way of connecting paralyzed by western mechanisms that disrupt the body’s ability to evaluate what is good for life and what isn’t; for transforming filmmaking into something far more complex and far-reaching, clearly demonstrating that artistic excellence creates experience and is inseparable from the social and political; and for inspiring others by remaining uncompromisingly true to his own vision and principles…”

(VIDEO) TSHs Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco Distribute Christmas Gifts.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, December 14, 2016, Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco accompanied by their two children, HSH Hereditary Prince Jacques and HSH Princess Gabriella, Mr. Louis Ducruet, and Miss Camille Gottlieb distributed Christmas gifts to dozens of Monégasque children at the Palais Princier in Monaco-ville, Monaco.

Click here to view a photo gallery.

(VIDEOS) HM Queen Rania of Jordan Presides Over the 2016 Queen Rania Awards for Excellence in Education.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan presided over the 2016 Queen Rania Awards for Excellence in Education in Amman, Jordan.

Per a press release:

“In the award ceremony, held at Al Hussein Youth City’s Palace of Culture, Her Majesty awarded prizes and certificates to winners of the 11th Teacher Award, and the 2nd cycle of the School Counselor Award.

In a speech she delivered, the Queen underscored the critical role of teachers in the development of education across the Kingdom, explaining that ‘development requires substituting methods of the past with those compatible with the needs of the future.’

Queen Rania underlined that progress in education involves training teachers before and during their employment, and called on teachers to lead what she described as an ‘educational renaissance’ from within their classrooms, and to invite their communities to be a part of this renaissance.

The Queen delivered her speech less than two months after she launched the Queen Rania Teacher’s Academy’s pre-service professional training program.

jordan1In her remarks, she said that a ‘teacher’s light’ has the power to break through the stockpile of challenges, including financial, social and logistical, explaining that those with us today have been able to devise solutions out of sheer need and despite great challenges.”

‘They have proved that there is still room in those packed classrooms for innovative solutions and creative ideas,’ she added.

Queen Rania stressed that despite the pressing need for an upgrade in Jordan’s educational system, ‘we maintain our principles and identity, while advancing the sciences and our knowledge.’ In this scope, the Queen explained that textbooks should become a partner and a reference for teachers rather than a hindrance limited by rigid style and wording.

Her Majesty said she is baffled by those who do not wish to advance and develop Jordan’s education, adding that her appreciation grows “for each exceptional teacher and for anyone who stands by teachers and support them.

Describing teachers as the ‘heroes of this country,’ the Queen said: ‘nothing can match the greatness and nobleness of your work, no measure of gratitude gives justice to your patience and dedication, and no joy is equal to the joy I feel when I see the smiles before me today, which will continue to fuel my drive to keep championing on behalf of teachers.’

As QRAEE’s Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Queen Rania awarded 23 teachers and 5 counselors at the ceremony, which was attended by more than 2000 people. The winners went through a competitive process and were selected from a pool of 1,609 teachers and 147 guidance counselors.

Winning teachers and counselors received monetary awards of JD 3,000 for first place, JD 2,000 for second place, and JD 1,000 for third place.

Also speaking at the ceremony was Minister of Education Dr. Mohammad Thneibat, who said that the time has never been riper for welcoming change, overcoming setbacks, and turning challenges into opportunities.

Thneibat said that the ministry is working with the Association of QRAEE to capitalize on the strengths of previous awardees, and identify areas that need improvement in Jordan’s education system, in order to create a competitive culture of excellence in all of the ministry’s directorates.

He added: ‘we are aware that there is no road to success that is clear of obstacles, and there are no obstacles if there is determination and willpower to implement a vision.’jordan

The event also featured opening remarks by the Director of QRAEE, Ms. Lubna Touqan, shorts films and a performance by Jordanian musician Hussein Al Salman.

Launched in 2005 by Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania in partnership with the Ministry of Education, QRAEE aims to set a national standard of excellence in teaching, and to celebrate, encourage, and honor those who reach it.”

(VIDEO) His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain Meets with the President of Colombia.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain met with the President of Colombia, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, at Palacio de La Zarzuela in Madrid.

Last Saturday in Oslo, Norway, President Calderón received the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for “…his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end…” according to the official website for the Nobel Peace Prize.

(VIDEOS) Her Imperial Highness Crown Princess Masako of Japan Celebrates Her 53rd Birthday.

On Friday, December 9, 2016, Her Imperial Highness Crown Princess Masako of Japan celebrated her 53rd birthday.

In honor of her birthday the Imperial Household Agency released new photos as well as video of the beautiful crown princess with her family, His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and Her Imperial Highness Princess Aiko of Japan.

The crown princess also released a statement regarding her thoughts about this past year.  Here is what she had to say (rough translation):

japan5“In the past year, there were various things both inside and outside of the country. Floods caused by the Kumamoto earthquake in April, the typhoon  in the summer, and many other natural disasters that occurred abroad. I express my heartfelt condolences to the people who passed away in unhappiness and their bereaved families. Also, I wish to express my condolences for the hardships of the affected people as well as I pray from the bottom of my heart that I can return to life I can relieve as soon as possible. The occurrence of an earthquake of seismic intensity 7 in Kumamoto Prefecture was an unexpected thing, my heart ached from the magnitude of the damage. Also, since the big aftershocks lasted for a long period of time, I think that many people had a hard time thinking.

East Japan great earthquake disaster is also always getting hung up on my mind. In June, I visited Iwate Prefecture with Prince Crown Prince for visit to the reconstruction situation, I realized that the reconstruction is progressing steadily, such as the development of disaster public housing and housing estates progressed . On the other hand, my heart felt painfully as I heard stories about the difficulties continuing from people living in temporary housing now. Furthermore, in such a situation, I knew that Typhoon No. 10 brought about major damage to Iwaizumi Iwaizumi Town and Hokkaido, I thought about the magnitude of the impact the people suffered. Also, in recent years, it seems that there are a lot of large-scale disasters, I feel once again the importance of preparation for daily disasters. I hope that those affected will be able to live peacefully as soon as possible and I would like to keep in mind the restoration of the afflicted areas for a long time with the Crown Prince.

The bright topic of the year was that the Japanese team won great performances at the Rio Olympics and the Paralympics during the summer and that Dr. Yoshinori Osumi was awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in autophagy research I will. And the selection of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, which was established in 1965 as a Nobel Prize in Asia, was chosen as a proof that international contributions by Japanese young people are highly valued from the world, I am very pleased about these things.japan7

However, in Japan, it is becoming apparent that people with disabilities, people who are socially vulnerable, such as children and the elderly, will be sacrificed, which is of concern. Even with looking to the world, issues such as poverty, the increase of refugees, the occurrence of many victims by terrorism, and so on are piled up. I feel that it is important for people to overcome each other’s differences with a broad mind, to gather wisdom together with hands and work together to solve various problems in the current world .

To the Emperor and Empress, I began visiting the Philippine country in January, I also saw how I was fulfilling my duties while carefully working each and every single year, deep emotion We are renewing our philosophy. And, the words of the Emperor in August this year, I have grasped the television broadcast with a solemn thinking, and I take it heavily for your Majesty’s feelings. I am praying to the Emperor from the bottom of my heart that every day I am very busy with my duties and I am treating my physical condition and treating my health forever.

In October, His Highness Prince Makasa Mikasa had passed away. To Mikasa Miya, I am feeling lonely, since I received my highness, Prince Crown Prince, me and Aiko as well as having taken care of me. I am rewarding this opportunity to express my appreciation of gratitude and my respect for my longevity and pray for the souls. Also, overseas, His Majesty the King of Bhumibol of Thailand had passed. I was deeply sorry for the citizens of Thailand because I was devoted to the Thai country for many years and I was deeply appreciated by the people, so it was a shame. About twenty years ago, I invited you to Bokkok, Bangkok which I visited on the way to the Middle Eastern countries that became my first foreign visit after marriage, for me, to host a deep and memorable heart-warming dinner party I remember old times. I sincerely pray for the souls.

Regarding myself, while paying attention to the physical condition this year, starting the ceremony of the Emperor Jinmu 2,600 years in April and striving to fulfill as much duty as possible for the public service inside and outside the East Palace I give up. Among them, I visited Chiba and Iwate Prefecture in June, Nara Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture in July, Nagano Prefecture in August and Gifu Prefecture in November, welcoming a lot of people with a smile with a warm smile What I received was great encouragement for me. From now on, I would like to continue my efforts to recover while receiving assistance from everyone.

japan6Princess Aiko is surrounded by many friends and lives a fulfilling middle school life, and this year, along with the Crown Prince and I, including the ceremonial ceremonial commemorative ceremony of Jimmu Emperor Yamanashi and “mountain days”, various events and places I also got more to go out. Through such things, I feel that I am learning the awareness and role as an imperial family. I entered autumn, I lost my physical condition, I worry very much to everyone. Indeed, I feel that my physical condition has recovered fairly now, I am working on study while sending important days of my remaining junior high school life carefully. I hope to continue growing more and more while accumulating various experiences from now on. I sincerely thank each of my majesties for rewarding this opportunity to watch over me and Aiko while having a warmest heartfelt than usual. We would like to express our gratitude to the warm feelings offered by the people as well.

We believe that the affected areas including the Tohoku area and Kumamoto are also experiencing severe winter cold. I sincerely hope that those affected by the disaster will be able to spend a calm and daily life with warm support from many people.”

(VIDEOS) Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium Visits CPAS Namur.

On Thursday, December 8, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium visited CPAS Namur to meet with individuals participating in the project, Miriam.

Established in 2015, the project aims to provide intensive support to single mothers “…on issues related to employment and personal development…” according to the Belgian royal court.

 Click here to watch another video news report.

(VIDEOS) TMs King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands Attend the 2016 Erasmusprijs.

On Thursday, December 8, 2016, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands attended the 2016 Erasmusprijs held at the Koninklijk Paleis in Amsterdam. The Erasmusprijs, worth €150,000, is awarded annually to a person or institution that has made an exceptional contribution to the humanities or the arts.

This year the Stichting Praemium Erasmianum awarded the prize to British writer, Dame Antonia Susan Byatt, her inspiring contribution to ‘life writing’, a literary genre that encompasses historical novels, biographies and autobiographies. The jury describes A.S. Byatt as a born storyteller with a keen eye for relations in public and private life.

Byatt has written dozens of (historical) novels, biographies, short stories and critical essays. In a wide-ranging body of work she unites great erudition with an unbridled pleasure in writing and imaginative power. Her work crosses boundaries in style and content. It covers a range of genres, literary forms and subjects. She immerses the reader in the history of European thinking, taking the big questions about science, history and identity as her starting point.

Among her recurring themes are the influence of art on life, magic and realism, and the conflict between ambition and family. Her body of work brings together not only artists and academics, but also fairy tales and myths. Many of her novels, including The Biographer’s Tale and Possession, explore the act of writing a biography or conducting research. In the process, she has reshaped the genre of life writing in her own way. Among her best-known books are Possession, short story collections such as Sugar and other Stories and the novel The Children’s Book.

(VIDEO) Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan Attends the Women on the Front Lines Conference.

On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan attended the Women on the Front Lines conference in Amman, Jordan.

According to a press release during today’s conference Her Majesty attended the panel discussion, Asking the Hard Questions, which focused on:

“…women’s influential role in the media, and addressed the challenges they face while conducting interviews, especially when tackling a tough line of questioning with male interviewees.

jordan4Participants in the conference included a number of prominent women from the fields of politics, media, and economics. Other prominent speakers included the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag, Egyptian International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, CNN presenter Becky Anderson, President of the Jordanian Business and Professional Women Association Senator Haifa Najjar, and Iranian-American astronaut Anousheh Ansari.

Women on The Front Lines is an annual conference organized by the May Chidiac Foundation bringing together some of the world’s most influential women, who have inspired leadership, change, and sustainability in their fields.

The Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to training, research and education on media, democracy, and social welfare, was established in 2009 by Lebanese broadcast journalist Dr. May Chidiac, who survived an assassination attempt in Lebanon in 2005.jordan-09-20-18

The foundation also runs an affiliated non-profit media institute that aims to foster the values of freedom of expression, human rights and democracy in media production industries by providing young professionals with state-of-the-art technical facilities and training programs.”

(VIDEO) His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales Visits the Bank of England.

On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Bank of England in London.

According to a Bank of England press release during today’s visit the prince was given a:

“…tour [that] covered the different aspects of the Bank’s work to maintain monetary and financial stability.

The tour began with a private meeting with the Governors to cover recent market and policy developments. His Royal Highness then visited our Museum to learn about our public outreach and meet school children from Virginia Primary School in Tower Hamlets.

The tour continued with a visit to Taylor’s Treasury, the newly refurbished area of the Bank uncovered after almost 45 years hidden and recently awarded a City of London Heritage Trust Award. Here His Royal Highness met scholarship students and representatives from the Bank’s employee-led networks. A private briefing from Bank staff on the various policy committees and matters such as house price inflation, cyber security and the Real Time Gross Settlement System followed this. The tour concluded with a visit to the gold vaults where around 400,000 bars of gold, worth over £100 billion, are held.

Commenting on the visit, Governor Mark Carney said: ‘Today has been a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of the Bank’s work and how our remit has evolved since His Royal Highness last visited. I am pleased His Royal Highness had the chance to meet with a range of colleagues from across the Bank to experience the ways in which we work to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom.'” 

Click here to view photos.