Thursday, 31 December 2015

King Harald of Norway's New Year's Address - English Translation



The Poet Kolbein Falkeid writes:

"Folk jeg var glad i
har gått foran og kvistet løype
De var skogskarer og fjellvante.
Jeg finner nok frem."

"The People I loved
have gone ahead and marked the ski trails
They were knew the forests and the mountains
I find my way forward."

Our days pass into months - that turns into a year. Thus the years live. It is in the every day that life is lived. And for most people in Norway it is a good life.

Sometimes, one can still feel alone. Maybe you lost someone, or perhaps one stands in front of an important choice. This may make your stance a little shaky, and you do not know where your next step should be.

If you look back, you can easily balance. How can the past - who have marked the slopes - helping us to find our way?

I will therefore speak about this tonight.

Norway is regarded by many as the best country to live in. We score high on international rankings of living standards in the world. We have a good welfare system - and the vast majority of people have a job to go to and confidence in daily life. But it has not always been.

This year we have marked 70 years since peace came to Norway - after five years of war and occupation. A number of events were held to commemorate the end of World War 2. Several of which the Royal Family has attended.

The markings have given us an opportunity to look back - and in some cases allow us to put today's society in perspective.

For it can be easy to forget that only 70 years ago parts of our country lay in ruins. Many returned to broken homes, and several came as refugees. With assistance from the Marshall Aid, we built the country after the war. The Norwegian effort created gleaming new home and a working life, in need of many hands.

Over the decades, we have developed a model of society we can be proud of - with low unemployment and a labor market in which people work well together. In the late 1960s, we found oil in the North Sea.

Wise politicians and visionary leaders created a sensible framework surrounding the management of the large new resource.

The sum of all this is a generous welfare state everyone can enjoy.

Benefits we now take for granted, has not always been obvious. We have also experienced adversity and faced challenges. Together, we have tried to concur these adversities and challenges.

70 years may seem long ago, but for many of us living today, it's as if it were yesterday.

The way is broken up by milestones; signs showing the limits. They are a symbol that something is ending and something else is beginning.

"Fortidens beste gave er erindringen om at vi har en fremtid/ The Past's best gift is the memory that we have a future," sociologist Michael Young said.

In the old days milestones were also sightlines; a place where you could plot the course.

In a human life milestones often occasions dealing with important events: A child's birth. Marriage. A new home. They are life events that give us direction, new hope and get us closer to our dreams. Different kinds of milestone will make your life.

One of my most important milestones was laid in 1991. My father, King Olav V, passed away during the night of January 17, 1991, and I became king. In the dark January night nearly 25 years ago, the Palace Square filled with light. People came from near and far to commemorate a beloved king.

My royal duties started with a sense of community. The warmth of a whole nation embraced our family and gave us strength in a difficult time. Meanwhile, it is with great humility that I stepped into a line of revered kings before me. This year we will mark the 25th anniversary and it gives us a chance for reflection and contemplation.

Norway has in these years experienced unprecedented prosperity. Our country substantial access to energy and ocean treasures has given us great riches. Nevertheless, it is not natural resources alone that has given us opportunities - but to a greater extent our common human resources.

Because many are participating in the labor market and thus contribute to the community, we are together helping to create prosperity to benefit all.

Many people today are concerned about how the future will look like. In recent times we have several areas that are changing - as a nation and as individuals. It is okay to be upset, and express it.

Norway is closely linked to other countries. How can events on the other side of the globe have significant consequences our day to day lives at home. Some occupational industries are threatened, and the employee can have serious consequences. We have recently heard of layoffs in several places.

I would think that many tonight are concerned about what happens to their work in the future.

Human drama we see every day in the faces of all those trying to find a safe haven in Norway. Many fleeing terror in their homeland. Autumn's horrific events in Paris and other big cities have been dreadful reminders that values our society was built on, are under threat. Terrorism knows no borders, and the goal is to create fear in the population. The terrorists want to rob us of life - our life. We will fight - with different agents. Where terrorists are attacking our lives with bombs, our best defense, however, is to use our values as weapons.

In the background for today's great themes, hangs the threat of climate change. From Alaska to Antarctica, I've even seen some of the consequences.

Fortunately, there are bright spots. The international community's effort to reach an agreement at the climate summit in Paris, ended considerably better than many had feared. Now begins the laborious work for a healthier planet.

We may have different opinions about how we should handle our common challenges. Nevertheless, it is important that we can talk about the tasks, because we are all affected by them. If we look back, we remember that we have been through difficult times before.

We mobilize the opposition. Norway is perhaps a small country, but together we have accomplished great things.

Our resources gives us significant opportunities - and also great responsibility. Pippi Longstocking says: "He who is very strong must also be very kind." Many take on this responsibility. I will mention two examples:

After the terrorist attacks against Jews in Paris and Copenhagen at the beginning of the year, a group of young Norwegian Muslims created a ring of protection around the synagogue in Oslo. It was a simple and very dramatic action that showed courage and dedication to care about others.

This autumn's major refugee flow have come up close and personal to our lives. Throughout our continent, countries are experiencing a major challenge trying to find a good way to help refugees.

Many people across the country have collected and handed out clothes and food, taught them Norwegian and opened their homes to those who need it. It was a spontaneous action - and an expression of compassion. Treating them as human beings and building communities.

I will tonight give a special thanks to the Norwegians who are in other countries to help people in need, and contributing to efforts to achieve peace and stability. Women and men in the armed forces, police, diplomatic and humanitarian operations and organizations doing important work we can all be proud of.

My thoughts tonight also goes to the families and those affected by avalanche accident in Svalbard, right before Christmas. Volunteers and relief agencies have done a great deal to help those affected.

When the Royal Family visits around the country, we are struck by people's enthusiasm and commitment. Communities are built in a country populated by people with visions and thoughts that Norway will someday be left to our grandchildren. I am therefore optimistic. If we can still be true to, and can still develop our values - such as trust, community and generosity - we can still create a good society for all.

We have this fall been able to follow a TV series called Datoen/Date. It shows the life stories of famous and not so famous people. It states: "Alt starter et sted. En dato. Og så kommer alt dette andre./ Everything starts somewhere. A date. And then come all these other things. "

Often it is the case - we know not what will come. Soon we will enter a new number in the calendar.

Together we will experience the ups and downs, sorrows and joys. Each individual will experience new milestones in their life; days that we take with us the rest of your life. Some moments we choose, others chose us. Nonetheless, I hope that we together, in one year, you look back and think that the year was good.

We are all in a line. Some went ahead. Others come behind. Let's take care of each other and make the best of every moment.

We will find our way forward.

I wish every one of you a happy New Year!

Other Monarch's Christmas/ New Years Addresses

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Responses from Cambridges + Harry

The Cambridge and Harry typical respond with a photo card printed for that occasion, with a pre-typed message on the back. 

Occasionally you will get a letter if the there is no pre-typed card or they wanted to send a more personal reply. 



2017

Birthdays:

2016
Birthdays:
2015
Birthdays:



Prince Charles 67th Birthday reply

Today, I received what may be the last letter of 2015, Prince Charles's 67th Birthday reply.

This reply was very intresting, because it was the first reply I have gotten from Prince Charles that wasn't a letter. Instead the reply is a postcard-size picture with a typed message on the back. This is the standard reply when writing to the Cambridges or Prince Harry.


Duchess Camilla will often send out pictures, with typed messages on the back, usually hand signed. Although those are double this size.



The picture is from Prince Charles's visit to Turkey on April 24 for the Centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign and Anzac Day. Prince Harry accompanied him.

 The reply was post marked December 23rd, which is just 1 1/2 Months after I sent my letter. A great response time.


Also Check out:
Last Year's Birthday Reply



Monaco Twins Birthday Reply

It was quite exciting to find this reply waiting for me at home, when I returned from my Christmas Holiday. The card is from Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco. I had written to them for their Twins, Crown Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella's, 1st Birthday on December 10th.



The postmarks and stamps from Monaco are always really interesting. This postmark features a nativity scene and with the words "Joyeuses Fetes," which is French for Happy Holidays. The stamp features the Monaco Yacht Show which was September 23-26th.

One of the interesting things about the envelope was that it didn't feature any monogram/ cypher on the back. Replies sent from Prince Albert and Princess Charlene usually feature a Red "AC" with a crown on top.

Inside was a bi-lingual thank-you card. The card is written in both French and English. The top of the card features Jacques and Gabriella's monogram as well as the Royal Family's coat of arms.


One of the interesting things about this card was the use of the term Crown Prince. We have seen Prince Jacque been called both Crown Prince and Hereditary Prince. They both mean the same thing, that Jacque is the heir apparent.

Crown Prince/ss is the more common term used by other european monarchs, but I feel like Hereditary Prince has been used more by Monaco historically. In French, there is just one term "Prince Héréditaire" which is always used.



Prince Albert and Princess Charlene gave an interview to mark the Twins 1st Birthday (Bilingual- both French and English with Subtitles).


" LL.AA.SS. le Prince Albert et la Princesse Charlene ont souhaité offrir pour le 1er anniversaire des enfants Jacques et Gabriella, le 10 décembre dernier, ce film DVD enregistré quelques semaines avant les Fêtes de Noël dans le prestigieux Salon de Glaces. Ce lieu bien connu des Monégasques et des amis de la Principauté est utilisé pendant la Fête Nationale, lors de l’apparition de la Famille Princière aux fenêtres. Le Couple Princier répond en toute décontraction aux questions du journaliste Australien Richard Barnes sur cette année exceptionnelle qui a changé leur vie, une année marquée également par les 10 ans de Règne du Prince Albert. Cet entretien inédit en présence des enfants, Jacques et Gabriella a été tourné par les caméras de MonacoBroadcast, sous la direction de Jérôme Revon et avec le concours des Archives Audiovisuelles de Monaco ".
Posted by Palais Princier de Monaco - Prince's Palace of Monaco on Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Check out:
Birth of the Twins thank you note
Collection of Replies

King Harald's Silver Jubilee - 25 years on the Throne


On 17 January, 2016, King Harald of Norway celebrated 25 years on the throne, his Silver Jubilee. To celebrate this milestone there was be three days of celebration, January 15-17th.

Friday 15th 
  • Deputations at the Palace
  • "Gratulasjonsprotokoll/ Greeting Protocol" public can sign book of congratulations at Palace 
Saturday 16th 
  • Private dinner for Royal Family and foreign Guests at Skagum (Crown Prince Couple's residence). 
Sunday 17th
  • Service at Royal Chapel 
    • With Foreign Royals
  • Winter Festival at Palace Square
    • With Foreign Royals
  • Private Lunch at Palace 
    • With Foreign Royals
  • Gala at University Aula
    • With Foreign Royals
  • Private Dinner at Palace  

Along with the other members of the Norwegian Royal Family, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and King Carl Gustaf & Queen Silvia of Sweden attended the celebrations. Sweden and Denmark are the two neighboring Monarchies.

As part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations King Harald and Queen Sonja will take a jubilee tour along with Norwegian coast this summer, 17 to 28 June.

Silver Jubilees
King Harald is by no means the 1st monarch to celebrate his Silver Jubilee.  We have a number of monarchs, both currently reigning and abdicated, who have celebrates Silver Jubilees.

The most recent Silver Jubilee was Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 2005. She Abdicated in 2013.


King Juan Carlos I of Spain celebrated his Silver Jubilee in 2000. He abdicated in 2014.


King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden celebrated his Silver Jubilee in 1998. (18 years ago)


Queen Margrethe II of Denmark celebrated her silver jubilee in 1997. (19 years ago)


Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her silver jubilee in 1977. (39 years ago)

Responses from Spain Royal Family

2017
2015-2016

  • Did not receive any replies.


Responses from Sweden Royal Family

The Swedish Royals are inconstant in replying.

I have written a few times for a Wedding, Birth, Pregnancy announcements, etc and so far have only received two replies.  I really can't say more on their responses other than, when they do write back the response usually comes months after.

2017

2016

  • Did not receive any replies. 
2015

Responses from Norway Royal Family

2016
2015

Responses from Netherlands Royal Family

2017

2016
2015



Responses from Monaco Royal Family



Monaco usually responds with a card printed for that occasion. They are alway on really nice paper and they change them for each event. The responses are usually bi-lingual English and French. Occasionally they will be Tri-lingual, with Monégasque added.

Occasionally, you will get a letter in response. 

Be sure to pay attention to the stamps and postmarks as they can be very interesting.

If you are trying to identify a stamp on your own letter, check out http://www.stampnews.com or http://www.oetp-monaco.com/.

2017 
2016
2014-2015

Responses from Denmark Royal Family


Responses from Belgium Royal Family


2017 
2016
2015

Saturday, 26 December 2015

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherland's Christmas Speech - English Translation



Christmas gives us a moment of reflection. A chance to get away from the daily flow of events, helps make it clear what we believe in ourselves and what we stand for.

This is needed, now that Europe is facing one of the biggest challenges of the past few decades. The attacks in Paris are still fresh in our memory. In the regions around us are large groups of people have been displaced due to terror and violence. They search in the Netherlands for a safe haven and a chance at a better life.

Many people in the Netherlands are worried about the future and wonder how we can protect our own way of life in a world which we are not closed off to.

What is particularly close to our heart is our freedom and ability to make our own choices. That freedom we fought so hard and made many sacrifices to get!

In May this year my wife and I visited Canada. We spoke to a group of Canadian veterans. One of them was the 90-year-old Bud Hannam. In 1945, he fought in the battle for the liberation of Apeldoorn (City in Netherlands). He told  me how he was back then and his words made a big impression on me. He said, "It cost me my youth. But I feel that it was worth it afterwards. To see the freedom ... and the joy of the people who were liberated. "

Freedom is so essential to the Netherlands, from the very beginning. On King's Day this year we were in the Court of the Netherlands in Dordrecht, where in 1572 the first Free State Congress took place. There we signed along with other Dutch, the text: "Here the foundation was laid for an independent country. Where you are free to think what you think, believe what you believe and be who you are. "

What we have done with the freedom that was fought so hard over the centuries? We have done Good! We have built a democratic state that is in many ways the strongest in the world. With a high level of prosperity and amenities. And with millions of citizens who are selflessly for others. I spent the past year  meeting and talking with many of them. It is great what you're doing!

There is still do very important work to do in our country for everyone involves. Some feel abandoned and insufficiently heard. But our country - our place in the world - is precious to us. Netherlands is a country to call home.

Yet this does not make us invulnerable to worry and anxiety. Events can overtake us and we may not know what to do. Achievements are not always obvious.

Of course we want to protect what is dear to us. We can not stop our fear or deny it. But we must not give it reins over our life and let fear dominate our society. Tranquility and mutual trust are friends of freedom. "Do not be afraid," the angel on Christmas night said to the shepherds in the field.

When it comes to major challenges we must show that we stand together, our democracy and our constitutional state. It is essential that people can dignify and be at peace with one another,  while allowing people to be different. Peace is not for the idle. It requires courage to listen to each other and  not be critical of their beleifs. This courage is required from all of us, now we must work together to find a way in this turbulent time. The challenge is now to show what we together as liberated country are really worth.

In times like these it is clear how much we share with the countries around us. Belief in freedom. Respect for the life of every human being and the right's of everyone's to make their own choices. Solidarity with those who really need our help. Concern for the future of our planet, as we showed this month in Paris, when the European countries united.

These values are the heartbeat of our society. They are essential for us as free people and always give us the strength to continue.

Our combined strength reaches farther and connects more than we sometimes think. We do not crawl back into our shell. On the contrary. We are proud of our free and open way of life. Our belief that everyone in our Kingdom should be on an equal footing and should be able to participate. And our laws that protects the defenseless and prevents only the loudest voices from being heard.

The complex world in which we live is not more challenging, or more difficult, than it was for generations before us. Listens to veterans, those who have been persecuted and persevered, those who have built our country after the war with scarce resources again, and you will realizes that.

According to the apostle Paul, freedom is a calling. I have great confidence in the ability of our country - even now - to respond to this call and to remain a community of free people.

I wish all of you - wherever you happen to be and no matter your personal circumstances - a blessed Christmas.

Other Monarch's Christmas/ New Years Addresses

Thursday, 24 December 2015

King Felipe of Spain's Christmas Eve Speech - English Translation



Good evening,

On this Christmas Eve, I want to wish you, along with the Queen and our daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia, a very happy holidays and all the best wishes for the new year.

I wish that understanding and brotherly spirit, so typical of these days, is always present in our society.

Tonight, I speak to you from the Royal Palace, where the Crown celebrates acts of state in which we express with the utmost dignity and solemnity, the grandeur of Spain.

This palace is all Spanish and is a symbol of our history that is open to all citizens who want to know and understand our past. On their roofs, in walls, paintings and tapestries, in short, in all its assets, centuries of common history is collected.

And that history certainly must be know and remember because it helps us understand our present and shape our future and also allows us to better appreciate our successes and our mistakes; because history also defines and explains our identity over time.

I sincerely believe that today we live in times where it is more necessary than ever to recognize all that unites us. You need to value what we have built together over the years with many great sacrifices, but also with enormous generosity and dedication. It is necessary to praise all that we are, what makes us feel like Spanish. In my speech I said at my proclamation, Spain constitution fit all the feelings and sensitivities, fit the different ways of being Spanish; to be and to feel part of the same political and social community, the same historical, current and future, as it represents our nation's reality.

A great nation defined by a culture that has transcended time and borders, the arts and universal literature; enriched by our common language, along with the other languages of Spain, which also explain our identity.

A country which over the centuries have woven thinkers, scientists, artists, and so many men and women, many of whom have given their lives for Spain.

And it's also a great state, whose strength is based today in a set of constitutional values we share and common rules of coexistence that bring us together and unite us; a state that recognizes our diversity in the self-government of our nations and regions; and has respect for the democratic will of the Spanish people, expressed through the law, the foundation of our life in freedom.

With these reasons, and sharing these sentiments, we honor our history, which we are all players of today and whose legacy we have the responsibility to administer; to strengthen our national's cohesion, it is essential to boost our political, civic and moral progress; to promote our common project of coexistence. For now, what should matter to everyone, first and foremost, is the general interest of Spain and the Spanish.

After the general elections held on the 20th, and as always after each renewal of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, the procedure laid down in our Constitution for the governance of our country begins.

In a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democratic regime like ours, the Parliament, as depositary of national sovereignty, are the holders of decision-making on matters that concern and affect all the Spaniards, are seated where, after debate and dialogue between political forces, must address and decide on key issues of national life.

Political pluralism, expressed at the polls, certainly provides sensitivities, visions and perspectives; and it involves a form of exercise based on political dialogue, consultation and compromise, in order to make the best decisions to solve the problems of citizens.

Spain begins a new legislature that requires all efforts, all the energy, all the wishes of our democratic institutions, to ensure and consolidate what has been achieved over the past decades our political progress and adapt to the reality of Spanish society today. This dynamic institutions works at the same pace of the Spanish people they serve and represent; and are sensitive to the demands of rigor, honesty and integrity that are demanded by citizens.

Spain today is very different from Spain centuries ago through a genuine desire for understanding and generous for all Spaniards, a sincere spirit of reconciliation and overcoming of our historical differences and a commitment to political and social forces to service the entire people, the general interests of the nation, which must always be foremost. This is the great lesson of our recent history that we must never forget.

We must not forget that breaking the law, the imposition of an idea or a project about the will of the other Spanish, has only led us in our history to decay, impoverishment and isolation. That is a mistake of our past that we must not to repeat.

Our path is now, unwavering, the way of understanding, coexistence and harmony in democracy and freedom. Therefore, respect our constitutional order to defend democratic coexistence approved by all the Spanish people; to defend the rights and freedoms of all citizens and also to defend our cultural and territorial diversity.

So, tonight I want to reiterate a message of serenity, tranquility and confidence in the unity and continuity of Spain; a safety message most importantly and defend our Constitution.

I would also like to convey a message of hope that the calm reflection, sincere and loyal contrasting opinions, and respect for both the present and our history, like the intimate community of affections and interests among all Spaniards, feed the validity of our best constitutional spirit.

Moreover, the improvement in the economy is a priority for everyone. I think all the institutions have a duty to citizens, families and especially younger ones, so they can recover what should never be missed: the peace and stability with which to face the future and enthusiasm for tomorrow. We all want sustainable economic growth. A growth that would continue to create jobs and worthy employment, strengthen essential public services such as health and education, and that would reduce inequalities, exacerbated by the harshness of the economic crisis.

Europe is undoubtedly another of our great realities, but also with great challenges in their midst. We have all felt the indignation and horror at the attacks which have cost the lives of our compatriots, to the terrible crimes in Paris and elsewhere, which are genuine attacks on our model of coexistence and the most basic human values. And we have all moved by the drama of the refugees coming to our borders fleeing war, or of distressed and poverty-stricken migrants.

Faced with these challenges, and many others such as the fight against climate change, it is necessary that Spain's voice is heard in the European Union and international institutions in everything that affects our convictions and our vital interests. Because today's world requires strong nations, responsible, united, connected and loyal to its commitments to its partners and allies and the entire international community.

Finally, I do not want to say goodbye tonight without saying, with conviction, as Spaniards today, it is our duty to continue writing the story of our time and as we have already done:

Counting all men and women, young and old, born here or else where; working all at once, without anyone fall by the wayside.

We must look forward, because in today's world nobody waits for one who looks back. We must banish confrontation and resentments; and replace selfishness with generosity, pessimism with hope, helplessness with solidarity.

We have faith and believe in our country. Spain has a resistance to adversity, ability to overcome and a much greater inner strength than we sometimes think. Spain's strength is in ourselves; it is our courage, our character and our talent. It is also, why not say, in our way of living and understanding life.

The Spanish we have never surrendered to the difficulties that have been great, and we always won.

And besides, we have to keep walking with the aim of understanding and the spirit of unity to which I referred to at the beginning. With dialogue and commitment, sense of duty and responsibility; feeling and living, every day, each of us, with that ethical commitment that makes us a great people; uniting our hearts, for decades the Spanish people have decided, once and for all and forever, to shaking hands and not turn your back. Let's do it with all the strength and confidence of those who are proud of what we have achieved together and, above all, what we will achieve together.

With that excitement, and with that confidence in our future, the future of Spain in, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad,  Eguberri on, Bon Nadal, Boas Festas and a prosperous 2016.


Other Monarch's Christmas/New Years Addresses

King Philippe of Belgium's Christmas Eve Speech - English Translation



(The Christmas Eve Address was also released in French & Dutch)

Ladies and gentlemen,

Christmas and New Year is an opportunity to reaffirm our hope in the future. At the end of the year we are unfortunately marked by the terrible attacks in Paris that have shaken us deeply, and we are aware of the threats that continue to weigh on us. Beyond the horror that multiplies in various places in Europe and elsewhere, our democracies are facing a triple challenge: to defend, prevent, build. I am confident that we will succeed in that mission.

Our authorities have responded to the threat of terrorism with prudence, speed and determination. My special thanks go to all those who have fought for it and continue to work to ensure our safety, to identify the perpetrators of these attacks and to prevent new ones. These events have shown how important it is to invest in the judiciary, police, army and intelligence services. I also want to thank you all, and especially the people of Brussels, for your dignified and responsible behavior during this difficult time.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In order to protect our society, it is also essential to not be intimidated and not divide. This is what our attackers are hoping for.  I am confident that we will remain one, citizens of an open land. A country where the vast majority of the people are from foreign origin that have seized the opportunities that were offered to them - and share the values ​​of our country. They are sons and daughters of this country. Do not confuse those who abuse their faith with those who practice the universal values ​​of humanity.

It seems important to return to the bedrock of our society, what we are absolutely committed to: our values ​​and rules on which we base our society. This means that we teach our deep respect for the various beliefs and philosophies to our children. After all, they all have one thing in common: they want to help, to give meaning to life, to respect others and to be open towards them. Respect for these common rules also includes a zero tolerance of hate speech. It also means we continue to relentlessly combat stigma and segregation. It is also helping people who have been tempted by fanatical indoctrination to resist.

Furthermore, I am confident that we can build a more harmonious society. I focus particularly on young people. You have a deep desire to believe in life, in yourself and in others. Embrace that ideal and invest your energy and talent in everything that brings us together. Because the balance within a family, a neighborhood, a town, a region or a country, primarily depends on the way we treat each other.

A project that gives meaning to life, evolves over time. In order to build your future, you maintain the bonds with the generations that preceded them. Because our values ​​are deeply rooted in history. The fanatics on the other hand want to wipe all trace of history.

Finally, I would also encourage you to engage in dialogue with the people in your community about what is really important. Because in a dialogue and discussion you learn about others and know yourself better. Discover the other, how he lives, his culture, and his religion or belief. Fanatics do just the opposite: they refuse any discussion.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I know we can overcome the challenges we face today. History has proven that our society is stronger than fanaticism and totalitarianism. But we must continue to build a more humane and just society. The Queen and I and our family wish you a Merry Christmas and a new year full of joy.

Also check out: 2015 Monarch's Christmas/New Year Speeches

Friday, 18 December 2015

Review of William, Catherine and Harry's 2015

2015 was a big year for William, Catherine and Harry both in their Private and Public lives. 
The following is a look at some of the highlights of 2015.

One of the most important things to happen this year was the birth of HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana on May 2nd at 8:34 AM at St. Mary's Hospital. This solidified the couple as not just William & Catherine with a baby, but as the Cambridges.



Prince William started the year training and taking exams for his new job as an Ambulance Helicopter Pilot with East Anglian Air Ambulance (employed by Bond Air Services). He began work for Bond Air Services on 30th March undergoing a period of training, involving simulators, aircraft and in-flight skills training. He officially started full-time 13th July.

Prince Harry retired from the military after 10 years of service. He has continued to volunteer in the Ministry of Defense's Personnel Recovery Unit two days a week. Prince Harry was knighted a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) by the Queen on 4th June. This is a personal order granted by the Queen.

Prince George undertook a big royal step, appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for his first Trooping the Colours.

Embed from Getty Images



Princess Charlotte was christened. Flowers and toys brought by well-wishers were donated to Catherine's Patronage EACH

William's Official Duties: 

Tusk Trust, celebrated it's 25th Anniversary. William attended a number of engagements for the organization, including their 25 anniversary dinner and 3rd annual awards ceremony. 
Embed from Getty Images




Most notably, Prince William gave a televised speech on the Illegal Wildlife Trade which aired in China, during the China State visit.


William also participated in taskforce meetings for his patronage United for Wildlife, both in London and Gland, Switzerland.


William, Colonel of the Irish Guard, along with Catherine presented Shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day. This is an annual tradition that dates back to the Queen Mother.


Prince William's Patronage the National Memorial Arboretum Future Foundations Appeal, completed the necessary funding to break-ground on their new Visitors Centre. Construction started this summer and will be completed next year.


The Football Association (FA) sent the England Women's Football team to the Women's World Cup in Canada. Prince William visited the team at their training centre at St. George's Park before the World Cup. The team came in 2nd place.


After their Bronze Medal Victory, Prince William held a breakfast reception at Kensington Palace for the team.


As President of the FA, William also attended the International Friendly match between England and France at Wembley Stadium after the Paris Attack.


William met with Henry Worsley before his Shackleton Solo Challenge which William is patron of. Henry Worsley is currently in Antartica following the route Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 -1922) was never able to complete.  


During the Cambridges's visit to Scotland, William and Catherine visited the original Royal Research Ship Discovery, sailed by Shackleton during during his 1st trip to the South Pole.




During the same trip to Scotland, William and Catherine met with winners of the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition. Prince William is President of BAFTA, and attended a number of engagements for them this year. 

William attended the Film Premiere of "Paddington" at Shanghai Film Museum, while during his China Royal Tour. As President of BAFTA,  he presented a special mask to the Shanghai Film Museum.


When President Xi was in London for China State Visit. The Cambridges, President Xi and his wife attended a special BAFTA presentation during the GREAT event. 

During his Royal Tour of China, William painted the eyes on 'Shaun the Sheep' at the British Ambassador's official residence as a part of a cultural exchange event between the two countries.


Later William, Catherine and Harry attended the Premiere of "Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas" at a BAFTA event. 


While in Japan, Prince William was given a speedboat tour of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic sites.


One of Prince William's focuses this year was Homeless. He launched his patronage Centrepoint's 1st awards.


William visited FA Homeless players at St. George Park.


And during the Cambridges trip to Northern Wales, visited the homeless project GISDA. 


William also gave an interview to The Big Issue, a magazine run and sold by the homeless.


Prince William also took the time to support the Diana Award's a charity named after his late mother.


Catherine's Official Duties: 

Catherine's patronage, East Anglia Children's Hospice, continued it's Nook Appeal. The Nook Appeal is to raise funds for a new children's hospice called The Nook in Norfolk. Catherine visited the Bridgewater factory in Stoke-on-Tren where she oversaw their production of a charity mug for EACH.

Catherine made her 1st public engagement for her Patronage 1851 Trust, which is the charity of the British Sailing Team. She had supported the British Racing Team in the past, and attended a Private Board Meeting and Reception for the Trust last December.


The British Sailing Team is competing in the America's Cup, a multi-year sailing race. The Cambridges attended the last day of racing in Portsmouth, which was unfortunately canceled due to bad weather.


This year Catherine focused on Mental Health. She filmed a short video in support of Children Mental Health Week, for her Patronage Place2Be.

She also attended a Headteachers conference for Place2Be. 


Catherine and William visited Mind, at Harrow College to mark World Mental Health Day. They also visited Mind while in Scotland. 


Catherine made numerous other visits to Mental Health organizations in London and during the Cambridges' Scotland and Northern Wales visit.


Catherine attended the annual 100 Women In Hedge Funds Gala Dinner. Catherine, William and Harry's joint patronage of 100 Women In Hedge Fund's Philanthropic Innovative ends at the end of this year. It is still unknown whether all or one of them will renew this patronage. If so it will likely be for another three years.  


One of Kate's more notable engagements was her visit to HMP Send, to learn about their work with Addiction in Prison. 


Catherine also visited the set of the beloved British TV show Downton Abbey.


Catherine took on her 1st official military role, becoming Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets after Prince Philip stepped down from the position.


Harry's Patronages: 

Prince Harry's patronage Sentebale opened a new Children's Centre, in Lesotho. The charity was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho. 

Sentebale's garden "Hope in Vulnerability" at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show was inspired by the Mamohato Children's Centre in Lesotho. Harry visited the exhibit along with the Queen, Charles and Camilla. 


Prince Harry was named Honorary President of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He launched the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour 100 days before the start of the cup. 


Harry officially opened the 2015 Rugby World Cup on September 18th. 


Harry, the Cambridges and a number other Royals (Both British and Foreign) attended matches throughout the tournament


Prince Harry has worked to promote rugby at all levels. He visited a number of Youth Rugby Projects this year, both in the UK and South Africa.





One of Prince Harry's focuses this year was wounded veterans. Prince Harry was Patron of Walking With the Wound's "Walk of Britain", a 1,000 mile walk across Britain to raise money and awareness for wounded Veterans. He joined the team for part of their Walk of Britain.

Harry then welcomed the team as they finished their 1,000 mile walk at Buckingham Palace. 


William and Harry visit DIY SOS's building homes for Wounded Veterans. The Princes appearance was filmed for the BBC show and aired in a 2-part special. The build included a community centre, which will be run by Walking With the Wounded. 





Prince Harry continued his work with wounded veterans with a one day visit to the USA, where they will host the 2016 Invictius Game.  During his visit he meet with 1st Lady Michele Obama and 2nd Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

Prince Harry has previously met both Michele and Jill numerous times. Harry had tea with Michele at Kensington Palace, earlier this year when she visited the UK. 




During Harry's visit to the USA, he also meet with President Barack Obama. Prince Harry has meet with many other heads of state and political figures during his various trips abroad this year. 



Prince Harry attended his 2nd Royal Ascot and presented the King's Stand Stakes Trophy.



Prince Harry has spend a lot of time this year working on conservation as well. He visited a open wildlife sanctuary on Ulva Island during his tour of New Zealand. 

He visited the Northumberland Wildlife Trust's Red Squirrel Northern England Project.


During his Tour of South Africa, he visited the South African Wildlife College.


Overseas Visits: 

Prince William went on an Official Tour of Japan and China.
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Prince Harry did a secoundment with the Australian Defence Force at Barracks in Darwin, Perth and Sydney. 
Embed from Getty Images



Prince Harry attended the Battle of Gallipoli commemoration at Golipli, Turkey with Prince Charles.


That same day the British Royal Family attended a number of Battle of Gallipoli events in London. 


Immediately following his Australia secoundment, Prince Harry went on a royal tour of New Zealand. 


Following his retirement from the army, Harry spend three months in Africa working with front-line conservation projects. 


Harry also made a one day visit to the United States of America, to learn about their progress with Invictus 2016.


Prince Harry made a trip to Lesotho to officially open Sentebale's new children centre.




After opening the Mamohato Centre, Harry had a short Royal Tour of South Africa.


Total Numbers Engagements

William Engagements:  131 
Speeches: 10
Articles/Videos/Letters:  12

Catherine's Engagements:  61

Speeches: 1
Articles/Videos/Letters: 4

Harry's Engagements:  112

Speeches: 15
Articles/Videos/Letters: 7

You can find all of the speeches, articles, etc. on the list of official engagements (linked by the count)


Support in the Queen: 

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated becoming the Longest Reigning British Monarch on September 15th. 

2015 was Prince William's 2nd year hosting investitures on behalf of the Queen. He hosted a total of 11 at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. 


During Prince William's Royal Tour of China he presented President Xi with the official invitation from the Queen for a State Visit.

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Prince William got the chance to meet with him again during the China State Visit.

Both William and Catherine attended their 1st ever State Banquet during the China State Visit. 


The Cambridges and Harry attended the Annual Royal Film Performance of Spectre for the Cinema and Television Benevolence Fund (Queen Elizabeth is Patron). 


Prince Harry attended the Royal Variety Performance, for Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund.
(Queen Elizabeth is Patron)


William and Catherine attend their 1st Festival of Remembrance this year. 


As usual the Cambridges attend Remembrance Sunday at Cenotaph.


Harry placed his own wreath for the 1st time. 


Prince William takes the Salute at the Horse Guard Parade for the 1st time. 


During his South Africa royal tour Harry presented the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu with the Order of the Companion of Honour.


What to look forward to in 2016:
2016 Official Engagements: William, Catherine, Harry

Prince George turns 3 & Princess Charlotte will celebrate her 1st Birthday!! 



Prince George starts Nursery School in January!  He will attend Westacre Montessori School Nursery in Norfolk near Anmer Hall. My personal opinion is they should hold a press call at either Anmer Hall or Sandringham and let the school have some peace and privacy. 




William and Catherine celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary on April 21st! 


The new National Memorial Arboretum Visitors Centre is set to be completed in Late 2016. William is expected to officially open the new centre. 


Catherine's Patronage EACH continues their Nook Appeal. So far they have raised £2 Million of the £10 million needed. 


Prince Harry is expected to get a civilian job in 2016, instead of transitioning into full-time royal duties. Youth Football Coach? 


2016 Invictus Games will be held May 8th – 12th in Orlando, Florida, USA 


Queen Elizabeth II turns 90. There will be a lot of events to celebrate this milestone birthday. But one of the big things will be the Patron's Lunch on June 12th (Day after Trooping), in honor of the Queen and her 600+ patronages. Prince William and Harry are joint Patrons of the Patron's Lunch.


America's Cup will return to Portsmouth in July. As patron of 1851 Trust, the British Sailing team's charity, I wouldn't be surprised if Catherine make an appearance at the race. 


Cathrine's new Military appointment RAF Air Cadets celebrate their 75th anniversary. 


Henry Worsley will complete his Shackleton Solo Challenge in early 2016. William will undoubtedly congratulate him in person after the challenge. 


In the Spring, William and Catherine will go on a Royal Tour of India!



The 2016 Summer Olympics are in Rio August 5th-21st! While I don't expect the Cambridges or Harry make an appearance, Princess Anne, Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Frederick of Denmark, Grand Duke Henri of Luxemborg, and Prince Faisal of Jordan are all on IOC committee, so they are all expected to be at the games.


Zara Tindall, Princess Anne daughter, is competing on the British Equestrian team. 


We are also expecting four "Royal Babies" in 2016!