First, the sad news -
His Majesty King Michael of Romania issued a statement announcing that he is withdrawing altogether from public life. Though the king is no longer a reigning monarch, he has been active in performing various duties on a semi-official basis, such as handing out decorations or meeting with dignitaries. The announcement revealed that the 95-year-old king is suffering from leukemia and epidermoid carcinoma. His eldest daughter, Princess Margareta, whom he deemed as "custodian of the Romanian crown" in 2007, will be taking on his duties.
|Statement signed in King Michael's own hand as Mihai R. Courtesy of |
His Serene Highness Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern died on March 2 at the age of 83. He was the son of Frederick, Prince of Hohenzollern (and, as head of the dynasty from which King Michael descends, put himself forth at one time as a claimant to the Romanian throne) and Princess Margarete of Saxony, the daughter of the last Saxon king, Frederick Augustus III. Johann Georg had been married to HRH Princess Birgitta of Sweden, sister of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf, since 1961, though they have lived separately since 1990. The Swedish royal court announced Prince Johann Georg's death, with a personal statement from King Carl XVI Gustaf stating that "our thoughts are with Princess Birgitta and her family". Prince Johann Georg is survived by his wife, their three children, and three grandchildren.
|HRH Princess Birgitta of Sweden and HSH Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern on their wedding day, May 1961.|
Finally, the good news -
Just as the Swedish court mourns for Princess Birgitta's husband, they also celebrate the arrival of a new royal. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria and His Royal Highness Prince Daniel welcomed their second child, a son, on March 2. The boy is third in line to the Swedish throne behind his mother and his elder sister, Princess Estelle. His name and title were announced the following day - His Royal Highness Prince Oscar Carl Olof of Sweden, Duke of Skane.
It has been a busy year for the Swedish royal family in terms of births. In just about a month or so, Crown Princess Victoria's brother, Prince Carl Philip, and his wife, Princess Sofia, will welcome their first child, while last June their younger sister Princess Madeleine gave birth to a son, Prince Nicolas. 2016 will bring the total of royal grandchildren for the Swedish king and queen to five - Princess Estelle, Prince Oscar (Princess Victoria's children), Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas (Princess Madeleine's children), and Prince Carl Philip's unborn child.
|The Council of State where King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden confirmed the name and title of his newborn grandson, Prince Oscar. Seated next to the King is his son, Prince Carl Philip, whose wife is expecting their first child in April.|