European Royals

European royals during 2016 in photos: Part 1

We have compiled a list of events and photos from the European royal houses, for our readers to enjoy and look back on. Events from January through May are featured below.


King Harald and Queen Sonja celebrated 25 years on the Norwegian throne. They became the King and Queen of Norway on 17 January 1991 after the death of Harald’s father, King Olav V. The Royal Court released several new photographs to mark the occasion.

His Majesty The King, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon and Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra.  Photo: Torgrim Melhuus / TiTT Melhuus as / NDR / the Royal Court.

Royal Central‘s Oskar Aanmoen was at the silver anniversary celebrations in his native Norway and called it “a fantastic experience.” Various celebrations took place throughout 2016 all across the Scandanavian country.

King Harald and Queen Sonja at the celebrations in January. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen.

The celebrations in Norway for Their Majesties 25th anniversary on the throne. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

The Royal Danish House released new photos to celebrate the 5th birthday of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary’s twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. They were born on 8 January 2011.

Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. Photo: HRH Crown Princess Mary

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on 21st of the month.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas


The Swedish royals took centre stage during this month. Both Princesses Estelle and Leonore celebrated their birthdays, and Princess Madeleine hosted a fairytale tea party for seriously ill children at Stockholm Palace. The Dutch Royal Family also held their winter photocall, and Queen Máxima visited Pakistan.

Queen Máxima was in Pakistan in early February in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visits Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) during a field visit in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on 10 February 2016. Photo: UNSGSA

On 20 February, Princess Leonore (the daughter of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill) turn two-years-old. As usual, the Royal Court released photos in celebration.

H.R.H. Princess Leonore Photo: Brigitte Grenfeldt/The Royal Court, Sweden

Just three days later, Leonore’s older cousin, Princess Estelle, turned four-years-old. The future Queen of Sweden is the daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.

H.R.H. Princess Estelle. Photo: Kate Gabor/The Royal Court, Sweden

On 22 February, Princess Madeleine hosted a fairytale tea party at Stockholm Palace for seriously ill children in her role as the patron of Min Stora Dag (My Big Day), which is the Swedish equivalent to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Photo: Kate Gabor/

Monday, 22 February 2016 Princess Madeleine arranged, along with the organisation My Big Day, a fairytale party at the Royal Palace. To the Royal Palace came 12 children between 5-8 years, from all over the country to attend the fabulous party. Photo: Kate Gabor/

On the same day, the Dutch Royal Family held their annual winter photocall on the ski slopes in Lech, Austria. Just a few days later, Princess Alexia would break her right leg in a skiing accident in the country, which would result in surgery for the then 10-year-old princess.

King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane, Princess Beatrix and Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien and their children Countess Eloise, Count Claus-Casimir and Countess Leonore at the annual photo session of the Royal Family in the Austrian resort of Lech. Photo: ANP Royal Images Koen Van Weel


On 2 March, Prince Oscar of Sweden, Duke of Skåne was born at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Sweden, to Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. The new prince is now third-in-line to the Swedish throne. A Te Deum was held in honour of his birth on 3 March at the Royal Chapel of Stockholm Palace. The first photo was released five days after his birth.

Prince Oscar in a photo taken by his mother, The Crown Princess. Photo: The Royal Court, Sweden.

On 15 March, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited the Mothers in Odense shelter for abused women with the Mary Foundation. She met with volunteers, lawyers, and victims during her visit.

Mary Foundation visit by HRH Crown Princess Mary shelter in Odense in connection with the Advice for Life. Photo: Steen Brogaard/Mary Foundation

On 15 March, Their Majesties King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain travelled to Puerto Rico for their first international trip of the year. They visited the country for the Seventh Spanish Language International Congress in San Juan, where His Majesty spoke.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey

On the 21st of the month, members of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg travelled to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis. The Grand Duke and Duchess, Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess, Princess Claire, Prince Félix, Princess Amalia, Prince Louis, Princess Tessy, Princes Gabriel and Noah, Princess Alexandra, and Prince Sébastien were all in the Vatican City.


April saw the birth of Prince Alexander of Sweden and the celebration of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 70th birthday in Stockholm. The month also had King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands commemorating the 70th anniversary of the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the celebration of King’s Day in the country.

On 19 April, Prince Alexander of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland was born at Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm as the first child of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia. His birth was celebrated with a Te Deum on 22 April in the Royal Chapel. The first official photo of the prince was taken by his father after the Te Deum service.

Photo: Prince Carl Philip/The Royal Court, Sweden

On 20 April, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands participated in the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, alongside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Just the day before, His Majesty had reopened the International Criminal Court.

Ceremony to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the International Court of Justice. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Princess Isabella celebrated her 9th birthday on 21 April. Photos were released by the Royal Danish House of the young princess taken by her mother.

One of Princess Isabella’s birthday photos. Photo: HRH Crown Princess Mary

On 27th of the month, the Netherlands celebrated King’s Day where the entire Dutch Royal Family participated in the various events in the country. This was the first year where The Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia, and Princess Ariane had been interviewed by a news station. The video can be seen at the top of the article, but it is in Dutch.

The 30th of the month was the final day of celebrations for King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 70th birthday. The Swedish Royal Court released a photo from that evening’s banquet with the Swedish Royal Family and other European royals at the dinner.

Photo: Peter Knutson/


The month of May was quite busy. A few of the highlights include the christening of Prince Oscar of Sweden, the Victory Day Parade at Akershus Fortress and National Day in Norway, Jordanian state visit to Belgium, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation launching in the United States, Crown Princess of Denmark at the Women Deliver Conference, and the Danish Monarchy joining social media.

6 May was the birthday of Prince Henrik, the son of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark.

HH Prince Henrik photographed at home in Klampenborg on the occasion of his 7th birthday. Photo: Steen Brogaard

On 8 May, Norway celebrates the liberation from German forces in 1945. Part of the celebrations included a Victory Day Parade at Akershus Fortress in which King Harald participates. The country then celebrated their national day called the Norwegian Constitution Day on the 17 of the month.

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

Princess Charlene of Monaco was in Santa Monica, California, on 11 May for the launch of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation – USA.

From 16 – 18 May, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark participated in the Women Deliver Conference. She was one of the speakers for the opening day where she spoke about her inspiration to work for women’s rights seven years ago. Queen Maxima and Princess Mabel of the Netherlands also participated.

HRH Crown Princess meetings scholarships for Women Deliver in Bella Center. Photo: Steen Brogaard/Mary Foundation

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Princess Mable of Orange-Nassau at the conference. Photo: Women Deliver (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

From 17 May through 19 May, Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan paid a state visit to Belgium after an invitation from Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

On 27 of May, Prince Oscar was christened in the Royal Chapel of Stockholm Palace. His godparents were Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark; Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway; Princess Madeleine, his maternal aunt; Oscar Magnuson, his cousin and the son of Princess Christina; and Hans Åström, his father’s cousin.

Prince Oscar’s christening. Photo: Claudio Bresciani, TT/The Royal Court, Sweden.

The Danish Monarchy joined social media on 31 May. They launched their social media platforms of Facebook and Instagram with a video on their new Facebook page.

The photo released in coordination with the launch of their social media sites at the end of May. Photo Credit: The Royal Danish House

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.