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April is turning out to be an interesting month and there are many things going on in the world of royalty. At the end of this month the Netherlands will have a new monarch as Queen Beatrix hands over the reigns to her son, Willem-Alexander. The Spanish monarchy is in deep trouble. The popularity of King Juan Carlos is at an all time low and while Spain suffers great economic hardships, his daughter, Infanta Cristina, is being called to testify about her husband’s dirty dealings. On a positive note everyone is watching HRH The Duchess of Cambridge as her “baby bump” grows. (God I hate that term!). Also, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, celebrates her 87 birthday this month!

I belong to several royalty groups on Facebook and there are many growing concerns for the Spanish monarchy. As I stated in an earlier blog entry the House of Bourbon has had a difficult time on the Spanish throne. So is it time for the king to abdicate to his son, Felipe, Prince of Asturias while there is still a throne to pass on? Often when I look at the downfall of monarchies I wonder where the point of no return is. Is the Spanish crown at that point? Are things as troublesome as they seem for the Spanish crow, or is it just media hype?

At the end of the month HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will abdicate after 33 year on the throne. I have mixed feelings about this. First of all I think she is a model of a great constitutional monarch. She has done an excellent job so I really hate to see her go. On the other hand as people are living much longer, and abdication is a tradition in the Netherlands, who am I to begrudge Her Majesty of a peaceful and relaxing retirement. It is also exciting to see the Netherlands have a King for the first time in 123 years. The last king, Willem III, died in 1890. I am a little disappointed that the new king will not call himself Willem IV. As a consolation I do like double names. I look forward with eagerness to the inauguration of the new king on April 30.

This past week TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (as TRH the Earl and Countess of Countess of Strathearn, their Scottish titles) visited Glasgow. The Countess looked stunning. With the her husband reducing, or leaving all together, his military duties, it seems they will be embarking on more royal duties. I would like to see them and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall take on more duties for the Queen. Her Majesty turns 87 on April 21, and although I would love to see her continue on with her duties I would love to see them slow down and relax a bit more. As we get closer to the due date of the Duchess of Cambridge I will be putting up a poll so we can all guess the name of the new royal baby.

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died and next week will be the funeral and the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will attend. This is unusual for the queen for she rarely attends funerals. There was some flack about lowering the Union Jack for Baroness Thatcher. When the Queen is in residence at Buckingham Palace the Royal Standard is raised. When she is not in residence in the Palace the Royal Standard is lowered and the flag pole remained empty. The Royal Standard is never lowered to half-mast. Starting with the death of Diana, Princess of Wales the Union Jack has flown over Buckingham Palace upon the death of a notable person. The Union Jack was lowered to half-mast following September 11 and London bombings (7th July 2005). This is a new tradition and I think it is one that shows respect and empathy.

Yes, there are interesting times and many thing to watch for!