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'The Crown' casts Princess Diana's doomed lover Dodi Fayed, and more big royals news for September 2021

“The Crown” casts its Dodi Fayed and announces season 5 premiere

Get caught up on all the biggest royals-related news you might have missed in September 2021, starting with this casting… Those who followed Britain’s royal family in the ’90s will remember this name and this man who brought joy to princess Diana… Netflix announced via Variety on Sept. 23 that it had cast its Dodi Fayed — Princess Diana’s boyfriend who died in the 1997 Paris car crash that later claimed her life too — for season 5: “The Kite Runner” star Khalid Abdalla will play the Egyptian billionaire scion. Variety also reported that “Oslo” actor Salim Daw will play Dodi’s father, Harrods department store owner Mohamed Al-Fayed. Elizabeth Debicki is the new Di for season 5. Two days later on Sept. 25, Netflix announced that fans will have to wait until November 2022 for season 5 to debut on the streamer.

Keep reading for more of the biggest royals news from September…

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Japanese princess to give up royal status — and forego a financial payout — when she weds commoner

Princess Mako of Japan — the eldest grandchild of Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko — is giving up a lot as she prepares to marry a commoner. She and Kei Komuro, a former college classmate, announced their engagement in 2017, and it appears that after years of postponing their nuptials, the pair will finally wed — and soon. When they do, Mako will have to give up her royal status, according to Japan’s imperial males-only succession rules. However, royals who give up their titles and protections are legally entitled to a large payout — but Reuters on Sept. 25 reported that the princess has agreed to forego that payment, which is worth up to $1.35 million. Reports indicate the couple will make their home in the United States when they wed.

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Liechtenstein princess weds in Italy

On Sept. 25, Princess Marie Astrid of Liechtenstein married Ralph Worthington in a religious ceremony in Capalbio, Italy. The nuptials came three weeks after her sister, Princess Maria Anunciata of Liechtenstein, walked down the aisle (see her wedding photos further back). Marie Astrid, who’s the daughter of Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg and Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, topped her embroidered wedding gown with the Kinsky Honeysuckle tiara from the Liechtenstein Princely Family, MailOnline reported.

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The Sussexes take Manhattan: Day 1

On Sept. 23, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan made headlines as they kicked off a three-day official visit to New York City — their first major event since welcoming their second child, daughter Lilibet Diana, in June, and really, their biggest event to date since leaving as senior members of Britain’s royal family in 2020. They first visited Manhattan’s One World Observatory with New York Governor Kathy Hochul and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio before paying their respects at the 9/11 Memorial and meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Keep reading to see day 2…

The Sussexes take Manhattan: Day 2

On Sept. 24, Duchess Meghan read her bestselling children’s book, “The Bench,” to children at an elementary school in Harlem, and later that day, she and Prince Harry visited nearby Melba’s restaurant where the Duke of Sussex reportedly tried chicken and waffles for the first time. The couple also donated $25,000 to the eatery’s COVID-19 Employee Relief Fund. Keep reading to see their third and final day…

The Sussexes take Manhattan: Day 3

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s New York City trip also included a Sept. 25 visit with United Nations officials and culminated in an appearance on stage during Global Citizen Live in Central Park, where they advocated for COVID-19 vaccine equity. While in the Big Apple, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan stayed at the Carlyle, which was one of his late mother Princess Diana’s favorite hotels.

Norwegian princess marks milestone 50th birthday with jewelry from American boyfriend

On Sept. 22, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway celebrated her 50th birthday. The Norwegian royal family’s Instagram account posted new portraits of the princess, and her boyfriend, Shaman Durek — a spiritual guide and healer based in Los Angeles, who has a celebrity following — surprised her with a gift of garnet and diamond jewelry from designer Paige Novick, People magazine reported. “We’re star-crossed lovers across the sea, but our love is defined by friendship and devotion,” Shaman Durek told the magazine. “It is through our friendship that we have built this ability to handle the distance between our hearts.” He explained that he “wanted to get her a beautiful piece of jewelry that represents friendship and love — that’s the garnet stone. The precious diamonds represent the love of the stars that I look upon in the sky knowing that I count the days on when we will be back together.”

“The Crown” cleans up at the Emmys

On Sept. 19, the cast and crew of “The Crown” won big at the 2021 Emmy Awards, taking home 11 trophies in categories including best drama series, best actress (Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II), best actor (Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles), best supporting actress (Gillian Anderson as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) and best supporting actor (Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip).

Princess Beatrice welcomes first baby

Britain’s Princess Beatrice and her husband, property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, welcomed their first child together on Sept. 18. “So delighted to share the news of the safe arrival of our daughter on Saturday 18th September 2021, at 23.42, at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London,” she tweeted. “Thank you to the Midwife team and everyone at the hospital for their wonderful care.” Beatrice’s baby girl — whose name has yet to be publicly revealed — is Queen Elizabeth II’s 12th great-grandchild and is 11th in the line of succession. The baby joins half-brother Christopher Woolf, Edo’s son with former fiancé Dara Huang, an American architect.

 

Scandinavian royal families vacation together

On Sept. 18, the future monarchs of Sweden and Norway both posted photos from a joint family getaway to the Swedish island of Gotland. Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria, husband Prince Daniel and kids Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar posed for a photo with Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, wife Princess Mette-Marit and their eldest child, Princess Ingrid Alexandra. The royals are reportedly good friends and have been close for years.

The latest on Prince Philip’s will

On Sept. 16, British media outlets revealed that a High Court judge had ruled that Prince Philip’s will would remain private for at least 90 years in order to “maintain the dignity” of his widow, Queen Elizabeth II. Yes, 90 years, not days. Despite widespread criticism and speculation about what information could be in the will, according to a tweet from royals reporter and author Omid Scobie, the “decision follows the tradition of senior royal wills being sealed ‘to prevent inspection.'” Philip died in April at 99.

 

Prince Harry’s very special birthday honor

On Prince Harry’s 37th birthday — Sept. 15 — he and wife Duchess Meghan were named to Time magazine’s prestigious annual 100 Most Influential People list. The couple was honored in an essay written by chef José Andrés, with whom they’ve worked on humanitarian projects. See the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the cover of Time here.

Prince Andrew’s civil sexual assault case drama continues with legal papers debacle 

Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, Prince Andrew, made headlines again this month as a civil lawsuit filed against him began to move forward. In early August, Virginia Roberts Giuffre — who for years has alleged that she was a victim of convicted pedophile and financier Jeffrey Epstein, a former friend of the royal who died by suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges — filed court papers in the States accusing Andrew of having sex with her when she was 17. (He’s long denied the allegation.) Media outlets including the New York Post chronicled all the drama that ensued as Virginia’s legal team attempted to serve the Duke of York at his home in Windsor, England, as Andrew’s legal team attempted to dodge them. After much back and forth — including during a Sept. 13 virtual hearing — the royal was officially and properly served on Sept. 20, CNN reported, via his U.S. attorney, who’s also represented clients including Armie Hammer, Bill Cosby, Bryan Singer and Danny Masterson, according to a tweet from royals reporter and author Omid Scobie. The Duke of York has until Oct. 29 to file and serve a response in the case.

Duchess Kate’s brother marries in France as royal relatives look on

Duchess Kate’s brother, James Middleton — a businessman who founded Ella & Co. dog food and Boomf personalized marshmallow brands — married French financial analyst Alizee Thevenet in southeastern France on Sept. 11 following a two-year engagement. “Mr & Mrs Middleton Yesterday I married the love of my life surrounded by family, friends and of course a few dogs in the beautiful village or Bormes-les-Mimosas. Words cannot describe how happy I am,” James captioned this beautiful selfie with his bride on Sept. 12. According to Page Six, the guest list included big sister Kate and her husband, Prince William, plus their kids, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis; sibling Pippa Middleton and her husband, James Matthews, plus their two kids, Arthur and Grace; and of course parents Carole and Mike Middleton. The bride wore a very special dress for her walk down the aisle. “My something borrowed was in fact my dress from my mother-in-law Carole who last wore it 41 years ago on her wedding day in June, 1980,” Alizee told HELLO!, explaining, “While talking about dresses with Carole and sharing ideas during lockdown for inspiration, I tried on her wedding dress and fell in love with it. It fitted me perfectly and was exactly what I wanted. It always troubled me that wedding dresses are only worn once so it was amazing to give such a beautiful dress a second lease of life.” See a full-length view of the dress, plus wedding photos, here.

Prince Albert addresses rumors of marital strife

Monaco’s Prince Albert spoke to People magazine early in the month to set the record straight about rumors and reports about his decade-long marriage to Princess Charlene, who’s been in South Africa since May. “She didn’t leave Monaco in a huff! She didn’t leave because she was mad at me or at anybody else. She was going down to South Africa to reassess her foundation’s work down there and to take a little time off with her brother and some friends,” he told the magazine in a story that hit the internet on Sept. 8. “It was only supposed to be a weeklong, 10-day maximum stay, and [she is still there now] because she had this infection [and] all these medical complications arose.” Reports have claimed the couple’s marriage is in trouble, but according to the magazine, Charlene has been unable to fly after experiencing complications, it writes, “related to a sinus lift and bone graft procedure she’d undergone prior to her arrival in preparation for dental implants. As result, she has since had several corrective procedures,” including multiple surgeries. “She didn’t go into exile. It was absolutely just a medical problem which had to be treated,” Albert explained. On Sept. 1, Charlene was taken to a hospital after experiencing further complications “from a serious ENT infection,” the palace said in a statement to the magazine, but she was released the following day.

 

Prince Charles and trusted aide embroiled in cash-for-honors scandal

On Sept. 4, Britain’s The Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday newspapers claimed that one of Prince Charles’s top aides promised a Commander of the Order of the British Empire honor, more commonly known as a CBE, as well as help obtaining British citizenship for a wealthy Saudi tycoon in exchange for donations of more than $2 million to the future king’s beloved charities. Michael Fawcett — whom Charles once branded “indispensable” — resigned as the chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation as the allegations were coming to light. A spokesperson for Charles denied any involvement, telling People magazine in a statement, “The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation now underway by The Prince’s Foundation.” BAZAAR.com notes that the queen’s heir now faces possible questioning from Britain’s Metropolitan Police, and that days after the claims made headlines, the Times of London further wrote that, according to an alleged fixer with links to Charles, “The Prince of Wales was ‘100%’ behind the offer to help a Saudi billionaire with his application for British citizenship.”

 

Another princess of Liechtenstein weds

On Sept. 4, Princess Maria Anunciata of Liechtenstein married Emanuele Musini in a 12th century church in Vienna, Austria. The bride, who’s the daughter of Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg and Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, wore the Habsburg Fringe tiara on her big day. The religious wedding followed a civil ceremony that was held in June in Italy.



















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