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Hospitalised Prince Laurent of Belgium 'improving' says mother

The condition of Prince Laurent of Belgium, the wayward younger brother of King Philippe who has been in a medically induced coma since mid-March, is improving, his mother said Thursday. The 50-year-old prince, 11th in line to the throne, was rushed to hospital on March 18 suffering from pneumonia and, according to Belgian press reports, a serious bout of depression. Calling Laurent her "most vulnerable" child, Queen Paola said in a statement he was no longer in a coma and that she offered him "all her affection".

William, Kate release new photo with baby Prince George

Prince William and his wife Kate released a rare family photo on Saturday showing the couple with their eight-month-old son Prince George, ahead of the little boy's first overseas tour. The Duke of Cambridge, the second in line to the throne, is pictured with his wife and son looking out of an open window of their apartment in Kensington Palace in London. The smiling duchess, 32, is holding George on her knee as the little prince focuses his attention on the family pet Lupo, a black cocker spaniel pictured sitting on the duke's lap.

William, Kate release new photo with baby Prince George

Prince William and his wife Kate released a rare family photo on Saturday showing the couple with their eight-month-old son Prince George, ahead of the little boy's first overseas tour. The Duke of Cambridge, the second in line to the throne, is pictured with his wife and son looking out of an open window of their apartment in Kensington Palace in London. The smiling duchess, 32, is holding George on her knee as the little prince focuses his attention on the family pet Lupo, a black cocker spaniel pictured sitting on the duke's lap.

Egypt's Sisi to issue statement after meeting army brass

Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is to make a statement shortly, the military said, after a meeting of top brass at which he was expected to resign to run for president. Sisi, who is also defence minister, must quit the army before he can contest the presidential election which is expected before June. Sisi will "issue a statement soon," the military spokesman said on his Facebook page, after the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which was also attended by interim president Adly Manour.

Sisi meets Egypt army brass to quit ahead of poll

Egypt's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Wednesday called a meeting of the military's top council to tender his resignation ahead of a likely presidential bid, state media reported. Sisi's aides have said the field marshal, who toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, will contest elections due before the summer. Sisi gathered his belongings in his defence ministry office before starting the meeting with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the official newspaper Al-Ahram reported on its website.

Emperor greets Vietnamese president with welcoming message

Emperor Akihito greeted Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang with a welcoming message in a meeting held at the Imperial Palace, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday. The emperor told the Vietnamese president and his wife Mai Thi Hanh, now on a four-day state visit to Japan from Sunday, "I'm delighted to welcome you on a day that heralds the arrival of spring." Sang said in reply that exchanges between Vietnam and Japan have been increasing and that bilateral relations have improved dramatically.

Sweden's new princess is named Leonore

Sweden's new princess, born last Thursday in New York, is called Leonore, her grandfather King Carl XVI Gustav said Wednesday. Her full name is Leonore Lillian Maria and she has received the title of duchess of Gotland. Leonore's parents are 31-year-old princess Madeleine, the king's youngest child and fourth in line to the throne, and 39-year-old US-British financier Christopher O'Neill, who got married in Stockholm in June. The Swedish Royal Court published the first pictures of the baby on Wednesday.

Sweden's new princess is named Leonore

Sweden's new princess, born last Thursday in New York, is called Leonore, her grandfather King Carl XVI Gustav said Wednesday. Her full name is Leonore Lillian Maria and she has received the title of duchess of Gotland. Leonore's parents are 31-year-old princess Madeleine, the king's youngest child and fourth in line to the throne, and 39-year-old US-British financier Christopher O'Neill, who got married in Stockholm in June. The Swedish Royal Court published the first pictures of the baby on Wednesday.

Hoax documentary on Spain coup bid stirs controversy

A hoax documentary that falsely claimed a 1981 failed military coup attempt was staged to boost King Juan Carlos's image has stirred controversy in Spain. Viewers took to social media sites to complain about the 50-minute documentary that aired on Sunday, with many saying the seminal moment in Spain's recent history was too serious to be treated lightly. The fake documentary was one of the most discussed topics in Spain on Twitter, with many users expressing anger, while newspapers published opinion articles for or against the broadcast.

Crown Prince, turning 54, sees Constitution as basis of Japan's peace

Crown Prince Naruhito, turning 54 on Sunday, praised the vital role the postwar Constitution has played to ensure peace in Japan and make the country prosperous. "Today's Japan was built with the Japanese Constitution as the cornerstone, and our country is now enjoying peace and prosperity," the crown prince said at a press conference prior to his birthday.
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