Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Fascinating Fridays (Royal Birthdays and Coming-of-Age Celebrations)

For most people commemorating birthdays mean times of celebration with family and friends and it is no different for our Royal. It is actually no better for most of them than for us. They celebrate their birthdays with loved ones and these events are no more grandiose than a tea and cake afternoon get-together or evening dinner. However due to their relationship with the public, whether in reigning monarchies or deposed, these annual events afford a great opportunity for some public relations or even public holidays in the case of Heads of State. Also special birthdays like the coming-of-age 21st birthday is regarded as very special and may afford opportunity for very special events that may garner lots of good publicity. 

What's better than a celebration with red carpet and tiaras to boost publicity or forward political agendas? Nothing attracts crowds, especially those starved of  glamour than a birthday ball. These Royal events have served over many centuries to boost morale and to replace the glitter in the eyes of the public. 

The Royal Ball may serve as a political showcases of prosperity in the face of other nations bolstering prestige. It may also serve to win back popularity after a season of dissatisfaction in the eyes of the masses. In the case of the Imperial Birthday Ball pictured above, it was to celebrate the coming-of-age, the miraculous survival of the Crown Prince Imperial, to reignite the popularity of the fallen Imperial monarchy and to launch a publicity wave that has not ceased to increase in momentum since its inception in 2009. 

As in the case of most people, gifts are often a big part of a Royal birthday. These presents however may come with historical provenance affording intrinsic as well as antique value and may have come down the inherited lines for centuries. The most well know of these types of gifts are obviously jewellery but may be property or art. The set above, made from amethysts and diamonds was a gift to Princess Augusta on her 18th birthday. 

Gifts of affection often take on a more personal form as was the case in 2011 for Princess Odeliah's first birthday whilst married. The Princess, a lover of animals and especially horses, received this thorough bred from her husband. 

Birthday celebrations may take a far more down toned quality in times of austerity. These intrinsically private and family affairs will become more private when a family is in mourning for example. The birthday will still serve as an excuse to convene but festivities would be kept humble. Such was the case in 2013 for those related to the late Empress Crystobel when celebrating the birthday of her son in September.

When a birthday is seen as an official event, politically motivated or a coming-of age of a high ranking member of the Royal family. then the obligatory balcony appearance will feature as part of the interaction with the public. This cements the involvement of the people with their monarchy and shares the happy day in a more direct manner. Such balcony appearances often gather large crowds especially when a public holiday has been declared. Above we see the Reichenthalian Royal family celebrating the birthday of the Crown Princess.

We hope this post was informative and also whetted the appetite for upcoming birthdays as they are publicized on the blog.


  1. Everybody loves to see a glamouros social event, it's a sort of distraction from every day life and its pain in the ass.

    Can't wait for the next event, I'm curious