Denmark’s Prince Joachim undergoes brain surgery to remove clot

Denmark's Prince Joachim, youngest son of Queen Margrethe II, is in a stable condition following surgery on a brain clot in France, the palace said Sunday

Denmark's Prince Joachim undergoes brain surgery to remove clot
This file photo taken on August 28, 2018 shows Princess Marie of Denmark and Prince Joachim of Denmark arriving at the Amalienborg Castle in central Copenhagen. AFP

“Prince Joachim's situation is still stable. He is doing well in the circumstances,” the Ritzau news agency quoted the palace as saying after the prince's surgery on Friday at Toulouse University Hospital.

Joachim, 51 and sixth in line to the Danish throne, was holidaying with his family at Cayx, a chateau the royal family owns in southwestern France, when he was taken ill.

The palace added that Joachim, contrary to earlier Danish media reports saying he had been taken by helicopter, was driven by ambulance to the hospital, 130 kilometres (90 miles) away.

“It is too early to say right now,” palace spokeswoman Lene Balleby said with regard to how long the prince would remain hospitalised. 

He became ill shortly after an interview for a local paper with French reporters, who described a “relaxed” encounter.

Joachim, whose late father, Prince Consort Henrik was of French origin, is the younger brother of Crown Prince Frederik, who is in line to succeed their 80-year-old mother.

Twice-married Joachim, an army colonel of the reserve, is a father of four — two sons Nikolai, 20, and Felix, 18 from his first marriage and two with second wife Princess Marie — Henrik, 11), and Athena, eight.

Joachim is due to begin serving as military attache at the Danish embassy in Paris in September.

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Italian king’s heir apologises for monarchy’s Holocaust role

A descendant of Italy's wartime King Victor Emmanuel III has apologised to the country's Jewish community for his ancestor's role in dictator Mussolini's racial laws and the Holocaust.

Italian king's heir apologises for monarchy's Holocaust role
An archival picture of the Italian royal family in 1938 . Photo: AFP

“I condemn the 1938 racial laws, all of whose weight I still feel on my shoulders to this day, and with me the whole royal house,” 48-year-old Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy said of his great-grandfather.

Victor Emmanuel III had put his signature to an “unacceptable document”, he added in a letter posted to Facebook, “officially apologising” in the name of his family.

Almost 8,000 Italian Jews were deported from the country and murdered in Nazi extermination camps, most of them in Auschwitz.

Giving a TV interview alongside the letter, Emanuele Filiberto also vaunted his family's positive role in Italian unification and granting of equal rights to Jews from 1848.

Several Italian royals were themselves deported to Nazi concentration camps, he recalled.

After the war, Victor Emmanuel III abdicated in May 1946 and died the following year in Egypt.

His son Humbert II reigned for only a month before leaving for Switzerland when Italians opted for a republican constitution in a referendum.

Parliament only ended a constitutional ban on the House of Savoy's male heirs returning to Italy in 2002, after Emanuele Filiberto and his father Vittorio Emanuele swore loyalty to the republic.

The two men gave up on compensation claims demanding 260 million euros for their family's exile and the return of the royal family's confiscated property after a public outcry.

Emanuele Filiberto is married to French actress Clotilde Courau.