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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The World's Hottest Young Royals

 These 13 young royals and royals-to-be have made headlines this year with a royal wedding, a bestselling book, World Cup hopes and Olympic dreams.
Prince William, U.K.
Age: 28
Queen Elizabeth's grandson, who is second in line to the throne, has tabloids aflutter over rumored impending engagement to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton. Currently training to become a Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force helicopter pilot. In June traveled across southern Africa with younger brother Prince Harry on their first official trip together; visited projects run by charities they are involved with and watched England's World Cup match against Algeria. Over 8 million Google mentions in past year.
Prince Harry, U.K.
Age: 25
Third in line to British throne after brother Prince William. Made headlines when he fell from his horse in a charity polo tournament in New York in June; recovered to get back into match, which he eventually lost. In an interview during his tour of southern Africa this summer said remembering his mother the late Princess Diana keeps him going everyday. Begins training to become Apache helicopter pilot in July; has stated he would return again to frontline in Afghanistan. Rumored to have ended relationship with on-again, off-again girlfriend Chelsy Davy.
 Princess Victoria, Sweden
Age: 32
First in line to succeed father, Sweden's King Carl XVI. In June married former gym owner and personal trainer, Daniel Westling in lavish ceremony; among the 1,200 guests were royals from across the globe. Toymaker Mattel made a Barbie doll of Princess Victoria for their "strong modern women" series, which includes billionaires Oprah Winfrey and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Charlene Wittstock, Monaco
Age: 32
One-time South African Olympic swimmer got engaged to Monaco's former playboy Prince Albert in June. Received a pear-shaped diamond created by Parisian jewelry house Maison Repossi estimated to be worth over $100,000. Though no wedding date has been set, Wittstock has reportedly been preparing to become the first lady for several years; rumored to have taken intensive French lessons. She will become the principality's first Crown Princess since the death of Albert's legendary mother, Princess Grace, in 1982.

Queen Rania, Jordan
Age: 39
Wife of Jordan's King Abdullah uses her royal platform to passionately promote human rights, women's issues and global literacy. Her children book, The Sandwich Shop released in April, was on the New York Times bestseller list for two consecutive weeks. Regularly updates her own website, Facebook, YouTube channel and Twitter and Flickr accounts; with Jordan's tourism office, launched a Twitter video contest in July to promote cross-cultural understanding. Her sense of style has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Diana. Mother of four, turns 40 in August.

Princess Beatrice, U.K.
Age: 21
Granddaughter of England's Queen Elizabeth is fifth in line to the throne. With the country facing severe budget cuts under a new government, the club-hopping royal's bodyguard contingent reportedly may be cut. Mom, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, embroiled in embarrassing scandal when it was revealed she tried to shill access to her former husband, Prince Andrew. In April completed London Marathon, first royal to do so, while also setting a new Guinness World Record by participating in a ''human caterpillar,'' a chain of 30-plus runners led by billionaire Sir Richard Branson's kids.

Zara Phillips, U.K.
Age: 29
Granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth is an accomplished equestrian like her mother, Princess Anne. Reigning world champion in eventing, the triathlon of equestrian sports, which combines dressage, cross-country and show jumping; has a stable of 15 horses. Plans to represent her homeland in the 2012 London Olympics. Currently creating her own equestrian clothing label with clothing company Musto. Said to be planning nuptials with longtime boyfriend, rugby player Mike Tidall.

Princess Haya, Dubai
Age: 36
Half-sister of Jordan's King Abdullah became second wife of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in 2004. Pair share a passion for horses. He owns renowed thoroughbred breeders Darley Stables and hosts the Dubai World Cup, whose total potential winnings exceed $26 million, the highest in the world; she is a champion show jumper who won King's Cup at age 12; rode in Sydney Olympics in 2000. Now elected member of International Olympic Committee. In June, appointed patron of World Academy of Sport; already planning first-ever 5 kilometer marathon for women in the UAE later this year.

Andrea Casiraghi, Monaco
Age: 26
Nephew of Monaco's Prince Albert became first in line to inherit throne in 2002, when the principality changed its constitution to allow him to inherit when it appeared doubtful his uncle, dubbed the playboy prince, would ever marry and have children. May lose his chance to become prince if Prince Albert and soon-to-be bride, Charlene Wittstock, produce an heir. Said to be dating Tatiana Santo Domingo, the granddaughter of billionaire Julio Mario Santo Domingo.

Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi
Age: 40
Member of tiny emirate Abu Dhabi's royal family; half brother of the current president of United Arab Emirates, Emir of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Chairs the state's oil-oriented sovereign wealth fund and serves as UAE deputy prime minister. In 2008 bought British soccer team Manchester City for $300 million. Avid horse rider.

Princess Sirivannavari, Thailand
Age: 23
Graddaughter of world's richest monarch, Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Fashion designer started her own label, Sirivannavari, in 2008 and has had fashion shows both in Thailand and abroad. Opened her second art exhibition in two years in Bangkok last November, "How I See It," which debuted paintings and drawings by the princess. Accomplished badminton player.

Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis, Germany
Age: 26
German prince is only billionaire on our list. He inherited fortune in 2001 when he was 18, today his net worth is estimated at $2.2 billion. The "green" prince owns 30,000 hectares of woodland in Germany, one of the largest forest holdings in Europe. Reportedly plans to invest over $200 million to build one of the world's largest solar farms in Bavaria and sell enough electricity to power 16,000 households. Lives in family castle, Schloss Emmeram, which the family has occupied since 1748. Race car driver, tours with a German auto-racing league.

King Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi, Royal Bafokeng Nation
Age: 42
Dashing ruler of tiny Royal Bafokeng Nation elevated to the spotlight this year with soccer's World Cup arriving in his tiny nation, located in the Northwest Province of South Africa. Spent $70 million upgrading the 39,000-seat stadium that was built by his brother a decade ago, as well as a sports complex that was the base for England's soccer team; hosted the first World Cup U.S.-England game in June. The one-time architect, and trained pilot, is trying to transform the population of 300,000 into a meritocracy. The nation's communally owned land sits atop an estimated 40% of the world's reserves of platinum.

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