Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Swedish Royals and its Controversies

The British royals are not the only members of European royalty that have gotten into troubles and misadventures in life over the past years, their distant cousins elsewhere in the continent have some shares of unglamorous slip-ups too. 

Let's be honest, royals still resonate that bewitching, often strange,  brand of ancient myth and magic that even modernists continue to criticize their gone-with-the-ages existence, some of us can't still help but be mesmerized with their presence.  So much so that any updates about them, good or bad, immaterial or substantial, are considered worthy of turning the news page. Or so I thought lol!

Most members of the world media allotted big spaces of their columns to British royals, thus, most people rarely heard anything about other members of the European royal court, but did you know that other royals are far more interesting than their Brits cousins? Aside from, of course wealth and privilege, they are drop dead gorgeous and glamorous and had married highly cultured, independent and career-oriented women.

And yes, the controversies and intrigues they'd gotten are more spicy and provocative. 

Due to several controversies that gone haywire spurred from his controversial safari hunting adventure and the corruption charges against his son-in-law, the once highly admired King of Spain, Juan Carlos, suffered a terrible blow in what could have been his very successful reign in the last 37 years. The scandals heavily tainted the Spanish royal court that an abdication has been suggested by several critics. But the Spanish royal court maintained the King never considered relinquishing the throne to his only son, Felipe, the Prince of Asturias, at least for the time being.

Somewhere in the Scandinavian peninsula, the royal court of another cousin seems in a hot water too, no, not lately, but some years back, but the intrigues continued to haunt the royal family.

King Carl XVI Gustav, who had just visited the Philippines to support the country's rehabilitation effort for the Yolanda victims in Tacloban City, became the center of uncomfortable and malicious talks when a book related to his life was published in 2010. The book shares juicy intrigues about the King's past including his nightclub antics when he was still a crown prince. The book authors claimed the King, who was then 27 years old and enjoying his bachelorhood, would often attend sex parties in a mafia-run club organized by a Serbian gangster.

The publication of the book created so much controversies that everyone expected for the King to make a denial but to everyone's surprise he made a bizarre statement before the camera crews and journalists, "I have spoken with the Queen and my family and we chose to turn the page and move forward because these are the things that happened in the past"...

Royal analysts could not just believe the King uttered such statement which could be viewed as indirect confession to the allegations. Anyway the Swedish royal court has moved on and the malicious contents of the book, though many believed had tarnished the reputation of the King, did not actually affect the views of most of the Swedes.

The revelations in the book were not the only controversies the Swedish royals faced in recent years. The romances of the King's children became the subjects of so much intrigues too. 

The King's heir-apparent, Princess Victoria, raised many eyebrows when she married her commoner personal gym trainer who was far below her status and station. The King initially disapproved his daughter's relationship with Daniel Westling but later, maybe realizing he could not do anything to stop the romance and his daughter was very much in love, he had given his approval for the marriage and on June 2010, the two tied the knot.

Victoria's younger sister, Princess Madeleine, who, as a child, was touted to be one of Prince William of England's ideal royal matches, broke her engagement to Jonas Bergstrom in 2009 when it was found out the man had kept an affair with another woman. Madeleine went to New York city where she met and fall in love with financier, Christopher O'Neil. They married on June 8, 2013 in Stockholm and expecting their first child this February 2014.

The stories of controversial romances among King Carl's children did not end in his daughters, his only son, Prince Carl Philip, has his share of offhand romantic adventures too.

Children of King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden posed for photographers 
during the 40th anniversary (2013) of the King on the Swedish throne.
Princess Victoria and her husband, Daniel Westling, Prince Carl Philip, 
Princess Madeleine and her husband, Chris O'Neill

The prince was briefly the King's heir-apparent in 1979 before the law on succession was changed from male-preference to absolute making his older sister, Victoria, the crown princess. The King was reportedly disagreed with the changes because he felt his only son was deprived with what is due to him at his birth. The law was finalized on January 1, 1980 stripping Prince Carl Philip his right to directly succeed. But in the British line of succession where the Swedish royals are direct descendants of Queen Victoria, Prince Carl Philip is still ahead of her sister in the listing.

His Royal Highness, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and his girlfriend, 
former reality star and model Sofia Hellqvist

Anyway, the Prince, who is a keen sportsman and an officer in the Swedish royal navy, looks very happy now and enjoying his freedom. He might even thank the changes in the succession law because he won't be forced to be very formal and reserve in choosing a future wife (but even then, his sister, who would become a Queen regnant in the future, did not also confine herself in the royal tradition of choosing a suitable spouse). As he is no longer in direct line to become a King, Carl Philip perhaps does not really care who he want to be as a wife, and this maybe the reason why, despite some public objection and criticism, he pursued a romance with a woman considered to be slightly unsuitable.

Sofia Hellqvist, whom the Prince began dating in 2010, had caused more royal observers' eyebrows to raise than Daniel Westling  due to her unconventional background before she met Prince Carl Philip. She is a Swedish model and reality star who once posed naked in a magazine pictorial and once admitted she had making out with a U.S porn star while visiting Las Vegas, unheard for a wife of a royal prince. 

Reports circulated lately that the couple, who had been living together since 2011, is planning to get married this year and their engagement would soon be announced, though no confirmation yet from the Swedish royal palace. If that would happen, Prince Carl Philip will be the first royal prince since Prince Haakon of Norway to take a wife with a very unconventional reputation.

But who are we to judge? Everyone is capable of starting a new, uncluttered life and it's always unfair to judge the person by his/her past. And as what King Carl XVI Gustav said in his famous statement "we chose to turn the page and move forward because these are the things that happened in the past"...everything could just be put behind and it looks like his son had seriously absorbed the King's statement.

Sofia seemed successfully redeemed herself.  She is focusing on charitable works and looks like she is well-accepted in the royal family. She has seen on various occasions joining the company of the royal family.

Well, who said that fairytale never come true?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The European Royal Madness

An excerpt from my book: EUROPEAN ROYALS

Throughout history, we’d known that the ancient European monarchy had rulers who were not only tyrant and criminally insane but mentally disturbed, neurotic and delusional, others who just suffered from mild insanity were categorized as simply eccentric and, well, plain nuts.

Historians down the ages conducted several researches about madness in the royal court and what caused royals to go bonkers. From genetics and pure scientific sense to folktale humor like family curse and black magic, the causes were as varied as the level of derangement of these extremely privilege individuals.

Here are few royals I included in the chapter of my book about mental insanity in the European royal court. 

GEORGE III of ENGLAND – He was the third Hanoverian King of England and was famous in history for two things: Madness and losing British territories in America through the American Revolution. It was not known however if the defeat of the British during the American Revolution was attributed to George’s incompetent decision-making due to his lunacy.

King George III was suspected to be suffering from the blood disease called Porphyria which affected a person's mental state. During his bout of madness, he would talk endlessly for hours without a pause until his mouth would foam. At one point, he became delusional, shaking hands at tree branches in Windsor Great Park thinking it was the King of Prussia. At the end of his life, he became totally insane and blind. He died in seclusion at Windsor Castle.

LUDWIG II of BAVARIA – He was known as "the mad king" but King Ludwig II was simply eccentric who preferred a life in daydreaming than facing government ministers. Due to his fascinations toward fairytales, he had almost bankrupt his Kingdom for building whimsical castles that reflected the descriptions of fairytale edifices he saw on theater plays. Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria is just one of these fairytale castles he insisted to be constructed despite his kingdom's economic turmoil. Today, this castle is one of the most famous tourist spots in Europe.

Ludwig II was a loyal patron to Richard Wagner and extremely devoted to his plays, thus would organize lavish opera shows in his palace to escape social gatherings with government ministers. When the weight of responsibilities of being a monarch would overwhelm him, he would withdraw to solitary confinement at his apartment and watched operas.  Due to these bizarre behaviour and eccentricities, he was declared insane and was forced to abdicate although there was no clear evidence of his insanity and no medical examination about his mental illness was conducted. He died from drowning during his captivity.

CHRISTIAN VII OF DENMARK – He was a nephew and brother-in-law of King George III of Britain, but no concrete evidence could point out if he was also suffering from Porphyria. But this Danish King’s insanity was not really dangerous, he was simply a practical eccentric joker. He would reportedly leapfrog when visiting dignitaries bow in his presence and would suddenly slap people during serious meetings, well, just for fun!  He took several mistresses because of his belief that it was unfashionable for a man to love his own wife. If all married men in the world will be like Christian VII then we will be in great trouble. A regency was set up when his mental derangement affected his decisions on state affairs.

IVAN IV of RUSSIA – If there’s one royal in history that combined madness and sadistic tendencies that would make you chill in terror, then that’s Ivan IV of Russia. Though his reign was considered a great one in the annals of Russian political history, his terrifying behaviour shrouded his accomplishments and made him known one of the craziest and criminally insane monarchs in Europe. His very disturbing mental illness suggested he was a psychopath.

His training skills in the macabre academy include mutilating live animals, raping women and torturing people even his friends. During the height of his psychotic behaviour, he accidentally killed his son and almost beat to death his daughter-in-law. He took many wives and would eliminate one by one the moment he lost fascination. One of these women was thrown in the lake when he found out she was no longer virgin.

CALIGULA – Perhaps, you are at loss when hearing the name Caligula because his name sounds like a voodoo doll of a witch rather than a statesman. Modern generation would never understand a thing why a Roman Emperor had a funny name like that. But Caligula was no joke, he was a powerful Emperor of Rome, so powerful that his lunacy was not discovered until he allowed his horse to eat in the banquet table with other dignitaries. His reign was only brief and his accomplishment was overshadowed with his controversial reputation of being loony and neurotic. 

At the first half of his reign, he was admired by his subjects due to the progressive reforms he introduced in Rome but as the years progressed his weird insanity slowly appeared. He would create baffling laws, he made it illegal to look at him in the face and anyone caught would be thrown to a pack of lions. He would organize gluttonous feast and parties and never understood the word “moderation”. His psychosis tendency became severe when he committed incest with his sisters, one of them got pregnant and, because he could not wait for a child to be born, he cut his sister’s womb, took the baby, killing his sister instantly. The final showdown of his lunacy was when he made his horse a citizen of Rome and a priest. His terrifying weirdness made his enemies joined together to put his excesses to the end and had him killed.

VLAD III of WALLACHIA – If you will put together Ivan IV and Caligula, then you will have Vlad III, who was known in history as the Impaler, because his way of killing his victims was through impaling. His cruelty and sadistic tendencies were still popular in Europe during the 17th century that it inspired Bram Stoker to write a novel about a horrendous man in Transylvania that drinks blood, Dracula.
The most brutal part of the way he executed people was boiling the spikes in oil to make the pain more intense and unbearable. At the height of his cruelty and Dracula streak, he would invite people to a feast in the forest and had them impaled and killed leaving the corpses to rot in the ground. He would boil infants and forced their mothers to eat them. He would cut the breasts of the wives and fed to the husbands, then had them impaled and burned. He had reportedly killed close to 100,000 people mostly in a grisly way, torturing, impaling and burning at stake. He paid a high prize though. When he engaged in a battle against the Turks, he was killed and beheaded.

More mad royals are featured in my book. This story of madness in the royal court is just part of my book about EUROPEAN ROYALS. You can find more interesting, never heard stories about royalty in the book which will be available soon.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Jacobite Pretenders to the throne

I know it's been ages, and the British history has finally moved on. But I just want to take a slow journey back in time to satisfy my curiosity about the Jacobite uprising.

The Jacobites were descendants of King James II who had fought hardly to restore the succession to their bloodlines and because I am preparing a book that features a collection of stories about the European Royals, journeying back in time with the Jacobites seems an interesting ritual.

Catholic descendants of King Charles I were prevented from succeeding the throne under the Act of Settlement. This Act was established in 1701 stating that only protestant descendants of Princess Sophia of Hanover could possibly succeed the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland. Princess Sophia, who married the Prince of Hanover, niece of Charles I, was the nearest protestant relative of James II.

While researching facts and theories about the complicated history of the British succession, I came across with one information that traces the bloodlines of the current head of the House of Wittelsbach in Germany, Franz, Duke of Bavaria, to King Charles I. The information triggered my fascination about Royal History.

According to a source, the Duke of Bavaria is the most senior male descendant of King Charles I and if Catholics were not barred from succeeding the throne during the middle ages, then Prince Franz is the current King of England.

Franz directly descended from the youngest daughter of King Charles I, Princess Henrietta who married the Duke of d'Orleans. But because Henrietta was raised a Catholic and married a Catholic, she and her descendants were removed in the line of succession.

King James II, Charles I's son, was forced to abdicate because he converted to Catholicism, but two of his children remained Protestants, his daughters, Mary and Anne. Mary succeeded her father to the throne, jointly ruling with her husband, William III. Mary and her youngest sister, who would become Queen Anne, were children of James II from his first marriage to Lady Anne Hyde. James II's second wife, Mary of Modena, was a Catholic. 

James II's children by his second marriage were all raised as Catholics, thus, the eldest son, who was born Prince of Wales, James Stuart, was denied with his right to the throne and was stripped from his title. But in France and Rome, he was recognized as the legal British King and upon the death of his father in 1701, he was known as King James III. He went to live in Rome and was given an apartment by Pope Innocent III. The Jacobites launched several attempts to take back the throne but were unsuccessful. 

According to reports, there were negotiations made between the British courtiers and James Stuart to make him Queen Anne's successor if he will convert to Protestantism, but James Stuart stood firm with his belief and refused to give up his Catholic faith, his most memorable statement was "I have chosen my own course, therefore it is for others to change their sentiments". The negotiation was not push through and upon the death of Queen Anne the throne passed to her nearest protestant relative, George of Hanover, son of Princess Sophia.

James Stuart had two sons, Henry who became a Catholic cardinal and Charles who continued pressing his claim to the throne, but Charles had no legitimate children, thus the line of descendants of James II through males became extinct upon the death of Charles and Henry.

Tracing the bloodlines of the next successors, as both Mary and Anne had no surviving children, the throne should pass to the youngest daughter of King Charles I, Princess Henrietta, a Roman Catholic, and to her direct descendants. But as history would have it, destiny did not happen that way and Princess Henrietta's descendants were not recognized as legal heirs. Henrietta's most senior male living descendant today is Prince Franz, the Duke of Bavaria.

Asking about his birth right to the throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Duke of Bavaria remained quiet and just expressed his happiness and contentment of being just the Duke of Bavaria.
Princess Sophie and her husband, Prince Alois of Liechtenstein.
Princess Sophie is the niece of Prince Franz, the Duke of Bavaria.
She is a direct descendant of King Charles I of England, thus a Jacobite successor to the thrones of Great Britain and Ireland

The Duke of Bavaria, who is a great nephew of the famous Bavarian King, Ludwig II, did not marry and no children, thus his successor to the Dukedom of Bavaria is his younger brother, Prince Max. Upon Franz's death, the Jacobite pretender to the throne is Prince Max who then succeeded by his eldest daughter, Princess Sophie, wife of the Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein, Alois.

It's crazy how history reshaped the lives and destinies of most people including royals and their supposed birth rights. 

Although some of the provisions in the Rules of Succession were repealed under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, successors who are in communion with Rome or in layman's term born and raised as Roman Catholics, could never succeed the British throne, they are referred as "dead", the provision of the Act of Settlement requiring a British monarch to be a Protestant remain unchanged. But under the new succession law, descendants who were removed from the line of succession because of marrying Catholics will now be restored, thus Prince Michael of Kent and sons of his brother, the Duke of Kent, will take their places in the line of succession when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 will take effect.

Under this new succession law, eldest daughter of the sovereign will take her place in the line of succession ahead of her younger brothers.

My book, European Royals, will tackle controversies, scandals, mysteries, madness in the royal court and facts about the European royal court.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Princess Madelaine's Baby Bump

Princess Madelaine dazzled in a fitted blue Tiffany Rose lace gown last December 19 at an event in Stockholm, Sweden, celebrating her mother's 70th birthday. 

According to reports, the fourth in line to the Swedish throne is scheduled to give birth to a baby girl on February 25, 2014.
Princess Madelaine of Sweden, pictured with her husband, Chris O'Neil, 
showed off her growing baby bump last December 19, 2013. 
She looked radiant in a fitted blue lace gown.

She married Christopher O'Neil, a New York-based investment banker, last June 8, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden.

There's still no official statement as to how the child would be treated in the line of succession. The rules of succession stated that all children of Swedish royals must be raised in Sweden to retain their places in the line of succession. 

The Princess and her husband are taking permanent residence in New York and it is most unlikely that the Princess will move back to Sweden after giving birth. But whether the King will grant a special exemption for Madelaine's offspring, that remains to be seen, but one thing for sure, the future children of Princess Madelaine will not bear a royal title as her husband, Chris O'Neil, was not bestowed with any titles upon marriage and preferred to remain a commoner. As children always take their social status from their father, future children of Madelaine will remain titleless.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Best of 2013: Royal History and News

It's the last month of the year so I'll be making my year-end reviews and look-back to some of the biggest news, intrigues and controversies ever reported in the European royal circuit in 2013.


Queen Beatrix with her son, Wilhelm-Alexander and daughter-in-law, Maxima

Abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

The Dutch monarchy has been practicing the abdication tradition since the time of Queen Whilhelmina. Though no specific reasons cited for this tradition, it is historically believed that its purpose is to give room for young generation royals to rule the Kingdom. But despite this century-old tradition in the Netherlands, still, the abdication announcement of Queen Beatrix at the first quarter of this year, took many by surprise. The monarch, who ascended the Dutch throne in 1980 following the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana, is only 75 years old and still sprightly active.

What made the whole thing more poignant was the fact that one of her sons, Prince Friso, was still in a coma and confined in a London clinic. Prince Friso was not at his mother's side when this historical event took place. Prince Friso died in September when his mother was already bearing the title, Her Royal Highness, Princess Beatrix of Orange-Nassau.

Wilhelm-Alexander's accession to the throne brought another significant mark in the Dutch history. He is the first King to ascend the Dutch throne since King William III in the 19th century. But the country might not witness another King to ascend in the coming decades because the reigning King's successor is a female, her eldest daughter, Catharina-Amalia, the Hereditary Princess of Orange-Nassau.

Abdication of King Albert II of Belgium

If royal watchers were surprised on the abdication announcement of Queen Beatrix, half of the world was even more astonished (including this royal blogger) when Albert II, King of the Belgians, announced his plan to relinquish the throne to his son, Prince Philippe, a move that has not heard in Belgium since Albert's father, King Leopold III, was pressured by the government in 1951 to abdicate.
King Albert II of Belgium made history last July 2013 when he abdicated the throne, he cited his frail health as the mean reason of his abdication. He is the first Belgian King to make a voluntary abdication and the second abdication history since his father, King Leopold III, was forced by the government to leave the throne in 1951.

King Albert, who was 79 years old at the time of his abdication, cited his frail health as the mean reason of his voluntary abdication. His eldest son, Philippe, the Duke of Brabant, succeeded him and took the throne in July 21, 2013. For the first time since the uncle of Queen Victoria of England, King Leopold I, became the first King of Belgium in 1861, the country will have a female monarch after King Philippe, because the reigning King's successor is a female, his eldest child, Princess Elisabeth. Belgium, just like other European countries: Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Great Britain, changed its succession law from male-preference primogeniture to lineal primogeniture where an eldest child of a monarch, irrespective of gender, will be the heir-apparent to the throne would no longer push by a younger brother in the right of succession.

The birth of the future British King

If constitutional monarchy will still prevail in England for the next decades, Prince William's newly born son, Prince George, will ascend the British throne as King George VII, thus, his birth in July 22, 2013, was marked as "historical" in the book of world history. Other than that, nothing is significant in his birth.
His Royal Highness, Prince George of Cambridge, the name I easily predicted for William's eldest child. His birth marked a historical shake-up in the line of succession to the British throne. On his birth each of the present royal member was pushed down one notch farther from the throne including his popular uncle, Prince Harry. If constitutional monarchy will still prevail in England for the years to come, this infant Prince will succeed his father, William, and will go down to history as King George VII.

Prince George, who has no noble/royal lineage in his mother's family tree, is third in line of succession after his grandfather and father, pushing his uncle, Prince Harry, one notch down to the throne. This is the first time since the birth of Prince David (King Edward VIII and eventually Duke of Windsor) in 1894 that the British throne has three male heirs in direct succession to the throne. Officially known as HRH Prince George of Cambridge, the infant prince was christened last October bearing these full names: George Alexander Louis.


Prince Harry's love life and new girlfriend

Like the rest of the royal watchers in the world, I have my own list of favorite royal news too! One of these items is the much-publicized royal romance of Prince Harry of Wales.

For so long, since Prince Charles married the young and lovely aristocrat, Lady Diana Spencer, I had been hoping that one day, one of the current male British royals will marry an upper-class, someone with an aristocratic background. When I read that the younger son of Charles and Diana is currently dating the pretty blonde girl, Cressida Bonas, daughter of Lady Mary Curzon, a descendant of King Charles II, I was more than pleased.
Wiser than his brother?
Prince Harry might choose an upper-class blonde for a wife. He has been dating Cressida Bonas, daughter of a British aristocrat with a royal descent from King Charles II, since the summer of 2012 and speculations have been louder than ever that the irresistible prince might propose anytime soon. Both their maternal grandfathers (The Earl of Althorp for Prince Harry and the Earl of Howe for Cressida) were direct descendants of the Duke of Richmond, son of King Charles II, making them 5th cousins once removed.

As a traditional royalist, nothing is more fulfilling than chronicling the latest romantic exploits of Prince Harry with someone from the aristocracy. It's always lovely to write something interesting on the family tree when the prospect is of royal heritage because that's what Royal World is all about.

Royal observers speculated that Prince Harry might propose anytime with Cressida and that the announcement might happen before the first quarter of 2014, no confirmation from the Clarence House (official residence of the Prince of Wales) yet though.

If the marriage will push through, Cressida will be the first woman with an aristocratic background to marry a senior male British royal since the late Princess of Wales, Diana, married Prince Charles in 1981. Cressida is the 5th cousin once removed of Prince Harry, both their mothers (Lady Diana and Lady Mary) directly descended from the Duke of Richmond, one of the illegitimate sons of King Charles II.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson might remarry?

Despite the public's reservations on the Duchess of York, it still brought some surge of delight if I can read something about Sarah Ferguson joining the royal family (officially) again. I did not share the public's misgivings towards Fergie (as Sarah is known), for me, she is just a normal human being worthy to be respected. Prince Andrew loved and respected her down the decades and even after their divorce became final in 1996 (ahead of the Prince and Princess of Wales), the Duke of York continued treating Sarah fairly and allowed her to share his apartment in Sunninghill Park.
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York during their 1986 wedding

I admired the way this royal couple treated each other. Even after they parted ways, they continued making joint holiday vacations abroad with their daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. And last August 2013, news spread in the royal world that the two might consider remarrying in the months to come, Buckingham Palace kept mum about the issue and the couple has not yet heard confirming the news.

Prince Philip's Health

One of my favorite British royals is the Duke of Edinburgh. I find him very endearing and fascinating at times. He is always realistic with no inhibitions and doesn't go around rallying with artificial praises to anyone when it is not really due. The press and other people sometime find his public remarks on almost everything, boorish, bordering on arrogance, but I find it humorous and honest. He has a very genuine character and never withhold emotions even in public, he would express honest comments even if it cost him a few amount of troubles. 

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

The Queen, for so long, well, since marrying Philip in 1947, has been very candid in saying that her husband had been her strong support and that most of the time she relied on his independence and resilient character.

The Duke of Edinburgh was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. At 92, he is the oldest surviving great great grandchild of Queen Victoria of England. He is the last true-blooded European royal to marry into the British royal family.

Prince Philip's health had been the great concern of the British royal family since Christmas 2012 when he was wheeled to the hospital due to heart attack, he recovered soon but endured another health problem in June during the Jubilee celebration of the Queen, he spent his 92nd birthday in confinement. He was rushed to the hospital again in August for another health complaints. He was discharged several weeks later and resumed his public duties since then.

I am wishing Prince Philip a healthier existence in the years to come!