Royal Honeymoon Speculation in Croatia: The Island of Rab?
British newspaper speculation prompts Croatia's tourism minister to invite William and Kate to continue the British royal tradition on the island of Rab.
A flurry of speculation in the Croatian media about the small island of Rab becoming the honeymoon destination of Prince William and Kate Middleton prompted Croatian Tourism Minister Damir Bajs to issue a statement on March 22, 2011.
Rab's Royal Tradition and the Start of Naturist Tourism in Croatia
The speculation stemmed from an article in Britain's Daily Mail that discussed various locations that might receive a tourism boost on the back of the success of Oscar-winning movie The King's Speech. Rab was visited by Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson on their holiday in the Mediterranean in 1936. During their brief stay, the couple lunched and received permission from local authorities to swim au naturel at a local beach that has been known as the English Beach (Engleska Plaza) ever since. The event was seen as an important step in the establishment of naturist tourism, which is big business in Croatia today.
While the Daily Mail inferred that the island might be of interest for a first anniversary, the article was seized upon by local media, leading to Bajs to extend an invitation to the royal couple. "It would be great if the couple accepted the invitation and visited the island of Rab," he said in an interview with local media. "It is great though even to mention Rab in this context."
"The story has emerged since we have had an increased number of British tourists visiting Croatia in the last two years. The invitation to the Royal couple should stay open."
Pointing out the previous royal visit, Bajs continued:
"Brits like tradition. And knowing that King Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson visited the island that would just continue the tradition"
Royal Visits to the Adriatic Coast
While Croatia may be an unlikely destination for the royal honeymoon, William and Kate have caught observers by surprise in the past, not least when William proposed in a log cabin in Rutundu while on a safari holiday in Kenya.
The old Yugoslav coast was almost the setting for William's parents' honeymoon, as they were widely rumoured to have decided upon the Montenegrin resort of Sveti Stefan, a favourite holiday spot for Princess Margaret before the war there, but changed plans to a cruise around the Mediterranean after details of their honeymoon were leaked to the press.
Astrologer Meri Jerkovic Advises Dubrovnik or Mljet
In conjunction with the Daily Mail article, Croatian media were also reporting advice for William and Kate from well-known astrologer Meri Jerkovic, who advised them to honeymoon in either Dubrovnik or the island of Mjlet, visited by Prince Charles in 2008:
"Croatia, as a country, was born in the Zodiac of the Virgin," said Jerkovic in popular tabloid,24 Sata on March 3, 2011, "so a visit to Dubrovnik, or the island of Mljet would benefit the Royal couple greatly because they both have a tendency towards the sea and the ecology."