There is a special role for princesses in international diplomacy and some like Princess Diana and Queen Noor of Jordan captivated the imagination of the world with their charm and humanitarian work, but others play a more formal diplomatic and public relations role and appear in foreign lobbying records.
Princess of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, hired Fenton Communications in September of 2009 to assist her with a website and media outreach promoting her public education campaign, Foreign Agents Registration Act filings show. The contract with Fenton was terminated but the website is still up and running, describing her work in education, health and with the United Nations.
Qatar, a small middle-eastern country with rich oil reserves is ruled by the Al Thani family since its independence from the British in the 1970s. The UN recognizes Sheikha Mozah as a special envoy of its UNSECO Celebrity Advocates.
Although most of the royalty that appear in past FARA filings have few political contacts, they play a keen role in forging diplomatic ties through various PR campaigns.
Princess of Jordan, Bint Al Hussein follows in the footsteps of her mother, the famous Queen Noor. She is the junior wife of Sheik Mohammed of Dubai. Her public relation concerns stem from jockeying for a position in equestrian circles. Lobbying records show that Bint Al Hussein hired Public Strategies Inc. to assist her in getting an interview with the New York Times about the politics of the World Equestrian Games.
Wives and daughters of powerful dictators have also played a role in public relations campaigns acting as figure heads for causes ranging from women’s rights to education and even when it comes to the UN, and include a few that have been stripped off their position after recent uprisings in their country.
Suzanne Mubarak, wife of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, for instance, founded the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement (SMWIPM). Another example is Aisha Gadafy, daughter of the Libyan Dictator Muammar Gaddafi who fulfilled a public relations role sometimes supporting her father’s regime. When questioned about Libya’s human rights record by the Telegraph in October of 2010 she answered, “I have tried to understand why people say that, and where Libya is violating human rights, but I have not found anything. Those criticisms are completely groundless.”
Aisha served as a UN Goodwill Ambassador until she was stripped her of her title in March of 2011. She also advised the defense in Saddam Hussein’s trial.
Five other princesses serve the UN as UNSECO Celebrity Advocates. Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco campaigned for the ratification of the International Convention for the Rights of the Child. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, has her Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley and works to promote literacy. The Princess of Hanover is involved in promoting education in rural areas. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand promotes education and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg assists the UN with issues ranging from poverty, education, women and HIV/AIDS.