Thursday, 1 February 2007

Danish royal roundup # 14

Time to roundup some Danish royal news once again!

The hype about Mary's haircut continues.
Princess Mary becomes queen of the crop from Hello! magazine, and
Mary Donaldson se corta el pelo para paracer más madura y seria from the Spanish (and stranger in interpretation!) version 'Mary Donadlson cuts her hair to look more mature and serious' - how they know this is not clear, but did report on the Children's Aid Foundation gift from B.T. and on Mary's visit to the Glostrup Children's Treatment Home. Billed Bladet describes Mary as a whole new princess in this week's edition.

Meanwhile in HerΝ no.3 Kirsten Balslev has written about the benefit of Mary to organisations.

Mary saves lives: The Crown Princess’ unique effort

The representatives from the Crown Princess’ patronages are deeply impressed by her effort.
Crown Princess Mary, 34, has saved lives through her work with the Heart Association and the Brain Damage Association. As patron of the Danish Youth Association of Science, she has made the geeks come out in the open and made it okay to be smart. She has also doubled the list of applicants to the Children’s Choir of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, because a lot of children think it’s fun to sing in front of a princess. And by jumping on a trampoline at the Christmas Seal Foundation’s Home in Ølsted, she has given the Christmas Seal Foundation a lot of attention, so that more overweight children are being helped now.
The Crown Princess isn’t just a fashion icon – she has also put Copenhagen on the world map of fashion with her engagement in Copenhagen International Fashion Fair in the Bella Center. As patron of the Danish Association for Mental Health and the Danish Mental Health Fund, she has helped people to talk about mental diseases. At her first New Year Reception in 2006, Mary served as catalyst for a co-operation between her different patronages so that thanks to her, the Danish Brain Injury Association and the Danish Heart Association can help each other, for example when it comes to a quick solution to coronaries in the brain and when it comes to the campaign about lifesaving cardiac first aid.
"Without a doubt, the Crown Princess saves lives by her efforts with brain and heart matters," says Niels-Anton Svendsen, the chairman of the Danish Brain Injury Association.
At Mary’s own New Year"s Court last week, the bouquets were raining down on the smart and engaged patron.
"It means a lot to have a crown princess as patron, and with Mary, it is not just a name but also a benefit. She gives a lot of effort when she participates in one of our big events. She is very competent, she is nice, full of initiative and empathetic. Those of us from the Heart Association will never forget her meeting with 3000 children with heart diseases and their parents, who participated in the Heart Association’s children's club family course this last summer in Horsens. Mary was down on the floor, playing with the youngest ones. She talked about all kinds of things with the older ones and encouraged their parents. It was touching and we are deeply thankful to her, says the Danish Heart Association’s manager, Susanne Volqvartz.
(many thanks to ambiDK for translation!)

18 January. Crown Prince Frederik steers his Farr 40 class sailboat Nanoq during the seventh of nine races at the Acura Key West 2007 sailing regatta in Key West, Florida. The five - day regatta off the Florida Keys ends Friday. Provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau/Andy Newman

19 January. Farr 40 class boat Nanoq skippered by Crown Prince Frederik sails upwind during the last day of racing at Key West 2007 regatta in Key West, Florida. Competitors in Key West 2007 represent 20 countries in addition to the U.S.

Kronprinsen til kapsejlads i USA TV2 article (Crown Prince at regatta in the USA)
TV2's photo gallery

From HerΝ:

Mary supports me
by Sarah Køhnke

Crown Prince Frederik is taking the sailing contests very seriously and enjoys all of it. But without Mary behind him, he cannot succeed.
He looks like somebody who is the closest thing to happy. His mood is the best and the confidence is glowing out of the Crown Prince. Official engagements, speeches, newly ironed shirts and flashing cameras are far from his sailing reality. Crown Prince Frederik might be the skipper of Nanoq but he is also a part of the team, one the guys which is a role he is obviously comfortable in. And with Mary’s acceptance and support, the Crown Prince can enjoy watching one of his childhood dreams come true.
"Mary understands it all and supports me. She is behind me in this and she thinks it is exciting and keeps track of everything that is going on, says Frederik to HER&NU when we met him in Key West, in Florida, with his team aboard Nanoq. They are using the competition to prepare for the Farr 40 World Championship in Denmark later this year.
You could say that it is a dream coming true, says Frederik and looks like a young boy, who has just gotten a new bike.
"I tell her about what is going on all of the time. 'Now we’re doing this, today we tried, and then we did it'," says Frederik refering to his talks to Mary on the other side of the Atlantic.
"She understands why I love this. As long as it doesn’t get too much," Frederik laughs, thinking about how the little family has to do without daddy, when there’s a competition on his agenda. He knows very well that she takes care of Prince Christian when he’s at competitions.
But Frederik has high expectations for a good placing at the World Championships in the Farr40-boat this summer in Copenhagen. This will be a huge event in the late summer, with contestants from all over the world. To live up to his expectations and place better than the disappointing place at last year’s World Championships, the Crown Prince has chosen to go all the way. His sponsors have accepted to invest in a new boat and the Crown Prince himself has participated in hiring the famous sailor Bouwe Bekking, who will lead them along the way to a top placing at the World Championship. And there’ll be no complaining even if you’re a crown prince, and you have to get up early and go to bed late at night.
"We are just going to train, train, train. I can’t lift more weights or something like that, because it is hard training aboard the boat. Bouwe Bekking is tough and there’s a lot of shouting and handing out orders," says the Crown Prince, who, just like everybody else on the team, has to take several orders from Bouwe Bekking to be ready for the World Championships.
"We have to do a lot better than at the last World Championship," says Frederik, who looks like he’s full of energy and ready to do his very best to make it happen. Then the dream can come true.
(many thanks for translation ambiDK!)

Queen Margrethe has awarded the Order of the Dannebrog to actor and impersonator Ulf Pilgaard (pictured below). Impersonators are not lacking royal appreciation. Another called Preben Christensen had a specialty in impersonating the Queen and there is an anecdote that when Queen Ingrid went to see his show she sent word to his dressing room before the show that he must not omit the impersonation of her daughter on her account!

Photo © The Royal Danish Theatre
Billed Bladet no.4 2007 reported that while Frederik was in Florida and Prince Henrik in France, Queen Margrethe and Crown Princess Mary went to the Opera House on Saturday January 20 to see the Royal Danish Ballet's production of Swan Lake

From Billed Bladet no.4 January 2007:

What does a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law do when they are minus their husbands at the same time? They go to town together and that’s exactly what happened last Saturday, when Queen Margrethe and Crown Princess Mary saw Swan Lake together at Operaen in Copenhagen. Crown Prince Frederik sailed last week off the coast of Florida and Prince Henrik was on vacation in France, and that was a good occasion for Mary and Margrethe to go out.
Queen Margrethe knows the ballet Swan Lake inside out. It is probably the ballet she is most fond of, and not least the new version, staged by two world-famous Danes Peter Martins and Per Kirkeby. So it was very natural that she picked just that when she and Mary were to have a fun time out together. Queen Margrethe is regularly at Operaen, but Crown Princess Mary hadn’t been there since she was there with Frederik when they presented the Crown Prince Couple’s Cultural prize last September. Saturday evening was very special, because the American May Watson of the Royal Ballet danced the main part in Swan Lake for the first time with stunning success. It was indeed a very enthusiastic Queen and Crown Princess who left the place shortly before 11pm.
(by Annelise Weimann and kindly translated by Muhler)

The Greek royal family & the Christie's auction

Christie's has auctioned more than 850 items once owned by King George I of Greece. There has been a lot of media back and forth over the sale because several Greek politicians contested the validity of the sale. It appears the items legitimately belonged to ex-King Constantine, which was determined by the European Court of Human Rights. A record price was achieved during the two day auction. There were many pieces of Danish provenance because of the connection between the Danish and Greek royal houses.

Disputed Greek sale nets millions BBC NEWS 25 January 2007
Auctioneers defy Greek government BBC NEWS 25 January 2007
Greek protest over London auction BBC NEWS 22 January 2007
Greek Royal Family website - News & Media links to Greek royal family press releases

Billed Bladet reports that Joachim and Marie have been together again at Schackenborg for the weekend (in the photo above left is Schackenborg and Joachim's long-time friend Christian Scherfig).

Mary Cavallier has been in Denmark again to visit her boyfriend Prince Joachim. They enjoyed the weekend together at Schackenborg Castle (the weekend before last), and a few friends were there too.
"I can understand the interest for my private life but I would prefer to take things nice and calmly. Be careful. It takes the time that it takes," Prince Joachim had said in an interview with Billed Bladet last June.
Seven months later – after the New Year party with Marie Cavallier at Amalienborg – the Prince was almost talking in code when Billed Bladet asked him again about the relationship, and Joachim answered:
"In relation to our relationship, 2007 will be challenging and exciting but I can’t tell anymore about why it will be like that…
It was obviously a considered way of saying that girlfriend Marie Cavallier is on her way to Denmark. Perhaps even that an engagement is on its way.
No matter what, it is obvious that the beauty from Genève and the prince from Schackenborg are seeing each other more often. Only a few weeks after spending New Year's Eve with Prince Joachim’s friends and family at Amalienborg, the 30-year-old Marie Cavallier was in Denmark again.
It was a cosy weekend at the home of the Prince at Schackenborg, despite the Danish winter’s storm and rain.
Prince Joachim had also invited his good friend, lawyer and manager Christian Scherfig and his girlfriend Agnete. The couple left Schackenborg shortly after lunch on Sunday, and then Joachim and Marie had the rest of the day to themselves.
Again it is maybe significant that Marie met Joachim's close friends.
Scherfig's and the Prince’s friendship goes all the way back to school and the two couples know each other rather well after spending the days around New Year and the last Spring vacation in southern France together. It is now clear to see that Prince Joachim’s love has reached the point where Marie Cavallier gets to know his friends and learns to feel good in Denmark.
The picture is almost the same as when Mary Donaldson left Australia and went to Paris and spent many, many weekends on secret visits in Denmark, where Mary was introduced to the Crown Prince’s closest friends.
The result was that Mary already had Danish friends and trusted them from the moment when she was officially in Denmark.
Big decisions like moving to Denmark, a possible engagement or an official presentation as a couple are something that Marie and Joachim have had a lot of opportunity to talk about during the days at Schackenborg. They have been able to calmly discuss the advantages and disadvantages concerning the smallest decision, which they will have to make about their relationship. It is probably not a question of “whether” the mentioned decisions are going to be made. It is more likely a question about “when”.
"We have been apart so many times and of course we miss each other, but we are grown-ups so it is okay, I have my friends and my family who support me. Nowadays, I stand back. I need some time to myself. I need to think things through. I have time to wait. Things have to calm down a bit and then we’ll see how it goes. I hope it will end well because we should be happy," said Marie last August when she confirmed that she and Joachim took a little break away from each other.
Since then, so much has happened which makes the couple’s relationship so close and established that, for example, a romantic weekend at Schackenborg is a very natural consequence.
(by Ken Richter and Ulrik Ulriksen of Billed Bladet and kindly translated by ambiDK)

As mentioned in our last roundup, Princess Alexandra was at the Frederiksberg Gymnasium and gave a strong message against domestic violence.
From Her&Νu no 3, 2007:
Request from Alexandra: Leave the boyfriend if he hits you
by Kirsten Balslev

Princess Alexandra doesn’t tolerate violence in a relationship and tells young girls to leave the boyfriend the first time he lifts up his hand to hit.
If Princess Alexandra’s boyfriend, Martin Jørgensen, 29, ever shows the smallest sign of violent behaviour, he can be sure to be kicked out of the house on Svanemøllevej in Hellerup, where he lives with the Princess and Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix.
You have to break up immediately, if your boyfriend beats you, said Princess Alexandra without hesitating, when she visited Frederiksberg Gymnasium’s theme day about violence in relationships and violence in families, and was asked how to escape from a violent relationship.
It was The Association for Children in Battered Families (Alexandra is patron), who had planned the theme day and the students listened carefully when the 31-year-old Malene told her touching story about what it is like to grow up in a family where dad beats up mom.
We have to bring violence out into the light and it has to be filed to the police because it is a crime to hurt others. Girls, who grow up in battered families, often end up in violent relationships themselves and then it’s an evil circle. Break up if your boyfriend hits you – because he will do it again, warns Kirsten Raffel Hermansen, who took the initiative in 2000 to create “The Association for children in battered families”. That theory was confirmed by the 26-years-old Beginja with her story about a violent boyfriend, who wouldn’t let her go. Every time he lost his temper and hit her, he ensured her that he wouldn’t do it again but he kept on hitting until she got away from him three-four years later – isolated from friends and family, 30 kilos heavier and with no self-esteem.
Take care of yourself and say no the first time you experience violence – if not, the violence will continue and you can die from it, Beginja said to the female students.
Princess Alexandra was deeply touched by the two girls’ personal stories and after the meeting, she got to talk to them herself. She was given the video “Break up – before you break down” to take home, which is about violent relationships.
(many thanks to ambiDK for translation!)

From Billed Bladet:
Alexandra comforted victims of violence.
By her presence alone, Princess Alexandra makes a difference when she is on the job...That was clearly seen on the two occasions where Princess Alexandra was at work in the past week. First, as patron for UNICEF she was visiting Frederiksborg Slot in Hillerød, which in the coming year as a UNICEF-town will collect money for the schooling of children in refugee camps in Tanzania.
And then also the day after, when Alexandra visited the auditorium at Frederiksberg Gymnasium (high-school) where more than 600 pupils had a theme-day about spouse violence and violence in the family.
A particular girl, Safira, a pupil at Frederiksbeg Gymnasium got a big warm and comforting hug from Princess Alexandra who immediatly and instinctively could sense that the upbringing of the girl hadn’t been without problems.
“She just seemed so sweet, interested and understanding. So when we had a talk I asked her if I could give her a hug. And she said yes,” beamed Safira, who like many others, will not forget the meeting with Princess Alexandra.
...The Princess also has the ability to make people open up and forget everything about being nervous and with her warm steady gaze and interest as support it was indeed not difficult for Beginja and Malene to open up and tell about a childhood and youth with violence, which still many years later has left them with psychological
“It’s courageous of the girls to stand forward and tell their very personal stories and that has left a great impression on me,” said the moved Princess after the meeting with Beginja and Malene...
“I do that because it’s important that it is not a taboo when you experience violence between spouses or when children and youths are exposed to violence in their families. Only by being open about the problems can the young ones get help and learn to say no. If they do not get help and if they do not learn to say no, it can destroy both the childhood and their youth,” says Princess Alexandra and quotes one of the slogans of the association, “Break the chain”, when she is asked about an advice to how to stop violence in families.
“Break the chain. It’s important that children do not experience violence in the home. Because everything points to that violent behavior happening because the person in question was exposed to violence at home. That’s why it’s so important to stop it,” says Princess Alexandra.
(written by Trine Larsen of Billed Bladet and thank you for translation to Muhler!)

And also in our last roundup we mentioned Princess Alexandra attended the MERMAID's cancer research project on January 10 Her&Νu had an article about it in its issue #3 2007.

I am being examined for cancer
by Kirsten Balslev

The princess tells HER&NU, that she is often screened for cancer of the cervix to be on the safe side.
Princess Alexandra doesn’t hesitate to be screened. "Of course I accept the offer. That’s what it is there for and I can only encourage others to do the same thing. The earlier it is discovered, the better chance you have for recovery," said Princess Alexandra, 42, to HER&NU after a meeting at Deloitte’s new house on Amager in Copenhagen, where the MERMAID – which supports gynaecological cancer research – presented its new research project on cervical cancer.
Alexandra is a member of MERMAID’s steering committee and helps the work for cancer research.
"I am proud to be in the steering group of MERMAID together with international cancer researchers, who have participated in creating the vaccine against cervical cancer, so that one day, you can vaccinate young girls against the disease before they become sexually active. It is a world sensation because it means that we are removing a feared cancer disease. But as the vaccine only can help future generations, it can’t take over screening, as it is a disease which doesn’t show any symptoms until very late in the disease process. Denmark has more cases of cervical cancer in the EU, so it is important to improve current screening and find new ways of identifying the women who have a higher risk of developing the disease," says Princess Alexandra.
Every year, several hundred women are diagnosed with cancer of the cervix. Half of them are younger than 45 years old, so it is a disease which has a wider social impact affecting the whole family and not just the woman. It is hard to think that every year a million women all over the world are hit by abdominal cancers and half a million women get cervical cancer every year, said the princess.
Peter Scmeichel’s wife Bente and the singer Lis Sørensen have also volunteered as ambassadors for the MERMAID-project. (many thanks for translation ambiDK!)

A note: there is an Australian connection here. The vaccine Princess Alexandra refers to was developed over 20 years by an Australian cancer researcher Professor Ian Frazer, who was Australian of the Year in 2006. After some Federal Government resistance to the idea, the vaccine was approved late last year to be given free to all girls up to 15 and women under 25 upon equest in the national vaccine scheme (ie: free) in Australia from this year. Also see Catalyst.

Billed Bladet no.4, (27 January 2007) reported on the issues facing Frederik and Mary in raising Christian.

Christian ready for day nursery

Little Prince Christian is still the natural centre of attention at home with the Crown Prince couple in The Checellory House, so when a new picture had to be taken in connection with charity, it was with a little smiling Christian between his mother and father. When Frederik was one year old, he too appeared on two charity stamps for the Red Cross, and when Christian's grandmother Queen Margrethe was a small one year old princess, she was photographed along with her mother, Crown Princess Ingrid, for a stamp for the benefit of the Office of Children (Børnenes Kontor). An excess amount was paid per stamp (of 0.05 DKK) which raised the charity funds. On the new stamp with Christian the amount is 0.50 DKK. Just like the Queen and the Crown Prince, who from when they were very small both had to get used to being the centre of attention, so it is for little Christian. But Christian now has to learn too, that for him not to feel “more interesting” than what is good for him, his parents have long since decided to sign him up for an institution with both a day nursery as well as a kindergarten. There are three of those in Fredensborg, but which one the Crown Prince couple is looking at and when Christian will start is known only by Frederik and Mary at the moment.
“That is an entirely private matter for the Crown Prince couple and I have no knowledge of that,” says the court information chief, Lis M. Frederiksen.
Last autumn when Crown Princess Mary visited Børnehuset Frederiksholm in the south western part of Copenhagen, she had a long chat with the manager, Elisabeth Lunding, and after that conversation, the kindergarten manager is in no doubt that Prince Christian will soon start in an institution.
“The Crown Princess mentioned that she and the Crown Prince looked at an institution in the area where they live. Mary thinks it is important that Christian is with other children , to learn social skills and make friends, which may be important in his future life. She spoke openly about that,” says Elizabeth Lunding.
Before Frederik and Mary became parents, they said on several occasions that they wanted to give their children a more normal upbringing than the one the Crown Prince experienced, where it was the nanny who took care of him, and where he only sat at the table with his parents for the first time when he was old enough to use a knife and fork.
Today it’s already very obvious that Christian gets a very different loving upbringing. Frederik's love for his son beams from him, just as Mary seems incredibly aware of how much it means to be allowed to be a real mother for Christian, even though she has the position she has.
Crown Princess Mary is scheduled to give birth in the beginning of May, and even though she has all the help she needs, it is not unthinkable that Christian will start in an institution in March. That will relieve Mary when the new little one arrives, and at the same time it will give Christian time to learn to know his new little mates, before he becomes a big brother. (by Anna Johannesen and many thanks to Muhler for translation!)

Kig IND, Her & Nu and Billed Bladet all say Mary and Frederik have actively researched the daycare institutions in Fredensborg Municipality with a view to Prince Christian beginning in daycare. This is confirmed by the outgoing Mayor of Fredensborg who confrims that Prince Christian is on the official waiting list to enter daycare in the municipality. It is most likely that Prince Christian will start in an age-integrated institution at nursery level and then when he is 2 years old he will advance to kindergarden level. They will pay full price of 2556 Dkk monthly, since there won't be a reduction depending on income. By the time Christian starts at kindergarden the fee will reduce to half: 1270 Dkk. It is interesting to note the good policies of the Danish education system in action.

Photos below by
Tariq Mikkel Khan of POLFOTO

25 January 2007 Prince Joachim and Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen were in good spirits to mark 2007 as the Year of Industrial Culture. Prince Joachim is the patron for the year-long observance of indsutrialisation, including the 1933 development of the diesel engine. Diesel House is a technical and cultural event center which celebrates the technology of the diesel engine in a museum in the deisel building at E2's property at the H.C. Ørsted Powerplant, Copenhagen. The museum was launched by Crown Prince Frederik last year.

Industrial Heritage Year jumpstarted

Photo by Holger Bundgaard of POLFOTO
Prince Joachim has attended some final drills for a unit scheduled to go to Afghanistan soon. Joachim is a major in the reserve and his support is for a unit which will face action with NATO when offensives are launched in Afghanistan within the next few months. Another unit will be going to Iraq. Although the visit was fairly routine as such, it has been featured on Danish TV news because of a tragic live-fire accident recently, where one soldier was killed and another wounded. (many thanks Muhler!)

TV2 video clip

23 January. Queen Margrethe attended the opening of the exhibition "Kings in Art" at the royal reception room at Christianborg Palace.

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