Friday 2 March 2007

Alexandra wedding update

Tomorrow is Princess Alexandra's wedding day and not only will it be a personally momentous day for Alexandra and Martin, Nikolai and Felix, but also for Joachim and the royal family. Alexandra's wedding is a private one and all the signs are that with the end of her official relationship with the royal family, she wishes to slip into a new mode of doing things. This by no means indicates any bad relationship with the royal family, indeed, the mannner in which Joachim and Alexandra have managed separation, divorce and now Alexandra's remarriage has shown a great degree of civility and thoughtfulness.

*The latest word is that the television networks DR1 and TV2 will cover the entrances and exits outside the wedding venue tomorrow and there will be a photo call. The wedding ceremony and the reception will be off limits. Should Prince Joachim attend, and he may well do, it will be a further sign of the goodwill which has been the hallmark of Joachim's and Alexandra's royal divorce. They have shown no bad feelings from the first and now a desire to move on with life.

*There are various Danish royal experts giving commentary in the Danish media on the meaning of it all. There is agreement that tomorrow's wedding will be a definte "goodbye" to the DRF and one historian, Sebastian Oldenburg, told press agency Ritzau that it would diminish Alexandra's popularity in the eyes of the Danish people. He said "Alexandra has taken the first step towards total normalisation and 'de-royalisation', in which the next step may be to have a job."

*The sociologist Emilia van Hauen doesn't agree with this view. According to van Hauen Alexandra has been good in creating attention and focus on the public issues in which she has been involved and that she will more than likely continue to do the same.

*In today's B.T. there has been a story based on a poll which suggests 52 per cent of Danes believe Alexandra's 1.9 million DKK appanage should be taken from her. The Danish pollsters Epinion found that 52 per cent of Danes do not agree that the duchess-to-be should continue to receive funds from the Danish state, whereas 40 per cent think she should continue to be recompensed this way. Politicians say the appenage is acceptable.

*Off in the quirky corner of stories about the wedding (and for your entertainment!) is one from Her&Nu (no.9, 1 March 2007) headlined

Alexandra casts shame on the DRF

Inge Corell is an expert in etiquette and good manners who is extremely irked by Princess Alexandra's wedding plans. According to Corell, Alexandra is breaking "the rules of what is proper" by having a church wedding with lots of guests and partying.
"It’s not proper when Alexandra has already stood at the altar once and promised God and the congregation that she would love and honour the one who stood by her side till death parted them,” declared Inge Corell, who runs lessons in proper manners and owns the hotel and conference centre, Havrehom Slot.
If Alexandra and Martin had asked for her advice the couple would have kept a low profile and only invited the very next of kin to the wedding. Corell would have preferred to see the couple-to-be travel somewhere and marry quietly.
“That would have been more appropriate as Alexandra is a member of the Danish royal house until the priest declares her and Martin Jørgensen to be a proper married couple. With the wedding hullabaloo going on, the DRF loses some of its aloofness and I think that’s a shame and a pity, as Denmark is the worlds oldest kingdom,” frets Inge Corell.
Kirsten Balslev: “Do you have an idea about who will accompany Alexandra to the altar?”
“Since all semblance of proper behaviour has been thrown aside, it can be anyone. It probably won’t be her father, as he doesn’t walk well. I will guess that Alexandra will walk to the altar holding Prince Nikolai's and Prince Felix’s hands. Such a picture will go around the world. The press will love it and people will love it. So why not?”
Kirsten Balslev: “Will Alexandra wear a long white dress with a veil?”
“Well, I’m not informed, but if she does I’ll laugh because she certainly can’t wear white the second time round. Champagne-coloured is sort of whitish. It’ll do, but brandy-coloured is more appropriate. Myrtles in the bouquet are under all circumstance out,” says the faithful follower of Emma Gad [a long dead doyen of the Danish bible of manners], who is aware that she is a harsh old woman when it comes to new times and new styles. But still, she is following the wedding plans eagerly and she will not faint if both Prince Joachim and his French girlfriend, Marie Cavallier, show up among the guests.
“I almost wish that for Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix. It looks like Prince Joachim and Martin Jørgensen are fine with each other, so it would only be natural that the father of the children also takes part. And as the small princes are seemingly fine with their father’s girlfriend, there is no reason that Joachim should come alone since all etiquette has been put aside anyway.”
Kirsten Balslev: “Would it be a taboo to mention Alexandra’s past as princess in the wedding speeches”?
“I don’t think Alexandra is sorry for her past. She has done well in her time as princess and the divorce is a fact. I think it’s fine that she now legalises her relationship with Martin Jørgensen, so that Nikolai and Felix won’t have to talk about Martin as “their mother’s boyfriend”. Now things will be in order and I appreciate that as the two boys, despite everything, are in the line of succession. I’m not weeping over Alexandra having to pay taxes on her appanage, because now she has time to get a real job. As an ex-career woman from Hong Kong, it will probably suit Alexandra just fine to get a job. With her position and her skills she should soon be able to find a well paid job, so she will hardly be in need of money.”
Kirsten Balslev: “What if Alexandra is marrying because she expects a child with Martin?”
“Then I’ll turn my eyes towards high heaven because that really would be very improper,” thunders Inge Corell. By Kirsten Balslev/Her&Nu

(thanks to santa, Benedikte and to Muhler, whose notes and additional comments on the extraordinary Inge Corell were hilarious -- we'll leave you to make up your own! Every country has at least one silly person, Her&Nu obviously found the Danish one and clicked on 'publish!')

Added: From Billed Bladet (no.9 1 March 2007)

In the article Alexandra's Wedding Rehearsal Trine Larsen says nothing has been left to chance when Princess Alexandra goes into Oster Egede Church to give Martin Jørgensen her "yes". All wish for the plans for a dream wedding to fall into place. Just like other women Princess Alexandra has planned her wedding eagerly to the finest detail. The last time Alexandra married royal etiquette had to play a part but this time she is her own 'sovereign' who can decide all.
Martin is getting married for the first time and the couple has planned everything together just as they wish it to be. They have had a wedding rehearsal and have planned everything for 80 guests.
The wedding rehearsal took place last Monday, when Princess Alexandra, Martin Jørgensen and the two princes, Nikolai and Felix, as well as some of those involved in the church ceremony, were assembled to finalise the last details.
After they inspected the church, arranged hymns and music for the wedding, they all had lunch at the nearby Jomfruens Egede, where the wedding party will be. For the reception the couple has invited a good 30 guests more, so the wedding party will be 120 after the ceremony.
Princess Alexandra is protector for Denmark's Radio Girl's Choir and she would like to suprise the guests with the Girl's Choir standing and singing in the church. Appaently they will sing "In Denmark am I Born". It has also been said that the choir will sing "Take My Heart in your Hands" or "Denmark now Sleeps the Light Night".
On the other hand, it is certain that the pastor emeritus, Peter Parkov, the regent couple's close friend, shall stand in for them at the wedding of the couple.
As a child, Alexandra was a member of the Anglican Church, but ahead of her wedding to Prince Joachim, she became confirmed and a member of the national church [Lutheran]. But in spite of both her wedding and her son's baptisms, she has not any close, personal ties to any priest, apart from Peter Parkov.
As a close friend of the royal house for many decades, he was an obliging and festive but discrete priest. He was the natural choice when Alexandra and Martin should choose who should marry them.
And they have been, without doubt, happy that he said yes even though the regent couple's good friend is now on a well deserved pension.
Besides the close relation to the pastor, Peter Parkov, it can also be interpretted as Queen Margrethe's "stamp of approval" of the marriage between her former daughter in-law and Martin Jørgensen. As the regent couple's close friend, Peter Parkov would hardly stand in charge of the wedding if he did not indirectly have the queen's approval.
The parrish priest in Oster Egede Church, Anne Rydahl Nielsen, will also be present in the church be the assistant priest.
In the 12 years Alexandra has been in Denmark, she has become Danish in dispostion so she and Martin have chosen all Danish hymns for their wedding.
The bridal couple have chosen that the guests shall sing "In the East Rises the Sun" and among others. By Trine Larsen/Billed Bladet (and a big thank you to elizabeth!)

1. Alexandra at her first wedding, 2. & 3. Alexandra in dresses designed by Henrik Hviid, 4. wedding dress designer Henrik Hviid, 5. make-up artist Helle Bach, 6. Alexandra was made up by Helle Bach here in 2005 7. Martin's parents Jacob and Jane, insert younger brother Mads and girlfriend Julie, 8. Christine Lyng, Alexandra's lady-in-waiting/secretary who finishes working for Alexandra on the marriage, 9. Martin's friend and best man Erik Refner and 10. Peter Parkov, very close friend to the Queen and officiating at the ceremony.

*On a more pertinent note Billed Bladet (no.8, 25 February 2007) has reported on the issue of Alexandra and her patronages

Margrethe decides what Alexandra can take on

“I know that Her Majesty has approved Princess Alexandra continuing as patron for Dansk Blindesamfund (Danish Association for the Blind). But I’m also aware that the Princess will not continue on as a patron in all of her organisations. So we are happy that she will remain with us.”
Jens Broman, national chairman for Dansk Blindesamfund is a happy man. Out of the 23 organisations Princess Alexandra has had as her patronages, it has been determined that Dansk Blindesamfund is one of those she will continue to work for. It is not a decision Alexandra has made on her own. It is very much something Queen Margrethe has approved. It was as a princess that her daughter-in-law became a royal patron, so now it has to be reviewed case by case, as to where Alexandra can continue.
At Dansk Blindesamfund they knew that a marriage between Alexandra and Martin was being planned.
“We were prepared for the situation, so that it didn’t come as a really big surprise. We have been a little informed throughout the process. I believe that the young couple and the court have prepared it for a long time. It was more a question as to what day it would happen. Princess Alexandra actually called me at home relatively early on the same day as the court released the announcement about the new marriage. She did say at that time that she would like to continue as our patron, so that we can continue the good co-oporation we have developed,” says Bromann.
There will be a lot of things to determine, and among others, where will Alexandra work? Where will she have her office? So far private secretary Christine Lyng has handled all the paperwork, but Alexandra may have to take care of that herself in the future.
Annelise Weimann: “Can Dansk Blindesamfund perhaps help Princess Alexandra?”
“The Princess in fact has an office already at our main office at Thorevej with a name on the door which says 'Princess Alexandra'. We may at least have to change the title now. So far the Princess has not used her office, but we have wished to maintain it in order to signal her close connection with the association.” Thorevej (where the Association is) is located in north western Copenhagen, not that far from Østerbro where the Princess lives.
Annelise Weimann: “The Princess’ financial situation is changing now. Will you give her a salary?”
“So far the Princess has been restricted by some rules and standards, which has limited the way she has done things. I think she is pleased that these limitations will vanish. So I also think that we in the future can co-operate even closer than we have done in past years. But we will wait about being more specific until after March 3 when the couple has married, had their honeymoon and begun their own daily rhythm. By then I think Alexandra will be prepared to review her new situation."
Unicef too, has been extremely pleased with the co-operation they have had with Princess Alexandra for six years. For the first two years she was honorary president for the aid organisation, for the past four she has been a patron.
“We have been very pleased with the Princess, she has worked hard and taken part in most of our meetings. It was actually the Queen, who was our original patron, who suggested that her daughter-in-law take over the post, and we went to a small gathering at Amalienborg, where the hand-over took place,” says general-secretary Steen Andersen.
“Now we will have to discuss the future. It is obvious that considering the new situation, some doors will close and others will open.”
Annelise Weimann: “Will you consider paying a salary to Alexandra for her work?”
“So far the Princess has paid for her own expences when she has travelled for us and she has been to Thailand and Sarajevo, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. All the members of our board as well as our presidium take pride in paying for themselves, but I will not rule out that in the future we might help Alexandra financially. I would like to discuss that with her myself however. There will also be a lot of service areas with which we can help, many practical matters, perhaps help with the telephone and office.”
Annelise Weimann: “Have you got a job available at Unicef for Princess Alexandra?”
“There is nothing vacant. You can of course create a job, but that is connected directly to the [financial] bottom line eventually, and Unicef is not the easiest place to create new jobs.”
Just as with Dansk Blindesamfund, it was the Princess herself who phoned Unicef and told about the coming marriage and the new situation. On the other hand a number of the other organisations of which Alexandra is patron have not received a phonecall. They are now anxious to learn whether that means that they will have to look for a new patron. By Annelise Weimann/Billed Bladet (...and many thanks Muhler for translation)

*Gallery looking back at how things were (the last photo maybe shows it hasn't been all beer and skittles, although it isn't always wise to overinterpret one photo). Future photos will tell a new story...

(With thanks to POLFOTO, Gert Blume and FotoKritik)

DR1 - Prinsesse Alexandra 40 år (58:36 - note the time needed to see it all the way through) This is a program made to mark Alexandra's 40th birthday in June 2004. When she made this, she would already have known she and Joachim were going to separate and divorce. The film was made by JJ Films owned by Martin's father Jacob with Martin involved in the crew. JJ Films had made at least three films featuring Alexandra by this time. It is in Danish, but with some parts in English (Joachim, Alexandra's sisters). It will be of interest to those who wish to see Alexandra and Joachim from the beginning, the wedding, hear Alexandra speaking and see something of Schackenborg Manor and the estate and also something of her life, at Cayx, and including charming scenes with Nikolai and Felix.

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Blogger Clare said...

Dear gigi & lotte,

Thank you for these fantastic photographs. I'm looking forward to seeing the wedding photographs also!

Best Wishes,

10:44 am  

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