Wednesday 3 October 2007

Joachim & Marie - press conference

Photo Politiken/Jonas Pryder Andersen
A press conference with Prince Joachim and Marie Cavallier has taken place this afternoon at Amalienborg. Marie is sporting a ring of ruby, diamond and sapphire, like the French flag, said Joachim, who chose the ring and had some design modifications done. Marie said it was a complete surprise to her. Joachim and Marie spoke in English and Marie said Joachim proposed to her a couple of months ago when they were on holiday in Turkey during the summer. Joachim said he had already asked permission from her parents and her grandmother before he asked Marie. Marie said she felt strongly about his goodness and everything about him, his proposal was romantic, and yes, he did go down on one knee. It appears they met each other in Denmark 2002 at a hunting party, but it wasn't love-at-first-sight. They did not fall in love until 2005. Nikolai and Felix have been very supportive, they had kept the secret and were happy that they can now be open about it and Marie said they really are wonderful boys and that she loves them. They are not thinking of having their own children just yet, said Joachim but pressed by journalists, Marie said she hopes they will be lucky enough to have children. Marie will move to Denmark once they are married and they have not made any firm arrangements yet about the date, church, etc. Queen Margrethe has only recently decided Marie will have the title of princess. Joachim said this was not his decision to make, but another's (meaning the Queen). Marie had been very nervous about meeting the Queen, but Joachim said she was brave. Marie said she knew beforehand that the Queen was a very impressive woman but that she had been welcoming and not overwhelming as she had feared. Marie said she didn't know Alexandra very well, but that their relationship was good. On the domestic arrangements at Schackenborg, Joachim revealed his former parents-in-law Richard and Christa Manley will move, possibly abroad, and that they decided this on their own intitiative unrelated to what was happening with Joachim and Marie. Asked how she feels, Marie said relieved, but happy, the relief would come from less hounding from from the press! Marie was asked how her parents reacted to the news that she had a relationship with a Danish prince and she said at first they were worried that royal life is a difficult kind of life, but once they got to know Joachim they were convinced all was well. Joachim said it was the case that for Marie's parents, she is their precious treasure and they wanted to know that he would protect her. Marie said that while her princess role was important, it was more important to her to be Joachim's wife. She will begin learning Danish, she is aware it is a difficult language, but is looking forward to learning another language. Prince Joachim said for the evening they were having a family dinner at Fredensborg with about a dozen guests (close friends).

  • Official portraits at by Steen Brogaard. Includes photos with Marie's parents, Christian Grassiot and Nikolai and Felix.

      Earlier today after the State Council meeting at Christiansborg Palace this morning, the royal family had lunch at Fredensborg before Joachim and Marie returned to Copenhagen and Amalienborg for the press conference. Note from the State Council that her full name is Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier. With the press conference and media scrutiny to come, we will find out more about Marie's background. Marie was born in Paris on 6th February, 1976 to her mother Françoise (now Grassiot) and her father Alain Cavallier. She has four brothers, all older than she is. We do know her father Alain has a marketing business in Paris and originally comes from the area in the south of France near Cayx where Prince Henrik's family lives. Marie's parents divorced when she was around 13 years old and she went to live with her mother in Geneva. Her mother remarried Christian Grassiot, who runs a real estate investment company in Geneva. Marie is a partner in this company, has an apartment in Geneva and also in Paris near her father. Marie attended the boarding school Collège Alpin Beau Soleil in Villars-sur-Ollon in Switzerland. Her step-father and mother have a chalet in this town and this is where Marie and Joachim with Nikolai and Felix had their ski holiday last winter. Marie's mother owns a guest house near Avignon called Château de la Vernède, according to Billed Bladet. Marie studied at Boston College and in New York and lived there for some years. Details about Marie's education and career are still unclear. Marie's mother tongue is French, of course, and also speaks English, Spanish and Italian.

      The Copenhagen Post:

      Prince Joachim to marry

      3 October 2007

      The Lord Chamberlain’s office has announced Prince Joachim will marry his French girlfriend Marie Cavallier in spring of next year.
      Wedding bells will ring once again for Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s youngest son, Joachim, who has proposed to his girlfriend Marie Cavallier, according to a press release from the Lord Chamberlain’s office at Amalienborg Palace.
      The wedding will take place in the spring of 2008 and will be officially announced by the pair at a press conference from the palace’s Knight’s Floor on Wednesday afternoon at 16:00.
      This is the second marriage for the 38-year-old prince, who divorced the former Princess Alexandra - now Alexandra Christina, Countess of Frederiksborg - in 2004. The pair have two children, eight-year-old Prince Nikolai and five-year-old Prince Felix.
      Marie Cavallier, 31, is a French citizen and has been together with Prince Joachim for just over two years. She was educated in marketing in the US and Switzerland and is a partner in her stepfather’s investment firm in Geneva. She speaks four languages fluently - French, English, Spanish and Italian - but not yet Danish.
      As a condition of becoming a princess of Denmark, Cavallier will be forced to give up her French citizenship. In addition, she will switch over from Roman Catholicism to the Evangelist-Lutheran Church prior to the marriage.
      International Herald Tribune (Europe)
      'Denmark's divorced Prince Joachim to marry Marie Cavallier of France'
      October 3, 2007
      COPENHAGEN, Denmark: Denmark's Prince Joachim, a divorcee, will marry his French girlfriend, Marie Cavallier, the royal court announced Wednesday.
      The wedding will be held in early 2008, after which Cavallier, 31, will be given the title Princess Marie, the court said in a brief statement.
      Joachim, Queen Margrethe's second son, was divorced from Hong Kong-born Princess Alexandra in 2005, the first split in Europe's oldest monarchy in nearly 160 years. Joachim and Alexandra have two sons, 5-year-old Felix and 8-year-old Nikolai.
      Engagement rumors had been growing in Danish tabloids after Cavallier, who lives in Geneva, spent Easter with the royal family.
      "Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark and His Royal Highness the Prince Consort have the pleasure to announce the engagement of their son, His Royal Highness Prince Joachim to Miss Marie Cavallier," the palace said in a statement.
      The announcement came after the queen informed the government about the wedding plans at a regular Council of State, a meeting during which the monarch is briefed about current political matters. Joachim, 38, and Cavallier both attended the Council of State.
      Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier was born in Paris in 1976. Her parents divorced when she was 13, and she moved to Switzerland with her mother, according to Danish media.
      Cavallier went to Boston College where she studied commerce and marketing, and later moved to New York City where she worked with an IT company, Danish news agency Ritzau said. Cavallier, who speaks French, Italian, English and Spanish, now works with her father's investment company in Geneva.
      The palace said Cavallier will convert from Roman Catholicism to Denmark's Lutheran Evangelical Church, and abandon her French citizenship to get a Danish passport.
      Joachim is fourth in line to Denmark's throne after his brother Crown Prince Frederik and Frederik's children, Prince Christian and Princess Isabella. Frederik married Australian commoner Mary Donaldson in 2004.
      King Christian IX, Joachim's great-great-grandfather, is often called the father-in-law of Europe's royals. At the end of the 1800s, Christian and Queen Louise succeeded in marrying their six children into the dominant European royal houses. Today their descendants are to be found in 10 European countries.
      Alexandra, 44, gave up her royal title on March 3 when she married a Dane. She is now known as Alexandra Christina, Countess of Frederiksborg. Associated Press

      Pravda Online 'Prince Joachim to marry Marie Cavallier of France'
      Zee News (India) 'Denmark`s Prince Joachim to marry Marie Cavallier'
      Hello magazine 'Denmark's Prince Joachim to wed French love Marie'
      NRK Nett TV news (Norway) 'Prins Joachim forlovet seg'

      Danish media:
      B.T. 'Marie bliver Danmarks nye prinsesse'
      Prins Joachim: Det er en stor og lykkelig dag (DR news - see the ring)
      Berlingske Tidende 'Maries første officielle billede' (Marie's first official photo)
      Berlingske Tidende 'Prins Joachim friede i Tyrkiet'
      Jyllands Posten 'Joachim friede i Tyrkiet'
      Politiken '»Jeg ser frem til at blive en dansk prinsesse«'

      TV2 photo gallery at the press conference
      TV2 photo gallery some photos from the past year
      Billed Bladet photo gallery Joachim and Marie
      Billed Bladet photo gallery with Nikolai and Felix
      Madeleine Glindorf's gallery


      See the press conference in full courtesy DR1:

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      The wedding ring was made by Mette Rosgaard (inspired by the patterns on giraffes) with modifications from Joachim (the stones, presumably).

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