Danish Royal Watchers

Friday, 30 March 2007

Frederik awards design prizes

Yesterday, 29 March, Crown Prince Frederik awarded the Danish Design Prize 2007. And for the first time a new Designmatters Award will be awarded to companies which have achieved growth by using design. There are new developments in the design field to promote awareness of the best and latest in design, architecture and crafts, and to promote Danish talent worldwide. This new push for Danish design is similar to the successful fashion industry promotion through CIFF and Designers Nest for which Mary is patron. Frederik is the patron of the Danish Design Council.

Jyllands Posten video clip
TV2 article (in Danish) 'Kronprinsen uddelte designpriser'

Check out Danish Edge, a new guide to new Danish Design, Crafts and Architecture.

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Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Christian's first day wrap

Some more on Christian's first experience of day nursery. Frederik, Mary and Christian stayed for two hours together at the centre before leaving. Christian will be in a group of eight toddlers in The Sprouts room for the youngest group at the age-integrated centre. There has been extensive coverage in Danish and international news reports as one of those warm and fuzzy stories to make us all feel good! That was how it has been presented in TV reports in Australia, with Nine News referring to Christian as an Australian prince (how so??) and Nine News and Seven News using the the 'Kingaroo' epithet (only the Australian media seems to do this). If you check the TV2 clips in the previous post you might catch the one where Christian gives a smile and a little laugh after Mary kisses him on the cheek! The Kindergarten Cop (thanks santa!) has a purpose built mini HQ just outside the centre (see behind Frederik, Mary and Christian in the third photo below) and we can assume the next baby will follow in his or her brother's footsteps, so it will have plenty of use.

From Berlingske Tidende:

Prince Christian in “The Sprouts”

27 March 2007

Like so many other Danish children Prince Christian was today taken to the nursery by mum and dad.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess went along on Prince Christian’s first day in the municipal institution Dronning Louise's Børnehus in Fredensborg – just a short walk from Kancellihuset, where the family lives.
Christain will belong to the room “Spiren – the Sprout” which is for the youngest children in the centre.
And just like for everyone else it was a big day for the small family that the firstborn should start in the nursery. Crown Princess Mary was dressed in jeans and a dark-brown coat that was open, so you could see her very obvious pregnant tummy.
The Crown Princess carried in her hand a small, lilac backpack in artificial material, that was less chic than her usual wardrobe. Wonder if there wasn’t clothes for the small Prince to change into [this was the Better Buddies backpack from the anti-bullying campaign recently launched by Mary].
Prince Christian was a bit slow on the legs today and stopped near the curb in order to assess the situation, presumably because of the many reporters who had showed up to capture the scene for posterity. With mum and dad holding each hand he was enticed to follow then up to the nursery, where Crown Prince Frederik picked him up while the family greeted the adults who will look after the Prince in the nursery.
Something however wasn’t quite as normal as in other day care centres. Prince Christian who is second in line for the throne, will be accompanied by a PET agent [security], each time he goes to the nursery.
Prince Joachim's and Countess Alexandra’s two sons have also been in municipal day care centres.
Prince Nikolai started in Møgeltønder Børnehave (kindergarten) in September 2002, where he too was taken by both mum and dad on the first day. Now Nikolai attends the private school Krebs Skole in Stokholmsgade in the one of the embassy neighborhoods in Copenhagen [which both Frederik and Joachim attended].
Prince Felix attends a municipal kindergarten at Sankt Annæ Plads (square) in downtown Copenhagen. (thanks for translation Muhler!)

Berlingske Tidende video clip (2:07) - here Mary says the chance to mix with other children is the reason he is starting at day nursery and that Christian will probably not attend every day, they will see how he goes (she speaks in Danish and English because she is asked questions in Danish and English)

From The Copenhagen Post:

The prince and the playschool

28 March 2007

The future king of Denmark met his subjects yesterday - as playmates at the local nursery school.
Prince Christian, second in line to the Danish throne, took his first wobbly steps as a man of the people Tuesday as his parents dropped him off for his first day of nursery school.
In addition to the friendly teachers at the Queen Louise Child Centre a host of national and international reporters were on hand to watch as Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary dropped off the 18-month-old prince at the local public nursery school.
Though attending a school named after one of his ancestors and being assigned a bodyguard may mean that Christian will never have quite the same experience as his playmates, his parents have emphasised that they intend to give their first born son as normal an upbringing as possible. But as he handed over his son, Christian's dad confirmed that might not be so easy - for either of them.
'He doesn't know what's in store for him. But then again maybe it's we, his parents, that need to prepare ourselves. The more prepared we are as parents, the easier he has it.'
Prince Christian's parents are expecting their second child in May so the timing, according to the Crown Princess, was practical, though she added she felt Christian was ready to get out and meet 'other children his own age'.
Despite the royal pedigree, [the head of] school Helle Zacho said Prince Christian had not skipped over anyone else on the waiting list - nor would there be any special treatment for their new charge.
'This is like being entrusted with any other child - except for the fact that we've had to add the word 'security' to our vocabulary.'

On arrival:

And departing, Frederik carried Christian and put him in his safety seat before they left:

From Denmark:
The municipal website Humbleborg.dk 'Prins Christian er begyndt i Spireren' (in Danish) 'Prins Christian begins in The Sprouts' and includes an MP3 link to an interview with the head of the centre Helle Zacho
TV2 article 'Lilleprins med madpakke' (in Danish) 'Little Prince with a packed lunch' and information from the head of the centre.
The centre Christian is going to does not supply lunch, so Christian will have a lunchbox in his backpack each day he goes to nursery school.
TV2 photo gallery
B.T. photo gallery

From Russia Pravda
From Germany Bunte Online (in German, click on the photo for the gallery)
From Australia, Hobart's The Mercury
From Sydney The Daily Telegraph

The Sydney Morning Herald:
Denmark's baby prince at nursery school
March 27, 2007 - 7:34PM
Prince Christian, second in line to the Danish throne, has joined dozens of other toddlers for his first day at a public nursery school.
The 17-month-old prince arrived at the Dronning Louise Children's House, north of Copenhagen, together with his parents, Crown Prince Frederik and Australian-born Crown Princess Mary.
After being greeted by nursery school staff, the family paused briefly for photographers before entering the building, which is surrounded by a playground.
They live in an annex of the nearby Fredensborg Castle, 35 kilometres north of Copenhagen.
Christian was born on October 15, 2005. His mother is due to give birth to the couple's second child in May.
Mary married Frederik two years ago in Copenhagen after meeting him in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics.
Frederik is Queen Margrethe's eldest son.

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Saturday, 24 March 2007

Christian to begin nursery school

Christian's last photocall in Verbier, Switzerland, during the family's visit in early February at the time of Mary's birthday. So far Christian has participated in a few photocalls: in his mother's arms when leaving hospital after his birth in October 2005, his Christiansborg christening in January 2005, at Queen Margrethe's birthday balcony appearance at Marselisborg last April, at Bonorong Wildlife Park in Tasmania in October 2006, at Christmas at Fredensborg with the descendents of Frederik IX December 2006, at Verbier 2007. Photocalls are a strange part of royal life.

The Danish Royal Court has announced in a press release that Prince Christian will begin nursery school at Queen Louise's Child Care Centre in Fredensborg on 27 March 2007. Christian's parents The Crown Prince Couple will accompany him on his first day and there will be a photocall for the media.

The press release says:
Amalienborg, 23 March 2007

Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess have decided that Prince Christian will begin at day nursery: Dronning Louise's Børnehus, Stenbækgårdsvej 202 in Fredensborg.

Prince Christian's first day at kindergarten is 27 March 2007, and the media is invited to take pictures when the Crown Prince Couple arrives together with Prince Christian at 10 am.

In return, we ask the media to respect that Prince Christian and the other children in the kindergarten and their families will afterwards be allowed to be left in peace, both while they are inside the kindergarten's property and its surrounds

(...then details for the media to arrange photocall accreditation ...)

P. Thornit
Chief of Court

Radio Humleborg (Fredensborg is in Humbleborg, the local municipality) reports an officer from the P.E.T (security protection service) will be with little Prince Christian at nursery school as a co-teacher (Støttepædagog). (thanks santa and gudinde!)

And B.T.'s (23 March 2007) report:

Prince Christian starts at day nursery

Queen Louise's Kindergarten (Dronning Louises Børnehus) in Fredensborg will have a new little member of the flock next week. Prince Christian will have a member of P.E.T. along too.

When you are going to be a big brother, then you are big enough to go to day nursery, so the little prince (Lilleprinsen in Danish) will start on Tuesday 27th March in Queen Louise's Kindergarten in Fredensborg, according to newspaper Helsingør Dagblad.

It has been expected that Prince Christian would be introduced to real life in the integrated institution of Queen Louise's Kindergarten in Fredensborg.

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, who have previously been on a short visit to the kindergarten, have decided that Prince Christian will have a daily session at the kindergarten and will attend just like all the other children in Børnehuset.

The only difference caused by the little prince is that Politiets Efterretningstjeneste (PET) will tag along as a kind of co-nursery teacher during the hours the prince is in Børnehuset, says Fredensborg Lokalradio – Radio Humbleborg.B.T. (kindly translated by Muhler!)

On a further note, it is normal for children as young as one year old to go to nursery school in Denmark. Nikolai and Felix did it and most children of this age begin socialising with other children in this way from this age. Denmark and Scandinavia generally has among the world's best practice in child care, which is supported by government policy, funding and social acceptance. There are very generous maternity and paternity leave provisions and enlightened practices in child care generally which aim to contribute to the healthy all-round development of children. The centre Christian will attend is a normal nursery school (ie: not private) which is run by the local authority (Humbleborg). Because of the very high participation rates by women in the workforce in Denmark (average of 85% according to the OECD) there is a trade off to help the social functioning of families, which includes not only good quality care but also affordable care.

*Social Policy in Denmark - Day-care services for children the Queen Louise's Child Care Centre is an age-integrated insitution, which means it caters for babies and children from 6 months to 6 years. It is a normal public centre where Christian has been on the waiting list. It is funded by the local municipality and Frederik and Mary will pay the full fee, however, as for all parents in Denmark this is subsidised, although for parents who can afford less, they are subsidised further. Frederik and Mary will pay 2556 Dkk monthly (roughly USD 460.00/EUR 343.00/AUD 565.00) and when Christian starts at kindergarden level when he turns two, the fee will reduce to half, ie: 1270 Dkk (USD 227/EUR 170.00/AUD 280.00) And from Her&Nu (no.7), Christian's grandmother Queen Margrethe is the patron of the centre which is surrounded by fields and an orchard only a kilometre from the Fredensborg Palace park. (thanks santa and ambiDK for info and thanks to our readers for comments!)

Social and Health Policy scroll down for day-care for children and parental leave and child-care leave

Photos below: 1.&2. Queen Louise's Kindergarten (thanks m!), 3.GoogleEarth view of Fredensborg and the location of home at The Chancellory House and the location of the kindergarten - it is about a kilometre (thanks cph!), and a life being photographed 4. official photo session, in this case by Steen Evald for the recent Greenland stamp, 5. Steen Evald for Christian's first birthday last October, 6. photos of comings and goings, in this case on the way to Bornholm last summer, 7. Mary's private photo of Christian released at the beginning of last summer, and 8. Christian's unexpected appearance on the Dannebrog on arrival in Bornholm last summer.

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Friday, 23 March 2007

Frederik helps mark International Polar Year

© Steen Brogaard. Crown Prince Frederik with director of the National Bank, Torben Nielsen, and director of The Royal Mint, Hans Denkov. Here the Crown Prince is shown the original sculptures from which the new coins are cast.

On Tuesday, 20 March, Crown Prince Frederik received a gold coin from Danmarks National Bank at The Chancellery House. The coin is the first being released to mark International Polar Year. The final one will be released in 2009. Frederik is the Danish patron of International Polar Year which he helped launch in Copenhagen on March 1 (here).

For more photos, visit Steen Brogaard's site

International Polar Year 2007-2008

Danmarks Nationalbanken:

Polar coins: New coin series with Polar theme

The first polar coin in a new series with the Polar regions as common theme will be issued on 26 March 2007. The series will comprise three coins and is launched to mark the International Polar Year 2007-2009. All polar coins will have motifs inspired by the Polar areas of Greenland. The final coin will be issued in 2009.

To mark the International Polar Year, Danmarks Nationalbank launches the first coin in a new series of polar coins on 26 March 2007.
The new Polar series will comprise three coins, which will be issued in the period 2007 to 2009.

The motif of the first coin is a polar bear. The polar bear is chosen because of its great importance to the Greenland culture. On the coin you will see the polar bear standing on a split ice floe. The motif is designed by the Greenland artist Niels Motzfeldt, who also designed the motif on the tower coin "Three Brothers". The obverse of the coin carries a portrait of the Queen in profile...

The gold coins are minted in gold originating from Greenland. Danmarks Nationalbank has acquired the gold from the Nalunaq Gold Mine by Nanortalik in the South of Greenland. This goldmine also delivered the gold to the wedding rings of the Danish Crown Prince and Crown Princess. It is the first time that a coin is minted in gold originating from Greenland. The legend on the gold coin also shows a small polar bear, which is used as a symbol for gold originating from Greenland...

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Thursday, 22 March 2007

Some new old photos from Bornholm...

A quick post of some photos published in this week's Billed Bladet which we have not seen before. Frederik, Mary, Christian and Ziggy are on the Dannebrog as they arrive in Bornholm for last summer's visit to the island. They are from a DR1 program about the Dannebrog. More details to come...

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Mary's baby is kicking the light fantastic!

Billed Bladet (no.11, 18 March 2007) has a report on what appears to be an active baby number two for Mary: Mary’s baby kicks

“I can only say that I hope for a fine healthy baby,” answered the Crown Princess when asked whether she thinks her tummy hides a little princess.

The tummy of the Crown Princess is clearly showing now that child number two is soon ready to enter the world. The mother-to-be looked healthy, blooming and good-humoured when she was at Hotel Josty Friday week ago attending the Kidney Association’s handing out of 505.000 DKK to seven researchers. But entering the eight month, the pregnancy naturally starts to weigh down on the Crown Princess, even though she still takes care of her royal duties in super elegant clothes and high heeled shoes.

Both at the arrangements in Gellerup Parken in Århus and at Kunstindustrimuseet (the museum for industrial art) a couple of days before that, it was indeed clear that the new little one makes its presence known. Mary held her pregnant tummy several times and revealed with her facial expressions that the baby-to-come kicked. She also put her hand on her loin, which is typically the place where pregnant women are hurting when the birth is approaching.

At Kunstindustrimuseet where Mary was guest at the presentation of “Smykkeskrinet” (the Jewellery Box) she particularly put her hand on her tummy during the mini-opera she experienced from the front row. Each time the female singer reached a high C, it looked like Mary’s baby kicked and reacted.

For the last couple of months Mary has been scanned regularly at Rigshospitalet where obstetrician Morten Hedegaard and midwife Birgitte Hillerup keep a watchful eye on the pregnancy to make sure everything is going according to plan. Mary is actually being checked more frequently than during the pregnancy with Prince Christian, just to be on the safe side.

And luckily everything is going fine, even though Mary is a little burdened by her unborn baby. She is slightly plagued by premonitory pains (mild uterine contractions) among other things, just as she was during her first pregnancy. It is however something quite normal. When pregnant with Prince Christian the premonitory pains became so unbearable that Mary had to be flown back from summer holiday at Cayx for check ups at Rigshospitalet.

It’s nothing as bad this time. All indications are that Mary will have no problems to speak of before the birth at the maternity ward at Rigshospitalet in the beginning of May.

Right now Mary’s child measures somewhere between 35 and 40 centimetres. The little one weighs about two kilos and is quickly gaining weight. That means that day by day there will be less space to move around inside the belly. Obstetrician Morten Hedegaard and midwife Birgitte Hillerup can now clearly feel how the foetus lies when they give Mary a check-up. In this period Mary is not only plagued by premonitory pains, but perhaps also by cramps in the calves.

And incidentally the little new one is now so developed in its brain that it can learn and remember things (the wonder of unborn babies!). He or she will be able to recognise voices. Primarily its' mother's and father's. But perhaps Mary’s baby will vaguely remember the opera at Kunstindustrimuseet. It was at least clear that the baby heard the high C. Written by Helle Skram de Fries and Ulrik Ulriksen/Billed Bladet and kindly translated by Muhler.

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Queen Margrethe up & about again

Queen Margrethe made her first appearance since her knee surgery last week on 14 March, 2007. The Queen presented the Queen's Watch, a bi-annual tradition begun by her father King Frederik IX to honour outstanding service. At Rosenborg Castle there was a military parade and the Queen presented the watch to Royal Guard Tim Thestrup Foss, although, as with last year, the Queen sat through the ceremonial event with a pair of crutches beside her. The Queen is still using crutches as she continues to recuperate.

Queen Margrethe used arm crutches due to a recent operation in her knee when she attend the Queen's Watch ceremony in Copenhagen. Royal Guard Tim Thestrup Foss, received Queen Margrethe's award.

Meanwhile, Prince Henrik has returned from his stint on the Galathea 3 Expedition, which he joined as Crown Prince Frederik departed.

The President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko, had a busy schedule of business and political meetings and visits during his and his wife's two day visit last week. Yushchenko signed agreements, visited the Folketing (Danish parliament) and made an address, was interviewed by DR2. The President is working to cement the position of his country in the European Union and gain the benefits of membership for Ukraine He also had an audience with the Queen in what appeared to be a very warm meeting. The meeting with the Queen was 16 March 2007.

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