Saturday 24 May 2008

Joachim & Marie: an update

After all the anticipation, not least that of Joachim and his bride Marie themselves no doubt, the wedding day has arrived. We will be posting TV broadcast links here as they become available. It has been busy in Møgeltønder, where Prince Joachim's estate Schackenborg is located, with a Tønder Kommune reception for the bride and groom yesterday and guests for the wedding arriving during the past few days. The Queen and Prince Henrik have been at Gråsten Palace since Wednesday. The Queen's sisters Princess Benedikte and Queen Anne-Marie and their families are accommodated at Gråsten, which is about an hour's drive from Møgeltønder. Joachim and Marie have attended their wedding rehearsal and last night Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik hosted a party at Gråsten Palace to celebrate the wedding. After the 5pm wedding at Møgeltønder Church there will be a reception for guests at the Ecco Centre before the wedding dinner begins at 8pm at Schackenborg. Around 250-300 guests are expected.

After their meeting in Autumn 2002 at a private shooting party in Denmark (said to be through the offices of Caroline Fleming), the romance didn't really began to progress until 2005. Prince Joachim subsequently proposed (on his knee) to Marie while they were on vacation together in Turkey last summer. The engagement was celebrated in secret among friends in Denmark at the Ida Davidsen restaurant in Copenhagen. Once the engagement was announced it was celebrated at Fredensborg Slot with the family. A third celebration for more friends took place the day after at Amalienborg. As we already know, Marie was given her Victorian-style-with-a modern-twist engagement ring on the morning of the day of the official announcement in order to keep the 'secret'. It’s a heavy gold ring, with the colours of the Tricolour in stones, a blue sapphire, a diamond and a ruby. Prince Joachim ordered the ring 4-5 months beforehand from the 38 year-old goldsmith Mette Rosgaard, who has not previously made anything for the Danish royals. The ring is based on a model with a giraffe-pattern-design and modified through direction and co-operation with Joachim. There have been some nice moments. Billed Bladet (no. 41, 14 Oct 2007) reported that when Prince Joachim appeared at a military tattoo at the Messecenter in Herning, one of the spectators called out 'til lykke' (congratulations!) which caused the rest of the crowd of 3,000 to stand up and applaud.

Photos © Chr. Gabelgaard/Steen Brogaard and others

From Billed Bladet (11, 2008) 'Margrethe holder fest for Marie' - Margrethe throws a party for Marie (by Annelise Weimann)
...Queen Margrethe has deliberately maintained a low profile in regard to the wedding celebrations surrounding the wedding, it is after all Joachim's and Marie's party.
However, she will throw a party at Gråsten Palacet on the eve of the wedding in their honour. Only the close families and most distinguished guests will attend this party. Gråsten Palace will also double as a 'hotel' for the royals attending the wedding.

From Billed Bladet (no. 18, 2008) 'Joachim og Marie holdt aldrig pause' – Joachim and Marie never took a break (by Trine Larsen)
According to the new book titled Marie Cavallier – Den franske prinsesse (The French Princess), it wasn’t altogether true when Prince Joachim and Marie Cavallier proclaimed that they were no longer sweethearts in the media in late summer of 2006.
That happened, according to the author, in order to save the relationship of the couple, which had entered a crisis after a somewhat overwhelming interest from the media, and in order to give Marie Cavallier peace and to provide the couple with some calm in order to nurture the relationship and their love.
The couple have said themselves earlier that they used the break lasting a couple of months to check in earnest whether the feelings could last and whether the love was genuine enough for the future together. The separation made them realise that they could not do without each other.
But that was, according to the new book, all a plan. Carefully executed and strategically planned by Prince Joachim, when the media interest in his sweetheart became a bit too much for her, writes John Lindskog in the book (published April 30 by People’sPress).

Marie Cavallier herself has never hidden the fact that the enormous and overwhelming interest in her came as something of a shock, and according the author of the book, it was not least when the media started to criticise her for being way too outspoken for her to become a princess of Denmark, that Prince Joachim went into action.
"No matter the outcome he did not want to see his beloved go down or perhaps even being alienated. He knew from his own experience how hard it can be to be the centre of attention of the press and he certainly didn’t want to lose his Marie on that account. He was aware that she was his future but he was also aware that Marie would be worn out, if she didn’t get the time to find her footing as his new partner. That’s why the camouflage expert, Major Joachim from Prinsens Livregiment went into action.
The plan to make an “official end” to the relationship was entirely Prince Joachim’s idea, writes the author and the foundation, he writes in the book, was laid on the couple’s vacation at the Regent Couple’s chateau at Caix during the summer holiday.
While both Marie Cavallier and Prince Joachim from each country regretted that they no longer were sweethearts, during 'the break' the couple could plan and co-ordinate their future life together, so that they both were satisfied, according to the book.
"Outside the limelight Marie could now get some needed peace until the couple’s relationship was revealed again after a few months, according to the book, which also paints the portrait of the future princess based on the many articles which have been written in this magazine (Billed Bladet)...
The book also tells about how the couple met, about their secret meetings, about Marie Cavallier’s upbringing, about the education and the years at the boarding school in Switzerland and about how she was 'approved' by the Regent Couple and also won their hearts.
So that Marie Cavallier ...can give Prince Joachim her 'yes' in Møgeltønder Church and be at ease with herself and certain of her love.
Note: according to recent interviews on and in the press it was actually Marie who decided a break was necessary. In this account it would appear Prince Joachim was being 'gentlmanly' in taking responsibility for this period in their relationship.

  • Last October it was reported that Marie's Danish was coming along. Marie speaks French, English, Italian, Spanish and a little Portuguese. And even though she still prefers to speak French or English, she had been overheard talking in clear Danish about the family dogs Winston and Apple. She has been practising Danish with Joachim and their friends, and particularly with the notoriously difficult pronunciation. Marie's teachers are the same who taught Alexandra and Mary. Marie has said she will not learn in earnest until she is living in Denmark after the wedding. At the Tønder Kommune reception yesterday Marie said in Danish: "Mr. Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen. I don't speak Danish yet, I'll continue in English," she thanked for the wedding gift and for the warm welcome and finally said in Danish, "See you Saturday."

  • A strange aside: all has not been plain sailing in the lead up to the wedding, at least in the world of some of the Danish press. Several of the most sensationalist newspapers applied themselves to digging up dirt on Marie (as they had also done to Mary). As with Mary, they have met with failure. First there was Ekstra Bladet (other media followed eg: TV2) claiming an old boyfriend had a sex tape of himself and Marie. Nothing came of it. Danish tabloid Se og Hør took the sleazy path and put up posters in New York (!) earlier this year asking for any information about Marie from when she lived there for several years. As if this was not already bizarre enough, Politiken turned the tables and decided to play a trick on Se og Hør by pretending to impersonate an American (in a Danish accent!) and saying that Marie was a strip dancer and that she had a brief relationship with Snoop Dogg in a telephone call. You can hear the Politiken journalist pretending to be American 'Jake Hallman from Ohio' in a call to Se og Hør here (05:45). There was another supposed 'exposé' of Marie's educational qualificiations, but since no details have ever been released by the Danish court about this there was never an opportunity for an exposé of anything. This bizarre newspaper behaviour reflects less on Marie of course than on the sensationalist and tacky approach of some sections of the media. Ekstra Bladet and Se og Hør stand condemned.

  • Prince Joachim is patron for 28 organisations and honorary member of 13 others and here are a few highlights from the activities he's been involved in since we last caught up:
    October: Søren Steffen gallery - of Prince Joachim after he took over the patronage of Europa Nostra after the retirement of Prince Henrik from the organisation last year.
    November: - Prince Joachim participated in walking 246 steps for the 246 million people with diabetes all around in the world. Similar walks took place in many places including Tokyo and New York at the official UN diabetes day. Nikolai and Felix joined their father for the first UN-backed World Diabetes Day. See some great pics in Madeleine Glindorf's photo gallery
    In the beginning of December 2007 Prince Joachim went to China and met with a lot of interest as he promoted Danish design and fashion (Politiken.
    March: Royal visit to Ilulissat - Prince Joachim was at a meeting of the Greenland Foundation board.
    April: Prince Joachim showed himself to be nifty with scissors when he opened a cultural centre in the west of Jutland with the Culture Minister recently.
    Prince Joachim recently opened Denmark's first specialist children's hospital in Odense.
    Most recently Prince Joachim has been in Mozambique in support of CARE Denmark (see Prince Joachim in Mozambique for CARE Denmark)

  • Politiken photo gallery from the engagement day
    TV2 clip press conference (25:00) (in English)
    TV2 clip (07:48) segment on Marie from Go' aften Danmark (Danish) - discussion about Marie's changing style from a young 'ordinary', albeit pretty, girl to a princess with style.
    The two guests publish a magazine twice a year called
    Podium about fashion.
    TV2: Interview with Prince Joachim in Mozambique (08:30) in Danish

    Many thanks to Muhler, Mitchell, Pogo99, kay, FrederikIX and AJA.

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