Monday 23 January 2006

Christening media wrap

Fredensborg Palace

Well, it has been a grand couple of days. We will bring you much more with new posts of photos, but a little bit of a media wrap of coverage of the christening is in order.

In Denmark the two main television networks had all-day broadcasts to cover the christening, beginning in the early morning and ending in the afternoon as Mary's and Frederik's private guests made their way to Fredensborg Palace in Northern Zealand north of Copenhagen, for their private celebration with family and close friends.

The maelstrom of photos you see on this blog is an indication of just how keen the media (and us!) are to follow the Crown Prince Family.

From The Copenhagen Post:

Royal Couple goes own way
23 January 2006

During Saturday's Royal Baptism, the Crown Prince and Princess demonstrated once again their ability to balance tradition and renewal while in the nation's spotlight
By choosing the name Christian Valdemar Henri John for their son's baptism on Saturday, the Royal Couple maintained the tradition of naming heirs to the throne either Christian and Frederik.
Other aspects of the ceremony, however, demonstrated the Royal Couple's desire to create itsown identity in a traditional framework.
The decision to hold the ceremony in Christiansborg Palace Church, which has not been used for a royal baptism since 1870, represented a deviation from standard practice. The fact that the baptism was held three months after the prince's birth, requiring that the Royal Family's christening gown be let out so it would fit the new prince, also represented a new course.
The couple's ability to show emotion, weeping as the Copenhagen Boy's Choir sang 'Dear God, be good to me' and 'O magnum mysterium' after the baptism, also indicated new tones.
A modern day monarch needs to be able to step into character and to be media savvy and robust, according to historian Jon Bloch Skipper.
Skipper said that Crown Prince Frederik resembled his grandfather, Frederik IX, and predicted that he would become 'a king of the people', given his ability to meet people at eye level, while also remaining detached when necessary.

And from Australia...

The Sydney Morning Herald:

(edited)...Heavy snow forced Copenhagen's international airport to cancel European flights late yesterday, forcing some guests to find alternative modes of transportation.

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit arrived in Denmark on an overnight train early today after their flight from Oslo was cancelled last night, Norwegian news agency NTB reported....

From Sydney's The Sun-Herald:

Little Prince Christian warms a nation's heart
By Annabel Crabb in Copenhagen
January 22, 2006

CHRISTIAN Valdemar Henri John - it's going to be a hell of a squeeze to fit onto the royal pencil case, but the half-Australian future king of Denmark finally has a name.
He received the four-barrelled moniker late last night in snowy Copenhagen, surrounded by the cream of European royalty.
The fourth name - a nod to the baby prince's Australian family - was given in honour of Princess Mary's father, John Donaldson.
His mother, Princess Mary, formerly of Sandy Bay in Tasmania, designed much of the service and arrived looking beautiful in a china-blue jacket with cream trim, floaty pleated cream and blue skirt and cream heels.
Her hair was pulled into a smooth bun with a headpiece of cream fabric flowers.
The royal baby himself was in designer vintage - a 137-year-old gown of brussels lace that his father, Crown Prince Frederik, wore at his own christening in 1968.
The gown had to be let out slightly under the arms, as Prince Christian is two months older than his father was at that event.
Delighting Scandinavian punters who had wagered on the child crying during the ceremony (NordicBet offered 2-1 on this outcome), the baby prince was restless during Bishop Erik Norman Svendsen's address, but was placated when his mother offered him her little finger to suck.
He was christened, as tradition dictates in Denmark, from a solid silver christening font constructed for royal use in the 1600s.
Prince Frederik looked on with tears in his eyes.
The godparents ranged from Princess Victoria of Sweden to plain old Hamish Campbell, Princess Mary's flatmate from Sydney.
And though the temperature was below zero when the half-Australian heir to the Danish throne was christened last night, there was a definite Aussie whiff to the proceedings.
Eucalyptus leaves and agapanthus adorned the royal chapel and, among the traditional Danish music programmed for the reception, the royal guest list also heard Gundagai Groove.
The baby prince was attended by the godparents, including his uncle Prince Joachim, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, his father's friend Jeppe Handwerk and Mr Campbell, who was a surprise addition from Princess Mary's side.
Godmothers were his aunt Jane Stephens, as well as Princess Victoria of Sweden and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.
The chapel was decorated with grape hyacinths, anemones, jasmine and narcissi along with the Australian floral imports.
Princess Mary's bridesmaid and best friend Amber Petty was in attendance, as was her father and stepmother Susan Moody.
The future Christian XI is expected to be informally known as "Chris" or "Kette". [??]
After the ceremony, Prince Christian immediately fell asleep, while both his parents appeared close to tears as the music played.
The couple left the church in a black Bentley and were surrounded by cameras as they entered the reception.
Princess Mary, exercising her Danish language skills, told the Danish media her nickname for the child was "Lillemand", "little man" in Danish.

From Sydney's The Daily Telegraph:

Prince Christian greets world
By Fiona Hudson in Copenhagen
January 22, 2006

(edited)...On the eve of the ceremony, Princess Mary spoke of her delight at hosting the royals, along with her family and closest friends, at her son's christening.
In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph, she said she was "happy and excited" about the event.
Princess Mary revealed that she and husband Crown Prince Frederik had spent a considerable amount of time deciding on names.
"All has been in readiness for quite some time," she said of the ceremony, reception and dinner.
Princess Mary said the couple had consciously waited a while after the birth before choosing a name.
"We considered a long time before making any decision," she said.
Asked if she'd had second thoughts about the name, she said: "We made the choice. There is not room for change."

And, check out the coverage in Hello! magazine

There was a blizzard of media mentions in many other places too, Germany, Britain, Spain, Asia, the USA, South Africa. There are too many to mention, but you get the picture.

Finally, among many front pages in Australian Sunday newspapers, there was the Sunday edition of Mary's hometown newspaper The Sunday Tasmanian (The Hobart Mercury during the week).



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