Sunday 22 October 2006

The prince, his ex-wife, her partner and the children

Joachim, Alexandra and Martin at the recent wedding of Britt and Oscar Siesbye.

We thought it was time to do some catch up on Prince Joachim, Princess Alexandra, Martin Jørgensen and Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix. As you will have seen from our Roundup #10 Prince Joachim has been in Ukraine and as well as running his farm business at Schackenborg Manor, he has a regular stream of official duties (most of which we don't cover here because there is not always a lot of coverage for us to use from the Danish media). Reports from the Danish media indicate he devotes a good deal of time to being very present in his sons' lives and helping to make their lives cohesive and happy in the circumstances of his divorce from Princess Alexandra and her relationship with Martin Jørgensen. Also recently, Joachim, Alexandra and Martin attended the wedding of Joachim's best friend. It is the first time Alexandra and Martin have been together openly as a couple in public.

There have been a number of stories in Billed Bladet, Her&Nu, and a few other places about how exemplary the 'new family' is working things out for the benefit and happiness of the children first and foremost, but also for the happiness of the adults (we have reported these stories here numerous times). There is plenty of photographic evidence of all of this too, so we will include some newish ones here now.

Princess Alexandra has fewer official duties these days in general, although she still does a number of things. Since the end of July Princess Alexandra has had five official engagements, Prince Joachim has had nineteen during the same period as well as acted as regent a number of times (also there was a month of summer holiday during this period).

From Billed Bladet reports over some weeks now comes a lot more detail about how things are these days and also a little about how they came to be. Princess Alexandra and Martin Jørgensen, who is 14 years her junior, more or less met each other 'at work'. Martin is the son of the Danish Royal Family's regular documantary-maker, Jacob Jørgensen of JJ Films. Martin Jørgensen has often been a part of the team when royal program-making has been done for some years now. Martin Jørgensen is a certified photographer but he also helps out with sound recording duties when filming. It was JJ Films which made the pre-wedding documentary Mary Elizabeth Donaldson in Australia and Denmark at the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004 and he was the soundman on that production.

Alexandra and Martin had known each other slightly for a long time, but in February 2003 the then 23 year old Martin Jørgensen and Princess Alexandra worked together to make a TV program called The Princess and the World's Children featuring Alexandra's role as patron for UNICEF, which commissioned the program. Princess Alexandra and the film crew went on location including to Thailand and Laos. At this time the relationship between the couple was professional. While the Alexandra and Martin worked on the film, Prince Joachim and Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix (with a nanny) stayed at a hotel. Before the UNICEF Danmark work began, Alexandra, Joachim, Nikolai and Felix had visited Hong Kong and Alexandra's sisters (the younger sister has since left Hong Kong). Martin Jørgensen also worked on the production of the television portrait to mark Alexandra's 40th birthday. The relationship developed through their close working relationship during various projects.

A part of the possibility for Alexandra and Martin to openly share their life together is Prince Joachim's attitude which has enabled it. The wedding they recently attended was that of Joachim's best friend Oscar Siesbye. Joachim and Martin may never be 'best friends', but they definitely show a degree of comfort in each other's company. Billed Bladet has conjectured that Joachim has accepted Martin Jørgensen even though he may well be the reason the marriage between Joachim and Alexandra ended. And so, at the recent appearance together at the Siesbye wedding, Joachim has given a kind of seal of approval to the relationship says historian Jon Bloch Skipper, according to Billed Bladet. As it is now, life has settled and Prince Joachim comes and goes at Alexandra's house on Svanemøllevej in the Copenhagen suburb of Østerbro as they share duties with the children. So, Prince Joachim has sent a strong message of support for Alexandra's relationship and this means he also accepts that his sons have an 'extra Dad' too. Nikolai and Felix have the advantage of seeing their mother is happy and all the important adults in their life are happy and accommodating. This is particularly important since they live with their mother, but also, they are a little different to most other children because of their royal status and the public interest in them. (Thanks to Muhler, kay and elizabeth for translation.)

Alexandra and Martin have holidayed during October in Greece at Alexandra's uncle's house and in Italy, where Martin's parent's own a vineyard. This year it is Joachim's turn to have Nikolai and Felix for Christmas, so they will be spending time with all the royals at Fredensborg. Normally a Danish Royal Christmas is spent at Marselisborg, but this year it is decided that everyone will gather at Fredensborg where there is more room for family visitors to stay. Princess Benedikte, Prince Richard, Queen Anne-Marie and King Konstantin will be among the guests which will number around 30 royals (that is how it is reported to now, but we will see who is actually at Fredensborg come Christmas).

We saw Princess Alexandra recently at several breast cancer events in Copenhagen.

Prince Joachim was induced to wear some very odd protective gear at a vodka factory in Ukraine and we have already seen him with President Victor Yushchenko in Kiev in more regular garb during his visit at the end of September.

Prince Joachim, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix at Schackenborg Manor during the recent harvest.

Prince Joachim at a recent vintage car exhibit. Cars are among his favourite things, his hobby really. The exhibit is "RACING CARS - The Art Dimension" at the ARoS Museum in Aarhus. Photos from TV2.

Princess Alexandra dropping Prince Felix at his pre-school/kindergarten:

Prince Nikolai, 7, and Prince Felix, 4, enjoy being at home with their mother and Martin. But they also enjoy being on adventures with their father. The boys were in Sweden at the car races with Prince Joachim recently. 25 September 2006 in Sweden, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix joined their father at a historic race in Ring Knutstorp.

Copenhagen, Denmark, 19.09.2006: During Prince Nikolai's tennis practice his little-brother Felix played around with a stick and by mistake hit his own eye. Princess Alexandra runs to his rescue pouring water in the eye and it all turned out well in the end.

Princess Alexandra of Denmark with her parents Richard and Christa Manley watching Prince Nikolai at tennis practice after having a nice cup of coffee.

Early September, as we have seen in our last roundup Prince Nikolai has begun tennis lessons. Here he is at tennis practice in Østerbro, Copenhagen, just like his father Prince Joachim did when he was at that age.

September 26,2006 Princess Alexandra attending her son Prince Nikolai's tennis practice in Copenhagen.

Martin Jørgensen arriving home in Østerbro with Pince Felix. Photos by Linda Johansen of POLFOTO

Prince Joachim opened a painting exhibit by Ulrik Hoff at Shackenborg Slot Inn in Møgeltønder. The artist painted in Bredebro, Rudboel, Tønder and Møgeltønder and calls his exhibit "Seasonal Poetry" inspired by the light of the area. It was Prince Joachim who invited him to the marshland to paint. (With thanks to jema and elizabeth.)

Prince Joachim, Princess Alexandra, Martin Jørgensen and other guests leaving the Marble Church after the wedding of Britt and Oscar Siesbye. The bride and groom are old friends of both Joachim and Alexandra. In the final photo Joachim is with a friend, Nina Colic, who is an old friend of the bride.

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