Tuesday 28 November 2006

Frederik & Mary at Anders Lassen Foundation awards

We posted here in our last roundup that Frederik had attended the award of the Crown Prince Frederik Scholarship of the Anders Lassen Foundation on November 9. We didn't have photos of that event at the time and we didn't know that Crown Princess Mary had attended the 10th anniversary dinner of the Foundation. The current issue of Billed Bladet (no.47) has a story and photos, so we thought we would have a retrospective coverage of this event.

Some general background: On the 9th November the Anders Lassen Foundation marked its 10th anniversary with a dinner in Copenhagen. Crown Prince Frederik, who is the patron for the foundation, took part along with Crown Princess Mary.
The handing out af grants normally takes place at a reception at Amalienborg Palace, but this year 62 guests celebrated the dinner at Hotel Phoenix. The Crown Prince handed out three grants. One grant for 25.000 DKK went to first luietenant of the reserve, Jacob Hou Larsen, who was wounded in August, a grant for 50.000 DKK to The Social Network of Jæger Corps and a grant for 35.000 DKK for a member of Jægerkorpset, who is still operational (i.e. still on his tour of duty, presumably in Afghanistan).
The Anders Lassen Foundation was started in 1996 on the initiative of Jæger (member of Jæger Corps) Nikolai Moltke-Leth, and since 1998 it has handed out a total of 17 grants. The tasks of the foundation, among other things, is to reward significant military efforts and to support and encourage wounded Danish personel. It is the Jæger Corps which administers the foundation which has taken its name from Major Anders Lassen. During the Second World War Anders Lassen served as a volunteer in the Special Boat Squadron - the legendary British special corps, which operated in the Mediterranian among other places. Major Lassen was killed on 9th April 1945 at Comacchio in Italy, where he single-handedly took out a German machine gun position. The 24 year old major was mortally wounded, but insisted on being left behind, so that the rest of the patrol could get away. Anders Lassen was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously - the highest military honor for British forces.
The chairman of the Anders Lassen Foundation, Poul Lynggaard, mentioned in his speech to the Crown Prince Couple and the other guests why the foundation has taken its name after the Danish major, "The Jæger Corps and Frømands Corps have a great admiration for the effort of Anders Lassen during the Second World War, both militarily and socially. He is a role model to look up to in the two corps".

And from from Billed Bladet this week we learn even more. Sixty two people gathered in the reception room in the basement beneath Hotel Phoenix in Copenhagen, including Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. It was a party which had not been announced in advance. It was kept secret because many participants of the party are serving in one of Denmark’s two special forces – Jægerkorpset (the Jaeger Corps) and the navy’s Frømandskorps (Frogman Corps - in which Frederik served, although he has trained in every part of the Danish military). The press was not invited either, however there was the military’s own photographer to record the event. The Crown Prince Couple was there because Frederik is the patron for the Anders Lassen Foundation and perhaps not least because the Crown Prince is a soldier himself. He knows what the Danish soldiers sent out in service of the peace go through and he knows how dangerous their mission often can be.
It was completely still in the room, when Crown Prince Frederik rose up and delivered his speech for the recipients of the grants. Then 61 people rose and applauded for the man sitting in his wheelchair receiving the tribute.
First lieutenant Jacob Hou Larsen, age 29, from Jydske Dragonregiment in Holstebro, ha been marked for life by the injuries sustained when he was wounded in Iraq. Three months earlier, on 16th August, he was on a patrol outside the town Al Qurnah in Iraq when the patrol came under fire. Only one shot from a firearm was fired and it struck Jacob Hou Larsen in the back, millimetres from the spine and he was quickly flown to the British military hospital in Basra.
In the following days his condition was critical and he underwent two major surgeries and was later transferred to Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.
Jacob Hou Larsen had his girlfriend Charlotte Pold by his side when Crown Prince Frederik presented him with the grant for 25.000 DKK from the Anders Lassen Foundation after a moving speech.
- “Jacob Hou Larsen has maintained a positive view on life and a never failing optimism despite the very difficult situation he was in after his severe injuries. Afterwards, during his treatment at Rigshospitalet he maintained a strong and level-headed view on life. It is a view that is enforced by the first lieutenant’s attitude and loyalty towards his comrades in the military”, said the Crown Prince in his speech.
“I’m proud and honoured to receive the grant”, said Jocob Hou Larsen to Billed Bladet.“Apart from that, there is not much I feel like saying right now. I’m now working on my rehabilitation. It’s a long process and it is still to be seen whether I’m paralysed for life”.

Billed Bladet also says Mary and Frederik have been busy lately. And in the middle of being busy they have also had to prepare for their journey to Australia with little Christian. But there had to be time for one particular party for the recipients of this year's Anders Lassen Foundation awards.
This year it’s ten years ago that the ex-captain in Jæger Corps, Nicolai Moltke-Leth (speaking in third photo), founded the Anders Lassen Foundation. The jubilee was celebrated with a gala-dinner at Hotel Phoenix in Copenhagen, where all the recipients of grants from the past ten years – except for one, who at present is on a mission abroad – and personnel from the two Danish elite forces, Jægerkorpset and Frømandskorpset were also present.
The party was the last the Crown Prince Couple managed to take part in before their visit to Mary’s family in Australia. It was obvious that they both wanted to be present before their private holiday in Mary’s homeland. Mary was happy to among those who payed tribute to the recipients of the evenings grants. It was also a relaxed and happy Frederik, who was among good colleagues. Crown Princess Mary was also relaxed and smiling throughout the entire evening. The pregnant Crown Princess looked stunning in brown colours, slim and and in fine shape. She enjoyed sparkling mineral water the whole evening. Only when she stood up, did a charming bump reveal that Mary is four months pregnant. The guests enjoyed a four course menu with wines, most of which were from Australia. In between the main course and the dessert the recipients of this year's grants were where honoured. (With thanks to Muhler for translation from Billed Bladet no. 47.)

We have also included a story and photos in the current Billed Bladet in our post about the launch of the Crown Princess Mary Rose in Hobart just before Mary's arrival. Sisters Jane and Patricia say they think of their mother every day. Click here to see the translated story and photos from the launch. (Many thanks once again to Muhler for translation!) Below, Jane and Patricia at the launch, Frederik arriving in Australia the evening before Mary and Christian, and, as we reported earlier, Mary went straight from the prize giving at Red Barnet here to the airport to fly to Australia.

Also, Hello! magazine has a story Mary merges in with the crowd on market trip

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