Tuesday 19 December 2006

Danish royal roundup #12

The Queen takes a bow!

It is time to roundup the Danish royal news once again!

10 November 2006. Queen Margrethe presented the 2006 Ebbe Munck Prize at Christiansborg to retired Chief Police Inspector Kai Wittrup for his services to international UN police keeping.

14 November 2006. Queen Margrethe of Denmark was introduced as set designer of the ballet "Tolv med Posten" (The Mailcoach Passengers). The ballet is danced by amateurs from Susanne Heering's ballet school, where the Queen has been a set designer for the past 26 years. The ballet performed 4 shows in December 2006 at the "Hofteatret" the old Court Theatre at Christiansborg Castle. After the short season the Queen took a bow onstage with her friend Susanne Heering and the company. Susanne Heering's son Peter, daughter-in-law Caroline and her grandaughters also attended. Peter and Caroline Heering went on to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert with Frederik and Mary in the evening after their day at the ballet.

15 November 2006. Queen Margrethe of Denmark awarded the "Queen's Watch" to guard M.E.K. Madsen. The Queen's watch is awarded to a soldier from the Royal Life Guard who has been elected by officers and members of his company. Guard Mads Boye Rasmussen stood in the parade in his civilian clothes as he is on sick leave after being shot in the hand by accident during his watch at Amalienborg Castle.

17 November 2006. Queen Margrethe revealed at a press conference in Tivoli, Copenhagen, that her next job as a set designer will be at the Pantomime Theatre next year. The show will be the H.C. Andersen fairy tale "The Tinder Box".

B.T. Tivoli press conference
TV2 Dronningen og "Fyrtøjet" i Tivoli

Queen Margrethe's press conference B.T. webcast/localeyes (7:00)

22 November 2006. Danish Prince Consort Henrik hosts the royal hunt in Ledreborg some 30 kms west of Copenhagen. Friends and family were his guests including Prince Gustav and his girlfriend Carina who joined the men in the shooting party.

25 November 2006. Princess Benedikte of Denmark opened the Swedish Christmas Bazar in Copenhagen.

Queen Margrethe is to refrain from smoking in public. New laws introduced in Denmark mean the Queen is obliged to conform with healthy workplace regulations for those who work at the court and various palaces. Queen Margrethe, who is somewhat famous for smoking at every opportunity, has decided not to smoke in public again. The Queen caused some talk recently when she didn't smoke at Copenhagen University's Annual Party! The Queen's decision coincides with parliament's introduction of smoking restrictions by next year. There is a three year agreement by all political parties for new restrictions which it is hoped will change attitudes towards widespread smoking habits in Denmark. Queen Margrethe will continue to smoke in private. This leaves two smokers in the Queen's family, herself and Prince Joachim. All evidence indicates Crown prince Frederik has quit successfully and Prince Henrik gave up several years ago. Queen Ingrid smoked until her death at 90 and King Frederik IX smoked and died of lung cancer at 72. Another family member, Queen Anne-Marie, revealed in a 60th birthday interview with Billed Bladet that she had given the habit up some years ago.

No ifs or butts: 'Ashtray Queen' agrees to stub it out in public from Times Online by Roger Boyes "Queen Margrethe: denies having a “smoking problem....

Crown Princess Mary's cousin Jacqueline and her husband Brendan Johncock have been interviewed by Billed Bladet while journalist Anna Johannesen was in Tasmania recently. Brendan Johncock received a four month prison sentence for sexual assault last year. It cost Brendan Johncock his job, however, not his marriage she says. The affection of Jacqui and their two teenage children has only been consolidated after the case. Johannessen interviewed Jacqui and Brendan Johncock in their cosy South Launceston home for the first time since the experience. Johncock told Johannesen that it was the worst experience of his life but that it has made the family stronger and that they feel fortunate. Jacqueline is the daughter of Peter Donaldson, John Donaldson's older brother.

A note: There has been some inaccurate representation of this case in some quarters. There is no doubt it has been distasteful and unfortunate and we by no means condone what happened, but we do like accuracy. By a quirk of the uneven laws in Australian states as to the age of consent, this case would not have been brought in any states except Tasmania and South Australia. Justice Crawford pointed this out in his judgement (which is no longer online). Justice Crawford effectively said in his judgement that in most places in Australia what happened would not be considered a criminal matter (a reference to uneven age of consent laws), but he went on to say he had to punish in accordance with the law in Tasmania as it stands. He did say the girl was immature and confused but consented to whatever went on. The judge did not accept the account of events by the girl, saying her actions were consensual, although she was immature and confused. Justice Crawford demonstrated some understanding of Brendan Johncock's situation, but according to Tasmanian age of consent law the judge was obliged to give a custodial sentence and he also effectively said he had to make an example of Johncock because he was a teacher. Some of these circumstances explains why the family members were shocked by the proceedings. Such cases are often complex and difficult to understand when the reporting of them is via the tabloid viewpoint. Finally, for clarity, although initial charges were rather sensational, most of them were withdrawn and rape was not one of the final charges. Feel free to contact us if any further clarification is required, as it is a delicate matter to have on an open blog.

Billed Bladet (no. 50) has reported that Prince Nikolai was on a visit to the Royal Theatre to see Love in the Dustbin with his Krebs School classmates last week. Queen Margrethe had made the costumes and scenery for the production and was in the theatre the same day Prince Nikolai was there. When the Queen discovered Nikolai was present, she made arrangements to meet the children, who in turn were keen to meet Nikolai's grandmother.

Prince Christian gets an early and rather special Christmas present.
Danish Prince Christian's menagerie grows from The Raw Story

"Young Danish Prince Christian's menagerie has been enlarged further with the addition of an orangutang in Indonesia, reports said Friday. The Danish branch of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) said it had sponsored an orangutang in Indonesia as an early Christmas gift, news agency Ritzau reported.
The conservation group said the orangutang to be named after Christian, would continue to live in his natural habitat at a rehabilitation centre in Borneo.
The charity works with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry for the conservation of orangutans and their ecosystem.
As a christening present, the 13-month-old prince earlier this year received four Tasmanian devils.
The dog-sized mammals, native to Australia's southernmost island where his mother Crown Princess Mary was born, were welcomed to Copenhagen Zoo last April...
© 2006 dpa German Press Agency

Mary's WHO Istanbul video link

Crown Princess Mary's WHO video link was shown in excerpt form in a story on TV2 about the problem of obesity.

What Mary says in the clip: The majority of us are not active enough and levels of activity continue to fall. And yet small changes, cycling to work, taking the stairs, walking to the shops, playing actively instead of watching television can make a big difference.... It is vital that we ensure that the environment in which our children grow up supports their health. Fundamentally that means making healthy food more available and giving children the space and opportunities tobe physically active.....As a parent, I want to make sure that my son receives the best nutritional start in life as possible. When Prince Christian was born, I was fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed, I am keen to encourage his natural curiosity for different tastes by building on the good start through a healthy, varied diet. I would like to see that when the time comes, that the school he will attend encourages healthy, nutritious food and drinks and plenty of opportunity for physical activity......

text Mary's WHO video speech

Right, Crown Princess Pavlos (Marie-Chantal) at the Ritz in London recently for a birthday celebration for Queen Elizabeth.

Telegraph.co.uk has reported, incorrectly as it turns out, that the Greek royal family was to sell family heirlooms.

The Telegraph claimed the Greek royal family in exile, stripped of almost all of its property after a coup in 1967, is to sell silverware and other heirlooms rescued from one of its palaces in the hopes of raising at least £2 million.
Christie’s announced today that it is to auction the treasures in London in January. The property is formally described as coming from the collection of King George I of the Hellenes, modern Greece’s first monarch, who reigned from 1863 to 1913. The Telegraph continued, the vendor, who refuses to be named, is almost certainly the deposed King Constantine II of Greece who has lived in London in relatively straitened circumstances for more than 30 years.....

The items that are being sold by Christies' do not come from Constantine and Anne-Marie. They were notified of the sale but they themselves don't know what is being sold. The Greek Royal Family response is that they are not the vendors and you can read their press releases on their website here:

Greek Royal Family deny The Telegraph report
news release concerning the Christie's auction

5 December 2006: Queen Margrethe has unveiled a statue of Margrete I at Roskilde.
The statue was created more than 50 years ago by the sculptor Anne-Marie Carl Nielsen, who was the wife of the Danish composer Carl Nielsen. The original was made of plaster of paris and was hidden for 40 years in the storage area of Roskilde Museum. Businesswoman Elsebeth Stryn donated the 1 million DKk needed to make a bronze version of the statue which is of Queen Margrete I on a horse.

Dagbladet Online

From The Sunday Telegraph in Sydney: "This is not the outfit that royal Danish bridesmaid Amber Petty plans to wear to the christening of her buddy Princess Mary's second bub next year. The controversial blonde is just one of the femmes featured in Women of the World -- a charity coffee table book being put together by kaftan queen Camilla Frank. With each of the women asked to pick their favourite outfit for the book, Petty went positively wild with this red, Spanish-style dress and was snapped against a suitably exotic backdrop. The book, which will benefit female human rights, will be published next year."

Just a clarification of reports at the time of the end of the trip to Australia by Frederik and Mary about an alteration to their marriage settlement. A later report in B.T. provided more information which countered the "miser" accusation of tabloid Ekstra Bladet. The Ekstra Bladet story was widely quoted in almost all Danish and Australian media and claimed the new settlement was negative for Mary and that the new settlement was because the royal family had learned a lesson from Princess Alexandra having 'fleeced' Prince Joachim. The Princess Alexandra situation aside, the earlier aggreement between Frederik and Mary was considered not to be legally binding and apparently was a joke in legal circles because of its inadequacy. That has been remedied by the new agreement and there is also said to be a secret agreement between Frederik and Mary now which in no way disadvantages her. Of course, this is all very hypothetical given Frederik and Mary are certainly no Charles and Diana and appear to be highly unlikely to ever need the agreement.

Mary's sister Patricia Bailey, with daughters Maddison and Mollie, on the Vædderen, the Galathea 3 expeditionary ship in Hobart. They are with captain Carsten Schmidt. The Vædderen was on a stopover in Hobart on the 7th & 8th December. The Crown Prince Couple left Australia on December 4. The Vædderen sailed from Hobart to Sydney where they had an extended stopover and a change of crew. The ship departed Australia for the second half of its voyage on December 14.

Frederik and Mary attended the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert on the evening of December 9, after the Holger Reedtz-Thott christening at Gavnø Castle. After the christening lunch at Gavnø, Frederik and Mary later went to the concert with Peter and Caroline Heering and Peter Heering's younger brother Gregers Heering, who works in film in the USA. They arrived at the Forum in Copenhagen at 9pm and stayed for three hours. They had previously been to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at Den Blå Hal in Christiania a few months ago.

Jyllands-Posten - Red Hot Chili Peppers: Fornemmelse for musikkens sjæl (if you are a fan you can check the program here, left hand side, although the article is in Danish)
Berlingske Tidende's reviewer gave the concert only 2 out of a possible 6 stars
Ekstra Bladet - Chili con ølfest
Ekstra Bladet - Tamme chilier
Se og Hør

Finally, we are approaching not only the royal Christmas and New Year but also our own first anniversary. We will be posting some reviews of the year-that-was during this quiet period, and we look forward to bringing in the Danish royal New Year and a new blog year too!

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