Monday 12 February 2007

Frederik, Mary & Christian: more from Verbier

Billed Bladet (10 February 2007) has reported on the goings on in Verbier where the Crown Prince family have been for their annual skiing trip which co-incides with Mary's birthday. This was the first year Christian is old enough to have fun out in the snow.
“There hasn’t been so much snow this year however,” said Frederik [referring to global warming] when he came back from his first day on the slopes overlooking Verbier with his skis over his shoulder. On that day the Crown Prince went skiing with his good friend Peter Warnøe. They went up together just before 10.00 and when they came back in the late afternoon, Warnøe’s girlfriend Julia Tholstrup was with them.
This visit Mary and Frederik stayed in a beautiful rented chalet within walking distance of the town’s ski lift. And even though the house is located high up, there wasn’t much snow, although enough for Christian to think it was fun.
“He liked to touch the snow [in Denmark], so when we came down here, he was sort of used to it,” said Frederik when Billed Bladet met the small royal family at one of the town’s ski lifts on the day of Mary’s birthday.
Billed Bladet's Anna Johannesen asked "Has Christian been out on a sledge ride?”
“Yes, we’ve had him out riding on a small sled at home. He was a little apprehensive about that. He wasn’t too sure how to deal with it… ,” said the Crown Prince while he lovingly looked down on his son, who was wearing a warm jumpsuit and cap, of the sort that emphasises his little face and plump cheeks.
To the question as when Christian will be on skis, Mary replied that that had to wait a little while, “He at least has to be two years old. Then we will see how he goes.”
Crown Princess Mary who is now seven months pregnant hasn’t been skiing this time.
“No, I don’t dare, but Christian and I have been up to the slopes in the lift.”
“How did that experience go?”
“He was actually very enthusiastic. I was a little worried myself because it is a little scary for a small child to hang in an aerial ski lift so high in the air. But Christian really enjoyed it. He thought it was fun. A little like going to Tivoli. It was a short ride, and we didn’t meet the Crown Prince because Frederik was somewhat higher up the mountain than we. Christian and I walked around a bit up there and he was especially absorbed by the many skiers, who threw themselves over the mountain and flew with their colourful para-gliders. He thought that was exciting.”
Even though Crown Princess Mary hasn’t been able to ski with her husband this winter, she certainly hasn’t been idle either. Each day she has walked for and hour to an hour and a half, while Christian has been napping in the pram. As the caring mother she is, she has placed a cloth-diaper so that neither sun nor freezing wind disturbed his sleep. Christian has slept comfortably in his jumpsuit, sometimes with the fingers down in the small mittens which the Crown Prince Couple was presented with when they visited Greenland.
That Christian is an outdoor child was confirmed by his parents.
“Christian loves to be out. We are out together alot, all three of us,” said Mary.
“We also place him outside, when he is having his dinner-nap,”added Frederik, many foreigners think that is very odd. Both Australians and Southern-Europeans. They think it’s madness to put a child outside to sleep in zero degrees. But we know it’s healthy [it is a common practice in northern Europe]. Just look at our Christian,” said Frederik, and Mary added how lovely it is to have had such a manageable child.
“We have been fortunate. Christian is both manageable and gentle. A really good little boy,” she said.
Prince Christian is not yet into the really big smiles when he is to be photographed, so his mother had to say how many teeth he has.
“Try smile Christian, so we can see them,” said Mary, but she didn’t succeed in making him obey and so she had to say herself that so far he has six little teeth.
As usual the Crown Prince Couple didn’t fly together on holiday. Frederik arrived in Geneva first and later in the evening Mary arrived with Christian and the nanny Mie, age 22 [assistant to nanny Mette Hansen]. The flight to Switzerland takes about an hour and an half so no problem for the little prince compared to what he has tried before.
"He is very good at travelling and has been ever since he was very small. I think he likes new surroundings,” said Mary.
“Yes, Christian was last in Tasmania. That’s a long flight. You get a certificate for such a trip,” said Frederik, before he lifted Christian up to drive back to their chalet together with Mary.
“Well, Christian, shall we go home and feed you? It’s time for lunch," said the Crown Prince on the way to the car.
And before the small family vanished completely, the birthday girl Mary turned around with a smile and said: “Thank you. And see you in Denmark”.

Also in the current issue of Billed Bladet is an account of Mary's birthday. Crown Princess Mary had a splendid birthday last Monday. It started in the morning with presents from both the Crown Prince and little Christian at a party-decorated morning table, where the little one excitedly waited for his mother to open the two parcels from him. She naturally did that at once, and when she saw the contents, she was really happy.
“I received some lovely gloves from Christian,” said Mary when Billed Bladet met her with Frederik and Christian a couple of hours later. "It’s good to give useful things,” said the Crown Prince and smiled at Mary, who said she was even more fond of the other present, a nice picture of Christian.
The Crown Prince had put the skis aside all Monday to concentrate on celebrating Mary. She should have all his attention on the big day, because you only turn 35 once.
Two couples who are friends of the Crown Prince Couple have houses in Verbier. That is Peter Warnøe and his girlfriend Julia Tholstrup and Caroline Iuel-Brockdorff from Valdemars Palace, who is now married to the Englishman Rory Fleming. All four were present at the birthday dinner in the evening along with Crown Princess Mary’s lady-in-waiting and friend Caroline Heering, whose husband Peter was naturally also there too.
“We will all gather for a cosy (hyggelig) and relaxed dinner,” said Frederik and emphasised that it was to be “somewhere in town” so Mary would not have any trouble with either guests, shopping or cooking.
Mary will have to wait to see the birthday presents from the family until she arrives home on (last) Saturday. By then the vacation is over. Already on Sunday Mary has two official engagements in connection with the fashion week in Copenhagen. As patron for Designers Nest the Crown Princess will present a prize to a new talented designer on Sunday afternoon, who along with the honour will also receive 50,000 DKK.
It’s the first time Mary will show her new hairstyle to the fashion set, about which there has been some debate. Billed Bladet naturally asked Crown Prince Frederik what he thought of his wife’s new short look and he said he is very pleased.
"I’ve accepted Mary’s new hairstyle one hundred percent. It’s smashing. No matter what is said or written. If you change your style a little, you will have to accept that it will be noted. I think that Mary’s hairstyle suits her and she looks good,” said the Crown Prince.
“It’s something different, but I think it’s nice. I’m pretty pleased with it myself,” said Mary, who is very well aware that her hairstyle is something that has been discussed. Quite a lot actually. (by Anna Johannesen and many thanks as always to Muhler for translation)

In Se&Hør of this week it is reported that little Prince Christian certainlyhad his share of fresh air when he was with his mother on a shopping trip or with her out on a walking excursion. And it became quite something of a walk when Mary set out on a mountain hike on Saturday afternoon. It was here Mary went from her chalet up, up and up along the twisting and winding mountain road.
Mary, who is 5 months along in her pregnancy, lead on with the pushchair while bodyguards and the nanny followed suit. During the walk up in the thin air the Crown Princess was certainly in blinding form while the otherwise super trained bodyguards seemed rather breathless.
The aim for the walk was Le Carrefour, a cafe with a position 1750 meters high which has a heavenly view. The walk, which seriously tested the thigh muscles, took an hour. Here she met Frederik and friends for lunch in high sun. Le Carrefour lies just out from the ski hills and buses travel back and forth every 15 minutes with big, soft seats. But when Frederik once again headed back to the snow, yes, Mary naturally chose to walk the whole way back again.
(many thanks to Elizabeth for translation)

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