Wednesday 28 February 2007

Joachim & Marie: recent media wrap

Here is a look back at the recent articles published in Billed Bladet and Her&Nu about Prince Joachim and Marie Cavallier. The writing is a tad soppy, but this is how some of the media which is covering this story choose to do it. There is no shortage of desire for a wedding for this pair from the media!

Billed Bladet's (No. 7, 15 February 2007) Ulrik Ulriksen reported on Joachim and Marie in Switzerland. According to Ulriksen, spirits were high right from the first morning of the skiing holiday in front of the chalet in Switzerland where Prince Joachim and Marie Cavallier were staying with the Princes Nikolai and Felix. It didn't take long before all four took the ski lift up to one of the peaks where they put on skis and whistled down the slopes.
As the experienced skier she is, Marie took the lead, while Prince Joachim coached little Felix between his knees, with Nikolai following along side. And, it may well be Marie's skiing ability earned some 'cred' with the boys. And so it was a very happy little family on a skiing holiday which Billed Bladet met during one of the breaks on the slopes.
For the first time all four were together on holiday in the part of Switzerland where Marie grew up. In the early nineties Marie lived in the area of the town Villars-sur-Ollon while she attended boarding school. It is also where her stepfather Christian Grassiot and mother Françoise have an exclusive cabin in the ten million DKK class.
“Good day gentlemen. What a lot snow falling today. But it’s alright, I think the boys are handling it well. We don’t know the place so well. Have never been here before, but then we have a good guide in Marie,” said a cheerful Prince Joachim.
Ulriksen asked “Prince Joachim and Miss Cavallier, as you may be able to guess, there is one particular question begging to be asked. Are you ready to answer?”
“I’m not quite sure. You may prepare yourself for no comments,” said Prince Joachim, while Marie nodded in agreement. (Joachim is very formal and polite and uses the formal 'you', which is not very common in Danish speakers these days.)
In a game of cat and mouse Ulriksen asks “Who of you is the better skier?”
“Ha, ha… oh, is that it. Well, but isn’t that pretty obvious to everyone. There seems to be little doubt that Marie is the better one,” was the reply from Prince Joachim.
“Now, now, Joachim. You are pretty good too. He really is good at skiing. But it’s not surprising I am good on skis. I’ve practically grown up on skis in this area and it’s nice to be where I really feel at home. It is also nice to show it to Joachim and the boys. They look like they like it!” said Marie Cavallier.
The cat pounces and Ulriksen asks “How about your common future, is an engagement on the way?”
“About our future plans and a possible engagement we still have no comments. Marie and I have chosen to keep that to ourselves. But as you can see, we are feeling good. There is probably no more to say about that,” replied Prince Joachim (the word Joachim used means possible but not a definite eventual).
Ulriksen tries again “From where I stand, it does look as if you have a future together, don’t you think that yourselves?”
“Thank you very much. That was kindly said. But shouldn’t we leave it at that. We have no further comments,” Joachim replied now laughing out loud, which had a wonderful contagious effect on Marie.
Ulriksen works a metaphor and writes: it may be that Joachim and Marie preferred to talk about skiing in pairs on the slopes, but their entire behaviour said the couple have started skiing in a private and rather serious way. There is no doubt that they have a bright future together since Marie has to a caertain extent been introduced as a kind of family member to Joachim’s children as well as several of those closest to him.
Also, Marie’s handling of the role as ski-guide with particular care for the little ski Princes Nikolai and Felix, spoke more than words can. She is fond of the boys and they of her. Indeed, there was nothing even resembling a protest when Marie affectionately took hold of an unruly Nikolai when the small family posed for a photo 2000 metres above sea level in deep sparkling white snow.
Many believe that the way has been paved for Joachim and Marie after Princess Alexandra and Martin Jørgensen have announced their wedding this spring. Something suggests that Joachim and Marie are pleased with that. They certainly seemed happy that they finally can show that they love each other.
“Dad, I want to go down that hill now,” Prince Nikolai said suddenly in the middle of it all, and he sped off as if shot from a canon.
“Thank you, I’d better go after him,” said Prince Joachim, and went with Felix between the knees to follow Nikolai, who is already good on skis. Late last year Nikolai showed promise on skis when on holiday in Val Thorens in France, where Marie was also present, although she did not meet Felix on that occasion.
Marie stayed a little while and while she prepared for more skiing, she commented on the wedding which all of Denmark anticipates, of Alexandra and Martin.
“I’m happy for Alexandra and Martin. It’s positive for them. I don’t know them so well, but I’m naturally happy for such a joyous occasion. They look happy together. It is however most important for me to see Joachim happy. As long as he is happy, I’m happy. It’s great to be with him. As to whether I will go to Denmark on the occasion of the marriage between Alexandra and Martin, I have no comment. Well, I have to run along. I’ll have to make sure that everything is ready for a lunch we will be having in a cabin nearby. That will by cosy (hyggeligt),” said Marie and waved goodbye.
The winter holiday has been good family time on the slopes of the mountains during the daytime, while the evenings were spent by the fireplace in the cabin, where Joachim, Marie and the boys stayed together. They weren’t quite alone though. Joachim’s close friend from school, Peter Stenstrup and his family, were there too. Marie knows them from several occasions now including the New Year party at Amalienborg.
Mr and Mrs Stenstrup also brought along two children, their sons August and Malthe. As August is at the same age as Nikolai and Malthe is the same as Felix it, was perfect. While the children played, the adults could quietly enjoy a goodnight drink and a chat about the day in the snow.
Marie also had time to show them around the town she knows so well. On a couple of evenings she gave a guided tour of the modest but funny nightlife in the ski resort, located just a couple of hours from Geneva. First and foremost Marie and Joachim used their holiday with the children to get to know each other even better.
The article also tells us that Marie also took her little dog Apple along in her backpack on this occasion, but she doesn't take Apple with her when she is doing serious skiing.

From HER&NU (No. 7, 17 February 2007) Kirsten Balslev writes, probably from Denmark with story tips from the photographer who did the HER&NU exclusives, as there are no quotes:

Marie melts Joachim’s heart

Not since the engagement to Alexandra have we seen Prince Joachim, age 37, so uncontrollably glad, so in love and so sparklingly happy as this last weekend when with Prince Nikolai, age 7, and Prince Felix, age 4, he threw himself into a wild snowball fight with his French girlfriend Marie Cavallier, age 31, in Villars-sur-Ollon, 120 kilometres from Geneva in Switzerland.

It is probably Princess Alexandra’s upcoming wedding that has given Prince Joachim the courage to come forward with his great love, Marie, whom he hugged and held hands with during the entire photo shoot with Her&Nu, except when he wasn’t throwing a snowball.

Nikolai and Felix are jubilant about being in the snow with their father and his girlfriend, who no doubt has seen the two Princes several times recently. The boys are so comfortable with her that you might think that she had been a part of the family for a long time. As the most natural thing in the world, Felix puts his hand in Marie’s while Nikolai throws himself in the snow. He is having winter holiday from Krebs School this week, where the couple together with the boys, the nanny and a couple of friends have rented a ski lodge at the winter skiing resort where Marie has come for many years. Marie knows everyone in town and the inhabitants know her, but do not recognise the Danish Prince.

From town the small family ride on a small train up to the slopes and ski when the weather allows it. They have also used the opportunity to have lunch with Marie’s parents who have a cabin nearby. In the evening they have eaten out and Felix and Nikolai have been spoiled with pizza. For Joachim and Marie the appetite seems to have been greater for love and kisses than for beef and burgers, because they have problems keeping their eyes from each other and Marie frequently cuddles up to her 'dream prince'.

Love has been victorious. Marie has melted Joachim’s heart and it can hardly be long before he is engaged to the beautiful French girl and abducts her to Schackenborg, so that life will again return to the marsh [Schackenborg Estate is near marshland in southern Jutland near the German border]. She loves him. She has never concealed that. And Joachim does not hide that he loves her too. Kirsten Balslev/HER&NU

And again from HER&NU (No. 7, 18 February 2007) Kirsten Balslev has interviewed an historian, Jes Fabricius Møller:

Marie and Joachim can live together

By moving in with her partner and announcing her wedding with Martin Jørgensen, Princess Alexandra has cleared the way for Prince Joachim.
“Prince Joachim and his girlfriend can just move in together and see how things work out," says historian Jes Fabricius Møller from the University of Copenhagen.
It not unthinkable that Prince Joachim might ask his girlfriend, Marie Cavallier, to move in with him at Schackenborg.
“Prince Joachim can easily maintain a longlasting relationship with Marie without having to formalise it with an engagement or wedding,” he says, and bases that on the DRF being more liberally minded than supposed in regard to royal partners.
“They have for instance have had no problems with Princess Elisabeth having had several relationships without marrying, and as Crown Prince Frederik already has a son, Joachim and his family will soon get the same relationship to the DRF as Prince Knud and his family has,” believes Jes Fabricius Møller.
Kirsten Balslev: “Do you think Marie will get the title of princess if she marries Prince Joachim?”
"I cannot imagine that, but that’s something the Queen decides. Prince Joachim will no doubt retain his prince title, as will his sons Nikolai and Felix also. Neither the Queen nor Frederik will change that. But as there are now so many heirs to the throne, Joachim's and Marie’s relationship will not influence the line of succession. Any children they may have will step in behind Crown Prince Frederik, the Crown Prince Couples' children. Prince Joachim, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix and so also Marie are unlikely to become heirs to the throne, so she will, in contrast to Alexandra – who gave birth to two heirs to the throne before Frederik got married – probably have to settle for a title as countess. Joachim has his own business at the manor. He’s doing business and my guess is that he is pretty free to do whatever he wants, because it is not supposed that his possible second wife will be in the centre of things in the DRF. There is no room for that in the DRF and that’s why I assess that he is in no hurry to get married.”
Kirsten Balslev: “What happens if Joachim still has an irresistible urge to propose to his chosen one?”
“Then I hope he will consult his mother, the Queen, partly because she is wise, and partly because it is important for Joachim’s sweetheart to know in advance what role she is to play as the wife to the youngest son of the Queen.”
Kirsten Balslev: “Will it be a big wedding if Joachim chooses to marry Marie?”
“We don’t know. The media immediately looks forward to a big wedding and engagement even if Joachim only holds a girl’s hand. My guess is that a possible second wedding will be held locally, either at Schackenborg or perhaps in France, where also Christian X married by the way [grandfather to Margrethe]. Of course it will take place with a huge media contingent and with the nearest family of the couple and with cousins and so on, but not with the heads of states from all over Europe.”
Kirsten Balslev: “Will Marie, just like Princess Alexandra, receive a lifelong appanage if she divorces Prince Joachim after a few years of marriage?”
“Marie will not be able to get the same benefits as Alexandra. Her part of the estate would be taken from Prince Joachim’s own means. The court has handled Joachim's and Alexandra’s divorce wisely. The internal conflicts are as far as possible kept from the public eye, and Alexandra’s loyalty to the DRF has been maintained. But Marie will not be able to get the same privileged status,” Jes Fabricius Møller determines. Kirsten Balslev/HER&NU

This interview raises some interesting points to ponder and comment on. First, the Queen is dedicated to the Danish Lutheran Church and is unlikely to be happy if Joachim took the 'bohemian path'. Joachim also seems to be a man unlikely not to want to 'do the right thing'. And what of Joachim's future wife? Does she not deserve the happiness of marriage and possibly children? Also, there might be public pressure for marriage, even though Danish society in general is not prudish about such things. Princess Elisabeth is a very different case to Joachim. He is the son of a reigning monarch and acts as regent, he is currently third in succession to the throne and represents Denmark. Princess Elisabeth is none of these (she was the grandaughter of a reigning monarch, and a favouite of her grandfather Christian X). Should Joachim marry again, there is no reason why his wife should not be a princess, indeed it would be rather an insult if she were not. Prince Joachim still has many years of royal duty before him. Prince Christian will not assume a more prominant role for many years to come. Even after Christian turns eighteen, he and any sibling(s) will be involved in education and other training for the royal life before them. Jes Fabricius Møller has not factored in the importance of church to the DRF or of family. If we judge by current practices, and even historical ones too, then we can assume that family and the opportunity to celebrate it will always be a part of how the DRF do things. Therefore, Nikolai and Felix and any other children Joachim has will always be part of the royal fold, even if they are living mostly private lives with careers when they are older.

And, many thanks to ... Muhler!

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