Friday 6 April 2007

Christian's big step & Easter at Marselisborg

Easter is upon us, so a happy Easter to all our readers, wherever you may be and however you may observe it (or not, for some). The royal family will be at Marselisborg for Easter, which is their custom. Things are a little slow - as you will have noticed - because Mary and Frederik have been concentrating on Christian (accompanying him to nursery school on the days he is going) and Mary has slowed her official appearances down in the last weeks of her pregnancy. There are other 'doings' which we will be posting soon. We do have many things to look forward to of course, including the Queen's birthday on April 16, and, most of all, the birth of a new little one in the coming weeks. We will be posting various stories which we hope will be of interest in the coming days.

From Billed Bladet (no. 13 20 March 2007) Anna Johannesen writes about Christian's big day out at day nursery last week.

"Is it here I’m going to be" asked the headline. It was an exited and not at all timid little prince who started going to the nursery in Dronning Louises Børnehus in Fredensborg last Tuesday [week ago].
Christian, who is now almost 18 months, took it all in his stride when he arrived with his parents. As soon as he got out of the car he stood on the road and looked around as if he wanted to say: “Is it here I’m going to be?”
Then he took his father's and mother's hands and started to stroll down the hill towards to Børnehuset where the flag of course had been raised to mark the occasion [it is common for the flag to be raised for children's birthday's and special occasions].

“Is he exited?” was one of the questions from the 60 Danish and foreign reporters who were ready to capture the moment for posterity when the little heir to the throne was to be away from home at the nursery for the first time.
“Him?” said Frederik and pointed at Christian, who was in his arms. “It’s more the case we are the ones who are exited. It’sl the parentsafter all who must prepare for such a day and the calmer we are, the calmer he is. He doesn’t know what is waiting for him.”
To the question from Billed Bladet as to whether Crown Princess Mary had attended nursery in Tasmania, Mary herself replied, “Yes, I did actually and that was really good.”
Queen Louise's Børnehus is an integrated kindergarten under the municipality of Fredensborg and Christian was registered on the waiting list shortly after he was born, explained Lene Dræby who is chief of day care institutions in the municipality.
“I don’t recall the date,” she says “but Christian was signed onto the waiting list according to the same rules as all other children. The Crown Prince Couple have made it clear from the beginning that there should be no difference between him and the other children.”
The reason why the 27th of March became the day when Christian had his first day in the nursery has no other explanation other than “It just suited,” said Mary.
“We thought he was ready for it now, and that it also fits fine with a number two coming soon," said the Crown Princess, who wore a summery patterned blouse beneath a long black coat. Frederik too had put on a short coat and Christian, who was the centre of it all, was in grey velvet trousers, a blue peasant shirt and a small dark blue jacket on top. Beside her own handbag Mary also carried Christian’s little lilac backpack, but there weren’t any toys in it.
“No, he’s not allowed that,” she said with a big smile. There are ten children in the room where Christian will go. It’s called Spiren (The Sprouts) and the nursery teacher in charge is called Britta Just Petersen. She was naturally there to receive the little new “resident” and his parents, and so was the head of the Centre, Helle Zacho.
While it was the first day Prince Christian saw his nursery, his parents have been there previously to talk about the entire schedule with the Helle Zacho, and according to Mary, he is not going to the nursery every day.
“Now we’ll just see how it goes," said Mary, “but it’s not supposed to be every day. Some hours for the time being, as we figure it out along the way.”
Even though the photographers snapped away, Prince Christian took it all in his stride and when he reached the gate to the Children’s House he almost waved.
“So my little man, the bell is ringing,” said Frederik, and then carried him inside followed by Mary with her jutting tummy and the small backpack in her hand.
No one can be in doubt that The Sprouts have a very special group member. Prince Christian will get his very own “assistant nursery teacher” in the nursery: a bodyguard who will keep an eye on him wherever he is.
The first day in the nursery lasted two hours and then Christian drove back to Kancellihuset with mom and dad. (by Anna Johannesen/BilledBladet and kindly translated by Muhler)

There is also an interview with the centre's director Helle Zacho who spoke a little to the media about Christian's big day.

How did Prince Christian react when entered the nursery?

“He took it easy and looked around when he came in. By the way, I’d say he was a little surprised about the commotion outside.”

How is it to have the responsibility for Prince Christian?

“It’s like having the responsibility for any other child. It’s always a big day when we receive a new child and a new family here in the centre.”

Will Prince Christian bring his own lunch pack?

“Yes, he will have to bring that along from home, because unfortunately we haven’t got [the ability to prepare lunch for the children] yet. So it is lunch packs from home."

Is there a particular theory of education in the room where Prince Christian is?

“Our theory of education is total. We start from the individual child. We will support Prince Christian in getting on properly and in every respect to have a good start in life.”

It’s an integrated institution. Does that mean that Prince Christian may play with older children?

“Yes, exactly. He can play with the children in the kindergarten.”

Is it a good idea that Prince Christian will only attend nursery once in a while? Shouldn’t he come here every day?

“That very much depends on how Prince Christian deals with starting in a nursery. Some children can handle it to come here right from the start and be here for many hours. Other children prefer to be here a little less.”

How have you experienced having a royal child in the nursery?

“It’s been quiet and calm. The Crown Prince Couple and we here in the centre have had a sensible co-orporation. They have been here several times to see if they were interested in the place offered to Prince Christian. (by Ulrik Ulriksen/Billed Bladet and translated by Muhler)

There is a note about the PET-house (PET is the acronym for the Danish security service):

Per Thornit, the chief of court of the Crown Prince calls it “the transportable police summer cottage,” and the square glass-cage with big windows facing towards the child care centre has been erected for the bodyguards who will keep an eye on Prince Christian when he attends nursery. “It isn’t pretty, but that is supposedly how it must be,” one of the residents on the road remarked.

And Billed Bladet (no. 13, 29 March 2007) also has a story on "Christian’s holiday with grandmother."

There are many traditions in the Danish royal family (DRF). One of them is that they celebrate Easter altogether at Marselisborg whenever it is possible. Frederik and Mary are going to Århus along with Prince Christian during Easter, just as Prince Joachim will probably also drop by with his two active boys, Nikolai and Felix.
Queen Margrethe loves to gather the family around her, and even though the recently operated knee still causes a few problems, she looks forward to some cosy (the Danish 'keyword' hyggelige) days at Marselisborg. The Queen left it to her son to conduct the audience* last Monday, but on the day prior to that she received ambassadors because that could be handled sitting down (*the audience is with citizens at Christiansborg Palace).
The Regent Couple go by train to Århus [they will be there from 6-10 April] and they will have [a short stay] in Jutland, before they formally move in at Fredensborg Palace on 11 April. Margrethe and Henrik will be able to settle down in Jutland (where Marselisborg is located) before their sons and their family arrive for Easter.
There is never any fixed schedule for Easter. That’s why it is not yet clear when the Crown Prince Couple will arrive at Marselisborg and when they will leave again. Neither are the specific dates for Prince Joachim known yet, although it is expected they will have [a few days] together.

One date is set however. On the April 16 the Queen turns 67 and for that occasion they will all meet again.

This year's birthday will this year take place at [Amalienborg Palace]... Last year Queen Margrethe was able to celebrate her birthday at Marselisborg during Easter (see the photo below of the Queen with Christian).

* Here is the link again for the video clip (1:56) which shows Mary kissing Christian on the cheek and his reaction, plus the very discrete responses of the director of the centre when the media tries to get specific info out of her about Mary and Frederik. Her repeated response was something like "As with all children begining..."

1 to 5) Christian is growing fast and learning more about 'life'! 6 & 7) on the balcony at Marselisborg last year for Queen Margrethe's Easter birthday, 8 to 15) Frederik and Joachim also had a nursery school experience, but it was behind palace walls with a few children from around the royal court 16) Prince Henrik, the Queen, Frederik and Joachim on the first day of school for the boys at Krebs School (Nikolai's current school).

Here is a look at Marselisborg Palace in Århus and its gardens and parklands, including some of the sculptures in the gardens. When Frederik was studying for his degree in international relations at the University of Århus he stayed in one of the cottages on the estate.

You can look back at Easter at Marselisborg last year here. It co-incided with the Queen's birthday.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home