Sunday 22 April 2007

Mary & baby in hospital until tomorrow

The canon salute at midday at Kronborg Castle today and there was also a salute at the Sixtus Battery in Copenhagen Harbour.

Time for some updates on what has been happening so far today:

* TV2 has reported not too long ago that Mary and the baby will be leaving the hosptital tomorrow at 11am local time (use The World Clock to calculate when that will be - there may not be live streaming outside of Denmark so we may have to wait for clips. We can keep our finger crossed for TV2)

* The canon salute has taken place and the Danish flag the Dannebrog is flying throughout Denmark. There was some earlier speculation about Mary and the baby going home today but new information (above) says tomorrow.

* Prince Christian was in 'the pink room' with together with mum, dad and his new little little sister during the day

* Mary's eldest sister Jane Stephens said to the Australian media today "We are very, very excited, very happy," she said. "She is very healthy and a lovely new addition to our family." Jane will be going to Denmark soon (not this month) to help Mary as she did after Christian was born

* John Donaldson is at Fredensborg Castle now according to TV2 and is expected to visit Mary today. There are reports John and Susan with Frederik, Ziggy and Christian have been seen walking at Fredensborg during the afternoon

* Peter Warnøe, a close friend of the Crown Prince Couple, has visited the little new princess with his two daughters. The Crown Prince Family stay at Peter Warnøe's chalet in Verbier, Switzerland in February each year. (see story below in Berlingske Tidende)

* Caroline Heering has visited again today

* Baron Otto Reedtz-Thott and Baroness Helle have also visited (Mary is godmother to their second child)

* The Queen and Prince Henrik went to the theatre after they visited Mary and the new baby in hospital yesterday (hence their attire)

* There has been a flood of congratulations, including from politicians in Demark and Australia

* The Galathea 3 ship the Vædderen has had a salute on Sunday at midday to celebrate the birth of the new little princess - see photos here

DR TV News (9:00) includes the canon salutes at Kronborg Castle and Sixtus Battery, the flying of the Danish flag the Dannebrog to honour the new royal baby and reports direct from Rigshospitalet

Seven News video clip (1:40)

* See Nine News report on Australian reaction below

Apart from the already mentioned ceremonial order when a new royal baby is born, apparently there are some other specific orders of doing things when announcing the birth of a royal child:

The Regent Queen Margrethe is the first to be informed

The Prime Minister is second (Anders Fogh Rasmussen)

The chief of court is third (Per Thornit)

The information chief is fourth (Lis. M. Frederiksen)

and then the press release. No doubt there is a lot of other personal "informing" of family and friends going on too...

Traditionally the christening was considered more important than the birth (connected to religious history and traditions). The new princess will not be noted in the protocol about heirs to the throne until after the christening. It is also only after the christening that the embassies around the world will be officially notified that there is a new child, who is also in line to the throne.

* There has been no statement about the christening, despite media reports which say it is decided

From Berlingske Tidende - The friends were told by text messages:

Af Marchen Jersild og Marianne Fajstrup

Crown Princess Mary's lady-in-waiting Caroline Heering was one of the first guests yesterday evening, shortly after the birth. Late this morning she visited for the second time - and she had a small bag with a gift in her hand, although she would not reveal what it was.

The close friend of the Crown Prince, Peter Warnøe, has also been visiting to see the little new princess.

He arrived at Rigshospitalet at 11am, but without a maternity present.

"We unfortunately didn't have time for it," said the IT-millionaire, who was told about the birth via a text message to the friends of the Crown Prince Couple.

"She is very fine [looking]," said Peter Warnøe about the newborn princess, and the Crown Princess is also "very, very fine [referring to her condition]."

His nine year old daughter, Barbara, elaborated the description and said that the princess is "really sweet and very small".

Her younger sister, Bjørk age five told that they had not been allowed to hold the baby, but that they were allowed to caress her. So it must be considered an expert-evaluation when the girls assess that "That she hasn't got much hair.....".

Prince Christian is up in pink room with mother, father and little sister... The press gathers around all guests to the royals in the maternity ward in great numbers gather.

And from B.T. (22 April 2007) - Daddy’s girl is this big:

A relaxed and visibly proud Crown Prince Frederik stepped forward and told about his newly born princess.

“Pink and with black hair,” said Crown Prince bursting with pride and poetically expressing himself at Rigshospitalet when he met the press.

The birth was quick, [it] took only six hours and went by the book.

The newly born princess measured 50 centimetres and weighed 3.350 grammes. Little sister was therefore only slightly smaller than big brother Christian who was 51 centimetres long and weighed 3.500 grams when he was born on the 15 October 2005.

“One was more present this time and for me it’s a unique experience also to be able to have a girl,” explained the Crown Prince, who was at Mary’s side and held her hand during the labour after Mary was admitted to hospital late yesterday morning.

At that time there was five minutes between the contractions and just like with the birth of Prince Christian, Mary received at some point an epidural block to relieve the pain. Frederik himself conceded to having tears in his eyes, as was the case at the birth of big brother Christian.

“It was exciting, but not hard for me. One mostly stands and looks on a little powerless and as a 'coach', as it’s called in Danish,” said Frederik.

The parents did not know beforehand that it would be a princess.

“She very much looks like a little baby and looks normal,” replied Frederik to the question on who the princess resembles.

“I feel great about it – really great. And Crown Princess Mary, considering the circumstances, is feeling super well. She is very motherly and full of love, as only a mother can be,” continued the Crown Prince, who was calm about the birth taking place sometime before the due date at the beginning of May.

“It’s just fix points [meaning a calculation]. Considering weight and height it was completely normal,” determined Frederik, who this time hadn’t been so afraid about holding his newborn child.

“The first time one hasn’t really tried it and [you] are afraid that it’s a piece of Flora Danica [fine Danish porcelain]. Now one knows something about it and it’s fantastic to stand with a girl in my arms,” said a jubilant Crown Prince.

Prince Christian had not yet been told yesterday afternoon that he has a little sister. According to the Crown Prince it was most likely that only during the day will he be told that a little girl has arrived.

“Now he will have to digest it a bit. He knows there is something called 'baby', that much I can say,” said Crown Prince Frederik, who reckoned that Prince Christian was at home getting supper, while the entire nation was delighted about the arrival of his little sister.

Both Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik had immediately been informed about the birth of the princess and they were, according to the Crown Prince, “just as ecstatic and happy as the first time”.

In Spain they know that Crown Princess Letizia, who has also been committed to a Spanish maternity ward, expects yet another daughter. But here the excitement lasted to the very last minute as to whether it would be yet another prince or a princess, which many hoped for.

The jubilation at Rigshospitalet would not end when it was announced that the Crown Prince Couple had become parents to a little girl. That there is nothing dangerous about giving birth before schedule was confirmed by Mary’s obstetrician, Morten Hedegaard. He was also there to help little Prince Christian into the world.

“An on time birth is from three weeks prior to three weeks after (the schedule). That is what is perceived as the normal interval,” he said to B.T. the day before Mary was admitted.

Morten Hedegaard confirmed that he was on stand-by and contactable 24 hours a day if Mary suddenly went into labour.

“The rooms are ready for the birth,” he assured.

The Rigshospitalet PR, Lisbeth Westergaard, does not hide that they at Riget [nickname for the hospital] are proud have the births in the DRF.

“We have had the pleasure of having the Crown Prince Couple here once before, and of course had that experince to draw from. We are delighted. It’s always a happy occasion when a couple is having a child.”
(written by Bodil Cath and Birger Andersen and translated by Muhler)

And another from B.T. (22 April 2007) - Happy grandmother of four.

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik were the first visitors who were allowed to visit the new little princess.

The Queen and Prince Henrik Early arrived in the evening yesterday from Fredensborg Palace to see their grandchild.

It was a happy Queen who arrived through a back entrance but who exited through the elevator after having visited her grandchild.

“She is very sweet and looks like a baby,” said the Queen, after she had held the new princess.

Prince Henrik too was pleased with the latest 'shoot on the tree'.

“I’m a very happy grandfather," said Prince Henrik who was wearing a tuxedo.

Big brother Christian was not visiting. Yesterday he presumably did not even know that he had become a big brother.

The Queen nor Prince Henrik had told little Christian that he has a sister.

“We will leave that to the parents. They will do that much better.”

After about half an hour the Queen and Prince Henrik left Rigshospitalet and hastened out to the waiting royal car.
(by Helle Lho Hansen and Jakob Heinel and translated by Muhler)
Again from B.T. (22 April 2007) – A real mini-Mary:

Denmark has real little mini-Mary. So far she a bit more pink than the mother, but the hair is dark and slightly curled.

“She has got fantastic dark hair. Perhaps there will be some curls in it. It’s lovely – enchanting,” said Birgitte Hillerup, a visibly happy midwife shortly after the birth of the new little princess.

“The entire event is moving. The little princess is awake and has had a little to eat and is now lying and looking at the world a bit,” said Birgitte Hillerup to the excited Danes who had turned up along with the press yesterday at Rigshospitalet to hear news from the pink maternity room.

The medical-team – which incidentally was the same as during the birth of Prince Christian – could calm things with the words: “She is pink and black-haired. There are no signs of jaundice as with big brother Christian.”

Birgitte Hillerup said that the birth went completely by the book. At 10.00 the Crown Princess was admitted with contractions. The water broke in the middle of the day. As at her last birth, Crown Princess Mary had an epidural block as she did last time with Christian to ease the pain. About six hours after the first contractions, the happy parents could welcome the new little princess to the world.

According to the midwife it was the Crown Prince himself who could tell Mary that they had become parents of a little princess. The Crown Prince was there during the entire birth and was a big help for his wife. The midwife described the help from the Crown Prince as “formidable”.

And the birth itself was a fine and quick birth for a second timer.

“The little princess cried right away, just as she should. It was all by the book,” said Birgitte Hillerup.
(by Helle Lho Hansen and translated by Muhler)
From B.T. (22 April 2007) – Big brother got top grades too:

Crown Princess Mary could hardly put words on her overwhelming happiness when she met the public after her first birth in October 2005 at Rigshospitalet.

“It’s the most wonderful thing in the whole world. One becomes so happy, so happy. It’s so wonderful to see your child that the heart just radiates warmth and happiness,” the proud new mother said then, while Christian slept peacefully in her arms under a crochet blanket.

The small prince was born at 1:57am on the night of the 15 October 2005, weighed 3.500 grammes and measured 51 centimetres. A hint more than little sister’s 3.350 grammes and 50 centimetres.

Crown Prince Frederik cut the umbilical cord then after a ten hour long labour. As expected it went considerably faster for Mary yesterday.

Just like his little sister, Prince Christian was also given the
Apgar test a minute after the birth. All newly born in Denmark are given the test [in Australia too, as with most developed countries]. Big brother scored the maximum points – 10 - just like the newly born princess.

“It’s really good and a sign that the birth went without any complications at all,” said consultant Morten Hedegaard in 2005, who also then had the medical responsibility for the royal birth.

Prince Christian breathed perfectly right after birth, the heart pounded with the desired number of beats per minute, he had the finest pink colour and lightning fast reflexes.

With that speedy top grade the pediatrician on call could calmly lean back and enjoy a cup of “midwife coffee”. There was no need for additional medical expertise in “pink room” – the same place where Prince Christian’s little sister entered the world yesterday.
(by Birger A. Andersen and translated by Muhler)

The delivery team: Morten Hedegaard, Birgitte Hillerup, Mette Simonsen and Peter Dam. The plastic hanging on the wall behins them is an installation of modern art which was removed for the departure from the hospital.

National Nine News (Australia - article in English):

Mary delivers new Danish princess

Sunday Apr 22 19:24 AEST

Prime Minister John Howard led the chorus of congratulations on Sunday after Denmark's Australian-born Crown Princess Mary gave birth to a baby girl.

Mary, a Tasmanian native, gave birth to the Danish royal family's first princess since 1946 early Sunday Australian time at Copenhagen's University Hospital with her husband Crown Prince Frederik by her side.

Frederik was beaming as he addressed reporters outside the hospital.

"I feel great joy and great happiness ... and I can only say it's a relief, but full of happiness and love," he said.

The as-yet-unnamed girl will be third in line to the Danish crown, behind her father and 18-month-old brother, Prince Christian.

"On behalf of all Australians I send them my very warm congratulations. He (Frederik) looked a very happy father on the television," Mr Howard told reporters in Sydney.

Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon said the state government would announce details of how it will mark the birth in the coming days.

"I'm sure I speak for all Tasmanians when I say we are delighted to hear the royal family's news," Mr Lennon said in a statement.

"Obviously, the link between Tasmania and Denmark has become very strong, and we share the joy of the Danish people as they celebrate the arrival of the first daughter to be born into the Danish royal family since 1946."

In a statement, the Danish royal court said the princess - who had been expected at the beginning of May - weighed 3.35kg at birth and was 50cm long.

"We're very excited, very happy, very healthy baby. A lovely new addition to our family," Mary's sister Jane Stephens told the Ten Network.

News of the birth of Mary's daughter was "fabulous and exciting", the Royal Danish Consulate in Tasmania said.

"It's just fabulous news and I think it's very exciting for the family," honorary vice-consul for Denmark, Judy Benson, said.

"Although the baby arrived a couple of weeks early, it is wonderful news ... from the perspective of a young family having one each, that's fabulous."

Ms Benson said news of Mary's baby daughter would be celebrated across the Apple Isle.

"Tasmanians love Mary and Frederik and this is a wonderful occasion."

The name of the new princess is not expected to be revealed until her christening, reportedly in July, though royal watchers suggested one sentimental favourite would be Henrietta, the name of Mary's late mother.

But according to Danish royal tradition is seems most likely that Frederik and Mary will either name their daughter after her grandmother Margrethe or after her great-grandmother Ingrid, who died in 2000.

The Danish heir to the throne met Mary during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and married her four years later.
©AAP 2007

The Sydney Morning Herald 'No name, but Mary's baby measures up'

The Mercury 'Tassie's new princess'

* Once again, many thanks to Muhler, Benedikte, Mayflower, cph, Librian and jema.Thanks guys!

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