Monday 11 June 2007

Happy birthday Prince Henrik!

We are flying the flag again today for Prince Henrik who is 73 years old today. Henrik was born Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat and was born in 1934 in Talence, Gironde, France. His father was Count André de Laborde de Monpezat who died in 1998 and his mother was Countess Renée de Monpezat, (born Doursennot) who died in 2002. Henri was educated in both France and Vietnam where his family had business interests. From 1952 to 1957 Henri studied law and philosophy at the Sorbonne and simultaneously Chinese and Vietnamese at the École Nationale des Langues Orientales in Paris. He did obligatory French military service in Algeria before beginning his diplomatic career, which is how he came to be in London when Princess Margrethe was there studying. Henri speaks French, of course, English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Danish. Apparently he keeps up his Asian languages by reading them and he may well get a bit of practice in the course of his duties sometimes too. He has written books of poetry, cook books and done translations with the Queen of a Simone de Beauvoir work into Danish. He has done bronze sculptures, pretty well on the quiet (they are at Château de Caïx). His other great passions are winemaking at the Château de Caïx estate in Cahors, tennis and sailing, his dogs and music (he plays the piano). Henrik is also an enthusiastic grandfather!

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