Thursday 21 June 2007

Joachim & Alexandra clowning around for a good cause

We are a little bit behind with our usual posts here at the blog. Real life can be so inconvenient! We will be posting a few things in the next few days to catch up.

11 June 2007. In spite of their divorce Prince Joachim and Countess Alexandra took their two sons, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, to the local Cirkus Arena near Prince Joachim's residence of Schackenborg Manor in southern Jutland. Alexandra's parents Richard and Christa Manley were also there to enjoy the evening with their grandchildren. The Manley's still live at Schackenborg (see below) and Alexandra stayed overnight with them on the visit for the annual fundraiser by Cirkus Arena for the Children's Cancer Foundation, whose patron is Ghita Nørby, a well known actress in a number of areas including the Danish Royal Theatre.

Billed Bladet (no. 24, 14 June 2007) reports on the visit to Cirkus Arena by Prince Joachim, Alexandra, Nikolai and Felix. This has been a regular date on their calendar for them for a few years now as a charity fundraiser for the Children's Cancer Foundation. In Nikolai handled the elephant Billed Bladet's Trine Larsen says Nikolai and Felix had an extended weekend with their father because, as tradition dictates, Cirkus Arena was in town.

...Although they were to see the show on Monday evening with both their parents, they couldn't wait, so during the day they made an extra circus visit with their nannies.

And as soon as they had entered the circus compound [they found] ...Cirkus Arena’s elephant trainer, Rene Casselly, was walking the elephants and even though the big animals seemed intimidating, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix were easily persuaded to greet them.

Prince Nikolai overcame his nervousness and showed he was cool when he let himself be lifted up on the tusk of Tonga the female elephant to play royal circus performer.

There he sat and even lifted one arm up with a professional air, while brother Felix looked on pretty impressed along with the nannies Merete Metz and Alicia Thunbo, who clapped enthusiastically. After that success it wasn’t hard to persuade Nikolai to also act as a trainer.

Assisted by Rene Casselly the princes made the big elephant Mambo to stand on its hind legs, so they could stand with the nannies under the elephant that towered above all of them. Even so, elephants are not the favourite circus animals of the two princes.

“A lion is,” said Prince Nikolai, but as lions are not allowed in Danish circuses, the boys had to be content with a sea lion. First Prince Felix was allowed to squirt water at the sea lion, and then Prince Nikolai did too.

“It’s fun, but my socks are getting wet,” excliamed Prince Nikolai in the middle of spraying the sea lion...

“It doesn’t matter, sweety. We’ll just take them off afterwards. It’s so hot... they’ll dry quickly,” comforted the nanny, Merete Matz.

Prince Nikolai should really have been in school, so that was dealt with by a visit to Cirkus Arena’s school wagon, where the circus children get their lessons. They were luckily let off shortly after, so that the circus kids could show the princes their skills... “Will you try?” asked circus princess Suzanne Berdino.

“No thank you,” they replied politely. The adventures with elephants, sea lions and a visit to the Alpaca, who got carrots from the princes, were enough. But when the circus kids Patrick and Oliver displayed skills as jugglers, it got Nikolai’s interest again.

“I like to juggle too,” said Prince Nikolai, and even though he wouldn’t display his skill in public yet, he was of course immediately presented with three clubs, three balls and three rings to take home with him so he could practise. He started doing that quickly on the way home to Schackenborg, until it was interrupted by a trip down the huge inflatable slides where the princes ended an eventful trip to the circus. (by Trine Larsen, translated by Muhler - thanks! - and edited a little)

In B.T. (15 June 2007) Arne Sorgenfri wrote a story about Alexandra’s parents: Joachim is kind/sweet towards us

Alexandra’s parents have lived on the estate of their former son-in-law for almost three years, and without problems, they say. Many Danes ask themselves how on earth that is possible.

Prince Joachim still has his former in-laws living in the porter's lodge in the garden of Schackenborg Slot nearly three years after the break up with Alexandra.

And how will it end if Joachim some day chooses to marry his French girlfriend Marie Cavallier? Two years after they met the relationship between Joachim and Marie seems to become more and more serious.

Can the [Marie] tolerate having the parents of Joachim’s ex-wife living so close, if she moves in at Schackenborg one day? So far the relationship between Joachim and his ex-parents-in-law Christa and Richard Manley is both surprisingly hearty and affectionate and completely without problems.

“Joachim is very kind to us. Very sweet. And our relationship is completely without problems,” says Alexandra’s father, Richard Manley, when B.T. asks how it is to live in the same place as their former son-in-law. Christa Manley nods eagerly in agreement. The relationship with Joachim is without friction.

At the same time Richard Manley revealed that Alexandra stays with them when she is at Schackenborg Slot as she was last Monday, to take part in Cirkus Arena’s charity show to benefit Børnecancerfonden (Children's Cancer Foundation). [As in the past] Alexandra attended with her ex-husband and the two rinces, Nikolai and Felix.

Richard Manley suffers from heart problems and also has problems walking. Among other things he didn’t manage to take his daughter to the altar, when she married the film man Martin Jørgensen on March 3. Instead, the princes Nikolai and Felix had that honour.

There has been speculation that Richard Manley cannot cope moving closer to his daughter in Copenhagen due to his health. But last Monday evening he was clearly well and much happier than he has been for a long time and so he could walk the couple of hundred meters from the manor to the circus without problems supported by his wife.

“We love Denmark. Especially Southern Jutland," says Richard Manley to B.T. as a sort of explanation as to why they still live at Schackenborg with Joachim. (by Arne Sorgenfri and kindly translated by Muhler)

Hello magazine 'Exes Joachim and Alexandra reunite to take sons to the circus'

As always, for all things Alexandra see Lotte Haldrup's Countess Alexandra of Frederiksborg website

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