Thursday 30 August 2007

Margrethe has the family under control

Niels Ole Qvist of B.T. (29 August 2007) has written a thought provoking story on the state of the Danish royal family in 'Margrethe har styr på familien' (Margrethe has the family under control):
If the DRF was a firm listed on the stock exchange then the shares would be at their highest ever. And the chairman of the board, Queen Margrethe, would be in for a golden bonus.
The manager of the royal firm is currently completely in control of her “vice managers” and enjoy almost blind trust from the share holders, i.e. the Danish taxpayers who invest a little less than 88 million DKK in the enterprise annually.
“Yes, it goes fantastically well. The DRF has probably never signalled more harmony than now,” says anthropologist and royal expert Anne Skelborg Jensen.
Other royal watchers who are used to interpret the slightest movement in the royal chambers use sentences such as "Happier than seen for a long time!" and "In total harmony!"
It was the British Queen Elizabeth who used the vivid description annus horribilis about the terrible year in the BRF after a string of juicy scandals.
If you stay in that terminology then the royal experts agree that 2007 is well on the way to becomming annus jubilus for the DRF.
“What shines through it all is that Margrethe has 35 years of experience in running her house. She has the experience, she has the overview and she understands how to navigate in the modern media reality,” says historian and museum manager Steffen Heiberg.
Queen Margrethe and the court have learned one thing: that even small things can grow big with a lightning speed.
“The court has been good at crisis management. They are attentive to all stories in the media, big as well as small, and they react quickly. That can be to move the focus of the media from something negative to something positive,” explains Steffen Heiberg.
Queen Margrethe has two perfect “fire extinguishers” on her 'staff', Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. They can at any time be sent out in the field when things are hot.
“They are young, they are beautiful, well educated, dynamic and they seem incredibly happy together. And then they have delivered the goods: a prince and a princess. That fairy tale couldn’t have been written any better,” says anthropologist Anne Skelborg Jensen.
There have been several issues in the past few years that could have given Queen Margrethe some sleepless nights. First and foremost there was the divorce between Alexandra and Joachim in 2004, but also there was Prince Henrik’s highly dramatic exit to France in March 2002, where he went into a short lived exile in anger over the lack of respect about his person.
It was then he said the famous words to Bodil Cath from B.T.:
“I feel discarded, put aside and humiliated.”
Queen Margrethe had to muster all her crisis management expertise and went to France, where the eager amateur archaeologist put the pieces back together and induced her husband to come back home.
Since then the happiness of the Crown Prince Couple's wedding and christenings have outshone all crises in the DRF.
Even in Møgeltønder [Prince Joachim's residence Schackenborg] there is apparent harmony. Prince Joachim who in the chaotic time after the divorce changed epithets from the Corn Prince [alluding to his agriculture business] to the Party Prince, is no longer staggering around on the dance floor of provincial discotheques [alluding to a bit of tabloid exaggeration here!].
The question now is just when he intends to announce the upcoming engagement with his girlfriend Marie Cavallier.
“Joachim’s sweetheart also seems to have things under control. She has obviously been to “princess school” and now knows a little bit more about what it takes,” remarks Anne Skelborg Jensen.
While the DRF at the moment is thriving big time, their Norwegian counterparts are struggling with bad press. The case of Princess Märtha’s “angel school” is a textbook example of how fast things can explode, according to historian Steffen Heiberg.
“Margrethe would be forced to step in if that sort of thing happened in the DRF. If Mary suddenly started to talk to angels, well, then everything could quickly start sliding. The royals live from their prestige and reputation and the public in Denmark would not allow that sort of foolishness."
Steffen Heiberg assesses that the DRF – and Queen Margrethe – enjoy something close to a historically high reputation among the Danish population.
And apart from the current family bliss, that is probably the deeper reason for Queen Margrethe smiling so broadly these days. As King Frederik VII said:
“The love of the people, my strength.”
The article mentions four examples of well-managed crisis:
1) Frederik’s many girl friends, a number of whom were hardly princess material! Margrethe dealt with that by simply not acknowledging them until the right one, Mary, came along.
2) Henrik sulking in France. In three days the family was gathered around him and the crisis contained [Margrethe called Frederik and Joachim to France].
3) Joachim and Alexandra’s divorce, which was handled admirably, without any dirt being thrown around.
4) The various illnesses suffered in recent years by Queen Margrethe. She is now on top again and Steffen Heiberg believes that there is no way Margrethe would ever abdicate. Frederik will become king to the words of “The Queen is dead. Long live the King”. (Written by Niels Ole Qvist and kindly translated by Muhler)

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Blogger Tatiana said...

What a beautiful article and translation!

6:52 am  

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