Wednesday 8 August 2007

Margrethe & Henrik's annual press conference: snails!

Photo Scanpix/TV2

At the annual press conference of the Regent Couple yesterday, Marie Cavallier was a topic as expected. As we have already posted, Queen Margrethe declined to comment on an upcomming engagement but said she had met Marie and that she was very happy for Prince Joachim. Prince Henrik added that they had both met Marie and that they think very well of her. (Muhler's note here: the wording here is very positive but can also interpreted as non-committal or fairly neutral.)

Then the Queen ended the topic in style. She smiled "I find it inappropriate to talk about when my son himself is not present."

Prince Henrik also said that there is not much new news under the sun and that no one would be hurt if another year passes, as Joachim and Marie have known each other for several years.

B.T.'s top story from the press conference is about snails. More accurately, Iberian Snails, which in Denmark are a menace and known as 'killer sails'. Apparantly B.T.'s royal reporter Bodil Cath asked the Regent Couple whether they had been plagued by snails at Cayx. Prince Henrik could fortunately assure everyone that they had not. The snails were perhaps not that fond of grapes.
(Note from Muhler: I believe it was Bodil Cath who quite a few years ago asked Queen Margrethe whether a future wife of Crown Prince Frederik should be blue-blooded, at which the Queen laughed: "We certainly don't intend to ask for a blood-sample. What a funny question.") Indeed, there are stories about the snails in the Danish media today!

Even the enfant terrible of the Danish press, Ekstra Bladet, can't add more as to any engagement. It only adds that the question was forwarded numerous times in various forms. Until the Queen, in her usual style, ended the topic. (Muhler: you have to get up early to outwit Margrethe and no journalist has been able to do that yet.)

From Jyllands Posten (7 August 2007) 'Marie har sans for pligt' (Marie has a sense of duty):
French Marie Cavallier has princess potential according to the assessment of Prince Henrik, but he and the Queen will leave it to Prince Joachim and the young French woman to make the relationship official.
The setting [in southern France] is French, as is the candidate for the office as a new daughter-in-law in the Danish royal family, but it wasn’t at the yearly press conference at Caix that the parents of Prince Joachim announced an upcoming engagement between the prince and his French sweetheart Marie Cavallier.
“We’ve met her and she is sweet and has a sense of duty,” said Prince Henrik, presumably to be understood that she has an understanding of her place in a royal sense.
The Queen also declared her sympathy for the pretty French brunette, but in the end swept the many questions about the relationship off the table. That is the business of the son.
“It’s nothing new. They have known each other for two years. Let him do it himself, when he is ready to say anything about it,” remarked Prince Henrik in a part of the chateau’s private wine cellar, where the press conference was held due to a downpour of rain.
The Prince Consort revealed a past as graffiti 'artist' when he was asked about how he felt about his sculpture outside Strib which had been been graffiteed. “Oh, you have probably read in a book how I did it myself on a statue here in Luzech when I was seventeen,” said the Prince with a grin.
It rained in the Cahors area on Tuesday morning but the Prince is not worried about his 44 hectares of vinyards. In Caix you normally harvest in the end of September or beginning of October. “The grapes are still green, so it doesn’t matter that it rains, but we would like some sun later on,” he said.
“Killer snails are not among the plagues in southern France,” answered Prince Henrik to a question about the cursed menace. “The grapes are too strong for them,” answered Prince Henrik, visibly pleased about being on his home turf. His parents lived in Cayrou, fifteen kilometres from Caix.
The soil of the vinyard fields is too dry too, supplemented the Queen.
She declared herself pleased with state of her family and herself since the last French press conference last year. She has one grandchild more and she is no longer plagued by pain in the back and in her replaced knees. “I’m looking forward to get around, healthy in body and happy in mind,” she says.
Se & Hør [their 'story'] wanted to know what the Queen thought about the photos of a naked women in the royal representions chambers at Christiansborg [home of the Danish parliament], which were recently published by the magazine.
“That is pretty vulgar,” was the short comment by the Queen. She remarked that the case is being investigated and that she is being informed about the investigation. (written by Else Boelskifte and translated by Muhler)

On TV2's 7pm news (link immediately below) they also talked about snails! Slow royal news period!

TV2 video clip (2:45)
TV2 whole press conference
Berlingske Tidende web clip (2:24)

It is apparent from the media speculation before this year's press conference that the media was hoping for a similar 'sign' about Joachim and Marie as they had at the summer 2003 press conference about Frederik and Mary. It was clear by the Queen's statements then that Mary was going to be 'the one' and an engagement was coming up in the near future. Such an expectation was quashed at yesterday's press conference and the Queen's remark indicates the ball is in Joachim's court. The Queen is on record as saying she does not interfere in her son's lives. Henrik's remark about perhaps waiting another year would indicate no one should hold their breath. Of course that could be to take a bit of heat out of the speculation, but since the DRF are generally pretty straight forward, some sort of wait is on the cards.

TV2 photo gallery

Oh! lol! but they have kissed in public!

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