Thursday 27 December 2007

Christian & Isabella: he's mild & she's wild

B.T. , Berlingske Tidende's tabloid sister, has reported on the contents of the Crown Prince Couple's interview: Børnene er som nat og dag – The children are like day and night:
The heirs to the throne Prince Christian and Princess Isabella have been born less than two years apart, but they are very different. He’s mild, she’s wild.
In contrast to big brother Christian, kid sister Isabella has during her lifetime of only eight months already revealed a definite temper which has added some extra zing into the daily lives – and nights - of the Crown Prince Couple.
That is what mum and dad, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, say in the frank interview with the happy family at Fredensborg Palace published today in
Berlingske Tidende.
And they say it’s nice to be parents. But also it is hard.
In particular, this has been so during the past couple of weeks when the little princess has had a little problem sleeping through the night at the palace.
“Perhaps she’s teething, or perhaps she’s just growing. Isabella is generally far more temperamental than Christian. He was an unusually calm and mild baby. Isabella can be really, really happy and then she can be really, really angry. But the children are, of course, two different genders. I’ve heard from my (female) friends that girls are often more temperamental than boys as babies. But apart from that, she’s very calm and when she smiles you’re helpless,” admits a proud Mary.
After keeping quite a low profile for quite a while in regard to interviews, the Crown Prince Couple have invited a journalist into their living room in the Chancellery House at Fredensborg Palace for the first time ever. While the fire crackled in the fireplace and the two big Christmas stockings with "Isabella" and "Christian" embroidered on them hang on the armrest of the sofa, Mary and Frederik talk about the many joys and worries which life as parents bring.
Crown Prince Frederik has never hidden the fact that he will raise his children in a less strict and more present way than what he and Prince Joachim experienced as children. To the Crown Prince Couple it has indeed seemed very obvious and natural to share the royal bedroom with their babies.
Crown Prince Frederik: “Christian is no longer sleeping in our bedroom, but he did until he was about ten months, which was as long as he was deeply dependant upon his mother [ie: breastfeeding]. Now he has his own room and Isabella is of course still with us. We have contact with Christian too during the night via his baby alarm, so if he has a bad dream, or there is something else, we can quickly get to him.”
Frederik: “Everything has happened so fast. You almost ought to write a diary because so much happens with these little people. We photograph them continuously of course and also record them on video sometimes. We must pull ourselves together and get it into a system.”
Frederik reveals that he is utterly and completely won over when Isabella smiles, just as it was a huge experience for him when Christian, at age six months, put his arms lovingly around his neck."
Mary and Frederik do not hide the fact however, that for a royal couple too, it is a big change to have children.
Frederik: “It’s a huge experience truthfully speaking, but it is certainly also huge speaking of the physical impact too. It also forces you to be more organised and that is both a good thing and necessary. Perhaps this is particularly so in our life, because other chores happen constantly in our daily life. We don’t have a fixed schedule from eight in the morning to six in the evening. Our work come in doses and at any time,” says Crown Prince Frederik who likes to take Prince Christian to day nursery on his “Christiania-bike”.
According to Mary, the children have made their daily life different: “You need to find a new balance, to make everything fit together as it used to. On the other hand, we have more flexibility in our daily life than so many other people and we have very good help and support in our daily life from those around us (in the form of staff and nannies). For example, we don’t have to clean the floors or go shopping in the supermarket.”
The Crown Prince Couple emphasise that despite their different family backgrounds from Denmark and Australia, they are surprisingly in agreement about how to bring up Prince Christian and Princess Isabella. An upbringing where love, feeling secure and consequences for actions are the key words. And both admit that as new parents they have benefited greatly from asking for advice from their more experienced siblings in regard to the children.
As tradition dictates, the Crown Prince Couple and their children will celebrate Christmas at Marselisborg Palace along with the rest of the DRF gathering this year.
According to Frederik, Prince Christian thinks that everything that is wrapped is a present for him. Because of this, Mary has emphasised that the little Prince only has enough presents so that he can appreciate each one. Here in the Christmas month he does however get a small calendar present each morning – for example some sultanas or a small car – from a wall-hanging gift calendar that his grandmother has embroidered.
Crown Prince Frederik openly says how big a change it has been to become a father.
And not just during the first time when the couple had Prince Christian, but also very much so too when Princess Isabella arrived.
Frederik: “With Christian we were 100% switched on and then I thought that when we get number two, it’ll hardly be like landing on the Moon again. It’ll probably amount to 50% more. But that’s not true. It’s double up on everything and that’s fine. And then, you certainly can get tired and have a little less excess energy when you have put the children to bed, and we sit here where we sit right now. But in this respect patience shall prevail, and later, there will be plenty of time left.”
He and Mary make sure they have time for each other, and have made that work.
Frederik: “From when the children were infants, it has actually been the case that Mary and I have had our evenings together, so that in fact we have been able to sit down, drink a glass of wine, and look each other in the eyes and say "Whew, we made it this far!" says Frederik.
The Crown Prince Couple now believe to have found a good balance, which ensures that life with the children doesn’t put a strain on their relationship. Even though they have a busy daily life with many duties, it can sometimes be difficult to find time for each other.Mary: “Time becomes more precious when you have children,” says Mary, but she also emphasises that the couple still has a good relationship.
Mary: “It’s not like you lose each other because you are with the children. It’s just a different way to be together and that’s some of the best part of it all,” says the Crown Princess.
And finally a few quotes:
Mary: “Perhaps the mother fusses a little more”.
Frederik: “The one who is closer takes over in the here and now. This isn’t rocket science.”
Mary: “Most of the time we speak Danish with Christian.”
Frederik: “...Then we go out into the kitchen and make 'oat food', as Christian calls it, in the morning." (summary written by Birger A. Andersen and Jeppe Krogager and absolutely kindly translated by Muhler!)

  • there is much more to come - translations of the full articles.
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    Blogger Unknown said...

    I love reading up on the family! I had just been thinking earlier that it's been a while since we've heard anything on the kids. Thank you so much for posting the article!

    7:22 pm  
    Blogger lotte said...

    Hi koko,

    You are welcome. Luckily we have some very good friends to the blog who help us a lot with translations from Danish. Without them we would not be able to give details in English which are freely available in Danish/Denmark. I'll take your thanks as a thanks to them!

    lotte :)

    12:42 pm  
    Blogger Unknown said...


    Just wanted to say thankyou and wish you all the best for 2008. I have been an avid reader of your blog for some time and appreciate very much your news, pictures and translations. I am an Aussie living in England so this is my number 1 source of info on the royal family.

    You all do a sensational job, thankyou.

    All the best for 2008 :)

    9:19 pm  
    Blogger Unknown said...

    Definitely thanks to them!

    3:41 am  
    Blogger Tatiana said...

    I think it is excellent that Christian and ISabelle are growing up in bilingual home. Mary says mostly they speak Danish to the children, but Fred informs they use English words too, and that is wonderful for children. Bilingual home are ideal and the earlier one starts to expose a child to the double stimulation, is the better for the child's intellectual growth. I am so happy to see this for these kids. And thank you for posting this article. The pictures are so cute. Christian looks like a remarkably well-behaved and polite boy. I'm sure he can be bad sometimes, like any boy of his age, but he generally behaves well in public, and that is quite an accomplishment for any parents. ;)

    12:06 am  
    Blogger gattica29 said...

    Congratulations guys! You are providing an invaluable service bridging the Australian & Danish language divide! I hope that more and more Australians...and indeed other people all over the world become members of this that they can find out the real facts about the Crown Princely Couple of Denmark and the Danish Royal Family. I am sure that many Australians particularly will be very proud of former Aussie girl Mary Donaldson, now HRH Crown Princess of Denmark. Instead of relying on trash tabloids for information about Crown Princess Mary and her beautiful family...I hope this blog will become a positive source that the media can rely on for accurate information! Long may this blog continue!

    8:29 pm  
    Blogger Muhler said...

    Credit should go to one who really deserve it. - And that is Lotte herself.

    Take a look at the translated articles where no translator has been credited. - Because they were translated by Lotte.
    She's good, isn't she?

    9:05 pm  
    Blogger lotte said...

    Thanks all :)

    Muhler! :D Not a single Dane on the planet would ever understand me unless I spoke English! All my sympathies are with Mary, now Marie, and all "new Danes".

    (but it is nice of you to say, even if it isn't very true)

    6:27 pm  

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