Danish Royal Watchers

Saturday 29 March 2008

Mary & Frederik @ gala movie The Flame and the Lemon

Last Tuesday evening (March 25) Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attended the gala premiere of the World War II Danish resistance movie Flammen og Citronen (The Flame and The Lemon) set in Copenhagen in 1944. The movie is based on the real story of the two resistence fighters of the title. Ninety six-year-old Elisabeth Bomhoff, who presented flowers to Mary, was a member of the Danish resistance movement during the war. She was giving refuge to 'The Flame' in his last days. It was in her house that he was hiding when the Gestapo arrived one day and surrounded the house. The Flame took a cyanide capsule before they could capture him.

Photos: © TV2/Scanpix

Billed Bladet 'De kongelige ser Flammen og Citronen'
Royalty sees The Flame and The Lemon
Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik were...invited to the Imperial Biografen [cinema] as guests of honour at the gala opening night of Ole Christian Madsen's new film
Flammen & Citronen...The head of court (Chamberlain) for the Crown Prince and Princess Per Thornit and his wife Ulla Thornit [also attended].
The royals ...met with the director Ole Christian Madsen, the actors Mads Mikkelsen, Thure Lindhardt, Stine Stengade and Peter Mygind as well as producer Lars Bredo Rahbek.
They also had the opportunity to meet Elisabeth Bomhoff (the 96-year-old who harboured the Flame in her basement), who was accompanied by Peter Øvig Knudsen and Gunnar Dyrberg (one a member of the resistance and the other a "colleague" of the Flame).
The movie: While the Danish population hopes for the war's end, the resistance members Bent Faurschou-Hviid (23), known as the Flame (Thure Lindhartd) and Jørgen Haagen Schmith (33), known as the Lemon (Mads Mikkelsen), hid at great risk as part of the Holger Danske group.
The fearless and uncompromising Flame is a committed anti-fascist and dreams about the day when the whole group can operate in the open and go on an armed counter attack on the occupying power, Germany.
The more sensitive Father and family man, The Lemon, has so far mainly acted as a driver for The Flame, but is now more deeply drawn into the group's work.

Berlingske Tidende

Movie's official site
The National Museum has an exhibition
Danish Resistance Movement on Wikipedia
The Rescue of the Jews in Denmark (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) - read the story about how all of Denmark worked to secretly remove 99% of Jews in Denmark to Sweden to prevent their deportation to Germany
Rescue of the Danish Jews on Wikipedia

Flammen & Citronen/ Flame & Citron
Director: Ole Christian Madsen, 2008
Copenhagen, 1944. Denmark is occupied by Nazi Germany. Flame and Citron are two legendary resistance fighters charged with liquidating Danish informers. By order of their commander, they now consent to kill Germans as well. But when Flame is asked to execute his girlfriend Ketty, an enigmatic Stockholm courier, he questions his orders, wondering who Ketty really is. In the struggle for freedom all zones appear grey, and it becomes increasingly unclear who is friend and who is foe. Based on true events.

TV2 photo gallery

Berlingske Tidende WebTV (01:18)
Go' morgen Danmark TV2 (08:47)
Se og Hør WebTV (00:59)

(many thanks to Muhler and also to kay)

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Tuesday 25 March 2008

Danish Royals @ Århus Cathedral for Easter

© All photos Flemming Krogh/Århus Stiftstidende

The Queen, the Prince Consort, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attended the Easter church services on successive cold days at Århus Cathedral last Sunday and again on Easter Monday. The photos here are from Easter Monday. The Royal Family attended Easter services on both days and on Easter Sunday Mary joined the Queen at the end of the service in taking communion. The couples and Prince Cristian and Princess Isabella spent Easter at Marselisborg near Århus. After the two hour service on Easter Monday, Prince Henrik drove back to Marselisborg Palace with Frederik and Mary. The Queen emerged shortly afterwards with family friend Reverend Peter Parkov. Prince Joachim was not present. The Easter service was a farewell for Reverend Christian Thodberg, who has been the Royal Family's confessor for 33 years. Bishop Erik Norman Svendsen, the bishop of Copenhagen, who officiated at the wedding of Frederik and Mary and at the christenings of Christian and Isabella, is to take over the position of Royal Confessor.

Århus Stiftsidende 'En bevæget tak til Margrethe'
A moved thanks for Margrethe - There was sadnes to even go into Århus Domkirke (cathedral) and yet there was demand for a place [in church]...Extra supplies of hymn books were brought in, while the church...was busy referring people to extra chairs. But the occasion was also somewhat special. It was...the 79-year-old Royal confessor Christian Thodberg's last sermon as cathedral priest and also the royal house's personal priest. Christian Thodberg performed the service to marry Prince Joachim and Countess Alexandra... "Today I ask Her Majesty the Queen to receive my most cordial thanks for the 33 years I have had in the honourable job and for the trust which has been shown me. Her Majesty's interest in and empathy for Christianity have brought me many pleasures and have been a great inspiration to me. The Queen is the head of the whole Danish Church and this is not only in name but also for the benefit [of the church]. I thank the Queen and the entire Royal Family," said a moved Christian Thodberg after his Easter sermon. He also thanked the cathedral's parochial church council, employees, organist and churchgoers for their faithfulness and patience over 35 years at Århus Domkirke. "I am very much affected over seeing so many people here today for the last walk I make to stand at this pulpit," said the 79-year-old now former royal confessionarius, Christian Thodberg. After the two hour long church service and a long queue to take holy communion as well as two baptisms, Queen Margrethe received absolution as did her close friend Reverend Peter Parkov. Prins Henrik, Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik left at the end of the service and before communion as is their custom. Mary and Frederik drove [back to Marselisborg] with Prince Henrik behind the wheel and waved at the many who gathered on Store Torv [outside the cathedral] before they drove away. (story by Mette Søndergård)

Urban.dk 'Bevæget tak til dronningen' - Heartfelt thanks for the Queen (similar story to above)

Århus Stiftstidende photo gallery

Added: there has been some confusion about who did what and when at Easter because there have been few photos or reports. The Royal Family attended church on both Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. On Easter Sunday Queen Margrethe and Crown Princess Mary left the service together after taking communion. The Easter Monday service was no doubt a special service to mark the end of Reverend Christian Thodberg's service at the cathedral and also marked the end of his 33 years as the Royal Confessor.

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Sunday 16 March 2008

Mary @ Student Revue 2008 gala

Photo © Keld Navntoft/B.T.
This evening Crown Princess Mary attended the gala performance of the Royal Mayestaits Acteurs at the Culture House, on Islands Brygge (Amager) in Copenhagen. During the break between Act 1 and Act 2, Crown Princess Mary was presented with a red and gold ribbon representing membership of Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs by the president of the society, after her acting debut in a sketch in which she appeared as a pop-up angel. Mary had to pass a test to be admitted (when the society was named by Christian X). The company is an established student revue society common in many universities, in this case, the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen. The student revue is done annually by the Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs society which has its roots going back to 19th century student comedies. There are behind-the-scenes semi-professionals who help with the productions each year which feature the talents of current students, some of whom end up following careers in drama. But like any student revue, the aim is to have that special mix of ambition and fun peculiar to young students who can have an amusing take on society and current events.

The group has quite a history, which began with an invitation to do a play for Frederik IV (reigned 1699-1730 and the builder of Fredensborg Palace, among other things). They went on to do Danish-language performances from 1722 and continued to do regular plays and student comedies from 1820 to the present. The name of the society is more recent however, it comes from Christian X (Queen Margrethe's grandfather), when he was present at the revue on January 14th 1924. He declared the "Acteurs and Actricer" of 1722 were 'promoted' to "Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs", or Royal Majestical Actors (a difficult one to translate literally because of the tongue-in-cheek humour). Christian X pronounced he would always remember the unforgettable evening with pleasure and that very day when the student actors were given their unusual appointment.

Billed Bladet 'Mary i årets studenterrevy' - Mary in this year's student revue
Crown Princess Mary performed on Saturday in this year's student revue. But first, Mary had to do as tradition dictates and go on stage herself to be admitted as an honorary member of the Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs, by delivering a couple of lines. In the sketch Crown Princess Mary was in a dialogue with student actor Janni Nielsen. Crown Princess Mary: "We just got the result of a text message vote among the audience, by the way." Janni: "Oh! ... what was the result?" Crown Princess Mary: "There were 120 votes. One hundred were blank and 20 said "don't know". In the break between intermission Mary was formally admitted to the society in a small ceremony with the president of Student Revues, Søren Thorborg, presenting Mary with the revue's ribbon. Several royals before Mary have also previously stood on the stage and received the revue's ribbon. In 1977 Queen Margrethe became a member in this way when she performed with the song "Flade Jensen from Fladen Strand". Also Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim have had the pleasure of standing on the stage - both were admitted to the society on the same evening in 1990. In 1997 there was a visit by the then Princess Alexandra who took part with the line ..."This is Alex!"

B.T. 'Mary på de skrå brædder' - Mary on the stage
Crown Princess Mary performed yesterday in this year's student revue "Me first - I eat student breads too."
And that was what she did to become a member of Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs who do an annual student revue. A precondition of admission is to take part in the revue and say a couple of lines.
The Crown Princess saw other numbers (sketches) apart from her own but it was Mary who decided which sketch she would be in.
Her choice fell on the sketch "Jeg ved det" in which Mary replaced one of the revue's female actors and popped her head up in an angel mask familiar from Tivoli and said two lines.
In the break [between acts] Mary was formally appointed in a small ceremony where she got a ribbon after answering two questions.
Mary had the whole thing by the teeth. It was Christian X who gave the name the society of name "Kongelig Mayestaits Acteurs" in 1924. Mary also knew that theatre manager Jonathan Spang had his début in the student revue in 1998.
Crown Princess Mary is the newest one of the royal family's adult members who have performed in the student revue.
Queen Margrethe became a member in 1977 when she performed with the song Flade Jensen from Fladen Strand.
In 1990 both Frederik and Joachim performed in that year's revue and were admitted as members together on the same evening. In 1997 then Princess Alexandra became a member in after her début in the opening of Act 2 in the revue "Kærlighed ved Næste blik" with the line
"This is Alex!"
Frederik didn't see Mary's début on the stage. She had chosen to go on the stage with her friend and lady-in-waiting [Caroline Heering] in the audience.

From Billed Bladet, TV2/Scanpix and Royal Mayestaits Acteurs

Jyllands Posten 'Mary på de skrå brædder'
Fyens Stiftstidende 'Mary på scenen'
TV2 article 'Kronprinsesse Mary på de skrå brædder'

Royal Mayestaits Acteurs (Royal Majestical Actors) (Danish)
K-I-B (Danish)

TV2 news clip (01:05)
DR1 news clip (00:52)

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Friday 14 March 2008

Mary completes her Home Guard training

Photos © Jyllands Posten/Jørgen Kølle/Hjemmeværnskommandoen
It has been reported this week that Crown Princess Mary, and also Caroline Heering who accompanied her, have completed basic training in the Danish Home Guard. Yesterday it was announced on the Crown Prince Couples' website that from March 9-11 the Crown Princess had completed the last part of her training in recent days. The Danish Home Guard was established in 1949 and originally mostly comprised former resistance movement members in reaction to the occupation of Denmark by Germany in World War II (1940 to 1945). There are four Home Guard branches with 56,000 volunteers open to both men and women aged over 18. Currently there are proposals for restructure and re-orientation of the activities of the Home Guard to fit new national needs and circumstances. The Home Guard training included learning how to handle a weapon, sleeping outdoors in a bivouac and assisting the police in search and rescue operations, plus first aid and shooting skills. A part of the training has taken place at the Home Guard's education centre at Christiansminde near Jægerspris. Queen Margrethe was also trained in the Home Guard, where she became a major in the then named Women's Air Corps.

Since there was some comment on Mary's Danish military training in Australia when she began with the Home Guard in January, some context is in order. This volunteer service is comparable to volunteer emergency services in Australia, although the origin of the Home Guard comes with a different history, which reaches back to the home defence of Denmark during World War II. For this reason it has military aspects to it, which are not familiar for this kind of volunteer service in Australia. There is a very strong culture of volunteerism in Australia with one of the highest rates of participation per head of population in the world. As a teenager Mary got her volunteer stripes as a surf lifesaver on one of the southern-most beaches in Australia, for which she needed a Bronze Medallion awarded by Surf Lifesaving Australia (generally attained at 14 years of age). The standard volunteer activities in Australia which complement the professional services include surf lifesaving, bush fire fighting and emergency services (helping with storm damage, floods, fires, accidents). There are other kinds of volunteer services based in the community too, such as helping the disabled and disadvantaged, the elderly, conservation projects and so on.

Berlingske Tidende 'Mary gennemfører sin uddannelse i hjemmeværnet' - Mary completes her training in the Home Guard
Avisen.dk 'Mary har bestået hjemmeværnsprøven'
B.T. 'Mary med hø i håret' - Mary with hay in her hair
Århus Stifstidende 'I svigermors fodspor' - In mother-in-law's footsteps
TV2 article 'Nu kan Mary håndtere bøssen' - Now Mary can handle a gun
Jyllands Posten 'Mary kan skyde og slukke en brand' - Mary can shoot and extinguish a fire
Ninemsn.com.au 'Princess Mary [sic] finishes military training'

Billed Bladet gallery

The Danish Home Guard - Danish Ministry of Defence
The Danish Defence Agreement 2005 - 2009: Home Guard - about the new orientation for the Home Guard
Danish Home Guard (Wiki)

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Wednesday 12 March 2008

Frederik's lost wedding ring

Various media sources in Denmark are reporting that Frederik lost his wedding ring during a coral reef dive in Key West, Florida, while there for a Farr 40 regatta last January. It was invaluable not only because it was his wedding ring, but also because it was made from the first nugget of gold mined in Greenland. Frederik is said to have offered a 'reward' of a trip to Copenhagen and Fredensborg for the diver who finds it. The tour guide has suggested it has been eaten by a barracuda as it seems they like shiny things. He expects the ring is only likely to appear on a dinner plate!

Politiken 'Kronprinsens vielsesring på havets bund' - The crown prince's wedding ring at the bottom of the sea
During a sea dive trip in the US Crown Prince Frederik has lost his wedding ring. The gold originates from the very first gold extracted by the Nalnuaq-mine in south Greenland. Crown Prince Frederik's wedding ring lies at the bottom of the sea off the North American coast, Se og Hør reports. The ring is somewhat priceless since it's made from the first gold ever extracted from the Nalnuaq mine in Nanortalik in Sydgrønland. It was personally delivered by the Greenlandic government member Jørgen Wæver Johansen to jeweller Flemming Hertz in Copenhagen and is the same as the ring created for Mary which Frederik put on Mary's finger in the Church of Our Lady on May 14th 2004.
The ring was lost in Florida during Frederik's trip for a regatta in January when he went diving at coral reefs in Key West. Down below at the bottom of the sea he realised that the ring had fallen off his finger.
According to the magazine's source, Frederik has offered a trip to Copenhagen with visits to Fredensborg to the diver who finds the ring. (Ritzau)

B.T. 'Frederik har tabt sin vielsesring'
Se og Hør (page content alert)
TV2 article 'Kronprinsen har tabt vielsesringen' (includes 01:52 news clip)
TV 2 wedding gallery

Captain's Corner Dive Center - the dive company Frederik used.

DR1 update (00:31)

It would seem that from this recent photo taken in Verbier after the loss of the ring in January, that Frederik is now wearing a replacement ring:

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Tuesday 11 March 2008

Frederik @ Miami Farr 40 regatta

Frederik on Nanoq © msn.dk/AllOver & AP

Crown Prince Frederik was in Miami, Florida, last week (Thursday March 6 to last Sunday March 9) to participate in one of the scheduled Farr 40 competitions in the run up to this year's World Championship, to be held early this year in Miami in April. For the 2008 Acura West Miami Grand Prix, Jim Richardson led Barking Mad (Newport, R.I.) to victory over a series of 10 races over four days among 28 competitors. Barking Mad had to work right to the end to maintain the lead, clawing back from 25th to 17th in the last race to get a four-point victory over Vincenzo Onorato in Mascalzone Latino (Italy) with Warpath (father and son Fred and Steve Howe, San Diego) in third place. Jim Richrdson is in a good position for the World Championship in Miami in mid-April after his win, and will be a worthy challenger to Vincent Onorato who is world champion from the past two World Championships. Crown Prince Frederik's boat Nanoq finished the regatta in 11th spot.

Some Ken Stanek photos and a Tim Wilkes of the racing (all featuring Nanoq):

2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix results
Sailing photo galleries (Nanoq is sail number 7 and bow number 3)
Sharon Green pics - some great aerial shots and also in the rough and tumble at sea level
Miami Herald 'Richardson gets first Acura victories in Miami'

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Sunday 2 March 2008

Mary, Frederik, Christian & Isabella: Australia in August 2008

Billed Bladet (no 9, 2008) has reported that Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Christian and Princess Isabella will travel to Tasmania in August 2008 via the Beijing Olympics. Crown Princess Mary will leave Beijing earlier than Crown Prince Frederik with the children and travel to Tasmania. Anna Johannesen (Med mor til Tasmanien - With mum to Tasmania) reports that Mary and Frederik will be at the Beijing Olympics together from August 8, which includes arrival in time for an IOC meeting before the official opening of the games. Mary and the children will leave before the end of the games to visit family in Tasmania. It will be Christian's second visit to his mother's birthplace and Isabella's first. Christian will be nearly three and Isabella will be 16 months. Frederik will stay on in China at the games until August 24 and then join his family in Tasmania. The length of the visit is not known. (thanks Muhler!)

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