Friday 23 May 2008

Frederik book: meeting Mary and how I proposed

Frederik receives the book from the authors Gitte Redder and Karin Palshøj. Photo © Polfoto/Jens Dige/JP

There have been various reports in the Danish press about the new book Frederik - Crown Prince of Denmark. The book is now on sale and various articles have reported on snippets of Frederik's comments to the authors Gitte Redder and Karin Palshøj. Of particular interest have been Frederik's account of his childhood, his youthful rebellion, the significance to him of becoming a frogman and on meeting Mary. He also discusses his plans for his regency and how he wants to be pro-active for Denmark. He particularly tells of his first meeting with Mary, how their courtship progressed and then how he proposed. The book also reveals that the Crown Prince and the Queen have a closer alliance than ever before and that they consult each other for advice. The photos below were taken by Steen Brogaard especially for the book.

Photos © Steen Brogaard/

B.T. 'Sådan friede Frederik til Mary' - That's how Frederik proposed to Mary
Frederik completely honest about his meeting with Mary: It was a hard to be away from her.
It was love at first sight, when Crown Prince Frederik met Mary Donaldson - completely randomly - for the first time at the bar the Slip Inn in Sydney on September 16, 2000.

In the book
Frederik - Crown Prince of Denmark, who now describes his innermost feelings for the first time in connection with the romantic meeting:

"I really felt that she was a soul mate. I was drawn to Mary on all fronts. It was fantastic. The introduction was a little mysterious, but very beautiful. If you had to visualise it, it was like a summer landscape in moonlight. Still water in a pond - evocative - there is a surface, but also depth. Harmony and tranquility and lots of kindness and beauty. It's like describing a landscape bathed in moonlight. That's how I remember her from the first meeting, and it'll get better and better, and more and more beautiful," says the Crown Prince.

To this very day he still has great tenderness in his face which doesn't leave any doubt that he is still crazy about his Mary.

He was generally not in the very best shape during the days when they met: "I was jetlaged and I was really exhausted from having done a demanding pilot course [just before leaving for Australia]."

But the prince allowed himself to be lured out to eat with his Greek cousins, who as it happened were to meet some other cousins [on the Spanish side] and some locals in what was to later become an improvised party. Mary was one of the locals they met. Already the next day after far too few hours sleep, Frederik felt that he had to contact Mary again. "It was to test whether it was just a fun evening on the town or more than that. I called first. There was something special about that girl, I felt, and she wasn't unreceptive when I called. Then we met actually several times during the Olympic Games and got to know each other better and better."

The romance was temporarily interrupted by a planned journey around Australia with the prince's close friend Jeppe Handwerk. But during his trip he constantly rang Mary. Today Frederik is glad that more than a year went by before the press got wind of the situation.

"It was extremely fortunate that the press didn't discover anything and that our love could evolve, which had enough hindrances as it was, not least distance. But the year which then passed was just ours, before we decided that something radical had to happen. This was exciting and a really good proof of whether we wanted to be with each other. There were several months between each time we met. It was hard. It really was hard to live with that need," he says looking back on meetings by turns in Australia or France.

"We renewed that happiness, pleasure and love and more and more each time. And then we had to separate, and it was awful to travel away from each other again. It really was thrilling. But it was also a good proof of our love, because it dawned on us fast that it was not just a casual romance in connection with the Olympic Games which would wear off."

So the Crown Prince organised a trip to Rome. "I had decided that I'd propose to Mary in Rome and had also organised an engagement ring and made sure that I was able to be alone with her. It just worked perfectly. Not just because I wanted to go down on my knee but I did, it's the right way to do it. And then I just said, 'You cannot say no, you must not say no, you'll have to say yes.' And then she said yes and it was beautiful and happy. We were happy and just the two of us," Frederik reports and adds that the proposal was in English. 'Kronprins Frederik taler ud' - Crown Prince Frederik speaks out
Denmark can expect renewal and modernisation of the royal house when Crown Prince Frederik becomes King Frederik X. This is revealed by Crown Prince Frederik in a new portrait called Frederik - Crown Prince of Denmark...
Together with Crown Princess Mary he'll ensure that the monarchy is relevant and has the backing in the people.
He reports that he won't merely be a figurehead but use his position as monarch to make a difference for people who have a hard time.
The book's authors, Gitte Redder and Karin Palshøj, have had many conversations with the Crown Prince, his closest family and close friends during the past last year.
He has been open and straightfoward and told about his childhood and youth, the relationship with his parents and his love for Mary - just as he elaborates on his motive to be a candidate for the IOC.
The Crown Prince's youthful rebellion
Both Crown Princess Mary and Prince Joachim contribute with anecdotes and analysis of what Frederik is as a husband, father, brother and not least assessments of how he will be as a king.
And the authors promise that the book will have a description of the Crown Prince's youthful rebellion.
It's the first time in many years that the Crown Prince contributes to a portrait book.

Jyllands Posten 'Kronprinsen: I orden at holde OL i Beijing' - The Crown Prince: In order to hold the Olympic Games in Beijing (by Else Boelskifte)
The press' view of the Olympic committee, the IOC, is obsolete Crown Prince Frederik thinks.
In a new portrait book,
Frederik - Crown Prince of Denmark, Frederik comments on his IOC candidature and on China's hosting the coming Olympic Games.
According to the book's authors, Gitte Redder and Karin Palshøj, Frederik suggests that China being awarded the Olympic Games is a catalyst to help promote democracy's values in the country...
"Hosting the Games helps to create a forum for democratic development. It is a fact that China has become such large a capitalist country. Even though it's a culture with its own strong history there will be western influence. Even if it is only to establish ties with another capitalist culture and companies of other nations with employees working there, there will be influence in a democratic direction," he says in the book.
The authors point out in respect of this 350 Danish companies have established themselves in China.
The press and the old ghosts
Frederik notes that according to an opinion poll 57-58 per cent of Danes support his candidature [for the IOC] from next February and he acknowledges a great responsibility to live up to that trust.
"But I also, think that the Danish press attaches too much importance to the political and many still portray the IOC like some the old ghosts like the IOC were at one time," he says.
Latest case is from 1998
The two authors emphasise that the last big corruption case in IOC took place in 1998, when it was revealed that the hosts for the Winter Olympics 2002 in Salt Lake City got a doubtful scholarship for the daughter of an IOC member.
The international attention forced the IOC to modernise its rules for the selection of host cities, Gitte Redder and Karin Palshøj point out and the IOC's present president is the Belgian Jaques Rogge...
"The IOC president has to a high degree acted and changed on a lot of things - for the better in my opinion. There are many new things which is a form of evolution. If the IOC remains old in its way of thinking the money the media pays [for rights to the Games] from the world's television stations would disappear. That accounts for about half of the IOC's earnings," Frederik says and emphasises that the IOC has to continue renewing itself to attract sponsors and sell television rights.
According to the book Frederik consumes everything the newspapers write about the Olympics and the IOC, and he discusses the questions and the criticisms with his friends, among others his tennis partner, consultant Christian Buchwald from the University Hospital of Copenhaguen. He also discusses issues with his new private secretary and adviser in the area, Morten Roland Hansen.

TV2 'Personlig bog om kronprinsen' - Personal book about the Crown Prince
In a new book by the journalists Karin Palshøj and Gitte Redder Crown Prince Frederik tells about an insecure childhood, a wild youth, about his relationship with his parents and about his love for Crown Princess Mary.
Frederik - Kronprins af Danmark is the title of the book, which has come about through ten interviews with the country's future king.
A positive view of the Olympic Games in China
In the book the Crown Prince reveals the reason he doesn't support the notion of that Olympics ought to be boycotted in China.
"Hosting helps to create a foundation for democratic development. If only for the fact that China has become such large a capitalist country...
The meeting with Mary
On the softer side Frederik tells for instance about the meeting with Mary.
"I felt really that she was a soul mate. I was drawn to Mary on all fronts. It was fantastic. The introduction was a little mysterious, but very beautiful. If you have to visualise it, was it almost as a summer landscape in moonlight," reports the Crown Prince.
He also reveals how he proposed to the Crown Princess.
"I had decided that I wanted to propose to Mary in Rome and I had also organised an engagement ring and made sure I could be alone with her. It just worked perfectly. It wasn't because I wanted to go down on my knee, but I did, it's the right way to do it. And then I just said: 'You cannot say no, you must not say no, you'll have to say yes'. And then she said 'yes' and it was lovely and happy. We were happy and it was just the two of us."

Berlingske Tidende 'Kronprins Frederik som miljøforkæmper'
Billed Bladet 'Frederik: Jeg vil forny kongehuset'
B.T. 'Frederik svigtet af venner'
B.T. 'Konge-klar'
B.T. 'Ny Frederik-bog sælger pænt, men ikke prangende'
The Copenhagen Post 'Royal biography celebrates prince'
Jyllands Posten 'Kronprinsen bekymret for klimaet'
Berlingske Tidende '»Vi vil ikke kun være karet-figurer«'
B.T. 'Frederik: Nu spørger vi hinanden til råds'
B.T. 'Frederik og karrieren'
B.T. 'Frederik og kærligheden'
B.T. 'Sådan friede Frederik til Mary'
B.T. 'Ny Frederik-bog sælger pænt, men ikke prangende'

Thanks Muhler! Thanks gudinde!

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Blogger Lynette said...

I have just read the excerpts from Frtederick's book and am left with an impression ofm somebody who is not only nice and intelligent, but also refreshingly normal. Iguess the Danes realize how fortunate they are. Lynette

1:17 am  
Blogger Kae said...

Thanks very much for the excellent translations. They're much better than any others I've read. It's amazing that a man who has had such an uneasy relationship with the press for most of his adult life would have become comfortable enough to be this open about his feelings for Mary. His words leave wonderful romantic images in my mind. The Danes do indeed seem lucky to have him (and Mary).

8:36 pm  
Blogger Shawna :) said...

I am a big fan of this lovely couple. I would like to know if there will be an English translation of Crown Prince Frederik's book available for purchase at the moment or soon in the near future? Thank you!

1:10 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Shawna,
I have not heard of any plans for the book to be published in English. It is a pity that books such as these are not published in a Danish/English format from the outset. Of course that is something which increases publication costs and also the final price inside Denmark which will always be the primary market.
So, sorry, but don't hold your breath for a translated version - it is just not likely to happen.
Best wishes,
lotte :)

8:47 am  

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