Danish Royal Watchers

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Frederik celebrates 41

Crown Prince Frederik celebrates his 41st birthday today. The Danish royals make a big deal of significant birthdays, as was done for Frederik last year, but this one is to be celebrated in private. After the Greek state visit and before starting the Copenhagen Marathon 2009 last Sunday, Frederik was in Capri for four days doing some Farr 40 sailing in advance of the Farr 40 World Championships next month. Tomorrow Frederik leaves for Greenland with the two other Scandinavian heirs apparent, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, for a joint trip aimed at increasing awareness about the melting ice of Greenland and focusing on climate change.

Billed Bladet thoughtfully marks the birthday with a gallery of Frederik sporting his youthful looks, but now decorated with grey hair. It also postulates that, as for Mary's birthday, home-made gifts will be the order of the day at home with the children. Update: Billed Bladet reports that Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Victoria arrived on Frederik's birthday and spent the birthday night at Chancellery House. The photo (above) shows the three heirs leaving Fredensborg this morning (May 27) as they set out for the flight from Denmark to Greenland.

Last Sunday Frederik started the Copenhagen Marathon 2009. This was the 30th anniversary race, which has doubled in size during the past five years, with Frederik himself having competed 5 or 6 times. So Frederik, who knows first hand what was in front of the 10,000 plus competitors during the 42km race, fired the starting pistol at 9.30am at Vester Voldgade in Copenhagen. Two Japanese competitors won the day in the increasingly international field: Toyokazu Yoshimura (men) and Chihiro Tanaka (women).

Yesterday Frederik presented grants from the Crown Prince Frederik Fund at Amalienborg. The fund is to give financial assistance to social policy and sciences students to study for a year at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Presentation of these grants is now in its 16th year since it was given to Frederik as a gift for his 25th birthday by Danish-Americans. This year the recipients are Louise Stenberg Jensen and Anders Vibholt.

Crown Prince Frederik's speech at the presentation:
Crown Prince Frederik Fund | Monday May 25, 2009
It is again a pleasure to welcome you back to Amalienborg for the Annual Scholarship ceremony.
I want to thank Søren Peter for his interesting talk. It was exciting to hear how he as a co-founder of Dalberg has been a driving force in building a global consulting advisory business. We can all support the mission – that is to mobilize effective responses to the world’s most pressing issues, in particular those which affect people in developing countries. It is, of course, also great to hear that the studies at The Kennedy School and the contacts he made during his studies played such a key role. We wish Søren Peter continued success with his important work.
The two new scholarship recipients Louise Stenberg Jensen and Anders Vibholt are as in prior years very qualified and will enjoy the challenges of the year ahead.
Louise Stenberg Jensen is studying International Business and Politics at the Copenhagen Business School. She was born in Zimbabwe, but grew up in Brussels, where she graduated with a European Baccalaureate in 2000. Louise pursued her interest in the arts and history in both Denmark and England and finished her Bachelor degree in history in 2005. As a result of the political influence she had experienced in both Zimbabwe and Brussels she decided to combine her studies in history with international business and politics.
Louise has continued her artistic interest through painting as well as playing the piano.
Anders Vibholt is studying Economics and Finance also at the Copenhagen Business School. After finishing his bachelor degree in Århus he transferred to Copenhagen. Anders has studied abroad at McMaster’s University in Canada and spent a year and a half at Jyske Dragonregiment i Holstebro. During this period Anders was stationed in Kosovo for 6 months. Anders also spent an exciting year at the Danish Embassy in South Africa as a trainee.
Both Louise and Anders have had part time jobs through out their studies and they have found time to be active in various organizations.
The last few years we have had several highly qualified candidates from Copenhagen Business School making it to the interview process but without getting the scholarship. So it is impressive that this year both recipients are from CBS.
I should also mention that for the first time we have a sibling receiving the scholarship. Anders is the little brother of Helene Vibholt who received the scholarship in 2003.
It is a pleasure to give the scholarships to Louise and Anders.

Photos: Frederik in Capri last week, and at the Copenhagen Marathon 2009, starting the race and photographed with Wilson Kipketer (Photos © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi in Capri, Jens Dresling/Politiken for the Marathon), Ole Bjørk/Billed Bladet, ¡Hola!

Billed Bladet 'Tillykke med fødselsdagen, Frederik' - Congratulations on the birthday, Frederik
Crown Prince Frederik celebrates his 41st birthday today.
When there is a birthday, the little ones in Chancellery House are there on the spot and able to wake up Frederik with birthday flags and a song by his bedside.
When Mary turned 37 on February 5th, she reported that the children had presented her with home-made presents, so probably Frederik expects similar personal things from the children.
The birthday this year is a little quieter than last year when the Crown Prince celebrated his 40th birthday with parties and a tribute on the balcony at Amalienborg.
On Wednesday morning Frederik will travel to Greenland together with Crown Princess Victoria and Crown Prince Haakon to highlight the problems of climatic change...

Earth Times 'Scandinavian royal heirs to study climate change in Greenland'
MSN Green 'Scandinavian royal heirs to travel to Greenland'
TV2 article & clip at the marathon

Madeleine Glindorf's marathon gallery
Politiken's Marathon 09 slideshow gallery
Billed Bladet's 'grey hair' gallery (LOL)
Billed Bladet's birthday gallery - a great (large) gallery of photos showing Frederik over recent years in honour of his birthday
B.T. birthday gallery - including a few funny ones

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Joachim & Marie step out on a baby walk

Photo © Birger Storm/Billed Bladet
Last week Prince Joachim and Princess Marie stepped out for a walk at Amalienborg with their new little prince travelling incognito in a large pram. They were accompanied by Princess Marie's mother Françoise Grassiot, who did the honours of also playing grandmother to Apple.

Billed Bladet reports today that although there are no confirmed reports yet, a July christening is likely for the new little prince, to be held at Møgeltønder Church and Schackenborg Manor.

Billed Bladet's gallery of the walk 'en plein air'

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Thursday 21 May 2009

Mary & kids @ show jumping competition

On Sunday May 17, the day before the Greek state visit, Mary and the children were at an equestrian show jumping competition at Wiegaarden, near Copenhagen. Princess Benedikte was the officiating royal, but this is an event Mary has visited regularly over the years. We learn from Billed Bladet's Anna Johannesen that both Christian and Isabella have begun learning to ride (see story summary below).

Photos © Jesper Sunesen/BilledBladet, Hello!/Rex

Billed Bladet 'Marys fridag med børnene' - Mary's day off with the children
Billed Bladet, No. 21, 2009 | by Anna Johannesen
With both Mary and Bella sporting ponytails, they and Christian and some PET officers (royal security) slipped in via a side entrance to Bernstorffs Park. Here they were received by Charlotte Velin who is a keen rider and a friend of Mary. Charlotte helped look after the children, and that was needed!
Actually not many even noticed Mary and her children which is perhaps not surprising since it was Princess Benedikte who was the official royal present.
There were plenty of things to see for Christian and Bella, not least of which were the riders and their horses. And while Bella was busy sucking on her thumb, Christan studied some of the trucks with horsetrailers. They were BIG! "They are pretty fantastic. Look Christian. Have you ever seen such big trucks before?" said Mary. Perhaps not, but then he was allowed to sit on an ATV, and that was very cool, judging from the expression on his face. And this is when things started to get lively because, of course, Isabella also wanted to sit on the ATV and that led to a little chaos, but fortunately Charlotte Velin was there to help Mary.
Mary confided to our reporter: "The children think it's really exciting [being here] and they have also both started to ride. Christian is of course a little more practised, but Isabella is not far behind."
And eventually it was time to leave. But the children were not interested in leaving, so they darted off with Mary behind them. She managed to grab hold of Christian, the result being that they both fell on their backs with Christian laughing heartily and Mary too.
Isabella had in the meantime been reined in by Charlotte, but now she wanted to play falling over with mother too. That didn't quite suit Christian, but okay, that's kids! (summary courtesy Muhler)

Hello! 'Princess Mary shares love of horses with Isabella and Christian'

Billed Bladet gallery - see more photos
Thanks Muhler!

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Greek State Visit to Denmark: quiet departure day 3

Yesterday there was a low-key departure from Denmark of President Karolos Papoulias and Mrs May Panou Papoulias at the end of the state visit. The presidential couple took formal leave of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik at Fredensborg Palace at 9.30am and then President Papoulias went to the Danish Parliament which included a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen at Christiansborg and a press conference. Mrs May Panous Papoulias visited a film studio, the film school Station Next, the Danish Film Institute and the film studio Film-X. Mrs Papoulias then had a guided tour at Rosenborg Castle and saw the crown jewels.

Biography of President Karolos Papoulias
Biography of Mrs May Panou Papoulias
New Europe.eu - article on the Greek position on climate change

Hello! 'Danes deliver pomp and splendour in honour of Greek guest'

Billed Bladet gallery - shows the entrance of Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik and the Greek presidential couple at the return concert and dinner and Crown Princess Mary's curtsey to her mother-in-law
Søren Steffen gallery - arrival at Fredensborg Palace
Søren Steffen gallery - Louisiana Museum with Mrs Papoulia and the return party at the Danish Museum of Art

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Wednesday 20 May 2009

Greek State Visit to Denmark: day 2

The second day of the Greek state visit has been busy with Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary doing the heavy lifting of accompanying the presidential couple through their programs during the day. In the evening the Royal Family attended the return gala at the Royal Museum of Fine Art where the Greek delegation put on a concert followed by dinner. During the morning Crown Prince Frederik accompanied the Greek President Karolos Papoulias and his wife May Panou Papoulia on a tour of some of Denmark's climate and energy initiatives and sustainable urban development projects. They sailed from Amaliehavn onto Copenhagen Harbour to inspect the off-shore wind farm at Middelgrunden. Afterwards the party visited the Mountain Dwellings sustainably designed project at Ørestaden. Mountain Dwellings, inspired by Aztec design, was awarded the world’s best housing solution at the World Architecture Festival 2009. A lunchtime session of the Danish-Greek Climate and Business Forum at the Confederation of Danish Industries followed for Frederik and the president, focusing on the major theme of the visit: renewable energy. During the afternoon President Papoulias visited the Memorial cemetery - Mindelunden - for a wreath laying ceremony. Mindelunden is a cemetery for executed freedom fighters and members of the resistance movement who died in German concentration camps during World War II. During the afternoon Crown Princess Mary and Mrs May Panou Papoulia visited the Skodsborg Observation and Treatment Home. Mrs Papoulia is a trained psychologist and shares an interest with Mary in issues of neglected children. The home is for children with serious special needs and is connected to the Mary Foundation. Crown Princess Mary and Mrs May Papoulia later visited the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, north of Copenhagen. In the evening the Regent Couple and members of the Royal Family attended the return engagement, a gala concert and dinner, hosted by the Greek President at the Royal Museum for Fine Art (Statens Museum for Kunst).

Frederik on the environment tour of Copenhagen:

Mary and Mrs May Panou Papoulia visit the Skodsborg Observation and Treatment Home for neglected children and then go to the Louisiana Modern Art Museum:

The Greek President Karolos Papoulias and his wife Mrs May Panou Papoulia greet the Danish Royals on the steps of the Royal Museum of Fine Art for the return engagement of a concert and dinner:

Photos © Jesper Sunesen/BilledBladet, Hanne Juul Billed Bladet, Martin Høien/BilledBladet, Tariq Mikkel Khan/POLFOTO/Fyens Stifstidende, Tariq Mikkel Khan/POLFOTO, Scanpix/TV2, Keld Navntoft/Getty, DayLife/Reuters, Peter Dahlerup/LocalAvisen.dk

TV2 article 'Kronprins og præsident stod til søs'
Crown Prince Frederik and the visitor Greek president, Karolos Papoulias, stood together at sea on Tuesday - however, only on a trip to Copenhagen Harbour to see the off shore wind farm near the Middleground.
Back on land again, the president had a guided tour of the Mountain Dwelling building in Ørestaden before it was time to have lunch and talks about green technology at Dansk Industri.
After lunch President Papoulias layed a wreath at the Memorial Cemetary in Ryvangen, before Tuesday evening's concert at the State Museum for Art.
While the gentlemen had the industry lunch, the First Lady, May Panou Papoulia visited Skodsborg Obserervation and Treatment Home north of Copenhagen with Crown Princess Mary...

Jyllands Posten 'Frederik på sejltur med præsidentparret'
LocalAvisen.dk 'Kronprinsesse Mary var med Mrs. May Panou Papoulia på Skodsborg Observations- og Behandlingshjem' - Crown Princess Mary was with Mrs May Panou Papoulia at Skodsborg Observation and Treatment Home
The Greek First Lady Mrs May Papoulia, who is a trained psychologist, is interested in children exposed to negligence, as is our own Crown Princess Mary [through programs of the Mary Foundation], who accompanied her during the visit to Skodsborg Observation and Treatment Home at midday on Tuesday.
The Crown Princess arrived first directly from Fredensborg Palace and was received by psychologist Inger Thormann and Lone Anine Sørensen, who is a deputy principal.
After about 15 minutes talking indoors the Greek First Lady arrived and the visit continued with a talk on the outcomes offered for children in the beautiful/peaceful place facing the Øresund Sound.
Skodsborg Observation and Treatment Home is a children's home for 20 children in the age group 0-6 years...
Some of the children are placed directly from the hospital where they have been born, while other children are placed when the negligence they are exposed to becomes known by social workers/authorities.
The children have been born to parents with few resources who are themselves unable to cope cope with the needs of their children, most frequently because of domestic abuse or mental illness.
For the privacy of the children and parents, only buildings and the distinguished visitors and their hosts were permitted to be photographed.
The children's home has interdisciplinary staff to give each individual child optimal treatment, care and protection.
Children born to drug addicts and alcohol dependent mothers starts life under difficult circumstances.
At the children's home they are helped to good health and well-being despite withdrawal symptoms, brain damage or mental and physical traumas.
The children live on average 1 1/2 years at the children's home, after which most are then able to be moved to live with a foster family.

LocalAvisen.dk - scroll for photos of Mary and Mrs Papoulia visiting the Louisiana Art Museum

B.T. gallery featuring Mary
Billed Bladet gallery - day 2
Fyens Stiftstidende gallery

TV2 clip (00:28) - Frederik arriving in Ørestaden with the President and his wife
JPwebTV (00:37)
TV2 clip (02:03)

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Tuesday 19 May 2009

Greek State Visit to Denmark: day 1

Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim and Princess Benedikte have formally greeted the President of Greece Karolos Papoulias today, at the beginning of a three-day state visit accompanied Mrs May Panou Papoulia, by other Greek officials, and a business delegation. It is the first state visit to Denmark by a Greek head of state in more than 40 years following cool relations after the treatment of ex-King Constantine and the Queen's sister ex-Queen Anne-Marie of Greece by the military junta which took over in Greece in 1967. The theme of the visit will centre around environmental issues in the lead up to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. The President will visit Danish green projects with Crown Prince Frederik, attend a Danish-Greek business forum, lay a wreath at the Monument of Danish Resistance and will host a return event at the State Museum of Art with a concert by the New Greek Quartet, which is accompanying the Greek delegation. On Wednesday President Papoulias will visit the Danish Parliament and meet parliamentarians and the Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. President Karolos Papoulias used his speech at the gala banquet at Fredensborg Palace to confirm Greece's support for Denmark's environmental policies, which will be expressed through an environmental theme to the Danish-Greek business forum, but he also had some critical words about Turkey in relation to "EU values" and the longterm problem of Cyprus. Queen Margrethe did make mention of the Greek monarchy in her speech, so making it clear that the treatment of her sister and brother-in-law was not entirely forgotten. Not seen in public for a while, Princess Elisabeth joined the Royal Family for the banquet. The grand old 1958 Rolls Royce did a great job of making it most of the way to the carpet at the entrance to Fredensborg Castle from the airport, but 'died' a few metres short. Looks like a full service for the Roller coming up. This is the first car in the Crown fleet - it doesn't even have a number - just the Crown!

Photos © Keld Navntoft/B.T., POLFOTO/Jyllands Posten, Jens Dige/POLFOTO/Fyen Stiftstidende, Tariq Mikkel Khan/POLFOTO/Fyens Stiftstidende, DayLife/Reuters, Aftenposten.no/AFP

Guest list for the banquet
Menu and music for the gala banquet, which thoughtfully included Theodorakis' 'Zorba the Greek'

Fyens Stiftstidende 'Første græske statsbesøg i over 40 år' - First Greek state visits for over 40 years
The Greek presidential couple has arrived.
It's the first time that a Greek president makes a state visit to Denmark since ex-Queen Anne-Marie had to escape.
Greece's president, Karolos Papoulias and his wife, May Panou Papoulia, landed at Vilhelm Lauritzen's terminal at Copenhagen Airport this afternoon.
It's the first Greek state visit to Denmark in over 40 years.
The presidential couple are on a three day state visit in Denmark staying at Fredensborg Palace and they will, according to traditional practice for state visits, be bid welcome by the Regent Couple with a state banquet with 156 guests.
After their arrival the visitors were given a ceremonial welcome at the castle escorted by the Royal Hussars.
The Queen and Prince Henrik visited Greece in 2006.
It was at the time the first time that the Danish royal house made a state visit to Greece after the ex-King Konstantin and Queen Margrethe's sister ex-Queen Anne-Marie had to flee the military junta in 1967, after which diplomatic relations between Denmark and Greece were very cool.
Because of Denmark's hosthood for the Climate conference the state visit focuses at climate, energy and sustainable urban development.

B.T. 'Dronningens Rolls Royce gik i strejke' - The Queen's Rolls Royce went on strike
Cough, cough, cough ... was the sound from Margrethe's Rolls Royce - and then it went dead.
It managed to drive all the way in to the palace square and had only a few meters to go before it gave out near the red carpet up the stairs to Fredensborg Palace.
The beautiful 1958 Rolls Royce started to cough and then the engine stopped and shut down.
The Queen who had driven in the car together with President Papoulias from the airport jumped out with a big smile and went the last few meters towards the red carpet.
It was also with a certain relief, since it might have been much worse if the car had broken down out on the motorway and created a traffic jam.
The car remained where it stopped at 5 o'clock for about three quarters of an hour, but then two court employees got to work and started the engine again and the royal car could be transported home to the garage again.
Fredensborg LocalAvisen.dk 'Græsk præsident på besøg på Fredensborg Slot'
Billed Bladet 'Kongefamilien modtager græsk præsidentpar med pomp og pragt' - The royal family receives Greek presidential couple with pomp and circumstance
The whole Royal Family, with the exception of Princess Marie, was ready to receive the Greek presidential couple when they arrived in Denmark yesterday. Everything was the perfectly arranged, when Denmark had the first state visit from Greece for over 40 years.
President Karolos Papoulias and Mrs May Panou Papoulia were received on Monday afternoon by the Danish Royal Family in Kastrup Airport - with the exception of Princess Marie, who still enjoys her maternity leave as a new mother.
After the reception at the airport the party went directly on the trip to Fredensborg, where there was a state banquet.

ERTonline.gr 'Greek President on Official Visit to Denmark'

Fyens Stiftstidende gallery
B.T. gallery
TV2 gallery
MSN Starlounge gallery
Billed Bladet gallery - the Royal Rolls giving up the ghost and being carted off for some serious attention
Billed Bladet gallery - including the Danish Roals wearing their Greek orders for the gala

TV2 clip (00:37) - shows the Danish Air Force escort as the President's plane lands at the airport
TV2 clip (03.02)
DR.dk clip (05:09)


In further news, there is a quickening of activity in Denmark as the December 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference draws nearer. The Royal Family will be increasingly busy in official functions representing Denmark as hosts as the summit gets closer. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Denmark for two days next week for the World Business Summit convened by the Copenhagen Climate Council and will meet with Queen Margrethe, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, for Development Cooperation, Defense and the Minister for Climate and Energy. Al Gore, a keynote speaker for the conference, and others (including Cate Blanchett, the green director of the Sydney Theatre Company) who will be attending the World Business Summit on Climate Change:
UN News Centre
Space Daily
Ban Ki-moon will also officially open the Europe & Middle East headquarters of the UN Office for Project Services Regional Office in Copenhagen.
More on the visit (and other stuff) to come...

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