Danish Royal Watchers

Friday, 31 March 2006

Bulgarian visit ends

President Georgi Parvanov and Mrs Parvanova have ended their state visit to Denmark. Today has been occupied with political meetings with the Prime Minister of Denmark Anders Fogh Rasmussen at Christiansborg Palace/Folketinget which is the Danish paliament. Both leaders met and held a press conference where the E.U. and Denmark's reputation abroad were discussed. The Presidential couple returned to Bulgaria this afternoon.

There were no royal pictures today but just in case you would like to know why President Parvanov headed the first Bulgarian state visit to Denmark on the invitiation of the Queen and the Danish Government to look at a waste disposal plant among other things, have a look here. A little more info here You can always find lots of links to up-to-date Danish news here. At a meeting at the Folkentinget between President Georgi Parvanov and leaders of the political forces represented in Parliament, Folkentinget Speaker Christian Mejdahl confirmed that Denmark will ratify the EU Accession Treaty of Bulgaria and Romania before Parliament's summer recess, so a lot of important stuff was going on along with royal participation! And, this is some of what the Danes were looking at when they visited the Bulgarian exhibit at the National Museum. They are ancient funerial finds from tombs from 350 BC, some found only as recently as 2004 and 2005. Archeologists in Bulgaria are still investigating sites and finding new ones. The exhibition is until the end of April to mark the first state visit to Denmark. Just an aside, Prince Joachim was not present at the State Visit events because he has been in Greenland. We'll give you an update on the Joachim and Marie front soon.

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Thursday, 30 March 2006

Bulgarian concert and reception

 border=It is Day 2 of the Bulgarian State Visit. President Georgi Parvanov and Mrs Zorka Parvanova are spending the day visiting Århus. They have travelled this morning to Århus Railway Station by special train followed by a reception at the Århus City Hall with the mayor and other dignitories plus a Bulgarian choir. During the day the President has visited an IT Centre in Katrinebjerg, a waste centre, the "Old Town" Århus (where there is an official lunch) and in the afternoon a meeting with the Bulgarian community in Århus (there are around 30,000 Bulgarians in Denmark). Mrs Zorka Parvanova visits the ARoS Århus Art Museum and ARoS 2.

The Bulgarian visitors return to Copenhagen by special train for the evening return arrangement of a concert and reception at the NationalMuseum and the Bulgarian exhibition. The Royal Family attend with other Danish dignitories and see the exhibition.

Some links:
visit Århus
Destination Bulgaria
Bulgaria travel
EU on Bulgaria
CIA World Factbook on Bulgaria

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Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Photos from the Gala banquet


You can check the menu and guest list here

Speech of HM Queen Margrethe, given in Danish at the gala banquet on March 29 in honour of HE Giorgi Parvanov, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, and Mrs. Parvanova, his wife, at Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen.

Mr. President, Mrs. Parvanova,

It is with great joy the Prince Consort and I welcome the President of Bulgaria and Mrs. Parvanova to Denmark today. We both reminisce about our visit to your lovely country, and hope to be able to reciprocate a little of the warm hospitality which met us everywhere during our state visit in Bulgaria in October 2000.

Bulgaria was the first Eastern European country to make formal connections to NATO, and from the very beginning, she participated actively in the co-operation within the guidelines of the Partnership for Peace accord. Therefore, general content prevailed when, in 2004, Bulgaria was welcomed as a valid member of the transatlantic defence alliance, and both before and after that, important Bulgarian contributions have been made to the advancement of security and stability in and outside of Bulgaria. Furthermore, Bulgaria early on sought relations with the European Union. As early as the spring of 1993, Bulgaria entered into partnership with the EU, and an application for membership was given at the end of 1995. In Denmark, we have followed, with respect and admiration, the efforts to obtain full membership in the many intervening years. Considerable support has been given from both the EU and the individual member countries in order to have come so far, that membership is now within reach, and also from Denmark, contributions have been made. But the most significant effort has been that of the Bulgarian society which, despite suffering privations, has been determined to maintain and continue the course of reform, however difficult the changes may seem. It cannot be easy for a society to, in a short amount of time, build so much, and get accustomed to so many new challenges; but it is impressive to see how not least the younger generations have gotten down to the work with energy and enterprise, and I know that the results are already felt everywhere.

During the restructuring of Bulgaria's international orientation, which the political breakthrough entailed, the efforts to obtain full memberships of NATO and the EU have been highly prioritised, and the preparations regarding this have occupied many resources. It is therefore admirable that, parallel herewith, there has been the energy - not least in the course of your presidency, Mr. President - to strongly assert the country in the broader, international collaboration. Thus, your country was elected as member of the United Nations' Security Counsil a couple of years ago, and in 2004, Bulgaria held the presidency of the
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The extensive, Bulgarian involvement is held in general respect.

Since the beginning of the 1990's, many new relations between our countries have arisen. The communication regarding finances and commerce has been increasing steadily; both the international and bilateral collaborations have established many personal contacts, and Bulgaria has become one of the preferred destinations for Danes. We have gotten to know one another! During our visit to Bulgaria, the Prince Consort and I had the opportunity of meeting both the present and the past of the country. The newly unearthed relics of antiquity that we saw, made an immense impression: A past so far away; and yet so tangibly near when you are standing in the Thracian royal tomb at Starosel. Danish researchers are working in close contact with their Bulgarian colleagues, and not many years ago, it was clear that one of our finest treasures from prehistoric Denmark, the great Gundestrup silver vat, must derive from the area at the river Danube which we now know as Bulgaria.

But it is not only the prerogative of researchers to feel drawn to your country, Mr. President. More than 70,000 Danish tourists visited Bulgaria in the year past, attracted by the sunlit shores of the Black Sea. The Danish fascination of the beauty of the Black Sea's shores is not a new phenomenon, I might add. One of our most beautiful stretches of coast is situated by Århus, the city which the President and his wife will visit tomorrow; a very popular resort has carried here, for more than a hundred years, the name of Varna, named by a returned naval captain in enthusiasm about the beautiful Black Sea shore. On his journey up the Danube, Hans Christian Andersen was moved by "the Bulgarian Land" as it was called in that age; one and a half centuries later, he was, so to speak, to return again, as Bulgaria, with great, personal commitment from you, Mrs. Parvanova, participated in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the fairytale writer's birth.

Mr. President, being a historian, you have, for a very long time, been committed to the welfare of your country, and by virtue of your present, prestigious office, you have contributed to the promotion of respect for your country, for her people and her ancient culture.

In the 75th year of diplomatic connections between Denmark and Bulgaria, I am pleased to see the many personal contacts which are created in these years, in different areas and different levels. They are part of promoting mutual understanding and sound connections between our countries.

Wishing for continuing happiness and progress for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people, I raise my glass in order to, with the Prince Consort, propose a toast to the President of Bulgaria and Mrs. Parvanova.

Thanks to Lasse for the translation!

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Bulgarian state visit begins

The Guard Hussars in procession from Christiansborg Palace to Amalienborg Palace.


Today begins a three day State Visit by the President of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov and his wife Mrs Zorka Parvanova. They have arrived in Copenhagen and been greeted at Kastrup Airport by Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik. They have a program of many events in Copenhagen today and a State Banquet this evening and a return event tomorrow. We will bring you all the news and photos as they happen.

Link: Politiken

Update: The formal events of a state visit continue. Following the arrival at Copenhagen Airport the Royal Hussars escorted the motorcade from Christinsborg Palace to Amalienborg Palace. After arrival at Amalienborg Palace, official photos were taken in the Chinese Room at Amalienborg and gifts and decorations were exchanged. There has been a visit to the Opera. Later this afternoon there will be a Presidential Address to Danish Industry and a wreath laying ceremony at the Resistance Movement Cemetery, “Mindelunden”. In the later afternoon President Parvanov will give a Presidential Address to the Danish Foreign Policy Society. This will be followed by a meeting with the Bulgarian Community at the Royal Library around 5pm.

The State Banquet will be from 8pm at Amalienborg Palace. Some new photos from TV2 (Scanpix). You can see Princess Benedikte, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary have joined proceedings:

Many more photos to come. Tomorrow the state visit moves to Århus, but we have a State Banquet before then!

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Queen Ingrid's birthday 96 years ago today

This day is the birthday of Frederik's grandmother Queen Ingrid. Ingrid was born in Stockholm, Princess of Sweden, on 28 March 1910. Princess Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark on 24 May 1935, later King Frederik IX. Frederik IX died in 1972 when Queen Margrethe ascended to the throne. Queen Ingrid was the daughter of Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, later King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden (1882-1973) and Crown Princess Margaretha (Margaret of Connaught 1882-1920). Ingrid was a great-grandaughter of Queen Victoria through her mother, who died when Ingrid was 10 years old. Like the current Queen Margrethe, Ingrid's mother was known as Daisy.

Queen Ingrid is said to have had a particular understanding of the current Crown Prince Frederik and his struggle to come to terms with his role in life. Frederik met Mary in September 2000 as we know, and he was in Australia visiting her (still in secret) when he was called back to Denmark when Queen Ingrid's health took a sharp decline in November 2000. And so it was that Ingrid and Mary were never to meet, although Margrethe, Benedikte and Anne-Marie are said to believe that their beloved mother would have been very pleased and happy with Frederik's choice. Crown Princess Mary now wears the Queen Desirée Diamond and Ruby Parure, which belonged to Queen Ingrid along with other jewels left directly to Frederik by his grandmother for his wife. Mary's wedding veil was the one worn by Ingrid for her marriage. It came to Ingrid from her mother and has been worn by all of Ingrid's daughters and various grandaughters.

Some links:
Netty's In Memoriam
Ingrid of Sweden - Wikipedia
Queen Ingrid 1910-2000
Queen Ingrid stamps Denmark/Greenland
Worldroots.com enjoy many, many old photographs at Brigitte Gastel Lloyd's site
BBC report of Queen Ingrid's death


Crown Prince Frederik awards Anders Lassen Foundation grants

28 March 2006 at 11:30am HRH The Crown Prince awarded scholarships from the Anders Lassen Foundation in Christian VIII's palace, Amalienborg.

 border= ©Steen Brogaard

- Click here for more pictures
- Press Release (in Danish)

Press Release translation:
This year's Anders Lassen Foundation grant recipient is Captain John Fornal-Friis of the Jutland Dragoon Regiment on duty with The Danish Batallion in Iraq, group 6.

The Captain gets the Foundation's prize for doing an important military job and for his personal courage, and by his intelligent leadership and great creativity to have made personal relationships and secured stable networking with the civilian population in Iraq.

As a leader of the Danish Liason Group, the Captain has been the direct cause of the fact that the Danish Batallion and several of the British brigade units, were successfully able to execute a number of missions against terrorist- and anticoalition groups, which has reduced the number of roadbombs and shootings against the coalition forces, remarkably.

At the same time the Captain's work had enhanced the general safety for both the Iraqi people and the coalition forces.

"There will not be access for the press, but photos from the legacy presentation can be obtained on application to photographer Steen Brogaard"
Thanks to gudinde for the translation!

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Monday, 27 March 2006

Prince Joachim update

Both Prince Joachim and his ex-wife Princess Alexandra have been busy with their various official duties during the last week. Princess Alexandra attented the 10 year anniversary dinner at the Arken Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen. A few days later Joachim and Alexandra attended the 300 year anniversary of the Garnisons Church in Copenhagen with their sons Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix (in some snow as they left!). Billed-Bladet has reported that one of their journalists asked Mary what she thought of the Joachim/Marie romance when she was on her shopping expedition last week with Christian and friends in Copenhagen. Mary is said to have replied she couldn't really comment but she is happy for them. Keep in mind there is a great deal of tabloid spin going on with this story, so we will keep you posted if the facts of who said what and when becomes clearer with time.

From Hello! magazine:

Alexandra lives life in the fast lane
27 MARCH 2006

Denmark's Princess Alexandra showed she has a taste for danger when she attended the annual UNICEF International Racing Festival in Copenhagen. Having donned a protective helmet, the elegant royal smiled with delight at the prospect of taking to the circuit at the city's Bella centre.

Later she climbed into the cockpit of one of the sleek Formula One models. At the high profile charity event top drivers whizz paying guests around the circuit, fulfilling their dream to get a bite of the action experienced by the pros.

Alexandra's ex-husband Joachim is the patron of festival, which has raised £1.2 million since its inception seven years ago. It's the first time the pair will have coincided at a public engagement since the handsome prince spoke of his love for Marie Cavallier, the attractive French financier he's been seeing since last autumn.

If Alexandra felt any discomfort at running into her former spouse after he gave a candid newspaper interview describing himself as "radiating joy" because of the romance, it wasn't apparent. The pair have remained on amicable terms since their divorce was finalised nearly a year ago and the Hong Kong-born princess seemed to relish every bit of her day at the races.

Article source:
Hello! magazine

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Friday, 24 March 2006

More about Joachim and Marie

MARCH 20 2006 - The Danish Prince Joachim came home Sunday from his trip in South East Asia. He was greated by the Danish press with pictures of Marie Cavallier when he visited the Car Show in the Bella Center in Copenhagen. He was asked if he was in love and he confirmed it.

Just because we haven't posted more here about the Danish press reaction to the 'outing' of Prince Joachim's girlfriend Marie Cavallier, doesn't mean that it doesn't continue in a bit of a frenzy, because it is!

As predicted, Joachim was greeted at Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport by rather a lot of press on his return from Thailand. Despite pages and pages of 'coverage' in Denmark's tabloid press there is no real advance in knowledge about the relationship. Some closer translation of Marie's words in the several interviews she has given so far reveal she has not been quite as forthcoming as the tabloid headlines and stories would suggest. An example is the headline about Marie wanting three children, it would appear Marie said she would like three children, but that whether it is with Joachim or not is still too early to tell. Marie has said she and Joachim are together and they will see what the future will bring.

Marie Cavallier in Geneva last week. Photo:B.T./Jeppe Michael Jensen

There is some conjecture about Alexandra, Joachim's ex-wife and mother of his two children Prince Nilolai and Prince Felix, possibly and supposedly being upset by the arrival of Marie on the scene, despite there being no evidence whatsovever that this is so. Marie is dissected for tabloid analysis and many pages are devoted to the royalty experts' interpretation of the romance. Joachim says he is happy and that 'things' will proceed in their own way but there is no talk of engagement. Even this is stringing things together, because the gentlemanly Joachim repeatedly declined to comment on the many questions asked of him by journalists. When he arrived back in Copenhagen last Sunday Joachim went straight from the airport to the Bella Centre for a racing festival (Joachim is very keen on motor sport) where racing drivers were raising money for UNICEF Danmark. At the Bella Centre Joachim was confronted by journalists and was noticeably awkward when presented with photographs of Marie.

Links and sources:
Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian
Danish Royal Family's official website with photogallery of Joachim's recent trip to Cambodia and Vietnam
Billed-Bladet on Joachim going to see Nikolai and Felix on Monday morning after his Sunday arrival in Copenhagen (at the Krebs School, where Frederik and Joachim also went to school as children)
Billed-Bladet (this week has 8 pages on Marie and the romance all up)
Hello! magazine (in English)
TV2 suggests Marie has talked a little too much to the media

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Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Denmark's little prince goes shopping with Mary

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - 17 MARCH 2006. Crown Princess Mary goes shopping with Prince Christian. She was also accompanied by her new lady-in-waiting, Caroline Heering.

22 MARCH 2006

 border=Wrapped up warmly against the cold in a cream cap and bootees, Denmark's Prince Christian looked eager to take in the sights and sounds of Copenhagen's streets on a recent shopping expedition with his mum Mary.

Strapped to his mother's front in a comfortable baby carrier, the royal youngster was well placed to observe the comings and goings of the Danish capital. The 34-year-old princess had also tucked the folds of her elegant beige shawl around her little prince to protect him from the bitter weather.
The outing was one of the first sightings of five-month-old Christian since his christening in January amid the splendour of Christianborg Palace Chapel with Europe's leading royals in attendance.

Although life hasn't exactly been quiet in the intervening period as the little one also accompanied his parents, Frederik and Mary on an official visit to the German state of Schleswig-Holstein in February. The trip was one of a number of engagements, which signalled the end of "maternity leave" for hard-working Mary.

Article and photos from: www.hellomagazine.com/royalty

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Monday, 20 March 2006

1. DRWs feature: Australian visit 2005

Mary and Frederik, sunburned and fresh from a day's sailing, at Government House, Sydney on March 3, 2005 at a State Dinner hosted by the Governor Professor Marie Bashir. Frederik and Mary arrived at Government House during a wild Sydney electrical storm (dramatic, thunder, lightning!) but didn't look too worse for wear.

This time last year Mary and Frederik were leaving Australia to return to Denmark after a whirlwind visit which combined official events, Farr 40 sailing and private time with Mary's family and friends. For DRWs first special feature we revisit the fun of that first return to Australia for Mary and Frederik as Crown Princess and Crown Prince.

 border=Frederik arrived solo in Sydney on 20 February to compete in the Farr 40 world championships. He was out on the water sailing in his boat Nanoq with the crew on 21 February, then sailed in the pre-championship races before the March 1-4 championship regatta. Nanoq means 'ice bear' in Greenlandic which is the polar bear that symbolises Greenland in Scandinavia. Frederik has a strong connection to Greenland following the Expedition Sirius 2000 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6. We got a good look at Frederik's shark tattoo which is the insignia of the Danish Navy's elite frogman corps and his other tattoo on his left bicep which features his navy nickname 'Pingo' (means penguin and hints at a famous Danish cartoon character). Frederik will compete in this year's Farr 40 regatta in Newport, Rhode Island in September and was pivotal in winning the competition to Denmark for 2007. In 2005 it was the first time Frederik had sailed the boat in competition and up against some of the toughest and best sailors in the world he came 25th (full CYCA results).

Frederik in some sailing action for the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Sydney, March 1 - 4, 2005

CYCA: Rolex Farr 40 Worlds 2005
Farr 40 World Championship
Regatta News

 border= Then came Mary, and they were two

Mary flew into Sydney on February 25 with much anticipation for her arrival. She then went to the Shangri-La Hotel and 2 at Circular Quay where the Danish visitors were staying and to be re-united with Frederik. As an aside, we now know Mary was pregnant at the time of the visit. The next day Mary engaged in some private activities while Frederik was still sailing and before the official part of the visit began. Mary was said to be a little nervous about returning to her mother country as a newly-minted royal, according to an admission in an interview in the Danish fashion industry magazine »Dansk«, but she needn't have worried as she, and Frederik, were greeted warmly everywhere they went. Mary and Frederik attended a cocktail party at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia at Rushcutters Bay at the end of the Farr 40 championship. The sailing theme continued at a return Match Race between Mary and Frederik on Sydney Harbour which mirrored the race before the May 2004 wedding in Copenhagen.

Mary won the first time round as we know and then she won the second, but she did have some impressive sailing help both times. On February 28 Frederik and Mary attended a State Lunch at Governor Macquarie Tower with the NSW politerati. Frederik made a speech to the Premier of New South Wales: "Since arriving in Sydney I’ve spent most of my time on the water. However, yesterday on the water was something very special...."

Mary and Frederik attended the Australian Red Cross 90th Anniversary Gala Ball and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 (the Danish Royal Family has a long association with the Danish version). On March 4 Mary visited the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Insitute in Darlinghurst. Mary attended the VCCRI royal ball, for which she is the Honorary Life Governor. Frederik and Mary attended a State Dinner at the Gothic Government House, in the Royal Botanic Gardens. In his speech Frederik said: "The crown princess and I have looked very much forward to our time in Australia. A time that in many ways is remarkably different from our previous trips to Australia. And the difference lies primarily in the fact that today we visit Australia as the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark..."
Link: the Sydney Opera House

Mary also sat for a portrait by Jiawei Shen commissioned to hang in the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. This is the portrait which will travel to Denmark shortly to be exhibited at the Frederiksborg Museum.

Frederik and Mary celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen at the Opera House and they unveiled a new bust in Observatory Park in The Rocks (which is also the place they met in September 2000). This is Frederik's speech to appoint HCA 2005 ambassadors in Sydney. Mary went to the Children's Hospital at Westmead, a Red Cross refuge in Coogee and both were at a fundraiser for cancer research and on a visit to the Danish Church at Pennant Hills. They went book shopping in their down time, went to various cafes and restaurants and climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Continued in part 2
The DRWs team.

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