Tuesday, June 2, 2009

tiaras and beautiful dresses

denmark is a constitutional monarchy. what this means in practice is that it's run by a multi-party government/legislature sort of like we know it in the US (but with way more parties--we won't go into that whole thing in this post) and that the queen is the official head of the government and opens parliament and the like, but has no real power. in fact, she's not even allowed to publicly express any political opinion at all. generally, she has lots of public duties and hosts dinners attended by people like nelson mandela and the dalai lama. and in the summer she sails around on her beautiful royal yacht.

denmark has a queen, she's been queen since the early 70s when her father died. she is married to a french count named henri, since he's french, he's not the king, he's the prince regent.

queen margrethe II
photo from here 
queen margarethe II & prince henrik
photo same source as above

the queen and prince henrik had two sons--frederik and joachim. frederik is the crown prince and will take over as king in denmark when his mother dies (seems like kind of a harsh way to get your job, but true nonetheless). frederik turned 40 last year and he's married to an australian girl named mary that he met at the olympics in sydney in 2000. she worked at microsoft when i did, so i've partied with her. they got married in 2004 and have since had two children.

mary and frederik at their wedding in 2004
same photo source as above

their son, christian (all the danish kings are alternating frederik or christian), will be crown prince when his father takes the throne. they also have a daughter, isabella. here they all are, on the balcony at amailenborg (that's the royal residence in copenhagen) waving to the public on the queen's birthday in april last year.
prince henrik, prince christian, crown princess mary, crown prince frederik, princess isabella and the queen

here's one more official shot of mary--she makes a lovely princess for a girl from tasmania.

like most families, the royal family has a brother they don't like to mention. that's the younger prince, prince joachim. he was married to a lovely girl from hong kong, alexandra, and they had two children--princes nicolai and felix. then alexandra, who is a lovely, intelligent, accomplished woman noticed that joachim is a complete inbred dufus and actually quite creepy and he smokes like a chimney so they divorced in 2005. now she's remarried to a totally cute camera guy and is a countess instead of a princess. i'm sure she's thinks it was worth it to lose the title. 

princess countess alexandra
same source as above

of course joachim didn't want to be alone for long and he wanted to try to duplicate his brother's success, so he imported a new princess, named marie, from switzerland. she's the spitting image of mary, but has a cute little french accent. they just had a son a week or so ago, so there's a new little prince.  this is from their wedding last year.

princess marie seems like a nice girl and i guess you will put up with a lot to be a princess and get to wear a tiara for real, because joachim is no less creepy than he's always been.

the danish royal family is related to most monarchies in europe. one of the queen's sisters is the exiled queen of greece. even the last russian tsar's mother was a danish princess (dagmar, neƩ tsarina alexandra). there's lots more here if you want to learn more.


  1. Is it so wrong that I have a burning desire to pinch the cheeks of your adorable queen? Will I be banned from Denmark for life for even saying that?

  2. i'm afraid she might object. and she's usually smoking like a chimney, which is less than adorable, so perhaps in person you mightn't like it as much. :-) but it is kind of a cute monarchy.

  3. Yeah it is a cute monarchy. Especially Prince Henrik and Prince Cristian :D

    What's the difference a Prince and a Crown Prince?

  4. crown prince is the prince who will be king...

  5. So once the crown prince becomes the king, the eldest prince right now becomes the crown prince?

  6. that baby prince christian will become crown prince when his dad ascends to the throne. :-)

  7. i think that's why joachim, the younger brother prince is such a creep. he's bitter that he'll never be king.

  8. 1. How do you pronounce joachim?
    2. They all look characters from a Walt Disney movie.
    3. You go Alexandra - marry for love I say!

  9. 1. yo-AH-keem
    2. you're onto something there...
    3. yup.

  10. They are lovely, aren't they? I'm quite sure, in a previous life, I was a queen or princess.

  11. "Marie seems like a nice girl." What? She blabbered all over the media as soon as they found her, she posed with tabloid journalists, and she signed her autograph for Ekstrabladet. This all happened in March 2006, long before
    the official engagement. She did lots of interviews and lots of posing for the cameras. Everybody knows you're supposed to keep your mouth shut before the official engagement. Mary and Alexandra kept their mouths shut. Kate Middleton has kept her mouth shut for years. Marie was secretary for her stepfather and that was actually her longest job. Not very impressive. She just lived off her father and stepfather--even at age 30. A stupid girl like that is just perfect for Joachim.

  12. twill--you're no doubt quite right...but was writing this to a couple of 8-year-olds here. :-) but joachim is pretty creepy and i wouldn't even wish him on a 30-year-old who still lived at home...ew.

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