Saturday, October 30, 2010

Billed Bladet #42: Mamma Mia! It's Marie!

Ever since the PR debacle of the Charles and Diana camps, European royal houses have known to nurture just one star at a time. Which makes BB's flagship headlines: "The royal family's new star", "This is how Marie shines", of particular interest. Marie, the new Danish princess is a hit with the tabloids as well as her mother-in-law! A flattering cover shot adds to the "Move Over, Mary!" atmospherics. Little Xian Amin Mugabe is relegated to a small corner as "Grampa's Big Boy". Perhaps a residual slop of hope remains that Prince Christian will be more competent than his unfortunate "daddy" Frederik. (Why do the words "daddy" and "Frederik" not combine so well?)

Clever, subtle BB! The cover story seems to have been hijacked by Mary's court, but lean in, dears, and read past the "Mary helps Marie", and look at the tense, "tolerating only" and rather aged expression on Mary's face in her pic, as BB lists Mary's six years' worth of patronages compared to Marie's shorter list as the two-years-in junior princess. Mary may have aged ten years in the last six, but spare a thought for her poor staff. Many subtexts at play here, one of which is Marie's sheer shine and competence no matter the subject matter, happy or poignant. Mary's list of patronages could just as easily be one of agencies and orgs interested in Mary as a case study for the various mental illnesses and conditions that appear on the list. Maternity Worldwide might want to reconsider a patron who deliberately starves her babies in order to show up at a photo op in sample size! Daisy is mentoring and nurturing Marie into roles that involve culture ... and jewellery ... and charity. Très royale, Marie!

Marie wins Royal Outfit of the Week, sharing space with all the Danish stars appearing on this season's Dancing with the Stars. Lots of pretty people having fun with their outfits and jobs, and simply enjoying life avec ou sans the photographer's lens trained upon them! Note that aristocratic Marie knows how to arrange and wear a shawl or big scarf - something you pretty much have to be brought up to be comfortable with. No humungous neck-knots on Marie ...

Mary is not known to be a culture buff of any kind including film, so it's interesting that she appears to have placed her son Xian in a "film noir" filmset for his official birthday pix. The striped jersey echoes the horizontal office blinds that are a trope in any film noir set. Christian is sporting eyeliner for his formal birthday shots, in Mary's reference to A Clockwork Orange, that homage to genetic manipulation and futuristic horror (it also manages to tone down the "Deliverance" hillbilly ressemblance)! Shiver ... here's the future of the Danish monarchy, folks!

"We're hoping for babies!" Victoria looking svelte and trim with her husband in Shanghai. Hm, the Swedish prince can visit this town with his wife, unlike his Danish counterpart, who feels compelled to shake "er indoors" off his tail at every opportunity.

A lovely, relaxed Marie seems happy to be in the company of the cast of Mamma Mia and two members of Abba. They all got to know each other at the Danish premiere of the hit show. Swedes don't travel to Denmark for nothing, there's got to be a good reason, and Agnethe almost never gets out as a public person. Everyone must have started relaxing when they learned that the Danish prince and princess who were to visit them were the Schackenborg couple. Phew! At about the same time, Marie charmed JK Rowling at a launch. She's just one of those royals you would want to hang around with after the show.

Marie's lady in waiting Marianne Engel will soon be replaced by Britt Siesbye. After two years helping Marie at her public appearances, Marianne will return to her home in Aarhus. Real redhead Britt gives phony redhead Caroline Heering a run for her money! Britt is married to Oscar Davidsen Siesbye who is a racing friend of Joachim, and the son of Ida Davidsen, the smørrebrød queen of Denmark whose restaurant has an open-faced sandwich named for every member of the royal family (including Alex) - except Mary! In an alternative universe, however, a smørrebrød was named for Mary. It featured various porcine sauces squashed flat below a Scottish bap, with a goldleaf moment atop, harking back to Mary's Starmaker debut in gold latex, back in her "flatmate to Andrew Miles, sex industry advocate" days ... and a sprig of rue to symbolise Fred ... But back to Our New Star and the lady-in-waiting who lucked IN.

Noble Joachim travelled to Ghana with CARE Denmark on a goodwill mission. We are reminded of Mary's awkward similar trip where she wore f***-me shoes and baby-girl Paris Hilton pink. Interesting, isnt' it, that she left her rings behind for a trip to stay with Amber Petty, but wore 2 carat diamond studs to convey "modesty" in Africa, or, à la Marie Antoinette, make the peasants happy by seeing such western consumer riches on show ... Joachim engaged with the Ghanaians is utterly relaxed, utterly welcome, doing the world good. No self-serving prince requiring rehab in competent agronomist Prince Joachim! There was a little drama on the flight as it was pulling into the capitol Accra and nearly got bumped off the runway by a Lufthansa flight. On orders from Mary?

Fred's new babysitter Christian Schønau rides his bike to work at Amalienborg everyday, offsetting some 0.000001 per cent of Frederik's carbon footprint.

Joachim: "They pulled it in at the cash register"
Daisy: "Might one take the dog with one up in the sky?"

BB nostalgia pages continue with a young Daisy playing in the snow. Hm, like her lovely daughter-in-law who is patron of the Danish Ski Federation? Or are they referencing by contrast, Mary's glacial Posh Beckham froideur at being confined to the baby slopes year after year, as she turns her lady-in-waiting into her ski-carrier?

A letter asking about Fred and Joachim's education: they started at Krebs School in 1976. The school was founded in 1978. Today, Nikolai and Felix continue in their father's footsteps by studying at Krebs. Another letter asking about the Swedish Psalmbook that was used at Victoria and Daniel's wedding. They are dedicated Lutherans (like Katja).

Royal Roundup. Charlene in Monaco at a swim. Victoria and Daniel enjoying themselves on a mission to China. Mette-Marit wearing a necklace that has a saying from Mae West: When I'm good I'm very very good, when I'm bad I'm better. Aiko of Japan playing at school Field Day.

Xian had a party for his 5th birthday. First, grandpère Henrik showed up to greet the children. We're not sure whether a ghostly, pale, febrile Frederik was there. He may have been watching proceedings in the care of a nurse, from behind the curtains. Note the trident in Prince Xian Beelzebub's wake as he runs along in the top shot! No doubt pentacles are stamped in the ground as he passes to boot!

Xian's kindergarten classmates came as did Fred's friends and their children. Hologram Helle was there with her two boys and young daughter, carried in by her father. Mary's lawyer/horse riding friend Charlotte Velin was there. Izzy's godfather's wife was there with her older kids. Alex and Martin dutifully made the trip up from Copenhagen with the Schackenborg boys. No wonder Alex is allowed to keep the Order of the Elephant - what she must tolerate for the love of Denmark!

Caroline Fleming is nearing the end of her pregnancy and according to BB, is doing it stylishly with a mix of low brow and high end pieces. Caroline must act as a counterpoint to Mary's ridiculousness by pointing out the incorrect size of the crown princess's bump.

Daisy visiting a gymnastics centre. Signalling to Mary that she is ready and flexible enough for the contortions necessary to master the bogan? Or recognising that she really needs to live on for a long, long time now? She might even quit smoking!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Billed Bladet #41: Prince Christian of Denmark is 5

"Christian is so delightful", "Sweet big brother and tough boy". Looks as though BB is saving the newest Mary and Frederik contretemps for the next issue with lies about the children for now. Keeping us all salivating!

Nice, though, BB! Juxtaposing Xian Amin Mugabe Ceausescu Beelzebub with a SHARK! Argh! What evocations! To quote Robert Hughes in A Jerk On One End: "But the waters of Sydney - both inside the harbour and outside in the Pacific - held an abundance of sharks, and these possessed an iconic status in Australian imagination, because they were our only big carnivores, the only creatures that posed a threat to human was always there, a trigger of latent fear". Interesting choice of avatar, Xian!! Beware, Denmark of your own Great White Shark, heir to the heir to the throne!

Under the shark is an interesting, slightly passive agressive message to mother Mary: "The Crown Princely Couple has chosen to mark their son's first "half-round" birthday by taking new, official photos of him. This release was designed for the birthday itself, and we are happy to show you them next week". In other words, screw you, Mary, for always having to fuck us by an entire week's publishing time. Who's working for who, sister?! In any case, word is that Margrethe "monochromed" existing pix from a few months ago, coinciding with a video shoot, and they are not actual birthday pix after all. Signs of Mary in a funk refusing to deal with the press - or not wanting to risk shots of depressed, er, somewhat socially phobic Frederik?

Xian through the years. They really de-yellowed that baby picture of him. Who could forget the original jaundiced shot, or fail to recall the hilarious, overdone elongation of Mary's fish-fingers, part of early attempts to make her look aristocratic. Unfortunately for Mary, the contrast between the photo subject and the reality was too stark - or else the magazines are gradually de-photoshopping her, in preparation for Margrethe's "anti Mary, post divorce" PR campaign. On a slightly sweeter note, there's the bogan homemade photos of his first birthday. B is for Boganson! Boy, that kid's looks are pure Donaldson! Hey, we'd rather honest snapshots than a faux art film setting for Christian that only succeeds in making him look like the star villain of a murder mystery.

The note says he will enjoy his birthday with chocolate and cake. A cutlass, a pistol and the Union Jack! Brings a tear to ol' Rob Roy's eye - but is this kid actually Danish?

Love the look Izzy is giving her mother, who finally looks pregnant here, but still not with twins. Poor bajillionaire Fritz Schur, a distinguished older gentleman, who is not well versed in bogan amusement park outings. What must the poor man have done to deserve such a punishment? OK, it says he is behind the Fairytale Theatre that they visited at Tivoli; Daisy's smart - she only sends the best and smartest people to keep tabs on Mary. Nice how Mary can't even look at him when they talk. Even Caroline Heering and her brood attended. The poor fellow had to witness poor little Princess "Cosine" Isabella with rat's tails in her face and too-long hair. Very western suburbs - Elizabeth in Adelaide, Sunshine in outer Melbourne, Rooty Hill in outer Sydney - are the sorts of places you normally see neglected girls with stressed little faces.

Another week where Mary gets a place all to herself in a funny kimono dress for the Psychiatry Fund's gala. Perfect mascot, er, patron. Her feet are looking very swollen, and we sympathise - except that she is still sporting f***-me stilletos, and the extra weight on her little foot bones is not a good idea.

Daisy hit the theatre for the 40th jubilee of actor Henning Jensen. Daisy nurtures her art world relationships! Unlike some, who have no relationships with people of culture and refinement!

Joachim and Marie are photographed here at the hotel pool in Rio with the announcement that they will be attending the Danish opening of the Mamma Mia show. Naturally, the Schackenborg couple is brought in to interact with creative types as they can be trusted not to embarrass themselves. They have had all the big gigs lately: whether diplomacy, literature, art, industry ... Jokke and Marie make an impressive team. And Marie is European, not Antipodean. Recent research has uncovered what we all know: Australia is regarded as shallow and mediocre and rather dull - Bondi Beach, King's Cross, Slipp Inn and a hired pony once a month doth not make for culture! (Australia's culture is mainly Indigenous - is there ANY evidence that Mary has ever interacted with an Indigenous Australian? In all her life? Australia's culture is also focused on rural themes - and again, no evidence that Mary ever went beyond the 'burbs in any city she lived in.)

At a visit to those who have suffered speech impairments after brain injuries, Mary gives a speech next to a banner that says "Give me time". She says "I also have to remember to give myself time when I speak Danish". Again, it's all about her! As usual, she doesn't seem to feel any comfort around people at all - much less those with disabilities or empairments. Explains her reaction to her own husband!

Fred got to ring a bell! Yay! Photo caption in the upper right corner says Mary was surprised by a hug. Would love to see the photo that shutterbug took - Mary's neck tendons completely extended, eyes bugged out, nose scrunched up, upper lip completely epileptic. The closeup of that mauve top makes it look like cheap, stretchable nylon.

Love on the Great Wall! Victoria and Daniel were sent to China - much like Joachim and Marie - to the Swedish Expo Center with a few other stops to help Swedish interests in the country.

Sexy Haakon and his family take to the woods for a little getaway where they have taken part in some hunting and fishing activities for their meals. Haakon promotes responsible hunting alongside his wife, and demonstrates a desirable masculinity that is somehow lacking in the Danish court. Haakon is more of a Mr. Darcy type, while Fred is a Lucy Honeychurch!

Interesting new nostalgia feature by BB. This one shows a photo of Daisy's parents Frederik 9 and Ingrid at the funeral of Prince Carl of Sweden. The little boy in the go cart is Prince Ingolf, the would be king of Denmark today. Thanks, Ingrid! It's all very well having you, but look what we're in for! An addict ... followed by a psychopath. What on earth will the following generation have in store? Oh yeah, they will be the throne-less counts of Monpezat, ridiculed for life by resentful Danes who do not like their faux-French titles nor the way they ruined what was considered one of the strongest economies and reputations in the world.

Spotlight on Anne-Marie and Constantin: in 2002, the European Human Rights Commission forced the Greek state to pay the former king 12 million euros for the privately owned royal residences the state had exapropriated, including Tatoi (smaller photo) and Mon Repos (larger photo). The king decided to share that money with Greek citizens by setting up The Anna Maria Foundation, registered in Liechtenstein and designed to help people who are victims of natural disasters. The couple and their five children are the directors of the fund. They demonstrate a lovely sense of noblesse oblige that must make a Donaldson head cock to the side in confusion.

Another letter asks what Ingrid's condition was near the end of her life? She had osteoporosis and walked with a walker in later years. This photo was taken on her 90th birthday in March 2000. Poor Fred - she was such an amazing woman, and what a damn shame she didn't have the opportunity to warn Fred to keep well away from Starmakers graduates and the close friends of sex industry advocates ...

Carl Philip celebrated his participation on his Porsche racing team, his girlfriend Sofia was in Africa. Princess Caroline as a scout then and now. Letizia greeting well-wishers, and Maxima rocking a leather look for a night out at the Edison Pop Awards in Rotterdam.

Parliament Bubbles!
Fred: "1 minute, 42 seconds, 1 minute 43 seconds" Sorry Fred, she's still there!
Daisy: "Is it better in 3D?"
Joachim: "Did someone forgot to put the batteries in the two in front of us"?
To Benedikte: "Here you go: the results of my flower arranging course"
Fred: "Grabbing a smoke, did you want anything from the kiosk, papa"?
To Joachim: "Listen, I don't think you're getting my jokes".

Mary's wrap top is from Malene Birger. It's a model called "Lobelia" and - yes, hard to believe, but it cost 1499 kroner.

Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksberg was recently asked to write the forward to a new calender focussing on breast cancer with photographs by one of the royal photographers (Marie's, not Mary's - better lighting and less gruesome shadows in Marie's portraits). Can you imagine Mary with a writing assignment? She'd have to write it longhand first in English - in pencil - and then get some flunkie to translate it into Danish for her.

Gorgeous Frex Ex Malou took her equally gorgeous daughters to the movies. It also slyly quotes her as saying, "I take some free time during the week where I do some practical things - like buy autumn clothes for the kids and get them haircuts. I do something for both the big kids and the little ones". She's talking to YOU, Mary! HAIRCUTS! CLOTHES! For the KIDS!

Look at how much fun Maxima is having at a gig in the Dutch Antilles at a softball game with handicapped children. What a natural with kids! She's always up for whatever is going on. Nice photo of her husband wheeling a kid to home plate. Cute of Maxi to get up and help distribute juice to kids who may have missed some.

One of Daisy's nannies was the first to get her interested in archaeology, so she was delighted to open a recent exhibit at the National Museum. The DRF rely on their nannies for proper social, intellectual and emotional growth and development, but Mary's hiring skills are not as sharp as her firing skills, so who knows what sort of intervention Xian and Izzy will receive. Everything the nannies teach them that is positive will be reverse by visits to the gargoyle cousins and ugly aunties in Australia.

Daisy and Henrik recently received the President of Ireland and her husband on an official visit to Denmark. Also, Mongolia's president came to pay a short visit. Surely if Daisy is taken ill before a scheduled visit, she will rely on her consort and her brilliant son and his charming wife to make the guests feel at home and not at a loss because they will not meet the queen. Joachim and Marie are reliable that way.