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!