Monday, August 8, 2011

Billed Bladet #30: Tragedy in Norway

Most of this issue is devoted to the shocking tragedy that killed 76 people in Norway, and demonstrates the very close relationship between the Scandinavian nations in times like these where there is so much grief and sorrow. In a way, it's nice that Mary refused to return from her holiday to be back in Denmark, since this issue is remarkably devoid of her, except in a couple of small, telling examples.

"A people in mourning". The images in the following pages and the extensive coverage of this human act of violence and rage, and of the subsequent coming together of a nation out of love and humanity should underscore the heavy weight that Denmark feels in the like of acts of violence and then solidarity that have happened to their northern neighbour, Norway.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit lost her step-brother Trond Berntsen, 51 years old (pictured, next to a photo of her mother and her late, second husband), yet with her husband and in-laws was on the scene immediately near Utøya along with the Norwegian Red Cross and family members of those on the island.

The Norwegian royal family showed a beautiful image of love and solidarity with the Norwegian people, fulfilling the highest possible role in their country's time of need and confusion. It's wonderful to see how the younger children were included in the memorial ceremony at church the day after the massacre.

The Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and the royal family were very visible rallying points for the people in the aftermath of the events of that horrible Friday. Very touching to see the photo of the members of government hugging members of the royal family. That is not just solidarity in a time of grief, but an act of true, mutual respect that each entity brings to its national role.

Daisy and Henrik were on an official visit to Greenland when they got the news. Given that they travelled to the remotest reaches of that country on an icebreaker - Daisy's more fond of boat tours than flying, if she can help it - there wasn't the ease and convenience of being able to return quickly to Denmark. She sent a handwritten fax to her cousin "dear Harald" from the ship. Billed Bladet has been travelling with the queen and she said to them, "It's a shocking event. We feel both very clear about that. It feels weird when you sit here in Greenland where you do not get newspapers but still on the other hand must follow it. Our thoughts are with Norway and Norwegians. Both of us have been in close contact with Norway because it is something that effects us tremendously".
BB: Are you in contact with the Norwegian royal couple?
Daisy: "We have sent our condolences to the Norwegian king and queen, of course, but we haven't called them up, they have too much to think about right now."
BB: Do you think about if something like this happened in Denmark?
Daisy: "No one can imagine that something like this would happen. Therefore it will be equally surprising everywhere, wherever it happens."
Henrik expresses his opinion about the offender directly: "Unfortunately there are crazy people all over the world."
Daisy: "Yes, it seems at least that this was someone who is not sane."

This is some of the outpouring of grief in Copenhagen at the Norwegian Embassy. These two girls had friends on the island. Don't be mistaken, this tragedy was felt deeply in Denmark and the ramifications of the killer's actions made people in Denmark stop and take into account an act of violence against their peaceful, egalitarian cousins to the north.

Greeting, condolences and shock came into Norway from all corners of the world, from the White House to the Tour de France, from the United Nations to the world of entertainment, from the heir to neighbour Sweden's throne to a Danish tennis star. All corners, except from the psychodelic palace at Amalienborg. Crickets.

A beautiful show of strength and love from the Norwegian people in Town Hall Square in Oslo.

Crown Prince Haakon was the first speaker at this peaceful rally. The text of his touching and articulate speech is translated into English here. "The streets are filled with love tonight."

A note reminding us that Derf and MoreMore will be travelling later in the year to both the US and Australia. What a horrible photo of Mary here! Despite the fact that it will be Danish school holidays for Christian and Izzy, the couple will be in New York again, hoping for better fame results now that Daisy's more successful visit this spring has paved the way for them. Thanks, Danish tax payers for the freebies!! Thanks also to the Alannah and Madeleine Foundation who will be underwriting the Australian portion of this family holiday under the guise of "work", Mary being that charity's patron. Why on earth does a Danish princess have an Australian patronage? Doesn't seem quite right, does it? But Freddles will get the last laugh, as he will scoot up to Vietnam 4 days after the family arrives in Tasmania. This way, he avoids more passive-aggressive lock-outs at Jane's Glass House and gets to spend time receiving "spa treatments" with Missies "Barbara" and "Susan" and their friends, young hostesses to VIPs. Dis feel good, missa Fled?

A small article mentioning that the Schackenborgs will not be at Graasten this year. A strange and sudden announcement, and one that ultimately proved not to be true as this young family arrived at the Danish royal summer palace not long before the grand "happy family" photo shoot. Hopefully this is wrong, but a miscarriage is very hard not to suspect. Marie had been looking fuller in the tummy lately, but is much thinner now with a bit of a sad look, although she is carrying on as her presence at the family show demonstrates. Also explains why she carries lille prins Henrik so much, besides the fact that he is essentially resigned to the fate of most oldest children (to Marie), and will be carried and "babied" until a sibling replaces him in his mother's arms or he gets too squirmy!

Love the juxtaposition of a constipated, snooty Crown Princess Mary "Kennedy Onassis" Donaldson at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC with the fun-loving, relaxed women in the other photos on this page. Indeed, find the style here! Mary's sunnies are in the spotlight, Chanel's "Havana". Hm, no small jump from Mary Antoinette Donaldson to Fidel Castro is there? Let them eat plantains, because these shades would set you back 2,607 kroner, two years' worth of Danish wages in Mary's revolution!

As a counterpunch to any accusations that the Danish monarchy isn't democratic, a letter response indicates that yes, anyone can see the queen in audience. At least in theory; there are of course steps that have to be taken and relevant questions must be asked. Irrelevant questions would be the premature inquiry into the Crown Princely Couple's divorce arrangements. All will be divulged in time! Also, a question about which monarchy is older, the Danish or Japanese? Ah, yes, align Denmark with an institution that began before dirt was created. (The Japanese imperial history was recorded centuries before Gorm the Old.) Just to bring home the point about who the Danes are dealing with, a photo of MoreMore Boganson alongside the former Navy SEAL she has crippled and weakened, is included in this week's mailbag.

Royal Roundup: William & Kate; Haakon & Mette-Marit on a coin for their 10th wedding anniversary; the funeral of Archduke Dr. Otto von Habsburg attended by the King and Queen of Sweden; and Queen Elizabeth II and her armed forces.

Any excuse to turn toward the Duchess of Cambridge and away from the Countess of Monpezat! A photie of Will and Kate to preview cousin Zara Phillips' upcoming wedding to Mike Tindall in Edinburgh.

Daisy continues her nearly 3 week visit to the outermost reaches of Greenland. No wonder she couldn't get back to Copenhagen in the wake of the Oslo and Utøya tragedies. Still doesn't excuse Derf and MoreMore from not interrupting their European holiday. Daisy at least has the excuses of ice flows and official duties in a long neglected corner of Danish territory!

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