Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Washington 2012, Day Three: Mary Tries To Get Reese Witherspoon To Just Please Looker Me!

Mary Donaldson Strategery FAIL. That Kate Middleton Groupie Reese Witherspoon is here and everyone's falling all over her and not Mary! The horror for our little clown princess who desparately needs Reese to go onto an American talk show with huge ratings and proclaim her love for the Danish Marie-Antoinette. Sorry, Mares. Reese is an American girl from the South and those belles have standards that even Princess Margaret couldn't reach.

Reese, who will do anything to get all up in a real princess's grill, is playing a larger role than little Mary Boganson, former Aussie "career girl" in this conference. Which, by the way, Mary, isn't a women's empowerment, you-go-girl gig, where's the Martinis and Manicures booth? The women here want to find solutions to the problems of violence against women and women's poverty and other icky stuff. Reese found the time, in her role as Global Ambassador for the Avon Foundation, to give a speech and hand out prizes to women devoting their time and energies to really making a difference in the lives of women. She also graciously posed for photos with people such as the editors of women's business magazines in Romania and Brazil. And all the while wearing a pretty but sensible, daytime little black dress and minimal jewellery. Way to go, Reese!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Washington 2012, Day Two: Mary Continues To Spark Annoyed Curiosity

"New clothes, y'all! Didja see? Cost a fortune! But I'm worth it, right? Women power! We deserve to have it all, amiright, ladies?! I love being empowered and fierce at a women's empowerment seminar! You go, Mary! Guess you could say I am livin' the theme as I'm living' the dream!"

Photo Gallery: Berlingske

Washington 2012, Day One: Mary Shoves Her Way to the Front!

So, Mary put on her sincere face and spoke at the Opening Ceremony for the 2nd World Conference on Shelters at the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center south of Washington, DC. In a strange disco-top and new (JCrew Hutton cut?) high-waisted trousers (careful, Mary, those were not made for women with tummy pooches), she strode into the pre-planned, typical Danish royal set-up of Small Child With Bouquet Waiting to Greet Saviour Mary. Snore. What a grotesque little scene at such a serious event. This is a working conference and the opening dinner is a chance for all participants to meet, greet and make contacts, ask questions of each other, build new relationships, solidify older ones. Yrma must have sounded so dumb to the other saying "The Mary Foundation" over and over - so obviously named after her, and not having anything to do with its outward focus. Perhaps because it only has an inward focus, all attention on the chairwoman, please, eh?

The women and men attending this conference aren't glamourpusses. They don't really care about who you are or where you are from, as long as you are working to make a difference in a very real way, unafraid to walk into difficult situations and improve lives at the expense of their own comfort. Then along comes Mary with a superstar soundtrack rolling in her head, striding in on her own ego-powered steam, heavily made-up, new togs, ready for her close-up. They'll all see that she is just a figurehead, a chimera, a fabricated entity; others do the real work. Below the transcript of the speech is an article about what she said. Perhaps one day her husband and bestie will speak out about being abused.

Mary's Speech: Kongehuset

"At first it feels good
quite incredibly and tremendously good
that in spite of everything
there also are people who see
behind the façade
who know
and realize

But then everything
gets only more difficult

Then the question comes:
Why don’t you leave?

Innumerable times I’ve been
on my way

if this drinking bout isn’t
the last
then I’ll leave

if this malice affects
the children
then I’ll leave

if he also starts
to lie
then I’ll leave
and if he ever uses force
on me
then I’ll leave

when the children can no longer
take it
then I’ll simply have to

And all of it happened
Still, I didn’t leave

This poem by the Finish author Märta Tikkanen illustrates the complexity of domestic violence. The finale question “Why?” has no easy answer. We need to recognize and communicate this complexity in order to understand, reach and help the victims of domestic violence.

As Chairman of The Mary Foundation in Denmark, I am very pleased to be here this evening and to take part in the Second World Conference of Women’s Shelters. In the Mary Foundation we focus on domestic violence and run a number of projects aimed at breaking the cycle of violence. It is deeply encouraging for me to see the devotion and engagement of all of you. This conference gives us the opportunity to share knowledge and experience, to be inspired and to develop new solutions. An opportunity to gather all the good work done locally and make a difference globally.

Domestic violence is still a dark secret. Reaching the victims of domestic violence is one of our main challenges. It is essential to reach out to these women with a helping hand, to support them in taking those initial and courageous steps out of a life of violence. At this conference we are giving women who live with domestic violence a voice and we are saying to the world that domestic violence is not an individual problem – but a collective concern. And today we make it absolutely clear – violence is never acceptable and can never be justified!

Let me give you a little insight into the Danish situation. In Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, we have a strong tradition for freedom of speech. We speak out. Topics like domestic violence are addressed by the media and politicians. And the need for women’s shelters are widely acknowledged – and partly supported publicly. So in this respect we are fortunate.

However, speaking out loud is often easier, when you are not speaking on your own behalf. The woman, who is living with violence, may not even realize that she is a victim. And if she does, does she have the strength and the courage to speak out and change her situation?

At least 28,000 women in Denmark live with domestic violence. 2,000 seek refuge at women’s shelters every year. That leaves 26,000 women – some might find support through friends and family, but a very large majority are alone with their problems. This is a huge challenge. How do we reach these women?

Domestic violence affects not only the person, who is the subject of the actual abuse. Witnessing domestic violence can be just as harmful, and it is critically important to recognize the needs of the children. A home is meant to be a safe place, a place where children can count on people to care for them and protect them. When that safe place becomes a place of fear and unpredictability the children suffer. A little girl might become withdrawn from life and hide her feelings. A little boy might become violent, because he knows no other way to resolve a conflict. And most likely they won’t tell anyone about their situation, because of their love, loyalty and fear. So how do we speak to the little girl and the little boy? We start by daring to ask and to listen.

Domestic violence is a problem in Denmark. Too many women live with violence and become more and more isolated – from work, from friends and from family. That is why we in the Mary Foundation took up the challenge to fight domestic violence.

The Mary Foundation was established in 2007 with the mission of preventing and alleviating social isolation. And victims of domestic violence are a very isolated group in our society, which is why it became one of our main focus areas in 2008. We wanted to contribute to the understanding of the complexity of domestic violence. And we wanted to give the victims a voice and show them that there is a way to a life without violence.

So how do we work? We start by doing a thorough evaluation of the subject. We look at what research is available. What projects are running. Where is the need most urgent and unfulfilled? And we establish an expert group among prominent researchers, leading NGO’s and ministerial officials as well as putting together untraditional partners in our search for new, sustainable and life changing projects. And we speak out. Through conferences, education and the press we try to increase the awareness and understanding of domestic violence.

One of our findings was that money is often used as a means of power and control. If you are financially chained to your partner, this makes leaving him even harder. However, victims of domestic violence have rarely been offered any financial advice. On this basis we established “Advice for Life”.

“Advice for Life” is an independent mentor-based program that offers financial, legal and social counseling to women who have been exposed to physical, psychological and financial violence. We aim to help women regain the power and strength to get back on their feet and ensure their future independence – and a life without violence. The project has been a great success, and we are expanding.

One of the main reasons for the success of the project is the unique setup based on the partnership between the Mary Foundation, Nykredit (a large-scale Danish financial institution), Mother’s Help (an NGO), the national organization for women’s shelters, and private law-firms across the country. Financial mentors and legal advisers are all volunteers. Actually, at the moment we have a long waiting list of financial mentors wanting to be part of the project. The project has created a sense of community because everyone gains from it – whether it unites a company through social responsibility, gives a personal feeling of making a difference or results in a new start in life.

Another one of our projects targets the children. Half the children who arrive at a women’s shelter with their mother – maybe in the middle of the night – arrive with very little. Together with The LEGO Foundation and with inspiration from the Australian Alannah and Madeline Foundation – of which I am the international patron – we decided to address this through a very simple idea; the distribution of “comfort-packs”. A comfort-pack is a cool backpack, that contains basic necessities such as a toothbrush and underwear as well as a teddy bear and story books. The idea was to provide a little bit of comfort in an otherwise desperate situation.

The comfort-pack is a symbolic gesture, it says to the child we see you and we acknowledge your situation. In addition it’s been known to bring out a little smile in a difficult time. A small gift to the mother. It also gives professionals some tools to facilitate the initial conversation about the child’s experiences.
Violence has no nationality, it exists in Australia, in America, in Africa, in Asia and in Europe. However, crossing boarders sometimes makes it complicated to help the victims. In the EU this problem was addressed and met last year, when The European Protection Order and another directive fighting trafficking passed. By passing these directives the EU is sending the same message as we are here today – violence is not acceptable, no matter what country you are from. And we will not accept boarders as a limitation in our fight against it.

It is crucial for the Mary Foundation and for me personally to spend time with the people, we wish to help – no matter where they come from. To be able to sit down face-to-face and talk with a victim of domestic violence helps me to get a deeper understanding of the complexity of their situation. And that is what I did earlier today, when I was given the opportunity to visit a women’s shelter here in Washington.

Every story is unique. And every time I meet one of these courageous women, it reminds me why there are no easy solutions. I get a better understanding of how hard it is to end and break free of a violent relationship. Not least because ending the violent relationship, also means ending the dream of a loving and happy marriage – and breaking up the children’s home.

“Why don’t you leave?” the woman in the poem asked herself. We need to stop asking that question and begin to understand why she is staying. From understanding comes the ability to reach, to touch and to change. And if we help even just one woman to take that courageous first step out of violence, we have achieved a lot.

At this conference we work towards an increased understanding. At all levels. Domestic violence is not just a problem of the individual family or person. It is not just taking place in one particular apartment, or in one city, or in one country. Domestic violence is a global issue.

And this conference sends a message to the world: Everybody has the right to a life without violence. No matter where you come from, who you are or where you are.

Article: BT

"Why? The issue is that many women are often in abusive relationships. By both of them themselves, but also by their surroundings.

But there is no clear answer as to why women tacitly put up with being abused physically, mentally or financially by their partner."

So said Crown Princess Mary in her speech at the the Second World Conference of Women's Shelters in Washington, USA, on Monday.

"Why do not you just? Will women asked. But we should stop asking the question and instead begin to understand why they get. When you understand, the ability to change things also comes," said Mary, among other things in his speech at the conference.

Denmark's Crown Princess is invited to the conference along with representatives from 90 countries in her capacity as chairman of the Mary Fund, which has set recently battered women and their children in Denmark as a priority.

"Domestic violence is still a dark secret. It is important to give people a helping hand and support them to take the bold step out of a life filled with violence. This conference gives us the battered women a voice and tell the world that domestic violence is not an individual problem but a collective," stressed crown princess.

Mary thus spoke from the podium that women from violent homes do not stand alone with their problem. And Mary knows what she is talking about. Since 2008, the Mary Fund has worked actively to help battered women return to a life without violence.

But how does the Mary Fund that? It is the Crown Princess talk about the conference, just as Mary must also participate in workshops with participants. Here they share their good experiences, not least developing new ideas that will help women all over the world who are physically, mentally or financially abused by their partner.

In the workshop late Mary can tell you about the fund's success story is about the counseling of women. The Mary Fund has discovered that women can be financially "locked" by their violent partner.

"We found out that money is often used as a means of power or control over the partner. If you are financially tied to your partner, it becomes even difficult to leave him. Therefore, we have established the "Council for life," said Mary.

"Advice for Life" is a mentorship-based project that offers economic, legal and social counseling for battered women.

"We urge women to regain their strength so they can get back on track and ensure their future independent life without violence. The project has been a great success and we are expanding it," Mary was happy to report at the conference.

Besides speaking at the opening of the conference and participate in workshops, Mary will also visit a shelter for battered women and their children during the four-day visit to Washington.

Photos: Nicholas Kamm/Scanpix Denmark

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mary Takes the USA By Storm! Or, Not.

Just try finding Mary's name anywhere as a speaker, presenter or conference VIP. Nada.

Complete Brochure and Programme: 2012 World Shelter Conference

Update: On the heels of getting a telegram from Africa saying "Go Away", Mary quickly got wind that her suburban Maryland hotel was no where close enough to the real action that SHE, Crown Princess of Denmark, needed to be a part of (so much for Mary's strategery planning skills). "Who else can I visit and save for 15 minutes of camera time in a world capital?", she seemed to ask herself. So, apparantly after a quick visit to Nancy Pelosi's dermatologist, a fuller-cheeked Yrma hopped over to the Inter-America Development Fund building and got her photo taken with the director who himself agreed to sign some papers in Mary's presence no doubt pre-arranged by the Danish Prime Minister when she was in Washington on Friday. Daisy placed a special call for thatty. Luckily, Lene called ahead to make sure this organisation - one that tries to keep overhead costs low so that more money goes to those who need it most - had a beautiful bouquet of flowers ready to present to the princess-thinggie by any ol' small child taken out of school for the best 20 seconds of their life! See, the flowers are the only way you can tell that Mary is the princess in the room. The IADF funds enterprises in Latin America. You know, where Denmark had so many colonies and cultural connections. Oh, and no worries: Mary's new bestie Søren Pind may not like brown people living in Denmark, but he's ok if they are encouraged to stay in their home countries.

Søren Pind: Mary's New Bestie Also a Self-Aggrandising Prick with Disdain for Peasants and Other Icky People

Get a life, diversity sucks and stop being haters. That's the message in the entry that Mary's fellow Africa-saviour, disgraced former minister Søren Pind has written in his blog on Berlingske's website. Wow. Random! Show me your friends, Mary, and I'll show you who you are. First Amber Petty, now this whinging, self-pitying, bigoted censor who spews really weird crap trying hard not to give away the side of his unpleasant, hateful personality, but failing at it miserably, blaming everyone else for his problems (has Amber tried dating him?). No wonder his former girlfriend dumped him for one of the grandsons of rich bastard and Elephant-knight Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. Mary Antoinette, your reputation's already in the crapper. Think about what hanging out in Africa and Washington with this angry loser is all about! Friendships with fellow sociopaths aren't exactly mutually beneficial, nor helpful to society. If this isn't proof that Mary is a narcissist, only concerned with herself, not with others, this is it. Or she's a total and complete idiot. Even the Danish Anti-Racism Front has called out this fool.

Blog Entry: Berlingske


Not again, I thought the other day and skipped through the entry. Apparently a post that dealt with the appropriateness of that new film about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was based on the Baroness's senile dementia, a disease that came to her a long time after her political work was completed.

Although, the night before I returned home from the premiere with somewhat mixed feelings. The film was presented through the prism of senility. It is the film's constant focal point, and her political career was summarised and breathless. We shall barely touch on it. Completely into the hallucinative conversations with the deceased husband there is confusion, loneliness, grief. Sentimentality. It is as if we in this time, all must be something. Sick. Homo. Immigrant. Handicapping. Depraved. Skinhead. Psychopath. Poor. Greedy. Something outside the normal. For the idea is there so no minorities. And the idea we are all equals. Normality has been lifted, and when normality is lifted, we're all equal. Happy happy. While there is no privacy. Why? Nothing is grotesque, ugly or horrible, but just give character and variety shows. This is how a film about a conservative icon in the 20th century ends, to act on a really quite inconsequential disease at the end of her life, rather than on the lifework that was hers. And before someone calls on me to call dementia indifferent, forget it. I myself have had the horrifying and dignity-killing disease very close to my life. It's horrible. But why it must be the focal point of this is incomprehensible to me. And I can not bear to watch the proceedings anxiously in such a way.

So am I bigot? Do I have allergies to sick people or individuals? Am I a homophobe? Do I have disdain for immigrant groups? I look down on women because they are women? Continue the list. The answer is no. But why am I tired? Tired of the claim that everything must be understood through an illness, a minority, a sexuality, a gender. Thatcher in the movie became more of the view that these days everyone should be something. And therefore not anything. It may well be a true perspective. An analysis that leads to a film being made about major political figures, rather than what they have done, about age-related impotence instead. It is a distortion of reality, which is tiring. And perhaps the reason why so many people increasingly become selective in their choice of news coverage and input. I do not want anymore. Dim all the talking, yelling and screaming about everything that people have completely though, but basically not very interesting. It is noisy. And we are people who actually have a life, a job and a reality to fit into.

NOTE: I am honestly tired of vulgarities in the blogosphere. From now on I'll edit away vulgarities (including language), irrelevant or coarse-grained posts, including grievances over censorship to the extent I have time - and posts where people do not appear in public with their full name.

Psyche: First Day of Mary's US Conference Triumph Trumped By Darling Estelle

Poor little Princess Elle. She seems so troubled by her fourth name, really trying to reconcile it. But she'll soon understand. It's just been revealed that Daisy and Silvia, with consultations by Sonja, Maxima, and Marie, have cleverly decided that if they could convince Vickan and Dansie to add Mary as a caboose (arse end, if you please!) to their adorable daughter's name, not a difficult task given the new parents' penchant for the new and sentimental, that Mary would then be forever tied to royal protocol and discipline, forced to march in lock-step with the party line. In the wake of Yrma's ectasy following last Friday's announcement of the names, the reality will sink in and Mary will see that Daisy has called checkmate and Mary's right now sitting in a middle-level hotel room, several miles from the centre of Washington and the presidential guest quarters, Blair House, where gorgeous Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt had the great honour of staying on that very same day of the names announcement. Now everyone's talking about the Oscars, which Mary probably watched in the loneliness of her hotel room. C'mon, Mary, you gonna rally? Or are you gonna let these dames just run right over you? You're a Boganson, Mary, give us your best! We're waiting!

(Dear readers, you will be relieved to know that the original fourth name was to be the very royal and Swedie compound name Désirée-Ulrika-Kristina.)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Derfie's Secret Facebook Profile! "Is Frederik Archaic?", Ask Danish Tabs

Well, he ain't modern, that's for sure! Mummy married him off in an arranged marriage (expedited by his old-fashioned and disproven notion that unwanted girls will eventually slink home). He actually thinks he can have a secret Facebook account (Fred, internet conversations are never really private. There is always a record of conversations). Is the secret FB page a way for Team Freddles to circumvent the temper and fury of Madame La Comtesse de Monpezat and look for a new wifie-poo? If only Katja Storkholm were a friend. Maybe she's got a secret name, too?

Though not confirmed by Ms. Balleby, and as discussed in the articles below by Royal Dish friends such as Trine Villemann, many feel that Jens Peter Hansen is indeed the crown prince. Jens Peter studied at Aarhus, like Freddles. Jens Peter only has 21 friends, all of whom are Fred's nearest and dearest friends and apologists (Jeppe Handwerk, Xian's godfather, was the one who claimed that Fred's blonde dance club honey from the night before the christening of the Miracle Twins was both an employee of his and a family friend; the three Buchwald siblings are the children of Isabella's godfather Dr. Christian Buchwald, Fred's tennis partner).

Poor Denmark. Surrounded by more modern monarchies - the Norwegian Crown Prince couple has a FB page and gives Twitter updates, the Brits for all their reputation for stoicism is remarkably up to date and informative - the Danes have not been moved into the modern era by self-described saviour Mary Boganson who talks a good game about modernisation, but would rather shop.

But what would be in a real profile for Fred? Perhaps something like this:

From: Copenhagen, Denmark

Studied at: Aarhus University, JFK School of Government at Harvard

Relationship: It's Complicated. Really complicated. Y'all don't even understand.

Interested in: Women. Any kind. Just actual, real, biological women. With a pulse.

Music: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots, Roberta Flack, Frank Zappa

Television: Big Brother, X-Factor, Paradise Hotel, Klovn

Personal Interests: Busty & Blonde, Maseratis, Sailing, Relaxing, Drinking, Hanging Out, Cycling, Medical Marijuana, Passive-Agression, Hunter S. Thompson, Tasty Thai Teens, Mountain Biking, Hunting (animals), Hunting (babes)

: BT

Is Jens Peter Hansen Crown Prince Frederik on the social network?

Does he have a secret account?

Jens Peter Hansen. His name could not sound more anonymous. Or more Danish. He has no picture on his Facebook profile.

He is totally anonymous. But the circle on his Facebook profile is anything but anonymous.

If you look closer, a pattern emerges. Everything indicates that it is Crown Prince Frederik's secret Facebook profile. He studied at Aarhus University. That he is also called 'Frede'. So far, only 21 friends.

Among friends, we find Frederik's close friend since their time in the Navy SEALs, Jeppe Handwerk; Mary's close friend, private secretary and adviser Caroline Heering; and Mary's good friend and hairstylist Søren Hedegaard - married to Line 3's Preben Kristensen.

A close study of Jens Peter Hansen's group of friends discovers that he is an expert in Australia. Crown Princess Mary's birth country.

On his friend Ida von Buchwald's profile you will find an e-mail correspondence between "Jens Peter" and Ida von Buchwald, who has attended all Frederik and Mary's official celebrations. Recently, Princess Isabella's christening.

"Brisbane," writes Ida Buchwald in her open profile.

"Is it not also an advantage to be a Dane .. :-)," asks Jens Peter.

"Yes, we are certainly popular down here :) Enjoying it! Tell if there is something we just HAVE to see here! Hugs," wrote Buchwald back to Jens Peter.

Jens Peter did not comment further and did not 'like' anything.

Among other friends in Jens Peter's profile are the Crown Prince's childhood friend Holger Foss, and the three siblings Ida, Andreas and Anna Buchwald, who are among the close friends. Henrik Olsen knows the Crown Prince through his friendship with Count Ditlev Ahlefeldt-Laurvig. Jesper Riise was crew for the Crown Prince in 2009.

"Jens Peter Hansen's a very common Danish name," says royal expert Trine Villemann, who thinks the Facebook profile is remarkable.

"If Jens Peter Hansen is a member of the Danish royal family, it's about time that the royals begins to take an interest in social media. The Norwegian royal family is on twitter and Facebook. The English court has created a site with everything about the upcoming wedding between William and Kate. There is not much in this country, it is as if the Danish royal family is asleep," says royal expert Trine Villemann, who has written several books about the Danish royal family.

Crown Prince Frederik has repeatedly used common Danish names.

The Crown Prince called himself Frederik Henriksen when he studied at Harvard.

An anonymous source with knowledge of the Danish royal family says to BT:

"Maybe the royal family calls itself Hansen for fun on the internet. The queen has on occasions when she wished to remain anonymous, been called Marie Hansen. The Crown Prince has more than once called himself Hansen on festive occasions in the city. Among other things, at concerts, the source said.

The Court's press chief Lene Balleby did not return BT's calls last night. None of the names listed in the profile returned BT's calls last night. Two responders concurrently said, "my Facebook profile is a private matter."


Article and audio: BT Funny audio of Jens Peter Hansen's friends having a hard time keeping up their game voices when asked if they're FB friends with Crown Prince Frederik's alias.

Frederik's Secret Facebook Friend Lets The Cat Out of the Bag

Only the closest friends of the royal couple are friends on what seems to be Crown Prince Frederik's secret Facebook profile.

21 in order to be absolutely precise.

And after BT Monday morning revealed that the future king of Denmark is hiding behind the bourgeois alias of Jens Peter Hansen on Facebook, we have tried in vain to get a comment from several of his friends.

Most have hung up, but few have attempted to answer evasively about whether they are actually friends with the Crown Prince on Facebook.

Among the crown prince's friends is Søren Lauritsen, who was at the baptism of Prince Christian.

Since BT corners Søren Lauritsen for a comment, plumper, he on the way in and going to preface it.

Here is a transcript of the interview:

"This is Søren Lauritsen."

"This is James Christopher Miles, a journalist at B.T. I'm calling because you are friends with Jens Peter Hansen on Facebook. We have written a story that the profile belongs to Crown Prince Frederik. Can you tell us whether that is correct?"

"I do not know anything about that (laughs lightly)."

"You do not know anything about it? But you are a friend of Jens Peter Hansen?"

"I am friends with Jens Peter Hansen ... I think."

"Yes, it's Crown Prince Frederik?"

"Not to my knowledge. None, right, is not it so that I know about it in that sense ... I'd rather not comment on the situation. He must ... That he must use their judgement. Do not misunderstand me. I just can not really do much else, it sounds evasive from the crown prince's friend."

Also the crown princely couple's assistant nanny, Signe Neergaard, avoids answering the question of whether her and Denmark's future king's friends on Facebook.

"This is Signe."

"Well hi, this is James Christopher Miles, a journalist at BT. We have written a story that Jens Peter Hansen's profile belongs to Crown Prince Frederik. Can you confirm whether this is correct?"

"Gee ... Nah ..."

"Can you confirm or deny that?"

"No, I can not ... But I'm in Poland right now, so it's crazy expensive. So can we not speak another day?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Derfie Opens Per Kirkeby Greenland Art Exhibit After All Night Vickie Bender

At Ordrupgaard in Charlottenlund this afternoon, a worn, weary Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark stumbled in to open an exhibit of artist Per Kirkeby's Greenland series of paintings. It looks like he is coming down off a bender to celebrate his lovely Victoria's new little baby. Pink it's-a-girl tie, disheveled hair, bumbling about, our Derfie must not have caught much sleep last night as he drank, cried and texted Vickan encouragement and congratulations. Perhaps the name Mary was an agreement between the old friends to keep Madame La Comtesse de Monpezat happy and relaxed until she shoves off to the US in another day or two to shop til she drops, er, rock the socks off of an international women's shelter conference with her Buddy Bags! Fred's got the palace to himself for a week! Party to be continued! Perhaps with lovely blonde women named Estelle, Silvia and Eva to keep things "honourable".

Court Press Release: Kongehuset

The Ecstasy of Mary Donaldson: Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary of Sweden, Duchess of Östergotland

Ew, a Mary! What fun: Ew right in front of Mary! LOL. Well, Mary will finally be a godmother to a royal child, perhaps. Victoria truly is a kind-hearted soul, taking pity on the royal outcast, seeing how she is isolated and strange. But then again, the article below indicates that Swedish opinion is that the name Mary is to honour the connections between the British royal family. Also, giving the child the name Mary might get Vickan off the hook naming La Boganista as godmother - pretend it's for Mary, get other royal heirs to actually be the godparents and she won't know any better. Shhh, don't tell Mary, as she is flying high as a kite over Copenhagen right now! But don't worry, Vickan, Mary knows all about snubbing people and still pretending to be their friend. Exhibit A: Amber Petty.

As for the rest of the names, both grannies are honoured - very nice - and Estelle harkens back to the American wife of Folke Bernadotte, a few of Victoria's paternal cousins and is a French name meaning star. Vickan's Bernadotte cousins via her father's sisters have chosen Estelle as a first name. Frenchy to match her last name Bernadotte. Common, pleasant enough and without a royal pedigree in Sweden, but what do we expect from a couple who had a Disney song sung to them at their otherwise beautiful and digified wedding?

Lille Elle will be Duchess of Östergotland (east Gotland), and her parents are Duke and Duchess of Västergotland (west Gotland). A little too cute, very Vic and Dan, and not a duchy on the level as, say, Skåne, the large southern region across from Denmark.

It may be very safe to say that the choice of name and ducal title indicate that on some level, at least, this young girl will never be queen of Sweden. Time will tell!

Denmark's conservative Berlingske broadsheet has a front page article up describing the name as one of a nightclub queen. The Swedes, apparantly, are not amused by the names.

Video: King of Sweden announcing names

Article: Berlingske

Estelle Sounds Like a Nightclub Queen

This is how Swedes have come to know the name given to their new little princess who came into the world Thursday and is the daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. And it was a bit of a surprise, according to several Swedish media, after the name had been announced by the Swedish king on Friday morning.

Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg, a former press officer at the Swedish court, told the news agency TT that it was "completely unexpected" that the princess has gotten such a name that she, like journalist and popular historian Herman Lindqvist, is 'appalled'.

"It is totally unexpected and very inappropriate for a Swedish, future queen called Estelle. It is completely against all tradition and experience," he said to Aftonbladet.

"It sounds like a nightclub queen, he says.

Estelle is French and means "star" and also is the name known from the Swedish nobility as Count Folke Bernadotte had married a woman named Estelle.

Additionally, the little princess has received names respectively from grandmothers, Silvia and Ewa.

And then there is the name of Mary that the Princess has as her fourth name. Here Katarina Leibring researcher from the University of Uppsala, guesses that the name comes from the Danish crown princess.

"Mary, I think, may indicate that Crown Princess Mary of Denmark should be godmother," she says to Swedish newspaper Expressen.

Several others point out, however, that the name is probably due to the connection between the Swedish and British royal families.

According to the Swedish court's parents, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, have agreed on the name in consultation with the king.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

About the King of Sweden and Queen Regnants

In the late 1970s, the Swedish Parliament brought forth discussion on a change to the Act of Succession to allow for absolute primogeniture in sucession to the throne, with retroactivity to the king's children*. Princess Victoria was born in July 1977. Crown Prince Carl-Philip was born in May 1979 and was heir to the throne, followed by his sister Princess Victoria.

On 1 January 1980, the infant crown prince and his older sister switched places in the line of succession due to the passage of an updated Act of Succession. In the lead up to this change, King Carl XVI Gustaf was very clear about his feelings on the matter. He did not approve of absolute primogeniture, not because he doesn't see the wisdom of female monarchs or of any feelings of female weakness, but because it demanded retroactivity and therefore affected his children already born to specific positions; the change in law stripped Carl Philip of his title of Crown Prince. Additionally, under the guise of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", he believed it could portend the end of the monarchy in Sweden. In 1979 when the issues was being debated, he may not have exactly been far off.

Years later, the king spoke in more detail about his thoughts on the matter. He held to the idea that life as a monarch is hard enough, but for the male spouse of a queen regnant, life would be more difficult. Understanding the thin line between modernity and tradition, he expressed concern that Swedes would be more willing to go to a republic rather than have a monarchy that didn't continue the line of kings. Also, he feared his eldest daughter would have trouble finding a mate who would consent to taking a back seat to her before and once she became Queen Victoria; he knew the troubles experienced by the Duke of Edinburgh (nephew of Queen Louise of Sweden, née Mountbatten), Prince Claus in the Netherlands and Prince Henrik in Denmark. He remarked how the role of consort was more suited to a woman and couldn't see how a man would be interested in taking on issues of decoration or state banquet organisation, for example. He didn't seem to count on the ego issues that his contemporaries had being significantly less of an issue with his daughter's contemporaries. Nor could he have foreseen the progressive changes in Swedish society which allow for men and women to adjust positively to the roles that men and women can take. Fortunately!

*When Norway's Parliament changed their Act of Succession to allow for absolute primogeniture in 1990, it did not assume retroactivity to King Olav's children or already-born grandchildren, Princess Märtha Louise and Prince Haakon Magnus; despite being the younger sibling, Haakon kept his place as his father and grandfather's direct heir. In Denmark in 2009, the Danish Parliament went to absolute primogeniture; with Prince Xian being the eldest, no retroactivity would have had any affect, since he was already first born and a boy.