At Christiansborg for Daisy's 40th Jubilee celebrations
The poor Rosenborg cousins! They have really been through the ringer lately. Count Christian, younger son of Prince Knud, was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago, but is now healed after extensive treatment. Now it is the turn of his wife, Anne Dorte, to struggle with throat cancer. It sounds like she's started to get on the mend, but boy was she down. She's a rather thin and faintly-built person anyway, but then to have lost weight with the disease and all, well, quite miraculous that she is coming through. The couple have three daughters, Josephine, Camilla and Feodora, the first two being twins.
Count Christian's older sister is the never-married royal badass Princess Elisabeth and his older brother is Count Ingolf, who would have been king if the preference for male-only offspring in Danish succession had been kept. In 1953, with help behind the scenes from Queen Ingrid, the law was changed so that Princess Margrethe could inherit the throne, forever pushing Knud's children to the sidelines. Ingolf is married to his second wife Sussie and has no children. Marrying commoners, both Ingolf and Christian were demoted to Counts of Rosenborg, as was the custom for finding non-equal partners. How strong Anne Dorte and Sussie must be in the face of an Aussie bogan coming into the family without demoting the weak Freddling to a life outside of the line of succession as a Count of Rosenborg.
Strong, too, are the three daughters of Christian and Anne Dorte - Knud's only grandchildren - who seem to have made happy lives for themselves with partners and children, despite being cast to the royal sidelines. These are Frederik's cousins who were discussed in Trine Villemann's book 1015 Copenhagen K. They were all at the pre-wedding party at Vega nightclub in 2004 when Derf mentioned that he looked forward to chatting with them more at his wedding reception a few days later. The girls shocked him by saying that while they were invited to the church for the ceremony, they were not invited to Fredensborg later for the reception. That is some cold blooded business right there, not inviting your blood cousins, Danish demi-royals, to the wedding party for the future king. Daisy can throw some shade when she feels the need! Happily, tensions have mellowed, or PR was prioritised: two of the girls were at Daisy's 40th Jubilee festivities at the Royal Opera, the same night fellow sort-of outsider Alexandra made an appearance.
Twins Camilla and Josephine with their husbands at Daisy's 40th Jubilee party
Countess Anne Dorte Fights For Her Life
The last three months have been a struggle for Count Christian, who is cousin to Queen Margrethe, and Countess Anne Dorte of Rosenborg and their three daughters. They have all been loyal supporters of Countess Anne Dorte, who was diagnosed with cancer of the throat in November last year.
She came immediately into radiotherapy at Herlev Hospital, where she received radiation twice a day. And even though the family knew the trip, Count Christian was diagnosed with cancer in the throat three years ago, he is now healed, has proceeded with Countess Anne Dorte been very hard for her and the family. "It has been a much harder place for my mother than it was for my father. He received 33 radiation treatments, while my mother has had 56," said Countess Josephine of Rosenborg candidly to BT.
For the 65-year-old Countess has not only had to fight the cancer that is in the neck near the ear. Early in the morning of Christmas Eve, when Anne Dorte was coming out of Herlev Hospital with her daughter Josephine, she was unfortunate enough to break my right hip and shoulder. Therefore, the Countess immediately admitted to hospital orthopedic department. But although she had severe pain in her broken hip and shoulder, the will to live and spirit to continue to fight for life were stronger than the pain.
"My mother is so cool. In the afternoon, where she fell in the morning she had to have radiotherapy again. And even though she was in constant pain, so she completed her treatment that day. And all 56 radiation treatments with a broken hip and shoulder. She is simply a serious fighter", says the proud and impressed daughter.
It is certainly a battle of dimensions, the already slim and slender Countess has set out to win with an impressive willpower. But yet they have three daughters, their husbands men seven grandchildren aged three to 15 years terrified that Countess Anne Dorte would end up losing the fight.
Radiation treatment gave her the fact so large a wound in her throat, that for a few weeks she could neither eat or drink in a natural way. "Right after the New Year, she was so weak that every day was a victory in itself", says Josephine, who does not hide the fact that it has been a very hard process for the whole family. "It has been appalling to see my mother in so much pain", she says.
Today, Countess Anne Dorte is still hospitalised at Gentofte Hospital, where she has been fed through a tube for weeks. But last week the sad atmosphere in the family turned 180 degrees. "Last week we were told that the doctors could immediately see the cancer had thankfully gone", says Josephine.
And even more heartening is that the Countess is slowly eating regular food again. "On Saturday my mother ate a bit of a soft-boiled egg. It was just before we all sat and wept for joy. Lastly facing it. Now it is the right way", cheered Josephine on behalf of the entire Rosenborg family.
But there is still a long way to go before Countess Anne Dorte can leave her bed at Gentofte Hospital. "She must have some meat on her bones, and then she can start rehabilitation. She has not been able to before because she did not have anything in her for resistance", says a relieved Josephine.