Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Olga of Greece, 1922
Iiiiiiiiiinteresting little photo gallery of "Royal Scandals" buried on the front page of conservative broadsheet Berlingske's website today, 21 February. With no accompanying article to provide much perspective on the purpose of this slide show, the reader is left with the images of royals and demi-royals throughout Europe who have met with scandal to one degree or another. Naturally, the Charles and Diana divorce and public mud-slinging is included, as is the tragic tale of 'Fergie', the former wife and forever albatross of the Duke of York. Additionally, there is mention of the current imbroglio that features the Spanish royal family via the most likely shenanigans of Iñaki Urdangarín; that of Princess Madeleine breaking off her engagement with Jonas Bergström; that of the Swedish king and Queen Silvia's father's Nazi connection; also there is Märtha Louise and her husband Ari Behn since she communicates with the dead and he writes controversial books.
The Danish reader may think that no Danish royal would be included in such a feature since the royal family in Denmark is considered irreprochable, if not slightly artistic and intellectual - traits that are treated with general disdain among the citizenry, but as delightful traits in royals, gently underscoring their difference from the mere mortals who fund their lifestyles.
But alas, inserted between the ugly reminders of what the British royals have experienced - and survived - is that old tidbit about Crown Prince Frederik - the father of Daisy, not her son - who was engaged to Princess Olga of the Hellenes in 1922, and from whom he ultimately separated, only to finally marry Princess Ingrid of Sweden in 1935. Chatter has it that the wildly tattoo'd Frederik was too much of a hard-drinking sailor for the more couth Olga. What a precursor to the future King Frederik IX's grandson and hard-drinking sailor who didn't mind the uncouth Mary Boganson! There was precedent for Derfie to leave Yrma back on the docks in Hobart, but Derfie and Yrma aren't the strong personalities of King Frederik and his eventual wife, Ingrid, who together addressed the king's alcoholism. Interesting reminder for Berlingske to give the Danish public. Moral to the story: Derf, you dumbsh*t, you'll never address your problems on your own, and neither with Mary in whose interest it is to see you continue on as a weak-spined, bland pudding.
Then there is the other cautionary tale of non-royal Prince Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his first fiancée Elvire Pasté de Rochefort. The extents of the "scandal" here are that they were engaged in August 2000 with a wedding planned for 12 May 2001 in Paris, but then the families came to loggerheads over the details of the pre-nuptial agreement. Elvire's father went so far as to speak to the Danish media that the document was too far out of favour of his daughter's concerns and needs. It was revealed as well through genaeological research that Monsieur Pasté's family had purchased the "de Rochefort" suffix to their family name (itself already changed from their original Greek patronyme). Gold digger alert! The wedding was postponed (expressed from Benedikte's press office as an untangling of "security concerns"), then cancelled in July 2001 with the couple permanently parting ways via a press communiqué. Moral to this story: the current generation of King Frederik's grandchildren have also had the will to cut off insalubrious and noxious incomers from participating in, and inheriting, their royal legacy. (To be fair to Elvire, it was her father's actions that caused her separation. He overplayed his hand with no expression of noblesse oblige.)
So, what's Berlingske trying to achieve here? Remind us of past "scandals" related to broken engagements that really aren't anything more than cautionary tales of Danish royals protecting their brand, so to speak, so that current royals may learn from them? No one died! Life went on! How normal and healthy is it, after all, to break up with someone with whom you may not have a happy marriage? Further, is the photo spread also supposed to prepare us for future "scandals"? Remind us that the Danish royals will survive, especially with fewer bogan commoners around to ruin everything? Iiiiiiiiiinteresting.
Photo Gallery: Berlingske
Photos: Seeger Press