Trine Villemann is angry about a lot of things these days. Understandably so as she and her family have had their world turned upside down and their livelihoods threatened in the aftermath of her husband's ostensibly innocuous yellow fever jab and the subsequent ongoing legal battles thereof. She's also rightfully upset at this non-news on Alexandra, former wife of Joachim and one-time "perfect princess" for Denmark. However, she's not letting you know that Alex pays tax on her annual salary. Probably a touch more than 50%. So, that's money that goes back into government coffers.
Trine uses her Politiken column to react to the latest appearance of Alexandra, along with her second husband Martin, and her two sons Nikolai and Felix, in Billed Bladet, the court-adjacent weekly glossy with all sorts of shallow, sugary stories about the royals, celebrities and other public people. Alex appears every now and again in the press, usually little fluff pieces like this one, because there seems to be a small interest in her and her two sons, who are quite handsome and as the queen's oldest grandchildren, the first two "royals" the public will see grow from boys to men. It has always seemed very wise how Alexandra and Prince Joachim have raised these children to understand their quasi-public role, their family's special position, and that they will most likely have a lifelong relationship with the media, so better to get used to it, understand it, not be afraid of it so as to better know how it works, both in good and bad ways and for each party. Smart!
Trine argues that Alex doesn't even work for her money. True, in the legislation granting Alex an annual apanage there seems to be no link to work obligations. However, Alex has retained a handful of her former royal patronages, such as UNICEF and the Association for the Blind. Perhaps it's hush money? Maybe the state of Denmark would be topsy-turvy at the stench of the rot that could come from Alex telling the truth about her time in the seraglio, which itself could tumble over onto itself from all that ground up corruption? In that case is it money well spent? Trine mentions that Sarah, Duchess of York never got a divorce settlement from the British taxpayers. Well, the queen is richer than God and she didn't contribute much either. Maybe a lot of the pains from Sarah Ferguson on the loose could have been avoided if she'd - like Alex - had a lovely, comfortable home purchased for her, with an annual money drip keeping her in just enough cotton wool as to not embarrass the royals, or be an albatross around her former husband's neck. (If QEII's favourite son is indeed Andrew, you'd think the queen would be more interested in him having the emotional space to find a lovely new wife instead of a pathologically sick woman living under his roof because she can't fend for herself?)
Should Alex be more savvy about not letting the press into her home in Turkey? Or talking about Turkey in terms that favour it as an anti-Denmark? Yes, maybe, although these things can be blown out of proportion. The press (and Alex) could use anyone for any purpose, and mostly, that is what we are seeing here between the Billed Bladet sugar rush and Trine's sarcastic reaction to it. However, Trine makes excellent points about Alexandra being very much an ideal candidate for just about any job she would want; she has the social skills and connections, and the intelligence and an understanding of the business world that most people could only dream about.
Nikolai and Felix are still minors, and until Felix's 18th or 21st birthday, the idea that "Alex's Law" should be repealed immediately is a non-issue. Alex is vulnerable after Felix hits his majority, and the issue of her appanage could be addressed by the government at the time to be negotiated down (including all the way to nothing) with the court's cooperation. These are difficult financial times Denmark and the world are living through and governments that traditionally have money to spend on social safety nets need to make sure their budgets are balanced fairly, make sure that former royals like Alex aren't either left to free-fall, but also to structure the system so that the one-time Princess Alexandra isn't seen as on par with pensioners needing medical assistance, or immigrants wanting to create better lives for themselves, or single mothers who can't, as opposed to won't, find work and desparately need to make ends meet for themselves and their children.
Mary, let all of this be a warning to you! Getting out will not guarantee you a golden parachute. Keep sluurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrppping that money into ALERKA and shoplifting all the fashion freebies you want while you can!
Throw the Countess Off the Books
No other royal houses in Europe have sent the bill for a divorce to the taxpayers.This week's edition of Billed Bladet magazine exhibits in a brilliant way how much we are the laughing stock of our own tax kroner when it comes to the royal family.
This court-organ has visited the Countess of Frederiksborg in her fashionable villa in the luxury Resort Oasis Sky Club in Turkey.
Over a four-page spread, the sunburned former princess and her husband, sound engineer Martin Jørgensen, spoke among other things about the landscape around the couple's large villa - it is an excellent contrast to the flat Denmark, we are told.
It costs taxpayers more than two million a year to keep the Countess Alexandra in sunshine and mountain peaks.
We have been cheated for an explanation as to why the divorce - otherwise described as 'a private matter' - suddenly became our responsibility as payable.
If the countess arrives at the average lifespan of a Danish woman, she will have cost us more than 100 million kroner before she has finished soaking up the sun.
The act on annuities for Princess Alexandra, signed by Crown Prince Frederik on 24 November 2004, is one of the largest royal and political scandals in recent times.
We Danes were not only ordered to pay alimony to Prince Joachim's ex-wife, we were also cheated out of an explanation as to why the divorce - otherwise described as 'a private matter' - suddenly became our responsibility as payable.
No other European royal houses have managed to lubricate the bill for a royal divorce onto their subjects.
The 170 million kroner the English princess Diana, for example, was presented with when she and Prince Charles were divorced, were taken from Charles' private assets.
The British taxpayers contributed not a single penny to Prince Andrew and Princess Anne divorces. In Spain, King Juan Carlos' eldest daughter, Infanta Elena, divorced her Duke Jamie without their financial balances have ended with the Spanish taxpayers.
It is therefore a quite extraordinary unusual arrangement , Alexandra was with her when she left in 2004 Amalienborg.
It would suit our reformist prime minister, if she immediately set in motion efforts to ensure that Danish taxpayers no longer have to support a woman who, with her background, education and social circle certainly should be able to fend for themselves.
It was no less unusual in 2007 that Alexandra married sound engineer Martin Jørgensen and thus lost her position as a member of the Danish royal family.
I often hear the argument that Alexandra has million to ensure that her and Joachim's sons , Princes Nikolai and Felix, growing up in a position-related conditions.
That's what Joachim took care of already in the divorce.
For as it says in the notes to the bill that formed the basis of the law on Alexandra's millions, child benefits were agreed upon between the parties.
Furthermore, gave Joachim his ex-wife an unencumbered villa in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Copenhagen, free of charge, just to make sure that the two numbers in succession should not grow up in a two-room concrete slum on the outer Nørrebro overlooking the back patches and burnt out cars.
Yet a majority in parliament were elected in November 2004 to vote for a highly educated, working- woman with a superior network and a myriad of skills to be awarded lifelong luxury dependent on everybody's behalf. Only SF and Alliance voted against it.Perhaps it would have been easier to justify an exorbitant state performance to the countess if she toiled for it, but she does not. It is now very little that we see Alexandra at work, unless, of course, giving an interview with Billed-Bladet belongs in that category.
No, there is no reason to maintain Alexandra on the government financial sheets. The law, which grants her our tax millions until she dies, should simply be scrapped. Period.
And it would suit our reformist prime minister, if she immediately set in motion efforts to ensure that Danish taxpayers no longer have to support a woman who, with her background, education and social circle certainly should be able to fend for herself.
Photo: Thomas Borberg