Tomorrow's crowned heads

Tomorrow's crowned heads

søndag den 6. april 2014

Vores franske danskere, prins Henrik & prinsesse Marie

Sidste år bragte det franske magasin Point De Vue et eksklusivt interview med prins Henrik og prinsesse Marie, lavet i Christian IX's Palæ på Amalienborg, dronningen og prinsgemalens hjem i København. På et af de forums jeg følger, er dette interview blevet oversat fra fransk til engelsk af  Peeds - stort arbejde, super godt gået! Og jeg har fået lov at bringe det her, så andre også kan få glæde af det. :-)

Our series on exceptional monarchies of Europe: 2. At the court of Denmark
 Henrik & Marie of Denmark  - Their love affair with the kingdom of Margrethe.

Prince Henrik, Princess Marie - affinity at Amalienborg Palace
Although they are Danish and fully devotees to their country, the prince and princess have kept some tenderness to their country of origin: France. In the royal palace in Copenhagen, we were received with candor and generosity, and with a lot of humour.

The beautiful octagonal square of Amalienborg, the changing of the guard will soon take place. A thin layer of snow accentuates the architectural purity of this gem. At its center XVIII the equestrian statue of King Frederik V. Up the stairs of the palace honours Christian IX., winter residence of the royal couple and one of four identical houses facing each other. We are first greeted by a wirehaired dachshund with a necklace that is decorated with golden crowns. Prince Henrik appeared moments later, accompied by luminous Princess Marie. This game of questions and answers, rites, a charming affinity between father-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Your Highness, did you make any good resolutions in the beginning of year?
H: like many people after the holidays, I decided to lose a few pounds, especially the little belly. I was thin and now it surrounds my life for ten years ... a little less!

What will you give up to achieve this goal??
H: It seems that I must give up the bread, potatos, rice and wine! Which is a lot.
M: And the sauces?
H: Fortunately with age, I became almost a vegetarian so the sausec do not fail me. I just understand this advantage I can live off vegetables and fish. However the wine will be more difficult, especially as I produce my own. What will the fans think, if I do not drink  even my wine? It will at least have to taste it ....
M: Anyway, if you put water in it, it is very reasonable.

Did you baptize your wine?
H: I learned of the court of France in the thirteenth century, the rulers put water in their wine. I am a bit more hesitant.

And you, Madam, what would your good resolutions be?
M: Have more time for me .... Also, do a litt bit more sports. Honestly, for four years, between the children and the new life that we've built, I just made ​​a cross knew my hobbies.
H: Hobby! Hobby! We must defend the French language.
M: I'm sorry! You're right ... since I met my dear father in law, I give a lot more attention to the French language. I'm usually very vigilant because I fully share this commitment. We must be proud of our language. It's silly to pretend everyone speaks the Truffaut English words. Resolution 2013: to speak without Anglicism and defend the wealth of the French language so my father in law is proud of me!
H: But I already am...

   Being very close to his son, Prince Henrik also maintains a beautiful closeness 
   with his daughter in law.

Prior to your New Year's resolve to give up food, have you had any litte sins?
M: Everything! I am very food-loving ...

And you Your Highness, what makes you give in to temptation?
H: my whole life is temptation! This does not sit well with my resolutions for 2013. But if we forget the food, I admit my weakness is in search of sun and heat. I do not like the cold.
M: You are evil fallen!
H: At this point only

Do you have any projects that you take to heart this year?
H: I am always full of projects. I have realized in my life that I have had half of all those, but it is already not bad. Today, I continue to have many activities, but as my dear daughter in law, I would like to have more time for me to devote myself to my grandchildren. I have henceforth eight.
M: My father in law wants to actually see them sometimes without their parents! To have a genuine and personal relationship with them.
H: and it is not easy for the queen and myself as some grandchildren are very occupied. The median generation, which is the strength of the age, still has more work!
M: We are fortunate to have extraordinary missions and be able to make a difference in our position - what privilege! I keep my humanitarian work deeply to heart. I returned from Cambodia, for example, for a Danish association (note: she turns to Prince Henrik) I am obliged to say the English name, even it does not please me, .. it is DanChurchAid with whom we have been seeing people who are the most disadvantaged. It is not just poverty, it is misery. When you meet these people, everything is put into perspective. It is impossble to not feel for them if you have a heart. One can only wish to continue, wanting to put this force to help.

Since you both are double cultured Danish-French, could you tell us what you found most seductive in Denmark?

H: The frankness and spontaneity are major qualities of Danish. Another quality conformity, which allows a better understanding of the group, but originals and eccentrics are not very well liked.
M: I think it is a quality, they are happy people, very humble, very pleasant to live with. In this country, things are going well and people very rarely complain.
H: This is very true. On this point, they are the opposite of French who constantly denigrate their country, their system, their products. It shocks me when I'm in France. Denmark is quite opposite: Everything is wonderful Danish. This is fromidable.
M: The only weak point of this enthusiasm is that sometimes questions arise whether to move forward. But this is a great quality of being satisfied. BTW, recent poll showed that, on a declarative, Danes are the happiest people in the world.

What did you learn from the Danish?
M: A more positive way of thinking. But that said, I love my country and its many qualities. Even when I became Danish, France is my country, my roots, my heart. I have a huge admiration for the French.

You both waived your nationality out of love, you understand the polemics surrounding the actor Gerard Depardieu who renounces his nationalty for other reasons?

H: I consider the departure of Gerard Depardieu as a warning to be understood. Whenever the government, regardless of the country, does not support its own citizens, the threshold becomes unacceptable. Who is at fault? The citizen who finds it unfair that the state levies more than 80% of his/her revenues, or that the state does not stop at a just limit? There must be a complex balance. 
M: For me, renounce my nationality from birth was difficult, I admit. It was a big step, in the case of my father in law and mine, it came quite natural. Many countries can have two nationalities, but in our position, it was obviously not possbile. Denmark is my main country, I am very proud. As for Gerard Depardieu, I can not say that ....

A difficult duty that you are forced to observe you he ways sometimes?
M: It is a natural tendency to want to be as honest as possible, to say everything you think. But a reserve sometimes is necessary, you learn to live with and control your impulses. We can say what we think about our husband, our children. It is not necessary to share our opinions with everyone.
H: The reserve is a universal wisdom. Limitations are never a bad idea.

Denmark is my country now - I am very proud.

These constraint, did you hesitate before you got married?
H: before our union, there were many questions on points. At the time, people considered that the queen was a morganatic marriage mask. You, my dear daughter have a normal marriage, in which you are the equal of your husband. He is a prince, you are a princess. But it has not been my case. There is no reason why I should not be on the same footing as my wife. I have the impression, and that impression will last until the day I'll be in the grave, I'm the second choice. Besides, I'm not the only one since Prince Philip shares this view. Such inequality no longer existed in the twentieth century, let alone in the twenty-first. It is a lot of reversed modern discrimination. 5000 years ago, queens have made ​​their husbands kings. There is this the fact that English system is an exception and that was followed by Denmark and the Netherlands. Come to know why! Even in Egypt or in the Byzantium, the queens made their husbands emperors. This unfairness is quite hard to take.

You had, Madam, apprehensions before your wedding, were they justified?
M: They were. I've always been kind of a little nervous, but my fears were founded. What I did, however, is that I was able to exceed and exceed me. Solutions are found. Especially things so extraordinary to me that their arrivals clear all negative points, including the difficulty of being vulnerable.

Do you have more confidence now?
M: Confidence is a big word, but I have no doubt that my marriage has made me very happy.

What was your biggest challenge?
M: The language. I speak Spanish, English, but Danish is another story.
H: You are here for four years, but two years ago you were talking already very correctly. This is admirable because the Danish language is difficult, even the Danish themselves recognize that. Foreigners sometimes feel like they have a potato or yogurt in their mouth when they try it.
M: In addition, there is no Latin root, even if there are many French words on which to lean upon.

What languages ​​do you speak with your children?
M: My husband speaks only Danish with our children and I try to talk French only, but my son responds to me in Danish! It is his resistance. He does not want me to speak French, but he understands everything. We try to teach them both. This is an advantage for them and it would be foolish to do otherwise.
H: I was yet firmer than the princess. We decided with my wife that our children would grow up bilingual. Today, when we have lunch with the family, they cater to their mother or me, they alternately speaking Danish and French. Sometimes even a sentence begins in one language and ends in another!
M: My husband actually speaks French without any accent.
H: Thanks to the firmness of their father! Otherwise all children take the easy way out, it's human.
M: They already tried the easy? I understand!
H: Yes! When they were very young they spoke only in Danish to me, just like your son. So I played the fool and I pretended not to understand. So one day they had beautiful child conversation. A journalist asked them what language they spoke with their dad, my sons, very surprisingly responded: "With our father, we speak French!" As if all fathers were necessarily French.
M: I would love for my children to say the same thing about me, but I'm not as strong as my father in law. And I love to speak Danish now that I'm more comfortable.

To return to your son, was the choice of Henrik as his first name a tribute to your father in law?
H: You would rather call him Henri.
M: I call him Henri, I can not call him differently, even if it also sounds very good with a "k". It was a tribute to my father in law of course, but I still love the name itself, just like my husband does. And since many of the boys in the family are called Christian or Frederik, we just had to go to the French part of the family!

Did your father in law guide you through your first steps at the Court?
I think we quickly understood. My father in law was immediately perceived how I was and how I functioned. He told me something very important: "do not give up, do not let them bother you, be yourself." I actually understood how the natural was essential. One must respect one's values ​​and beliefs, even if it is not always easy. It should be safe, provided that there is no reason to complain.

Your Highness, you have a very excellent expression to describe your situation: "A prince consort is a strange animal that must have both, the skin of a rhinoceros and sensibility of a seismograph," Are you this astonishing creature?

M: this sentence is great!
H: One binds and gags on one's words sometimes and feelings, but it is worth it for me.
M: at the same time, I think you have through these difficulties developed extraordinary talents. My father in law is a great poet, he makes beautiful sculptures. Maybe that frustration exerted on one side, exacerbates on the other as talent.

Since you both oblige to this reserve, do you keep a journal that would gather all your thoughts?
M: No, I never pour my thoughts into writing.
H: Yes, I keep a journal. It is not a secret, the Danes know. I note what I do, what goes through my head. I think it will be a interesting testimony.

Madam, you have often said that you wanted to keep a "normal family life", have you managed?
M: I think so. I want to be present for my children. I work like everyone else, have a holiday like everyone else. We try to have dinner as a family as often as possible, continue to see our friends, or go riding a bike at times ... in short, we have a simple life.

I still have lots of plans - I have realized half of those.

And you, your Highness?
H: in spite of official duties, we have a normal life and I am also much interested in my children. However, I must admit, even though the Danish press wanted me to do this, I never change a diaper in my life!
M: this is a generational issue. My father has never changed diapers either.
H: I was considered a terrible father because I did not.

Princes Frederik and Joachim did they cede to this modernity?
H: Yes, but they would have taken good!
M: Yes, my husband changes diapers, but less than the crown prince! My husband is old school, like his father, but as I am too, it suits me.

Madam, you said that the Danes are modest as you seem to be ...
M: My husband rubbed off on me then. This is one of the most charming traits. He is so quiet! When I met him, I was amazed by his simplicity.

What are the things you are proud of?
M: My children of course. And the immense honor to be part of this family, including the humanitarian work I do.

Madam, in a previous interview you regreted, with the birth of your children and your obligations, not having had time to tend to "your nest" in your words, the castle Schackenborg. Now this is done?

M: Yes. The agricultural property is enormously, we spent much of our time there, because we want it running well. Since I married, I am very excited about this project. But one must choose one's priorities.

And you, your Highness, how you feel you are "at home" in the historic homes of the crown?
H:We put all our hearts into these houses, there is interior behind their stones. My wife makes fun of my tendency to systematically do the waltz in our residences. I really love these places when I travel back, if things do not move for two or three years in a salon for example, I want to reinvent the decor. It amuses me greatly. I do even in the rooms of our four or five residences. We're a little luxury gypsies.

The Queen said in statement "one doesn't deserves respect ..". What is the key to this respect?
M: One must know one's place and get involved with all his heart. Give everything you can. I realized it comes very natural. And it should not be too olé olé!
H: We are not a monarchy by divine right. Respect, far from being automatic, is earned and built. It is the same in society. Previously, children had to respect elders regardless of their qualities or their shortcomings. The classes were very rigid. Grades, as hierarchies. It no longer exists. Everyone must earn one's respect, especially in the case of royalty.

Are these statements compatible with happiness?
H: Of course. To achieve this, I think one should begin one's relationship with heart and continue with reason. With my wife, we very quickly made ​​an important distinction: "there's you, there's me, and there is us." There are three people in a relationship and I do not obviously mean the mistress! I'm talking about the couple entity must make room for three.
M: Spinoza wrote: "One must continue to desire what one has." I think it helps a lot. I do not yet have enough experience since we are married for four years, but I am confident.

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