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  #101  
Old 01-08-2012, 06:26 PM
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Frankly I'm surprised that a serious paper would have published this letter, not because I don't think criticism of Mary and Frederik, (or of any public figures), can be valid, but because these particular criticisms and comparisons are so weak.
First the comparisons:
William and Kate didn't get any wedding presents and asked instead for charitable donations. I would wager a large amount of money this isn't true. William and Kate, (who are NOT the Crown Prince and Princess of anything, BTW), asked for charitable donations, yes, but those donations didn't preclude anyone giving the couple personal gifts, as well. I imagine this couple received many significant gifts - the fact that they were smart enough not to publicize them in these hard economic times doesn't mean they didn't get them!

The Norwegian Crown Prince and Princess focus more on social issues. I'm not sure how one could make a direct comparison on which couple is more socially conscious, but if an author is trying to make the point that someone should work harder and be more in tune with society's disadvantaged, they should probably refrain from holding up as an example a couple who who took off for eight weeks last year on a no doubt very costly multi nation pleasure trip with their three children, (and who have who have said they plan to travel like that again).

Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik are just so much better than Mary and Frederik. Well, again, that's up for debate. I think it would be hard to find someone more dedicated than Queen Margrethe, but IMO Prince Henrik has not always been an asset to the Danish monarchy.

But beyond the comparisons I guess a legitimate question remains: are the criticisms of Mary and Frederik valid? I would say that criticisms of Frederik's work ethic would have been more valid a couple of years ago, but that he seems to be coming into his own more and more. I also think the royal court isn't nearly proactive enough in making people aware of the behind the scenes work that Frederik does.

IMO the person who is most unjustly villified in this article is Mary, to the point where I think the author needs to educate himself a little bit and consider making an apology. Mary has worked hard and consistently for Denmark since practically the day after she and Frederik arrived home from their honeymoon, in a range of capacities and on a variety of issues. I think if someone can't make an argument without glossing over and belittling the good the subject of their criticism has done then they don't have much of an argument to start with.
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  #102  
Old 01-08-2012, 06:46 PM
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I can’t find any examples of the crown princely couple sympathizing with (the problems of) the outcasts and the vulnerable of our society
I don't get this. The Mary Foundation is all about that.
Quoted from http://www.maryfonden.dk/About/Objec...-mission.aspx:
Quote:
“The object of the Foundation is to improve the lives of children, adults and families who, as a result of their environment, heredity, illness or other circumstances, find themselves socially isolated or excluded. The Foundation aims to fulfil its objective by creating opportunities for these individuals and giving them a sense of affiliation and of belonging to a community. Furthermore, the Foundation undertakes to encourage tolerance and understanding of diversity and to create hope”.
She certainly seems to have spend a lot of time on the “Free of Bullying” programme.
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  #103  
Old 01-08-2012, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
But beyond the comparisons I guess a legitimate question remains: are the criticisms of Mary and Frederik valid? I would say that criticisms of Frederik's work ethic would have been more valid a couple of years ago, but that he seems to be coming into his own more and more. I also think the royal court isn't nearly proactive enough in making people aware of the behind the scenes work that Frederik does.
Exactly! We only see the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. And now you ask, I agree with you that the criticism was more was more valid a few years back, still without knowing the work load behind palace walls! CP Frederik has definetely been more out and about in 2011.
That said, the question is how much he's included in the Queen's daily business. She has talked about involving Frederik (and Mary) in her work whenever possible: We've witnessed a state visit and a couple of other things I don't remember off hand.
IMO the question is to what extend HM includes CP Frederik? She is still a very active woman who doesn't really show any signs of slowing down and delegating 'stuff'. I was rather annoyed when she insisted on going to the UK wedding in April; she should have followed the Swedish example and shipped off the crown princely couple to London, it would have been more appropriate.

viv
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  #104  
Old 01-08-2012, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Danish girl View Post
I don't get this. The Mary Foundation is all about that.
Quoted from http://www.maryfonden.dk/About/Objec...-mission.aspx:


She certainly seems to have spend a lot of time on the “Free of Bullying” programme.
thank you for reminding me about her Foundation.
She knows a lot about bullying, let's hope she deals with this bully the right way
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  #105  
Old 01-09-2012, 07:20 AM
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So this chap is wrong because he's 'elderly', 'grumpy' and a socialist? Oh and he made a spelling mistake?
No. Although being elderly, grumpy and a communist doesn't help, he's wrong because his facts are wrong - if you can call them facts.

But asking a communist to write his opinion (because that's what it really is) on the royals, would be like having Kinnock write a bio on Thatcher. And even if he were right, he's to biased to offer a qualified opinion.
If Politiken (the newspaper) felt they had to stuff it up the monarchy's you-know-what, they'd be ever so more successful if they found someone with either a history of observing the DRF or could in some way give a qualified evaluation, i.e. someone who had or knew of comparable jobs and situations.

Koplev have none of these qualifications. In that respect, he might as well be a private citizen (apart from being a journalist, so he'd be expected (in a perfect world, I know. Journalists have s*it for brains) to do a bit of research), and then you inadvertedly have to look at his other "qualifications". And here, communist spring to mind. His "elderly" and "grumpy" idiosyncrasies only leaves the impression of bitterness on his side. Were he younger it'd be called "ignorance". So there you are. Lose-lose.
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  #106  
Old 01-09-2012, 08:45 AM
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How many engagements did Frederik undertake last year? I ask because I genuinely don't know.
Just based on a count from the royal calender, Frederik had 43 'regular' engagements in 2011.

He was regent for 47 days when Queen Margrethe was out of the country.

He took part in visits to London (3 days), Lausanne (3 days), Mozambique (3 days), Ukraine (5 days), Japan (4 days), South Africa (6 days), Russia (7 days, 22 engagements), China (5 days), the USA (7 days, 13 engagements), Australia (8 days, 36 engagements), Vietnam (5 days, 30 engagements) and the summer tour of Jutland (5 days).
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  #107  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by JessRulz View Post
Just based on a count from the royal calender, Frederik had 43 'regular' engagements in 2011.

He was regent for 47 days when Queen Margrethe was out of the country.

He took part in visits to London (3 days), Lausanne (3 days), Mozambique (3 days), Ukraine (5 days), Japan (4 days), South Africa (6 days), Russia (7 days, 22 engagements), China (5 days), the USA (7 days, 13 engagements), Australia (8 days, 36 engagements), Vietnam (5 days, 30 engagements) and the summer tour of Jutland (5 days).
is that 43 in total?! i'm rather surprised if it is because that seems very low. I'm never a big believer in just going off public appearances as a lot of work goes in behind the scenes (I think one of QE2's cousins once said - what do the public think we do when we aren't in public, just disappear?) but 43 seems low when compared to others such as Spain, Sweden etc. That being said I like fred and mary.
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  #108  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tommy100 View Post
is that 43 in total?! i'm rather surprised if it is because that seems very low. I'm never a big believer in just going off public appearances as a lot of work goes in behind the scenes (I think one of QE2's cousins once said - what do the public think we do when we aren't in public, just disappear?) but 43 seems low when compared to others such as Spain, Sweden etc. That being said I like fred and mary.
Depending on how you calculate it...

Let's say he's got 260 workdays/year (that's monday-friday every week of the year). He's regent for 47 days (that's 213 left), then he's out of the country for 61 days (that's 152 days left). Divided by the number of days abroad (61) it leaves him just short of 2˝ days for preparation for each day abroad, assuming he has no other plans at all, doesn't take time off, and that he does no work any saturday or sunday.

Add to that any number of smaller engagements, managing his court (meetings, decisions) etc. etc. Surely, presenting an award for sports one evening in Denmark hardly counts for a days work. But then again. It does limit his options. He can't be late or cancel so while he may be twiddling his thumbs the most of that day, it doesn't mean it's effective "time off".

What's the ratio for other royals? The brits? The swedes?
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  #109  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:55 AM
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Maybe because Fred wants to spend more time with his children.
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  #110  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by nwinther View Post
Depending on how you calculate it...

Let's say he's got 260 workdays/year (that's monday-friday every week of the year). He's regent for 47 days (that's 213 left), then he's out of the country for 61 days (that's 152 days left). Divided by the number of days abroad (61) it leaves him just short of 2˝ days for preparation for each day abroad, assuming he has no other plans at all, doesn't take time off, and that he does no work any saturday or sunday.

Add to that any number of smaller engagements, managing his court (meetings, decisions) etc. etc. Surely, presenting an award for sports one evening in Denmark hardly counts for a days work. But then again. It does limit his options. He can't be late or cancel so while he may be twiddling his thumbs the most of that day, it doesn't mean it's effective "time off".

What's the ratio for other royals? The brits? The swedes?
I think my initial surprise at the number was because I'd just read a piece in the Swedish RF thread about how many duties and days they worked and Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip both worked 45 and 44 respectively with Victoria making 143 and Prince Daniel 106. That being said I'm never a fan of comparing as all RFs are different. I also think measuring is hard as saying someone worked more days can be unfair if Princess A only turns up to a lunch for an hour while Princess B visits 5 or 6 different places both in a day. I think i was just a bit surprised how low the number seemed but thats not to say Fred isn't working I suppose it just means he is not in public as much as some of his counterparts.
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  #111  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tommy100 View Post
I think my initial surprise at the number was because I'd just read a piece in the Swedish RF thread about how many duties and days they worked and Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip both worked 45 and 44 respectively with Victoria making 143 and Prince Daniel 106. That being said I'm never a fan of comparing as all RFs are different. I also think measuring is hard as saying someone worked more days can be unfair if Princess A only turns up to a lunch for an hour while Princess B visits 5 or 6 different places both in a day. I think i was just a bit surprised how low the number seemed but thats not to say Fred isn't working I suppose it just means he is not in public as much as some of his counterparts.
Yes, maybe Frederik prefers to do some of the things out of the public eye. I remember reading about the opening of a new veteran center/home in Copenhagen. Frederik was not at the opening, but the article mentioned, that Frederik had asked to come on an unofficial visit.

Lets remember, that the twins were born early January last year. It's not every day a man becomes father of twins (or one baby). He had public duties during the first months, but more after the christening.

I think it's wonderful, that C&I and the twins are allowed a different childhood than their father and uncle.
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  #112  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:53 PM
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Yes, maybe Frederik prefers to do some of the things out of the public eye. I remember reading about the opening of a new veteran center/home in Copenhagen. Frederik was not at the opening, but the article mentioned, that Frederik had asked to come on an unofficial visit.

Lets remember, that the twins were born early January last year. It's not every day a man becomes father of twins (or one baby). He had public duties during the first months, but more after the christening.

I think it's wonderful, that C&I and the twins are allowed a different childhood than their father and uncle.
It should also be remembered that not all invitations received by the Crown Prince Couple are reported as engagements. The BRF keep an entertainingly strict account of all the events to which they accept invitations so that their 'engagements' run into two or three hundred a year for senior members! This does not mean that they are officially busy almost every day of the year, but that they combine 3, 4 or even 5-6 engagements a day, including cocktail receptions, luncheons and dinners! I don't think the Danish Royal family keeps such a strict public account of their activities, as this would infringe upon their privacy. This is only my impression, but I would welcome comment from Danish members.
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  #113  
Old 01-09-2012, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JessRulz View Post
Just based on a count from the royal calender, Frederik had 43 'regular' engagements in 2011.

He was regent for 47 days when Queen Margrethe was out of the country.

He took part in visits to London (3 days), Lausanne (3 days), Mozambique (3 days), Ukraine (5 days), Japan (4 days), South Africa (6 days), Russia (7 days, 22 engagements), China (5 days), the USA (7 days, 13 engagements), Australia (8 days, 36 engagements), Vietnam (5 days, 30 engagements) and the summer tour of Jutland (5 days).
43 regular engagements are the ones in Denmark? The abroad engagements aren't included in the 43 yes?
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  #114  
Old 01-09-2012, 02:11 PM
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It should also be remembered that not all invitations received by the Crown Prince Couple are reported as engagements. The BRF keep an entertainingly strict account of all the events to which they accept invitations so that their 'engagements' run into two or three hundred a year for senior members! This does not mean that they are officially busy almost every day of the year, but that they combine 3, 4 or even 5-6 engagements a day, including cocktail receptions, luncheons and dinners! I don't think the Danish Royal family keeps such a strict public account of their activities, as this would infringe upon their privacy. This is only my impression, but I would welcome comment from Danish members.
You nailed it, Gerry.

I can't comment on the BRF and I will not, I know too little about their work routine to be qualified.
The DRF certainly don't always list all engagement in their calendar. I'd estimate about 20% of events are not listed on the official calendar. Why? I don't know.
The DRF is a bit behind Internet wise and to also in regards in informing the public. You should think it wouldn't be such a big deal for a professional staff to add a few lines in the calendar about all public events, but apparantly it is.... Hopefully that will change.

Anyway, let's look at the DRF as a firm, because that's basically what it is, with QMII as the manager in charge. With the courts of Frederik in particular and Joachim to a lesser extent as managers of their own subsidiary branch of the main firm.

Okay, Joachim has his own business to run and that keeps him very much occupied, aside form his obligations as a royal.

Then we have Frederik, who apart from running his own branch is now also the right hand man of QMII, with all that entails of meetings, briefings, planning and so on.
When that's done, he go back to his own little company and takes care of administrative details there. Apart from from tending to his "costumers", i.e. those organisations he is patron for and other clients, who would like to hire him for a few hours. That means he has to filter through the requests, discuss details, get briefed, plan, have meetings and keep himself informed. - So he is doing a lot of reading - and he hasn't even left home yet.
Okay, according to the list made by JessRulz, he went abroad on "business trips" eleven times last year, not counting the business trip he made in the summer here in DK. They are all-day events, which also require briefings and just being on, most of the time.
And again according to JessRulz, he went to at least 43 official business meetings with clients here in DK, which also require planning, breifings, transport and so on.

All in all I'd say that he spends at least a few hours at the office every day, also on days where there is nothing mentioned in the calendar.

And there is one more factor to consider: Saturation.
Denmark is a nation with 5.5 million. There are 5˝ adults in the DRF (PH has semi retired) to cover this relatively small field.
It should preferably be an event, whenever a member of the DRF attends something. If they are here, there and everywhere all the time, I fear they will lose some of their magic, some of their novelty.

- And Mary and our Marie are more glamorous to look at...
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  #115  
Old 01-09-2012, 02:39 PM
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Maybe because Fred wants to spend more time with his children.
So do many other fathers and mothers around the world. They still have to work to provide for their families.

Fred is more much fortunate than others and and has the opportunity to work less and when he does perhaps not work a full day. But that doesn't mean that the amount he does work is acceptable. He is the next monarch of Denmark and should do a lot more than he is currently doing. For the money he recieves from the taxpayer, he should be doing a lot more.

I have no doubt they do work behind the scenes but I can imagine that other royals do as well and they manage to rack up a lot more "official" work days in a year than Fred does - the future monarch.

I have heard a lot of excuses for Frederik on this board and I am sure I will be replied to with the following "you do not live in Denmark, how do you know?" - common sense that someone should be doing a lot more than they currently are and numerous relatives and friends within Denmark that agree Fred doesn't work as often as he should.

"Just because you don't see a picture, doesn't mean he isn't doing anything" - Well obviously. My issue isn't that he doesn't get photographed working, my issue is that the official calender shows that he works under 50 days a year! That is unacceptable for the amount of money he recieves and what position he has, in my opinion.

"Most Danes are fine with this" - I hope this doesn't offend anyone but outside of royal boards and royal watchers I doubt most Danes are interested to the point of actually viewing how often the royal family members work. They like the royal family, and I can see why I like them as well and think they are wonderful, but they don't go beyond that. I am not quite sure how to word my opinion about this, but I hope it doesn't offend anyone.

"A lot goes on behind the scenes" - Ok, I am sure the following is true for all the CP couples and yet they still manage to work more than Frederik does and attend less "fluffy" events when they do. Yes, I realize they are royals and most of their events don't differ but if you examine Frederik's work calender on both the CP Mary board and the DRF calender you see Frederik does not work much and when he does they are for the most part events that deal with sports. I mean, he handed out a trophy this weekend...how much behind the scenes work does that require to prepare, exactly? For the events he does do, I don't see much behind the scenes work required. Not such that it would take up so much of his time that he cannot fit more events in.

Don't get me wrong, I do like Frederik very much I just think he needs to do more than he currently does and I am glad that he has made numerous overseas trips in 2011. He should be doing more of those sorts of events both abroad and in Denmark, especially. I am hoping that he continues to improve with this in 2012 and so on.

This is all just my opinion. People can disagree with me and that is fine. I just think that Frederik can do a lot more in his position and that he should. He has many opportunities that most people do not to do good work.
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  #116  
Old 01-09-2012, 02:54 PM
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I think the point about Denmark being a small country is a good one, and one more reason that it's useless to try to compare different royal families. Comparing Denmark to a much larger place like the UK is worthless, IMO, but I would go so far as to say that even comparing, (relatively), similar institutions like the Scandinavian monarchies won't yield much useful information. I imagine each court structures things differently in terms of finances, organization, interaction with the government, etc. That's all before you get to the different personalities involved.

I think the main question always has to be if the population the monarchy represents is for the most part satisfied with how things are run. My secondhand impression is that Danes seem satisfied with the monarchy as a whole, but that this whole "Frederik doesn't work hard enough" issue is one that keeps popping up from time to time. It doesn't seem to be a critical issue at this time but still, if I were one of Frederik's advisors I'd be looking for ways to counteract that accusation. To me, being stricter about posting more of the Crown Prince's behind the scenes activities online seems like a relatively easy thing to do, with a potentially big payoff.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:24 PM
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It doesn't seem to be a critical issue at this time but still, if I were one of Frederik's advisors I'd be looking for ways to counteract that accusation. To me, being stricter about posting more of the Crown Prince's behind the scenes activities online seems like a relatively easy thing to do, with a potentially big payoff.
exactly, its not the 1st time i've hear people talking about how much Frederik does so as you say you'd like to think that his staff would be doing all they can to let the public know what he is doing. I have to say personally I don't feel Frederick does as much as his overseas counterparts and if this is because of managing his staff then they need to find a more efficient way to do this as none of the other Crown Prince/Princess seem to need so much time to do this.

Let me make it clear, I like Frederick and Mary a lot but lets get real, they do have a much easier life than most people in Denmark with few exceptions. Thats not a problem with me, its up to F and M to do as much or as little as they think they should and if the Danish people are happy with that then thats fine, they are their Royals after all but lets not make out as if they are as busy as other royals.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:41 PM
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You also cannot compare between countries and how the egagements are counted. In the UK if a member of the royal family visits a town they may end up accounting for 3 or more engagements (met by Lord Lieutenant, visit to a school, lunch at town hall, visit to police department) whereas another royal family might say it was just 1 engagement (visit to town of X), if they count their engagements at all. In the UK it is actually a member of the public who totals up the engagements each year using the Court Circular.
As long as Danes are happy with their royal family, and that does seem to be the case), that is all that is important.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:02 PM
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Well, to an extent it's also about how much work the various royals delegate to their staff. It's my very clear impression that QMII is a very hands on Monarch. There are few details in the running of her court, she is not involved or at least informed about.
I wonder if Frederik has a similar attitude in the running of his court?

I don't know how much other royal families are involved in the actual running of their courts. Perhaps some of them say: Okay, we leave the administrative stuff to some competent managers and focus on being royal.
That's the problem. I would very much like to know what the DRF are doing on an ordinary day. How much time at the office, how much time involved in other work related activities and how much sparetime they have. - We don't know.
Do they read all their mail themselves? That alone should take up a couple of hours a day.

But back to Frederik.
Is his workload in issue? No, not really, if you discount Ekstra Bladet and their agenda.

Are people unsatisfied with his workload? Among those who are an favour of the DRF, again not really.

Could he do more? Yes, of course. He could work to the point of dropping from exhaustion, if we take it to the extreme.

Should he do more? It wouldn't hurt. Or rather, it would perhaps be desirable if he widened his field a bit more. People still have the perception that dealing with sports and physical activity really isn't working. They tend to focus on the actual activity rather than what goes on behind the scenes. (Just as fashion really isn't serious work - except that it's big money and an important export sector).

Is he doing more? Yes, certainly in 2011.

Is he the most hardworking member of the DRF? Judging from public appearances, no. Mary is. - Followed by our Marie. Frederik is competing with Joachim and QMII in that respect. I will however say that I believe Joachim, QMII and Frederik put in an equal amount of time at the office.
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  #120  
Old 01-09-2012, 05:13 PM
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You also cannot compare between countries and how the egagements are counted. In the UK if a member of the royal family visits a town they may end up accounting for 3 or more engagements (met by Lord Lieutenant, visit to a school, lunch at town hall, visit to police department) whereas another royal family might say it was just 1 engagement (visit to town of X), if they count their engagements at all. In the UK it is actually a member of the public who totals up the engagements each year using the Court way of Circular.
As long as Danes are happy with their royal family, and that does seem to be the case), that is all that is important.
Thanks for pointing this out, NGalitzine ! However even if you clock up - say - a modest 300 engagements a year, it would take at least one 100 away days to reach that number!

I've just checked the BRF website (www.royal.gov.uk). If you look at the presentation of the family members, there's a page called ' a day-in-the-life-of-the-Earl-of-Wessex' and so forth. It gives examples of of the various duties they have to attend to and how they organize a 'typical day''. It definetely an way of anticipating criticism! Maybe the Danish Royal Court could take a lesson from the UK?. - That said I agree that the respective workloads of the DRF and the BRF cannot be compared. In Denmark (incl. the Commonwealth of Greenland and the Faroe Islands) there are seven royals to serve a total population of 6 mill. with their institutions and organisations etc. Then there's still former Princess Alexandra and her 13 patronages.
The BRF ( 11 senior members - and a number of Kents and Gloucesters!) look after a population of approx. 62 mills. PLUS the Commonwealth.

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I will however say that I believe Joachim, QMII and Frederik put in an equal amount of time at the office.
And then Joachim is just a part time royal; he's got an estate to run and only takes up a relatively small amount of the civil list!

viv
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