Summary of a number of articles in Billed Bladet #28, 2013.
Written by Annelise Weimann.
As Mary requested no pics were taken of her and the children and not much else is happening, BB dispatched a reporter to Berleburg for the annual Schützenfeiren. (*)
It's actually a couple of thought provoking articles and even though BB as always angle their stories from a neutral/positive angle, Prince Richard doesn't leave the impression of being the easiest man to get along with. Well, at least not in my eyes and I count myself fortunate he isn't my father-in law.
The local shooters guilds had their annual party, with competitions where the winner is declared shooting-king. His wife is at the same time declared a shooting-queen. It all ends with a communal dance, where the lord of the manor, i.e. Berleburg and his wife dance with the new shooting-king and queen.
The ladies are obliged to wear evening gowns, low cut! And the men are in full regalia.
Anyway, the new lord of the manner is now Prince Gustav. Prince Richard don't mind: "But I'm not dancing anymore and my legs aren't to keen on it anyway. Nor have I ever thought it was that much fun". He was instead chatting with some other visiting shooters.
In the dance was Princess Benedikte, while Carina Axelsson looked on. - She is after all only semi official I guess.
It all ends with a party until well after midnight.
Prince Gustav is apparantly an accomplished shot and he had hoped to win the trophy this year, because it was 50 years ago his dad won the competition. He didn't. As he explained: "It's pure luck who is winning. The guns (**) are old and when the barrels get hot they don't shoot straight. So you hardly know if you hit. I shot nice and well, but the guns were almost boiling at the end. There it dawned on me that I had to aim 20 cm lower than what I wanted to hit, unfortunately another shooter also figured that out and he won".
Prince Gustav then quenched his sorrows in beer, 600 litres to be exact. Yeah, okay he shared the beer with 1.857 other guests and after three hours the 600 litres were gone.
Prince Richard remarked: "It was perhaps good that Gustav didn't become shooting-king this year. Or people would have thought it was rigged".
Prince Gustav and Carina had actually just returned from a week sailing in the Adriatic. And that's the summer holiday he is going to get this year, as things are busy at Berleburg.
However BB also spoke to Prince Richard about Princess Alexandra and her husband Count Jefferson. She has just lost her job at the UN, and Count Jefferson lost his job as a bank manager some three years ago and as a result of this, and not being able to find a new job, he has been suffering from depression. - And this is where the article gets interesting! I qoute:
- For a long time that (Jefferson loosing his job and getting depressed) has been a strain on the relationship between Count Jefferson and and his father-in-law Prince Richard and the two of them only saw each other on extremely rare occasions.
"But now things are going better. I'm fine with Jefferson again. He got depressed when his bank went bankrupt, but that wasn't his fault. He did a fine job at the bank", emphasize Prince Richard. - End quote.
Now Alexandra and Jefferson have decided to move to Germany from Paris. To a small town near Mainz to be exact.
Prince Richard explains: "I've bought a house for Alexandra and her family in a small wine-town near Mainz. - It's lovely house and the ground is 11.000 square meters".
Princess Benedikte is pretty pleased: "I certainly think I'm going to see more of her in the future. It's only about two hours drive from Berleburg, so it's be completely different. The children will settle in alright as well. They are fond of being out in the countryside and there are many advantages of not living in a major city".
(*) This Central European phenomenon is I believe not widely known in English speaking countries and it's difficult to translate. I think shooting-guild-party would be the best way to cover it.
Shooting guilds is an old tradition going back to the first handguns. They were a sort social club/masonic guild/militia. Nowadays the function is of course purely social and ceremonial.
(**) You English speakers really need an additional word for gewehr/fusil/gevær = a longbarrelled handgun, that can be either a rifle, shotgun, an airgun or a musket.
As you know it's a big no, no to call a rifle a gun!
For those who do not understand what I mean, here is an educational video explaining the difference between a rifle and a gun: