This covers the rest of M&F’s visit to Korea.
Continued from last week.
Summary of a lot of articles in Billed Bladet #21, 2012.
All written by Anna Johannesen.
On the 14th May Frederik gave a speech for 800 Korean businessmen.
He took Mary by surprise by starting the speech with thanking Mary for their eight years together after which he explained to the businessmen: “You see it’s our anniversary today”. The led to an enthusiastic applause from those present and throughout the day M&F were congratulated by everybody, not least when they arrived to a gala dinner in the evening at Hotel Shilla with the arms around each other. There were 650 guests present and Mary wore Christian Louboutin shoes at the dinner.
M&F didn’t sit at the same table at the dinner however. As a present they got a portrait of themselves, made from Lego bricks.
Apropos Lego. 4.000 Korean school children had been beavering away building the highest Lego tower in the world and Frederik were drafted to place the last bit on top of the tower. So he was hoisted up in a lift and ended the event by planting the Lego flag on top. The children present applauded him. Alas, the tower was taken down the next. (*)
Safely down on the grown, Frederik was asked whether he could now be expected to be a hero in the eyes of his own children. He said that he would of course show Christian and Isabella some pics of “dad on top of a Lego mountain”.
Q: Are your own children playing with Lego?
F: “Yes, Christian has started and he is pretty good at putting the brick together. Isabella is more to dolls, but Lego also have some doll-stuff”.
Q: How good are you yourself?
F: “Fairly, if I may say so but if you throw yourself out in the big projects it takes time. You also have to be pretty good at it”.
Frederik added that he still has some bricks from his own childhood.
Mary visited an association for single mothers called Miss Mammamia. Being a single mother is Korea is hard! An unmarried mother is often ostracized from her family and as there is no public daycare, it’s extremely difficult for them to have a job. Nor is there any social security.
Mary met fourteen young single mothers and their children.
Mary was first presented with a nice little pink box, but a little girl and she said: “Oh, is that for me? Thank you very much”.
Another little girl Mary met, was very interested in the Georg Jensen ring Mary had on her right hand. In silver and shaped like grapes. So Mary took off her ring so that the girl could have a closer look.
That ring did attract a good deal of attention among the little girls present it seems. Because when the visit was ending, she took two year old Enoch Lee up in her arms and gave the girl a kiss on her cheek. While the girls fingers were fiddling with Mary’s ring, judging from the pics in the article.
Mary couldn’t speak so the children, so she tried to get the children to count how many fingers she has and played peek-a-boo with them.
Mary said afterwards that she missed her children a lot: “You naturally do that but at the same time I’m focused on the child I’m looking at and talking to. That’s where your attention lies.
It’s very difficult to understand when you come from a country like Denmark that it’s a taboo to be an unmarried mother. Our culture is very much different, but fortunately things have started to progress. Now they are talking about it here in Korea and there are associations that can help and take care of the young mothers. But the situation is tough, because these children get no education. It’s a vicous circle”.
The theme that day appears to have been children, Mary’s as well as other children. Because when Mary went to the Royal Copenhagen Exhibition she was met a two year old flowergirl named Taeho Kim dressed in a traditional costume. Mary had a little chat with the girl, who wasn’t the least bit concerned about all the adulst around her.
Inside the exhibition Mary came to a large photo of her and Frederik holding their twins during the summer cruise last year. Mary spontaneous uttered an: “Aww” and added: “Of course I miss the twins. Any mother would do that”.
M&F have been in daily contact with the nannies at home at Amalienborg.
Q: Have you missed the children?
M: “Naturally you miss them a lot but at the same time we know that they are fine. Christian and Isabella have a very active life (**) and when we are away we try to plan some extra things for them, so that the time passes more quickly”.
Q: What had you planned this time?
M: “Various activities”.
Q: Have you had time to buy something for your own children?
M: “No, there really haven’t been much time to find anything, but we got some sweet presents from the Koreans to take home with us. Mostly for the twins”.
Q: Like what for example?
M: “Well, a good example is actually that the first lady knitted some teddybears for Josephine and Vincent. That’s really cosy”.
Q: Can the twins walk now?
M: “They can”.
Q: Can the girl walk just as fast as the boy?
M: “She’s getting there. She’s fast on the move now and that’s lovely”.
Mary has an Iphone 45, with a Saving lives in child birth-cover.
Frederik had learned to say: “Kam sa hap ni da”, which apparantly means thank you very much.
There was a considerable interest for M&F, also by people on the street.
At the visit to the War Memorial Tiwer Museum in Seoul, M&F each beat a huge war drum three times. The first time to celebrate the friendship between Denmark and Korea, the second time for harmony and the third time for a successful visit.
At the visit at EXPO M&F visited the Danish stand, that was covered last week, but they also visited the Australian stand and then proceeded to the Korean stand. 800.000 people were expected to visit the exhibition.
M&F also visited the exhibition of dresses by the designer Peter Jensen. Mary was very interested, while Frederik went around for a closer look at the mannequins. One of them wore Greenlandic inspired kamikker (boots) with stiletto heels and Frederik commented: “I don’t think the Greenlanders are that enthusiastic about them. They got a good deal of critisism when they first emerged”.
It wasn’t the only designer Mary met. At some point she visited a stand with jewellery by Julie Sandlaus, and here Mary met the husband, Dennis Jacobsen, whom Mary knows well from Christian’s school. Their son, Dallas, also attend preschool, albeit in the other class, but he and Christian often play together.
M&F visited an exhibition with furnitures by Finn Juhl. Frederik looked around and commented: “And that’s our living room”. M&F have Finn Juhl furnitures in their private apartment at Amalienborg.
Mary is not known to be the best cook around and that may be why at Grand Hyatt Hotel, she was flanked by two Danish chefs. Not that Mary’s task was that difficult. They made æbleskiver Æbleskiver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and Mary put in some fill made from fermented cream and lumpfish roe. (***) Mary said afterwards: “It’s somewhat different from those æbleskiver we have at Christmas with sugar, ice and jam”.
M&F were pretty pleased with the visit. As Frederik put it: “It was a smashing schedule”.
Mary said: “It was a very exiting and very important trio, full of really good and enriching experiences.
And in regards to the purpose of the trip it seems like there is a very good atmosphere for export and possibillities for cooperation between our two countries”.
Q: How have you experienced the Koreans?
M: “They have been so forwarding. They are really such happy and warm people. They have received us so well”.
Q: Is there an event that has left a particular impression on you?
M: “There are many things. That about coming to a country that 50 years ago was poor and now after these 50 years is among one of the big economies in the world. I believe Korea ranks as number five – that’s pretty fantastic. It’s very interesting to see a country grow so rapidly and then at the same time stand up in the DMZ-area”.
Q: You had your anniversary during the visit. Was it a surprise for you that the Crown Prince mentioned that from the rostrum at a business seminar?
M: “Yes, it sure was. I didn’t expect for him to incorporate that in his speech. But of course we both knew that was our day. You remember that sort of things”. (****)
Q: How did you celebrate it? Was there even time for celebration?
M: “We celebrated by being together. We had a really joyous evening and we got many well wishes”.
After the galadinner on the evening of their anniversary M&F met with the Danish artists who had entertained and others.
Q: Did the party go on longer than expected?
M: “Yes, we were celebrated and had time to say cheers and drink a glass of champagne”.
(*) Couldn’t they have left it for a couple of days? The children hardly had time to look at it and brag about it.
(**) Christian plays soccer.
(***) Okay!?! Well, normally you don’t fill them with anything. Æbleskiver is an all time favourite among children (and adults) here in DK. The best thing is of course to make them yourself and naturally in an iron cast pan. I rarely make them myself if there are more than our own children present, I simply cannot keep up, if there more children, even with a solid head start! So most of the time it’s a bag (well, two bags) of æbleskiver from the freezer and then I can stand there in astonishment and wonder how these little creatures can eat that much! Here we prefer to keep it simple, so we dap each æbleskive in sugar, take a bite, a new dap, gone! Repeat up to fifteen-twenty times per child.
(****) Minor correction, Mary: Women remember anniversaries as a matter of course. Men better remember anniversaries!