Thanks for the pics, Iceflower
Translation of article in Billed Bladet #08, 2011.
Familielykke i sneen – Family happiness in the snow.
Written by Trine Larsen, who specialize in Joachim and Alexandra.
The sun is shining from a blue sky and everything is idyllic when Billed Bladet meets the royal family from Schackenborg during their holiday in Bretaye in Switzerland, where Princess Marie’s family for many years have had a chalet high on the skiing-terrain. But the Princess and the three skiing-fond Princes could wish for a little more snow.
- “It hasn’t been snowing since New Year, and now the snow that is left is worn out and run down. Several lanes are unfortunately closed and that is quite unusual for this time of year. But we are still managing because we are so high up, so we are skiing from early morning to late in the evening. And those two there are hard pressed to take off their skis”, laughs Prince Joachim and points towards Prince Felix and Prince Nikolai. Even though the two boys only ski once a year, they have been so accomplished that they now can ski on the difficult lanes with their father and Princess Marie.
- “Yes, and now it’s really fun because we can ski together all of us. That’s very cosy (hyggeligt)”, says Prince Joachim and adds that the Princes think this is the best holiday of the year.
- “Prince Nikolai even counts the hours he is skiing”, laughs Joachim, (*) while the sons plaque him for yet another ride with the lift up the mountain on their own.
- “No, you’ll have to wait a little”, says Prince Joachim, who is busy keeping an eye on his two lively sons.
Q: Apropos lively, your brother has overtaken you in regards to the number of children? Can you disregard that challenge/let that one stand?
- “Ha, ha. I take that quietly and easy. But yes, my brother and the Crown Princess sure have their hands full. Not just with the two lovely twins but the other two are a couple of lively creatures as well”, says Joachim and looks lovingly at his own three sons.
Q: Perhaps you should work on having a little princess then?
- “Ha, ha, well, we’ll see. But that’s right, it could actually by fun with a little girl”, says Prince Joachim and look in love at Princess Marie who is helping the little prince with his ski-goggles.
- “He’s a bit sleepy and awed, because he has just woken up after his midday nap”, tells Princess Marie, while Prince Nikolai tries to entice a smile from his kid brother, who is quickly becoming the focus point for the family.
- “He’s so sweet”, determines Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, who both would like to hold their younger brother.
- “You are just so great big brothers”, commends Marie (**) and says that Henrik has a lovely temperament/character.
- “He is so calm and very easy”, says Princess Marie and adds that the little Prince has also begun to talk a lot.
- “Yes, he speaks many words. He speaks both French and Danish”, says the Princess proudly.
Q: What words does he say?
- “Teddy (bear)… he’s fond of that. And words like milk, cook and that sort of things”, laughs the Princess and hugs her little Prince, who very naturally is the center of attention of the family and the one who charms all of them.
While Prince Joachim and his two sons have had a cosy time on the lanes all afternoon, Princess Marie have been waiting at home in the family chalet for Prince Henrik to wake up from his midday nap.
So the little Prince is still a bit sleepy, when Princess Marie arrives with him wearing moon-boots and a warm ski-suit, a knitted cap and ski-gloves, sitting on a big snow-scooter which has brought them from home and out in the skiing-area.
But the moments he spots his brothers, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix, the little guy becomes a lot more awake and they immediately un-straps their skis in order to play with him.
- “Henrik is still a too young to ski, but next year he will be old enough to start a little. I was also three years myself when I started skiing”, says Princess Marie who look forward to teaching her little son about the pleasures of skiing, which is something the entire family is very fond of. The brother of the Princess, Gregory Grandet, so much that he makes a living of being a skiing instructor in the area.
Q: As he is yet too small, do you ski a bit yourself?
- “Oh yes, I ski every day”, smiles Princess Marie and explains that her mother, Francoise Grassiot, the grandmother (mormor) of the little Prince is a babysitter.
- “My mother just thinks it’s lovely to look after Henrik. She loves it, of course. Then she has (quality) time with him and she enjoys that”, says Princess Marie, who right from she gave birth to Prince Henrik (***) has often had her mother visiting as a firm support and rock and the grandchild has as such also developed a close and dear relationship to Marie’s mother.
Prince Henrik is, just as the other royal children, used to other people looking after them when mom and dad must work and have official duties.
As such it was also natural that Princess Marie’s mother looked after both Prince Henrik but also Prince Felix and Prince Nikolai, when Joachim and Marie had to interrupt their winter holiday, just a couple of days after it had started.
Prince Joachim and Princess Marie had to go home to Denmark for about a day in order to take part in the 350th anniversary of the Supreme Court last Monday and they left all three Princes in Switzerland with Marie’s mother, and incidentally also with the friends of the couple, Henriette and Peter Steenstrup, who is also on holiday with them, along with their three children, Agathe, who is of the same age as Prince Henrik, and August and Malte, who are of similar age as Felix and Nikolai.
- “Please, can I hold him”, asks Prince Felix, when the family kindly and willingly pose for the photographer.
- “You sure can”, says Marie, while Felix immediately hugs his kid brother lovingly.
- “Well, then we can let the two of you look after Henrik while we go skiing for half an hour”, teases Joachim his tow big sons.
- “Good luck, Felix”, grins Nikolai and gets up as if he is also going away.
The delightful banter doesn’t stop there, because the mood is high on the skiing holiday, which all of them enjoy to the fullest. Especially the Princess who is in her element here on her home turf in Switzerland. Here Marie is fond of gathering family and friends, ski and enjoy the outdoor life, in particular the lanes right outside the door of the family chalet, which can only be reached by snow scooter, because it’s so high up in the terrain that no roads leads up there.
(*) Joachim laughs a lot in this article! A luck there isn’t that much snow this year or he would have started an avalanche with all that laughing.
(**) Doe, a deer, a female deer, re, a…. Sorry, for what ever reason the songs from the Sound of Music pops up in my head.
(***) Now you understand why I insist on calling him bette Henrik? – All sorts of strange images are popping up in my head while translating this article….
And a gallery from Billed Bladet: http://www.billedbladet.dk/Kongelige...prinserne.aspx