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Old 11-02-2017, 03:01 PM
Muhler's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Eastern Jutland, Denmark
Posts: 9,891
Under the Beam. - A portrait book about Crown Prince Frederik.

Under bjælken = Under the Beam, written by Jens Andersen.
An in depth portrait book about Crown Prince Frederik, based on interviews with Frederik himself and those near and dear to him.

Some 380 pages.
Published by Gyldendal in 2017.


I've got my copy of the book and flipped through it.
I'll estimate the book consists of 80-85 % interviews (i.e. direct quotes) from Frederik, Mary, his family and inner circle of friends.

In each chapter the author briefly lay out the background of an issue, topic or controversy and then let whomever comment on that. Each chapter ends with a gallery that is relevant for that chapter. I'll say about half the photos, perhaps more are private photos - and as such not published before.

Those interviewed in the book are:
Frederik himself.
Queen Margrethe.
Prince Henrik.
Prince Joachim.
Crown Prince Haakon.
Crown Princess Victoria.
Erik Albæk - who I believe was quite a mentor for Frederik while studying at the university.
Søren Brederik - from the Sirius Patrol and Frogman Corps.
Christian von Buchwald - very close personal friend.
Hamish Campbell - Close personal friend of M&F.
Holger Foss - very close personal friend.
Ulrich Ghisler - ?
Jeppe Handwerk - former frogman and very close personal friend.
Peter Heering - Close childhood friend.
Ellen Hillingsø - close childhood friend.
Carl Erik Kjærsgaard - ?
Amber Petty - Close friend of Mary.
Jane Stephens - sister to Mary.
Per Thornit - former Chief of Court and very much M&F's mentor.
Henrik Tvede - Musician.

The chapters are:
Introduction by the author.
Boy. - Childhood.
Teenager. - High school and conscription, first sweethearts.
Academic. - Higher education.
Frogman. - The decisive character building years in the military.
Conqueror. - Meeting and marrying Mary, travels in Greenland.
Family man. - Father and husband.
Sportsman. - His passion for sports.
King. - His current role and definition of himself as Crown Prince - and perhaps a glimpse of what may come.


My intention is to read the book, then write a review.

Since this book is almost exclusively based on interviews I will to a considerable extent translate entire chapters - and according to the TRF guidelines place these translations outside the TRF.
I will mainly concentrate on Frederik's formative years, i.e. childhood, youth, the Frogman Corps. As well as meeting Mary and him being a husband and father.
I will also look into how he defines his role.

Of course translating 60-70 % of entire chapters will take a long time. Months.
And I won't even start until I get more time on my hands in a couple of weeks.
So patience, please. - A lot of patience, actually!
Also, while I understand the eagerness to share excerpts from what looks to be a very interesting book, please don't be a spoilsport and translate too many excerpts. It's a little bit of a downer for me (and perhaps the reader as well) if I have to translate something that has already been translated - out of context.
It will of course not be practical, nor will I have the time to translate the whole book.
It will be two or three selected chapters followed by summaries and excerpts from the rest.

I also intend to, regardless of whether the book is worth reading or not, to scan the photos used in the book.


Finally, the concept of interviews looks interesting. The author is holding the microphone so to speak and it's up to us to apply the filter. Because such a book will inevitable have a positive angle on Frederik, even if the author raise sometimes controversial issues or topics where Frederik have been criticized or where Frederik himself has been very frank in regards to himself and his shortcomings.

I expect to post next time when I've read the book and then when I've translated the first chapter in about three weeks or so.

- If you will, you could PM me about which chapters your really, badly want me to focus on first. I've been known to be influenced by pressure.

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Old 11-02-2017, 04:28 PM
Hannelore's Avatar
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That's very noble of you, Muhler! What ever you choose to write/translate... I'm looking forward to it - also to your own opinion!

With that list of close friends and relatives who were interviewed it's clear they were asked by Frederik himself. This is like an authorised biography. Has that happened before for a member of the Danish royal family?

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Old 11-02-2017, 05:05 PM
Muhler's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Eastern Jutland, Denmark
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My pleasure.

Yes, to some extent, but as far as I know, not on this scale!
Previously a handful of persons have commented on more or less specific topics within a chapter, but here a number of people (including Frederik of course) are specifically interviewed about the general topic in each chapter.

It's basically a written documentary where friends and family of Frederik "speak" about Frederik.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:45 PM
Join Date: May 2017
Location: USA, United States
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As Hannelore said, whatever info or what you write will be greatly appreciated by all of us here for we are eagerly awaiting your translations of this book. As I for one do not read Danish in any form this is something that will be read and enjoyed and saved. So your still our history professor of all times and we are deeply grateful for what you share with us.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:48 AM
T4phage's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 204
Translation are greatly appreciated, Muhler! But I would absolutely love to see the photos.
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:08 PM
Muhler's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Eastern Jutland, Denmark
Posts: 9,891
Well, I've read the book.

Let me start by saying: This is not a book for beginners.
If you have just discovered the DRF and in particular M&F, this is not the book you start with. The book simply require an above average knowledge about the DRF, M&F and how they met and in particular Frederik.
The problem with a portrait book of some 350 pages, is that you have to cram a whole life (in this case 49 years) into a few chapters and it's very difficult to that as unbiased as possible, as I believe the author aims to do. - So he clearly assumes the reader has a good knowledge about Frederik and what has happened in his life.

So this is a must-read for those who follow the DRF and in particular M&F very closely and who wish to learn more about them and get in insight into in particular Frederik's mindset but also that of his family and the dynamics - for good or worse - within the family.

It's a worth-read for those who have a more general interest in the DRF, because the book does offer a pretty frank and honest view into the mistakes and good things that was made during his upbringing and it also provides an understanding as to why Frederik is the man he is.

It's a can-read for everybody else.

Okay, what did I learn?
There were quite a few details which only the persons close to Frederik would know, that are revealed.
We get a fairly good idea of how things work in the M&F-family. How they try and bring up their children.
We also get a very good glimpse into how Frederik (of course also his brother) was brought up, with a loving, but very strict and demanding father. With a pretty absent mother, who no doubt loved her sons dearly, but preferred to leave the day-to-day details and upbringing to someone else. - I.e. their nanny, their father and some of those around them.
Something QMII clearly regrets but at the time obviously didn't think about.
The book also emphasize how immensely important Queen Ingrid was to her grandchildren and not least Frederik.

One of the ways to really understanding a person IMO, is to learn how they react to criticism, failures but also advise. Frederik is no exception and you can rest assured I'll deal with that aspect of him!

Indirectly, we also get a good glimpse into his family and friends.

A book like this that consists of quotes from people who like Frederik, either as friends or family - or wife - is inevitably portraying him in a positive light. Yet, the author has managed to shed a light on, shall we say, Frederik's flaws.

We get a much better idea of how Mary's first time in DK was, and how it was for her as an outsider to enter a royal family, which live a very public life, and how they tried to shelter her.

Many of the things we learn about the DRF through this book come indirectly and from reading between the lines. And there is quite a bit to learn. - But that is mainly for those who have a deep interest in the DRF and a considerable knowledge of M&F in particular, otherwise these nuances will be lost to the reader.

- So when I begin to write my summaries I will try as far as a I can only to provide additional background info and answer questions, but otherwise keep back on my personal observations and opinion. I believe it will provide a better picture for the readers here, if others discuss what is said in the translated and summarized material. - The more angles and eyes on the subject, the better IMO.

So to conclude: Is the book worth the money? Yes, if you want to try and really get under the skin of Frederik in particular and the DRF in general.
My money wasn't wasted.


If all goes well I will start on the first chapter next week. And also on the scans of the photos in the book.
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Old 11-06-2017, 05:52 PM
Join Date: May 2017
Location: USA, United States
Posts: 610

Thank you so very much Muhler for your observation and comments on the *Book* as I call it. Now can you tell me if it is in English and only available in Europe for if it is in English I will find a way to get one for my library. I have been a fan of the DRF for many decades now and followed Mary when she started dating Frederik so this will be a very interesting book for me.

Besides Frederik is one very handsome man, if not the cutest royal man out there IMHO....
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:21 PM
Muhler's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Eastern Jutland, Denmark
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You are welcome.

Alas, it will only be in English if enough of you write Gyldendal publishing house and demand the book be in English as well.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:01 PM
Join Date: May 2017
Location: USA, United States
Posts: 610
Thank you for the info on the Book, guess I won't be getting one now. This brings a question up here...........Europe, now there are dozens of countries and languages, so how does on operate there if there is no universal language so to speak? I don't want everyone to speak the same yet if one book is published in Danish and someone in say Spain wants a copy, they would have to know Danish also..........I find that interesting that there are so many different languages and yet it does not seem to have an effect on the countries....and here in the US, I find some that are born here can't speak English for all they know is *slang* language...try to figure that out on the phone is insane at times....

Sorry about that, well I for one will be glued to your translations of this book and will be saving them in my library here.........and you are very well appreciated for doing this for all of us here.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:20 PM
Serene Highness
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,083
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
You are welcome.

Alas, it will only be in English if enough of you write Gyldendal publishing house and demand the book be in English as well.
You never know! I think there's enough interest in Mary in non Danish speaking countries to justify an English translation of any book in which she figures prominently.

In the meantime, though, thanks in advance for the summaries!
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Old Yesterday, 03:15 PM
Muhler's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Eastern Jutland, Denmark
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Well, I have scanned the photos in the book. You can stitch and adjust the contrast to you preferences.

The scans are named after the chapter they belong to and most are pretty self evident or easy to work out from the captions.
For convenience I've decided to comment/explain the photos in alphabetical order, rather than chronological order.

Look here:
Here we go:

A: At Harvard.
B: Signing in at Aarhus University, living at Marselisborg with Holger Foss, running his first marathon.
C: Painting of Frederik, meeting the lead singer of one of Frederik favorite bands.
D&E: New (used) car in New York with friends.
F: Cruising across USA.
G: Sleeping rough outside Elvis' house in Memphis.

A: The firstborn.
B: Family time.
C: Norway and Marselisborg. Probably a good idea with bars with two lively boys around!
D&E: To children's birthday with among others Ellen Hillingsø. (I-m sure you can recognize her.
F: Riding with the regimental riding instructor (not sure what his title would be in English).
G: Playing and at school at Amalienborg. Notice the gorget in a chain around Frederik's neck, showing that he is the class monitor. - A gorget has since before 1700, been a symbol of authority and it is to this day still used as such. Among other the German Feldpolizei.
H: When it became official that Joachim was to inherit Schackenborg.
I: Meeting Björn Borg.

A: M&F in Australia.
B&C, D&E: In Greenland with Sirius Expedition.
F: Meeting Mary.
G: Marrying Mary.

Family Man.
A: Today.
B: Frederik with his beloved mormor, Ingrid.
C: Great times at Gråsten.
D: "Uncle" Frederik visiting the Buchwalds to see their little Anne.
E: Frederik's firstborn.
F&G: The odd Vogue photo.
H&I: More children.
J&K: Taking Isabella to concert, meeting Lars Ulrik from Metallica, going on stage during a rock concert.

A: In full diving gear.
B: Earning his free-fall jump wings.
C: Give me some PT! - And digging his way under the beam, emerging as a newborn frogman. - That is the final rite of passage for students in the Frogman Corps. (More on that when we get there).
D&E: In a boat.
F: Four new frogs have joined the corps. And a blonde Frederik in Norway. Presumably to better blend in with the locals. As you know all Norwegians are blond. - It says so in their Constitution.
G: Frogman and diplomat in France.

A: Don't look, Polyesco!
B: On the job.
C: The three Scandinavian heirs in Svalbard.
D: The whole Australian branch of the family.
E: Summer at Gråsten.
F: In Greenland with mother. PH has left the theater.
G: The cover of Euroman.
H&I: M&F on top of Amalienborg.

A: Ironman.
B: Member of IOC and meeting and getting seriously grilled by the press.
C: Preparing for an ironman or half an ironman.
D: He used to play tennis, now it seems to be golf.
E,F&G: Sailing.
H: In the mountains.
I: Showing support and inspiring others.

A: Recruit on his first day.
B: Practically twins, first day in high school, in Mongolia.
C: Graduating as high school student and partying!
D: Meeting Whitney Houston.
E: First car, a Volvo and the wreck of the car J&F crashed in in France. A luck no one was killed!
F&G: QMII's 50th birthday.
H: First day as a recruit and in the field as NCO-student.
I: Hunting.

That's it, folks. 69 scans in total.
And I'd like to dedicate these scans to my daughter and delight. Without her loving and caring attention and talkative interest this would have been uploaded yesterday...
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Old Yesterday, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: san diego, United States
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a BIG thank you Muhler. I enjoyed the pictures and thank you for the captions they helped a lot.

My favorites: Frederik in naval uniform and the guards uniform.
Plus the photo of him with Josephine is too sweet. I really like the Australian family photo.
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Old Today, 05:26 AM
Muhler's Avatar
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Location: Eastern Jutland, Denmark
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You are welcome, Polyesco.

I wonder if I can ask a favor from one or two English speakers?
I would appreciate if someone would proofread the texts I will put up.
I.e. correct spelling, punctuation (the common DK punctuation I use is considerably different from English, but I can't help using it), correct phrases, help with expressions (Frederik in particular speaks in images, which cannot be translated directly), say so if you don't understand what is meant and so on...

I think it will be a manageable job though as I expect to mainly deal with four or five chapters. Any help will be appreciated and you will of course be credited. - And hopefully showered in praise.

All I require from you is an anonymous e-mail address and a PM. In that way I will make sure that it will not be possible to ID you. Not even by me.

The reason I ask for a proofreader is that there are quite a few nuances in the quotes which might be lost or garbled and that would be a pity.


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