Interview with Crown Princess Mary by Anne Wolden-Ræthinge: April-May 2004
I realize that some parts of the translation of the book 'Kronprinsesse Mary - fortæller til Anne Wolden-Ræthinge' already have been discussed in the thread 'Frederik And Mary News Part 4'.
However, as Thor from the RBMB kindly has allowed me to copy and post all of his translations, I decided to start a new thread.
The book is written by the danish journalist Anne Wolden-Ræthinge, based on her 7 three hours interviews with HRH Crownprincess Mary.
Thor has translated some central parts of the book - a big applaud to him for his work :)
Mary on Meeting with Frederik. From the book pp 44-46.
- I knew that work should't be filling my whole life. There should be a balance. It was in that period I met Frederik. It was september 16, 2000.
- And how did I meet him, then? Yes, I lived together with four others in a big house. It was at the time of the Olympic games in Sidney, and one of my flatmates had been invited to take a few friends along to a bar to meet some spaniards, who participated in the games. As it happens, that evening I was in fact going to a kind of goodbye party at a friends place a couple of houses down the street, but when the taxi arrived I thought: "No, I change my mind and take with you!". A sudden decision taken in a split second. I think perhaps because I was the one who had lived in the house longest, and because it was the first time we were going out together.
- We drove to a bar called "Slip-Inn", and it was there we met, then. It was a party of some Australians and two nephews of the Spanish king, plus Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, Prince Nikolaus of Greece and Princess Märta-Louise. I didn't new who they were. Half an hour later one my flatmates came up to me and asked"Do you know these people are prince this and princess that?". Of course we have Queen Elisabeth as head of state, but in many ways we are a kind of republic, we dodn't have royals in Australia, so it was kind of unusual to run into that kind of people. But aside from that it was quite ordinary.
- Frederik and I began to converse, and we simply didn't stop talking. And that was IT! A very long conversation, which continued over a year or rather 14 month.
- Next day he and his brother travelled to Melbourne. But a week later I met with him and his friends to a dinner. After that he travelled Australia for six weeks. When he came back we met again, but he was called back at home, because his grandmother was seriously ill (Thor:Queen Ingrid). He was very affected by this and wanted to leave as quickly as possibly. We got one and a half day together, then, where we had hoped for a week to learn each other a little better.
- It wasn't like 'BANG' the first night. That I knew that I have met the man in my life. It is diffucult to pinpoint that precise moment. There was a great distance between us and big gaps of time between our meetings, too. Because we spend so much time being alone, anything could happen for each of us. At such a distance both geographically and familywise, you cannot yust say: He's the rigth person. I takes time and you have to test each other, because there's a lot in the pot in this situation. But we kept in contact with each other. And each time we met, it came one step further.
- Now I knew who he was, of course, and this made the whole thing that more uncertain. Could it develope to something at all? On the other hand I wasn't that pessimistic, where I felt that it wasn't worth the trouble. It wasn't like that. And each step forward took us finally to a point, where we realized, that we couldn't continue to be that far away from each other. We had to take the jump and see where it would land us.
Mary on the meeting with Frederik (cont'd):
- Even when I moved to Denmark, it wasn't sure that it would work out, for either of us. And everything had to have it's time to mature. Because the whole thing was very peculiar rigth from the start. Something extraordinary. The whole situation was strange. Just because he lived so far from me and in a completely different world than mine. So, why continue to talk together? But we did. Even if he travelled to Melbourne. Travelled around in Aystralia. Travelled to Denmark - and came back. The converstation was never interrupted. But I had my reservations, naturally, because it was impossibly to meet each other often enough to build a relationship. I think that stopped me in going further. But, of course, I was smitten by him.
- He was - and is - an extraordinary person. I felt that rigth from the start. Not because he was Crown Prince, but because he is the person he is. Of course I was a little excited by it all, and I was also a little .... - the situation was so... extraordinary. It was so .... weird, because I didn't believe in that it was possibly to get to know each other. But our contact continued and became deeper and deeper. We did it by real letters, e-mails and telephone. Almost every day. We send pictures and many different small things to each other. For instance I sent him a CD with Powderfinger, which still is my favourite rock-group, and he sent me some danish CDs, Sort sol (Black Sun) for instance. We took part in each others life in that way and shared what was possibly.
- I didn't want to be exposed in any way.I would have been horribly, if I had stepped forward into the limlight, and next day just had to be my self again. I did not want my life exhibited, I wanted to minimize my exposure as much as possibly. But at a certain point in time I had to accept it anyway. I had to say to myself: I had to take this step completely. If I hadn't done that, I would have reproached myself for the rest of my life. But we took the step together, both of us. It was both of us who wanted to see what would happen. We knew, that this was very important, and we had to see what it would lead to.
- It was in november 2001. 14 month after we had met. We decided to take the chance to see if we were destined for each other. Then I left Australia.
to be cont'd.
Mary on the meeting with Frederik (cont'd):
A difficult time
- I left as a uncomitted person. I wasn't 100 percent sure of the final result, but I knew that it was something I had to do. At first I visited my father in England, then I traveled to Paris, because I would not go to Denmark immeadiately. It would have been too premature. And we wanted more time, because when we were together it was so intense, We wanted to introduce a little normality and everyday life in our relationship, because that kind of dimension is important to have. It hadn't been possibly earlier. Although there had been these peaceful periods, where we had our vacations and everything was relaxed, without the daily routines and the threadmill. Paris was the next step, then. There I would be more protected.
- But it was a difficult time for me. In Paris I didn't knew that many and I doesn't function that well in a city that big. Yet another thing I have learned. Paris wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I was there for five month. From february to july. Then we had a short hollyday together and I moved to Denmark - in august 2002 - and started my work in september. At that time we both believed in our relationship. There was no uncertainty about it anymore. It was obvious, that what we had together, was something much bigger, than anything any of us had experienced, ever. Otherwise I wouldn't have left Australia. But to say then, that we would eventually would be married some day...that we could not know with certainty.
- Not even when I came to live in Denmark. So, the period of time before the engagement, a little over a year, was a strange period of time. Because so many people are interested in your relationship. There was these big expectations. Rigth from the first time somebody discovered me in Australia, it was almost like: "Oh, they are going to married tomorrow!" It wasn't before one year after the Olympics that it became like that, though. Because nobody knew I existed before that. But the more my life was exposed, the more difficult it would be to return to Australia. What would I come back from? The more you are in the spotligth, the more difficult it is withdraw from it.
- And my friends and family supported me very much. I had to tell them, it was necessary to test our relationship. But of course it have been a difficult time. But I'm sure it's going to be easier. When I say it have been a difficult time, I mean too, that to start a new relationship create problems, while you try to find a position in the world of another. The world of Frederik is much more complex that an ordinary man's world. There's many more circumstances to take into account. Vice versa, my background is very ordinary.
To be cont'd
Mary on the meeting with Frederik (cont'd):
- I'm from a middle class family, have gotten a good education, and I'm proud of what I have achieved in my life and I know I have so much to achieve yet. I'm very, very happy about the challenge I face rigth now. But it's very overwhelming, especially with the amount of publicity. It's difficult to see one's face everywhere - I have always hated to be photographed. I was the one who said: "I'll take the pictures" at family gatherings and friend's parties. To be photographed made me uncomfortably, and now I am in a situation, where I just have to dispense with that feeling. And to learn to behave properly in public, too. The many norms of behaviour. For instance the way I have to move when I am walking with Frederik.
- You will be critizised. There is much critizism. People judge you from a picture and from false information, and that's hard, because you can't defend youself. I am not able to going to say: "Okay, I will give an interview and make comments on all the stuff, you are writing about me". In the first place it isn't my nature to do so, and if it was, the press can print whatever they want anyway. So in that way you feel yourself somewhat defenseless. You cannot say: "This is actually false!". For instance they printed a picture of my mom, which didn't was one of her! It was horribly.
- But I imagine that I was lucky enough to have one whole year here, making me experience what feels like to live in Denmark. And the media haven't been equally bad all the time. In the beginning they didn't show much respect, but now it's become better. And either you just don't read that kind of magazines or try to keep up a kind of armlength principle in your relation with them.
- The media has quite a lot of power. In a way they can write whatever they want - the credibilty of their articles will perhaps not be questioned, and for the everyday reader it may easily lead to: "Well, now she do it that way, what a jerk! She should have done it completely different!" As I formerly have done myself, before I landed in this situation. But I believe that the Danes take it with a grain of salt. In fact I believe they are able to make up their own minds very well, about what is true and what's not.
- Naturally I'm aware of, that publicity and the press is a factor we always have to take into account in our life. But to be exhibited all the time is difficult. But Frederik support me tremendously regarding this. He has had some tough experiences with the press himself, which means he can teach me about this complex of problems.
- It became realy seriuos, at the time we appeared for the public on the balcony. When we stood behind the glass doors, I tried to relax and made deep breathings. I felt that I could't go out there. I didn't felt that I wouldn't go out there, but it was all too overwhelming....It was a combination of the sounds coming from the mass of people, and the necessity to make myself calm and say to myself: "Now, we go out and do it!"
To be cont'd
Mary on the meeting with Frederik.
- This was the first time I stood besides Frederik - completely official. And watched how much people love their royal family. They cheered at the Queen, Prince Henrik and Frederik, and me too, because he had chosen me, and we had chosen each other. It was wonderful to see our flags spread everywhere among the people. And people was so happy. It was overwhelming just to look out on the large crouds - thousands of people - I didn't knew beforhand, how it would be for me. All these people all around us - around Frederik and me - it was a very moving moment. I don't think I could contain it all, so a part of me just kept observing it. Frederik was quite overwhelmed too, and both the Queen and Prince Henrik looked very happy. And my father took it quite calmly. It was an incredibly experience. And they wanted to see us again and again! A very happy day.
- But that day and night was so busy, it was rushing from one thing to another. It was a big day, because it was the first time, I had to present myself to the Danish people. They had seen pictures of me, but nobody had ever heard me speak. Nobody knew what was going on in my head, and naturally you are apprehensive about whether people are going to be nice to you. And would I be able to express what I wanted. Bacause there is this thing with the language! Therefore, even if it was a really happy day, it was at the same time difficult to call it a completely free feeling of joy. But that feeling we have experienced at other moments. We had had a lovely time up to this, which was our very own.
End of this part.
Mary on love. From the book pp 54-55.
- For quite a long time now, we have been aware of that it was going to be "us". Now Frederik is somewhat romantic too, so he couldn't just propose without asking me to wear a ring afterwards. Well, we had made a decision beforehand, but the formalities around it didn't fall into place, about a week before he proposed. I had made a guess when it was going to happen. I didn't know the precise moment it would happen, of course. But when he started to behave somewhat out of character, I knew that something was going to happen. I did happen in Rome. It was wonderful.
- But I don't walk around like in a dream. Or walk on air - yes, in certain connections, but long before we reached this point, I had to consider the frame of circumstances into which I was moving. And decide if I could live with that. Take the decision for the right reasons. But how was I able to know or feel, what was real, when reality was foreign to me, at the same time.
- Now, this reality is not foreign to me anymore, but if anyone syas to me: "You are going to be the next queen of Denmark!" then I feel quite - - - and people have said that to me. And this is diffcult to imagine. But when you are with Frederik or the Queen, they are only some very nice human beings, living in a kind of fairytale surroundings.
- This I believe in fact, in life it doesn't matter who or what you are: As soon as you are put into a new situation, it's a new process, which takes time. And I have suddenly arrived in a situation, which is a great challenge, and I have to do it step by step, in small bites, so to speak. And everything gets bigger. My wedding for example. Formerly, I have never given any thougth to how my wedding should be someday. I am sure, though, that I would never have imagined that it would be in this way.
- I have always known that I would only marry if I met the BIG love. My parents knew each other from they were 12 years old. They have been togeher since they were 14, and they were only 22, when they were married. That is very young. Therfore I knew that the most important thing was completes unconditional love. Unreserved. And you recognize it, when it hits you. And that love and happines follow together.
The Mary interview book. cont'd
- Three and half month later (after we had met) Frederik came to Australia. But these month were difficult. I imagined that he anyday would call and say: "I cant come. It won't work out." Or he would stop calling or sending e-mails.
- But we e-mailed every day. We didn't write ordinary letters everyday, it was a little more rare. But if there was a day when I didn't hear from him I thougth immeadiatetly: "Well, here is the bad news!"
- I didn't call him often, he alwas called me. He said everytime that he would come back and visit me, but I wouldn't ask him to do it! I'm probably very proud. I'm sensitive, but I don't show it much. I probably try to protect myself from being hurt. I probably think too rational. It made me a little pessimistic. The optimism did arrive when we couldn't be without each other anymore. It was a year later. He returned to me, then I travelled to Europe, and then he returned two-three times to Australia.
- For the first three and a half month after we had met, the period after the death of Queen Ingrid, we didn't see each other. Frederik was very glad, that he could be there for her, and say goodbye. And that she was aware of him being there. It was so important for him. He told me about how he felt and I was able to give him a couple of advises, because I had had some experiences myself. We talked about how he could learn something from the sorrow. About what to read to get help. I send him a book. It was one of the books I had read myself when my mother died - "A Grief Observed".
- We both sensed that we became closer, even if we spend our lives on each side of the globe. It was kind of romantic in this way, to learn more and more about one another through ordinary letters, paper and envelope. Because it's oldfashioned. One cannot hide behind the words. It's more difficult. If you are starting an ordinary relationship, you see each other often, and it becomes very physical. You are together a lot and there is not that much room for the words, I believe. We didn't talk much about his work, almost not at all. It has been a slow introduction to his world. He wanted to protect me. Perhaps he was afraid that it would scare me. That would have be logical. But I have never asked him about that. Sometimes our e-mails was very long, some pages, sometimes only four lines. That depended on the situation.
- The week when Frederik returned to Australia to visit me for the first time, and the day when finally arrived, that day was a very nervewracking day for me. Shuddering/Shrilling. Perhaps it was a process, where I was waiting for him - - and finally he was there. The purpose of his travel was to meet me, and only that. And I was the only one who knew that he came. But he hadn't in anyway demanded that I kept it secret.
- When I went to the airport I was terribly nervous. I didnt want to be in the airport building itself, I stayed outside. Frederik later told me that I stood in a dark corner - I really tried to be as little conspicious as possibly. He found that quite funny. It took a couple of days for us to relax completely, because we had't spent that much time together before.
- He stayed for little over two weeks. And I crossed my fingers, I wanted it to go well. Because it was possibly that we after a day or two would have said: "No, this isn't working". But fortunately it went well. We travelled a bit in car - my car - and stayed at one my friends' summercabin at the beach. We swimmed in the sea and took walks in the bush, went on sigtseeing in and out of Sidney, just the two of us. I knew it was serious, but still I was a bit sceptical. Necessarily it had to be a stepwise developement. And could that developement continue? That was the question! But even after those two weeks, as the thougthful person he is, he couldn't just say: "Well, come with me to Denmark!" This isn't in his nature. It could have been all too much for me and much too early. I think we had to get to a point, to which we arrived later, where we just could't stay so far away from each other.
- Next time we met was in Europe, and we travelled two weeks again. Wonderful. We travelled to Caïx, where we met some of his friends. But after that it became much more difficult, because we both wanted to be together a little more, but we didn't know how it could be possibly.
- The only solution was that I moved. And that was a big step. Naturally, Frederik couldn't ask me to, unless he was 150 percent sure. Not necessarily sure about that it would end in a wedding, but sure about that we had to try, to let our relationship develope further, to find out, if it would or could end like that. And yes, people can meet for six month, but normally they are together very intensely before deciding to marry.
- It was equally important to find out if we could live together. If I could come to Denmark, live here without participating directly in his life, without going into his world. For us it was like, that all nuts and bolts had to be completely in their rigth places. So I didn't knew how the future would develope. If I was found unsuitebly for him, for instance. Then, no, we didn't talk about wedding at all. But it was always a possibility. It wasn't something we discussed, but we said neither: "Impossibly!" You have to take the necessary time to find out about all of it.
To be cont'd
The Mary interview, cont'd
- The first time I told my father about Frederik was rigth after our first meeting. But it wasn't like: "Oh, I have met this really wonderful man!" It was more like: "You can't guess, what happened some evenings ago when some friends and I were in a bar, and there were these and those people there." It wasn't actually a secret, that I had met these people. But on the other hand nothing epoch-making had happened. I think my father was a little surprised that we continued our relationship/connection. He was in Oxford and partly in Australia. He was a little worried. He said all the time: "Now, be careful." He didn't want me to be hurt or disappointed. He was a little bit sceptical. In fact I didn't tell him how serious it really had become. This was another mark of my wish to protect myself.
- Naturally my sisters knew about it, but I wouldn't really admit to myself how serious it had become. This I can do now!. I'm joking of course, it was before going to Europe, or else I wouldn't have been able to take this step. It was after Frederik's last visit. When we both felt seriously, that we couldn't be apart anymore. That we had to give it a chance. Be more together and see where it would lead. It could go terribly wrong. Maybe it was only working because we only were together once in a while. It became serious when we decided to take the next step.
- Of course I was conscious that it could be a wrong decision, that everything might come to nothing, But when you are with someone , who makes you happy. When you have so much in common and the relationship is so fine - then you give it a chance. If it suddenly stops, if one has to end it, obviously you'll be down and sad. But my disposition at that time, was to give it a shot and risk the sorrow, rather than not have the experience.
- I lived in Paris. I didn't want to go to Denmark directly, and this was the best for Frederik at that point in time, too. If I had done that, the press would have been on to us immeadiately. They had already found out about it, but it happened two weeks before I left Australia. It must have been november 2001. At that time I knew I was going to Europe. In fact I left two weeks later. A Danish journalist from the tabloids (BB) found out about it somehow. Frederik had left in the morning. At evening I was leaving the building where I work and a nice looking woman approached me. I thougth she was a tourist, who had lost her way, so I stopped and asked: "Can I help you?" Then she said:"We know you are the Crown Prince' girlfriend!" I was stunned. She didn't present herself but asked: "Could we take some pictures?" I said "No thanks, I'm sorry." Pictures were taken, though, on which I looked quite cross! There was a photographer, but I didn't take up a position at all. He had already taken pictures of me without I noticed anything.
- I hadn't discussed with Frederik how to handle a situation like this. Of course it would happen someday, but not in Australia, where nobody recognized him. We could go anywhere and nobody would lift an eyebrow. I was very shocked. And I even couldn't call him on the phone, because he was traveling back to Denmark. I had to wait until he had arrived. He took it very calmly. He said that it was only a question of time before it would happen, and that we had been lucky that it didn't had happened before. There had been writings for some time in the papers that he had a girlfriend in Australia .
- I met only that particular journalist, and I thougth it was a singular happening, not to be repeated. I was so naive. Next day, when I arrived at work, there was photographers all over the place. Australian photographers. And from that moment they followed me around all the time. Wherever I went. If I was jogging, there was suddenly one. If I went to a movie, there was one. To and from work - they were everywhere ... It was the newspapers which printed them. The Australian, The Sidney Morning Herald, and the papers in Melbourne too.
- I felt myself exhibited. I was surprised by the intensisty of it all. I have never been interested in to be at the frontpages in the media. I'm not a "public" kind of person. I tried not to be discovered, when I walked on the street, and always evaded questions. For example they asked if I was going to be in Denmark at Christmas. I could truthfully answer that question NO, as I would be with my father. I just said what felt right. Frederik was very surprised because of the intense media interest in Australia, but I would travel to Paris in a short while. And they couldn't find me anymore.
To be cont'n
The Mary interview
The Media (cont'n)
- I lived in Paris about 5 month. But I was in Denmark a lot. Practically every weekend. I was staying at Amalienborg, but the press didn't precisely know where I was. They only wrote that I was in Denmark. Frederik couldn't travel back and forth as much as I could. In fact I believe they wrote, that I lived here already. But I didn't move to Denmark before august 2002, when I moved into an appartment at Langelinie in september and started a new job.
- I had met one of Frederik's friends, who was a business man in Denmark. He introduced me to what was called Navision. They had use for several coworkers at that time. It was a big enterprise, english speaking, and I could use my experiences in project management. Naturally my professional background was the most important asset for them. But they offered me the kind of flexibility I wanted. I got an insigth knowledge in the Danish job culture. And I got some friends. Learned a lot. I had fun. I think I was very forunate there.
- In the beginning the press was standing right outside my apartment building at Langelinie and kept watch over me. Finally it migth have got too boring! Because nothing happened: I went to work, I came home. Normally quite early, because I rode (on horse) before going to Navision. Well, there wasn't anyone ouside my apartment at 6:30 in the morning! I rode on horseback - I still do -and I will continue to do so.
- Only a few pictures was printed in the papers, one from a time I was here in a weekend and one of us in a car. We took the car in the weekends to different places in the country. One picture from a wedding. It was the first time I did go out with Frederik in this way. He had prepared me for what to expect, that there would be photographers, but not very thoroughly! He is so use to it, that he don't think a lot about it. Now I am better prepared to handle those kind of situations, but I still find it quite unpleasent. As I have sad before I have never like the camera., When I was together with him, I never wanted walk too close to him - I don't rigthly know why - perhaps I didn't want to show too much of myself to outsiders. It felt like kind of akward, and I feel much better to be more in the background. Trying to disappear in the crowd.
- While I was in Paris, I tried to keep my profile as low as possibly. I waited for the point of no return in my life, the thin line which would be crossed, when I would be seen in public together with Frederik. Therefore I always tried to minimize my exposure to the media. I didn't want anyone to know anything about me. Because if all this would appear to be a "fata Morgana"/ a chimera -- I would be able to return to be "Mary" again. In that situation I migth go to London or some place else, where nobody knew me anyway. But all the time the thougth: " When will I reach the point of no return?" was in the back of my mind. Of course I could try to pick up my former life - - most people forget easily. It's like this, that if you read something about yourself, you read it twenty times, while others, who have no relation to you, read it once - and it's forgotten.
- But, Naturally I was afraid that this exposure would change my life in a way, that I never would be able to get out of it again, if necessary. Quite obviously I avoided to answer any questions at all. I have been so lucky to have close friends, who wouldn't talk either. I made sure that they were aware of the the different ways the press could approach them to get information, and I wanted to the cards as close to me as possibly. I didn't say to my family or my friends: "Don't this and that!" It was rather: "Be on watch. This is the way I would try to handle it." I asked them to respect this. But my nearst friends and family could reveal something out of pure naivity. The media are smart -- cunning. And they could easily catch persons without experience in their net. My father and his wife have several times been cited for small deatils, which have been blown out of proportion. They have learned the lesson the "hard way". Now they are just polite.
to be cont'n
The Media (conclusion)
- Frederik is normally very relaxed with the press - but to introduce me to the public, wasn't a thing he took quite that easily. And I'm absoluty sure that he wasn't very relaxed about it.
- From the moment it came into ligth that Frederik had a sweetheart, that nobody knew about for almost a year, the media had been on their toes! I was like: "they are going to be married next month!" Maybe they thought he would do the same as Prince Joachim did. Perhaps. They were very excited: "Oh - we don't know anything, what are we going to do?" And they never relaxed, and they kept harping on the same theme, that: "Very soon it is going to happen!" It was quite annoying. We hadn't reach that point yet. But we didn't let that influence our decision. We didn't let it pressure us. But after the kiss at the pier in Tasmania, we became more open about our relationship. The kiss had underscored that it was serious. And the media could let out the air and breath again - - they had put money on the right horse! Even if it wasn't totally definite for us, it was a sign, that they were on the right track. Now it was only a matter of time.
- But Frederik and I weren't that far in the proces, as the press. They had already married us. But I didn't dare to let myself believe in it. I knew it was serious at that point in time, but it was a graduate developement, which we still took step by step. And I believe, that at that moment in Tasmania we took another step forward. And we in our minds knew, that from that moment it was a question of "when" rather than "if". But even with that inner knowlegde everything could still change. For kiss or no kiss it could still develope in a wrong direction. Many probably have also experienced it - that the final decision is difficult to make - but naturally it was extra difficult in our special situation.
End of this part.
Mary interview book.
Butterflies in the stomach
- The press has written, that right after I had met Frederik, I started on a modelling course (Starmakers), to feel more confident! There wasn't anything calculating or designing by that. Nothing like: making myself ready to handle the situation. Fact is, when I started on that course I hadn't met him at all! BTW the confidence didn't appear, when I three years later - on our engagement day - was to be presented to the Danes on the balcony at Amalienborg.
- I almost can't remember my physical reaction - rather like a gasp - rigth before I went out on the balcony. My friends told me: "Oh, that moment when you almost shuddered, before you went out there!" "Did I really do that?" I thought, because the impressions from that situation appeared almost quite unconscious to me. It wasn't meant as a critism of me. Everybody understood that it was a completely new situation for me, and if I had positioned myself there, as if I could handle it all, and as if I was totally perfect in all ways, then it wouldn't have been true. I simple had to take a deep breath to calm myself. I think most people are able to understand that situation and my reaction to it.
- It was all a question of balance. Two days before the engagement was to be declared I felt tense and nervous. Nothing serious. I just felt like butterflies in my stomach (Thor: Danish metaphor for nervous expectations). The next day - the day before the the engagement - I was like a child before christmas eve, hyperactive and full of energy. Then my dad and his wife Susan arrived, and we had a lovely dinner together in the evening. I went to bed and the next day, when I woke up, I was completely calm, which surprised myself. Now it was only: "Today you are just going to do it!"
- The moment rigth before going into the big press conference, I felt like I rather wouldn't......quite childish! - "I won't!" But there wasn't any escape: I had to do it. And then we stood there, they took their pictures, and there was all that ligth - a sea of ligth - and so many people there. Then the Queen, Prince Henrik and my parents left the room and we could sit down.
- I had decided that I would be the first to take the word. It was a decision I had made with myself, perhaps a fortnight before, and it was my own idea. Naturally I discussed it with the chief of Court - Mr. Per Thornit - and he agreed. There had been a tremendous, build-up expectations in the press, for example that I could speak fluently Danish, but I couldn't. And this would be the first time I said something publicly, and I knew, I had to be the one, who set the agenda, or set the frame for all these expectations. This was the reason why I chose my words, as I did. I'm so happy, I waited until it was more quiet in the hall. Until I could sense that there was enough peace and quiet and they would listen. But the first words almost wouldn't come out of my mouth. Later, when I had started, it went better.
The Mary Interview Book.
- Today, when we sit rigth here - february 17, 2004 9:40 - I'm more than anything else: happy. But happines is a word which difficult to explain. Happines is just a warm feeling. You walk on air. Everything feels good. You look at things in a new light. You don't worry so much. To be happy is probably the most important thing in the whole world. Happines! It sums up how I feel right now, but at the same time I know there's a lot of expectations of me. Many different ones. And you can't fulfill them all. But you have to do the best you can.
- First of all, I'm very absorbed by the wedding - and I'm a little tense about it. Perhaps not so much right now, but I know, that later I will be. In fact I'm curiuos to know, how I'm going to feel about it in the ceremony - you can't know it, before walking down the aisle. That's exactly what I mean by: "Why waste time on thinking: "I'll never going to manage that." No use to think that, because I know I'm going to do it - manage it. And there's so much to do before the wedding, that there's not much time to speculate about the details. There's a lot of practical things to do, which take a lot of time.
- I'm excited about the furture. In the future I have many opportunities to work to could make a difference in many areas.
- In fact you can say it's all a modern fairytale. A fairytale normally is happening in your head, but I could never, ever had imagined this. It's a fairytale for anyone who findes the person they want to spend the rest of your life with, and who plans for a wedding. This is a fairytale for all. My fairytale is just the same, in a larger scale. But the core of what we do is the same, as for every other couple. We remember that every day and this is the most important aspect.
- There is another kind of responsibility, though. Therefore in the course of events leading to the situation, where we are right now, we haven't been able to take things easely. Rigth now I can tell it's a very happy time. Very happy for me, for my family and for Frederik and his family. And for the Danes who are intereted in the Royal Family.
- And we know that we, at the same time, are a kind of role models for a lot of young people. That we are seen as an ideal. This is something we discuss. Something very important. I'm still quite inexperiended, but I know that the media of today will report anything at all. This is the differens between now and the time of Queen Ingrid. Then it was much easier. Then there was a lot of ordinary - daily life things - the royal family could do, without anyone knowing anything about it, because that would have been a breach of trust. Today, if you chose to travel or visit some friends in the quiet, it will be written about in the press, and perhaps critizised. The press feel they have a right to know and watch everything. At the same time there are an expectation to keep the distance between the people and the Royal House. Once in a while this distance is broken down. The Princes have gone to ordinary schools, drafted to military, followed courses at the university on equal footing with their contemporaries. And the Danes love it. The Danish Royal Family has manifested that it has a right and a willingness to do it in this way. To live like that. But there has to be a distance.
To be cont'n
- For us everything will change once we are married. If we are going to travel, we just can't arrive like anybody else. We will be recieved by ambassadors, or whome migth be appropriate in the situation. Or if we are going to have representative tasks abroad. We cannot be discrete and reserved anymore. We have to announce, that we arrive, that we have to go by the protocol, and we have to travel in this professional way.
- For me personally it is a period of great change. I'm still in an unofficial position and can't be seen (in a public function)- sometimes I get letters from people who write: "What are you really doing here?" Well, I work fulltime to prepare myself to my new job, and primarly learning Danish. Those who think that I don't do anything, have to understand that I'm in a kind waiting position, in a no man's land. And if I started to visit hospitals or other institutions I would be critizesed for that! I find my self in a kind of timepocket. But this'll change. And people are going to see me work, that I'm going to carry out variuos jobs. But right now it's: "What she doing?" I have to accept that.
- I have done some serious thinking about my new jobs. I have considered so many things. But I'll going to have some advise about it too. Nothing has yet been discussed, but have expressed my interest for what I find really exciting and stimulating. What type of work I would like to be involved in. But I wont say anything concrete about that right now. Primarly because I have to discuss it with the organizations involved.
- I have never really been deeply involved in politics. Of course there have been areas which have interested me. Right now I read alot about the danish political system, the governement and the organisations. It's necessary that I know who belongs to what party, and I know the differences. The different political points of view. For the first time in my life I enjoy learning about such things.
- I have never before had any political education. You get to know something in the school of course, but I have never studied it. Now I find it really exciting, especially the foreign policy of Denmark. It's something I will cultivate a lot, but naturally not be openly involved in.
- I read a lot of daily newspapers. It's important that I'm fully updated abou twhats happening in the world. To a much higher degree than when I was an ordinary citizen in Australia. It's necessary than I learn about it now, and as a part of my "education" I visited the Premier's office last week, and in this week I visit the Folketing/Parliament to speak with some of the younger members. To see and understand how the political reality works. It's like the start of my introduction to the constuction of the Danish Society, the Governement, Democracy.
- Later comes the trades and industries, where I'm going to meet representatives for the more influential branches in Denmark. Not necessary the biggest but the most important.
Mary, the interview book.
- Danish is a difficult language. I can only compare it to my own, because I have never learned a foreign language before. Of course I had french in school, but it wasn't anything special. So except for my mother tongue, danish is my first new language. The most difficult is the pronounciation. To me it's a complete different way to make sounds. Nor is it easy to understand at the start because different words and expressions sound alike. It takes time for the ear to learn to be trained to hear danish and understand it. There's many nuances in the language, and there's a lot of expressions and sayings, you just have to learn by root. When I hear them for the first time, their meaning isn't clear to me.
- But, rigth now it's very exciting because I understand much more now, and the more you understand the faster you learn. Thats good because now I can watch a danish movie and understand it. If there is texting it makes me very happy, but it's still difficult, because of the different danish dialects.
- It's easiest for me to read or write it. Probably because I learn faster when I visualise it. If you say a new word to me, I prefare to know how to spell it. Then I can create a picture of that word in my mind.
- It's interesting to understand the language, because in this way you understands the culture too, about humour, and you get a much deeper insight in the mentality of the Danes. I know now that Australian and Danish humour are very much alike, thus I can grasp humour in the danish language and this is nice. The two languages is kind of similar in a small way - on many areas there are great differences, though - but I am able to explain things in the same way as i would have done in english. If I want to tell about something I can almost translate directly from english to danish, because its expressed in almost the same manner. Many Danes think that they speak very good english, and that's true. Consequently it takes somewhat longer for a foreigner like me to learn to speak danish, beacuse the Danes like so much to speak english, and they shift from danish to english like quicksilver.
- It's still lovely to do a involved conversation in English and it's difficult for me to shift from english to danish, when you know someone really well. This is a situation where it can be difficult to start to speak danish. Frederik and I speak english together, because we got to know each other through that language. But we converse more and more in danish, because it's good for me to practice it. It feels more and more natural for me to speak danish. Sometimes I forget and mix up the two languages a little. If I talk with a friend from Australia for instance, I suddenly may speak danish to her.
- I try to get lessons every day, filling my mind with the danish language. 5 days a week I have Danish lessons or Danish conversation for three hours.
- It's a little more difficult now because I have busy schedule. It's getting harder, but I want to be as good as I can. Bye and bye I can be more spontaneous in Danish, but if get stressed, the language can suddenly disappear. This worries me a bit. Suddenly I don't know what to say. Even if I know what it is, I want to say, I can't. But it's because it is a new language. Everybody who's going to learn a new language, have experiences like that. I can't rememeber if I have had dreams in danish. But at the moment I can't remember my dreams because I'm too tired.
- When we get children, the language at home must be danish. It has to be a mixture rigth from the start, because children are like sponges, they'll soak up everything. They learn so easily, and if they learn it right from the beginning, they'll be good at languages. For instance at the meals, people often talk to each other, and it's where the family life unfolds, so at the table the conversation must be in danish. One can at the same time introduce english, but danish must be the first language, but at the same time they must learn to like english.
to be cont'n
Learning Danish (cont'd)
- I use many different methods to learn danish. F.ex. I watch the danish TV-serie "Matador" (Thor: About life in a provincial danish town between the two great wars), and this is a great way to learn the language, the danish history and danish culture. I read many danish books by danish authors and danish history books. The newspaper I read every day. I have two teachers. We go to exhibitions. F.ex, the one about queen's dresses at Rosenborg Castle. We visit art museums. Many different methods. Regarding books I have btw read "The Russian Singer" ( by Leif Davidsen) in an easy reader edition.
- Fundamentally it's important to me to master the language. If you live in a country which has another language than your own, then it's your duty to learn that language. If you want to be a part of that country.
- It's difficult for me to imagine what kind of demands my future role will entail, because it will evolve over time. I knów it will. It will begin like a puzzle, which after some time will create a picture of me as a crown princess ... Kronprinsesse ... it's difficult even to utter that word ...Crown Princess. When I say that about myself - call myself: crown princess - then it feels like it isn't truely me.
- It's a title, but it's what behind the title, which is the important stuff. It's probably why I am unable to see myself, because I haven't yet created or formulated all what's behind the title. I haven't found it's substance yet. Or the functions aren't there yet.
Ninka: "Doesn't it get to be a problem in some connections, to withold your deeper/inner feelings in the future?"
- But it's my problem.
- First of all I have to be the best partner for Frederik. Create and build a strong family. In society of today, a family do a lot of things at the same time. And at the same time I have to represent Denmark, try to create possibilities for danish bussiness, organisations etc. Try to build an interest in Denmark in many ways, in a lot of different ways. And to represent Denmark worldwide for some organization. There's a lot of possibilities. Evidently in the area of social security. Now when I'm standing with my feet at the blocks ready for running, to make the ball roll, I have already made some contacts to people in key positions, so I can start as soon as possibly. But I can't disclose details about this. It's only in it's start, and it will evolve. I can say this much: I'm very intereted in the mental health care system.
- But first of all, my job will be to meet the danish people. Right after wedding ... it's going to be really exciting and probably very rewarding. And hopefully supporting. The pat on the back I felt that first time, on the balcony at Amalienborg - to be given such a response -- I mean, they didn't even know me at all, except for being the chosen of the Crown Prince, whom they love. It has given me some recognition and accept, beforehand. I start with a positive beginning and try to build on that. At some point I'll hope to be recognised as the person I am, as much as the partner of Frederik.
- It's almost - it's just like standing at the end of the springboard - just before the jump. But I won't jump down - I'll jump up! The wheels has turned around for a long time, but now practically everything has been put behind us, it has become past - it's become before. Now we are going to be married, that's the first step. The next is to walk on board in our new life.
- For me the wedding day, will almost be like the day of my engagement. In the sense that my wedding day is the first step into my new role. The engagment day was the day, where I was recognized as an unofficial person, because I still perform unofficialy as a fiancé. But on a somewhat higher level. The day of my wedding is the day, where I seriously start my new job. It's going to be a very special day, because Frederik and I become a couple.
- Marriage - that's love, of course. There are some other cornerstones in a marriage: Trust. Mutual understanding. Respect. This holds in other relations too. Whether a bussines relationship or a relationship based on love. In both cases these cornerstones are essential. Honesty. But in marrigae there's always love. Love must evidently be there. And happiness ... comes as a consequence, not only from the relationship, but from yourself, too. This: to give support. Take the time to listen to each other. It's very important. There's probably more, I have missed. Anyway it has to be fun, too. There must be humour and laughther ... I believe we are in agreement to have a big family, but you never know.
- We see ourselves with children. How many I don't know. It depends on a lot of factors. But I hope we'll get as many as we want. And children can demand exactly the same, as the parents do, of the marriage. Children can ask for love, support, protection, understanding and trust, too, and happiness. There must be an element of disciplin, the best gift you can give your children, is the good and strong values. Children deserve to be heard, and feel that their ideas and opinions will be respected. One should listen to them and try to explain the differences between good and bad. Many times children just get a NO. In this way they never get to understand what's the reason behind the NO. By listening to them, understand them and allow then to ask why - you give them the ability to ask questions like that, later in life, in situations where they have need to ask questions like that, to consider there own values. To be able to evolve as true thinking human beings.
- In marriage children are priority number one. But the percentage of time you use on children depends of both the child itself and a lot of other factors. For some women it's more difficult to have children. They have to use much more time to fit into that role than others, who just take it in their stride, as something they have always been use to. Consequently, the time you use on the child varies a lot. My children will become my family and have priority number one. Now, I am in a situation where I'll get a lot of help. Consequently I'll be able to work as much as possible in time there is left. I'll consider myself to be a working mother, but I'll be a 100 percent mother. My children won't be raised by nannies. Definitely not. On the other hand I am not a clinging, hen-mother type of person - - that may change, of course, when I actually get children myself. Difficult to say.
- As I see my situation today, I wont have any problem by leaving my child an hour or two. Anyway, I'll get much more free time, than most newly fledged mothers have. (Thor's comment: in Australia perhaps. In Denmark new parents have one year paid maternity/paternity leave shared between the two parents).
- And we'll live at Fredensborg Castle. The Kancellihus is quite wonderful. The surroundings are so beautiful and the house has such a nice atmosphere. This is another big project we are involved in at the moment. The redecoration of the Kancellihouse is quite a timeconsuming affair. I relly think it's going to be spectacular. This may surprise some, but we are using quite strong colours on the walls - - it's amazing how well we have worked together. We have chosen all the colours and the furnishing ourselves. And we have agreed on everything. Almost all Danish homes I have seen, have been off-white or very, very light. We are so lucky to have very big rooms, consequently we can use a lot of colours. And we haven't been afraid to use strong colours, except for the official rooms, where the original colours is kept as they were. In these rooms it's important to maintain the original colourscheme. But in the ground floor ther's only two more or less official rooms.
- There's another incredibly aspect in our new roles: The people the family are able to meet! It must be really fascinating to meet a person, you have admired and appreciated. To meet the author of a book, you have read, the composer of a piece of music ,you have heard, or a person who have started an enterprise, or anything. To hear about their thougths and understand how they get their ideas. A sports star - the engagement you feel behind the person who is a top athlete, is incredibly. To hear about what lays behind it all. And I look forward to meet artists, too. Artists lives without the filters in their consciuosnes, and they think much more unhibited than you and me.
My Own Role
- In the three and a half year that have gone, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned to know my weaknesses. Some of them. There are things, which I probably have realized before I met Frederik, but there is something I have to work with, in a much more concentrated way, because I have been confrontrated with circumstance which affects them. Pessismism, for instance.
- I grew up with a wish to use all the possibilties life offers you, and that includes the worst imagined, too. F.i. if your sports team doesn't reach the finals. You have to prepare for that, how it is, not to win. I have found this difficult, but I have learned.
- I think our dad always has been very protective, he wanted us to be prepared for the worst. And this is a double edged sword, because on one hand it sets limitations, but on the other you are aware of his wish to protect you to be hurt. But you may be hurt anyway.
- One could be tempted to call my dad a pessimist, but he isn't. On the contrary he has his roots in the old conservative virtues, never to let yourself be knocked down. There's a lot of things he had to give up for the sake of his family - possibilities he had to give up, because it meant that his family had to move. He himself had a very challenging childhood. He was raised in a fisherfamily, where they had to take into account, that there wasn't always a haul to sell. They were three children - my father has an elder brother, Peter and a younger sister, Roy - an adventurous childhood. They all went to good schools and my dad and his sister went to university.
- My dad is very knowledgebly and clever, and maybe - and now I'm guessing - his humble attitude towards life, springs from the opposition, life contains, too. F.i. if you apply for a job, he would always have two other possibilties in the hand, not to be dissappointed. In a way this is a kind of optimism, the exact opposite of pessimism. I think it may be connected that way.
- I belive I'm a person with both my feet rooted in the earth. (Thor: metaphor for a common sense personality). But I haven't all the time followed my dad's protective attitude to life, and accordingly I haven't always fulfilled his wishes. If I wasn't completely satisfied in a project, I didn't continue it, just to be polite, it was rather a: "Everything is gonna be fine eventually!" kind of attitude. I had become more optimist. This was something I wanted to work with, even before I met Frederik. And when I met him, then I had to accelerate the process. In a way I have been a challenge to him, because I have been a little reserved all the time. Because I didn't believe, that it could evolve to something. It wasn't because I was a pessismist, but I wanted to protect myself. I'm still walking that road. I haven't reached my destination yet. But I can say : there's a feeling of relief in my life.
- Now, I have learned not to judge myself too harshly. There's a lot of others to do that. It's a part of life - to learn to be comfortably with yourself. This happens probably more unconscious, than conscious. I tell myself that I'm good enough. In a way it is good for a person to work with it. Many people never learn to accept themselves. It's a good thing that I have had to work with a problem, which have been a part of me, probably all my life. The last three and a half year has stressed the areas of my life, I had to work with in these particular circumstances. I and had started the work before I met Frederik. But my encounter with Frederik has enhanced them, and I have had to work harder with them.
- After I have met Frederik, I have to work with another question: "What rigth do I have to be here?" I'm only from a small island - from the other side of the globe. I have no connection with the nobility. My family isn't rich. I'm an ordinary person, with an ordinary background. I have a good education. But still - is it really true, that I have to be here? This have been in my thoughts all this time.
- But today I believe there must be some reason why. The connection between us was like a vulnarably bow, which had to be tautened. A long bow between Frederik and me - from one part of the Earth to the other. From one personal background to another. From one milieu to another, A bow which has to keep unbroken, So, there must be something else in this strange world, who have brougth us together.
- I lean more and more on my destiny -- I must believe in this, and that there must some reason why I'm here.
- Do I deserve to be here? Am I able to go through with it? I have to trust my destiny a little more, because I haven't anything to make comparations with. And it feels rigth to be with Frederik. I have to belive it is the purpose, that we two are together.
- But there are periods in time, when you work with yourself and have thougths about things. There are some people who are completely and fully optimists and belive that they can do anything at all. I'm a positive person, too, even if I sometimes can be in doubt. I think logical, too and have a down to earth attitude towards life. And this could sometimes make me think: No, this isn't possibly!
To be cont'n
My Own Role (Cont'n)
- It seems to me that Frederik and I have been moving forward all the time. But during this time, there has been crossroads, where we had to realize, that there might appear unexpected circumstances. He migth have gotten a new possibility to go on an expedition to Greenland. And we were both in the situation ,where we could meet others. He might easily meet someone else, who in my eyes, would appear much more fitting in rank. There's a lot of girls with a background, which one would find to be much more rigth for him. Because they was from this and that lineage.
- There is something I have become better at, since my meeting with Frederik: Just to be more open about my feelings. If he does something I find thougthless or not quite rigth, I say something about it immeadiately, instead of holding a grudge. That's so nice. It's nice not to waste time with pent-up frustrations. It's hurting yourself, and at same time, the other might never sense one's state of mind at all. It uses too much energy.
- Then, we speak a lot with each other conserning our worries and about everything else: Might we really do thing that way? And we are very optimistic about the future. It's our hope that it would be perfect, which makes you think a lot about things. If I somewhere, in the course of events, had returned, it had been because I had realized, that it had to stop. Because I didn't truely belived that it could succeed. The only thing I can say about that, is that Frederik surprized me all the time. His thougtfulness. And that he kept contacting me. He gave me the belief in myself. The belief that it could succeed, as it did.
- My own role are primarily to be a loving and loyal support for him. His confidant. And a kind of creative idea(wo)man, too, making us work together with the tasks. Bacause I show strength in relation to other people. He knows that he trust me fully and completely. My education and background as such, and my logical sense, migth be a help. I believe I can open his eyes to other ideas and suggestions and help him to explore new possibilities. I don't know where the limit for my support to Frederik is, but I'm a person you can count on, and I'm strong, and I won't break down.
- Divorce is impossibly for us, not to be imagined. It's my opinion that love only exist once -- and that's it! And wehave such a good relationship. We'll overcome all obstacles! We won't let the problems grow to big without doing something about them. We won't allow each other to build fences. This is something which often happens to a relationship - a gradually build up of greater and greeater distance between each other, and at last they can't see how they migth manage to surpass the clift between them. We both know how important that is in our relationship.
- We both know that one always have to work on one's realtionship and talk a lot about it, with respect for each other. Make room for each other. We aren't glued to each other, we have each, our own doings which we want to perform. In this way I think we complement each other really well. I know that everybody probably says the same rigth before their weddings. At the same time we are well aware, that the monarchy is important, and a divorce is unthinkably. Today I can stand up and say this with all my heart, that this will never happen to us. We have promised ourselves to do everything we can to achieve that. And that's all a human being can do.
- People, who wants the best for me, has said, that it's like I'm born to this job. But this is difficult to recognize, because I was born into something completely different. And this is the point, when I have to realize, that there might be a reason why I'm here right now. That the situation has evolved to this ... there has to be something - - - destiny. And I think about why my destiny becomes so leading. I belive, that it happens for a lot of people, that as life unfolds the influence of destiny grows, because the consequences and the incredibly moments you experience, you just can't belive it happens all by itself. When you grow older your experience with this phenomenon grows and your belief in it become verified. I don't talk about everybody. I don't say either that I understand it - I have a lot to learn, too. Will has something to with it. If you want something to happen, and if you are positive towards it's realization and you are bent on achiving the goal. That has something to do with it. Like my destiny taps me on the shoulder.
- My situation rigth now is fantastic ... some has called it a calling. Others have used the expression: To be born into that role. I have never thougth about it that way. The conclusion I have reached is that there is a reasom why I'm hére. And if I am not able to undertake this role, I wouldn't be here. I'm not here to fail. I'm sure about that. But I won't go as far as saying that I'm born for this role.
- To believe in destiny, is in a way supporting the situation. Another reason is because we love each other. But how did it happen that I came to love Frederik? That we came to love each other? What made us meet? I have often thought about, that if we didn't meet that particular moment in Sidney, we migth have met, at Tasmania at the world championship of dragon sailing. Maybe we would have met then. Then we would have had our second chance. But we were lucky.
- I always belived I would meet 'the man in my life'. I have always counted on being married and I have always wanted kids. I believe everybody dream about that.
- I had a boyfriend for seven years. We still have a very good relationship. Then, this didn't mean that I had lost my belief in marriage. We will always mean something special to each other, because we have gone through a lot together. He hasn't found the one and only, yet, I believe, but he will someday, because he's a very fine person. We just know this, the other will always be there. Seven years is a long time. and he was there for me, when my mom died. He was very compassionate at that time. I couldn't have found anyone better in that situation. When I travelled out in the world, it might have been some unconscious way to test our relationship. But I think that we already knew then, that our relationship had to end.
- But Frederik - - Frederik has so many abilities. His great energy - both spirituel and physical. His attitude to life - - he is a very interesting person, with a complex personality. He thinks deeply about things, and I think he becomes better and better to express his thougths and extract the essence. A oneness/totality/unity. He fights a lot of fights with himself - like many of us do. It's much about, what he has to do. He has warm, warm heart, he's loyal and honest, approching the flawless. He is funny. He's nice to be with, too. He's inquisitive, he can be full of surprises. A multi facetted person! He has so many sides. He has a wish to develope and grow in this life. He is loving. I think Frederik touches people's hearts. He doesn't like me to say this, but he's a very lonely person, like we all are.
- He has build himself an impressive background, a great expertice and ability, developed a great basis of knowledge. I know he works at getting it all integrated in a complete whole. He has to build up a role, which has relevance both for himself and for the times when he will become a king. It's a developement still going on, and at the rigth moment he will be ready. Evidently it takes a lot of reflections - f.i "How can I be sure about this, which way do I go, on what road do I leave my tracks?" I feel he has become stronger and stronger each day. He'll find himself.
End of translation
From the Mary interview
- If the monarchy one day disappers - I speak now about monarchy as a concept - it's caused by several factors: The developement of society and if an eventually - motivated - lack of respect for the royal family has come to existance. If the people don't see that they make a difference. If the people can't see the value of monarchy, it just underlines the fact, that the role of royals in the monarchy is extremely important. By inference it's extremely important too, that you don't break the rules - by making remarks about politics or political topics, for instance.
- There is a borderline. The royals have a very huge symbolic influence, and if you once cross that line - the rules of the game - it's dangerous in several ways. Others can use your opinions and attitudes, just because of your position in society. This a very big problem, and there must - from both sides - be a respect of the layed down guidlines. And the persons, who work from inside in this, has to do everything to maintain these norms.
- The evolution of society points to a much more flattened structure, which will result in the royal family not having the same role as before. Consequently, I think, that the royals has to be smart enough to find a strategy for survival. Just like any other company in a competitive world. What do we have to do, to ensure our position? What do we have to change? What can we ad to the monarchy as a brand to give it more importance and meaning in society. The royal family and the court have to work intensively to understand the continous changing in society and find the vacuums, they can fill.
- For most people traditions are important. They mean a lot to them, they give meaning, connection and strength. What has impressed me most by the Danes, is exactly their interest in the tradition. This is wonderful. And the royal family is an expression of a tradition. A very popular and strong tradition - a very meaningful tradition. Consequently, to destroy this -the peoples feeling for the importances of tradition - will take a lot, I believe. The strength of tradition are huge. When we in Australia could vote on the introduction of the Republic, it was a big surprise, when the bill got a "nay". Personally I was a bit surprised, too. But the people found that the kingdom was a part of themselves. It's a tradition. It's a kind of identity.
- But monarchy has to show intelligens, too. There has to be a warm, positiv feeling around it. Honesty. Foresigth. Not just do things as they always have been done. Because society isn't as it always was. You have to be smart enough to realize the necessity of change. You have to keep up with the beat. You can't just be a person who goes to openings and cuts cords with golden scissors, you have to think strategically, too, You have to "read the market" and find the ways to develope yourself, to be "relevant" in relation to that "market".
- You have to try to push your limits, try new methods. There isn't anything wrong in trying out new ideas. You can try it on some few "focus areas" in society. Perhaps my angle are a little business like, because I have worked in marketing and markets. Perhaps I'm a little naive on this subject, because all the people wants of the royal family is just to know, that they are there and that they do well. Trust. Respect. But apart from that, it should be possibly to ad new ways of doing things.
- In my opinion, one has already seen this throughout the last centuries, where the danish royal family has developed themselves. Going out amongst the people. The royals don't sit in their high castles anymore. But it's very important to consider how a modern monarchy must function, what is it's role? And at same time keep up the traditions.
- A modern royal family must be in rapport with the society around it, but still keep the very difficult and respectful distance. Perhaps the definition of a modern monarchy is: The danish monarchy. The dansh royal family.
- It's very important that our children, like The Crown Prince and Prince Joachim, is going to an ordinary school. Our children must participate in society like everybody else. Just as Prince Joachim has his life outside the royal family, with his farming and his great passion for that. It's important that our children - parallel with the life in the royal family - is prepared for a life outside it. Their social abilities will be developed.
- But it's important too, that they get the possibilities to persue their own dreams. Because it's possibly to do both.
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