Summary of articles in Billed Bladet #26, 2018.
I will not go into details about the funeral, only add a few details.
Instead I will focus more on what BB, and Count Ingolf has to say about Princess Elisabeth's life.
Count Ingolf who is now the last surviving of three siblings, gave in and sobbed when the hearse drove away.
After the ceremony at the church the family and others present at the ceremony were served coffee at a restaurant not far away, as is customary in DK. Among those going to the "gravøl = grave-beer" as it is also called, were Princess Benedikte and Queen Anne-Marie.
The restaurant was a favorite of Princess Elisabeth.
In the meantime the flowers and wreaths were placed on the grave of her brother Count Christian and his wife Countess Anne Dorte, who lie at Lyngby Cemetery.
A number of representatives for Elisabeth's protections and associates were represented as well. Like the Japanese ambassador. The Danish-Brazilian Society.
Prince Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe was there as well, and his wife, Princes Ilona.
Prince Ingolf said later on (perhaps on the phone?):
"Elisabeth's death was not a surprise, because she has been struggling for a long time. Since when she fell ill in May we could tell what way it would go, but she was stubborn and it was like she wouldn't let go of life. Finally Elisabeth fortunately found peace and that was good. But it is still hard nevertheless. It's hard because now I'm the last one left.
We have very, very close. And Elisabeth... yes, she was alright." (Jutlandic understatement.)
Q from Trine Larsen: Alright? What does the Count mean by that?
Ingolf: "Well, yes, I mean she was a fantastic older sister. She was always sweet and cozy and very helpful and as a child she was also a role model. Elisabeth often took the blame, even though it was us boys who did the mischief.
There has never been any hostility and sibling-rivalry between us. Fortunately. We have on the contrary always supported each other in everything and we did that right to the end.
That's a great joy."
He goes on to say that Elisabeth certainly had her opinions and that she liked to get her way.
Count Ingolf lives in Jutland, so he didn't see his sister very often, but the daughters of his brother, live in and around Copenhagen and they saw Elisabeth on a daily basis.
Princess Elisabeth was born in 1935, and as BB puts it, "her birth was, if not a disappointment, then not a cause for big jubilation either."
She was the firstborn in a dynasty where until 1953, only boys could be heirs.
Her very strict father, Prince Knud referred to her as: "her, the gal" (*)
And until she became an adult she feared her father very much.
So it was not that happy a childhood, but it helped a little when Ingolf was born in 1940 and Prince Christian in 1942.
Even she was the one who often got the blame, she loved her brothers.
She went to Lyngby Private School near Sorgenfri Manor, where she lived with her parents. And she hated going to school. Partly because she was bullied and partly because book-learning was not something she was good at.
Being a girl she wasn't destined to go to high school, so after finishing middle-school (Doesn't exist today, back then it was a preparation for high school.) in 1952 she went to the boarding school, Brillantmont in Lausanne in Switzerland. To learn cooking and languages.
She then went for a year at a housekeeping school and took a course at a fashion and design school as well. - All aimed to prepare her to become a good housewife.
Actually Elisabeth dreamed about becoming an ocean-biologist but during a course a friend told her about a job in the archive of the Foreign Ministry. She applied and got the job and worked for the ministry in 45 years.
For seven years she was stationed at the Danish embassy in Washington and for four years at the Danish UN mission in Geneva.
At some point she met the love of her life, Claus Hermansen and the two of them lived together for more 20 years until his death in 1997. The two of them agreed never to have children and they also agreed on never marrying.
"I would have become Mrs. Hermansen and that we both found a bit silly considering that were not to have children. That was a decision we were in total agreement about."
While never having children of her own she nevertheless became a much loved aunt for her brother's three daughters and their children as well, being called "tante Beth = aunt Beth" (**)
Despite living very different lives, Elisabeth maintained a good relationship with QMII and her sisters, even though they certainly did not see each other on a daily basis. Nor phoned on a daily basis either. But she was always invited to major events.
"We have never been particular close in our family, but apart from that it's probably mostly Daisy and Princess Benedikte I'm closest to. I'm also very fond of Anne-Marie, but she is so much younger."
Elisabeth was fond of handiwork and for many years she made her own gala-dresses.
In the last couple of years of her life she moved back to Sorgenfri Manor, where QMII put the Ladies Building at Elisabeth's disposal.
She fell ill in May and despite struggling she wasn't strong enough and she spend the last weeks of her life in a nursing home and here she died in her sleep, surrounded by her nearest and dearest.
(*) Difficult to translate directly. Tøs = a pretty derogatory word for a girl and depending on the context it can also mean something that is almost as derogatory as the the word "slut".
She was actually faster Beth.
Faster = father's sister.
Moster = mother's sister.
Tante = aunt in general or aunt who has married into the family.
The scans for this week here: