About Nikolai dropping out of the military.
Both Joachim and farbror Frederik were fond of their time in the military, so it was more or less expected Nikolai would follow in their steps. But he didn’t.
“Princess Marie had prior to that asked me whether I was absolutely certain it was a good idea for him. – Are you sure he is that type? – I replied confidently: Of course he is!
But I was wrong. So when the questions of doubt arose, we had to change strategy. And then we had a talk…
… I reality it was probably more me who should have the talk with him, rather than him having the talk with me.”
Joachim did need time for reflection.
“I couldn’t fathom it and couldn’t see it as neither a defeat for him, or for me and anyone.
We live in a different age. Here was a situation where it made no sense that he continued. When that’s how it after all is and when I after al has overpaced (him), he should not suffer an injustice. But there shouldn’t come a bad story out of it as well. Si we had to turn the table around and look at it in a different way. It was also a fantastically adult decision. Looking back I should have listened to Princess Marie.”
Q: But surely that’s a lesson that’s part of it. I mean there will be three more?
“Well… two at least.”
Q: It might be that Princess Athena will also sign up for the military?
“Well… yes, as she is right now, it might very well be!
But the whole story taught me to by-pass my own norms and expectation. Get hold of yourself, slow down and don’t be so hidebound/obdurate. Better use your own age to look mildly at things. There is no such thing as the perfect person in the perfect world. That was a lesson for life for me. And for him.”
Joachim has since supported his son wholeheartedly in his modelling career.
“I’m very, very proud. I’m proud as a peacock over him. He is standing as the first in a modern age and has to both create his career and make a living for himself. Knowing very well that there is a (family) connection he cannot run from. What I told him about the modelling career was: Try it. And then you learn to earn your own money. That is one thing. But you will also grow wiser about the world.
I recommended him to stay exclusive. Because if he aims for the top, no one shall say that he was cheap for sale. The grand thing is then to maintain being exclusive. That was my advice to him and that I will stick to.”
“Prince Nikolai has in principle left the nest now and is now more coming visiting. But there is always a bed ready if the oldest one comes. The oldest must feel that here they are not guests. Here they are home and then some house-rules apply and which you take part in.”
About leaving Schackenborg.
Does he miss being a farmer? Joachim sighs deeply:
“I don’t know if I can say that I miss the life as a farmer. It wasn’t easy and I never managed to get it fully up and running in a sustainable way. But I miss life in the countryside. The big sky. And I miss Southern Jutland.”
Fortunately the family is able to go to Schackenborg often and they were there to celebrate Henrik’s birthday, because the boy is very fond of the place. The family still has ties to the region. But Joachim admits freely that the sale of Schackenborg was a major downer for him.
“It was certainly a defeat not being able to continue running it for longer than it was. Because it was something that I had determined during the years where I quietly and with delight got used to the thought of living there. You are always wise when you see things in the rearview mirror. You can analyze all of it thoroughly. What could you have done? What did you do wrong? But it didn’t work and there is no use crying over spilled milk.
You are tested all your life. You become a knowledge richer. Then you have gone a good deal further with yourself. That doesn’t mean there won’t be other challenges of a different nature. I have had defeats and they have over time been very well described. But I have moved on and have become wiser. I have reflected over the causes.”
Joachim has often been on the front pages without speaking up. If it’s made up or wrong it’s one thing. Also whether it’s cause for reflection.
“But if I feel hurt, then there is probably something true in it and in those cases I have reflected personally over the criticism that is justified. And then I don’t pile up excuses, but realize that I too make mistakes.”
His wife and going to France.
“My wife (formal word) is a fantastic source of inspiration. In all her approach to what she is doing. Everything from homely chores to her public work. Simply. She has always looked dynamically and differently at it. And not just dusty and squared. It has from the start been an eye-opener for me and a huge source of inspiration.
I can feel that I too can live through her. She can so much and do so much I would wish I could as well and I can only try and keep up with her. She’s a free creature, inspiring and dust will never grow on her. She is way too dynamic for her to gather dust. Whereas I might be… and is… the dusty one.
I wouldn’t be able to be where I am today, if it hadn’t been for her. All the way through.”
And now they are moving to France for a period. Joachim is looking forward being a Francophile and Marie wasn’t difficult to persuade.
Joachim don’t expect to see much of Paris while there, he will be too busy with his studies. For the children it will be a change though.
Marie is not supposed to be a homemaker while there. After the initial period of adjusting the family, she is meant to have time for other things than home and children.
Joachim is well aware to the speculations as to whether they will return to DK again.
“I don’t think we in any way will leave Denmark. In that respect I’m too Danish and during the eleven years the Princess has been in Denmark, she has also become attached to Denmark. A year of opportunities for her and a year of schooling for the children. That’s our starting point. That’s where our focus is now. Now the year must start. With the challenges that will bring and with the possibilities that comes from it.
The children took it differently. Because they are different. One immediately saw the advantage of living in Paris (my guess is Henrik) while the other is perhaps more seeking comfort. But this will be big for all of us and now both children are reconciled to the plan.”
“Last year we could celebrate Henrik’s birthday in Paris. He would like that. And instead of going to amusement parks, he wanted to see monuments. So we saw Notre Dame both inside and outside. So when we saw the disaster during Easter, he said: “How fortunate it was last year we saw it.
That I thought was a touching reflection.” (And that’s why I think Henrik, to my surprise, is the one who looks most forward to go to Paris. Apart from apparently being a little nerd, he is obviously fond of France...)
See for yourselves here: https://app.box.com/s/69o58vjxm2t81o2tjm35e211mzab80uk