Prince Joachim & Princess Marie's Visit to Brazil: September 12-16, 2010

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Summary of two articles in Billed Bladet #38, 2010.
Jeg prøver at være stærk - I try to be strong.
Written our correspondent in Brazil Henrik Salling. Article and gallery.

Who caught up with Joachim hand his Marie taking a troll on Copacabana Beach.

While Joachim had been busy with Danish trade delegation, la Marie (and the press) had been to a favela, a slum area and visited Adolescentro in Rio de Janeiro. An activity centre for children. A centre that has had its share of problems in the past, with violence and even shootings. That has now changed and the centre is safe.
The means to change that has come not least because of financial support from Globo TV. Marie also visited the studios of that network and ended up on morning TV. Mais Voce, is seen by five million viewers a day and the host, Ana Maria Braga, were suddenly told that our Marie was in the studio and had to improvise. That included asking that fair Marie, what language is spoken in Denmark. (*)

Anyway, back to the Adolescentro, where Princess Marie handed out Lego bricks to the children and took her shoes of to play a little with a soccer ball. Marie got a huge applause from those present at the centre when she was to give a little speech and unable to hold back a couple of tears she said: "I'm deeply moved by how I'm received and I promise to come back to see how you are doing".

All in all, a lot of impressions which J&M told our reporter about.
Marie: "I tried to be strong but I was so deeply moved by the situation. So I didn't succeed so well.
- I've always been a emotional person and no less so since I became a mother myself. I've always had a soft spot for children.
- The children have nothing. But despite that, they are still happy. They smile and play and it was fun to among other things play a little soccer with them. It was a very emotional situation for me to be in".

When she and Joachim met again in the evening they talked about the impressions during the day.
Marie: "We talk a lot when we meet in the the evening. We each need to off-load to one another, when we as today have experienced the biggest contrasts. From the visit among the poorests in the farvelas and to the TV production, which is a completely different world. The contrasts in particular and the distribution of the goods of life has made a big impression on me".

While Joachim focused on commerce, Marie focused on social issues and she goes on: "We don't have the same interests and I prefer to do something that interest me....". (**)
Joachim breaks in: "That is, not that the Princess is not interested in the oil and gas conference - but we should preferable cover as wide subjects as possible.
- And then we have something to talk about when we come home".

Around 50% of all Brazillian children from 0-6 years of age live in poverty. That has made an impression on Marie: "We can't take the children with us home in the pocket but we should very much like to come back in few years time to see how the development has been.
It takes some time to process the experiences from today. Longer than I right now can imagine. But that doesn't matter. I'd like to think/reflect a lot more on the children".

Joachim: "I'm well aware that the experinces of the Princess are very different from mine. But Brazil is to break the curve of poverty, there has to be someone to raise the money in order for the population to get better. Here are really some people who have a really rough time - and who has not tasted the sweet fruits of life.
- Poverty cannot be segmented but compared. Perhaps poverty is worse in a big city. In the country side there is hunger and desease. On the other hand, in the country side you have the dignity that you live like your ancestors. You don't have that in the big city".

Both Joachim and Marie would like to return to Brazil.
Marie: "I feel so fortunate that I can make a difference and put focus on subjects which genuinely interest me. I've always had a desire to help. But that can be difficult when you are just an - ordinary person - . Now it's a lot easier for me. And for that I'm very happy.

Danish commerce is pretty pleased with this visit. Jens Olsen is president of the Danish chamber of commerce in Sao Paulo, he is a heavy weight within Danish business and commerce, he has lived in Brazil for many years and he has known the DRF also for many years.
He said about this visit: "Princess Marie is a good thing for Prince Joachim and the two of them supplement each other incredibly well.
- When I look at Prince Joachim, I see a happy prince who is incredibly proud of his wife. The two of them use each other. And in contrast to Alexandra, Joachim and Marie do not compete against each other. They work together and they are so sweet together".

As you may know, Bette Hanrik has taken his first steps unaided and Marie tells us: "While we were on the plane on the way to Brazil our son took the first steps home in Denmark. I'm so sorry I didn't see it.
We have a very sweet nanny who immediately sent us a video clip and he is just so sweet".

Joachim laughs: "He probably thought: Now mum and dad are gone (so) I'll just start to walk".

Marie goes on about Bette Henrik: "He doesn't talk so much yet. He has said: mamma, but as we speak both Danish and French to him, it's a bit difficult. But that'll come".

Joachim explains: "It usually slow down learning, when children have to relate to several languages. But we are in agreement that he might just as well start to learn French as soon as possble".

(*) A question all the Danish coverage of this visit focus on. - But then, how many Danes can say off hand what language is spoken in Brazil?

(**) A typical Marie! :D May she never lose her spontanous honesty.
Also, I think Joachim needn't have stepped in here. I think there would be some understanding should the Marie not be that interested in business and commerce.
Thanks for the summary! I'm sorry to hear the Prince and Princess missed their son's first steps.

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