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Interviews with QMII & PH

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Hi all

This is my attempt at translating the Point de Vue interview with Henrik, which I hope will save Sandy some time as I know she's very busy at the moment. Sandy, if you prefer to post your translation, I will remove this one.

In the mean time, French speakers, please correct my errors!

Point de vue (PDV): Your Royal Highness, you write and publish poems. That’s something rare for a prince nowadays, isn’t it?

Prince Henrik (PH): It’s a way of externalising myself, without being controversial. In my position, what you write can be turned against you. But you can’t criticise poems. You can make judgements about their qualities but not their content.

PDV: Do you write [poems] often?

PH: No, this is the third collection. The first was called ‘Chemin faisant’, and in all modesty I had it published at my own expense. It wasn’t commercially available. The second, ‘Cantabile’, was published in a belles-lettres edition. The new work is published by Félin with watercolours by the Danish artist Maja Lisa Engheldart. It will be published in Danish next October. Its title in French, ‘Murmures du vent’ [‘Whispers of the wind’] shows all the beauty of the French language.

PDV: Have you written since your adolescence?

PH: I think that, like all adolescents, I wrote poems; then came a time when one was embarrassed by them. And then sometimes there is another period when one says, why not? That’s how it was for me. But as it is for everyone, it’s a very personal choice. The time I chose for ‘Murmures du vent’ was my fifties.

PDV: A very personal choice or by agreement with the queen?

PH: My wife doesn’t want to be involved with it; through discretion, she prefers to stay outside this area.

PDV: Do you write books [annieanlouise: novels?] as well?

PH: It’s very difficult for the spouse of a head of state to embark on literary expression that is very personal. However, I keep a journal and there, you never know! If, fifty years after my death, my grandchildren wish to publish it, it will perhaps become a historical document about the royal heads of state in the year 2000.

PDV: Do your children and grandchildren know about it?

PH (bursts out laughing): They know about it, but they have never read it.

PDV: Is it a daily journal?

PH: Nearly; I write in it every two or three days.

PDV: Do you take it with you when you travel?

PH: Of course.

PDV: It’s a true companion?

PH: It takes up three metres in my library.

PDV: But that’s huge!

PH: Proustian (laughs).

PDV: Everything is told in this intimate journal, I suppose?

PH: Far from it, that’s the whole point of a journal. Just think about it, how terrible it would be if you said everything you felt like saying.

PDV: Do you think that a monarchy like the one you represent needs to keep a certain mystery?

PH: Quite frankly, I think that mystery is no longer possible in the 20th [sic] century. First of all, people insist that we show ourselves in public. We don’t want to at all, but if we don’t do it, we are considered to be arrogant, snobbish; and if we do, people think we are showing off, making an exhibition of ourselves. As always, we have to keep a delicate balance.

PDV: Do you have a secret way of communicating with your wife, a code?

PH: Of course, we have a secret code of winking. That’s why we are a couple who are on the same wavelength. We understand each other. I think my wife is more used to it than anyone, for she was born in the seraglio [annieanlouise: i.e. in the court??] I think, too, that she is even more cautious than most women.

PDV: Your family is very important to you?

PH: Yes, enormously. Especially in an age like ours, when for the last twenty years the family has been threatened inasmuch as it is the basic unit of society. The moment there are no longer families, when children are taken in charge by the state from the age of three, they will become little robots. I’m all for education in the family. That’s a task that one should not entrust to the state.

PDV: What are the main principles which you wished to transmit to your sons?

PH: To be conscious of their individuality. Exactly. I have always told them, you are princes, accept it, you are who you are. Do it well. That is to say, be aware that you have many more duties than rights.

PDV: At what age did you hold them to these rules?

PH: From childhood. Of course, young children don’t yet grasp the difference between duties and rights. But it will be imprinted on them all their lives. They don’t forget it and they understand that their rights are always bounded by the rights of others. Privileges are only a gift. And when certain generations, in the 18th century for example, thought their privileges more important than their duties, it was a catastrophe.

PDV: How have you experienced the recent transformations in your close family such as the marriage of your son Frederik?

PH: In our era, being well born no longer means anything to the younger generation. If the person who is chosen has all the right qualities, you can say that birth is of no importance. And if there is a deep connection between two people, it’s still better. Then, if you add to all that, beauty, grace and great human qualities, as is the case with Mary, then why would you reject marriage? Mary and Frederik love each other very much, and that’s really the most important thing for a father.

PDV: Votre enpmoi du temps est il chosi par des tiers ? [annieanlouise: sorry, can’t work this one out!]

PH (laughs): It’s I who chose it, but because I am a weak creature I let myself be taken over by others.

PDV: Do you travel a lot?

PH: Yes; it’s a great pleasure, a way of believing that I exist. I no longer feel like just the husband of the queen; that I am in the shadow of my wife.

PDV: How is that?

PH: Officially, I’m only seen in relation to my wife; that sticks to my skin, I am the husband of the queen. But when I am in other countries, I am myself.

PDV: Does your wife understand that?

PH: Yes, of course!

PDV: Does she have particular views on this subject:

PH: It’s difficult for her, too. I am what’s called a prince consort. There are only two of us in the world, that is to say very few.

PDV: What do you think about the future marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla? Is it a surprise?

PH: No, I think it’s a good decision for them.

PDV: When Prince Charles comes to the throne, Camilla will become the princess consort; will that be a first?

PH: In fact, she won’t be the queen. That is a new sign of the evolution of the monarchy.

PDV: Is that a prospect that pleases you?

PH (bursts out laughing): At last a woman in our group of consorts, and what a woman!

PDV: Do you know her?

PH: No, I’ve never met her, even though I’ve often met Prince Charles.

PDV: What do you think about that marriage?

PH: One is always happy to see people find happiness together.


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Hi annieanlouise

You made a very good translation.

PDV: Votre enpmoi du temps est il chosi par des tiers ? [annieanlouise: sorry, can’t work this one out!]

PH (laughs): It’s I who chose it, but because I am a weak creature I let myself be taken over by others.

The translation of this question is as follows :

PDV: Your timetable of is time it chosi by thirds?

PH (laughs): It’s I who chose it, but because I am a weak creature I let myself be taken over by others.

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Interview with Queen Margrethe (in Danish) - The Norden Association



"- My own family history is a bridge

per se. The Nordic royal families
belong together. We are vert close.
really near. The same applies to the
children. The Crown Prince is very,
very good friends with Crown Princess
Victoria and Prince Daniel. The
the same applies to his relationship with
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess
Mette-Marit. They see each other a lot , both
at each others homes and in the outside world. They
are closer together than I was with
my cousins, because the three heirs are
are closer in age."


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  • 2 years later...

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