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See the queen by request or bump into her at a shop

Denmark: Head of state can speak her mind on TV

Stephen Bates

Saturday April 14, 2001

The Guardian

At first sight, the Danish royal family appears little different from ours. They change the guard outside the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen every morning for the tourists, just like in London except that the soldiers wear blue uniforms with their bearskins, not red ones.

The EU's second smallest member state has a queen married to a foreign husband. She has been on the throne for a long time - nearly 30 years - and has two sons, the older of whom has had difficulty finding a wife. She keeps dogs, dachshunds rather than corgis, and occasionally drives in an open-topped gold carriage.

But there any resemblance Queen Margrethe II has to her second cousin Elizabeth tends to falter. She can trace her lineage rather further back than the Windsors, being the 54th Danish sovereign (but only the second queen) in a direct line stretching back more than 1,000 years to King Grom the Old.

Margrethe, 60 years old, a chain-smoking (60-a-day) and striking six footer, educated at Cambridge, the LSE, the Sorbonne, and in Denmark, speaks five languages and is an accomplished stage and textile designer and book illustrator.

Any Dane can pop in to see her on request and they can even come across her in the local shops just down from the palace. It is said that she can be seen carrying her shopping bags back to the Amalienborg and her official car joins the Copenhagen rush hour most mornings to cross the city to her office in the Christiansborg Palace.

She and her French-born, former diplomat husband Henri, whose name has been transmogrified into Henrik in Danish, receive the equivalent of about £4.5m a year from the state, on which they pay no taxes, and the two royal princes, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, receive an additional £1.3m.

These expenses help with the upkeep of the four royal palaces, though the royal yacht is maintained by the state. The family also has a chateau in Cahors, southern France, where Henrik can supervise his vineyard - whose product is marketed over the internet as Vin du Prince de Danemark.

In 1985 Henrik briefly went on strike, refusing to open any more buildings until he got paid for it - and he won.

Crown Prince Frederik's long search for a suitable wife (he is now 32) has been discreetly followed but a newspaper which dared to carry a photograph of him relaxing beside a swimming pool with a girlfriend three years ago was fined for its presumption. He was last reported to be squiring Bettina Odum, a Danish designer living in London.

"It is certainly easier to be a Prince of Denmark than a Prince of Wales," the queen told British correspondents last year. They certainly don't have the same media pressure - but then when did Queen Elizabeth II ever give an interview to any newspaper?

When his younger brother married Hong Kong-born Alexandra Manley, who has a half-Chinese father, an Austrian mother and a British passport, six years ago, there was rejoicing at Europe's first princess to have Asian blood.

The couple's popularity increased when she gave birth to a son two years ago. The queen has said that her sons must have marriages that will last. Frederik follows heir-to-the-throne type pursuits, gaining his frogman's diving diploma and training for long spells in Greenland with the armed forces, while Joachim farms.

Margrethe has similar powers to Elizabeth, except that she can theoretically delay legislation. When she makes her annual address to the nation - on New Year's Eve rather than Christmas Day - she is even allowed to be controversial: a few years ago she ticked off her fellow citizens for their growing racism and hostility to asylum seekers.

The Danes, who can be a stubborn lot, are famously protective of their queen. When the Swedish media had the temerity to criticise her smoking, Denmark's equivalent of the Sun thundered back: "Mind your own business, Swedes."

Opinion polls put support for the monarchy at over 90%. "Anti-monarchists have a hard time here," says the foreign minister, Niels Helveg-Petersen.

One Danish journalist was quoted as saying: "I wish I could tell you some bad things, but there just aren't any. Our royal family know how to behave. In a small country, we would all know if they did not."




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What a nice article. Queen Margrethe seems to be well loved in most royal watching circles and with good reason. She's wonderful. After I finish school, I'd like to live in Europe for a while and right now, Denmark is looking extremely inviting, with their amazing royal family, especially their beloved Queen and Princesses. <:> F)

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  • 5 weeks later...

In 1958 The young Henri had his destiny fortold by a chinese fortuneteller in the far east: "You'll have an extraordinary destiny, you'll get a completely new kind of life, you'll come to an unknown country. Your new life will be exciting, but full of traps, and your life is going to be difficult. You'll be rich, famous, and the rest of your life will be in a place surrounded by water"

Nine years later the 33-year old Henri became Prince Henrik of Denmark and married a princess in a country surrounded by water and with hundreds of islands.

An adventurous story with a shaman, a prediction and a frenchman who became a prince, culminating in the 70 anniversary june 11, 2004.

But reality is seldom like a fairytale.

Since the wedding in Holmen's Church in Copenhagen in 1967 Prince Henrik has had big problems to define his role in the rituals surrounding the Royal Family.

At the wedding dinner PH promised his bride solemnly that he would become 100 percent Danish. But this promise he never kept. He has never seriously become a member of the Danish tribe. He insist on being a frenchman in Denmark. And his role in the RF is unclear.

As he says in his memoires, the Danes look upon him as a shadow in the wake of QMII. A shadow without substance. A silhuet judged for eternity to be humble, a funny guy, who's role is to be three discrete steps behind the Queen.

Two years ago the fairytale seriuosly started to crumble.

Suddenly Prince Henrik got tired of his role, and had a freak like a distempered child, and fled to his winery in Chateau de Caïx where he sat grumbling and moaning his royal fate. This shook and shocked the Danish Monarchy.

Many years of frustration got a let out. Perhaps PH remembered the chinese shaman's word of traps and difficulties.

In Southern France PH bemoaned his fate and complained in a strong language to the tabloid BT. He felt that nobody respected him. Neither TDRF, nor the people or the press.

The cause of this distemper, was the episode at the new years reception. QMII was ill and in that cases PH usually was a stand in for her. But this year QMII suddenly decided that CP Frederik should stand in for her. This was too much. That he, Prince Henrik, should defer to his own son!!

PH scolded Denmark too: " I care very much for Denmark. Why do they belittle me all the time? Disappoint me? Step on my toes all the time and trying to destroy my self respect?"

Consequently he had decided to retire to his winery to reflect on his life, he said to the danish public.

This made great stirrings in local mud pond, Denmark. The Prince had become a heretic. He destroyed the glamorous picture of the Royals, by behaving like a bitter, grouchy old man, who was jaloux of his own son.

Most Danes have always had a mixed and lukewarm attitude towards Prince Henrik. On one hand they like his quick wit, his good humour and informal charm. On the other hand a foreigner - even a count -doesn't score high with the Danes, if he doen't fit in 100 percent to the danish culture and mentality.

The prince's Danish is something else. His Danish with a heavy French accent, has become a symbol for an attitude of arrogance and closedness. It doesn't matter that he speak English, Mandarin and Vietnamese on the side.

The Prince's utterings to BT created a tsunami of bad publicity in the media.

But most is now forgotten as we soon are going to celebrate his 70 anniversary.

The press who thence hunted Prince Henrik, now participate in a kind of a election of saint.

Even Extrabaladet.

What's happeded? According to Claus Bjoern, the Prince has changed his style since the fatal incident 2 years ago, probably advised by a spindoctor.

"Here we have a man, who represents an elitarian french culture, and that's definitely not popular in Denmark, where we love the ordinary man on the street. It has been the purpose of The Royal Family to draw a picture of a kind, relaxed family father and granfather type of person, and it has succeded.

But this only one of PH many faces. His elitarian attitude to the world, his two boys have felt on their own bodies.

For instance when CP Frederik at his parents 25 wedding anniversary said: "Spare the rod and spoil the child. You ceratinly didn't spoil us!"

Or when he - two years later at PH's 60 anniverary - stressed the fact of PH's belief in oldfashioned upbringing.

"When your steps sounded in the long corridors outside our study, we saw the lion step out of the Montpezat's coat of arms. It roared, if it detected slackiness. It happened and we felt the hair on our necks raisen, we felt the sweat on our foreheads, and a keen scratching of feet was heard. It was a true study in terror."

The staff of the court, has felt the firm hand of Prince Henrik, too. Several sources point to the fact that the French Prince has a hand in all decisions. Almost every note of expenditure is revised by PH personally, and his temperament is feared.

The biggest issue of all, is the Prince's great engagement in the production of wines at Chateau de Caïx. A wine hobby, which he has tried to make a good business enterprise the last 10 years.

But his fundamental problem is, that his production is too small, in relation to his big investment in a modern winery apparatus. Consequently he has to get every penny he can for the produce he sells.

Former members of the staff of court, say that Prince Henrik is a man without a realistic view of his own abilities. He wants to be a big business, but doesn't have the ability to be so.

At the same time PH has a double role, because he buys the wine to the court, and provide wine to the court. The Danish Court takes about 3,000- 5,000 bottles a year of the Prince's own wine. Latest at the wedding of CP Frederik and Mary Donaldson.

And the quality of the wines delivered from PH is under debate too. A year ago a bad year of PH's wine was served for 1,000 guests at a celebration at the Royal Opera House. It was discussed insde in the staff.



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The language problems of Prince Henrik is symbolized in this poem, which appeared in the satirical column ATS in Politiken, purportedly from "prince henri", in relation to the publication of his collection of poems "Cantabile", some years ago:

Roser er røde

Violer er blå

Og jeg kan ik' den danske

sprog forstå

Roses are red

Violets are blue

And I can no danish

language understoo'



AH...Hmmm..... poems, fairytales

Think there was something.

Seems I have to go to steal shamelessly a bit more.....

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  • 5 months later...
Margrethe is translated into "Marguerite" in French, which means daisy. :lol:

Thanks queenanne!

I wondered about that myself!

"BG" :lol:

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Why is QMII nicknamed 'Daisy'?   :@:

The other reason is that QMII's maternal grandmother Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden was called 'Daisy' as well. Crown Princess Margareta died from illness when QMII's mother (Queen Ingrid) was ten. So Ingrid and Frederik IX decided to name their firstborn daughter 'Margrethe' (the Danish version of Margareta) in memory of Ingrid's deceased mother.

Here's the link to the thread of Crown Princess Margareta ;)

EDIT: Thanks potter, I'd forgotten about that. I was talking about Queen Margrethe and Queen Ingrid so I guess got queen-ified and called CP Margareta 'queen' by mistake. :)

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So the Queen obviously quite likes her nickname!  I wonder if her family called her 'Daisy'?  :@:

Thanks for the extra information, Thor.  I love the connection with the jewellery.  F)

HI Angelam

You're welcome.

As far I have heard (read about), they do.

Cheers Thor


Thank you for the clarification. I also understand that H.M.Q.M calls her cousin The Queen of England, Lilliebet. She has saind in documentaries here in the U.S. that she lover her dearly! It is one of my favorite stories about two of my favorite monarchs!

"BG" :)

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  • 5 months later...

In this week you can buy Prince Henrik's Wine as a special offer in COOP Denmark, which is a member-owner consumer chain-store:

6 fl. Château de Caïx, Cahors 1999

Pris kr. 539,00

6 fl. Château de Caïx, Cahors 1999

6 x 75 cl

Ved køb af 6 flasker (= 89,83 pr. fl. / 119,78 pr. ltr.)

Château de Caïx har en lang historie. Tilbage i det 14. århundrede var slottet et af de befæstede steder, der kontrollerede sejladsen på Lot floden. Slottet ligger ved den lille slette ved landsbyen Caïx. Château de Caïx er ombygget gentagne gange siden det 14. århundrede. De tidligere ejere, familien Pompignan, moderniserede vinduerne og indrettede de udstrakte kældre med henblik på

vinproduktion i det 18. århundrede.

Regentparret købte Château de Caïx i 1974. Bygningerne er nænsomt restaureret og er blevet et samlingssted for hele den kongelige familie og den franske gren af familien.

Der er benyttet 85% Auxerrois, 10% Merlot og 5% Tannat druer til vinen.

Vinen har en flot rubinrød farve, frugtagtig bouquet og en meget fin duft af modne frugter. Den er i fin balance, er let krydret og har en behagelig fyldig og lang eftersmag.

Årgang 99 - nu en vin med seks år på bagen - og stadig meget mørk og tæt i farven og smagskarakteren.

Vinen er velegnet til kraftige retter med kød samt til ost.

6 btls. Château de Caïx, Cahors 1999

Price Dkr. 539,00

6 x 75 cl

Château de Caïx has a long history. Back in 14. century the castle was one the fortifications which guarded the transport at the Lot River.The Castle is located on a small plain at the village of Caïx. Château de Caïx has been renovated and redecorated several times since the 14th century. The former owners , the  Pompignan Family, rejuvenated the windows and spacious cellars with regards to modern wine production in the 18th century.

The Royal Couple bougth the Castle in 1974. The buildings has been renovated carefully and has developed to a meetingplace for all members of the DRF, and the French branch of the family.

For the wine  is used 85% Auxerrois, 10% Merlot and 5% Tannat grapes.

It has grand ruby red color, a mature fruity aroma. It has a very fine balance, slightly spicy and a mature and long aftertaste.

The year 1999 - a wine 6 years old - still very dark and intense in color and taste.

The wine is suited for filling meals with red meat and cheese.

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That is 72,27€ and per Bottle 12,04€ :blink: So it is not an inexpensive wine, but also not the most expensive class. But how high are taxes on alcohol in Denmark?

Right now I am not sure, if we take 7% in Germany as for food or if we take 16% as for consumer goods ;)

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Hi Sternchen

WE have a 25% Vat on everything. And on top that there er special taxes on wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, chokolate, cigarettes and tobacco, petrol, cars, perfume, which make these goods pretty expensive. There is some trafficing with Germany, many drives over the Danish-German border, and fill the tank with German gasoline, and the trunk with German beer, and the frontseat with German cigarrettes, chokolate and wine. Although I belive since there has been some raises in tax on cigarattes, this isn´t so much anymore.

On the other hand The Swedes are travelling to Denmark to buy spirits, since the Swedish tax on that is higher than the Danish, so......

So Thor,

What are the income tax rates like????? Are these really high as well??

Ginny :bo: :bo:

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Thank you so much pfor posting a picture of Prince Henrik's wine! I was trying to get a look at the label, so I could try and find it here in New York. I had hoped to visit awine store on Thursday; but never got the chance. I am thinking perhaps on Monday, I can get up to Astor wines and see if they have it!

"BG" :D

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Thank you so much pfor posting a picture of Prince Henrik's wine! I was trying to get a look at the label, so I could try and find it here in New York. I had hoped to visit awine store on Thursday; but never got the chance. I am thinking perhaps on Monday, I can get up to Astor wines and see if they have it!

"BG" :D

BG, perhaps the wine will go with NACHOS. [:} ;gui;


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If you find this wine or another one from the chateus - he produces a lot of different wines - please notice the label. It's designed by Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik's monogram is on top, a big


If you buy this wine, you get 2 things in one: an original piece of art by Queen Margrethe II, and a original work of art (the wine) by Prince Henrik :ba: :ba:

Cheers Thor

Thanks thor!

I will be on the prowl next week for it!

"BG" ^heart^

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So Thor,

What are the income tax rates like????? Are these really high as well??

Ginny   :bo:  :bo:

HI GInny


Between 40 and 60 %, depending on how much you earn. We have a progressive tax system, for the high end of the income, the tax is murderous <:> <:>

But remember we have free medicare, free hospitals, free education, including university, 1 year pregnancy leave, welfare care for all, with aminimum support.

Cheers Thor

Well in Germany everyone want to pay less taxes and free medicare, free hospitals, free education, including university, 1 year pregnancy leave, welfare care for all :huh: <_< :blink:

How some could finance this, nobody wants to know <_<

But everyone keeps complaining that we pay to much taxes and our highest taxes are under 50% :blink:

So the Germans should take a leaf out of your book.... :@:

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I also posted this in the Château de Cayx, Cahors, France thread.

He got the "Wein Gourmet des Jahres" in 2005 on Schloss Bensberg in Germany.


Weingourmet des Jahres: Prinz Henrik von Dänemark


Wine Awards 2005: Diesen Pokal nehmen die Preisträger auf Schloss Bensberg in Empfang.


Schloss Bensberg: Vor 300 Jahren erbaut, seit fünf Jahren Grandhotel


Wine Awards 2004: Der Ball war ein voller Erfolg


Edle Tropfen auf Schloss Bensberg

"And the winner is ... Prinz Henrik von Dänemark!" Nein, hierbei handelt es sich um keine Verwechslung, sondern um die Verleihung der diesjährigen Wine Awards. Bereits zum dritten Mal vergibt die Hamburger Fachzeitschrift "Wein Gourmet" ihren "Wein-Oscar" an hervorragende Winzer aus aller Welt.

Hamburg - Am 5. März vergibt der "Wein Gourmet" im Schlosshotel Bensberg in Bergisch Gladbach zum dritten Mal seine Wine Awards. Mit dem "Wein-Oscar" werden auch in diesem Jahr wieder fünf bekannte Persönlichkeiten aus der internationalen Welt des Weins von der Hamburger Fachzeitschrift ausgezeichnet.

Höhepunkt des Abends wird die Verleihung des Wine Awards "Wein Gourmet des Jahres" an Henri de Monpezat, besser bekannt als Seine Königliche Hoheit Prinz Henrik von Dänemark sein. Der Prinzgemahl der dänischen Königin Margarethe II. ist Weinliebhaber und -fachmann. Zu seinem Besitz gehört das Château de Caïx in der Weinregion Cahors im Südwesten Frankreichs.

Weitere "Wein-Oscars" werden in den Kategorien "Newcomer des Jahres", "Winzer des Jahres", "Bester deutscher Wein des Jahres" und "Lebenswerk - Lifetime Achievement" verliehen. Außerdem vergibt die Zeitschrift erstmals einen Ehrenpreis für besondere Verdienste um das Ansehen und die Entwicklung des Weinbaus in einem europäischen Land. Die Preisträger bleiben bis zum Abend des 5. März geheim.

Durch die Verleihung der Wine Awards 2005 führt der TV-Moderator Max Schautzer. Jeder der sechs Preisträger wird von einem prominenten Laudator geehrt.

Im Anschluss an die Preisverleihung bitten vielfach ausgezeichnete Spitzenköche der "Althoff Hotels & Residences" zu einem Abendessen mit Köstlichkeiten aus ihren Küchen in die Passagen und Salons von Schloss Bensberg.

Überdies werden Winzer aus der ganzen Welt mit ihren Weinen anwesend sein, von denen die Gäste kosten können. Im Anschluss spielt das Orchester im großen Saal zum Festball auf. Die Teilnahme an den Wine Awards 2005 kostet pro Person 249 Euro.


Google translation

Noble drops on lock Bensberg

"and the more winner is... Prince Henrik of Denmark!" No, here it concerns around no mistake, but the award of the Wine of this year Awards. Already for the third time those assigns its "wine OSCAR" to Hamburg technical periodical "wine Gourmet" to outstanding winegrowers from all world.

Hamburg - on 5 March the "wine Gourmet" assigns its Wine Awards in the lock hotel Bensberg in Bergisch Gladbach for the third time. With the "wine OSCAR" also in this year again five well-known personalities from the international world of the wine are distinguished by that Hamburg technical periodical.

High point of the evening will the award of the Wine Awards "wine Gourmet of the yearly" at Henri de Monpezat, better admits than his royal sovereignty prince Henrik of Denmark to be. The prince husband of the Danish queen Margarethe II. is wine lover and fold man. To its possession the Château de Caiex belongs in the wine region Cahors in the southwest of France.

Further "wine Oscars" becomes in the categories "Newcomer of the yearly", "winegrowers of the yearly", "best one German wine of the yearly" and "life's work - Lifetime Achievement" lent. In addition the magazine assigns for the first time a ehrenpreis for special earnings/services around the reputation and the development of the viticulture in a European country. The winners remain secret up to the evening 5 March.

By the award of the Wine Awards 2005 the TV moderator max Schautzer leads. Everyone of the six winners is honoured by a prominent Laudator.

Following the award of the prize often distinguished point cooks "oldhope hotels & Residences" to a dinner with Koestlichkeiten from their kitchens into the passages and salons of lock of the Bensberg ask.

Besides winegrowers from the whole world with their wines will be present, from which the guests can cost. In the connection the orchestra in the large hall plays to the fixed ball up. The participation in the Wine Awards 2005 costs 249 euro per person.

Some other links:






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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 months later...

B.T. article

Queen Margrethe will return home to Denmark for a knee operation early next week at Århus Kommunehospital, rather than taking a short holiday of 5 - 6 days sailing, which she and Prince Henrik had planned for after the State Visit to Greece. The official programme ends on Friday. Queen Margrethe made this announcement at the press conference aboard Dannebrog in Athens on Thursday. Prince Henrik will stay aboard the Royal Yacht as it returns to Denmark.

The Crown Prince and Prince Consort will assist with the Queen's duties while she recuperates.

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The queen will have her operation on Thursday.

Dronningen opereres torsdag

Dronning Margrethe skal opereres torsdag morgen på Århus Kommunehospital, hvor hun får udskiftet sit knæ.


Det bliver overlæge og knækirurg Anders Odgaard fra ortopædkirurgisk afdeling på Århus Kommunehospital, der skal udføre operationen, mens overlæge Frank Madsen fra samme afdeling vil assistere. Det oplyser hoffets informationschef Lis M. Frederiksen til Ritzau.

B.T. 30.maj 2006

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