Danish Royal Watchers

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Mary in Uganda for Danish Refugee Council

Crown Princess Mary is currently on a 4-day visit to Uganda as the patron of the Danish Refugee Council. After 21 years of war in the region (see Lord's Resistance Army - LRA), the Danish Refugee Council has been working in the northern part of Uganda to assist rebuilding communities of people who have been pushed out of their homes because of many years of brutal treatment - these people are referred to as Internal Displaced Persons. Africa has around 12 million internally displaced refugees and so is in need of help from the international community. On her first day in Uganda on Monday, Mary visited the TASO kindergarten at Mulago Hospital. She was formally given a dancing greeting and met hospital officials with the Danish contingent on the trip with her, including Uganda-based Royal Danish Embassy officials. Here she met with the children and the workers who care for the children while their parents are getting treatment and counselling at the hospital. Some of the children are infected with HIV. Today Mary has now travelled north to Gulu where the Danish Refugee Council has been working for some years to assist refugees to return to their villages and communities in a secure environment and able to engage in sustainable agriculture.

At the TASO kindergarten at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Monday September 29:

Today Mary is in the northern part of Uganda visiting Sudanese refugees ...more to come:

Photos © Tarriq Mikkel Khan/POLFOTO/Fyen Stifts, TV2/Scanpix

Information about the Danish Refugee Council's work in northern Uganda Protection and Durable Solutions for Refugees and IDPs in Uganda

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark - Royal Visit in Uganda
Danish Refugee Council press release (in Danish)
Crown Princess Mary to Uganda with Danish Refugee Association
In her capacity as patron for the Danish Refugee Council, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary travels to Uganda on Sunday 28 September. The Crown Princess will, amongst other things, visit refugees and displaced people in their camps.
This year, since February, northern Uganda has experienced peace for the first time in 21 years. An agreement between the government and the rebel movement 'Lord's Resistance Army', together with calmer conditions in the south of the Sudan has meant that the inhabitants now live without the same fear of attacks from robbers, of kidnappings and violence.
During this time of relative safety, the fugitives have slowly started to return to their former home. Her Royal Highness will meet with refugee children who do not know of a life outside the camps. The Crown Princess will have the opportunity to talk with families who have lost everything, and see some living conditions that most Danes would have a hard time very imagining.
But the Crown Princess will also experience the way the Danish Refugee Council helps to enable a better life for the many refugees and displaced people, and amidst the very difficult circumstances encounter a budding hope of a new future - not least for the many thousands of refugee children.
The Danish Refugee Council's national collection on 9 November will focus on refugee children.
"There are 20 million children in the world who are refugees. They live with the fear of violence and the risk of being carried off and forced to become child soldiers. Many have got lost from their parents and siblings, and most suffer from malnutrition", communication chief in Danish Refugee Council, Mik Steenberger says.
The Danish Refugee Council works in 30 of the world's focus areas where refugees and other displaced people need acute relief and help to rebuild a life.

Jyllands Posten
Billed Bladet
Sunday Vision (Ugandan newspaper online)
Jyllands Posten 'Hiv-smittede børn slog ring om Mary' - HIV-infected children cast a ring about Mary
Published 29.09.08
Crown Princess Mary got an overwhelming warm welcome today when she visited the organization Taso which works for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
She had barely made her way into Taso's kindergarten before she was drawn close pulled down onto the floor by the children.
A little girl called Claire was the most enthusiastic who hugged herself simply and firmly to the Crown Princess' neck.
And during the visit in the kindergarten Mary in fact sat with an arm about one or more of the children.
The children, several of whom are infected with HIV/AIDS, stay in Taso's kindergarten during the day while their HIV-infected parents get counselling or treatment.
The reason the Crown Princess visits the centre on the first day of her visit in Uganda is in her role as patron for the Danish Refugee Council is serious.
1.1 million Ugandans, including 100,000 children below 18 years, are estimated to be been infected with HIV/AIDS. This corresponds to about 6.4 percent of the population.
This afternoon the crown princess flies for Gulu in the north of Uganda, where she will experience and see with her own eyes how Dansk Flygtningehjælp (Danish Refugee Council) helps refugees in the field. /Ritzau/

TV2 article (Sept 30)
Uganda slips 15 places in corruption ranking from Uganda's Daily Monitor Online. Denmark tops the world index of least corrupt countries, with New Zealand and Sweden.

Big topic, serious issues. Lots of informative links:
Danish Refugee Council
War and Displacement - International Red Cross
Refugees and internally displaced persons and international humanitarian law - International Red Cross
United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) - Mary made a working visit to UNHCR HQ in Geneva late last year to familiarise herself with the issues of refugees internationally

TV2 article and news clip
TV2 news clip (02:15)
DR.dk news clip (03:02)

Fyens Stiftstidende photo gallery (Sept 29)
TV2 photo gallery (Sept 29)
Folketidende.dk photo gallery (Sept 30)
TV2 photo gallery (Sept 30)

Thanks Riki & gudinde & jema & cph!

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Frederik gives Anders Lassen Foundation grant

Crown Prince Frederik awarded this year's Anders Lassen Foundation grant in Christian VIII's Palace, Amalienborg, last Wednesday (September 24). Frederik is the patron of the Anders Lassen Foundation. The foundation rewards exceptional military zeal and assists wounded Danish military personnel. It also grants assistance to people or their beneficiaries who have done exceptional humanitarian deeds should they experience economic difficulty. In addition the foundation grants funds for members or former members of the JAGERKORPSET or the Naval Frogman’s Corps or to their family. The grant went to the children of a member of the Danish Royal Lifeguards, Anders Storrud, who was killed in the Helmand-province in Afghanistan last year. The children receive the grant in memory of their father. Little Trine Storrud, who gave Frederik a colourful drawing, was at Amalienborg with her little brother Ståle and their mother Susie Storrud. Susie Storrud said the money will be invested for the future education of the children, but even more important was the ackowledgement of her husband's sacrifice.

From Billed Bladet (no. 39, 2008) 'Fik 50.000 af Frederik' - Received 50,000 DKK from Frederik
By Anna Johannesen
At Amalienborg the two children of major Anders Storrud, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan last year, each received 25,000 DKK from the Anders Lassen Foundation.
The children were two and seven when their father was killed. They were accompanied by their mother Susie Storrud.
The purpose of the foundation is to acknowledge the service men and women who are killed or wounded in the line of duty.
Major Anders Storrud was a field officer in the genuine sense of the word. Very respected and well liked by his men. The battalion he was stationed with in Afghanistan was involved in the heaviest fighting Danish soldiers have been involved in since 1864. It has been worse than some of the incidents in Bosnia and Iraq, not to mention Musa Quala.
The battallion suffered significant casulties while at the same time killing an estimated 200-250 Taliban forces. The current battallion serving in the Helmand province has hardly seen any action at all. The Taliban has gone! They have suffered a few casulties, mainly from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED's), but apart from the tank squadron which has seen constant action since their arrival last year, mainly in support of Afghan forces.
Anders Lassen was a Dane who served with the SBS (= Special Boat Squadron
*) in the Mediterranean during WWII. He basically shaped and led the force, which was a genuine menace to the Germans. He was killed in Northern Italy towards the end of the war at the age of 24, and won Britain's highest military honour, the Victoria Cross.
* The SBS was the inspiration for the Frogman Corp, using very similar tactics and ways to approach things, so Frederik is very familiar with the history of Anders Lassen.


Photos © Forsvaret.dk

Big thanks to Muhler! And also jema!

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Mary @ Brain Injury Association donation

The Crown Princess, as patron, receives a donation to the Danish Brain Injury Association at the 'Head House', Frederiksberg. Photo © Hanne Juul/Billed Bladet

Crown Princess Mary visited Head House last Tuesday (September 23) to accept a donation from the Remmens Fond on behalf of the Danish Brain Injury Association, for which she is patron. The two supersized cheques Mary received were for a million DKK altogether donated by the Remmens Fond to support programs and help for those who are brain injured. The Danish Brain Injury Association is a member of the European Brain Injury Federation and shares the aims of giving help to the sufferers of diverse brain injuries and conditions and to also help their families. The Remmen Foundation is run by the Remmen family who own luxury hotels is Denmark.

Billed Bladet 'Mary modtog en million kroner' - Mary received a million crowns
23 September 2008 | Jan Bergman
Crown Princess Mary had a huge smile when she received a million crowns [last] Thursday afternoon. As patron for the Danish Brain Injury Association Crown Princess Mary took part in the ceremony to formally accept the donation...The money has been donated by the Remmens Foundation which gave a grant of 500,000 DKK for the Brain Injury Association and a corresponding scholarship of 500,000 DKK to the Brain Injury Association's project HovedHuset
(Head House).

DR.dk 'Talegaven' - The Spoken Record
September 23th 2008
"A mirror. It's cheap and this is good," he says with clear diction. In front of a mirror he studies how the mouth pronounces the words. Claus Xavier Nielsen had a blood haemorrhage in the brain seven years ago, was paralysed on one side and suffered aphasia. He immediately set about becoming a narrator! And even though the hospital staff shook their heads in doubt, he has regained speech...
Today he travels around the country and gives talks on being brain damaged and shows pictures connected to using fairytales as a key to our dreams.
In Hovedhuset in Frederiksberg he uses his hard-won skills to help others out of the dark, a darkness he himself has been in.
Claus Xavier Nielsen has been a member in Hovedhuset since March 2006.
The inspiration for HovedHuset comes from a clubhouse model where the idea is that everybody has skills and that all contributions of work are important for the community. That Head House is a special place in which the brain damaged Claus Xavier Nielsen is a shining example.

Photos © Hanne Juul/Billed Bladet, Peter Grosen/seoghoer

Head House
European Brain Injury Federation (in English)

Madeleine Glindorf's gallery

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Frederik @ Stevns Fortress Cold War Museum opening

Today Crown Prince Frederik attended the official opening of the Stevns Fortress Cold War Museum in Rødvig Stevns on the Baltic coast, south of Copenhagen. This left over of the Cold War is an underground fortress 18 meters below ground within the cliff of the Stevns Peninsula, between Rødvig and Højerup in southern Zealand. It was a secret place which few knew about for nearly 50 years and Denmark's most significant contribution to the NATO security system. In his speech Frederik said that already this part of history was being forgotten and it is important that it not be forgotten. He thought that children would especially get pleasure out of the Cold War Museum, and said that his children would maybe also see it when they became older. The Fortress has moved from being a top secret military installation to a cultural institution in 8 years.

Stevns Fortress was built in 1953 during the Cold War to guard the southern entrance to Øresund from the Baltic Sea against Soviet navy invasion. It operated up until 2000 when the 'brain' of the installation - the O space - closed. It had ground to air missile defence capability but since the end of the Cold War Denmark's only cliff fortress has not had strategic importance. It has since been used as an Air Force training base. During its operation it provided naval surveillance of the Baltic Sea and housed 100 military personnel.

The fort was built 18 metres inside a calcium and flint cliff and included gun towers, radio and radar aerials among its Cold War installations (see gallery). The fort consists of more than 1.6 km of tunnels, ammunition warehouses, residential facilities, machinery centre, a hospital, an artillery centre and, yes, even a mortuary. The fort's original main battery consisted of two armoured double gun towers with 15 cm German-built guns. They had a range of about 23 km which could reach all the way to the Swedish coast.

Dignitaries also present at the opening included mayor Poul Arne Nielsen, Østsjælland Museum's chief Tove Damholt, the municipal manager Per Røner, chairman of the board of the museum Jens Carl Jørgensen, Minister of Justice Brian Mikkelsen, vice-major Lars Asserhøj and the project leader for Stevns Fortress Anders Berthelsen.

Stevns Museum photo gallery
Stevns Fortress
Stevns Museum (page in English)
Stevns Tourist Bureau

Dagbladet Online 'Den kolde krig er nu på museum' - The cold war is now at museum
September 23th 2008 | by Jørgen Skjoldan | Stevns
Crown Prince Frederik tried to get in to Stevns Fortress 17 years ago. That wasn't a success at the time, but today it went effortlessly with the help of a pair of scissors. The cold war has now officially got its own museum on NATO's north flank.
It happened today at 12:00.10 when Crown Prince Frederik cut the ribbon at the entrance to Koldkrigsmuseum Stevnsfort. It was in the presence of about 700 spectators who resisted the cool wind during the couple of hours of the opening which included a colour guard consisting of representatives of the seven soldier's societies in the Stevns area.

TV2East 'Royal frømand trængt ind i Stevnsfortet' - Royal frogman got into Stevns Fort
Sjællandske.dk 'Den kolde krig blev i dag historie på Stevns' - The Cold War became history today at Stevns

http://www.tv2regionerne.dk/reg2005/video.aspx?Id=445392">TV2 ØST news clip (02:33) - Museum åbnet

Photo © Dagbladet Online, TV2East, Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Scanpix 2008

Thanks cph and jema!


Sunday, 21 September 2008

Mary @ "Buster 2008" kids film fesival gala opening

Crown Princess Mary attended the gala opening of BUSTER 2008 - the Copenhagen International Film Festival for Children and Youth - as its patron on Friday (September 19). Mary was greeted by the DR bear Bruno and the popular young Danish X-Factor star Martin Hedegaard. Martin sang at the opening and also had a song included on the soundtrack of the opening animated film Disco Ormene. There is a strong tradition of making children's and youth films in Scandinavian countries. BUSTER - Copenhagen International Film Festival for Children and Youth was founded in 1999. During the last five years it has grown to become Scanidinavia's biggest children's and youth film festival, celebrating Nordic films and films from all over the world.

Photos © Billed Bladet, Hello!/Rex, TV2/Scanpix, Thomas Sjørup/Ekstra Bladet

BUSTER - Copenhagen International Film Festival for Children and Youth

TV2 article 'Mary åbnede festival med bjørn' - Mary opened festival with bear
It wasn't a Crown Prince Frederik whom a smiling Crown Princess Mary had a hold of, when she arrived at the international film festival for children, "Buster 2008" at the Palace Cinema in Copenhagen - no, it was [Bruno] the Bear. Today Crown Princess Mary opened the festival where she also managed to see X-Factor winner Martin, who also got the opportunity to greet the Crown Princess. The film festival will end on September 26th.
Hello! magazine 'Princess Mary makes a cuddly friend at childrens' film festival'
B.T. 'X-Factor Martin vild med Mary' - about X-Factor's Martin Hedegaard being a little nervous in anticipation of singing for Crown Princess Mary and info for readers about the festival.
TV2 article 'Mary åbnede festival med bjørn'
Billed Bladet 'Martin optrådte for Mary'

TV2 photo gallery
Starlounge gallery

Politiken clip (04:06)
Politiken clip (01:31)
Her&Νu clip

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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Mary & Frederik in Bulgaria

The gala dinner. Photo © Birger Storm/Billed Bladet
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary continue the last day of their 3 day official visit marking expanding relations between Denmark and Bulgaria today. With Bulgaria's interest in the director-generalship of UNESCO, Frederik and Mary have been shown some of Bulgaria's ancient cultural heritage. The Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov no doubt hopes Denmark's EU support and other kinds of assistance will also translate into support for Bulgaria's future UNESCO candidature for the Director General position. Denmark (and Australia) is a founding member of UNESCO. Another royal Danish UNESCO connection is through Frederik's cousin Alexandra, Princess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, who works for UNESCO in Paris in the Asian cultural area.

Today Frederik and Mary have visited the Troyan Monastery just outside the town of Troyan, 160 km east from Sofia, September 17, 2008. They also visited young Bulgarian painters during a visit to the Secondary School of Applied Arts in the town of Troyan. Yesterday they visited the National Museum in Sofia, the Hans Christian Andersen centre in the University of Sofia, the Old Town of Plovdiv and its ancient Roman Theatre. Currently they are visiting the National Exhibition of Handicrafts Arts in the village of Oreshak and will take their formal leave of President Parvanov and Mrs Parvanova later this afternoon.

Photos © Birger Storm/Billed Bladet, Daylife/Reuters

Troyan Monastery Travel Bulgaria: Monastries
Images of the Troyan Monastery The Legend of the Three Handed Virgin at Troyan Monastery Troyan Monastery (in Bulgarian and English, with photos)
Bulgarian Monasteries


Crown Prince Frederik's official dinner speech (in Danish and with photo gallery)
Official dinner in Bulgaria - Published Monday September 15th 2008
Mr President - Mrs Parvanova,
The Crown Princess and I thank you for the cordial reception we have had and for the kind words and good wishes Your Excellency has just expressed for us and our country.
Although our visit in Bulgaria is only three days, we look forward to getting to know something of the country during our stay in Sofia and in the provinces, in which Plovdiv will no doubt be a highlight.
Bulgaria became a member of NATO in 2004 and of the European Union in 2007.
This offers us rich chances to renew and strengthen the very established connection between Bulgaria and Denmark.
Already 1000 years ago there were personal relations between Bulgarians and Danes.
It was at the time when Danes together with other Vikings from Scandinavia navigated Russian rivers for the Black Sea - and from there to the Bulgarian coast for Byzantium.
This also means that the Bulgarians and the Vikings influenced each other.
A clear example of the Bulgarian influence can be seen in the Vikings' silversmith art.
Archaeologists have found that the model of Vikings' silver buttons is often Bulgarian-inspired.
Subsequent invasions of the Balkans in the Middle Ages meant that the distance between Bulgaria and Denmark in these centuries was too troublesome to overcome.
When Bulgaria regained its independence in 1878 the trade between Bulgaria and Denmark began to evolve once again.
And with continuing trade there was a strengthening of human connections which followed.
Here in the 21st century we see growing reciprocal activity in a lot of areas between Bulgaria and Denmark.
That includes trade, investments, science, art, culture - and tourism.
In recent years the number of Danish tourists has grown steadily.
In 2008 it is expected that up to 100,000 Danes will travel to Bulgaria - among them are many young people.
This impressive number of Danish visitors in Bulgaria - almost 2% of the whole of Denmark's population tells us that during just a few years many Bulgarians and Danes will get to know each other very well.
The consequences of this added personal contact between Bulgarians and Danes will remain significant since it concerns science and culture, but also trade and investments between our respective companies.
This will become Bulgaria's and Denmark's contribution to create a united Europe "completely and freely".
As I, with the Crown Princess, wish progress for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people - along with expansion of the connections between Bulgaria and Denmark - I raise my glass and propose a toast to Bulgaria's President and Mrs Parvanova. (rough blog translation)

Billed Bladet 'Mary og Frederik: Tre dage i Bulgarien' - Mary and Frederik: three days in Bulgaria
While the regent couple are in the southern part of the kingdom on their late summer tour, the Crown Prince Couple have been on an official visit in Bulgaria.
On Sunday evening the Crown Prince and Crown Princess handed over their cultural award 2008 to a proud and happy Tina Dickow in the Opera House.
Immediately after the big event Frederik and Mary jumped on a plane with the destination of Bulgaria's capital Sofia.
During the Crown Prince's and Crown Princess' three day long official visit the country's President Georgi Parvanov and his wife Zorka have acted as hosts.
The programme for the three days has included visits to St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, an excursion to the Troyan Monastry, which is 160 kilometres from the capital, and invitation to a gala evening with the presidential couple.

Sofia Echo - 19:28 Wed 17 Sep 2008 - Spasena Baramova
On September 17 2008, Frederik and Mary, crown prince and princess of Denmark, left Bulgaria following the end of their official visit to the country, held on the invitation of Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov.
The heir to the Danish throne and his wife arrived in Sofia on September 15.
During the visit, prince Frederik held talks with Purvanov, Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev and Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament Georgi Pirinski, while princess Mary had a meeting with the President's wife, Zorka Purvanova.
The two royals visited the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the National Museum of History in Sofia, along with the old town of Plovdiv and Troyan Monastery, among other attractions.

Fyens Stifstidende 'Kronprinsparret besøger Bulgarien'
hola.com 'Apretada agenda para los príncipes Federico y Mary de Dinamarca en su vuelta al trabajo'

Dir.bg clip Официална двудневна визита у нас на датският престолонаследник Фредерик. (0:36)
BNT.bg news (Frederik and Mary story at 21:27)

Thanks jema, thanks Ayvee!

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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Frederik & Mary in Bulgaria for official visit

The Crown Prince Couple is visiting Bulgaria for three days at the invitation of President Georgi Parvanov to strengthen and expand the ties of friendship between Denmark and Bulgaria as partners in the European Union (EU) as well as in political, financial and cultural areas. Frederik and Mary are to be guests of honour at an official dinner and they have been invited to experience some of the cultural and historical sights in Bulgaria. The Crown Prince Couple are accompanied by the Danish Minister of Education and Minister of Nordic Co-operation, Bertel Haarder. In March 2006 President Parvanov and Mrs Parvanova made a state visit to Denmark. On the first day Frederik and President Parvanov have had talks and the president thanked Denmark for its support of Bulgaria's admission to the EU, both agreed on the importance of next year's climate conference to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark's help in administrative training for Bulgaria and Bulgaria's upcoming plan for canditature for director-general of UNESCO. Frederik also had talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev and the Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament Georgi Pirinski (pictured below), while Mary had a meeting with the president's wife, Mrs Zorka Parvanova.

Above, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary visit Sofia's neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Below, September 16, Frederik and Mary look at pieces of treasure from a 4th century B.C. Thracian tribe from Panagyurishte, one of Bulgaria's most precious treasures, exhibited at the National History Museum in Sofia.

Above, September 16, Frederik and Mary are 120km east of the capital Sofia in the ancient Thracian city of Plovdiv, a city which was contemporary with Troy. They are walking at an ancient theatre during their visit to the old part of the city. Seeing Plovdiv appears important given Bulgaria's desire to assume the director-generalship of UNESCO.

Photos © Daylife/Reuters, President.bg, plovdiv24.com.bg, GPD AP/royalblognl

Sofia Echo 'Bulgarian President meets Danish Prince' - ...Over talks, Purvanov stressed the good relations between Bulgaria and Denmark, including co-operation in culture, education, tourism and investments. The two officials agreed that in spite of what has been achieved so far, a number of unexploited opportunities still remain in all spheres of bilateral ties.
Purvanov thanked [Crown] Prince Frederik for Denmark's support during the process of accession of Bulgaria to the European Union, as well as for the training of personnel for Bulgaria's state administration.
The two looked into the importance of reducing noxious carbon dioxide emissions, with Frederik inviting Purvanov to attend an international conference dedicated to these problems in Copenhagen in the autumn of 2009.
During the meeting, co-operation between Bulgaria and Denmark in international organisations received high assessment and Purvanov introduced his guest to the Bulgarian candidature for the post of director-general of UNESCO.

The heir to the Danish throne and his wife will stay in the country until September 17.

Other than Purvanov, on September 15 Prince Frederik held talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev and Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament Georgi Pirinski, while [Crown] Princess Mary had a meeting with the president's wife, Zorka Purvanova. They also visited Sofia's St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Over the next two days, they will also visit the National Museum of History in Sofia, along with the old town of Plovdiv and Troyan Monastery, among other attractions.

More will be added and different activities covered as info and pics become available...

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