Re: Princess Benedikte turns 75 / New biography
In the photo on the book cover you can really see her resemblance to her mother Queen Ingrid.
Princess Benedikte turns 75 on 29 April, which will be celebrated with a dinner at Amalienborg given by the Queen on Monday evening. Today, the museum at Koldinghus Castle opens an exhibition about the princess, and on 10 May she will host a reception at the Hermitage Palace for all the organizations she is patron of.
A new biography by Anne Sofie Kragh paints a picture of a perfectionist, loyal, conscientious, disciplined, regal but also private princess, who is reluctant to open up about her personal life ( 'there are enough people who talk about themselves' ). The author has not only interviewed Princess Benedikte, but also her two sisters and her three children, whose contributions are worthwhile reading. They all agree that Benedikte is an excellent driver, a bad cook and a perfect dresser who doesn’t refrain from telling others if their clothes don’t match. They also mention several times that she finds it most difficult to cope with ill people, which seems to be her biggest flaw. A surprising detail: Before going to bed she always enjoys a cold Tuborg beer!
Half of the book consists of photos, some of them with Benedikte’s own comments. - A few quotes:
Princess Benedikte: 'The press has an annoying way of depicting us as if we were actors or members of the jet set. […] Call me old-fashioned, but our role is not to act like film stars. Not that there is anything wrong with film stars, but none of us, at least in my generation, wants to act like them.'
Princess Benedikte: 'I wouldn’t dream of buying a skirt for just one season. You can easily recycle your clothes so that people don’t say: 'Oh, a new dress again!' – Somebody could perhaps learn something here.'
Queen Margrethe: 'My memory is good when it comes to things, but I find it very hard to remember faces and names, which is rather inconvenient in my position. However, Benedikte’s memory is good. When we attend one event or another I sometimes have to whisper: 'Benedikte, who is this?' Then you get a pointed elbow in your side: 'Daisy! You should know' - a little indignant with me for again forgetting the obvious.'
Queen Margrethe: 'She always looks neat. My clothes attract all stains, but Benedikte’s never do. […] She sometimes tells me if my hair is untidy. […] Her hair is always tidy – it dares not NOT to be.'
Queen Anne-Marie: 'She is very organized and loves making lists. When she invites guests, she makes the table plan weeks in advance. We [Anne-Marie and Margrethe] are also able to organize, but Benedikte knows six months in advance what to do, and once it’s in her diary, it cannot be changed. I don’t take things so seriously and can easily change my plans. In this respect my oldest sister and I are alike, and we tease Benedikte about it.'
Prince Gustav: 'I know no-one as conscientious as my mother. Sometimes you get the feeling that her family is of secondary importance, which I have also told her several times. 'But I have an obligation to my country', she replies. I dare say she lives up to this. If the Queen phones and asks her to come to Copenhagen, she is there at once.'
Princess Alexandra: 'Technologically speaking, my mother’s development stopped at the fax machine. She still has one of these. […] It can be difficult to reach her because she has no computer and only uses her mobile phone sporadically. But she does call me every night to ask how my day has been.'
Princess Nathalie: 'She has changed a lot over the past 10-15 years, and only for the better. She has become more unruffled, which also has something to do with being less shy. But if she is going to some new place, she still doesn’t feel comfortable. […] Today she goes alone to her hair dresser and the shops she knows well here in Berleburg, but she would never go to a supermarket alone. Never ever. She has sometimes joined me when I have gone shopping, and she finds it exciting to see what you can buy in a supermarket.'
Princess Nathalie: 'She is very, very often on the phone with Queen Anne-Marie, and all three sisters have so much fun when they are together. I have heard them say 'shut your face'. You would never think those words could pass their lips, but it has happened.'
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