Alliance Française in Denmark · Le Souvenir Français - Den Danske Komité

Princess Marie takes on two new patronages and an honorary position from Prince Henrik

The Court has announced today that Princess Marie has agreed to take on two new patronages and an honorary position that were previously held by Prince Henrik. Read more below.

© Kongehuset

Here is the press release from the Court:

“The association “Alliance Française in Denmark” wants to promote French language and culture and to raise awareness of France in Denmark. “Alliance Française in Denmark” organizes activities on, among other things, French-speaking areas, French history and politics. The association has been present in Denmark since 1884 and has local branches throughout the country.

Founded in 1887, “Le Souvenir Français” aims to maintain French soldiers’ graves in France and abroad, and to preserve the memory of the soldiers who died for France. The Danish committee of the organization has been responsible for these tasks since the 1920s.

“The Danish Section at Lycée International” in Saint Germain-en-Laye, France, offers schooling with Danish lessons six hours a week. Through the teaching, the students’ Danish languages ​​and knowledge about Danish culture, society and history are developed.

Princess Marie has taken over the two patronages and honorary position after Prince Henrik.”

L’Alliance Française in Denmark

L’Alliance Française in Denmark was founded in Paris in 1883 as a network of associations scattered around the world working to promote interest in French language and culture. The first Alliance Française in Denmark was founded in Copenhagen in 1884. There are currently 14 alliances scattered all over Denmark and the association works with the French Embassy in Copenhagen. It aims to promote interest in the French language and the French culture as well as increasing knowledge of France and linking France to other countries.

Promoting the French language is something that was very important for Prince Henrik and it is also very important for Princess Marie. Last March, she attended a conference held for the Day of the French Language. In 2018, she also taught a French class in an high school in Copenhagen.

Le Souvenir Français – Den Danske Komité

As the Court said, the Danish Committee was founded in the 1920s. According to their website: “During the interwar period, the Danish Committee was attached to the main organization Le Souvenir Français, but retained a high degree of independence. The purpose of both organizations is the same:

  • to preserve the memory of the soldiers who died for France or by excellent action have made France honor;
  • to watch over the maintenance of their graves and the memorial marks erected for them, as well
  • to pass on the memory of them to future generations”

The Danish Committee periodically inspects the individual graves and memorials to ensure that these are looked after and possibly renovated, if necessary.

The Danish Section at Lycée International

The Lycée International in Saint-Germain-en-Laye has 14 international sections. As said by the Court, the students follow the usual French school system’s classes but they have six hours of Danish classes per week. The school has a very interesting history as it was actually linked to NATO.

In 1952, the school was created for the village of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe of NATO. In 1962, the school became the Lycée International of NATO. In 1967, the SHAPE village moved to Belgium so the school continued as a Lycée International with six international sections, adding sections every few years. In 2016, they started their latest international section, the Chinese section. It is the only school in France in which every
pupil is a member of an international section.

Princess Marie has always said how important having international education was for her and how she wishes the same thing for her children. During their year in France, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena will follow their classes in French to learn more about the French language. Princess Marie also works with the University of South Denmark to welcome international students in Denmark. She is also the Patron of the Danish Student House in Paris.

I suspected Princess Marie would take over these patronages from Prince Henrik so I’m happy to see my guesses confirmed. I think all these patronages and the honorary president position are very fitting for Princess Marie as she is French-born and she is going to live in France in the next school year. She is the most qualified in the Danish royal family to take over these specific patronages from Prince Henrik. In an interview with French magazine Paris Match last month, Princess Marie said she hoped she could develop projects and collaborations between Denmark and France during her stay in France and these new patronages and honorary position seems like a good start.

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