Today, Princess Marie, Prince Joachim and their kids, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena visited Tonder Festival.
The Tonder Festival is a well-known folk music festival in Europe. The festival was founded in 1975 and Marie is Patron since 2009. She has attended every year since then, except for last year’s edition as she had to pull out because of Nikolai’s 18th birthday. Since 2013, Joachim, Henrik, and Athena join Marie at the event. Next year will be Marie’s 10th visit to the Festival as Patron and she said that there might a special event to commemorate this: “I do not know. Perhaps something special must happen. I enjoy being here”
The family had a busy program for this year’s visit. After the official welcome, they visited the new children area. Prince Henrik and Princess Athena were pleased with all the new activities and they asked to stay for longer than planned so the family had to miss their next event, a visit to the Wadden Sea.
Afterward, they attended Vishtèn’s show. Prince Henrik and Princess Athena were sat on the shoulders of Prince Joachim and mayor Henrik Frandsen, respectively, just like in 2016.
Before heading backstage to enjoy drinks and food as well as some private time, Princess Marie talked to the reporters about the development of the Festival since her first visit back in 2009: “A big development, I think. Now it’s bigger and it gets bigger and bigger. There are a lot of different activities for children too. They have actually gotten a whole new area here for children and families. And there are really many places to eat and have fun. And more and more musicians come from all over the world. From Ireland, USA, Canada and they are really skilled. It’s really a pleasure to be here.”
Princess Marie gave an interview to Ekstra Bladet’s journalist Thomas Treo about Tonder Festival, of which Marie is Patron. She will visit the festival on Friday. Here is my translation of it (please credit me if you repost this translation elsewhere)
The royal beauty met with Extra Bladet’s journalist at Amalienborg for a unique rendezvous about music.
A tropical rainforest has just soaked the tourists at Amalienborg Castle, but the air is still heavy, and in the Princess’s workroom on the ground floor in Christian VIII’s palace it feels like someone roasts cocks.
One of the court’s service people brews afternoon coffee – it tastes exquisite – while Marie speaks of the recent Smukfest Festival, where Crown Prince Frederik was a surprise guest.
Despite high heels, Her Royal Highness is not high. She is ‘petite’, appealing and flirting discreetly which add to her effortless French elegance.
In short, Marie Agathe Odile’s presence does not help the temperature to fall in the royal room where she has invited a conversation about her work as Patron of the Tønder Festival, which starts on Thursday.
Vodka and juice from the bottle
The 42-year-old Parisian brunette puts the royal coffee in one of Arne Jacobsen’s famous leather eggs, and as soon as she is addressed with ‘De’(formal ‘you’ in Danish), she says that you should say ‘du’, which is immediately liberating, but also a little annoying when you have practiced a couple of days in saying ‘De, Dem, Deres’
The result will be a full-blend of the two ‘you’, which Marie ignores in a chic manner.
The Princess starts by interviewing the interviewer about the recent Smukfest, which she, like René Dif, calls the ‘Smukfestival’ (smuk=beautiful)
Marie: Why is it called the Smukfestival? Is it because that’s clean?
Thomas: Before that, it was called the Skanderborg Festival, but their slogan was ‘Denmark’s most beautiful festival’. It takes place in a beautiful beech forest.
M: Ah, I think the festival seems impressive. Especially the mood. I have heard that there is a different relationship with the Roskilde Festival.
“Yes, very different,” says Lene Balleby, communications director of the royal house, who says she has visited Smukfest, where she drank vodka and juice from the bottle.
An important event
Balleby then leaves the Princess alone with the press, but she assures Marie that the help is ready right behind the door if there should be something.
On the table with the coffee cups is a small pile of books and magazines. At the top of the stack is the Euroman issue with Marie’s stepson Prince Nikolai on the cover. She asks the journalist if that’s something he has put there. It is not. The Princess moves the magazine to her desk.
T: How did you become Patron of the Tønder Festival?
M: Of course, because we lived in Møgeltønder, and the festival is a very important event for the local area. It is Northern Europe’s biggest festival for folk music and country. There is an incredibly good atmosphere and it is truly a unique festival of jam sessions and talented singers. I like the music and that the audience is so close to the festival. I have been there every year except last year when I could not attend.
T: Are you going to Tønder again this year?
M: Yes, I will. Of course. I look forward to it. Are you coming? Do you like country?
T: Yes, I am. I am very excited about country.
– Wait to see his clothes! interrupt the photographer.
M: ‘I know‘, but one should never ‘judge a book by its cover‘, the Princess smiles.
T: Is country a genre that interests you?
M: I do not know so much about the genre, even though I have lived in the United States for many years. But I have learned a lot about different instruments that I had never heard of, and I actually learned to love it. Especially the voices. This year there will be one called …. No, I can not remember it. Yes, Tami Neilson. She is absolutely amazing!
Love Queen and Prince
T: What kind of genres do you like most?
M: I have heard different genres in different periods of my life. I grew up with two big brothers who introduced me to music and we heard Supertramp, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Prince, and Santana. That kind of rock and pop. When I was 17, I moved to New York, and I became quite fascinated by electronic music. House, techno and drum N bass. It was so different. And the sounds and DJ’s were really impressive.
T: That’s funny. I have listened to Daft Punk this morning …
M: Uh, that’s French. I loooove Daft Punk. I have heard them so many times. But I also like rap and blues.
T: Can not you convince Daft Punk to give a concert in Denmark? They never played here.
M: ‘Really?’. I saw them in London. But it’s been a long time.
T: France is strong in that genre. There is also Air (French band)
M: Yes, I love Air.
T: Did you see them in Tivoli a couple of years ago?
M: Were they in Tivoli ?! I did not know. How can a person who loves country music also like electronic music?
T: I like many different genres, and I review all kinds of music so I have to be broadly oriented.
M: Okay, of course.
Absolutely ordinary Marie
Marie is good at Danish, but the multilingual princess likes to throw an English phrase into her sentences, and it will also become a charming ‘voilà!’ Every now and then.
She is welcoming but also determined. If you innocently try to blow up the interview’s so-called questionnaire about festivals and music, she answers briefly and sharply with a glance that cannot be misunderstood.
After about 20 minutes, she signals that the conversation is over, with a whack on the journalist’s thigh.
T: We have incredibly many festivals in Denmark. Did it come as a surprise to you when you moved here?
M: Yes, it’s very unique. Denmark is a true festival land. There is an incredibly strong tradition for music festivals here in Denmark. I think it’s great, and I think that the Danish coziness is very important. At the festivals, one can truly experience the Danish coziness between generations. This is not the same in other countries. People really gather together at a festival.
T: Does it say anything about the Danes as people?
M: Yes it does! The Danes like to be together. And they like music.
T: If you were a so-called plain person…
M: I am! (she laughs)
T: If you were not royal, could you imagine going to the festival and sleeping in a tent?
M: Yes of course. I have to experience that with my children. If they want. I have not tried it, but I would like to. You should never say never. ‘Why not?’.
The Princess listen to music
T: Did you grow up with music in your childhood home?
M: I have always had music in my home You get the energy of the music and I love to dance. I like rhythms. Also the Latin rhythms. But I also use music to calm down. I do not even play an instrument. Just a little piano. I love much of the old French songs. Serge Gainsbourg, Charles Aznavour, Édith Piaf. They give a mood that I love in my home.
T: Did you see Charlotte Gainsbourg coming to Copenhagen?
M: Yes?! But was she not at Roskilde?
T: Yes, but now she is in Store Vega in December.
M: Is that right? Well. Thanks. It is cozy. I think it’s good she’s interested in coming here to play. There is a ‘good reputation’ in Denmark. I think people like to play in Denmark. I have heard that at least. Here is a good atmosphere at the concerts.
T: You were with Prince Joachim at the Park of The Rolling Stones last year. Did you enjoy the concert?
M: I have seen them maybe six times. The first time was in New York. I think they are absolutely amazing. They are the same as they have always been. They are not getting older, and they are as good now as they were. It was a big experience!
T: Can you, Prince Joachim and the children agree on what to listen to at home?”
M: They listen to my music! (she laughs)
T: Are you the one who decides?
M: It’s not me who decides, but it’s me who has the music. My husband does not have an iPhone with music and everything there. He does not have it. It’s just not him.
Congratulations to Lukas Graham
T: So you might be the more technologically interested? Do you have Spotify?
M: Completely! I have it all. I love technology. It has always been like that. At home, we hear a lot of Danish music. Also on the radio when we drive. We use music in our everyday life. It gives a good mood, right? Why not just turn on the radio? You know. Are you going to Tønder?
T: Yes, I will.
M: Ah, so I’ll see you there. I’ll wave! Who are you listening to? There are so many new names that are absolutely amazing. Will Lukas Graham come again?
T: Yes, he does.
M: He started there, I think. His parents come from Tønder, right? No, from Canada!
T: His father was Irish and interested in folk music. He brought Luke to Tønder during his childhood.
M: Ah, Irishman. There are many of them there. You can hear that in Lukas Graham’s voice. It is quite unique. I am excited about him. I have heard him at Tønder Festival before.
T: Are your children interested in ‘Frozen’ and that kind of music. Or are they not near Spotify at all?
M: My children do not hear children’s music very much. Athena likes a rhythm like her mother. And she listens to what I play. But when they are in their rooms, and they are alone, I’m sure they listen to … We also sing children’s songs in the evening, but otherwise, it’s not children’s songs you hear in the house. But they are still small. The two big ones change music all the time. I’m not sure what they’re listening to.
T: Is it important to you that the children are exposed to French music and culture?
M: Of course! At least for the culture. But music is a great way to learn the culture.
An international Princess
T: Do you feel that being born in France created difficulties understanding Danish culture and appreciate it?
M: Not at all. Not at all.
T: It also seems as if you have truly taken the Danish culture to you.
M: Of course I’m from France, but I have lived many years abroad and I’m not so French. I am international. And Danish. But I love different cultures, and I’m good where I am.
T: You seem culturally curious.
M: Yes I am. A lot. I think it’s a big part of one’s development to be open. It is so important to get to know other cultures. (Marie said ‘at lære at kende andre kulturer’ but then she corrects herself ‘At lære andre kulturer at kende’. She said she thought of her Danish teacher before correcting herself)
The Princess poses in a short photo session. She rushes a bit because she has to pick up the children.
Marie, however, takes time to follow Ekstra Bladet to the door, and it looks as though she just looks flashy with her right eye.
However, it may have been a mirage due to the heat.
For this interview (if you ask me, the article was badly written but I didn’t expect very much from Ekstra Bladet) and photoshoot, Marie wore her Ganni top with her Tod’s yellow wedges and her Christine Hvelplund ‘H’ and ‘A’ necklace.