May 12Joachim and Marie gave an interview to Point de Vue.
After Prince Joachim explains what happened when he had the blood clot, he says that he didn’t necessarily change anything in his lifestyle following the accident:
- "...because this accident was not related to poor hygiene of life but to a simple accident, a dissection of an artery in the neck probably related to a wrong movement or a too violent head butt while playing football with my elders. I have absolutely no
recollection of feeling pain. The coagulated blood has loosened and formed a plugin an artery to the brain. Kind of like whiplash."
Marie explained that she might have unexpectedly been more affected than Joachim by what happened and that it changed her outlook on the future:
- "This accident made me change my way of seeing the future. We are much stronger today and sure of what we want to build together. No more doubts: we must appreciate each day lived and above all no longer waste time on futile and unnecessary things. Life is fragile, only family and good health matter. I knew it, but when it comes close to you like that, you really get it.”
About settling in Paris – first for one year and now for at least three years – Joachim said that accepting the job as defense attaché when he was asked was a natural step following his training the year before. Now living in an apartment they rent near the Parc Monceau, the couple thinks it was the perfect environment for Joachim to recover, with Marie explaining that it is also a good thing for their children:
- "They were starting to speak French well and get to know French culture and everything stopped with the confinement.”
Marie points out that it was not planned like this in the beginning.
She explained that the pandemic impacted her work as being in contact with people is the essence of her job, expanding that she was able to travel to Uganda with DanChurchAid back in March 2020 before the first lockdown in France and that she was also able to travel to Denmark in September 2020 to open a new WeFood store but that travels were very limited so she had to adapt: - "I am constantly in touch with Copenhagen from my office in the dining room, or very often from the kitchen, which is more pleasant and bright for Zoom meetings."
Joachim noted that the lockdown allowed them to spend more time with their children and to take care of them full time: - "Today we are together all the time and it’s great because Henrik and Athena are adorable. We are a good team, we talk about everything, they have a lot of humor. When Nikolai and Felix come to visit, the little ones are so happy!”
Being in France during the pandemic meant that it was hard to keep in touch with their families. About keeping in touch with Queen Margrethe, Joachim said that it was complicated because she does not have a cell phone:
- "Fortunately, we were able to spend Christmas together after a whole battery of tests. Last year the celebrations around her 80th birthday were called off and the four of us got together, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, and the two of us, for a very small birthday party."
Princess Marie was also isolated from her parents (her mother living in Switzerland and the South of France while her father lives in Normandy) but that they’ll be able to see their families soon when everyone is vaccinated.
When asked if the move to France changed him, Joachim said: - "I dare say that as soon as I cross the border of France, I become French. Since my childhood, I have never doubted my French roots. This feeling was reinforced forty years ago when I spent a year in boarding school at the Ecole des Roches in Verneuil-sur-Avre. I have become a real chameleon.”
Marie added that she feels like her husband is slowly expressing himself more which he was not doing before out of politeness, to which Joachim added: - "Keeping quiet is not hypocrisy in any way, but that perhaps explains why Denmark is the happiest country to live in. Probably because we the Danes are not looking for trouble."
While discussing how Henrik and Athena settled in the new school system, Marie was asked if their classmates knew that they were members of a royal family:- "Obviously, it ends up being known. I don’t worry about Athena. She was born with confidence in life, she is very comfortable with her family history. For Henrik, it’s different. He doesn’t really like being reminded of who he is. Children are not always very nice to each other. He said to me, 'Mom, it’s okay.' As long as we are together, he is reassured. We are here to give them confidence.”
A part of the interview also focused on Joachim’s role as a spare in the royal family:- "For the Crown Prince, it is enough to follow the course of events. But nothing is defined when the role of the spare and his wife, neither in writing nor orally. My father experienced the same dissatisfaction and never managed to get a clarification of his place in the royal family.”
He added that it wasn’t always easy as they had to find a role while staying in their place. Marie did admit that she felt a little bit freer now:- "This will perhaps allow us to find our place, always with the mission of representing the family and our country well.”
When asked about Prince Harry’s decision to move from the UK to California:- "I have enormous respect for Prince Harry. He is very brave. He dared to follow what his heart dictated to him. He’s the only one who knows how he thinks."
The couple also discussed the press in Denmark and how they were freer in France, Marie said: - "They always need a black sheep in the family. What a pity to soil images like this. We are very careful to protect our children as much as possible.”
Joachim added: - "It’s simple: their goal is to sell paper. Regardless of the price to pay for the targeted people.”
When asked what they wished for their children
Joachim said- "We want them to know that it is up to them, with our help, of course, to define their lives. They will be free to do anything. The obligations, if any, will be towards themselves."
Marie added: - "Moreover, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary have decided that – Prince Christian aside – their three other children will lead their lives as they see fit."
Joachim continued: - "It’s the same with my oldest children, now adults. They are very resourceful. The proof since Nikolai has become a model. Of course, it’s peculiar, but we are in the 21st century, in Denmark, and he exploited this chance well, in a very professional approach. It doesn’t turn his head at all and he takes his studies in economics and business very seriously. Felix is going to graduate from high school. He is very studious so I am not worried. He has already announced that he will embrace a military career."
Both exclaimed how happy the four children adore each other despite the age difference. They said that while they all know that their grandmother is the Queen, they also know that they are free.
When asked if they missed Denmark, Joachim answered: - "Of course. It is an integral part of our identity. We lived for seven years in Møgeltønder, in South Jutland. I really like the people there, the good air, the sky, the space. Fortunately, we have a lot of family here, but it’s not the same.”
Another place close to his heart is the Chateau de Cayx: - "It is a place that I adore. My parents bought in 1974 what was only ruin on the banks of the Lot, near Cahors. We lived there for the first time in 1976. I was 7 years old and I grew up spending two or three stays there every year. The memories come back to it all the more since you can feel the presence of my father everywhere. It was his jewel. To the children, I tell them everything he has done to help them understand the development of the property. That it wasn’t just a place to go on vacation. Patience, vision, love. For my mother too, Cayx is essential. It was their common project."
At the end of the interview, Marie talked a little bit about her future projects, one of which is a French version of her cookbook against food waste: - "In France, as in Denmark, there are many anti-food waste initiatives that are more geared towards companies but less towards individuals, where food waste is the most important. I would like to do another book, adapted to the needs of all French households, in order to give them a tool at home to avoid food waste, save money and participate in the well-being of our environment. It’s going well."
Asked where they see themselves in ten years, Joachim said: - "If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few months, whether it’s with covid or my stroke, it’s to live in the moment."