29 January 2012

More on Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Twitter account

Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway (@CrownPrincessMM) has become a hit on Twitter and has already got more than 25.000 followers, only 11 days after her account in reality was opened with her first tweet, and it will not surprise anyone if she soon tops the list of Norwegians with the most followers.

This blog article is first of all a summary of the debate which has been going on about Crown Princess Mette-Marit's Twitter account after my first article on the subject was published on Friday 20 January 2012.

The news of Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Twitter account has been received well by other tweeters, who have seen it as another sign of her down to earth personality. The newspapers that have written about the account have for the most part focused on the number of followers with whom she has exchanged tweets the first days and who she follows herself. Few have made reservations about her decision to get her own playground on Twitter.

One should perhaps be careful not to read too much into the Royal Palace’s reticence in dealing with the media’s questions concerning the Crown Princess’ account, but I can’t help wondering if the communication department rather would have preferred that the Crown Princess had kept herself to the official profile (@Kronprinsparet) she and her husband have together. Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, assistant information director at the Royal Palace was not willing to comment further on the Twitter account other than confirming that the profile was really hers when I contacted him on the afternoon of Friday 20 January 2012. As I wrote in my last blog article on the subject, this was before I read the confirmation from @Kronprinsparet, tweeted by Crown Prince Haakon himself.

When the Internet magazine Kampanje.com (20 January 2012) wanted to know why she had opened her own account, Gjeruldsen had no comments. And when asked whether the Palace had made a communication strategy for Mette-Marit’s Twitter profile, Gjeruldsen replied that they did not comment on this sort of questions. Kampanje.com also wanted to know if the Crown Princess was the first member of the royal house with her own profile, and naturally Gjeruldsen referred to the official profile the Crown Princess had together with her husband. Kampanje.com pointed out that she didn’t handle all the tweets herself from the @Kronprinsparet account, upon which Gjeruldsen responded that «on the account it says who is replying». By this Gjeruldsen referred to the way the tweets from @Kronprinsparet are formed - «KPH» stands for Crown Prince Haakon, «KPM» for Crown Princess Mette-Marit «KPP» means that the tweet is from both of them, while no «code» means that the information department has tweeted on their behalf.

A large part of the article deals with the appointment of Christian Lagaard in November 2010 as the Royal Palace's «social media expert», a position several people «in the know» believe he was not qualified for.

The Norwegian daily Aftenposten published on 20 January 2012 an interview with Cecilie Staude, an expert on social media and a senior lecturer at BI (Norwegian Business School), who claims that the Crown Prince couple has not had a apparent strategy with the @Kronprinsparet account. – They have been on Twitter for a long time, but it has not looked as if they have had a clear plan for how they should use the profile. They have had some unfortunate episodes. At times it seemed they didn't have an idea about who they were following, although I will not open old wounds.

Staude might be referring to the sex blog Flinkepiker.org (Twitter profile @FlinkePiker), which followed @Kronprinsparet and got their favour returned. Dagbladet.no wrote about it in September 2010.

Staude believes that Crown Princess Mette-Marit has planned her use of social media well. – It seems that she has a plan about how she wants to appear, and how she is going to use Twitter as a channel. I think it is positive that she has started using social media. It shows that the Crown Princess sees the potential for this kind of platform. The senior lecturer continues saying that Mette-Marit has to be conscious about how she appears, and be aware of the pitfalls in the social media. She must mind her p's and q's, but I am convinced she will make it. It will be exciting to follow her.

Dagbladet.no' first article on the subject was somewhat amusing, as it seems the newspaper thought the profile @SpanishRoyals represented the Prince and Princess of Asturias, while in fact the account is owned by a royal watcher following the Spanish royals. The profile was quoted because it at the time was not 100% whether Crown Princess Mette-Marit really was behind the profile @CrownPrincessMM or not.

But it doesn't end there. TV2.no made on 23 January 2012 a point out of Crown Princess Mette-Marit's decision to retweet a message written by @KongenDin (in translation «@YourKing»), which goes under the name «Harald Rex» and regards itself qualified to make fun of the royal family and its members. The Crown Princess has even retweeted one of «his» messages. The humour appears to be rather innocent, and to most people I guess it shows her sense of humour, but one should as a principle be careful about following false profiles. It shows a bad signal in my view.

Dagbladet.no's website on celebrities, Kjendis.no, followed up on 24 January 2012 with a large survey of the people Mette-Marit has decided to follow. Among the 441 people she followed at the time the article was published, were mainly politicians, artists, business people, sports stars and authors, including the author Erlend Loe, the handball player Camilla Herrem, the rapper and record producer Kanye West and Bill Gates (doesn't need an introduction, does he?). The communication company Geelmuyden.Kiese's «digital consultant» Marius Eriksen claims that the list of people she follows is rather predictable. He thinks it is surprising that she doesn't follow more ordinary people. Most of the people she follows has she had some contact with before, and the list will most likely be expanded to become more [politically] correct, Eriksen claims. She is thus communicating that she is not one of the people, but one of the elite and of the «Celebrity-Norway».

VG.no on 24 January 2012 quotes Marius Eriksen as well, but his comments are opposed by the media bureau Carat's «communication consultant» Øyvind Solstad, who believes that some of his colleagues in his line of business has been a bit too eager to demand a big plan. It is too much to be asked for that the Crown Princess should sit in her chamber and select 1000 people to follow before she opened her account. – I think it is quite okay that she starts by following people she is interested in. He does not agree with the allegations that Mette-Marit through her selection of people communicate that she is part of the elite. – The discussion which all the time has been going on in Norway about Twitter and the elite is outdated. In other countries Twitter has first of all become a youth phenomenon, and the same thing is happening in Norway too. Twitter has long ago moved from journalists and the communication trade to become a much more «folkelig» (could be translated into «popular» or «down to earth») place. It just hasn't reached the larger crowd yet.

Solstad thinks it is «cool» that Mette-Marit has opened her own Twitter account which clearly differs from the more formal account she and her husband has together. – It is more private, in the meaning personal, than the one she has with her husband. When you look at the conversations she has it has a different style than on their common account.

The consultant thinks that the Crown Prince and the Crown Prince couple is doing a good job with the social media. – The Crown Prince couple has got most of it right. They are using Facebook and Twitter to front the topics that are important to them in their roles, and they are doing it with both texts, photos and videos.

Marius Eriksen on the other hand believes that the division between «the royals» and «the people» is not erased by Crown Princess Mette-Marit's twittering. – No, it does not wipe out anything. It only adds an ingredient to the cocktail. This might eventually make her more a celebrity than a royal, something that will lead to downgrading other celebrities.

The court reporter Kjell Arne Totland describes Mette-Marit's follow list on Twitter as «ambitious». – Many of them are people she has met through her role and position - and some of them have become close friends of her. The list says a lot about our crown princess's sphere of interest, and who she wants to be, he says.

As of now I tend to agree with Solstad that the media is making too much out of Mette-Marit's follow list. Maybe one should wait half a year or even a year from now before a more thorough analysis could be made. She clearly follows a lot of high-profiled people, but who doesn't?

Crown Princess Mette-Marit's Twitter account was debated on the Norwegian radio channel NRK's news program Dagsnytt 18, in which the above-mentioned Cecilie Staude and the sociologist Hedvig S. Johansen participated. Staude has followed up with her own blog article where she makes her own interpretation of why Crown Princess Mette-Marit has established herself on Twitter. Staude, who is a sister of the TV2 journalist Vår Staude, believes the reasons are the same for the Crown Princess as for the more than a quarter million Norwegians who have got a Twitter profile. It is all about exchange of information, dialogue, knowledge, learning and sharing. And maybe also to just have some fun. In addition Twitter gives the Crown Princess a good opportunity for direct communication with people, instead of indirectly through the media etc. It also opens for the possibility of receiving direct and honest feedback, which she can use in her role.

Well, in my opinion it also opens up for the opposite - abuse and stalking. Yes, you can block spammers and others you feel are taking things too far, but a profiled person like the Crown Princess is likely to receive far more negative attention on Twitter than the man in the street. I hope she will have the stomach to deal with it. Then again, things don't have to go that bad. But with all the nutcases out there, it is not an unrealistic scenario. It doesn't appear to have been a big problem so far, though. On a very different subject - the most entertaining aspect of following Crown Princess Mette-Marit's account so far has been to observe all the people crying for a reply from the Crown Princess or hoping that she will subscribe to their tweets as well. I am sure she will be able to see through the attention seekers and correspond with people who really has something to say.

But back to Staude's blog article again, where she towards the end comments on the need to find a balance between Mette-Marit's down to earth approach and her professional role, which has to set some limits on her activities. She is after all a Crown Princess, Staude adds, reminding her readers of the pitfalls. The Twitter format with 140 characters is challenging. Precision is important, as it is easy to be misinterpreted or misunderstood. A misstep can quickly be spread around the net and might result in people getting another impression of her than she would have liked. Staude also claims that because of her role she will never be regarded as a private person, and that everything she writes on Twitter will be viewed in the light of her position as Crown Princess and her tasks. I agree with what she says about missteps. A wrong use of word or a not so well-thought utterance can easily be misunderstood and cause a lot of trouble and negative attention. First of all she has to stay away from political and other potentially controversial issues and discussions.

Staude ends her article by saying that the Crown Princess has caught «the Twitter spirit» surprisingly fast. Why is this surprising, I wonder… Staude believes that Mette-Marit response, retweets, uses hashtags, shows a sense of humour and shares information which so far makes her interesting to follow. If she manages to follow up her great start, she will soon be popular – not only because she is a Crown Princess, but because she is interesting to follow because she offers something unique on Twitter.

This week the Crown Prince and Crown Princess attended World Economic Forum in Davos, and they answered a few questions from the press regarding the new Twitter profile. According to the NTB interview published by VG.no on 26 January, the Crown Princess regards Twitter as a great opportunity to spread information about exciting projects which take place around the world, especially [those] run by young people. So far she thinks she has managed to judge how personal her tweets should be, adding that it is important to have «a high focus on the contents». When the Crown Prince was asked if he was going to follow up and become an active tweeter, he responded by saying that he thought he was an active tweeter already, referring to the account they had together. He didn't rule out the possibility for his own profile later on.

I had planned to round off the blog article with the Crown Prince couple's comments, but on Saturday 28 January author and Aftenposten commentator Vidar Kvalshaug gave his own view of the Mette-Marit on Twitter discussions this week. His main message was that Twitter is «for the democracy», denouncing the claims that the social platform is for the elite only. He finds it to be «an open and democratic tool» to everyone, and the way the Crown Princess has used Twitter so far, by among others discussing literature with a librarian from Trondheim, a dog lover from Moss and himself, does not give the impression of an elite project.

I tend to agree with Kvalshaug. Some of the critics seem to have got lost in profiles she has decided to follow so far. As long as she doesn't lose sight of the librarian from Trondheim I wouldn't be too worried. She seems to have used her Twitter account quite sensibly so far. But as said already, it is too early to make a judgment. Let's make another review a year from now on. It has been an interesting debate, though. And a serious discussion on the role the royal house and its members have or should have can never be wrong.

See also Views and News from Norway's article «Royal heir turns eight as mom ‘tweets’» (21 January 2012).


24 January 2012

Denmark: Princess Marie has given birth to a girl

The Royal Court in Copenhagen announced this morning that Princess Marie, wife of Prince Joachim, earlier today, Tuesday 24 January 2012 at 8.27 a.m., gave birth to a girl at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. The newborn princess weighed 2930 g and was 49 cm long. Both mother and child are doing well. The press release also told that Prince Joachim was present at the birth. Go here for Rigshospitalet's press release.

The birth was marked with a 21-gun-salute at noon and flags were flown from the public buildings.

Prince Joachim, the youngest son of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik, is now the proud father of four children. He has 2 boys - Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix - with his former wife, now Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg - and a son, Prince Henrik, with his second wife, Marie. The names of the new princess will in accordance with tradition not be known until the christening. The name-guessing has already started! Well, as I have said on similar occasions earlier, I hope that the parents will find a call name (traditionally the girl will receive four names) that follow Danish royal traditions, but we might be taken by surprise again. As Prince Joachim said earlier today according to Berlingske, the princess "could be named everything from Jo to Sherezade"!

The newborn princess is tenth in line of succession to the Danish throne:
  1. HRH Crown Prince Frederik (b. 1968)
  2. HRH Prince Christian (b. 2005)
  3. HRH Princess Isabella (b. 2007)
  4. HRH Prince Vincent (b. 2011)
  5. HRH Princess Josephine (b. 2011)
  6. HRH Prince Joachim (b. 1969)
  7. HH Prince Nikolai (b. 1999)
  8. HH Prince Felix (b. 2002)
  9. HH Prince Henrik (b. 2009)
  10. HH Princess NN (b. 2012)
  11. HRH Princess Benedikte (b. 1944)
  12. HH Princess Elisabeth (b. 1935)
See also Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard's article Conditional Consent, Dynastic Rights and the Danish Law of Succession for a discussion on the rights of Princess Benedikte's children.


21 January 2012

A cemetery in Rhodes (city), Rhodes, Greece

(1) "Nekrotapheion", today's Greek word for cemetery, it seems. And it make sense!

(2) The entrance of the cemetery, at the backside.


(4) Cemetery chapel.

























(29) Have you noticed that while the animal you most likely are going to meet at a North European cemetery is a squirrel, the cemeteries in the Mediterranean region are usually swarmed by cats? I will come back to this when I some time in a not too distant future publish photos of a cemetery I once visited in Istanbul, Turkey. Anyway, this particular cat was actually resting inside the shovel when I discovered it. But unfortunately as soon as I took up my camera it came out to meet me.

(30) This cat, on the other hand, was not a happy sight, as one of its eyes had a running sore. Not a cat I wanted to have too close to my daughter, who was sitting in her pram, so I walked away soon after the encounter, but of course it started to follow me! Scary cat!

I try to visit cemeteries whenever or wherever I travel, but at a place like Rhodes with so many historical places it would normally not be included in my "things to do list". The Acropolis of Rhodes would be a better idea. However, my daughter, almost 15 months old at the time, needed her afternoon nap, so I was worried that the tourist-crowded Acropolis would disturb her sleep and thus I decided to go to the cemetery instead. Getting my daughter to sleep turned out to be a greater challenge than anticipated. She usually falls asleep with one of her thumbs in her mouth, but in addition she needs her small comfort blanket. She managed to lose it or throw it away not many metres outside the walls of the old town, but I didn't discoved it before it was too late. So she didn't sleep at all during my cemetery visit, but as soon as I had found the blanket again on our way back to the old town, she entered dreamland only after a minute or two! The pram was not easy to manouvre at the cemetery because the graves were so close to eachother that they were almost above eachother, so I couldn't get all the shots I would have liked, as I wouldn't leave the pram in order to get closer to the objects.

Anyway, I am not sure if there are more than one cemetery in Rhodes (and now I am mostly thinking about the new city) or if the cemetery I visited had a particular name, hence the subject title "A cemetery in Rhodes ...". The word "cemetery" comes from Greek originally and means "sleeping place", but it seems that the word used today is "Νεκροταφείο" ("Nekrotapheio"). It's all Greek to me, anyway (sorry, I just couldn't resist!).

According to the map I had got, the cemetery was supposed to be quite close to the sea, but the cemetery I found was close to a stadium, but certainly not to the sea. And yes, I am quite good with reading maps, actually! So it is possible that I stumbled over another cemetery than the one I had planned to visit. Will I ever find out? Anyway, it was an interesting cemetery to visit, even if I am not mastering the Greek words too well and even though my daughter's restlessness cut the visit short!

(All the photos were taken on Friday 7 October 2012.)


Rhodes (city), Rhodes, Greece

(1) A part of the Grand Master's Palace (the Knights Hospitallers). It was just too crowded to get decent photos of the main part of the palace. it was not easy to get a good over view anyway.





(6) At the top of Socrates Street.



(9) A memorial for the 1604 Jews from Rhodes and Kos who were deported and killed in concentration camps. See the website of the Rhodes Jewish Museum for more information .




(13) Kleftikos, "a very traditional dish with lamb, vine leafs, gently baked in the oven." The dinner was enjoyed at the restaurant Romeo, which is situated in Menekleous Street, a few metres off the main street Socrates. I can absolutely recommend this restaurant! Nice atmosphere and great food!

I visited the old town of Rhodes during my week-long stay at the Greek island of Rhodes in early October 2011. Except for a short excursion to the local cemetery outside the city walls I stayed in the old town, thus missing among others the Acropolis of Rhodes. A bit too crowded with tourists, but a lovely place to visit, and so rich of history, and under so many regimes - among others the Romans, the Knights Hospitallers, Ottomans and Italy, before becoming united with Greece in 1947. The diffferent architecture is of course marked by the different periods. As this was "an enlarged family trip", I didn't get to see everything I had hoped for, so I will not rule out the possibility of another visit later on. There are plenty of sights both in the city and at other parts of the island, and if you are just going for the sun and the beach you will seldomly be disappointed...


20 January 2012

Crown Princess Mette-Marit on Twitter

Crown Prince Mette-Marit of Norway "officially" opened her own Twitter account on Wednesday 18 January 2012, and she has already got more than 7.100 followers. According to VG Nett today the account (@CrownPrincessMM) was registered on 28 November 2011, but only on Wednesday did she write her first tweet. The account has been verified by the Crown Prince couple's common Twitter account @Kronprinsparet and by Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen at the Royal Palace in an e-mail today (I contacted the Palace before I had read the verification at @Kronprinsparet).

As Gjeruldsen was not willing to give any further comments other than confirming that the Crown Princess had opened her own account, I gather that there is no media strategy behind the creation. I take it that while @Kronprinsparet will continue to publish news etc. about their public activities, Crown Princess Mette-Marit will use her own account to get a more direct contact with friends, acquaintances, organisations she is involved with through her work etc.

Many royal courts have their own Twitter account. Examples besides the Crown Prince couple are @ClarenceHouse and @palaisprinciermonaco. Royals with their own more or less private Twitter account is of course nothing new. Queen Noor (@QueenNoor) and Queen Rania (@QueenRania) of Jordan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (@HHShkMohd) have been on Twitter for quite some time.

It will surely be interesting to follow the Crown Princess. She is excellent in communicating with people, but on the other hand I some times miss the "royal distance" that for instance Queen Margrethe II has. This is not intended as criticism towards the Crown Princess, just an observation that we don't really need to know everything about the royals 24 hours a day, regardless of what view one has on the monarchical institution. I am sure that the Crown Princess will not tell or comment "on everything", but she has to be careful with what she writes and who she decides to follow. Some times people can be too impulsive when tweeting and it can lead into more trouble and controversy than one could wish for. I will not be surprised if the media some times will make more out of her tweets than she might have intended, so I really hope she knows what she is getting into. She has to keep a clear line between her public role and private sphere, and she has to remember the difference between being private and being personal.

Whether Crown Prince Haakon will follow up with his own account remains to be seen. As already mentioned Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen at the information departement of the Royal Palace was not willing to comment on that particular question. Time will show.

Updated on Friday 20 January 2012 at 19.25 (link added).


19 January 2012

Santorum declared winner of Iowa caucuses

Following a recount in Iowa it turns out that it was Rick Santorum - and not the front-runner Mitt Romney - who won the GOP caucuses on 3 January this year, Des Moines Register reports today (see also Bloomberg.com). It was earlier reported that Mitt Romney had won by 8 votes, but the new count gives 34 votes in favour of Santorum. Really? It turns out that 8 precincts remain uncertified, so it will be difficult to say for sure who the winner really was.

Concerning the number of delegates from Iowa, it will not change anything. The question is whether Santorum's (alleged) victory would have made a bigger impact on the campaign if it had been known earlier. I have my doubts. Santorum didn't stand a chance in New Hampshire anyway, and today's news will probably not change the result in Saturday's South Carolina primary much either.

Obviously the campaign has become more open and exciting now as Rick Perry has finally suspended his campaign and endorsed Newt Gingrich. Romney still has a small lead in South Carolina according to the latest polls (see RCP), but it will be interesting to see how Perry's goodbye will influence the campaign in the next few days. Could Gingrich actually win in South Carolina? Well, he certainly can. Then again, if ABC's interview with his ex-wife Marianne is aired before the primary takes place on Saturday 21 January, it might hurt his chances. Mitt Romney will nevertheless remain the front-runner and favourite to win the GOP nomination. But the campaign will certainly be more exciting for a few days more. Santorum and Paul are too far behind to have any chance in South Carolina. As of now Romney holds a solid lead in Florida (RCP). If he wins there, I am inclined to believe that it is a done deal.


15 January 2012

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's 40th anniversary as regent

King Frederik IX of Denmark died on Friday 14 January 1972 and was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Margrethe. The 40th anniversary as Queen of Denmark has been marked by a rather tightly-packed programme which can be viewed here (and in English here).

The main events took place on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January. On Saturday morning the royal family attended the wreath laying ceremony at King Frederik IX's and Queen Ingrid's graves outside Roskilde Cathedral (the photo was taken in July 2011, I will return with a blog article later).

Well back in Copenhagen Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik travelled by coach from Amalienborg through the pedestrian street with escort by the Royal Danish Hussar Guard Regiment to the City Hall were they attended the official reception. The guest list included among others (and I have for the most part followed the order given by the court):
  • HM Queen Margrethe II and HRH Prince Henrik
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary
  • HRH Prince Joachim
  • HRH Prince Benedikte and HSH Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • HM King Constantin and HM Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes
  • HSH Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his partner Ms. Carina Axelsson
  • HSH Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and her husband Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
  • HSH Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and her husband Alexander Johannsmann
  • HRH Crown Prince Pavlos and HRH Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • HRH Princess Theodora of Greece
  • HRH Prince Philippos
  • HM King Carl Gustaf and HM Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • HM King Harald and HM Queen Sonja of Norway
  • HE Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, and his wife Dorrit Moussaieff
  • Thomas Beauvillain and Mie Beauvillian (members of Prince Henrik's family)
I haven't been able to follow the events this weekend this closely, so I cannot say if the list concerning royals is complete or not.

The Regent Couple also greeted the people outside the City Hall from the balcony. In the evening the Queen and her guests attended a gala performance in DR's Concert Hall. Among the people in attendance were:
  • HM Queen Margrethe and HRH Prince Henrik
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary
  • HRH Prince Joachim
  • HH Prince Nikolai
  • HH Prince Felix
  • HRH Princess Benedikte and HSH Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • HM King Constantin and HM Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes
  • HSH Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Ms. Carina Axelsson
  • HSH Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
  • HSH Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Alexander Johannsmann
  • HRH Crown Prince Pavlos and HRH Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • HRH Princess Theodora of Greece
  • HRH Prince Philippos of Greece
  • HH Princess Elisabeth
  • HE Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie of Rosenborg
  • HE Count Christian and Countess Anne Dorte of Rosenborg
  • Camilla af Rosenborg and her husband Mikael Rosanes
  • Josephine af Rosenborg and her husband Thomas Christian Schmidt
  • Feodora af Rosenborg and her husband Morten Rønnow (Camilla, Josephine and Feodora are all daughters of Count Christian)
  • HM King Carl Gustaf and HM Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • HM King Harald and HM Queen Sonja of Norway
  • HE Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, and his wife Dorrit Moussaieff
In addition also members of the government, the Parliament and other parts of the official Denmark were present, as well as representatives of the court and from Greenland and Faro Islands. Also Prince Joachim's former wife, Countess Alexandra of Fredensborg and her husband Martin Jørgensen were present.

Today, Sunday 15 January 2012, the changing of the guard took place at noon and the royal family greeted the people from the balcony of Christian IX's Palace, Amalienborg. The twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine were there too! The heavily pregnant Princess Marie, wife of Prince Joachim, was absent from the festivities in general, but appeared at the balcony.

Later on Sunday the Crown Prince couple hosted a buffet luncheon for foreign guests and the family in Frederik VIII's Palace, Amalienborg. The guest list can be found here. I am not going to repeat all the names, as for the most part they were identical with the names listed yesterday, but it should be added that the Crown Prince couple of Norway had joined the party, together with the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, and her husband, Pentti Arajärvi. Crown Prince Frederik's oldest children Prince Christian and Princess Isabella were also listed.

After lunch the Danish royal family and the guests went to Christiansborg Palace Church for the celebratory service. The guest list can be viewed here. In the evening there was a gala dinner at Christiansborg Palace for the extended royal family and foreign guests as well as Danish officials. The guest list can be viewed here. Most of the people mentioned earlier were present, but I note that the President of Iceland had returned home. See photos at Berlingske's website.