20 May 2012

HH Princess Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie of Denmark

The christening of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie of Denmark's second child took place at Møgeltønder Church today at 5 p.m., and the given names of the princess, who was born at Copenhagen on 24 January 2012, were finally announced: Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie.

The sponsors were Gregory Grandet (Princess Marie's half-brother), Edouard Cavallier (Princess Marie's half-brother), Carina Axelsson (partner of Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Prince Joachim's first cousin), Julie Mirabaud (a friend of Princess Marie), Diego de Lavandeyra  (another friend of Princess Marie) and Henriette Steenstrup (a friend of Prince Joachim). Bishop Erik Norman Svendsen officiated the ceremony.

After the christening Princess Athena's parents opened the doors at Schackenborg Palace for a private reception. The guest list included Queen Margrethe II, Prince Henrik, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Carina Axelsson, Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Henrik (the last three brothers of Princess Athena, the first two from Prince Joachim's first marriage with Alexandra Manley, now Countess of Fredensborg), Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie of Rosenborg and members of Princess Marie's family.

I am not sure what to make out of the chosen names. It is of course parents' personal choice, and as with Princess Estelle of Sweden, whose christening will take place at Stockholm on Tuesday 22 May, we will easily get used to the name Athena, the young princess' call name. But as I have said on many occasions before, I would have preferred that a Danish princess got a call name with royal and/or Danish/Norse roots. Athena is the name of a Greek goddess, Marguerite is a French version of Margrethe, so the princess seems to be named after her paternal grandmother, while the princess' third name comes from her maternal grandmother. And the fourth name could of course be after the child's mother. There have of course also been several members of the Oldenburg and Glücksburg dynasties with the name Marie before, including King Frederik VI's wife (1767-1852), née Princess of Hesse-Kassel and Prince Valdemar's wife Marie, née Princess d'Orléans (1865-1909).

As of 1 January 2012 there are 63 people in Denmark named Athena, cf. Statistics Denmark. 61 women are named Marguerite, 31 are named Françoise, while as many as 18.388 women are named Marie.

Now as the name of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie's youngest child is known, I have updated the 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 Athena (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.

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