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Danish princess' name revealed at beautiful family baptism

20 MAY 2012

When the first girl to be born to Joachim of Denmark was baptised her parents were so excited she was given the names of all the ladies in the family.

Athena Marguerite Françoise Marie slept through the proceedings, waking only briefly to exercise her lungs by having a little cry when the baptismal water was poured on her head.


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The sleeping beauty has been given the French version of her paternal grandmother's name – an honour Queen Margrethe was obviously thrilled with because she couldn't stop smiling.

Françoise is after the little princess' maternal grandmother and Marie is for her pretty French mother.

In line with royal custom the prince and his wife only revealed their choices at the ceremony held in the historic church of Mogeltonder, where they exchanged vows.

Sunday's beautiful celebration combined royal protocol with the most touching of family moments.

Although formality required that the congregation curtsy to the Danish sovereign, she didn't seem too fussed about standing on ceremony.



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Instead Margrethe and husband Prince Henrik played the doting grandparents looking after Nikolai, 12, and Felix, nine, their son's boys from his previous marriage.

They could be seen shepherding them to and from the service.

On her big day the little girl wore a gown of cream-colored jacquard woven Swiss cotton – previously used by her brother, three-year-old Henrik.

The proud parents had asked Marie's half brothers Gregory Grandet and Edouard Cavallier to be godfathers, along with their friend Diego de Lavandeyra.



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The honour of being godmothers fell to her pal Julie Mirabaud, Carina Axelsson, girlfriend to Prince Gustav of Berleburg and another family friend Henriette Steenstrup. 

Also sharing the couple's happiness was Crown Prince Frederik and his glamorous Australian wife Mary, who was elegant in a fashionable bird-print dress for the occasion.

After the service the couple invited their 221 guests back to their nearby residence Schackenborg Castle.


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Through the doors, Margrethe could seen giving her daughter-in-law a warm kiss of congratulations.

And Henrik took advantage of all the excitement for some naughty escapades.

The mischievous toddler climbed on to one of the big stone lions at the front door – only to be swiftly told off by his father.

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