Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, formerly Princess Alexandra of Denmark is the former wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark, the younger son of Margrethe II of Denmark.
The daughter of Shanghai-born Richard Manley and Austria-native Christa Nowotny, Alexandra the eldest of three sisters came into the world in Hong Kong on June 30, 1964. She had a middle-class upbringing thanks to her father and mother's respective careers as an insurance company executive and manager of a communications company. Described by one former teacher as "cool and sophisticated", the bright young beauty completed her general schooling in Hong Kong, going on to study international business abroad at universities in Vienna, Tokyo, and London.
Alexandra and Prince Joachim
It was after returning to Hong Kong that Alexandra met Prince Joachim at a party in the city, where the handsome young royal was working for a Danish shipping company. After a whirlwind courtship, thought to have begun in late autumn of 1994, Prince Joachim, on bended knee, presented Alexandra with a diamond and ruby engagement ring while the couple holidayed together in the Philippines.
Their engagement, which took both Alexandra's family and Danish royal watchers by surprise, was officially revealed in May 1995. Alexandra subsequently left her management post at a Hong Kong investment firm, swapped British citizenship for Danish, and converted from the Anglican church to Lutheran. A keen student of language, she added Danish to her repertoire of English, French, German, Japanese and Cantonese, impressing her future subjects with a public speech in her adopted tongue just three months after her first lesson.
A few months later, Ms. Manley became HRH Princess Alexandra of Denmark, marrying the Queen of Denmark"s second son in the chapel of Frederiksborg Castle on November 18, 1995. Their first child, Prince Nikolai William Alexander Frederik was born on August 28, 1999, and, their second, Prince Felix Henrik Valdemar Christian, arrived on July 22, 2002. Alexandra immediately became one of Europe's most-loved princesses, earning a reputation for grace, discretion, hard work, and a true sense of style. And it was her status as one of Denmark's favourite royals that made the 2004 announcement that the couple was to divorce the first such split in the royal family since 1846 even more shocking.
After the separation, Alexandra, who retained her royal title and an annual allowance, moved out of the marital home and bought a £665,000 villa in the Danish capital, where she resides with her two children. However, she and her husband also wasted no time presenting a united family front, appearing together at official events as well as their son's first day of school. Though she has openly admitted she misses Hong Kong, it is unlikely Alexandra will return to her homeland. Saying she "feels Danish", she remarked in 2003: "Denmark is my life now, my future Danes have welcomed me with open arms from the start."
What does Alexandra do now?
Since splitting with Prince Joachim, Alexandra found love again with photographer Martin Joergensen. The pair tied the knot in March 2007 but sadly divorced in September 2015 after eight and a half years together. However, the former Princess continued has to thrive in her career and in 2017, it was announced that she would take up the position of Poling Chair of Business and Government at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.