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Europe's young royals see Denmark's prince named


January 20, 2006
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Copenhagen's intense winter cold failed to affect the warmth of the occasion when the name of Denmark's future king was finally revealed on Saturday at his christening in the Christianborg Palace Chapel.

The select gathering of European royals who attended included the infant's royal godparents, most of them young parents themselves: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Denmark's Prince Joachim – brother of the new royal dad, Crown Prince Frederik – and Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Born on October 15, the little prince had not hitherto been named, in keeping with a Danish royal tradition stretching back for centuries. But all was unveiled when the Bishop of Copenhagen, Erik Norman Svendsen, asked proud mother Crown Princess Mary for the name of her first-born.

"Christian, Valdemar, Henri, John," she replied, spacing the words carefully. The Bishop then baptised the infant using the intricately wrought, solid gold, royal christening set.

Mary, very lightly clad for such a cold winter's day, seemed to relax once the ceremony was underway inside the warmly lit chapel, smiling lovingly at her husband over the head of their little boy.

Her sky blue jacket reflected the blue-for-a-boy theme of the day, and at her wish, the chapel was decked in fragrant blue flowers including hyacinths and forget-me-nots.

The baby himself was swathed in a 19th-century christening robe that has been worn by many members of the royal family, including his father, Frederik. The robe's rich ivory shade was reflected in the pretty silk-flowered head decoration Mary wore.

A planned appearance on the palace balcony after the chapel service was cancelled because of the sub-zero temperatures. Guests adjourned to a reception where international delicacies and wine from Prince Henrik's French vineyards were served while the latest addition to the Scandinavian royals got to know his friends and relatives.

Over in Australia, the princess' many fans – who'd dubbed the little prince 'kingaroo' - were out in much warmer streets celebrating in more flamboyant style. And the Slip Inn, where Tasmanian-born Mary met her husband during the Sydney Olympics in 2000, threw a special christening party in honour of the happy occasion.

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Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Bishop of Copenhagen, Erik Norman Svendsen, christens three-month-old Christian Valdemar Henri John using the 17th-century, solid gold royal christening setPhoto: © Getty Imagesy
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The proud parents exchange a loving look over the head of their alert little prince, who seems to be enjoying the event as much as everyone elsePhoto: © AFP
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Frederik fixes the bonnet, watched by some of his infant son's royal godparents: (L-R) Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, and Crown Princess Victoria of SwedenPhoto: © AFP

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