Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Princes, Princesses and the Youth Olympics

Well, the Youth Olympics have come and gone. Quite an interesting experience really. Rather well done if I say so myself, not that I had anything to do with it.  Perhaps the highlight of the games for me was meeting HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the Danish Seamen's Mission in Singapore.
photo Ace Kindred Cheong

Did you know Denmark has the oldest monarchy in Europe? It's even older than the British monarchy. The Crown Prince is really a very friendly down-to-earth chap. I managed to give him copies of 'Blow A Kiss' and 'There's Soup on My Fly!'  for his toddlers Prince Christian and Princess Isabella.  He thanked me and posed for a pic. Now the picture would have been great if my regular camera hadn't broken down the previous day (more about that further on in the post) and I had to use a lumix which really didn't work too well. Should have just used my iphone, but oh well. Thanks to Ace Kindred Cheong for his help.

HRH Prince Frederik of Denmark posed for this photo 
after I gave him two of my books for his children.

I have to admit that as a kids' book author, I am intrigued by royalty. So was Danish author Hans Christian Andersen who wrote some of the world's best-loved fairy tales. Perhaps that's why I was so tongued-tied when I met the prince. So much so that I forgot to tell him that the best pastries come from his country. Just a sec, are 'danish' pastries called 'danish' pastries in Denmark or are they just called pastries? Just wondering.  Anyway, I digress. Ok, let's face it, in reality  royal life  may not be picture-book perfect, but fairy tales about princes and princesses will always have an enduring appeal. Wendy Orr, one of my fave children's authors, just released her book 'The Princess and Her Panther". The word princess conjures up a magical world. That's why I've changed the main character in my book "the forest" from a village boy into a prince. There's something about royalty that seems almost mystical, magical I suppose. And I also guess it's cos the princes always end up marrying the beautiful princesses. Prince Frederik's wife Crown Princess Mary is stunning. But unfortunately she wasn't in town with him. Congratulations to the couple who is expecting twins in the new year.

HSH Prince Albert of Monaco at the finals of the ladies 3m springboard at the Youth Olympics.
Speaking of princesses, my big brother gave me tickets to the diving finals where Princess Stephanie's daughter, Pauline, was a finalist.
Pauline Ducret about to take one of her final plunges at the Youth Olympics.
She ended up in 12th place, not too shoddy. Prince Albert  of Monaco was there to support his niece, although his future Princess Charlene Wittstock was no where to be seen. I remember Princess Stephanie was quite the looker, but at the diving finals she looked rather unprincess-like: no make-up,  glasses. pony-tail etc. She looked like any other supportive mum, not a princess.

I took a couple of shots of her and then my camera stopped working. Actually it said "lens error." Maybe she was using her royal powers to stop unwanted photographs!

HSH Princess Stephanie of Monaco
 When I took the camera in, they said it would be $250 to repair! So I've decided to trade it in.  I'm not saying a princess broke my camera, but... well, she was the last person I took a picture of before it died. Ha Ha, kidding!

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