Last week, Princess Estelle of Sweden wasn’t the only European princess to be christened. Princess Athena of Denmark, daughter of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, was also christened on May 20, albeit in a slightly more low-key ceremony. The baby princess is currently tenth in line to the succession of the Danish throne.
As we discussed in our post after the new Princess was born (click here for a refresher), the name of Danish royal babies is not revealed until their christening day, so it was a bit of a thrill to hear the princesses full name. Her full name is: Her Highness Princess Athena Marguerite Francoise Marie of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat. As many publications have pointed out, Athena is the name of the goddess of wisdom while Marguerite is the French spelling of Queen Margrethe’s name and Francoise in Marie’s mother’s name. Marie, of course, is after Princess Marie.
What a poppet!
Princess Athena wore the same christening gown that her brother Prince Henrik wore. The Danish Monarchy’s official website explains:
The christening gown was made by Henrik Hviid, H.H. Design, and was used for the first time at His Highness Prince Henrik’s christening in 2009.
On the door into the church’s vestibule are four hearts, the large ones made of hydrangeas and the small ones made of sea lavenders.
The pews are decorated with half-circles of small pink-coloured polyantha roses.
The church’s baptismal font is covered with a wreath of peonies, roses, eustoma (lisianthus), polyantha roses and various types of greenery.
The altar rail is adorned with a vegetative decoration, which looks like it is growing up the front balusters. The decoration consists of peonies, roses, snapdragons, lisianthus and eucalyptus.
It was a real family affair. Prince Joachim’s two sons Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix (from his first marriage to Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg) arrived with their grandparents Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik:
Princess Mary and Prince Frederik were also there with their two oldest children, Prince Christian (the future King of Denmark) and Princess Isabella. Toddlers Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine are too young to join in.
This is a lovely shot as well:
Princess Athena’s godparents include two of her maternal uncles as well as three close friends of Marie’s. The most interesting addition to the godparent roster to me was the inclusion of Carina Axxelson, the long time girlfriend of Gustav, hereditary prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (and Prince Joachim’s first cousin). Here she is at the christening with a broken ankle situation:
She and Princess Marie have become friends:
As for why she and Prince Gustav haven’t married, it seems that the Prince’s grandfather left a completely archaic stipulation in his will that his heir (Prince Gustav) had to marry a Protestant woman of noble descent to retain his inheritance. Miss Axxelson is neither of those things (she is a Roman Catholic who grew up in Northern California), so she makes do living at the palace (Schloss Berleberg). She also wears a ruby ring on her wedding finger and has been loaned three different tiaras to wear to various occasions. She has been known to refer to herself as a princess in interviews which raises eyebrows, but whatever else she certainly makes for good royal gossip!
Here’s one of the tiaras:
My, I did get side tracked didn’t I?? Better end with a final shot of Princess Athena:
To read more on the Danish Royal Family’s christening gowns, click here.