Our last post focused on Princess Marie of Denmark’s engagement ring. Today, we’re backing up a few years to talk about Prince Joachim’s first wife, Alexandra Manley.
Prince Joachim and Alexandra announced their engagement in May of 1995. They first met in Hong Kong at a private dinner in the middle of January, 1994. The relationship had not become public until the announcement, so the engagement took many by surprise. There was also a lot of talk about how Alexandra, who was born in 1964, was five years older than her fiance, who was born in 1969. I suppose the press didn’t have much else to talk about since they were so caught off guard!
Alexandra was raised in Hong Kong and studied business in university. She worked as a stock broker and later as a sales and marketing executive in Hong Kong before moving to Denmark. She spoke English, French, and German fluently when she met Prince Joachim, and became fluent in Danish during her marriage.
The couple showed off the ring a bit during a press conference to mark their engagement, and talked about how they had become engaged during a holiday in the Philippines. The future Princess comes across as a very confident and articulate lady:
It’s also interesting to hear her talk about how she had no idea he was a prince at first, and when she found out she was “speechless.”
Alexandra’s ring has a large central diamond flanked by round cabochon rubies. The ring itself is yellow gold. Prince Joachim may have been thinking of the colours of the red and white Danish flag when he chose this ring for Alexandra. For his second wife, Princess Marie, he chose a ruby, sapphire, and diamond ring to represent her French heritage.
Notably, Joachim’s brother Prince Frederik also gave his wife a ruby and diamond ring to represent the Danish flag, so this has become something of a tradition.
Alexandra really likes her pearls and that is one heck of a big diamond:
Prince Joachim and Alexandra Manley’s wedding took place on November 18, 1995 amid much fanfare:
Her dress is so much like Princess Margaret’s, no? It’s uncanny! We’ll go into more detail on the dress in an upcoming post.
Here is a short video of their wedding, which includes a serious close up of the ring:
Alexandra and Joachim had two sons together, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix.
Princess Alexandra was very active in royal life and was involved in many Danish charities. She also wore some serious princess dresses over the years:
She wasn’t afraid of capes! Hurray….
She likes purple…
And this is very Disney, no?
Love this shot of the same dress…I call it “Princess in Repose”
This was taken at a pre-wedding event for Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson:
She’s wearing her wedding tiara in this photograph of her at their wedding:
The couple announced their separation on September 16, 2004 and the divorce was finalized in April 2005. As we discussed in our post on Danish christening gowns, the Danish royals handled this situation with a great deal of integrity. Princess Alexandra was granted the title Countess of Frederiksborg to use if she ever remarried (she could go by Princess of Denmark until then) and was also put on the Civil List, which gave her a generous yearly income for life. This way of handing things seems especially remarkable considering that no Danish royalRhad been divorced since 1846.
Alexandra married Martin Jorgensen on March 3, 2007, at which point she could no longer use her title of Princess. She now goes by the full title Her Excellency, Countess of Frederiksborg.
Interestingly, Martin Jorgensen worked on several official documentaries on members of the Danish Royal Family, including two on Princess Alexandra, which is how they met.
For his part, Prince Joachim married Marie Cavallier in May of 2008: