Of Cabbages and Kings

I watched Denton tonight and needed a shower on conclusion. He interviewed Frederick and Mary Glucksburg. A couple who might have been a mid-ranked corporate duo anywhere in the western world really – perhaps a double -diamond Amway family or goodlooking Scientologists maybe. But they’re currently gigging as Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark.

Denmark last sprang to world prominence in the time of Otto Von Bismarck and the Schleswig-Holstein Question. Since then, it’s been pretty quiet – a silence broken only by the glurp associated with necking rollmop herrings, followed by interminable choruses of ‘Wonderful,Wonderful Copenhagen, Salty Old Queen of the Sea. ‘ Then Mary Donaldson, Sydney real estate agent, met a smiley little chinless bloke at some bar during the 2000 Olympics. He turned out to be Fred Glucksburg. They got married, they’re back in town and we haven’t been this far up to our ears in royalist sycophancy since the Queen’s post-coronation visit.

In all the traditional centres of Republican fervour – Fairfax, the ABC, etc – we’ve been treated to the sort of mass tongue-flicking once ascribed to the sort of conga-line of suckholes that doesn’t hold press passes.

On Sunday, Radio National’s news bulletins ran leads consisting pretty much of “Her Royal Highness stepped out in in a dusty pink ensemble accompanied by her old friend Onya Bakubich. They lunched at Rose Bay Rascals before boarding Concorde for the flight to Rushcutters Bay. Her Royal Highness graciously waved (it’s just like changing a light bulb really, ha, ha ) to the assembled masses on de-embarkation and kindly consented to walk across the prone body of Mr Bob Carr enroute to her royal husband’s yacht. The Royal couple then drove back to the Sydney CBD – which has been put at their total disposal for the duration of their visit – in a Chariot of Fire, through adoring throngs. Ms Kylie Minogue serenaded them atop a giant Ken Done emboidered thong – ” I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky” – en route. Baroness Sorenson-Vikingraider was in attendance.’

Mary is 8kg lighter and has miraculously changed her voice. She now sounds (curiously) like Juanita Phillips after 6 months in Durban. If this is what learning Danish does to you, I’d advise against it. The perpetually smiling Andrew Denton used “Royal Highness” no less than 950 times in a 40 minute interview. He resembled a shark on e.

I think the point is supposed to be that they are very different Royals from the Windsors. But are they? Fred is the great-great grandson of King Christian IX whose daughter, Alix, married Edward VII. The Queen and Prince Philip are both his great-grandchildren and Charles (whose arrival in Perth is imminent) like Fred, is a great-great. They’re the same bloody crowd!

I just hope we get a moment to catch our Republican breath before Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden arrives….she’s related as well…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Of Cabbages and Kings

  1. wbb says:

    coooorrect – batshit it was – give me the windsors and their antics anyday. Why does that woman speak like that?

  2. Nabakov says:

    I’d reckon they could hold down a nice little yacht brokerage together in Rose Bay.

    “You got anything about 35 feet, single keeled and masted and not related to the Saxe-Coburgs?”

  3. Mark Bahnisch says:

    The problem with Princess Mary, though she sells magazines, is that we don’t have enough backstory on the supporting cast – ie “Princess Grismelda and ArchDuchess Henrika were rumoured to have snubbed our Mary at the reception for ex-King Constantine of Greece”. Whereas with Fergie, Camilla, Anne etc…

  4. jen says:

    Why does that woman speak like that?
    She’s a royal i’n’t she?

    A shark on e was never so preferable. It is the Denton voice that makes me want to vomit. Pusillanimous little toady, fucked up, Oh I’m so happy and well adjusted just ask Jennifer. Sick sad world of boring non-entities on TV at least we have the good manners to stay home on our keyboards.

  5. Mark Bahnisch says:

    So I’m the only person who watched the Oscars and no-one was watching Desparate Housewives? And they call me a blog tragic!

  6. James Russell says:

    Well I was out at the Cinematheque boring myself to death with films by Robert Bresson, so I missed all the fun on TV. I only care about the Oscars results anyway; the ceremony itself holds no appeal for me at all. Not even for snark value.

  7. Ken Parish says:

    No, we watched Desperate Housewives, only turning over to the Denton interview briefly because, as Jen colourfully commented, it was so sick-making.

  8. Amanda says:

    I watched the Oscars, and flicked over to Desperate Housewives and Law and Order. With all the ads, musical interludes and nobodies thanking everyone they’ve ever met I was able to follow both programmes adequately. What I saw of Mary and Fred, her accent was quite off putting and Denton’s questions pretty repetitive (all variations on the “You’re royalty. That must be strange?” theme)

  9. sophie says:

    Absolutely agreed, Geoff. Though I’m a monarchist, I find all this smarm and gush embarassing and revolting, especially when you compare it to the carps and sneers and insults thrown Charles’ way–and the ghastly sexist nonsense hurled at poor Camille Parker Bowles. The media reveal just how hypocritical they are–or do they reveal the fact that it’s all an anti-British bias on their part, their so-called republicanism? And some of the public figures associated with the ARM are just as bad–one stupid pollie even suggested that the Danes be asked to be the monarchs of Australia!
    I’m a monarchist because I believe the system has served us well, and because, coming from a republic(France) I know it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Also, I like the historical continuity. And the stories are interesting. But I despise all this pathetic kow-towing and gushing and sycophancy. I think the sycophany shown to the royal Danes, combined with the vicious attacks on the Windsors, in newspapers such as the Oz, the Daily Tele and the SMH, all of which espouse the republican cause, actually only debases and cheapens it.

  10. Rex says:

    Well I’m sorry about all you, but WE loved it. We even set up a card table and brought out Grandma’s old linen tablecloth, hand crocheted doillys and sterling silver butterknives for the occaision, and it was, an occaision. Oh what a sweet thing she was, I almost (sniff) imagine it could have been me.

    And then there are those, who insist on puncturing the bubble, who want to bring it down, who want to kill off the last little bit of romance and fantasy, and foist their sordid po-mo views on the rest of us. Who’s next? Santa Claus?

  11. Mork says:

    I started watching, but I was so embarrassed for Andrew Denton that I had to switch it off.

  12. anthony says:

    Desperate Housewives, Oscars in the ads and Denton no because Toni already admitted to watching the Oscars for the dresses. A royal family addiction on top of that could only lead to subscriptions to New Idea and unconditional love only goes so far you know.

  13. Guido says:

    There is a fundamental difference of issues here between the English Royal Family and the Danish one.

    We all can scoff at the idea that the concept of royalty is outdated and anachronistic in the 21st century. (although in the case of Spain – it has been very useful in re-establishing democracy after the death of Franco and providing a steady influence against any restoration of dictatorship).

    Unlike Frederick, Charles is poised to become the next head of state for Australia. I don’t want to start big debates about whether the constitutional idea of having a monarch for head of state is good or bad etc. The point is that while we can treat Frederick and Mary the same way we can view Cate Blanchett or Russell Crowe, as a flippant diversion in our every day news diet it is more serious in regards to Charles. He will become ‘King of Australia’.

    Also I would like to say that all the Royals of Europe really point the way that the Mountbatten/Windsor family should conduct themselves. The utterings form the Queen yesterday berating Charles for marrying Camilla shows how fu&^%ed up and dysfunctional that family is. Frederick was able to marry an Australian real estate agent, with previous relationships etc. with no problems. While Charles was forced to abandon his true love because she was ‘divorced’ and marry a 19 year old virgin (a difficult find in this day and age) which had to have some aristocratic connection. This may have been OK in the 19th century, but it is totally unrealistic now. But Betty Mountbatten-Windsor still does not get it, she is taking her bat and going home and chiding his son for being ‘selfish’. What a family we have to be our head of state!

  14. William says:

    “Why does that woman speak like that?”

    That’s the accent you get when you learn Danish, it’s a very awkward language, and you end up speaking English a little funny.

  15. James Farrell says:

    I too was greatly intrigued by the accent thing. No one would deliberately affect a Danish accent while speaking English, so it must be inadvertent. But how did it happen? She’s hardly the first person who ever assiduoulsy studied an ‘awkward language’, but generally that doesn’t make you sound like a foreigner when you speak your native language. It must be something to do with (1) inherent similarities between English and Danish, and (2) the fact that the Danes speak Englsh fluently and often (and, in her company, are constantly switching back and forth). So she’s learnt not just how to make those wierd vowells, but how and where to insert them into a range of English words.

  16. cs says:

    If I can be a ghastly sexist for a moment, I didn’t watch anything last night, but Geoff has somehow missed the fundamental non-Royal fact, which gets me and every other male republican of similar age-bracket I know, everytime; i.e. Our Mary has an uncanny resemblance to Emma Peel.

    Now, Camille ….

  17. mnky says:

    only jumped across a couple of times – denton was pathetic from what i could tell no hard questions like the obscene wealth, system based on birth I mean it is not insulting to ask “how do you handle/deal with the existence of an archaic blood based system of rule against a modern democratic world?” “do you think the deference paid to you eg royal highness etc is totally out of date in a modern world?” “do you work for a living mate?”

  18. AlanDownunder says:

    Spot on, James. Pukka English is English as mispronounced by royals imported from northern europe.

  19. Jim Birch says:

    Call me antisocial, unconcerned, out-of-touch, boring, whatever, but I could not bring myself to watch this significant media event, so I cannot comment directly on the manner and bearing of the couple. However, my wife did, and I can report that a powerful fug of smarm and gush filled our whole house.

  20. Mark Bahnisch says:

    “Our Mary has an uncanny resemblance to Emma Peel.”

    Without the catsuit, Chris.

  21. Steed says:

    I wonder if Mary can fence?

  22. Mark Bahnisch says:

    Or write papers on theoretical physics?

  23. James Hamilton says:

    “Spot on, James. Pukka English is English as mispronounced by royals imported from northern europe. ”

    That is not what I interpreted James F’s comments to mean.

    People adopt all sorts of accents for all sorts of reasons. I have heard that Jamie Oliver’s mum dies whenever she hears his pseudo normal accent.

    Furthermore the younger royals do not speak with the old stereo-typical pukka accent.

    And I must say in defence of pukka speakers; you can at least understand what they are saying. Generally everyone in a ten yard vicinity can hear it too – they pierce lead. If accents lived or died based on merit rather than geographical & socio-ecnomic factors then many more people would be speaking pukka not less.

  24. Mark Bahnisch says:

    Caught the end of it (predictably repeated) before Lateline – Denton is cringeworthy.

    Speaking of pukka, enjoyed watching the “effete, posturing, etc professor” (to quote Lawsie) debate David Marr. Sounded almost like he was angsty that Albrechtsen got the ABC board gig instead of him. At least Flint seems to have a proper understanding of the role of a board…

  25. david tiley says:

    The Flint-Marr thing was fun. I must say the whole segue from Denton to Mary to Flint to Marr was a fascinating parade of accents both idiosyncratic and driven by their subcultures. Though Denton was having troubl e-nun-ciating past a mouth hung open like a shoebox with a tongue so far out he was kneeling on it while he begged to touch Mary’s hem.

    Couldn’t he have found some form of address other than “Your Royal Highness?” LIke maybe: “the woman who got a really good price for number 22?” Or Mrs Peel, for that matter.

    He could at least have asked her about real estate prices in Denmark and the behaviour of landlords, since she spent a year there being a commoner.

    I do think the Danish Royals are a bit preferable to the Windsors. Perhaps we could swap the Windsors for the Clucksbergs. They seem to be living in a different century and at least Mary was born here. And while their brains, Mash their brains together, stuff a paif of electrodes into the resulting blancmange and add a lemon to the circuit and we would still not get enough power to make a tiny electric motor whirr to the delight of children. Even so, they do seem to be smarter than Chuck-n-Camilla.

    But then, if you connected a tiny motor to those two, it would give up in disgust.

  26. Denton may not interview like Red Kerry, but he’s not normally that synchophantic. You’d have to wonder what kind of conditions there were on doing the interview – though, frankly, if the conditions were so restrictive as to require the kind of interview that he did you’d wonder why he bothered.
    There’s plenty of more relevant questions he could have asked without being confrontational. For instance “Now that you’re involved in it, what do you think the monarchy offers to Denmark that a republican government wouldn’t?”, or, mainly to Frederik, “Queen Elizabeth’s private discussions with her ministers are, according to some reports, far from just polite small talk and sometimes range widely over the issues of the day. How do you think you will relate to senior Danish politicians when the time comes? Do you think there is a place for substantive political advice from a monarch to an elected politician?”
    Oh, and wrt Marr vs. Flint, it makes me wonder about the private Marr. The raised eyebrow, the larger-than-life voice and the outrageous use of the rhetorical question make for great television, but does he turn it off when the camera stops rolling or is he really like that all the time?

  27. Nina says:

    The reason Mary has that “wierd accent” is that a lot of English and Danish words are the same, or sound the same anyway. I imagine it would be the same as a british person living all her life in America?…You’ll just get used to pronouncing the words in a strange way.

    Nina…..from Denmark! (trying to wright without the accent lol.)
    Oh ps: Marys parents are scottish as well.

  28. kate says:

    I don’t think you are right Nina. I read recently that Mary said she has always spoken like that. She was defending herself because it upset her that so many people were criticising her accent. The accent sounds a little windsor IMO. Her sisters talk strine so I doubt she got influenced by her scottish parents.
    She also hadn’t been speaking Danish for very long when she did the first interview. Her mannerisms and speech all seem to be very affected. I’m convinced that a Danish accent would sound different – less British.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *